A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: jc_pagdanganan


I've been in deep slumber
Unfazed by fake forevers
The past has scarred me well
In all those times i fell

And then you came my way
With your own inner fray
Your kiss awakened me
Despite uncertainties

Come, let's run together
Face life's great adventures
No longer will we lie
Counting moons 'til we die

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 08:36 Comments (0)

the case of the 30th birthday random babbles

1. "Clean fun" only applies to Christian friends.

2. Watches don't have to be expensive.

3. Saving money is the best test of character.

4. Surround yourself with fashionista friends.

5. Family will always be there for you.

6. Kids. You either love them or hate them.

7. Think 5 gazillion times before lending money.

8. Drink lots of water every day.

9. Real singers don't need autotune.

10. I can choose to be happy every day.

11. Phones become irrelevant compared to cars.

12. Teach people a lesson by saying "No" more often.

13. Depending on others can put you in trouble.

14. There are Marvel fanatics and those who just love the movies.

15. Kids born in the 80s and 90s have way better EQ.

16. Brutal honesty can be funny.

17. Sunflowers are #totesamaze.

18. Getting a tattoo hurts. Liars tell you that it doesn't.

19. My relatives are the best. They will comment if they read this.

20. Sometimes, a mani pedi is essential.

21. God loves me. My mom and my dad do too.

22. There are movies worth watching in the theater, some on DVD.

23. The person who loves you spends time with you.

24. KFC is still the best fried chicken. Ever.

25. Why do something when you can pay someone to do it?

26. Baguio is an awesome city. Best place for food tourism.

27. Don't run after people who don't run towards you.

28. Weed can get you high but God can bring you to heaven.

29. The poor will remain poor if they don't help themselves.

30. Pinoy politicians are the new social cancer.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 05:44 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

The Christian Traveler goes to Subic (again)

My good friend Norgel just got back from the Middle East so we were bound to go somewhere again. Since our Sagada plan didn’t push through, I knew this one had to.

Good thing our other classmate J volunteered to create the itinerary. The plan was to stay at a resort in Barretto, then go to Ocean Adventure and Zoobic Safari.

Everything was planned by them so I didn’t have to do anything. Heaven. I took a leave on Friday night, so I could wake up early on Saturday morning.

And I did. I arrived at Jollibee Welcome at quarter to five, and no one was there yet. When they all arrived, we had to eat first, then left at around 6am. It was cool to see the twins because I haven’t seen them since January this year, when I had chicken pox. There were 10 of us. Wens, Norge, Bob, Kred, Kat, Kim, J, Myles, Darrell and the twins. Plus the driver, let’s call him Manong Gilbert.

We arrived at Subic around 9am, just in time for the first set of shows at Ocean Adventure. The ticket was at 550 bucks, for four shows. There was A Walk on the Wild Side, the dolphin show, a balancing act show and the sea lion show.

A Walk on the Wild Side featured a man who taught us how to survive in the wild. He was witty, so funny. He demoed how to create fire and how to cook rice/food. Then there were some trained animals ranging from snakes to birds to cats and dogs. Word of caution, never sit where a black bag is.

The next show was with the dolphins. It was a shame because we sat so far from the dolphins. And it was scorching hot so I didn’t enjoy it.

The balancing act featured Kenyans who I think don’t have any body fat. They were awesome but they were also scary when they shouted and looked at you. Do not sit close to the stage, please.

The sea lion show was probably what I enjoyed the most. We were a bit closer to the stage and the sea lions were really cute!

Hmm. I’ll attach the pictures here. I guess I’m not the Ocean Adventure type. Number one, it was really hot. The management should be mindful of how hot it is without any type of ventilation. Even the wind coming from the ocean was hot. That was really annoying. It’s a place for kids. It’s just nice that they had reminders to help save the environment.

At around two, we went to By the Sea resort. We got a really big room for 8000 bucks. The room can actually hold 20 people with ten beds. We had two bathrooms, but there was a mess hall that covered our view of the sea.

There was a sign that said they had an infinity pool, but it was just a pool without gutters. The shore was not that clean, sigh. So I didn’t swim. Just waded by the pool.

