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Sky Experience Adventure at Crown Regency Cebu

9 Oct

I have heard of the Sky Experience Adventure at Crown Regency weeks before its opening day two years ago. But I just haven’t gotten around to trying it. Until last weekend.

Crown Regency tower

Tallest building in Cebu

My friend, R, was here in the city for a few days. And Skywalk was on top of her TO DO List. I decided to accompany her to try it for myself.

The reception area was empty at 4 PM

We got the 800 php package. This includes the Edge Coaster, Skywalk, 4D Movie, and dinner buffet at Sparkz Restobar.

We watched the 4D movie first. Supposedly, our tickets only allow one movie (The Lost Island). But the guy in charge let us watch another one (Ode to Life) for free. Maybe because there were only two other people in the theater.

R inside the 20-seater theater

After the two movies, we went to the 37th floor for the Edge Coaster. We walked around the area where they had a few coin- operated telescopes to view the city skyline.

You have to drop a 10-peso coin to use this.

Before we got on the Edge Coaster, we were asked to register and leave everything (cameras, cellphones, bags…) at a counter.

Two at a time

As we got ourselves seated, we were given instructions on how to operate the tilt control. The coaster then started to move. It was slow but after a few seconds it automatically tilted to a 50- degree angle. At that moment, I was able to prove to myself that I don’t have an insane fear of heights. I didn’t let out a scream! 😉 But it was still quite scary. Although knowing that the control was just right in front of us made a lot of difference.

There was an official photographer that took a few pictures of us. But we didn’t get them. Simply because they were ridiculously priced! For 6 photos, we have to pay 550 PHP to have them in a CD and 230 PHP for each photo print-out. We just agreed to save our money for our Skywalk photos. Such cheapskates! 😉

After the Edge Coaster, we went to Robinson’s Mall (a few blocks away from the hotel) to get something to drink. We decided against buying drinks from the snack bar because 3 pieces of siomai and iced tea costs 150 php! We waited in the mall until it got dark so we will have a good view of the city lights when we do the Skywalk.

When we got back to the hotel, there were significantly more people.

We again had to register and were given a key for our locker.

We had to leave everything in the locker. Accessories, even stud earrings, are not allowed when doing the skywalk.

Skywalkers have to wear rubber shoes. That’s why R had to buy a pair of socks (20 PHP) at the registration counter and borrow a pair of shoes from them at no extra charge.

That's Fuente Osmena Circle right there. 😉

It would have been nicer if we could have stayed longer to enjoy the view of the city below us. But alas, thirty minutes was all we had. It was great fun, nonetheless. It is not everyday that you get the chance to be “on top of the world”! 😉

And for that, we got this:

I survived!

What’s inside:

The proof 🙂

We were down to our last adventure- the Food!

There were so many dishes to choose from!

And, we ended the night with very full bellies! 😉

Note: For the skywalk, it is better to go in groups so the photos will come out cheaper. They have different packages for various group sizes.

Island Hopping in Mactan, Cebu

28 Sep

Last Saturday I went island hopping with my dad and a whole bunch of people. Our take off point was the Boyla Diving Resort. The place wasn’t very accessible such that we got lost along the way. The driver of our bus had to call another driver several times for directions. 😦

Our boat was very spacious and had its own toilet.I think it's new as it still smelled of paint.

After about 45 minutes, we reached our first stop- Hilutungan Marine Sanctuary. I was disappointed for two reasons. One, guests were restricted to go any closer to the island. And two, there weren’t that many colorful corals and fishes. I even had to swim far just to find blue starfishes, which are rather common. I expected a lot since it’s a marine sanctuary but Moalboal is so much better. In Moalboal, you would already find Nemo and his friends even before your toes could no longer touch the seabed.

One can't go past those buoys. 😦

We didn’t stay here for some reason. After spending thirty minutes in Hilutungan, we sailed to Caohagan for lunch. It was low tide when we approached Caohagan. Thus, we had to ride a small banca to take us to the island.

Thiswas as close as we can go.

It was my first time in Caohagan. There’s quite a big number of residents. I was surprised to find a handful of Koreans playing with the local children. Indeed, they are everywhere!

Barangay Hall

We had to walk all the way to the other side of the island to eat. But it was all worth it. The view, the water, the sand, were so much better. Even if Caohagan is not a very big island, there were still vendors. I guess no island is too small for business here in the Philippines.

Seafood anyone?

What about seashells?

This was my favorite. Unfortunately, those were not very young coconuts!

Lunch was served by the cottages across the coconut shop.

We had crabs, squids, fish, pork, and chicken. All grilled. Yum!

It rained a bit while we were there. It was a good thing since the sun that day was on the verge of giving us a heat stroke.

White sand beach. Too bad we can't swim because it was low tide.

On our way back to the boat, I chatted our bangkero. He said the small boats are the normal means of transportation of the people in Caohagan. They ride a banca to reach the city and it takes them about 1.5 hours.

Some of us went on a banca. But there were those who decided to just walk.

From Caohagan, we headed back to Mactan. Overall, it was a so-so trip. Island hopping in Mactan is not really my favorite but the people I’m with that day made up for it. 😉

Disclaimer: This was a sponsored trip so I cannot give any information on costing.

LEAVING THE PHILIPPINES FOR THE FIRST TIME

26 Apr

Checking in

We checked in two hours before our 9:00 PM flight. Before they released us our tickets, we paid first the 1,620 PHP travel tax. Then we paid 550 PHP for the terminal fee.

