Da Vinci's Pizza: More Than Just White Sauce Pizza

Da Vinci's Pizza is a Cebuano pizzeria that started in 2002. It has been known for it's famous white sauce pizza. Fast forward to 2015, there's more to just white sauce pizza flavors at Da Vinci's. From it's humble beginnings, Da Vinci's now serves patrons in seven branches located across Metro Cebu. They have also expanded their menu. The menu now include tomato sauce and white sauce pizza, pasta and potatoes, pizza piccolo, sandwiches, chicken meals, and breakfast bowls.

Along with several other bloggers from Cebu Blogging Community, I attended the brand relaunch of Da Vinci's at their Parkmall branch last 29 August 2015. During the well-attended event, we sampled the new items on the menu of Da Vinci's, as well as their old-time favorites. We were also briefed on the rationale for the enhanced branding effort.

New Look Da Vinci's Pizza

Da Vinci's look and feel has recently gone through a major makeover. This is especially true for branches in Parkmall, Metro Colon, Jones Avenue, and SM Consolacion. They want to project an enjoyable, family-centered vibe that feels homey yet fun as one dines at Da Vinci's.

Da Vinci's Pizza in Cebu
Da Vinci's Pizza in Cebu

Hermit's Cove: A Hidden Paradise in Aloguinsan, Cebu

One Sunday morning, we needed to scratch some wanderlusts' itch. And off we went to Hermit's Cove in the mid-western town of Aloguinsan in Cebu. The place we went to was slowly becoming popular among locals and tourists in Cebu. Thanks to social media and government promotion.

The Journey On The Road Less Traveled To Hermit's Cove

We had two choices of which road to take from Cebu City to Aloguinsan. The easier but longer route would have been to travel via Naga passing through Toledo City and Pinamungajan before reaching Aloguinsan. Since we already left the city in the mid-morning, we decided to take the shorter route through Carcar City and Barili. It wasn't a bad road to take. There were a few rough stretches. But most of the way was paved. Only the unfamiliarity of the road was a challenge. We didn't know how to get to Hermit's Cove as it wasn't mapped on Google yet. The closest we could find on Google Maps was Kantabogon Road.

Hermit's Cove in Aloguinsan Cebu
Hermit's Cove

Affordable Buffet at La Regatta Restaurant on Fridays

An affordable buffet is served at La Regatta Restaurant every Friday night. La Regatta is located at Alta Cebu Village Garden Resort and Convention Center in Cordova. The theme for this affordable buffet differs from time to time. We were able to experience Filipino night last 21 August 2015. Me and my co-facilitators just concluded a leadership training program for a manufacturing company at Marigondon. We decided to drop by Alta Cebu Resort to try La Regatta's affordable buffet after the program.

Filipino Night at La Regatta's Affordable Buffet

It was Filipino night on 21 August 2015 at Alta Cebu Resort's La Regatta Restaurant. To be honest though, the menu wasn't too Filipino. They did serve loads of rice, a Filipino staple. But many of the viands or entrees were not too Filipino. They had fried chicken. While it is a Filipino favorite, it is not a traditional Filipino dish. I did love their fried chicken though. I could really savor the soy flavor in its meat. Inihaw na baboy or roasted pork belly can pass up as Filipino. So can dinuguan, sinugbang isda, and their nilagang baboy. Pork menudo? It's another Pinoy favorite, but it has Hispanic origins. They also served breaded pork chops with Baguio beans in gata (coconut milk). I felt only the gata  made it Filipino. For dessert, they served buko pandan, puto cheese, and maja blanca. For the beverage, it was chilled orange juice.

fried chicken at La Regatta Restaurant
Fried chicken

Pado Beach Resort in Mactan

Note: Permanently closed as of 2016.

Lapulapu City has branded itself as Cebu's Historic Resort City. The city prides itself as the beach capital of Metro Cebu. Mactan Island, which comprises most of Lapulapu City, is where most of the beach resorts in Metro Cebu are located. Most of the high end beach resorts are located in Mactan. But there are many cheap resorts in Mactan Island as well.

Cheap Beach Resort in Mactan: Pado Beach Resort

A cheap beach resort in Mactan Island that I have gone to recently is Pado Beach Resort. It is located in sitio Kalubihan, Marigondon. There are several cheap beach resorts in the same area. The more popular ones are Ocean Pearl Resort and Blue Reef Mactan Island Resort.

Amenities and Features 

There are not too many amenities at Pado Beach Resort. They have a small swimming pool, several cottages, rooms, a small parking area, and a dive shop. There is a lagoon where they keep several fish and raise some sharks. A humble canteen serves meals for guests.

Iho bar
Iho Bar

14 Reasons Why Traffic Is Bad In Cebu

Cebu's traffic situation has turned from bad to worse in recent memory. It has become a major problem in Metro Cebu. So I took on a few road trips with my brother to investigate why traffic is bad in Cebu. On some occasions, I took some photos of these factors.

