Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Yellow Bus Buddies Reunited in an Eight - hours Bus Ride

In the 90's, Yellow Bus Line (YBL) is the only bus company in the Gen.San - Marbel route, that was during my Elementary & High School years. Imagine having only one bus line company serving a route that passes through two towns, and there is not enough bus  units then, it means getting late in the morning for school & going home late in the afternoon.
A friendship was formed because of the said scenario that we have to go through every single day. The YBL Girls; throwing their school bags through the bus windows to reserved a seat or even passing trough the windows to get a seat for three of us, unique way of getting in the bus, try it its FUN. So early on we indeed develop a certain teamwork and camaraderie, a friendship need not commitment but the loyalty that through time and despite distance you know you got a friend, it does not even need talking to each other everyday because that is what I have with my YBL Buddies.
Exactly 10 years after our high school graduation, we again embark on a trip, our first trip together. An 8-hours bus ride to the City of Golden Friendship, Cagayan de Oro City.
Meeting place: Yellow Bus Terminal
Time: 6:00 A.M.
I wake early around 5:00 so that by 6:00 A.M I'm in the terminal, when I got there around 6:15, Juvy is already there in  the waiting area, hehe, she is the most desciplined in the three of us, I come next and of course she came 30 mins late, as always Chytzy, LOL. Then we're off to Tacurong City. 
Meet the YBL Girls (Juvy, Mai & Chytzy)
Here is the start of our 8-hours bus ride, AC Buses are available going to CDO, but you have to check there schedules so as not to waste time in waiting for the next trip. Good thing that we arrived around 7:30 A.M and the next Bachelor AC Bus will leave at 8:00 A.M. We got enough time to go to the restroom and buy bottled water & some junks to eat along the way.
The moment our bus moved, our never ending conversation started also, remembering all those craziness we had. Along the way, we passed through Buluan Maguindanao, made stops in M'lang, Matalam, Kabakan & Carmen Cotabato. Upon entering the Province of Bukidnon we stopped and all passengers were asked to go down and walk through a disinfectant, this is at Brgy. Damulog, Bukidnon. It was already past 12, our bus made another stop, this time for lunch at Old Damulog, I failed to take photos there.
at Damulog, Bukidnon w/ Chikay
After lunch we are back again on the road, we all fall asleep, until we again stop in Valencia City, Bukidnon next stop is Malabalay, Bukidnon. We then enjoy the sights of Bukidnon, beautiful place, green fields and cool climate, I couldn't asked for more, I have to be back. 
Inside the taxi in CDO
Finally, after 8 hours, we are here in CDO, it was raining then, when we got down at the city terminal, it was flooded, we tiptoed getting out of the terminal. But still we were so elated that finally we got here safe.  
waaah so tired after 8 hours of bus ride, nilagang saging for merienda

ang taong pagod.....deadma sa look

More travels YBL Girls........

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Suman sa Lihiya 101 w/ Granny

I baked & cooked pasta but never showed any interest in making "kankanin," hehe too Western in my food, only until I had an on-hand Suman sa Lihiya 101 from the original cook of the family.
I did talked about Lola Auring in the past but never about her cooking prowess, well oh well, my aunts & Papa learned from her and I learned from Papa & my Titas, but this time I felt so lucky that I get to learn it firsthand from her how to make "Suman sa Lihiya." I say lucky because of the her seven grandchildren I was the only one who get to experience cooking with her. It is the most requested "suman" of Granny in all our family gatherings, from her cousins, friends and grandchildren - my browie & sister. Oh! anyway I did not tell you I was never fond of any form of kakanin after all. But despite the disliked to it, I find it interesting how granny make it, for entrepreneurial purposes, hehehe.
Suman sa Lihiya is a malagkit rice wrapped in banana leaves and greenish in color when cook because of the lye.
It starts with preparing the banana leaves that serves as the wrapper, Granny do it like pro, in estimating how many leaves to cut for 2 kilos of malagkit rice. While preparing the leaves, washed the rice first then let it drain in a "katsa" or flour cloth. After preparing all the leaves and the rice, time to add lye to rice. After mixing it well, the rice grains now yellowish in color, it is now ready to wrap. After wrapping, have it steamed for 4 hours, while steaming the suman, its time to prepare the syrup, just coconut milk & muscovado sugar.

After 4 hours, time to taste my "Suman sa Lihiya." And to Lola, thanks for sharing it with me, those cooking secrets......
the reason for the Suman sa Lihiya 101, he requested for it but with Granny's age, it will be hard for her to do it alone, so she taught me how.....

for photo ops, kunwari I eat it.....

