Western Visayas Day 3 (#wvtrip): underwear and OC-ness

While I just realized that the best investment in long trips is UNDERWEAR, Mark wanted to change our ferry schedule which was booked in advance upon his request which I thought was not practical. But then I could not argue because my reason was only based on hunch, while he’s OC like that.

Probably another reason why I had this hesitation of this long road trip because i feel it’s not compatible with Mark’s “controlling” and OC personality. There’s just too many variables that cannot be under his control. And, it could mean handling the crap when things won’t work on his will on top of the 3 kids who also has each own will.
Anyhow, i had the chance to run on a sugarcane farm early in the morning. Nature’s Village Resort was like in between a farm, and growing concrete jungle. So I felt lucky that I witnessed the farm scene before it became so urbanized.
(This was probably a mansion of some haciendero I passed by beside the farm.)


Nature’s Village Resort was a sweetheart based on my standards. It has that boutique hotel feel, or maybe it’s really one.
On the other side of the resort is what seemed to look like an empty business park. I saw a few runners doing their morning routine.

After the “charming” scene at the resort, this was then my scene.

(Montenegro shipping)

I had to suck it up for 2 hours here hoping to get a chance passenger slot for an earlier schedule to Dumanggas, Iloilo because our booked sched was 4pm. And mark decided to go straight to Kalibo instead of staying overnight at Iloilo. This is what I meant by crap when things don’t go according to Mark’s plan. But hey, I’m not complaining because thankfully my personality is “i won’t mind setting aimlessly for hours and get nothing out of it because it’s a perfect time to just watch life pass me by.”

After 2 hours nothing happened; we still had no chance at being chance passenger. So we rewarded myself with best chicken inasal at Manokan Country. 

Manokan country is like “larsian” in Cebu or kind of a “hawker” with stalls after stalls of restos serving grilled chicken. 

Honestly, i prefer the Cebu flavor of grilled chicken which is more on the sweet side. The Bacolod style is I think more healthy because it’s on the soysauce-calamansi taste.

Then went to SM to kill more time. “If only i insisted with my hunch though…”
Finally, we got on board but it was without a hitch. The “ticket master” questioned our receipt which came from Cebu. It was fine to be questioned but he was kind of rude. So there, I had to handle that crap again by looking innocent-bordeing-to-dumb to the rude guy. 
Mean-ness can always be fought with looking-dumb. It gave that insecure person the (false) feeling of being powerful, and once he felt that you are in his mercy, he would be nicer. Owkei, that was a joke but it always works for me though.
Anyhow, no more Montenegro shipping for me. It was the first time That i encountered a shipping line with staff who is rude. 

Once we landed in Dumanggas, Iloilo at 6pm+, we still had 160km. Thinking of it, it’s like to Badian back and forth in 1 go, which made me realized again how small Cebu is.

So Mark made up the back of the car into a sleeping area for some 4-6 hour of driving.

I guess it pays to have friends who run/bike distances as long as 250km in 1 go that the 160km in a car looks trivial. 

Nevertheless, by 60km, I was ready to throw in the towel and call it a day in Passi City. But after a meal in a local resto Parajan Chicken, in Gaisano capital which played really loud music like there was “discoral,” Mark probably got sugar rushed from the chicken that he decided to get going.

It was one of the moments that I cannot help but thank God for the guidance. And also thanks to our runners’ grit, we arrived at Kalibo after 5 hours in the dark.  But it was actually New Washington where Sampaguita resort, the place we’re staying was located.

Definitely, the 3rd day was the longest day of the #wvtrip.

Western Visayas Day 2 (#wvtrip): The Suburbs

Morning run. After a few minutes of following the dirt road going up to the mountains outside of Campuestohan Highlands Resort, I saw this sign and the guardian said I needed a permit to go up the mountains.

So I backtracked, and found a detour.

I was not sure if I was trespassing or not, but the dirt road was yummy, and the view was pretty.

I passed by rows after rows of game fowl farms. These chickens are lucky to be living in such beauty.

