Thursday, August 09, 2007

MAAYONG PAG-ABOT SA CEBU!

Laptoping
Welcome to Cebu!

I am here at the Lobby Lounge of The Waterfront Hotel in Lahug, Cebu City and is blogging the night away while a pair of acoustic singers are playing soothing ballads and sappy love songs at the Mezzanine Lobby above. It's my first time to stay here at the Waterfront. I usually stay at The Marriott or at the Marco Polo Cebu. There was even an instance when I spent three glorious days at Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa. Nice hotels are truly one of my lurves!

The Waterfront Hotel here in Lahug is so so so huge! There are so many unused spaces especially in the lobby. But despite the big spaces, this is still probably one of the most crowded hotels I've been. It can probably be attributed to the popular Casino Filipino, the Duty Free shops or the myriad of restaurants that suits every palate. Name it and they got it with expatriate Chefs to boot - Japanese, Chinese, Italian, specialty Filipino and a lot others. I would really love to try the Mizu Japanese Restaurant if I have the luxury of time. It's been a while since I last had an authentic Jap. Waterfront is actually a fairly good hotel. It just looks weird with all its castle-like towers and turrets with blinking lights at night. It's still holding up on its own despite the surge of new hotels in the city like Marco Polo and The Hilton. As usual, the hotel and my flight earlier are full of Koreans. They are truly multiplying and propagating in the country by the minute! Waterfront, I noticed, also charges higher than usual hotel rates here in Cebu. In fact, the reason why I am blogging here at the lobby and not in my room is because of the very high WiFi per hour rate in the rooms whereas it's free at the lobby. The weird thing is Smart provides the WiFi connection in the rooms while the other company provides the free one here at the lobby. Well, it goes to show who's the more reliable one, huh? It just feels weird to actually pay for services that my own company is providing thus I am a freeloading at the lobby.


Cebu Essentials

Waterfront's Lobby

Waterfront's Room


Enough of Waterfront.

I had a fairly nice trip this afternoon. I left the office after giving my girls a long laundry list of things to do. We will be launching one of our Customer Care services this weekend and I am just making sure that everything goes well. : ) Since classes were suspended today due to the recent storm and flood, it was generally a not-so-traffic-not-so-hassle day so I was able to have lunch with Twigs before leaving for the airport.

I took the 3:00 pm PR 849 flight of Philippine Airlines and was truly elated because SMART is everywhere in both the NAIA Terminal 2 and Cebu International airports. It's like a reminder for me that this trip is for work and not for pleasure. I slept almost throughout the flight and was quite pissed with the guy beside me who kept on pulling up and down the shade cover of the window. I am usually an aisle person and am quite peeved at over-excited people in the window seats. Speaking of seats, I was people-watching at the plane before take-off when I suddenly saw myself looking at this certain band's vocalist. He smiled at me and I was surprised because I cannot even remember his name! It was so embarrassing because he thought that I was looking at him on purpose.


SMART Country
It's definitely a SMART Country!
(scenes from the airport)


I arrived in Cebu around 4:30 pm and was greeted by friendly cloudy skies. Cebu changed a lot! It's been four years since the last time I was here. There are new buildings, bridges, fly-overs and unfamiliar routes and streets. I immediately checked-in at The Waterfront and checked my work mail before going out. I had dinner at Cheaverz Fried and Grill as planned. It's a fact that Cebu is known for expensive gastronomical delights but despite that it's the el cheapo and simple Cheaverz's grilled foodies and puso which I truly like. I discovered it 2002 when I was with some Honda dealers in an incentive trip. It was a simple off-the-wall nipa hut-stlyed restaurant which serves puso (rice in banana leaves) and grilled chicken, pork and beef. Average meal expense per person is only P65.00! It's quite famous here and is usually the go-to place for tourists (if you are tired of the famous Sutukil and Cebu Lechon). I went to the Cheaverz resto in Capitol (just near the Malacanang of the South) and not to the original one in Mandaue since it's a bit far away.


Cheaverz Pu-so
Cheaverz and the Puso (pronounced as pu-so)


One of the best things about this trip is it would give me the R&R that I need. I was planning to watch The Simpson's Movie at the Ayala Center Cebu this evening but was way off the show time so I just decided to go back to the hotel and rest. I also had a nice chat with my roommate, Marga, who's the Manager of our Wireless Center in Kalibo, who's also here for the meeting. We talked about work, college life and random officemates. It's nice to have a roommate for a change. I’ve always had single rooms in my past business trips with my ex-companies.

Anyway, I better go now and enjoy Cebu and Waterfront. I also need to rest because our presentation tomorrow starts at 10:00 am. Then it's back to the airport again for the flight to Manila at 3:00 pm. I am actually excited to go back home since I'll be seeing Ros, Binchy and Eric in Alabang tomorrow night to start this year’s celebration of August 12!

Ta-ta!

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