Friday, July 22, 2016

Topokki Man

I've been in love with Topokki Man since 2011, and it actually makes me wonder why I haven't written anything about it on this blog until now.

Today I will be sharing my personal favorites.

Topokki with Cheese (Php 180)
* Regular Topokki - Php 130
* wuth cheese - add Php 50
Topokki is a Korean snack made of rice cakes dipped in sweet spicy sauce, topped with spices, hard-boiled egg and a couple of wanton crisps. Toppings could also be added depending on preference. As for me and my SO, we always order it with mozzarella cheese.

I love how chewy and cheesy the rice cakes are. Though I have low tolerance for spicy foods, I could finish a whole bowl of this, myself. That's how I love this dish! This is a MUST-HAVE every time we visit the restaurant.

Dumplings (Php 20)
Topokki is also best when paired with their set of frieds (Php 130).

Extra tip: If you have enough sauce left, you could order rice to mix with it.

Ramen with egg (Php 100)
Their ramen is served with a free complementary dish. This time we had kimchi.

You could also choose to have a veggie salad instead.

Babyroll (Php 70)
For a non-spicy dish, we had babyroll - their maki version without the mango.

And for dessert, tadaan~
Mango Float (Php 80)

Other than the food, the ambiance is welcoming, artsy and fun. The walls have polaroid pictures and their tables have personalized messages and doodles from customers.

The owner is very accommodating and even waits for the customers, himself. There was one time he gave my daughter free ice cream! Thank you!!

Topokki Man also offers value meals they call USC (Unanimous Student's Choice).

Yay or Nay? Topokki Man would alwaaaays be a big YAY!

Topokki Man is located at Rosedale Suites, Gov. M. Cuenco Avenue, Talamban, Cebu and opens from Mondays to Saturdays 11AM to 11PM.

They also accept deliveries (except on Sundays). Contact them at 032 3456701.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Greetings with Love ♥

SO is one of the few (or many) whose got more than one birthdays in a year.

Our relationship isn't at all perfect and our story is unlike those you see on screen.
Ours is full of ups and downs and in-betweens.

I've been truly blessed to have met someone who have seen the best and definitely the worst of me, yet still accepts me, nevertheless.

Thank you for everything, my love.
And I am sorry for all the pain that I have caused you.
I can't change anything in the past but I promise I'd do my best to make up for the present and for our future.

God bless us always. ☺

Friday, June 24, 2016

Avalanche Ice Cream's Smokin' Brownies

I have always wanted to try their Smokin' Brownies and finally I did get the chance!

Smokin' Brownies
Eight (8) mini slices of brownie for Php78 only.
This already includes a cup of liquid nitrogen where you can dip your brownie to make it look like it's smoking.
You could also ask for a refill of the nitrogen for Php30.

Nothing really fancy about this brownie (asides from pretending to be a dragon after having a bite).
Tastes just like your regular brownie.

Yay or Nay?

Not a nay but not so much of a yay as well. ☺

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Samboan Trip: Day 1

My SO and his friends planned a little trip to Samboan for the weekend. I and our not-so-little-anymore girl tagged along for the trip.


The group met at Cebu IT Park five in the morning and departed at six.  The whole trip took five hours. We ate our lunch and rested for a while whilst the rest are planning on which falls to go first.

The place we were staying, by the way, is an old house (imagine the Spanish era) which is owned by a relative of one of the group. It is located right at the center of Samboan which made things (ie. food, market, municipal hall, transportation) very accessible.
Some portraits state they're from 1929. Oooh.
After a quick rest, the group decided to go visit Kandayvic Falls first, located just three kilometers away from where we were staying. Locals said it was originally called “Kang Inday Marivic”. Who Marivic is? I ain’t sure.

And oh! I would advise you to have everything ready (apply sunscreen, swimwears or any gears) beforehand in case you are planning to go there and leave any unnecessary stuffs behind. There isn’t any changing rooms and lockers.

We rode a habal-habal, which took 10 minutes, then trek to the waterfalls for another 10 minutes. The trail seemed to be easy at first as we walked up but became harder when we were already going down a slope. I find it harder than the trail going to level 3 of Kawasan Falls (which I will be writing in a separate post). Part of the road was sandy and/or full of dried leaves which made it slippery. The left side is a cliff, too– full of plants of course so falling off won’t be as painful. Haha. Kidding!

We can already hear the gushing of the water. My legs were literally shaking here from the slope.
Trail here is already designed as a stairway. Steep, though.
When we finally arrived, the group looked for a spot where it would be perfect for a swim. The view may not be the type you would want to Instagram but the water is perfect for cooling down after walking for 10 minutes under the blazing sun. If you’re lucky, you would be swimming with black little froggy fishes, too. Sarcasm not intended.

There is also another spot on Kandayvic similar to the ones you would see when you go canyoneering at Badian. Perfect if you love plunging into the water.

