Search and You Shall Find in My World

30 October 2008

The Americanization of All Souls Day

We never had Halloween but All Souls/Saints Day. We never do the "trick or treat" thing. And we always do the trick part. It is not Filipino custom to give treats to children who do more pranks than ask anyone "treat or treat".

Ours are souls coming back on November 1 and 2, not ghouls and witches on Hallows evening, which is October 31 for the rest of the world. Our ghouls and witches are everyday occurrence. The white lady in some mansion or in a remote road somewhere. The agta (kapre for the Tagalogs) on the balete. The headless priest. The dwende. They are seen everyday.

But suddenly, when American influence invaded the country, a horde of plastic jack-o-lanterns or carved pumpkins are being sold in the malls. Filipinos have never really seen pumpkins but we love buying them plastic made in China. Our ghouls and witches are gone and being replaced with plastic swords, plastic reaper blades, plastic ghoul masks, plastic witch hats and brooms, plastic glowing horns. All made in China.

But still we don't give out candies and treats to children on Halloween.

It is not just our custom.

Pumpkin pic from

Meeting old lovers and flings

I was invited by an old lover to a fiesta at their house. I could not say no. I have to face her family and her new love.

I wonder why we still are friends now. We are even open to each other. I mean- we tell our families and new-found lovers that we had a past. We kiss in public. Not the erotic kiss, of course (what are you thinking?). We show our closeness. Sometimes, we show our intimate signs and endearments like the way we do when we were still on, without knowing it. Her lover teased me. What? I asked. Uyyyyy.

I find it really cute.

But like all other relationships, past is past. But friendships? Oh, they remain strong as ever.

We are happy with our current status.

27 October 2008



Not spooked yet? Here are some interesting facts in the horror movies world. Just in time for Halloween. But then this is not so spooky though.

50+: Number of movies made by Alfred Hitchcock, a well-known director of thriller films like “Psycho” and “Birds”

37: Number of films directed by Hitchcock where he had a cameo

1: Rank of Hannibal Lecter in an American Film Institute poll on villains in US movies in 2003

30+: Number of Stephen King’s works made into movies, among them “Carrie” and "Misery"

$843: Estimated total earnings of the movie “Jaws,” the top grossing horror movie of all time

10: Oscar nominations received by the movie “The Exorcist,” including Best Supporting Actress for Linda Blair in 1973

2: Length in minutes of the 1896 film “Le Manoir du Diable.” It is considered to be the first horror movie and vampire film ever made.

P210 million: Gross earnings of the movie “Sukob” in 2006. It is one of the country’s top three biggest hits for the last five years.

1989: Year of the first installment of “Shake, Rattle and Roll”

9: Number of “Shake, Rattle and Roll” movies made as of 2007

9: Total number of awards garnered by the movie “Itim” from different award-giving bodies, including the 1978 Asian Film Festival

Compiled by Schatzi Quodala, Inquirer Research
Sources: CCP Encyclopedia, PDI Archives,, Time Magazine, BBC,,,,

26 October 2008

Are we that desperate?

I was cleaning the house when I saw a plastic bottle left behind by my housemate. I could not help but be shocked by its label. I am copying everything it claims.

Blue Miracle Versatility. Blue Miracle’s versatility encompasses all household and personal care products. It cleans, purifies, and deodorizes virtually everything. It is likewise an economical and practical solution to energy and water conservation.

Personal Care: Shampoo, facial wash/exfoliant, mouth wash, tooth paste, eye drops, tooth ache, ear drop, deodorant, bath soap, feminine wash, foot spa, skin diseases, poisonous/insect bites, anti-burn lotion, muscle reliever, hand sanitizer, kills: bacteria/fungus/lice/parasites

Various uses:
kitchenware, fruits & vegetable, any surface, heavy-stained equipment, repelling insects, bathroom fixtures, floors & carpets, dry clean, glass/glassware, jewelry/accessories, cars, plants & soil, corrosion protection/prevention, pets, tough dirt & stain, personal hygiene.

Ingredients: Sea Energy Vital Minerals extract of Reines Element by OKO-Hitech, mineral extract from coconut butter, lemon and natural plants.

