philippines

Surviving 22 hours and 10 minutes travel time

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20170428_165726The second time flying with Emirates, since I took a flight ticket for back and from France to Philippines I made it sure to get only one company airlines to avoid further problems with baggage and other stuffs.

For the record it’s the second longest of all the travel escapades that I’ve done so far, the last one was 2014 a flight from Paris to Manila and then Manila to Cebu then finally Cebu to Zamboanga however this time the travel begins from Cebu City to Clark then Clark to Dubai then Dubai to Paris. At noon time I checked out from the hotel with a friend and drop her off to another hotel that she must check in for that day and after I’ve got to go straight to the Cebu’s Airport for my flight which is scheduled at 5:20 pm scheduled to arrive at 1:10 am in the morning at Dubai then DXB 4:10 am to CDG 9:30 am this will be a long haul flight.

Arriving as early as possible at the Airport is my goal it doesn’t really matter how much time I still need to wait for the counter to be open for check in the most essential for me that moment is to arrive at the airport at any cost considering t the weight of the road traffic condition  in the city we never know what might happen that day.

As expected when I arrived the Emirates counter wasn’t open to serve yet I had to wait 30 minutes until they started to open for check in luggage, It was my turn to endorsed by luggage at the counter kinda bit worried cause it weighted 29 kgs when I took the flight from Zamboanga and that day I did some shopping around, crossing my fingers that It might not go over than 30 kgs I was totally sudden when it indicates 30.1 kg a huge success.

I didn’t have any problems after that except with the travel tax of 1,620 pesos that I thought I should pay but after the officer gave me a certificate of exemption so it was a great relief, carrying less than 5,000 pesos before leaving the country might let you feel uneasy wondering if its enough for all the fees that you might encounter to pay. for more information about fees at the airport visit http://tieza.gov.ph/travel-tax/

Proceeding to another counter for terminal fee I paid 750 pesos, applicable only for international flights except if you are travelling from Manila and Boracay Caticlan terminal fee is included in your flight ticket.

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Finally after passing through security control and immigration I can breathe normally, strolling in some duty-free shops around I notice something strange prices were really unbelievable, for a 3 packs of Jules Destrooper biscuits it cost 42 dollars already a huge difference of price compare to Europe’s normal price, well of course these products are imported so they cost more. I wasn’t enormously attracted by perfumes or creams I went to the supermarkets directly gazing the chocolates and pastries display.

Feeling hungry that very moment its time for a little break and relax mode with this Ginger Calmansi Juice from Tubo (sugar cane) kiosk, the lady who served my drink is very kind and very helpful considering that It my first time to get this kind of mix ginger and calamasi she assured me that it’s really good and a bit spicy and indeed it was delicious.

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The most annoying and challenging moment has arrive the moment where you seat and suppose to be relaxed and just think nothing at all only to be attentive on announcement regarding with your flight, it’s the waiting mode.

It’s funny to think that there were 2 ladies foreigners beside me talking about some hilarious topic in french with their accent from Quebec I didn’t control my self but to laugh with them ignoring the fact that I did understood what they were saying I just look them back and smiled pretending to browse my phone.

Embarking on the plane I was lucky to be one of the first batch to enter, I got to arrange my small carry on baggage on the designated compartment and I have all the places for me just waiting for the rest of the passenger to board in.

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My favourite part of the trip has begun, actually the most difficult choice of all is to choose what movie to watch but then I contain myself and rather check some good country music from Rascal Flatts until we arrived at Clark Airport.

Other passengers started to disembark and the rest who are going to Dubai are still on the plane, the purpose of this stop is normally to fetch up some passengers from Clark who are going to Dubai as well.

While waiting for the rest of the passengers to come aboard I notice this wonderful image at the ceiling of the plane it was clear like the real sky at night filled with twinkling stars and took some photos.

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When the plane took off I immediately started my movie marathon to start with its one of those anime films that I really wanted to watch over and over again “Children who chase lost voices from deep below” from year 2011 by Makoto Shinkai one of my favorite anime directors.

Later at night dinner is serve with beef and rice plus beef salad, red wine, bread, desert, cheese, biscuits and water typical meal.

