Travel theme: Inviting

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I miss joining Where’s my backpack’s weekly travel theme posts and am so excited to join back in the fun! This week’s challenge is Inviting. It’s my turn to show what makes a place so inviting for me. And since I live in tropical Philippines, it’s natural for me to find the beach inviting, especially during summer time. These are some of the views that I always look forward to in the summer and the memories that keep me sane in the rainy days.

Buri Resort, Mindoro – this was my first escapade place last summer and the ambiance of the place just blew me away. The log houses overlooking the pool and the ocean is an awesome place to stay and remove all the stress from the busy city.

Refreshing pool at Buri Resort, Mindoro

Refreshing pool at Buri Resort, Mindoro

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Big Appetites Only: Surfin’ Ribs

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In the 3 years that I’ve been regularly visiting my team in Cebu, almost always we have a go-to, famous ribs place at the Ayala Terraces for our ribs craving. So whenever I will have family or friends visiting with me, that’s where I would bring them.Only today did I experience another ribs place that might just top the other one. On the outskirts of Ayala, at Escario St. is Surfin’ Ribs. A humble, little restaurant that offers a huge slab of ribs for only Php169. A whopping 169 pesos! (about $4)

Surfin' Ribs

Entrance of Surfin’ Ribs

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Travel Theme: Beaches

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The Philippines boasts of having a lot of beaches – from white sandy beaches to pink shorelines. That’s why I became so excited with this week’s travel theme. Here are some of the beaches I’ve been to in my homeland 🙂

 

Boracay Island, Aklan

This shot was taken last 2008, before Daddy Bunny and I got married. Boracay’s white sand is famous worldwide and they have these huge sand castles at night that add up to the island’s views.

Boracay 2008

Boracay 2008

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

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This week’s photo challenge is all about showing a photo that says FUTURE TENSE to me.

Sunset

I took this photo of the sunset at Cordova, Cebu the last time I went to visit my team there. We had dinner at Lantaw Floating Restaurant and this breathtaking sunset was the highlight of our day. To others, a sunset might mean that another day is ending, but personally I feel that it can also be a beginning…

A beginning of the coming night.

A perfect time to spend quiet and special moments with our loved ones.

And a promise that a new day is coming. A promise that tomorrow will bring new opportunities, new chances and a fresh start.

An Intimate Hideaway: Costa De Leticia Resort

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Our recent team outing brought us to the Southern part of Cebu. After a three-hour drive from the city, we arrived at Costa De Leticia Resort in Alegria, Cebu and discovered that we had the entire place to ourselves. It was paradise!

Little Paradise

The resort actually has a small land area but they were able to maximize the space. Their facilities include a common room that has 2 sets of couch where you can just relax and read a book (if you just want to stay indoors); an outdoor dining area; a function room at the basement; garden and swimming pool. Their garden has an ample space for lounging around and even some drinking session under the moon and stars. The main house is really like a rest house so you will feel very at home with the place. There were different types of rooms that can accommodate honeymooners, families or the entire barkada.

The House

The House

There are several things that I really liked about the place.

1. The entire place is clean. Their bed rooms and even the rest rooms are well kept. Even their pool has clear waters and you will really enjoy swimming.

The Pool

The Pool

2. I love the little details and decors that you can see everywhere. You will see that the owners put effort in making their place appealing to the guests. They have a piano in the main living area that anyone can play. Little trinkets and figurines are all over the house and even in the garden. It just exudes a very homey vibe that will make you more relaxed and at peace.

Cute cats on a door

Cute cats on a door

3. Our room was fit for a princess! Purple satin sheets, big beds, fluffy pillows. Kulang na lang four-poster bed. 🙂

Our Room

Our Room

4. For such a small place, there are a lot of service crew. So someone is handy whenever we need anything. Talk about great service.

5. We never had issues with communications during the reservation process and even in payments. They even accept credit card payment so this helped us a lot as well.