Direction: FOR: skin problems, apply small amount directly on affected area (2Xdaily). FOR: Personal care or hygiene apply small amount and rinse.

Manufactured by: KINETICS PHILIPPINES Unit 210588 Corporate Center, Valero cor. Sedeño St., Salcedo Vill., Makati City.

BFAD LTO No. RDI-MM-HHS-1-208 w/ M.S.D.S Environmental Management Bureau.

No, I am not advertising this product. I was just amazed by its versatility, if this is true. For how can you trust a product that you use for personal hygiene and at the same time you can use to clean your toilet bowl? Or a cleaning agent for your carpet at the same time you use as eye drops? Isn’t that weird enough? Does the skin or worst, the inner portion of the eye have the same structure with your carpet or toilet bowl?

And take note: IT IS APPROVED BY BFAD. Does my position to fear BFAD strengthened and proven by this fact?


Camera: Sony Ericsson W810i, night mode
Location: Santo Niño Church, Cebu, 6 in the evening

25 October 2008

Say thanks before you sleep

THERE’S always a reason to say “Thank you” before going to sleep. No matter how crappy your day was, there must have been a redeeming factor or two! Instead of thinking of the things you have to do the next day, fall asleep with happy thoughts.

Did you share some chuckles with friends? Did you have a hearty meal? Did you make it to work on time? What compliments did you get today? Did you help anyone? Think of the goodness that came to you in big and small packages. Every good thing adds up to us feeling positive about the day.

And then give thanks to the universe. Instead of counting sheep to fall asleep, count the good things that happened to you today and say thanks for each one of them. You not only recognize the wonderful moments of that day, but you fall asleep in a calm, peaceful, happy mood. Sweet dreams!

from Happy NestToni Platon-Tiu's blog about positivity and the good things that can make your every day better. Toni, who works in the media industry as a communications planner, is a writer at heart and has been blogging since 2001. 

Illustration from

I Love Doctors

At an OB-Gyne clinic SOP ng doktor na paghubarin lahat ng pumupunta dun habang inaantay matawag ang number nila.

Girl 1: Ang bastos ng doktor dito. Hubo't hubad tayo magpapa-BP lang naman ako!

Girl 2: Buti ka pa magpapa-BP, ako kukunin ko lang ang lab results ko!

Girl 3: Swerte ninyo! Ako kunin ko lang ang payong na naiwan ng nanay ko!

Never mind Chinese products; beware of Philippines' BFAD

Fourth China product has melamine- BFAD
MANILA, Philippines -- A fourth locally available dairy product made in China was found to be tainted with the industrial chemical melamine, the Bureau of Food and Drugs announced Wednesday.

Lotte Strawberry Snack Koala Biscuit tested positive for melamine, which damages the kidneys when ingested in large quantities or over a prolonged time.

In a one-page advisory, BFAD also announced that 34 other products were melamine-free.

This brought to 144 the number of China-made milk and milk-related products that have been cleared so far for sale by BFAD.

The three dairy products found to be tainted with melamine and banned from sale were Greenfood Yili Fresh Milk and Mengniu Drink (both of which come in packages with Chinese characters), and Jolly Cow Slender High Calcium Low Fat Milk 1 liter.

October 15, 2008

Singapore finds 20 MORE tainted products

SINGAPORE -- Singapore has discovered toxic chemical melamine in 20 more products from China and Malaysia, taking its total to 33, authorities said.

Three Chinese products and 17 biscuit items from Malaysia were found to contain melamine, the industrial chemical at the center of a toxic milk scandal which has rocked China's dairy sector.

The affected items include popular products such as Lotte Koala biscuits and Julie's crackers, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said in a statement seen on its website on Saturday.

It was the first time Singapore had found melamine in non-Chinese products, the Straits Times said.

October 25, 2008

Source: (emphasis mine)

24 October 2008

Japan's Nissin recalls 500,000 noodles over insecticide fears

This just came in and there is no need to panic.

