Friday, December 2, 2016

Lovey Doggy Dog Cafe

Following the footsteps of the famous dog cafes abroad, comes Lovey Doggy Dog Café, it's easily accessible located at Banilad. You can ride any jeep going to Talamban (13C, 62B, 62C) either from Ayala Terminal or the loading station near Mercedes Benz bldg, the one near Apple One building, across Coffee Bean Ayala, you can be dropped off at the jeepney stop in front of Gaisano Country Mall, just beside University of Cebu (UC) Banilad and then just turn around and you’ll see the said Café! This was the old CNT Lechon Restaurant.

To enter the dog playpen, a minimum of 100 pesos purchase from the café is required. They have coffee, shakes, frappes, cakes and pastas that you can enjoy! For a group, you just need 1 purchase, so if you’re on a budget, you can chip in to buy one drink! Another 100 pesos is required to enter the dog playpen, per person. Keep in mind that they start by the hour, so if you entered the playpen, regardless of the time, you need to exit the playpen when the time is up so make sure that you arrive 5 minutes before their scheduled start time, so that you can enjoy one full hour with the dogs! You can view their schedule below.

Dogs are very sensitive to light, so it is a NO-NO for flash photography. Kindly turn off the flash from your camera phones too. Dogs are dogs and proper care is a must! They too get hurt, get sleepy, and get hungry so be careful when playing with them. I know you can get carried away sometimes because they’re so cute! Just pinch yourself instead! Human food is different with what they eat, you can avail of dog food for minimal price so that you can entice them to come near you, or just feed them. The playpen has plugs on their wall so if your phone’s battery is going low, you can charge them for free, but be careful; you need to be mindful of your belongings both from perpetrators and dogs! If they are able to reach the cables, believe me, it can be very messy! Once they provide the food and drinks, there are tables where you can place them.

Lastly, enjoy their company! Research shows that playing with dogs can alleviate depression and can help ease stress. One hour can be tiring enough playing with them as they can literally exhaust you out if they REALLY wanna play! Check out the videos of me and my friends playing with them!

Before you enter the playpen, they will spray something at the bottom of your shoes, then need to wipe them from the foot rag. What I like about the said café is whenever the dog poop or pee, their staff cleans them RIGHT AWAY, plus the fact that they don’t smell.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Vondraye Visits Osmeña Peak

I’m not a fan of trekking nor hiking. Period. However, I thank my friend Uday and her friend (which I found is a fellow blogger too) Mel( for inviting me to join their recent trip to Osmeña Peak. I’ve heard a lot of stories from my friends and that it was just a short hike, given that you will avail of the habal habal ride going up the hill, which will save you literally HOURS of hike from the highway. It was true. The habal habal ride going up there took around 45 minutes around 6:45pm in the evening. Yes, we went there in the evening up the hill which scared the hell out of us (me and Mel) because we’re both afraid of the dark, while the only girl that joined us was very brave going out alone in the dark, wilderness and all. The fact that we were ALONE camping at the top of the hill made it more eerie and scary.

They have the nice idea of having photoshoot with these cute socks!

 Inside the tent shoot!
Shot by Uday and Mel!

Our tent! Good morning!

The trip starts at Cebu South Bus terminal and ride the bus going to Oslob. Advice the driver or conductor to drop you off at Dalaguete (pronounced as Dalaget), and you’re planning to go to Osmeña Peak ( The fare going there is 105 pesos as of October 2016). They will drop you off at their drop off station/point near 7-Eleven store and from there, habal habal rides are available going up to the foot of the mountain. Services are available 24/7 by the way, and if you don’t want to hike during the evening, there are inns where you can stay for overnight. The fare going to Osmeña Peak depends on how many motorcycles will be used. The three of us rode one motorcycle (yes, one motorcycle) and paid 100 pesos each. Upon reaching the bottom of the mountain, there are staff that will assist you and apparently, they are available to assist hikers, overnighters 24/7 and a guide was assigned to us going up the hill. Kuya Manong was nice enough to help us to set up our tent as well. There’s a minimal Environment Fee (I think it’s around 30php) to maintain the cleanliness of the place. It was that day that Cebu experienced heavy rainshower while we experienced heavy storytelling, eating and sleeping. Lucky for those two who were sleeping soundly, while I at the side of the tent, where strong winds would slap the tent to my face. I slept around 2am in the morning, woke up around 5 and don’t have the energy to go out, while Mel and Uday were having photoshoot. 

Mel, Uday and ME!

Literally... Zero Visibility! 

 Literally... Zero Visibility! 

