Cebu’s New: MACTAN International Airport Terminal 2!

Cebu’s New Int’l Airport

The New Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 2 which was recently inaugurated last June 7, 2018 has began its commercial operations on July 1, 2018. I am pleasured to be one of its departing passengers on its second day, July 2, 2018.

From my almost 1 week holiday in Manila, I had a quick unexpected trip in Cebu to visit my family. Yes, I am a true-bloom Cebuana by the way.

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Upon my departure from Cebu back to Singapore, my mom and Michael sent me to Mactan Airport Terminal 1, as usual. It was to our surprise when one of the staff told us that if we are off for an international flight, there is a shuttle bus to terminal 2. She then gave us directions. Instead of looking exhausted and sleepy from our holiday, we were wide awake hoping that the shuttle bus will take us to the new terminal. And yes, it did!

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Merry-walking at MCIA  – Terminal 2’s Entrance

Home to a number of natural, historic, and cultural tourist draws, Cebu City is a top destination for both local and foreign visitors. The resort-themed Terminal 2 is for international flights, while the older Terminal 1 is for domestic flights. The new terminal 2 has a floor area of 65,000 square meters. Below is one of Michael’s stunning photos which he shared in his Instagram while we were waiting for my flight.

 

It was said that they have chosen a wood theme because wood is something synonymous to Cebu. Wooden Furniture is a big business in the province. The roof  has timber arches that look like an inverted boat hull, and a wave-like roof that evokes a tropical and resort-like feel.

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Cebu Pacific’s Check-In Counters

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MCIA’s  Boarding Gates

So far, the experience was really great! There were lots of surprises. But I must say that the entire process is yet not perfect, though. Here are some few points that you need to take note if you are taking off from the new terminal 2:

  1. No Food Shops Outside The Terminal 2
    While we were on our way to Terminal 2, I realized that I was so hungry and was hoping to have some great food with my loved ones before I fly off. Unfortunately, you can only find food shops inside the terminal 2. And only those who are with flight tickets can go inside. It was 4: 00 PM and my flight was still at 7:55 PM. I still have almost 2 hours to spent with my loved ones and I just cant let it pass. So, we went to catch the shuttle bus again back to terminal 1 just to hunt for food.
  2. No Weighing Machine Outside Terminal
    You can only weight your luggage/s at the check-in counter. In the event that you have excess luggage weight, you need to fix your stuff right there at the counter. Quite a hassle not just for yourself  but also for everyone else in the queue. It’s always better to have a weighting scale outside (just like Singapore’s Changi Airport).

Regardless of the above mentioned hiccups, I am very impressed and very proud  of the preparations at the departure area. It’s really of international standards! I am sure the arrival is just as fantastic too! Here are some impressive points from our new terminal 2:

  1. Free Shuttle Bus
    It is very convenient moving from one airport to another. I’m not sure how many seaters or how is the capacity but it is quite big. I also hope the cleanliness will be maintained in the long run.
  2.  High-Tech X-ray Machine
    The terminal is highly innovative featuring modern aesthetics. One of it is the technology called Automated Tray Retrieval System. Something new in the Philippines. There is an automatic conveyor that brings the tray below. Some areas need further improvement especially the unfamiliarity of passengers. Some were not able to properly use it. It’s a learning experience, though.
  3. Great & Wide Selection of Shops!
    I may have been pulling my hair when I learned that there is no food shop outside the Terminal 2. But when I checked in and as I searching for my Gate No., I was in awe with all the mouth-watering cuisines inside. They got Ritazza, Bonchon, Asian Kitchen, Ramen, and Burger King. There’s even Coffee bean too!

    I also enjoyed walking through all the fancy shops like Victoria’s Secret, Plug + PLay, WHSmith, Momento and of course this cant be missing, Duty Freeee!

     

     

     

     

     

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  4. Warm and Friendly Staffs

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    With its unique design of undulating wooden roofs, Terminal 2 was envisioned to demonstrate the “warmth and friendliness” of local culture, place and people. Having these lovely ladies all dressed-up with Cebu’s Iconic Sinulog Festival costume is just so smart and captivating! All the staffs were very polite; from the cleaners, securities, counter staffs and all. They will really take time to greet you with their sweetest smiles even when they are doing something. Something I did not experience from other terminals. They were also very helpful in giving directions. I hope they are doing this for both international and domestic flights.

