3 countries in 24 hours.

So how do you go about having a time constraint planned itinerary? Embrace it.


We left Manila, Philippines at around 3:30pm due to a delayed flight and touched down Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at around 8:00pm. Travelled by taxi to our pre-booked accommodation in Mercu Serviced Apartments which is like 8 minute walk to Petronas Twin Towers. We had dinner at a fastfood-like place called Pepita’s and went straight to the mesmerizing twin towers. Home at close to 12:00am for a quick freshen up and nap, shall I say, for us to leave at 2:00am for a 6:00am flight to our next destination.

Almost an hour ride from the city to the airport, we flew to Singapore to experience Universal Studios for the third time. It still feels the same first time of being an excited kid riding the movies you’ve grown up with. Staying here quickly for just 27 hours but still managed to meet my friends and former workmates reminiscing the good old days.

Adventure continues as we cross back to Malaysia, this time in Johor Bahru where Legoland is located. Due to horrible lines in the immigration, our time were constrained. Checked in to their themed hotel with its amazingly amenities almost all made with lego. Worth every penny especially if you are tagging along children with you. Short with time though to explore the theme park, good thing long rides line was avoided since less people were in. 


Swiftly after the buffet breakfast, we rented cabs to bring us to Senai Airport for an 11:00am flight back to Kuala Lumpur for another flight back to Manila. I met Nando’s again after so long back when I was in Ireland few years back. This was also the time to catch up on our pasalubong shopping. Good thing their airports have malls to shop conveniently. 


Whew! That was a fast 96 hours journeying 3 countries with 8 airport encounters and 3 different hotels from different parts of Asia. Having 10 adults traveling, tagging along 3 kids was indeed a challenge but worth embracing every step of the way.

Cebu Hits!

The Queen City of the South has so much to offer which still surprises me even on my third visit. 

  
Malapascua Island is located on the northest peak of Cebu, approximately 145 kilometers from the city proper.  If adventure calls you, a 5-hour Ceris bus ride at Php 180 will bring you to Maya Port from the Northern Bus Terminal. If on time constraint, taxi drivers or private vehicles can bring you to the port for Php 2500-3500 for about two and a half hours. Boatmen will offer you private boat ride at Php 1500, usually in the afternoon before the sunset, but the normal 30 minutes to an hour ride to the island is just Php 100 per person but number of passengers needs to be filled before you go. Beware of guys who will help you carry your luggages for they will ask for a tip. Better spare some loose bills for them. 

  
Malapascua Island is worth the long travel experiencing a fine white sand beach with so much wonders underneath. This is one of the targets of most scuba divers. Many spots of the sea are considered underwater sanctuary. 

  
  

One of the reason why I booked a ticket to Cebu is  to experience a taste of luxury of the Moevenpick Resort. Located in Lapu Lapu City proper, it’s hip and chic mediterranean inspired hotel truly great for leisure and relaxation.

  
By the end of the sands come the Ibiza Club. Party all night experiencing the club by the see. Truly something to look forward to.

  
Cebu never fails to offer a wide range of vacation, adventure and leisure. It will truly remain on its throne as the queen city of the south. 

 

The Normal Heart Manila. 

More than the fight for equality and how love, it was more moving how the first battle war against HIV/AIDS affected a lot of people which brings awareness to every individual up to our era now.

“The Normal Heart” was first staged off Broadway back in 1985. Between then and 2011, when it finally hit Broadway, groups picked up the script for hundreds of shows.

A largely autobiographical piece, the play is set in New York in the early 1980s, when HIV/AIDS was first recorded in the city’s gay community. Weeks rallied members of the community to fight what was fast becoming a plague, first called “gay cancer” and lacking research, even recognition.

The story includes a romance, a brotherhood and an organization all going through emotional and socio-political turmoil because of the uncertainties around HIV/AIDS and what Weeks passionately believes is deliberate neglect by government.

In 2014, the play was adapted into a critically acclaimed HBO TV movie directed by Ryan Murphy. It starred Mark Ruffalo as Weeks and Matt Bomer as his love interest Felix Turner.

(Source: http://inquirer.net)

Directed by Bart Guingona, catch the 5 shows of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart running this weekend, July 3, 4 and 5, 2015, with 3pm (except Friday) and 8pm shows at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City and see the exceptional performances.

Live A.I.D.S. XXX: Tatlumpung Taong Tawanan

Live AIDS is the longest running Musical Comedy Variety show in the Philippines brought to us by the University of the Philippines Samaskom. 

