Weekend Getaway in Bantayan Island

We started the getaway last year when a group in our office planned to visit Mararison Island in Antique.  This year, we planned early as we already knew of the long weekends for the year.  Labor Day (May 1) falls on a Monday thus we will have three days to enjoy with the group.  It was decided that we will visit Bantayan Island.  Just like last year, we let the kids ( the younger generation in the Office) do the planning.

We left the Office at around 4:30H on 29 May 2017 (our plan was at 4:00) so we can catch the first trip to Bantayan island.  The management of vessel plying Cadiz-Bantayan route doe not accept reservation, thus we have to be there early though the published schedule is at 9:00H.  Our trip was again a bit delayed due to a Fun Run out side the city.  it was still dark and a bit dangerous as people manning the area of the fun run are ill equipped.  Most do not have reflectorized vest thus motorists have to be very careful to avoid accidents.

The morning sun breaking breaking the dawn as we approach Cadiz City

 We arrived in Cadiz port at around 5:30H and was greeting by cold pleasant breeze.

 There were already a lot of passengers and we immediately bought our tickets for our group of 15.  We brought sandwiches for our breakfast (spam and egg sandwiches).  The maximum number of passengers were rapidly filled as we boarded the vessel (referred to as Batil..a big pumpboat with a capacity of 162 Passengers) at around 7:00H.

We left Cadiz port at around 7:30H and reached Bantayan Island at around 10:00.  The trip was enjoyable as we were allowed to go up the boat to take lots and lots of pictures.

Carbin reef in the distance

Transferred to a smaller boat (standing position) so we can reach the pier.

Took several trisikads (P10/passenger) up to the jeepney terminal for Sta. Fe.  There we got a Multicab to ake us direct to our Pension house in Sta Fe (fare is P25/passenger).  Bantayan Island is similar to Gumaras Island with rocky terrain but do not have that much vegetation.  There are a lot of barren areas..maybe remnants of the effect of Typhoon Yolanda.  We were booked at Adelaida Pension…check in is at 12:00 and we arrived around 11:00H.  So we had our lunch as we brought cooked food.  The owner of the pension House allowed guests to use the dining area and even allowed us to use their kitchen to cook our meals free of charge! After check-in, we agreed to meet at 16:00H to explore the beach.  I booked a room good for three at P1,400.  Its a good deal as the room is spacious, very good airconditioning with hot and cold water and most of all very good WIFI.

View of the balcony from our room.

The beach is around 10 minutes walk from Adelaida’s, passing by seaside community.  It was low tide and we saw people just brought in their nets with their catch.  The fishers were small but since these were very fresh we bought a kilogram each of latab and asous to add our dinner and breakfast.

Fresh catch…though small but we know that this will taste very good!

Sta. Fe Beach

The beach is very wide but not even.  The sand is off white..similar to Guimaras white sand.  We took a dip in the sea (did not really swim) as there are lots of stones, seagrass and maybe sea urchins.  We just stayed in one place as we are not sure of the beach and enjoyed dipping until it was already dark.  Went back to Adelaidas to cook our dinner and rested early.

We decided to go to Ogtong Cave and Resort and maybe go to another resort the following day.  Some went out early to again explore the beach while most of us stayed to cook our breakfast the lunch.

View of the beach from Ogtong Cave and resort

We really enjoyed the beach here and we decided to stay rather than transfer to another resort.  There is a cave with brackishwater pool but as I am not fond of caves…I did not venture inside.

Enjoyed our simple lunch…sinabawan nga latab, paksiw na asuos, adobong abbaoy and corned beef, scrambled eggs (supposed to be for breakfast but we ate hot pandesal with peanut butter and coffee).

 Stayed in this resort until 2:30pm then went back to Adelaidas to rest and prepare for our early morning trip back to Cadiz City.

After a short nap, I asked around where the Catholic Church is. I was late for the mass as there was no trisikad available to I walked up to the town center.