4. Gifts
I am always fascinated with gifts (that’s why I have started a gift shop). Upon departure at the New Terminal 2, the ladies dressed-up with a Sinulog Costume gave each passengers a gift as they bid farewell when boarding on the plane. Not sure how long they will be doing this but here’s what I got. Cebu’s famous delicacy, Dried Magoes!
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The entire terminal is not yet 100 percent finished. Some areas have yet to be furnished. Passengers should expect more improvements, especially aesthetically, in the coming weeks and months. According to my research, it was designed by Hong-Kong based architectural firm Integrated Design Associates Ltd. with Filipino designers.

Considered the central gateway to the Visayas and Mindanao, the MCIA is the second largest airport facility in the country. No doubt. It is indeed the best airport in the country, by far!

Enjoy more photos below! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Café Talk Library: Cebu’s Bookworm Paradise

Bookworm Paradise

When I came home in Cebu for a short holiday last February 2018, Mike brought me to this cozy Cafe Talk Library at the heart of Cebu City, Philippines. It is located at the bustling Escario St. (near Capitol). If your are visiting somewhere around this area, this is a must place to visit where you can dine as you unwind or get work done. Or even when you are feeling anti-social at some point, this is my number one recommended place to get some lone time! It’s fine not to bring any of your gadgets because there are hundreds of books to enjoy with! It’s totally a bookworm paradise at the heart of  Cebu City!

When we went inside, I was grinning from ear-to-ear because it is my first time to visit such kind of Cafe (not sure if Singapore has). It did not disappoint me! Wish I had longer time to chill though. Mike has been sharing how much her dear sister loves the place. When we reached and ’til we were seated, only then I figured that for some reasons, it was Mike’s first time to go in one of those cubicles too! What a great memory together! Yay! And what do I mean by ‘cubicles’? Read on! 🙂

THE CONCEPT

I was amazed of the exceptional concept of this cafe that it was able to meet the ideal learning and studying avenue of this generation’s learners. The so-called ‘Millenials’! Café Talk foregoes the usual chairs-and-tables set up for quaint sections with small tables, pillows, and even stuffed toys, making it conducive for either relaxation or work. Im not sure when did this opened but I wish we had this when I was still studying. Cebu Doctors University’s old campus is just around this area. But I also thank God that I did not know about this. It will terribly tear down my pocket every time! I’ll share with you about their pricing later in this article.

CafeTalkLibrary

Anyways, it has booth or cubicles which creates atmosphere that is conducive for studying or learning. They have a really cute interior with two stories and the cubicles were numbered. Some have televisions and outlet if you are planning to bring your laptop and other devices. Some have balconies and a lot of pillows for a more chill vibe. It is good for couples and friends or just for a person who wants to be alone with a book.

THE FOOD

The meal was good though it’s a bit pricey for me. I think the food and drinks are priced the same as international coffee chains, and very limited choices for meals. You may take your pick from pastries, rice meals, hot or iced coffee, frappes, smoothies, and milkshakes. There were only two staffs when we went so we had to wait for a while for our food to be served. For me, although I am thin, I am a big eater. This is not a secret! I always run out of cash because of food. So if you are someone like me, just grab dinner outside where it’s cheaper and head to Cafe Talk for a chill with frappes or whichever you like. 😉

As the Café is open from mid-morning until late at night, you can drop by for a nightcap when you’re done touring the city, or stay for a few hours to finish your work (or TV series!).

Sooo, visiting Café Talk soon? Here’s their address:

Café Talk
N Escario St., Cebu City
Operating hours: 9 AM – 3 AM!

Enjoy more photos below 🙂

 

 

Behind The Scarlet Cape

Felicia Ow’s Scarlet Cape

Last Sunday, 21 Jan 2018, the Lunav Mass Fashion Show successfully broke the Guinness World Records & Asia Book of Records with most participants of 382 at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. I am very glad to be a part of it! Thank you Ms. Harshini Sudarshan of HS Elites for that once in a lifetime opportunity. It was not in my plan but breaking a Guinness World Record is now off from my bucket list!

 

Of course, the video above is edited so it added a more dramatic and nice effect. 😀 I’ll share with you the original video later in this article.

