- Libotero’s Top 15 Pinoy Travel BlogsPosted 3 days ago
- Jollibee’s Amazing Aloha is Back!Posted 11 days ago
- Ayala Center Cebu’s New Wing Tops OffPosted 19 days ago
- Burnham Park, Baguio CityPosted 20 days ago
- Baguio City Overview (in photos)Posted 21 days ago
- Day Tour in Baguio CityPosted 22 days ago
- Libotero hops to Kuala LumpurPosted 22 days ago
- Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Valladolid, Negros OccidentalPosted 22 days ago
- Visita Iglesia in SingaporePosted 22 days ago
- Best Bangkok House and Environs, ThailandPosted 24 days ago
Travel+Lifestyle: The Libotero 2011 Year-Ender (Part 2)
2010 saw the birth of Libotero.com which initially featured family trips around Luzon from the previous years. I’ve always had the passion for travel but was limited by my fear of travelling alone. June 2010 marked a breakthrough as I embarked on my first solo trip ever, and to Mindanao at that. From that point up to the end of last year, I was able to visit 5 new provinces in Visayas and Mindanao.
There are various reasons for travelling. As for myself, I’ve always been inspired by these travel shows on television and wanted to personally experience the places away from home, to discover a colorful mix of cultures in different settings, and more.
Travel has shaped me. It made me realize that life can also be about doing things you love, and not just about things you’re supposed to love. This blog is a reflection of how I live the dream and I’d like to grab a few lines from a song, “Believe in the dream, believe in the promise, that you can be all that you wanted to be…”
And so, for the 2nd part of this Year-Ender series, I share to you a round-up of my travels and lifestyle gigs for the 2nd quarter of 2011. Cheers!
Read Part 1 here.
April 8 – Ayala Center Cebu Lenten Exhibit opening – Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma opened the mall’s annual Lenten exhibit which features life-size statues owned by Msgr. Cristobal Garcia. These statues depict the Passion, suffering and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The event was memorable for me as this was my first encounter with the newly installed archbishop of Cebu. He’s one tall guy was my first impression.
April 12 – Intel launches 2nd generation core processors – Intel launched the long-awaited, revolutionary computer processor that features a smart visual experience for end-users at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel. Code-named “Sandy Bridge”, these new processors will attract everyone who are into visual content.
April 13 – Kadaugan sa Mactan launching – This brainchild of the Lapu-Lapu City Government, through the initiative of the Commission on Tourism and International Relations, the Kadaugan Street Party will be true to its name, a street party, from sun-down ’til the wee hours! It will feature a street parade wherein contingents in their Samba-inspired costumes from all-over the city and all-over the province of Cebu.
April 14 – Sumilon Bluewater launches Glamping – Perfect for that ultimately unique summer getaway, Bluewater Resorts introduced Glamping, short for Glamour Camping. An innovative camping option, glamping provides the experience of the great outdoors while enjoying the amenities never experienced before in traditional camping. With this idea, Bluewater Resorts aims to be the first to provide this luxurious adventure to the Cebuanos and visitors.
April 16 – Mr. Lapu-Lapu 2011 – The day has finally arrived when the modern day hero of Lapu-Lapu City was declared at the Hoops Dome in Barangay Gun-ob. Jumar Andrew Bilocura bested 15 other hopefuls in the search for the someone not just with a remarkable physique but a remarkable character as well.
April 17 – Pineda Family Summer Outing – I can still very well remember that the whole Pineda family often went on beach outings back when we were kids but this went to a pause when we were all busy with our school life and our parents were occupied with their work. Gladly, we all found the time to gather once more at the Costabella Tropical Beach Resort and Hotel in Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City.
April 21 – Holy Thursday 2011 – Every Holy Thursday, it has been a tradition of my family to observe the Visita Iglesia wherein we visit 7 churches in Cebu City after the mass commemorating the Last Supper and the Washing of the Feet to visit, pray and adore each of the churches’ Altar of Repose.
April 23 – Family Summer 2011 – Our annual family summer vacation in Luzon begins!
