Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What's in a (Business) Name? Cinco

Keep walking...
with Jimmy Walker slippers!
Spotted at F Llamas St., Punta Princesa, Labangon, Cebu City

For more amusing business names, please visit Go Random.

Friday, February 24, 2012

On the Move in Medellin

How do you ride a town's every possible mode of transportation? One, do not do your research prior to the trip. Or do so haphazardly. Two, get busy talking while on commute then ask your friendly fellow passengers for directions a little too late. Three, continue reading and follow me around Medellin.

The municipality of Medellin is located about 120 kilometers north of Cebu City. If you want a bit of history, sorry, I have no tidbits for you. I only have tips on how to get lost.

Mission 1: Go to the beach in Medellin
Step 1: Go to North Bus Terminal in Mandaue City and get on a bus bound for Kawit Medellin
Misstep 1: Got off at Medellin town proper. Right bus, wrong stop. Ooops, 8 kilometers short of my destination!
Vehicle: Bus
Fare: Php 135

Mission 1.1: Go to the beach in Barangay Kawit, Medellin
Step 1.1: Get on a bus or jeep going to Kawit. Alight at St. Ignatius Loyola Church.
Misstep 1.1: I shouldn't have gotten off at Medellin town proper, but at Kawit where my bus was headed!
Vehicle: Jeepney
Fare: Php 10

The beach at Brgy Kawit

Mission 2: Find a beachside cottage
Step 2: Choose from the accommodations listed here and take note that they are located in different barangays.
Misstep 2: "Try my luck" way. Not a misstep, but a good decision since I found a cheaper option!
Vehicle: Slippers
Fare: 50 to 5000 calories, depends on the area covered
Found: Costa Blanca (Php 1200 per room) and Silver Beach cottage (Php 800, actually it's Php 1000 per room but haggling got me Php 200 off). Contact person for Silver Beach is Conie Searez 0908 918 8694.

Silver Beach cottage. Just two rooms for rent, both with AC and a toilet and shower.
If you want to be sardines for a night, extra head will cost Php 30.

Mission 3: Go to Gibitngil island
Step 3: Call the Municipality of Medellin at (032) 436 2031 to hire a boat....if you're a large group. It's Php 1500 for a 20-person capacity boat.
Misstep 3: Php 1500 divided by two persons equals too much! Two people (that's me and my friend) walked to Alpine wharf to check if there are passenger boats (nope, sorry, no passenger boats here! But there was a boat heading to the island, we could hitch a ride and just swim back. Hitch a ride? Excellent idea. Swim back? I think not.) or find a fisherman willing to take us to Gibitngil island (yes, we found Maricel 0907 882 1511 at the wharf whose father was willing to take us to the island and back for Php 500).
Vehicle: Pumpboat
Fare: Php 500
Found: "Funtastic Island" on the west side and a sandbar on the south end of the island.

Gibitngil island as seen from the beach at Kawit

Off we go to Gibitngil with the captain of our boat

Spot the diving boards of "Funtastic Island" 

Cottages for free

Gather up some courage to jump off a 30-feet high 8-inch wide narrow plank 

What's left of the sandbar at high tide

Mission 4: Buy drinking water and some supplies
Step 4: Go to the market
Misstep 4: Asked for directions and got this for an answer: take a pedicab to market. Turns out the market was just three corners away. We walked on the way back.
Vehicle: Pedicab
Fare: Php 5
Found: Mangoes and eggs we added to our camp meal. If you don't have a cookset, you can ask the caretaker of Silver Beach to cook something for you or you can grab lunch/dinner at carenderias (food stalls) in the market.

Mission 5: Go to ZipAway
Step 5: Take the jeepney back to the town proper and ask fellow passengers for directions
Misstep 5: I asked a fellow passenger for directions...a little too late. By the time I asked, we were already at Central, near the milling company. She said we were supposed to get off at Brgy Caputatan.
Vehicle: Jeepney
Fare: Php 10

The jeepneys for Bogo (which pass by Medellin proper)
can be found beside the Kawit Barangay Hall

Mission 5.1: Go to ZipAway at Brgy Caputatan
Step 5.1: Take a tricycle to Brgy Caputatan
Misstep 5.1: Tricycle driver dropped us off at Caputatan...Sur.
Vehicle: Tricycle
Fare: Php 8

Mission 5.2: Go to ZipAway at Brgy Caputatan Norte
Step 5.2: Ask people for directions to ZipAway: take a tricycle to the new market then take a habalhabal (motorcycle) to ZipAway
Misstep 5.2: Nope, this time, we were given the right directions! Thanks stranger!
Vehicle: Tricycle and habalhabal (motorcycle)
Fare: Php 8 for the tricycle and Php 25 for the habalhabal
Found: 150 steps to ZipAway (the habalhabal driver can take you up top via the long road -- no, he can't drive his motorcycle up these steps! -- for an additional Php 15), zipline, Tarzan jump, and a cable car. All closed. Turns out they are open weekends and holidays only.

