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Day 1 in Cebu: Cebu City Tour

26 Mar

It was our first time to try Cebu Pacific. We were told by friends that the flights are usually late so it was a surprise that our flight to Cebu was on time. Bravo! 🙂

view from the plane

The weather was gloomy in Cebu when we landed. With all our lugagge, it was kind of hard for us to go to the main road to get a regular metered taxi since it was raining. There were other regular cabs at the airport, but they were asking for Php350 – Php400 for the fare to the hotel. Rip off!!! So my boyfriend and I decided to take the airport cab instead to take us to Verbena Pension House which only cost us Php278 (to think that the airport cabs’ flag down rate is Php70).

Since the check-in time in Verbena is at 2PM, we were advised by the front desk officer to just come back at 2PM. He informed us that we could leave our things in their storage room so we could tour the city. NOTE: Verbena has no tag number to give you when you leave your bags with them. I hope they would have claim tags in the future to ensure the safety of their guests’ luggage.

Anyway, after leaving our bags, my boyfriend and I took a jeep (minimum jeepney fare is Php7.50) to JY Mall (JY-Apas-Lahug sign board) to get a habal-habal (motorcycle ride) to take us to Tops in Busay Hills. It’s better to take a habal-habal to get to Tops since cabs would charge Php850 or even higher to the said place. Depending on your negotiating skills, a habal-habal ride would cost around Php200 per head (price could be lower or higher) for a two-way ride. Make sure to have an agreed price before going to Tops and don’t forget to ask the driver if they have additional charge for waiting. The entrance fee for Tops is Php100 per head, which we think was REALLY pricey.

Tops in Busay Hills

After getting to Tops, our habal-habal drivers dropped us off at JY Mall and we took a cab to the Taoist Temple in Beverly Hills. It cost us around Php60 – Php65 for the cab ride. The temple has no entrance fee, but you just have to take note of the temple’s rules.

I must admit though, I was not a fan of the temple, mainly because I did not like the smell of the burning incense sticks. We ended up leaving immediately because it was drizzling and also because I felt like I was going to barf, too! 😦 (Sorry, no offense meant to our Chinese brothers and sisters).

Taoist Temple in Beverly Hills

We did not ask for our cab driver to wait for us (wrong move!) so we had to wait for a cab near the temple to drop us off at JY Mall. So for the ride back to JY Mall (or to wherever you’re going to), it’s better that you ask your cab driver to wait for you. Anyhow,  since it was still early for check-in, we decided to go to Ayala Center (just take a jeep with an Ayala sign board) to have lunch. The outside of Ayala Center looked so much like the Ayala malls here in Manila. The inside looked more like the old Glorietta mall though.

Finally, when it was time to check-in, we took a jeep with a Capitol sign board from Ayala to get to our hotel… If you’re on a tight budget, I suggest you stay in Verbena Pension House (they have a newer hotel called Verbena Capitol Suites). This was suggested to me by my friend, Salve, who stayed in the said place last August when she went to Cebu. Well, Verbena Pension House is not really a hotel and the place is not as fancy as real hotels, but Verbena’s staff are friendly and accommodating. They also offer free WIFI for their guests and a free breakfast for 1 person, too (an additional breakfast meal is around Php75 plus Php20 for the drinks, but you can just have their free water from their restaurant’s water dispenser). The room obviously looked kind of (take note: just kind of) old, but it’s clean. We were provided with 1 roll of tissue, 2 towels, and 2 small soaps. The room that we got costs Php850 a night beacuse we wanted a private bath with cold and hot shower. There’s a Php750 room without a hot shower though.

This is the old Verbena. There's a new one called Verbena Capitol Suites.

We decided to rest for around an hour after checking in. We then resumed our tour and took a jeep going to Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño (Magallanes-Church-Jones sign board). Behind the Basilica, you could see Magellan’s Cross. Cebu Cathedral is also a stone’s throw away from the Basilica so we checked out the Cathedral’s schedule for the English anticipated Mass. From the Basilica,  you could walk going to Plaza Independencia and Fort San Pedro. Fort San Pedro’s entrance fee is Php30 per head. After touring the old fort, we rested for a while. We then walked back to Cebu Cathedral to hear Mass at 5:30PM.

