MRJJGUERRERO

Living without Borders

The sea beckons the traveler. =)


Leave a comment

Of Science, Faith and Whatever

Loving is not a one-way street, nor is a single – lensed spectacle. It is a plethora of experiences, a myriad of possibilities, and an explosion of feelings, choices and chances munificently offering the values of trust, patience and hope. Where there is love, there is both science and faith. Where there isn’t, there is only either. Where there is genuine love, there is mechanism and meaning. When it’s fake, there is neither.

——————————————————–

I am broken because of a love I lost

It’s like my heart was bitten by a frost

I wanted to bring you back at all cost

Then, finally, I paused.

I am broken because I messed things before

No longer like how it was back in Boracay shore

Nor how it was in Cebu with your friends, us four

Then, finally, I stopped and listened to my core.

I am broken because I made you cry

For lame reasons and for thousand whys

And for wanting myself to always fly

I lost you along the way, sigh, goodbye

Today I am in shame

Not just because I thought it was a game

But because when I finally want us to feel the same

You are happy because someone else came

I will, however, give you my smile

From here to there, over many miles

No bitterness on record or on file

I will keep you in my memory for the longest while.

————————————————————————

How do you love a person who loves you not

Who has eyes not for you but for someone else?

Who keeps you company for a little time

But will leave you, oh I can’t find a rhyme!

How do you guard your heart from falling in love

To a person you feel will make your day

Who calls you morning and night

Even if it’s wrong but feels right

How do you say ‘no’ to an honest desire

Spoken with truth and sweetest words

Who inspires you to follow your dreams

And keeps you focused on the essentials and not on whims

How do you say ‘yes’ to a love not spoken

Because it is already owned

By someone else, not you

By someone you barely know who

How do you win when you already have lost

Lost the battle you were hoping to win by all cost

—————————————————————–

Tell me why you came

In my saddest and when I am in shame

—————————————————————–

I am standing where two roads are

Both enticing and will lead me far

Both roads I hold so dear

But each I hold different fears

One I am afraid of the old

Being torn again and being cold

The other I am afraid of the new

Which I am not sure if it’s true

The first I think I can

Make it unscathed to the next bend

The second I think I cannot

be sure of things and whatnot

But the first I believe is narrow

And I need to give up some dreams

The second, though, I believe is wide

Will make me soar high, fly and glide

The first I already have travelled once

Taught me how to sing, taught me how to dance

The second I am about to depart for

Because there is something in it that beckons my core

Which do I choose in the long run

That which is serious or which I am having fun?

Which do I choose to stay for long

That which feels right or that which is objectively wrong?

The City of Masbate is one of the six provinces of the Bicol Region and regarded as the rodeo capital of Asia.


Leave a comment

Masbate: Beyond the Rodeo Story

It is the humble province where man battles it out with horses in a heart-stopping show, where cowboys and cowgirls grandiosely lasso cattle either on foot or on horseback, and where everyone cheers the riders who outwit a raging bull. That is how the island province of Masbate captures people the world over. My first time to visit this southernmost part of the Bicol Region, however, is not within that context.

I went to Masbate on official business, to start with. I was with some associates to do research on business licensing. Travel to Masbate City, the provincial capital, took us 3 hours by fastcraft. There is an airport in Masbate if one wishes not to ride the waves. But hey, the adventure in riding the boat is a totally different experience!

The City of Masbate is one of the six provinces of the Bicol Region and regarded as the rodeo capital of Asia.

The City of Masbate is one of the six provinces of the Bicol Region and regarded as the rodeo capital of Asia.

With my friends and associates here. Masbate City is a two to three-hour boat ride from mainland Luzon. If you haven't slept yet, this might be the best time to do it. =)

With my friends and associates here. Masbate City is a two to three-hour boat ride from mainland Luzon. If you haven’t slept yet, this might be the best time to do it. =)

Masbate City is a simple place, not much like the big cities of Cebu and Iloilo. The rural atmosphere is still entwined within the way of life of the people. The streets are relatively easy to maneuver by foot, or by rickshaw. History tells us that a few Spaniards were trapped in this island when their vessels sank and the closest way to save their lives was to swim (wow) to Masbate. Spanish genes (if I may call it that way) are now mixed with the local features.