THE CONFESSION

I have received wonderful comments from Instagram on how well I did my walk with Felicia Ow’s Scarlet Cape (Thank you! I really appreciate it). Although it was not perfect, every single comment really means a lot me. Why? Allow me to steer you back to the  main purpose of my blog which is to share struggles, achievements and inspiration.

So, here’s a confession:

I have actually modeled the Scarlet Cape on a fashion show three years ago. September  20, 2015 to be exact.

I was with the Singapore Fashion Runway (SFR) back then. We had three consecutive days of Fashion Shows. It was Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday was my very first step on a runway in my entire life.

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At the back stage with the rest of the SFR models (Photo courtesy of Singapore Fashion Runway)

You can imagine how nervous I was while I was surrounded with seasoned models in Singapore. I was the only Filipino but everyone was very welcoming and encouraging.  Although we had workshops days before the show, it is still a different kind of nerve-wracking feeling once you are in the actual situation.

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Here was me. I may look calm and busy but I was actually trying to make myself comfortable by helping out in folding the clothes. (Photo courtesy of Singapore Fashion Runway)

One of the Singapore Fashion Runway’s mission is to bring together the local fashion designers in Singapore to co-create a unique fashion statement. A number of talented designers gathered to showcase their masterpieces.  As usual, models don’t  get the chance to choose what to wear. I believe it is a part of the job. There were already sets of outfits prepared for each models which they posted on the wall so everyone can be guided especially the dressers. Which also means that before the show starts, the models already know which outfits they will be wearing on that day. Each models flaunted about five outfits per day.

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Ms. Eileen Yap, founder of Singapore Fashion Runway, as she was briefing the models on the assigned outfits. (Photo courtesy of Singapore Fashion Runway)
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Here was me on the queue, nervously waiting for my turn to strut on the runway. (Photo courtesy of Singapore Fashion Runway)

All the designs at the show were incredible. But for some reasons, one of the designs that really caught my attention was the Scarlet Cape. It is so unique and empowering that it could give you a superwoman kind of feeling to conquer all your weaknesses and just be comfortable of who you are.

On the first day of the show, the Scarlet Cape was assigned to be worn by another model. I thought I wont get a chance to wear it already. But on the second day, I learned that some models aren’t coming so the outfits had to be re-shuffled. I was very excited that I faster checked the postings on the wall but too bad, it was again given to another model. On the third day, I prayed that there will be less models coming so I will get more chance of wearing it. And yes! Answered prayers indeed! Most models were busy on that day so they weren’t able to come. And finally, the Scarlet Cape was assigned to me! I was so happy that I faster shared the video to my mom when I got home. I thought I did well until I compared the videos from 2015 vs 2018. Here you go, see for yourself how stiff I was like a robot from the 2015 video.

 

THE TURNING POINT

As what people say, there is only one chance to make a good first impression. It is obvious to me now that  I did bad on my first walk with the Scarlet Cape. But not everyone gets a second chance and I am really grateful. I had an option to wear a different outfit but for some reasons, fate led me back to the Scarlet Cape.

My friends may be thinking that I’ve been having such a good and busy life with all the things that I have been doing; modelling, dancing, blogging/vlogging, or at work. The truth is, no. Just like yours, my journey is not all rainbows and sunshine. It is in fact mostly overpowered by darkness. I am one of those lost souls who are still knocking doors to figure my perfect spot. And recently, I got tired banging myself on doors I am not even invited. I felt that all the things I have been doing are just a waste of time. I got tired pushing myself that it even affected my performance at work. Maybe my intuition about myself was right. I will always be that shy person trying too hard to be someone but I will never be anyone. If I ask myself, I don’t even know what my goals are.

But things are starting to make sense now. I am really thankful with the opportunities I had with the Scarlet Cape. All thanks to the supportive designer! There are just times when we thought that we have already given our best on something but actually, we can still do even better. We tend to complain on things that don’t go on our way. But things don’t happen overnight. It is a gradual process.

So yes, my goals are clearer now. I may bear many scars from the doors I have been trying hard to open but I also carry with me the moments that would not happened if I did not dared to go beyond my limits since 3 years ago. I will continue to share about my journey and about the awesome people I meet along the way! I will inspire others in the simplest ways I can ❤

THE WOMAN BEHIND THE SCARLET CAPE

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Photo taken after the Lunav Fashion Show. She really went to show her support. (Thanks Felicia!)

