Snacking and Dessert-ing in Davao

If you have a sweet tooth—or even if you don’t—you will be very pleased to know that aside from scrumptious meals, Davao City also serves yummy, happy snacks, and delicious, mouth-watering, close-your-eyes-in-bliss desserts.

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Davao eats, and eats WELL

Davao Food Appreciation Tour blog post #2. Let’s get eating!

If there’s one thing you must know about me in relation to travelling, it is that I travel for the food. I also go for photography jaunts and sight-seeing, yes, and I like learning about the history of the places I go to, but I travel primarily for the good food. The different food, not just ones I can cook myself. The local food, the ones that the locals love to go to, and not just the ones that get featured in expensive magazines.

That’s what attracted me to the Davao Food Appreciation Tour, actually. I was going to get inside information from Davaeños! If you want to know where are the best places to eat in Davao, then read on. Continue reading

Hullo finally, Davao!

My first trip of 2010 was Davao, all the way out in Mindanao at the other end of the Philippine archipelago.

I went on this trip to join the Davao Food Appreciation Tour (DFAT), arranged by Avatar Media this year. Although it says “food appreciation” on the title, we did more than just appreciate the Davao’s eats.

The goal of the DFAT is to promote Davao as a food, adventure, and ecotourism spot. So we also went around the city for adventure and sight-seeing so we can appreciate the islands—and burn all the calories we took in, while we were at it.

I’ll get to the food and adventures later. For now let’s look at some of the spots we visited around Davao City. Continue reading

Bohol-bound in November

Planning for Bohol, and I am getting dizzy.

This year has been a travel year for me. There was Baguio in January, Davao in March, Quezon in May, Palawan in June and Cagayan de Oro in August, and General Santos City in September. My last trip for the year is going to be Bohol in November! (Unless, of course, we go somewhere for New Year’s…which has about 90% chance of happening.)

I don’t usually blog about a trip before the actual trip, but this is probably also because I’m usually not the one planning my trips. We went to Baguio and Cagayan de Oro for weddings, and in both trips we didn’t really have itineraries aside from ther wedding. Davao was arranged by Avatar Media, and GenSan by the Soccsksargenbloggers. Quezon was Pahiyas. Ah, for Palawan, I helped with the itinerary, but my mom was the final decision-maker. But for this trip… Ahahaha. I was doing the legwork. Sort of.

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hypnosis

I had said repeatedly that I wasn’t a beach girl. That I wasn’t one who swam in the ocean. That I preferred the cool, clean pool water — especially if it was natural spring water of Laguna — to saltwater.

Until now, I would still say that I’m not one to swim in the ocean.

That is, if we follow my definition of swim. For me, swimming is doing laps. Swimming is racing across the pool. Swimming can also be lying on a float, relaxingly drifting back and forth in the pool, feeling the soothing pressure of the water on my legs while the cool wind gently blows on my face.

Yes, if I was to do that, I would definitely, definitely choose the pool. For the longest time, I haven’t been to the beach because of my love for the freshness of the swimming pool.

Until the 9th of June, 2006.

I (along with 9 friends) went to Zambales. I almost didn’t go, though… But that’s another story altogether.

Anyway…

I (along with 9 friends) went to Crystal Beach, San Narciso, Zambales. The place was, to make an understatement, beautiful.

Yeah, sure, it wasn’t a white sand beach. Yeah, sure, it didn’t look like no five star place. Yeah, sure, it was no Boracay or Palawan, form what I’ve seen in the pictures. But, man oh man, it was GREAT.

The beach was ours and ours alone. No, it had nothing to do with the owner being our friend. I think it was mostly because it was already June, and summer was supposed to be gone. But, whatever the reason for the absence of people was, I was thankful for it. The sky was blue, the water was perfectly warm, the wind was just delicious, and the waves were AWESOME.

I probably said it once, but I’ll say it again: that weekend was perfect.

Well…OK. Maybe it’s a point less than perfect due to the fact that I injured my toe. Because of it, I didn’t get to surf on Saturday. Arrr.

