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Majestic Madja-as

Date: April 22 – 23, 2016

Intro(from Culasi tourism flyer): Mt. Madja-as is 2,117 meters above sea level and is the highest mountain in Panay. The summit is approximately 137 degrees inclination. It has 14 waterfalls cascading down its slopes. Trekking to the summit is a 15-km stony trail, leading to a dry river bed.

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Since 2015 I was dreaming of climbing Mt. Madja-as. back then, I was so excited that this is a mountain only explored by a few mountaineers and the fact that this is the highest in the island of Panay.

After a few days of research, I was able to plan my trip, budget and who to contact for the climb. I also filed a two (2) vacation leaves to make sure I can cover the itinerary.

Since I am traveling from Cebu, the cheapest entry point for me is Iloilo via sea travel. I got boarded to Cokaliong shipping, left Cebu April 20 at 6pm and arrived 6am in Iloilo the next morning. Yes, that’s 12 hours travel.

When I arrived in Iloilo, I almost forgot that the dialect there is no longer Cebuano, It’s Ilonggo. So I communicated using tagalog, english and cebuano. My initial goal is to go to terminal that will bring me to the municipality of Culasi, Antique. But maybe because the driver did not get what I mean, I reached Jaro, Iloilo! When I arrived in Jaro, I asked locals how can I get to Culasi, then they told me that I need to get back to the city proper, drop in the stop light and ride a jeep again going to Villa, tell the driver to drop me off in Ceres terminal.  In short, I was able to catch the 7:15 trip from Iloilo to Culasi.

sirJohn Sumanting

Sir John Sumanting, Culasi Tourism officer

Five(5) hours later, I was in the tourism office of Culasi where I met sir John personally. We talked about mountaineering topics, Cebu, and everything about Mt. Madja-as while waiting for the guide that they assigned for me. After securing / signing permits, the daughter of Jushue(guide) assisted me in getting a habal-habal going to Brgy. Flores which will be my point of entry.

When I arrived at Brgy. Flores, I logged my name in the Brgy. hall as a security requirement. It was around 4pm when Jushue arrived from the farm. I discuss with him my plan, my mountain experience, because he need it to evaluate me if what trail and how many days it would take. He told me it is not advisable to climb by now (4pm) since it is still too hot for us to get into the trail and we will not make it to camp 1.

So the Plan is:

  1. Complete Flores – Alojipan trail in 3 days.
  2. We will start our trek the next day (April 22) at 5 am.
  3. Trek and climb straight to Camp 3 where we are going to spend our first night.
  4. Trek and climb again from 5 am next day(April 23)to Summit then go straight to Alojipan camp 1 so we can spend the night there.
  5. In the morning of April 24, we will trek again to Brgy. Alojipan.

And then I said, I am planning to visit Malalison island, do you think I can still make it? Jushue told me that if we climb/trek faster, we can try to finish the traverse in 2 days. But it will be the first time in his guiding experience to do that. So I told him, we’ll see tomorrow if we can proceed with the 2 days target.

Jushue and his family are so hospitable, they made my stay in their home comfortable and made sure that I had enough food and rest during the night.

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Our simple dinner at Jushue’s family table

The next day, we woke up around 4:30 am, had a quick coffee and breakfast and checked our packs to make sure we’re ready. We left Jushue’s house by 5 am. It was a really good morning and it seems that it will be a very hot day. I am pacing smoothly and made sure that I am enjoying the beautiful surrounding of the trail.

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Malalison island as seen in Flores trail

After 4 hours, we were able to reached camp 1. Had our coffee break, I also had a chance to enjoy taking a bath to cold river. The bath recharged me. From there, Jushue told me that he think, we can make it to 2 days. So I can visit Malalison island.

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camp 1. coffee break and river bath

So after an hour break at camp 1, we decided to continue our climb. our target is to reach camp 3 by 3 in the afternoon. I must admit that the trail to camp 3 is one of the difficult trail I ever experienced, but also one of the most beautiful in terms of view, flora, scenery and the dense trees in the forest.

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Beautiful and challenging trail to camp 3

By 12noon, we reached Libug falls and took our lunch.

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Libug falls

By 1 pm we continue the climb again going to camp 3

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We found this beautiful wild orchid in the trail

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Our last break before camp 3

By around 3 pm, we reached camp 3. prepare our tent. and good news, Jushue were able to catch eel from camp 3 water source.

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Dinner is ready

I decided to rest around 5 pm. I was really tired. The next morning, we had a quick coffee, cooked rice for breakfast at the summit and then we started climbing again. I am now excited as this is the day that I will reach the summit of Mt. Madja-as!

