La Mierda

Adventures and misadventures that gives life more rewarding.

Pokemon Go Madness

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Up where they walk…up where they run… up where they stay all day in the sun.. wanderin’ free, wish I could be, part of that world…

 

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This is hogwarts201, my digital alter ego, an avatar that brings me out of my comfort zone – into a stroll to a real world full of excitement for a snatch of pokemons popping out from augmented reality maps.

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To incubate your eggs, you’ll have to walk between 2 kms to 10 kms. If you’re thinking of using a car to cheat, think again. Pokemon Go can tell when you’re travelling on foot.

 

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THE PERK OF BEING A PERK SAVER

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Yesterday was a huge PERK for me. At SM Cinema Cauayan, I was able to watch X-MEN APOCALYPSE with my niece and nephew – FREE OF CHARGE. That’s P180.00 x 3. Thanks to ePLUS. Last year, I was able to avail one paperback novel from National Bookstore and a free shirt from Bench. A perk, an advantage or something extra that come with loyalty cards.

These days a lot of establishments offer discount cards for loyal customers. I’ve learned to love and take advantage of these promos to save money. Out of all the various local stores that have these membership loyalty programs, I have been able to accumulate the most points from SM Advantage Card, Robinsons rewards, Jollibee Happy Plus, Bench loyalty card, National Bookstore’s Laking National Card, and others.

The mechanics of these loyalty cards are straightforward. Simply present them whenever you buy something and you earn points based from the amount of your purchase, like it’s one point for every peso. The accumulated points can later be used as currency the next time you visit the store. Furthermore, your membership card can likewise be used to avail discounts and exclusive privileges in various establishments.

You can get free gift wrapping service during special occasions in National Bookstore if you have their Laking National Card. For SM Advantage, members can enjoy discounts and freebies from their various partner establishments such as Jollibee.

Applying for these discount cards are usually simple and easy. Just look for a customer service representative in the store and inquire on how you can become a member. Most of them will require you to pay a minimal fee while others will ask you to present accumulated receipts of a certain amount to prove that you are a loyal customer. Personally, I suggest that you simply make an outright payment for the card so you could immediately earn points. Besides, after doing some computation, the necessary amount of accumulated receipts you need to present to get a free membership is almost always equivalent to the cash rebate you could have gotten if that amount was converted to points.

Here are some quick tips on how to properly use and maximize your discount card:

  • Always remember to bring them whenever you go out. Take care of it as if it’s your ATM or credit card and keep it in your wallet if possible to prevent you from misplacing them.
  • Use it naturally. This means you don’t go out and shop for the sake of being able to use your card. Avoid impulse buying.
  • When in line at the cashier and the shopper before you doesn’t have a loyalty card, depending on the situation, you can try to politely ask if you can use your card. Most of the time, they’d be glad to give you the points for their purchase.
  • Be aware of the card’s benefits and remember the partner establishments where you can get discounts and special privileges.
  • Buy in bulk if possible. You get to save more money while accumulating points faster.
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ILAGAN JAPANESE TUNNEL

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Now open in the Cty of Ilagan, Isabela – the ILAGAN JAPANESE TUNNEL in Barangay Santo Tomas: a village that lets visitors travel back to the Japanese period.

The barangay of Santo Tomas in Ilagan City in Isabela has been largely known for its public cemetery and dump site. Prior to its development, the tunnel was prohibited to the public, until it was thought of being converted into a tourist spot. With its opening, local officials and residents expect the current image of Santo Tomas to change.

Tourists and locals alike can now experience a taste of Japan in the northern part of the country as numerous ‘torii’ or traditional Japanese gates are being erected here where a World War II tunnel has been developed into a new tourist attraction

The tunnel was discovered years back by students who used to play hide and seek here. The Japanese War Tunnel used to be the hideout and garrison of the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.

 

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The City of Ilagan

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In 1992 when I first stepped in the rich agricultural soil in this capital town to secure my NBI clearance as a requirement for my first job in Cauayan, Ilagan was not like this. 24 years later, Ilagan now a city is an ideal city of Luzon, booming with agricultural economy and tourism potentials. Here, you can find the world’s largest butaka (lounge chair), the Santa Victoria Caves and Pinzal Falls (now City of Ilagan Sanctuary) and the famous delicacy, Binallay (sticky rice); now with Japanese Tunnel as its latest attraction.

Ilagan is also a hub of mushrooming malls – Robinsons, Northstar Mall, Xentro Mall, and now the City of Ilagan Mall (in photos). This week, the City Division of Ilagan is host to the Cagayan Valley Regional Athletic Meet (CAVRAA). Topping all these, Ilagan is dubbed as the CORN CAPITAL OF THE PHILIPPINES. I have no regrets to have finally settled here in the city of Ilagan, my home so close from home.