Few hours had passed and we are now landed at Dubai Airport almost 2:00 am, unfortunately due to the transfer via bus from the landing area to the airport took us 45 minutes, an enormous lost of time, a supposed to be 3 hours of waiting time evaporated like water at 3:15 am exactly I arrived at the assigned gate after non stop of walking and waited 10 minutes to pass through control (passport and visa)

Finally embarking the plane for the second time after all the stress and lack of sleep I finally get to be relaxed, next thing I know I woke up for snack I actually slept when the plane haven’t take off yet. The ride from the bus at Dubai gave me an extreme headache luckily after a short sleep I recovered and felt normal again.

Feeling hungry, tuna bread, apple juice and tea were served for a snack, it was not that heavy not that light but enough for my petit appetite, an hour later they serve us breakfast. I chose cheese omelet with croquettes and veggies, croissant and fruit salad are included, orange juice is the best option to start a day plus water and a cup of tea to finish the meal afterwards I did some stretching, I stood up and stretch my legs, arms, hips, head and feet ignoring other passengers perspective.

Charging my phone at the same time starting to watch a movie, its 3 Idiots an Indian film that I chose to be entertained, the two other passengers beside me are very kind I think I’m really lucky cause they didn’t annoy me that much, maybe once or twice just to go for toilet and that’s it.

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As the film ends my flight has ended also, the time to disembark and prepare for another ride for home. At last I survived this trip alive and kicking. “Welcome Back to Europe” murmuring myself.

My Personal Tips to Survive a Long Flight :

  • Deviate your mind – this comply you to be occupied intellectually since the flight will be boring for some long hours try to make yourself on work like playing games, watching movies, listening to music, reading magazines or book, coloring books, writing.
  • Bring your sleeping gears – one way to be able to sleep comfortably is to feel at ease like at home so bring your stuffs with you earplugs, eye mask, neck pillow, compression socks. 15-19 hours of flight is really long so you must oblige yourself to have your important sleeping gears next with you.
  • Stretch and Walk around – Others might find this bizarre but professionals do give this tip, it helps your blood to regularly circulate and to keep your body energize and avoid blood clots.
  • Eat and hydrate –  regular water intake will keep your skin normal and muscles not becoming stiff and cramping. Eating the meal before landing is very important cause it will help your body adjust to the new time zone.
  • Drink Tea – I have personally read this from Reader’s Digest that tea can help your body relax, your stomach in great condition, and to be energize.
  • Have a conversation – will allow you to get to know with your co-passengers and be somewhat occupied through making some conversation with them, try to be friendly and kind though it’s not a must but it could help you getting away from boresome
  • Sleep –  will help you feel at peace and meditate and on the other hand its a time killer plus it can cure jet lags from your previous flight.

 

There you have it my tips for those who need to endure long haul flights, this may help you in your future voyages.

I hope you enjoy the article and join me in my other adventures in the future, if you wish to book an international flight Emirates is one of those airlines that I can recommend visit their site for promotions and sale https://www.emirates.com

 

 

Viaje a mi Cuidad Zamboanga

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After the great experience exploring the Queen City of South its time to go back to the place where I truly feel safe, the place where I founded, molded, evolved and loved, the place where I called home, once entitled as “The City of Flowers” in my college days however after years gone by it turns out to be “The Asia’s Latin City” 

As we always sing Zamboanga Hermosa a chavacano song it says there “Orgullo de Mindanao” which literally mean the Pride of Mindanao Region. It is a colorful, historical, interesting, spanish style, scenic, and most of all the people itself are different from other Filipinos around the country.

Chavacano “un poquito español” the dialect called in the city, its a mix of largely spanish words and Filipino, and Cebuano or Visaya. Among 175 dialects in the country this one is the most unusual, unique and stylish dialect currently spoken by the citizens which has been passed from old generations through new ones and still being spread and preserve by its people.

There are various tourists spots hidden in this marvelous Municipal some are just discovered recently or shall I say appreciated recently, on the other hand others were actually discovered by the people themselves. Classic beautiful spots are the Fort Pilar, Santa Cruz Island, Pasonanca Park, Paseo del Mar, Plaza del Pilar, Plaza Rizal and City Hall, Plaza Pershing, Mount Pulong Bato, Cathedral of Immaculate Concepcion, some were discovered in year 2010 and beyond like Marloquet Falls, Butterfly Garden, Limpapa Bridge, Parola in Limpapa, Grassland in Lantawan, Dulian Falls in Bungiao, Hermosa Falls in Anuling, Tinuy-an Falls, Lumbangan Falls and many more.

