Volunteerism | Coastal Cleanup with WWF-Philippines

Photo by Erwin
 Just this weekend, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Philippines together with Ayala Foundation, host the Coastal cleanup held in Mactan. The cleanup is part of Ayala’s Inspire Campaign which fosters the concept that everyone has the capability to achieve things that are beyond what is expected of us.

A quick glance on WWF: The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is the world’s largest and most experienced conservation organization, operating in over 100 countries through the support of nearly five million people worldwide. WWF-Philippines has been working as a national organization of the WWF network since 1997 and spearheads practical solutions to help the Philippines adapt to climate change, secure food and water sources, switch to clean sources of renewable energy and infuse sustainability into the lives and businesses of Filipinos. WWF’s mission is to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature. For more information, log on to: wwf.org.ph.
A friend of mine told me about this event. Since its my first time to do a coastal cleanup, I agree to volunteer. We spend an hour under the scorching heat of the sun grabbing garbage, while doing the segregation at the same time.  It’s disheartening to see all these trash scattered in the shoreline. Not to mention the smell.
We are divided into three groups. Group 1 is responsible for keeping all the plastics, group 2 for papers, etc., and group 3 is for metals, rubbers, glass, etc.
After an hour of collecting garbage, we were able to gather a total of 466kg or 23,000+ pieces of trash. Just imagine that!
Photo by Erwin
  It was a nice experience. I was able to gain new friends, while doing a great job in saving mother earth. I hope everyone will learn how to dispose their trash properly. So that a coastal cleanup like this wouldn’t be necessary.

Here’s a video made by my cousin Carla.

WWF Coastal Clean-up from Carla Alferez on Vimeo.

Olango Island | Biking Trip

Olango Island is located east of Mactan island, and lies between Bohol Strait (South) and Camotes Sea (North). The island houses the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary, which has become a major tourist attraction as it is one of the seven best-known flyways in the world for migratory birds. Recently, Olango island has also been a great destination for weekend biking trip.

It’s always been my dream to go on a biking trip with my friends. But I have this issue with traffic and cars. Yah! I’m scared of biking on the road with cars. It even took me a few months to overcome my fear. When my friends invited me on a biking trip last weekend, I was hesitant.  Everyone was in our meeting place just waiting for me. It was a last minute decision. I could have change my mind and just stay at home, but I chose to face my fears. Next thing I knew, I’m riding my bike.

Departure time was supposed to be 6AM. But since I was late, we leave for Olango island around 10AM. It was nerve wracking at first, but I kind of pick up my phase and manage to ride comfortably on my bike.  We arrived in Lapu-lapu around 12PM, with a couple of stop over along the way to buy food for lunch.

It was one of the best decisions I made. I enjoy the ride so much that I almost didn’t feel tired. The best thing about this trip is that, I get over my fear of biking on a highway. I even manage to cross a busy intersection. Wew!

We ride a motor boat from a pump-boat pier, just beside Portofino Beach Resort, to Olango Island. It was almost 1PM when we arrived in Santa Rosa Wharf. We decided to eat our lunch in the Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a 15-minute bike ride from Santa Rosa. As we ride our way to the Bird Sanctuary, we come across this awesome place. We all agree that this place (picture above) is a great spot for a pre-nuptial photo shoot.

We had an hour and a half exploring the Bird Sanctuary. While doing our own exploration of the place, we come across this bird. I don’t know what they call this or what breed of this bird belong to, but I’m pretty sure this is my first time to see its kind.

After a couple of hours riding around Olango Island, we decided to head home and call it a day. It was a great experience and an activity that must be done again.

Olango Island Biking Trip (suggested) Itinerary:
0700 Assembly time at Jollibee Panagdait (near Sykes bldg.)
0800 ETD for Lapu-lapu
1100 ETA Pier (beside Portofino Beach Resort)
1130 ETD for Sta Rosa (Olango Island)
1230 ETA in Sta Rosa, proceed to Bird Sanctuary
1300 ETA in Bird Sanctuary/Lunch
1400 Free Time
1600 ETD for Lapu-lapu
1630 ETA Lapu-lapu, proceed to Cebu City
1830 ETA Cebu City
Estimated Expenses: 
Pumpboat Fare (Lapu-lapu-Olango) -P20 bnf
Lunch ———————————— P50
Wildlife Sanctuary Entrance Fee —– P20
                                        TOTAL:  P90

