A Weekend in Cebu

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I’m down with a serious case of coughs, and the only consolation I’m looking forward to is that the “explosions” would be like crunches to help tighten my ever expanding midsection.  In short, I hope that in its own teeny, tiny way, my coughing would help me lose weight.  Because, my goodness, I’m gaining so much weight again.  Waaah!

Anyway, as you may already know, I was in Cebu during the weekend sans my boys.  Irvin and I went there for Brain Train’s Intensive ACET and DLSUCET Review.

We left on Friday morning, because prior to going to the airport, I took care of two more tasks.  First, I went to White Label Bridal on Yakal St. in Makati.  My friend Irvin is getting married in November and I am one of the bride’s maids (I have just emailed them my gown pegs and I’m so excited about them!  Thus I really need to lose weight!)  Next, I went to the office of Maid Provider to return a yaya and get a new one.  Raviv’s most previous yaya (Yaya Gigi has already left…it’s a bit saddening, but I’m more thankful because, gravity, sumasakit talaga ang ulo namin sa pagiging malilimutin n’ya!)  The first yaya I got was OK at first, but after a few days she started to get weird.  I heard from our other new helpers and Yaya Isay that they saw her hitting and shouting at Raviv.  Of course, I can’t have that.  So I called the maid agency and told them I’ll be replacing the yaya.  Thankfully, the new yaya I got seems nice.  She speaks English a lot (o diva?!)  and used to work as a teacher’s aid at a toddler school.  Raviv seems keen on her.  That’s great, of course.

Anyway, Irvin and I arrived in Cebu at around 3 p.m.  Irvin’s friend picked us up from the airport and brought us to our hotel.  We rested a bit and then proceeded to Ayala Mall at 6 p.m., because Allan and Karen Medalla—Brain Train Cebu’s franchisees—treated us to dinner.  We had a nice chat over a delectable set of food at Chikaan.

Dinner at Chikaan sa Cebu in Ayala Mall

After dinner with the Medallas, we were picked up Jessie.  Jessie was a colleague when both of us worked at Tanggol Kalikasan, an environmental law office.  He was one of my closest friends there, even though he was assigned in Pangasinan while I was assigned in Quezon Province and Quezon City.  He and Atty. Nelia Lagura (now Prieto) would graciously host my stay in Pangasinan whenever I was there.  The last time I saw him was in 2005 pa—almost a decade ago.  So when we saw each other again, it was chikahan galore.  We greeted each other with shouts of “Mama Jessie!!!” and “Oy Mama Dewmaine!!!”

And then kumustahan.

I:  San ka na work ngayon, Jess?
Jessie: Provincial Manager ako ni Cong. *****
I:  E si Mama Nelia, saan na?
Jessie:  Hay ang lola mo, lawyer sa Office of the Ombudsman ditto sa Cebu!
I:  Ano sya dun?
Jessie:  Aba ang Lola Nelia natin ay Graft Investigator na!!!  Sabi ko nga sa kanya, “Huy Nels, ‘wag mo kaming imbestigahan ha!”


LOLS!  Typical Jessie.  We further our chika over coffee and green tea latte at Starbucks at IT Park.



The following day was Day 1 of the Brain Train Intensive ACET and DLSUCET Review in Cebu.  Our host school was Sacred Heart – Ateneo de Cebu.  That same day was card giving at this school, and there were lotsa parents.  One thing I noticed was that there were so many fashionable moms carrying to-die-for bags.  If only I were not shy, I’d have taken snapshots of the fasyon moms. ;)

Anyway, most of the Cebu kids were sweet, and gwapo ug gwapa pud!

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Familia Brain Train Goes to Punta Fuego!

Hallooo!  I am excited for this post, because this would rekindle the memories I have in this fun outing with people dear to me.  This is also some sort of a review of Club Punta Fuego.

Recently, our post-summer outing pushed through.  It was a very special outing, because we all thought it was never gonna happen, what with our internal problems.  But as I said on a previous post, thank God things were resolved.

At first, we were targeting Amansinaya Mountain Resort.  But because of the negative reviews on Trip Advisor, we hurriedly looked for a new destination a few days before the outing.

amansinaya negative review

amansinaya bad reviewThe fact that the toilets are untidy and that water is scarce is a big turn-off!

