I miss traveling. But for now, I’m revisiting my past travel videos and photos and make a vlog out of it.
Last October 2019, I went to Boracay with my family. We stayed for only 2 days and 2 nights. As we are only in a tight budget and schedule, here are the affordable activities we did in Boracay. PLUS Awra tips!
Foreword: I’m publishing this blog in the midst of NCOV-19 crisis. I know it’s a bit untimely because I , even myself, cancelled my travel this summer and I advised everyone to do the same. But this blog has been on my backlog for a long time. And I’m publishing this with hope that few months after, this pandemic will be over and our medical experts would discover the cure to combat this virus. Few months after, we will be able to travel again without fear and this blog would finally serve it’s purpose. Let’s pray and be healthy wherever you are.
It’s been months after we went to Taiwan and I remember that on that time, I had a hard time researching for the best ways to exchange Philippine pesos to Taiwan NTD. There are youtube vlogger discussing one way another and I did find few blogsite but most of them were old. I don’t know, maybe I didn’t search enough. But just in case, you are having a hard time too, I decided to write my own experience and discoveries on the ways to exchange Philippine Peso to Taiwan NTD and compare it to one another. The process might apply to other currencies as well but this experience is particular for Taiwanese Dollars.
How to Measure if the Exchange Rate is Good?
To buy Taiwan Dollars, the lower the selling exchange rate the better. So we will compare these ways base on their selling exchange rate. Searching through google as of this writing, 1 NTD would be equal to 1.69 Philippine Peso. Let’s see which of the following ways would offer the best exchange rate.
TWD vs. NTD: Taiwan Currency
First of all, when it’s your first time to travel in Taiwan, you may be confused of the two currency being used which are TWD and NTD. They are actually the same in terms of Tawain Currency. It’s just TWD is being used more in more serious note like foreign exchange rates. NTD is more of international English name of Taiwanese currency. But their value is the same.
Option 1: Thru BDO Bank:
This option is one of the best because of low exchange rate. But this is only applicable if you still have at least a month left before your departure time. As of this writing the selling exchange rate for BDO is 1.71. If you want to check the current buy exchange rate, go to this BDO forex link: https://www.bdo.com.ph/mobile/forex
So if you exchange PHP 5000 to Taiwan Dollars in BDO, that would be 2,923.97 TWD. (Computation: 5000 divided by 1.71)
Here are the important notes on how to exchange by BDO.
1. Currencies other than USD are available in selected BDO branches only. Please click here to view list of selected branches.
2. You can only exchange money on the BDO branch where you have a bank account. So if your branch is not on this list here , it’s out of the options.
3. When you are ready to exchange your money at the BDO branch, you need to bring your passport and itinerary. It’s important to know that Taiwan dollars is most probably not readily available at your branch. So the estimate for your Taiwan dollars to arrive will usually take 2 to 3 weeks after you visited your branch.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: We only learned about this method within the week of our departure. I visited the BDO in Picadilly BGC branch and was informed that there were a lot of requirements. I don’t have a BDO account in this branch and we couldn’t wait for 2 to 3 weeks anymore. So we were not able to use this method. So I conclude, this is a good way to exchange PHP to TWD but it is inconvenient and would require a lot of time.
Option 2: Thru a Money Changer
The second option would be the nearest money changer in your area. But this require a little research since money changer sites have different exchange rates. In our experience, I exchanged money in Kabayan BGC Branch. They update their Facebook page on the current exchange rates and respond quickly in our inquiries. At that time, we chose this because it somewhat lesser in other options that we had.
TIP: Message them in Facebook first to ensure when they have Taiwanese Dollar in the nearest branch . Unlike the first option, it only takes one day. This is the private message that I had with Kabayan. At that time, 1.85 is the selling rate. We exchanged 15,000 for me and my friends.
So for example, if you have PHP 5000 , this will be equal to 2,702.70 Taiwanese dollars. (Computation 5000 divided by 1.85)
Option 3: Exchange money in Taoyuan Airport
You can also bring your Philippine peso in Taiwan and exchange it on the money changer in Taoyuan Airport itself. There are two banks which has money changer kiosk in Taoyuan which operate for 24 hours. You can ask anywhere and they would consistently say this option has the least competitive rate. However, it offers convenience and security as it is readily available in the airport.
Personal Experience: My friend decided to exchange his P3000.00 in Bank of Taiwan Money Changer kiosk. At that time of our travel, the selling rate was 1.9354. So he got 1,550.00 Taiwan Dollars. You can also view this on my vlog at 00:11.
So for further comparison, PHP 5000 would be equal to 2,583.4 Taiwan Dollars.
Take note that this site displays Taiwan to other currency rates so you should look for PHP buy exchange rate and multiply it to your Philippine Peso.
Option 4: Withdraw in Taiwan ATM
You can also bring your local debit mastercard or credit card in Taiwan and withdraw in Taiwan ATM. Since the pocket money I brought was not enough, I had the chance to use this option as well. The exchange rate depends of the bank. You should also take note that aside from the exchange rate, each bank has it’s fee which will be deducted on top of your withdrawal.
Some important notes:
1. Your card should bear a mastercard or visa card.
Personal experience: I used my BPI card to withdraw P1500.00 NTD. It’s not hard to withdraw in Taiwan as ATM have available English translation. When I checked my statement, it charged me a total of P2687.00. Subtracting a total of 180.00 from international withdrawal fee, then that would be P2507.
Computing the exchange rate I had with using BPI ATM card, that would be
And if we are going to exchange our PHP5000, it will be 2,994 NTD.
To summarize the exchange rate of four options:
At Taoyuan Airport:1.9354
International ATM Witdrawal: 1.67— the best
With these four options, I would say International ATM withdrawal is the best. But you should not rely entirely with ATM withdrawal. I believe it would be best to have cash on-hand as well before flying to any different countries. So for me the best is to exchange a lesser portion of you pocket money from Bank then for the larger portion withdraw it in Taiwan. In case something went wrong online, you won’t be empty-handed.
That’s all folks! I think we can all agree that the start of 2020 is a bit stressful. Let’s pray together that in the second quarter , the world will trample the pandemic crisis. I’m positive all of this will be over.