Lets move on to my short visit, I personally love to visit all this places, unfortunately even a zamboangueño like me haven’t explored yet some of the most beautiful spots found here, with my limited time my first priority is to spend maximum time with my family and the rest nothing rest actually I didn’t have much time, so I rigidly utilise every single second to fulfill and satisfy my duty as a daughter and sister to my family, the best way is? road trips and outings.

First was visiting KCC mall, my first time it was enormous same as those as I can see in Cebu and Manila containing different restaurants, supermarkets, branded stores and etc. my family’s favorite thing to do? is to eat so here’s our first target for that day.

Puerto Vila of Patalon

Puerto Villa Beach Resort was our next on our list, a somewhat family bonding and at the same time profiting the lovely breeze of the sea and to be relax after a non stop travel throughout the week.

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With the neighbour resort just beside it was really interesting, I got to take some good pictures out of it, the sun was rising, the temperature was high but the ocean’s charm overflows them all.

Despite of being far from the city center this zone has a lot of visitors, a more or less 1 hour and a half trip would lead you to hidden resort in Barangay Patalon.

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The sunset is pretty amazing here its breathless, you’ll surely be blown away by its spectacular gaze of colors, the trendy feature of sunset that you’ll normally see on films or in T.V. this one has exceptionally cross the bord of perfection.

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The day was overwhelming, watching the sunset, having my favorite foods cooked by my mom, being with my siblings seeing them enjoying the ambiance, laughing and smiling, it was the perfect day for me.

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We all know that Philippines was under the colonisation of Spain for more than 300 years, this shrine is one of their doings, in the history Fort Pilar was originally built as military defense fortress by spanish colonial government in Zamboanga City, after some time a relief of Our Lady of Pillar was place above the eastern wall of the fort.

According to people Virgin Mary appeared twice in the area, the first when a soldier seen her at the gate of the city and ask to stop her but by the time the soldier saw her face he fell down on his knees and secondly after a strong earthquake hit the city, Virgin Mary made an apparition standing straight with her right hand raise protecting the city from tsunami.

One of the most famous site nowadays many people would always visit here to pray, attend the mass, light candles, and praise Our Lady of Pillar who never fails to protect and guide its people and the city.

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Who would not pass by to this corner after praying and lighting candles in Fort Pilar, it was already late that we have decided to eat our dinner here at Paseo the stunning streets lights and of course the view of the sea here are the most wanted plus the food, I remember before I used to come her with my friends and eat tempura, isaw, and nicker bucker.

Leaving this place with a satisfied stomach, we must hurry to go home and sleep for the next trip that we’ll take, a trip that I will endure for 2 hours going to Barangay Limpapa on the next day.

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6 o’clock in the morning and we are heading to see the known Limpapa Bridge and Parola in Patalon. As I’ve seen the photos of my brother it gives me the pulse to see in it with own eyes if how splendid those places are, we planned to stop by the bridge first since its more easy to access to avoid the heavy sun at noon.

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Lately, explosion on social media about Limpapa Bridge was definitely not to ignore, it has captured a lot of attention to locals as well as tourists in the internet, boosted by all this blissful shoutouts of videos and photos nowadays has become one of the talk about spot in City. this bridge is located at Barangay Limpapa west coast area border of Zamboanga City from Del Norte (North)

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There’s not much information about this bridge as I’ve heard it’s a simple bridge which called by people from the barangay “Rol-Pa Bridge” not sure if the city municipal made it already official.

Getting to this place is very easy if you live in the city center it’s around 2 hours of travel or more depending on the weight of the road traffic, or if you live in the west area its more rapid and light since your driving straight roads until you arrive at the crossing point where military team are on duty to check vehicles who enter and exit the city.

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It’s time for breakfast after a long ride and taking many pictures as we can in the bridge, As we went on the down part of the it with our small family size vehicle, we stumbled into this more unexpected seascape that it offers, I didn’t expect that the highlight of area lies underneath.

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Imagine yourself having a breakfast with this picturesque view, your day will absolutely be complete. It’s around 9:30 am we ate and continue to roam around explore a little the vicinity hoping to see more great and interesting side of it.

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A five minutes walk from the bridge is a residential area on the seaside, fishermen, and children were there getting ready for their day to start, as we walk on further we found out this cottages and bangka (native canoe) encircling the place.

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The heat of the sun is getting more and more violent so after the short exploration we went back to the car and continue for the next destination which is just a few minutes drive away from the opposite direction.

