Friday, January 29, 2010

My Barefoot White beach escapade

Looking for beach resorts in Cebu can be tough. While there are a lot of nice beaches here, I'm usually caught in a two-fold quandary: it's either the beaches here are not too far but are too expensive or they're affordable but located too far.

I came across Barefoot White beach resort while searching for beach resorts online. The name was new to me but I was taken by their site's features that I decided to book a reservation there.

I am a big lover of canopy beds and so I was so glad to find they had a canopy bed in one of their rooms. Also, the resort allowed their guests to cook, which was another plus for me. The best part of all was that the resort is located in Moalboal, only 2.5 hours away from the city. Not bad for someone like me who moderately likes long travels.


canopy bed


what's cooking?

yummy shrimp in butter sauce for dinner!

beachfront view

the pool at Club Serena

The reservation process was very convenient - owners Michael and Lingling Rozgoni were very helpful and quick to answer to my inquiries. They give 20% off when you stay there on weekdays or bigger discounts when you stay longer. The staff was also very warm and courteous. They made sure they provided us with everything we needed for our stay.

Barefoot White beach does not have a pool, though. You may want to inquire at Club Serena beach resort if you want to use their pool. Club Serena is a more upscale beach resort right next to Barefoot White.

I hope the resort remains clean and well-maintained on my next stay (hopefully). It had just opened a month ago when we stayed there.  

Barefoot White beach resort is in Basdako, Moalboal, Cebu. For more information, check out http://barefoot.ph/.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fudge time!

One busy Monday, my office pals and I decided to spend lunchbreak over dessert at Fudge restaurant. We tried some of their sinfully delicious delights, we had to forget counting calories the moment we tasted them. haha.


Ice cream cake. Heaven!



Tri-colore. Resistance is futile!



Strawberry cream puff



Lava cheesecake

We all fell in love with Fudge's ice cream cake and tri-colore. The lava cheesecake had a unique tangy taste and a rich texture as well. The strawberry cheesecake, on the other hand, was creamy but the taste was so-so.

Initially, I thought Fudge only served desserts, cakes and pastries. However, they also have a wide variety of tasty dishes that are not just for those with a sweet tooth. I have yet to try them, probably on my next visit. Their prices can go a little high, but overall, my dessert experience at Fudge is worth my money spent.

Surrender. Submission. Fudge.

Fudge is located at 888 A.S. Fortuna St. Banilad, Mandaue City, Cebu.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Trouble Tricycle Drivers in Tagbilaran City

image source: boholchronicle.com

I go home to Bohol every often. There's nothing like being in your home sweet home, a respite from all that stress living in the big city (which I have come to love by the way). While I love to be home, there's just one thing I really hate whenever I am in Tagbilaran:

Tricycle drivers.

I am still disgusted by our city's tricycle drivers for their rude behavior and lack of discipline. Ask anyone from Tagbilaran City and they'll understand what I mean, unless s/he's never hopped inside a tricycle ever. It irritates me to hell to find how inconvenient it is to get to some place in the city because of these trouble tricycle drivers. Who hasn't experienced a tricycle driver who:

• overcharges
• refuses to convey to your destination
• ignores you because you are commuting alone
• does not follow traffic rules
• makes inappropriate comments to passengers

It's appalling to know that I still encounter the same problem as I used to back when I was still living there. Until now, I still get into spats with tricycle drivers who charge unreasonably high even when my destination is not even that far. Php15 from BQ to the pier? No way. It doesn’t get any worse than this – they get even worse when it rains really hard too.

Also, don't you just hate it when tricycle drivers shake your heads and speed off if they do not want to take you to your destination? How about if they ask you where you are heading to and then start looking around for other passengers while you are left standing right there? Whether he’s off for lunch or needs to call it a day, they should at least have the courtesy to let passengers know. Then again, tricycle drivers are not supposed to refuse to convey passengers to their destination within their designated route, of course.

The poor commuter is left with very little options. Tricycles are the primary source of transportation in Tagbilaran. Not a lot of multicabs ply around the city. Taxis are costlier and not easy to catch as well.

When the price of oil increases, it's no surprise if they'll lobby for another raise to make ends meet for them. But how can you sympathize with these lazy drivers, the fact that they choose who to pick up or where they want to go?

It's appalling to find how nothing seems to be done to address this problem. If these tricycle drivers continue to be abusive, it is because no action is being done at all; much less, their kawalang modo is being condoned. While I have diligently listed down the numbers of these trouble drivers, I haven't the luxury of time to channel my complaints as I only usually stay here during weekends and try as much to maximize quality time with my family and friends. All I could do is to calm down.

If you happen to, or continue to experience the same problem as I do, here are some things you can do.

1. If you are commuting alone, try looking for someone else who is going somewhere 'on the way'. Many tricycle drivers ignore you when you're alone and leave you with stupid excuses why they can't take you to your destination.

