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Davao Restaurant Suggestions By A Davawenya

“Nobody should be whipped. Remember that, once and for all. Neither man nor animal can be influenced by anything but suggestion.” ― Mikhail Bulgakov, Heart of a Dog

Just when my ‘Davao-related’ blog posts got indexed in Google, I’ve been lucky to receive messages from fellow gadabouts asking me what activities and places I would recommend here in my beloved city of Davao... Lavish! But the question that really gets me excited all the time is my suggestion of restaurants.

Instead of typing my suggestions repetitively, I’ve decided to just list them here so that I could just copy and paste the link (with visual presentation pa!)... then Voila!

Below are my personal favourite restaurants that I always recommend to Davao tourists:

Outback Grill Davao

This is a new and by far... the most entertaining restaurant here in Davao that offers tasty and affordable meals. 

Why entertaining? Because of their fire dancers, chicken dance, live band, mannequin dance, and other lively performances every Friday and Saturday... so make sure you come during weekends! 

You can also play crossword puzzles through their place mat and play UNO (just tell the waiter and they'll bring you wooden blocks).

My topmost favourite on their menu is their Chicken barbecue Tower and Tuna ceviche with milk. 
In fact, their barbecue was awarded "The Best Barbecue In Davao". If you're game for a challenge... finish their Goliath burger for 60 minutes and it's free! You'll also get a free Goliath T-Shirt and your picture in their wall of fame.

Also, Zoofari Kids Adventure, just beside the restaurant is a great treat and playhouse for children.

Location: Outback Grill at Bacaca Road, Garcia Heights
Check this write-up from Miss Jojie Alcantara for her fulsome review of Outback Grill Davao.

Lachi’s
This food house is known for their cakes and home specialty, San Rival (very delicious)! They are also the supplier of cakes for most of the coffee shops in Davao City so that really speaks of its ‘sweety-toothy’ credibility. 

If you’re looking for a good place for snack, go here and try their Sans Rival. If you’re craving for a decent meal, no worries... try their Unforgettable Grilled Pork Ribs... really tasty!

Location: Door 1-H VAL Learning Village Ruby Street, Marfori Heights
See mouth-watering reviews here by TheGiddy Chiq and Sugar Foodie.

Tiny Kitchen

This might not be seen on the list of Davao-best-restaurants-related sites but this is a ‘terrific kitchen of good food’ as opposed to its name ‘tiny’. My topmost favourite on the menu is their Paella Valencia - a perfect mix of rice and sea foods.

Warning: Paella’s medium serving is good for quarter servings but I tell you... nakakabitin! You know what I mean. *wink

Location: Torres Street
Check this succulent review by ChicFoodie.


I know that there are a lot of other home-grown restaurants that offers real good food such as Chippens, Lyndon’s, Ahfat, Yellow Fin, Taklobo in Jack’s Ridge, Dencia’s, and many more... but the three I listed above are my personal choices.

That’s my big three for now! Have a ‘Lami’ (delicious) stay in Davao! :)

Photo credits: 
ChicFoodie
Dabawenya Me
Sugar Foodie
TheGiddy Chiq
The Geek Travels

How To Link Renewed UnionBank Eon Card To Paypal

My eon debit card is important to me as it is my turnkey to my travel bookings and payroll however it is bound to expire every 3 years and mine expired last week for the first time.

So, I went to the nearest UnionBank office and submitted my card for renewal. I filled up a form and voila! They told me to come back after a week to get the new card.

*Please note that some of the branches of UnionBank requires a renewal fee of PhP150.

After one week, I got my card... and what’s next? So clueless...

I haven't found a helpful post with regards to linking a renewed UnionBank EON card to PayPal. So I asked some of my friends how they did it and now is my turn to share it with you.

Link Debit Card To PayPal

*I enrolled again to UnionBank’s Cyber Account because I no longer have access to it years ago.
*After successfully enrolled, I was notified to wait for 2 business days before I can use my EON Cyber Account (but it took me a week for to access my EON Cyber Account, so please be patient). Also, please make sure that there’s at least Php100 on your EON (I’ll explain its relevance later).
*When I got to access my EON Cyber Account, I logged in my Paypal account > Profile > Add/Edit Credit  Card > Add Card and filled in my information.
*After that, I received an e-mail prompting me that I need to confirm the linked debit card to my EON bank account. 

To make sure the card is yours, we made a small charge to it (Php100) that you'll need to confirm (and we'll refund the money to your PayPal account when you're done).

The charge creates a unique 4-digit code on your card statement. If you don't see the charge right away, don't worry - sometimes it takes a few days to show up. If you can't check your card statement online, check your paper statement when it comes in the mail (this can take up to 30 days). You will find the charge from PayPal with a 4-digit code.