Sto. Nino Catholic Church of the Municipality of Sta. Fe, Cebu

Till our next visit…Adelaida’s Pensionne Hotel

Dropped by Bantayan Market to buy some their famous dried fish but was disappointed as it is expensive and quality are not that good.


Boat transfer from port to the bigger Super SM


The Sunday Currently No.28

My posts are not as frequent as I really want it to be but there are a lot of other things that I need to do aside from updating my blog.  I missed writing the Sunday Currently editions and I missed Siddathornton’s.  Visited her blog and was happy that she is back.

Reading Frederick Forsyth’s The Dogs of War.  Been reading it for quite sometime..only a few pages at a time as I easily get tired..or maybe I start reading when I am already very tired.  I left this book at home and I have not gone home for three weeks! Busy with summer activities.

Writing nothing…maybe just this blogpost.

Listening to the You Tube my nephew is watching in the next table.  I really don’t know what he is watching and cant even understand .. its just the sound of someone talking.

Thinking of our next summer escapade in Boracay. It will be a long roadtrip ..more than five hours plus 1 1/2 hours travel via fastcraft from Bacolod City…but I am looking forward to enjoy our activity.  Boracay is so crowded but I still love the beach.

Smelling dried small dilis that I ate with my dinner.  Actually it more in my imagination. A bit disappointed as the batch I bought is a bit salty.  Tried it with my lettuce salad last night too.

Wishing it will be a bit cooler.  It is so hot and humid these past few days.  How I wish it will rain tonight.

Hoping I will have time and energy to do a bit of housekeeping tomorrow.  Though it is a fiesta (yearly festival) but I have not really been celebrating since my husband started hemodialysis.  I do cook a bit and of course hear mass but we have not invited people to our home.

Wearing my old tshirt and walking shorts…my attire at home.

Loving my relatively new washing machine.  It really made my washing day not so tiring as when I was doing handwashing or using my old washing machine.  I did four loads today! One for light colors, one for dark colors, one for blankets and bedsheets and last for the whites.  I have already folded all the clothes that do not need ironing.

Wanting to sleep in an airconditioned room but just thinking of the electric bills skyrocketing…makes me endure the heat.

Needing to clean the house! I have been saying this for so long but I seem not have the energy to do it especially in this heat.

Feeling so hot even if the electric fan is blowing directly.

Link to 

Good Friday 2017

This year’s Good Friday post will focus more on the Sto. Intiero.  In the morning my friends and I went around to do the Visita Iglesia cum Station of the Cross.

This year’s carroza is bedecked with yellow, white and red carnations.

The following pictures show the Sto. Intiero in the previous years.


Carnations in different colors adorn the carroza of the Sto. Intiero.  I was not able to take pictures while there was still light as I devoted the late afternoon to take pictures of the carrozas in Molo.


Its yellow roses for 2015. Below is the picture taken at  night with the Sto. Intiero and Dolorosa.


The picture is so bad (will look for a clearer picture on file if there is any)  I think I used my mini S3 fone here.  I am not sure if the flowers are carnations or roses.


This year’s flowers are red roses and white orchids.





Short Visit to Taiwan – Day 2

After a restful night, we woke up early to enjoy European breakfast at the Le Louvre Restaurant on the 4th floor.  The choices, especially on the cheeses are not that great compared to other hotel restaurants I have been to.


First plate with assorted fruits.  The melons and guavas are so good.  I could eat plateful of these.


Second plate..of course bacon, eggs and assorted sausages.  I did not see grilled tomatoes and of course I was looking for the cheeses.  My friend told me that there are cheeses…so that was my third plate which I forgot to take a picture as the cheese selection are very ordinary.  No brie or blue cheese.


While waiting for everybody..took time to take a picture of the floral arrangement.

Off we go to our different official itinerary for the day.


PTIC rented a big bus for us so we were very comfortable.

taipei-techTaipei Tech hosted by the National Taipei University.  There are several coworking spaces, a Fablab and innovation hub inside Taipei Tech.

equipmentThey have so many 3D printers and some of these are even on the floor.

taiwan-handicraft-promotion-centerWe dropped by the Taiwan Handicraft Center – promoting their OTOPs (One Town One Product) all over the country.  This is housed in a multi-storey building with lots and lots of products.  Though I find most of them very expensive.


