The Church of San Pedro Calungsod

A modern chapel was built on the property bought by SM Holdings Inc. as a fitting remembrance to San Pedro Calungsod, the first Visayan and the second Filipino to be canonized as a saint. The Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod is a stone's throw away from the newly opened SM Seaside City mall at the South Road Properties in barangay Mambaling, Cebu City, Philippines. It was donated by the Sy family to the Archdiocese of Cebu.

The chapel has been in operation long before the mall opened. It is the first structure built on the SM Seaside City complex. I have gone there several times to attend weddings. The church sits on a 5,001-square meter lot and can accommodate a total of 803 people.

Currently, daily mass services are available at the chapel and there are also more masses on Sundays. While a relatively new church, many people already visit the place. It has become a popular wedding venue, a common stop for tours at the SRP, and a place of worship for mall goers.

San Pedro Calungsod

San Pedro Calungsod to whom the church is dedicated to, is the first Visayan and second Filipino to be canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. He was martyred in Guam where he preached Christianity to the Chamorros. His birthplace could either be Molo district, Iloilo City or Ginatilan, Cebu although there are also claims that he was from Loboc, Bohol and from Leyte. He was beatified in 2000 and canonized in 2012.

Architecture

One of my friends commented that the architecture of the San Pedro Calungsod Church reminds him of a more modern rendition of England's Stonehenge. This impression is probably brought about by the arrangement of 100 parallel walls that make the chapel's architecture a unique one. Each of the 100 walls is of different width and height.

San Pedro Calungsod Chapel in Cebu City, Philippines
Walls of the San Pedro Calungsod Chapel in Cebu City, Philippines


Location

The Church of San Pedro Calungsod is located near SM Seaside City at the South Road Properties, barangay Mambaling, Cebu City, Philippines. It is located in between the SRP Farmers' Market and SM Seaside City mall.


References

  1. Out of Town BlogAccessed 12 February 2016.
  2. The Philippine Star. Accessed 12 February 2016.
  3. Wikipedia. Accessed 12 February 2016.

Teriyaki Beef Pepper Rice: Bestseller at Pepper Lunch

A promotional poster outside the Pepper Lunch diner caught my attention while I was walking at the rooftop garden area of Ayala Center Cebu one day. It was mid-morning and I was looking for some new place to eat and I decided I'll try this thing. This wasn't my first time to really eat at Pepper Lunch as I visited their old spot near the Active Zone a couple of times before. Wait, that was Sizzlin' Pepper Plate and not Pepper Lunch but the latter one's so eerily familiar with the former.

Pepper Lunch in Cebu City, Philippines
Pepper Lunch in Cebu City, Philippines


Pepper Lunch: A Japanese Diner

I do not quite remember that Pepper Lunch was a Japanese restaurant. How pleasantly surprised I was when I heard the familiar "Irashaimase" greeting customary in most Japanese restaurants. If you know me, you know I am a sucker for Japanese food. No hot towels though. This one is more of a fast food type joint. Instead of waiters taking your orders, you come up to the counter and place your orders. There weren't too many people in the diner except for a young couple and an old guy quietly eating in their respective tables and an old woman who ordered some to go food.

Pepper Lunch in Cebu City, Philippines
The interior of Pepper Lunch in Cebu City, Philippines


Best Selling Dish at Pepper Lunch

As a first timer, I did not know what to order so I asked for some suggestions from the cashier. She offered teriyaki beef pepper rice saying it was their best seller. She also asked if I wanted curry dishes, steak, pasta, or chicken. Since I figured from their name that the house specialty should be pepper rice meals, I went with her first suggestion and ordered the best selling teriyaki beef pepper rice with egg. 

Teriyaki Beef Pepper Rice at Pepper Lunch in Cebu City, Philippines
Teriyaki Beef Pepper Rice with Egg at Pepper Lunch in Cebu City, Philippines


The order came in a sizzling plate with the beef still raw on one side. After mixing the rice, beef, and egg, I had the option to enhance the flavors with some condiments on my table: honey brown sauce and garlic steak sauce. I loved that honey brown sauce on my beef.

Pepper Lunch in Cebu City, Philippines
Pepper Lunch in Cebu City, Philippines


The item that caught my attention on the promotional poster while walking outside the store was the "bonus meal". I asked about this and I was told that for an additional amount of only PhP 66, I get a drink, and a choice of a side dish or dessert.

Pepper Lunch in Cebu City, Philippines
Bonus meal?

I got iced tea for my drink and korumitsu or caramel ice cream for dessert. The ice cream was, well, vanilla ice cream and caramel. The bonus meal wasn't really a meal but more of drink and side dish or drink and dessert.

Caramel ice cream at Pepper Lunch in Cebu City, Philippines
Korumitsu Ice Cream at Pepper Lunch in Cebu City, Philippines

Shortcake Madness at Fujinoya

We were craving for desserts one night and ended up at Fujinoya Philippines cafe along Wilson Street in Lahug, Cebu City, Philippines. It was a couple of minutes past ten o'clock and there were just a few people at the café. Business hours was until 11 p.m. and the kitchen was no longer accepting orders. 

Fujinoya in Cebu City, Philippines
Fujinoya Philippines Cafe


Shortcake Madness at Fujinoya

As I approached the cake display, the barista excitedly enticed me with a 50% discount on some items. There were three of those items available at half the price: mango shortcake, mocha shortcake, and strawberry shortcake. I hurriedly ordered one (1) of each while my brother was still parking the car. 

