Thursday, April 17, 2014

Experiencing renewed faith thru a pilgrimage to Simala Sibonga Cebu

 Figuring out the best way to spend our lenten vacation, wife called up for us to go on another adventure and personal pilgrimage to the world renowned- Miraculous Shrine of the Virgin mother down south at Simala, Sibonga Cebu.

It was a trip that was worth the long wait (approximately 3 hours and one Time magazine issue away) we got to the shrine via V-Hire at One Citylink Terminal (80 Php) which by the way, drove us right at the gate of the church and saved us the 5 kilometer “Habal- Habal” ride from the highway proper.

At the site, we’re met with religious spectacles from just about every corner; we reveled in the minute shrines near the footsteps of the shrine / monastery, climbed up what seemed like a thousand steps up to the museum where we were introduced to precious idols, insignias and other significant artifacts of the Catholic faith. We then went down the serene church and said our thanks,  praises and wrote down our petitions at the courtyard.

After having our fill of faith and savoring the all scenic atmosphere, we then got to the shrine’s picnic grove by the pond where we enjoyed the grub that we brought along. We packed in lots of Picka-pickas of large (and very heart wrenching) pork chicharon packs which we bought at the pit stop at Carcar and potato chips, soft drinks and water bottles.

It was almost dinnertime when we took the strides again for the trip back home. Since it was already night time and the V-Hire shed was already closed, we rode the “Habal-habal” (20 Php) back to the highway and after quite a long walk, took refreshments and had dinner at one of the roadside BBQ stalls that abound the highway.

Finally after an hour of waiting, we got on a half-full bus back to the city for another 3 hour ride (70 Php and very bumpy mind you) and reminisce the day's great journey while hitting the sack. Over all, it was a soul refreshing escapade that's definitely worth a 2 thumbs up and a must try for everyone.   

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Childhood buddies explore Funtastic Island at Gibitngil, Medellin Cebu

Last summer, me and my friends got a chance to visit another childhood friend who is now married and resides in  sunny Medellin. All it took was a quick call to band the gang together and taking no for an answer (for those who do will be dragged from their beds) all our schedules met and we headed right away for the weekend up north to explore this side's famed Funtastic Island off Gibitngil, Medellin and give the couple and the kids a wow of a sendoff before leaving back for Singapore.

In a zip, the experience was tops for we surely got a treat that's full of endless talk, laughter, lots of booze and of course we had our fill of the island's pristine waters, sun and powdery white sand beaches. 

Having a tongue for exotics, we also had a taste of a fish whom the locals call as "Ebid" which looks like a half janitor fish and manta ray but really meaty and taste's great to our delight for it certainly goes well grilled as "pulutan" with ice cold beer on the side. 

Other attractions of the island that we've also tried is it's zipline and the 40 ft+ high cliff jump which became a test if we'd pee in fear while still climbing up and viewing the long drop down. 

The rest of the story are told in these in amazing photos below.

Special thanks to our hosts Archie and Nanette Cadampog and family. Till our next escapade. 

Photos featured in this post from Archie Cadampog and Julius Reynes

A view of Funtastic Island at sunset from neighboring Kawit, Medellin Cebu.

The author posin with the day's host Archie and Nanette Cadampog. 

The gang huddles for an evening of booze by the waters of Kawit, Medellin.

All hot and very hungry, we made a pit stop at the couple's residence and had our tummies full of native chicken tinola and scrumptous humba that the couple prepared.

The island comes alive with birds chirping from just around every tree and every corner.

The author flyin through Funtastic Island's Zipline.