A portion of the showroom with handwoven fabrics and products made out of these fabrics.


Next is a visit to the Small and Medium Enterprises Administration under the Ministry of Economic Affairs. We had a briefing on the approaches of Taiwan regarding economic developing with emphasis on the small and medium enterprises.  They do not readily change their approach and projects and sustain it until it becomes successful.  Unlike here, where projects of the past administration is not continued by the next thus sustainability is very poor.

We returned to the hotel almost past five..rested a bit and readied for our visit to the Shilin Night Market.


Braving the Metro Taipei…Taiwanese are so courteous and orderly, we have to check ourselves that we are in the right lane or line.  The trains are very efficient and though there were a lot of commuters it’s not a pain to wait as the schedules are close to each other. The train stations are clean and the lines for the comfort rooms are so orderly.


There were so many people along the Shilin area, so many good at sale.  I was not able to buy anything as I am not sure whether the products are authentic or fake.

sugarcane-juice Snapped a picture of this green sugarcane that are squeezed into sugarcane juice maybe with calamansi. Is clean as buyers are not even allowed to touch the sugarcane.

After a few hours of going around we were so hungry and we started looking for a place to eat.  There were a lot of foodcarts selling all types of food but since we are already so tired we wanted to eat where we can sit comfortably. We looked around but it seems there was no place where we can eat.  We did not know that along Shilin Road there are foodcourts under the building.  We really lack information as had we know we could have eaten good and cheap Taiwanese fare in Shilin.  We rode the train back and went to the place where we are familiar..foodcourt of Sogo Department Store.

I was carving for something hot…thus Ramen!


Then we walked to our Hotel…


Four pairs of tired feet walking along a street in Taipei.  I can’t remember the street!

While preparing for bed at our hotel, I heard a soft noise along the street…they are cleaning the street and the Metro line.  No wonder the city is so clean.


The last day is really for site seeing the flight back to the Philippines in the afternoon.

Short Visit to Taiwan- Day 1

I did not really expect to visit another foreign country last year as I have already gone to Bangkok last July 2017 (I still need to blog this). Our Office has this project on setting up Fabrication Laboratories or Fablabs and to be able to implement this well, those in-charge of the project were given the opportunity to join the visit to Taiwan.  Our region, NIR do not have this project yet, but we were given a slot and our Regional Director recommended me to attend.  I was not so excited about the visit as the schedule is towards the end of the year and it still did not sink in that I am part of the group.

Anyway, several weeks before the schedule we were already advised to prepare our documents for application of Visa.  I was so confident that I already have a copy of my SECPA birth certificate but I did not realize that it has only a validity of six months!  It was a good thing I have a staff who was a former NSO employee so he facilitated that I can get the SECPA birth certificate within the day.  The following day I was able to send all the documents to the Regional Operations Group for group application of the Visa.  We were also advised to fill out the on-line application form.  I had problems with this as the form that I keep on filling out seem not saved in the system.  it was a good thing, the lady at the Taiwan Economic Office was able to help me by sending the filled our form so I can complete it.

Since I am also busy with other activities at the Office, I was not really able to prepare much for the trip.  I was able to search on line for a few information but this was not really enough to help us maximize our trip.  It was a stressfull (as always) day before we have to fly to Manila for the trip as our Travel Authority was not yet signed!  We were informed to get our domestic and international tickets as it is sure that the TAs will be signed.  Got my tickets at home at around past 9, able to get email from staff at ROG aroung 10pm and another one from the coordinator at past 12 midnight! Non stop working???

We arrived in manila in the afternoon, our flight is early morning at 7AM via Philippine Airlines.  We got our documents from Head Office and there was an advisory that the weather in Taipei will be a bit cold.  I have several coats and clothes for cold weather but since we were not informed earlier, I was not able to bring it…thus off we went to Glorietta to look for reasonably priced coats or cardigan.  it was a good thing cardigan are on sale at H & M..a piece at only P449!

