Monday, September 1, 2014

A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort

A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

So it was a few months ago that I was finally able to do an island hopping here in Cebu. This is really ironic since I just live near by the port for the boats going to the neighboring small islands.

The Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sactuary is known for its clear sea water and of course the beautiful view underwater. It’s actually where the well-known sports host, Ms. Dyan Castillejo. The thing is, she went there before me and she lives hundreds of miles away and have to spend huge amount of money to get here – so I was challenged to really put an effort in going and doing the island hopping and at the same time, feel like I’m that really poor. Poor me.

Here’s Dyan Castellejo at the Nalusuan Island Resort for Sports Unlimited.

How to get there?

A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

I actually visited other islands on the same day, so please check out my post Island Hopping in Mactan to Sulpa Island wherein I gave the details on how to get to the port. But the only different thing is the island from the port to the island.

But you can get there via the boat, through the Cordova mini port in Mactan Island.
A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

On your way to the island, you may see boats like these. Where's the owner when the boat is in the middle of the sea?

A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

They're diving. I'm not sure what they're doing but I'm guessing that they're catching huge fish (by hand).

The Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

It may take about 30 minutes or so (depending on the weather) for you to get to the island. And you'll now that you're getting near there when you see this.

A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

It was low tide when I visited the island, but if you're in a great season the water will be higher than that, that it may actually almost reach the bridge/ It will be like walking in the water - oh! It would be great to have a glass bridge right?
A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

The (what do you call that?) house is actually where you can go to dive and get equipment. The fish likes to wait there since you can feed the fish from there.

A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

The tide is really low. so that's why the foreigners can  just walk around. But for safety purposes, they have a life jacket on. The bridge is where you can park (if I am right with using the "parking" word for the boat) the boat that you're renting, that's why there are stairs there.

A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

The water is so clear that you can actually see the group of sea urchins. I even saw a blue fish.

A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

I think the place is really nice to relax and getaway from the city life. I can totally relax and have a break in this island. Live a day without the internet. I do believe they have an electricity though, because there's a music playing from the radio.

A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

When I arrived, I actually caught these group of friends taking a picture and posing. They're actually taking a picture with a star fish. They're Koreans by the way.

A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

Friends talking heart to heart at the beach. So I guess it's a great place to have a retreat too.

A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

No need to be under the sun, you can be under a tree and relax.

A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

This is their restaurant where you can order your meals and have the food package.

A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

If you want a drink (liquor, soft drinks or water) then they do have their own local bar but their prices is expensive compared to the main island since they have to shop from the main island and bring it to the Nalusuan Island. So, it should be higher than the regular selling price. I'm not sure though if they charge if you're going to bring your own but hey, I think not. Since you'll be paying an entrance fee.

After roaming around. I saw this area of the island. White sands!

A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

If you're having a team building, I think this is a great place too since you can play in this area. It's a huge area and you'll actually see small crabs walking and the star fish.

A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

Anyone care to play volleyball with me?

So since I feel like I'm in the middle of the desert here. All alone like I'm lost and lonely, I decided to go back to the main island and saw this at the resort.

A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

It's a mini boat. Great for dolls. Toys for your kid but it's not for sale.

A Day Island Hopping to Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

Their public comfort room is clean too. That's a total plus since it's well maintained.

Costs and Expenses

Of course, it’s best if we include the expenses I have but please do take note that this may change since they do make changes.

Boat Transfer (Good for a Maximum of 15) 3,000
Vhire Transfer (Round Trip) 70
Sikad Transfer (Round Trip) 40
Food (By the Nalusuan Island Resort) 600
Entrance Fee 200
Total P3,910

NOTE: The boat transfer above is not from the Nalusuan Island Resort, since the island do offer their own boat transfer but then the transfer we hired can drop us to other islands in that same rate except for the island that is faraway – specifically the Pandanon Island.

The resort also offers other food package for P450.00/person but I like the P600/person much better. I do believe that they may offer you FREE from entrance fee if you’re going to stay there or you’ll eat there (if you’re many, I think). I went alone there, so I’m sorry if I can’t give you the benefit if you’re going to visit the island with a group.

