Search and You Shall Find in My World

27 December 2012

Welcome 2013

I have been crazily lazy nowadays. So much work to do and so tired think and write so that my blog has been neglected for a loooong time.

As we welcome 2013, I hope I can do better and post something more interesting in my travels.

Hope this new year would bring me more opportunities to travel and be out of the crowd.


17 October 2012

When in Cebu: Stay at Ohno's Pensionne Haus

There is a new pension house in this side of the central Philippines and it is not only affordable but clean, safe and easily accessible to major establishments and government offices in Cebu. The place is called Ohno's Pensionne Haus.

The pension opened its doors to customers last September 29 with a sober celebration. 

Although small in capacity, the pension house offers modest 20 rooms all with aircon, cable TV, hot and cold shower, telephones and toiletries including soap, shampoo and a Japan-made toothbrush coated with toothpaste. Isn't that cool enough? But wait, the Japanese extras are offered while supplies last. I hope the owner, Ms. Noemi Bumaat-Ohno can extend the availability of the toiletries all throughout.

At the ground floor of the pension house is a wellness center that offers massage and spa, hair treatments and other beauty services.

Ohno's Pensionne Haus
145 M. Velez Street, Guadalupe, Cebu City
Phone: (032) 5056397
All transactions are only for cash basis as of this time while they are still processing their applications with credit card companies.

Location Map of Ohno's Pensionne Haus

Standard: 850 pesos (single bed for 1 pax)
Deluxe: 1,000 pesos (queen size bed for 2 pax)
Superior: 1,200 pesos (2 double beds for 2 pax, max of 3 pax)
Extra person: 250 pesos
Extra bed: 200 pesos

09 August 2012


Illustration by Anjo Aborlada

Manila and the National Capital Region were flooded this week due to heavy rains. Poor drainage systems and high tides combined with less care for the environment complicated the situation creating a deluge reminiscent of Typhoon Ondoy (international codenamed Ketsana) in 2009.

Please help them, help us in the Philippines.

The safest way to donate is via the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC). By saying the safest, I mean your donations will not be used by politicians and other entities for personal gains and will directly go to the recipients without fanfare.

For details on how to donate, please follow this link: DONATE.

Frank Lurzano captures Janela Arcos Lelis rescuing their school's flag during a flood
that hits  the town of Malinao in Albay province.

You can also find other means of how to help, especially if you are an alumni of Manila schools or if you belong to an organization, by reading the details of the activities being done by schools, universities, companies and other entities here. Please follow the link: Flood PH: How Can You Help?

Photo courtesy of CNN/Getty Images
CNN/Getty Images

06 August 2012


Photo by Leo Odtuhan
Travel is little beds and cramped bathrooms. It’s old television sets and slow Internet connections. Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. It’s waiters, gas station attendants, and housekeepers becoming the most interesting people in the world. It’s churches that are compelling enough to enter. It’s McDonald’s being a luxury. It’s the realization that you may have been born in the wrong country. Travel is a smile that leads to a conversation in broken English. It’s the epiphany that pretty girls smile the same way all over the world. Travel is tipping 10% and being embraced for it. Travel is the same white T-shirt again tomorrow. Travel is accented sex after good wine and too many unfiltered cigarettes. Travel is flowing in the back of a bus with giggly strangers. It’s a street full of bearded backpackers looking down at maps. Travel is wishing for one more bite of whatever that just was. It’s the rediscovery of walking somewhere. It’s sharing a bottle of liquor on an overnight train with a new friend. Travel is “Maybe I don’t have to do it that way when I get back home.” It’s nostalgia for studying abroad that one semester. Travel is realizing that “age thirty” should be shed of its goddamn stigma.

- Nick Miller, Isn't It Pretty To Think So?

Inspired by PHL360, today I decided to make my blog a TRAVEL BLOG and should now focus on the travels I've made and will be making. 

Keep me company.

18 July 2012

Anda is Bohol's next destination

If you are in Bohol and you find Panglao Island getting noisier with the influx of tourists and resorts of every kind, there is another destination worth visiting- Anda. Still pristine in every way and with a few tourists around, Anda brags a natural beach with powdery white sands still  pollution-free and open to the public.

About a hundred kilometers from Tagbilaran (almost 3 hours by van for hire), Anda's distance may be a boon, a blessing, to that town. Although resorts have already began sprouting everywhere, still the town is very provincial, a place where people know each other and welcomes you if you are a visitor.