We have to leave our hotel at 5am so that we will not be stressed during check-in and immigration procedures.


Pre-Departure Area NAIA 2 International Airport


Meal is very ordinary, beefsteak with rice, pandesal with butter and I asked for orange juice.  But I was hungry so I ate this meal.


Baggage claim area is so clean and not crowded.  We waited for everybody here before we headed to the immigration area.  Most of the group decided to change their dollars to NTD (New Taiwan Dollar).  I decided not to change my dollars but rather changed only P3,000, enough fow a few meals.

We were booked in a upscale area, Howard Hotel Taipei.  It took quite sometime for us to be checked in..as we have to pay individually for our hotel accommodations.  We were settled into our rooms and my roomate and other girls decided to look for food.  I am not really hungry so I decided to stay in the room, ate the pandesal and butter (from the plane) with the welcome fruits.





We started our official trips at 2pm in the afternoon.


Futureward..a coworking space inside Tatung Univeristywith fablabs for different products.


Fablab Taipei located in an old area of a Stadium.  We were shown their on line video connections with  Fablabs in other parts of the world

In the evening we went to a famous Taiwanese Restaurant (Shin Yeh Taiwanese Cuisine restaurant) to try local cuisine.  The food a bit bland for my taste..it needs more condiment maybe I should have added more of the condiments given us. We started with appetizers, peanuts, tofu then followed by a huge plate of steamed octopus. the Servers were really fast as we have not yet finished they are already getting our small plates plus that big plate of octopus.  I think this was followed by the noodles with the crabs.


Noodles with crabs!  The crabs are so fat but taste seem bland.


Sea cucumbers with brocolli. then we had shrimps, braised tofu and the final dish was chicken soup with black mushrooms (I cant remember all the food as I was not able to take pictures of all).  Finally dessert of mochi with rolled in powdered peanuts and bean & sago (like ginatan but with a bland taste)


Chicken soup with black mushrooms


Beans and sago

After dinner, we browsed in the nearest Sogo Department Store.  It is a high end dept store though I was able to try very good pairs of shoes.  I really wanted one but was thinking of the price equivalent to more than P4,000.  But it was really of good quality and pure leather.  I really regretted not buying it as we did not have any more time the following day.  There was also a branch the the famous Taiwan nougant..sugar and spice.  We did not buy as I thought we can still find branches that will be selling at lower price.  How I wish again I bought the nougats.  I was forced to buy at the airport as I have no pasalubongs.

Goodbye 2016…Welcome 2017

New challenges were faced in 2016 with my reassignment to the DTI-Negros Occidental Provincial Office. I had mixed feeling regarding the new assignment as I was about to start a new challenge in Antique…transferring to a new Office space, launching of the first Negosyo Center, how our SFF projects will be implemented, how to be able to generated our KRAs. I became comfortable with my life there but I felt the two-hour travel affecting my lower back. The transfer to Negros Occidental was a blessing in disguise.

I faced new challenges in a new region, encountered problems with financial management as a result of the old administrations decisions which I need to solve and manage.  Working in a very dynamic province is quite easy aside from the fact that I was already assigned here in January 2005 till June 2008. We were able to accomplish what we have planned but I felt that we could have done better.  There are times I am tempted to do technical work but I have to restrain myself so I will be able to train my staff to do their work better and smarter.  I had mixed feeling sometimes when I felt we were left out from the activities in Region 6 but I am so thankful we have a very good RD for DTI NIR.  She pushes her provinces to deliver more but she also provided support not only on resources but by providing moral support and encouragement.  Thank you Lord for these blessings.  In all DTI Offices were I was assigned, I always worked for transfer to a new Office.  This also happened this year as our old location though very accessible, the building has become dilapidated and is not maintained.  It took quite sometime for use to look for a new space that can come up with our requirements at the budget we have.  We almost did not make it as there were delays in the construction and finishing of the area.  But again, Thank you Lord! We were able to transfer on Dec 1 despite that portion were not yet finished and we have to endure the dust and the heat.  We were able to launched our Negosyo Center on Dec. 6th.