How To Confirm Your Card And Complete Verification

Go to your EON Cyber Account > Deposit Accounts > Options (Choose Last 10 Transactions from drop down button) > Go.
- Check the description field of your credit card statement or bank statement (for debit card) for your 4-digit code (see bold digits below) and the word 'PayPal' or 'PP'. Some examples to help you recognise your code.

For Visa/AMEX/JCB/Discover: PP*
1234 EXPUSE
For MasterCard: PP*4321PAYPAL -- *EXPUSE

- Back to your PayPal account, go to Add/Edit Credit Card
Click 'Confirm my debit or credit card'
Enter your 4-digit code (1234 or 4321) to complete verification.

The Php100 amount they have charged you will be refunded to your PayPal account within 24 hours after you complete the process.

Now, you have successfully linked your debit/credit card to your PayPal and your PayPal status is now Verified.

You can now transfer your funds from your PayPal account to your bank account. Happy online banking! :)

The Vibrant Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan Of Kadayawan 2013

"Being fearless, isn't being 100% unafraid... it's being terrified, but you jump anyway" – Harper Lee

For the past few weeks, we've been hearing tragic bombing incidents at various cities of Mindanao. That being said, the safety of my beloved Davao City was put on a pedestal knowing that Kadayawan festival might be the next target for malevolent terrorism acts.

In point of fact, Mayor Duterte nearly cancelled the Kadayawan celebration (usually happens around 2nd to 3rd week of August) to make sure his citizens are safe, but he said that cancelling Kadayawan is also like removing the soul of Davao City. Yes, that's right!

Despite the fear and warning of my parents and peers to stay away from crowded areas, I jumped anyway... --- I won’t waste my second life after that near death experience at Cagayan de Oro bombing to only sit at home and let the fear set in.

Safety Of Kadayawan
So, I woke up early after 3 hours of sleep to go to my best friend’s house and borrow her DSLR (of course, I want to capture great photos this time!). After which, I went to the area where the event will happen but the police won’t allow me to get closer because I... have... a... sling bag!

...I thought that only back packs are banned from the area but I was wrong. A sling bag or even a little shoulder bag is not allowed to pass through the streets of the festival. 

Impressive! Mayor Duterte really ensured the safety of his people.*

The nice policeman suggested that I’ll leave my bag at San Pedro police station... YES! The police station served as a baggage counter for everyone that time! Without hesitation, I went there, took my valuables, and submitted my bag.


In fact, 6 out of 10 'tourists' are plain clothes intelligence personnel. Even though the people have no idea about the scattered incognito intelligence personnel, they trusted enough the city government for the safety and still enjoyed the main streets of Davao.

Mingling With The Photographers 
Upon getting ready, my bff’s camera won’t turn on... and there I realized that my bff forgot to put the battery on the camera!!! So disappointing... great thing, I brought my Pentax camera with me so I just used it instead of the DSLR.

During the event, there was a special area for photographers right below the tent of VIP guests which is obviously a good spot to watch the dancers. Desperate to get there, I talked to a police man and plead to allow me inside the photographers’ area so that I could take great pictures... and guess what?... he let me in! He even assisted me. Yipeeeeee! Minutes later, they announced that the show will start. Just in time!

Here are some of the moments I captured during the Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan of Kadayawan 2013:

Love her smile!
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Vibrant, isn't it? I could have missed these shots if I let fear set in.

After 2 hours of standing under the sun, I surrendered and bought a cold water to quench my thirst. But that didn't end there. I meet my friend Don and did a "photowalk". 

It was a very nice experience and I will definitely come back next year. Happy Kadayawan everyone! :)

Unconventional Food Trip In Cagayan De Oro

Because eating at the best food houses is too main stream... my companions and I decided to walk around the streets of Cagayan de Oro to try the local eateries therein... and it was not disappointing!

My last visit in Cagayan was remarkable because I have tasted a very saucy, delicious, and tender pork barbecue... I repeat... TENDER!

The pork barbecue of Barbecue Station near Xavier University (Ateneo de Cagayan) is not your conventional pork barbecue that is "makunat" and dry. I strongly recommend this to people who are planning to do a food trip in Cagayan because it is really delicious. I even wondered why it only costs 15 PhP each.



The meal became more exotic because of the rice covered with palm or banana leaf (not sure) they are serving.

We also ordered sinuglaw and dinuguan for 30 PhP per serving. I was quite disappointed at first with their tiny serving but I immediately forgot about it after the first taste. Sometimes, food quality matters more than the quantity. I am not a food expert or what... but they are also packed with flavors.

The sinuglaw played a right sour and spiciness inside my mouth and the dinuguan was also delicious and not a wishy-washy! It’s worth more than what we paid for.

After that scrumptious meal, we took a walk again around Xavier University and noticed this tiny cupcake shop called The Sweet Shop.