I was hopping to go to Pandanon next time, I've heard it's better than Boracay and whiter (sands). Maybe next time? Surely I'll try my best to update everyone reading here in the Exotic Philippines blog once I do.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Exotic Philippines – Alexa’s Top Philippines Travel and Tourism Site

I was actually comparing the traffic stats between this new media site that I recently become a part of, with the other site owned by a known journalist and thought of checking the blog’s rank too. At times like this when I want to motivate myself to keep on blogging and doing what I do.

If you take a look at the Exotic Philippines Alexa page, there seems to be no data for my rank in the Philippines. So what I did is search through the top sites by country of Alexa and discovered that Exotic Philippines have ranked well in these categories:

Top 11 Philippines Travel and Tourism Site

Click here to View at Alexa

Top 5 Philippines Travel Guides Site

Click here to view at Alexa
I don’t know if they’ll make some changes after this or when this all started but I took the liberty to grab a screenshot for proof.

This year has been really great for me and the blog, from the awards, recognition, love and support from readers, friends and fellow bloggers have been overwhelming. And being given this rank by a known site boosts my motivation too.

Thank you everyone for all the years of support!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bahal Max - No Worry, No Hangover

Have you ever tasted the coconut wine? Well, you should try the Philippines version of affordable wine, the fermented coconut wine that we call Tuba. Luckily for me, I was able to find and get to visit the owner of the Bahal Max, the coconut wine maker in Argao Cebu Philippines.

I grew up knowing that tuba is the affordable version of wine of the locals here in the Philippines. Especially that I’m grew up in a province that also grow and have a lot of coconut trees, I do see a lot of locals (usually the farmers) drink this type of wine. It’s cheap and it deals with their thirst!

On my trip to Argao, my guide Janine took me to the Bahal Max owner Mr. Nilo Sedon whose backyard is now where he makes his fermented coconut wines.

Just right outside their house, you'll be able to see the sign above. Their house is really nice and well landscaped (by the owner).

The above photo are his newly harvested coconut wines, they do really smell good that I want to take a sip right away - well, smells good for someone like me. They mouth of the container is actually open because they have to get some air to separate the bubbles.

The bottle above contains the 3-4 months old (I forgot how much old exactly) and the bottle is worth for only P30.

 Now the bottle above is the one I bought, it's actually a coconut vinegar that's spicy - quiet similar to the famous Pinakurat and I think it worth P35. I already used it with my food for about a month now and it actually taste good, and I love spicy food.

 They also have a bottled wine like the  one above. I think it's a 1 liter worth P50 per bottle.

They have different type of wine, this one (above) is the coconut wine called Bahalina which I think left for years which also worth P50.

The other type of wine that they have in the bottle like this is their Mangonilo - a wine from Mango. Didn't taste it or buy it but it's also worth P50.

The Bahal Max products are the ones above. If you have a friend who loves wine, then better try to buy them the Bahalina which is just around $2 (P50).

Want to give it a try? You may contact Mr. Nilo Sedon via his home telephone number (032) 485- 8838. If you're dropping by at Argao, you could totally drop by at their home and buy their products in a cheaper and affordable price.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Meximama – Affordable Mexican Food Trip

I was invited by a friend to come and join her with other bloggers to try out a new mini restaurant near my place. It’s located at the Marina Mall (Save More Pusok), and just a couple minutes away from my place. If you’re going to the airport, you’ll surely be able to drop by at this new Mexican (mini) restaurant.

I really don’t know what to call it, that’s why I’m using the “mini” word. Since the area where they cook is just small and just enough for them to cook but they do have a number of tables for you to occupy.

I’ve never tried Mexican food before, so I was excited to try it out and share it here on the Exotic Philippines blog even I was tired of the 3 days event we’ve handled – lack of sleep and still up for a food trip. Luckily, I have my blogger friends tagging along to make the lunch more pleasing.

Dig in girls!

But of course, you're wondering what did served us. So here are the dishes that we’ve tried on that day, since they have a buffet style set up for their soft opening.

Meximama Street Food Tacos and Main Courses

First off, let's start with the ones that they have all ready for us on the table before we were called up to the buffet table.

(Forgot the Name)
Food Rating: 3.5 stars

I've tried one piece of this. I don't know what's the exact name of this and the ingredients, but the one at the bottom is similar to a pizza crust. 

Sisig Tacos

Food Rating: (NA)

I can't give you a food rating on this since I haven't tasted it. I wish I did though because I love sisig.