Insert picture here. I was wondering why our PC can not access my iphone as I was doing it before.  Will try with the PC at the Office.

On the personal side, 2016 is a good year for me and my sons.  With God’s blessings, Mark was able to find a work that he enjoys at Reed Elsevier her in Iloilo City sometime in July after several attempt at working on-line. Our old internet was to slow for the requirements of most employers.  It was a good thing that our area in already fiber..we were able to shift to fiber connection with speed up to 50 MBPs.  The first few months we enjoined almost up to 100 as trial…it was quite expensive but it is worth it.  Thank you to PLDT Home Fiber. Mark adjusted well to his new work, though it is night shift the working hours is okay and his Office is very accessible from our place.  Jan on the other hand also adjusted well to his work at MV Britannia.  He was able to go to a lot of places and brought home lots of memories aside from lots of souvenirs. He really wanted that we buy a new car…and again I prayed hard if it is the right decision for us to get a brand new vehicle.  Both sons wants a pick up truck and it is quite expensive.  I am contented with an Avanza but they want a bigger one.  I was able to raise the amount for downpayment and we got our new Nissan NP300 Calibre in Savannah Orange.


My two sons getting our Nissan pick up.

There are trials and disappointments in 2016 but these are a breeze compared to what I have experienced before.  I never forget to thank the Lord for these blessings.

Praying that as we usher 2017, we will continue to get guidance from the Lord in every step that we take.  If its true that a good offer may be coming..maybe it is the right time for me to bid DTI goodbye.  But for the meantime, I am hopeful for 2017 that we will be able to accomplish again what we will be targeting.  I am praying that NIR will continue to exist and will have our own budget.

The Sunday Currently No. 27

Today is Christmas Day, the 7th year Sildo is not with us and the second year Jan is not spending Christmas with us.  It a good thing Mark, my eldest is here for good.

Reading – nothing at the moment though I have more than ten books waiting to be read.  I think I have started a few but I have a lot of other things to attend to that I have no time to read lately.  I lack sleep as I always spend a lot of time on Twitter and games.

Writing this blogpost

Listening to the sound of the on line  game my son is playing.

Thinking of a lot of things. How I can unclutter the house before New Year!

Smelling the Italian red that I just opened. It goes too well with the local Italian style cheeses I bought in Bacolod City at Casa del Formaggio.


Wishing I have more time to sleep.

Hoping our pick up truck can be picked up from the service center tomorrow.  I had a hard time lugging all my things from the office to the terminal, from fastcraft to the bank and to the supermarket.

Wearing the same old clothes..sleevelss shirt and walking shorts.

Loving the flavor of the Caciotta Stagionatta cheese with black grapes, walnuts and Rosso Pulia.

Wanting to have a massage and just sleep.

Needing to do exercise and watch my diet due to high cholesterol and sugar.

Feeling my age huhuhu. My shoulders are painful and I can not move as fast as I used to be.  I easily tire now.

Clicking Market Manila website to look for recipe on fresh mozarrella.

The Sunday Currently No. 26

I was not able to update this blog for quite sometime though I have a lot of topics and pictures on file that needs to be blogged. Weekends are really busy times for me. This Sunday currently is written on a Monday!

Reading just finished reading Vince Flynn’s Act of Treason.  I like the way he writes but I do not like the killing that they do to get rid of the villain the story.  It is just so easy for CIA to kill the persons in question so they will not a hard time with the courts and other bureaucracies in order to try the guilty.  I know this is not reality (or maybe there is a grain of truth here) but I just do not enjoy books where in villains are just killed, eliminated, destroyed etc.  So I think this will be the last Vince Flynn book that I will read.

Writing my latest blogpost…Musings on turning sixty and of course this blog post.

Listening to the game my son is playing on his iphone.

Thinking of the trips on the second week of this month.  I am really hoping we can go the Garden Island City of Samal.

Smelling  the frozen durian that I have just eaten.  So yummy!!

Wishing that I can maintain my health so that I can do more of the things that I have been dreaming…foremost to travel.