Before I end this blog I would also like to invite you to be my International Blogger Friend. The idea is to invite everyone in blogosphere and have at least one friend in each country so that means at least 195 blogger friends. It’s not limited to wordpress blogger, or to blogsite platforms. If you are a Instagram blogger, facebook or youtuber, you are welcome! For more details, you can check out my About Page here.
Thank you in advance!
Remember, you are awesome and wonderfully made,
For inquiries and collaborations, LET’s CONNECT!!!!!!
Hi! I can’t believe November is almost over and I haven’t written a single post here in my blog. Not that means my life is boring lately and there’s nothing to write about. Quite contrary, I got a big kind of adventures that I don’t have time to write. To tell the you the truth I am exploring vlogging lately. That’s why I am going to share with you this newest vlog of mine, our family’s getaway to Boracay. Since this plan was a spur of the moment plan, almost an impulse, so we couldn’t book a airfare promo. Instead, we resorted to travel by sea. So here’s my vlog on our experience.
21:34 Gurezu Reviews Final Verdict for Traveling with 2go Travel
I would love to write a blog version of it but maybe soon when I got more time in my hands.
Nowadays, traveling by ship is not a popular choice anymore. But I hope this vlog would somehow change your perspective on traveling by sea. I honestly enjoyed given that I also bonded with my family while we were sailing. I recommend everyone to try this too specially for lovers or group of friends.
On our last day at Cebu we didn’t have exclusive tour since Cebu Travelers were already reserved on that day. We didn’t have time to look for other agencies. Without a comfort of a car, we took this opportunity to fully experience how to commute around Cebu City on our own. Thus having our own little adventure.
This blog is part 2 of my Cebu Adventure posts. If you’re interested for the part 1, just click the links below.
0.Going to Square Mall As Starting Point of Habal-habal
We started at the location of our hotel “Sampaguita Hotel” situated in Plaza Garcia Bldg, Magallanes St, Cebu City, Cebu. Base on our research, habal-habal pick-up point in the city is located at JY Square Mall. When were looking for jeepney rides, that’s how we learned that in Cebu, routes are often designated by codes. These codes are largely displayed on top of every jeep. Such as shown below.
Since we don’t know the right code going to JY Square Mall, we had no choice but to ask around. They answered in unison that we should look for jeeps with code “C” on them. I think we rode 4C . Maybe if you’re somewhere in Cebu city, better ask around on what’s the correct code base on your location.
It took maybe around 30 minutes before we reached JY Square Mall (Supermart). I guess the driver was annoyed at this point because I kept asking if we were near JY Square Mall already. We were paranoid and we didn’t want to get lost. So sorry about that. Anyway once we got off the jeep, we didn’t have to look for habal-habal. Several drivers approached us quickly and offered their services.
We accepted the offer P400.00 per person, round-trip. Here’s a clip of us during our trip. At the beginning, it was perplexing to be exposed in the middle of smoke and traffic. But once we approached the mountain where Sirao Garden is located, we started to see magnificent views and clean air along the way. It finally became an enjoyable ride.
1. SIRAO GARDEN
After around 45 minutes, we finally reached the famous Sirao Garden. Entrance fee is only P60.00.
There are parking lots available here so it’s pretty accessible for those who have cars.
And finally, picture taking time. These photos were all taken with Samsung A50 mobile phone.
This was the most blockbuster landmark here, the hand. The line was long for this one. I think it took 10-20 minutes before we had our turn.
I must say the views of the mountains was a bonus. It felt like you’re on top of the mountain even we didn’t trek.
I adore this life-size nest. They even have a prop egg.
Please notice the butterfly on my elbow.
After an hour of photoshoot session, we took a break by eating some corn and drinking bottled water. These stalls were just outside the Sirao Garden.
We also met the habal-habal driver once again and proceeded to another destination nearby, the Temple of Leah.
2. Temple of Leah
Our motorcycle had to climb a very steep road to get here. I thought it would be really hard to get here just by walking. There was also an entrance fee. But I can’t remember the specifics. I’m sure it was less than P100.00.
Learning the story behind Temple of Leah amused me. This was built by a business tycoon (Adarna Clan) in memory of his late wife Leah Albino Adarna. This is a testimony of his love and endless devotion to her. This temple will be the home of all travel souvenirs and collections Leah had acquired from her travels in her lifetime. As said in one of the signs there, Teodorico Adarna had to literally chop a mountaintop to place this temple. This is the reason why it is often hailed as “The Taj Mahal of the Philippines” , a testament of love to a deceased wife by grand display of wealth. The construction is still not finished but it’s already open to the public.
The design of “Temple of Leah” was inspired by Parthenon of Greece. So aside from being Taj Mahal of the Philippines, it was also called the Parthenon of Cebu.
Some rooms are not yet furnished like this one. But some Leah’s collection were already there. Leah loved figurines and vases.
This Leah’s golden statue was inspired by a photo when she won a “beauty-queen” like award in her school. I wished they displayed the real photo here.
They say that this statue alone costs millions already.
You can also have an almost 360 degree view of Cebu City here in Temple of Leah.
At last, here’s the open letter of Teodorico Adarna Jr. on why he built this temple.
Given this history of the temple, one can’t help but to be curious on what does Leah Albino Adarna looked like. She must be goddess of beauty. The clue would be her actress granddaughter “Ellen Adarna” who most likely inherited the genes. I searched the internet but I only found this one in this link.
Our habal-habal driver offered us to have another destination which hey called “TOPS” . But we opted to return to the city. He dropped us in a gasoline station and then we paid him P800.00 plus P100 for the waiting time. This already covered two of us. From there we rode a jeep going to Taboan where our friend was already waiting.
Final Verdict for our Habal-habal tour.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
3 out of 5 stars. Actually we were also offered by a taxi driver for the same tour. He offered us P1200 roundtrip for the two of us. We thought it was expensive. But as I think about it now, the difference of the price was not that big compared to overall price we had with habal-habal. Also in habal-habal, we were exposed directly by sunlight and pollution. For that reason, I think we should have took the taxi ride tour instead. But the habal-habal driver itself was nice to us. I have no complains.
3. Pasalubong Hunting in Taboan
This was our last day in Cebu so we need to do some pasalubong shopping. Taboan is a popular destination as it has string of stalls offering affordable delicacies. Most notably the danggit or dried fishes.
This is some of the notes on the price of danggit and dried pusit.