 

 

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Who Sets Me Free?

I  feel so free…. One good thing here in social media is that everything can be written or posted. Even the things that are unspeakable. Freedom is not something that anybody can be given. Freedom is something people take, and people are as free as they want to be. You have to decide if you’re willing to grab your freedom, and if in doing so, you might inadvertently set others free. Screw your freedom to the sticking place.

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Carefree

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Decked out in all its finery, overload rural jeepneys and tricycles packed with passengers on the roof and hanging on to the sides, while others sit on the narrow aisle and the step, still with enough room for baskets of crops, chickens and sundry items are tourist attractions, even here in the province of Isabela.  It’s not unusual to see even schoolchildren hanging on to the backs of jeepneys and tricycles while others sit on the roof.

jeff full o tumauini

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When Fresh Water Meets Salt Water

The Molobolo Spring Molobolo, Tuburan, Cebu

The Molobolo Spring
Molobolo, Tuburan, Cebu

When you can’t define the word “tranquility”, but what comes to mind is the Molobolo Spring.

The Molobolo Spring. Here, fresh water meets salt water. The place is also shaded with big trees and so the water remains cool. The flowing spring keeps the water clean most of the time.

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The Molobolo Spring
Molobolo, Tuburan, Cebu

Molobolo is not a destination. It’s a journey with the person you love that matters. 562682_437767776261534_764039745_n

Taking a vacation need not always be expensive.

In the town of Tuburan, which is some 96 kilometers from Cebu City, the Molobolo Spring has been attracting tourists and slowly becoming a favorite hangout place for residents and visitors alike.

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The discovery of the cold spring has changed this once quiet municipality in the midwestern part of Cebu.

Tuburan’s name comes from the Visayan word “tubod,” which means spring of water. It is no wonder then that Molobolo Spring is one of the town’s natural gifts.

From the “tubod” flows cool and refreshing water,  and the air is very fresh in the area. The local government built a rectangular pool as catchment for water from the spring. This is where visitors can take a dip in the freezing water.

If it’s high tide, visitors can see the water from the cold spring flow to the sea.

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Affordable trip

Going to Molobolo Spring will not cost much, which is a big plus for families and friends who are looking for a place where they could have fun together without spending too much.

Entrance fee is only P5.00 per adult and P2.00 for children aged seven to 10 years old. Parking rates are P100 for four-wheel vehicles and P25 for motorcycles.

Visitors have two options for cottages. They may rent small ones at P150 and the big cottages cost P300.

You may bring you own food at no cost, but a store near the entrance also sells snacks and drinks.

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Souvenir items

If you can’t resist buying souvenir items when visiting places, you would surely love the export quality jewelry boxes sold at the resort.

These jewelry boxes are made of colorful seashells. These are natural seashells and not painted,” said Zenaida Sayson, the vendor, in Cebuano.

Prices of these products vary in size. Small jewelry boxes cost between P30 to P50 while the big ones are sold from P100 to P200 each.

Getting there

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Tuburan is bounded by Tabuelan in the north; Asturias in the south; Sogod, Catmon, Carmen, and Danao City in the east; and Tañon Strait in the west.

There are several routes going to Tuburan for private vehicles — via Tabuelan to northern towns and via Toledo to southern towns. Another option is to take the transcentral highway going to Balamban.

Buses in both the north and south routes bound for Tuburan are available for commuters.  Fare is P100 per person.

Other travelers meanwhile, prefer to take vans-for-hire that use the trans-central highway route for faster travel. The vans park at the Ayala Center Cebu terminal. Van fare is P130 per person.

FB Page: It’s More Fun in Molobolo Spring, Cebu

https://www.facebook.com/ItsMoreFunInMoloboloSpringCebu

So cool and refreshing!!

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Sanctuary

June 12, 2015 – Independence Day to the maximum level. A day well spent for family bonding. Here’s a thumbnail sketch what it likes to be worry-free for one day. Only here at the Santa Victoria Caves, now called CITY OF ILAGAN SANCTUARY.

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Sanctuary Maps and Signages. Nobody will get lost with the provision of these big maps and signages posted in conspicuous places in the sanctuary.

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Hogwarts Express, er Sanctuary Express. Offering free group ride to and from the main entrance to the swimming pools and vice versa.

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Tricycles on the Loose
. A pair of these tricycles are going around the sanctuary offering free rides for stranded guests. These blue artistic tricycles is another innovative attraction here at the sanctuary that provides free mobility. Sanctuary caretakers call these mobility as the All Terrain Vehicle or AVT in short.