Despite that, though, I enjoyed what I loved most about beaches: simply sitting there and letting the waves hyptnotise me.

Yes. When I sat down on the beach and let the tide roll in and tickle my toes, I decided that there’s no place I’d rather be than where I was sitting at that moment. The sun was shining, but, thankfully, it wasn’t scorching hot (maybe because it’s June already) so I enjoyed sitting on the beach for hours.

I suppose I thought about many things during my “session”… I suppose I realized a lot of things… I suppose I forgot about all those things, because, for the life of me, I could not remember a single thought. All I could remember was that I was relaxed, refreshed, and…

Hypnotized.

I remember looking at the horizon. I remember watching the surfers catch the wave. I even remember holding my friends’ valuables as they went out for the water. I remember sitting there and enjoying the feeling off the sand lightly scrubbing my ankles…

…the calm of it all.

Man, I’m suddenly in love with the beach all over again.

So, I speak to you, as a pool-loving girl. If you’re one who rarely goes to the beach, go and try to catch a wave sometime. It might — no, it will — do you good. And if you’re one who always goes to the beach for the sun, sand and parties, don’t take the beach for granted. Go and just sit. Be hypnotized.

It might — no, it will — do you good.

more pictures here.

Destination: Laguna

By popular demand…
Through much tears, fights, and sleepless nights…
After a time of depression, elation, exhaustion and procrastination…
With kicking, screaming, and mass hysteria…

Graduation day had finally come.

MY graduation day had finally come.

The presentation was a piece of cake, actually. Much easier than I expected, that’s for sure. My panel was the following:

My adviser
Another student presenting his SP
The other student’s adviser
My adviser’s roommate in the office (who’s actually playing dynomite while listening to us)

That’s it.

That’s freaking it!

I’m NOT complaining. Yes. Glad we have that cleared.

And, my gosh. It didn’t even take me five minutes, and we were done. (I can’t remember the details anymore, because it HAD been a few weeks ago already.)

And so, there I was, on the 29th of April 2006, ready to march down the aisle, go up the stage and get my (pseudo-)diploma.

Again, I won’t go into the details. Else, I’ll just start babbling, and I’ll probably never stop. I’ll just let the pictures tell the story.

Yey! Kuya JB, my Dad, me and my Mom being blown away by the wind in front of the dorm. (Buti na lang mahangin!)

The family amidst the graduating CMSC students.

But of course, where ever you put them, the Cada boys will still have fun.

OK… I went up on stage at around 6:30 p.m., I think. So it was too dark to take pictures from where Kuya JB was standing. I do have a picture, though, taken by the official photographer. I shall upload it after I scan it.

It’s teh graduate!!!

After the graduation, we rested in restful SEARCA dorm (the hotel pretending to be a dorm inside UPLB). Then we got up and went to one of my favorite places in the country, Rizal Recreation Center in Rizal, Laguna! YEY!

We did practically everything you could do in the Center. Thank goodness everything’s for free. We played all ’em games, we went attempted to go through the obstacle course many, many, MANY times, we went stargazing (“Ooooh! So many starzzzzz!”), fishing, swimming… and we basically did so many crazy things, it felt like we were there for a week when we were only there for a day.

God, I love that place.

The Cada kids in the treehouse. It’s a real treehouse in the strictest sense, I think.

FISHING! I caught the first fish. I caught it within just a minute after getting my fishing rod! Thank you, Grander Musashi!!! XD I caught three of ’em! Yey!

Photo op on a tree with Adrielle (in yellow shirt), Joni (in Blue shirt) and my sistah Chique (in yellow tank top).

Come to the Garden

After five months of postponing it every week, we finally finally went to Sonya’s Garden. And, man, oh, man it was AWESOME. Well…OK. Maybe awesome isn’t the best word to use… It’s quaint and pretty and relaxing and…very very very VERY nice place.

I shall elaborate.