Mango shortcake at Fujinoya in Cebu City, Philippines
Mango Shortcake at Fujinoya in Cebu City, Philippines




For our drinks I ordered iced calamansi juice and my brother ordered the best-selling chocolate milkshake. 

Fujinoya in Cebu City, Philippines
Our late night dessert at Fujinoya in Cebu City, Philippines

The shortcakes sold at PhP 150 each regularly and since we got a 50% discount, we paid only PhP 75 for each of the three shortcakes that we ordered or a total of PhP 225. The iced calamansi juice was sold at PhP 100 while the chocolate milkshake cost PhP 160. In total, we paid PhP 485. We would have paid PhP 710 for those orders but we paid 31.6% less than what it's regular value was. I should say that was more than a fair deal we got there.

We enjoyed both the mango shortcake and the strawberry shortcake. I particularly liked the mango shortcake with the really sweet mangoes on it. The strawberry shortcake was also a good blend of sweet and sour on a dessert.

Strawberry shortcake at Fujinoya in Cebu City, Philippines
Strawberry shortcake at Fujinoya in Cebu City,  Philippines


The coffee-based mocha shortcake didn't tickle our senses in the right way though. It was a little too bland and bitter for our liking. Nevertheless, we still felt the whole thing was good value for the money we spent that night.

Mocha shortcake at Fujinoya in Cebu City, Philippines
Mocha shortcake at Fujinoya in Cebu City, Philippines


Great Deals Abound as Silkair Celebrates It's 50th Year in the Philippines

Silkair is celebrating 50 years of service in the Philippines and in its golden year of flying the Philippine skies, great deals and promotions await Krisflyer members, Globe Platinum subscribers, BPI credit card holders, and Ayala Center Cebu shoppers. These deals are made available not only through Silkair but also through its mother company, Singapore Airlines. It can be availed by anyone flying out of Manila, Cebu, Davao, and Kalibo Airports.

Silkair
Silkair

Promo Fares from Silkair

So how enticing are these promo fares from Silkair and Singapore Airlines? See for yourself below. Also note that baggage allowance for economy class is 30 kilograms, 35 kilograms for premium economy class, and 40 kilograms for business class.

Singapore 

Fly out on a round trip ticket to Singapore for as low as USD 150 on economy class and USD 950 on business class. Aside from these affordable fares, also enjoy Singapore with a complimentary Singapore Explorer Pass which gives you free rides on the SIA hop-on bus and access to twenty (20) different attractions. For passengers with destinations beyond Singapore, they can avail of the Singapore Stopover Holiday Package which includes a free 1-night stay at a hotel in Singapore, airport transfers, admission to popular tourist attractions, and a SGD 20 Changi Dollar Voucher that can be used with no minimum purchase at participating stores, restaurants, and lounge at the Singapore Changi International Airport.

Hong Kong and Other Southeast Asian Destinations 

Starting at USD 200 for an economy class round trip ticket to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. For business class, round trip tickets to Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Cambodia re priced starting at USD 850 and USD 950 for Myanmar. 

Australia 

Fares to Australia start at USD 600 round trip, fly on Premium Economy Class to Sydney at USD 1,350 round trip, or enjoy business class fares at USD 2,000 round trip.

European Destinations

Travel to Europe for as low as USD 880 round trip on economy, USD 1,850 on premium economy class, or USD 3,000 on business class.

United States and New Zealand 

Fly to the United States and New Zealand for as low as USD 950 round trip on economy class. Round trip tickets for premium economy class are at USD 1,800 for Auckland and USD 1,850 for the United States.

India and Maldives 

Round trip premium economy class fares to Mumbai and Delhi is at USD 1,200 while business class fares to Indian destinations is at USD 2,000. 

South Africa and Dubai

Those who wish to visit South Africa, business class promo fares are at USD 3,000 round trip. Round trip business class fares for Dubai starts at USD 1,800.

Where To Get These Fares?

Participating Travel Agencies

Tickets may be availed at participating travel agencies. Selling period is from 1 February 2016 up to 29 February 2016. Travel period will be from February to December 2016. Purchase the tickets with your BPI credit card and pay through a 0% interest special installment plan up to six (6) months plus you get a USD 50 cash back for every purchase of two (2) beyond Singapore tickets or four (4) tickets to Singapore.

Silkair Travel Fair 

To avail of these promotional fares from Silkair and Singapore Airlines, you may drop by the 2nd Silkair Travel Fair at the Ayala Center Cebu starting today until 21 February 2016.

Zubuchon: A Different Kind of Lechon in Cebu

Inquiries for my team building service have been starting to peak this mid-February and so I am pre-occupied with a lot of meetings here and there. I had one business meeting over dinner at the Zubuchon Escario Central Mall branch on a Tuesday night. One of the things I like about business meetings is being able to explore what restaurants have to offer.

Zubuchon in Cebu, Philippines
Zubuchon in Cebu, Philippines


Zubuchon and Cebu Lechon

We all know that Cebu's lechon is craved for by many around the Philippines. Zubuchon's business is also built around lechon so people will at some point compare Zubuchon's own lechon with that of the traditional Cebuano lechon. I had the same curiosity. So I ordered Zubuchon's boneless lechon. The waitress who took my order wasn't probably paying proper attention and she brought us Zubuchon. While I accepted the order anyway and didn't make a fuzz out of it, this can be disappointing for some people.