There were a lot of tempting options in their display stand that made me want to order all of them! (But of course, I can’t as it will rip off my pocket and deposit more fats on my body... lol). To satisfy my craving, I ordered an assortment of 3 cupcakes.

A cupcake topped with blueberries, caramel melt cupcake and the plain vanilla cupcake. All of those are sweet which is great for my sweet tooth. The caramel melt cupcake became my absolute favorite!

That's all for my one night food trip in Cagayan de Oro. It was unforgettable.... and delicious.... and good for our pockets!

Thoughts On Traveling

One should realize why we need to travel...

Before, I see travel as a time for relaxation, paying yourself forward and a time to take gazillions pictures to be posted in social medias (e.g Facebook or Instagram). But I recently realize that what I believe before was just a by product of traveling.

I'm not a travel expert or anyone who travels a lot but I cannot contain my enamoured experience while travelling. The world is so big and wonderful and there is so much to explore. We human beings were designed to be social, as they say "no man is an island". As how I interpret it was quite different, for me being social is not only jumping outside from our comfort zones and meet new friends but being social is physically going outside the place where you usually live (your own little world).

That's maybe the reason why ancient people like the nomads go from one place to another, not because of the food but because of the hunger to discover new lands. Why?, because people want to grow.

As a person, we are designed to grow but not only physically or emotionally (self age) but in all aspects of our being - the mind, body and soul. Physically we travel because we are a being of motion, we were made to move. But aside from that fact, we would love to travel because we want to taste new food. That's why, every time we travel we lose track of our diet plans.

Mentally we want to travel because we want to see and feel new things. The world is fill with lots of cultures and the experience to try something not familiar is priceless. Socially we want to travel because we love to meet new and old friends. Building relationship to these people is something vital in travelling.

Me myself as an article writer, registered nurse, and a travel enthusiast, realized that travelling is a way to create new or enhance yourself. The mere fact that you go outside your usual place and seeing new things create ideas. Ideas that will eventually be translated to understanding other people that will eventually be translated to self-actualization and will be eventually translated as self value.

Well maybe we have different reasons why we travel but definitely we all agree that traveling is such a wonderful activity to do. It might be for business or leisure but I'm sure you'll definitely want to do it again and again.

Cagayan De Oro –Transportation | Hotel | Hospitality

The City Of Golden Friendship” --- BIG WORD!

A moniker that sounds so surreal is just in fact the right word to describe Cagayan de Oro based on my experience. In addition, it is a great place for thrill seekers (a.k.a Adventure Capital of the Philippines), gastronomes, and thrifty travelers.


Airport and Transportation
I consider Cagayan’s airport as one of the best airports in the Philippines because of its cleanliness, superb organizing skills of the staff, and modernized structure. However, it was quite overwhelming when we got to step out of Laguindingan airport as there were a lot of “makulit” drivers offering a ride to Cagayan City Proper.


Comfy Transportation: The LAX (Laguindingan Airport Express) shuttle costs 199PhP per person and I thought it’s too pricey to start our Cagayan trip and so, we just thanked the drivers for the offer and walked away. 

We tried to walk until we get to the highway of the airport but my companion called her kagay-anon friend and asked about the best way to reach the city proper and she suggested that we take the LAX shuttle.

Cheaper Transportation: My friend was also informed that we can’t just walk our way to the highway because it’s 5-kilometre long. Desperate to get a cheaper way, we called a motor (habal-habal) driver and he offered to bring us to the highway for 30PhP each. He also said that we can just take a bus from the highway going to Cagayan City Proper for just 40 PhP.

That’s 50 percent saving against the LAX shuttle ride! So, we go without hesitation.

Cagayan’s main transportations are just like the conventional ones we found in cities - Taxis, buses, Jeepneys, and trikes (locally called “rela” short for motorela).

Mishap

We rode on a motor (habal-habal) where the driver seated in the front and my 2 other companions and I seated uncomfortably at the back, looking like an awkward worm. One good looking guy seated in the passenger seat of a black Hilux goes past us, rolled down the car’s window and said something that sounds like “Uod”... My friend momentarily admitted that she got dumbfounded and twitterpated with the guy but came back to her senses and asked “Ano raw?”, and I responded “Sabi niya siguro, mukha tayong uod” and we started laughing.

Minutes later, the motor driver realized that his mp3 player is gone... fell during the trip. The man who said something like “Uod” was really saying “Hulog”. So, I told the driver to leave us on the side for a mo’ and go back its way to find the lost mp3 player and we’ll just wait for him to return. After a minute or two, he came back with sad eyes and said others might have it in possession already.

We feel sad for him but we hope it'll be replaced with something better. Maybe not a new MP3 but something that will make him delighted.

Accommodation And Meeting Mr. Golden Friendship!
Upon reaching the highway, we were offered to ride a taxi going to the city proper for 50PhP each. We were advised by a random guy that a 50PhP rate of the taxi is in fact a good deal already. Convinced, we rode on a taxi and invited the random guy to share the taxi with us.