Basilica Minore del Santo Niño

Thank you, Magellan, for bringing Catholicism to the Philippines 🙂

Fort San Pedro

Plaza Independencia is currently under renovation

Malacañang in Cebu

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

Two of my friends from the office (Chyng and Salve) tried Larsian near Robinsons Cybergate Center at Fuente Circle when they went to Cebu. My boyfriend and I love barbeque’s so we decided to try out the grilled food at the famous Larsian. The rates are pretty affodable, too! 🙂

where everything is grilled

For our last stop, we headed to Crown Regency to try out the Sky Adventure. My boyfriend decided not to try the rides out (wuss! :P) because he was so full (nabusog ng sobra sa Larsian) and he also found the price pretty expensive — Php750 for the 2 rides plus 1 free shirt. Since guests are not allowed to take pictures, you wouldn’t have a choice but to buy your souvenir pictures which is Php230 each photo!!! 😦

Sky Adventure at Crown Regency

Crown Regency has a new ride called Vertigo. I did not try it out because it was not part of my budget. Had I known about the new ride, I would have allocated money for that. I think it costs around Php600, if I’m not mistaken (will try that when we get back!). Oh, by the way, if you’re going to try the Sky Walk, bring your own pair of socks (Crown Regency will sell you a pair for Php20) or better, wear sneakers/trainers/rubber shoes so you would not have to wear the sneakers they offer (no rental fee though).

Anyway, here’s our ITIN for DAY 1:

06:35AM     Departure (Cebu Pac’s 2nd flight to Cebu)
07:45AM     Arrival — airport cab (yellow) to Verbena — fare: Php278
08:20AM     Left things in Verbena’s storage area
09:00AM     JY Mall (JY-Apas-Lahug sign board) — fare: Php18 for 2
                           *habal-habal ride to Tops — fare: Php200/head (two way ride)
                           *cab from JY to Taoist Temple — fare: Php60-Php65
12:00NN      Lunch at Ayala Center
01:45PM      Jeep to Verbena (Capitol sign board) — fare: Php15 for 2
02:00PM     Check-in at Verbena
03:00PM     Basilica (Magallanes-Church-Jones sign board) — fare: Php15 for 2
                            *Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño
                            *Magellan’s Cross
                            *Plaza Independencia
                            *Fort San Pedro and Malacanang sa Cebu
05:30PM     Anticipated Mass at Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
06:35PM     Took a jeep going to Larsian (Capitol sign board) — fare: Php15 for 2
07:00PM    Dinner at Larsian
08:15PM     Walked going to Crown Regency for the Sky Adventure

Stay tuned for our Day 2 in Cebu (this was our favorite part of our whole Cebu trip!) 🙂

From Forever Friends to Forever L♥ve

15 Feb

Here’s another swoon-worthy wedding, the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Paruginog last 04 January 2011.

San Agustin Church

The couple met while they were studying at the University of the Philippines. Their platonic love for each other grew into romantic love and I believe that a relationship like theirs has the “best-est” foundation since they started out as good friends. 🙂

The bride is my friend from the office and it was such a privilege to be able to witness Jamie and Mike’s exchange of I Do’s.

Here are some of the pictures of this lovely wedding:

The bride's pretty shoes

My beautiful friend's bridal march song was Shania Twain's From This Moment On

Where's Atty. Fortun? Can you find him? Hihihi...

the lovely couple

catering by Passion Cooks

The coolest grandma EVER!!! 🙂

Their wedding wouldn't be complete without their baby, Papols! 🙂

I loved their wedding to bits and pieces! It was not just a celebration of love but a celebration of friendship, too! 🙂