An old house, probably used as a storage for goods (I really don't know) resembles the old types in our history. This one's a few steps from the wharf.

An old house, probably used as a storage for goods (I really don’t know) resembles the old types in our history. This one’s a few steps from the wharf.

The plaza was filled with people when we first went around the province. We were two days late of their city's fiesta! Too bad!

The plaza was filled with people when we first went around the province. We were two days late of their city’s fiesta! Too bad!

Just across the plaza is the Liceo de Masbate. =)

Just across the plaza is the Liceo de Masbate. =)

The city life is positively overpowered by the simplicity of the terrain. A jeepney ride from one municipality to another will bring you to plain and natural scenes. They aren’t in the tourist maps but might be worth the few moments of ogle.

The plain and the simple. =)

The plain and the simple. =)

The bend in the road. =)

The bend in the road. =)

Food is not something foreign. A kitchenette close to the wharf offers a variety of sizzling and fried viands at an affordable price. If you’re waiting for your early morning trip back to mainland Luzon (boat leaves at 4:30am!), this is where you could take your breakfast. It’s open 24 hours. =)

Meals are always best to be eaten in the company of friends. Laughter and stories are the best seasonings!

Meals are always best to be eaten in the company of friends. Laughter and stories are the best seasonings!

Sizzling tangigue is a bestseller. =)

Sizzling tangigue is a bestseller. =)

Sizzling chicken. =)

Sizzling chicken. =)

We weren’t able to hit the beach. Many say that few of the best beaches in the country are in this island. That I still have to see for myself. On our way back to the city from our research areas of Palanas and Dimasalang, the jeepney’s route is by the seaside. The sea seems to beckon us and I reckon it’s not going to be long before I heed the call. =)

The sea beckons the traveler. =)

The sea beckons the traveler. =)

A jeepney ride within the province will treat you to these sights. =)

A jeepney ride within the province will treat you to these sights. =)

Our ride back home. Still smiling!

Our ride back home. Still smiling!

Masbate, beyond the rodeo, is a testament of simplicity and a great example of why it is more fun in the Philippines. By fun I mean the old customized to fit the modern, losing nothing of the scaffoldings of history but not compromising the endless possibilities of the future. Masbate’s rodeo is a ride we all must take, either to taste the adrenaline or to witness the simple.

My first night was with these awesome Kagay-anons =)


Leave a comment

CDO Part II: Celebrating Friendships

My second time in the City of Golden Friendship was an amazing validation of what that tagline really means. Let me tell you the story as I relive it in my now alcohol-free system. lol

Flying back to Cagayan de Oro was an exciting “part 2″ of a series of talks to form linkages for a start up research. A week before this trip, I visited Cebu to do the same. It was part of a travel routine, perhaps the only routine I really enjoyed hehe, that is backed up by an intense passion for the sciences, a booming vigor for adventure, and an insatiable desire for great experience. =)

Saint Francis Xavier is the patron saint of Xavier University, an Atenean School in CDO.

Saint Francis Xavier is the patron saint of Xavier University, an Atenean School in CDO.

I spent my first night chilling out at Lifestyle District just across the hotel where I was staying. My first night was with Captain Morgan (haha) at Balbacue. By the way, try their iced tea and you’ll sure order a second. lol

My first night was with these awesome Kagay-anons =)

My first night was with these awesome Kagay-anons =)

I had a chance to watch a play (for free hehe) at Xavier University, an Atenean School in CDO. “Ten Little Indians” by Agatha Christie is a thriller that tells of the story of ten people invited to an island by a stranger and are killed, one after the other, as described in a poem. The dialogues were in Kagay-anon so I really didn’t understand the exchanges of lines. The great cast, however, played their characters so well that I had less difficulty in understanding the whole story. In fact, some characters had lasting ghastly effects on me. haha

The play "Ten Little Indians" was staged within the halls of Xavier University. We got in just in time for the first dialogues to be spoken.

The play “Ten Little Indians” was staged within the halls of Xavier University. We got in just in time for the first dialogues to be spoken.