Danggit P700.00/kilo Pusit P1050/kilo
You can order up to quarter a kilo and you can request the packaging to be divided. We also bought boxes here so we can seal all “pasalubong” in one box. We sealed it heavily so it won’t have any problems in the airport.
4. Dinner at Kogi-Q at SM City Cebu
Our last accommodation was near SM City Cebu so we went there for our last dinner at Cebu.
For the last hoorah in Cebu, it was a time for Eat -All-You-Can Buffet for only P399.00. They have wide range of meat to choose from.
Final Verdict for Kogi-Q
Rating: 4 out of 5.
4 out of 5 stars. The food and the service are great. But most memorable was their Kimchi. I generally don’t like kimchi as much. But damn, I just had unlimited kimchi that night.
5. LAST ACCOMMODATION: EXPRESS INN CEBU MABOLO
Because we had short of time to plan and book accommodations, we got to transfer again for our last night. It was a hassle but the good thing was I got to know three affordable hotel accommodations to share in my blog.
Express Inn is also located in the city and situated beside a main road. It is near SM City Cebu and also minutes away from the airport which was great because our flight going back to Manila tomorrow was super early. This hotel has many awards displayed in the reception because of its affordability and accessibility. I didn’t take note of the price when we got it. But we booked it once again through Agoda. I have shared the link below where you can check this one out.
3.5 out of 5 stars. I like the simplicity and cleanliness of this hotel. A big plus of it’s proximity with malls and airport.
Oh my did I just finished my Cebu Adventure blog? I think I got myself a little celebration. I must admit I should improve my blogging workflow. Being a blogger is not that easy. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the events and the piles of pictures and thoughts you have to organized. But I love blogging. It might be tiring but it always feel good to immortalize memories and share information with others. However, I would appreciate any tips on how to write a blog faster. Just put in the comments if you have one.
Once again I invite you to subscribe to my youtube channel “Gurezu Reviews“. I’m just starting so there were just 4 videos as of this writing. If you also have youtube channel, let me know also so I can follow back.
Again here’s the Highlights of my Cebu Adventure in ten minutes. Photos and videos in this blog were taken with SamsungA50.
Thanks everyone for hanging with me! And remember that you’re awesome!
For inquiries and collaborations, LET’s CONNECT!!!!!!
These are my thoughts and short reviews about our Cebu Adventure last August 2019. This will include the accommodations, places, food trips that we had in just 4 days from August 22-25,2019. Our itinerary was mostly a result of panic planning. The tour and accommodations are booked in less than a week before the trip. This might not be the best itinerary out there. But I’m generally happy with it since we still booked the tour and accommodations in affordable rates. So If you are also in a rush, I hope this would help you.
Outline of the contents. Click the topic of interest for easy jumping.
But first of all, here’s the summary video of my entire Cebu Adventure.
1. Accommodation at RedDoorz Pluz near Mango Avenue
The first thing I won’t forget about going here is that we dropped off at the wrong RedDoorz branch first. There were a lot of Reddoorz in Cebu City and this one was quite new and not exposed at the main road. My friend booked this though Agoda.com and luckily landed a 24 Hour Sale. Below was the screenshot of our reservation. We already got two rooms at the following price for one night.
This was my first experience with RedDoorz and I really liked it. The rooms we got were quite spacious! I can even dance and tumble around. We have three beds in our own room so we didn’t have to share. It was also well lit. They provided free towels,soap, bottled water, toothbrush and toothpaste. There were restaurants, convenient stores and bars nearby. It was beyond decent for me considering the price.
What I love the most were the teddy bears lounge in their mini restaurant at the reception. I never hugged stuff toys as big as these in my whole life so don’t blame if I somewhat abused them by having a mini-photoshoot. These are just SOME of the shots.Oh if only the teddy bears could complain!
Verdict for RedDoorz Pluz Near Mango Avenue
Rating: 4 out of 5.
4 out 5 stars. Satisfied!
2. Dinner at 10000 Roses Cafe‘
We arrived late at the afternoon and a city tour would deem impossible to do. I preferred to go to Sirao Garden but it was too far and it would be nighttime already if we pushed it. But 10,000 cafe’ was perfect for nighttime and it was a cafe’ too so we decided to take our dinner there as well. It took us 1.5 hour to reach it from Mango Avenue through Grab.
You probably saw a lot of pictures of 10,000 roses in the internet. And honestly, more often that not, lead to a distorted expectations of the cafe’. In most pictures, it seems like there is gigantic field of roses lamp. But in fact, 10,000 roses only cover a small 2 rectangular areas around the cafe’. It was disappointing for most visitors as I felt that myself and overheard from a massive tourists here on that night as well. Not that I intended to eavesdrop but the disappointment was loud.
By the way there’s an entrance fee of P20.00 except for some age limits.
The disillusionment of the field of roses waned when in fact, 10000 roses has great food and beverages. We all love the food we ordered there. Plus the atmosphere here was quite romantic. The cafe’ was located near seawater where you can see the city lights too!
I love all the food! Marinara Pasta was my favorite.
FINAL VERDICT for 10,000 roses
Rating: 3 out of 5.
3 out of 5 stars. Despite the disappointment, 10,000 cafe’ is actually a great cafe’. What other cafe’ has 10,000 artificial roses, situated beside the sea and to top it all with great food? Nothing else. So despite that it’s prone to distorted expectations, this cafe’ became a tourist destination because of it’s unique concept and marketing.
3. Moalboal Tour
The second day of our Cebu adventure was though Cebu Travelers Tour Agency . They picked us past 4am . At around 6 am, we arrived at Moalboal headquarters where we need to undergo a short orientation before the tour.
This was a snapshot from the short orientation before the tour. Sadly, due to unfavorable waves, our Pescador Island route was cancelled.
I think we traveled 30 minutes by boat before we arrived at the Sardine Area. I must say cloudy weather greeted us along the way. Thank God, there was no heavy rain. But the waves were really crazy. I have no motion sickness but our boat trip made me feel dizzy. We saw “pawikans” along the way.
I have not captured magnificent photos of Sardine Run. And I didn’t had any close encounter with the pawikans. Instead I took videos from my cellphone with the aid of a reliable P100.00 waterproof case I bought at the Moalboal headquarters. Here is the video summary of my Cebu trip. Moalboal tour is on 1:08 of this video.