Zubuchon in Cebu, Philippines
Zubuchon, PhP 330 for a serving good for 3-4 people


So how does Zubuchon compare to the traditional Cebuano lechon flavor? Like the traditional Cebu lechon, Zubuchon's version is also generally salty (You can really taste the rock salt or sea salt). The difference is that Zubuchon uses a lot of peppercorns to flavor the meat. While these unground peppercorns gives Zubuchon's meat its distinct flavor, I find them too much of a nuisance when eating as it's all over the meat and I bit on some of them.

I also noticed that the skin color of Zubuchon is paler in color compared to that of the traditional Cebu lechon. According to the literature on the Zubuchon website, this is because they wipe the skin with olive oil and spray it with fresh coconut water before cooking. In cooking traditional Cebu lechon, the meat is wiped with soy sauce and sugar water primarily. Zubuchon also pricks the skin of their lechon on purpose.

We also ordered the Zubuchon Pancit which was their take on the pancit canton. The noodle dish contained lechon bits, shrimps, carrots, onions, and bell pepper. I found the dish too salty and too fatty because of the lechon bits in it. 

Pancit at Zubuchon in Cebu, Philippines
Zubuchon Pancit, PhP 210


About Zubuchon

Zubuchon's name was derived from "Zubu", the name of Cebu in old maps, and lechon, Cebu's famous roasted whole pig. The man behind Zubuchon is Joel Binamira of MarketManila fame. Zubuchon started in 2009,  a year after famed chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain proclaimed that the lechon Joel cooked was "the best pig ever". You will see this quote prominently displayed in Zubuchon's stores.

Zubuchon Branches

Zubuchon has eight (8) branches around Cebu, Philippines:

Main Branch / Head Office

2651 Villalon Drive, Cebu City, Philippines
Telephone Number: (032) 254 7342
Business Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday

Escario Central Mall 

Escario Street, Cebu City, Philippines
Telephone Number: (032) 254 0247
Operating Hours: 
  • 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays
  • 9 a.m. - 11 p.m. Sundays

The Walk at I.T. Park 

Ground Floor, The Walk, Asiatown I.T. Park
Lahug, Cebu City, Philippines
Telephone Number: (032) 236 8253
Operating Hours: 10 a.m. - 2 a.m.  Daily

City SOHO 

City SOHO Mall
B. Rodriguez Street, Cebu City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Daily

One Mango Avenue

Gen. Maxilom Avenue, Cebu City, Philippines
Telephone Number: (032) 239 5697
Operating Hours: 
  • 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays
  • 9 a.m. - 11 p.m. Sundays

The Outlets at Pueblo Verde 

Unit 28 Building, The Outlets at Pueblo Verde,
Basak, Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Daily

Mactan International Airport 

Domestic Pre-departure Area
Mactan Cebu International Airport
Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines

Mactan Marina Mall

Block A, Ground Floor, Mactan Marina Mall
MEZ 1, Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines
Telephone Number: (032) 266 1310
Operating Hours: Open 24 Hours

Chinese Ngohiong: Old Time Favorite in Cebu

When I was in college, one of the affordable meal options popular among my fellow Carolinian students at the time was the Chinese Ngohiong place across the Philippine Christian Gospel School (PCGS) along Junquera Street in Cebu City, Philippines. When I started working as a guidance counselor in the University of Cebu Allied Campus, they expanded with a branch along Sanciangko Street across the New Cebu Coliseum. I found myself visiting the good old place recently and I found out that they have are now also selling food items other than the classic ngohiong

Chinese Ngohiong in Cebu City, Philippines
Chinese Ngohiong in Cebu City, Philippines


Of course, the familiar Chinese ngohiong is still there selling at PhP 7 per piece. Other items they were selling include fried chicken, chicken gizzard, chicken liver, longganiza, siomai, ginabut (fried pork intestine), and tawperol or fish and pork sausage. 

Chinese Ngohiong in Cebu City, Philippines
Ngohiong and Longganiza in Cebu City, Philippines


Chinese Ngohiong in Cebu City, Philippines
Ginabut, Siomai, and Tawperol in Cebu City, Philippines

While there are now many places that serve ngohiong to customers, not one has quite copied the recipe from the Chinese ngohiong place that I used to eat at during my college days. Like it's taste, the ambiance at the place have not also changed much. It has remained humble, focusing more on just having simple tables that customers can sit and dine at and with little or no regard for interior design and decoration. Despite this, one would still notice that many people flock and queue here in the late afternoon to get their fix of the delicious ngohiong. This humble eating place has also survived many challenges including a major fire in recent years. From time to time, we still order the ngohiong from this place because we know there are still no better ngohiong places that can give this place a good run for its money. Hopefully, I will still see this five (5) years from now upon my return from the United States.

What To Enjoy at Choobi Choobi Restaurant

While a Korean-sounding name, Choobi Choobi Restaurant serves more Filipino dishes on its menu. It's house specialties are grilled meat and seafood dishes. According to their website Choobi choobi is derived from a Fookien word that means "to enjoy". It is from that foreign word that the restaurant got it's tagline of "lingaw-lingaw kaon". One Thursday night on February 2016, we dropped by the Choobi Choobi branch at the SM Seaside City to have dinner.

Choobi Choobi Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines
Choobi Choobi Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines

What We Ordered For Dinner at Choobi Choobi

For appetizers, we ordered shrimp tempura and baked scallops. The menu indicated Patrick Star's Baked Scallops as one of the house specialties. In my opinion, I think it tasted more of burnt cheese and butter. One order cost PhP 165 with about ten (10) pieces. My top places for best scallops in Cebu are still the ones from House of Lechon and STK ta Bai!