As this is my second time, I didn’t tour around to see the usual tourist spots. I did that a month ago (which I blogged about here) with a couple of friends. This time, I had experienced a cool and unique Saturday hangout in a place called the “bridge”. The place comes alive at night as young people troop to the place with bottles of liquor to share with friends. Cars are parked at the sides and there is just much merry-making, dancing and whatnots. Trust me, you wouldn’t read about this coolness overload in any brochure. =)

Before going to the bridge, buy drinks at the store nearby for a til-morning party =)

Before going to the bridge, buy drinks at the store nearby for a til-morning party =)

Also, although I’m not a fan of street foods, I tried “proven” and yes, it was tasty! And why it was called “proven” i really don’t know. I tried to ask but nobody seem to know exactly. Nonetheless, the lovely taste was enough to not pursue why it’s called that. “Balut”  also was a mainstay in our party sessions, although some didn’t like the idea of eating an ‘exotic’ food, especially the feathers. =) I had four or five, I really can’t remember (cholesterol alert!).

This chicken street food will be part of my favorite!

This chicken street food will be part of my favorite!

Three consecutive nights I had a blast. It was unusual for me to drink three nights in a row and wake the next morning perfectly fine! haha Perhaps the best feature of the city is its friendly subtleties. Hidden in plain sight, I experienced the usual modified by few of the most accommodating personas to make it perfectly awesome.

At the end of the day, I will remember CDO as the place where I spoke through a tongue I wasn’t sure of but definitely made sense. It is the city of golden friendship, not just because people were warm, accommodating and hospitable. I think it is called that because the warmness goes the extra warmth to melt the awkwardness; goes the extra acceptance to make it feel like home; goes the extra handshakes, laughs and stories to make one feel part of a family related not by blood but by the common pursuit of happiness. CDO is a rich arsenal of friendship, a haven for golden memories.

Yap - Sandiego Ancestral House is made of corals and wood. An old structure close to the Heritage of Cebu marker.


1 Comment

C is for Country, City, and Cebu

For someone who wants a mix of rural and urban or would want to enjoy both the splurge of the city and the chill of country, Cebu City might be that place you wish to visit soon. You may even opt to start your career in this historic but forward-oriented metropolis because of, relatively, wider opportunities for employment and, perhaps, for budding enterprises.

This 4th visit of mine to the Queen City of the South is a quick rendezvous for a research collaboration with Cebu Institute of Technology. I booked the ticket a day before the trip and literally was praying for cash to flow in. hehe I had an almost empty wallet and all my finances were bleeding dry! haha Good thing this trip is an official business so I get to reimburse some of my expenses. =)

Cebu Institute of Technology is a private school offering engineering and a few other programs. "CIT Tops Again" is what you hear in the halls and what you find in the licensure exams. =)

Cebu Institute of Technology is a private school offering engineering and a few other programs. “CIT Tops Again” is what you hear in the halls and what you find in the licensure exams. =)

Cebu Institute of Technology is a top performing school, especially in engineering. it is a proud producer of the country’s topnotchers in the licensure examination for engineers. Their tagline “CIT Tops Again” is a consistent mantra repeated every year and manifested by the kings and queens who top the board. Just take a look at their wall of fame and you’ll realize that excellence roots back to the very start. =)

You'll find this wall of fame in their library =)

You’ll find this wall of fame in their library =)

Because I had spare time, I went to some places I haven’t visited the first three times. At the corner of Mabini and Lopez-Jaena Streets of Pari-an District is the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House. Considered as one of the oldest residential structures in the Philippines, this house is made of wood and corals. Inside you’ll find old, but definitely pricey, wares. Entrance fee is 50.00.

Yap - Sandiego Ancestral House is made of corals and wood. An old structure close to the Heritage of Cebu marker.

Yap – Sandiego Ancestral House is made of corals and wood. An old structure close to the Heritage of Cebu marker.

