Category Archives: gastronomic feast

capital hanoi

this is the first of a series of blogs about my travel to the rising star in south east asia, vietnam.

after singapore in 2011, i did not expect that it would be soon that i will have another international trip this year. my partner and I have already decided a month before our said  trip not to push through because of personal concerns. but, eventually through our modern day angel, we made it to our second asian trip.

from cebu, we traveled to tagbilaran and stayed overnight before leaving for manila to hanoi. you might be surprised why we needed to go to bohol and travel to manila and not directly from cebu to manila instead. well, the package tour includes this trip, where 21 out of the 23 travelers are from bohol (majority are from the dumaluan clan). it was one way for us to know the other members of the dumaluan family, mostly the third generation. we were also travelling with rev. fr. jonas and rev. fr. butch – who are also very close to the family of doc mimi and doc doyet dumaluan. mind you, traveling abroad with this great number is super fun.

arriving in hanoi, the capital and second largest city of vietnam, we were greeted by our heart-warming vietnamese tour guide named ‘junie.’  due to the influence of the europeans, they actually have that accent combined with their vietnamese language. hearing them speak is something new to my system but was able to understand eventually.

on our way to the hotel, i noticed zones ready for industrialization and commercialization, similar to our reclamation areas in the philippines. i also saw motorcycles bringing loads of beautiful flowers to the their flower market early morning. the famous vietnamese hats are also worn by both men and women with their traditional vietnamese wardrobes. when we reached our hotel, there were people eating and drinking by the streets while minching on vegetables and seafoods. they sat on small individual chairs almost touching the ground. this is similar to the ‘pungko-pungko’ style of eating in cebu.

to be continued…


tarsier paprika

before leaving for vietnam, we had breaksfast planned by doc mimi together with judge bing, doc jet, rev. father and me of course at  the newly opened “tarsier paprika” restaurant of “tarsier botanika” in panglao island in bohol, philippines. we did not actually have any reservations but we were accomodated. they served us with their yummy continental breakfast plus a breathtaking view of the sea that is just picture perfect. this is the place of my dream house. how I wish?!

i once featured tarsier botanika in my blog. it offers a different experience to the usual beach goers of the famous panglao island, known for its sandy white beaches and abundant marine life. from the casual café offering, it now has tarsier paprika restaurant that recently opened, to accommodate the fine dining market.

the restaurant is situated on a cliff overlooking the ocean which gives you an amazing view of the serene blue waters combined with the sumptuous international cuisine to give you an unforgettable dining experience. made from the freshest local ingredients, herbs and spices, of which are grown in their own organic gardens, the creative french chef creates the best dishes that soothes your palates.

when you plan to have your vacation in bohol and or visit the next time, don’t forget to dine in “tarsier paprika.”

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beautiful b…

i told you, bohol will always be my second home. i will never ran out of beautiful places and experiences to feature in this beautiful island. we went to bohol, exactly a week ago, to visit our good and great family of doc mimi and doc doyet and to attend the wedding of jet’s batchmate in medicine. despite the busy schedule, doc mimi treated us to a sumptuous buffet breakfast at the lamian world cuisine of the newly opened bellevue resort in panglao island, bohol, philippines. its unusual for me to wake up that early and take buffet for breakfast but that was an offer i just couldn’t resist. with this new addition to panglao’s list of three to five-star hotels and resorts, i was not disappointed to see bellevue. hope we will be back to experience staying in the hotel. until the next feature…

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philosophy bank

zig ziglar once said, ‘the most practical, beautiful, workable philosophy in the world won’t work – if you won’t.’ i concur.

i would say that along my journey in life, i have acquired a lot of philosophies – from the people i met, the books i read, the learning in a practical day, to the lessons from neither good nor bad experiences and a whole bunch more. to make them work, i digest some of these philosophies and apply it to my life while i simply drop off the others in “my philosophy bank” when i believe it is not applicable for the moment.

you maybe wondering why i have a lot? well, that is also my philosophy. i do not limit myself to just one. for me, different situations entail different approaches. being versatile, sensitive and wise are keys to live harmoniously in this world.

its not too late. save philosophies now.

