Dreaming of #BisayaNaFood

Cebu, Philippines is a place of rich history, beautiful beaches, and wonderful people. One of the capital cities of the Philippines, it is highly significant and one of the most populated in the country.

But, let’s be honest: when I think of anything, I think of food. And Cebu? Cebu is known for its delicious, scrumptious food. Mouthwatering seafood. Sweet, sweet, mangoes. Succulent lechon. Ooh-lala!

This week, my tummy has a date with Cebu.

The Cebu Bloggers Society, the first and premier blogging organization in Cebu, has organized the 2nd Cebu Food Crawl in partnership with Smart and Ayala Center Cebu.The first one was held last year, where they took participants around the progressive dining scene of Cebu, making everyone (including myself) hungry while watching their progress on social media. This year, I get to participate, one of the 25 food, lifestyle and travel bloggers and social media influencers from Cebu, Manila, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Tacloban, Bohol, and General Santos.

The Cebu Food Crawl for 2016 takes “Destination Food” as its theme, and will highlight Cebu as a prime spot for food travelers. Taking place on August 26-29, it is a four-day food tour of different restaurants and hotels, a sampling of Cebu’s best!

Cebu-Food-Crawl-2016-poster

“Beyond the pristine white beaches and beautiful islands, Cebu is a melting pot of varied food influences inherited from its early inhabitants and colonial past enhanced with modern techniques and technology. Cebu Food Crawl celebrates Cebu as a foremost gourmet destination best known for practicality and glamour of its food,” Cebu Food Crawl Project Director, Atty. Ethelbert Ouano said.

“This edition of Cebu Food Crawl promises to be bigger with the participation of top-notch establishments and restaurants like Ayala Center Cebu, Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Spa, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu, Marriott Cebu City Hotel, Rico’s Lechon, Mactan Newtown Alfresco, Gusto Mare and District on the 53rd by Anzani Group of Restaurants, Salinas Restaurant by Golden Cowrie, Choobi Choobi Restaurant, Gibbs’ Hot Wings, Profood, International Corp., Café Jasmin, and Sugbo Mercado, that will highlight food offerings that are synonymous to Cebu,” Ouano added.

Cebu Bloggers Society President Sinjin Pineda added, “Participants will post on their respective social media accounts and blogs with the official hashtags of the event: #CebuFoodCrawl2016 and #BisayaNaFood for their audiences to follow.”

I’m about to board my plane for Cebu in a few minutes. So excited!

A freelancer’s application for a tourist visa to Japan

When I booked my flight to Japan last year, I was still a regular employee, and the Embassy had just announced that they were relaxing the visa application requirements. I was very confident that I was finally going to be able to fly to my dream destination since I was a child.

Fast forward to July 2015, my plans had changed, and instead of working in a new company, I chose to be a freelancer, instead.

Cue panic over my visa application.

Fast forward again to September 2015, and I’m smiling like an idiot while staring at my shiny new visa to Japan, watermarked with Mt. Fuji and pretty cherry blossoms.

Like most people with blogs who successfully obtain a tourist visa to Japan, I am now sharing my experience and the answers to the questions I kept asking people so that others may benefit from it. Continue reading A freelancer’s application for a tourist visa to Japan

The Wish-Not List, 2015

It’s a little hilarious and embarrassing to look at wish lists from a decade ago.

While writing my wish list yesterday, I looked through my published wish lists from 2005 to 2009. At the time, I was age 21-25, and from the lists, you can see how I was at that age of acquisition, when I had removed schoolgirl things in my life and was gathering new stuff and experiences for working-person-hood. I had begun to be able to afford to buy things for myself, and I did buy things for myself (most of them from bargain stores, I think) and collected a great variety of things from the many things that interested me.

It was a time of acquisition and trying out the things I liked.

Now, ten years after my first wish list post, is the time of minimalization and focusing on the things I actually need. Continue reading The Wish-Not List, 2015

The Wish List, 2015

Wish lists are good things. They can be bad, too, when we expect and end up being disappointed when people don’t to give us the stuff we listed, but I think they’re mostly good because they help us know what to give people on their birthday, Christmas, or even on normal days with no occasion. I also found that maintaining my own wish list helps me focus my spending. After actually listing down what I want, I remember it better, especially when I’m being tempted to buy something I don’t really need. Continue reading The Wish List, 2015

A bite of Marco Polo’s Quinoa Salad

Quinoa has been an extremely popular grain for in the past couple of years. It’s a little expensive for my everyday budget, though, so I don’t get to have it often. But when I do, my taste buds rejoice. Continue reading A bite of Marco Polo’s Quinoa Salad

On the Eighth Year

Last year, I realized that I was being called out of the place where I’d worked for the last seven and a half years. The things I went through before I had this realization were gruelling. And even though this realization was a huge sigh of relief, it was still a difficult thing to process. I’d still be leaving something I enjoyed, something I’d invested sweat and tears in. I’d be changing my life as I knew it.

So to deal with all this, I made a playlist.

Naturally. Continue reading On the Eighth Year

At least sixteen percent of the Philippines

Tomorrow is the 117th anniversary of the Philippine Declaration of Independence, and to celebrate, I took the Lakbayan Quiz again. When I took it in 2007, I got a D, which means that I’d visited 5-10% of the Philippines. Now, five years later, I’ve visited 16-23% of the country, which gave me a C. Ha! Progress!

On a related note, I wrote a blog post about how many Philippine islands I’ve visited.

The Lakbayan Quiz is a project by Eugene Villar of Vista Pilipinas. It asks you where you’ve been in the Philippines, and how frequently visit each place–just passed by, been there once or twice, visit frequently, or if you’ve lived there. The grading system is discussed in this blog post.

If you like travelling around the Philippines and you haven’t tried the Lakbayan or something similar, I highly recommend taking it. It’s not to brag about how high your score is–or wallow in self-pity when you get a low one. To me, it’s a reminder that there’s still so much of the Philippines waiting for me; a realization that I’ve actually quite forgotten some of the provinces and islands that I’d studied in school before; and a reissued challenge to know my country and visit as much of it as I can.

My Lakbayan grade is C!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

Created by Eugene Villar.