Monthly Archives: April 2015

Have you ever been caught in a place that you haven't been to, and don't have any idea what to do? With the universe's conspiracy you were meant to be in that place? What would you do? Thank God, there's google, there are bloggers, there are already information available online. 
I was supposed to travel back to Malaybalay, Bukidnon after our "Intelligent Investing" seminar with the Association of Finance Educators in Mindanao. But, suddenly the appointment in Bukidnon was canceled, and we wanted to make use of the time while we are still in Davao. What can we do? Mr. Google and Bloggers across the country helped us. I browsed through the internet all the possible things we could do, of course, top of the list is SAMAL island. 
Again, the question is, what can we do in Samal? I consulted the internet, and there were couple of travel agencies, but when I contacted their numbers, all of them rejected us. LOL! Actually, because it's peak season, I understand that they are all fully booked. But I wanted to go to SAMAL! Haha So I said, we will go D-I-Y! Who cares! I have to go there! haha Travel tours of agencies are all fully booked, some were even still fully booked as of this writing. All the more that I wanted to go to Samal even just for a day. I want to see what it is that people would want to go there! It's again a different thing if you hear it, versus you actually been there. 
I asked my auntie, who's from Davao City too where we could possibly go. She said we have to go to Paradise. And it's recommended that we go there early. First trip to Samal Island is 6:00 AM. I also saw the rule on a large tarpaulin at the port mandated by MARINA. So, I told my friend, we'll get up 5:30 and leave for the port at Magsaysay, board the vessel/barge going to Samal. We were advised, we'll pay around P40.00 for the trip.
But, when I asked the receptionist in the morning as to how to go to Magsaysay, she told me our mentor, friend Mr. F will take us there. Thank you sir! And we were not taken to Magsaysay, he knows a port, where the ferries are going to dock at Paradise Island itself. We were early to witness the sunrise, but we were just on time, since as soon as we took our seats in the ferry, the engine started! So, off we go! 
As we arrived in the Island, I was astonished by the sunrise that welcomed us into the Paradise!

We had breakfast at Paradise Island!

Then my research proved to have pointed us to the consistent places to visit when in Samal Island.
Before we could get to the destination, we have to find the transportation! One of our concerns is that, my friend Mr. CFG is not used to riding a motorbike. You see, he's not a promdi like me.haha And it's one of his fears, riding a motorcycle. But we have no choice, it's the only transportation available to tour us around Samal, with only two of us. We were told, they're going to charge P300/hour. I reacted! What? They said, (I know it's a marketing strategy), they can have a package. Unlimited hours for only P1,200 per motorcycle. I thought of the package we were not able to avail, it's almost equal to the two motorcycle. So I said, GO! Lez do thiz! Just get us back here by 4:00 PM. So we can still go back to Davao City by 5:00 PM the boat's last trip to the City.
Here are some places we went to and sort of itinerary for the entire day! A day trip in Samal Island I'd say.  
1. Hagimit Falls - a great, relaxing and enchanting water falls. Entrance fee is P5.00 environmental fee, and then another P40.00 for the property's entrance. Total cost P45.

2. Bat Cave - my first time to visit a Bat Cave. We had to take this picture at the entrance. Pay P5.00 again for the environmental fee, and another P100.00 for the property's entrance. 

3. Taclobo - this one we opted to pass on this one. We did go there. But when we were there, we were not equipped with underwater camera. I haven't got one yet and we think we can't get the value of our money without the pictures of what we can see there. Here we were supposed to witness more than 3,000 Taclobos. Clamps! To do it, you'd pay P500.00 for the boat to go to the area, then pay P200 (I am not sure with this one, but this was what I could remember told to us) for the snorkeling gadgets, etc. I then just took a photo of the Island at a closer look.

4. Overview at Kaputian  - we had to stop at the place where we can have a look of the Island at bird's eye view. We were not informed there was entrance fee. As we were about to leave, we were asked for the entrance fee of P10.00 each. 

5. Fish Feeding - we did not do this as we were tired. But we were informed that it's free in Paradise Island, included in our entrance fee of P200.00 as we arrived. 
Our lunch was at Farmer's Bar and Resto in Penaplata, Samal (will have the review on a separate blog). Took a picture with our drivers! πŸ™‚
We wrapped up our day relaxing in the beachfront of Paradise Island. What an amazing sight of Beach with the live music of the band! 

