Monday, September 29, 2014

Bohol’s Tarsier – Meeting the Cute but Strange Small Creature

Bohol Tarsier

One of the things I was excited about when WithLocals sent me to Bohol Philippines is that, the opportunity to finally meet this cute and strange creature in Bohol that we all know as the Tarsier. I’ve been to Bohol before this, when I was still little but as far as I remember we were not able to go to the Tarsiers. But I was able to meet the monkey at the Chocolate Hills before.

I was picked up by the WithLocals host that I verified on that day, and his name is Nelson. He has his own mini-van, and along with his wife they tour me around Bohol for only $40.82 per person for the whole day tour. And one of the destinations that are included is going to the Tarsier Permittee Corp. where the Tarsiers are protected.

As you enter the place, you'll be able to see this.

Bohol Tarsier

People lining up. That's if you're visiting on season. Line up there since you need to pay for the entrance fee to be able to see the Tarsiers in person.

Let's zoom in so that you'll know the pricing details for the entrance fee.

Bohol Tarsier

Basically, for students and senior citizens, they'll get P10.00 discount.

Next stop will be taking a short orientation. The instructions is simply these:

Bohol Tarsier

Please do follow the instructions, do not touch them, don't be too noisy and don't use your camera flash. I've heard that they'll get a heart attack and die. 

Once you're done taking the orientation, you have to go up and there are guides standing by some areas to show you where to go. That day, they're wearing red shirt and I was not able to take photos of them, because when I say you have to go up, I mean up the mountain and before we went to the tarsiers we just got back from the Chocolate Hills so I really did have a full cardio on this day.

Anyway, as you climb up you'll see huge leaves that is covering something, and that something is actually the tarsiers. You might want to check it since they're really small and do blend in with the brown leaves, just like this little guy.

Bohol Tarsier

I didn't noticed him at first since I didn't get it why the kids was really happy and look fond of looking at the brown big leaf - I was like, "you've never seen a big brown leaf kid?". But yeah, I was wrong, there's the little guy. Guess I need some glasses or they're that tiny.

Since there are these Korean family looking at the little guy above, the guide waved at me and point to another leaf. So I followed the guide and tadah!

Bohol Tarsier

I really find this one so cute, he's shy - not sure if it is a he or she here!

Let's zoom in again and see how cute and shy he is.

Bohol Tarsier

I saw him looking at me and I was like "ohhh...."

Didn't spend much time there, I was just there for about 20 minutes and we walked down to exit the area but I really love the place. Look!

Bohol Tarsier

I feel like I'm Tarzan - or should I be Jane?

You'll exit to somewhat an area where you can buy these.

Bohol Tarsier

Sorry if it's blurry because it's a bit dark and I was walking taking the photo. But yeah, they're souvenirs. They're not real tarsiers okay? There are bags, figurines, and a lot more.

And look! Just found the love of my life!

Though it was just for a short period of time, it was fun and a great feeling to finally meet these little guys. But then you must respect them and think of their safety.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Alegre Guitar Factory – Cebu’s World Class Guitar Maker

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

Ever wanted to have the best quality of guitar? Well, I really want to have my own guitar but the thing is the guitars don’t love me back. I’ve tried to learn playing it before but sadly, it is not access – obviously. But still, I’m hoping that one day I’ll be able to learn to play it.

I’ve remembered on how much I really wanted to learn to play the guitar when I visited the Alegre Guitars last year. Which I realized that we’re just neighbors, not literally that they’re a couple of blocks away but I can totally walk from my house today to the factory.

The Alegre Guitars

The guitar factory is actually named after the Alegre family. The Alegre family is actually the pioneer in guitar making here in Cebu Philippines turning it into a business. Right now, the owner of the factory is actually the third generation of the Alegre family which is Mr. Fernando Alegre.

As for my visit to these world class guitar makers, it was an interesting and educating visit to the factory, seeing these skilled guitar makers making a quality guitar just right in front of us (the visitors). Of course we were not able to finish everything from start to finish, it may take us a whole day to watch but hey, at least we were able to really see how guitars are made.

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

The way these skilled guitar makers are really focus, that my flash can't even bother them you're surely assured they're trying their best to make you the best guitar!