April 24 – Easter Sunday – We started Easter Sunday by attending mass at Festival Mall in Alabang followed by a sumptuous lunch at Racks in the same mall. We then proceeded to McKinley Hill where we did a site inspection of dad’s condo unit which is due for turnover next year. After that, we spent the whole afternoon strolling around Eastwood City. We ended the day with a dinner at Oyster Boy in Metrowalk, Ortigas.
April 25 – First International Trip – One of my dreams as a traveler finally came true as I set foot on my first international destination, Hong Kong, with my family. When I started this blog, I promised you my readers that I will not go beyond borders if I have not visited at least half of the provinces we have, and I did not break that! From Manila, the flight to Hong Kong took us one hour and fifty-five minutes. We were on a package tour so after arrival at the Hong Kong International Airport, we were picked up by a tourist bus and sent to our Hotel, Wing Sing Hotel along Temple Street. We spent the whole afternoon around the vicinity of the Avenue of the Stars where we waited for the world-famous Symphony of Lights held every 8pm. After the mesmerizing lights show, we had late dinner at a local restaurant with a catchy name and funny tagline, “Man’s Paradise: Enjoy Yourself!”. Then, we checked out the Temple Street Night Market for some good finds and called it a day.
April 26 – Hong Kong Day Two – Day Two of our package tour brought us to Avenue of the Stars (again!), Jewelry City, Ltd., and Aberdeen Fishing Village which gave us a chance to see families living on boats. Also located in Aberdeen is Jumbo, the world’s largest restaurant on three floating ships. We then proceeded to the Victoria Peak observation deck which gave us another vantage point of one of the world’s best skylines. The rest of the day was spent in the ever-magical Hong Kong Disneyland.
April 27 – Hong Kong Day Three – The whole of our 3rd day in Hong Kong was spent in Ocean Park, one of South East Asia’s largest oceanaria and theme parks. This particular attraction remains to be on the top of the itinerary of many visitors to Hong Kong, especially first-timers.
April 28 – Macau Day Tour – Located just an hour away by ferry, Macau usually has the spillover tourists of Hong Kong or those who’ve “had enough” of the big city bustle. Although Macau is a big city itself, it offers a quaint, laidback Portuguese charm. After the necessary immigration procedures, we hopped on a bus and stopped at the Lotus Square. The sculpture of a Golden Lotus Flower in full bloom commemorates the return of Macau’s sovereignty to China, a very important moment in history for Macau. Located nearby is the Macau Tourism Activities Centre. Our next stop was at A-Ma Temple, the oldest in Macau. Around the temple are several stalls selling the famed Macau beef tapa. The best thing about it is that you could actually taste a bit of everything, for free. We then proceeded to the Macau Museum, which explained the history, traditions and various cultures of Macau, and the Ruins of St. Paul, the most famous landmark in Macau. We then had sumptuous lunch at New Camões Portuguese Restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf. Finally, we conquered Macau Tower, which offers the best panoramic view of Macau. Before sunset, we were already back in Hong Kong!
April 29 – Hong Kong Day Five – Basically a free day. Free day = Shopping day. Our flight was scheduled for 9:50pm yet!
May 7-8 – We spent our weekend in Real, Quezon, passing through the scenic countryside of Laguna dropping by some of the churches along the way. We visited the town of Infanta and stopped by the Agos Bridge which connects the town to the next, General Nakar. We also had an awesome time at Balagbag Falls, and the breath-taking rugged coastal views along the way at the Real-Mauban Road. Finally, we settled at Ocean Blue Resort and enjoyed the fresh grilled seafood we bought from the Real Market.
May 14 – Evoliving at Nuvali – Nuvali is the burgeoning mega-eco-city of Ayala Land in Laguna. Solenad at Nuvali is perfect for a family weekend. We had lunch at Pig Out then did some fish feeding by the man-made lake. It was really a heartwarming feeling to see all the fish wrestle just to get a bite of the pellet-sized food. We then rode a water taxi which toured us around the man-made lake in Nuvali. Indeed, Nuvali is the city of the future.
May 20 – eBloc 2 tops off – Cebu Holdings, Inc. and mother company, Ayala Land, Inc., celebrate the topping off of their latest office tower development in the south, eBloc 2.
May 28 – The Amara Lifestyle – What perfect way to cap off a great summer than great food with my CTowner friends at the most-fitting venue, Amara, a master-planned community by Ayala Land Premier nestled by the sea and undulating hills accentuated by the eternal warmth of a century-old lighthouse.
