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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Janjan Polotan and Family visits Cebu (December 2009)

Last December, Janjan visited Cebu from Australia along with Trizia and Marion.  We first met with them with Auntie Alice and Mommy Ely at Sunburst Ayala.  After our hearty meal, we saw Uncle Ruben in the mall.
It was a surprising meeting and it led to a nice picture. ;)
We treated the kids to a nice dimsum lunch before watching the play of Stephie's school.  They were feasting siomai, steamed rice, springs rolls, and other dimsum break dishes.
Christmas dinner was at Mommy Ely's.  The Polotans enjoyed lechon and other Filipino dishes.

We joined them for an island hopping to Caohagan Island and the fish sanctuary in Olango.  We had so much fun and we are looking forward to do it again.
They spent New Year's Eve at Marco Polo Hotel and they treated us gelato at Gelatassimo in Ayala Center Cebu.

Thanks for your visit. ' Can't wait for the next one.  ;)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Work: First Quarter as a GM of the Rainmakers

The first three months with the Rainmakers were so amazing.  We had so many memorable events, activities and most of all, SALES.  I am very proud of my team.  I never doubted our capability to become the best in what we do.  Here's a video recap on what we did from December 2009 to March 2010. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Places: Soto Grande and Vista Mar

Last Holy Week, I decided to go to a mini-retreat.  I wanted to go somewhere to be alone and reflect.  I went to Soto Grande with my wife. After  some soul-searching it was time to have fun.

The room that they gave me had a great view of the sea and Vista Mar Resort.  The property is owned and managed by Sta. Lucia Realty. The rooms are big enough and I think it is bigger the twin accommodation in Shangri-La Mactan.  The FREE breakfast buffet has a good selection.

At Vista Mar, you can choose to enjoy the weekend at the beach or the pool.  The beach is not as crowded as the other nearby resorts like Portofino and sometimes you can practically have the beach by yourselves.  Scuba diving and other water sports activity are also available for a fee.  If you do not like saltwater, the resort has 3 swimming pools.  One of those is for kids.  

The infinity pool is the resorts main attraction.  It is shallow enough for kids to enjoy but the awesome view can also lure the adults. You can also order your favorite snacks and meals at the restaurant by the pool. 

All in all, the place was a good bargain.  If you are looking for a relaxing yet fun-filled weekend, I recommend the place.  Don't forget to bring your cameras.


Taking a dip at Shangri-La

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Food Trip: SUNBURSTing in Cebu

Craving for fried chicken?  You should try Sunburst Fried Chicken.  You can easily find Sunburst branches here in Cebu.  Here's a list of their branches. At Sunburst you can hvae the classic fried crispy, juicy fried chicken.  You can even pick your favorite part, be it drumsticks, wings, breast, or even just the skin. 
Each chicken order comes with rice, coleslaw, and sweet potato fries.  If you are not so choosy with parts just pick the Sundou (the typical 2 pc. chicken meal) or the classic (for bigger appetites).  You can also order gizzard for appetizer if you love this unique bird part.  The fried chicken goes well with a dip made of worcestershire sauce and catsup.  You may ask the waiter for a Del monte catsup if you prefer to use it over the sweet and spicy catsup that they put on the table.
You call also order a wide variety of dishes in the restaurant.  From noodles to veggies to soups and even deserts.  
Each restaurant has ample seating capacity.  Their branch in Ayala Center Cebu looks like a classy restaurant more than just a fried chicken place.  Since every order is cooked fresh, you have to wait a little bit to be able to eat this Cebuano favorite.  Don't worry, it's worth the wait. ;)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sydney Vacation May 2009 (Autumn-Winter)

Last May 2009, we went to Sydney to visit my mom, and my brothers.  It was our second trip outside the country together.  Stephie was so excited because it was her first visit Down Under.  We went to the Opera House, Taronga Zoo, Blue Mountains, Snowy Mountains, and Canberra.  We really enjoyed the much deserved vacation.
Steaks at Hog's Breath                Visiting Uncle Joe @ Pine Grove
Blue Mountains with Mom             War Memorial with Family
Enjoying the war machines               Ladies of snowy mountain
Welcome to Charlotte's Pass             First time we played with snow
We are hoping to visit them again next year! See yah Aussies! Oi Oi Oi

