Sunday, March 31, 2013

Aleu's Lodge - Toledo City Cebu

When your fate brings you to Toledo City Cebu for any reasons, you may ask yourself where exactly to stay. Well, there are actually a lot of lodging houses, beach resorts and inns good for transient travelers, but you may still want to do an individual random/quick research about those places. One place you might want to consider will be the Aleu's Lodge. Located in Poloyapoy St. Toledo City Philippines, Aleu's Lodge provides an affordable stay for your tired feet at a starting price of 400php (non-AC room), 650php (AC-room) or up depending on the number of people using a specific room. We went to Toledo City Cebu to spend the long weekend there, visited The Ranch Resort and visit ed my mom who lives there too.


The lighthouse - a famous landmark in Toledo City, Cebu.



A couple's (AC) room of 650php in Aleu's Lodge includes a cable tv, wifi, and own toilet with hot shower. Though there wasn't a telephone line available in each room, you can still expect a good service from the crew whose visible in the vicinity all the time. This is a family operated lodge where you can expect either the son or the aunt or any family member to attend to your needs. 



Talking about convenience, the Alue's Lodge has a store where we didn't need to go to the market to buy what we needed. They also have a souvenir shop where you can buy t shirts, mugs and other merchandise.


The Convenience store



This place was built because of the love of a husband to his wife, in fact the name itself means Alfredo Loves Eulalia Unconditionally. Built last 2007, they still continue to provide a comfortable place for travelers to unwind.


Alfredo Love's Eulalia Unconditionally (Aleu)

My pretty wife in her hippie inspired outfit. I love her so much!

You can contact them at 322-5672.

The Ranch Resort - Toledo City, Cebu

When The Ranch Resort in Toledo City Cebu opened, the door to local tourism in the said place opened widely too. This new addition to the common spots in Toledo City added visitors and drew attention to the local travelers like me.










The Ranch Resort (formerly The Gaite Ranch Resort) is located in Laguna Road Brgy. Bato, Toledo City Philippines. It's a very short travel via multicab or tricycle from Toledo City proper, particularly near the church of St. John of Sahagun . It's not hard to locate the resort since almost everyone in the place knows how to get there.









Toledo City is special to me, I lived there for a few years and I even studied 1st year High School in Lutopan Toledo City. It is part of my childhood memory the simple life and how we spend our vacation or special days in the unflattering beaches in Toledo. Yes, it was unflattering because unlike the famous beaches in Bantayan, Badian or Boracay, beaches in Toledo may not have powdery white sand beaches but it sure is special to me, I grew up in that kind of environment and that was how I started to enjoy spending time in the beach. Kudos to the people of Toledo for the huge improvements, from the cleaner seaside view of the port to the new establishments and better resort options for the growing number of travelers.

The lighthouse - a famous landmark in Toledo City, Cebu
Toledo City's clean port
The Ranch Resort gained its popularity because of the nice presentation they offer to the people of Toledo as well as visitors from far cities. They have 5 pools both for children and adults, a souvenir shop where you can buy fresh produce and other stuff, 4 restaurants, room accommodations ranging from Php1,800 up, a botanical garden, an aviary, an open air concert ground, a horse ranch where you can ride a horse for Php100, an activity area (with zip line, trampoline, and wooden bridge), a bee farm, and a spacious parking space.

Suspension bridge for team buildings





Customer service was excellent! though it was on a peak season when we visited, the crews were still attentive in making sure we were taken care of. The place was huge and there were just a lot of things you can do, a good substitute to the common places we always go during holidays. I like the classy ambiance they have because they are sticking to their 'ranch' theme. They did an excellent job in bringing Toledo City Cebu back to the map and I don't doubt they can maintain the superb service and the tidiness of the place.


Me and my beautiful wife

How to get there:
  • Going to Toledo City Cebu in 3 ways: either via Bus (no air conditioned bus available bound to Toledo) in Cebu Bus Terminal or v-hire in CityLink Terminal, or if you have a private vehicle. Travel time is 1.5 hours. 
  • When you reach Toledo City, you can either ride a tricycle or a multicab to Brgy. Bato. Travel time is 15 mins. 
Cost information:
  • The Ranch Resort day use - Php100 
  • Room rates: Php1,800 up 
  • Travel fare Cebu to Toledo: Php60 via bus and Php100 via v-hire 
  • Tricycle or multicab fare from Toledo City to Brgy. Bato: Php15 
  • NOTE: prices may change without prior notice. 
Other important information:

  • Pools are child friendly, the first one you see when you enter the pool area will be the deepest (5 feet) with a shallow area of 2 feet. The rest of the pools are either 1, 2, or 4 feet deep. 
  • You cannot bring in food since they have a restaurants that offer an array of food (or snacks and beverages) with reasonable prices, you might want to eat ahead in local fast food from Toledo City first before heading your way to The Ranch Resort. 
  • Towels are not provided but you can bring your own. 
  • You can contact them through Tel. No. (032) 318 9599 or Email: info@gaiteranch.com.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sapangdaku - Pamutan - Bonbon, Cebu trekking with ACE

When I was young, I always remember myself keeping an aquarium with ornamental plants or fish in them. I think everyone in our own childhood had a share of this kind of memory. Back in college I started to keep some Betta fish as pets but when I learned about ACE or the Aquatic Cebu Enthusiast (group of ornamental fish & plants hobbyist) I started to keep freshwater ornamental plants instead. There wasn't much of a difference between growing plants in aquarium and growing plants in pots or plots though you have to maintain artificial environment like the substrate, oxygen and the amount of natural/fake light you expose them to.



My wife Ivane.
 
Me and my wife.


Aquatic Cebu Enthusiast.

Ornamental freshwater plants for aquariums.


Mr. Esquerion Prieto, one of the founder of ACE happen to have a farm of aquatic ornamental plants in the remote Pamutan Cebu mountainside. Yes, you read it right, in the mountain, actually in a make-up pond of fresh spring water with a highland temperature just about right for those kinds of plants. Going to the farm at the same time planting some Mahogany seedlings were our main reasons we went trekking there. Though the walk was exhausting, I still enjoyed all the view going to our destination. The lush greens of Sapangdaku was just amazing. Seeing huge worms, different breeds of birds and some farm lands added my excitement to kept on going and finishing the entire adventure.




Puto cooked by sir Esquerion's relatives.
Fresh coconuts for refreshments.
When we reached the farm of ornamental plants, the host prepared for us sweet and cool refreshments of coconut juice with the help of their farm-keeper. After our lunch and some stem pickings, we went down to the river to hunt freshwater shrimps for our aquariums too and we concluded our trip under the infamous Bonbon waterfalls, though its not that stunning it still was a nice inclusion from our mountain/river trekking.

Bonbon falls
I learned a lot from that group, and I owe them all the experience and the little knowledge I have about keeping plants in an aquarium.  

I hope that wasn't my last trekking experience because my wandering soul still shouts for more!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

La Playa Beach Resort - Badian Cebu

Badian is a 4th class municipality in the province of Cebu, Philippines. Its a 3 (or more) hours land travel from the heart of Cebu. People there are friendly and they are lucky to have the beautiful Kawasan FallsI was amazed the first time I saw the river, and the trail going to Kawasan Falls, I don't know, maybe I'm just an easy-to-please person because others say Kawasan falls is just another ordinary waterfalls and besides its the only waterfalls I have seen just yet. You can check out my other article about the Kawasan Falls here.





One of the few places you can stay for a night in Badian, particularly in Brgy. Matutinao (near the Kawasan Falls) is the La Playa Beach Resort. It has a white sand beach, though its not that powdery compared to those you can see in Boracay but its good enough for the entire family to enjoy and it also have an ample shoreline for the children to play. The rooms are huge (2 story) with 4 beds and has air-conditioning units decent enough for a big group or family to stay. Another thing I like about La Playa Beach Resort is they provide (for rent) a good cooking area with stove for you to prepare your own dish. It is always practical to cook your own food than to dine in a restaurant, just like us when we visited the place there were just too many of us and it might have cost us more if we bought individual dish in a restaurant. Plus cooking for me is a good bonding moment with your family or friends.






It was a 2 day vacation for us and we spent the entire 1st day in La Playa Beach Resort playing with the children, taking pictures and a Karaoke session. The main public outdoor dining area has a Karaoke machine not to mention I myself is a frustrated singer (lol) and everyone enjoyed a good conversation while spending the rest of the time outside with the view of the beach.

Sunset at La Playa Beach Resort
Sunset at La Playa Beach Resort


The main outdoor dining area where the Karaoke machine was at.
The 2nd day was our Kawasan falls trekking adventure and we went home after that. Though it was a short stay in Badian, I enjoyed it a lot, good enough to forget about problems and stress at work.
decent beds from one of the rooms on the 2nd floor.

How to get there?

in Cebu South Bus terminal ride a bus going to Badian and let the driver know to drop you in Kawasan falls, since it's famous your busmate might help you with that too. 

My 2 cents: 
  • Bring your own ready-to-cook meat since you can prepare your food in the resort. 
  • If you plan to go to Kawasan falls wear a strapped sandals or rubber shoes instead. It'll be hard to walk with just slippers especially on slippery stones and rocks. 
  • Talk to the locals, you'll get interesting stories from them. 


You may contact La Playa Beach Resort at 09324751194, 09278080972 or 09152889280