I recall last year when my college friends and I were on a boat heading to Talicud Island, we could see from afar the famed Pearl Farm parola and the line of triangular shaped cottages. I was hoping that someday I could go and enjoy that place. After all, Pearl Farm is one of the best resorts here in Davao (not to mention the priciest too).

Turned out that someday was yesterday and what can make a cheapskate happier is that it was all for free! Who would've thought I will be employed in one of the affiliate companies of Pearl Farm and luckily our company summer outing (my first) was there. Actually, the company summer outings are mostly held there. To be perfectly honest, it's one of the company perks I've been looking forward to ever since I got hired. Now I'm actually looking forward to the feeling of "What Pearl Farm again???" Haha.

But anyway, everyone has their first time and mine was yesterday. The earlier part of the morning was spent for Treasure Hunting and group activities. I squeezed in a little time to wander on my own and took some photos. After lunch was free time for everyone. It was the perfect time to just laze around, relax and enjoy a weekday off from work.

I explored the place along with the CDO branch team who were first-timers as well. We explored both the main resort and Malipano Island. I suggest you go snorkeling since there are many sea creatures to check out! Either you want to relax or explore, Pearl Farm can provide that for you and yes, maybe I'm promoting a little. Haha.

It was a short and sweet stay but totally didn't disappoint.
Summer is coming to an end soon, I hope you are enjoying! :)



DAY 3 - Back in the city
As early as 3:45 am, Kuya Juanito already picked us up from where we were staying. We thanked him for it since as we arrived at the port, there were a lot of tourists (2 or 3 buses?) going back to the mainland. The Ro-Ro vessel began sailing at around 4:30am and we were back at the pension house at around 9am.

It was May 3, Sunday and  the Pacquiao vs. Mayweathervfight was on. We wouldn't miss if for the world. We watched the pay per view that comes with a buffet lunch at the Royal Concourse Hotel as suggested by our friendly taxi driver. 

But oh well, we all know how it turned out. (I don't know why I'm smiling in that photo though. Hahaha)

Next stop, CAFE TIALA

Cafe Tiala was such a happy place!!!!! I couldn't emphasize it more with the number of tandang padamdams!!!! It was the perfect way to de-stress from all the underwhelmed feelings we harbored after the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. We played dress-up, took endless photos, put on cute huge head pieces and just laughed and talked and enjoyed the estrogen-filled place. We were joined by Toni's cousin, JR and his girlfriend, Maida. Yey to meeting new people and trying new places!

We ordered their specialty frappes and boy, the serving was so huge! Normally, people would complain that the size in the menu wouldn't compensate with the actual serving size. But at Cafe Tiala, it was the other way around! The frappe looked small in the menu but huge in actual! Prices range from P140.00 to P179.00.

Our friend Joie was charming enough to the lady Korean owner and we were rewarded with a complimentary pot of tea and toppoki. A genius icebreaker between the customers and the waiter was their WiFi password which I wouldn't spill because it's for you to look forward to if you ever find yourselves at Cafe Tiala (which I hope you will!). We really, genuinely enjoyed our visit! :)


We needed to take a break from all the girly hormones at Cafe Tiala so we decided to play laser tag at LaserBlitz in Parkmall. We were divided into two teams: red team (me, Sabb and Joie) and blue team (Toni, JR and Maida). It was so fun! I can now finally understand Barney in HIMYM! Hahaha. I was the highest scorer in our team but that wasn't enough to make the win. Blue won over red team and expectedly, JR (the only guy in the squad) was the highest pointer. Don't worry, not being a sexist here.Haha. Laser tag costs P150.00 (per person) on weekdays and P180.00 on weekends.


We had our dinner at Cafe Racer Diner which is the winner for the Best Theme Restaurant Award---for me anyway. As in. It's one compound with a "fake" gasoline station that pumps beer instead of real gasoline but has a real carwash, a Herbie converted to a griller, a combi van converted to a cashier station and all the other little details that sticks to their concept which is racing. Food prices were reasonable too!