Last year, I made an article about Anda that won me a Lonely Planet Magazine. This was what I've written-

Off the beaten path, somewhere in Anda in the province of Bohol are remnants of a long forgotten history- hanging coffins. Not just your ordinary hanging coffins, I believe.
Several hematite paintings could be seen on the wall of the cave where the remnants are. Facing the Mindanao Sea, could they be ritual symbols for the long voyage? Or some gory acts the details we don't want to know?
Around these islets that is now connected with abundant tropical plants and mangroves good for the next Jurassic Park set, you can visit out of this world coves. A wide cave-like natural structure is now even used for council meetings of hilots and tambalans.
Shhhh, every year, unknown to many, a congregation of herbal doctors and their likes converge at this place in Anda. Go ask your guide about it and they would compare their rituals with that of Siquijor counterparts.
But the excitement starts right when you arrived at the place. You go up to a hilly village before you would be engulfed in a forest full of mangroves and got to taste local cuisine at a station.
Just lovely.


Bus and V-Hire for Anda are available at Integrated Bus Terminal in Tagbilaran City. Bus fare is 100 pesos while v-hire is 120 pesos. Please note that trip schedules are limited. However, you can take any bus/v-hire to  Ubay via eastern part of Bohol and drop at Guindulman Public Market where habal-habal, tricycles and mini buses are available until 5pm for Anda. Haggling is best advised.

Resorts offer room accommodations. Pension houses are also available in the town proper. Some resorts have Wi-Fi available but some parts of the town have limited access to mobile connection. Globe, Smart and Sun signals however, are strong in the town proper.

For more info, contact Anda Tourist Information Center at telephone (038) 510-8094 or mobile 0948-371-0836, 0999-581-3336, 0917-324-5917. Email them thru their mayor (sosyal!) at

Anda's website is

10 July 2012

RIP DOLPHY (Rodolfo Vera Quizon Sr.), 83

Photo grabbed from The Entertainment Lifestyle Philippines

"Madaling tumakbo, paano kung manalo?"

Rodolfo Vera Quizon, Sr. popularly known in the Philippine cinema as Dolphy, passed away tonight at the age of 83. He was the greatest name in the Philippines. No one, I said not one, ever does not know him in the Philippines.

After countless rumors about his death, he succumbed due to complications of his lung ailment at the ICU of the Makati Medical Center in Manila. Dolphy has entertained and earned awards for his comic acting. He has been in the entertainment industry for more than six decades, I guess.

Bye, Philippine Idol (PIDOL). Finally, you have rested Dolphy. Thank you for all the laughters you shared with us. Go home now.

And here are some tweets from bloggers, journos, artists and famous people on Dolphy's death:

Patricia Ilagan: A comedian, yes. but realistic, simple, unassuming, w/out pretenses or affectations. A cut above the rest. Dolphy.

Fmr President Erap Estrada: Dolphy was a trailblazer in PH cinema whose brilliant legacy will shine forever.

Kevin Ray Chua: There will never be a person who can match Dolphy. He will always be the Philippines' King of Comedy.

Jove Francisco: ...we lost a National Treasure. Gift of strength for the rest of his clan.

Erin Tanada: He will be greatly missed. Nawa'y bitbitin pa rin natin ang sayang naibigay niya sa bawat Pilipino.

Cecilia Orena-Drilon: RIP Dolphy. We have lost a great artist. But now your pain and suffering are over. We will never forget you.

Regine Alcasid: Maraming salamat po mang Dolphy pahinga na po kayo.

Geneva Cruz: You're now with God. Your journey here on Earth has ended. But the things you've done will remain in our hearts.

Lea Salonga: RIP, Comedy King. You are sorely missed. Condolences to the Quizon Family, you are in our prayers.

Teddy Casino: Tonight let us mourn & shed tears for someone who always made us cry in laughter - Dolphy, perhaps the funniest Pinoy who ever lived.

Lino Cayetano: Mang Dolphy was an inspiration, a living icon when i was starting out in ABS, we all dreamed of working with him. He will be missed dearly.

Nina CorpuzFor someone known as King of Comedy, tito Dolphy was one of the most down to earth celebrities I've ever interviewed. Walang kayabang-yabang.

Eric Quizon: Heaven is now a happier place.