Baked scallops at Choobi Choobi Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines
Patrick Star's Baked Scallops at Choobi Choobi Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines


The tempura though can rival some of the best tempura I have come across in Cebu. And it's a good bargain at PhP 175 for about six (6) pieces.

Shrimp tempura at Choobi Choobi Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines
Shrimp tempura at Choobi Choobi Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines


For the main course, we ordered medium Stuffed Grilled Squid priced at PhP 195. I got curious since the menu read "Try and see what's inside". So what was inside? Steamed rice. Blah! So much with the disappointment of seeing just steamed rice as stuffing, the grilled squid was pretty good. Most probably they used some teriyaki sauce or sweet Worcestershire sauce on the basting. We usually abhor sesame seeds on our food but we didn't even notice until we reviewed the photos we took that this one had sesame seeds on it.

Stuffed grilled squid at Choobi Choobi Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines
Stuffed Grilled Squid at Choobi Choobi Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines


The other food item we ordered was lechon kawali. This was a disappointment. The crisp on the rind was right but the meat was hard and not juicy at all. They probably deep fried the meat straight from the freezer and did not boil the pork meat in water. The sweet blend soy sauce that came with it somehow made things better.

Lechon kawali at Choobi Choobi Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines
Lechon Kawali at Choobi Choobi Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines


I usually don't comment about the drinks but the house blend iced tea pitcher at Choobi Choobi is worth mentioning because at 2 liters and only PhP 135, it's such a good bargain. And this is good iced tea too.


Other Dishes Worth Trying at Choobi Choobi

The Choobi Choobi menu identifies Stan's Fried Black Pepper Shrimp and Lola Pepang's Fried Manok as the chef's specialties. I haven't tried both dishes and it's on my list the next time I visit the restaurant. Another item on the menu that I tried and liked was the Shrimp in a Bag. It comes in different flavors or sauces but my favorites are the Whole Choobang, Spicy Gata, and Butter Garlic. Other flavors include Sautéed in Garlic, Choobi Sauce, and Salted Egg Shrimp.

Choobi Choobi Branches in Cebu, Philippines

There are currently nine (9) branches of Choobi Choobi Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines:
  1. Sm Seaside City
  2. SM City Cebu
  3. Robinsons Galleria Cebu
  4. Robinsons Cybergate Cebu
  5. Parkmall in Mandaue City (Telephone Number 032 422 8686)
  6. Mabolo (Telephone Number 032 414 3762)
  7. Capitol Site (Telephone Number 032 412 2341)
  8. Mactan Newtown in Lapulapu City
  9. Pueblo Verde in Lapulapu City
The delivery number for Choobi Choobi is (032) 405 6010.

To follow them on social media and online, visit the following links:

Official Website: Choobi Choobi
Facebook: Choobi Choobi
Instagram: @choobichoobi

Globe MyFi, A Helpful Gadget While I Moved Around Cebu

One of the gadgets that were handed to us during the start of the DigitalPro Bootcamp for Professional Bloggers at the Global Hub Executive Offices at the 12th Floor of the Keppel Building in Cebu Business Park was the Globe Myfi, a Huawei E5330 wi-fi gadget powered by Globe Tattoo and can support up to a total of ten (10) connections. A week after using the gadget, I am dedicating a blog post about my personal experience. I am not a very technical person so bear with me as this will focus more on user experience than technical stuff.


Globe MyFi in the Philippines
Globe MyFi powered by Globe Tattoo


Setting Up The Globe Tattoo MyFi Gadget 

The Globe Tattoo MyFi gadget came along with a guide booklet. Generally, the instructions should be understandable to the layman. I would admit that I did have a few issues upon set-up of the device. But with common sense, searching some tips online, getting help from friends who were online during the time of set-up, and going over the guide booklet a few times, I was able to resolve all issues I came across. It's just something we probably experience when we are using a new device and just needs some getting used to.

#MyGlobeExperience with the Globe Tattoo MyFi

Since I cut my subscription for a home internet service some years ago, I have been dependent on public wi-fi signals and tethering on my mobile phone's internet subscription. I used to subscribe to Globe's UnliSurf 999 since it has always given me a seamless experience. All I had to do was register on the first day and enjoy using it for the next thirty (30) days. 

The Globe Tattoo MyFi that were given to the bootcamp participants was pre-loaded and pre-subscribed to GoSurf 999. GoSurf 999 comes with 5 gigabytes of consumable mobile internet and 400 megabytes of Spotify Premium.

Internet 

So far, I have been satisfied with internet connectivity from the Globe MyFi device. Signal strength varies from WCDMA, HDSPA, and HSPA+ based on my experience. From my personal research, I am enjoying 3G at the least or minimum speeds of 384 kbps. When I was in Malapascua Island in northern Cebu during the early part of February, signal strength on my Globe MyFi was HSPA+ which indicates that I was using 4G with speeds up to 21 mbps. I was able to share the connection with at least three other people and I did not feel any drastic change in my connectivity. Some locals did mention that there was LTE signal on Malapascua Island although that connection never registered on the device. Connecting at speeds of 42 mbps would have been nice. Although the device was 4G-capable, it may not yet be LTE-capable hence the limitation.