I don't know if the Philippines is part of the distributed Nissin Cup Noodles. But anyways, even if we are, it will take a few instances of sickness before the Bureau of Food And Drugs or some government agency, will recall the product. 

Remember the melamine scare? Most of our Asean neighbors have detected melamine on some products including the usual chocolate and baked goodies we love but BFAD was not able to take notice any of the tainted products except a very few.

Products from China or any other country is not scary. OUR BFAD IS.


TOKYO (AFP) - - Japan's Nissin Food Products Co. said Friday it was recalling half a million cups of instant noodles over fears of insecticide contamination in the latest food safety scare to rock the country's consumers.

A 67-year-old woman vomited and felt numbness on her tongue after eating Nissin's Cup Noodle this week in the Tokyo suburb of Fujisawa, the city's health office said late Thursday.

The product was made at a Nissin factory in Japan. A series of previous scares have involved food imported from China.

The health office said on inspecting the Cup Noodle they had discovered paradichlorobenzene, the key chemical in bug repellent, but no puncture or other abnormality in the cup.

Nissin was voluntarily recalling around 500,000 cups made on the same factory line the same day, a company spokesman said.

They were sold at supermarkets in Tokyo and neighbouring areas with most of them already gone from store shelves, he said.

"We apologise for causing trouble to Cup Noodle lovers," Nissin president Susumu Nakagawa told reporters late Thursday.

However, he denied the possibility of contamination at the factory, saying it had never used or stored the insecticide and had seven security cameras watching manufacturing lines.

"It is unthinkable that the contamination occurred at our production lines," he said.

The noodles scare spread Friday as another company, Myojo Foods Co. of Tokyo, said it found instant noodles laced with paradichlorobenzene and naphthol, also used as bug repellent.

A man "poured in hot water and noticed chemical smells," said a health official in Yososuka, southwest of Tokyo. The man was unhurt as he did not eat the noodles.

Nissin, based in the western Japan city of Osaka, created instant ramen noodles as Japan's economy grew rapidly after World War II. Aimed at busy people on the go, it has since become a multibillion-dollar industry.

Japan has been on alert after a series of health scares involving food, mostly made in China.

Earlier this month one woman fell sick after eating frozen green beans imported from China, which were found to contain thousands of times the permissible level of pesticide residue.

News from Yahoo!

Cartoon from Radiused Corner

23 October 2008

Heroes Season 3

"In the beginning there was discovery. A confusion of elements. The first snowfall of impossible change. Old lives undone, left behind. Strange faces made familiar. New nightmares to challenge sleep. New friends to feel safe with. Only then comes control. The need to impose order unto chaos, through determination, through study, through struggle. All in defiance of a thundering truth. They’re here, and the earth shudders underfoot."
--Mohinder Suresh

Watching the six episodes kept me on the edge of my seat! The story keeps better and better. You should see it.

Husband/Partner of the Year Award

I received an email this morning that made me laugh and wonder if this was true. Well- for the sake of fun, I am posting it here. No offense meant.

Don't you ladies are glad you didn't have one?


The Honorable Mention goes to United Kingdom...
followed closely by the United States of America...
and then Poland...
but the Third Place must go to Greece...
The Runner Up prize goes to Serbia...
The Winner of the Husband/Partner of the Year is- IRELAND!
You gotta love them Irish! They are truly romantic.
Look, he is even holding her hand.

22 October 2008

Long Live Jessica Zafra! Death to Users!

I was fucking combative yesterday because of my pesty housemate. He arranged a meeting but appeared only after waiting for an hour and when I was out already of the house. And he texted me telling me I was bastus. How musical the word could get. 

Furious and with no money in my pocket because I spent eleven thousand pesos to pay overdue bills my fucking housemate promised he'd pay, I took a jeepney ride to Ayala Center and cool myself there. Having made several footprints at the mall, I finally went to National Bookstore in the guise of looking for a book.

I saw Jessica Zafra there.

I could have lifted her out of the oppressive rack and save her from disuse, but I didn't want my bad image tarnished. I haven't confronted my housemate yet.