In the evening, we ate at a resto called Coffeeshop/Coffeehouse. Not sure. Okay, so their menu had “Home of Jumbo Tacos” but I didn’t see that. Hence, Wens and I ordered fish fillet, pork afritada and a soft taco. Oh my. That was a lot! The resto had an obvious love for bell peppers, which I liked. The taco was to die for. It wasn’t overkill, despite the size.

When we got back to the resort, we ate some ice cream. Well, one of the twins enjoyed it more than the other. *wink* It was just like high school all over again, with kids. Some slept, some played cards, some drank, some ate. It was a good feeling.

When we woke up, well, I woke up last, they were all swimming. I just spent a few minutes in the pool then we prepped to leave. Norge and Bob had to leave early, so I tagged along with them until Harbor Point so I can meet my cousin Angie and had lunch with her and my inaanak Myka at Yellow Cab.

After that quickie lunch, J brought us to Meats Plus. Oh my. That was good. When we got there, there was a waiting list and we were 15th. I guess it was worth the wait. I got an oven baked beef belly, and it was good. For 200 bucks? It was good. That day was Mother’s Day so the place was packed, but we got in only after 30 minutes. The staff was friendly, the washroom was clean, the place was homey, I guess overall, I had a good experience. And please, order The Bomb and the cheesecake. Heavenly.

Later on, we went to Zoobic Safari. Well, we had a lot of pictures taken. I really think it was more for kids and families. I wouldn’t necessarily go there alone. But it was okay. Entrance was at 520 bucks, discounted with SM Advantage Card. There was a lot of walking done. I don’t know. Seeing a lion and gators eat chicken was maybe the highlight of my day.

After that, we went to Royal Subic. I wish I had brought more money because I wanted to buy a lot of stuff. I ended up buying pudding, my favorite!

When we travelled home, we were all tired and it was a quiet ride. I guess I didn’t enjoy the places we went to, but the company was definitely the saving grace of this trip.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 14:06 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

The case of the Outbreak Manila

(The Christian Traveller becomes a Zombie)


My good friend Olive had just arrived from the US. The last time she, Bry and I were together would be the screening of Sex and the City 2. So we were all excited to learn she was coming back, not for good though.

We decided to see each other on April 13. Days after Olive got here so she can adjust to the time difference. We thought of heading to her house for a pool party and a movie marathon after dinner. But Bry had a better idea.

Bry knew someone from Greenpeace, who was looking for volunteers to become zombies for Outbreak (Manila) BGC 2.

What is Outbreak Manila? It is a marathon, but with obstacles and darn zombies. Runners are given three red flags that represent their lives, and it’s the zombies’ task to get these flags. Runners without any flags at the end of the race are considered dead, while those with at least one are considered alive. Sounds easy right?

Well, it’s not. First, we had to look for costumes. I thought of coming in as a vampire, but that would be weird. A vampire/zombie? No. Bratty had a Fred Flintstone costume, and I really considered wearing that, but just in case, I brought my handy goth costume (all black).

Olive came as Babydoll from Sucker Punch, Bry was a hipster, Jason (Bry’s hubby) was a regular zombie, Marvin (Jason’s bro) was another regular zombie and Monica (Jason’s sis) was a hiphop zombie. I really felt that Fred would’ve been so out of place so I chose to wear my goth get-up.

I was wrong. When we got there, there were a lot of other weird costumes! There were the usual doctors, nurses, firemen, brides, etc. There were also couples from the 1920’s with awesome hats. I was hitting my head in remorse. Fred would’ve been so cool!

Anyway, we got to the assigned place at around 1pm. I thought we were late but we were actually the earliest ones. A make-up school was tasked to turn us from beautiful creatures to gory flesh eaters. And they were good!

There were about 70-100 zombies, and we didn’t have to pay for anything, nor did we get paid. We just had free make-up, and food.

It was kinda hot, and we were afraid the make-up would wear off.

There were a lot of photographers inside the tent. There was even one guy with a video camera roaming around and getting shots of us in different angles. (That guy turned out to be from Kapuso mo, Jesscia Soho)

After hours of waiting, and posing, and acting, and finally, eating, we were instructed to leave the tents and go to our respective zones. We were assigned to Zone 2.

Hmmm, the organizers are nice, but there were situations that we felt would’ve been better organized. We had to jump from one bus to another, go from one part of the street to another. Anyway, no biggie, it was just confusing where we really had to go.

When we were all set up, it was already past 6pm. I guess the first wave of runners started late too.