We took advantage of the chance to ask the random guy about his suggestions:

The best affordable stays in Cagayan: Will’s Place and Park View Hotel – around 800PhP/overnight shared by two.

Cheaper stay in Cagayan: When we were dropped by the taxi driver at Bulua Terminal, the random guy or who I now called “Mr. Golden Friendship” rode a jeep with us and accompanied us to Will’s Place. 

However he suggested that if we’re just looking for a place to sleep (less than 12 hours), the most practical option is the D’Morvie Suites (300Php/12 hours which can be shared by two). Very helpful on our pocket!

Best place to eat: Barbecue station near Xavier’s University (Ateneo de Cagayan).

That was a very good start in Cagayan, thanks to Mr. Golden Friendship! I regret not asking his name but he left his number. He said that we’ll just text him and he’ll call back in case we need help while we’re staying in CDO. Very nice Mr. Golden Friendship :)

Another Mr. Golden Friendship is the taxi driver. After driving us to Dahilayan the next day, he invited us to his home while we were waiting for our flight back to Davao. His wife, Ate Belinda served us a meryenda and cooked Sinigang and adobo for us.

Cagayan is indeed a true home of Golden Friendship!

Other info:
The taxi driver Mr. Ricardo Flores offers a taxi rental for a day going to Dahilayan, just for 2,200 PhP.
Contact him at 
09169741041

As of March 2014, LAX Shuttle CdO Terminal is relocated at the Capt. Vicente Roa St. entrance of Centrio Mall near TGIF or FRiDAYS. The area is more spacious and convenient for waiting passengers.

For Faster Bookings & Inquiries you may call or text
0917-7101-LAX(529) for Globe & TM
0925-8100-LAX(529) for Sun, Smart, Talk&Text Numbers.

Cancelled Flight To Cagayan De Oro Saved My Life

July 26, 2013 – is a sad date for the citizens of Cagayan de Oro city because of a blast that occurred at Kyla's Bistro, one of the tenants in the restaurant strip at Rosario Arcade in Limketkai Mall, around 11:30 p.m. Friday. Six people, were killed, while 46 others were wounded.

That same date, my flight from Davao City going to Cagayan de Oro got cancelled due to bad weather.

I was pissed at first for the fact that I don’t have enough sleep, have to be at the airport 2 hours before the estimated time of departure (6:55 am), we have to cancel our scheduled canyoneering activity at Mapawa Adventure Park, and my two other companions are not feeling well. 

I know the weather is not within the control of the airline and I am thankful that they offered other options for us. They offered that we either fly the next day or take the connecting flight from Davao to Manila to Cagayan de Oro. So, we picked the latter and arrived at Cagayan de Oro around 6 pm.

The Original Itinerary
Our original itinerary for that day was the canyoneering activity at Mapawa (8am to 2pm), rest at the Hotel (2pm to 7pm), dinner at Kagay-anon restaurant in Limketkai Mall (7pm to 9pm), and chill and booze at Rosario Arcade (9 pm onwards) where the bombing happened.

But since we arrived late at Cagayan, our original itinerary changed. Instead of pursuing our evening plan at Kagay-anon restaurant and Rosario Arcade in Limketkai Mall, we just dined at Barbecue Station near our hotel and just sleep as my two sick companions’ condition got even worse and we are just too tired to roam around.

Next day, I woke up with the sad news about the bombing, then it dawned to me that if not for the cancelled flight, we may have pushed through with our original plan, and I could be one of the casualties or witnesses of that terrible explosion.

Cancelled flights are quite annoying sometimes but, there’s a reason for everything. As for me, it saved me from that nightmare. It is also God’s way of telling me that it’s not my time yet and life is too short to not do the things you love.

My heart and prayer goes to the victims of the bombing.

Going Away For A Girls' Weekend

You and your group of pals may have pondered this idea of going away for a "girls’ weekend” before... or maybe you've already made it an annual tradition.


Among your peers, you know how good it feels to let it all hang out... to be the person you were before you had your first job... to be the person you’ve grown into, but without the trappings of adult responsibilities.

Girly Getaway Ideas
Go... Big
  • Splurge for a spa weekend in a destination you've been dying to experience.
  • Put on your most fashionable walking shoes, and hit the shopping destination of the city or country you’re visiting.
  • Enjoy an outdoor destination – bicycling through Burnham Park in Baguio, kayaking the El Nido lagoons, backpacking in the mountains of Sagada... or somewhere more exotic!


Go... Mid-Range!
  • Book a weekend in a near beach resort. Enjoy buffets galore, night clubs, shows, an outrageous amount of neon, and gambling.
  • Plan an all-day, all-night extravaganza... right out your front door. Organize a spa day at a local salon. Then lunch like ladies at a white-tablecloth establishment. Retire to a hotel to have a pyjama party.