Why was Edik in jail? I could hear my nosy neighbors asking. The police said he lifted Jessica Zafra. Isn't that supposed to be cool? No, I'd reserved my strength for a long fight.

And I could not help but think of Jessica Zafra on my way home. I should be googling her, I told myself. Fuck if my internet connection would be cut tonight because I haven't paid my bills too. But Smartbro was a blessing. And so my day was completed. Here lies Jessica Zafra in my blog.



World Domination

A simple proposal for world domination
Published 24 November 1994 in TODAY

Everybody says we’re wimps, right? The Air Force hasn’t got any planes and the Navy ships are held together by rust and spit and the Army’s guns are being sold off por kilo by enterprising parties. We’re practically defenseless, and if the leaders of some superior power should get it into their heads to invade us, the only way we might repel their forces is to douse them in buckets of boiling drool from the frothing mouths of our politicians. This way if infection doesn’t kill them, rabies will. Of course, those same invaders will rue the day they entered the P.I.–just wait until they breathe the black Manila air or see a Carlo Caparas film or attempt to drive on EDSA. But by the time they realize their humongous error, they’ll be here. We’re a bunch of defenseless dweebs, right? We’re weenies, right? We have nothing, right?


What is it that we’ve got, and in vast quantities? What do we have that criscrosses the globe, that is present in all the major capitals of the world? What is this secret weapon with which our disaster-prone little archipelago may become a world power?

Nope, not coconuts, Miss Saigon stars, or self-proclaimed messiahs, but maids. As in domestic helpers. As in chimay.

Don’t cringe: it’ a fact, and it’s a little late to be ashmed of it. All over the planet, from the Galapagoss to Gstaad, from the Thames to Timbukthree, there are Pinays who cook, scrub, babysit, wash, and do chores for foreign nationals. There are Filipino domestic helpers in the palaces of Arabian nobility, in the households of heads of state, corporate honchos, media moguls, and movie royalty.

Pavarotti has Filipina domestic helpers–he said so during his press conference. Christopher Lambert, star of Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan and the Highlander movies, has a Filipina maid he is very fond of. My friend Ruth was in Paris recently, and she met a friend of the maid. According to the friend, Lambert maintains an apartment in Parish, but only stays there one week every six months. The rest of the time, the Pinay maid had the run of the place.

Whenever Lambert is around, the maid gets extremely annoyed because all the phone calls are for him. (Naturally, since it is his house.) Everytime the phone rings she goes, “Oy, Tarsan, you git dat tilipon. Datís por you.” Christopher Lambert adores her: “She ees so char-meeng.” He thinks she’s quaint. She also works part-time for supermodel Claudia Schiffer, whom she met when the latter was dating Lambert. So that’s two internationally prominent personalities the maid works for.

Assuming that there are half a million Pinay domestic helpers worldwide, and a fraction of thus number–say, ten percent–work for the movers and shakers, thinkers and doers of the world, that’s fifty thousand Pinays literally dusting the seats of power.

Now how can we harness this statistic to our advantage? Need you ask. I won’t event go into the potential for espionage and blackmail, which we would never ever stoop to, cough cough. Far be it for me to suggest that we keep dossiers on the private lives of world leaders, cough cough.

No, my proposal is far more simple. I propose that we establish stronger communications with the Pinay maids out there. I propose that we give them consciousness-building seminars that will make them more aware of their unique powers. Then I propose that at a given signal, the Pinay maids all over the world stage a sit-down strike.

Yes, a strike. They shall refuse to make dinner, iron clothes, wash dishes, or change diapers for their employers until their demands are met. They shall sit in their rooms watching TV while the phones ring off the hooks, the dirty washes and laundry pile up, the dirt ring spreads in the tub, and the babies bawl their lungs out. Imagine the international crisis this would precipitate!

The maids shall do their nails while employers frantically try to establish control and order over their households. Which, of course, they can not do, being unused to the demands of household management. Finally the embattled employers, many of them world leaders, will realize what deep doo-doo they’re in, and given in to all their maids’ demands.