All the while I thought we were just supposed to stand there and get flags. No. We had to run after the runners, and worse, stay away from those who shove us aside forcefully.

I tell you, after 19 waves of runners, touching different body parts, downing bottles of cold water, getting hit, shouted at and stepped on by the runners, we were a tired lot.

We were supposed to swim right after, but we all opted to go home instead.

Anyway, it was a good experience. Our handler made sure we were fed and given water so no complaints.

Next year, we might come back as zombies again, or runners. Less forceful runners.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 13:57 Archived in Philippines Tagged outbreak_manila outbreak_bgc Comments (0)

The case of the Holy Week babbles

What's Holy Week for us? Is it like springbreak when we get to take a much-needed break from stress? Is it about going to Bora and Galera to have some much-needed fun and good time with friends? Is it about having a "staycation" because of a much-needed change of pace?

Holy Week, as of late, has been about ourselves. The enemy has been successful in guiding us away from the main reason Holy Week was set up in the first place. Instead of repenting, we involve ourselves in debauchery and hedonism. We focus on satisfying "much-needed" breaks. We yearn to give ourselves what we want. And that's not actually what we need.

The Son of Man died on the cross for us. He didn't have to, but He did. He died in order to save us. And we can't give Him one week of our lives. Just a few days to show how grateful we are for what He did. No, we choose to do what seems to be right for us.

We can never match God's love. And a lot of us has resigned to that fact so much that we stopped trying. What the heck, we only live once, right? And that's what the enemy likes.

Yes, we can't match it. But we can continue to live like we're trying.

Our hearts are all for ourselves. Ever wonder why God seems to never listen? Because we sin. Ever wonder why our prayers are never answered? Because He wants us to take a different course. Ever wonder what God wants us to do?

It's to accept Him as our Savior, but more than that, our Lord. The Father has been bullied so much by the enemy but He has never stopped trying to win us back.

Have you ever been in a very dark place, but suddenly, a small thing will make everything bright? Have you ever found yourself cash-strapped, then someone comes to help you? Have you been at your worst case, then things take a 180-degree turn? We can't credit these small miracles to fate, much more to ourselves. We can't claim being masters of everything.

Wow, i've typed in too much. This will be just another rant for others. Pointless, to some. But i'm trying. I'm trying to do what others are afraid to do. Most unbelievers, or worse, passive believers, will just shrug their shoulders. Who am i to talk right? But again, i'm just trying. Just one step to taking one huge leap. Leap of faith, hopefully for you.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 08:46 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

The Christian Traveller meets the Christian Driver

It is not a secret that I prefer spending money on cab rides wherever I go. Due to that, I have met different types of cab drivers. I have written about my rants about taxi drivers, but today's entry is a bit different.

Three weeks ago, i hailed an Avanza going to the office. When i got in, i heard a familiar voice playing on the cab's radio. As soon as i got settled on my seat, the driver lowered the volume. I can still hear, albeit faint. I asked "Is that a CD, manong?" He said yes, while not looking at me. One song finished, and a girl started singing. I asked, "Is that Hillsong, manong?"

I kinda felt a smile on his face as he said yes, and saw him look at me thru the rearview mirror. A few moments later, he turned the volume up.

I can't blame him. When a fat tattooed guy hails your cab, you wouldn't think he's a Christian, would you?

But as John 7:24a says, "Do not judge by appearances..." That's one thing i seem to forget all the time too, like the Christian Driver.

When i got off at ELJ, i added 20 bucks to my usual fare. Maybe just to thank manong driver for reminding me that there is more to what the eyes can see.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 00:42 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

my soul's travels: notes from Will You...

Happiness is not found in marriage.

All of us are broken by sin, marred by our past.

The starting point of marriage is our relationship with Christ.

Ephesians 5:22-33

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us


1 Cor 13:4-5

Selfishness is the oppposite of love

Love is way more than just an emotional high.

