Wednesday, January 30, 2013

cave tour and claustrophobia in the cave capital of Negros

I am drawn to head out to the direction of my fear--claustrophobia or fear of being closed in small spaces. The estimated 400 caves lying underneath Mabinay's rugged terrain are veritable playgrounds.

In the 80s, a Belgian-Dutch-Filipino expedition team explored 45 caves. One of their many surprising discoveries was Odloman Cave (8,870 meters or 5.5 miles)--by far the second longest cave system in the Philippines. Definitely not for the clumsy and faint-hearted!

Monday, January 28, 2013

now hiring | English as a Second or Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) teachers


We are looking for creative *spirits who are passionate to teach, to eat (we provide free lunches, yes. and carpool from Dumaguete to Valencia v.v.) and to travel:

full-time ESL/EFL teachers. QUALIFICATIONS: College graduate, above-average oral and written English communication skills, team-player, results-oriented and creative. Experience in a multicultural environment is a plus. Perks include free lunch + domestic trips. Entry level compensation is Php11,500/month. Kindly email your resume with cover letter to mykalikasan(at)gmail(dot)com ASAP. Previous applicants need not apply.

And by spirit, we mean animated in the delivery of lessons, fashionably sensitive with the curiosity of a child and cultured with a great sense of adventure! :)

campus address |
Kalikasan Education Center |Gandhi School Philippines 
Bong-ao, Valencia, Oriental Negros, Philippines
contact telephone numbers: (035) 423.8128 and (035) 423.8206 

postcard | Silliman in shadow and light

The odds are not in my favor. I just have to make do on whatever falls on my lap. Keep calm and pit senyor! :) 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

licking my pinky at Pinky's sweets

It's a fairly new pastry shop along Real Street, squeezed in between the provincial hospital and YMCA. Fellow foodie and laagan Neil Lim's post in facebook about this new pastry shop (how delightful the food and how insanely cheap the prices are) piqued my curiosity.

It was late into the night when I came in. The earth tone color scheme of the interior set the mood for a warm and calm evening while patches of rain moistened everything outside. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

visa-free countries for Filipinos

Get lost! Time to get wonderfully lost in 2014!

Here now are the Visa-Free Countries for Philippine Passport Holders:

Friday, January 25, 2013

busy January

I've been stealthily slashing deadlines with my quick ninja moves the whole January!  For the whole month, the sky, an endless drab of a blanket sheet didn't help.  

Luce Auditorium | Silliman University, Dumaguete City

 First to chop off was the Dumaguete Fiesta Magazine where I contributed stories on food, shopping and the backstory on Rizal Boulevard.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Holidays Abroad: Top Tips for Keeping Costs Low

Making ends meet each month can be a challenge at times. Budgeting for the little luxuries in life has most definitely become a necessity for many in recent years, but with a little planning not all the finer things in life have to be sacrificed. 

After a full year of slogging hard at work, a little break in the sun is definitely deserved. Not everyone's pocket can stretch to low cost long haul escapes, but cheap holidays to Gran Canaria or any of the Canary and Balearic Islands, could well be on the cards. The key is knowing how to keep costs low.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Where to stay in Sipalay?

Sipalay is Kuta Beach, Bali without the crowd.

Sugar Beach, Sipalay, Negros Occidental

It's a five-kilometer or so stunning stretch of fine sand. At first glance, Sipalay looks like a place lying somewhere in a corner of a dream, tuck between the pages of a book browned by the tropical sun and  deliberately hidden by time.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

home of the savory crêpe in town | East West Cafe Cebu

The Walk at Cebu Asiatown I.T. Park still feels like The Village (c.2000) sans the blaring music pumping from Fuel and Yo! Latino. Mid-rise office and condominium buildings now occupy what used to be the wide stretch of the old Lahug Airport runway. Across the road, the area where epic foam parties were held, is still left vacant as if to remind me 13 years were only yesterday. 

red velvet crepe with cottage cheese filling! heaven on a plate. yum!

My recent visit in The Walk reminds me a lot of year 2000. Fresh out of college and within a few months, got my first job in advertising. The recklessness of youth peppered with the high-strung energy of my young colleagues meant endless parties! reporting to work the next day with a bad hangover clinging inside our heads.

Lotte Hotel in Cebu

Shangri-la is as alien as Mövenpick (Mactan Island, Cebu) to many of my Korean students. What they are familiar with is Lotte Hotel (South Korea's largest chain of five-star hotels or Ritz Carlton Korea) whenever I mention in class international luxury hotels and suites.

at Shangri-la Mactan Island Resort and Spa in Cebu

Chain of luxury hotel brands have started to open properties in the country. Raffles Hotel and Hyatt (to open in Makati), will add to the growing list of five star hotels in the Philippines that include The Peninsula, Amanpulo, Mandarin Oriental, Sofitel, Pan Pacific, Intercontinental and Discovery Shores in Boracay. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Call for Manuscripts to the 52nd Silliman National Writers Workshop

The Silliman University National Writers Workshop is now accepting applications for the 52nd National Writers Workshop to be held 6—24 May 2013 at the Silliman University Rose Lamb Sobrepeña Writers Village.

This Writers Workshop is offering twelve fellowships to promising writers in the Philippines who want to have a chance to hone their craft and refine their style. Fellows will be provided housing, a modest stipend, and a subsidy to partially defray costs of their transportation.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

lingganay sa Mabinay: a Christmas festival of lights

A night drive is never complete without cameo appearances from suicidal cats, frogs, dogs and huge trucks! To add more suspense to the already page-turning drive, the snaking road to Mabinay has neither cat's eye nor street lights. 

Amid all the mud (rain + ongoing road work) and glaring headlamps from oncoming vehicles, I arrived in one piece in Mabinay--a sleepy town in the heartland of Negros Island. Mabinay prides itself as the "cave capital" of Negros by virtue of the number of caves with resplendent stalagmites and stalactites found in town. The other reputation of the town is that it tries to outdo it's town Christmas decor each year.