4. LUNCH and CHILL at KAWASAN FALLS
After the exhausting struggle with Moalboal waves, it’s rather tiring to find out that we need a 30-40 minute walk to our lunch near Kawasan Falls. I was so hungry. But my mind became at ease at the lush greeneries heading to Kawasan. It was so refreshing not only to the eyes but to my soul. But to temporarily appease our hunger, we bought corn snack and consumed it along the way.
So here are some info about Kawasan Falls. Looks like this falls has won more awards than me. I can attest to the “Cleanest Inland Body of Water” because I am mesmerized with the sparkling cleanliness of the river.
There are actually several carinderia stalls within the vicinity of Kawasan Falls. It was actually raining when we got there. And to tell you the truth I got a little bit discouraged to swim. I already felt cold. Much more if I emerged myself in the water. I don’t like feeling cold.
I thought I would be contented having just photos. But I eventually submerged myself in the cold waters. At first, the cold bit painfully. But I get used to it. Everybody did. By the way, the most popular activity in Kawasan is canyoneering. But I’m not adventurous enough and I am glad that my travel buddies were not game for it too. Or else I’m screwed. To be fair, I used to be excited with extreme activities. Maybe it’s the “Tita” growing inside me.
5. Teofilo Camomot Shrine
This archbishop from Cebu is under beatification for sainthood. I heard a lot of stories about him from our tour guide. But what interest me the most was he was born at the same date as my brother and he died the exactly the day after I was born. What a coincidence! Anyway this shrine holds his original casket, personal writings among others.
6. Dinner at Ayer’s Lechon Cebu
They say Cebu has the best lechon. With the advise of our tour guide, our search for Cebu lechon taste led us to Ayer’s Lechon Cebu in Mango Avenue, just few blocks away from our accommodation.
SPICY LECHON, a must try!
Regular Lechon. I preferred the spicy one.
Lechon Paksiw. Good but I think you can skip this one.
Daing na Bangus. Must try!
Lomi. Super must try!
Rating: 4 out of 5.
4.5 STARS! Three reasons why you should try Ayer’s Lechon 1. Their lechon tastes great without breaking the bucks. 2. Not crowded restaurant. 3. We have nothing but praises to their other offerings such as daing na bangus, lomi and lechon paksiw.
Overall, we had a very satisfying dinner to end the day. By the way the stars lacks a half-star. Damn wordpress widget, doesn’t have a half star.
7. Second Accommodation: Sampaguita Hotel
We transferred to another hotel for the second and third night. Our number reduced to four since one of us has other trip plans. It was smaller and cheaper. A lot cheaper! It is also situated in Cebu City proper and is near from City landmarks as stated below. Surprisingly, I forgot to take a single photo while we were here.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Final Verdict:3 out of 5 stars! It is not that as spacious as RedDoorz we had the first night. But considering the price, I recommend this hotel for those who are on a budget.
8. Whaleshark sightings at OSLOB.
The calltime for this trip is as early as 3 am in the morning. It was really hard for a morning lazy person like me. But as we arrived, we understood why we had to . Even if we were early, there was long queue of tourists ahead of us. Good thing our tour guide already had reservation number they planned ahead.
There was a short orientation on the rules and regulation for whaleshark. For one, we were not allowed to use sunblock. And we should maintain a distance from the whale shark.
I have a conflicting feelings about this experience. Sure, it was a unique experience to encounter this gigantic gentle creature. I was thrilled to see them and I had fun swimming away because I didn’t want to kick them. However I have to admit that the smell was strikingly unpleasant. I nearly vomited when I drank a little seawater. I did not regret this at all. But I might not repeat this experience.
One thing you must remember though that you need to bring action camera here for you to have assistance from the boatmen to have a photo with the whaleshark. They won’t accept mobile phones although you can bring them there. I tried to have a selfie with my mobile phone but no success. But I’m here to see them and savor the close encounter so I don’t have regrets. Here’s a screenshot of the video I took with my cellphone. I had fun taking this because the tourist was really caught off-guard that the whaleshark was already at his back. Video clip here in this link: 2:21
9. SUMILON ISLAND
Ahhhh I love this part. This is my most favorite so far. I know I’ve been a lot of beaches but everything in Sumilon was just clean and relaxing to the eye. The pristine and turquoise water was really charming. The photos I captured using mobile phone won’t need filters.
There are absolutely no store in Sumilon Island. So if you are feeling hungry, make sure you already bring snacks and water on the way.
10. Oslob Cartel
It was like mini Intramuros. Our tour guide said this used to be a headquarters for the Japanese troup.
Oslob Old Church
Oslob Heritage Park
I didn’t roamed around the park. But I love the vintage and chill vibe. If given more time and energy, I would have a photoshoot here.
11. SIMALA CHURCH
This church took me by surprise by how much big it is. The biggest I’ve seen in my life so far. Furthermore, the architecture gave me European Vibes. I never read or have seen this church in social media or anywhere else so this was pretty unexpected. The area was big it took me an hour to roam the place. Expect a lot of stairs.
Note: Shorts and sleeveless are strictly prohibited here. Trappings are available for rent at the entrance area.
If you notice, I am wearing a cloth wrapped around my waist in my pics here. There is a strict dress code upon entering here. But don’t worry, there were trappings for rent outside the church for P25.00. But Simala church itself is for free.
12. Dinner at KKD STK + BBQ
Once again, we took the advise of our tour guide for our next dinner foodtrip. They suggested KKD for affordability and great food. They specially recommended us to try Adobong Nokus(Squid) and Chorizo in Stick. Given that KKD was just near our accommodation for the night, we just walked through several blocks to reach this restaurant in M. J. Cuenco Ave, Cebu City, Cebu .
They have a string of neighbor restaurants. This street of Cebu City is very much alive at night.
It’s time to eat!
ADOBONG NOKUS with ATA for P260.00 This is the star of the night. It is unlike the taste of Adobong pusit that I got used to. So I guess, there’s a unique Cebu touch for this dish. It is savory, but not too salty. I miss eating this. I hope there’s KKD in Manila.
BUTTERRED SHRIMP for P185.00 I am not that impressed at this one. It’s not that buttery for my taste.
SISIG with EGG for P140.00 I also love this one apart next to Adobong Nokus.
