This is a good news to coffee enthusiasts like us who are on a never-ending quest of finding good cafes.
Introducing a new coffee house in town — Degree 9 Coffee. Situated in Norkis Cyberpark, adjacent to J Centre Mall, along AS Fortuna Street, Mandaue City.
It has opened few weeks ago. Due to our busy schedules we didn’t have the chance to try it although it’s only a three-minute walk from our house. 😀
After a long day last Sunday, we finally got the chance to try this out. Ace and I went there with our roommate, Abby who was also celebrating her birthday on that day.
We learned that Degree 9 has it’s main shop located on the ground floor of Gagfa Building in Barangay Kasambangan, Cebu City. It even attracted more customers when it was included in Sun.Star’s Best of Cebu Awardand won the 2015 Best House Blend Coffee award.
Angel dela Fuente, the coffee shop’s lead barista, said coffee beans from Ethiopia, Colombia, Brazil and Indonesia are meticulously prepared fresh using their in-house roaster. She said this made them attract coffee enthusiasts to try their various coffee products. — Source: Sunstar Cebu
This new branch has an ample space that could accomodate 30-50 people. They have different tables and high chairs. We also love this metal stairway to the second floor. Seemed like we are in a bar or something. 😀
Look at this wonderful view from the second floor. I also like those cute centerpieces.
What I like best on this new coffee shop is that they have NO WIFI. They encourage you to talk to each other — like the old times, you know. (Sorry, to those who need wifi connection.) Although internet connection is like a necessity these days, I like the idea of stores not having a wifi connection. 🙂
Good thing they have smoothies and teas for those who are not into coffee like Abby. She ordered the Matcha Green Tea Latte. She said it was good. We haven’t tasted it though. We, on the other hand, ordered Cafe Mocha and Javachip Frappe. The taste was no different to the big coffee shops out there. 🙂 Yet the price was so affordable.
You might want to try this one out. It’s easy to find it because it’s just along the highway.
Island days, island ways, caves, sand, and sunny rays!
Who does not love an island getaway to escape the hustle and bustle of the city? I don’t think there’s any of us here. Have you heard about Camotes island? I suggest you include it on your list.
CAMOTES ISLAND – “The Lost Horizon of the South”
“Camotes” means sweet potatoes in the Filipino language. The island was named after that because that was the main crop that farmers grow there. This is just one of the 7,107 islands the Philippines has, and one of the most beautiful. It is also called “the lost horizon of the South”. As to why I don’t know. 🙂
Camotes Islands comprises three major islands. They are Poro, Pacijan, and Ponlon. The main islands of Pacijan and Poro are connected by a 1.5-kilometer-long causeway.
How to get there?
Camotes is located in the eastern coast of the mainland Cebu. It is two hours away by boat from Danao Port.
From Cebu North Bus terminal, ride a bus going to Carmen or you can catch a multicab or a jeepney with Danao route. It is easy to find them, Danao cabs are numbered 27 on their body. The fare is 35 pesos. If you prefer airconditioned transportation, you can catch a V-hire from the SM terminal. The fare is 50 pesos. Tell the driver to drop you off at Danao Port.
When you reach Danao Port, you can buy a ticket for 220 pesos and 5 pesos for the terminal fee. Be there an hour before your desired boarding time if you don’t have a ticket yet because the line could be very long especially during peak season (March-May and November-January). The ride is approximately two hours, and you will arrive at Consuelo Port. Upon arrival, there are motorcycles and jeepneys for hire that offers hotel transfer for 50 pesos each. You can also rent a motorcycle for 500 pesos for a half day tour. You can choose to either drive it yourself or let the driver be your tour guide. (Some hotels offer motorbike for rent, too. Some also offer tour packages.)
Where to stay:
There are plenty of hotels around and some locals also open their houses for backpackers. If you prefer, you can bring your own tent. Bear in mind that these hotels are no 5 stars.
Here are some of the famous places to stay on the island:
Santiago Bay Garden Resort
Mangodlong Rock Resort
Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort
Keshe Beach Resort
Sunset Vista Resort
Bellavista Mare Resort
Flying Fish Resort
Swiss Lagoon Restaurant and Hotel
What to do on the island?
We personally suggest touring the island with a motorcycle. The famous spots are accessible and easy to find. Don’t hesitate to ask the locals if you think you’re lost. 🙂
Here are some of the places you should visit on the island:
It is just a few meters away from Consuelo Port and is situated in San Fransisco town. It’s a small plaza or park, perfect for a picnic or you could just take a leisure walk around. The market is also near.
2. Buho Rock Resort
Don’t miss cliff jumping in Buho Rock. I attest you’ll regret not jumping. 😀
3. Timubo Cave
Next stop, is the famous Timubo Cave. You can opt to take a dip in the cold water inside the cave which is believed to heal illness.