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Before reaching the first peak

Jushue told me that Mt. Madja-as have two peaks, False and True peaks. By 8 am, we reached the summit. Again, I was so lucky to have a clear sky during the time we reached the summit as they say that it is very rare for the climbers to have a clear sky on their climb to the summit

Please allow me to share some of my photo at the summit

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As planned, we were able to reach Brgy. Alojipan by 4 pm of April 23. 2 days, 20 hours of rigorous trek and climb. I would honestly admit that Mt. Madja-as is one of the toughest trail I ever experienced. In fact, I was not able to go to Malalison island since I was so exhausted and got fever after I logged my name out in Brgy. Alojipan.

Again, I would like to thank Jushue for keeping our climb safe. and also to his dog Jackie for keeping us company and helped us secure the trail from snakes 🙂

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Jushue Alejo, my great Mt. Madja-as guide

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Jackie, the dog

I hope you add Mt. Madja-as in your bucket list.

But please don’t forget.. Leave No Trace  ^_^

 

Budget:

Cebu – Iloilo : 880.00 (tourist)

Iloilo – Culasi: 200.00 (Ceres)

Permit: 150 per day

Guide: 450 per day

Person to contact: John Sumanting (Tourism officer) , 0916-324-5068 / 0947-587-3067

Here is my original itinerary for Mt. Madja-as climb.

Mt. Madjaas
Major jumpoff: Brgy. Alojipan, Culasi
Elevation: 2177m
Days required to summit: 3-4 days
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 8/9, Trail class 1-4
Features: Open slopes, Mossy forest, Waterfalls, Highest Point

DAY 0 (April 20, Wednesday)
05:00 PM – Assembly at Pier 1 (TransAsia shipping) 885(tourist)
06:00 PM – ETD Cebu City

DAY 1 (April 21, Thursday)
0700H – ETA Iloilo City
0730H – ETD Iloilo City Van/Bus Terminal
1030H – ETA Culasi, Antique (Last Minute Shopping and Buy Food for Lunch)
1100H – Drop by Culasi Municipal Hall and Secure Permit from Mayor’s Office (Login at PNP Station)
1130H – ETD Culasi Town Proper (Via Habal-habal)
1200H – ETA Brgy. Alojipan Jumpoff (Lunch and Meet Up with Guides and Barangay Officials and Gear Check)
1300H – Start Trek to Hangud Tubi Campsite
1900H – ETA Hangud Tubi Campsite (Dinner)
2100H – Socials
2130H – Lights Off!

DAY 2 (April 22, Friday)
0400H – Wake Up Call! (Prepare Breakfast and Packed Lunch)
0500H – Breakfast
0600H – Break Camp and Water Refill
0630H – Start Trek to Boundary Campsite
1230H – ETA Boundary Campsite (Lunch and Rest)
1400H – Start Ascend to Summit
1500H – ETA Mt. Madjaas Summit (Explore and Take Pictures)
1600H – Start Descend Back to Boundary Campsite
1700H – ETA Boundary Campsite (Prepare Dinner)
1800H – Dinner, Socials and Mountain Juice
2000H – Lights Off!

DAY 3 (April 23, Saturday)
0400H – Wake Up Call! (Prepare Breakfast and Packed Lunch)
0500H – Breakfast
0600H – Break Camp and Water Refill
0630H – Start Descend Back to Hangud Tubi Campsite
1200H – Lunch, Rest and Water Refill
1300H – Start Descend Back to Brgy. Alojipan Jumpoff
1900H – ETA Brgy. Alojipan Jumpoff
1930H – ETD Brgy. Alojipan (Via Habal-habal)
2000H – ETA Culasi Town Proper and Logout (PNP Station)

DAY 4 (April 24, Sunday)
SIDE TRIP
6pm Iloilo to Cebu

If you want to see more photos of my Mt. Madja-as climb, click here

 

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Posted by on April 26, 2016 in Stock Market

 

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Carnaza’s Beauty

Dates: April 9 – 10, 2016

One of my favorite things to do is to travel alone, to a place called “off the beaten path”. It does give me a feeling of self discovery, peace, away from all the noise of the world. If you desire to visit a place like this, Carnaza island is the name you should write on that bucket list. The island is located north of Cebu. I may say that it is between the island of Malapascua and Bantayan, maybe one of the reason it is not often visited by tourist is because, the trip (boat) going there is limited. As of latest when I was there, they only have one(1) trip a day. The information I got from the web already changed in terms of time the boats arrive and leave going and back to mainland Cebu. Anyway, I always consider my itinerary as guide, it can adopt to changes as long as the budget I have can support it.