SINIGANG na ISDA for P185.00
CHORIZO for P25.00 I had high expectation with this one but it was sweet. I am not inclined with sweet meat or sausages. Personal choice.
FOUR SEASON PITCHER
Rating: 4 out of 5.
FINAL VERDICT for KKD STK+BBQ
4 our of 5 stars.Just like what they mentioned int their banner, they greatly value hospitality and I do felt that with the service we have received here in this restaurant. The staff would often smile and asked us on what we need constantly. I also love the majority of the food that we ordered. Adobong Nokus is a must try. Most of all, it is indeed affordable.
First of all, this is not a sponsored post whatsoever. I just want to thank Cebu Travelers Tour Agency for their affordable tour package. As I said earlier,we started planning the itinerary less than a week before our flight. I have inquired to numerous agencies which gave me heart attack for the final quotations. So I only find Cebu Travelers as the most affordable one so far for the exclusive tour. It is owned by a couple who also personally toured and drive for us. They entertained us with their stories during long travels. And they recommended nice restaurants for our search of Cebu flavor. For that my raiting with be 4.5 stars out of 5 stars! Below this photo are the packaged we availed from them. Go ahead and explore their other packages in Facebook.
DAY 1: OSLOB TOUR : 1,699php/person
¤ Oslob heritage park
¤Oslob old church
⊙Lindogon, Simala Church
Add-on Php500 for foreign guest only, as part of
tourism ordinance in Oslob.
DAY 2MOALBOAL + KAWASAN 1,299php/person,
⊙Turtle watching(if they show up)
⊙Dolphin watching (if arrive early and seasonal)
⊙TEOFELO CAMOMOT SHRINE or LAMBUG BEACH
⊙(Full Course Canyoneering w/ lunch)” OPTIONAL add on 1,500 for canyoneering”
Rating: 4 out of 5.
And that’s it for Part 1 of our Cebu Adventure. I hope parts of this may help you with your adventure if you’re planning. Don’ t forget also to check out the summary video of my Cebu Trip. And also please subscribe to my youtube channel “Gurezu Reviews”.
Thanks everyone! And remember that you’re awesome!
Rating: 5 out of 5.
For inquiries and collaborations, LET’s CONNECT!!!!!!
No money for out-of-the country trip? No passport? No visa? No problem.
This resort from Cavite is a resort slash outdoor museum which will give you a chance to have a taste of around the world trip. This features the following landmark:
✈️Eiffel tower, Paris ✈️Statue of Liberty, New York ✈️Pyramids in Egypt ✈️Arabian Temple in UAE ✈️Santorini, Greece ✈️Pyramids in Egypt ✈️Garden of Morning Calm, South Korea ✈️ Disneyland Castle, Hongkong ✈️ Merlion, Singapore ✈️ Pantheon, Rome ✈️ Tower of Pisa, Italy
Others: Not able to capture in pictures ✔Netherland’s Windmill ✔Japan Arc
Opening Hours: ✈️ AM shift 8 am to 3pm ✈️ PM shift 4 pm to 11pm
How to Go from Manila ✈️Ride a bus from Edsa Pasay Terminal or PITX bound to NAIC, Cavite. Drop-off to Naic Crossroads. Landmark is Shakey’s or Jollibee. Pamasahe is around P178.00 each ✈️ Ride a tricycle straight to Torres Land Farm. P20.00 each person.
This is the basic rates for AM shift. If you don’t plan to swim, you can just opt for P180.00 entrance fee. Swimming for Adult: P200.00 Swimming for Kids: P140.00 Entrance fee is P180.00 (for picture taking only)
Pyramids in Egypt
Statue of Liberty, New York
Disneyland Castle, Hongkong
Tower of Pisa, Italy
Garden of Morning Calm, South Korea
Arabian Temple, UAE
Eiffel Tower, France
Unfortunately, we were not able to drop by in the Windmills of New Zealand Area. They also have Japanese Area but it has special rates.
Torres Land Farm resort also offers wide range if pools and overnight rooms. The following is published on their official facebook page in this link.
Base here on their map, they also have a Kayaking Area. We haven’t manage to check on that.
On our visit we availed a kubo cottage in the Philippine Area. It is worth P600.00 pesos for AM shift (8am-3am). But since there will be no occupant for the PM shift, they let us extend until we sign-off. This is the pool of the Philippine Area. Actually you can swim to other pools but since its the nearest to our cottage and we were also tired from all the picture-taking, we just opted to swim here.
LACK of FOOD KIOSK
This is very important to know. It is advisable that you bring your own food here. You can cook beside the cottage as there are a lot of grillers in the area that you can use. There are food stalls but nothing much like restaurant food to fill your appetite when you get super hungry. They have a cafe’ but the options are limited. We bought our food from Shakeys and Jollibee. These restaurants are one tricycle away from the resort. It would only take you less than 30 minutes to get there. We also bought a cake from Red Ribbon which is also nearby. I suggest you already bring food before you enter the resort to avoid the hassle. I also suggest to the resort to build a main restaurant aside from the cafe’.
💖What I like: Torres Land Farm and Resort is a really good and affordable place to bond with family and friends. Also recommended for team buildings because of its wide area. I also love that there are wide range of pools to choose from. The replicas are cute and detailed. I guess they will add more because there are still wide vacant spaces. And before I forgot, I also like their shower rooms and CR. They are clean and well maintained. They also have cool designs. I really love it. I should have took pictures of it.
👿 What I didn’t like about this resort is the lack of food kiosk. I suggest they build their own restaurant there. Or maybe acquire concessionaires. But other than that, I love everything about this resort.
💁 Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!
I hope you enjoy this blog as usual Would you believe , we are done with the first half of the year 2019! I hope that wherever you are, you are o your way in achieving your goals this year. And if you are lost, I hope you find direction along the way.
One of my travel goals is to visit Jomalig (pronouced as Humalig) Island. But for these past years, I was intimated with the fact that this would take a 6-hour boat ride. I don’t know if I can. But this year I finally gave in when WeekendExplorersPH invited me as a joiner on a tour group as they tailor an organized trip to Jomalig. Our group would consist of 14 people. A big group that would split the cost nicely as this is a DIY Jomalig trip.