4. Chasing the Sunset at Mangodlong Rock Resort
The island has a nice view of the sunset if you knew the right place to witness it. For us, Mangodlong Rock Resort was that perfect spot.
5. Lake Danao – Water Activities
If you’re into water activities, you should not miss Lake Danao Park. Try their kayaking, water balloon, and etc. They also have horseback riding.
6. Kanlingiw Garden and Pool
Have your snack at Kanlingiw Garden just beside Lake Danao Park. They have this mini-zoo, too.
7. Paraiso Cave
Another cave, you want? Drop by Paraiso Cave, too.
8. Santiago Bay
Feel the fine, white sand on your feet and the salt on the air at the beach. Santiago Bay is a public beach which means it’s for everyone.
Look at this wide beach.
Perfect for people who are afraid of the deep water. And just want to get tanned.
There are several restaurants on the beach, too. Just in case you get hungry after a long day. They serve Filipino dishes and kinds of seafood.
There are still a lot of places we need to discover on the island. And hopefully, in our next visit, we’ll get to explore them. 🙂
(Update: May 2019)
Here are new points of interest in the island this year.
Tulang Diot Island
Here’s the list of our expenses (Ace and I shared budget but I’m writing individual expenses for you) :
Fare (Mandaue-Danao Port) – Php 30
Boat ticket (Danao-Camotes) – Php 180
Terminal fee – Php 5
Motorcycle fee (Php 600/2) – Php 300
Buho Rock Resort Entrance Fee – Php 20
Timubo Cave Entrance Fee – Php 25
Lake Danao – Php 15
Kayaking Fee – Php 50
Paraiso Cave – Php 35
Mangudlong Rock Resort – Php 20
Boat Ticket (Camotes-Danao) – Php 180 (economy)
Terminal fee – Php 5
Pedicab to Danao Terminal – Php 15
Jeepney Fare (Danao to Mandaue) – Php 30
Tent Rental – Php 350* (Our friends slept here.)
Aircon Room at Bella Vista Mare Resort – Php 1450*
* This is where we slept.
** Food expenses are not included here because we have different preferences. Rest assured, food in Camotes Island is of reasonable prices.
It is the highest peak among the Mantalungon mountain ranges. Nestled in the Municipality of Dalaguete, Cebu and rising approximately 1,000 meters above sea level, making it the highest peak in the island. It is named after the famous Osmeña clan of Cebu. It gives 360-degree view of Cebu coastline including the islands of Bohol and Negros. Just a one to two-hour bus ride from the city.
How to get there?
From Cebu City South Bus terminal, catch the bus going to Bato or Oslob via Dalaguete. (Their first trip is 1:30am.) Tell the driver’s assistant (konduktor) to drop you off at Dalaguete-Mantalungon junction. Travel time lasts one to two hours depending on the traffic condition. The fare is only Php101.
From there, ride a motorcycle to Mantalungon Public Market which will cost you Php50-Php75. They can also drive you up to the foot of the peak for Php100 pesos each. (In our case, we started our trek from the market because we arrived too early.)
What to do there?
It is just a mountain peak, so there is nothing much to do there. But you will be captivated by the 360-degree view of the island and get to enjoy the sunrise with the foggy surrounding. (That is if you are early.) Prepare to be amazed how great is God’s creation. You can have range hopping if you want and just allow yourself to be one with the nature.
Others choose to camp there. There is a camping area set for those who wanted to stay overnight.
Where else to go?
Mantalungon is the vegetable basket of Cebu, so you can tour to the local’s vegetable farms. In our case, we went to Dalaguete proper and proceed to Obong Spring.
Travel light and bring a lot of water. Wear proper climbing attire especially your footwear. If you plan to stay overnight, bring your own tent and make sure to bring a thick jacket or coat to protect you from extreme cold. Beware of the drivers asking you more than the exact fare.
The lot to the crest is privately owned, thus there is a Php30 entrance fee. You can hire a tour guide at the registration area, but the trail to the peak is pretty established so we prefer not to. Just watch your steps. Remember that you are climbing a mountain, some rocks are lose.
Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on you way! ~Dr. Seuss
Last weekend, our eco-adventure trip to Aloguinsan was cancelled due to the bad weather. I felt a bit sad about it because I was really excited for that trip.
Ace, on the other hand, being a dutiful man of my life can’t stand looking at me feeling down, he said we could still have a weekend getaway somewhere near and safe. Our first choice was Villa Teresita in Talisay, but we figured it was a bit far. We ended up calling Estaca Bay Garden Resort for a room reservation.
It was already one in the afternoon when we called to book a room. The sky was gloomy and the rain started pouring after few minutes. We hesitated to go but we had our things already packed. Fortunately, the rain stopped after an hour. Despite the still dark sky, we pursued our plan.