There were also other animals. Like duh! 🙂

This day, we decided to move out from Campuestohan. We originally planned to stay for 2 nights but the “excitement” of the place was too much to handle.
The common toilet was not even spared from the guests’ excitement.
(That’s a toilet.)

While waiting for Mark to get done packing our stuff (it’s quite a challenge loading and unloading stuff for 3 kids & 2 adults), I and the kids had a last tour of the place. I, Migi, Meg, and Mat planned to take the “rope course to while the time away.

But it ended with only Migi taking the challenge. Meg and I backed off upon the closer look of the whole course. Mateo did not qualify yet because of his age/height.

The rope course was the saving grace of Campuestohan for me. I have not seen a lot of rope course but theirs was definitely challenging, and the personnel behind were also good.

When he got out of the course, migi announced that he wants to try all the rope course in the whole wide world. And, he was very proud showing off the socks he got from it, which he claimed as his award.
This was the scene in one of Campuestohan’s parking lots when we left. And it was still the early part of the day, and they probably have 3 more parking lots. 
From Highlands of Talisay, we transport to the low lands.
Waze led us to a road that passed by The Ruins so we played tourist.

I asked the kids if they knew what’s that object (below) for. Migi said it’s a “typer” used for writing before computers. 🙂

From the faraway mountain, the new place, Natures Village Resort, we’re staying was located in somewhat a suburb nearby Bacolod, Talisay City. It was a mixed of subdivisions, an Ayala mall, and sugar plantation which will soon be probably become subdivisions/buildings. It felt like Traveling with the city accommodation — there goes the “change of scenery.”
The swimming pool pre-requisite.

Then, we became mall rats.

Calea. It’s everyone’s must-do recommendation. This place definitely proves that Negros has vast sugar plantations. 
Booksale for Meg.
Dimsum, their other comfort food. This was at L Sea. Though kids got disappointed when they don’t serve the “dimsum break steamed rice,” but every thing was good.

And, finally from 1 bed in Highlands to 3 beds in low lands. 🙂

Western Visayas Road Trip (#wvtrip) Day 1: kid-proofed trip

(May 14, 2015)

Mark had been talking about taking a road trip from Cebu to Boracay, which means from Cebu cross to Negros then cross to Panay, for some time. I was really thinking that 70% that it would not happen because for one, i did not get why Boracay?!? Then second is that Road trip with 3 kids of different attitudes for 10 days, i dunno if we can survive that. Then 3rd, ever since that I got into running, riding in a car for “joy rides” seemed to have less appeal to me. 

But then Thursday morning, we’re in an empty McDonald’s in Toledo waiting for the boarding time of Lite shipping to San Carlos, Negros Oriental.

Based on the few short trips that we had previously with kids and day 1 of #wvtrip, here’s how we kid-proofed trips.
1. Breakfast at some fastfood. I’m not advocating junkfood. But it’s probably a way to start a long trip on a common ground for everyone.

2. Tablets, the necessary evil.
It was fun to see how each generation occupied their selves during the boat ride to Negros: newspaper to tabs.
(Aboard on Lite Shipping to San Carlos, Negros Occidental from Bacolod)

3. In between, stopovers – a mini-trip within a long trip.
(The San Carlos part of going up the mountain highway looked so dry and bald. But it got greener further.)
4. When you run out of entertainment, hope from the highest heavens that they will doze off on their own.
5. GPS maps may also be source of adventure when it would lead you to almost non-existent road.

 6. Book a “disneyland” resort to SOLVE the main concern: adhd / short attention span disorder.

But wait? This is also a Bible-stories themed resort.
As much as possible, we go for accommodation with pool. The easiest way to entertain the kids is to throw them into a poolz So we thought Campuestohan Highlands Resort must be the best; it has 2 pools, play ground, all these life-size cartoon / comic heroes characters, and all these “hanging” kind of activities – from hanging bridge, zipline, rope course, etc. (The owner seems to have “hanging” obsession.).