Mabuhay ang Bagong Kasal!!! 🙂


Hotel for the preps: Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
Church venue: San Agustin Church, Intramuros (my dream church!)
Reception venue: San Agustin Church’s inner courtyard
Caterer: Passion Cooks Catering (another supplier my boyfriend and I are considering)
Wedding Photographer: Atty. Raymond Fortun
Wedding Videographer: the couple’s friend
Wedding Gown and Entourage’s gowns: Nancy’s Fashion by Nancy dela Cruz
Emcees/hosts: the couple’s friends
Photo booth: Bai Capture
Strings: Manila Philharmonic Orchestra

I forgot to ask who their other suppliers were. I’ll update this post once I get their complete list. I did not wanna disturb Jamie. She’s busy working. Hihihi… 🙂


The New Chapel of Caleruega

31 Dec

Some Catholic brides want a garden wedding. But since the Catholic Church does not allow weddings to be celebrated outside a Catholic church, the Dominicans did a great job by building a chapel with a garden wedding feel to it.

Caleruega now has an ADDITIONAL chapel. This one is at the picnic grounds.

the new chapel's cross

inside the chapel

the new chapel

I’m not really sure if weddings can be held here. Better contact Caleruega’s office for more information.

Photo credit: shots were taken by Jesse Eduria (grabbed the pictures from his Facebook album)

Celebrating Pahiyas

15 May

I wonder what the Pahiyas Festival has in store for the tourists this 2010 especially that the Philippines has been experiencing El Niño. I sure do hope that there are still a lot of harvest.

Last year, my boyfriend and I went to Quezon to celebrate Pahiyas. Despite the unpredictable weather (one minute it’s sunny, then it would drizzle/rain the next), we did have a lot of fun. This festival is in honor of  the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro Labrador, as thanksgiving for bountiful harvest (masaganang ani).

Here are some of the pictures we took during Pahiyas Festival 2009:

Lucban Church's belfry

Lucban Church's entrance

colorful kiping

Lucban longganisa

bayongs (native bags) painted by grade schoolers

higante (giant)

row of kipings

a lady selling pancit habhab for only Php7!!! 🙂

Pahiyas 2009

fried kiping (I did not know kiping is edible. Hehehe...)

Lucban hats


We did not stay the whole day in Lucban. After lunch, we went to some of the must-see places in Quezon:

Kamay ni Hesus / Grotto

Silangan Nayon Resort --- I loved the huts on the water!

Pagbilao Power Plant (on our way to Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas)

Puting Buhangin (at the end of the shore, there's a cave called Kwebang Lampas)

inside Kwebang Lampas

Kwebang Lampas

Patayan Island

Patayan Island's sand bar

I hope even if there’s drought, our farmers still have a lot to be thankful for. 🙂

Happy Pahiyas Festival, everyone!

Take Me Back to Ilocos!!!

24 Apr
My boyfriend and I had always wanted to see Ilocos. We were intrigued by its beauty and charm so we decided to go on an Ilocandia tour. This was last year, by the way. Hehehe… 😛
Day 1: Ilocos Sur Tour
Breakfast. 🙂
I love Vigan longganisa way before we went to Ilocos and I would not pass up the oppurtunity to eat some in Vigan, of course! 🙂

breakfast at Grandpa's Inn, Vigan

After having breakfast, our next stop was Baluarte, a mini zoo owned by Chavit Singson.

mini zoo in Ilocos

We also went to Bantay Church. According to our tour guide, its belfry is known as the Sinking Bell Tower in Ilocos. I don’t know if that’s true because I read that St. William’s Cathedral’s belfry is the one known as the sinking bell tower. We saw St. William’s Cathedral’s bell tower on our way to our hotel and man, it’s massive! No wonder it’s sinking on its sandy foundations. Too bad… 😦

Bantay Church and its belfry (Sinking bell tower in Vigan)

Marcos Museum

After our visit to Marcos museum and mausoleum (no cameras were allowed so I was not able to take pictures of our former president’s body), we went to the famous Paoay Church.