Last stop for our last night in Cebu was Zbar at Tinder Box. It was the perfect place to cap off the day and just chill and talk after a long day. The interiors and lighting were mesmerizing! I suggest you order their Kalamansi Slushie only for P50.00 and Banana Berry Smoothie for only P75.00. 


Our flight back home was at 10:30am. We prepared early and took the chance to navigate around the city by feet and to find a place to eat breakfast. We wounded up at Jollibee nearby University of San Carlos and talked over breakfast how this trip transpired and turned out to be awesome. :)

We were picked up by Charlie and we made it just in the nick of time for our flight despite of the heavy traffic (it was a Monday). We were the last to check in but no fuss, we were all able to make it home, as you can see. Haha.

As of writing, it's been over ten days but I recount this trip with such fondness. How it was planned yet at the same time feels so spontaneous. It feels nice to introduce people to each other and be introduced to others as well. I personally feel we made the most of our time and went to so much places worth seeing in Cebu. Though I know there are still so much more! (More reasons to come back).

As what I've posted in Facebook, Cebu has the best of both worlds! One moment I am awed with its towering buildings, posh malls and fancy cafes and the next, I find myself just as awed, riding habal-habal and exploring caves, a huge lake and beaches.

I know I've dispensed a few unsolicited travelling advice and tips but what I learned most importantly is: wherever you are, be fearless and just figure it out because you can! A plan and research will definitely come in handy, but always, always make room for spontaneity!




DAY 2 - Camotes Island
Day 2 was spent at Camotes Island with Sabb while Toni stayed in the city. Cebu is known not only for lechon and world-class furniture but also for amazing beaches and natural tourist spots. So Sabb and I really made sure to go to a beach as part of our four-day sojourn. We first planned to go to Bantayan (Joie even had a prepared itinerary for us) but it was way up north of Cebu and the travel duration would consume much of our precious time. 

We opted for Camotes Island instead, heeding Joie's recommendation since a week or two before, she was there with her office mates and the approximate time for travel was only 3 hours from where we were staying. And no regrets! Joie still had the contact number of the driver that toured them around. She contacted him, made arrangements and voila, Sabb and I are on our way to Camotes! 

(for commuters)
  • From Robe's Pension House we rode a taxi cab going to Cebu North Bus Terminal. It was a good thing that GrabTaxi is still on promo in Cebu! P50.00 off plus the P10.00 less on flag down. [as of writing]
  • Look for the bus bound to Danao Port. Bus ride will take at least 45 minutes. (Tip: Danao Port is right in front of Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church)
  • When we arrived at Danao Port we were welcomed with two ticketing booths. Buy tickets at the ticketing booth second from the gate which was Jomallia Shipping (not the first one, just like what me and Sabb almost did haha). The ticketing guy at the first booth asked us where we were heading, we answered: "Camotes Island" and he replied with: "Day, dako kaayo ang Camotes Island, asa sa Camotes Island,? Sa Poro? sa San Francisco?" (Girl, Camotes Island is so big. Where in Camotes Island? In Poro? In San Francisco?) Turned out the magic word was "Consuelo Port". Needless to say, you board in Danao Port and you dock in Consuelo Port when going to Camotes Island (the tourist spot part) and vice versa. That was one little detail we forgot to research or ask our friend Joie. Lesson learned!
  •  The Ro-Ro Vessel has a Tourist Class (P200.00) and Economy Class (P180.00). We opted for the Tourist Class what with its only P20 peso difference. It's air conditioned and has comfy reclining chairs and it was such as smooth sailing trip! (Will take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours)
  • Going back to the city, instead of riding the bus, we rode a jeepney. It will stop at SM City Cebu and from there we took a cab going back to Robe's.
Once we stepped out of the vessel and walked at the arrival area of the port, we were greeted by Kuya Juanito, the habal-habal driver. We knew it was him because he was holding a placard with our names! He drove us at Santiago Bay, a public beach with (obviously) no entrance fee and we had our lunch over there. 