50 reasons not to date a graphic designer

Photo from
  1. They are very weird people.
  2. There are billions of them in the world, like colors on the screen of your computer.
  3. They will analyse conversations in layers.
  4. You will spend the day assembling furniture from IKEA.
  5. They drink and eat all kinds of weird shit just because they like the packaging.
  6. They hate each other.
  7. You’ll come out the last out of the movies because you have to see the full list of credits.
  8. They cant change a light bulb or without making a sketch.
  9. They fuck up all the tables with their cutters.
  10. They rather study the paisley pattern on your outfit than listen to what you have to say.
  11. They will fill your house with magazines and whatever is out there that has drawings.
  12. You never know if it is really an original or a copy.
  13. They make collages with your photos.
  14. They do not know how to add and subtract, they just understand letters.
  15. They idolize people who nobody knows and speak of them as if they were his colleagues.
  16. They take pictures almost daily and all are cut in weird shapes.
  17. They ask your opinion about everything but  they do whatever they want.
  18. Everything is left justified, right or center unless they arrive late.
  19. They hate Comic Sans with the same passion they love Helvetica.
  20. They use iPhone for everything, because everyone has one.
  21. You can not decorate the house without consulting them.
  22. They steal street signs.
  23. Always carry their hands painted with something.
  24. They buy dolls unfinished for them to paint.
  25. Everything becomes something other than what it really is: cards as tickets, cards as …
  26. When arguing, you will be nicknamed like the OSX spinning wheel (not affectionately)
  27. Do not know how to dress without consulting the Pantone book.
  28. They hate Excel.
  29. They read comics.
  30. They want to save the world only with a poster.
  31. You will spend the day brainstorming.
  32. On vacation they will take you to countries that you do not know exist and have no beach.
  33. Museums are their second home.
  34. They know more positions than the Kamasutra.
  35. They can’t go to a restaurant without secretly critiquing the menu design.
  36. They listen to music you have never heard of.
  37. They can´t cook a normal dish, they always have to experiment with new ingredients.
  38. They read rare books: stories of children, Semiotics …
  39. When you are going to tell you something, everyone has read it in their facebook and twitter.
  40. They have own iPods before you knew they existed.
  41. The orgasm they remember is when they heard that Adobe was acquiring Macromedia.
  42. They have their own shops just for them and there are the most expensive in the city.
  43. They want to spend all the money in the Apple Store.
  44. You will never understand their gifts.
  45. They see ordinary objects and laugh.
  46. You wake up in the middle of the night hearim them screaming “When is the deadline?”
  47. They see CMYK and RGB like Neo sees the Matrix.
  48. They dream of the day nobody will make a single change to their designs.
  49. They rather pay for a font than for a special birthday gift.
  50. They are always sleepy because they work 24/7.
This crazy list comes from Silvia Who?

07 July 2012

Today in Philippine History

Today is the 120th year founding anniversary of the Kataastaasang Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK) or Katipunan. Padayon ang pakigbisog! Mabuhay ka, Andres Bonifacio!

So Jamie Foxx won't be offended by the KKK, I hope he will have time to read the history of the Revolution of the Philippines and the evolution of the Philippine Flags by clicking on the links below-

The Katipunan (KKK) finally starts a Revolution.
Philippines Historical Flags.

04 July 2012

A picture can paint a thousand words. And more.

This reminds me of the children near Colon Street in Cebu City who were happily swimming in a river created by the drainage near the area. The foul smell did not deter them from being happy. But the outcome of what they were doing could be fatal. No parents were there to tell them the hazards.

Photo source: Here

26 June 2012

Facebook changed your email address without you knowing it

You may have not noticed it but Facebook changed your email address to It should be noted that they introduced their email service way back in 2010 but I think no one was/is using their address. Until lately when IT people noticed that emails found in the profile pages of FB users were automatically changed to!

But don't worry, Lifehacker is showing us how to change it. Here's how:

  1. Click "About" on your profile and scroll down to your email address. Click "Edit" to change them.
  2. Click on the circle next to your Facebook email address and change its setting to "Hidden From Timeline".
  3. Click on the circle next to your other email addresses and change their settings to "Shown On Timeline".
  4. Click the Save button at the bottom of the Edit popup (Don't forget this step).

Bohol's trikes is an example of false religiosity

Do unto others what you want others to do unto you. / Love your enemies. / The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid? / Faith can move mountainous hearts. / Jesus still the answer.

Tricycle pic grabbed from
These are only examples of what you can read from Bohol's famous tricycles. The religious tones have been praised by some sectors and being replicated by other towns and municipalities.

But despite the deep religiosity, Bohol's drivers were not actually practicing what they "preached," and I believe, this is a good case of false religiosity among Filipinos.