And wouldn’t you know it, Punta Fuego was available! The entrance fee (inclusive of welcome drinks, lunch, and use of swimming pools) to this exclusive resort was also affordable.

Before heading to Punta Fuego, we first had our annual/traditional photo ops in front of the latest Brain Train UPCAT Passers tarp:


Travel to Punta Fuego from Los Banos took more then two hours.  But we almost did not notice the time because with us in the van were the Clingy Friends: Pau, Patty, Sargei, Mark, Abe and their “amuyong”, Jhabs.  On the road we played Taboo (you can download an app on Android!  Ang fun!) and other mind games.

20140624_062406You just gotta love the Clingy Friends!

And finally after two hours, we have arrived!

2014-06-24 09.03.18

Of course, the first activity waspicture-taking!

Familia Brain Train 2014sayang may mga hindi nakapunta!

After registering, we got a cabana and each clique did their thing muna.

20140624_101258The Clingy Friends “shadow-bathing” at Punta Fuego Winking smile

For Randy and me, that meant family time…

Raviv was soooo excited about playing by the shorelines of Punta Fuego!  Of course, Randy was ever so supportive.

2014-06-24 10.13.42

After some time, we congregated by the shoreline and had more photo ops.  First, we had a group jumpshot:



Then, we had picture-taking by “department”.

Here’s the Science Department:

Demure-demure ang Science Department!

Now here’s the Math Department:

The Math Departmentat ang abs ni Engr. Marco Lao.  LOL!

Aaaaaaaaaanddd!!!  Of course, here’s the English Department.  Take a look at how bongga our department photos are:

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Raviv Turns Two in Subic! (Part 3: Ocean Adventure Secrets Revealed + Review)

continued from Raviv Turns Two in Subic Part 2

If you’re planning to visit Ocean Adventure and get the most out of it, read this.  Fully.  I regret not researching before going.

Ocean Adventure

Ocean Adventure

Where to go?

The lady who gave us tickets failed to give us the piece of paper containing the itinerary and schedules of the four main shows.  So when we entered, we didn’t know where to go.  We were told that there were two ongoing shows–Walk on the Wild Side and Sea Lion Marine Patrol–and were berated why we didn’t have the itinerary.  Since we were nearer the venue where the Walk on the Wild Side was being shown, we literally ran to the amphitheater.  The show was already ongoing, and an Aeta was on stage teaching jungle survival.  We figured the kids won’t like it, so we left the place and decided to watch the sea lion show.  Again, we ran like crazy because the two venues were far apart.

The secret of the Sea Lion Marine Patrol “volunteer”

When we got to the Sea Lion Theater where the Sea Lion Marine Patrol was being shown, it was super full.  We were seated at the topmost, back-most portion.  Kung sine ang pinapanood namin, we got the best seats.  Kaso hindi eh.  :(  These were the least coveted seats.

Sealion Show at Ocean Adventure

Sealion Show at Ocean Adventure

The show was entertaining.  They even asked a volunteer.  I was egging Randy to volunteer (I would have if not for the fact that I was wearing heels and a dress).  Then they chose one male from the audience.  Which we later found out was not really a guest but an employee of Ocean Adventure.  So don’t get your hopes up that you’ll be chosen.  Luto ang laban!

After the show you could have your photo taken with the sea lion for a fee (note; for a fee and  NOT for fRee).  We wanted to but we would have been 5th in line, eh we wanted to get good seats to the Dolphin Friends Show.  We said we’ll just return.  And so we ran again to the amphitheater where we could watch the Dolphin Friends Show.  Dad even put Raviv on his shoulders so we could hurry, and we sent Yaya Margie to go ahead to reserve us good seats.

I love dolphins!

Despite our maximum speed sprint to the amphitheater, we still ended up at the topmost portion–parang ‘yung sa Sealion Show seats din.  :(  Nevertheless, I had so much fun watching the ah-mah-zing marine mammals’ show!  Sobrang kakatuwa when these marine mammals do backflips, or when they suddenly shoot from out of the water!  I tell you, it’s a sight to see!

dolphin and whale show at ocean adventure

dolphin and whale show at ocean adventure

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Another EKsiting Evening at Enchanted Kingdom

I had another magical time at the Enchanted Kingdom one Sunday early this year.  Remember when I swore to return to EK with my man and my boy?  Well it has already happened!  Familia Ladaga was joined by some Brain Train teachers and staff.  Too bad the others had emergencies and were not able to come with us.