June 3-4 – Close encounter with celebrities – Ayala Center Cebu’s Back to School Sale brought in some of the hottest stars today: Jake Cuenca, Nina Dolino, Guji Lorenzana and my ever-favorite, Asia’s Diamond Soul Siren, Nina.
June 6-10 – First solo trip of the year – ..and my first new province for 2011, Negros Oriental. Very “chillax” trip as I only visited Robinsons Dumaguete, Silliman University, Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete Cathedral and Belfry, the Provincial Capitol, Bacong and Dauin, and the ever-sweet Sans Rival. The rest of the time was spent for “soul-searching”.
June 14 – Double food events – Max’s Restaurant launched their Chicken-All-You-Can promo. For only P199, all you can eat chicken quarters! After lunch, members of the Cebu Bloggers Society were also invited to the opening of one of the latest branches of Coffee Dream in Benedicto College, A.S. Fortuna, Mandaue City where we were made to taste some of their cakes and breakfast offerings.
June 15 – Phoebe’s Cupcakery – The best red velvet cupcakes I’ve ever tasted! A home-based cupcakery in Cebu, all of Phoebe’s cupcakes are baked fresh daily from their home kitchen. Phoebe Roxanne Ouano, a young entrepreneur introduced her four initial cupcake flavors: Mocha Loca – chocolate-y with a hint of caffeine, Scarlette – the best-seller, red-velvet cupcake, Cookie Monster – cookies and cream, and Nuts for Nana – banana plus Nutella!
June 26 – Leyte exploration – I, and some blogger friends from Manila, Don, Fitz, Rina, and Alvin, flew in to Tacloban to experience the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival 2011. They arrived one day ahead of me so as soon as I exited the airport, they, together with Ma’am Ludette and Sir Gerry of Leyte Gulf Travel and Tours, picked me up aboard an e-jeepney! We then proceeded to the Leyte Landing Memorial in Palo. By sunset, we relaxed at Cafe Lucia in Tacloban. We then checked-in at Luxury Suite Hotel and freshened up before dinner at Cafe Z. The crispy tenga is a must-try! After dinner, we then witnessed Bituon Han Leyte, the search for the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival Queen! We were even fortunate enough to talk with Palo Mayor Remedios Petilla!
June 27 – Pintados-Kasadyaan 2011 – We were eagerly waiting at Bo’s Coffee Tacloban for the streetdance but it did not push through due to political conflict between the City Government and Provincial Government of Tacloban, (The Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival is organized by the provincial government while the city government produced its own “spin-off”, the Sangyaw Festival, held on the same dates!) so we decided to have lunch at Gerry’s Grill. After lunch, the show must go on. The participating contingents performed for the whole afternoon at the Leyte Sports Development Center. I was really-awed by the world-class performances of the participating groups and I can’t help but appreciate that the festival is like Sinulog, in terms of production. The event was capped off by a 15-minute pyromusical.
June 28 – Torpedo-ing in Samar – Before the experience, I was very anxious but then it was a very enjoyable and rewarding experience after all. In fact, I consider it as one of the best things that I’ve experienced in my life! To get to Paranas, we had to go on a two-hour roadtrip, passing through the iconic San Juanico Bridge. Because of the early call time, we slept on our way there. The torpedo adventure involves riding a motorized banca with no outriggers to traverse the Ulot River downstream for about an hour navigating through portions with rapids. Expect to get wet! Splashes and screams made the experience more exciting. As we arrived at the tip of the ride, we trekked for about 500 meters, carefully hopping from one slippery rock to another to get to the picnic area for lunch. Lunch was packed by Leyte Gulf Travel and Tours as part of the tour packages they offer. After lunch, we also got the chance to do some water tubing. My blogger friends were more daring as they jumped off the rock and just let the river current sweep them through the river. A rope was set at some point for them to hang on or else they’ll go all the way to the Pacific Ocean lol. As we relaxed for a few minutes, rain poured so we decided to get back to our boats before the river current gets too strong. The ride back upstream was even more exhilarating. Such an awesome experience I want to try again soon!
(…to be continued)