Crazy beautiful ride to Osmena Peak and Kawasan Falls

I was hobbling for few days due to swollen joints. Yet, today, I am sitting on this precipice that is 1042 meters above sea level. It’s early morning so click looks so foggy. You cannot see what’s really down there. I tell you it’s deep and the strong wind sporadically makes you off balance.  Who would’ve thought I could make this journey. 

Osmena Peak. Being our first ever trail trip, my friends and I left Cebu at 12 midnight journeying to Dalaguete where Osmena Peak springs. Osmena Peak is Cebu’s highest summit I describe as having clumped green grotesque hills clutching the shorelines of Badian .A lot of tourist flock to this trail spot to behold the spectacular beauty of Mother Earth.

To enjoy a 360 view, it is best to trail in the afternoon as early morning can be too foggy with zero visibility – – which was not our case! We left too early and started moving from Dalaguete junction to Osmena Peak at 4am (Landmark: Seven Eleven and Julie’s Bakeshop). By the time we reached the peak, the anticipated view was impeded with mist, fog and haze (they’re synonyms so whatever you call it anyway).

Good to note:

At the entranceway to Osmena Peak, you’ll have to sign up at the Osmena Peak Hikers’ Center and pay an entrance fee of 30 pesos. Local guides may also approach you and you pay their service at a courtesy rate. Normally 150-200 pesos per guide will do.

Entranceway to Hikers’ Center. 

Hikers’ Center is open 24 hours, therefore, you can trek any time you want. By midway of the journey, you will find campsites and cabins. You can bring your own tent and set it up at the campsites or rent a cabin. For cabin reservation, you can contact Manang Willy at 09332887208 or 09226801623. Cabin is good for 2-3 person with water, lights and free use of restroom. 

Cabin and Campsite

It is advisable to get support from a stick or pole for the track can be too slippery. You can rent one at the entranceway at 10 pesos per stick or pole.  

The Magic Stick.

You will also meet these captures below making the trip even more entertaining.

Congratulate thyself for reaching the top, and don’t forget to photo-record such success. 

Couldn’t be any prouder. 
He is one of the best tour guides in town. He also takes good care of capturing good angles of me. Those are some bird whistles by the way. 

Dalaguete. On the the way back to Dalaguete proper, make time to pass by Mantalongon Public Market. You will lament if you don’t do so as this is the kernel to finding very affordable fresh goods (such a steal!). I was even surprised that cannon ball cabbages only cost 3 pesos a kilo.

These are same vegetables brought to Carbon Market and to some of our supermarkets. By the time it gets to those stores, prices are already doubled even tripled. 

I bought quiet a lot so I need some reinforcement. A little thank you paper bill will do. Look how stuffed my car is. 

Kawasan Falls. You can also make a side trip to Kawasan Falls, Badian. Kawasan Falls is one of the famous waterfalls in Cebu where you can swim and relax around turquoise-azure waters.

Using a private car, it would take around an hour drive to reach San Vicente Church where you can park your car. From the church, you gait for 20 minutes to reach Kawasan Falls. Entrance Fee is 30 pesos per head and Life Vest rental is at 50 pesos per piece.

Varied food stalls will greet you along the way. I tried everything. 

There are also rooms where you could stay overnight. Room rate ranges from  1500-2500 depending on the amenities. If you choose to stay only for a short while, you can rent table and chairs at 300 per day.

There are more packages to avail from. You can go for canyoneering at 1500 per head, trekking to see all 9 falls (you would need a guide at 200 service fee for 4 hours), or simply just have a free back massage from the surging water. 

Ready, set, dive

Molave Milk Station, Barili. En route back to Cebu City via Barili,you can make a pit stop at Milk Station where you can buy fresh cow and goat’s milk. The place looks like a romantic resto go-to for lovers to enjoy a glass of fresh milk . There are also ice cream gelatos and some candies made available for tourist bon vivants.

A trip is never fun without your crazy friends and I’m glad I made this journey with these two long-time love birds. Shall we go for another crazy ride? Yes, crazy indeed because from Dalaguete en route to Osmena Peak (traveling at 2am), environs suddenly became too dark and hazy because of heavy rains. We were all so scared yet we still continued moving. However, when we only need to travel at about 2KM, we unanimously and suddenly decided to turn back due to our eerie imaginations (what if we’ll fall on the cliff; what if terrorist attacks us or a white lady will just appear). By 4am, we went up again and found ourselves laughing at our own foolishness. Crowd of tourist awaits had we chosen to conquer the remaining 2KM travel. Nonetheless, it was a crazy beautiful adventure. Thank you lovies. 🙂

The P.H.A.T of Pho

Pretty Hot and Tasty: They always say ‘look up’ to find answers above. I’m not in quest for answers. I am sincerely asking high heavens to make me belch. Oh, definitely gasping for air and is feeling frozen due to overeating.  How can I spurn Pho’s classic aromatic vegetable and beef broth? Definitely, harder to say NO especially when paired with rice rolls and peanut sauce.

No victual pictures to keep you titillated but only a tease of my satiated face.