By the time you arrived at Tagbilaran's port or airport, tricycle drivers shamelessly milk you to the bone. The regular fare of tricycles around the city limits is actually 8 pesos (as of this writing) but drivers will not accept your 8 pesos even if you just wanted to be dropped at the Agora, the city's center. Drivers would ask from you ranging from 10 to 15 pesos, even more if you are a tourist. A lot more if you are foreigner-looking. One time I offered 30 pesos so the driver will bring me home to Mansasa (regular fare 10 pesos) but instead the driver asked for 5 pesos more. I walked to Pook Pantalan (the gate of Tagbilaran Port) and paid the next driver 35 for home. It is a fact, upon arriving at the port or airport, locals are usually turned down in preference for the more touristy looking visitors. Drivers on that part of the Philippines will only call on you if all the other visitors have snubbed them for hired vans or taxis.

Tagbilaran is just a small city, so that calling a tricycle is a standard practice. The tricycle is actually the only means of transport since taxis are always on call and you can rarely see them around town. So their prevalence cannot be left unnoticed.


I happened to talk to a tricycle driver who was once a president of the tricycle drivers union who claimed he was one of those who formulated the tariff of tricycles around the city of Tagbilaran. They made the tariff into law since many locals have been nagging them on the unrestrained fares asked by tricycle drivers.

Surely, like any other law, the tariff posted on every public utility vehicles have been regarded obsolete by drivers especially in the port and airport of Tagbilaran.


Mong Palatino's House Bill 6330 or An Act Empowering Heads of Offices and Departments to Strictly Implement the Constitutional Provisions on Religious Freedom in Government Offices could have been a good start to make people be aware that being religious is not just found in symbols and signages but deeply rooted in every person. The use of religious/biblical quotes to add a flowery touch to make the city "livable" is actually a pain in the ass of commuters in Tagbilaran. Like a beautiful wall to hide garbage within its confines.


I have yet to see a positive move by concerned agencies on this rampant stealing of commuters by drivers of Tagbilaran. Many years ago, the drivers were required to undergo a seminar-training on basic courtesies by the provincial tourism office of Bohol. I believe drivers were made aware of rightful and duly approved rates during that seminar. I never heard any updating ever since.

I heard many tourists coming in to Tagbilaran making fuss about this but being on vacation and not knowing where to address their concerns, they just mumble and go on to their destinations.


Although comparing Tagbilaran and Cebu is not necessary, but Cebu drivers who were often considered by biased Boholanos as dishonest and mostly con artists, are actually the most honest between the two provinces. When the LTO declared that the jeepney fare would cost 7.50, most Cebu drivers would return your change of 50 centavos and would nicely tell commuters if they were not able to give 50 centavos back. And you cannot see  biblical quotes in taxis and jeepneys around the city.


I may be dreaming but I am hoping this practice by Tagbilaran drivers should be corrected and be given priority by concerned agencies (LTO, Police, Tourism Agencies) since Bohol has been claiming as the top tourist destination in the Philippines. The service sector, including these tricycle drivers, should be given priority revamp, revision, restructuring, whatever the sectors call them but this should be corrected fast. This has been a long time sore but has never been solved.

It is high time for Tagbilaran to live by the quotes posted in their tricycles and not just require them as adornments.

More readings:

Statement of Kabataan Partylist on Rep. Mong Palatino's HB 6330
Bohol is not ready for tourism after all, my blog also about Tagbilaran tricycles in August 2010

12 June 2012

Philippines at the threshold of going to the garbage bins (NOW GET OFFENDED, PLEASE)

PHILIPPINE GARBAGE. Photo from nsicdoria's Instagram account 

Today marks the 114th Independence Day celebration of the Philippines, my country.

But the same question has been nagging the Filipinos- ARE WE REALLY FREE AND INDEPENDENT?

The sad reality is this- Filipinos are migrating abroad because of abject poverty, to put it in flowery words, to seek greener pastures, and to be bound by foreign cultures and governments. The OFW is one tragic example. Some returning only after being adopted and has renounced their Filipino citizenship. To be in a foreign land is much better than Philippine "independence"? 

And now the yellow ribbon is slowly tying a gripping notch in every Filipino's neck in the guise of going towards a straight path.

Are we celebrating?

09 June 2012

Instagram almost killed my blog, too

I have been blogging since 2006 and has blogged about 1,299 various subjects ever since. The year 2008 was perhaps the prime of my blogging career (if blogging this much is already a career). It was in 2008 when I was able to make 420 blogs for the year!

But as technology improves, my blogging style has become easier and lazier. And with a friend giving me an iPhone 3Gs blogging has come to another level- Instagram.