Just a brief folktale about the origin of the name of the island. Long time ago, the leader of the island has a beautiful daughter. A suitor came to ask for her hand. However, the leader of the island gave him a challenge to win her daughter. And that is to spear 3 fishes in every seawater of the island. The man accepted this challenge but did not succeeded. As a consolation, he requested a kiss from the leader’s beautiful daughter. When the girl kiss the man, the people were shocked they started shouting “Humalik!” which means to “Kiss” in local language. Soon Humalik became Humalig and now spelled as Jomalig due to American occupation. Love these kind of tales! I have many questions though. So the girl also like the young man? What happened after that? Did they elope or something?
But that does not matter though. It’s time for the photo documentary of our trip to Jomalig Island.Our group meet-up place was in Petron along Boni Avenue. I am nervous because I know the travel time I have to endure and also, it’s my first time to be a joiner. I only know a single soul in this trip. (Main concern: Who would take my photos specially my bikini pics? :P)Our van departed from Boni at around 1am.
Some notes about the Van Rental (cost slit among 14 people) Driver: Mikel Calimag Rental Fee going to Quezon: P6,000.00 (to be split between 14 passenger) Driver Food: P150.00
Port Real Quezon
Then we arrived at Port Real Quezon at around 5 am, We took our breakfast around the area and finally got a chance to talk with some people in the group. It turns out I am not the only one who’s a joiner here. Also I felt relieved to see that our ride was not exactly on a small boat just like we had in Calaguas. We were about to ride on a ferry boat! With seats and a top load where we can lie and sleep!
Time check: Our boat departed the port at around 7 am.
These are some scenes at the topload of the ferry boat. I totally recommend to grab a spot here if you want to catch some sleep. Also it’s not so hot there.
Free lunch! I did not expect that our ride has a free meal inclusion. And I love the food. It tasted good, even better than my breakfast that morning.
Some notes about the Ferry Boat Trip (cost split among 14 people) Port Fee: P140.00 Environmental Fee: P2380.00 Boat: P5600.00
Arrival at Jomalig and Lunch at Ate Lara’s House
The ferry boat is prohibited to touch the shore. So we have to transfer another smaller boat in order to finally reach Jomalig Island. It turns out that we will be staying at the house of “Ate Lara”
In addition for the house, Ate Lara’s added service is cooked food. They welcomed us with Filipino staple food “Adobo”.
Introducing our temporary humble home
Even if we were tired and sleepy, one should not waste the opportunity the catch swimming time under sunset in Salibungot Beach.
Some cost notes. Split among 14 people Entrance Fee at Salibungot Beach 1400 Boat to Resort by Ate Lyra P840.00 Home Accomodation (P380.00 room, P200.00 papag only) P3800.00 Rice + Adobo by Ate Lyra P1010.00 Water + Ice 170.00
Home Accommodation by Ate Lyra Contact Numbers: Globe-09561048356, Smart-09307968665
Second Day: Habal-habal (Motorbike) Tour
I did not expect that the essence of Jomalig adventure is the motorbike tour. They can be acquired on the spot. Just ask a local or Ate Lyra’s assistance if want a habal-habal tour . I’m scared of riding motorbike because for me it is accident prone mode of transportation. It just feel so unsafe in the city. But of course, will I let my fear spoil my Jomalig trip? I have no choice!
1st STOP: Ang Puno ng Walang Forever (The Tree of No Forever)
The tree is lonely because it grew in the middle of a space or field. Likened to a love that will forever be unrequited so you end up alone like this tree. Due to that, it became immensely popular that it was one of the tourist destinations. Picture taking here comes with a minimal fee of P65.00.
The tree might be sad but it might be angry too. With all the tourist riding its branches for pics the whole day, it might be bottling some resentments to humans . I just hope that the tree will be taken care of. I sounded like a killjoy here somehow. Instead of climbing the tree I made make-believe photos of me riding the motorbike on my own.
By the way here some snaps of our habal-habal bikes and guys.
By the time it’s our turn to take a pic with the tree, the light rain fell causing some mist and confusion in this pic.
2nd STOP: Golden Sand
It was raining when we arrived here. So the photos are kind of gloomy. I prefer sunny days during travels. And this honestly bummed me out. I prayed that the it won’t be like this the whole afternoon.
The beach was rocky and the golden sand would have been shining under a summer heat.
But of course, we will still push through with our bikini pic plans. Although quite prankly I am not in the mood here.
Yep, totally not in the mood.
3rd STOP: Little Boracay
At last! The Lord heard my prayers. The rain went away and the sun finally shone above. Just in time because Little Boracay looks so great. The white creamy sand truly resembles “Boracay” the most popular beach in the country.
Finally I was able to proceed to take a lot of pics this time around.
Aside from swimming, you can chill while drinking fresh buko juice.
Here’s my new friend @ steffiiish who collaborated with me to have each of our own bikini photos. I am so lucky.
Free Lunch at Stranger’s Household because It Fiesta Season in Jomalig!
Now, to add our lucky stride with the weather, our habal-habal drivers invited us to eat lunch at a nearby town which was currently celebrating their Fiesta. It’s a customary here in the PH to invite and feed strangers during this times for free! We had lovely lechon kawali. If you are curious when we toured Jomalig, we went here from April 27-29. This is really a good time to visit Jomalig I must say. The household invited us for dinner too but of course, we declined politely this time. We don’t want to abuse their kindness.
4th Stop: KANAWAY
One of the most breathtaking sites here. Golden sand,clear waters and sandbar. A very serene place.
5th STOP: LINGAYEN BEACH aka LITTLE BATANES
Wow Jomalig really has something to boast about. It has nuggets of popular destinations in the country. I have never been to Batanes myself so I could not really compare. But it could have been because of the rock formation, the sight of the large waves and strong breeze why they call this the little Batanes of Jomalig. The long stretch of a golden sand is also a great sight here.
A “Lost” inspired group-pic
End of Habal-habal tour
By the end of the Habal-habal tour, I could say that my fear of motorbikes was wiped away. For the first hours, both of our hands clinging to the driver’s shirt for our dear life. But by the end of the tour, we were taking videos and pics already. Below is the short clip of our ride. It was truly an enjoyable and exciting experience seeing vast fields and farm life on our way.