Paoay Church

Next was Currimao Coral Reef Formation. They look like boulders, but if you look closely, they’re dead corals. Amazing!
Oh yeah, I slipped here when I tried to go to the water. My old digicam got wet, too! Sayang, nasira! 😦

Currimao Coral Reef Formation (slippery!!! Hahaha!)

We also checked out La Paz Sand Dunes. They told me this was where the movie Panday was shot. Hehehe…

La Paz Sand Dunes

Our last stop before going to our hotel was Malacañang of the North. This was the Marcoses’ rest house in Ilocos. It is also known as Malacañang Ti Amianan.

Malacañang of the North

Paoay Lake (at the back of Malacañang)

Check-in time!
We loved Java Hotel!

Java Hotel (owned by the Fariñases)

Take a peek of our room:


our toilet and bathroom

We were dead tired and sleepy so we just had dinner at Java Hotel’s bar.

Java Hotel's resto bar

However, even if we’re exhausted, we still went swimming. 🙂

night swimming

Day 2: Ilocos Norte Tour
After breakfast, our 1st trip was to Cape Bojeador.

Cape Bojeador

We also went to Bangui Windmills! Wind energy!!! 🙂

Bangui Windmills

We had photo op on Patapat Bridge.
Try turning on your car radio while on Patapat Bridge and you could get the radio frequency of Taiwan’s radio stations! Hehehe…

Patapat Bridge

Another photo op at Agua Grande. I think it’s also known as Aqua Paradiso.

Agua Grande / Aqua Paradiso

If you’re in Ilocos and you wanna hit the beach, where will you go? PAGUDPUD!!! 🙂

Blue Lagoon Resort, Pagudpud

the blue waters of Pagudpud

Day 3: Vigan and back home
On our last day, we went to Vigan’s Heritage Village. It sorta brought me to the old Philippines.

Heritage Village, Vigan

My boyfriend is kind of a shy person, but he was sssooo fascinated with Heritage Village that he asked one home owner if we could go up her place and take some shots from her window. The nice lady agreed. (We did not know that there was even a shooting by TV 5 in her house so I guess that’s why she also let us in.)

view from the second floor

Heritage Village's pavement tiles

The trip was truly memorable. Not only did we get to visit the beautiful Ilocos, we also got to taste their native delicacies like the bagnet, empanada, and longganisa. (We even had dinner at Laoag’s local “food court”, Tapayan.) Moreover, we gained a few aquaintances who are now our friends on Multiply. 🙂

National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s Wedding Package

9 Mar

I was looking for a wedding venue for my friend who’s getting married this December 2010 when I stumbled upon Mount Carmel’s wedding package. The National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish is in New Manila, Quezon City.

Mount Carmel Shrine

Anyway, here is the parish’s wedding package:

Php170,000 for 150 guests

Package Inclusions:

   – 100 pcs. Invitations by Print Lane (click here for sample invites)
   – Flowers for the Bridal Party (click here for the samples and details)
   – Use of Church Facilities
   – Flowers, Tule, and Red Carpet at the Church
   – Use of Fr. Mark Horan Social Hall
   – Tiffany Chairs for all guests
   – Fully Air Conditioned Function Hall
   – Built-in Sound System
   – Stage for the couple
   – Catering by DXC’s, Eloquente, or Tamayo’s* Catering (click here for the menu)
   – Fruit Basket and wine for Offertory
   – Photo and Video by Villamin UltraVision Digital Photography (click here for details)

* Due to increased costs, Tamayo’s Catering costs an additional 25,000 for a total of 195,000.



You may visit the Mount Carmel’s wedding package website  for more details.

Sunday Mass Schedule at Caleruega – Chapel of Transfiguration

20 Feb

I had a hard time googling for the Mass sched at Caleruega so I thought of posting it on my blog.


Caleruega's Transfiguration Chapel

Caleruega’s Sunday Mass is at 11AM. And if you’re planning to visit the place, Caleruega closes at 5:30pm.

Hope I was able to help! 🙂

NOTE: The sched may change without prior notice



Check out the additional chapel in Caleruega:

Although I don’t know if they hold Masses here.