Our emotions cannot distinguish fantasy from reality

Love needs a binding commitment for it to flourish

True love desires permanence


Your spouse must be your best friend

Look for someone who is potentially your best friend.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 21:40 Comments (0)

My Cebu Food Trip Days 2 and 3


When i went home from Terraces on Day 1, I was still up and about, inside my hotel room. I should blame my body clock for not adjusting very well because I really couldn't sleep. All night, i was just watching TV and munching on the food i took home. At around 4am though, i was starting to get sleepy. By the time i was ready to close my eyes, i was horrified to see blood coming out of my nose. No, my nose was not bleeding due to my inability to understand most of the people around me. It was a literal nosebleed. I immediately went online to check what could have caused it. I was because of blowing my nose so hard, everytime i couldn't reach dirt inside my nose. Sigh. Because of that, i stayed awake until 7am. So i woke up at 3pm again.

By this time, i resolved i will not visit the Taoist Temple, and it was a Sunday, so i figured i should attend church service. My stomach was grumbling so i headed out to AA BBQ along A. S. Fortuna.

From the hotel, it cost me 91 bucks to AA BBQ. It was the same set up as Larsian, but more open space. It was much more relaxing, that when it rained hard, i felt a sudden drop in the temperature.

Even before securing a table, i had to go to the front to tell the lady what i wanted to eat. Then i looked for a seat and gave my copy of the order to a waiter. Forgive me, i didn't really know anything so i didn't order their chorizo. What i got was the normal meal, a stick of pork bbq, liempo and chicken thigh. Again, the food tasted the same, but they had tomatoes (which i love) soaked in what seemed to be a mix of vinegar and a bit of soy sauce. I was torn between the yummy atsara and tomatoes when it comes to the better partner for the grilled goodies i ordered...

While eating, i was searching for the Victory site in Cebu. On the net, i found two, one in J Centre Mall and one in Escario. I didn't really know where to go and it was already 5pm. I took a chance on J Centre Mall since it was just along Fortuna. Thank God i made that choice because the service was just starting when i arrived. It was awesome to see that there's not much difference in the way the service is set up in Cebu. I felt like i never left Regis except for the part that i didn't join a small group session that day.

After service, i went straight to Sunburst along Mango Ave. Mango Avenue is like the night life hotspot in Cebu. I didn't go around though. After all the grilled stuff i ate, i was yearning for something fried.

Sunburst Chicken
Sunburst Chicken is like the answer to Jollibee, but the interior is set up for family dinners than fast food fare. There were chicken figurines lining the walls, and instead of a counter, i had to order at my table, which was great. :)

I asked what was their specialty and the server told me about their chicken (of course). One of my friends had told me about their coleslaw so i ordered the two-piece chicken set with fries and coleslaw, and of course, mango juice.

Their chicken tasted so close to Jollibee, and if i were to choose between the two, i would choose Sunburst. Although KFC also serves coleslaw, theirs tastes like something canned and frozen. Sunbursts' coleslaw felt fresh and light. I will go back to Sunburst. Soon.

It was raining kittens and puppies, so i had to go back to the hotel. I thought i could go to Tops that night, but the weather wasn't cooperating. I came back around 8pm. i was supposed to meet some Path friends at 930pm at Zubuchon just outside the hotel (they didn't come).

After a quick nap (forced my body to rest by lowering the AC temp), i went to Zubuchon for their lechon. People will really call me stupid if i went to Cebu without eating lechon.

Zubuchon is known for Anthony Bourdain's best-pig-ever quip on No Reservations. I remember watching that episode but i had forgotten it was about Zubuchon.

The place is right along Escario, in front of 7-11. The central theme is red and white and i couldn't decide whether to label it as fast food or resto-ish. Anyway, the staff will greet you soon as you enter the door and you will be given a seat with the menu ready at hand.

I wanted to try the Kamias shake and lechon but both were not available. Argh!

I ordered the mango shake and pritchon instead. Pritchon is just fried lechon. Same thing, almost. But not as tasty as lechon. I was quite disappointed so i made sure to ask what time they opened the next day so i could drop by before i went to the airport.

After the not so happy dinner, i stayed in my hotel room to watch more 90210 on Velvet. When i got hungry by 1am, i was surprised to see 7-11 and McDo closed! yes, both of them. I had to order from Mcdo delivery which, surprisingly, came around 45 minutes instead of the promised 1 hour wait. I got a double cheeseburger with fries and coke, and threw in an apple pie for sweets. Again, i stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, slept at 8am and woke up at 11am.

After checking out of the hotel, I went back to Zubuchon and thank God there was lechon! Finally!

No Kamias shake again, so i settled for their calamansi mint shake, which tasted like calamansi shake.

Anyway, more importantly, i got what i wanted. Lechon!