Now over here, our tour coordinator from Cebu Trip Tours (a travel agency) explained what these parts of the guitar are doing on the wall.

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

These are actually the type of materials you can choose from that you want your guitar is made out of. There are a lot of types of woods that I can't even memorize them and list them here, but I believe they do have the most expensive material that can give you the best quality of guitar - quality in terms of sound and durability.

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

Obviously, the guitars above needs some varnishing and finishing and of course some strings.

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

Now these guitars needs something. I don't know what exactly but I'm guessing the finishing and the label of the Alegre Guitars and oh! The design.

After all the hard work and focus on working on the guitar, here are some guitars that you can choose from:

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

The guitars on the bottom of the photo above is worth (I think) around P1,000

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

The guitars above are worth P9,000 and the guitar hard case is included.

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

Now for the guitar (dirty white in color - or am I color blind) it's worth P2,700 which includes a guitar soft case.

As for the following guitars, I'm not sure how much it's worth but to give an idea on how much their guitars worth are around P1,700 to P65,000 depending on the size and the type of wood the guitar is made of. But check out these great quality guitars:

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

Now, if you're looking a guitar for your kids, they also have smaller guitars worth around P700 to P1,000 but these kind of guitars may worth around P150 to P300, again depending on size and quality.

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

Now if adding more stuff on your luggage to bring with you to your province or country is too much, these guitar souvenirs may satisfy you.

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

If you're still looking for a different item other than the guitar, they also have these items that you may want to hang on your door.

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

Different colors are also available.

Alegre Guitars Cebu World Class Guitar Makers

As for the prices of the souvenirs, the key chain and similar items may worth around P50 to P100. But better prepare more money since there might more other items you'll be interested in purchasing from the Alegre Guitars other than the professional guitars.

Guitar Buying Tips at Alegre Guitars

I'll be able to give you just a few tips on buying a guitar and they are:

  • Test it out. Try the different sizes available and see which best suits you and of course test the quality.
  • Ask their staff. If you don't have an idea on which one you want to have, then ask their staff who's standing by, playing the guitars. Yes, there are actually guitar players there playing you some of the favorite music. Feel free to request.
  • Price Negotiation. You can totally ask the cashier if they can give you a lower price. Try to negotiate! They can surely give you a lower price. *wink*

How to Go to Alegre Guitars?

Sure! You can take the taxi but if you're in a budget you may try the local style. There are two ways to get there, via Vhire (van for hire) or the jeepney/multicab.

Via Vhire:
  1. Take the Vhire at SM. You may ride the Camella Gawas/Camella Homes Vhire.
  2. Stop at Hmall. You may ask the driver to just drop you there. If you're going back to Cebu city, you can go back here and get the Vhire ride to SM.
  3. Take a tricycle to Alegre Guitars. Just tell the driver, it's about 5 minutes away from the factory already (and from me).
Transportation Expenses (one way):
Vhire - P30/person
Tricycle - P8/person

Via Jeepney/Multicab:
  1. Take the jeepney going to J Centre Mall. There may be some changes to the routes (since they do every now and then) if you're here, but to make sure ask if they're going to "highway Mandaue".
  2. Take the jeepney going to Tamiya or to Gaisano Pusok. Right now, there's a traffic going to Tamiya so you can take the  other way around.
  3. Take a tricycle to Alegre Guitars which is Abuno. Just tell the driver that you're going to the Alegre Guitars, the one at Pajac Abuno.
Can't give you specific on the expenses for the jeepney ride since I'm not sure for its rate but the current minimum fare is P8.00 per person.

The Alegre Guitars is known for the quality of their guitars, even international artists go to their factory just to buy guitars themselves. Including the A1 group!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

8 Reasons Why You Should Watch TV5's the Guardian Blade

8 Reasons Why You Should Watch TV5s the Guardian Blade

Got another great invite to come to an event, but this time it’s more on the entertainment side. Anyway, still, I’d love to share this one with everyone here at the Exotic Philippines blog.

I was one of the lucky people there who was given the chance to ask questions to the director, producer, the network, and of course the casts. Plus, we were able to watch the pilot episode of this Cebuano TV series on that day.

Since I was able to watch the pilot episode, I don’t want to spoil you everything but here are my top 10 reasons why you should watch the Guardian Blade.