Ok, so according to my research, the first boat that leaves from Tapilon port going to Carnaza island is 7am. Since I would love to stay longer in the island, I was in Tapilon port at 5am. When I asked the local in Tapilon what time the boat will arrive, they said around 10am! Well, I am already here, I already visited both Malapascua and Bantayan, so I decided to wait. Trust me, 5 hours of waiting is not a joke :). Around 6:30am a young couple arrived, Wilson and Lorelie. They too is curious about Carnaza. We talked about travels, hobbies, works etc. and then at around 9 am, a family arrived and they’re originally from Carnaza, but settled in Lapu-lapu because of work. They’re going to visit their parents in the island. Luckily we got so much information from them. Is the island safe?, where to stay?, what and how much would be the transportation cost?, etc.

Finally, the boat is here! and it’s already 10:30 am! ^_^ We are excited but when we ask what time the boat will leave going to Carnaza, the crew said, it depends, maybe 1 or 2 pm. What?!? (I shouted only in my mind). I asked why, They need to unload the boat, and they need to buy supplies and then load it again. That includes, chickens, waters, beers, softdrinks and many more. Wilson and Lorelie asked me if I still be going.. I said Yes. They love to go but they’re afraid that they may not be able to enjoy the island with the remaining hours and the first trip by Sunday is 8 am. In short, they decided to cancel their trip to Carnaza and headed to Malapascua. As for me, I’ve waited and at last, the boat started the engine at 3:15 pm! ^_^.

The trip took 2 hours. I just enjoy the view of Malapascua, Bantayan and Isla de Gato as we sailed heading to Carnaza.

Approaching Carnaza

Approaching Carnaza

 

At last, I can now see the beauty of the island from the boat. I started to took pictures. And as we approached, I am scouting where is the best spot to stay tonight. Then I see a spot(click the image, highlighted in red). According to locals in the boat, the area is called “ila-Elena”. they told me that it is public area and some visitors like to stay there because it is one of the beautiful spot.

 

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Sunset at ila-Elena

 

Was so grateful that I was able to catch this beautiful sunset. I actually almost forgot to take a picture of this as I was amazed by it.

Free accommodation.

Free accommodation.

 

 

 

 

 

After a long day. For the first time, I am going to spend the rest of the night in this beautiful island. I am excited to explore the island tomorrow. Aside from free accommodation, I had a beautiful view of billion stars.

 

 

It was a beautiful morning when I woke up. calm sea, white sand, sound of pump boats, early birds were flying around. The simplicity of life at its best.

I love to take picture of my tent after a good night sleep

I love to take picture of my tent after a good night sleep

 

After having a light breakfast, coffee and biscuit, I decided to confirm what exactly the time and number of trips from Carnaza to mainland Cebu. Again, according to my research, there’s a 10 am boat going back to mainland. But this time, the locals told me that there’s two boat going to mainland today(Sunday). They will leave at 8am. So again, I need to change my plan because If I will go on that boat, I will not be able to explore the island. So they told me that there are available small boat that will bring me back to mainland, of course the pay is higher than the regular trip… much higher. I was able to negotiate and decided to go back to mainland after lunch. Then I asked if there is available motor bike that is willing to tour me in the island. So after negotiation, Junrey decided to tour me in the island.

Junrey told me that there is a cave in the area but we need to ask permission first with the caretaker. Look, there’s even a world war II skeleton.

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There is a helipad (2) in the island. and the view is breathtaking

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Our next stop is a private beach resort owned by Lito Osmeña. We again asked permission from the caretaker if it is ok for us to take some pictures. Glad that the lady was smiling when she said yes.

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I also visited Carnaza national highschool, airport and the parola

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After taking picture at the parola, we decided to go back to the “barrio”. I was then offered a delicious breakfast. Fish tinola and adobong pusit. I then decided to take a swim with the crystal clear waters. Then I requested to manong Edgar, the owner of the boat if we could drop by and take some pictures of Isla De Gato. It is the small rock island between mainland Cebu and Carnaza.

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My gratitude to Junrey, noy Edgar and all the locals who assisted me and welcomed me in their beautiful island. I told them that I wish I could bring more visitors, maybe this blog will help encourage people to visit Carnaza.