Team Brain Train at Enchanted Kingdom parking

Team Brain Train at Enchanted Kingdom parking

Of course, group picture muna sa parking lot. J

Raviv’s entrance was no longer free.  On the positive side, it’s because he’s tall.

Raviv is a big boy now!

Raviv is a big boy now!

As soon as we entered the park we saw Eldar and Princess.  Of course, I joined the mob so Raviv would have a picture beside them.  Raviv was saying Eldar was Santa Claus, hehe.

with eldar and the EK princess

with eldar and the EK princess

…and some characters

team BT in Enchanted Kingdom

Cue in the queues!

On a sad and disappointing note, there were too many people in the park that day.  Super!  It took our companions (Raviv’s Nonong Irvin, Tito Pau and Tito Sargei) more or less an hour (I may exaggerate  things a bit sometimes but not this time) just to be able to ride the Space Shuttle!  After their ride they have already memorized the continuous chant spiel coming from the nearby Eldar’s Tent (again, no exag).

The same fate happened to my mag-ama in their quest to ride the Swan Lake.  So when, FINALLY!!! they were aboard, I took pictures like crazy.

swan lake

swan lake

3D vs 4D:  And the winner is….

Afterward we went around looking for an attraction where there was no queue.  And then we saw the 4D Theater.  There was no line because an additional P50(?) had to be paid on top of the ticket one has to buy to gain admission (but our tickets were free so OK lang).

Showing on 4D was a Looney Tune cartoon featuring Wil E. Coyote and Roadrunner.  Raviv came with us and got scared or irritated with the air that was part of the 4D experience.  Haha.

inside the 4D theater

inside the 4D theater

Next we went to Rialto.  We had to fall in line and wait for 20 minutes or so because entrance to Rialto was free.  Sadly, Raviv cannot come with us.  Since Yaya Isay has already experienced Rialto, she volunteered to take Raviv with her to go to the kiddie rides while we enjoyed Rialto.

Rialto (3D)

Rialto (3D)

Rialto, although only 3D, was definitely better than the 4D.  Clips from The Polar Express were shown, and Randy and the other first-timers immensely enjoyed.  Nonong Irvin and I, however, were a tad disappointed because we saw clips from Journey to the Center of the Earth on our previous EK visit and it was waaaaay more exciting.  I really had to take off my glasses because I got scared like crazy and I wanted to remind myself I was just sitting on a moving chair.

Never to leave Raviv again [Read more...]

Raviv Turns Two in Subic! (Part 1: Zoobic Safari Review + Kwento)

Another jungle birthday for Raviv!

Last year, Raviv celebrated his first birthday with a full blast jungle safari-themed party.  This year, he had a simple circus-themed pre-birthday bash at school.  Pre-birthday because his real birthday falls the day after Christmas when most people are still on vacation.  Thus Randy and I decided to celebrate our unico hijo‘s birthday in Subic.  Subic was perfect because my parents came over for the holidays, and they still haven’t really toured Subic.  Even more perfect because Raviv loooooves animals so so so much, and Subic has both land and marine animal showcases!  Ergo parang jungle birthday uli, ‘yun nga lang real animals na this time!

Stopover at WIN

When we arrived in Subic in the morning of December 26, we had a quick stopover at the Wildlife in Need (WIN) headquarters.  We did because Randy was nostalgic–one of his first jobs was to catalogue the fauna in the forests of Subic.  The present headquarters of WIN was once his team’s headquarters.  The WIN HQ had some animals around, which the kids enjoyed looking at.

Wildlife in Need HQ

Wildlife in Need HQ

Then we proceeded to Zoobic Safari.

on the road to zoobic safari

on the road to Zoobic Safari

zoobic safari attractions and activities

Zoobic safari attractions and activities

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The Magic of Enchanted Kingdom


Just recently, Enchanted Kingdom unveiled its newest ride:  the Disk-O-Magic! According to the Enchanted Kingdom website, “It is a one-of-a-kind spinning and rocking new family fun ride, the Disk-O-Magic.  This major breathtaking world-class family fun ride features new seats never seen in the country before.  Enchanted Kingdom promises park guests an exciting ride they will never forget.”

