Monthly Archives: September 2012

Ormoc City: The greener side of the Philippines

Ormoc City has been part of my life since before I got my knowledge about this world.  I haven’t reached a year of my life yet when my mom and “nanay” brought me to this place.  Up until today, I will always find time to visit this place.  Ormoc is a simple city with a simple form of living.  No BPOs that I know of (yet), but it has few coffee shops, and a bit of nightlife.  It offers world-class accomodation and could also cater to budget travelers.  It is really an ideal place to live in.  It is indeed, very peaceful.

How to get there:

From Manila:  You can ride a plane bound for Tacloban city and 2 hours van ride to Ormoc.  There is also daily bus trip from Cubao to Ormoc.

Above.  Ormoc City Bus Terminal with Daily bus trips bound for Luzon and Mindanao.

From Cebu:  There are daily 4-hour ferry trips that leaves at 11am and 10pm, and fastcrafts that has two trips throughout the day.

Above.  2Go Fastcraft en-route Ormoc-Cebu vice versa.

Where to stay:

There are plenty of hotels and pension houses to choose from but if you really want to relax and have fun, I suggest these resort/hotels:

Baybayon ni Agalon (Located in Albuera, a town around 10 km away from Ormoc)

Hotel Don Felipe (located at the heart of the City)

Sabin Resort (Brgy Bantigue, Ormoc City)

Where to go:

Bebidas – If you want to chill or have coffee.  This place is perfect for you.

Ikeas – This place is perfect for dessert.  They offer mouth-watering cakes and pastries.

Lake Danao – a guitar-shaped lake located above-sea level near the geothermal power plant that supplies visayas and parts of mindanao.

Never seen such scenery in my life.

Too bad I found some of these things in Lake Danao Park (ssiiiiggghhhss)

We sometimes tend to forget our responsibilities.  It goes back to us anyways.

Vivo – If you are in the mood for singing, then this place is just right for the whole barkada or family.

The Sts Peter and Paul Church

Gaisano Riverside  – Who says Ormoc aint updated with the current trend?

Public Market – Thrift way of spending.

Now tell me, isn’t this a good place to live?  Where food, clothing, and other expenses are lesser that you think and you might want to consider this place for retirement.  Visit your legal adviser now and your travel agent.  Visit the place and check it out for yourself.  It is very safe to stroll around this small but humble city.

Sweet Potatoes wandering in Camotes Island

Camotes is a group of islands located in the northeastern part of Cebu, with 3 major islands (Pacijan, Poro and Ponson), and 1 small island called Tolang..  The Capital of Camotes is the Poro town but since most resorts are located in San Francisco, it became the major hub for tourists.

The port in Brgy Consuelo, San Francisco, Camotes

It was a gloomy day when we arrived in Camotes.  We were sad because we thought that our Camotes trip would be spoiled by the bad weather.  But good thing, the next day, the sun did shine. Hurray!

Where to stay:

There are a lot of resorts to choose from, but as a practical budget traveler, it is wise to choose Santiago Bay Garden Resort.  The resort is located in Brgy Santiago, just few minutes away from the port of consuelo.  Remember that the port of Consuelo is nearest to the resort, not in Puertobello or Poro.

Santiago Bay Resort’s cheapest accomodation is 1,000 php for 2 pax.  It is a nice place to stay because it is strategically located near the wide stretch of white sand beach of Santiago and it is also a few walks away from few grill restaurants.

Here are some photos of the resort:

Santiago Bay’s Infinity pool.

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Santiago Bay Resort is the best place (for me) to stay whenever you are in Camotes.  You can also choose Mangodlong Rock Resort, a higher-end resort and a sister resort of Santiago Bay.

You can reach them through their office in mainland Cebu which is in Mandaue through phone number (+63 32) 4203385.

Where to go and what to do:

The Beaches:

The stretch of white sand beach in Santiago.

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Borromeo Beach Resort in Bakhaw, Esperanza, Camotes

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Fresh Water Adventure:

Lake Danao Park

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Kayaking in the lake cost us only 50php per person for an hour.  At first, I was hesitant because it might be costly, but I was wrong.  It was my first time to ride a kayak.

Timubo Cave

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Water at last! 🙂

San Francisco Town Proper408813_10150530901316269_475041060_n

  • Baywalk
  • Municipal Hall
  • St. Joseph Church 

    If you need more assistance about tourism info in Camotes, just visit the Tourist Information Center.

    You will surely find it helpful to ask questions in the tourist info center.  They might as well give you an itinerary, if you do not have any.  And remember, it is free of charge.

    Where to Eat:

    Santiago Bay Garden Resort also offer food:

    Pito’s Sutukil

    Sugba Tuwa ug Kilaw which means Grill, Fish Soup, and Raw seasoned fish.  That is the specialty of Pito’s Sutukil.  Their food is great and the price is reasonable enough.

    Bon Appetite!

    How to get there:

    From Cebu:  From North Bus Terminal, take the Danao-bound jeepney or minibus going to Danao port.  You also have the option to take jeepney from White Gold Club or Vhire from SM.

    Take a 2-hour ferry from Danao port bound for Consuelo Port.  I prefer Jomalia Shipping because they have comfortable seats.

    From Manila:  Take the plane bound for Cebu and then take the jeepney/bus/vhire to Danao port.

    Just try to discover yourself in Camotes.. It might be helpful to you.

    Enjoy!

     

Southbound Cebu: Oslob

Oslob is one of the most preserved town in Cebu.  An old town built during the spanish period is still there.  When I get to the town proper of oslob, it felt like i was still in the colonial era since spanish structures and ruins are still there.