Such a fulfilling day! From sunrise to sunset at Samal Island! Thank you for the great trip! Thank you to my friend boss CGF for going with the flow! Congratulations on conquering your fear! 
I can't let the day pass and leave Paradise Island without my own proof of visit. Here I asked a picture taken with me at the entrance as we leave for the port to Davao City.

No-filter, breath-taking and relaxing view of the sunset at the port of Paradise Island!
If you have questions which cannot be answered on this post feel free to ask on the comment box. If you want to say something just hit the comment box below! Take risks! Travel more! Life is short! Keep moving! Live each day, don't miss it! It's a gift!

1 Comment

We had a long day! We were happily tired! We had an overnight ride with the bus going to Davao. We attended the whole day seminar. Then we visited Davao's SM Lanang. We wanted to relax. But we didn't know where. 
After couple of mind suggestions, I popped the question "do they have good spa here?". And my friend was thinking the same thing too. We asked the receptionist of SM Prestige. They recommended us to visit Pressure Points Spa located just right across Davao's Water District. You would not have a hard time finding it. 
Pressure point offers different services. They mainly have female therapist and few male therapist. They have shower room, sauna, and well the massage rooms. 
I am just not comfortable with the massage room because it's open. And you can see the rest of the guests having the massage too. I am not used to that kind of room. Anyway, as for the massage. The therapist is quite good. I am satisfied. I had a combination of shiatsu and thai massage. They call it fusion.
I should warn you their prices are not the typical price offered in just any other spa. They're a little bit pricey, relatively. 
Massage Service: 4.0 They forgot to ask my profile. Very few spa in the Philippines actually ask for your profile. They don't care whether or not you have high blood pressure, any ailments, or anything at all about your health that might pose a threat against your having a massage. Also, you'd probably have what they have. Not that you can choose which masseur.
Place/Ambiance: 3.5 Mainly because their massage rooms are not private. Quite uncomfortable for me to have my body seen by other people except the masseur. Although they have sauna and shower room and a locker.
Price/Rates: 4.0 fairly reasonable. But you could have a cheaper, good-quality massage somewhere at a lower price. Less expenses. Cheapest is 30 minute massage @ P400.00 or $10.00
I was not able to take photos inside. Was only allowed to have it  here at the lobby.

It was my second time to visit Davao. This time a little bit longer, we will be attending the Intelligent Investing seminar. A successful seminar. But this is going to be my short review, snapshot of our Backpacking Experience in GreenWindows Dormitel.
We arrived earlier than we planned so we decided to have a nap. An since we don't want to spend more than what we need, we availed Green Windows Dormitel's "backpackers" package for only P188.00 quite a good offer. πŸ™‚ 
We only needed some place to sleep for a couple of hours. As soon as we got in. I had this picture taken. The lobby at the reception area. It's in the 5th Floor of the Building.

I browsed through their brochures and found this. Might help you if your planning a tour in Davao.

The 5th Floor Reception Area at a glance. πŸ™‚ 

They also offer breakfast. You can browse through their menu below. 

And if you're interested to check their room rates. Please check 'em out here. Prices per room of Green Windows Dormitel.They have other rooms not for backpackers! πŸ™‚

If you want their contact number I have them here. Contact numbers of Green Windows Dormitel.

Service: 4.5 Maybe because they were tired, they were welcoming but not shown in their smiles or faces.
Sanitation: 4.9 They are well cleaned. At least for what I saw. 
Price: 4.9 reasonable. 
Room/Place: 4.9 The rooms are just adequate. Because we only availed of backpackers, I've only seen the backpacker's room. It's good for what it purports to be. Enough ventilation. Good ambiance.

I had to set a quick meeting with one of my friends for a certain transaction, I was unable to find a space in Brew Berry. Thank God there's Vienna Cafe just right across the corner, I've often visited the place but I haven't talked about it here. So this is to also add to your list of places where you can also have a meal. 
I only had their Clubhouse. My usual order when I just want to eat something not so heavy. πŸ™‚ 

They have their contact number below for inquiries and reservations. 

Here are the list of Vienna Kaffeehaus' meal prices! Quite pricey I'd say, but well, reasonable still. 