I decided to go out after I gained rest, wore around 5 clothes plus my jacket and mustered all my strength to go outside. It was indeed cold, really, really COLD, but it was also a beautiful scene. Zero Visibility because of the fog. It may look boring, but the beauty of nature (or Cebu) being covered in fog, not seeing anything else but fog is something new to those who came from those who haven’t seen such things (most specially me, who came from Manila, where SMOGS are the only ones available). We waited for a while, I took a nap and when the sun was up, that’s the time you can really appreciate EVERYTHING…. I mean E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. You can describe it in any way you can, it was just like in the movies, it was like a postcard came to life, it was like a virtual reality, it was that feeling of being somewhere else, and the list goes on. Yep, it dawned on me; We were indeed at the Highest Peak of Cebu. We cleaned up, fixed the tent, and trekked down. We also paid 50php for the tent set up or overnight fee. Then, I also bought a shirt souvenir which was outrageously beautiful. It wasn’t like those cheap looking shirts! We then went to eat at Maria’s Batchoy, right across the 7-Eleven store. I wasn’t able to take a picture anymore of what we ate because we were all dead hungry.  

Too chinky eyed... Wait, let me fix it.

There you go! 

Here's the better view when the sun was already up!

Breathtaking scene I tell you!

Pan to the left

Pan to the right...

Uday and Mel doing some photoshoot

Uday's pretty pretty bag.
Fog got in to my digicam! HAHAHa!

The souvenir shirt design

Here's a Video of the Peak!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

As per request Butterfinger with special screening of Basaan - Short Film (Philippines Drama, Comedy)

I can't do this in 5 sentences as you requested.


Those were one of the best moments in my life;spending time with you. Even if I was having trouble because of my surgery... It felt like the movies, like THAT short film (seen below) that you told me... everytime I'm with you.

I was thinking...

I found this amazing guy; he's friends with straight, friends with gay, friends with Transgenders, and everyone loved him... ( I did/do too). I owe it to my short term memory loss that some of the pain were already forgotten... all those bad times that we had were already forgotten, but that person's smile... the laughter... the "Lalalala" are few of the things  I won't forget. Our McDo dates, Wendys dates, binalot sa dahon dates, the way you taught me DOTA with enthusiasm even if I didn't get it. I may have not gotten your gift of sharp memory, but having THIS... whatever you call THIS... between us is enough for me. Keeping in touch... the phonecalls, the text messages, catching up and most specially, making me feel special. I'm not good with talking but I'm better with words typewritten... or written... I'm good with prayers too that's why you were always mentioned when I talk to HIM, and with that, you will always be...

my BuuuuuuterFiiiinger....

and yes..

Yes, I got jealous by a lot of things. I got jealous when you were living the rich and famous life, when he had a video with you, when everyone else were happy with you and not me, and that's the reason why I stayed in Cebu... to forget the pain, forget this... whatever you call this I'm feeling, but I'm human and I can't choose what to forget or not, and sad to say, I forget this pain and jealousy I feel.

There, all is said and done, but then again, I'm still happy you called and we're still each other's Butterfinger.

(From the scene "Basaan" A Philippine Drama, Comedy short Film)

Christian: I have a boyfriend.

John: Christian...

Christian: Yeah...

What took you so long?

John: I don't now.

I thought...

I figured I'd try to be normal for a change.

Christian: You left and you disappeared.

No calls, no text, no letters. Nothing.

John: I didn't like the person I was becoming, so I hid.


Do you love him?


So What now?

Christian: I know where I'm going. You should look for your sister.

John... It was really good seeing you again.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

It's not you; it's you (my sentiments of me leaving my company)

I actually started with the infamous Convergys as my first employer. It was quite an adventure and my career as a BPO employee started. It opened my eyes to a new world where it’s not just plain customer service; it was more than that. We were working for one of the biggest bank in the U.S. and we were not just bankers- customer service; we worked for the Security Department of their Credit Cards.

8 years 2months
Three Buildings/Sites – Netplaza, Netquad, eBloc Cebu
Four Departments – Fraud, Canada Fraud (twice), Auto Finance, Customer Claims

Fast Forward, they opened their own branch/building here and grew their business. I started working for them directly May 2008 and it was fine and dandy at first until stress started to work its way to me. I was saved by the new department that opened after a year’s time; Canada Fraud. It’s almost the same work but this time, instead of US clients, we will cater to Canadians. This was the best moment of my life! I became a Relief Trainer, I was doing my masters that time too, and my blogging as well. Then came the bad news when they decided to move it back to Canada. It was rather depressing knowing that we grew and loved our work in such a way that we don’t feel that we’re working anymore.  I was then transferred to Auto Finance Collections and it was rather a consolation prize because even though work was new to me, so it was a bit stressful, the people were worthy to work for. I love them and I met my special someone. Canada Fraud then realized that they really need our help and they decided to bring it back to the Philippines, however they decided to transfer the said department to Cebu, since all the other departments were there. I purposely followed them, and requested to join the team. It was a leap of faith since I don’t know anyone in Cebu.