Photo shoot director & photographer: dear Browie, he even suggested to open my mouth as if I am about to eat it!
Suman sa Lihiya Cooked!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Foodie Finds: Calda Pizza

Calda Pizza finally has its franchised in General Santos City, wooh this are the days of Super Large pizza, uso na yata eto kahit saan & sa sobrang uso, hindi gaanung nakakaaya,hehe, just bear with Tagalog.
The first Calda Pizza is located at Champaca corner Camachile Street, General Santos City, and the second one is at Gaisano Mall. My being pizza lover just want to try the new pizza in town, so I'm off to Calda Pizza at Champaca St. with my PGO buddies.
Fresh air......wooden tables & benches......relax lang ang ambience

Calda Pizza Found & Tasted!

Youth Leadership Summit at 1002nd Infantry Brigade

One thing that I loved in my former job is I get to be with the youth, well I still belong to that age bracket, hahaha. It is the first Youth Leadership Summit in Sarangani Province participated by the Out of School Youth of it's seven municipalities. The activity is a collaborative partnership of the LGU, Phil. Army, PNP, SYF & Private Partners.
The venue is at Camp Agaab, Sitio Pulatana, Malandag, Malungon, Sarangani Province. I'll bombard you with photographs in this blog.....
SYF Antis.......

Official vehicle for the 3-days Youth Leadership Summit

Used it in going around the city, going to the hospital to accompany some participants who  got sick.....

KCC Mall Foodcourt.....one of our Private Partners
This is what I call making a difference.......I may have participated because my work calls for it, but more than that I knew my heart feels for our less fortunate brothers & sisters who longs for a good education.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Foodie Finds: Big Ben

High school is so long time ago, but those young souls never changed. True friendship lasts, and no amount of time can change it, that is exactly what I have with these two wonderful people I am meeting after work. Juvy & Rocelyn are two of the closest friends I have way back in high school; Juvy is one of my Yellow Bus buddies & Rocelyn is my Precious Hearts Romance partner, LOL to those moments.
I admit that having a catch -up moments is quite difficult to make because of our schedules, luck is indeed at our side that we get to have our free time together. Since Juvy is meeting a friend earlier that night. It was only Rocelyn and me is having a dinner at Big Ben's Steak and Grill, Robinson's Al Fresco, General Santos City.
So appetizing....salad w/ mango sauce

After a great meal, we meet with Juvy over coffee at Coffee Club 101 at Robinson's Al Fresco.
Big Ben Found & Tasted!

Monday, March 19, 2012

EAT, PRAY, LOVE Series: Cebu with The Love of My Life

It is long been pending, I have written quite a long entry, then all of a sudden I cannot upload pictures on it, it is supposed to be last of the three part series. It did broke my heart.....huhuhu
My travel buddies, Mama Dor, Lola Auring & Tita Baby
The Queen City of the South is my refuge, I was with my Mama, Lola & Aunt, the women I looked up & admired, beside them being my "tagapag alaga" when I am still a little. My aunt would go after me back then, every time I follow those school children going to school passing by our house, haha, can I call that passion for education or I am just a true blooded wanderlust.
Lola on the other hand is the first wander girl in the family and to whom I got my love to be photograph. Wander girl she is, when I heard stories of her going with her daddy to Manila to stay for a week there then back in General Santos, that was during the hey days of her Daddy's business; tannery & cattle shipment. Every time she came back from her trips.....wow all those photos she got I do love, mostly taken in the studio or in places she visited. I am seeing myself in her now.
Lola & me in front of Sto. Nino Basilica in Cebu City
Mama, my real life Super Woman, her strong willed personality is something I cannot deny, I am indeed her own blood,haha. I will always remember the night my father called me and talked to me, that I am growing like my Mama, I speak what I want & fight for what I believe especially when it comes to family matters. We both dream of traveling all over the country & later the world, she even said even when I have my own family, she will still bring me in all her travels, but unfortunately I don't do the same to her, I sometimes go on my own. Sorry Mama......
w/ my Super Woman
It is a three day, two nights stay in Cebu City, with the most influential women in my life, the love of my life.
1st Day
Arrived just before lunch, we checked-in at Holiday Plaza and later had lunch at Gerry's Grill in Ayala Terraces, super love the Filipino fusion they have in their menu.

Truly a feast.....
After a hearty lunch, we went back to the hotel for siesta and waited for my sister & cousin to have dinner with them. It is also my sister's 26th Birthday, dinner is at Ocean Garden in Lahug City, we did feasted on sea foods of our choice....

Sea foody dinner
We then rested for a night, it has been a long day for us, since we waked-up at 2 A.M just to be in time for our flight for Cebu via Davao City.
2nd Day
Complimentary breakfast in our hotel and we are all ready for that heritage trip;
1.) Fort San Pedro
The smallest, oldest tri-bastion fort in the country. This served as the nucleus of the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines. It has a total inside area of 2,025 sq. meters. Our first stop, and we are the first visitors for the day, so we have a guide with us who willingly took our photos, even giving us suggestions where to have our photo taken.