Assessments with 5.0 as the highest and 0 as the lowest
Ambiance: 4.9 it's a cool dim place which could soothe your stressful day. A relaxing place to be in. 
Service: 4.5 I could have given an excellent mark had they implemented stationing, service water upon set up, etc. Still have something to improve. But generally okay.
Food: 4.8 I enjoyed the food, taste is within standards.
Price: 4.0 little bit pricey. But if you wanted comfort and convenience it's alright! πŸ™‚
When I'm at this restaurant/cafe I enjoy and feel the moment as if I am actually in Vienna, Austria! A glimpse of it. haha πŸ™‚ 

Again, as I mentioned in my previous blog, we had a tour or a ride around the entire Camiguin Island. When we reached Benoni, Mahinog my sister requested that we stop by for a snack or dinner! We were hungry after a half-day ride.

I obliged, we stopped at the Lagoon! Taguines Lagoon! J & A Fishpen!

I was not able to get the pictures I took for the food, but I wanted to give you an idea how much it could cost you. I'd say they have reasonable prices as well. I shall update this blog, once the photos of the food were already with me. Right now, you can check their prices.

I wanted to climb up the mountain and have a sight of the beautiful Island. What could be more appropriate than a place with food! Haha I visited my cousin and she came home with me. We agreed to have a tour around Camiguin, but first go up the mountain to just relax and have our sight-seeing session. She agreed and my siblings are up for it too! 

We were told there's a new establishment just next to PhilVolcs office in Payahan. 

We rode towards PhilVolcs and true enough, Camridge is there! Newly opened! 

Because it's newly opened, the rooms are not yet available. We were not allowed to view the rooms before they open it for lodging. We were only ushered to the restaurant area, where we had a panoramic view of Mambajao, Camiguin. πŸ™‚

Upon entering the restaurant, we can't help but take photos of ourselves.haha wefie! πŸ™‚

My cousin and two siblings!

And yes, that's me, enjoying the beer with the fresh air in the mountain! Fantastic! 

I checked the area and they have a bar, they serve wines too! Wow, and they have varied wines to choose from.

Hard drinks you say? Well, you can choose it from here! πŸ™‚ 
Here is the view at the top! Isn't it amazing! Pure, no filter, green! 

My sister's gotta pose anywhere, and asked me to take it! πŸ™‚ Here she goes. πŸ™‚

Considering that they are still newly opened, they have limited but decent menu. For ideas of what to eat or expect to be available and their prices at Camridge, check it here.

How to go there?

Go to Mambajao Terminal, you ask motorcycle driver to drive you there (habal-habal) as we call 'em. P50 pesos would be a reasonable fare. You can also ask if he can wait or come back at a later time, since it's not as easy as the city to find a ride.

If you have your own wheels, then you can driver going there. From Mambajao Market, you go through I think Mabini Street, straight to Water District, pass by Quiboro, Quepasa, then you will reach Combol (dunno if that's the correct spelling), then you're there! Camridge Inn. You'll find the two-storey building! Around 10-15 minutes ride from downtown Mambajao.

Here we go again! My colleagues tapped into their genius mind and decided to have dinner again! Haha Unplanned dinner, outing, or bonding are usually the successful and implemented activities. Maybe we're just spontaneous. 
I was told I could have Beef Randang (one of my fave's Maranao food), but was later told it isn't Maranao at all, but a Thai Cuisine. It's just that I first tasted it with my Maranao friends. πŸ™‚ And I love it! One big fan of Maranao cuisine. πŸ™‚
I agreed to go with them since I craved for the Randang. 
I was told we were going to Magill's (and exactly where is that Magill's?) at the back of my mind. It's in Pueblo. Uptown City! Hmm, a few minutes away from downtown, but then again, it's food you know! 
When we arrived, I know I would be writing something afterwards. It's new to me. My first time experience with Magill's.

Before the food were served, I asked them to have a photo op. haha for this purpose. My blog! πŸ™‚ Thank you for being so supportive my friends! πŸ™‚

And well, what could really make me excited is the sight of my BEEF RANDANG! Wohoo, it's a little bit different from the way it's presented by "Ina" when I first tasted it, in Iligan. But I still am excited. And yeah, it's indeed my kind of Randang. πŸ™‚ Yahoo!

My friend also ordered Spanish Bangus. And it passed our standard, only that the taste is a little bit different.  

Smoked Bangus, was also good! 