Go... Small
  • Go car camping with your pals at a nearby nature preserve, national forest, or park. Get dirty, roast marshmallows, hike, and gab.
  • Have an old-fashioned slumber party. Clear your house – or at least a part of your house – of spouse and children. Order pizza, make popcorn, play music, watch movies, and stay up all night playing games and talking.

A girls’ weekend is a special time to indulge. Dress up or dress down. Get a manicure and pedicure... and maybe a massage, too. Yes, I get ‘girly’ sometimes. Watch as many chick flicks as you want. Listen to your favourite sappy songs and sing along at the top of your lungs. Stay up late and sleep in. Dance. And laugh till it hurts.

It’s up to you and your friends to decide how to spend the time. Just be sure to put some distance between you and your domestic and professional responsibilities.

-Butler/Mastromarino

The Unforgettable Island Garden Resort In Pangubatan

From the moment I uploaded my photos on Facebook from this trip, I was instantly asked by my friends, “Where is this?” and I replied “Pangubatan”. The follow up question was “Where is that?”

...and I suppose, you are also not familiar with this place. So, let's get to know it more.

The Next Big Thing In Samal!

Island Garden Resort in Pangubatan is the one and only resort therein that was opened to the public 3 years ago and the next big thing that will set brgy. Pangubatan on a pedestal as one of the best travel destinations in the Philippines.

I cringed on the thought that this beautiful paradise nestled at the south-eastern part of Samal Island is just new to the ears if its neighbor city’s locals when in fact it is known to foreigners. An hour long travel from Samal Ferry Terminal and the best resort I have ever visited when it comes to affordability, water activities, food, and customer service. 

(c) Hector Quiambao
My friend Essa and I arrived as walk-in guests and upon entering, we were already sold! The warm greeting of the staff was remarkable that is a great way to start our “staycation”. We also noticed that most of their customers are from different races - Koreans, Chinese, and Caucasians. My friend and I were the only Filipinos that time.

Jeff and Sir Bong (operations manager of the resort) toured us around the resort and we were impressed by what we saw --- recycled wooden furniture, widespread chalets, hammocks, loungers, canopy walk, floating cottage, the tree house, and etc.


After the quick tour, we walked towards the little Japanese cave, rumored as a burial chamber of some of Japanese gold during World War II. 


We also had a great time with the beach while boating and snorkeling around its neighboring beaches. Upper left photo is on the left shore of the resort heading to the Japanese cave and the other 3 photos were taken at the right shore of the resort.


Ganessa and Vanessa
Vanessa's chillin' like a boss!
Swimming around the Mushroom Island.
Ended the night with a very good massage by the bay.

Good News - Turtles!
A sea turtle laid her eggs last June 19, 2013 in the resort for the second time. Another batch of more than 100 due this 27th or 28th of August 2013. Essa and I will definitely go back to witness this event. Let us join hands to protect them!

Things I liked during my stay

  1. Good food! Try their house specialty - Lemon Chicken.
  2. Friendly and respectful locals. We just left our gadgets on the sand while we were busy doing our own stuff and no one bothered to steal them away. Also, their friendliness made our stay more light.
  3. Unlimited options of activities.
  4. Clean surroundings.
  5. Wifi access!
  6. The beach is not itchy compared to other beaches in Samal.
  7. Best Staff EVER!!! The staff were very friendly where you can sit down with them and fool around. Can't forget their names - Sir Bong, Jeff, Zinjian, Chef Blaire, Beverlyn, Kuya Rolando, and MJ. Thank you for making our stay memorable and of course, for the Buko Juice and fried Kardaba. :-) More power!

Room Rates
Family Room (good for 4) – 2,700 PhP
Dorm (per bed) – 350 PhP
Gazebo - upper (good for 5) – 810 PhP
Whole Gazebo for events – 1,700 PhP
Tree House (good for 2) – 850 PhP
Room Cottages (good for 2) – 950 PhP
*Rates as of June 2013 - may change without prior notice.

Activities
Table Tennis (pingpong) – 100 PhP/hr
Dart – 50 PhP/hr
Bike – 100 PhP/hr
Boating – 200 PhP
Life Jacket – 25 PhP/pax
Snorkel – 100 PhP
Massage - 350 PhP
Scuba Diving (at least 6 person) - 1,500 PhP/pax

How To Get To Island Garden Resort in Pangubatan
For Thrill Seekers
Essa and I are the adventurous type and so, we tried the butt-numbing way to get into the resort.

From Davao City, we boarded on a bus going to Samal stationed at the vicinity of Magsaysay Park (near the gate of Sta. Ana wharf) to Penaplata proper. From there, we took an hour of motorcycle ride (habal2x) to the resort at 125 PhP/pax.

