Seafood Feast in Cebu

Kinilaw Barongoy

Kinilaw Barongoy

The latest trip to Cebu had me feasting on fresh seafoods – fresh shellfish (big ones), clams, soup and of course all-time favorite swordfish “kinilaw”.

Damage? Less than 500 pesos!

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A NAIA-Airport Challenge: Fight for your Ride

Maybe I could use blogging to bring out an ordinary citizen’s complaint to the appropriate government agencies.

Over the past 5 months, my Consulting job required me to travel in major cities and provinces around the country as Project Manager for a Sales and Distribution system implementation on a large multinational beverage company. I have taken more than 30 flights since then.

Everytime I fly (taking Philippine Airline flights most of the time), I usually bring my car and park it at the Centennial 2 airport or just being driven to and then fetched from the airport. Sometimes (since the Client would just shoulder the cost), I’d take the Airport transport service which normally charges thrice or even 5 times the usual cab fare.

It was only the last two flights (recent trips) that I did not brought a car, or did not asked to be fetched, and chose not to take the Airport transport service, instead, I went up the stairs at the Departure area of the NAIA Centennial Terminal 2 to take a cab. Unlike in Bangkok or in Singapore or in most other countries’ airports, there’s no Taxi Lane at the arrival area of the NAIA Centennial Airport! If you want a cab ride, you have to go up the Departure area and wait for cabs dropping off passengers. Empty taxi cabs are not allowed entry in NAIA Centennial Airport.

The first time I took a cab was 3 weeks ago, and it took me 20 minutes before I got my ride. The second time, last weekend, it took me more than an hour! I was sweating, getting a cab took longer than my flight time from Tacloban. You have to beat it out with so many other people! If you are a nice person, then there is no chance you can get yourselfBeat your ride a ride. But I couldn’t bare the thought of getting a ride over other passengers with children, or those elderly couple who, perhaps, have been there taking their chances longer than mine.

Then I saw cab coming with a passenger inside I did beat the other 2 or 3 guys and some ladies (I held on the door of the cab while it was still moving!). Finally I got my ride after more than an hour of fighting it out. With all the feeling of comfort, I threw my backpack and myself inside and told the drive of my destination. My relief suddenly turned into an instant outburst when the driver (Cab Plate No. PXG-593) told me he’s gonna be charging double. I am used to paying extra fare but I hated it when taxi drivers ask upfront.After uttering some real nice ‘curses’, I got off the cab and slammed the door with all my might!

Perhaps it was Karma, or so I thought. But there is now way I can go home without being tough and inconsiderate to other people.I was so disgusted at the thought that of all this time, I was unaware of what other people have to bare whenever they arrive at the NAIA Centennial airport. Airports in Cebu or Davao and even in other less progressive cities have taxi lanes. NAIA doens’t have any! Its my beloved country’s gateway to the world and it doesn’t have taxi lane! What a bummer!

I have never been so angry and so disgusted in my life regarding theLola at the airport inefficiencies of several government services. You would probably feel what I felt by looking at the picture – an elderly woman who has been there waiting for more than an hour!

I managed to assist her lady companion in getting a ride. Then probably that little act of kindness was rewarded when I finally got my ride – the driver was smiling, no questions asked – off he drove me away from that miserable place!

I am proud of this country, despite of its many flaws, the reason I display a Philippine flag at my blog’s very prominent place. I dream of being able to send this message to the right people – and quick actions be taken. It’s time to act and change, people!

Bai Ace D. (DOT), na-unsa man ni bai? Kinahanglan ang imo tabang.

~ blogRebel

My Tacloban Trip

The following day (Wednesday, 16-Jan-2008) after returning from the trip in Naga City, I took a 5:30am flight bound for Tacloban City. Again, I have to make another round of Business Process presentation with my client’s local Sales, Finance and Logistics group.

The rain had just stopped when the plane landed in Tacloban airport – which is a small airstrip right beside the shoreline of Tacloban City. After about 15 minutes drive, I was already in Mac Arthur Park Beach Resort, in Palo, Leyte where I will be staying for a night before flying back to Manila the next day. This was also the venue of the 6-day new Sales and Distribution system training conducted by one of our team of Consultants assigned in Eastern Visayas area.

I took some pictures with Uncle Douglas, whom I had a picture when I passed by Palo, Leyte 12 years ago. Gen. MacArthur looks snappy and clean this time. LOL.

I stayed in room 315, fronting the Seminar Hall and the swimming pool, and a few yards from the beach front. The room looked creepy, with all the ancient furnishings, and gloomy lighting. It has two big beds.

Good thing the Plant GM took us around that night. We had dinner at Stephanies, and I loved the food – fresh seafoods, shells and some sea weeds salad – yummy.

I had a feeling Gen. MacArthur would visit me that night – perhaps, yelling ” Hey, wake up, I have returned!” Hahaha. I would probably prefer a visit from Uncle Douglas rather than a visit with Gen. Yamashita or some Japanese Officer or General who died in the area when the Americans bombed and beached this site during World War II.

Here are some of the pictures I took during this trip.


My Naga Trip

Last Monday, 14-January 2008, I went to Naga for an important business engagement. I took an early morning flight (6:30am) from Manila. The place is a bit different since my last visit 12 years ago.

Mt. Isarog is still there, fortunately. There are still lots of old churches, but I have’nt had the chance to check if the number of moviehouses are still the same. I heard before that there are as much moviehouses and churches in Naga.

Mt. Isarog

Well I took some pictures (very rarely I do this stuff when I travel around). We had dinner the Avenue Square, a posh and illuminated classy nightspot with bars and restos and coffeeshops. Probably the ‘Greenbelt’ of Naga.

 Avenue Square, Naga

I stayed overnight at the Regent Hotel where the event I attended was also held. The hotel is filled with awesome paintings, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get who the painter was. Anyways, some of you may recognized the paintings.

Legend of Water Lily Tribal

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