Vehicles Stopping at Non-Designated Stops 

It is common for public utility vehicles to stop at non-designated stops to load or unload passengers. This is the same for jeepneys, buses, tricycles, GT express vans, and taxicabs. Many privately-owned vehicle drivers are guilty of this too. And it seems nobody cares that they are causing traffic obstruction when they do this.

Irresponsible Parking 

Parking on Streets 

The city government of Cebu has turned some roadsides into parking spots. This despite being told by the court that it is not legal. This leaves some road one or two less lanes to drive on.

Street parking
Street parking

Enjoy Grilled Tuna Panga and More at STK ta Bay!

Me and some of my college classmates haven't had a get-together for quite some time. Although modern technology allows us to communicate through mobile phones, e-mail, and mostly Facebook, I haven't physically been with my buddy Jai since we last watched a Philippine Azkals football game against the Los Angeles Galaxy at Manila's Rizal Memorial Coliseum in 2011. I do meet up with Orville more frequently compared to my other college batch mates. This past weekend we had a chance for a get-together with some college classmates and our batch mates from the 8th circle of the Facilitators' Circle. When it was time to part ways again, three of us decided to have dinner on a Sunday night. We ended up at STK ta Bay as Orville was craving for some grilled tuna panga.

Yakski: Cebu's Best Barbecue Restaurant

Barely two years after it opened its doors to the Cebuano dining public in September of 2012, Yakski Barbecue restaurant was already recognized by SunStar Cebu's Best of Cebu Awards as Cebu's best barbecue restaurant in the year 2014.

The foodie in me just can't resist not trying this out. You would see a lot of people queuing up at Yakski Barbecue restaurant's branch along Mariano Cui Street in Capitol Site during dinner time and even minutes before its opening time. It can get so packed that it is but wise to place your reservations ahead of time when you plan to dine in at Yakski Barbecue restaurant. Another thing that surprised me is it's budget-friendly too! It's not too expensive and I'm sure many can afford it's pricing.

People line up before store opening at Yakski Barbecue
People line up before store opening at Yakski Barbecue Restaurant Capitol Site branch

What To Do in Cebu For A Dollar

As a major urban center in the Philippines, Cebu can be expensive. However, there are a lot of things in Cebu that a tourist can actually do to experience the culture for the cost of a dollar, less, or just a bit more.

Want it free instead? Check out Free Things a Tourist Can Do in Cebu City

What To Do in Cebu for a Dollar: Ride Some Local Transportation 

Ride A Jeepney 

The minimum fare for public utility jeepneys in Cebu is only PhP 7.00 (roughly USD 0.15). A tourist's dollar  will allow him to take at least 6 short jeepney rides. Think how much exploring one can do with that.

Ride A Pedicab 

Pedicabs are pedal-powered tricycles that is called trisikad in Cebu. Most pedicabs operate in smaller interior roads leading from provincial or barangay roads to subdivision or community roads. Short rides cost at least PhP 5 per person. When you are heavier than the average person, that tends to doubled.

Ride A Tricycle

I have come across many foreign tourists who are enamored at the design of local passenger tricycles. I figured foreign tourists might have fun riding in those. Minimum fare is PhP 7 but double that if you occupy a seat intended for two. You can also negotiate with the tricycle driver to make the ride exclusive for you.

Ride A Tartanilla 

Tartanillas or horse-drawn carriages still operate along Magallanes Street near Carbon Market. One can experience this for less than a dollar.

 What To Do in Cebu for a Dollar: ride Tartanillas

In Focus in August: Halo Restaurant's Barkada Meal Package

Cebu, is a foodie's paradise. Restaurants are in cutthroat competition to offer the best deals to diners and food junkies. In this post, we shall focus on Halo Restaurant's promotion for the month of August: the Halo Restaurant Barkada Meal Package. Priced at PhP 1,589, the Barkada Meal Package at Halo Restaurant can satisfy 4 to 6 diners. It features a tower of barbecue spare ribs tower, calamari fritos, spaghetti Alfredo, vegetable spring rolls, a pitcher of fruity minty iced tea, and 6 local beers. While you are enjoying your meal, a band will entertain you with some music too.

Halo Restaurant's Barkada Meal Package 

Barkada Meal Package at Halo Restaurant
Barkada Meal Package

5 Must Try Dishes at Halo Restaurant

Cebu can be a foodie's paradise. As such, I am always open to try restaurants in Cebu. This past weekend, I went with my colleagues from the Cebu Blogging Community to Halo Restaurant at St. Mark Hotel along Queens Road in Barangay Camputhaw, Cebu City. We sampled the best-selling and most recommended dishes for dinner. As a matter of full disclosure, we did not  pay a dime for the food.

Honey Herb Chicken at Halo Restaurant

The honey herb chicken is my personal favorite. I just love how the honey gives it a sweet flavor. It's a real treat for my Filipino palate. It looks good and tastes just as good.

Buffalo Wings With Chili Sauce 

Those who are in for spicy treats may find some comfort that Halo Restaurant serves buffalo chicken wings that comes with hot chili sauce.

Buffalo wings with chili sauce at Halo Restaurant
Buffalo wings with chili sauce