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Zip Line Hub. This is how thrill seekers prepare for zip line

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 The Hanging Bridge. There are two options in entering the Santa Victoria Caves. One is the conventional way of walking through it for a quite a number of steps from the main road. And for the brave at heart, one can choose the hanging bridge. These steel and iron cables hang in suspension attached to at least seven separate trees in full stop, or comprising seven spans until reaching the cave main entrance.  The thrill is on how to get hold on these cables and rustic metal steps. One unsolicited advice however, be confident and just have fun. Don’t wonder your thoughts on the idea of falling because if you do, chances are, you might really fall. Warning: Only 5 persons per group are allowed to go along each span at a time.

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Sweet Couple. Before entering the main entrance leading to the cave adventure, caught this couple in their sweet moments. Thanks by the way for their generosity for the free mobility in going to and from the Ilagan Sanctuary and for the free entrance tickets, of course.

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Spelunking. An exhilarating journey to the deep, dank, dark depths of the earth. I visited Santa Victoria Caves and its many chambers more than ten times already, yet I haven’t really understand the basics of spelunking, until we hire a volunteer guide here (mainly for safety purposes and more) who explained the difference between stalagmites and stalactices. He said, it is up to us to imagine what other rock formations we imagined it to be after pointing to us Casper-like, the Santo Nino, the ampalaya-cocumber like, and other rock formations inside the cave. By the way, spelunking is the traditional term for caving, the recreational pastime of exploring wild cave systems. A bit of trivia: spelunking or caving is now considered a sport or a hobby.

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Tiger’s Den. Last full stop after an exhausting spelunking adventure, enter the den that houses two extremely dangerous tigers. We were fortunate to have been joined in by ABS-CBN Regional Network New’s MAG-TV NA host Kiko and staff who had been filming the whole day at the sanctuary.

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The Animal Kingdom. A host of exotic, rare, endangered and nearly-endangered species find home here. They have been fed, taken care of and open for viewing. Of course, they are on cages for public safety.

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Harmless snake, anyone? I don’t know if you agree with me, but this one is really harmless, debunking the adage, “Ahas ka, kinakagat mo pati nagpapakain sa iyo”. Quite huge, heavy and large enough to swallow a whole person, and certainly the biggest snake here in Isabela, yet doesn’t bite a bit. Spectators are even allowed to enter the cage for a “real touch” of snake and for selfies. The cage is the prime attraction in the Animal Kingdom here.

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Ostrich Hub. Bits and pieces sort of trivia here, that ostritch is one of the biggest fowls with the biggest egg. These ostrich buddies here, though some are already bald (with age? hmmm…), are harmless, friendly, like to be with people and even steadied themselves for a photo shoot, and like to be feed with green leaves. Some of my companions fed them (maybe because no sign of “no feeding” have been posted in the area).

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Public Enemies No. 1. Have you seen these persons? Beware, if they are outlaws on the loose, they are extremely dangerous. Along the paved way at the Animal Kingdom, we found this empty cage intended maybe for another animal specie. Yet, perfect for human cage at this time, lol.

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Salabay. On a personal note, here’s Basty and Mac on “salabay” mode. Basty respectfully requesting his elder cousin Mac for a “salabay” (agbay” in Cebuano, I don’t know in Tagalog, hehe) after an exhausted and tiresome hanging bridge, spelunking and animal kingdom adventures.


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Pools for Everyone. Swimming pools for kids and adults is everybody’s favorite. Taking a plunge from natural spring waters is quite a relief to beat the remaining heat of summer. One good thing here are the nice, clean and large space comfort rooms separating the males and females just nice to indulge before and after swimming. Yes, of course the footbridge leading to the CRs is really an innovate idea for safety and convenience. I also spotted few Safety Officers patrolling the area.

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The Green Lagoon. Boating here is fun. Not quite sailing through the wind because one should exert extra effort just to move on. Now with extended space allows anyone to move on an extra “nautical” mile using banana boat for two and that “pato” boat for six persons.

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Raging Waves. Well, not raging really. Wave poll is now the new additional attraction here at the improved Ilagan Sanctuary that allow thrill seekers to enjoy artificial waves. I guess LGU Ilagan is now busy on their drawing boards planning innovative breakthroughs that go beyond the next level of technological advancement of recreating this man made structure to look a lot like a real beach with white sand, complete with lifeguards and surfing instructors with a possibility to enjoy all the thrills and sensations of surfing in the ocean within a safe pool environment. Here’s hoping that in the near future, this man-made surf wave structure will be equipped with yet another surf machine capable of generating customized man made waves that could mimic surfing waves, points, reefs and beach breaks that will give people of all ages an enjoyment they wished for like an authentic surfing experience…beyond the oceans of the world.