Felicia Ow is a Singaporean Fashion Designer who  always loves to use her hands to make all sorts of stuff. She pulls her inspiration from the things she sees and observes in her everyday life (eg. fashion, materials, environment, architecture, etc). She used to design clothing. These were some of her amazing designs with Singapore Fashion Runway (SFR):

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Photo Grabbed from Ms. Felicia Ow’s Instagram account. (Photo Courtesy of Singapore Fashion Runway)

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Now, she has the founded Artz de Scrap where she creates one of a kind hand-made jewelry for those who love something different. Her style is special as she explore various techniques and materials to create artistic pieces that are unique and interesting. Her pieces are for those who are not afraid to show their personality and be different in a stylish way.  The accessories I was wearing from the Lunav Fashion Show are actually one of their masterpieces.

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Artz De Scrap’s Dark Cloud Necklace, Bracelet and Brooch Collection. (Photo by: Joseph Juban)
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Felicia Ow with Singapore local artistes (Mediacorp Tanglin Casts) wearing her handmade accessories for the runway show on SGCares Carnival. (Photo Grabbed from Felicia Ow’s Instagram account)

She is also one with Singapore Fashion Runway’s (SFR) mission which is to build fashion towards an inclusive community and to increase awareness and support for people with special needs. They put on a fashion show for the event, with special needs children and cancer survivors as models.

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Models rocking Felicia Ow’s Accessory during their recent ‘Fashion For A Social Cause’ on 13 Jan 2018.  (Photo Courtesy of Singapore Fashion Runway)
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The recent ‘Fashion for a Social Cause’ event was also graced by PM Lee Hsien Loong, Ministers Grace Fu, Minister Heng Swee Keat, Minister Desmond Lee, Minister Amy Khor and Minister Tan Chuan-Jin (Photo Courtesy of Singapore Fashion Runway)

If you wish to find out more about Artz de Scrap, check out at their Online Stores:
– http://www.etsy.com/sg-en/shop/filiksia
– http://shopee.sg/filiksia
– https://sg.carousell.com/filiksia/

Atrz De Scrap

Social Media Accounts:
– https://www.facebook.com/Artzdescrap/
– https://www.instagram.com/artzdescrap/
– https://www.pinterest.com/filiksia/artz-de-scrap/
– https://twitter.com/artzdescrap

Artz de Scrap will also be at the Singapore Comic Festival 2018 Creators’ Market this weekend, 27-28 Jan 2018 (10AM-5PM).  Do drop by and check out more of their collections at: NAFA, 80 Bencoolen Street, Singapore 189655.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Please feel free to share your thoughts at the comment section below. I would love to hear from you ❤

Where To Get That Great Summer Escape in Singapore?

Singapore Summer Escape

Rather than having four seasons, the weather in Singapore is summer, summer, and more summer all year round. But now, school is out, vacations are scheduled, and some folks will use up their remaining sick days for a leave. It is definitely a summer break fever in Singapore!

If you noticed, most people in Singapore are fun in arranging trips to remote countries just to enjoy the beach. Unfortunately,  not everyone gets the chance to do that due to time and work constraints. But fret not!  Here’s a group of friends who just gave us a great idea where to get that awesome summer getaway in this little island of Singapore. Let’s have a quick Throwback Thursday on their “Our Summer Story 2017”!

Phil, Dean, Ian, Irayori and Julienne spent their summer at the Tanjong Beach Club which is located few minutes away from the heart of the city. It is said to be a serene sanctuary located on the finest sun-soaked stretch of sand in Sentosa. One of the best kept secret place in Singapore with clean beaches and some elements of fun and adventure.

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On weekdays, the beach is believed to be a calming hideaway from Singapore’s urban jungle, offering a slice of tropical paradise. While over the weekends, the peaceful sanctuary transforms into a celebration of vibrancy and carefree parties that usually attract trendy crow, a perfect way to get acquainted with new friends. It is definitely a good escape from the daily life!

This sizzling gorgeous fellas obviously had a great time at the Tanjong Beach Club. Enjoy more of their  photographs and their short “OUR SUMMER STORY” video tinted with lush summer scenes!

 

 

 

 

Location: Tanjong Beach Club, Sentosa, Singapore
Models: Phil Villanueva, Irayori Gonzales, Dean Avelino, Ian De Guzman, and Julienne Boquiren.
Photo & Video by:  Takiro FILMS Production