Instagram is a free app at iTunes (and is now in androids, too). It's a social network site and a fun way to share pictures. With various filters to choose from, Instagram would give your "ordinary" photo a nice look and feel as if you are a pro photographer. And that almost killed my blog. I am now taking photos more than ever and uploading them at Instagram. In less than a year, I have uploaded about 1,177 photos already (still counting) and gained 83 followers. 

And this blog suffered. I am wishing would make it easier for me to post my pictures from my Instagram just like Twitter and Tumblr. Please feel free to follow me by clicking on the links I have provided.

My love for photography is way above my love for writing. 

Here are some of my shots using iPhone 3Gs and processed at Instagram.

02 June 2012

I have an RFS

Yes. RFS. The medical world may have an explanation for that. For the past months my foot have been restless I could not stay in one place. An old adage credited to Publius Syrus says, Rolling stones gather no moss, but I am no stone and I don't like rolling around either much more having moss in my body. But I move a lot and I love it. 

For that RFS means RESTLESS FOOT SYNDROME, a term I love to use.

Here are some places I have traveled every now and then. If RFS is a malady, surely I am not leaving some moss there. Nor garbage.

Simala, Sibonga, Cebu. This place amazed me no end with all the success stories I heard from pilgrims coming from there. Also the news of corruption and inappropriate behavior of monks (they were supposed to be doing a Ms. Gay pageant inside the confines of the church) there grabbed the limelight and made the place more interesting. When I went there, I was dumbfounded. The place is grandeur personified and you won't agree to the fact that those religious men and women asking for donations could stay in a place this opulent. My blog about this place is in the draft and has not been posted here out of frustration.

Leyte province. This place is like a dream playing over and over. Actually the gateway in going to the Samar provinces coming from Cebu, that's why. My several trips to Samar always brings me to Leyte. I love the vibrant environment of the province especially Ormoc and Palo.

One of the reasons why I visit Tacloban City in Leyte province is that I have a client, an owner of an Italian restaurant from that side of the Philippines, who from time to time, would call us to do a photo-shoot of his products for a revised menu book or a new additional item in their menu. Food photography always excites me and it shows in my body nowadays.

The island municipality of Zumarraga in Western Samar. I call this place my second home. In fact, I always come and visit this place more than my hometown Batuan in Bohol. The island is far from civilization, so to speak. But lately technology has caught up everyone here. Still Zumarraga is the best place to hang out with new-found friends that have become close friends, drinking gallon after gallons of tuba, eating fresh seafood while watching the sun set.

Catbalogan City. I do not like much of the city. The place is dirty and water seems never runs out of here. I mean that water coming from the open sewer. It's a sad fact that much of the place do not have tap water but there are lots of them in the drainage. I don't know why and I don't want to know.

Silay City and suburbs. I fell in love with this city. The rustic and clean environment, the heritage houses, the excellent food choices, not mentioning Cafe 1925! I want to go back again and again here.

Oh Bacolod, I cansi clearly now! Bacolod City is a must-see, must-visit, must-eat, must-whatever! From the best desserts to best chicken barbecues. From organic food to Italian fare. Of course, the famous cansi, a beef shank cooked to perfection with the signature bone marrow melting in your soup, a good cardiac delight.

Some parts of Negros Occidental including Murcia, Kanlaon, etc. Truly a magnificent province, Negros Occidental never ceased to amaze me. The warm people, the balmy climate, the food, their arts and culture- truly amazing.

Cawayan, Masbate. This place may not be in the mainstream tourism program of the Department of Tourism. Infact, this humble municipality has a lot to do for it to be known. After my second visit this year, the local government unit (LGU) has done a lot of improvements as compared when I first visited the place. The open market is no longer as dirty as before and is now separated from the open sea. Although they really have to do a lot of good job to establish good waterworks system. 

Flushing Meadows Resort in Panglao Island, Bohol. This is my second visit actually. The concrete walls  in the sides turned me off  at my first visit. This time I stayed and learned to appreciate the place as a whole. The staff are attentive and tried hard to please everyone. A good place to stay for the whole family. More info can be accessed here.

Whale and dolphin watch in Panglao Island. No words to describe the experience.

Philippe Tarsier Botanical Garden and Recreation. You have to visit this site for you to appreciate the place as a whole. The area is huge and flora and fauna abound. Exotic animals can be found here. Not to miss here is the extensive collections of the owner now housed in a nicely done, well-planned museum. During my visit, the restaurant with a panoramic view of the sea is still constructed and will be opened July 2012. Visit their website here.

I don't know where my restless foot will bring me next.