Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kitty & Tea! ( BubblePop )

I can already feel the summer heat! It seems like every summer season is getting warmer and warmer every year. We live in a tropical country so technically, we only have two seasons: rainy and sunny season. But during summer months which starts from the month of March to May, the heat may sometimes become a little extreme. So aside from dipping in a pool or going to the beach, the best way to cool off the heat is to drink some refreshment. We came across a new adorable establishment named BubblePop Tea and Desserts in Dumaguete.  I just couldn't resist the charm of the place that's why I decided to feature them in our post.

BubblePop Tea and Dessets
This is the facade of the shop. The pink pastel paint really caught my attention.
We went there to get some afternoon snacks and refreshment. They have a great selection of milk teas which  is a very popular drink these days and healthy too. There are a lot of tea shops in Cebu but so far it's the only tea-oriented shop in Dumaguete City that I'm aware of. They also serve desserts and other snacks.

Milk tea
Honeydew milk tea (left) and Taro milk tea (right)

Hello Kitty
Hello Kitty plate! >.<

That's me enjoying their milk tea and fries. :))

He's trying to get all the popping mango boba! haha

We ordered their Honeydew and Taro milk tea with popping mango boba along with sour cream fries and brownies with ice cream on top which they called "Sweet Escape". It tasted really good. But aside from their teas and desserts, what I really like about BubblePop shop is the shop itself. It's so pink and girly. And they adorned the place with Hello Kitty accessories which is my favorite Sanrio character ever since childhood. I'm sure the owner is also a huge fan of Hello Kitty so seeing such concept integrated in a shop really delighted me. It's the closest I can get to a Hello Kitty Cafe in our beloved Dumzville.

I like kuya's pink apron. So cute!

Hello Kitty
Hello Kitty by the window.. The basket is so cute!

Hello Kitty
More Hello Kitty on the counter.. ^^,

Hello Kitty

They also sell accessories.

Hello Kitty

Pink sign

Ice cold milk tea is already a perfect summer offering but adding it up with a cutely designed shop makes it even perfect for the season. So if you happen to drop by the city, don't forget try out BubblePop's milk teas and desserts. They are located along Perdices Street near Silliman University. ;)

We welcome comments and suggestions! C'mon, don't be shy. ;)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sky Adventure on a 40-storey building! ( Crown Regency Cebu)

Every week, we seem to crave for an adventure. And luckily, there seems to be opportunities to make them happen. Our friend invited us to try the Sky Experience Adventure offered by one of the tallest hotel buildings in Cebu, The Crown Regency.We are very much aware of this urban adventure since we first came in Cebu but we couldn't seem to find the right time and the right people until this day.  We went to the Crown Regency at 8 P.M. and waited for some of our other friends who were also invited to join the night's adventure. While waiting, I can't quite put it if I was excited or nervous. I was still not sure of how I felt about heights at that time. Soon our friends started arriving.

Allow me to introduce you to our friends will be joining us, Kono (in red) and Joana (in green, right next to Kono). You'll meet some of our other friends soon.  I'm sure your're very familiar with the first three from the left, as they've made appearances in almost all of our previous posts.

On their sky lounge, there is a portion where you can see a mini zoo. We saw a lion, a tiger and a python.  One of the trainers told us that they also have a parrot but it was not there at that time. It was so weird seeing those animals in an unlikely place but they seemed to very tamed by their trainers. 

Sleep lion..

Meet Beth, the girl not the lion ! 

After our encounter with the animals, we started moving to the floor where the sky experience is held. There were many tourist that night so we had to wait our turn. While waiting, we had to wear jumpsuits and a helmet. The zip line was first on our list. I believe it is the first urban zip line in the world where we'll cross two tall buildings only with the use of straps and cables. But of course, our safety came first so the staff made sure each one of us were buckled tightly in our harnesses before we hanged on for our dear lives.

Zip line Extreme Cebu
Oh Good, the new faces are grouped together ! Guys, meet Vince (the guy from the very left), Chris (right the girl  right next to Vince) and Phen (the only girl wearing glasses)

Zip line Extreme Cebu

Zip line Extreme Cebu

Zip line Extreme Cebu

Zip line Extreme Cebu
I had a good view of how 473 ft above the ground looks like.

Zip line Extreme Cebu
This was taken on our way back.

The extreme zip line was one of the most exhilarating activity we ever did in our lives! A little scary at first but once you get the "hang" of it, you'll be asking for more. You can actually do the Superman or the Spiderman pose  if you like rather than just hanging normally like we did.

After everyone was done with the zip line, we moved on to our next agenda which was the wall climbing. This was different from all our other wall climbing experience because this time the wall was placed on top a tall building.  Before climbing the wall, the staff had all of us stretched first.