You may visit all their branches at:

Cebu

  1. Crossroad Mall, Banilad – +6332 416 2442
  2. Robinson’s Cybergate  – +6332 238 6825
  3. Ayala Terraces, – +6332 410 9687
  4. Skyrise 2, IT Park – +6332 416 2442
  5. SM Northwing
  6. SM Seaside

Manila

  1. Serendra, Bonifacio Global City – +632 843 0820
  2. Power Plant Mall, Rockwell – +632 750 6613

I heart you Nonki

It’s been 8 years and and up until now I’m still enamored by you. Your certain oomph always lingers as if telling me I’m fixated of you.  How much I wish I could be with you daily but I am only a bourgeoisie.

So, seeing you once a month already makes me perky. A sip of your aromatic tea with my all-time favourite, California Maki echoes authenticity – one and only in the City.

It’s great to have you. It’s even greater to see you today. You always totally satisfy me and my yearning belly. You are worth my recommendation and I wish you gain more patrons. Just like me, 8 years of being together is quiet a journey. I just heart you Nonki!

My usual order has always been california maki and  house tea. Today, belly yearns for more variety. Totally pleasurable piquancy!
Ready for round 2?

You may visit all branches of Nonki at:

  1. Main Branch -219 A. S. Fortuna Street, Bakilid, Mandaue City, Cebu – +6332 344 5837
  2. Ground Floor, One Pavilion Mall, Banawa – +6322 505 7638
  3. UpperGround Floor, Sm City Cebu – +6332 232 7712

How to bathe a stuffed bear

Two years ago, I was given a Pink Bear by a friend. We named the bear Giorgio – cute and stuffed like him (friend). Since then, I became fascinated with stuffed toys. I love having them around spending cuddly moments with each one. I have six so far… and counting.

However, it’s inevitable they get marred sporadically.  So, here’s my little way of bathing them:

1. Prepare your Bear, a pair of scissors, needle & thread, and a plastic bag.

IMG_3394
I am starting with my first ever Bear – Giorgio!

2. Make a small slit exactly where the stuffed bear was originally sewn. Pull out the fiber and place it inside the plastic bag. 

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As for Giorgio, the original stitches were located near his butt. I did a small slit enough for my hand to get through. Now, what’s left is his head so I’m still not through.

3. Wash the outer fabric with soap and water. Hang to dry.

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I applied fabric conditioner to soften. 

4. Stuff it in and hand-stitch to close.

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No need for nimble. Pretty easy stitch to do. 

5. Groom and Hug!

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Lovely family! Giorgio here is good as new, with his Brother Little Xavy. 

Hope this helps. Have fun bathing your Bears!

The Expectation Gap

Curious to see one of the most instagrammable sights in Toledo, Mo and I plummeted on a trip to South to also share our own version of the famous Labyrinth snaps. Pretty much enlivened, we used Waze to ensure not to miss the beauty spot. After a 2-hour odyssey, we finally reached our destination–only to find out that our expectation didn’t match with the reality.

Our funny tête-à-tête:

“Where is the Labyrinth?”

“This is the Labyrinth.”

“No, this isn’t the Labyrinth”.

“Ian, this is the Labyrinth. Look up!” I looked up and saw labyrinth inscribe on wood.

“This is it?”

“This is it!”

While Mo was taking candid shots of me, I cannot help but laugh out loud on the milieu. Both of us were expecting an elaborate, confusing green structure we see in Greek movies (or as we imagined from reading novels). We were even ready to get lost and then find each other under a gigantic tree.  But reality sank in. The Labyrinth is just a small garden of green plants constructed next to a private catholic chapel.  Then, we learnt that it was actually designed for meditation or praying the Holy Rosary– a symbolic form of pilgrimage which one can walk the path ascending towards salvation or enlightenment – NOT A MAZE TO GET LOST. Hence, the expectation gap.

Just like LIFE.  We paint our lives with too many colours and write lofty goals only to uncover the epilogues are nothing like what we expect them to be  – either we lament on how unfair life is  or we  rejoice for such pleasant turn out of events. How often did we cry over bad investments in stock market, fiasco relationships, or even birthdays un-celebrated with loved ones? How many times did we jump for joy for every hard work recognised, successful project proposals or even just when Mr. Crush finally says its sweet “hello”.

If only we can predict every outcome, right? Yet, we can’t. We do not have the ability to see in full accuracy what the future holds for us. We can only make decisions based on knowledge, information, sometimes intuition but we can’t control life’s unknowns and detours. Perception is not the reality.

So it was not a maze to get lost, and like me, you may have exclaimed this-is-it-! twice or more (at some point in your life) but it is how you enjoy this kind of life’s fireworks and hiccups. Mo and I had our share of an epic fail expectation-vs-reality moments but it didn’t stop us from from having fun learning that perception and reality don’t always match up. Live the adventure and be resilient in taking on life’s beautiful strides.