When Travelling By Private Car
It would take you between 45 minutes to 1 hour to drive the 24 km. road from the Caliclic ferry boat wharf to Kaputian proper and the 12 km. all-weather dirt road to the resort, passing thru Barangays San Isidro and Libertad.
Ferry Boat Fee:
Private Car / Pick-Up Truck - 270 phP
Passenger (More than 1 pax) - 10 PhP/pax
Toll Fee (Samal Port) - 10 PhP/pax

As per January 1, 2013 the ferry runs 24 Hours. You can check the Davao to Samal Ferry Transfer Schedules Here.

For the first - timers to the resort, they can arrange somebody to guide your way from Kaputian proper upon request. Just locate the only gas station (Holy Infant Gas Station) at Kaputian, a few meters from the bus terminal area, as the rendevouz point.

For A Comfortable Ride
A shuttle service (an air-conditioned Crosswind) can be arranged.
From the airport to the resort - 1,800 PhP
From Samal Terminal (Babak) - 1,000 PhP
Car rental - 3,000 PhP rental per day (24 hrs) from Davao to the resort & back. The rate includes the rental of the car, including the fuel and the driver. Note however that the guest will have to pay for the barge fee and the passenger's fees to and from the resort.

Davao Watertaxi
They are now connected to Davao Watertaxi. Visit their website for prices.
http://www.davaowatertaxi.com/

Location:
Purok 4 Barangay Pangubatan, Kaputian District, IGACOS
Contact:
Phone: (082) 284-0168
Mobile: 
+63822840168
Email: islandgardenresort@gmail.com
Website:
Island Garden Resort In Pangubatan

How Do You Balance Everything Just To Travel?

People say, "Live each day like it’s your last". And there's that other adage, "Don’t eat away your future; save for the rainy day!"

Two conflicting ideas, right?

The idea confuses me so much because I always wanted to have fun, travel and live life to the fullest but that will surely rip off my pockets. Moreover, I need to have a fat bank account to secure my future but that also mean I have to limit my spending for fun and travel.

So what should I do?

Well, I have come up with an idea on how to balance my responsibilities and travel. Here's what I did:

The Partition Of Salary
I am just an average person who needs to work my ass off to do the things I love such as traveling. I used to only have 1 job before that I needed to split my salary into two. 1/4 is for me, and 3/4 is for my mom (to help with the house bills).

What’s left for me is obviously not enough to put on my savings account and at the same time travel, thus, I searched for part time job opportunities and landed on Onlinejobs.ph

Right now, I have 1 job and 2 part time works. My first job's pay out proceeds to my family and the money I get from part-time jobs is divided into two. One goes to my savings and the other half goes to things I love (mostly for food and travel).

I usually leave out expensive clothes, high-end phones, and other gadgets as they are easily phased out. I am still a woman and it is common for us to love shopping, but the good thing about being a woman is having a lot of affordable yet fashionable clothing options all over the place. So, that's not really a problem. We can save money and still be fabulous! *wink*

Time-budgeting
40 hours a week plus additional working hours for part time jobs seems not viable for a vacation, right? This is true but I am thankful for Saturdays, Sundays and non-working holidays. Also, faking an illness once in a rare while also works (teehee! Shhh...). This is why most of my explorations shared on this blog are "gipit sa oras" because of being tied up to my responsibilities at work.

But that doesn't really matter. If there’s a will, there’s a way.

How about you? How do you balance things in life just to travel?

El Nido To Puerto Princesa 4 Days Itinerary

In our twenties, it is common for us to experience this so called quarter life crisis wherein we feel ambivalent about the things we love doing and responsibilities. I am no expert on this issue but it is useful to know that we can still have fun while we’re caught up by our adult responsibilities.




Let me share with you this itinerary from my recent 4-day break spent in Palawan. Stoked and definitely, recharged!

Day 1 - Going To El Nido

The first day was evidently spent for the flight, Underground river registration and the trip going to EL Nido.

Day 2 - The El Nido Experience

The second day was the star of the whole trip I would say. It's like we were transported to paradise... something that we don't usually experience.

More of my first two days in El Nido experience here.

Day 3 The Underground River Tour

The trip going to Sabang can be inconvenient when you miss the van/bus/jeep schedule as they are not available every hour.

You can check the trip schedule to Underground River here.

Day 4 Honda Bay

If you still have the energy to enjoy another round of swimming and soaking under the sun, Honda Bay is a great option.

***The expenses are non-inclusive of meals, airfare, minor transportation, and pasalubong.

That's it. 4 days might not be enough to completely enjoy Palawan but who am I to complain? I just had a great time and will definitely go back.

Related Articles:
Tay Miloy's Inn - Cheap Stay In EL Nido
Transport Schedule and Road Experience To EL Nido
El Nido Experience - Itinerary and Expenses

Ugong Rock Adventures

I Did It At Ugong Rock Adventures!