GL Highland Resort

GL Highland Resort is located in Brgy. Gaas, Balamban, Cebu. Just last year, we went to Brgy. Gaas for a feeding program for Doc Adolf’s 4th Death Anniversary. It has been his family’s promise to do a yearly feeding in Brgy. Gaas as a tribute to his death.
We spend the night at the resort before the feeding day. We were thankful for the owner for offering us a room to stay. But most of us brought our tents, so some just stayed the night in their tent.
  We went to the Barangay Hall first thing in the morning for the feeding. We go back here after lunch.
If your a nature lover person, you’re gonna love it here. The air is fresh and the view is magnificent. I’ve been here a few times before, and I will never get tired of going back here.
Compared to their pool before, it’s more attractive now specially from a distance. They have renovated and improved the place.
How to get there:
* Private Cars : Drive your way to Balamban and look for this establishment. You wouldn’t miss this. It is at your left when your going to Balamban.
* V-Hire : You can board a v-hire bound for Balamban in Ayala Center Cebu terminal.
Estimated expenses: 
V-hire – P100 (one way)
Entrance Fee (as of 2010) 
     Adult – P20
     Kid (<5yo) – P10
     Adult – P50

Kid (<5yo) – P30

*** I don’t know the current entrance fee of the resort because our overnight stay there was for free. I just did a little research regarding the entrance fee. Most of the articles I read are dated way back 2010. 

Oslob, Cebu | Whale Shark Watching

Whale Sharks have been recently reported to be roaming around in the coastline of Oslob, Cebu. Words spread quickly. It awakens the interest of the tourist, and the people of Cebu. How many of you wanted to take shark pictures?
According to Wikipedia: The whale shark inhabits all tropical and warm-temperate seas. They are known to migrate every spring to the continental shelf of the central west coast of Australia. Despite its size, the whale shark does not pose significant danger to humans. Although massive, whale sharks are docile fish and sometimes allow swimmers to catch a ride. Whale sharks are actually quite gentle and can play with divers. Divers and snorkellers can swim with this giant fish without risk.
How many of you have been writing ‘Swim with Whale Sharks’ on your bucket list? I for one have also written it on my bucket list. So when I learned about these gentle giants roaming the cost of Cebu, I researched information on how to get there (Mustacio was a big help. ^_^). I was excited. Finally, I don’t need to go to Donsol just to have a closer look of these friendly creatures.
As we jump on our boats and our boatman starts to puddle, my excitement grew. Not to mention I was in my hangover state at that moment.
At the sight of the Whale Shark, our oarsman get us nearer. Knowing the distance you should be with the Whale Shark, we keep telling our boatman to stay a little away from it. Just as to keep the outrigger from harming them. We don’t want to put more stress on this gentle creature.
When the Whale Shark stay in place, we eagerly jumped in the water to swim with them. We did our part, and keep our distance from them. It was really great. But, I didn’t stay long in the water. The waves was too strong and my hangover is not helping me at all. So I went back to the boat and just observe from there. That’s when I notice a few plastic bags floating around the area. A little later, I catch a whale shark about to suck one of the plastic bag. I told the boatman near it to grab the plastic, but it was too late. The whale shark already suck it. I started to worry by then. But then a second later, he managed to spit it out. Lucky for him! What will have happened if that whale shark really suck that plastic in? Can you imagine?
This is what most people missed to see underwater. Do you think this will be a great environment for our gentle friend? I don’t think so.
We talked about our experiences with our friends when we get to the shore. A friend of mine happens to catch one of the boatman (the one feeding the whale shark) throwing plastic in the sea. Now I realize where all that plastic bags came from. I’m not saying this to discourage everyone from going. This is just to let you know what we observe out there. If you go there, please just do your part. Okay? ^_^
Anyway it was a great experience. And we all had a lot of fun.

I know a lot of you will be going there, if not tomorrow, I’m pretty sure soon. Just a few reminder for future watchers. 
*Please! please! please keep your distance.
* DON’T TOUCH the whale sharks
* NO Flash Photography.
* Please take your time to read THIS.