After we had our fair share of experience at Kandayvic, we went back to the “Spanish house” and rested *again* for a while. Oh, about the habal-habal, it is better to negotiate with them what time you would like them to pick you up, or better yet, get their contact numbers. The habal-habal roundtrip costs Php100.

Going back up!
Then going back down.
Don't forget to apply sunblock!
Riding the habal-habal going back to Poblacion.
At five in the afternoon, the group proceeded to the beach. (YAY!)
It was a five-minute drive to a local beach. The landmark I remembered was a signage saying “National High School”.

We arrived at a perfect time! The sun was about to set and the beach is just lovely. It wasn’t just all sand. It’s also a WHITE PEBBLE BEACH as what I’d like to call it. The advantage is that the water remains clear even if I’d step on the seabed. It was just love at first sight.

It was already 9 when we went back to the “Spanish house”. The rest of the guys continued with their drinking session while I and my little lakwAkisa were already tucked in bed.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Globe Telecom: Unposted Payment

Though I promised myself to spare this blog from all the drama, I just cannot help but pour out my frustrations into writing. So I am very sorry blog. I'll be making this quick.

I got an additional line from Globe. The handset was delivered last September 1 via Air21.

Here's a screen shot of our conversation via SMS with the courier.

I handed the courier Php5800 (Php999 Advanced Monthly Service Fee + Php4800 Cashout for the handset). The courier then gave me the one-peso change and the receipt.

Although it was mentioned on the courier's receipt that I would receive an OFFICIAL RECEIPT via email after 20 working days, I did not. So I checked on the Globe website to make sure.

And tadaaan! The amount reflected on the site is NOT the actual amount that I paid!

I raised this concern over to Twitter because I know how active the Globe Twitter agents are.

But this has just frustrated me more! Please see below for a series of I-had-to-start-over-from-the-beginning-even-if-they-told-me-they-have-the-updates conversations. UGH! Just for the lack of proper term.

And there! Patti of Globe did send me a reference number for followup of my concern.
However, I feel that I cannot trust the Twitter agents to handle this.

This time, I called customer service wherein the agent told me that the resolution they had for my problem was to REPRINT THE RECEIPT.

REPRINT WHAT!? The same amount of Php5399!? So I clarified to her that my concern is I got an unposted payment of Php400. She left me on dead air for more than five minutes! When she got back on the line, she told me she made a follow-up report on this and I should wait for 24-48 hours for a feedback.

 A couple of days has passed, still there's no update. I tried live chat this time and below is the transcript of our conversation.

And up until today, I am still not getting any feedback.

I am really frustrated right now.

Has anybody else experienced this?
Let me know on the comments section below.

Friday, August 14, 2015

10 Dove Street Confectionery on Soft Opening

Banana Swirl
10 Dove Street Confectionery is now on its soft opening.

The only time I had cake and cookies from 10 Dove Street was during Valentines Day and on our daughter's first birthday.

I decided to drop by with a few friends to have a taste of what they could offer.

We ordered Banofee Pie and Oreo Trifle.

And as "Instagramous" as I am, I just can't resist taking pictures of whatever I could find there.

Get ready to be overloaded with these insta-sweetness.

Banofee Pie

Oreo Trifle
 I love how sweet they are without hurting my throat!  ♥_♥

Red Velvet

Mini Bundt Cakes

Oreo Cake
Peach and Mango Cobbler

Walnut Fudge Bar
Other than pastries, they also offer drinks such as teas and coffees. My friends commend that their coffee tastes great. I wasn't able to try their coffee, though, because I had to stay away from coffee for a while. *shaky hands*

Though some would say it's a bit pricey, I find it satisfying for the price I had to pay - not just for the cake but for the ambiance as well.

Being someone who loves sweets and just wants to chill at places that are not overly crowded, I just found another perfect hangout.

10 Dove Street Confectionery is located at Oakridge Business Park.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

How Much at Sweet Potatoes (Pila sa Camotes)

Pila is the last name of my SO's family which literally translates to "How much?".
Camotes is an island group located at the east of Cebu. Legend has it that when the Spaniards came to the island and asked the natives of the name of the place, they answered "camotes" (sweet potatoes) thinking that they were asked what they were harvesting.
Group picture at Mangodlong Rock Resort
We got up early last May 23 to catch the first trip from Danao to Camotes. Unfortunately, due to some unfavorable (and I believe, ILLEGAL) acts of some people, we were not able to procure tickets for the first trip - even those people who were already there at 3AM!

Just a tip I want to share if you're planning to go to Camotes, you could actually get a round-trip ticket from North Bus Terminal. I've just learned this information when we already reached there.

It is a two-hour ferry ride from Danao to Camotes.
When we reached Consuelo port, the area is already crowded with a lot of service cabs and motorcycles. It seemed to me that the crowd tripled from the last time I was here - which was three (3) years ago.

