Category Archives: shoes

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…

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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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more liberating

last weekend, I travelled to bohol together with the alfon and the berdin’s.

other than the usual popular scenic spots tour in bohol, one of the itinerary for the three-day vacation was to go to e.a.t. danao or the extreme/eco/educational adventure tour. the ecotourism concept is set-up to benefit the municipality of danao, bohol and its people. a local government unit initiated and managed facility with a huge nature park. the area used to be the base camp of the revered boholano hero, francisco dagohoy, who led the longest philippine revolutionary movement according to history.

it was one of the wish list by the nieces of jet to experience the thrilling outdoor adventures namely; suislide, caving, river tubing and the plunge to name a few. But since we only have a limited time, the girls opted to have the “suislide”  while I and jet chose the “plunge” (we already have tried the suislide four years ago – still in e.a.t. danao).

suislide is basically a zip-line consisting of a pulley suspended on a cable mounted on an incline cliff. the suislide has two lines, going forth and back. its starting point is parallel to the sky ride and plunge’s height. suislide is the local version for zipline, a sky ride or a slide for life. sui-slide is coined from the word, “suis“ (the sound of the cable ride once you get to slide) and “slide”. it could also mean for some who is so much petrified with heights to be a suicidal slide. it traverses around half a kilometer from one mountain to another, taking you to less than a minute exhilarating ride.

the plunge is a canyon swing adventure attraction mounted over a 200 meter high and 300 meter wide gorge. a person would have to do a 45 meters free fall before being launched on a pendulum swing measuring to a hundred meter diameter. cable has a maximum working load of 5 tons. now longer (70 meters) more fear some.

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for me, the “plunge” is the best “fear factor” experience amongst the adventures offered. the plunge was even more nerve-racking compared to the suislide. you have to plunge or literally drop to an open air helpless (but the harness is there).  you fall with too much speed making you hold on to your breath involuntarily. before jumping in to the bridge with my feet up, like bungee jumping (aka spiderman), i convinced myself that this is just easy for me. i have tried the roller coasters in universal studios singapore, where you are reversed a couple of times in mid-air as if you fall together with the other riders which was exhilarating. but the plunge is way different – you are just on your own.

others chose not to try these types of adventures because they are afraid. what if? what if? what if something would happen along the way? i respect their choices. to each is own. well, i also have my own fears, but i chose to face them. this is one way for me to overcome my fear of any kind – to overcome stumbling blocks so that when the real situation comes, you are prepared.

this experience made appreciate my life more. its actually more than liberating. its bliss!

fun run

last september 30, 2012, i participated in the 36th milo marathon in tagbilaran city, bohol together with doyet, mimi, jet, dave and miguel. we actually made this part of the vacation bonding and running with our favorite family in bohol, the dumaluans.

i am one with the advocacy of milo giving away running shoes to the underprivileged children. a portion of the registration fee is allotted to the advocacy.

until the next milo marathon.

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friday madness

since the time i worked with lexmark almost four years ago, there is something crazy about friday’s in the office. everyone’s just very high.

endorphins come out naturally in our system because we are very excited with our two-day off after a long and grueling five-day work week. we always look forward to spend quality time with our family and or bond with friends, shop or window shop in the mall, watch our favorite movie in the cinema, travel locally or abroad and a lot more. we just want to relax in any way we can. we all need time to recharge.

friday is also the time to evaluate myself and plan for next week’s work.

happy weekend everyone!

@verne – thank you for the pix

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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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simply biking…

we went to bohol over the weekend and spent sometime with the kids of mimi and doyet who were actually in new zealand for a convention during that time. we had so much fun and time with them. mimi and doyet are no stranger to us. they treated us just like their family. the couple is very, very good and humble people despite their status in life. so, here are our some of the pictures in our biking adventure in bohol.

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around leyte…

hopefully, this would not be my last blog about leyte. i previously featured the san juanico bridge, the leyte landing memorial and rafael’s farm. now, i will be covering the famous leyte park resort, leyte provincial capitol, pino restaurant and the newly opened “the oriental” hotel through my lens.