I ordered the half-kilo serving, and i wasn't really sure about that serving size until i got it. It was good enough for two people. I immediately ate the skin. Oh, that skin. I limited myself to 3 pieces of skin. I didn't wanna die on the plane. The meat was well cooked. Instead of mang Tomas, they recommended that i use their vinegar and soy sauce, which were perfect for the lechon. I didn't finish the whole plate and had to brown bag what was left.

I was bitin. I really wanted to taste their other dishes but i was running out of time. Yes, so far, Zubuchon is the best pig ever for me too. No words could ever describe the difference between the Manila lechon i'm used to and Zubuchon. Next time, i'll try CnT and see what the fuss is about too.

After the satisfying lunch, i had to get a cab to go to Gaisano for pasalubong. Most taxi drivers said no. One older taxi driver said yes right away. He was a bit chatty, although when i have established that i was from Manila, he still spoke a bit of Cebuano. Talking to taxi drivers is good therapy for me. I can know which ones are good natured, and which ones are just answering back in phrases. Well, most of the time.

I arrived at the Metro Gaisano in Mactan. I went straight to the grocery area at the basement and snagged the goodies while mentally announcing who they were for. It was a good thing the store offered to box my stuff, because i wouldn't know how to carry all those plastic bags.

After that, i went back to the airport. I had to check in my backpack and box, go through the security counters (where they asked me to remove my shoes!) and wait by the boarding area. There were some stores inside, but man, the prices were marked up so high. The dried mangoes i bought in Gaisano for 34 bucks was at 70 bucks at the airport. Good thing there's Gaisano!

Imagine my non-surprise when the flight was delayed for more than 30 minutes. Again, no airplane pictures. Sigh.

i arrived in Manila at around 7pm. Note again: take the airport taxi if you have extra budget. The fixed rate was at 600 bucks. When i arrived home, the meter was only at 200-ish. I paid 300 for just for the joy of being back home.

The lechon skin was already soggy when my cousins ate what i brought home. I should ordered the more, i guess.

All in all, this Cebu trip was a good way to get away from it all. At times, i felt like i was just in Manila, maybe due to the lack of city/culture tour, but the vibe was different. Whenever i heard people talk in Cebuano, i really felt like a tourist trying to imagine what they were all talking about. I even thought of living in Cebu, but nah, I will be where my family is.

God is good to me. This trip also made me realize how much blessed i am, that i was able to make this trip, and have the budget to go. I may have never seen the beauty and wonders Cebu may offer, but the food says so much about the city. I will come back, maybe with friends next time. But for now, i will still be traveling all by my lonesome.

Next stop: CdO or Iloilo. :)

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 16:07 Archived in Philippines Tagged cebu zubuchon sunburst_chicken aa_bbq victory_cebu Comments (0)

My Cebu Food Trip Day 1


To start this entry, I'd like to thank my friend Derrick for making this trip possible. I've always wanted to go back to Cebu. The last time i was there was for one of my tita's wedding, and that time, Melrose Place was still a huge hit, so you can imagine how long ago that was. Anyway, whatever Derrick did, it is greatly appreciated.

This trip almost didn't happen, because of my chicken pox. I prayed really hard, as i got chicken pox two weeks before my trip. Fortunately, all my wounds dried up two days before i was scheduled to leave. God is really good.

As a treat for surviving chicken pox and marking my first travel for 2013, i bought a travelling backpack. The brand is Compass, and it's a black bag that's really spacious at P1500. I think it was a good deal.

With my bag packed and a sleepless night, at around 1am, i was off to the airport. I guess it was a good thing that my flight was at 4am because the cabfare was only less than 200 bucks. Wow. I was lucky too, because the driver did not ask for extra, so i gace him a huge tip. Like, 30 bucks. Lol.

At the airport though, being a new flyer, i didn't know what to do. Cebu Pacific has these web check in counters that will print a boarding pass for you. I struggled using that. I kept on typing in my itinerary number, I didn't know I had to go back to the main page first and click my way to the page that i was on for how many minutes! I wonder what the other passengers thought about me. Lol.

The wait to board would have been better if there were enough seats at the airport lobby. I had to find a spot where i can sit on the floor. After waiting for almost an hour, the check in counters were finally opened. Upon checking in, i didn't know there were certain unallowed stuff for hand carried bags, so i had to check in my bag. This is a good time to remind myself not to bring so much toiletries when flying. That cost me 450 bucks.