By the end of our adventure, I was thankful that this is a habal-habal trip. Because if its not, like if its inside a car, trike, or anything that has comfortable seat, I could have been tinkering my mobile phone to upload pics for myday or browsing photos in my camera. In habal-habal, we were forced to detach ourselves from mobile phones and strictly enjoy the views passing by. It also helps that there are little to no mobile signal along the way. It’s good to detach in digital world sometimes and appreciate God’s creation. Moreover, at the end, I trampled my fear of riding motorbikes.
Some Notes of Expenses. Split by 14 persons. Puno ng Walang Forever P65.00 (as group) White Beach/Golden Sand Entrance P260.00 (as group) Little Boracay P390.00 (P30.00 each per person) Kanaway Entrance: P650.00 (50.00 each person) Little Batanes: P650.00 (P50.00 per person)
At around 9:00 am in the morning we traveled back to the port to catch ferry boat back to Real Quezon. Here we bought souvenirs while waiting. Here are some pics I captured at the port to catch some final glimpse of this paradise.
And once again, our ferry boat ride has an inclusion of free lunch. It was Mongo Stew for now. It tasted great.
Just a clip of our ride. I am just so amazed with the sights of the mountains and trees of nearby islands.
Notes on Expenditure Ferry Boat with lunch :P400.00 each Van Rental + Driver Meal: P6150.00
SPECIAL THANKS !!!
Special thanks to WeekendExplorersPH for organizing this DIY trip and doing their best to make this affordable convenient for the joiners like me. Like their Facebook Page here WeekendExplorersPH . They are team of adventure lovers dedicated in sharing weekend travel itineraries and affordable tour packages. You may like and inquire at their facebook page. Just click this link: WeekendExplorersPH
Introducing the couple behind the Weekend Explorers PH, Patrick and Ella.
Thank you all the boys of the group who did all the groceries, chores and cooked wonderful breakfast and dinners for the group.
Thank you also to Steffy for the patience of taking photos of me. Please follow her ig. She’s a certified adventurer who’s contantly conquering mountains. Read and be mesmerized by her adventure stories. This is the link of her ig: steffiiish
Here’s the summary computation for our group. As you can see below, the estimated expenses for each person was p3119.00. But bear in mind that this does not include other meal expenses we had. I suggest an individual should at least have P4500.00 and join a travel group for more savings.
Important Contact Numbers: 1. Van Rental + Driver: Fb: Mikel Calimag Contact Numbers: 09771557607,09567359807 2. Homestay Acommodation by Ate Lyra: Globe-09561048356 Smart-09307968665
And…that’s a wrapped! So is Jomalig worth the grueling 4-hour land travel and 6-hour boat ride?
A big YES! Jomalig surprised me with its variety of beach offerings; a beach with golden sand (sometimes pink),a beach one white sand , a beach with rocky formations and a beach with amazing sandbars. It boats nuggets of Boracay and Batanes. Not only pristine beach waters but it also showcases vast farm and field life sights. Everything rolled in one place that is Jomalig.
Thank you all for reading our Adventure. I hope you include Jomalig in your travel bucket list because it’s definitely worth it.
No doubt, I was able to spot this resort due to viral facebook posts. They were able to replicate the bird’s nest, the swing and other fixtures that I often see to almost all tourist who went to Indonesia. And the photos were really great! So when a friend from abroad came home and we needed a short getaway together, this resort easily won as a suggestion. Here are some important details and my final verdict in this resort.
HOW TO BOOK:
It was fairly easy. We just sent a message to Villa Jovita facebook page and asked for the rates of overnight rooms. At the time of our trip, only Nipa Hut Rooms are available. To reserve the room, we need to send the following details and eventually deposit P500.00 thru their BDO account within 2 days of confirming our interest to book. The rest can be paid upon checking in.
Details needed to book:
No. of Guests: Accommodation:
HOW TO GO:
It was easy to commute too. All it takes is a bus and a tricycle. Back and forth.
Go to DLTB Bus Terminal in BUENDIA STATION and buy a ticket going to Lemery Batangas. We paid P204.00 each for the bus.
Upon arriving in the DLTB Bus Terminal in Batangas, you can easily spot tricycles around. Just mention Villa Jovita and they already know it. We paid P100.00 and that’s already for four of us.
DAY TOUR RATES:
The following rates are updated as of this writing (March 11, 2019) .
DAYTOUR : No Reservation for cottage Daytour: 8am to 6pm
A. Weekends and Holiday Rate 👉Bali Corner P250 👉Riverside Pools P100 👉All Pools P150 👉All access P400
C. Cottages are rented seperately 👉Table (P500) Good for 10-12 person 👉Table (P600) River side Good for 10-12 person 👉Open Hut (P800) Good for 10-12 person 👉Umbrella (P300) Good for 3-4 person
OTHER NOTES 👉No CORKAGE Fee 👉No Reservation and Room Accomodation 👉First Come First Serve
KUBO ACCOMMODATION FOR OVERNIGHT:
We got a KUBO for 2-3 persons for the price of P3000. We were four in the group but they allowed it since they think we would still fit in there. It has two bedrooms, one was an ordinary room, one was a mezzanine type room which was quite small. They provide two electric fans. It has no own C.R.
It comes with bedding and blankets. However, the towels were by request. There were no free shampoos and soap. So remember to bring them.
RESTAURANT and STORE
I love their adobo binalot! I ordered it as dinner and breakfast. They also have silog meals, cup noodles and frappe.
Of course, we came here for their highlight feature and took a lot of pictures. Here are the outputs. This would show a glimpse of the things you can see here.
I didn’t avail the photoshoot rates since the photos are non-formal and for fun. But since I saw debut photos in their fb page, I asked anyway.
This is not the only pools available. They have a pool with a slide but I was not able to take photos on that one.
This is what I least like I suppose. I guess since this resort is popular and given the price, I expected something more. There is no any mirror in it where they could have easily install it with the big space in the sink area. There is only three shower area and one of them is not functioning. But their toilet has bidet so they got points for that. Overall, I won’t say it’s super dirty but it’s not that clean either. Their CR needs upgrading.
❤️ What I like: the Bali Corner is really great for photoshoots and play-pretend you were in Indonesia. I also like that someone is closely monitoring the people in there for safety. I seriously love their binalot available in the restaurant. I also like their riverside pools because of the relaxing nature views. Additionally, It’s near Manila and easy to locate.