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Anguib Escapades

This was our last-minute summer ending escapades (Lakbay Aral or educational field trip is not appropriate anymore daw, hehehe) last june 4 and 5 recently, at Anguib Beach Resort located in a Cagayan Export Zone Authority (CEZA Free Port) in Sitio Anguib, Brgy San Vicente, in the town of Santa Ana, Cagayan. This is a young resort rediscovered and developed (i like the term semi-developed because of its still, yet untouched bio-diversity) some three years ago.

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Located at the northern tip of the Philippines, the Anguib Beach trails along the landscaped border separating the Philippines from the Pacific waves. Anguib Beach is a stretch of a white, powdery sands lined with coconut trees and the beautiful silhoutte of the mountains complete one of the best panoramic tropical views of the Philippines.

A two-way concrete roads leading to the place is still under construction this year from the Santa Ana free port. In the past years, local residents said, this place was dubbed as an “island” (though, this not an island) because no beach lovers could go to this place before, but by boat only via Santa Ana free port. Until recently with the help of CEZA that this place has been developed.

Anguib Beach is huge, long and surprisingly calm, probably because it is located within a cove. The hills behind it were lush with greens making the landscape very peaceful.

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Nice place for honeymooners, group outings and of course, soul-searching. Time stood still here, so laid back that your one -day stay seems more than 24 hours. Powered by a gen-set all throughout day and night, a group can still enjoy videoke all along. One catch here, nobody is allowed to have bonfires for eco-tourism purposes as it will damage the fine, yet powdery, crystalline, white beaches stretching a kilometric span. Oh, not to mention the slow-motion exchange of low and high tides (I like the in-between, the ebb tide, where I could float and immerse myself in saline waters).

Economically speaking, the area is far from being exploited. Local seafood dishes can be sampled at very affordable prices, provided the water current allows the local fishermen to sail for a catch.

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The water was so clear during late afternoon, that the corals were showing off their beauty. You didn’t need to snorkel here anymore to see marine life. We just had to look at the natural aquarium.

Though not a well-advertised Philippine beach resort that offer water activities, yet diving and boating are good here. The waters are connected to a protected marine reserve and the area itself is used with respect by the locals.

No commercial or internet shop nearby, only a small indigeneous souvenir shop that sells Anguib shirts and shell decorative pieces.

The green hills, the lush mangroves and the trees provide a heart-warming view that encourages a peaceful atmosphere. Leave it to Anguib to speak for itself!

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Anguib Beach provides its guests a simple, yet one of the greatest pleasures that a gorgeous nature inspires. It captivates the eyes and the soul. It wears an almost naked beauty so when you see it, you admire it as it is, without any man-made structures aside from the clean nipa huts that provide shield from the bright sun.

The cottages are indigenously cool, kept at low prices @P200 and the place is really clean, no trash in sight, even as you stroll along the shore. Fresh air gives every guest a constant company – oddly, no trace of “sea-smell” and the air is fresh and clean – truly captivating!

Bring your own food. Cooking on the spot is allowed and thus, feel free to have some “hot” grills, barbeque, etc. right on the shore. If you have a car, try to have a stop in Sun City (Santa Ana), famous for low-priced sea food.

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And the sunset, too – superb!!! Most important in all these panoramic scenes and communing with nature is the team-building recreated, thus cementing the bond of friendship whilst as they go on their jobs, they could serve well their constituents more effectively and efficiently. Redefining friendship, the joy being with the company with the ones you are most comfortable dealing with are the finest things in life no amount of money can buy…

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The Dam in the Palm of my Hands

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An excerpt from my personal journal dated October 1, 2011

At the height of Tropical Storm Quiel yesterday, three of us from Cauayan City (Kurt, Muy and me) headed to the Magat High Rise Dam in Ramon, Isabela via Kurt’s motorbike to feed our curiosity how it’s like to be up close and personal, viewing 7-gates of Magat Dam being opened. Magat Dam’s critical level is up to 193 meters, and due to heavy rains still pouring along Magat Dam watershed areas, the floodwaters were still coming in, thus the dam couldn’t contain the volume. The water inflow must be released, thus several gates of the dam must be opened. And to satisfy our hunger how water outflows from Magat Dam being released, here we go to the area. We stop imagining as we saw those waters rose several meters like the crossing of the Red Sea by Moses with the Israelites, leaving behind Egyptian armies on chariots chasing the chosen race.

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– Low resolution photos lifted from my mobile phone

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