 

How to get there

A few things to consider on planning your visit and stay in Carnaza

  • There is only 1 boat per day going to Carnaza. The boat leaves in Carnaza at around 8am and arrives in Tapilon port at around 10am.
  • Please register to Carnaza brgy. hall as soon as you arrive. The island is safe but it is a sign of courtesy to inform the head of the barangay that you or your group will stay in the island.
  • Negotiate with your motor or boat rental. But please, do not negotiate for rock bottom price, remember that your pay will not make them billionaires, it will be a good financial help their financial needs and feed their family.
  • Always observe cleanliness. Do not throw your garbage anywhere, put them on a container and ask the local where you can dispose it.
  • There is no karinderia in the island. but fresh seafood is available for sale. you can buy and cook them or you can ask some local if they will cook it for you and just pay them.
  • Camping is allowed, but please inform the barangay.
  • It would be best to plan your Carnaza trip on a long weekend due to limited boat trip. but if you have a budget, you can always rent a boat from Carnaza back to mainland.
  • For motor bike , boat rental and any other concern, please call Junrey at 0920-492-6656

Ok, here’s how you can get to Carnaza island from Cebu North Bus Terminal

  1. Ride a ceres bus to Maya-Kawit or Maya-Bagay. Inform the conductor to drop you off at Tapilon port. Travel time is 4 hours. Fare is 161 pesos for ordinary bus.
  2. When you arrive at Tapilon, ask locals where you can wait a boat going to Carnaza island. Travel time from Tapilon is 2 hours. Fare is 100 pesos.

I hope you’ll enjoy your Carnaza adventure! ^_^

 

If you want to view more photos of this trip, click here.

 

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2016 in Stock Market

 

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Leyte Christmas 2015

For so many years, our long vacation to Leyte has been materialised.  Together with Jeneth and Shana, we spent 8 days in this province to escape the  city during christmas holiday. Of course the planning was laid out before the first day. The routes, the places to see, what food to try.

We were so thankful to Jeneth’s highschool classmate as he was able to advice that it would be cheaper for us if we are going to sail via Danao going to Isabel Leyte especially because we’ll bring Cindy (our vehicle).

December 19, we traveled an hour and a half from our home in Minglanilla to Danao port. This is where EB Aznar shipping is located.

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After clearing all the papers, we safely boarded and sailed for about 4 hours to Isabel, Leyte.

After we unboarded in Isabel, we immediately headed to Ormoc, which is Jeneth’s home city. Here we stayed in their camp downes house.

I decided to cool down with this classic favorite of mine.

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We did our morning exercise the next day by jogging and enjoyed the view of Mt. Magsanga

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I also had a good shot of this house cat from Jeneth’s home that morning.

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Since it’s Sunday, I decided to visit my good friend Ronald Ramos in Brgy. Bantigue. Of course since I seldom see him and my godchild Eros, I better took a selfie with him right?

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After that, i went to visit my auntie in Albuera. Went to poblacion and took the beautiful Fian residence. They always have this beautiful view during christmas season.

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The next day, our plan is to go to Caimito beach hotel in Maasin Leyte. But I also want to see the tallest bridge in the Philippines, the Agas-agas bridge in Sogod Southern Leyte.

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After a long drive, we reached Caimito beach hotel with this awsome view.

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The girls loved the room
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They also have a great food.
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Around 2 pm, we decided to go to Maasin zoo. About an hour drive from Caimito beach hotel. We enjoyed seeing beautiful animals there.

The pony look
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The shy camel
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The snake attacks! Kidding! ^_^
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I forgot the name of this beatiful big bird
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They also have local deer known to bisaya as “usa”.
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They got ostrich and the eggs
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After the long, enjoyed tiring day, I decided to sleep out of the comfy hotel. I just missed climbing and camping in the mountain.
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Next day is to return to Ormoc. But I told them that we should not miss the tummy chicken barbeque in Hilongos port…BBQ ni Inday Alan.
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December 23, I told myself that I should climb now Mt. Magsanga. This is the beautiful mountain that greet everyone when arriving Ormoc city.
After arranging my pack and coordinated with the quide, I travelled to Puting Bato National Highschool in Isabel Leyte. This is the nearest jumpoff when climbing Mt. Magsanga.
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After about 30 minutes of hike, I had a chance to took this photo. The background peak is not the highest yet. It is located at the back of it.
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I also had this beautiful view of Isabel from along the trail going to the summit.
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At last, after an hour of hike, the view from the summit is all worth it.
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Raul Dalumpines, my guide going to summit.
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According to my altimeter, its 550 meters above sea level here.
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December 24, we travel to Silago Southern Leyte because we were invited to celebrate christmas there. It was also our chance to see pacific ocean from this side of the province
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To wrap it all, I enjoyed our trip in Leyte and hopefully I’ll be able to go back since I know there are still places that I need to explore in this beautiful province. I think I know why Mcarthur said his famous line…I shall return.
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Posted by on January 6, 2016 in Stock Market

 

Explore Davao

Dates: October 29 – November 1, 2015

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Ever since I was a child, there’s something in me that wanted to go and visit Mindanao. But it is Davao that’s on top of my list. My reason is very simple. I would like to experience first hand how clean, peaceful, beautiful this place is. And I was right, Davao is really worth a visit.