150 steps to ZipAway

I contented myself with a nap in the breezy cottage

Zipline and Tarzan jump

Cable car or cable cage?

Mission 6: Lunch
Step 6: Go back to Medellin town proper and find a cafeteria
Misstep 6: No public transportation in this sleepy part of town (Caputatan Norte). Because we didn't ask the habalhabal driver to wait for us, we walked about half a kilometer to the road where we saw trucks pass by and stuck our thumb out. 
Vehicle: Slippers and truck
Fare: Free!
Found: There are a couple eateries at the town proper. Take your pick. They also have a little park with an old locomotive on display.

To the road where we saw trucks passing

Hitched a ride on a truck hauling some tubo (sugarcane). Can be standing cab only.

Truck traffic

Turista mode at the town proper

Mission 7: Home sweet home
Step 7: Take the Ceres bus back to Cebu
Misstep 7: I think buses for Cebu pass every hour. Being impatient, I almost dared hitch a ride on the CNU bus that was waiting for students at Medellin proper. Almost. Then this yellow bus comes barreling down...and I will be home in 3 hours.
Vehicle: Bus
Fare: Php 135

How joyriding around Medellin bore a hole thru Mustachio's pocket:
Bus from Cebu to Medellin Php 135
Jeep from Medellin proper to Brgy. Kawit Php 10
Room at Silver Beach (Brgy. Kawit) Php 800
Pumpboat to and from Gibitngil island Php 500
Food and water Php 46
Pedicab to market Php 5
Jeep from Kawit to Medellin Php 10
Tricycle from Central to Caputatan Sur Php 8
Tricycle from Caputatan Sur to new market Php 8
Motorcycle/habalhabal to ZipAway Php 25
Lunch Php 80
Popsicle Php 15
Bus from Medellin to Cebu Php 135

After going the long and lost way, I couldn't help but trace my steps and label the map...

Cebu map from wikipedia. Satellite maps from wikimapia.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mother's Fried Chicken

My siblings and I grew up with Mother's Fried Chicken. Not my mother, but the restaurant. My parents used to take us to Mother's Fried Chicken on D Jakosalem street for lunch almost every Sunday after hearing mass. I would order the chicken with rice, and a bowl of corn soup. Always. 
Combo meal: Quarter chicken, rice, flan, and a drink.

X years later and a few kilometers from their original address, I still order the same thing, this time with leche flan instead of a bowl of soup, since they offer combo meals - chicken, rice, soup or dessert or side, and a drink - for Php 163. For the soup, you can choose between cream of mushroom and cream of corn. For dessert, almond flan or leche flan. Side, either coleslaw or french fries.

Mother's Fried Chicken also offers snacks and snack combos but I never bothered to try those. I had my stomach set on the fried chicken and its crispy and tasty chicken skin!

It's a wonder I haven't grown feathers.

Mother's Fried Chicken
Paseo Ciudad, 3/L Ayala Center Cebu
(032) 232 1099 / 253 9311 / 238 6542

Other branch at:
St Patrick Square
Redemptorist Road cor. Don Ramon Aboitiz St.
(Behind Redemptorist Church and St Theresa's College)

How this chicken bore a hole thru Mustachio's pocket:
Chick 'n Flan combo Php 163

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Awesome Possibiliteas at Cobo

The cold rainy night had me craving not for hot choco nor a warm cup of coffee but a glass of cold milk tea. Vaguely remembering somebody telling me there was a milk tea shop in J Centre Mall, two friends and I headed that way. And there we found colorful Cobo.

 Awesome possibiliteas

 Choose your drink...
...and your sugar level - extra mild, mild, average, or intense!

Overwhelmed by the possibiliteas, I ended up not getting a milk tea but a bubble burst tea as recommended by my friend.

Mango peach green tea with mango burst and
Strawberry smoothie with yogurt and bursting bubbles

Green tea snow ice plus two choices of bubbles (lychee and mango)

Burst tea? Bursting bubbles? Say what? It's an exploding sago! Well, I don't really know, but it sure does burst! (Quite weird to the mouth but tastes pretty good.)

I was expecting the snow ice to be just crushed ice with flavoring and color...but no, it was like eating ice cream! If you like green tea ice cream then this will be a good choice.

Next time I promise to try the milk tea...the sea salt milk tea that is. Wonder if it's going to be salty.

PS If you want some snack to go with your drink, they have Taiwanese chicken and dimsum.

J Centre Mall
AS Fortuna St.
Banilad, Mandaue City

Update 3/18/12

More than a month after my first visit, curiosity drove me to J Centre for a cup of Sea Salt Milk Tea. Disappointed that it didn't come with chewpearls, I had to add Php 15, which brought the total amount to Php 95 for one drink. First sip: hmmm...nothing salty about this. Plain old milk tea to me. Not until I got to the bottom of my cup did I taste the salt. 10 pesos more for salt on the bottom of my cup? Not sure I'll buy this again. Will probably stick with plain old milk tea. Or maybe I should have just skipped the sugar... that could have defeated the whole purpose. Stupid me.