 
On its 30th year, UP Samaskom never fails to showcase their talent at the same time the capacity to capture the hearts of their audiences to burst in to laughter.

 
Directed by the well known comedianne, host and artist, Ms. Tuesday Vargas, Live AIDS XXX: Tatlumpung Taong Tawanan runs from June 11-13, 2015 at Abelardo Hall, College of Music, University of the Philippines.

Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady.

Dalanghita Productions, with its aim of showcasing Musical Theatre locally made in the Philippines, launched their masterpiece “Kung Paano ako Naging Leading Lady The Musical”.

  
Written by Carlo Vergara, Music by Vincent De Jesus and directed by Chris Martinez, “Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady” revolves on the story of two sisters named Mely and Viva, who both yearn to fulfill their dreams.

Their sibling relationship and rivalry become more complicated due to an unsettled past and a budding romance, all in the context of an ongoing war between the superhero and supervillain teams.

Being a maid is tough enough, but when Mely lands a job under a group of superheroes, she steps up to the unique challenge for the sake of her family. The musical takes us through the journey of the characters as each tries to find his/her place in the world where superheroes and supervillains exist.

  
The cast is composed of talented artists with different theater backgrounds: Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Bituin Escalante & Frenchie Dy, Kim Molina and Natasha Cabrera, Markki Stroem and Hans Eckstein, May Bayot, Astarte Abraham, Giannina Ocampo, Jeff Flores, Chesko Rodriguez, Caisa Borromeo, Nar Cabico and Domi Espejo, Red Nuestro, Vince Lim & Mikoy Morales, Elliot Eustacio, Red Concepcion, Kakki Teodoro, Raf Bravo, Gab Pangilinan, JC Santos, Brian Sy, Rhenwyn Gabalonzo and Josh Cabiladas.

Amazing performances, powerhouse cast and great musical arrangements. Worth every cent paid. The musical runs from May 7, 2015 to June 7, 2015 at PETA Theater.

Sum up 2014.

“Life has so many detours because God cares more on the development of the dreamer than the fulfillment of the dream.”

 

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It was January when I revisited Singapore and cross over Malaysia. A lot of rediscovering while reminiscing my last visit when I first had my first marathon in 2011.

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A day tour in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia kept me insane channeling the impressive Petronas and the cultured Batu Caves. Another check again on my bucketlist.

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On the latter part of this month also traveled me back to the Amazing Bicol. Enriched with culture and great food, Mayon Volcano, as it’s top spot, mesmerized me with it’s alluring shape and site.

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A lot of new beginnings that year starting it with a bountiful 207-pound heavy. This brings me to submitting myself into a discipline of watching the food I eat, eradicating the rice on my diet.

February when I started a new journey shifting my career back to the corporate world. Meeting new friends and colleagues makes me feel relieved once again that I have a purpose and God leads me into something according to his own plan.

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March marks the birth of my new phone giving in to the apple bandwagon catalyzing my hard work and rewards.

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April opened the summer season of my revisit to Boracay, which starts to be an annual affair for the past 4 years. Checking my bucket list parasailing by the sea for the first time was such an amazing experience. Having a great time spending it with awesome friends surely made the adventure worthwhile.

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May continued the summer season with more beach travels and wake boards plus a wedding of friends to remember.

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Summer never ends in June flying to Cebu and Bohol with the epic friends. A birth of new friendship and travel bond. The encounter with the big creatures of the sea highlighted the said revisit.

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June marks a new discovery for me finding that spot in my heart enriching my strong faith with our creator. In this month, I joined CCF which made my relationship with our God intimately. I couldn’t ask for anything more having him in my life.

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July tested my faith once again taking another licensure exam. Fortunate enough, with God’s faithfulness, three letters were entailed again in my name. God is truly amazing!

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August is when I finally reached my target weight. From 207lbs. to 173lbs. with a normal BMI of 24.3 and an average body fat of 20.1%. It is worth every sweat and discipline.

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September brings back the boracay crew going up north to Baguio. Emotional enough yet an amazing experience to spend this vacation with awesome friends for keeps.

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This month finally removed my braces which I kept for almost 4 years. Indeed, a milestone to be regarded.

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October proves that summer is forever with a quick trip to Laiya, Batangas to beach up.

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Ending this month with a big decision of resigning from my previous job believing in God’s amazing plan.

November started with a big switch to a new company for new beginnings. I truly trust God on his plan for me on my journey.