Since mobile internet use is subject to Globe's fair use policy, I have not yet experienced data capping one week into using the GoSurf 999 subscription. From the past when I was still subscribed to UnliSurf 999, I experience data capping when I stream a lot of videos on Youtube and downloading a lot of files and apps. Other usual activities I do online doesn't eat much on the bandwidth allocation such posting on and browsing social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, using the Grab application, checking bank accounts online, checking e-mails on Yahoomail and Gmail, backing up photos on Photobucket, chatting on Facebook Messenger, creating photo collages on Layout, and surfing the internet. One of my friends also mentioned that he uses GoSurf 499 for all the things I usually do and he does not even consume his bandwidth allocation within one month. I definitely reconsidering my choices after he said that.

It's also a good thing that subscription to Globe Prepaid's surf promos also comes along with Free Facebook and Viber. I am a heavy Facebook user and also use Viber quite a lot so having these freebies not counting against the bandwidth allocation is just wonderful.


Spotify Premium

It took me more than a week to activate my Spotify Premium account. Set-up was easy. What I did was visit the Frequently Asked Questions page of Globe's GoSurf + Spotify plans and promos online portal and followed the instructions on how to access Spotify Premium. No issues encountered and I enjoyed my favorite Bob Marley songs on-demand and ad-free just a few minutes later.


Globe: My Personal Choice on Prepaid Internet

While I do use another network for communicating, my personal choice for mobile internet has always been Globe Prepaid long before I enrolled in the DigitalPro Bootcamp for Professional bloggers and given a Globe MyFi pocket wifi device. I have tried the prepaid internet service from all three major networks available in the Philippines and so far nothing beats Globe's service. This is not to say that I had no issues with it, but that compared to the other networks, I do have a lot less of stress dealing with non-connectivity. If I remember right, I've probably only called their helpline twice for problems relating to connectivity. This means that their service can still be improved and while I'm one happy subscriber as of today, it wouldn't hurt to experience faster internet speeds specially in a country (the Philippines) with a huge internet penetration yet notoriously slow connection speeds.

Angelina Pizzeria Ristorante Italiano in Malapascua

One of the more popular restaurants in Malapascua Island is Angelina Beach Italian Pizzeria Restaurant, a stone's throw away from Logon Beach where we stayed this past weekend at the Thresher Shack on the Divelink Cebu property. During Sunday dinner, the place was packed mostly with foreign tourists that it can almost pass off as a place outside the Philippines. Luckily, our host made a timely, almost last-minute reservation for our dinner date.

Angelina Pizzeria Ristorante Italiano in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
Angelina Pizzeria Ristorante Italiano in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines


Pizza at Angelina Pizza Ristorante Italiano

Angelina Beach or Ristorante Angelina is an Italian restaurant and as such, the specialty here is pizza, pasta, and other things Italian. Our group ordered two giant pizzas with four (4) different flavors on it: Fruita di Mare, Super Angelina, Quattro Stagioni, and one more pizza flavor I couldn't quite remember.

Giant pizza at Angelina Pizzeria Ristorante Italiano in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
Angelina's Giant Pizza at Angelina Pizzeria Ristorante Italiano in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines


The Fruita di Mare is a seafood pizza. It delightfully has real shrimp and squid on it. And oh, boy! It was delicious! The other pizza flavors were delicious as well, but this just happens to be my favorite of them all.

Fruita di Mare seafood pizza at Angelina Pizzeria Ristorante Italiano in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
Fruita di Mare Seafood Pizza at Angelina Pizzeria Ristorante Italiano in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
The Super Angelina was probably the chef's special and it was loaded with a lot of toppings. It had bacon, pepperoni slices, mushroom, onions, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, ground pork, and olives (ugh!).

Pizza super Angelina at Angelina Pizzeria Ristorante Italiano in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
Pizza Super Angelina at Angelina Pizzeria Ristorante Italiano in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
Quattro Stagioni was another pizza flavor loaded with toppings. This comes as my second favorite flavor after the Fruita di Mare.

Quattro Stagioni pizza at Angelina Pizzeria Ristorante Italiano in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
Quattro Stagioni Pizza at Angelina Pizzeria Ristorante Italiano in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines

Our total bill for our dinner was around PhP 2,000 for eight (8) people with drinks already covered. Regular pizzas at Angelina cost somewhere around PhP 395. Be patient when dining here though as you may have to wait a while for your orders to be served.

Location and Contact Information of Angelina Pizzeria Ristorante Italiano

Angelina Pizzeria Ristorante Italiano is located on Angelina Beach, barangay Logon, Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines. They may be reached through the following contact information:

Website: Angelina Beach
E-mail Address: angelinabeach2008@gmail.com
Mobile Number: 0977 469 5801 or 0917 865 6217

Start Your Scuba Journey With Divelink Cebu

Many people have associated scuba diving to an expensive hobby. While scuba diving may indeed be an expensive hobby and equipment-intensive activity, there are ways to enjoy it by not spending too much money. This past weekend, I spent some time at Malapascua Island trying to learn basic scuba diving skills. We were introduced to a dive package for scuba diving "virgins" at Divelink Cebu, an all-in beginner package they like to call the Barely Wet Weekend. For starters, it's not even just available on weekends. It's just that it is best for long weekends.

Scuba Diving 

Scuba is an abbreviation for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus and scuba diving is underwater diving using this apparatus. Basic dive gear include a compressed air tank, buoyancy control device, regulators, fins, and scuba mask.