Winner! Tuna Carbonara! Wow! I told my friend, there've never been a Carbonara that passed my standard before, at least here in CDO. I guess this is it! And yeah! It's Tuna! C'mon. You should try it too!  

For more ideas of their food, I took a picture of their menu so you would have choices before you go there. πŸ™‚

If you are planning to go to Dakak, or already in Dakak Park and Beach Resort but would want to know their Menu. This is for you. πŸ™‚ Check 'em out.

Details for prices and reservations or inquiries, contact numbers and emails of Dakak Park and Beach Resort is found here.

The restaurant is cozy and a great place to dine. Spacious.

I am a pasta fan! So we tried their Spaghetti Meat ball. And yeah, it passed my standard. πŸ™‚

We also tried their Pizza! In fact we had a take-out too! Haha I love this!

And yeah, I had to finish with the wine. πŸ™‚ Wine makes me somehow relax and reenergized at the same time! After a long day of tour and travel. I thought, I deserve a glass of wine! πŸ™‚

I am thankful for all the great things I've experienced in Dakak Park and Beach Resort.

As to evaluation of the Il Patio Restaurant, with 5 being the highest and 0 being the lowest:

Service: 4.8 was glad to be served by the crew of the restaurant they gladly obliged to our requests.
Ambiance: 5.0 it's amazing!
Food: 4.8 I enjoyed the food. Not that I am Italian or something, but still I enjoyed it.
Price: 4.8 reasonable. Suits the place. 

It was late last weekend Friday that I decided to visit my sister in Dipolog City. She's been inviting me to visit her and that she'd tour me around the city. I wasn't that excited, but thought, I'd give it a try. Turned out, we've had a great time! 
I have to have a courtesy call! haha This place was just in the books when I was in highschool and college. And now, I'm in Dapitan! Our National hero's place of exile. 
Like other tourists, we went checking out souvenir items. What could better be a souvenir than a shirt which you can wear wherever! I got a DAKAK shirt!
They have more items like bags, wallets, purses, household and decoration handicraft items! 
We wanted to thank Ate Diding and asked if we could have a picture with her. πŸ™‚
My sister wants to capture the beauty of the beach and the mountain. Here she is, posing like a model. πŸ™‚
We initially just wanted to check out the nearby beach, but eventually decided to check out Dakak. The famous Park and Beach Resort in Dapitan City. Thank God it's still within our budget (is it?). Lol!
Entrance fee is P1,000.00 inclusive of all amenities. P1,000.00 is consumable either in jetski, banana boat or food at their restaurant.
The best part of Dakak is still its beach! Amazing cool beach with the hot King Sun shining! Summer is really on! I had a great time cherishing and how lavishing Dakak's beach is. 
The experience won't be complete without us checking out their restaurant! Il Patio Restaurant is where you can also redeem/consume your coupon.
The best finally for a great meal is, of course, a great wine! Life's too short to drink bad wine. πŸ™‚
We took pictures at their Al Fresco Restaurant too! We feel like we were celebrities, invited to visit the place! Haha
And as we checked out the beach we took some more pictures. Being amazed with the view consumed our time. We can't help but take pictures, literally, anywhere!
Sun bathing is always an option! What say you? LOL!
We had a great pizza and pasta meal! Thumbs up on the taste! 
This was the view of Dakak beach at around 5:00 P.M. The sun is still up and shining!
We didn't notice, our time was up. We need to go back to Dipolog City. We realized it's already half past 6:00 P.M.
On our way home, we can't help but notice Dapitan's state-of-the-art City Hall.
It was an amazing Dakak experience! I am thankful we did choose to pay the entrance and experience it's grandeur! I am thankful that we did decide to check it out.
The following day, we had a tour at the shore line where the ship/vessel/barge of my sister's company was docked. I can't help but capture this scene of kids happily enjoying the waters under the heat of the sun. I can't stop myself reminiscing my good old childhood days!
I want to drive! I want to take over the bridge! haha Fuera Visita! LOL!
VIP rooms were also shown to us. And yeah, again she can't help but ask me to take a picture. πŸ™‚
I checked out the top of the ship, was fascinated at how clear and blue the skies are. Real summer scenery. 
Inside the vessel was a picture-taking spree! haha Unlimited shots! Keep clicking was the motto!
Another pose at the VIP room. 
A picture taken at the tourist area. 
This is the Lady of Good Voyage Vessel! Thank you for the accommodation! πŸ™‚ We had fun!
Join me as I explore more places soon! πŸ™‚ My Dipolog City and Dapitan City experience was a blast! And I would love to come back anytime soon. And check out more. I was not able to take some photos during our Boulevard exploration. We went there at night, and it's like MOA's seaside area. It's a great place to hang out, drink some beer, talk to friends or sing some songs! Daghang salamat Dipolog! πŸ™‚