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Election Results for Cebu (May 2010 Automated Elections)

Last May 10, the Philippines held it's first automated elections.  I was one of the millions who lined to vote for this historic event.  In general, I enjoyed my experience and I am looking forward to more computerized elections here in the country.  Noynoy Aquino won the presidency and Jejomar Binay is the new Vice-President (I voted for both of them).  The new leaders will assume their positions on June 30.  Here are the official results for Cebu:

Cebu City

Mayor: Michael L. Rama
Vice-Mayor: Joy Augustus G. Young
North Dist. Representative: Rachel Marguerite B. Del Mar
South Dist. Representative: Tomas D. Osmena

South Dist. Councilors: Rodrigo A. Abellanosa, Margarita V. Osmena, Eduardo R. Rama, Jr., Jose C. Daluz III, Raul D. Alcoseba, Ronald R. Cuenco, Richard Z. Osmena, Robert A. Carraubias

North Dist. Councilors: Edgardo C. Labella, Augustus G. Pe, Jr., Alvin B. Arcilla, Sisinio M. Andales, Lea O. Japson, Alvin M. Dizon, Noel G. Wenceslao, Ma. Nida C. Cabrera

It's a 20-0 sweep by the BOPK-Liberal Party candidates here in Cebu.  It is expected that the new administration will continue the great projects of Mayor Tomas Osmena in Cebu City. Margot Osmena, the mayor's wife is now a city councilor.

May Cebu City continue to prosper. Congratulations to all the winners!!!

For more details on the results click this to go to COMELEC's website.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Foodtrip: Cebu Dimsum (Steamed Rice, anyone?)

Dimsum (Dim Sum) means heart's delight in Cantonese.  Dim sum are dishes served in small servings in Chinese teahouses.  In Cebu, dimsum was first popularized by Ding Qua Qua.  I still remember when I  was still in Elementary and High School; my family would often go to the Dinq Qua Qua in Mango Avenue, beside the Rustan's Building.  The best-seller is definitely their famed steam rice.  Even as a thin child then,  I could finish 2 orders of this popular and unique "dim sum".  Steamed rice is not actually a dim sum in the strict sense; but, I bet a lot of Cebuanos would try to order "steamed rice" in teahouses in Manila, hoping to get this Ding Qua Qua favorite, only to be disappointed if they are served with plain white rice. So, what is steamed rice?  Well it is a meal in a bowl much like the rice toppings but a lot more savory.  It's made of rice topped with a sumptuous pork stew with shrimps and green peas.  Now, there are other versions using Chicken or Beef.  

Just like the classic teahouses, Cebu dim sum outlets serve a variety of steamed and fried dishes.  Siomai (from plain to quail egg, sharksfin, mushroom),  Siopao, steamed shrimp dumplings, spring rolls (another favorite!), chicken feet, fried spare ribs, machang, shrimp toasts, taro puffs, and many more.  If you wanna try everything Ding Qua Qua has an eat all you can buffet at JY Square Lahug.  The Kokseng and Uytengsu families who manage the popular Cebu dim sum chain also own Harbour City and Dimsum Break.  If you want to give them a call here's a link : dimsum restos number.

A new Dimsum Teahouse opened in the posh Ayala Terraces recently.  Tsim Sha Tsui offers your dim sum favorites in a conveyor belt.  The conveyor belt buffet is eat-all-you can.  If do not have such large appetite, you can always grab a dim sum at a regular table.  

If you visit Cebu, try our dimsum and never ever forget to order STEAMED RICE. ;)