6. Oh, and they have free wi-fi. Score! 🙂

I don’t have any negative experience with the place and I only have 3 minor areas of improvement:

1. Their function room is located at the basement. And there is very little to no mobile network signal at all. Imagine if you are in a conference or retreat and you will get to spend the whole day in the function room. You cannot be reached in case there’s an emergency.

2. Their food is okay but not really great. Well, we still get full so that’s still fine.

3. Their karaoke system is set up in the function room. The function room closes at 10pm. So karaoke happiness was cut short. ’nuff said.

All in all, I had a really great time spending the weekend with my team in this little paradise. It is a good place to chill with your barkada or just for some quality time with your special someone. The place is a perfect hideaway. If I’ll have a chance, I would definitely go back to Costa De Leticia. 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban

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I’ve been travelling to Cebu for work for more than 2 years now and I always look forward to my trips. Apart from being able to visit different beach resorts such as in Camotes and Sumilon, I find the work environment more laid back compared to Manila. Despite business and I.T. parks booming within the city, there’s still this rural feel. For this week’s photo challenge, they described Urban photography as something about documenting urban living space and how people adapt their environment to certain needs and vice versa.

I initially thought of featuring our home, it being at the heart of Quezon City’s entertainment district, but decided to feature the city that I is close to my heart.

As I said, I still feel that I’m in the province whenever I visit Cebu even if there are a lot of malls, restaurants and business districts that  closely resembles it to Metro Manila. It is one of the factors that still draws me every time. This shot was taken while we were on a “city tour” with my team mates. The rural feel to this is apparent to the old buildings and trucks and jeepneys on the road. There’s no fancy SUVs. No high rise buildings.

To Mandaue City

One of our offices is located at the Cebu Business Park and the buildings blend gracefully with the grass and trees. Walking from the hotel to the office is such as breeze when you have a view like this.

Pioneer House

Cebu is really urbanized that even our company is still growing its presence in the area. Definitely a mark of how people and cities adapt to changes and demand of the businesses.

Be Greater Than

Temple Yoga

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One of my colleagues in Cebu recently started attending yoga classes. When I was there last June I got the chance to attend one. But it wasn’t just an ordinary yoga class. It was a yoga and meditation class that will be held in a Buddhist temple, the very first time that the Surya Nanda Yoga studio organized.

Temple Yoga Invitation

Temple Yoga Invitation

It looks to be a promising experience so despite our tired bodies (coming from an outing the day before), we woke up early Sunday morning to attend the yoga class. There were a lot of participants, ranging from the young to the senior citizens and with different yoga experiences. Newbies like us and veteran yoga practitioners all joined together in a one-hour sweat-inducing, body-flexing yoga class.

Yoga attendees

While waiting for the class to start. Once it started, the temple was filled with participants.

After the yoga, we immersed in a 30-minute meditation with Mr. Erwin Go from the Chu Un temple. It was a very relaxing experience and something that we can all practice in our daily routines.

Inside the temple

You can pick one spot to look at when meditating, like the corner post in front of the temple

The registration fee of Php 200 included a vegetarian breakfast after the yoga and meditation session. We all feasted on tofu, mushrooms and fruits. It was a different breakfast spread from the usual tapsilog and tosilog but it was a great way to end the program. We went home with a clearer mind and a happy tummy.

Vegetarian breakfast

Vegetarian breakfast

I was able to talk with Ms. Jean Torrefranca, one of the owners of Surya Nanda studio and she mentioned that their group frequents the meditation sessions of Mr. Go every Thursday nights. Their yoga studio is less than a year old but their classes are always full, according to my colleague who goes there. Even doctors and lawyers who are regulars in the yoga classes mentioned that yoga helps them in their cases by clearing their minds and bodies. Surya Nanda’s yoga classes are also way cheaper than in Manila which makes me wish it was also that affordable here. If it is, I’ll be sure to go weekly.

All in all it was a great experience and something that I will try again soon when there’s an opportunity.

Chu Un Buddhist Temple

Chu Un Buddhist Temple