And what exactly will these demands be? Oh, simple stuff. That our foreign debts be considered paid, for one. Armaments, planes, ships. Heavy investments. The clean-up of toxic wastes. Trade concessions. Almost anything we could ask for. We would literally hold the world hostage.

I am reminded of a Physics problem from high school. The Chinese get mad at the American and devise a plan to eliminate them forever. If you look at a globe, China is directly opposite the United States. At the exact given moment, every single person in China will jump one foot into the air. When they hit the ground, the impact will propel the population of the United States into outer space. Given the mass of the earth, the populations of the two countries, the average weights of the Chinese and Americans, and the laws of momentum, will the plan work?

It won’t, because the earth is too heavy. But that’s beside the point. Our plan will work because it is human nature to despise housework, and the farther one rises in the world, the less inclined she or he will be to do household chores. In fact, the degree of social, political, and financial influence a person wields in inversely proportional to her or his willingness to do housework. The less inclined one is to cook, clean, and wash, the more likely one is to hire a domestic helper.

So keep sending out those maids, those domestics, those chimays and atsays. In their capable hands lies what may be our only chance to become a superpower. Chimays of the world, unite! Before long, we shall take over the world!!!

20 October 2008

My Mother

A True Mother's Love
A mother's love is consistent
and patient, it will never fade.
A mother's love is warm and
compassionate, even in the
shade. A mother's love will
always help you through the
weakest hours. A mother's love
is always like a bouquet of
flowers. A mother's love is
strong and will never steer
you wrong. A true mother's
love is beautiful in many ways.
A true mother's love is sincere
and it takes a mother's love to
conquer our fears. A true mother's
love knows the depth of love. A
true mother's love is contentment,
just like God's love. My mother's
love is absolutely all of the above.
Patarica D. Nunn

High End, Low End Cebuano Version

Camera: Sony Ericsson W810i, natural light
Location: Cellphone accessories store in downtown Cebu

Insulting the Filipino

Like what happened during that US show (old age hinder me to name the show) furor over some skit about Filipino doctors, another one this time is shown at BBC portraying the Filipino as a whore.

I haven't seen both shows.

But reading through articles and blogs about them, I could only say, MIRISI! Loosely translated as GOOD FOR US!

I don't have to enumerate the things we do to deserve these bad interpretations of Filipinos and maybe Philippine culture. We "join arms" when people joke about us. We rally because our pride is "touched." But we do "love" to do questionable acts again.

As Mon Tulfo pointed out: Most Pinoys are very sensitive to insults from foreigners.

The government took offense at a comedy skit on BBC television in London portraying a Filipino domestic in a British home as sex-starved.

But can you blame the producers of that show? That’s the perception of most foreigners of Pinays.

The country exports prostitutes to Japan in the guise of singing talents.

Filipino prostitutes in Malaysia are a dime a dozen.

What a shame, indeed.

Photo from

16 October 2008

And He Huffed and He Puffed...

In the story of the The Three Little Pigs, the big bad wolf gave the three little porkers a threat. He said that if they didn't cooperate and open up their doors, he would huff and puff and blow their houses in.

It's obvious from the verbs "huff" and "puff" that we're talking about a middle-aged wolf here. Middle-aged wolves and middle-aged people do a lot of huffing and puffing. For some of us, it has become a second language. I myself am trilingual- being equally fluent in wheezing.

In our youth, we "huffers" could run, jump, climb, race up stairs, even skip a step or two in the process. We didn't have to make six rest stops in the 100-yard dash or send out for oxygen at the halfway point of a flight of stairs. We could have walked up the steps of the Taj Mahal with very little effort.

As soon as we hit forty, though, it's a different story. A fifteen-step staircase suddenly looks like Mount Everest. Before even attempting to scale something of that magnitude, we search the entire area for an elevator, a ramp, a rope, a search and rescue team, a St. Bernard, anything to make our task easier.

Running, jumping, and stair climbing aren't the only activities that can start us huffing and puffing. We huff and puff getting out of our cars, too, especially if those cars are so low to the ground only an ejection seat could get us out without effort. Frankly, I don't understand why car manufacturers make car seats so low anyway. Maybe it's so that after a test drive the client can't get out and has to buy the car.