After lunch, our Camotes Island adventure began!

  • Paraiso Cave - It's an underground cave with a small pool at the end of it where you can swim at the pristine water. The vibe was kind of divine (in a good way). I couldn't resist swimming and floating because the water was so clear!
  • Timubo Cave - This was the second stop but we didn't take that much photos or the quality was not that good anyway. It was more crowded there and the way down was longer and I gotta say that it kind of stink of pee underground what with the number of tourists and the cold temperature. But the rock formation was stellar and the part where you can swim is bigger compared to Paraiso Cave. I was right with the divine vibe because at this particular cave, there was a Mother Mary Statue.
 Baywalk in San Francisco, California - Kuya Juanito dropped us here for a quick photo op.

Buho Rock, Poro -This was my favorite part since I got to cliff dive twice! But only with the 10 feet plank not the 40 feet. Once you reach one goal, you'd find out there's another better! Anyway, the trek down the steep stairs was tiring. Sabb and I even thought that it's not a good idea to bring our Moms if ever there's a next time. Hahaha. But we enjoyed it! There were also a bunch of Korean tourists and we were cheering scaring whoever it was brave enough to jump. 
Lake Danao - Such a vast lake with an amazing view! Activities offered at Lake Danao are boating and kayaking. Sabb and I were kind of tired from the long habal habal ride (our butts hurt) and I was kind of tired too since cliff diving and swimming took most of my energy. Baka pag nag-kayaking kami di na kami makabalik! Hahaha. So we enjoyed instead eating the P10.00 salbaro and P5.00 buko gulaman. There's a pool too nearby so after the kayaking, everyone can enjoy and opt for swimming.
We capped the day off back at the public beach and witnessed the sunset.You'll be amazed how low tide it is at Camotes Island. It's like a one big soccer field by afternoon down to night time and yet by morning it will be filled with ocean water. You really can't help but marvel at God's amazing creations.
As for our accommodation that night, tourists were flocking and it was peak season so tents for rent were scarce. We were lucky enough that a middle aged couple showed a little concern towards us and allowed us to sleep at their residence for the night but with pay of course (P500.00). A bit more pricey from our first option which was to rent a tent for only P350.00 but the bright side was that we were able to charge our phones and it was safer to deposit our things that's why we had enough time to stroll at the beach after dinner without worrying over our belongings. Fresh sheets and well-ventilated room too! But when going, it's better to make your reservations a week prior especially when peak season. Wag niyo kaming gayahin! Hahaha.

If you ever find yourself going to Camotes, fire me an email and I'll give you Kuya Juanito's number! We paid him P1,000.00 for the whole afternoon drive around Camotes (not to mention, him guarding our belongings) and the additional P200.00 fee was for the picking up back and forth Consuelo Port.

Do not be daunted with the habal habal fee! The entrance fee for Paraiso Cave, Timubo Cave, Lake Danao and Buho Rock will only range from P10.00 to P25.00 (as of writing). I suggest you take a handy sling bag with you and prepare coins so as to prevent you from the hassle of fishing money from your bag. The public beach has no entrance fee and you can rent tents for as low as P300.00 - P350.00 and the food available will cost you around P80.00 per viand but serving is good for sharing already (at least for two).

I enjoyed most was actually the habal-habal ride! Rain or shine, 4 in the afternoon or 4 in the morning, the awesome feeling of being on speed was just 
exhilarating! I felt so free! Naks. The roads are paved so it was really perfect to go cruisin' and just put your hands up and feel infinite. Though as I mentioned above, our butts hurt later on. Hahaha.

No regrets we deviated from our original plan and opted for Camotes Island instead. (But the dream to go to Bantayan is still very much in the pipeline!) I mean with the limited amount of time we had, we were able to tour around caves, beaches, cliffs and a giant lake! And we were back in the city the next day just in time!

Day 3 of #CebuPak Chronicles next!
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