What I Ate: Jollibee

November 17, 2017 Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines

We found a Jollibee walking fistance from our hotel in Cebu. A has never had Jollibee food before so I made him walk to the restaurant with me. I was so excited!!! 

Jollibee is a popular fast food chain much like Mcdonald's. They have their own mascot and they have the popular chicken joy (fried chicken) and jolly spaghetti.

Even the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau knows the first stop when you arrive in the Philippines is Jollibee! I was so happy when I saw all the photos of him interacting with staff and other patron's inside Jollibee. He's so nice and friendly. He is definitely popular in the Philippines.
I ordered the two most famous dishes in their menu. The jolly spaghetti is Filipino style pasta. It has a sweet tomato sauce. If you're not used to eating it then it will taste weird. But growing up and going to birthday parties in the Philippines - this is a staple to any party.
A ordered the burger steak with rice and spring rolls. It was not that great. He ended up stealing my food instead. 

I am waiting for Jollibee to open a restaurant in Toronto. I've been hearing rumors of the opening this year but that hasn't happened. I hope next year we will finally have one but I'm sure the line will be very long as many Filipinos will be there longing for nostalgia and a taste of home. 
I just hope it will taste the same.

15 Random Obervations of Hong Kong

November 14, 2017 Hong Kong

It was my first time visiting Hong Kong and here are my random observations.
You can read about my random observations series here.

1. Great transportation. The MTR is clean and efficient. 
2. They use barriers for passengers for the MTR trains.
3. They use bamboo poles on construction sites.
4. No one ever gives out napkins so you have to carry around your own tissues.
5. The stores will sell winter clothes in 30 degree weather.
6. They have double decker street cars.
7. Watch out for air conditioner drip of water while you are walking on sidewalks.
8. And everyone blasts the air conditioner so you will freeze when you go inside buildings.
9. Recycling and garbage pick up happens at night.
10. Expensive real estate.
11. Cheap food though.
12. Consists of many islands.
13. Cheap taxi's.
14. Awesome shopping and you can go to night markets as well.
15. The milk tea is amazing!!!

Balicasag Island

November 7, 2017 Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Part of our boat tour was stopping at Balicasag Island for snorkeling. We decided to bring our own snorkels for the tour. You can also rent it there but honestly, it's so cheap to buy it in Panglao if you forget to bring your own from home.
I bought mine at Pacifica Dive shop. It was close to our hotel and the staff there were so friendly and helpful. They took the time to help me shop and also gave me a discount.
 All the little boats gathering on the snorkeling spot

Our boat docked at the island and we were greeted by the locals. Our captain dropped us off at the restaurant and you can chose to order food or just use the restaurant to relax. They also have change rooms/washrooms for tourists.  

The food and drinks at the restaurant is more expensive so bringing your own food/snacks comes in handy if you want to save some money.

I talked to my snorkeling guide in Tagalog and he was able to tell me about the island. He said that the population of the island is about 1,000 and they have 120 homes. Electricity only works a couple of hours a day. 
They make money by doing tours, selling food and pearl jewellery. His wife was one of the vendors for pearls and I bought earrings from her.
There was a lot of little kids on the island and I had a bag of chocolates with me that I gave away. They were so cute and polite. I wish I had more chocolates and other toys to give them. If I had known then I would have been more prepared. 

Will definitely bring more things for the kids next time I go there.
Our guide took us snorkeling using a little wooden boat. We had 5 people on that boat including our guide. I asked for a life jacket because I'm not the best swimmer. 

It was really crowded on the reef that we went to. Our guide was the best and helped me move around because we were in a sea of people literally. He took me around and I was a bit nervous at first but I started enjoying snorkeling. I trusted him with my life. Plus I was also wearing a life jacket, haha.
My partner was the one taking pictures of me. 

I was really happy to see the corals and all the fish. I was expecting more school of fish but maybe they got scared of all the tourists there (including us). Mmm..makes me want to learn how to dive. Should I do it? 
 In love with this dog. So sweet! This dog was acting like he doesn't know me in this picture (which is like my bf, but totally in love with me ;) )

After over an hour, we went back to the island. You also have the option of paying extra to see the turtles on the island. We decided to just walk around the island before going back to our boat.

Bohol boat tour

October 24, 2017 Alona Beach, Bohol, Philippines

There is no shortage of vendors trying to sell boat tours in Alona beach. Every time we stepped outside our hotel, every person will try to get us to sign up for a tour. We found Julius who was the nicest and most polite out of everyone I talked to. 

We got along very well so I decided to give him my business and he gave me a discount for our tour. I paid ₱600 pesos per person for the tour. We had wake up really early because Julius was going to pick us up.
He was very prompt and met us at our hotel lobby. When we got outside, I was expecting a car but I saw his scooter. I was shaking my head because there is no way we were all going to fit into that scooter but we did! Oh my god, it was hilarious! 

I was so scared but Julius is a pro and we made it in one piece at the beach. 

We had a bit of time before the boat left for our tour as we were waiting for more people to show up so we bought snacks, bread, and water. It really came in handy later on.
Also, if you have a dry bag then use it for this trip. We bought one the night before so we can store change of clothes, camera, and any valuables in a dry bag. Some people had plastic bags but I didn't trust those especially when it started raining really hard and we all got wet.
We had 12 people on our boat plus the captain and his assistant. And of course you can do a private tour but for the 2 of us, it just didn't make sense. If you have a larger group then it will be cheaper if you book a whole boat.
Alona beach was packed with boats all going on different tours. The first thing we did was dolphin watching. I did see a lot but I was so slow in taking a photo. 

But look at those dolphins though. 
So nice to see this so early in the morning. It was definitely worth waking up for.
And the our first stop was Balicasag Island. More on that on my next post.

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