Answering the telephone can leave us huffing and puffing, especially if the call comes in the middle of a shower. I'm sure more than a few callers have hung up on a middle-aged huffer, mistaking his gasps for heavy breathing.

A few of us even huff and puff putting on our shoes. You thought tying your shoelaces was a challenge when you were four? Try it when you're forty. That's probably why so many seniors opt for slip-ons. Tying shoelaces just isn't worth the battle.

Opening things can leave us huffing and puffing, too- things like potato chip bags, vacuum-packed cookies, vacuum-sealed cans of cheese puffs, or a membership account at the gym. I don't see why manufacturers have to package their foods so tightly anyway. Is keeping us out of the package the only way they can get away with the nutritional benefits printed on the back?

Now, contrary to what you might think, not all huffers and puffers are smokers... or even ex-smokers, for that matter. I'm a huffer even though I've taken very good care of my lungs. I've never smoked and I'm very careful not to inhale too much of my own cooking. And although I did grow up in the Los Angeles smog, I held my breath during most of my formative years. Yet even after taking all these precautions, I still huff and puff. The bottom line is lungs are delicate and susceptible to routine damage over the years no matter what you do to protect them.

So, you see, it had to have been a middle-aged wolf chasing those three little pigs. No teenage wolf would huff and puff that much after going to only three houses. And to huff and puff hard enough to blow two houses in? Why, the poor beast should have been carrying a portable oxygen tank! The story's been told wrong all these years. That wolf didn't want those pigs' houses; he needed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and not one of those pigs would help him. Not a good-hearted Babe in the bunch. That poor wolf had to keep going from house to house, huffing and puffing and wheezing. Then, when he finally climbed down the chimney of the third house to personally plead for help, what did they do? They lit a fire in the fireplace, which took up even more oxygen! The story ends there, of course, but it makes its point: middle age? It's rough on both man and beast!

Taken from Chapter 4 of Martha Bolton's book- Didn't My Skin Used to Fit? Living, Laughing, Loving Life After Forty! Bethany House Publishers Copyright 2000

Illustration of Three Little Pigs from

Logo Study

Client: Trinity Oil Palm Plantations, Bohol

Stolen Shot

We were cruising 98mph despite the steep and winding road of the transcentral highway in Cebu. The driver requested that we open the windows and he turned the aircon off. I was more than happy to oblige.

The sun was setting. Fog started to roll in. The air was clean and crisp. A good time to compose.

But how could I with this speed?

I was pretty sure my mobile phone would not work and maybe would only gave me blurred shots due to the van's speed.

And so I practically shoot and shoot, my hand outside the window, not minding if some interested motorist could have grabbed my phone.

It turned out, I have some great shots. Here is one of them.

15 October 2008

Fiery Sunset 2

Camera: Sony Ericsson W810i, natural light
Location: Inside Weesam Express on the way to Cebu

Left Behind

I was shocked to learn that our younger sis got pregnant!

I was actually looking at her and asked why her tummy was now bigger. She plainly told me she was pregnant as if nobody cared. It never came to my mind that this 32 year-old sister has the guts to do premarital sex. I was dumbfounded for a minute or two. I could not even ask her the details. It was like- hmmmm, Okay.

When my senses finally got back, I asked her what would happen? I was envisioning a sister who would be kicked out from her job because she got pregnant outside of marriage. O my, another mouth to feed. And lots of milk to buy.

What about? she plainly asked and was rather amused.

Your job? Do unmarried girls still permitted to work at your company?

Of course! What century were you born? I never knew you are that conservative.

I fell silent.

Here was our youngest sibling talking like she belonged to another era. Here I was speechless like I was born yesterday. Many, many yesterdays, in fact, yesteryears ago.

Gone were the days when the whole family would cower in shame because an unmarried daughter/sibling got pregnant. Gone were the days when parents would kill lovers who did that shameful act and would do anything to regain the family's honor. Gone where the days...

Only to find out I, too, was gone out of this generation and the only one feeling shame in the family.

Indeed, I am still a conservative person.

