Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Seafood Fiesta at STK ta Bay! Cebu

I departed the busy streets of Manila and arrived at Mactan Airport in Cebu at about 6:30 PM. I was pretty excited cause my next three days would be spent with sand on my feet and the sound of waves waking me up in the morning.

Just before I drown with my thoughts on how the next three days would be like, my stomach started to churn. Its dinner time! 

My friend in Cebu suggested a few restaurants in the city. We decided to have sea food and she brought us to Orchid St. Capitol Site where several restaurants are located.

STK ta Bay!

inside the store

what to order?


Mixed Seafood Sinigang P145
 I love the mixed seafood sinigang. It has shrimps, crabs, scallops, mussels and its good for 2-3 persons.

Adobong Kang Kong P50

Hot and Spicy Shrimp Platter P195
 The hot and spicy shrimp platter is also a great choice, spicy and crispy.

When we asked for the bill, we were shocked, its less than P500 and theres 6 of us! Its cheap since we had seafood and what we had would normally cost more than P1000 in Manila. Good food, good company, now that's a good start for my vacation.

After dinner, we headed back to my friend's place where we will be staying for the night. I have to get a good night sleep and prepare for tomorrow!

Wondering what happenned to my trip at Malapascua? You can check my post! here.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Baguio's Flower Power

Straight from the beaches of Bicol where I spent my last 3 days over my CamSur Adventure, I hurriedly went back to Manila and met with friends for a road trip off north. Its Febuary and Baguio is the place to be for Panagbenga Festival. Ohhh yeah for the love of flowers and of course, friends.

Panagbenga Festival is a month-long annual flower festival occurring in Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines.   The term means "season of blooming". The festival, held during the month of February, was created as a tribute to the city's flowers.

off to Baguio
We rented a van for P13,0000 including gas and toll. We left Taguig at about 1:00 PM and reached Baguio at about 8:00 PM. We went directly to SM Baguio to have dinner and then headed to the house that we rented just a few minutes away from SM.

It was a two storey house and we rented the first floor with two rooms and one shared rest room. One room has 3 beds and the other has 2 beds. Another group was resnting the second floor during that time. Everyone are free to use the living room, dining room and the kitchen, complete with kitchen utilities.


After resting for a while in the room, some of us were not ready to call it a day yet, including me.hehehe
So we took a cab to Burnham Park where there is a long stretch of vendors selling  "Ukay-Ukay" or second hand clothes.One side of the road was closed just for this and I heard that they do this every saturday during the Panagbenga Festival and its open until around 1:00 AM.


And I must say they are so cheap! They were selling clothes for P10.00-P50.00, cardigans for P25.00 and  jackets for P200.00 up. I bought a leather jacket for P600.00, it was a really a bargain.


Another thing that I loved is that at the end of the street, there were food vendors waiting because people must be hungry after shopping. We had midnight snacks and headed back to the house.

I didn't sleep anymore because we had to take turns taking a bath and had to leave so early in the morning to find a good spot for the parade.

The parade usually starts near the Victory Liner Bus Terminal so headed there. On our way, we already saw some floats also headed to their starting point. We decided to walk instead so we can also take pictures close to the floats.

Aegis People Support Float

I was wearing the leather jacket that I bought last night, and so I borrowed the motorcycle and helmet from a stranger for this picture. Biker chick? ohh yeah.

crowd starting to build up
We were lucky to find a very good spot to watch the parade. It was elevated and we can see everything that has been happening and its not so crowded either.

SM Float

TV5 Float

GMA7 Float

Nestea Float

Parade performers

  Everyone was busy taking pictures or videos. Crowd's favorite were the floats from GMA and ABS-CBN because of the presence of celebrities.

this man was so busy taking a video

It was my first time to go to Panagbenga and I had fun! The floats were so full of color and everybody was in a festive mood. I enjoyed the street foods, the ukay ukay and  the cold weather. The festival according to estimates was a whooping 1.5 million tourists.  Phew!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Camsur Adventure

Caramoan, isolated from the rest of Camarines Sur, though has been famous because of Survivor is still unexploited from commercial tourism.

From Manila, we took a plane bound to Naga. Departure supposedly was 6:30am but Cebu Pacific called me a day before the flight to inform me that the flight was moved to 9:30am.Crap.