DiskO-Magic in the works

Though we were invited to try this ride even before it was unveiled to the public and even to the press, our busy schedules just did not permit us.  According to Enchanted Kingdom personnel, it’s like Anchor’s Away with a twist–LITERAL twists, that is!  Here is a video of how it might feel like riding it:

Looks like loads of fun, right?  Can’t wait to try it! [Read more...]

My Return to Paradise

To Paradise Island Park & Beach Resort on Samal Island, that is.

Welcome to Paradise Island Park & Beach Resort!

For a long time, the word “beach” immediately conjures up the image of Paradise Island Resort in my mind.  See, in my grade school days, this was the Sales clan beach-go-to.  We went there for family reunions, my Auntie Esther’s birthday celebration, and even wala-lang moments.  I even convinced our sixth grade class adviser to have our overnight field trip there.  So when we went to Davao City last September to attend Alexis’ dedication (daughter my kababata Bubbles), it was the beach resort I suggested to Randy we go to.  I regaled Randy with stories of picking up starfish and lots and lots of seashells along the its white-sand seashore.  I realized I was excited to return to Paradise after 14 years. [Read more...]

Wardrobe Diary #26: Fauna, Fauna, and Fauna & Flora (Sept. 11, 2012)

On this day, I wasn’t able to really strike a pose worthy of a Wardrobe Diary entry.  I actually attempted to but the photos left much to be desired.  Thus, I’m posting candid photos, mala-taken-by-the-paps kuno.

MomsterTeacher caught strolling with her cute son, Raviv
Photo courtesy of TMZ (mwahahahaha!)


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Restaurant Review: Probinsya Buffet Restaurant

Davao City is the best when it comes to satisfying one’s gastronomic cravings!  I have actually christened it as the Most Affordable Buffets City Capital of the Philippines.  Every first-timer in Davao I talk to raves about the eat-all-you-can restaurants that abound in Davao City!

But of course, even though there are plenty of eat-all-you can restaurants that do offer a wide array of food, you can’t be sure that these restaus actually care about the quality of the food they serve.  But not Probinsya Buffet Restaurant.

Facade of Probinsya Restaurant

Our plane touched Davao City at 7 a.m. Wednesday last week.  After dropping by my kababata Bubbles’ home to borrow her baby daughter’s car seat (it was because of her daughter’s christening + birthday celebration that we flew to Davao), Dad drove us to Probinsya Restaurant for breakfast.  Take note, naligaw pa siya sa paghahanap ha, pero hinanap niya talaga!

At the facade of the restaurant were streamers screaming that their breakfast buffet was just P168!

P168 for breakfast buffet

Just how far did our P168 go?  To a looooooong buffet table!

Probinsyana Restaurant Buffet Table

I was the first among us to approach the buffet table (napaghahalatang mas matakaw ako kesa kay Randy), and I was overwhelmed with the wide array of traditional Filipino breakfast dishes that greeted my eyes!

Boiled eggs, longganiza, corned beef (Is corned beef a traditional Filipino probinsya dish?  Nevertheless, I’m glad it’s part of the menu.)

Fried bangus…and other dishes I could no longer recognize…

Scrambled eggs, sinangag, and plain rice

May mami pa para mainitan ang tiyan! Perfect, for it was a rainy morning

There was even boiled yellow camote–Randy loved it!

Fried daing na bangus and dinuguan…very Filipino!

Filipino breakfast icon: pan de sal! Plus several palaman

Even with just a fraction of the above dishes, sulit na ang P168, right?  But I’m not even halfway yet!  There were different Pinoy vegetable salads (with matching bagoong, alamang, and suka dips pa ha!) [Read more...]

Fish and Penguin Galore at the Manila Ocean Park Part 3 (Review + Kwento)

Continued from Fish and Penguin Galore at the Manila Ocean Park Part 2 (Review + Kwento)

STOPOVERS: North Park and arcade beside the Penguin Talk Show Theater

It was past noon when we finished our Trails to Antarctica, so we first had lunch.  After a messy lunch (thanks to a hyper Raviv) at North Park, we started looking for the Penguin Talk Show Theater.  When we finally found it, we were told that it was already ongoing and that we would have to wait for 15 minutes before another show commences.  Good thing that beside the Penguin Talk Show Theater was an arcade.  Raviv rounded the cars there, much to the delight of his elder male companions–Tatay Randy and Lolo Edwin.

Toys for the Little and Big Boys!

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