2.) Magellan's Cross
It is planted in April 21, 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan, this marks the spot where the first Christian Filipinos, Rajah Humabon and Queen Juana and about 400 followers were baptized by Fr. Pedro Valderama. In 1525 to 1740, the Agustinian priests built and open shrine for the cross, but the natives began to take chips from the cross believing it had miraculous power.So a kiosk-like structure was built to protect the cross from total destruction. To protect it further, a hollow cross of tindalo wood was made to encase the original cross which still stands today. 
It is walking distance from Fort San Pedro, so to explore this old city, better take a walk, unlike us who decide to hail a taxi only to find out that it is just around the block from Fort San Pedro.
3.)Basilica Minor Del Santo Nino 
Just beside the Magellan's Cross is an old gate leading to the Church.This church was built by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and Fr. Andres Urdaneta on the site where the image of Santo NiƱo was found in 1565.

Inside the Basilica
4.) Sto. Nino Minore Museum
Within the compound of the Basilica is the museum, it houses the offerings of devotees that they bring to the Sto. Nino. No photograph is allowed inside the museum, and a minimal fee is collected.
5.) Magellan Marker & Lapu-Lapu Monument
About 20 kms. from Cebu City, Magellan crossed the channel to Mactan Island in an effort to spread the faith. Before he reached the shores, he was killed by the chieftain of the island, Lapulapu and his men during the battle for supremacy and freedom on April 27, 1521. Efforts to retrieve the body of Magellan were futile inspite of the offer to trade jewelries and spices for the dead body.This marker was erected in 1866 to mark the spot where the great explorer died. 
LAPULAPU MONUMENT - Site where the battle between Mactan Island Chieftain Lapulapu and the foreign aggressor Ferdinand Magellan occurred in April 27, 1521. It depicts the hero holding a bolo in one hand and a pestle on the other. Said weapons were believed to have been used during his combat with Magellan. This monument stands as a reminder of Filipino bravery. 
Left Photo: Magellan Marker , Middle Photo:  Lapu-Lapu Monument 

6.) SUTOKIL (Sugba, Tola, Kilaw)
Famed way of cooking in Cebu City, just beside the Parking Area of Lapu-Lapu Monument is an alley of SUTOKIL Restaurants. I love the fresh sea foods laid before us to choose from, and yes we have it SUTOKIL.
7.) Pasalubong Buying
Just outside the alley leading to the SUTOKIL Restos, is another tourist temptations, since I don't call myself a tourist, I am a traveler, I did not get tempted to buy. I just took a photo with those trinkets.
If you want to buy Pasalubongs, buy from here because I assure you the prices is far,far cheaper compared in the malls
7.) Alegre Guitars
The infamous Cebu produce aside from its Dried Mango & Otap is Cebu's Guitar. Mama wanted to bring something for browie, I called it guilt, hehe for not bringing bro with her on this trip. The choice is a boy ukulele made almond wooh.....waah and it cost a lot I say, but she still bought it for browie.
At the infamous Alegre Guitars.....
8.) Abuhan Dos
Right across Holiday Plaza is our choice for dinner, it is an old house converted into a restaurant famous for their "Pochero." If you are thinking of a pochero with sliced banana & cabbage in a tomato soup, sorry but Pochero is a big chunk of bone in a creamy sauce. It has a unique flavor, it tasted good but I wasn't feeling good that night so I contented myself with their hot Calamansi Juice.
3rd Day
1.) Abuhan Uno
Mama & me decided to have it outside the hotel, to save a little, since only two get to have complimentary breakfast, we let Mama Be & Lola have it. We were just joking about, if there is Abuhan Dos, there must be Abuhan Uno, and OOHH hold, a sign says Abuhan Uno at the back! haha, in a small alley way beside a building is indeed Abuhan Uno. I will not give the exact direction, because I want you to find it the way we do.
2.) Casa Gorordo Museum
Located in Lopez Jaena Street, it is the home of the first Filipino Bishop of Cebu - Juan Gorordo (1862-1934). A tour inside this residence is a brief journey into a Filipino lifestyle in a particular period between 1860 to 1920. The place presently features noted paintings, museum relics, a courtyard, antique household items and furniture.** 
The museum is open on Tuesday-Sunday.

3.) Heritage of Cebu Monument
The name itself says this monument, it is a for sided tableau depicting Cebu's History, from its trade relations with China to Cebuano's Christianize by Spain and to present day Cebu.
It is a block a way from Casa Gorordo and right across Yap-San Diego Museum.
4.) Extreme Adventure at Crown Regency
I got their adventure package that includes; Edge Coaster & Skywalk with a free snacks after those "buwis-buhay" experience. Thanks to my cousin who willingly go with me in this adventure.

Snacks after our adventure....
4.) AA's Isda, Baboy n' BBQ
Located at Andres Abellana St., Capitol Site is our dining destination that night. It is our mini despidida to the Queen City of the South, but soon I will be back.

The trip gave me the opportunity to spend time with the women who forever love me for who I am.
See, it is indeed a trip with the love of my life.