A Day in Davao City and My First Time to Try Durian Coffee in Blugre Coffee

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I had a very busy and full day yesterday.  Like all my work travels, the day started very early.  In fact, I left the house at an ungodly hour of 2am…on a MONDAY! Well, that’s because my flight was set at 4am and as you know, I needed to be at the airport at least an hour before the flight.  Although I did try to get some sleep, I still felt like a zombie when I got to the airport.

Anyway, it was my first time to see Davao City yesterday.  And sadly, it was only for a day and I had to be indoors mostly attending a government workshop/event in Marco Polo Hotel.  Good thing that Marco Polo Hotel is one of the most posh hotels in Davao City, so the ambience and the #feels were quite generally okay.  The food was also great.

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During the workshop in Marco Polo

During the workshop, I was already contemplating on my two (2) free and vacant hours before my flight back to Manila and thinking about what to do to maximize the trip.  I had three things in mind: (1) buy a Davao ref magnet; (2) try durian coffee; and (3) buy frozen durian. (Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do the third, because even if I found some frozen durian at the airport, it had to be checked in as baggage and I only had 20 minutes left before the flight to do that.  #sayang) So after the activity, I initially walked around the vicinity of the hotel and saw Ateneo de Davao and some shopping complex where they sell native bags and malongs. I bought a native printed bag for Php300.

After some Googling, I was able to find myself some durian coffee in SM Lanang in a cool and quaint coffee shop proudly originating from Davao called “Blugre Coffee”.  Blugre (pronounced as “blue-gray”) is famous for creating their signature coffee concoctions incorporating  the exotic fruit durian.

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The branch in SM Lanang is located in the Sky Park. There were only a few customers inside which was great because I wasn’t in the mood for crowds. The baristas were also friendly and even welcomed me to Davao.

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Random Photo: Banana Cream Pie

Hi, Guys!

I have a new favorite pastry and it’s called the “Banana Cream Pie” from Breakfast and Pies restaurant. It’s so creamy, tasty and filling. And you can really taste fresh bananas in one bite.

It’s served with a dollop of whipped cream on the side. Best paired with a dark and bitter coffee.

Whole pies are also available, and I think I may have order some myself.

Anyway, it’s Monday! I know the feeling. I wish you well today. I’m actually here at the airport now for some work travels, despite thinking about pies. Stay safe!

-CHRYZTYNERS-

Happy Tightliner Friday

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Hi, Friend!

What are you up to today?

It’s Friday finally! Got any plans?

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Today, I decided to use one of my new pencil eyeliners from Prestige which I recently got from Beauty Bar.  Unlike my usual black or brown liners, I’m trying out a shade called “Midnight Blue”.  I’m roadtesting it for now, so this is not a full review of it yet.

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Also, I decided to do some tightlining today.  Again, not my usual thing.  I mean, I love how tightlining the eyes looks, but it’s just not for me.  This girl wears contact lenses ALL THE TIME! And that means, teary eyes all day. So I have yet to find a good eyeliner that lasts pretty well on the water lines despite my watery eyes all day.

Let’s see how this liner does on me today.

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Anyway, I hope you’re doing good, friend!  Cheers to the weekend!

-CHRYZTYNERS-

One Full Day at the Mandala Spa and Resort Villas in Boracay

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When was the last time you spent one full day at the spa?

Wait, let me ask that to myself instead. Hmm, I think it was probably months ago!

Last year, as my birthday treat to myself, I went to Boracay alone to spend one full day at the Mandala Spa and Resort Villa. Well, aside from enjoying the beach of course.

I had one of the villas all to myself.  I availed of the Boracay Salt Glow Scrub Package and I was treated like a queen.

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Upon entering the resort and confirming my appointment, I was led to the locker rooms and got this complimentary red sarong that I had to wear the entire time while at the resort.

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entrance to paradise

As the entire resort was quite spacious and big, I had to rely on my masseuse to lead me inside to my villa.  I also asked for her to lead me to the lobby after the entire treatment.

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Mooncake Festival in Binondo

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What’s up, you guys! How did you spend your long weekend?

For me, I mostly just hibernated at home, cleaned around, and did some laundry. In short, #tamadmode.