Chili and Honey Wings

Food Rating: 4 stars

I love chicken, I love chicken wings! I love spicy food, and imagine how much I liked this. But to warn you, this is above average spicy but not that spicy. Totally a must try!

(Forgot the Name)

Food Rating: (NA)

Another one that I didn't try, because I was really full. Can't take another bite!

Baja Fried Fish Fillet

Food Rating: 3.5 stars

Surprisingly, I liked it. I'm not really into fish but I think it's because of it's sauce that made me love this.

Costillas de Cerdo

Food Rating: 4 stars

I like ribs and chef did put something on this really unique that it gives you a unique taste. I actually suck this one to the bones. It's a bit spicy but you would be able to handle it.

Fried Rice

Food Rating: 3 stars

It's a Mexican version of fried rice. It's unique but blended well with the other dishes.

As for our desserts, they served us with their Churros! I would compare their churros with the Oishi Manju but this one doesn't have the sweet stuff inside, but you have to dip it. The Churros itself is good too, crispy and soft inside.

Churros Con Chocolate

Food Rating: 3.5 stars
The chocolate dip is a real good chocolate. The churros is not sweet but the dips are sweet.

Churros Con Dulce de Leche

Food Rating: 3.5 stars

Comparing the Chocolate and Dulce de Leche, I love this one much better. Maybe because I'm a milk lover and this one is sweeter than the chocolate and feels just right with the churros.

How to Get there?

As you can see on the map, it's just right beside the road going to the airport. If you're going to take a jeepney, they call it SAVE MORE (SM) instead of Marina Mall - so you wont be confused why there's no one saying Marina Mall.

There's an easier way to go around to Meximama but I think this one is more simpler and easier for you to remember. Go inside the Save More supermarket, and then go outside (on the other side, at the parking area.

Then go left (if you're facing the parking lot and on the side of the Save More door.

This area is actually  the delivery area for Save More, but go inside there, straight and you'll see this...

Yes, from there and go left again. And you'll see that area above. Just go straight and you'll have to go left a bit and see this (below).

The tables is the area where you can eat your Meximama orders.

See the two (2) girls in white shirt choosing from the menu? That's the area of Meximama where you can take orders and  where they also cook your orders. You may then sit down, relax and wait for your orders.

Want to invite Exotic Philippines to the opening of your restaurant? Feel free to contact me and include the details.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cebu Travel Guide – Cebu’s Best in an App

Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark Cebu Travel Guide Mobie App
From Left: Junix Villacorta, Ruben Licera Jr., Myla Mohammad and Joy Ablanida
We’re so addicted and attached with our smartphone and JPark Island Resort & Waterpark Cebu knows this, and this is why they've launched their very own app. An app that does not only cater your needs from the resort but for the whole Cebu too!

If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Cebu, the best place to relax, get to know, visit and even activities to do in Cebu, the app got it for you!

Of course, the app can book a room for you at JPark, reserve or book a shuttle or a restaurant. The app can even connect you to the direct lines of the resort via your mobile. So you don’t have to tire yourself for the search on whom or where to get the contact numbers on departments of the resort.

The External Affairs Director of Philippine BXT Corp. (the company owned the JPI), Mr. Reno Bacolod says “The rebrand was partly an effort to transition consumer service from traditional to modern. Modernity entails giving information and services on demand. This mobile app is one of many step that JPI is taking to hand out that promise.

The Cebu Travel Guide App

Luckily, I was able to record a video for you guys to watch and get to know the app from the developer himself. Mr. Junix Villacorta who’s also a good friend of mine, will tour you around a bit of the app.

Since I was able to shoot the video on the side, it might not be that clear for you to see the app but here’s a screenshot I got for you of the app.

Cebu Travel Guide Mobile App

Cebu Travel Guide Mobile App

Want to download it? Go ahead, download the app now! It’s totally for free! But as of now, the app is only available for Android users and it’s currently on its beta phase. They say the app for iOs will be released soon and more updates will be added.

 Don’t forget to leave your review and ratings of the app, if you want to give some suggestions, report some errors, please do feel free to leave it as a comment below and I’ll personally forward it to the developer or the JPark team.

Want to invite Exotic Philippines to an event? Just contact me and include the details.

Exotic Philippines

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