Friday, May 20, 2011

Cebu Part 2: Hello Bantayan Island

After a hectic tour of the city, Trency and I woke up LATE the next day. We wanted to wake up at 6AM but since we were both tired from the day before we overslept and instead woke up at 9AM. After a quick breakfast, we checked out, and hailed a cab to take us to the North Bus Terminal. Good thing our hotel was only about 15 minutes away from the bus terminal, so we got there pretty quick.

As promised more photos, less words. :D

NORTH BUS TERMINAL. Take a bus going to HAGNAYA PIER. It's a good 3 hours away. Bus fare Php130. This bus ride actually reminded me of our Manila-Laoag-Pagudpud-Laoag-Vigan-Manila trip earlier in the year. But it was scenic drive so it's pretty much ok! :)

HAGNAYA PIER. Take boat that will go to STA.FE in BANTAYAN ISLAND. Fee costs Php170, terminal fee i think was Php2.

We were to stay at the Hard K Kafe & Kiwi Kottages. They were kind enough to pick us up from the pier. After checking-in and had our bags brought in to our rooms, we decided it was time to get our late asses moving. We had already arranged our island hopping tour (more on that on the next blog), but for that day we decided to go to the Bantayan town proper to get to an ATM, look around the town, and to go to the palengke (market) for the food we were to eat during the island hopping. We hopped on the trike that took us from the pier to the resort, and went on a 15 minute ride to the town. We paid Php300 for that.

BANTAYAN WET MARKET. I usually get disgusted with markets because they can get pretty stinky and dirty. But not in Bantayan! It was clean and it didn't reek of anything out-of-this-world. So going around wasn't a problem! :D



FOOD TRIPPING. I swear Cebu is a city of sin, but more on GLUTTONY. Case in point, this eat-all-you-can buffet for only Php295 with unlimited iced tea. I swear I gained about 20 pounds here! But it was so good. They had a wide variety of dishes, from pancit, spaghetti, fish, adobo to native kakanins like biko and maja blanca.

To cap off the night, Trency and I drank by the bar. We started up a conversation with the most hospitable resort owner I've ever encountered, GING. She married a Kiwi, hence the name of the resort, and they have a daughter named Steffi. It was a fun night of trilingual conversations, switching from Tagalog to Bisaya to English. Funny!

For the next, and the last entry, on Bantayan Island. It's going to be about our island hopping escapade with Bantatay and Kuya Jun and our habal-habal ride to the town of Madridejos. STAY TUNED!! :p

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cebu Part 1: The Cebu Pacific fiasco, NS Royal Pensione, Casa Verde and Tops

Yey! Part 1 of the BFF diaries in CEBU: The Queen City of the South! :)We've had this trip booked early this year and it's one of the most awaited trip of the year for me. Too bad it was just me and BFF Trency, so we promised BFF Amanda that we'd make bawi and have another trip and to make it BONGGA! :)) And oh pardon this long post, this is going to highlight DAY 1 in Cebu City. :p

Mom wanted to see me off, so we first drove to Rockwell where I'd be leaving my car. Then it was breakfast over at Grams where we had a lovely breakfast of U.S. Tapa, fluffy eggs, and garlic rice, and of course COFFEE. Oh they call it Patriotic Breakfast. So good!

After a short breakfast with the Mother, I had to take a cab that would take me to NAIA Terminal 3, the assigned terminal for Cebu Pacific Air. We went early because the day before we left, a fellow blogger, Trip Or Treats and Carlos Celdran were cursing Cebu Pacific for their delay. We got scared we'd end up missing our flight, so it was better to be early.

Check-in went by smoothly, but Cebu Pacific's ground stewards were really MASUNGIT! Seriously, you guys have no right to be all grouchy at customers who are also really pissed off with your awful service! I wish I took note of the name of that girl who was super masungit. We get that you're tired and all, but it's your freaking job. If you want to be angry at the world, either you wait until after your shift ends or get the hell out of that job.

After surviving check-in, we had so much free time at our hands, Trency and I crammed research on Bantayan Island, our destination this summer. Thank God for Illy's free wi-fi, although it was on and off (well mostly off).

After having coffee, we decided to go to the departure lounge to wait for our boarding time. Since it was past 12NN, we had lunch at Let's Chow, a super cheap-ass Chinese stall. Trency had sharksfin siomai and I had wanton noodle soup. Really good! And for Php90 NOT BAD AT ALL! :)

Since our departure time was 1.55PM we went to our gate early. Our hearts sank when we heard the announcement that said our flight was going to be delayed. We were so pissed! It was my longest-ever stay at an airport! The stupid Cebu Pacific plane arrived past 2PM, and we got to board at around 2.30PM. And to top of our unlucky Friday the 13th stint, we were stuck on the runway for a good 20 minutes due to a congested runway. We were finally up in the air at around 3.30PM, our supposed time of arrival at Mactan International Airport.

Finally at almost 5PM, we had arrived in Cebu City. We quickly forgot about that harrowing airport fiasco and put on our vacation game faces ON! We were finally here! And no we weren't going to let anything get in the way!

We were to stay overnight in the city, so we only had a few precious hours. We checked-in at NS Royal Pensione, the hotel we stayed in when we were in Cebu last year for my cousin's wedding.

It's funny because the room they assigned to us was the same room we got when we stayed there. So there was that knowing feeling already. Plus the hotel's really cozy, and the staff, really friendly. It's a really modest hotel, but it has got the most basic necessities.

We were on our toes since we wanted to make the most out of our stay in the city. We freshened up a little then went to dinner at the famous CASA VERDE. Luckily it was within walking distance from our hotel.

Since it was payday Friday, families and barkadas filled the place up. Casa Verde has 3 branches, the one we went to was a house in a subdivision. It really is a HOUSE, with the restaurant on the ground floor and the living quarters on the 2nd floor.

We ordered the famous Brian's Ribs, which I must say must be one of the best ribs I've ever tasted. They served it to us hot, with the meat almost falling off the bones. I suddenly remembered why Mom loves meat that sticks to the bone. She says it's very TASTY, and I think these ribs are a true testament to that fact. The meat was very, very tender. However, Trency wanted more sauce.

Trency also wanted seafood, so we ordered this filleted shrimp dish. It was soooo good! It had 8 pieces, and we inhaled it! Forget about your diet when you eat at Casa Verde.

Then as if we weren't full, we ordered dessert: Lauren's Lava. We both loved how the warm chocolate syrup mixed with the cold vanilla ice cream on top. Plus it wasn't THAT sweet, so it was just perfect!

After dinner, we walked back to our hotel to decide on our next step. Trency's friend suggested we go up to Tops, the highest point in Cebu. So from our hotel we hailed a cab, please note that you have to talk to the driver. You'd have to ask them to wait for you. Luckily, we had a very accommodating driver, and for Php800 took us to Tops.

is situated at the top of Busay Hills and is about 2,000 feet above sea level, and it offers a good view of both Mactan and Cebu. I must say, the view was absolutely breathtaking!

Even at almost 10PM a lot of people were coming up to Tops that night. It's open 24 hours and has a cafe and a bar. It's the perfect place to just lounge around and enjoy the cool, night air. Trency and I drank here, too.

After Tops, we went back to our hotel to rest up.

Stay tuned for our BANTAYAN ISLAND ADVENTURES. I'm gonna make it more of a photoblog, so you guys won't get bored with my narration. :)

#69 Lim Tian Teng St., Cebu City
Tel Nos. (032) 2536472, (032) 2538234, (032) 2536472

Juana Osmeña Street, Cebu City
Tel Nos. 032 254 5358

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