Definitely, it has more than enough amenities for my kids’ short-attention span to handle. It was perfect except, see below for the except…

7. Comfort food. 🙂 Forget about the gourmet foods, and the chance to eat the hard-to-pronounce foods because it’s going to be CHICKEN breakfast, lunch, and dinner because you do not want to ruin the “moment” by arguing over what food to eat.
Binakol, another chicken dish. I LIKE!

And, of course the ice cream too!

7. Bring a board game. Check ballistagames.com for cool games. 🙂

8. Get a fulltime yaya. That’s I! And probably the main reason why i’m hesitant for this road trip because it will NOT be a “grand vacation” at all for me. But i’m not complaining because Selfie pa, ‘day. 🙂
So Campuestohan Highland Resort felt like its owner wants to bring all his experiences from his trip to Disneyland, Universal Studios, etc, including the Holy Week way of the Cross into one resort with a Pinoy touch of swimming pools. And, definitely he got it right because everyone flocked to it that it felt like there was a fiesta celebration. There were just too many people, the extrovert in me was overwhelmed that I wanted to run away from the first sight but then it’s NOT my trip so suck it up.
Their accommodations have cool designa (but hot because it was all cement) — indian village and hobbit home. They were too cool that they’re part of the public attraction. 
So It was not enough for it to be like a brick-oven hot (because we’re dirt cheap, we chose the cheapest one which turned out to have no aircon), worse was that we could not open the windows and doors because a lot of the guests of the resort were passing by and checking, taking photos with our “touristy” room.
(There were always this group of people milling around taking photos of the “accommodations.”)
(Rapunzel, let down your hair.)
But still, it’s worth checking. Plus the food was okay — that homecooked meal kind of food. 🙂

Ballistagames.com: Ticket to Ride

“Ganahan kaayo ko, ‘ma. I really like Ticket to Ride,” Meg kept saying after the ir 1st game.
Mati’s first impression was it looked like a map. Duh! 🙂
But it proved to be not as easy as reading a map. It probably took a few youtube demos, scanning again and again the manual — an hour to figure how to get started with it.
Funny thing is that after they kind of figured it out, i still do not get the gist of it. It’s either too geeky or too millenial. 
Ticket to Ride is probably the 4th board game we got from http://ballistagames.com, but is probably the first one which the kids were able to finish the entire game. In other games, they would always end up fighting with each other as no one wants to lose. Maybe because, in Ticket to Ride, each player has his/her own goal or destination to achieve so it’s not like they’re directly competing with each other.

When we had the no-internet in the morning rule, i find them pulling out their board games again. Then Meg asked if we could have a new one so i asked the board game master of ballistagames.com what he could recommend. He suggested Ticket to Ride. 🙂

And, i guess it did not disappoint. Even the 4-legged furry friends enjoy it.

For cool board games, check ballistagames.com based in Cebu, Philippines. They have table top days every week in IT PARK.

Davao Day 3: Kidapawan, Cotabato back to Davao

And, yes, I got the SHIRT!

Read more about my race story of here 1st Mt. APO Sky & Vertical .. | Running and Marathon Events in the Philippines >>.

The race felt like the 21K was not-hard-enough for me, but the 42K was too hard for me. =) And, so I’m making a pact to get some of the basics right this year — like being able to maintain an 8min/K pace for 10K then to 21K, and hopefully a 6hr 42KM by CCM 2016. =) I hope to do yoga at least twice a week. I’m contemplating of going back to the EPIC / TRX kind of workout because my core strength is really low but the thought of it makes me already want to puke so I won’t force it if I won’t like it. And, the hardest thing to do — eating cleaner?

So back to our 3rd day in Davao, we finished the race around 9am. We went back to our accommodation place in Kidapawan, Boylene’s, at around 11:30am. And we took a bus back to Davao from Kidapawan around 1:30PM.

