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Cebu on my mind

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I've been to Cebu many times in the past 15 years. As a tourist, reporter, tv host, magazine editor, guest of real estate developers and shopping malls and once for Miss Cebu (co-host). But when I became a mom, I decided to slow down on work that involved travelling.

Olango Island Cebu
Bird-watching and filming in Olango Island in 2001


Olango Island Cebu
Olango Island, protected area where migratory birds stop over. It is an amazing sight to witness. Everyone must see Olango.


I like Cebu. It's a cosmopolitan city and it's got the mountain and the sea a few steps away. It's like Vancouver, while Manila is my Toronto. Okay that's a bit of a stretch... But really, Cebu is so accessible. Just an hour's flight away from Manila. I'm surprised we haven't been taking our vacations there.


Cebu
On an F shoot in Cebu, circa 2002. Back then it was always about the food and our tan.


I was in Cebu a couple of weeks ago. The British Council has a program to set up Cebu as a "Creative City." And they asked me to be part of the group to champion this urban movement. Also in the group are: Dean Gerry Torres of the School of Design and Arts (College of St Benilde DLSU), businessman Jay Aldeguer and DTI's Nelia Navarro. That weekend we met with Cebu's creative entrepreneurs. It looks like I will be in Cebu more often now.


Microtel Inn, Cebu
Cebu now. At the new cute Microtel Inn.



At the Islands Banca Cruises launch, with British Council's Patrick Erestain, Nanette and Ana Tan. and Dean of School of Design and Arts Gerry Torres


We were invited by Jay Aldeguer to attend the launch of his Islands Banca Cruises. It is such a cute concept and it makes me wonder why it only happened now. Island-hopping is obviously not a new concept but this one takes it up a few notches.



Islands Banca Cruises



Some bancas can hold up to 40 people


Jay turned the traditional banca into a comfortable and stylish boat with amenities like iPod docks, bean bags, spa services and catering at your island of choice. They also throw in water activities like kayaking, snorkelling, fish feeding and scuba diving. And it doesn't matter what hotel you stay at because they have their own dock in Mactan. They can also organize tours... and Olango is in the list. You can do everything through their website:
"islands banca"



Islands Banca staff will set up everything for you...



Imagine having a romantic sunset dinner like this?


Islands Banca Cruises
Snorkelling


My 5-year old saw the photos and is asking us to take her there. She just saw Nim's Island and is convinced she could live in an island like the little girl Nim. But she asked, "Is there aircon in the island? Because I don't like sweating." The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Though I'm sure when she rides a nice white banca from Islands Banca Cruises she'll forget about her ka-artehan

I have to constantly remind myself that this is all just one hour away from me and it's available 365 days of the year.



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Daphne Osena Paez
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