Yes, I did it!

This might be a shallow vantage point for others but I'll brag about it anyway... and HEY!... I just tried Zip Lining for the first time!!!

In point of fact, what made the whole activity more interesting for me is the addition of fun caving and spelunking experience before I got to try their zip line at the peak of the cave. 

The trudge was also edifying as I have learned that stalagmites/stalactites should not be touched by our bare hands because of its acidic nature, that when it comes in contact, it dies and lose its sparkle. In addition, you will be inspired by the caver's motto displayed at every stand post of the cave.

The Peak
Beautiful view isn't it? but at the corner of the zip line area was horrifying! I saw a cable wire positioned diagonally down to the ground - “I absolutely am going to pass on this!”, I exclaimed.

A man instantaneously enlightened me that the wire is intended for bags and other things --- quite a relief! But I realized that it was a dumb cry out. Who would really try a zip line from the peak of a mountain down to the ground? Silly thought! Lol

My First Zip Line Experience!
I love to explore new places and do have an adventurous spirit like most other people do, but I honestly am a newbie to daring stunts and I consider zip lining one of them. In fact, I passed on zip lining before at Loboc, Bohol because… hmm... I don’t know! Feeling coward? Maybe! but hey… I did it in Palawan!

Caving And Spelunking!


How We Get There?
Rap talked to a Lexus van moderator stationed near the Underground River registry office in Sabang port and asked about the trip schedule for Sabang to Puerto Princesa. Since we wanted to check Ugong Rock Adventures in  Brgy. Tagabinet, he suggested that we come again the next day around 7:30 am at the same station. The van bound for Puerto Princesa will drop us at Ugong Rock Adventures and he’ll have another Lexus van fetch us at Tagabinet around 12 noon.

The regular fare from Sabang to Puerto Princesa is 120 PhP but since we were dropped and fetched at Tagabinet first before heading to Puerto Princesa, he asked us to pay 140 PhP which is very reasonable.

Fun Facts:
According to our guide, the cave got its name from the humming sound produced after tapping the limestones, called “Ugong” in Filipino. Also, Brgy. Tagabinet's name means Taga=from, Binet=outland but its original name is Tagumbinet, with a meaning of Tago=hidden, Binet=outland.

That's it! I had a great time and that will absolutely not be my last time to enjoy zip lining.

Top-loading To Puerto Princessa Underground River

I must admit... the most boring part of a trip is to endure a number of hours sitting still in a bus, train, jeep, etc. to get into the destination... but for me, NOT THIS TIME!

Since we woke up late and left by the 9 am bus and van schedule going to Sabang for Puerto Princesa Subterranean Park sight-seeing, we had no choice but to wait til' 12 noon to take the next trip of bus or jeepney going to Sabang.

The 10:30 am van schedule to Sabang was not available for us that time because it’s fully booked... (make sure you book in advance). So, we had to choose between a bus or jeep... and the latter won!

The Top-Loading Experience
We seated inside the jeep initially but along the way, the driver picked passengers even though it's already full. Despite the fact that we're like a moving canned sardines, the driver let a group of old women with kids board inside. Sitting there while watching these old fellas squat on the floor made me feel uncomfortable so, I volunteered to top load with my bff to give way to these women.

Well, it is my first time to top load on a jeep and considerably one of the most exhilarating trips I have ever experienced.
During the stop-over and yes, we got wet from the rain! Rap and my bff Karen on the picture.
The road to Sabang is safe and generally smooth even though we encountered little episodes of rough roads, dangling tree branches, and slopes, --- but the view was breathtaking. Also, there are parts where it becomes like a “roller-coaster” ride which made the trip more enoyable.

The great thing about it is the chance to talk with co-top-loaders and get tips from them about what to try and where to go in Sabang.

It was a 2 hour and 30 minutes fun ride but made me groggy afterwards because of being exposed to two alternating weather during the whole trip --- heat and isolated rain showers. Even so, I can't wait to try this again.

San Jose Terminal Van – Jeep – Bus Schedule

Schedule of Van
(PPC to Sabang)
7:30 am
8:30 am
10:30 am
3:00 pm
5:00 pm

(Sabang to PPC)
7:30 am
1:00 pm
2:00 pm
4:00 pm
6:00 pm

Schedule of Jeepney/Bus
7:00 am
9:00 am
12:00 noon
2:00 pm

That's it! Got my skin fried under the heat of the sun but left me with a very fun memory.

Related Articles:
Tay Miloy's Inn - Cheap Stay In EL Nido
Transport Schedule and Road Experience To EL Nido
El Nido Experience - Itinerary and Expenses


Ugong Rock Adventures

Tay Miloy’s Inn: Budget-Friendly Accommodation In EL Nido Palawan

Top of the class resorts, luxurious accommodations, and exclusive tours. That is what EL Nido is always associated to; but little did they know, it is also a backpacker’s haven as there are a lot of affordable stays near center of EL Nido where the boats and restaurants are stationed.