How Cobo burst Mustachio's wallet:
Visit #1
Green tea snow ice with twins combo Php 65
Mango peach green tea with mango burst (16 oz) Php 80
Strawberry smoothie with yogurt and bursting bubbles (16 oz) Php 85

Visit #2
Sea Salt Milk Tea (16 oz) Php 80
Chewpearls Php 15

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

That Burger in Boljoon

After swimming with the whale sharks, one of my friends (F1) suggested we hit the nearby town of Boljoon. He told of a roadside resort with a nostalgic 80's Coca Cola themed restaurant that serves delicious food. He had to rely on memory while constantly being on guard for a hint of the restaurant. After forty-five minutes or so, he noticed the European house with dark chocolate painted fences. Yes, we have found the place.

Welcome to Lusapon Resort

Ain't too hot to take a picture

As soon as we got there, which was already past noon, we directly hit the restaurant found at the rightmost part of the resort. If it's your first time in the resort, you would never guess that they house a restaurant.
See the vintage Coke clock and Coke signboard?

Bad news for us - since the resort was holding a wedding that day, the restaurant was supposed to be on a holiday. But good thing the cook was very accommodating and didn't want to disappoint his new guests, so he gave us the menu with a harried and perspiring look on his face. Poor cook, he had to go to and from the reception and our table coz we were still deciding on what to order.
That's German for "Food and Beverages"

What did we order?

Cheese Burger - They make their own simple yet tasty patties. It's soft and juicy, no grease, unlike the ones you get from fast food restaurants. Lusapon's burger is sandwiched with tomatoes, lettuce and cheese. Another friend (F2) of mine, who's really not into burgers, declared this as a "worthy to eat" burger. I guess the hunger we were experiencing gave it a taste-boost. Nonetheless, it tastes really good.
Don't judge this burger by its buns

Chicken Drumsticks - Since all other chicken dishes were out of stock (due to the wedding reception), we decided on the all-time favorite drumstick. The meat tastes good, skin's a bit crunchy, and it is best eaten warm upon being served.
Crispy chicken anyone?

We also ordered their Lasagna but didn't have the opportunity to taste it or even take its picture since we didn't want to be rude to our new friend (F3) whom we just met in Oslob while swimming with the whale sharks. He ordered the lasagna and, by the look on his face, it wasn't a disappointment.
Nice vintage beach-side folding chairs
A Coke poster dating maybe way way back

My friend (F1) was a bit disheartened to see that the restaurant's "look" has changed since he last visited. We talked to the the cook and he said that the owner decided to take out some of the vintage coke memorabilia, which happened to be all from Germany. It would have been very nice to take pictures of them.

Overall, it was a good southside dining experience. Props to the cook (sorry we forgot your name) who was one of the most accommodating and generous people I've met so far. When we come back, we'll make sure we get to know you better sir (and take your picture too).

Lusapon, Boljoon, Cebu, Philippines 6024
(032) 4829077
0916 2005535

How this late lunch bore a hole thru Mustachio's pocket:
I was so hungry that all I can think of was to fill my stomach!
(As I rack my brain, I think the above costs around Php 60 to Php 90 per.)

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Night at Don Merto's Restaurant and Deli

Don Merto's Restaurant and Deli is under Casa Escano Bed and Breakfast. A traditional Filipino/Spanish villa with a nice ambience. Anyone looking for a cozy dining experience would fall in love with this place.

I like your mustache Don Merto!

Nice lighting, hey?

And not too crowded.

What did I order?

They serve free bread (that's 3 slices; I ate one out of hunger :D) and butter.

Cobb Salad - Romaine lettuce topped with chicken, bacon, tomatoes, cucumber, cheese and egg, served with a creamy herb dressing.
You may now sprinkle the herb dressing, Mademoiselle.

Buttermilk Boneless Fried Chicken - Breaded buttermilk soaked boneless chicken served atop a sweet and savory creamed corn.

Soft chicken meat with the creamiest creamed corn that's such a joy to the taste buds. Recommended!

Lomo Saltado - Stir fried US beef, tomatoes, onions and fried potatoes.

Tasty beef if you had more time to chew, and the fried potatoes are really good. I ended up finishing the potatoes, rather than my rice, first.

Just a note: You'd have to tell the waiter how you want your beef cooked. This one was cooked medium rare.
Can you tell which one's the meat and which one's the potato?

Overall, I finished the meal with a loosened belt... *burp*

What did Mustachio learn?
- This isn't a fastfood restaurant. Expect ample time for your food to be cooked.
- There will be times when some of the items on the menu won't be available.
- Look for the * sign. These are their bestsellers.
- Tell the waiter how your beef should be cooked.
- Make sure to stuff your wallet.

Don Merto's Restaurant and Deli
94 Juana OsmeƱa Street, Cebu City
(032) 253-5563

How Don Merto bore a hole thru Don Mustachio's pocket:
Cobb Salad Php 198
Buttermilk Boneless Fried Chicken Php 178
Lomo Saltado Php 188