Divelink Cebu 

Divelink Cebu is the first Filipino-owned all local dive shop in Malapascua Island. Situated right on Logon Beach, it is the first commercial establishment that greets you upon arrival on Malapascua Island. A PADI-certified dive resort, Divelink Cebu is involved not only in diver certification but also in various advocacies focused on conservation. They are heavily involved with Migo sa Iho (Daanbantayan Bantay Dagat Task Force), Project Sharklink, Save Philippine Seas, Thresher Shark Research and Conservation Project, and Green Fins. Based on my experience, I would say the dive instructors, dive masters, and dive guides at Divelink Cebu are one of the most patient lot I have ever come across. I am generally uncomfortable around water but they made me feel secure and safe around them.

Divelink Cebu in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
Divelink Cebu in Malapascua Island, Cebu, Philippines

In Malapascua, Divelink Cebu is a well-respected corporate citizen. In the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), the dive shop closed for two (2) months to give way to relief and recovery efforts. Through their highly successful work-for-materials scheme, affected island residents helped out in clearing operations and other tasks to restore normalcy in the island in exchange for materials to help them rebuild their homes and basic necessities such as food, water, diapers and the like.

Recently, Divelink Cebu was one in declaring support to Migo sa Iho Daanbantayan Bantay Dagat Task Force as seven (7) of its members were charged with slight illegal detention for apprehending two (2) commercial fishing boats off Kinatarcan Island. 

Malapascua Island 

Malapascua Island is an island off the northern coast of Cebu, Philippines. It is part of the municipality of Daanbantayan, the northernmost town of Cebu province. While many people compare Malapascua with Boracay, it is more of a dive destination than a beach paradise. Although beautiful Guimbitayan Beach is also situated on the island. Dive destinations abound around Malapascua Island: Los Bamboos, Monad Shoal, Quimod Shoal, Dakit-dakit, Evo Reef, Coral Gardens, Japanese Ship Wreck, Lapus-lapus, Maria's Point, Big Rock, North Point, Deep Rock, Quillano, Twin Islet, Deep Slope, Ka Osting, Divelink House Reef, Chocolate Island, Doña Marilyn Wreck, Gato Island, and Kalanggaman Islet.

Aside from the various dive sites around the island, other attractions at Malapascua Island are Logon Beach, Bounty Beach, Guimbitayan Beach, the Virgen de los Desamparados chapel, watching the sunset on the beach, and the island's lighthouse. Malapascua Island is also a good jump off point for those who wish to go to Leyte's famous Kalanggaman islet and sandbar.

Barely Wet Weekend

Perfect for long weekends, the Barely Wet Weekend is a dive and stay package designed for scuba diving "virgins" or those who have no experience with scuba diving. 


Inclusions 

The Barely Wet Weekend dive and stay package comes with the following inclusions:
  • 2 nights stay at the Thresher Shack, a dormitory type accommodation shared with other guests where you get your own bed and access to a balcony with a great view of Logon Beach, locker, reading lamp, and desk fan. The Thresher Shack is right on the Divelink Cebu property on Logon Beach. One night stay at the shack is priced at PhP 600 per person so this part of the package has a PhP 1,200 value.


  • 1 Discovery Scuba Diving (DSD) valued at PhP 3,500 per person. This is a quick way to introduce scuba diving to newbies. It is basic training on how to use diving gear and equipment such as the buoyancy control device (BCD), scuba mask, fins, regulator, dive gauges, and tanks. Training also includes the basic skills of breathing underwater through the regulator, mask clearing, reading the gauges, basic hand signals, and regulator recovery as well as entering and exiting the water. 
  • 2 Fun Dives valued at PhP 1,500 per person for each dive (total value at PhP 3,000). 
  • A PADI DSD Certificate for completing the Barely Wet Weekend. Should one decide to pursue the PADI Open Water Diver (Level 1) Certification within one year from the experience, you will be required one less dive to complete the certification. 
  • Should you decide to pursue your certification at Divelink Cebu right during the same period you availed of the Barely Wet Weekend package, this translates to savings of another PhP 3,500.

Package Cost

The cost of the Barely Wet Weekend package starts at PhP 5,000 per person for a pair, PhP 4,800 per person for a group of four (4), and PhP 4,600 per person for a group of six (6). You get to enjoy of up to a PhP 10,200 value at bargain prices. That's more than a 50% discount.

Exclusions

What the Barely Wet Weekend package from Divelink Cebu does not include are the following:
  • Round trip transfers from Metro Cebu to Malapascua Island. Transfers from Mactan Cebu International Airport, seaport, or at any point in Metro Cebu to Malapascua Island and vice versa are not covered in the price for the Barely Wet Weekend package. For those who have not been to Malapascua Island and wish to go there on public transportation, they can ride a bus bound for Maya Port in Daanbantayan town. Bus fare is around PhP 180 per person one way. From Maya Port, ride a pumpboat bound for Malapascua Island. Boat fare is PhP 100 per person one way. When one gets to Malapascua, they may need to get on a smaller boat or a skiff to get to shore from the bigger boat. This will cost an extra PhP 20 per person. Divelink Cebu is right on Logon Beach, a few meters walk from the shoreline.

Maya Wharf in Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
Pumpboat at Maya Ferry Port in Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines


skiff in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
One of the skiffs that will take you to shore in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines

As an alternative, Divelink  Cebu  can also  arrange  transfers for guests at a cost of PhP 3,500 one way per van. Each van can accommodate at most ten (10) people seated comfortably.
  • Meals. Divelink Cebu does not have its own food and beverage section or restaurant. Guests will have to spend for their own meals and explore some of the restaurants in the island. Malapascua Island is not an expensive place to dine. There are many restaurants that offer affordable meals. Ging-ging's Restaurant is among the more popular ones. For a more fancy meal, Angelina Beach Italian Pizzeria Restaurant is also a popular choice. Both restaurants are within short walking distance from Divelink Cebu.

