Boracay, Rain, Booze and Clubs

Ok, so Boracay was going to be my vacation beach destination for the year.  Taking advantage of Cebu Pacific’s promo flights and following a friend’s booked flight schedule, the rest of us booked a trip to Boracay the 1st week of September.

We left on a Saturday bound for Iloilo and touched down around 9am.  Upon arrival at the airport, we took a map from their tourist information desk and rode a van to take us to SM. There was a Ted’s near SM so we ate Batchoy, Iloilo’s specialty for breakfast and took some pictures of the sights outside the restaurant.  I took a shot of an old tower from afar which was infront of a church because I was too lazy to go any nearer under the heat of the sun.  Once everyone was done with the short sightseeing, we took a jeep going to the bus terminal.  It was a long 5 hour bus ride to Caticlan.  I felt a little nauseous so I slept almost the entire trip.  We arrived the jetty port terminal around 4pm and it was bustling with local and foreign tourists.  We were also surprised that the Terminal Fee has become 100 pesos already and since it looked cloudy and was windy, we took the Fastcraft to allay our fears of riding a smaller banca with strong currents.  The Fastcraft was big, airconditioned and clean which made the ride comfortable and worth its 50 peso fare.

Upon arriving at the Boracay port, we took a tricycle to Station 1 and headed to Bans Beach Resort.   They have a big compound with an open space in the middle of the resort houses which made it relaxing and soothing in the eyes.  Their rooms were clean, well-maintained and spacious which made me very happy and satisfied.

We spent all our nights in Boracay drinking which drained my pocket at 70-80 pesos per bottle.  Whew.  But what fun we had!  My favorite haunt were Epic and Summer Place.  They’re not too far, nor too big, just enough for one to get around and spot people to dance with.  They were full of local and foreign tourists looking to party, which I think mostly was Koreans as when Gungam Style was played, they all sang, bobbed their heads and headed to the dance floor.  This song can really stick to your head!

Days were spent sleeping until lunch time as we always went home before sunrise.  Late afternoons was spent swimming and lazing around the beach.  Ole is a restaurant worth mentioning.  Their Fajitas was darn good!  Red Coconut coffee was good too.  The sweetness of coconut complemented the bitterness of coffee.  We were also offered a free buffet at Astoria, but be warned, you need to sit down with them after and listen to their sales talk for around 90 minutes.  Well I guess it was worth it, considering it was free and we had nothing better to do early in the evening.

I can’t talk about other water activities as our money were all spent on booze and food.  And when in your late 30’s,  you can’t party all night and wake up early to do more activities.  We need our sleep!

It was a fun trip, it was my birthday, we got wet in the rain a couple of times, partied, ate like kings and enjoyed the water and the beach.  What more can you ask for?


I bleed for you like a new tattoo

Local rock fans can certainly recognize the line “I bleed for you like a new tattoo”   which was made popular by a then unknown Cebu indie band Urban Dub which has already made it big because of this album.  The song came to mind when I got inked with my 2nd tattoo which was borne out of wanting something that would remind me of what I usually lack when I feel lost in this game called life.

I got acquainted with the tattoo artist because of my sibling who got her 1st tattoo recently.  With some prodding to add a new one, I finally chose the Kanji script for Faith/Believe,  thinking that as it would be a part of my body for the rest of my life, I should choose something relevant for myself that should be applicable until I’m in my death bed.

I kind of forgot how it hurt the 1st time I got inked and was kind of biting my lip as the tattoo artist started outlining the script.  Then after a few minutes, my body  adjusted to the pain.  20 minutes later he was done.  I got the usual inflammation which was a reminder for me that I couldn’t get a half-sleeve inked on my arm as that would be one painful recovery phase for me because I have this hyper-sensitivity in my skin that traumatizes easily.

It’s been a week now and as I write this at home in Davao Imperial Hotel, my small tattoo has been steadily healing.  I can see the scabs fall off and by next week I could hit the beach again!

Sigabuy camping

It’s hard to turn down an invitation to go the beach.  Much more so if you’re going to a remote spot where the water is pristine, the sand is white, the fish is fresh from the water, there’s no cellphone signal to bother you and you have the beach for yourself.  As soon as I was told the destination was Sigabuy, I was good to go!

It was around a 4 hour drive from Davao City with one breakfast stop of around 20 minutes at Jollibee Tagum.  The road to Davao Oriental was a mixture of concrete, asphalt, and paved dirt roads.  To sum it up, it was a good ride despite the road development, in a year or so, the road to Sigabuy would all be concrete.

The scenery was breath taking when we arrived.   The clear blue water you could see and gentle waves rushing you could hear is heaven.  We then pitched our tents in a spot under a tree and set up the cooler and foldable chairs and table.  As soon as the chores were done, we were swimming in the water.  The fine white sand in the beach is also what you can step on in the water.  No aqua shoes, slippers or sandals needed to enjoy your swim.

There’s only so much you can do in the beach if you’re not going to go under water diving or snorkeling.  So naturally, what we did was to eat grilled fish and drink alcohol.  Before the sunset, we dipped in the water again because it’s hard to swim when it’s pitch dark and inebriated.  After dinner, we dozed off.  There was rain, but the tent kept us dry.

The next morning, we had a simple breakfast, dipped in the water some more as our last goodbye and freshened up.  Time to go back to the real world folks.  The ride to Davao City was smooth as well.  I must have reached Davao Imperial Hotel around 4pm.  There was little traffic in the city because of a motorcade.  It must be part of the Kadayawan festivities.  I also felt a bit sad for our fellowmen in Manila when I checked the latest news.  They are literally underwater.  This is a constant reminder not to mess with Mother Nature.  Going green, reduce, reuse and recycling, effective urban planning and whole lot more needs to be done in this country.  Sigh.  Anyway, hope everyone is having a happy Kadayawan!

Kadayawan 2012 – Street Pic

 I decided to take a walk yesterday for my cardio exercise and ended up in San Pedro Street where I couldn’t help but notice the buntings that hung over the street.  They looked good and certainly helped bring in the vibe of the Kadayawan festival this month.

San Pedro Street is a good 10 minute walk from Davao Imperial Hotel.  This part of the city is where trading of various kinds of goods abound.  From ukay-ukay to general merchandise to DVD’s to tailoring to eye glasses and anything you can imagine of, it’s there.  My cardio work-out for the day turned out to be an impromptu sight-seeing as I don’t usually wander in these streets because work doesn’t bring me here often.  I also saw a place to buy and eat durian at the corner of JP Rizal and Inigo Street and was reminded that durian is in season.  I’d love to eat one again one of these days.  I came home at the Davao Imperial Hotel around 45 minutes of walking and sight seeing.  It was a good afternoon.  Thank God for simple pleasures.

Kadayawan 2012, a Davao City festival


Photograb from Props goes to the photographer

It’s August once more and time for  Davao City’s annual Kadayawan festival.  Kadayawan is derived from the Mandaya term “madayaw”, which means   valuable, superior or beautiful and used as a greeting.  Today,  it’s loosely used in the urban language as an expression that something is of value or beautiful.

This month long festival, used as an excuse to party endlessly during my younger years has been replaced with my desire to learn about our culture more.  And I was more than happy to discover that the city has a comprehensive website that lists all the great activities the city has to offer at

We will be expecting droves of tourists in this month long festival to experience Kadayawan, party, go beach hopping, water rafting and to seek a new adventure.  See you here in Davao guys!   And for those who are budget conscious, we hope to see you here at the Davao Imperial Hotel.