Thursday, March 3, 2011

MONCADO HOTEL: 45 years of existence

A friend of mine had shared us regarding a group called "Moncadistas" in far away place in Cebu, they live in a  place were time stand still for they live as if it was World War II. They were once believed as a cult for they believe with their successor Five-Star General Federico E. Jayme Moncado.

After many plans of going there, we were set to do on what we believe to be as a creepy trip but everything was simply to be amazing. We rode from JY Square up to Busay mountain thinking that it was just a short trip but we were wrong. The trip lasted for 30 - 45 minutes riding a motorcycle a.k.a. "Habal-habal". It was totally a roller-coaster ride for the three of us were the up's and down's; bumps and thrills of the cliff will make you nervous, but one is the best part, the scenery. I never imagined that Cebu has it's nature side, all you see are the greens of the trees, beautiful landscape, small vegetable farms, and the ever coldness of the breeze that you can feel while riding the countryside.


The place was called Sudlon II (means inner part), it was like a little Baguio City where the temperature is really cool enough that you don't need to use a fan. It was believed that this place was the refuge of some Filipino soldiers during the World War II.


The hotel was established March 3, 1966, it is called as the Moncado Hotel for it was owned by the "Moncadistas". When we arrived, it was the hotel that we've noticed, it was old and made of solid wood. As I could describe, it was like an old school or a tenement that was passed by time. Inside the Hotel, you will notice the check-in-counter, old floor tiles, and the staircase. Once inside, it was really a creepy feeling, it remind me of the movie Silent Hill were it was really old and scary. Though we were not here for ghost haunting, it was more likely to be one.


I expected that the people here would be wearing some old World War II uniforms or for women some Baro't Saya (old Filipina casual dress) with a fancy fan but it was totally different. They said that they only wear those only during feasts, and Sunday worship. Before, women never cut their hair but at present, women has shorter hair unlike some old men who still practice the "Moncadista" style which no cut beard, mustache and hair.
People here are friendly and very accommodating as if they don't want you to leave. They were very thankful that we have visited their place for there are only some who dare to visit and spent the night to stay with their hotel.


Trekking the hill was like a penitence during holy week, but it was one of a kind experience. Like Chocolate Hills in Bohol, the feeling and excitement builds while climbing to the top. At the top, it was the place were their beloved Federico E. Jayme and his wife Magdalena was at rest. They pay respect whenever they go here especially when there is an occasion.

Monday, February 21, 2011

BASKET WEAVING: Hand-craftsmanship at it's finest

Basket, basket, basket... I am pertaining to the creativity of Filipinos with regard to craftsmanship and originality. Filipino craft is known worldwide, not just in shoes, bags, clothing, and furniture but also in basket weaving. I featured this because I believe to my fellow Filipinos that we have our own ability to be original. It started when 2 years ago when I and my pals moved to our new apartment in Sitio Huyong-huyong, Bacayan, Cebu City. Situated in the northern part of Cebu City, it was a place of serenity and a great people. At first it was just pretty awkward to mingle with its locals but eventually got acquainted due to some unintentional chances. What really caught my attention was their community of basket weavers.

I am fond of learning new ways, especially when I am curios about it, that's why when it was my first time to see them how weave a basket, I was really amazed. These baskets are made from the finest materials that is  sure to last. After the basket are done, they sell it to local markets and sometimes are made for export. 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

BOHOL: A place of never ending surprises

I’ve been to many places here in the Philippines but not that terrific as Bohol can offer. Bohol just made my 2 days and 1 night a worthwhile experience. With my colleagues and my girl friend, we started our day with a bang at the Port of Tubigon. This municipality is just an hour ride from the province’s capital, Tagbilaran City. With the intense heat of the sun, we made it to our first stop - Panglao Island. WOW!!! it’s different from the other white sand beaches that I’ve been, though it’s not that perfect as to be those known beaches in the country, it just made our bodies cool down with its pristine waters.

We stayed in a rest house type of resort and just feel relaxed all day through. At night was just so serene and quiet, where the waves made its sound to be a soothing music to the ear and the cool breeze that touches your face. It was an extra ordinary experience.
The next day just made our stay in Bohol as the biggest moment to see its wonders and beauty. We have visited the Sandugo Monument, Baclayon Church, Bohol Python, Clarin’s Ancestral House, Loboc Tarsier, Loboc River, Hanging Bridge, Man-made forest, Chocolate Hills of Carmen and Sagbayan Peak where you can also some hills.

Even that we have a little time to explore Bohol, it never failed us to be amazed and fascinated.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

PALAWAN: A world in Asia

It is known as the "Last Frontier" of the Philippines. Lush green and virgin forests, white sand beaches, amazing land formations, crystal clear waters, and preserved wildlife. A place of never ending surprises that would make long to come back, this is Palawan.

It was September of 2009 when I went to this marvelous island in the western most part of the Philippine archipelago. It took an hour flight from Cebu City to Puerto Princesa City which is the capital of Palawan. Unlike with the big cities in the Philippines, Puerto Princesa City has a touch of laid-back but modern kind of living. Coffee shops, restaurants, fast-food chains, hotels and a newly built airport are some landmarks that would say that the city progressive.

First day was so amazing that really made say WOW!!! We stayed at the Skylight Hotel which is just situated in Rizal Avenue, a main road of the city. A sumptuous eat-all-you-can lunch at the Legend Palawan which makes you say how Palaweñons are great in cooking. Next stop was the island hopping trip at Honda Bay that made me so amazed with corals and the fishes around me.

Day 2 was an opportunity for me to see the hidden wonder of this island, and that is to see the longest underground river in the world, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Located in the northwestern part of the island, a van ride will take you to the small town of Sabang for almost 3 hours. From Sabang wharf, you will ride a pump-boat along the South China Sea. This Subterranean River is actually under a hollow mountain ranges of Saint Paul.

 Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

The total stretch of this Underground River is around 8.++ kms., it can be navigated by man up to 4.5kms., for tourists is only 1.5kms. I refrained recording inside due to water droplets and an ultimate darkness. There are lots of stalagmite and stalactite formation inside but one amazes me, the dome that reaches 65 meters above sea level.

Mitra Mansion
 The city offers a wide array of places that boosts its tourism, like the Mitra's Mansion which is located in the to of a mountain that has an eagle's eye view of the city; right along the road downtown is bakeshop that bakes 'ube' and 'mongo' hopia and sells Palawan's specialty which is Cashew nuts, Viet Ville which is a small village of Vietnamese refugees during the Vietnam War; in this village, they serve mouthwatering Vietnam dish that are also affordable, the Provincial Capitol of Palawan which is few kilometers from the airport and the Puerto Princesa Baywalk that make the night extra special.

Puerto Princesa Baywalk

This has been a fascinating, awesome and a memorable travel of the year that made me wanting in traveling other places in the island like Coron and El Nido, Palawan.

Just this 2011, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park has been selected as to be one of the "7 Wonders of Nature" provisional winners. Though the winners are still in a random order, early next year we will know to what this nature's bounty will be placed during the Inuaguration Ceremonies.

I am very proud that Philippines has made again a spot for the world to see. This will make our tourism more productive and economy progressive.

If you want to know more about the tour packages, please click here.

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