Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Chronicle - Balamban and Sileo, Cebu

After Aloguinsan, we had to move along. We were going to Balamban to meet relatives; nephew Jerome Chua and his wife Reizl and their children and Jerome's mom, Rosita Chua (the sister of Lucas). Jerome and Reizl and children lived in Balamban. (Reizl hails from Balamban, Cebu.) The couple had a thriving business in Balamban. Rosita was on the other hand in Cebu for Emil and Suiling's wedding. So we were supposed to see them in Balamban that day, then to proceed to Sileo mountain house for an overnight stay. Tom had invited Jerome and family for an overnight stay at Sileo. He rented a big mountain house with ample rooms for everyone to spend quality family time together. Sileo sat on a mountainous location. It was cool on the top. There was no where else particular to go except to relax and enjoy the cool air.

But alas, we arrived Balamban late in the afternoon due to heavy traffic along the way. So we decided instead to meet them, the relatives somewhere around town and went straight to Sileo. On the way to Sileo, we were met by total blackout. We reached our destination in total darkness. The wind was blowing hard. We could hear loud howling sound. The children were scared. The kids were all embracing their mothers due to the cold air, the horryfying howling sound of the wind and the scary liked situation of the darkness. Some of the adults (including me) were laughing out loud for such a movie liked scenario. The young ones though were very helpful, going ahead of us inside the house, locating our rooms with the help of an overseeing house lady.

Inside the pitched black mountain house, the elders and the young children all gathered in one place which was the big living room. After sometimes, the power came back. Wallah! It turned out, the mountain house was well furnished with modern facilities. It was really very nice! But after a long day of fun and adventure from Moalboal, to Aloguinsan, to Sileo, everybody was just simply too tired. and all we wanted to do was to have a good night sleep.

When I awoke the next morning, the breakfast table was already set. I was the second to the last to rise up. Martha was the last but then she was sick that day. Here are some nice pictures: 

Breakfast at the mountain house.
With Luz Co taking charge of the kitchen.
 View from the mountain house.
 View from Lucas and mine room.
The grandchildren eating breakfast and playing already.
Lucas and his sister Rosita (Lechu) Chua
Jerome and Reizl Chua
The kids watching television at the living room.
 This group went to the market to prepare our lunch and got busy inside the kitchen.
Emil and Suiling, our chief cooks.
The loafers. Where is Roy?! Hahaha!
Home cooked lunch at the mountain house. More dishes on the way. 

After lunch, we lingered at the mountain house for awhile. The young ones explored some nearby vicinity. We had some househelps who took care of cleaning up. The whole bunch left Sileo at around, the Chuas for Balamban and the Tan's contingent to Cebu City. In a few days we shall be saying good bye to Luz Co and Marion Olmillo, and thanking them for joining this our family gathering and trip. 
And from here, I shall conclude my chronicle from Emil and Suiling's wedding, to our family trip from Cebu City, to Sumilon Island, to Kawasan Falls, Moalboal, Aloguinsan, Balamban and Sileo and back to Cebu City. Thank you God for blessing us with a safe, memorable, happy, one in a life time family event and vacation. Thank You so much. Thank you so very very much!!!

See you again on my next blog........

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Chronicle - Aloguinsan, Cebu

On November 24, the Tan family left Moalboal at noon for a late lunch at Aloguinsan, to proceed on  a local bangka cruise at Bojo River. This Aloguinsan sustainable tour was a special trip we had never experienced before. It was very Filipino, cultural, educational and fun. It featured everything native to the place. This sustainable tour was and is under the supervision of the Department of Tourism and the Department of Trade. Taking this trip made us proud and hopeful for our country so beautiful. We do really need to preserve our scenery and not deface it. This eco-system tour was really one of its kind. We totally enjoyed and appreciated this day tour. Thank you Tom for bringing us to Alonguinsan.

While Tom was registering the group tour at the lobby, Lucas and I posed for a picture at the farm entrance. Luz Co on the other hand wanted to pose with the DTI sign board, so I posed with her too. Hahaha.

Father and son enjoying the forested pathway to the river.
We were welcome with leis made from the seeds, fruits and flowers of tropical plants. They were not edible though.

Suiling and myself with our beaded leis.

 This way to Bojo River.


Upon arriving the river bank, we were welcome with Visayan songs and dance. Martha and Angel dancing to the lively tunes.

Look at the beautiful and colorful table setting!
All these fresh young coconuts made us extremely happy!

Healthy lunch! Tom was so proud that we were enjoying this experience to the max!

After lunch, we proceeded to the river bank for the eco-system river tour. Here everybody was getting his life vest and buri hat preparing for the cruise.

We took a bangka (paddled boat) around Bojo River. The guide pointed out different species of mangrove trees, the most popular ones were the nipa (palm) and the bakawan. It brought back a lot of childhood memories where I used to take a motorized boat with my uncle and cousins through the Rio Grande River of Cotabato City.

This was the mouth of the Bojo River going out to the sea. We were supposed to be brought out to the sea and go to a nearby beach. But because of the big waves that afternoon, the boat just stopped right at the mouth of the river for us to take a dip at the salty river water.

Hey look, who's that guy who jumped into the river first? 

After Dylan, all the young ones went down for a dip. The blue green river looked very enticing and invigorating

So I removed my life vest. (I find it more difficult to swim with a vest that is trying to go up to my throat. Haha.) and jumped into the water too. 

Upon seeing me enjoying my swim, Lucas and Luz also joined in. Emil and Suiling decided to stay dry on the boat.