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A couple of minutes after our departure from the bridge we stumble into this recommended spot by my brother, it’s an actual beach hidden from bushes and grass on the road side. It’s an anonymous sea-side with an exceptional glimpse of the curve shape of the island.

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15-20 minutes of walk from the road side to this so-called Parola or Lighthouse which is now among the busiest places that locals and tourists visit. To penetrate to this site you need to be physically and psychologically ready from its ups and downs land formation that you must undergo.

The passage was a little bit scary if you have fear of heights it’s not advisable for you, on the other hand if you reach the top of the hill it’s all worth it you’ll see a wonderful panorama sight of the west coast.

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We climbed up on the top of the lighthouse and there much higher and vivid view of this magnificent west coast surroundings, I cannot help myself not to say “wow” on this one, maybe it’s not the same panorama features from european countries but hey this one is raw and can be found in the far land of The Philippines.

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Relaxing and enjoying the moment was our goal while having our lunch in the corner cottages beside Parola, in the morning we had a drive thru from Jollibee for breakfast and lunch not that healthy stuffs but the quickest way to be on the road from 6:00 am in the morning.

Strongly recommended for tourist, though the way to this site has a range of difficulty just make sure you’ll bring your sport shoes with you and wear proper attire as you are needed to climb hills and don’t forget the sun cream to protect your skin from heavy heat of the sun.

At night-time my brother and I have discussed about going to this another spot near in our neighbourhood not far from Cabatangan which is Lantawan, in the hill-top part of the barangay there is this hill located higher than Pulong Bato of Pasonca, locals call it “GrassLand”

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In the morning we rushed up bringing our motorcycles heading at the location, it wasn’t that far more or less 10 minutes of drive and you’ll arrive in the upper part of Lantawan. 6:15 am we were late for the sunrise and at that moment we were ready to challenge ourselves for another hill to surmount.

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Soaring the almost vertical passage going the top, at last we made it and get to profit the weather its surroundings and well of course the hallmark of this place its landscape and outlook of the whole city of Zamboanga.

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Exploring the spot I would say that this is notably one of the places that I would consider as next to Chocolate Hills of Bohol, the outline of the hills around the vicinity are much likely that of Bohol’s perhaps not that bounteous as I can see less 10 hills from where I was standing.

I recommend you to come and visit this spot this one will surely fascinate and allure your eyes, very easy to access from those who live near Lantawan and for those who are in the City it’s just a drive away from your place.

We continue to run, play, and jumping out of joy up to our out most effort till we run out of energy. Since its my last day being with my family the day has yet to begin and we will surely bond and value every single second that we are together.

The day has come that I need to go back to Cebu for my flight and I will truly miss this experience. I wish I could just stop the time and live with the moment with them, nevertheless life must go on, we need to accept and move on and continue our regular daily lives.

Conclusions/Suggestions/Opinions

The venture of my visit was incredibly great, what I’ve learned from featuring this new comers tourists spots is definitely a challenge since not a lot of information were spread about those sites, it’s one of the hardest thing especially Limpapa Bridge, Parola of Patalon and Grass Land I have to be honest that I did dig out some research arround sites however there’s not pretty much historical linings on this ones.

I’m lucky that I have my brother and his fiancée who know more about the west coast area of the City.

Personally I think the city’s government should put an attention to this new tourists attractions spots, these are very important for it could help uplift the city’s reputation, they must probably start on improving the area and make it more convivial and accessible to all visitors. Tours and Travel company could add this sites to their lists with the help of the government. The City of Zamboanga will positively stood out from all of the cities of the Philippines.

Summing up points on my visited areas I can say its all worth it even if it’s not that much improved yet but as they all say “It’s with whom you are with that counts

For those foreigners who want to make a tour in the city please be guided that you are advised to ask more information if it’s safe for you to travel alone, if you know someone who lives here then its much better if not you can always call the tourist information of Zamboanga City they will always be available to help and assist you for your future visit http://www.zamboangacity.gov.ph/

Photos are taken by me and my siblings with my phone hopefully you’ll enjoy reading this article and follow me for my next adventure “22 hours and 10 minutes of travel time” experience with Emirates going back to Paris

Verdict : 8.5/10

Exploring Cebu City

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I have often stayed in this city every time I’m in vacation, it’s a big known place following the footstep of Metro Manila popular for its Sinulog Festival largest festival in the Philippines. It is the place where Ferdinand Magellan arrived, explored, discovered, and established the spanish colonization in the country, known for its beautiful islands and tourists spots, The Queen City of the South, Cebu City Philippines.