Old Spanish Cuartel

It was my first time to see an actual old Spanish barracks.  What came into my mind first was a question.  What if I was born during those days where Spanish conquistadors are still dominant?  Would I be a member of the KKK? or just go with the flow? Anyways, I was just curious on the events in the past.

Here is another view of the Cuartel.

Interior view of the Spanish Cuartel ruins.

Here are some of the structures that you can find in the town proper of Oslob.


An old fort that was destroyed.

Oslob Catholic Church

Oslob offers a lot of suprises.  When you go to Oslob, do not forget to bring extra budget since there are lots of things to do.

Where to go and what to do:

Whale Shark Watching:  Whale watching is located in Brgy Tan-awan, Oslob.  It is about 15 to 20 minutes from the town proper.  There are plenty of resorts that caters whale watching to choose from.  Here are some of the few:

  • Aaron’s whale watching.
  • George and Jimmy’s.

The mighty but gentle whale shark

Surrounded by the giants

Tumalog Falls:  It is similar to that of Asik-asik falls in Cotabato.  It produces drops of water making it very fascinating to look at.  It produces cool breeze and it gives fresh feeling just by sitting nearby the falls.

The welcoming environment of Tumalog falls.

Sumilon Island:  A small paradise island located near Oslob.  It is owned and operated by the Blue Water group of resorts.  Sumilon Bluewater offers wide variety of tropical treats for tourists who would like to experience a paradise living.

Photo courtesy of CebuCity7NewWonder FB page

Oslob is a perfect getaway for nature lovers, beach bummers, and heritage enthusiasts.

How to get there:

From Cebu South bus terminal, ride a bus bound for Oslob or Bato/Santander.  you may choose aircon or nonaircon.  Bus travel is approximately 3 to 4 hours.

Where to Stay:

The above-mentioned resorts are highly recommended.  For leisure and first class tourists, I recommend Sumilon Bluewater Resort.  But for the budget travellers, I personally recommend Oslob Garden Stay Resort.  You can contact them through (+63)0922-8111575. 

Oslob Garden Stay resort. Accomodation for only 1,000 php per night for 2 pax w/ aircon, cr, tv, and wifi

Have a nice tour in Oslob!

TIP:  Do not be shy to ask the staff on what to do, what to ride, and where to go.  They are more than willing to help.  They have the best hospitality without any other intentions but only to serve you without additional charges.

Time travelling in Dumaguete City

Who would have thought that we could reach Dumaguete in no time?  It was a quick decision, or perhaps a spur of the moment.  Well, it comes with excitement though.  I do not have any idea or have researched about the place-where to stay, where to go, and where to eat.  We just decided to visit the place when we knew that Oslob is just few minutes away from Dumaguete; so without hesitation we rode a bus going to Liloan port and took the fastcraft( it’s not that fast) going to Sibulan port, a neighbor town of Dumaguete; just 15 to 20 minutes away.

 The Image of the “fastcraft” bound for Sibulan port.

 When we arrived in Dumaguete, the first thing we did is to find a place where we could leave our things for safekeeping.

After we left our things, we set foot first to their prestigious Rizal Boulevard.

Rizal Boulevard.

We took some pictures while walking along the Boulevard.

Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres Monument.

The popular “Sans Rival” of Dumaguete.

While walking the road along the boulevard, we were wondering if where we could find the first American University in the Philippines, The Silliman University.  But what we saw a few steps away just made our day.

The Silliman Hall

After our walk, we decided to ride a cab going to the Old Bell Tower of Dumaguete.

Kampanaryo de Dumaguete

Our visit in Dumaguete was indeed worthwhile.  We saw a lot of motorcycles (maybe because they are the motorcycle capital of the Philippines).  The people are friendly and they really are gentle.  A visit to Dumaguete is a must to those who want to unwind and relax.

How to get there:

From Cebu: Land trip:  Take the 3 to 4 hours bus going to Liloan port in Cebu city south bus terminal.  Aircon/nonaircon buses cost about 150 to 170 Php.  Take either a fastcraft or pumpboat from Liloan port to Sibulan town for about 20 to 30 minutes which costs around 40 to 70 php.  Take a 15- to 20-minute multicab ride from Sibulan to Dumaguete with the damage of only 11 php.

Total max budget one way:  251 Php for roughly 5 hours only.

Boat:  There is a daily fastcraft from Cebu to Dumaguete.  Take the oceanjet fastcraft.  It costs about 500 with travel time for 2-1/2 hours only.

From Manila:  You can reach Dumaguete through boat or air travel.  Check on your travel agencies.

Where to Eat/Shop:

Dumaguete has two main shopping centres.  They are:

Robinsons’ Place Dumaguete

Lee Super Plaza (located in downtown area)

SIGNATURE FOOD/DESSERTS:

When you are in Dumaguete you should not miss the Dumaguete Express in Lab-As Restaurant.

Sorry I forgot the name of this one, but this is very yummy.

You should not also miss the Dumaguete homegrown icecream shop, Panda.  It is home to the finest Fried Ice Cream. YUMYUM!

So Never miss these things when you visit Dumaguete.  It is like you have never really been to Dumaguete if you would miss them.

Where to Stay:

Go Hotels:  You can just book through their website or call 0922- GOHOTEL (4646835)

Vintage Inn:  Located at the heart of the city, Vintage Hotel offers affordable room rates.  For booking, just call (+63-35) 422-0827 landline.

Enjoy your stay and make it worthwhile and don’t forget to bring your smile with you!