It’s that weird day when you were “running” in the morning, and you’re sitting in the afternoon, which is not really unusual because most of the days, I’m just sitting. 
We arrived in Davao around 5pmish. I was really looking for the “Malagos cheese icecream,” but it seemed like it can only be found in Malagos which is like 25KM away from the city center of Davao (it’s where the Phil. Eagle park is). But instead I came across “Balik Bukid” resto, which is coincidentally just near the bus terminal. 
It’s an artsy fartsy kind of place, and promoting organic stuff. But their specialty is pork ribs. =) I will do a separate post of Balik Bukid resto of Davao City.

We ended the 3rd day with my craving for durian coffee (the closest I could get to eating fresh durian), with a mug shot of my “shirt” (see above photo). We went to Blu Gre at SM Lanang. The first time I’d been to Davao, I really thought Blu Gre served the best Durian coffee. But unfortunately, this time around I was not at all that sold out. Let me check on it the next time. =)
And, also the Cebu Trail Runners shirt deserved a selfie!

Echostore in cebu

I bought a turmeric candy on going home, and they packed it in a magazine page with “abaca” ad printed on it. It’s kinda funny because it was a toss between going here or to abaca at crossroads.

The original goal was to have coffee. But once I got in, i realized it has a mini grocery shop like Healthy Options. So i think they’re “grocery” first then cafe shop the second?
Mark had latte, and I got mocha becuase they used tablea on it. Both just did not come as strong to me but then i should picked their black ones if i wanted something strong.
There was only the 2 of us when we were there, and that i like except they open at 10am. I find it too late for a morning drive-by coffee time.
But what i like most is that they carry some of those few items i preferred which can only be found at Rustan’s grocery or Healthy Options, and most of are locally sourced. 🙂 
Here’s photos from the echostore cebu, like duh.

I think I was not able to take photos of the items that i will really want to buy — the “chemical-free” chicken (not really organic), free-range eggs, muscovado, veggie for salad, etc.

And best of all, they right away serve service water. 🙂
Located near the entrance of Ma. luisa subdivision in banilad, cebu.


Food Blog Post: New & Re-New in Cebu


I had read about EchoStore long time ago. So it’s something I look forward to visiting when it finally opened a shop in Cebu. I was hesitant at first though because it’s kinda intimidating. But, no, it’s not. It’s like Healthy Options but products are locally sourced, kind of like Human Nature too with a cafe on the side. More about my Echostore experience on a separate post. 🙂 

It’s located near Maria Luisa entrance, on a new strip mall on the right side.

I was sad when Little Saigon Big Bangkok branch in that Ma. luisa road closed. I wonder why Viet food does not get as popular as Japanese or korean food here in Cebu. Anyhow, I’m happy to see it opened along BanTal road near BTC, just below the underpass. It’s location is not as fab as before but I guess this is probably how streetfood Vietnamese feel should be. Again, more on a separate post. 🙂

Davao Day 2: Waiting for Kidapawan

“Waiting” is usually how it feels before race day. You cannot do much to save energy. And, it can feel like in limbo especially when you’re travelling to a new place for a race. There’s so much to check out but then you cannot really go out as much as you want so as to conserve energy and the feet.

This day we had to wait for our other friends who also joined the 1st Mt. Apo to go to Kidapawan, Cotabato where we’ll be staying near the starting line. 🙂
Friends’ flight was delayed, moved twice to a later time so the “waiting” got longer. We “hang out” longer at Green Coffee, 500 meters away from Tune Hotel where we stayed.

Then friends arrived. 🙂
Then on to the van who would take us to Kidapawan. 
Reading the signage with places like Midsayap & Cotabato printed on it, the ignorant in me is @.@. The untraveller in me only learned about these places via Noli de Castro or tabloids, so you know what i mean. 🙂
Lunch stopover

And more waiting in the van to arrive at the destination.

And the most I was able to do in Kidapawan is selfie as it rained when we set to go to their town center.

And, yes, it’s far-away from a “war torn” place. It’s as normal as the rural towns in Cebu. 🙂