There we saw our trusty tour guide who drove us to Masamayor's Beach House and Resort where we had our room reservations.

Masamayor's Beach House and Resort
We had our breakfast and got our lunch packed for our tour.

Our first stop was the Mangodlong Rock Resort.
One thing I really liked about this resort is I don't need to go very far in order to take a good swim even on low tides.

And I believe it was not just me who enjoyed the place. Everyone else happily plunged into the water. And if only there was nowhere else we'd go, I believe everyone would have chosen to stay a little bit longer.

The resort also offers some nice views for a perfect summer shot.

A photo posted by J Cyrel | Aya Byuu (@ayisharu) on

You may also avail of some of their activities such as jet skiing.

Second stop was at Paraiso Cave and Restaurant. This was not in our itinerary three years ago so this was also my first in the said place.

Among the caves I have visited in Camotes, I find this one the smallest. There aren't much to explore and the spring is only a few steps down from the entrance. The water was very cold and deep for someone who is only 4'11" in height.

Entrance of the cave
Inside of the cave
And although the water seemed crystal clear, I did not spend too much time in it in fear of getting muscle cramps; contrary to my daughter who seemed to be enjoying herself very much even if it was really cold.

Next on the list is the famous Lake Danao Park.

I could still remember the first time I was there, it was just the big lake, the floating cottage and the kayaks. There were no other guests than us.
On my second visit, they improved a bit and started building some tables and cottages.

Now on the third time, a lot has improved. And the population of the guests just went ten times more than the last time I could remember.

There were also more tables and cottages.
We decided to have our lunch there.

Having lunch at Lake Danao Park
There are a lot of activities you could do at Lake Danao Park such as boating, kayaking, horseback riding, etc.

After we had our lunch, our tour guide asked us if we would like to visit the Holy Crystal Cave wherein he mentioned it will be a really challenging one as we might do some crawling and bending over. It seems quite an adventure but since we have an infant with us, we had to skip this one.

And if you're a little curious as to what we've just missed, here's an informative review.

We proceeded to another cave, the Timubo Cave.

It is still the same cave as the last time I was there, but this time with so many people!
That's right, the place was heavily crowded that they're already setting a time limit of 30 minutes for every guest.

Timubo Cave
But the crowd did not stop us from enjoying the cave - especially my daughter who really loves splashing in the water.

We didn't stay too long and went on to our next stop - cliff-diving at Buho Rock Resort.

I was a bit excited because I know how much my SO loves to dive.
But when we reached the place, I couldn't hide my dismay.

The place in itself is still so beautiful and picture perfect.

It's just that I really don't like large crowds.
There were a lot of people standing by the cliff and it would be kind of hard to ask them to move down without us appearing rude and arrogant.

Because it seemed impossible to do what we went there for, we just had to enjoy ourselves swimming on the foot of the cliff, instead... And maybe just take some pictures.

Buho Rock Resort
Foot of the cliff
It was already late in the afternoon when we decided to head back to Santiago where we continued splashing in the water.

A photo posted by J Cyrel | Aya Byuu (@ayisharu) on

After the sun had set, my SO and I headed to Pito's Sutokil to reserve a table for our dinner.

In my previous visits at Camotes, I have always stayed at Pito's Sutokil and I could vouch that their food tastes great and are very affordable.

We had a fulfilling dinner. My personal favorite that night was the beef steak.
We headed back to our rooms and I dozed off rather early while the rest of the guys had their inuman session.

Early the next day, we had a light breakfast and proceeded immediately to have an early swim... and of course, pictures!

Water baby :D
By 10AM, we got ready to leave so we could reach the port by 11AM as what was advised by our tour guide.

In the past few years, the tour guides were supposed to get the tickets beforehand so it would be convenient for their guests. However, because of some "illegal" acts (as what is also happening at Danao port) of some people, they stopped issuing tickets for the tour guides.

And even if we did got to the port early, the available trips left are the 4PM trip onwards. Fortunately, we brought with us some grub in case we go hungry.

If you aren't patient enough, here's a little tip. I could remember on my first time there, there was a wharf somewhere where there are a few boats from Leyte that would pass by and if they're not fully loaded, they'll dock and get some passengers from Camotes. Not sure if it's still in operation, though. You might want to clarify this one when you go visit. But prolly the best option is to really get a round-trip ticket. I highly recommend it.

We were also accompanied by dolphins on our way to Danao. Yay!
Hi, Finley! :D

So that was our mini summer escapade in Camotes. My conclusion?

Camotes is a really beautiful place. It offers much more than just its picturesque resorts.
There are also a lot of other activities you could do such as kayaking, boating and diving.

The con's of this whole trip would be the overly populated spots (because A LOT of people are also having their tours), and the hassle of getting tickets from Danao to Camotes and vice versa.