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love all…

i enjoy swimming, running and biking. these sports will qualify me in becoming a triathlete. though, i have plans of undergoing extensive training in these three, i set that aside for the meantime because, i just love playing badminton.

playing badminton has a different feel for me. the adrenaline rush i experience is just awesome, especially when you play with an opponent who is equally talented as you are. badminton is just breath catching and i enjoy it a lot. unknowingly, i am able to apply my background in ballet and contemporary dancing thru my leaps, turns, footwork and stamina, combined with my strong arms from working-out, i hit the shuttle cock with grace.

most recently, i just wondered why the scoring term in badminton starts with a “love all.” in this twenty-one point rally system, who reaches ten first will have a “love” score as well. i just realized that whoever made this scoring system is reminding the players to love one another in accordance with the rules and regulations set for whoever wins or loses the game. this is “love” for the true essence of sportsmanship. indeed, when you actually join a sport, its not just competing with your opponents. its conquering yourself more for the better and the best.

i would someday become a good triathlete. this is in my bucket list. but badminton came in as a surprise. i really never meant to be damn serious with this.  i believe i started playing this game with people who have so much love to give and were able to encourage me to excel. they were a good support seven years ago and until now. from then, i never stopped playing. i would say that it’s a game full of love because it reminds you all the time even from the start and in the middle of the game to stay humble and be loved.

love not just one. love all.

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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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leyte landing

the leyte landing memorial is in honor of general douglas mac arthur and his men located in barangay candahug, palo, leyte in the visayas region, philippines. the memorial consists of oversized bronze statues of the general and his men, including the former philippine president sergio osmeña jr., standing on a manmade pool. this is a tribute to mac arthur fulfilling his promise to return to the philippines  last october 20, 1944 after the japanese occupation in 1942 during world war 2. commemoration and reenactment events are organized annually by the local government and is being attended by national and foreign dignitaries.

thank you papa rey, doc mimi and doc doyet. thank you pangga.

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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.

manoy porting

“maajong pag-abut!,” (bohol dialect) which means “welcome,” were the first uttered words from the fifty plus year old manoy porting when we arrived in the made shift port assembly area for paddle boats en route the mysterious ‘lamanok island’ in anda, bohol, philippines.

mr. fortunato “porting” simbahon was our unforgettable tourist guide in our trip to the island. he shared with us a very infortaining (informative and entertaining) storytelling about lamanok. that is why he is the most sought tourist guide of anda local tourism.

manoy porting started to be a professional tourist guide when he grabbed the opportunity  to be a local guide offered by the government to boost up local tourism. he participated in the workshop conducted by the government of anda in partnership with the department of tourism. With no formal education, this was never a hindrance to him. he is even glad to support and able contribute to the government in whatever way he can.

manoy porting gives you trivia’s, centuries-old stories and myths that he passionately communicate with tourists. there was never a single lull moment when he starts opening his mouth. he combines the information he got from the teachers and shamans and shares it during tour guides. he says his stories mainly focus on the life villagers, fishermen, and fellow protectors of the natural beauty of anda. but, whatever stories he tell, he always say a disclaimer to all the invalidated information so as not to create confusion to history. these stories are meant to inspire everyone to take care of the environment so as to take care of our future.

lamanok island

anda is the cradle of civilization in the philippines, as claimed by some individuals. they believed that people lived there during the paleolithic era. this is evident in lamanok island in anda, bohol where you would find paleolitic paintings on cliffs and prehistoric bones to name a few.

the travel from the main land to lamanok island took us more or less 15 minutes. the group of fishermen entertained us with the local songs thru their guitar and harmonica while on the boat. the women also sang while throwing petals to the sea. plus, I will never forget their dog barking in melodic harmony with them. the whole experience was just awesome.

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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…

san juanico

another dream come true. i have gone to the longest bridge in the philippines (spanning a body of seawater) and considered to be of the most beautifully designed of all time in the country, the san juanico bridge. this magnificent structure stretches from two main lands, samar to leyte across the san juanico strait in the philippines. medium size boats can pass beneath its large main arch the top of which rises 41 meters above the sea.

eastern visayas is close to my heart. this is where my father was born. he comes from palompon, leyte. some of my siblings and my parents have already crossed this bridge when i was still young or long before i was born. i am just so glad to be in san juanico bridge at last.

i simply love the philippines. there is so much to discover and explore. come join 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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