Davao City Day 1

June 16, 2012

It was a sunny day in Davao City. We arrived at around 1:30pm via Cebu Pacific from Cebu. From the airport, we went straight to Microtel for the pre-registration. Then after our late lunch, we had our Davao City tour. Here are some pics of the places we visited on our first day. :)

with TG Ruby and TG JD at Davao City Airport arrival area

Kublai Cafe at Ponce Suites, the ARTBAHAY of Kublai Millan

One of the unique and artistic cafe’s I’ve been to. It was a very quick stop just to let us take a few pictures of  Kublai Millan’s (the owner) impressive artworks.

Notice the baby oble at the side? cute :) Kublai is a Fine Arts graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman

D’Bone Collector Museum


 Davao Crocodile Park


We started the tour at around 3pm which left us only a few hours for the tour. We were supposed to watch a fire dance but unfortunately, the dancers had a show in another place. Our first day in Davao was well-spent. A bit exhausting, but the fun was totally worth it. :)

One thing Tagbilaran and Davao City have in common- A road named after the 4th Philippine President.

Photos by roxipie

Hello Davao City!

The highlight of my eventful month of June is my trip to Davao City with my fellow BITGAP members. This year’s National Tour Guides Convention was held in Davao City. The first convention two years ago was held in Bohol, then the 2nd was in Palawan. I wasn’t able to attend last year’s convention so I made up for it by going this year. It was such a wonderful trip! I had a lot of fun and I instantly fell in love with Davao! Weeehh!!! ❤

I had loads of first times in this trip. After all, it was my first time to visit Davao. I was very excited for the trip. Funny thing though, for the first time (and hopefully the last time too), I was late for my boat trip to Cebu. I got left behind. I know, it was all my fault. Lucky for me, I could get the next trip on the same day without having to pay for another ticket. What started not well turned out just fine. But I swear there will never be a next time. Haha!

Let me give an overview of what we did in the trip:

June 15 (Friday) -We spent overnight in Cebu since we didn’t want to have any problem with our flight to Davao on the next day.

June 16 (Saturday) -First day in Davao City! We pre-register for the convention and got our kits. We also had a Davao City tour before heading to Chataeu de Veronica, where we stayed.

June 17 (Sunday) – First day of the convention. During the day, we had Davao City and Eden Nature Park and Resort tour. Then in the evening, we had a fellowship dinner hosted by Davao City Mayor, Sarah Duterte.

June 18 (Monday) -Second day of the convention. We had the plenary during the day, followed by the culmination program and dinner hosted by the Department of Tourism.

June 19 (Tuesday) -Samal Island escapade!

June 20 (Wednesday) -Flight Davao-Cebu; boat trip Cebu-Bohol; Home Sweet Home

I’ll never get tired of sharing about my wonderful trip to Davao! More pics to be posted! Yay! :)

Jeff and Ria

You know how I love weddings. So when I saw this video of my elementary classmate’s wedding on facebook, I couldn’t help watching it again and again. And watching it was not enough, I just had to share it here in my blog. The couple looks really great together and it was such a lovely wedding. Congratulations and best wishes to Ria and Jeff! Cheers! :)

Weddings in June

June is a famous month for weddings. I wondered why getting married in June is considered good luck so I googled and found some explanations. Some relates it to Juno, the goddess of marriage, from which the month was named after. Back in the middle ages, June was also traditionally considered as the marriage month because people were clean from their annual May baths. There could be more explanations to this but it’s not really that much of a big deal for me. Choosing the wedding date is all up to the couple.

So, this month I attended two weddings. I love attending weddings. I love seeing the bride in her gorgeous wedding dress, and my favorite part is when she walks down the aisle towards the altar where the groom awaits. I also love seeing people all dressed-up for the occasion. One thing though, in all three weddings that I’ve been to, all of them have the motif of blue. So another question would be, why the color blue? :)

Alvin & JL 

June 2, 2012
St. Joseph Cathedral, Tagbilaran City
Reception at Bohol Tropics Resort

The newly weds with some Bohol tour guides

I met Alvin in our tour guiding seminar a couple of years ago. As aspiring tour guides, our group easily got along with each other and became friends. When Alvin’s wife, JL, delivered their first baby, I was one of the first people who visited them in the hospital. Then they chose me to be one of Chelsea’s (their daughter’s) godmothers. Chelsea is my first god-daughter! It was such a delight to be given a special part in her life. After a year Alvin and JL’s second child, a cute baby boy named Basti, was born. What a lovely family! Once again this year I was given the chance to be a part of another special occasion, their wedding. I couldn’t be more grateful. I wish them all the best in life! :)

Milbert & Analyn

June 14, 2012
San Antonio De Padua Chapel

Milbert and Analyn are two of my good childhood friends. Our friendship started when we became Altar Servers several years ago. We haven’t been in touch with each other in a long time. I was surprised one day when Manoy sent me a chat msg inviting me to their wedding. I was surprised! I had known that they’ve been a couple for a while now but it’s different when they take it to the next level, the M life. I am utterly happy for them! One more thing, they’re expecting their first baby in September. I am so excited! Cheers to the lovely couple! :)

I and the happy couple :)

with Almira

my childhood buddies

Attending their wedding also means seeing my other childhood friends. It’s been a really really loooonng time since I last saw them so it was so great to be with them even just for a few hours. We didn’t have much time to catch up with each others lives but really, just being with them was more than enough for me. It was the icing on the cake. I look forward to spending more time with them soon. :)

Photos by roxipie

Halfway Through 2012

I haven’t been able to post much lately and I feel bad for it. Whatever happened to that ‘one output a day’ plan that I had? Duh! I don’t want to think about it anymore. I failed again and no excuse can save me from the self disappointment that I feel right now. It’s like I could hear my conscience saying, “I told you so.”–I know, right?!