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can’t forget

i really can’t forget my first travel abroad. i was very, very excited to travel to singapore – super excited to experience the culture and fun with my partner and our close family. at last, my passport would have a stamped international travel – i am now a certified international traveler. i never stopped smiling from mactan international airport in cebu to changi airport in singapore – you are greeted by this modern and spacious architecture of the airport with their great customer service from their immigration officers. you really can feel that you are being welcomed and taken cared-of. this country has just a lot to offer to tourists like me. not to mention the most famous universal studios, sentosa island parks, singapore flyer, marina bay sands, singapore river, shopping malls and a whole lot more.

singapore is a multi-racial country. it has a diverse culture despite its small size. the largest group are the chinese with about 75% of the population. the malays, comprised of descendants of singapore’s original inhabitants as well as the migrants from present day malaysia, indonesia and brunei, is 14% while the indians on the other hand form about 9% of the population. the remainder is a mix of many other cultures, most notably the eurasians who are of mixed european and asian descent, and also a handful of filipinos, burmese, japanese, thais and many others.

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we stayed at carlton hotel in bras basah road, singapore for 3 days & 2 nights. i was not able to explore so much with the hotel because we were out the whole day. but the room is good and our location is just stunning – amazing view of the metropolis especially during the night.

the double decker was also a great highlight of our activity. i thought that its only available in europe but it was just infront of me. we rode the double deckers thru duck tours while touring around the city.

sentosa island was another admirable place. i wish we had one in cebu where mactan island is. but anyways, we went to “underwater world singapore” where you can see a live museum of marine life plus and interactive ocean adventure with the dolphins and seals in another location. i also experienced riding the skyline luge in siloso. then, the highlight was the “songs of the sea” show featuring pyrotechnics, water jets and laser synchronized with lively music and cast.

and who would never forget “universal studios.” this is the place to be when you are in singapore. the adventure never stops. riding the carousel with the “madagascar” movie themed ride transported me back to my childhood. then off to a slight adventurous roller coaster in the “far far away land” where i got to meet the ogre and princess fiona in person. they were just an awesome couple. afterwards was the exciting 4d movie in the castle. that was not enough. we rode the jurassic park themed water adventure ride where we get to see the dinosaurs before civilization. i got wet. good thing, i wore my board shorts. we crossed to the ancient egypt themed adventure with “the mummy returns” indoor roller coaster. this was a very good ride. fresh from the turning and pushing the coaster, we went to a high risk adventure in sci-fi city. they actually have two kinds of roller coaster. the first one, your feet is grounded to the floor while the other one is hanged. i just don’t know what to expect from this ride. i know this is different but i tried the one on the floor first. i rode it twice and moved to a more extreme ride which keeps your foot hanging while your body is securely attached. it was an awesome ride. imagine being inverted for how many times in approximately 3 minutes. it was once in a lifetime. i just love death defying adventures.

now, to cool down, we went to a studio and met my idol, charlie chaplin. I was overwhelmed to see him there. he looked exactly the same with the black and white film artist. we also watched a mini-concert in an 80’s themed bar along the rode. glad to see filipino artist strutting their talents on stage. and of course the infamous “betty boop” who was all the way smiling when we had our picture with her.

three days was not enough to cover the interesting places in singapore. riding the singapore flyer, i observed how industrialized this country is, able to balance advanced technology with modern lifestyle and tradition.

thank you very much doc mimi and doc doyet and of course to my beloved partner, you all made this trip possible. i love you all.

rafael’s farm

rafael’s farm restaurant and park is a 30 minute drive from tacloban city, located in brgy. pagsulhugon, babatngon, leyte province, philippines. this is truly leyte’s hidden treasure and pride. a relaxing and cozy place that is truly filipino in design. their sumptuous and rare filipino dishes, ala leyte style, are for you to taste and feast.

i would never forget having the wild boar which I have never tasted in my entire life until that time. it was really yummy. you would not expect that pork tasted that way. its organic pork.

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the next time you visit tacloban city, don’t forget rafael’s farm in your itinerary. its worth the trip. its a must…

philippe tarsier…

bohol feature #2, philippe tarsier resort.

philippe tarsier is a tropical botanical garden located in the tranquil island of panglao, bohol, part of the visayas region in the philippines. a dwelling place for nature’s  beauty and sobriety. a unique way to experience bounty in the island.

philippe tarsier has a botanical garden, museum and cafe/restaurant. this resort concept were created by patricia and nicolas moussempes.

the experience in this resort is quite unique simply because you would not expect something like this in the middle of an island, known for its sunny white beaches and abundant marine life. we toured around the resort in the morning and had a luscious lunch served by tarsier exotika.