When traveling, you always have to fill up a departure card/ arrival card when leaving/ entering a country. You then present this to an immigration officer. I was not able to take a picture of my departure card but it looks similar to the one below.

My arrival card for Macau. This was given by a Turbojet personnel.

I am glad we were not given a hard time at the immigration counter. It helped that we had a print out of our return tickets and confirmation of hotel reservations ready.

My ticket and my passport after going through the immigration officer

Everything went smoothly until the final baggage check. An officer had to ask me to go back to the check in counter because I had my umbrella inside my personal bag. I totally forgot that umbrellas can’t be hand carried. I had to transfer all my personal belongings into an eco bag and check in my personal bag with only the umbrella in it. I tried to check in the umbrella with the eco bag but the lady said it might get lost.

So, if you are like me, who always brings an umbrella wherever, remember to put your umbrella inside your check in luggage. This will definitely save you a lot of trouble. =)

View from the window seat

Despite that little bit of hassle, I made it to my seat. I planned on sleeping during the entire flight but I ended up reading the in- flight magazine. 😉

My Sunday

25 Apr

I usually visit the mountain side of this city during evenings for that spectacular view of the skyline. And since my vision is as poor as a warthog’s, I can’t easily identify them buildings. Today, however, I and some friends went to the mountains despite the scorching heat of the sun.

Our ride

Yeah, buildings were easier to name this time of day. Although, I didn’t stay long looking at the skyline because the heat was really getting unbearable.

Cebu skyline at noon

So, where exactly did we go?

Doce Pares Zipline

This is a good place to hang out with family and friends.

Yes, it's that cheap! =)

Tents

This is where we stayed.

We stayed below the landing.

Ziplining is one of the activities offered here. They also have a swing.

Zipline. 100 PHP for a two way trip.

Swing for 20 PHP

I only went on the swing. And it was enough to make my day. =)

More pictures from the place:

Signs

Zipline. Bridge.

This way to the swing.

You can also stay here. Just bring a huge umbrella.

Carpark

There goes my Sunday. I hope you also enjoyed yours. 😉

HOW DFA CEBU IMPRESSED ME

19 Apr

Before my trip to Hong Kong last month, my passport was less than six months valid. I had to call several travel agencies to check on their rates for passport renewal. Most would charge 1000 php and the processing would take 30 working days. To expedite it to 15- 20 working days, the charge would be 1500 php. I also called DFA Cebu. They charge 500 php for 14- day processing and 750 php for 7- day processing. I decided to just brave the DFA office since going through an agency would still require me to make an appearance. I expected the worst knowing how things usually work in a government office. But this is how it went:

1. I arrived at the DFA office at 6:30 AM on a Tuesday. There was already a line but with fewer people than I expected.

2. There were people in the area who provided passport application forms. There was also a photo booth for your convenience if you have not prepared your passport- sized photos. In my case, I downloaded the application form online and printed it in a legal- sized paper. I also had four pictures ready.

3. These are the things that I brought with me (aside from the application form and pictures):

* My old green passport and photocopies of its pages. Since there was no single stamp in it, I only photocopied the first three pages.

Old passport

My old passport

* Photocopy of my credit card statement. I am not originally from Region 7. My old passport was issued in Region 6. I thought this would cause a problem. However, I just provided them a proof of my residency and no questions were asked.

* A black pen. This came in handy when I realized I forgot to sign the application form the night before.

* Glue. Any adhesive will do. I used this to paste the pictures onto the form.

4. The office opened on time. 8:00 AM. Everyone with application forms were allowed inside. By this time, we were still forming a line. This was to pass the requirements to and get a priority number from a guy at a counter.

5. We had to wait before the employees started taking their posts. The wait was bearable since adequate seats were provided and the air conditioning system was actually working.

6. By 8:30 AM, they were ready. Nobody was putting on make up or talking nonsense to one another. Numbers were called. This was where I had problems. The photos that I brought with me didn’t show my ears. Apparently, the photos should have your ears showing. The good thing was that the photo booth inside the DFA office was not busy. I was able to have my pictures taken (150 php) and got it in 10 minutes.

7. The lady approved of it and told me to proceed. This time it was for the encoding of information. This was fast since there were a lot of practicumers tasked to do the job.

8. Next, I had to sign some documents and put my fingerprints on them.

9. I waited for my name to be called at the cashier and paid.

10. I gave my receipt to the representative of LBC. Their table was near the photo booth. I paid 100 php for them to just send me my new passport once it was released.

11. And I was out of the DFA office by 10:00 AM.

Had I provided photos that were in accordance to their guidelines, the length of my stay would have been shortened by 30 minutes. But it’s okay. I was still impressed that finally a government office has a proper system to effectively and efficiently get things done in the shortest time possible.

Note: My passport was delivered to me a day after its scheduled release. Yes, there were no delays.

New passport

My new passport

Disclaimer: This entry was based on my own personal experience. I have read from other blogs that DFA had stopped issuing Machine Readable Passports (which is what I have) in March 2010. They are now issuing e- passports. I am not certain if this is also the case for DFA offices outside Manila.

UPDATE: I just called DFA. MRPs are no longer issued. For e- passports, regular processing (22 days) is 950 php while overtime processing (12 days) is 1200 php. Only the old passport and the photocopy of the first three pages will be needed.

If you are from Cebu, it would be better to contact DFA Cebu first.

DFA CEBU

Causing Lozada Building
Osmena Blvd. cor Lapu-lapu Street
Cebu City, Cebu 6000

+63.32.256-3193
+63.32.253-6798

Location map for DFA Cebu from Google Maps (Please click to enlarge)