The first tour that I have done with my family here in Cebu was to visit a lot of tourists spots like Basilica of Sto. Niño, Taoist Temple, Magellan’s Cross, Lapu-Lapu Shrine, Fort San Pedro and Simala Shrine.

For the second time its with my family again, first thing to do after my flight is to eat like a monster in a restaurant called “Hukad” it’s a Cebuano word means “to serve food” popularly use by Visayan people in breakfast, lunch or dinner or anytime when they eat.

It was Holy thursday and mostly all of the restaurants and malls were closed so we ask the taxi driver to drop us to the nearest place where we can eat diner and fortunately Park Mall is open, we ordered some traditional Filipino food that I’ve been longing for like pork sisig, sizzling bangus, bulalo, monggo soup, atsara, pinakbet, and of course garlic rice.

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On the next day we went for a walk going to the Basilica of Sto. Niño located at the city town, according to the history the holy child (Sto. Niño) statue was given to the wife of Raja of Cebu by the Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan upon the royal couple’s christening, On the left picture is the Pilgrim Center where devotees come to hear mass in Basilica, it is built for the purpose of accommodating the increasing population of devotees who come to visit the place.

The last time that we have visited this place I vividly remembered that the walls and the upper part of the Basilica was destroyed caused by the earthquake, I felt happy to see that it’s now repaired as good as new.

As expected a lot of people come here to attend the mass and visit Sto. Niño’s statue, but this time most of them light candles solemnly and pray.

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After a short in this holy place next to go is to fill my stomach with my favorite fast food “Jollibee” we ordered some spaghetti, fries (not french fries), and burger patties with mushrooms and rice.

Jollibee is not just an ordinary fast-food chain it has rice based meals which is suited for Asians especially Filipinos who eat rice 3-4 times a day, it serves also burgers, side orders and desserts like other fast-foods but this one is the leading company in Philippines and all people from young to old knows Jollibee. Prices are very affordable with your 2 euros you can have a meal, its basically known to all Filipinos wherever you go just try to ask if they know Jollibee and the answer will be “Yes” for sure.

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Magellan’s Cross located just right next to the Basilica of Sto. Niño a house that symbolizes the Christianity that Ferdinand Magellan once ordered to his people to construct this chapel with a cross on it.

This place is one of the famous spots in Cebu which people from different countries come here to take some pictures of this historical chapel, as Magellan is considered as the person who discovered Philippines he also name it after the king of Spain on that time who is King Philip “las islas Felipinas” the islands belonging to Philip and the spreading of Christianity in the country as well as the spanish colonization for more than 300 years.

It’s a happy feeling for me to be able to take a good picture with the Magellan’s Cross and its features, as for my last visit as I have said after the horrible earthquake occurred in Bohol and Cebu this chapel was also affected and by that time I visited here it was completely in the process of reconstructing the area.

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On the next day we decided to go for a long trip, to start with the Whale Shark watching in Tan-awan Oslob, it has started to be very famous in Cebu highlighting the whale sharks who come daily to be feed by the local fishermen under the supervision of foreign and national environmentalists and scientists.

To visit this place you really need to wake up early for the travel that may occur it’s about 4 hours from the city center unless you are already located at the nearest resort in Tan-awan, or else if you’re located in Cebu City you need either to take a bus or to get a package tour deal from your hotel. Fortunately with my family we have found a local taxi driver who helped us to easily get in and have some connections to make it faster access like VIP’s.

tariffs of the whale shark watching may differ if you’re going to swim with them or not, but before everything else after the registration at the resort, you will undergo a short briefing about precautions, do’s and dont’s during your swimming with whale sharks, do not worry whale sharks “butanding” are very friendly but you must follow the guides and rules given by the facilitator.

Opening hours is from 6:00am to 12:00pm only, so you must be very early to avail a slot. 500 pesos fee per person and if you want you can rent a go pro camera with unlimited pictures and videos underwater with free CD and pay a service charge to the resort.

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Kawasan Falls was our next destination after Oslob, it’s about an hour drive located at Badian, after arriving at the entrance vehicles are not permitted to continue the road so people are obliged to walk for around 1,5 km from then on you will see this fantastic cascade.