I had a quick tour of the house. After which, I found the Good Shepherd Coffee Shop some fifty walks away from where I was. Their coffee and bread pudding are delightful without being expensive. =)

Had a coffee and pudding while waiting for the rain to stop. =)

Had a coffee and pudding while waiting for the rain to stop. =)

We also had dinner at AA’s barbecue. Given my huge appetite, this place surely won my heart! haha Seeing the people around, I believe it’s not just me. hehe This is the love I will definitely share. haha

Good food is best eaten with great company =)

Good food is best eaten with great company =)

Finally, I had a quick reunion with a friend at the IT Park. We had dinner and after, I escaped back to the hotel to catch some sleep. I stayed at Hotel Pier Cuatro because there is buffet breakfast, clean comfortable room, and a good wifi connection. hehe

My friend who opted to work in Cebu City because of better living conditions, he said, compared to Manila. =)

My friend who opted to work in Cebu City because of better living conditions, he said, compared to Manila. =)

When I had to finally get back to Legazpi City, we were stranded because of the typhoon. We were rerouted to Manila, slept there for 12 hours before finally hopping into the plane, waited for 3 hours for it to finally take off, and landed safely in Legazpi. That was one heck of a ride. I went south to visit the queen and I came home an injured soldier. haha Cebu City will always be a royalty for all seasons. =)

This belfry is the lasting reminder of that violent eruption of long ago. today, this place, called Cagsawa Ruins, is a major tourist destination in the province.


4 Comments

Mayon: Falling in Love with Beauty and the Beast

A permanent background of the province of Albay, Mayon volcano is unique because of its almost perfect cone feature. Many recognize it as the 8th wonder of the natural world, giving the province added identity and prestige. Surrounding it is the Mayon Volcano Natural Park, a protected area of the Philippine government. The name Mayon is derived from Magayon, meaning beautiful, of the local legend that tells the story of how the landform came to be. True enough, Mayon volcano is an ever beautiful sight, inspiring artists and poets to elevate their crafts and captivating tourists from all over the globe.

As an active volcano, however, Mayon, once in a while, would erupt to varying degrees of strength. As a kid, I have witnessed some of the catastrophic events brought about by the eruption. I was in first year high school (2001) when I had the rare moment of seeing the sky turn to grey and ash falling over the entire city. The night of the same day, it was no longer ash but rocks as big as ping pong balls that hurled down. And yes, they were slightly warm.

Years following that, Mayon erupted several times but had not caused major tragedies. I still can remember tourists coming in to witness the lava flow from the volcano’s mouth. It was, in a way, boosting tourism.

When visiting the province of Albay, stop by Cagsawa Ruins, a lasting reminder that beauty could be beastly as well. In a major eruption long ago, only the belfry of the church remains today while the rest is buried by the lahar flow. While there, you can have a 45-minute to a little more than an hour ATV experience that takes you to the rugged terrain of Mayon’s slopes.

This belfry is the lasting reminder of that violent eruption of long ago. today, this place, called Cagsawa Ruins, is a major tourist destination in the province.

This belfry is the lasting reminder of that violent eruption of long ago. today, this place, called Cagsawa Ruins, is a major tourist destination in the province.

The ATV experience will let you see the rugged terrains of the vicinity of Cagsawa ruins. Always a great opportunity to have lots of photos with Mayon volcano as background!

The ATV experience will let you see the rugged terrains of the vicinity of Cagsawa ruins. Always a great opportunity to have lots of photos with Mayon volcano as background!

Afterwhich, drive up to the Parish Church of Daraga and gaze upon the entire view of the volcano. Just hope, though, that no clouds obstruct the view.

Too bad this shot does not show the majestic volcano. But the Church is a lovely sight as well. An old church built on top of the hill, the Parish is witness to communal events such as weddings, baptisms, and others.

Too bad this shot does not show the majestic volcano. But the Church is a lovely sight as well. An old church built on top of the hill, the Parish is witness to communal events such as weddings, baptisms, and others.

Legend says that when Mayon is covered with clouds, the lovers Magayon and Ulap are kissing. Climb Lignon Hill and you might get a chance to witness that show of love that defies form. =)

Oops! They're kissing!

Oops! They’re kissing!

Sinuglaw. Complete your CDO trip with this!