 

The door to Labyrinth. Prep your hundred peso to enter. 
Bombshell: Look Up! you have finally reached the Labyrinth.
Passionate paparazzo: To get this shot, Mo has to climb a makeshift steel ladder.
All embracing.
A drop curtain we didn’t expect. This is the private chapel beside the Labyrinth. It showcases all religious collections from EU. A total holy moley. 
Taken aback. Surely adorable antiquated miniature. 
Pardon me. I only wanted a click next to the Pieta. Didn’t have any idea I was sitting on the tomb of the owner. However, he has my sincere obeisance upon knowing the story of why the Labyrinth was open to public. Every hundred-peso entrance fee to see the Labyrinth goes to the schooling of the less fortunate children in the community. In same building, there’s a dedicated room where children attend classes.

How will you write a literary piece using Accounting Terms in 20 minutes?

Tired from work I wanted to sleep

Been a long day – meetings and signing checks

Cold and eerie, where’s my duvet?

Up in a closet folded neatly.

***

Thug Thug Thug suddenly drowning in tears

Anybody care to notice?

Looked around, there’s no one.

Except a shadow of a man.

***

Real Estate Business at stake

A corporation I can no longer keep

Disordered with all Liabilities

Loans, Bonds…. Oh No, the company is in bad debts

***

Debauchery enveloped the mind

Expenses of some kind

Salaries, Utilities, Supplies, Insurance

How then can my people survive?

***

Assets all exhausted.

No more cash and equivalents.

Financial statements read red

Can someone offer help?

***

Scared but has to try

Knocking at door’s friend for a bullion or in-kind

Embarrassing, I know

A CEO begging for dough

***

Lamenting in verses, couldn’t take

Weeping hard as I hit the letters

I am sorry investors, creditors, suppliers

Bankruptcy, today I declare.

***

Now, what to do, send this letter-to-all for info?

Or keep in an email draft to buy time or two

High heavens I’m begging you

Either Liquidity or Solvency will do.

***

Dag, dag, dag, I awoke

Called the office and speak to the CFO

“Steph, is the company balance and up?”

“Joe, relax! Everything is up and about.”

***

Editor’s Note: Cebu Landmasters Inc sent us for a 2-day training in Basic Accounting Workshop for Non-Accountants. Earlier, we were given a task to write a literary piece using accounting terms.  We were given only 20 minutes to finish the activity. Above prose was my entry and Choco Bar below was my prize.

A confession of an ex-con: “I met Jesus in Prison”

As I’m writing this entry, a little fete in the house still continues in honor of our Patron Saint. Kin and fellows come by round the clock to share sumptuous meal with everyone. Hankering for fresh air, I decided to stay in the vestibule earlier – not knowing a metamorphic conversation would take place there. Julius Perez, a distant kindred and an ex-con, as how he introduced himself, took my faith to the next level.

03 December 2005, Julius, together with a minor, has killed an allegedly male AKRHO Gang member. According to him it was a crime of self-defense since he was pointed with a gun first. Financially crippled to obtain a private lawyer fighting for his case, he ended up spending 12 years in prison with a tag– MURDERER.

It was difficult. At times I think of his family. At times I think of my future. I was struggling the first few months in jail but I have had high hopes one day I can be free”, he reverberated when asked about the challenges he went through.

Determined to get out from prison with head held high, he behaved accordingly abiding all cell rules. From an ordinary inmate, he was chosen to become a commander (jail lead) for he portrayed a commendable behaviour. He created fair rules and camaraderie among fellows. He also learned as much as he can, in fact, he was the very first detainee to graduate from ALS (Alternative Learning System).

Notwithstanding , the rumination that startled me most was when he shared HOW HE MET JESUS IN PRISON. Inside bars and in the midst of distress and anxieties, he found Jesus. He felt like a little voice was comforting him with powerful sweet words of fortification. By then, he never let go of the connection and worked so hard to grow his relationship with God. He started the art of silent prayers. He read all chapters in the Bible from Old to New Testament. He attended every Holy Masses celebrated inside the prison, and he led the recital of Holy Rosary – a life completely antithetical before his conviction- when all he knew was to have a good time (barkada, barrio disco and booze).

“God exists and so does blessings. I thought being in prison is the end of everything, yet, it became the beginning of all great things. God showed me his ways and I accepted it with open heart, and now I am trying to continue my very intimate relationship with HIM.”

Julius, is one of those stories that truly touched my inner being. His story is a testament that God reaches to us wherever we are under any circumstance. He never abandons His children specially the lowly ones.

Today, being a freeman, Julius relentlessly sustains his reverence to Jesus and even compound this to others. He is now teaching his girlfriend how to read the bible and to pray the Holy Rosary. He is also never embarrassed being called an ex-con for he’s aware that God has pardoned him.

Editor’s Note: Although, Julius is an ALS graduate (HS Level), he still finds hard to find a decent job due to his history of being an ex-con. However, from our conversation earlier, I can vouch that he is a man with good and pure heart. Definitely, full of gratitude. May all my blog readers be able to help him in his journey towards starting a new life outside the prison cell. Julius, may you be blessed even more and may God’s name be glorified because of your humility!