Once all the stretching madness were done, we were ready to try and reach the top of the wall. Each one of us had the chance to climb and I was fully aware that I'm going to make another fool of myself. Wall climbing isn't exactly my forte, in short, I sucked at it. It was a good thing some of my friends also share the same sentiments. Only two among the group got to the top, first was Kono, our Japanese friend and Jed ( a.k.a Cirrus). One thing they have in common is that they follow instructions very well. That was what got them to the top, both of them listened very well to the staff's instructions.

our failed attempts in wall climbing

Congrats! You've reached the top!

Congrats Kono!

Lastly, we did the highlight for this evening's adventure, the famous extreme sky walk. It is actually the first and only sky walk in the country. It took us 15 mins. to go around the building without any handrails. It was very thrilling! Our friend Phen (the one with the glasses on) actually had a fear of heights but through the sky walk, she has finally conquered it.

Our Skywalk experience would not be as enjoyable as it was without our energetic guide. Unfortunately we don't have her in our photos. We'd like to give her credit though for keeping us engaged. She's very good in doing one thing as a guide, but you would have to try the Skywalk to know what that is. But let me warn you, "Never try this with a full bladder!!!"

Listening carefully to the instructions..

Skywalk Cebu
a so-called Wacky pose! haha not as wacky when taken hundreds of feet above the ground !

Skywalk Cebu
Arrange yourself according to skin color !!!

Skywalk Cebu

Skywalk Cebu

Skywalk Cebu

Skywalk Cebu

That wrapped up our Extreme Sky Adventure, we were no longer able to try the Edge Coaster since it was almost closing time. We will get back to that on our next visit as well as their 4D movie experience. It was an awesome night overall.

This urban experience will get your knees trembling with fear and excitement, but when you've conquered everything, you get to keep a proud ego, knowing that you've overcome what millions of people, fear the most. 'Till next time!

Don't forget to leave comments and suggestion. Thank you! :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sugar and Salt (Bantayan Island part 2)

Bantayan Island

After the many things we did on our first day in Bantayan island, we recharged our bodies for day 2, by getting a good night's sleep. While all the others were still sound in bed, I (Jed ) rose early so I won't miss the magnificent sunrise in Bantayan. Quickly before the sun goes full blown, I ran to the shoreline dragging my tripod and my camera dangling around my neck. I didn't have the luxury to frame everything well on my lens but i think I got some really good shots. The pictures in this blog don't go through post-editing because as much as possible, we want to keep the images as close to what the naked eyes can see.

The sun rises in Bantayan. The orange glare touches the white sand giving life to the sugary grains. The water welcomes the rays and deflects the light in tiny ripples. Watching the sun slowly rise from the horizon in its elegance and grace gives me an adrenaline rush. I find the laws of nature as the most amazing things the human eye can ever behold. The sunrise at Bantayan got me in the mood for another exciting day in the island.

Bantayan Island
the first explosion of light as the sun peeks through the horizon

Bantayan Island

As soon as I got back to the cottage, I woke up everyone else so we can go for a breakfast in the town of Santa Fe. We hurriedly got to our bicycles and rode to town because we scheduled an island hopping adventure at 7:00 am. The selection was easily made. We went to a local restaurant near the market who serves "silog" meals for less. The town even looks more vibrant that Sunday morning as the church bells rang in unison. People dressed in their simple Sunday dresses come in and out of the church. The market place comes to life as vendors selling different products slowly fill the sidewalk. 

When we got back to the resort, we immediately packed our things and headed straight to the shore. We hired the resort's pump boat. to take us on an island tour. You can feel and see the trace of excitement in our faces as we approached our ride. The tide was low that morning, so you can see and feel the moist white sand as you walk on it even with your slippers on. 

Bantayan Island
"Sugar" is our mini boat for Today's adventure. She's eager to have us on board. 

Bantayan Island
the white sand on a low tide. I still get the feeling of warmth just by looking at it.

As I have said, these ladies can't seem to contain their excitement, yet they never fail to take a break and strike a pose. 

There it goes again! When vanity strikes, it strikes hard.

A few moments later we were on board ready for Virgin island. The ride took about 15 minutes because the waves were giving Sugar a challenge. It was a fun ride though, because you get to see the other resorts along the shoreline. You'll immediately notice the significant visibility of foreigners everywhere. 

! Cirrus' Tips for FUN : While on the pump boat, try shouting when the waves hit like crazy. Try switching places with your friends from one side to the other. And oh, try not to fall off board while doing this. Goodluck !

The ladder can be a little slippery, so you better be careful because I'm not quite sure if kuya will bother to catch you. Make sure to bring the necessary stuff with you, including water. For someone like me who is a water drinker, the temperature easily dries my throat, so small plastic bottles come in handy, but make sure you dispose them properly. 

It's fine to go on emo mode with the sun like this and the perfect beach like that, just make sure to put your sunscreen on so you don't end up messing your vacation with a stinging sunburn. 

