Been to 5 Cebu falls

Not just beaches, Cebu is also home to an array of waterfalls each offering a different set of features and feel. Thanks to the long stretch of mountain running through the Cebu, chances are high that the town you are in has a waterfall waiting to be explored.

I have visited just five yet, so I still have a long way to go…

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1. Mantayupan Falls

Mantayupan Falls is the first I visited. It is quite popular in Barili during weekends with barkadas and families sharing a meal and some bucket of beer.

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2. Tumalog Falls

The beautiful Tumalog Falls is the usual side trip of people who go whaleshark watching in Oslob. Quite unique, Tumalog is a long cascade of water falling like raindrops from a roof. It’s wall allows for pictures and poses that give you a certain level of “emote”. You can also wade through its chest-deep fresh lagoon to chill your aching muscles.

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3. Dao Falls

Dao Falls in Samboan town is quite a long trek through coconut trees and some hills. Dao’s features makes it similar to a dam with water slowly sliding down from the main discharge. (http://bisdak.org/2014/places/this-falls-adventure-is-true-in-samboan-part-1-dao-falls/)

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4. Aguinid Falls

Aguinid Falls also located in Samboan is my favorite so far since it offers spectacular views of its rushing waters and lagoons. Safe for swimming for most people since the water is just knee to chest-deep. The climb is manageable for most amateur trekkers. (See: http://bisdak.org/2014/places/this-falls-adventure-is-true-in-samboan-part-2-aguinid-falls/)

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5. Kawasan Falls

Already popular decades ago, Kawasan Falls in Badian remains a crowd favorite. Droves of people flock to this destination especially on weekends. Stalls and other commercial structures are irritants to this piece of beauty.

 

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Barbie makeover?

The Pink Barbie exhibit runs October 25 to November 2, 2015 at the SM North Wing.

The Pink Barbie exhibit runs October 25 to November 2, 2015 at the SM North Wing.

Pink Barbies are on exhibit at the SM City Cebu North Wing starting today until November 2, 2014. The famed dolls are said to be dressed by local fashion designers through the ICanServe Foundation to raise awareness on cancer.

While the advocacy behind the exhibit is commendable, the Barbie doll’s slim physique has been blamed to contribute to young girls hoping to mimic the unnatural figure. The pressure to be thin among girls is said to be prevalent among girls exposed to Barbie’s world. According to Dittmar, et al. (2006), “early exposure to dolls epitomizing an unrealistically thin body ideal may damage girls’ body image, which would contribute to an increased risk of disordered eating and weight cycling.”

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The exhibit is expected to successfully generate the target funds of the sponsoring non-government organization. Hopefully, though, it won’t raise a collection of unnaturally thin women.

Reference:

Dittmar, Helga, et al., “Does Barbie Make Girls Want to Be Thin? The Effect of Experimental Exposure to Images of Dolls on the Body Image of 5- to 8-Year-Old Girls”, Development Psychology 2006, Vol. 42, No. 2, 283–292.

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For a cool retreat: Roosevelt Mountain Resort

A cool breezy retreat.

A cool breezy retreat.

My friend Ana invited us to her birthday celebration and despedida at Roosevelt Mountain Resort. The resort, that is more of a vacation house, is one unobtrusive destination with a great view of the sunrise and night lights of Metro Cebu.

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The resort offers the same cool, breezy, and fresh feel of mountain destinations. The venue is perfect for those who wish to go for long bonding, eating, drinking, and some swimming. Not advisable for the adventurous who feel trapped in a house.

It can accommodate as many as 50 individuals for functions (but probably just about 20 pax for those who will stay for the night; cowboy style.).

Booking Roosevelt Mountain Resort will allow you to enjoy the whole area which include the following amenities (taken from: http://roosevelt-resort.blogspot.com/):

  • 2 Bed rooms; 1 room with aircon, 1 room no aircon
  • Kitchen (you can cook your own meals; no corkage)
  • Dining Area
  • Sofa
  • 2 comfort rooms and shower
  • Veranda
  • Party Area
  • Swimming Pool
  • Bar Area
  • Pool Shower and bath
  • Pool Changing room
  • Pool Comfort room
  • Tree house
  • Parking Area

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First time visitors will easily miss Roosevelt Mountain Resort as one may find it as just one of those millionaire’s residences in Busay. Signages are also lacking.

Roosevelt Mountain Resort is right before a condominium that is being constructed supposedly owned by Queensland.