Thai and Vietnamese dishes at Lemon Grass

Thursday, June 17, 2010

International SPORTS: Argentina blasts S. Korea 4-1 in the World Cup group match

I was planning to watch this match at Imperial Palace Waterpark Resort in Mactan.  I saw an ad in the hotel a couple of days ago that for 1,200 pesos I can watch the match with drink all you can beer and pica-pica. I decided not to go since its quiet far from our place and I do not like driving drunk in the streets of Lapu-Lapu at night. I definitely made the right decision. 
The match ended 4-1 in favor of Argentina.  The first goal was an own goal by Park Chu-young on the 16th minute.  In the 33rd minute, Gonzalo Higuain scored his first goal on a header. 2-0 for the Albiceleste. Korea managed to trim down the lead before the half, as Lee Chung-Yong headed a goal after a breakdown by Martin Demichelis. In the second half, Higuain completed his hattrick with 2 impressive goals. 4-1 win for Maradona's Argentina.
I guess the mood at Imperial Palace was gloomy and definitely a lot of San Miguel Beers were downed. I do not how the Korean tourists take this match. I don't think I would like to watch a match in that place with most of the guests being gloomy and all. All is not lost though for their team, they can still make the quarters if they manage to beat a tough Nigerian side.  The Argentineans though looked like they will breeze through this round and will be a sure semifinalists judging by their recent form.  Although nothings for sure in the World Cup.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

NEWS: Ayala Land's new project in Cebu

Just read about Ayala's expansion outside metro Manila.  They just recently launched Avida in I.T. Park.  Avida now officially in Cebu.  With condos for as low 1.6 M in a location where most call centers in Cebu are located.  You can't help but say that Ayala knows how to locate their investments. Many Cebuanos have been waiting for this kind project.  Even the people from nearby provinces and Manila would probably dig this initial condominium offering of Ayala Land in Cebu.  Congratulations!

Opinion: Philippine Education

TJ Manotoc (follow him) tweeted a trivia that the Philippines is the only country that has only ten years of primary and secondary education.  For the rest of the world, it's 12 years.  Do you think it is time for us to follow suit? 

For me, I don't think we are ready.  Another 2 years will be 2 extra years for parents' burden to pay for tuition fees, which happen to increase every year.  Some schools even charge more than P50,000 for elementary.  Just imagine adding another 2 years? ;) A few people can afford this and many schools have been adopting this system, but is our public school system ready for this? Two more years would mean more classrooms, more teachers, bigger gyms, more guards, bigger schools, more books, and more of everything. Every year we hear complaints of seeing children studying under trees or classrooms that are so dilapidated even rats won't live there. The student to teacher ratios could even reach up  50 pupils to 1 teacher,  even in some private schools. Who will teach these extra two years? College profs? Non-Let passers? Society is not so keen on teachers nowadays.  It is typically what people take after they fail a more glamorous course. It is a noble profession that only really few noble ones are really willing to endure; 4 years of Education, then take the Licensure exam (LET), and finally, teach.  Most parents encourage kids to be nurses, doctors, accountants, engineers, or even just chat and look for American husbands rather than teach.  Isn't that ironic?  If we add 2 more years, we will see more dropouts, most probably due to poverty, but it could also be due to burn out, pregnancy, work, and many other reasons. I just feel that our country is not ready. We can't even afford to build enough classrooms for the current system.  We don't have enough books for all the kids. We can blame corruption and the past governments; but, it is what it is. Will the new president put this in his priority list? Hopefully, but the budget for other things will suffer, as well. I really do not know how to solve it.  I can give out some ideas, but who am I to speak about it?  I do care and I just pray that parents will also do their part; we can't let go of all the responsibility and just leave the schools to teach the young.  It is a time to be vigilant and do what we can do to make the next generation more globally competitive than us.

How about you? Would 2 more years in school make you a better person? Would you have taken another course? Would you have pursued another girl? It is always funny when we try to look back and think about what could have been. ;)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Event: Laban ni Maria Fashion Show (May 2010) Ayala Center Cebu

Cervical Cancer is one of the leading causes of death among Filipina women.  But among all cancers, this one is preventable.  Scientists discovered the virus that causes the disease and they have created a vaccine.  As part of promoting awareness on HPV vaccination, there was a fashion show at Ayala Center, Cebu last May.  It was hosted by Pia and Maxene Magalona, wife and daughter of the late master-rapper Francis Magalona, who succumbed to leukemia.  My wife and mother-in-law happened to be invited to join the show as models.  Well, it was fun seeing Stephie and Mama Flor walk the runway.  I was a fan and their official photographer. ;)
More pics at my FACEBOOK album .
It is time to consult your OB-Gyne and ask about HPV vaccinations.  It won't cost much and it is cheaper than cancer treatment. It is a smart investment.