The place was filled with locals as well as foreigners, as we arrived in the area our guide reserved us a raft for a “pool tour” closer look of the waterfalls and a shower massage under the falling water. Cottages are rentable from 500 pesos to 2,500 pesos depending on location plus raft rent of 300 pesos You can also avail some tour packages which includes canyoneering and cliff jumping adventure.

Unfortunately even if we wanted to stay more we have to budget our time, after the tour in the raft and the shower massage we directly went down and head on our next trip to Simala shrine which will take us another hours of drive.

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The miraculous shrine in Sibonga known for its collection of various types of Mama Mary’s statues from all over the world, its winding staircase, its unique structure and faceted layout, arched balconies, jagged terraces and the castle life façade which will make you amaze.

Considered as a holy place for christians, as you visit inside countless letters from devotees will welcome you, from the photos of miraculous Virgin Mary, the thanks giving letter from all who have their wishes and prayers came true and the gifts and offerings of the people expressing their gratitude.

Second time to visit here and each time is another treasure of experience that I will keep in my heart.

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Also known as  The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Angels and of St. Vitales is a typical colonial spanish church which is decorated with carved reliefs of floral motifs, Cebu was established as a diocese and elevated as metropolitan archdiocese and an application is still pending at the Vatican for its elevation into a minor basilica.

To start our last day before going home the sky is heavy and it seems ready for a rainfall,  we have attend a mass in the Cathedral the place was full that time and nowhere else to sit so we only pulled out some random stools in the corner so we can make ourselves install and focus on the mass.

To end our vacation days in Cebu it’s always a must to enjoy the precious Filipino foods in the Philippines, dining in Kuya J’s house with some home cook foods like pork kawali, grilled bangus, bulalo, adobong kangkong, palabok and the garlic and plain rice platter of course and lastly the special desert halo-halo.

In the next morning “direction Aéroport” destination Airport for our trip going home to Zamboanga City.

Overall it was a great and fun experience, all I can advise to those who want to do a tour in Cebu City, make sure that you’ll make a list of your iterinary first then compare prices from the different tours and travels agencies especially when you are travelling with your family its kinda less expenssive with packages, unless you’re travelling with a partner or alone much better if you’ll commute cause it will be more cheaper, don’t forget to contact a local friend or try to ask more about how you can reach your desired destination at the hotel receptionist or inquire at the official websites to be sure.

For foreigners, Cebu City is an ideal city for you to visit its a safe place but always be careful as bad people are everywhere.

My last advise to all travelers, do not trust easily to strangers, and refrain from sharing your personal lives, be more vigilant and cautious.

If you want to know about detailed information on how to plan and go this tourists spots don’t hesitate to ask me or send a message. It’ll be my pleasure to help you.

15 hours and 40 minutes flight

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To start of my journey I have to go first to Paris CDG from Brussels, my flight is normally at 3:55 pm to 12:20 am of the next day, I woke up really early just to be able to be at the airport in advance as much as possible.

The time of check in for luggage is 11:30 am in the morning and I was there already since pass 10:00 am, at the time of checking in at the counter the officer was really serious but not too serious I can even say that she’s kinda look mad (well Europeans mostly are) no smile, face was like steady business like conversation, however with my experience dealing with European people for a long time its make me feel like normal, but at least the lady did say “Bonjour” and  “s’il vous plaît” which means “Good morning” or “Hello” and “please” in English.

As for all of the travelers their first uncertainty is the weight of their baggage, lucky that I didn’t have one I was pretty relax and at ease. After the check in next is the immigration control to pass through and in regards for me it was good nothing special in terms of questions or anything that the officer asked, I went to the security control and after headed to the Duty Free Shops where I see some great difference between prices from Brussels even though products were supposedly without taxes it was really high as I expected, well we’re in Paris so it’s really expected.

Waiting at the lobby of the designated boarding gate, it was announced that our flight will be delayed for 20 minutes from then on I felt more uneasy cause I still have connecting flight to take and originally I have 2 hours only to take my next flight but now only 1 hour and 40 minutes.

After 20 minutes of delay we boarded in and I searched for my assigned seat, my seat is really close to the entrance only in 4th row and surprisingly I was situated just beside the small compartment/room for the head of the cabin crew, it’s located below the stairs going to up to the 1st class area.

A light disappointment awaits me, my destined luggage compartment was already taken there were no space for my hand carry luggage anymore. I approach one of the stewardess around and she voluntarily help me without hesitation, I was happy to know that these flight attendants are kind, approachable and most of all very helpful.