If you are familiar with Lantaw Restaurant and Mountain View in Busay, just take the route going there and go a few meters farther from the corner going to Lantaw.

When asking locals or habal-habal drivers, make sure that you don’t forget to mention “Resort” as they may mistake it for Sitio Roosevelt, the locality.

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Roosevelt Mountain Resort Rates:

  • Overnight Php 6,000.00 (+2,000.00 deposit which can be retrieved 3 days after your booking.)
  • Monthly Php 100,000.00

Check in time: 2:00pm
Check out time: 12:00noon

Guests may request for early check in or late check out if there are no other bookings.

One may contact via email paseojen@yahoo.com or landline at +63-32-3466503.

PS. Happy birthday, Ana!

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Lambug Beach: Go while the beach is still virgin

1511354_10202500608495055_698914155312602297_nIf Moalboal’s beach (Basdaku) and Badian’s Kawasan Falls are too crowded for you, head straight to Lambug Beach. Located in Badian, Cebu, Lambug (sometimes spelled Lambog) is about midway between the two more famous destinations mentioned.

Lambug Beach is very much like Moalboal’s white beach: fine off-white sands, beautiful sunset, and clear waters minus the busy and crowded feel on weekends and holidays. Bonus: a number of live corals at shallow depths during low tide.

A quick scan of blogs featuring Lambug Beach, show common descriptors of this destination as virgin, unnoticed, not-so-famous, and less crowded. But, economic activity is starting to pick up with cottages, stores, and small resorts starting to dot the beach. Better make an immediate visit to Lambug while business has not spoiled the environs.

Golden sun. Sunset at Lambug Beach gives a golden opportunity for photo ops.

Golden sun. Sunset at Lambug Beach gives a golden opportunity for photo ops.

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Cottages and stalls greet you at the entrance.

Array of choices

Array of choices

How to get to Lambug Beach, Badian

Take the corner from the national highway to Lambug Beach.

Take the corner from the national highway to Lambug Beach. Motorcycles are also available for hire.

To go there, if you’re from Moalboal, ride a Moalboal-Badian multicab and go further south until you see the billboard of the Badian International Golf Course and Resort. Take a habal-habal ride to get you there directly. If you have your own vehicle, take the right turn and just follow the road, around 1.5km of hilly but paved road. From Cebu City, take a Cebu – Bato via Barili Bus.

Once you pass by the golf course gates, take a few more meters until you see a junction. Turn left and you’ll be at the public parking area in 1-3 minutes. (You’ll find a “This way to Grandeur Resort sign.” Grandeur Resort seems to be biggest among the sprouting resorts in this public beach.)

UPDATE 5/28/14: Grandeur Resort charges an expensive 2,000.00 for a small aircon room for two. This cost does not come with the usual toiletries, towels, breakfast, and friendly staff.

Grandeu Resort contact numbers.

Grandeur Resort contact numbers: 0926-2789880, 0908-9992490, 0933-3383686

===

Originally, planned to go to Osmeña Peak last Saturday to make the traverse to Kawasan Falls and then Lambug Beach. But due to a sudden change in the internship schedule of my companions, the Opeak trek was shelved and we decided instead to make a road trip to Kawasan and then Lambug.

Too crowded!

Too crowded!

Kawasan Falls is very much elegant with its multi-level drops and pools. However, too much commerce has spoiled the destination. Too many guests, make it a bit uncomfortable to swim especially at the first level.

Parking area near the national highway charges an expensive Php 100.00 per vehicle. You may drive to the interior, closer to the falls, to get a cheaper arrangement of Php 20.00 parking fee.

Rental rate for cottages, tables is Php 300.00. Way too much for a setup very similar to Larsians and other grill areas in Cebu.

Rafting to move you directly under the falls will cost Php 300.00 per group. Highly expensive if you compare this to whole day island hopping packages in other provinces which charge as little as Php 700.00 with free lunch.

Enjoying the ice cold water. Pseudo-swimming on.

Enjoying the ice cold water. Pseudo-swimming on.

After two hours of pseudo-swimming in the pools of Kawasan, we went to Lambug Beach. The road going there is quite a similar experience when going to Basdaku. Thought that there will be a big Lambug Beach billboard along the road so we missed the left turn junction and had to ask for directions from cows  (hehe. a good number of graze along the route) and locals.