Seven Titles - Risk Management Analyst I (twice), II, III, Relief Trainer, Financial Service Advisor, Specialist II
Member of - PRIDE Cebu, PRIDE Manila, PRIDE Philippines

Three years I spent my life here in Cebu which was supposed to be only a year, but then again, I fell in love with Cebu. I’m not the only one as few other people who transferred before me, and also friends who visited me here fell in love with Cebu too! I owe it to them (my company) as well as I was able to finally save up, while paying off my debt, and loan, finally my wish came true of getting my Yoga Teacher’s Training here. Going back, I owe it to them (JPMC) as well of having my masters degree (though I wasn’t able to finish it, still!), I was able to travel internationally to HongKong and Singapore then locally to Baler, Aurora, Quezon, toured the beaches of Cebu – Malapascua, Bantayan, Camotes, Oslob, Alcoy, and the neighbor islands like Bohol, Dumaguete, Siquijor, and visited Iloilo.
There were bad experiences, but I’m still am thankful that I experienced them as well, from bad to worst bosses/managers, to the best boss/managers that you can lean on.

Dozens of bosses I grew with. 
Learned a new dialect

However, my journey ended when I transferred to the new department (Customer Claims) and well, it didn’t end up so well. I was so stressed and I can’t imagine how I can let you feel the stress, but here’s the thing; it made me resign and throw away my 8 years of stay in my company. I love the company sooooo much and everyone knows that, plus the fact that our company offered retirement pay which are only offered by big companies.

Hundreds of Friends Made
“N” numbers of exes met.

I dedicate this blog entry to my life with my company. I learned a lot, met a lot of people, but I bid farewell, and even it hurts me so much, and there will be stories of regret and pain but as much as we want to turn back time, change history, and change our mind; we can just sit back and look forward to our new world unfold.

This is me, yours truly.

Signing off. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Vondraye's Trip to Simala - Miraculous Castle of Mama Mary

Since we just celebrated Mama Mary’s birthday, I think it’s just fitting to post about the Miraculous Mama Mary’s Castle in Simala.

I was first introduced to this place as a story from my colleagues and friends. I then was able to visit it finally with my closest friends and good thing that my friend, let’s call him Friend B already went there before so we were given head’s up on what to expect, etc. 

How to go to Simala: One way to reach Simala is by riding the van that would directly drop you off at Simala Church. This is at the Van Terminal in Junquera St. near San Carlos main, the fare is 100php as of Januay 2018. It has been changed for a few times (before it was at the back of Sto. Nino Basilica) so keep watch and be updated on where the vans are. Another is by bus at South Bus Terminal, but the downside is they don’t go directly to Simala church. You still have to ride a habal habal (motorcycle) going up the hill where the Simala church is. Third, is of course, by private vehicles or renting a car. 

Vondraye’s Tips:

  •  If you don’t like crowded places like me, and not fond of long lines, the best time to visit - during weekdays.
  •  Before you visit, write your letter to Mama Mary ahead of time. They have pen and paper provided but it would save you time and effort plus, on my own personal opinion, it would be much better if you write in your own quiet time with all your heart, mind and soul comfortably seated right? Plus, it won’t take much of your time if you have lots of things to pray and thank for.
  • Wear slippers! Because you will be removing them anyway; Shoes aren’t allowed inside. You’re literally barefoot inside the church! If you have trust issues (that someone might steal your shoes/slippers), you can bring a bag where you can put your flipflops in.
  • Wear cotton or breathable clothes since there are times that it’s hot and you’ll sweat a lot! What I do is that I wear sando and just bring a cover (eg polo or longsleeve)
  • Bring water if you easily get thirsty (like me)
  •  If you wish to avail the special symbolic candles, it costs 35php and certain color each has their symbolic meaning (see reference below).
  •  No matter where you go, even at holy places like this, there are still bad people so be careful with your belongings.

The Castle's view from afar.

A few reminders before going in; about the dresscode.

They're not kidding when they say to remove your shoes.
There's a guard at the entrance.

Prayers do work and for some reason, it seems this place has a speed dial.

Interesting shots; A dog sleeping at the stairs

Where the mass is being held.

The ceiling, the very beautiful ceiling.

Stairway going up to the Mama Mary statue and prayer area.

During weekends, lines usually start at the entrance outside the chapel. 

There are a few spots where you can drop your letters, but personally, 
I prefer this one.

THE Mama Mary statue/shrine.

After praying to Mama Mary, going down, 
you can pray and have these candles for your prayers.

View from above.

My 2nd visit and I have no idea why I wore shorts.

On my 2nd visit with Friend K, We saw a dog near the pamisa window

The staff was nice enough to open the window and let us play with the doggie!

He keeps on wagging his tail!

Here's the video for you guys!

The Museum Area 

The story how the Castle came about

My friend August checking on the different Mama Mary. 
His first visit and two of his wishes already came true!

Different kind f the Mama Marys I got fond of.

If there are few people, you can go explore the castle.

Mass Schedule