After a couple more hours of walking and waiting, it was time to board the plane!

I must admit, i regret watching so much of Final Destination. I had lingering thoughts of a crash. Whatever. I sent a silent thank you to Derrick for getting me a window seat, right by the wing. Booya!

I so wanted to take a lot of pictures, but it was really awkward, being alone and all. So i don't have any "on the plane" pictures.

The guy seated to my left was just playing games his tablet, so i wasn't able to chat with him. It was a quiet trip.

The feeling of being above the clouds made me feel more thankful for being able to continue this trip so it was an instant quiet time for me.

We landed at the Mactan Airport at 5:55am, 10 minutes ahead of time. I hurried to get my bag and got a cab.

Note: it's better to take a metered airport taxi than at a fixed rate. Going to my hotel, the meter was just below 200 bucks. The fixed rate was at 475 bucks. Nah.


The hotel i booked was Escario Central Hotel, right along North Escario. I arrived there in less than an hour. The cab had to enter a drive that housed restaurants, including a Zubuchon. Yeah!

I reserved a Red Room (1500 a night, two beds), but since i had to check in early, i was charged 500 bucks for an Orange Room. Honestly, there wasn't much difference between the two rooms, so just get the Red Room. The hotel looked exactly how it did on several websites. It was quiet, and there are no elevators because it was designed like a compound of bungalows. Really simple look.

Luckily, the hotel was close to every place i wanted to go to: Terraces, Zubuchon, Mango Ave, etc. Yeah, cab rides make travelling easier by my standard.

The staff was very friendly and answered all my questions. There are no in house restos, we just need to order from the restos outside, but for a price (5% charge) so it's better just to go out.

My room was clean. There were two complimentary water bottles (priced at 30 bucks, if i remember it right). Towels, bedsheet and pillows were clean. Hot/cold shower was available. I think the price was worth it, but next time i might want to try a solo room for less the cost somewhere else.

After settling for a few minutes, i decided to head out for food.

Cafe Sarree:

Just outside the hotel entrance is Cafe Sarree. I ordered the Filipino breakfast: longganiza, garlic rice, 2 eggs and mango juice for 180 bucks. I also asked for the eggs cooked in two ways. That was nice. Was it worth it? I think so.

After eating, i decided to sleep. During my sleep, the front desk kept on calling but i didn't answer. They just wanted to let me know i could transfer to my room. Anyway, they could've just waited for actual check out time for me to transfer right? That would have saved me the trouble of waking up every hour.

Because of those calls, my body prompted me to sleep more, even after moving to my room. So, i overslept.

My trip was supposedly a mix of food trip and a city tour. When i woke up at 3pm, i decided to just come back for the city tour and just make this one big food trip.

The first place on my list was Larsian sa Fuente, as suggested by my CS (Couchsurfing.org) friends.

Larsian sa Fuente:
Situated right by the Fuente Circle, Larsian is also walking distance from the Robinson's mall. From the circle, enter the street where BDO is and you will see the Larsian sign. It cost me 61 bucks for the cab fare but that was because the cab driver said he did not know where it was. Anyway.

Larsian looked like any food court, but all dishes served are grilled. I immediately went to one of the stalls closer to the entrance, Eliza's. I ordered liempo and chicken pecho plus 3 puso (rice wrapped in leaves) and a bottle of Pepsi. That meal cost around 200 bucks.

Okay, the food was no different from other grilling restos, but what i liked about Larsian was the insistence of eating with your hands. I was given plastic to cover my hand while i ate. And no, i did not see a lavatory so bring baby wipes or alcohol. At the other table, i saw two foreigners eating with their hands and seemingly enjoying what they were eating. That was nice.

Next stop was Terraces, the Ayala mall in Metro Cebu.

I read somewhere that there was a Casa Verde there so i checked out the place.

Hanging out in the Terraces felt like i was in Greenbelt. It surely had that vibe.

Seeing that Casa Verde was still full, i went to the cinema area and bought tickets for Warm Bodies. I wanted to search for a milk tea place, but i was too lazy and settled for the Starbucks i saw. After less than an hour there, i went to Casa Verde.