Countryside feel

Countryside feel

Lambug Beach more than made up for the crowded Kawasan experience. Sunset was great and gave us the golden light for nice photo effects.

I’m hopeful, Badian and Cebu province officials take pro-active steps to preserve the natural allure of Lambug Beach. The corals which we rarely see among Cebu’s beaches should be protected through environment-friendly regulations over the temptations of tourism money.

PS. Just returned a few days back and was charged Php 100.00 parking fee on a public lot by a videoke owner.

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All photos from Danya with CJ and me alternating as photographers.

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6.3 quake shakes Negros Occidental; Cebu better prepare

Another strong earthquake (magnitude 6.3) has hit quite close to Cebu – this time in Hinoba-an town, Negros Occidental. In less than 5 years, three quakes struck near and even affected Cebu. The previous two caused much damage and panic:

1. October 15, 2013 quake with epicenter at Carmen, Bohol
2. February 6, 2012 quake with epicenter at Guihulngan, Negros Oriental (Remember Chona Mae?)

PHILVOLCS Bulletin on the Negros earthquake. Image grabbed from from www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph

PHILVOLCS Bulletin on the Negros earthquake. Image grabbed from from www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph

It is best that we Bisdak prepare for another tremblor even if we handily survived these earthquakes. Moreover, the quakes are becoming more frequent.

Based on the American Red Cross website (http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/earthquake | © Copyright The American National Red Cross. All rights reserved.), to prepare for an earthquake, one must:

  • Become aware of fire evacuation and earthquake safety plans for all of the buildings you occupy regularly.
  • Pick safe places in each room of your home, workplace and/or school. A safe place could be under a piece of furniture or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you.
  • Practice “drop, cover and hold on” in each safe place. If you do not have sturdy furniture to hold on to, sit on the floor next to an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms.
  • Keep a flashlight and sturdy shoes by each person’s bed in case the earthquake strikes in the middle of the night.
  • Make sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation.
  • Bolt and brace water heaters and gas appliances to wall studs.
  • Bolt bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs.
  • Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches and anywhere people sleep or sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures.
  • Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. Large or heavy items should be closest to the floor.
  • Learn how to shut off the gas valves in your home and keep a wrench handy for that purpose.
  • Learn about your area’s seismic building standards and land use codes before you begin new construction.
  • Keep and maintain an emergency supplies kit in an easy-to-access location.

The American Red Cross also has their mobile Earthquake app which can be downloaded via Google Play or i-Tunes stores.

The American Red Cross Earthquake app. Screen grab from Google Play Store.

The American Red Cross Earthquake app. Screen grab from Google Play Store.

As written on their Google Play Store page, the American Red Cross Earthquake app has the following features:

  • Step-by-step instructions let you know what to do even before/during/after an earthquake, even if no data connectivity.
  • Get notified when an earthquake occurs; see the intensity impact to your area or those of loved-ones with notifications generated by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
  • Let family and friends know you are okay with the customizable “I’m Safe” alert for Facebook, Twitter, email and text.
  • Find open Red Cross shelters in your area when you need help.
  • Stay safe when the lights are out with the Toolkit, including a strobe light, flashlight and audible alert functions.
  • Prepare for the worst by learning how to assemble an emergency kit for your family in the event of power outage or evacuation.
  • Empower your family to stay safe and remain calm in an emergency by learning how to make and practice an emergency plan.
  • Earn badges that you can share with your friends and show off your hurricane knowledge with interactive quizzes.
  • See an illustrated history of earthquakes in your area.
  • Know how to what to do about food and drinking water when your area has been impacted by floods and power outages.
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Miriam (banat) jokes

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago recently graced the UP Cebu graduation as its guest
speaker. Widely anticipated were her jokes:

Use Obama in a sentence.

Answer: If I’m all alone, I’m Obama-self. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago is the guest speaker at UP Cebu's graduation rites.

If you want to break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend after graduation, Sen. Santiago gave these witty lines:

Password ka ba?

Bakit?

Hindi kasi kita kayang kalimutan pero kaya kitang palitan.

If that is not enough to convince your partner, the Miriam says:

Bachelor’s degree ka ba?

Bakit?

Kasi tapos na ako sa iyo.

Finally, a harsher one:

Summer ka ba?

Bakit?

Kasi wala kang class.

Keeping up with The Legal Wife theme:

I have one husband.

And as far as I can tell he seems to be morally disciplined. At least when I’m around.