And if you're like me who hates a large crowd, there are still some secluded areas in the island such as the bakhaw beach which is not yet too commercialized.

Breakdown of Expenses (9 adult; 1 infant)

Tour 2500
- Family Room (4 pax) 2800
- Deluxe Room (2 pax) 1800
- Additional 300/head
Danao to Camotes
- Adult 180/head
- Student (need ID) 150/head
Breakfast & Lunch 1500 *
Mangodlong Rock Resort 20/head
Paraiso Cave 25/head
Lake Danao Park 25/head
Table and Buko 300 *
Timubo Cave 20/head
Buho Rock Resort 25/head
Dinner 1500 *
Lunch 1000 *
Camotes to Danao
- Adult 180/head
- Student (need ID) 150/head
* estimates

Contact Numbers

Masamayor's Beach House and Resort
0917 631 8818

Mr. Apollo (Tour and Cab services)
0918 611 3728

Some spots that you may visit or include in your itinerary:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mother's Day Weekend at Hidden Valley

May is going to be a very busy month for our mother and her only vacant schedule is on May 9 and 10.

We were thinking of going to Camotes or Moalboal, but because the place I know of is fully booked and we don't have contacts with other resorts, we decided to go to Hidden Valley in Pinamungajan, instead.

We took the route via Brgy. Bunga in Naga which is only 7km away from Hidden Valley.

The road was not developed. There were also a lot of local residents who would ask us to pay if we pass through their property.

Upon arriving at approximately 11am, there were already a lot of people in the resort.

There are two resorts, the Mountain Resort and the Wavepool Resort.

Entrance fee to access both of the resorts is Php150/head.

A photo posted by J Cyrel | Aya Byuu (@ayisharu) on

We proceeded to the information area of the Mountain Resort to get us a room, which was a problem because the receptionist said all rooms were already booked.

I was already getting edgy and I wanted us to go look for another place.

My first impression was like "Oh my. This place is so unorganized, like pools just kind of sprout out of nowhere."

Okay, I got a biased opinion over there because I was really getting all irritable of the heat, of the crowd, of not getting a room, and gawd!

We thought of going to another location but oh, entrance fee is non-refundable.

Fortunately, my mother met a co-worker, Sir Joel, who helped us get a room. He was familiar with the place as this was where he grew up.

The room (or house) we got has a sala, a kitchen, two bedrooms, a CR and appliances such as a TV and a computer (both not working) which costs Php3.5k.

After eating lunch, we got ourselves ready for the wave pool!

When we reached the pool, there were no waves yet.
A photo posted by J Cyrel | Aya Byuu (@ayisharu) on

A photo posted by Andik Alao ♡ Quinn Adriel (@andiksayo) on

The children excitedly plunged into the water.

A photo posted by J Cyrel | Aya Byuu (@ayisharu) on

Well, not only the kids. :p

The pool was pretty crowded.

See those people over there? And that's not all of them.

Even got to see one of my college friends. :D

Suddenly, a loud sound like a ship's horn was heard. That was the signal that they will be turning on the waves.

People were yelling with excitement, but our kids got scared because they don't know what the commotion was all about.

The first few waves were small until they become bigger and "fiercer".

I recommend you bring a floater if you want to experience the waves, it'd be a lot more fun!

You can see my mother enjoying the waves xD
Hi, ma!
We rested for a while as the kids were getting tired.

The resort has a stall which sells coffee.

We ordered some frappes - Double Choco and Amazing Mocha.

There was no network signal and the wifi connection is very weak, so it's a perfect time to get that mobile phone off our hands and spend time with the family.

We plunged back to the pool to enjoy more of the waves until Akee got drowsy.

For dinner, we bought barbecue and hanging rice. There are a lot of local stores and stalls so looking for food won't be a big problem.

I didn't know of the time because I wasn't on my phone so I ended up going to bed early, while some of the guys had their drinking session.

We woke up early the next day where I found my mom preparing breakfast. She bought lechon baboy from one of the local stores.

After breakfast, we roamed around some more.

A photo posted by J Cyrel | Aya Byuu (@ayisharu) on

A photo posted by Wandering Kiddo (@wanderingkiddo) on

And got ourselves ready to enjoy the pool once more xD

We also hiked up to the mountain resort where they had a playground and more pools.

We also greeted each other a happy mom's day :D

Photo by andiksayo
More pictures! :D

We packed our stuffs and got ready to leave at 9am.

This time, we took the route via Pinamungajan proper - which was a longer ride. It was already 12 noon when we reached Uling Naga where we had our lunch.

It was a indeed a weekend well spent.

Hidden Valley Mountain Resort and Wavepool Resort is located at Brgy. Lamac, Pinamungajan, Cebu.

(Source: Mapbox via Foursquare)