The original plan was to take a van to Sabang from SM Naga, but since the flight was delayed, we had to take a cab from the airport instead or else we'll miss the last boat trip to Caramoan.

From airport, we took a cab, you can contact Kuya Bebot 09177649080 or 09298377045. The rate from airport to Sabang is usually P1500 but we haggled it down to P1000. Each cab can accommodate max 6pax and the trip is about 1.5 hours to Sabang Port.


Trips to Sabang-Caramoan starts 7:00am-2:00pm for P120.00 each. We reached Sabang at about 12:00 pm and just ate in a carinderia near the port for lunch.

 Trip from Sabang to Caramoan is about 1.5-2 hours.

When we arrived at Caramoan, we took a tricycle to Rex Tourist Inn, 15-20 minutes from port,where we stayed. We got our room for P800/night with  ac/private bathroom/tv and cable.

We didnt have that much options when it comes to food in Caramoan. The cook in Rex Tourist inn wasnt available and so we have to check the other options outside. Just a few blocks away from the hotel, there are carinderias and small restaurants to eat.


Bicol Express
The next day, we prepared to go island hopping. We arranged a tricycle to pick us up from the hotel (back and forth to Paniman beach, P300). We contacted Kuya Ramil 09074351962 our boatman and arranged the island hopping for tomorrow.
Early morning, we had breakfast at Lutong Bahay, just a few blocks away from Rex. 
They serve home cooked meals at very cheap prices and opens very early too! (6:00 AM)

rough rode to Paniman beach

 It was a good 15-20 minute tricycle ride  from Rex tourist inn to Paniman beach where other hotels can be located as well. The rates for beach front accommodations are more expensive compared to what we got which is located at the centro. I personally don't recommend getting beachfront rooms because the beach there is not clear, you really have to go the islands for the clear waters.

Paniman Beach

Our Bangka
 Rates for island hopping is P1500 for short trips (approx 4 nearby islands) or P2500 for long trips (approx 4 island also that's quite far from Paniman). We wanted to visit as much islands as possible since we have all day. Short trip plus long trip, (8 islands in total) is usually charged for P3,000 but we haggled the price down to P2500.

We also asked Kuya Ramil to prepare lunch for us.( alimasag 1kl and rice) He said that a kilo would cost P300 and he'll cook our lunch for free.

All set, let's go island hopping!

Cotivas Island
Cotivas island was our first stop. There is an island fee of P50.00 each. The island is one of the spots where survivor was filmed (and the only island who charges, hehe) We tried to snorkel but we did not find any corals here.

Cotivas Island shores


 Second stop was Manlawi island, which is famous for its long sand bar. Sadly, it was high tide when we got there so the sand bar was knee length below waters.

sand bar below waters at Manlawi Island
 When we got to the third island, Sabitang Laya, the scenery changed. We started to see rock formations like the ones in Coron.

Sabitang Laya

 We just took some pictures, swam for a bit and took a lot of pictures again.hahaha Then we decided to move on to the next island where we will be taking our lunch.

Matukad Island

There are a lot of people when we got there.Looks like most tourists were having their lunch in the island. We prepared our food and ate our lunch.

steamed alimango

There is also a secret lagoon that can be found behind these rocks and you have to climb to get to the other side. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to climb cause I only have my slippers and the rock edges were too sharp.

We visited two more islands and decided to call it a day because we were so tired. When we got back to Paniman beach, we took a tricycle back to the hotel. We had dinner at Lutong Bahay because that's the closest to the inn.

We woke up early the next day to catch the earliest trip back to Sabang. We had "Pansit Bato", one of the common breakfasts that they have in the island. Tastes like the normal pancit canton but the texture of the noodles is different.

Pansit Bato

Caramoan Port
When we reached Sabang, there are vans there directly to SM Naga P90.00. We checked in at CBD Plaza Hotel, we got our room for P1300/night. The good thing is that the hotel is near SM Naga and in front of the bus terminal so the pasalubong shops are just across the street.

After we checked in, we left our things at the hotel and had lunch at SM Naga. I was pretty excited to go to CWC because I really wanted to try wakeboarding.

From the hotel, you can either ride a cab to CWC P300 or take a bus bound to Pili and ask the driver to drop you off to CWC then take a tricycle, P50.00 for special trips.

Flop move.Right leg stretched

We went back to Manila the next day. We just took a tricycle to the airport to save, trike to airport from SM Naga P150.00