Corruption and politics were also the theme of her jokes:

“Sa tindi ng traffic sa Manila, asahan mo masasagupa mo mga driver na mga may road rage, drug addicts, sex addicts. May isa rin sa Senado.”

“Nagkaroon ng pagkakataon ng tig-isang tanong kay God ang mga Presidente ng China, USA at Pilipinas,

Nauna ang China

CHINA: God kailan mawawala sa bansa ko ang corruption at kahirapan?
GOD: 300 years anak.
CHINA: Umiyak ang presidente ng China. Naku patay nako niyan.

Sumunod nagtanong ang USA

USA: God kailan mawawala sa bansa ko ang corruption at kahirapan?
GOD: 500 years anak.
USA: umiyak ang presidente ng USA, patay nako bago mangyari yan

Sumunod nagtanong ang presidente ng Pilipinas.

PILIPINAS: God kailan po mawawala sa bansa ko ang corruption at kahirapan?

Umiyak si God.

GOD: PATAY TAYO D’YAN”

She also dished out a classic Juan Tamad joke:

Teacher asks students: Ano gusto mo paglaki mo?
Pedro: Gusto ko tulong kapwa.
Jose: Gusto ko doktor para tulong kapwa.
Kiko: Gusto ko mayor para tulong kapwa.
Maria: Gusto lingkod kapwa.
Juan Tamad: Gusto ko maging KAPWA.

Here is the full video of Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s speech by ACT-UP Cebu:

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Trained govt workers on ICT and discovered Pinamungajan’s beauty

The UP Cebu Department of Computer Science, a CHED Center of Excellence grantee, went to Pinamungajan, Cebu last April 24-26 to conduct an ICT skills enhancement training for government workers and teachers of the 3rd congressional district.

The ICT training covered topics in office productivity applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, slide presentations, and basic computer operations and troubleshooting.

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I was designated to discuss effective slide presentations. To provide a “local feel” to my talk, I made a quick research on Pinamungajan and Toledo City since most of our audience came from the two places.

While scouring the net, I got amazed that Pinamungajan actually has a lot of destinations to please different types of tourists. From their local government website, http://www.pinamungajan.gov.ph, here are the town’s top attractions:

1. Hidden Valley Mountain Resort

Hidden Valley Mountain Resort

Hidden Valley Mountain Resort – a rather secluded mountain resort which offer cold spring pools, photo friendly dinosaur fixtures, and overnight accommodations. (Photo taken from Pinamungajan local government website.)

We were fortunately given a free tour by the staff of the local government after our Friday session and got to experience what the town website says as: “an adventure in itself as the road winds its way up over scenic rice fields and mountains.” The night time ride allowed us to view the field of stars usually hidden by Cebu City’s lights.

We skipped swimming in their cold pools and instead sang a videoke song or two.

2. Twin falls: Udlom and Sinungkulan Falls

Udlom and Sinungkulan Falls (Photo taken from Pinamungajan local government website.)

Udlom and Sinungkulan Falls (Photo taken from Pinamungajan local government website.)

Would have wanted to take a view and a dip into these beauty but we didn’t have time to spare. Sinungkulan is said to be visible when you’re at Hidden Valley Mountain Resort, as both are located in Barangay Lamac, but the night’s darkness also prevented us a view.

3. Tajao Public Beach

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We were billeted at Park Place Resort and had Tajao’s public beach as our backyard. The beach has black sand and sports very clean waters. Morning strolls give you a glimpse of the fishing community.


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Cottages of Park Place Resort. The resort is one of the few resorts lining the Tajao public beach.

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Trying out a selfeet featuring the sands of Tajao.

4. Sunsets

Pinamungajan, being a midwest town, has a spectacular view of the sunset. Their local website describes the sunset experience as: Whether from a bench in the municipal plaza or from the beaches in Tajao, the spectacular view never fails to refresh a weary soul.”

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Sunset as seen from our room terrace.

5. Mangroves

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Photo taken from the Pinamungajan local website.

On our way to the training venue from our accommodation, we get to pass by the ever growing mangroves of Pinamungajan. Would have wanted to ride a banca to cruise along the river which is lined by a mangrove forest quite similar to Bojo River of Aloguinsan town.

Felt fulfilled by the three-day ICT skills training as I can clearly see the participants’ keen interest to our discussions. Hopefully, the training would help them in delivering better public service and that they will be able to pass on the knowledge to others.

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