6 Comments

CDO: The City of Golden Friendship

Known and named after its huge gold deposits, Cagayan de Oro City is now made richer because of the real treasures it has: the warm, hospitable and friendly people of the place. Perhaps, it’s one of the happiest places in the country, maybe the most friendly, too! No wonder, we call it the city of golden friendship. =)

We were about to hit the city. Stayed at Tune Hotel for three days!

We were about to hit the city. Stayed at Tune Hotel for three days!

At Limketkai Center, one of the biggest mall complex in the country. =)

At Limketkai Center, one of the biggest mall complex in the country. =)

An almost two hour plane ride from the capital city of Manila, Cagayan de Oro, or CDO, is a premier city of Mindanao. Raising the bar for peaceful and trendy living, the place is home to world-class adventures and continuously striving to catch up in terms of infrastructures, tourism and development. In 2013, it was named second,  just a little behind Makati City, the business hub of the country, among the top grossers in terms of economy. The white water rafting (which I’m gonna try when I come back hehe) is a trademark of the city, and no where else in the country can you find a laughter as tintinnabulating as that of a Kagayanon. =)

Gaston Park. Haha can't remember why I'm posing this way. haha

Gaston Park. Haha can’t remember why I’m posing this way. haha

The city's museum was closed when we got there. It was a Sunday.

The city’s museum was closed when we got there. It was a Sunday.

San Agustin Cathedral has English masses. So don't worry about not understanding the ceremonies. =)

San Agustin Cathedral has English masses. So don’t worry about not understanding the ceremonies. =)

A stroll around the city will take you to Gaston Park, a hyped place for trade, a usual playing and dating grounds, and proximate to the city museum and the San Agustin Cathedral.  Beside it are restaurants that offer good food at a better price. Try La Tegola Cuccina Italiana, for example, at Hayes Street for an authentic Italian cuisine and which might make you Ratatouille-ish once you see the interior and taste the food. If you watched the movie, then you’ll probably know what I mean and which part of the movie I’m referring to, and yes, Ratatouille is French haha

Penne Diavola at La Tegola

Penne Diavola at La Tegola

And there is the Kagay-anon Restaurant at Limketkai Center. They serve good food, kinda pricey but worth it.

Pinakbet served in real squash. We really wondered if we can eat the squash. haha We weren't able to ask haha If you happen to order this, please do!

Pinakbet served in real squash. We really wondered if we can eat the squash. haha We weren’t able to ask haha If you happen to order this, please do!

Avariety of juices from Kagay-anon Resto

A variety of juices from Kagay-anon Resto

Because I'm Bicolano, I can't eat without chili in soy sauce. Hot!

Because I’m Bicolano, I can’t eat without chili in soy sauce. Hot!

For night life, try the Lifestyle District. Don’t worry about drinking because the place is friendly. If you opt not to take in the liquor, just order from the restos and eat away!

The Lifestyle District. Similar to Roxas's Grandville and Iloilo's Smallville.

The Lifestyle District. Similar to Roxas’s Grandville and Iloilo’s Smallville.

Which do you like, huh?

Which do you like, huh?

If you’d like some chill time, try Coffeeworks at Corrales Avenue, stone’s throw away from Xavier University. Order some blueberry cheesecake and a cup of hot coffee. =)

Ain't mine haha

Ain’t mine haha

One of my favorites!

One of my favorites!

Food are as friendly as the people. They do not taste foreign to the palate because they’re still Filipino but with an added twist. Pastel, a yema-filled pastry (what is yema in English?), is a superb pasalubong! Buy them at Vjandep on your way back to Laguindingan airport, or try them with coffee or chocolate or whatever you want at Missy Bon Bon. Finally, never leave CDO without the gastronomic star of the city: the Sinuglaw! It’s a mix of grilled pork belly and fish ceviche. Whether you eat it as your main dish (which we did hehe) or just an appetizer, you’ll surely have that taste lingering in your mind for so long.

Sinuglaw. Complete your CDO trip with this!

Sinuglaw. Complete your CDO trip with this!

CDO is not a perfect city. Which one is, anyway? But it does have that dash of homey vibe and a friendly atmosphere making it a top destination for everyone!

Cupcakes topped with fresh grapes and kiwi! Yakimix has them!