But I also went “food-tripping” and “food-shopping” in Binondo, Manila yesterday.  Luckily, the Filipino-Chinese community were also celebrating their Mooncake Festival; hence, the Lucky Chinatown Mall were fully decked with decorations, perfect for Instagram pictures.

Manila’s Chinatown is both a food hub and a shopping hub.  On the other side of it is the famous Divisoria shopping area, where you can find all sorts of stuff for cheap – from electronics, to ballgowns, to cellphones, to toys – you name it, they have everything! Meanwhile, in Chinatown itself, there are a ton of stuff to see – and taste! Some hard-to-find imported fruits (like cherries, strawberries, blueberries, plums) can be found being sold along the streets. If you love siopao, hopia, siomai, and cuapao, you’ll probably go crazy with the many varieties they have here.  We actually stuffed our faces pretty full the whole time – that’s the whole point right?

So, where did we go and what did we do? Here are a few photos I took during the whole day.

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Upon entering Binondo, you see Chinese Arks like these
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And this!

We also went to visit the Binondo Church.  If you’re coming to visit, this is also a great meet-up point, because it’s a very huge landmark.

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Where we began and ended our Binondo trip

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What to See in Puerto Princesa, Palawan

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I’ve been to Puerto Princesa many times, both for work and for pleasure.  So if you’ll ask me about it, I can give you a hundred reasons why you need to visit. I can also give you a quick summary on the places to see and even on what to eat.  My first time in Puerto Princesa was way back in high school for a summer camp, and it was a really fun, memorable and special trip.  From then on, I still think of it as a special place.

So if you’re planning on a trip to this wonderful place soon, checkout these spots to visit:

Underground River

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On the way inside the cave
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obligatory shot before we take off

One of the main reasons why Puerto Princesa is always flocked with tourists all-year round and from all over the world is the Underground River.  It’s a boat ride underneath a huge cave with different and pretty amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations.  When I went for the first time, I was lucky because the trip was a bit longer, and we were able to explore the river a lot farther.  But I think now, because of the number of tourists and the government’s goal to protect the underground river for environmental and security reasons, the boat trip had been cut shorter.  Nevertheless, I still think it’s a must!

Insider Tip:  The tours are only open in the morning, so be wise and get up early to maximize.  You also want to avoid the long wait for the boat ride.

 

Island Hopping in Honda Bay

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Cowrie Island in Honda Bay
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One of the islands where starfish were plenty

A trip to Palawan is not complete without a beach trip, and the best way to experience that in Puerto Princesa is to book for a Honda Bay Island Hopping tour.  We did this for one whole day and it was really fun.

Insider Tip:  Most tours already come with packed lunch and/or snacks, so bringing food or knowing where to eat for lunch during island hopping is not a problem.  And the food they prepare ain’t that bad either – they serve with meat, seafood, vegetables and fruits for dessert.

Firefly watching in Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm

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The Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm is already a different itinerary in itself. It’s like the Alcatraz of the Philippines, except that it composed of huge and vast hectares of land where prisoners can freely roam about.  Well, except those in the maximum security prison of course.  There’s nothing much to see, but if you’re interested to see what and how an actual prison is like, it could be an interesting place.  The prisoners themselves take care of the place such that they can build their own huts, plant their own veggies, catch their fish for food, and make souvenirs for the tourists.

However, should you not like that thing, there’s always the firefly watching tour to book.  To me, this is one of the most amazing and surreal tours I’ve been to, and I’m so glad it’s in the Philippines. They say that you can tell how healthy an ecosystem is if there are fireflies existing in the area. And for Palawan, they have millions of different species of fireflies! I won’t tell you how it’s like, because it’s supposed to surprise and amaze you – but I can give you a tip – it’s a boat ride!

Baker’s Hill and Mitra’s Ranch

 

In the upper or northern part of Puerto Princesa, there’s the Baker’s Hill and Mitra’s Ranch.  In Baker’s Hill, there’s a mini zoo and garden with different statues and sculptures.  Mostly, it’s for taking your basic Instagram photos. It’s also the place where you find the best fresh hopia in Palawan.  In Mitra’s Ranch, if you like ziplines, this is where you can try it.

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