A combination of Sci-Fi, action, comedy.

The three (3) type of film that I'm into. There are people who doesn't like Sci-Fi (Like my Mama) but then due to the story, you might like it too.

Learning’s from the character and the story. 

What you will get from the story itself is really important for me. I usually read the movie summary before I really watch it since I don’t want to waste my time watching movies that I won’t be that interested. Though this is a Sci-Fi, action and comedy TV series, you can learn a lot from the episodes, and as for the pilot episode I already can tell that you’ll be able to relate and learn the importance of friendship, family and love of a parent who’s not biologically related to you plus the self-searching part.

Created and Directed by a Cebuano, Siegfred Alkuino. 

Director Siegfred Alkuino is the scriptwriter and director if this new TV  series that will be aired at TV5. I was able to take a video during his speech, so I’ll let the man speak for himself and share his great and inspiring speech and the story about the Guardian Blade here in the blog.

Improved visual effects. 

I am not usually interested with films like this (especially when it comes to a high demand in great visual effects) since comparing to the visual effects outside, the ones in the Philippines are not that good yet but improving. And I’d say that the visual effects (basing on the first episode) have actually improved, that is comparing to other local films that demands great visual effects. Still, there’s room for improvement but I think kids will appreciate it already.

I commend the director and the rest of the team behind it. They’ve done a great improvement in making our local films.

Made in Cebu

I totally forgot to ask on where they did shoot or will shoot their scenes, but most likely it’s all taken here in Cebu. But hey, the people behind it are all Cebuanos.

Produced by a Cebuano, Michael Flores.

Another great Cebuano behind this series who made all these possible, Mr.Michael Flores. I was also able to shoot a video of him during his speech. So hear him out!

Level Up Acting from the Cebuano Casts.

One of the things I noticed in the pilot episode is that, the casts acting are done well compared to other local series. To be honest, I find some local artists acting (NOT ALL) too obvious that they’re just acting. But the main casts and even the “bullies” (ooopss..spoiler!) have leveled up too. And during our Q&A portion, one of the casts say they do have an acting coach with them. So that’s really cool, a great investment!

Here are the main casts inviting you to watch their TV series!

Thank you guys for doing this for my readers! You’re all super cool!

In Visayan (Cebuano) Dialect.

Since it’s made, produced, directed, written, supported and acted by Cebuanos obviously the TV series is in Cebuano. But there are casts (or probably for the first few episodes) that they’ll speak in English (for a reason, don’t want to give another spoiler again).

There are other concerns raised during the PressCon but hey, I grew up watching Power Rangers but it's all about fighting evil, friendship and team work - and that's what I think I learned and got from the TV series.

The Guardian blade is a bit similar to the Power Rangers but this time it's talking about the future and a boy who have something to do with the future.

Do  check out their first episode this Saturday, September 27, 2014 and please do share here your comments about the series. You'll be able to watch the Guardian Blade every Saturday 11:00am to 11:30am at TV5.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Food Tempts – With Jpark Island Resort’s Abalone Restaurant

Great news! I got the chance to revisit Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark again, twice this year. Yay! But this time, I was invited for the presscon of their recent released app called Cebu Travel Guide App. But Jpark loves to feed the press, including me. Therefore, I have something about food to share with you.

This is a part of the new segment I decided to add, which is all about food and just photos of the food of restaurants or food trips I've been to or I'll be. It's like "food porn" but I want to avoid using the "P" word because people thinks that Exotic Philippines is a Rated PG blog, but it's not. Most likely because of the word Exotic.

Warning! If you’ll scroll down and continue reading or watching the whole post, I would like to apologize in advance for making you drool, feel hungry and/or make you hate me because I just like to. Sorry!

First off, let me show you the place where I ate with fellow bloggers.

It's the Jpark's Abalone Restaurant, it's not that busy that day since I was there lunch time. But still, there are quiet a number of dishes to choose from.

Please note that this new segment of the blog is just purely series of photos, no description, no naming of the food but the photos may and hopefully make you drool.

Ready? Here we go!

I don't have the details if you could just go to Jpark and just have a food trip. But their local rate for day use is just now P2,500 instead of around P3,000 before (when they're using the Imperial franchise).

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Food and Restaurants

Hotel and Resorts