Leave a comment

The Hungry Traveler

The metropolis is teeming with them. Eat-all-you-can restos are dominating and changing the gastronomic landscape. The great selection of dishes attracts many because servings are not limited, never confined to how and how much the restaurant has to place in a single plate, and mix and match is possible to suit your palate. We’ve tried two restaurants, Yakimix and Buffet 101. I was able to take photos of selected food only because I just pop them in my mouth like a pro! hehe

Had to try all variants of this at Buffet 101 hehe

Had to try all variants of this at Buffet 101 hehe

Seafood medley at Buffet 101

Seafood medley at Buffet 101

Chocolates. Heaven!

Chocolates. Heaven!

Pastries. Cheesecake, Blueberry cheesecake and chocolate mousse at Buffet 101

Pastries. Cheesecake, Blueberry cheesecake and chocolate mousse at Buffet 101

Cupcakes and tart. =)

Cupcakes and tart. =)

Don't leave an eat-all-you-can resto without eating fruits. =)

Don’t leave an eat-all-you-can resto without eating fruits. =)

Both Yakimix (we tried the one in Robinsons Magnolia) and Buffet 101 (at Robinsons Pedro Gil/Manila) are both gastronomically explosive. Main difference is that Yakimix has some sort of a cooking whatsoever at the center of the table. That makes it a bit fun at the beginning but a bit dragging once you start eating. I liked how Buffet 101 managed to provide a large selection of already prepared food. That eases out the choosing part because food is up for grabs already.

Had to cook the food in Yakimix. That lengthens the time of waiting for the food to be in your mouth hehe but it's fun doing that. That gives time for friends to chat!

Had to cook the food in Yakimix. That lengthens the time of waiting for the food to be in your mouth hehe but it’s fun doing that. That gives time for friends to chat!

With my college best friends here. =) Food always tastes a lot better when you share it with people!

With my college best friends here. =) Food always tastes a lot better when you share it with people!

Filipino pastries at Yakimix. =)

Filipino pastries at Yakimix. =)

Cheesecakes at Yakimix

Cheesecakes at Yakimix

Cupcakes topped with fresh grapes and kiwi! Yakimix has them!

Cupcakes topped with fresh grapes and kiwi! Yakimix has them!

Fried prawns. =)

Fried prawns. =)

For the conservative (is that even a right term to use? hehe), you can always opt for the traditional plated orders from the local restos. Bigg’s Diner, a food industry giant in the Bicol Region, offers a variety of food delights dashed with the flavors of the region.

This chicken and salad combo is worth it. Bigg's bigger and better mantra is true! =)

This chicken and salad combo is worth it. Bigg’s bigger and better mantra is true! =)

Don't like chicken? Try this fish creole. =)

Don’t like chicken? Try this fish creole. =)

For those with bigger budget, try the newly opened Crown Park Restaurant at Legazpi City. They serve some traditional Chinese and Japanese cuisine and some others with contemporary zest.

Sizzling squid. =)

Sizzling squid. =)

Banana split. hehe I just to insert that hehe

Banana split. hehe I just to insert that hehe

Fried chicken! yehey!

Fried chicken! yehey!

I really can't eat without rice!

I really can’t eat without rice!

Siomai =)

Siomai =)

The 1st Colonial Grill, in the province of Albay, is known for the tasty and unique ice creams they serve. Best of them is the sili ice cream, which will make your tongue burn while drenched in the coldness of the gelato. If you aren’t ready for that, you can try other flavors such as the Malunggay, Taro and the Cucumber flavors.

Malunggay - flavored ice cream. Now, who would have thought this would work?

Malunggay – flavored ice cream. Now, who would have thought this would work?

Taro. Looks like ube ice cream but unique to the taste buds.

Taro. Looks like ube ice cream but unique to the taste buds.

Cucumber - flavored ice cream. Clean taste. =)

Cucumber – flavored ice cream. Clean taste. =)

Eating is like dressing up. Mixing and matching are skills we have to learn, plus budgeting without compromising style and elegance. In the case of food, we have to learn the art of spending for the best filled-up plates. Finally, the best food are found in the comfort of your own home. As for me, nothing compares to the food prepared by the loving hands of mom. =) Enjoy the weekend!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,804 other followers