The moment when the plane took off I prepared the television screen in front and open my headset, started to scroll the magazine of Emirates with their featured advance and well updated available list of current movies, music, and games, there are a lot of things to keep yourself busy while on-board instead of waiting for the 6hours plus flight.

At the meantime one of the stewardess came and prepared to serve us some drinks, the head of the stewards group announce that they have different nationalities of cabin crews which is more or less 15 various languages that they can speak, more of the cabin crew speaks french since we departed from there and the rest that I’ve heard spoke in English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and a lot more.

A lot of beverages to choose from my other two seat mates on board is a couple from Australia, the woman ordered a Jim Bean while the guy took a Beer as for me just a simple white wine, they served us a pack of biscuit and that’s all for that moment, later on after about half an hour the diner is about to be served.

The meal wasn’t bad it was served with a salad, cheeses, a dessert, butter, water, and the meal itself. I got to choose between curry chicken or beef and definitely I chose chicken with rice and some veggies.

After the dinner I continued to watch another movie “Death Note” released on 2006 and after a while we’re finally going to land to Dubai airport, I disembark the plane took the way to my connecting flight, the plane landed around 12:30 am with a delayed time of 30 minutes.

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Arriving at Dubai  Airport, the place was real enormous, the aisle going to the shops are the field with different people from around the world, first step for me is to recheck my boarding gate and since I got some spare time I walked around and looked for some souvenirs and stuffs, I saw a lot of great shops one of it is the jewelry shop field with various kinds of quantity of gold carats I also saw many Filipino people who are working at the shops there were a lot of them and It really made me happy cause at least I’m not alone. At the beginning I wanted to buy a cup of coffee to keep me awake from the entire next flight but later let myself search for the way to the A gates which is located actually seem far as I thought.

On my way to gate A 18 it took me more than half an hour to get there, first I took a lift to go underground  from where I was then took a sort of tram (subway train) to another part of the area then another lift to go up then walk for 5 minutes to find my gate, and finally I arrived at the gate it wasnt open yet so I waited on the waiting area sitting, and after 30 minutes I passed through the gate and the officer told me that it wasnt there for boarding area actually the real gate is located downstairs.

So I walked again took the escalator to go down and another one and then finally I found the real embarking area. I thought It was already the place where our plane will be, after all taking lifts and escalators suddenly they let us take another bus and brought us to the plane for about another 20 minutes.

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The moment I’m on board I directly found my designated seat and installed my things in the compartment apparently I was the first one who arrived on the seat so I was patiently waiting the rest of the two passengers who will be sitting next to me. I thought I will be alone in this 3 chaired seats but as I expected the other two came at the last-minute, we comfortably chat a little bit and mind our own seats after. Instead of watching films this time I wanted to take a good rest before arriving at Cebu cause I’m pretty sure I will have a very busy day with my family so I open the music player and started to choose my favourite songs Taylor Swift’s and Ed Sheeran’s a whole playlist only from this two artist.

I slept for hours with the music on til the time I woke up for breakfast, the cabin crews are about to distribute the food and It was quite disappointing cause they only gave a sandwich (french style) with ham and cheese and water and coffee or tea, and after eating I slept again.

I woke up  for the second time and tried to watch a movie but I thought its better to rest for the whole period of the trip and lunch is served as usual the airplane foods again, the menu was chicken curry with potatoes or fried noodles with shrimps I have chosen the noodles but the problem was the side dishes where a little bit weird they gave us desert, bread, butter, cheese, water and salad (cold noodles salad with veggies) which I didn’t know that salad will be noodles as well so it was odd.

Anyways moving on I ate all my fried noodles and the rest I wasn’t interested at all I just asked for an orange juice, drank my water and I continued to listen my songs to be on the good mood again.

After hours of sleeping without noticing the time we’re almost landing and the cabin crew ask us to get ready and put our seatbelts on few minutes after we finally arrived at Mactan Cebu International Airport.20170413_155334disembarking the plane the temperature was a bit hotter than I’ve imagine, it was 34 to 35 degrees far away from what I have experience daily in Brussels, walking in the aisle going to the immigration I can truly breathe the Filipino’s air that I have been missing for a long time.

My feeling was divided kinda nervous, tired, sleepy, happy, excited at the same time after more than 3 years of waiting I got to see my homeland again and be in the arms of my beloved family.

I’ve officially welcomed myself saying “Welcome to my home The Philippines”

Verdict : 7/10