2. Minimum rate for tricycles is at Php8.00. If you are a tourist, you might want to ask a local for the rate first before getting a tricycle. If you think they are charging ridiculously high, then they probably are. Demand a discount if you are a student or senior citizen. Negotiate, if you must.

3. Report abusive tricycle drivers, if you can. Teach them a lesson they'll never forget. Their 'salbahe' ways will not have a place in the community if people are more assertive.

These trouble tricycle drivers in Tagbilaran City leave a really bad impression on both locals and tourists, most especially on the good tricycle drivers who conscientiously follow the rules and do not take advantage of passengers.

Friday, January 8, 2010

In Hot Water: Cebu Pacific's Discrimination of Special Children

My flights, though very seldom, have always been with Cebu Pacific. While I have never had any problems with them, I continue to hear a lot of negative feedback about their service - from booking, to boarding, to their engines, you name it. But just because I've never had a bad experience with Cebu Pacific doesn't mean that I am going to turn a blind eye on their service, and their seeming lack of action to address these concerns.

Like any service, any airline is bound to experience problems and make mistakes, which, to some extent can be understandable. But what I especially could not believe (and accept) this airline would get in trouble with is its refusal of special children on board the plane. I feel for the two mothers of these children.

My cousin is also a special child. Everyone in the family loves him. He's an adorable boy that never fails to make people smile. And while his behavior may be different from his 'normal' peers, he is far from being mentally ill.

I stress this: Special children are not mentally ill.

If anything, I'd think of the airline crew to be mentally retarded for simply not using their heads. There is a huge difference between a mentally ill person and one with developmental delay, as seen in special children. Any person with half a brain knows that. But what gives? They have a 'manual' anyway.

Whether Cebu Pacific Air crew just doesn't think or their manual makes them think that way, I really don't know. To a total stranger, it takes a lot to understand and deal with a special child, given his many unusual manifestations; but it only takes just a little bit to be sensitive to one's feelings, especially of the mother and her special child as well.

Cebu Pacific should immerse its crew on sensitivity training. Offering free tickets (a rather measly attempt, by the way)to assuage the pain and humiliation these passengers experienced just doesn't cut it at all.

Cebu Pacific should really strive to improve its service, if it doesn't want to lose its 'valued passengers'. Offering very low rates just would not do the trick if they continue to treat passengers that way - with a lack of respect and sensitivity. Cebu Pacific should not wait for the time everyone flies in some other airline.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Not a bird, not a plane! Yes, it's Burj Khalifa!



Move over, Taipei 101. The world is looking up and up at Dubai's Burj Khalifa. Having officially opened on January 4, 2010, this super skyscraper now holds the title as the tallest building in the world.

Burj Khalifa was named after United Arab Emirates president Sheikh Khalifa and measures 2717 feet tall, hovering about 1000 feet more than the 101-story Taipei 101. This mighty towering edifice is even said to have the world's fastest elevators, traveling at a whopping speed of 40mph.

I can only marvel at how magnificent the Burj Khalifa looks as far as buildings go and be awed at how Dubai has done it all the same.

I wonder if, just like the possibility of seeing this skyscraper in real life, my country will also have something quite like this too. Well, hope springs eternal.

image source: dvice.com

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Year that was, the Year that is now


I leave 2009 thankful for all the blessings I have received and welcome year 2010 filled with so much hope.  As in the past years, I have never any New Year’s resolutions because I have never really seen the point of it. Change doesn’t start at the beginning of the year – it starts with oneself.

Yet, having a new look has always helped jumpstart my new year. In 2008, I had my bangs chopped off, and surprisingly looked good in it. Last year, I had my hair rebonded and never felt any better. I don’t know what I will have for my 2010 makeover yet; other than my hair, I’m thinking of something more.

This 2010, I am hopeful that something better will happen to my career. I have always been the person who never wants to stop learning. When one ceases to learn, one ceases to grow as well. This year, I am hoping to find a spark in my career – the kind of spark that not only gives me what I need, but I want all the same.

This 2010, I am hopeful that my loved ones and my relationship with them will continue to be blessed. I am thankful  to have a beautiful family who loves me unconditionally, the most wonderful friends who are always there for me and the most amazing boyfriend any girl could ask for. The life that I have right now, though not perfect, is one that gives me more than enough reasons not to complain.

Looking back on the year that was gives me so much more to look forward to in the next year. Yet, the best part about leaving 2009 and welcoming 2010 is that I have finally forgiven someone from my past. Whatever pain and confusion he had caused me back then, and the guilt and remorse that he had been carrying all these years are already forgiven and all behind us now. What matters is that our relationship is now better than ever.

There is indeed no better feeling than to forgive those who have caused you pain. You let go of the pain you have inside you, and start anew and whole a person again.

Have a blessed New Year everyone!