I had mixed feedback about Sonya’s Garden. Some people said it was nice. Some people said, ‘puro damo naman ang kinakain dun!’ Some people said it was OK (not exactly impressive, but not awful, either). So instead of basing my expectations on what I heard, I went there not expecting anything. And I found that it was the right thing to do: every single thing about the place surprised and delighted me. Continue reading

the road to strawberry jam city

I was in Baguio on the weekend for my cousin’s wedding. But I didn’t really go there for a vacation… We didn’t take a city tour or anything. I didn’t even shop much. The most part of my stay there (aside from the wedding, of course) was just lying around in the hotel, relishing the cool air, and drinking good coffee at Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, and Gloria Jeans in the span of three hours.

Some might raise an eyebrow at me and say, “What?! You went to Baguio just to sleep and go to Starbucks?” What I’d do is raise an eyebrow right back at them. We all need a time to unwind. Sometimes, spending time in a hotel far, far away from work is a soothing getaway from our hectic life. We all need to just stop and smell the flowers, y’know?

The last time I went to Baguio (not counting last year when we had a convention) was when I was 10 years old. Since I was such a small kid, I bet I was asleep during the whole trip. That, or I was enjoying the zigzag road too much to pay attention to the beautiful flora and fauna of the mountainside. Goodness. On the way home, I was SO wishing it wasn’t a Sunday so I could annoy my dad to stop every few minutes so I could take pictures.

By the time we got to La Union, we stopped to have lunch (at 4 p.m.) in this place called S.O.U.L. Cafe. Man. Right now, I can call it one of the perfect places to eat good food, watch the clouds change shape, relax in cozy pillows, let time fly, and simply appreciate life. The place is so nice, I actually wanted to stay there forever. But, of course, my feet had to get pulled back to reality. I guess that’s what makes places like this so special. It makes you see how different the essence of life is from real life.

It’s funny… For years, I saw Baguio just as a place for buying starberry jam, broccoli, and walis tambo. It was just the home of ukay-ukay. For the longest time, I saw it as “the summer capital” SO packed with people that I’d probably prefer staying in our city (yeah, I was sour-graping). Sure, it was all that. But then, it was more than that.

It’s the whole trip.

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Chillin’ out at SOUL Cafe

Image hosted by Photobucket.comPhoto shoot! Harhar.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comOoooh…Coffee…

Image hosted by Photobucket.comKuya Tim taking it easy

Image hosted by Photobucket.comSit down to enjoy the food and the scenery

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Image hosted by Photobucket.comS.O.U.L. Cafe. Stop by and enjoy the spice of urban life.

land of the birds

Two words: Information overload.

Went to Avilon Zoo today… Avi = birds. Lon = land. But the thing has more than birds in it. And it’s oh-so-clean and the animals are oh-so-healthy.

It’s been more than ten years since I last went to a zoo. And it’s been FOREVER since I actually enjoyed going to a zoo. Rargh. I SO wish I brought a recorder with me. There were SOOOOOOOO many things I learned during the tour. Needless to say, almost none of the stuff I learned actually stuck to my head. The information’s in there somewhere…I just can’t remember right now.

AMINALS! Me wanna see the aminals!!!

OK. So now I can’t write something actually coherent because I’m trying to fix the tired but excited blob filled with ideas called my brain. Will post something again later, I think. I hope. Man. Avilon has GOT to produce brochures…

And I wish I saw that 8-foot Arpaima.

Go to my brother’s blog for a blog entry that actually has sense.

Piccies!

Waiting for the tour to start. Look at ’em duckies.

Cougarrrrrr!!!!!!

‘s Da Four with the Spotted One.

“Come ON, Bird, yer messin’ my hair!”

Owly, Falcony and Eagle-y (not their official names, of course) with da Cadas. Face it: he likes messing with people’s hair.

Yeah…Go Tim.

Ooooh, check out the color…. No flash used here…

On the way down.

Yeah. The two-hour tour around Avilon Zoo was tiring, but fun. And definitely something I’d do again.