Casa Verde:
My friend Jay told me about this place and their baby back ribs. I know, yum, so i had to try it. When i got to the place, there was a long list of people waiting to be seated. It didn't help that the person at the door seemed overwhelmed. Lol. I asked if there was an available table for one, and the door guy asked me to wait for a few minutes. Then he called on someone named Rochelle, but she was nowhere, so i got her table! Score!

I immediately asked for their baby back ribs and mango juice. Man, that place was a mouthful. No, five mouthfuls.

I got a perfectly grilled slab of meat. It was difficult eating just using a spoon and a fork, but it was all worth it. The meat was tender, with a sweet tangy taste. On the side were french fries and mixed veggies. Honestly, i didn't touch the veggies. That moment was about the meat. After almost thirty minutes of slowly eating (i was still full from the Larsian trip), i only had bones and veggies on my plate. The entire meal cost 280 bucks. Imagine that!

The staff was courteous and attentive. The interior showcased green walls and there were stalls adorned with Marvel Comics memorabilia. Coolness. Hmmm.. What else? It seemed to me that a lot of people really liked this place as groups came and went like clockwork. Amazing.

Warm Bodies:

So i went to Cebu to watch a movie too. I was hoping for Les Miz but they didn't have that. So i settled for Warm Bodies.

I made the right choice. The movie was funny. Narrated by a zombie, R, it was quite insightful. Zombies in this movie still had thoughts in their head. There was a bit of Romeo and Juliet-ish moment in a veranda, and it is also weird that the characters are named R and Julie. Won't talk much about the plot, but it was refreshing and entertaining. There is a cure for a dead heart. :)

After the movie, i went back to Starbucks and got myself my favorite drink that I haven't drank since i had teeth problems: iced signature chocolate with raspberry syrup. Got a cookie and ensaymada too just in case i got hungry in the middle of the night.

So that was Day 1. No city tour, but i was treated to gastronomically enticing dishes. I don't know, you might say it's all the same everywhere, but i really felt different, even if i knew i could taste the same thing in Manila. You may not believe me, but i enjoyed Larsian a little bit better than Casa Verde. Those baby back ribs are the bomb, but the homey feel of Larsian won me over.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 06:00 Archived in Philippines Tagged cebu larsian travel_posts casa_verde warm_bodies Comments (0)

my soul's travels: 2 Timothy 2:11-13


All it took was a moment. In the middle of a birthday dinner, somebody says a funny anecdote while at service, and a lot of thoughts run in my mind. Here's the verse that was the center of the conversation:

11 Here is a trustworthy saying:

If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
12 if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
13 if we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.

I believe this was a short reminder of why i made this change in the first place. My old life needed to die so i can be with Him. There's no point of looking back at the things i used to enjoy, those worldly stuff. Clinging to those memories is like being stuck in a jail cell we built for ourselves. The world is full of temptations. The enemy will not waste time in ensuring that he hasn't done enough to sway me back to my old life. But the promise of life with the Father is far grander than the ephemeral joys of a life lived wrongly. He must be proud every time I say no to temptations. And it is difficult to say no when one's faith is weak. The more we turn our backs on sin, the more God is pleased. In the same way, when we entertain sin, we disown the Father as we disobey Him. But He is faithful. He will never lose faith in His children. I may lose my way, but our God is not a God of anger, but a God of hope and love.

I have not written like this for a long time, but today's events proved to be too much of a blessing to be ignored. To hear my high school classmates' disbelief in the fact that i don't drink nor smoke anymore, reminded me of what BJ told me months ago: The best way to prove God's miracles is to be that testament of change for other people. I have gone through one2ones, small group meetings, service and all, but God never stopped revealing Himself in a lot of situations in my life. I used to be so angry and disappointed about a lot of things. But things started to make sense when i let go, and let God handle things for me.

This year started not so good. Just when i set my faith goals, a health problem came in the picture. But that's the point of believing. Despite everything that would seem to be a problem, it's my attitude that will show the Father how i see Him.

I pray, Father, that i will always remember your promise of a bountiful life. Thank You for surrounding me with friends who constantly remind me of Your will and love for me. Thank You for putting me in situations where i can fully see Your work in my life, whether in conversations with people or making huge decisions. My faith goals remain intact, and i claim every item on that list because You are a faithful, unlimited God.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 00:10 Archived in Philippines Tagged soul_travels Comments (0)

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