When we arrived, we were told to directly go to the front office where the reception area is located. Their friendly staff attentively assisted us.
This is the reception area, where guests could lounge while waiting.
Now, look at these eco-friendly lampshades. Ace told me it’s made from abaca. As well as the sofas above.
This is the hallway going to our room. Look at the posts wrapped in abaca, they are so unique and cute. And the ceiling is also made from pallet.
This is our deluxe room. I was a bit disappointed with it, though. First, we were having trouble with the door knob, it’s hard to open it. Second, the room smelled like it has not been used for a while. It was not big and it looked old. I was even scared to go to the bathroom. Nevertheless, the room is fully air-conditioned, with cable television, mini refrigerator, a big closet, and complete with the basic toiletries. Oh, at least the bed is comfortable.
It was around four when we finally settled our things in the room. We decided to stroll the place first. Though, I am from Compostela, this is my first time to visit this resort. Let’s see what they’ve got.
See this beautiful patio outside our room.
And these lush greeneries.. ahh! Positive ions everywhere!
This is the end point on the north side. Oh, how I loved the refreshing breeze of the sea. We were the only people in this area, so we took the oppurtunity to take perfect silhouette photos.
Here’s Ace — one with the ocean and the sky.
This is the kids pool which is until 5ft deep. It has a short slide, too. (Because I don’t know how to swim, we stayed here most of the time.)
The sky was still gloomy. I reckoned the water in this pool is already cold.
This one is the adult’s pool. This is 6ft-9ft deep. When we took a dip here, we were the only people because it was around five o’clock. So, the pool was all ours. Ace really had a great time practicing his diving skills here. I, on the other hand, only stayed on the stairs. (Poor girl, I really need to learn how to swim. Somebody, teach me!)
Anyway, after he had enough, we transferred to the kid’s pool. After few strokes, we decided to eat our dinner outside the resort.
They actually have a restaurant inside but we both wanted to eat tuslob-buwa…cravings!
After dinner, we agreed to try their jacuzzi. Gush, we’re so lucky. The pool and the jacuzzi was all ours again.
The next morning, my younger brother came to visit us since our house is only few kilometers away. While waiting for the pool to open, we had our breakfast which was included in our overnight stay.
Before swimming, we have to wear these colored swimming tags. (Red means you booked a room; green/blue/yellow means walk-in guests.) No tag, no swim.
Getting ready! Look at my brother. He has grown up so fast. Who thought he’s only 12-year old, when he’s taller than me?
Nobody in the pool again? Well, that’s great!!! We felt like we rented the resort exclusively. (NOTE: There were many guests, but they were at the beach. Or maybe, we were just too early.)
We really had a great time. It’s evident in our faces. Despite our disappointment with the room, the feel of tranquility compensated it.
So, this is Demi saying: “RELAX, CHILL and UNWIND! After all, life is too short to not pause for a while.” 🙂
Deluxe Room: Php 1800
Brother’s entrance: Php 50
Brother’s pool fee: Php 100
For more information about their rates, kindly visit theie website here.
I hope Valentines day was not giving you a hang-over (of any sorts). 😀 Because, it did give me some. tehehe..
But this hang-over is so worth it. Got this from our canyoning activity last Saturday. Here’s a teaser.
Canyoning or Cayoneering as defined in my dictionary is the sport of exploring canyons by rafting, swimming, climbing, etc.
We just did that!!! And yeah! WE SURVIVED!!!
It was a five-hour trekking, cliff jumping, swimming, crawling, climbing. It was quite exhausting but it’s worth the adventure. Look at these happy faces.
Say, “We survived!”
We’re not able to bring our cellphones and cameras because we didn’t have a waterproof bag for them. So we rented a Go-Pro but it turned out that it was not really the original one, thus the photos are not really good. Plus, our guide who was also our photographer didn’t know…
Welcome to our new humble abode. We’ve decided to make a separate blog about our journey to different places. Join our itchy feet as we quench our thirst for travel.
I’m Demi! As of writing, I’m twenty-three. I am married to my buddy whom you’ll get to know later. Just some facts about me, I love the color green – any shades of it. I love seafoods but not fish. I am also the beauty behind SIDE BY SIDE blog. Please so visit it if you have some time. :*
This is my hubby, Ace. He is already twenty-nine but most people mistook him as a teenager. (And he loves that. LOL) He’s a total package…almost near to perfection, at least for me. 😀 He loves singing and he’s also a frustrated dancer. He loves dog and even asked me if we could have a dog if we can’t have a kid. (What?)
Ace and I married last June 16 this year (2016, just in case you’re reading this in 2020). We love eating, watching movies, and of course COFFEE.