Finally !!! My first photo of the day 

Bantayan Island

I can't stop pressing the shutter button. I can now perfectly understand what they called the photograhy reflex. It is an involuntary feeling triggered by an exquisite view that compels the hand o grab the camera and take pictures. On our approach to Virgin Island, we were all filled with excitement as we were welcomed with clear waters and a white shoreline. We had to park sugar along the coast and we were immediately greeted with one of their staff to collect payment for the entrance fees and cottage rental. Well, as soon as you've set eyes on the place, I'm sure you wouldn't hesitate to grab your wallet and pay. 

Virgin island is very near the mainland Bantayan. In fact you can see it when you arrive in Santa Fe on a boat from Hagnaya. There's very little population in the island  and you can barely see residential structures, and I think this is why they called it the Virgin island. The waves were wild on our trip coming here but on this part of the island the angry waves are calmed down because the shoreline does not face the open sea. 

Here are some of the shots we took on the island: 

Virgin Island

 There is a reason why it's called Virgin island and there's a reason why some of our friends were not there !!! Kidding! 

Bantayan Island

The first thing we did on  the island was to check out their fish sanctuary. We were in awe at the number of fishes and various forms of marine life that welcomed us. You can even see them through the surface. At one time we thought there were no fishes in the water, but as soon as we started feeding them with bread crumbs , they swarm around us out from nowhere. 

We made one big mistake though, and until now it still upsets me. We brought a waterproof camera with us but we took so much photos before we even got to the fish sanctuary so we ran out of batteries. No matter how expensive your camera is, if you're snorkeling in the fish sanctuary, its value goes down if you can't capture those colorful creatures from down below. Luckily we were able to take  one decent shot. 

This isn't even the best yet.. :(

We checked their beach too, and for me this was way better than what we had in Camotes. The Virgin island has a wide stretch of white sand. I feel like submerged in a 2000-square meter wide pool,  with white sand down below. The best part about the beach here is the fact that the water is deep. You can swim, dive and tread in the water for as much as you want. If you can swim, the waters here in Virgin island provides you freedom underwater. Deep clear waters always gives me the feeling of power that I can move in any way I want, and with the clear waters here you can stop worrying about something eating you.

As I was lying in the sand imagining I was Tom Hanks from the movie Cast Away, I notice that the sand here has larger grains compared to sugar beach. This lessens the chance of the water being cloudy. And if I'm caught in a Cast-Away scene  in this island, it won't hurt if I stay for a while. Here's what I saw with my own eyes.

Why would Tom Hanks want to go home if his Cast Away island looked like this?

 With the mainland Bantayan island fronting the beach, it is very seldom and rare for you to get big waves here. Since I don't know how to surf, I'd like to keep it that way.

Virgin Island

When we've exhausted the Virgin island of its virginity we decided that it was finally time to head back to sugar beach. We went aboard sugar again for the trip back. The first thing we felt when we got back to our resort was hunger. We were desperate for good food and we are that hungry that we can no longer tolerate the usual cheap options that we have in Santa Fe market. 

We attempted to go to Bantayan proper by bicycle until we felt it was just too far for our starving bodies and tired legs. We asked a local if the Bantayan town was still far, and they made as feel as if we were fools thinking we could go there on our bikes. So were back with no choice but to find our way back to Santa Fe under the angry sun. 

We decided to go visit a good-looking place, and we found the Balikbayan restaurant. The first thing that worried us was the cost we might incurr  by eating there, but as soon as we looked at the menu, we were satisfied. They had budget rice meals with drinks for less than one hundred fifty pesos. I have to say for someone with a big appetite like mine, this place just suits me fine. The Balikbayan restaurant is a must-visit and must-try while you're in Bantayan island.

Halohalo for only 48.00 pesos !!!

As soon as the sumptuous meal was done, we drove ourselves back to the resort so we can pack and catch boat to Hagnaya and the trip back to Cebu. But before the final zippers were closed we decided to have a few more photos taken. 

This is the doodle house. You'll pass by it on your way to sugar beach. We can't help but take some shots. I found it creepy at first but eventually I saw the artistry in the complicated designs.

Bantayan Island

Bantayan Island
Yei! Finally, All of us in one pic. Kudos to the tripod for a nice shot !

Bantayan Island

Finally we took the potpot going to Sta Fe port. I wish I could have stayed in the island longer, but we had to go home for work so we can continually fund our trips. The weather was the same as yesterday which made it even more difficult for me to leave Bantayan. As the sun began to set in the west, our boat embarked for Hagnaya, leaving  a burst of light along the horizon. I didn't feel like it was a gesture of goodbye from Bantayan Island. The sun, clouds, and sea were sending thoughts telling me I will always find a home here, and at that moment, my heart believed they were right. 

Don't forget to leave comments or suggestions. ;)