A photo posted by Roger Cas (@ohnoitsradj) on

  • Documentation. You will have to provide for your own camera to document your first diving experience. It is best to bring a reliable underwater camera to capture memories of your first scuba diving experience.
  • Insurances. Make sure that you have adequate insurance cover. While it is not a requirement, it is best to arrange your medical, accident, and life insurances not only during your first scuba diving experience but while you are still young and able as premium rates usually become more expensive as you grow older. 

How To Avail of the Barely Wet Weekend Package

To know more about the Barely Wet Weekend package and to access instructions how to avail of the 
package, please CLICK HERE.


Ging-ging's Restaurant: Affordable Food in Malapascua Island

There is good food around Malapascua Island. While there are quite a number of three star restaurants, there are many options for the budget-conscious as well. One of these restaurants with affordable prices in Malapascua is Ging-ging's Restaurant. It is actually popular among tourists visiting the island and you will get to it just by asking around where it is located. Ging-ging's Restaurant is open from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.

Ging-ging's Restaurant in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
Ging-ging's Restaurant in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines

During a recent trip to the island this past weekend, we had breakfast at this very humble restaurant since we were staying not far from it at the Thresher Shack on the Divelink Cebu property by Logon Beach. Prior to ordering our meals, our host conditioned our minds that the orders may take quite some time to get served. in reality, it didn't really take that long to get the food on our table. Our French friends ordered pancakes in different flavors. The pancake flavors available at Ging-ging's include banana pancake, chocolate pancake, pineapple pancake, and mango pancake. Pancake servings here are huge and I'd say a really good value for your money.

Friends having breakfast at Ging-ging's Restaurant in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
Obligatory selfie at Ging-ging's Restaurant in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines

I ordered the Filipino breakfast with pork tocino, scrambled egg, and rice. My fellow blogger Gay of Exotic Philippines ordered the same except that she had sunny side up egg. Other choices for Filipino breakfast are pork chop and daing na bangus. Pork tocino is one of my favorite breakfast meals but I wished the pork tocino they served us was more tender.

Pork tocino and sunny side up egg at Ging-ging's Restaurant in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
Pork tocino Filipino breakfast at Ging-ging's Restaurant in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines

I also had bacon, tomato, and onion omelet. The bacon, tomato, and onion omelet was nothing special but it wasn't bad as well. 
Bacon, tomato, and onion omelet at Ging-ging's Restaurant in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
Bacon, tomato, and onion omelet at Ging-ging's Restaurant in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines

Our host Radj ordered some calamari on top of banana chocolate pancake. Would you believe each of these orders cost less than PhP 100. There were six (6) of us and our total bill only came out at PhP 1,000 and that already included our drinks. Half of us ordered the mango shake and the other half ordered orange juice.

Find the Best Places to Eat With Cebu's Top Food Blog

The gastronomic culture of Cebu is a world worth discovering. While it has its own deeply-rooted traditions such as the interesting history of humba, the culinary culture in Cebu also has its share of foreign influences such as the world-renowned Cebu lechon. In these modern times and the era of globalization and glocalization, Cebu has maintained its own local culinary traditions while also welcoming restaurant brands not only around the Philippines but also from all around the world. 

One way to explore this wonderful world of the Cebu food scene is to log on to Cebu's top food blog, the Kalami Cebu blog, authored by rainmaker and Cebu's leading food blogger Carlo Andrew Olano. Carlo or Caloy is the community lead for food blogging at the Cebu Blogging Community and he blogs to help people find the best places to eat in Cebu. The Kalami Cebu blog is one of Cebu's best food blogs and is a very reliable reference for restaurants in Cebu.

Cebu's leading food blogger
Carlo Andrew Olano of Kalami Cebu blog


It is the aim of the Wonderful Cebu blog to help its readers learn about places of interest and things to do in Cebu. One of the sections of this blog is dedicated to dining in Cebu which is a work in progress directory of bars, cafés, and restaurants found all around Cebu. Having the Kalami Cebu blog is a helpful reference not only for me as the Wonderful Cebu blog author but also for this blog's readers who are particularly interested in finding places to dine and exploring what kinds of food to try while they are in Cebu. So to you foodies out there who are in Cebu or who are planning to visit Cebu, it is but right to bookmark the Kalami Cebu blog for your reference.

Leveling Up To Become A Problogger

I started blogging as a hobby. It was only months later after I started blogging that I used it for business, whether by joining ad networks, sponsored posting, or as a medium to promote my training services. While I was involved in the strategic planning sessions of a blogging organization back in the day, I never really got serious about my blogging. I just did enough to promote my services and everything else was leisurely writing about my travel experiences, most of which are from my career as a training and development facilitator. It was only early last year, that I became a more active blogger not only in my business blog but in my travel blogs as well. By stroke of luck or wonderful circumstance, I was able to join the Cebu Blogging Community and cliché as it may sound, it is a match made in blogging heaven. I would move on to be appointed as one of the community leads late last year. And as the year is starting in 2016, I was one of seventeen (17) bloggers who stepped up to the plate and decided to enroll in the DigitalPro Bootcamp for Professional Bloggers.