Going home was not really in my mind, until I decided to give myself a break. I've been so busy accomplishing things, complying requirements, meeting deadlines, doing and finishing reports and serving clients. I decided to step back, watch the scenery and just cherish what I have and what life has offered and given me.

How to get there? If you are from Cebu you can have the water transportation. Ferries from Cebu usually leave on Friday night and arrive at Balbagon, Camiguin port Saturday Morning. And leave for Cebu Saturday evening (or was it Sunday evening not sure).

You can also have a flight from Cebu to Camiguin if you are lucky enough to have the same schedule as their flight schedule. There is not daily flight going to Camiguin.

If you are going via Cagayan de Oro, then you perhaps come from Laguindingan Airport.

Ride a van from the airport to Agora Terminal - Fare is around P200.00
Agora Terminal to Balingoan Port (ride the bus bound for Butuan) - Fare is P150.00
Balingoan Port to Benoni, Mahinog Camiguin - Fare is P170.00
Benoni Port to Mambajao (Capital town) - P30.00 (van)

Holy Thursday and Good Friday are holidays. I decided to take some days off. Went to the beautiful island where I grew up. I went to Camiguin Island.
It has become a family tradition! Visiting cousins and well, the drinking just doesn't have time. Every time, is a proper time. haha

I have limited time to spend there, but I want to visit places I haven't been to.

This is with my cousin, uncle and sister.

It was Friday morning when I decided to visit my cousin, uncles and aunties in my Mom's place. I almost every day see these scenery back in my childhood days, but now that I rarely come home, I am always fascinated of its beauty every time.
View just outside my uncle's home at Tupsan Pequino.

The swing at the entrance of uncle Wilson's home. 

The view going to Mambajao at Barangay Magting. 

Panoramic view of Mambajao, Camiguin.

I realized that Camiguin is blessed with beautiful spots. I did not however go the beautiful tourist spots, but I know them.

1. Sto. Nino Cold Spring - is located in Catarman, Camiguin. A very refreshing cold spring pool. Best for summer escapade.
2. Ardent Hot Spring - is located at Tagdo, Mambajao, Camiguin. A good relaxing place after a tired days work or after a busy day of tour.
3. White Island - located few minutes banca/boat ride away from the shore of Yumbing, Mambajao, Camiguin. 
4. Sunken Cemetery - located right after Walkway of Catarman Camiguin.
5. Walkway - a well known holy-week tourist destination located in Catarman Camiguin.
6. Pamonglo Spring - is another cold spring located in Sagay, Camiguin.
7. Tuasan Falls - is a new, still under development waterfalls. Many tourists and even locals have become aware of its beauty. 
8. Old Church - is just right after walkway near sunken cemetery in Catarman, Camiguin.
9. Lagoon - is a haven for seafood. They offer freshly caught fish and seafood, for your hungry tummy, located at Benoni, Mahinog, Camiguin.
10. Soda Water Pool - a natural soda water pool, located at Catarman, Camiguin.
11. Kibila - is another tourist destination where a great collection of live sea clamps can be found. Located in Guinsiliban, Camiguin.
12. Katibawasan falls - is a great waterfalls, fascinating view, and located Kabuhi, Mambajao, Camiguin
13. Itom/Combol at PhilVolcs - Another fascinating view when you go up to the mountain "Itom" where you can have a great panoramic view of the island, and can even see the White Island from the top. Located just a few kilometers from Quipasa, Mambajao, Camiguin.
14. Mantigue Island - you can visit another island/islet that is just a few minutes boat ride from Mahinog's shore. It's a fresh and virgin island. Green trees. White sand. Clear blue sea!
Beach resorts, restaurants, and bars have sprouted over the years. Back in my childhood years, there's not much choices. But right now, tourist are fortunate enough to have a variety of food establishments to choose from.

Below I will share some of the pictures we took as we had our tour around the whole Camiguin Island.