😠What I don’t like: They seriously need to upgrade their CR. I think with the overnight fee for the Kubo (P3000.00), they should have at least provided free shampoos or soap just like other resorts.
🙋 Gurezu rating: 3 out of 5 stars!
Hope you enjoy my another travel blog. It’s been more than a month since my last blog. February was a busy month for me and I got a lot of stories to tell. I hope my mind and hands could catch up!
and Before we jump into the last day our Palawan Adventure, here’s our Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3.
Off to our first destination is the Hidden Beach. Our journey going there made me realized why it was named this way. We have to swim, make our way through curves and giant rocks to reach this place. Actually we “cheated” the swimming part. The tour guides just instructed us to float and he pulled our life-jackets while swimming. If they didn’t drag us through the waves, we might have spent full hour swimming to reach the place.
.Just like before, a short time in the boat going to this island made me instantly hungry. The first thing, search for food or drinks. Here is a short clip of me ordering a coconut for P60.00 from the boat vendor.
Finally, this is me with my “buko”. Take note of the crystal clear water. Too bad we only brought mobile phone here. I did not dare to bring my camera anymore due to the damage it had from yesterday’s adventure. Also, it was kind of stressful to bring a full-blown camera. I was lucky that I had a reliable waterproof bag. If not, I would go home with a dysfunctional one.
This island was named after a a Japanese diver who died while exploring the El Nido and eventually was found in the shore of this island. His surname is Shimizu.
The source of it’s name could be born out of tragedy but hey look at this! With its pristine water and white sand, being here is far from being tragic.
Of course, pardon me for having my photoshoot again. I travel for pictures with me in it.
Lunchtime in Shimizu Island
We spent longer hours here in Shimizu that any other island because this was the place where we had our lunch. This photo is an evidence on how my friends guarded our table. Their eyes fixated on the food. With the spoon and fork in their hands, they were so ready to attack.
What do we have here? Crabs, fish, liempo, eggplant salad, cucumber, banana , pineapple, coke and rice.
Here’s one thing I hate about myself. I don’t like underwater activities. Snorkeling , Scuba Diving, and any other activities I might not know that involves a lot swimming and going into the deep. I’m not scared. It’s more like I easily get tired. The “I-am-going-to-die-tired” kind of way. But one thing I like about myself, I do it anyway. Who would like to miss the sight of the corals? I only lasted less than 10 minutes though.
What disappointed me in this trip is we have to skip Secret Beach due to large waves. A local said it should have been the highlight of tour C since it the most adventurous to reach. We have to swim through a small crevice in a cave before to enter this mysterious place. It also known as the real inspiration for a bestselling novel ” The Beach” written by Alex Garland. Although the novel was set in Thailand, Alex Garland derived the geography of the setting from Secret Beach during the time he spent vacation here in Palawan. So that’s we have missed. But safety first, right? And we can always go back.
This island was named this way because it is truly shaped like a helicopter in a distance. It is not the only thing that sets this apart from the other destinations we toured. The sand of this island is golden! A fresh sight from all the whites we have seen.
Here’s a short clip of our arrival in this island.
Helicopter marked the end of our Palawan Adventure. But we couldn’t get enough. So even if we were tired, we went back to the port to watch the beautiful sunset. What a sight to behold.
But before I truly end this blog entry, I will share the awesome and affordable accommodation we had in El Nido Palawan.
St. John Island Pensionne House, Truly Affordable!
My friend booked the room thru Agoda. It has no fixed priced and is according to season.
But I just checked in Agoda now that I’m typing this and it is still around this price. You can also visit their official facebook page.
As of this writing, its P1,768 per night, 4 persons, inclusive of breakfast.
What I like about this place. It is spacious. It has t.v, aircon and clean bathroom. They also have towels for four. They also provided hot water and coffee. The free breakfast is satisfying enough. They also have other meal offering just in case you are too tired to dine outside. It is also just walking distance away from the tour ports which is convenient. And its really affordable. If you split the price per night to 4, it would only cost P442.00 person per night. However, please take note that we went there off-season. The prices may subject to change.
What I don’t like about this place is they don’t have free water. They do sell water but it was too expensive. A bottle of mineral water costs P40.00 which would normally costs around P25.00 at Manila 7-eleven. Generally, the price of groceries n El Nido Palawan was really steep. But it’s understandable considering we had super affordable accommodation here.
This is the dining area.
You can see the shore from this area.
They also have a mini-bar here which I had my self-portrait shoot. I have another blog entry for that. Their mini-bar was really cute. And it was completely empty! Here’s one of my photo. Check out more on my self-portrait indulgence on my other blog: Alone at The Bar (Photoshoot)
Finally! I finished my backlog from last year. It’s hard to pick my favorite part of the trip but I got to choose Shimizu Island because that’s where we got to eat. Haha!
I hope this Palawan blog series would help you decide to go on a Palawan adventure specially in picking your accommodation. If you are not from the Philippines and you are interested to go here, you must not really skip Palawan. This is truly a paradise.
Our real Palawan adventure began on our Day 3 in the island. We barely have enough sleep from the wedding event and the hours of traveling but we managed to wake up early. I mean we have to.
In El Nido, Palawan, tours are usually divided in to groups most commonly known as Tour A, B, C, and D. Each tour has its destinations. We only got two days left to explore the El Nido beaches so we couldn’t take all tours. When we asked the locals at the tour port, they recommended combination of tour A and C.
So for our day 3, we proceeded with tour A. The highlight of this tour was definitely the Kayaking Experience in Big and Small Lagoon. I didn’t help my team to row the boat because I was busy taking the video on how we entered the small lagoon through a narrow rock opening. It was specially hard because you have to wait for your turn and it took a while with a large number of tourist lining up also to enter the lagoon. But the hassle was all worth it. The water was perfect and the view was just magnificent. Below is the short clip of our Kayaking experience. The rest are some of the photos from each Tour A destination.
Lunch Time on the Boat.
Damn those boatmen are excellent cook!
7 Commando Beach
That ends Day 3 of our Palawan Adventure. My favorite in tour A was the the 7 commando beach because it was really beautiful even from the distance. El Nido Palawan is truly a paradise and I totally recommend to all the foreigners who would want to visit the Philippines to never miss this place. But of course, we Filipinos should not miss this one too.
Tune in for our Day 4. There, I will talk about the affordable accommodation we took here in El Nido,Palawan.