While on the plane going to Davao, the fear of something may not go as planned still inside me. Not only because it was my first time visiting this part of the country, but primarily because it is Mindanao. But I also want to tell and prove to my readers and fellow  filipinos that Mindanao is a great place.

As usual, as much as possible I don’t like to explore a place in a taxi. I want to be like what locals does so I may live in that place even for a short while just like average citizen of the place.

Though not surprised, I know that most filipinos are friendly. So I always ask someone how to go from one place to another. With Davao from airport, we need to ride a jeep going to city proper. And they have this underpass… well it was not crowded when we passed

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After having a simple breakfast, We decided to go to SM Lanang. We’re just curious how the building looks like

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I love this area

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I just noticed that the heat of the sun was unbearable that time. So since the next item in our list was Philippine eagle center, we decided to get a cab not only because of the heat but also because it is a bit far from city .
We had Manong Paeng. We agreed that he will bring us to visitor’s sites in a day. You can contact him via 09354225760

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There’s a lot of animals and plants you can see in Philippine eagle center. We were surprised by this brahminy kite. She was on the pathway, then we discovered that she’s unable to fly because of injury. So we carefully had a photo with her

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Well it was really heart breaking for me to see those magnificent birds in rope and cages. They are our pride. I am sure it  is so nice to see them freely flying in our skies, but since they’re endangered because of us humans, this is the only way to keep them safe. Ironic isn’t it?

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Before we left the eagle center we had a chance to have a photo with this 30 kilos snake

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Since it was already lunch time. We decided to try Davao’s deep fried farmed hito.

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What’s the best and authentic dessert in Davao? You’re right.. it’s durian!

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As much as possible, i like to buy directly to these small businesses, they need it most rather than those big mall operators

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Next stop is the historical japanese tunnel. You just have to pay 50 pesos as entrance fee

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Posted by on November 4, 2015 in Stock Market

 

Globe Forms Holdings Firm for Non-Core Businesses

Globe Telecom, Inc. (GLO) is spinning off its new and strategic businesses into a new wholly owned holding company. The company’s board of directors has approved the creation of a wholly owned holding company wherein the new and strategic businesses would be consolidated.

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The creation of the holding company aims to provide more focus on developing and growing its new and strategic businesses. This will allow globe to venture into strategic non-core business, but still leveraging on our strengths as a telco.

So far, the company cannot provide details about the new company due to regulatory policies.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2015 in Corporate News, GLO, Stock Market

 

FLI plans PHP 8-billion bond issue

Filinvest Land (FLI) is returning to the debt market this year to raise as much as PHP 8 billion to refinance debt and partly fund capex requirements.

The company would offer PHP 5 billion worth of unsecured fixed-rate retail bonds with an oversubscription option of up to PHP 3 billion.

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Net proceeds of as much as PHP 7.91 billion from the sale of 7- and 10-year bonds due 2022 and 2025, respectively, will be used to refinance liabilities and bankroll the development of its residential, commercial and office leasing projects.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2015 in Corporate News, FLI, Stock Market

 

Cebu Pacific Buying 16 ATR Planes for $673.0 million

Cebu Air Inc. (CEB) is spending $673 million to acquire 16 more brand new aircraft from Toulouse-based turboprop aircraft maker ATR to meet the growing demand for inter-island services in the Philippines.

The acquisition of 16 ATR72-600 is in line with the low cost carrier’s vision of providing affordable air travel. Cebu Pacific has been operating ATR aircraft since 2008 enabling the budget airline to bring safe, reliable, and affordable air transport to smaller cities and islands throughout the Philippines.

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The transaction would double the airline’s turboprop fleet size. It currently operates a fleet of 8 ATR 72-500 aircraft that would be retired as the new aircraft enter service.

Cebu Pacific is undertaking a $4 billion fleet renewal program. It is scheduled to take delivery of 7 more Airbus A320 and 30 A321neo between this year and 2021.

It has a fleet of 55 aircraft composed of 10 A319, 31 A320, six Airbus A330, and eight ATR-72 500 aircraft.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2015 in CEB, Corporate News, Stock Market