More pictures from the Bojo River swim.

To those who intend to go for the river cruise, be prepared for a dip from the bangka or the beach. After the swim, you will be brought back to the river bank again. Leave your dry clothes at the river bank for a change of clothing for your next destination. Bring along towels, soap and shampoo. They have bathrooms for shower at the river bank huts. You can leave your things at the dining area while on cruise.

After drying oneselves, the tour package includes kakanin snacks like puto, biko, cassava cake and drinks. But because we have another place to visit for the night, we decided to pack along our snacks and enjoyed them inside the van instead.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

A Chronicle - Trip to Moalboal, Cebu

On November 23, 2017, the family left Sumilon Island for a land trip to Moalboal, a coastal town situated on the southern section of Cebu City. On the way, we stopped by a scenic spot called Cusina Organica for lunch. The place was built on stilted structure along the sea shore. From the tropical hut along the coast, I simply loved looking out to the sea. The air was clean and breezy, the water was bluish, the sea floor was transparent, the big waves were calming. Such idyllic lunch-stop made us all very hungry. Hahaha!

 View from Cusina Organica. Lucas and I at our coastal lunch-stop.

Looking out to the sea, watching the sea floor. A pose with Lucas, Roy, Emil and Marion

Hungry people waiting for lunch. Haha!

After lunch, off we went to Moalboal. Before reaching our beach resort, we stopped by Kawasan Falls. I had been to Kawasan Fall 12 years ago. The fall was already commercialized long before, but this time, more so. I was dismayed. The surroundings became totally ugly to me because of the low costs lodgings on site and the dirty looking plastic umbrellas, tables and chairs for rent at the falls venue. There was even a karaoke blasting during our walk to the fall, although the brooks and streams and the falls were really pretty. I suggest, there should be a preservation of our natural scenery, I propose.

 Walk to Kawasan Falls.

 Beautiful streams and brooks.

Mini hydro-electric power installation.

Kawasan Falls


The young ones taking a shot with the falls.
(with one of the dirty ugly umbrellas behind them. Hehe.)

Its me at Kawasan Falls. Haha!

And on we trekked back to our parked van and proceeded to Moalboal. We stayed at Resort Serena along the stretch of the White Sand Beach. It was almost dusk. We took our dinner and had much discussion on what to do and where to go the next morning. Majority decided to stay at the beach and swim the next morning instead of going to Pescadores for snorkeling or go for sardine watch. We didn't have enough time to do all these things. The tide was low during our swim the next morning though, but the water was refreshingly cool and clear. I could clearly see school of blue fishes swimming among live corals with my naked eyes. We should have stayed here for more days, I thought. But alas we have to move along for another fun destination and lunch. Tom had arranged our trip like clock work. Didn't get to take many pictures at Moalboal though. We spent most of our time swimming on the beach the whole morning through.

Moalboal at dusk.

With Marion and Marion watching the sunset at the White Sand Beach.

Lucas ran out of t-shirts. Yuri brought him his father (Tom) shirt. Here I took a picture of grandpa and grandson in matching t-shirts inside our beach cottage. Hahaha! I love this picture totally. So very cute!!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Chronicle - After Wedding Family Excursion

After the wedding of Emil and Sui-ling on November 19, 2017, most of our guests went home to their respective places. The family of Lucas C. Tan remained billeted at Quest Hotel. Then on November 21, the entire family together with the newly wedded couple, Luz Co (the mother of Angel), and Marion Olmillo, my daughter Marion's boy friend from Manila, altogether we embarked for a week long family excursion going through a Cebu loop tour. My son Tomas arranged with much enthusiastsm this our family outing. We went to the beaches, river and mountain. It was a great and enjoyable family reunion!!!
We hired a van to take us to places. Our first stop was a snack at Jessie's Cebu Torta. The first picture shows Lucas sitting near the wooden stove posing with the uncooked and cooked tortas. The other picture shows the family eating the snacks and awaiting for the sikwate (chocolate drinks) to arrive. The torta was a sweet coarse cake with a little tart taste because of the tuba (coconut vinegar wine) mixture.

We had lunch at a good restaurant on the way to Sumilon. Along the coast, we took a resort boat to ferry us to the island. It took awhile waiting for the boat to arrive. We reached Blue Water Sumilon Island Resort after 4:00 PM. A nice breezy scenic place to get away from the maddening crowd.,

Arriving Sumilon
Marion, Lucas and Roy at scenic Sumilon Island. Notice the sun setting and the low tide.

Martha and Yuri at the sandbar. An early morning swim.


Roy and Auntie Luz at the sandbar.

Marion Tan and Marion Olmillo at the beach.

  Angel and her children Yuri and Dylan and the tower of calamares in between. Lucas on the swing.

 Haha! Biker bods from Seattle.   Martha on the swing while artist at work on the background. Haha!

We stayed for three days and two nights at Blue Water Sumilon Island Resort. The air was clean and breezy. The water had big waves though for this particular season. We did not venture much to the sea but stayed and swim at the more serene sandbar most of the time. The first supper at Sumilon, we had Filipino buffet. The food was superb. I specially loved their ginataan alimago and hipon, and also their green mango salad. I went back for second and third servings. Hahaha. For their buffet breakfast, I loved their fried crispy dangit and pusit. Their fried manto was also good. I got plenty of pineapple and rambutan fruits too. Sarap!
Our next destination would be a land trip to Moalboal and other stop overs.

To be continued on next posting....