Cebu DigitalPro Bootcamp for Professional Bloggers
Ruben Licera speaks at the DigitalPro Bootcamp for Professional Bloggers

Drawn to Daanbantayan

Except for diving around Malapascua Island, northern Cebu's Daanbantayan is rarely mentioned in tourist conversations in this Central Visayas province. There is no lack of beautiful places to explore in Daanbantayan, but there seems to be very little promotion of the town's tourism initiatives. I was just so glad to help on this part. I do remember publishing an article on this blog about how to get free stays in Daanbantayan featuring two resorts that offer them in Daanbantayan. I am now taking that a notch higher as I took on two (2) opportunities that will allow me to take a closer look at this northernmost town of Cebu province and write articles that promote its tourism potential. This is timely as I will also be able to witness for myself how things are now three (3) years after typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) has badly damaged this town. 

Malapascua Island 

From 7-9 February 2016, I will be going on a scuba trip to Malapascua Island with Exotic Philippines blogger Gay Aida Dumaguing. Divelink Cebu will facilitate our discovery scuba diving and fun dive as we get firsthand experience of their Barely Wet Weekend Package. While in Malapascua Island, we will be billeted at the Thresher Shack, a 7-bed dormitory along Logon Beach and right at the Divelink Cebu property. During this dive trip, we will also be exposed to the work that Migo sa Iho is doing to help preserve the shark species from illegal fishing and other human-initiated threats to its continued existence.

Virgin Beach Resort

On 12-13 March 2016, I will again return to the northern town as a guest of Virgin Beach Resort (VBR). The resort is owned by my good friend Ron Perry who is based in Tulare, California, USA. I met Ron way back in 2008 when I was a part of a group he hosted for a familiarization tour of VBR. The group was composed mainly of travel agents while I was invited in my capacity as an events organizer focusing on team building programs. 

Virgin Beach Resort took a blow from typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and they have acknowledged that while they have put up a good effort at rebuilding, business has never been the same yet prior to the super typhoon. Yet they have remained positive that they will be able to fully recover in the next few months. I'd be more than happy to help them promote Virgin Beach Resort to tourists visiting northern Cebu using my online influence as a travel blogger, an online community leader, and a social media influencer.

Skip's Beach Resort

I once featured Skip's Beach Resort as one of the places to stay for free in Daanbantayan as they have what they claim to be the biggest free camping ground in Southeast Asia. While I sadly note that my good friend Skip is already deceased, I still plan to drop by and stay at the camping grounds for a night. Maybe, I'll do just that right after I check out of my visit at Virgin Beach Resort.

I'm excited to take on these trips very soon. Do keep posted as I chronicle my experiences in this blog soon.

Thadz To Attend DigitalPro Bootcamp For Professional Bloggers

For me, blogging started as a hobby. Blogs were the media where I dump my thoughts. Some of my blogs were about my attempts at writing poems, some were about articles I wrote related to psychology, self-awareness and self-development, leadership, and related topics. Mostly though, my blogs chronicled my travels around the Philippines. Later on, I realized that I can use blogs to promote my business and so I started to use it to promote my training services focused on providing team building facilitation services to organizations in Cebu. I also jumped on the bandwagon of monetizing blogs and earned a decent sum from it as well. This was in the earlier days of my blogging when search algorithms were still simple and easy to manipulate with.

I somehow took a hiatus from blogging a few years back, frustrated that the money I was earning from it was not enough to cover for the hours I spent writing articles, optimizing my blogs, and promoting them on social media. I only maintained my business blog and on a whim, I erased all my articles on one of my major travel blog. Part of the frustration was that I probably also got frustrated that I was doing it all alone. Everything I learned about blogging was self-taught, scouring the internet for free information, experimenting methods of optimization and social media promotion, and joining loose Yahoo groups and Facebook groups about blogging.

In 2013, my interest in blogging more outside of my usual business articles was again piqued. Then again, it was mainly because I needed to create backlinks to my business blog and website. So I revived my Cebuano Tourist Blog and created the Around the Philippines Blog. Later on, I would rebrand the Cebuano Tourist Blog to become the Wonderful Cebu Blog.

CBC Membership

By pure happenstance, I stumbled upon the Cebu Blogging Community (CBC) Facebook group sometime in the first quarter of 2014. I have had links to other blogging organizations in the past but did not feel that I belonged. It was totally different for CBC. I felt at home the moment I connected. I did not feel intimidated that I am less skilled in many aspects of blogging. But at the same time, I felt that I have something I can contribute as well. Cliche as it may sound, this was a match made in blogging heaven.

Cebu Blogging Community

DigitalPro Bootcamp for Professional Bloggers 2016

Fast forward to my CBC membership's first anniversary, I will soon be joining the DigitalPro Bootcamp for Professional Bloggers organized by eStrat Media for Cebu Blogging Community, a 10-hour blogging session and workshop that will train bloggers to turn their blogs into an online brand for business and advocacy. The bootcamp is made possible by Globe Prepaid and sessions will be done at the Global Hub Executive Suites at the 12th floor of the Keppel Building in Cebu Business Park. Sessions will be done on 5 February 2016, 12 February 2016, and 19 February 2016. Topics to be covered are "The Psyche of a Professional Blogger", "From Amateur to Influential Blogger", "The Professional Blogger Lifestyle", and "Sustainable Blogging Lifestyle". A graduation ceremony will also be done on 25 February 2016 at a venue that is yet to be announced.

DigitalPro Bootcamp for Professional Bloggers
DigitalPro Bootcamp