How to get there: 
* Buses : There are Ceres or Sunrays Bus via Oslob in South Bus Terminal located near Elizabeth Mall. It takes 2.5 – 3 hours trip going to Brgy. Tan-awan Oslob. If you don’t know where to stop, just ask the bus conductor to drop you off the Tan-awan Barangay Hall.
         *Regular Buses – P149
         *Airconditioned Buses – P154
* Private Cars: Just go directly bound to south of Cebu. When you know you’re already in Oslob, look for a big signage with a whale shark picture in it. That will be at your left side when your facing south.
Where to stay: 
Marilyn’s Resort
Contact no.: 09065869895
 Room Rates: (non-air conditioned)
Standard – Php 900.00 (good for 2 persons)
Double – Php 1, 100.00 (good for 5 persons)
Family – Php 1, 600.00 (good for 8 persons)
Entrance Fee – Php 50.00
Cottage – Php 400.00 (exclusive)
Table – Php 350.00
Life Vest – Php 20.00
Snorkel – Php 100.00 (Complete Set)

Mila’s Inn
Located at Looc Oslob Cebu, 15 minutes away from Tan-awan.Room Rates: (air conditioned)
Php 1, 300 – without CR inside (additional Php 150/head for extra person)
Php 1, 600 – with CR inside (additional Php 150/head for extra person)

Masters Resort Cebu 
Contact no.: 09491318973
General – Restaurant, Pet Friendly, Bar / Lounge, Air Conditioned, Refrigerator, Kitchenette, Microwave, Hair Dryer, Complimentary Toiletries, Shower, Bathtub/Shower Combination, Poolside Bar
Activities – Swimming pool, Private beach, Scuba Diving, Water Activities, Child Pool, Pool Outdoor
Services – Multilingual Staff, Laundry service, Cell phone/mobile rental
Parking – Free Parking

Room Rates:
Double – Php 1000.00 (good for 2 person – additional is Php 500.00/head)

Estimated expenses: 

* P300 – Entrance Fee (inclusive boat riding)
* P100 – additional for tourists bringing video camera
* P20 – Life Vest

      * P100 – Snorkel (complete set)
      * Bus fares: 

         -Regular Buses – P149
         -Airconditioned Buses – P154

Minglanilla, Cebu | Ruvi Cave Resort

Ruvi Cave Resort is located in Tunkop, Minglanilla Cebu. A nice place to relax and a great place to hangout with family and friends.

Our family decided to have a get together outing last January 1. Initially we wanted to go to the beach somewhere in Lapu-lapu, but it was just too far. Some of our cousins come from Car-car, so it’ll be too far for them. In the end, we just decided to have our get together in Ruvi Cave Resort.
Ruvi Cave Resort has different sizes of cottages. They also have rooms for overnight stays. If your a fella that loves to sing, they have available karaoke for you.
Although they doesn’t have a beach, they have a 4ft-7ft deep pool that you can enjoy.
They have also this small slide for children, which can also be enjoyed by adults.
They have Wi-Fi available in the area. Beside this, is their canteen. But it’ll be best if you buy food outside. Food outside are cheaper compared to the food they sell.
They have few shower room available for everyone. They also have their grilling area which is located beside their shower rooms.
How to get there: 

Ride a KMK bus from SM City or Emall to Tungkop, Minglanilla (P30 each). When you reach the minglanilla proper, ride a tricycle (P10 each), and ask about the resort. If you own a private car, find the Mary Help Christian School in Minglanilla located on the left side of the road if your facing south. Right after the school, you will find a corner on the left. Take that route and go straight till you reach the T section, turn right. So straight till the cemented portion then you turn left. About 50 meters from a corner, you will find the entrance of Ruvi Cave Resort.

Estimated Expenses: 
Bus [Cebu-Minglanilla] = P30 (one way)
Tricycle [Minglanilla-Ruvi Cave] =P10 (one way)
Daytime (8AM-6PM)
Adult – P100
Kids (<10y.o.) – P50
Night (6PM-12MN)
Adult – P120
Kids (<10y.o.) – P60
10 persons = P200
15 persons = P300

25 persons = P500
20 persons (tent) = P500
center cave – P1,000
20-30 persons (lounge w/ aircon) = P1,500

Ruvi Cave Resort
Tungkop, Minglanilla Cebu
Tel. No. : 516-4596
Fax No. : 490-3321