So anyway, time flew once again and before I even realized it, the month of June is over! Darn! That was really quick! So now that we’re halfway through the year 2012, let me share my eventful first half.

January

  • New year, new home! -We moved to a new house cause our apartment got burned on Christmas day last year. Big news!
  • My brother’s birthday month!
  • My  bday month too!
  • Got a very special present, Klaus :)
  • Lolo died
  • Lola died too :-(

February

  • Single-awareness day
  • Batch Six Bomb island hopping adventure -Gathering with my high school batchmates. My 1st visit to Balicasag and Virgin island.
  • BITGAP familiarization tour in Tarsier Botanika
  • BITGAP General Assembly

March

  • Li’l bro’s graduation! Weeh! Family celebration! :)
  • Ate Cheryl’s despedida
  • The Hunger Games movie!- Oh yeaaahhh!!!

April

  • Holy week
  • Tour guiding galore!

May

  • Noticed a lump on my neck and discovered I was Darna! (Kidding aside, I found out I have goiter.)
  • BITGAP familiarization tour in Banacon Mangrove Plantation

June

  • Mother’s bday!
  • Sister’s bday too!
  • Alvin & JL’s wedding
  • Milbert & Analyn’s wedding
  • National Tour Guide’s Convention in Davao City! :)

There you go! The big things in the first six months of 2012. I wonder what more is in store for me before this year ends. Keep’em coming! Raarrrr!!!  :-D

Banacon Mangrove Plantation is Asia’s Largest

Even with my job as a tour guide, there are still places in my hometown that I haven’t been to. That’s why once in a while, our organization (Bohol Island’s Tour Guides Association of the Philippines, Inc.) conducts familiarization tours in some tourists’ destinations. There’s no better way of learning about a certain place/attraction than by experiencing it first hand. This month we went to Banacon Island where Asia’s largest man-made mangrove plantation is located. Yes, you read it right. The biggest in Asia is Banacon Mangrove Plantation!

Our assembly time was at 6am in Metro Centre hotel. Some of the members were picked up on the way. Banacon island is part of the town Jetafe, which is approximately 92 kilometers away from Tagbilaran City (Bohol’s capital). From the mainland, it takes around 35 minutes by boat to Banacon island. It was a fine sunny day then, a bit too hot for an island hopping activity. Considering our job as tour guides, we were supposed to be immune to the surging heat of the sun as long as we had our sunblock. :-)

Few meters away from the island, we could already see some women dressed in Filipiniana customes. We were surprised when these women welcomed us with leis made of shells. It was unnecessary but very sweet of them. We were used to being the ones who give welcoming leis to the guests and not the other way around. It felt nice being the tourist for a change. :-)

We were advised to have the Banacon mangrove forest tour before lunch since the tide was getting low. We rode on bangkas (small river boats) by pairs and took a tour in the mangrove forest. The tour normally lasts for 30 minutes but the sea level in some areas was too low for our bangka motors to run that our boatman had to row our boat manually, thus making the tour longer than usual. The heat from the sun was harshly piercing to the skin, especially that we did the tour on midday. Thankfully, Ms. Sarah (my partner in the bangka) cared to share her sarong with me. Despite the burning heat from the sun, it was still a great experience.

The Banacon Mangrove Plantation is the biggest man-made mangrove plantation in Asia with an area of 484 hectares, plus an additional 200 hectares is planned for expansion. They started planting mangroves in 1957, lead by Mr. Gaudencio Padin.  There are 15 mangrove species in the plantation.

The exhaustion from the tour was immediately relieved by a seafood-rich meal prepared by the island folks. We feasted on luscious crabs, shrimps and other seafood.

They also prepared a short program to entertain us. The women in Filipiniana costumes presented some Philippine folk dances, in which some of my org mates gladly joined. It was really nice of them to prepare something for us.

The People’s Organization hosted our fam tour in the island. The Banacon Fisher Folks & Mangrove Planters Association (a.k.a. BAFFMAPA) president, Mr. Dioscoro ‘Dondon’ Canlubo III, gave a speech about Banacon island and the lifestyle of the island folks. We learned that the name Banacon came from a fish called Banac, which used to be very abundant in the island.

Banacon island has a land area of 11 hectares and 1700 hectares gleaning ground. The population is 1,300, and there are 325 households. The source of electricity is a privately owned generator. People pay 10 pesos per light bulb and 15 pesos for the TV. Power is available from 6pm-10pm only. Water is not readily available in the island. They have to buy it from the barangay for 8 pesos per container.

They have one elementary school.  They don’t have a high school so students have to ride on bangkas to cross to the mainland where they can study high school. Other students opt to study in Cebu island since it’s only an hour away by boat and the fare is 50 pesos.  The main livelihood in the island is fishing. Fresh seafood goods are shipped to be sold in Cebu island. They also sell dried seafood at affordable prices.

For a girl like me who was born and raised in the city, living in the island is tough. I can’t imagine life with limited supply of water and electricity. But feeling the warm welcome of the people in the island, and seeing the friendly smiles on their faces tell me how they’ve embraced their simple life. To me, that’s quite remarkable.  :-)

photos by roxipie