*photos courtesy of dr. dorothy dumaluan

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gentle giants…

the whale shark or popularly known as the “butanding” in the philippines is a great treasure.

the “butanding” in donsol, sorsogon gained popularity when local and international media featured them in news and documentaries years ago. they are visible in open waters around the archipelago, where there is an abundant supply of planktons, though not exclusively their main source of food, which are microscopic plants and animals.

late last year, there was media hype again, when dive enthusiasts started to blog about their encounters with these gentle giants in oslob, cebu. a sudden flock of tourists went to the area and came close and personal with them.

with so much curiosity and excitement, me and my friends agreed to spend one weekend down south for this adventure. we went on a “joy ride”  late saturday morning, courtesy of my partner’s car.

to make our trip worthwhile, we stayed overnight in a barangay resort in alcoy. our accomodation is good, secured and very affordable. the resort is managed by the local government. during the eve of the “butanding” encounter, we partied and went night swimming.

alcoy is popular for their golden sandy beaches, which is around 25 minutes away from oslob – the “butanding” destination.

in the dusk of dawn, we packed and speed up to oslob before sunrise came. in anticipation, there were already groups tenting around the area, waiting to be accomodated first in the line, when we arrived in the vicinity.

as we were seated comfortably facing the sea, we were glorified by the majestic opening of the curtains — which is the sunrise! always delighted to see this miracle all the time.

just in time and “wholaaaa,” we went off to the sea for the encounter.

it is overwhelming to see this creature, that is so big but yet very gentle. i never hesitated to jump from the “bangka,” to witness how this whale shark glides beautifully in water.

aside from dolphins, i like whale sharks too, now…

i am naturally a beach lover and so much more in love being with these friendly sea creatures — respecting, communing and enjoying life together.

* most of these images were taken by a good friend of mine, with so much talent and passion in photography, ms. faye seña.

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truly blue…

as promised, this is the first of a series of blogs about my adventures in bohol.  first stop, panglao bluewaters beach resort.

bluewaters resort is known for their first class service and facilities. they first opened in the island of mactan in cebu, with bluewaters maribago. and in the serene island of sumilon in oslob, south of cebu, lies bluewaters sumilon.

bluewaters opened up their third resort, nestled in the heart of panglao island, bohol, philippines.

panglao island is one of the most beautiful beaches in the philippines and the world. it is home to abundant marine biodiversity and sandy white beaches, stretching almost around the island.

bluewaters panglao is a 50 hectare, 50 room resort, complemented by its classy, modern  and proudly world-class filipino architectural design that boost up your stay in this tranquil island, complete with its warm “bol-anon” (bohol locals) hospitality, superior food and excellent service. indeed, this makes them truly blue.

*photos courtesy of kurt nazareno and dr. dorothy dumaluan – thank you so much!

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natal day…

“and in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. it’s the life in your years” — abraham lincoln.

today marks another chapter in my life. another year of adventure and celebration. creating a difference in this world. i thank you Lord for the gift to see, hear, smell, run, walk, swim, dive, fly, dance, feel, sing, breathe and everything i have in life.

i thank you Lord for this borrowed time. i thank You for bringing me into this world.

celebrating life each and every moment…

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cool bicol…

since i was a kid, i always wanted to see the world famous mayon volcano, renowed as the “perfect cone” because of its symmetric conical shape.

its been more than 25 years now, since i first read this on books and saw it on postcards. i am just fascinated by its true beauty when i got the opportunity to see mayon up close and personal.

+ had a comfortable stay at hotel st. ellis, dined in the popular “small talk” restaurant, serving the sumptuous bicolano food, zipped line fronting mayon, chili ice cream as dessert and many more.

*** overall, the trip was great.

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funtastic medellin…

this is my first blog about the queen city of southern philippines, cebu.

i had so much fun with my colleagues during our team bonding activity in the coastal town of medellin, cebu.

more features about my hometown in the upcoming posts.

+stayed in “sea horse beach resort” (good, clean and economical – you can actually cook)

*** overall, the stay is good. the beach is not crowded. travel to gibitngil island was the highlight of the activity.

photos courtesy of la verne salas and christine jarina.

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bohol escapade…

bohol is my second home. i always find time to travel there. the sandy white beaches, the delectable food and the genial people most importantly, make my every visit unforgettable.

this commences a series of blogs about my bohol experience.

photos featuring panglao bluewaters beach resort, tarsier exotika, bophus resort and panglao red palm resort.

***** 5 stars for bohol all the time.

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happy shadows…

my best friend, my inspiration, the love of my life. you made a significant difference. you bring out the best in me, each and every day.

thank you for creating your world with me…

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curious, discover…

i am very curious by nature. i always believe that there is something new to discover and learn every single moment. i crave for more information.

my blog talks about my daily adventures, travels, gastronomic trips, shoes, people, technology, politics and a lot more.

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