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Who will ever forget about my birthday month? November has been good to me realizing every blessing and appreciating what life has to offer. Truly, I am grateful at 27 beyond bliss.

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December has been a busy month. Opening it with a roller coaster travel to Vietnam and Cambodia. Vietnam never failed me to their food cravings. It was such a great experience to visit  one of the world’s greatest wonders, the Angkor Wat.

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Attending one of my closest friend’s wedding this month is one of reasons why I continue believe in love. A testimony that love is a choice and a part of every happiness.

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Jam packed 2014 deserves a cheers of great blessings and lessons learned. Focusing now on new beginnings this 2015 with grateful hearts to what God plans for us.

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Thank you 2014. Cheers to 2015!

 

 

Tipid Travels: Cebu-Bohol. (Part 1)

Much awaited airline seat sale has been always on the look out. Challenged by new found adventurers, booked a flight to Cebu then Bohol return amounting to just Php1,400++, supposedly. Supposedly… Because of some great excitement, the supposed to be TAG (tagbilaran) flight back to Manila, mistakenly booked TAC (tacloban) instead, which caught us up from booking a new flight which cost us a little more.

9 courageous hearts accepted the challenge of tightening our belts up to the last centavo to push through with this vacation. I sojourned this two provinces before and I must say, I have saved a lot from this trip over my former travel. And so the journey starts.

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Straight from work to the airport catching a night flight to Mactan, Cebu, everyone was indeed excited for this much awaited vacation. A pre-booked hotel reservation at Sugbutel Family Hotel, located near the port of the city and a 10-minute walk to SM Cebu. Early bird rates, if you book 30 days ahead, at Php 99.00 per person for upper deck and Php 149.00 for the lower bed. It is a dorm type hotel with common lavatories and showers yet with sense of privacy on curtains plus lightings and sockets each bed. Sheets and lockers excluded at its minimum rates.

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Up early before the sun starts to shine for a 3-4 hour drive to Oslob from Cebu City to catch the whale sharks for swimming with these giants are only until 12noon only. For Php 500 costs the encounter with the ‘butandings’ for 30 minutes, including the orientation, boat and some shower facilities. The experience was indeed best of the best and one check on the bucketlist.

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Going back to the city, we were en routed to an immensely great paradise. Steep roads welcomes you to Tumalog Falls. You might need to get a back ride motorcycle ride or the ‘habal-habal’, with a wonderful view of suburban jungle of Oslob on your way. This costs Php 60 back and forth but the falls is worth the steep climb.

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The night is young and so went out a bit too late to observe the party scene of Cebu. Dining first in one of the best known lechon restaurants, Zubuchon, Lechon Dinuguan is soliiiid! 👍 Cebu night life didn’t fail us with its alive vibe. Checking out Club Alchology in Mango Avenue, crowd was so alive jiving in a mix of hiphop and edm. Entrance fee is Php 150 with 1 free drink.

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A day was reserved to explore the urban jungle of Cebu. Jumpstarting the day with a brunch at the famous CnT Lechon Cebu. Long lines are worth it for the satisfying signature taste of lechon Cebu. Worth that ‘putok batok’ cravings!

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Touring around the city with its rich modernized culture shows how Cebu has truly developed. However, the old queen city of the south has never faded. Fort San Pedro is the so called Intramuros of Cebu. With an entrance fee of Php 30, it will bring you back to the Spaniards era.

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Lapu Lapu Shrine is quite far from the city yet known for the historic remains of the country’s first hero.

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Taoist Temple is located in the ‘Beverly Hills’ part of the city, where most high class people actually live in that area. Silence is a must inside and picture takings are not allowed inside the prayer rooms.

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Early dinner at the famous Larsian with its array of grilled choices pairing it with ‘puso’ (hanging rice) at Php 4 each will guarantee you a full craved stomach.

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The visit cannot be just ended without going to the best landmarks of Cebu, the Sto Nino Basilica and the Magellan’s Cross. Because of the disaster that hit the province, continuous renovation is being done to these places to preserve the hiatory of the land.

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Ending our day at the port going to our next destination, Tagbilaran Bohol. The Cebu Port has definitely improved since my last visit. It was indeed way better than the Manila Airport. Slow craft fare tickets are at Php 210 for sitting, Php 230 with bed and Php 350 for VIP (with aircon). The Php 230 is okay with double decker beds in fresh air in the middle of the sea, since we’ll be spending 5 hours of travel at night. And you can stay at the barge until the sunrise before the journey back to Cebu.

And so the fun journey continues as we move to the next destination…