Hoping that I have not gone overboard with my spending for this long weekend.

Wearing my usual attire at home.  Old tshirt and walking shorts.

Loving the cool climate these days.  I also love the cool weather in Salvador Benedicto where we have been last Thursday to conduct seminar for coffee growers.

Wanting more energy and time to fix the house,  I am slowly doing it!! The dilapidated cover of the cabinet under the sink has been repaired,

Needing to lower my blood and cholesterol levels.

Feeling the pain in my shoulder joints.  I need a good massage.

Clicking Twitter to get update regarding my idol Maine Mendoza.

Musings on Turning Sixty

2016 usher a new era in my life……Last September I turned sixty years old.  I felt the same except that the few aches I felt several months ago has intensified a bit.  My shoulder has been aching and I felt that the pain increases everytime I eat something that is high in uric acid.  I do not have this problem several years ago…but not its a reality.

No celebration on the exact date as I attended the opening of a Trade Fair wherein there was a special celebration with unique food prepared by renowned Chefs from Bacolod.  This included puto with KBL, dried batchoy and another one of bamboo shoots with cheese and other ingredients.  Not able to take any picture…I realized that I should have as those food are unique.  But sad to say, I did not enjoy any of the  three offering.  I enjoyed the cheese platter (made from local cheese) and assorted Ilonggo desserts.

I applied for a birthday leave on the Friday of my the week when I celebrated that special day. I applied for my senior Citizens Identification card at he local Office of Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA) in our town.  I thought I can make it with only an ID but there are other requirements which thankfully I was able to comply.  A barangay clearance, facilitated by my sister. a cedula..a good thing I paid only P5 as I am already a senior citizen plus photocopy of my passport.

Enjoyed the benefits of being a senior citizen…discounted fastcraft tickets, P10 difference of my hypertension medicine and discounts in groceries and fastfood :-D.

But I can not ignore the constant pain in my shoulder joints, plus elevated cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Hopefully this will normalize as I started limiting consumption of my beloved CocaCola and other fatty food.

The Sunday Currently No. 25

This Sunday I have to wake up early to go to the Medical City Laboratory for blood extraction. I have not checked my blood chemistry for three years!  Since I have turned senior, I need a doctor’s medicine prescription to avail of a senior citizen’s discount.

When I looked out of the window it was so foggy!. As I walk to the jeepney terminal I feel the dampness and the cold.  It was creepy as I can not see several meters ahead of me.


Took this picture while I was already riding a jeepney towards the city.  During normal days one can see the rice fields and what is beyond the trees.

Reading the Hit by David Baldacci. It is an exciting novel but started with the usual killing done by a hired assassin.  I also started reading the Act of Treason by Vince Flynn but I forgot bring the book back at home.  Now I just realized that I bought the same book a few weeks ago.  I should have continued reading it.

Writing this blogpost.

Listening to the music played by the iphone of my son.  He is outside in our garage while I am here in our sala where our PC is.

Thinking about a lot of things that I need to do but I seem not to have the time and energy to do all of it.

Smelling the vinegar we used to dip the grilled fish we had for dinner.

Wishing I can be more firm with my son as I am always paying for their bills.  Their income is not enough to pay for their bills through my credit card.

Hoping that I can slowly put the house in order.  I am getting there little by little.

Wearing the usual attire at home, old tshirt and shorts.

Loving Maine Mendoza.  The young lady is so versatile. I am always including her in my prayers that she will not be taken advantaged of by people in showbiz and that her management will take care of her and her career.

Wanting to sleep.

Needing time to do a lot of things I want and of course the money to finance it.  I also need a lot of time to update mu blog.  I have a lot of topics and pictures for blogging but I also have a lot of other important things to do.

Feeling cold as the electric fan is directly blowing in my direction and it is raining outside.

Clicking earlier FB (playing Criminal Case and Bejeweled Blitz) and of course Twitter.  Enjoying Twitter with friends I met there all fans of Maine.  Also enjoying answering to crazy ALDUB fans.