Let me share to you my experience in Tay Miloy’s Inn.

Great Location!
The great thing about the Inn is its close proximity to the beach where the boats and restaurants are stationed. Just about 5 minutes walk, and you’re on the beach.

A+ for honesty!
I texted Tay Miloy to reserve me a family room on June 9, 2013 – that’s two days before my trip to EL Nido and right away, I got a confirmation. When I reached Puerto Princesa on that day, I noticed that my mobile network has no signal and I was just nonchalant about it.

When we reached EL Nido at around 7 PM, we were welcomed by Tay Miloy (Kuya Rodrigo) and asked if I received his text message. I said no because I have no signal. He mentioned that there were walk-in guests earlier who wanted my room because the Inn was full that time, but he didn’t give it because he was hoping I’ll arrive. Relieved!

Yes. You text them to secure a room reservation for you and they will adhere to that. They don’t care if you have not given a reservation fee in advance or you don’t show up (but please show up), they will never give away your room to walk-in guests even if you were not able to update them. Kudos!

You can check my separate article about transport schedules and road experience to El Nido here.

The Rooms

Rooms are decent in an affordable rate. The mattress and pillows are soft enough to give me a good sleep, well-ventilated, WiFi access, and it has its own rest room. The only problem I have there is the absence of toilet seat but not a big issue as we only stayed there for one night.


Rates

Family Room: 800 PhP (shared by 4 pax - fan/aircon)
Standard Room: 300 PhP (shared by 2 pax - fan room)

The best thing I like about staying in Tay Miloy’s Inn is that they do not put pressure on your check out time. When you passed the 2 pm check out time, you just need to pay extra 200 PhP given that your stay won't exceed more than 24 hours from the time of check-in.

They also arranged our Island Tour Hopping and reserved us bus seats going back to Puerto Princesa.

Contact Number: +63929-795-5756

Pawikan Restaurant: Good Food Near Palawan Underground River

When we say Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, the usual things that pop out in our minds are its mind-stimulating rock formations, sparkling stalactites, and emerging stalagmites. But did you know that there is also a good place near it for a scrumptious meal to complete your fun-filled day?

Upon walking around Sabang beach after out Underground River cruise, we reached the farthest side of it and found Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort. The resort is peaceful and far from the bustling crowd of the area and so, we decided to have our dinner there.

The Ambience Of Pawikan Restaurant

We entered their resident restaurant named Pawikan Restaurant and observed that most of their patrons were mostly foreigners. The ambiance is cosy which is suited for fine dining; the waitress was also very accommodating.

I got alarmed when I saw turtle-shell shaped light covers. So, I asked the waitress concernedly if they had killed turtles for it, and she said no, those were just synthetically made to support The "Pawikan" (turtle) motiff of the restaurant. *Relieved!

Pawikan Restaurant Menu

When the menu was served, I asked the waitress about their specialty, and she recommended Kare-Kare. I ordered it at once since it is my all-time favourite Filipino dish and I just let my friends order the rest.

Their Kare-Kare is not like the "saucy" dish we usually get. The pork's hind leg was deep fried to give you a perfect crispy skin and meat tenderness. It is more like a crispy pata with peanut sauce.

The sufficient amount of not-too-sweet peanut butter sauce will absolutely satisfy your picky taste buds. 

Price is around 400 PhP.

Bagoong Rice with shreds of fried egg. Not too salty and goes well with the other dishes.

Price is around 120 PhP (good for 2 persons)

Crispy Pata fried to crispy perfection with blanched vegetables on the side. 

Price is around 250 PhP

Pinakbet from afar. The pinakbet's fusion of vegetables are packed with flavors and not the archetypal salty kind of dish. Also, the veggies were not overcooked. 

Price is around 200 PhP

Dark Chocolate Candy Bar - Dark chocolate filled with walnuts with crush almonds and berry syrup on the side.

I ordered this for my dessert because I was having a headache that time. I was told by a college friend before that if you have a headache and medicine is not available, chocolate will work for you. 

Price is around 120 PhP

Fried Ice Cream - Chocolate ice cream filled bread that is identical to the bread used in Chicken Fingers. 

Price is also around 120 PhP

I wasn't able to take note of the prices because I was busy on some other things that time, but I hope this post helped you in finding a good place to eat when in Palawan Underground River ;-)

There it is. There is more with Underground River In Palawan. Good food and a relaxing delight in Sabang beach would make everyone's stay worthwhile.

Location: Sabang Beach, 5300 Puerto Princesa City, Puerto Princesa, Philippines
Contact Number: (048) 723 0889