Photo used without permission from

14 October 2008

Fiery Sunset 1

Camera: Sony Ericsson W810i, natural light
Location: Gerry's Grill overlooking Tagbilaran Bay

07 October 2008

University of Bohol (UB) Students Vent Their Anger Thru Blogging

Students, as I assume from reading their blogs, suddenly find their way of venting their anger towards the administration of the first university in the province of Bohol, the University of Bohol (UB).

From my student days, I always heard accusations hurled against the Tirol family running that university. I could not confirm because I've never been a student there and the Tirols were too sosi a family befriending them would be impossible.

Reading the blog made me laugh. It is like peeking in a world of showbiz, only it's in the academic world.

Despite being amused, I left a message there telling them to raise their issues in a proper forum. I know they are/were afraid of the Tirols as obviously stated in their writeups, but with anonymous comments, it won't go that far. Just like any chismis, as I would like to label them, they too will fade away. You know how short are the memories of the Filipinos.

Anyways, if you are interested, follow this link and enjoy.

Photo from UB's website

My Wallpaper

Binghay Marine Park Resort in Balamban, Cebu: Interestingly Shabby

Our group decided to go to Balamban for our yearly kitakits (meeting) and our host decided to try Binghay Marine Park Resort as our "home" for our stay since it was the only decent place he could find in the internet. It even bragged itself as having complete facilities.

Sadly all our expectations were not met.

We went there with a big bag and no one met us although we have reservations. We have to find, no, seek is the correct term, the reception area/front desk. The staff at the resort just pointed their pouted lips when asked where was the front desk.

We traveled almost an hour and a half early in the morning from Cebu City and we were tired and hungry. We asked for breakfast. Even ordering what was in the menu took time because the waiter could not even get it correct. He has to get back to us and the kitchen to check if the ones we ordered were available. The P150 breakfast was not worth the price. We could have gone to Jollibee but we heard it was closed due to very low traffic. Damn!

And so I ate my salty scrambled egg, my dried up tomato and cucumber and left-over bread hoping it would nourish me for the day. The instant coffee was not even able to give me a perk.

One of the staff suddenly turned on their videoke machine (at 8 in the morning for godssakes!) and let it play there. I was so shocked to react. I transported myself from city life to experience this loud videoke machine again here in this marine resort!

Speaking of marine- I have never seen any part of Binghay that can relate to a marine park. Except if you consider the mangrove in which the resort encroached itself and the 5 fish in their aquarium. Some of their rooms even extended to the sea, a clear violation of the law regarding setbacks.

Our room, number 30, was worth P3,000++ for an overnight stay. It has air conditioner, 5 beds, a hot and cold shower, toilet and a non-functioning telephone. So when you wanted to order, you have to go back to their front desk, a good 200 meters away, or holler for a staff if you felt lazy. Just by ordering you lose extra calories.

Binghay's owners may have been confused with the word facilities. Putting a fenced-in swimming pool that needed cleaning would not justify the tag line: With Complete Facilities. Nor does a dirty function room, with the remains of some function (a wedding?) still scattered around, reminding you that this resort is a mess. You could not resist coming to that room because you have to pass through it before you can find the front desk.

We have to get out from Binghay and spend time outside despite the heat. And the guard at the gate asked: Mamalik pa mo sir? (Would you still return?). I didn't know if it was a philosophical question that needed time to reflect considering our experience at check-in. Our group answered in jest: Kung pabalikon pa mi nimo (If you still allow us to go back).

The free breakfast they gave us the next day was worst. They made us to choose the P60 priced breakfast in the menu. Gone was the P150 menu flyer they made us see when we just arrived. No drinks. Not even an instant coffee. Just bread (rice for my friends), a very red corned beef and a small piece of scrambled salty egg.

We were supposed to stay for two days but we immediately canceled our second day stay.

Like deprived kids, we went to Balamban's public market and feast on the food at a famous resto there (I forgot the name but the food there was great!).

Binghay Marine Park Resort should work on customer service and improve on the word facilities as being advertised.

From a scale of 10, I would like to give Binghay a generous 4.

06 October 2008