Mr. Tambay's Iloilo Touchdown Experience

Posted on Saturday, January 15, 2011 by Mr. Tambay

Last November 2010, me, together with Kevin Ray Chua, Alvin Dalion, and Ronnell Padillo, went to Iloilo to attend the 1st Visayas Blogging Summit and the 4th Philippine Blog Awards, Visayas Leg. A lot of first times happened to me that time; first time to fly via airplane, first time to leave Cebu, first time to attend a summit outside Cebu, et al. Truly, my Iloilo touchdown was memorable. I want to share our fun at Iloilo but I must warn you, this will be a LONG post. Here's our story...

November 26, 2010 - We took a cab going to Mactan Cebu International Airport to catch our flight to Iloio via Cebu Pacific which was scheduled at 5:55 PM. We arrived at around 4:50 PM and we rest for a bit. We found out that fellow Cebu bloggers Mark Monta, Agnes Jimenez, Wilhelmina Sarawi, and Xerxes Bernadez are on the same flight with (Flight 5J 170 if I'm not mistaken...) We departed on time. The ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) that was stated on the iterinary receipt was 6:40 PM but we arrived at Iloilo 12 minutes ahead of schedule.

Me and Ronnell now boarding at the plane.
Alvin, wearing my yellow glasses, and Kevin.

Since we got no place to go yet because we reserved our hotel accommodation on the 27th of November, Mark and his roommates offered their room for us to have a place to sleep for 1 night. But before we called it a night, we roamed around Iloilo for a bit. We found a small bowling alley and we were astonished about what we discovered there, you play bowling MANUALLY! WE went back to Days Hotel (the hotel of Mark Monta, Agnes, Wilhelmina and Mark Gallardo). Watched TV then slept late.

Since we are cam whores and not yet drowsy, we played with Kevin's camera :)

November 27, 2010 - We woke up early to prepare ourselves for the 1st Visayas Blogging Summit which was held at Cinema 2, SM City Iloilo. We went to SM City Iloilo via taxi with our loads, went straight to Cinema 2, and sat at our desired seat. We attentively listened to the first half of the programme. Aileen Apolo gave me a Google notebook during her talk. Noon came, we went outside the Cinema 2 and had a little talk with Janette Toral. We booked to the hotel that I reserved and had our lunch at our usual eating hub, McDonalds.

Spotted at VBS! (Photo courtesy of Bryan Karl Yuson)

Ronnell and Alvin with Tonyo Cruz, one of the speakers of the VBS.

We finished the rest of the programme during the VBS, when VBS ended, Kevin introduced us to Rio Calle, a friend of his. We went to The Avenua, the venue for the 4th Philippine Blog Awards, which is just a jeepney ride away.

Jayvee, Blogie, Kevin, Me, Alvin, Ronnell, Rio, and I-forgot-his-name (sorry!)
Before the event started, we had a little chit-chat with Coy and Winston (Batangyagit). It was a small chit-chat, but it was fun. Winston took a pic of us while chit-chatting.

Coy, Me, Alvin, Rio, Kevin, and Ronnell (Photo courtesy of Batangyagit)
The awarding started with a dinner. We seated together with Ria Jose, who was also one of the speakers of the VBS and the sole representative of the Mindanao Bloggers for the VBS. The awarding of winners started as soon as the dinner ended. The winners were proclaimed and awarded, and after the event, some chit-chats lurked around the venue. We happen to talk with Ms. Janette Toral, one of the speakers during the VBS. She also signed my copy of Blogging From Home Book

My buddies, Alvin, Kevin, with Ronnell at the back, and me with Ms. Janette. (Photo by BatangYagit)
Ms. Janette happily signed my copy of Blogging From Home
Before we went back to our hotel, we decided to stay for a bit to have fun with CBS members. It was Sinjin's birthday, so he invited us to have fun at their hotel, but we decided not to join because our hotel accommodation might go to waste if we at least don't stay there. So, we went back via tricycle and called it a night.

Fun, fun, fun with Alvin, Kevin, Ronnell, Mark Gallardo, and Jaysee (Photo by Bryan Karl Yuson)
November 28, 2010 - Rio offered us a small-tour at Iloilo because we can't join the Heritage Tour organized by the Iloilo Bloggers due to lack of money. So we prepared ourselves and packed up since we had to check out of the hotel at exactly 12 NN. Mark Monta, Mark Gallardo, Agnes Jimenez, Wilhelmina Sarawi, and Rabsin Dela Cruz decided to join us to the small tour, too. Before the tour started, we took our breakfast at JB's Bakeshop, since it was suggested by Vir Silva. The food there was great! Afterwhich, we went straight to Mark's Hotel to leave our bags since our hotel stay has already expired, but on our way there, we chose the wrong jeepney to ride and the driver unloaded us to Robinson's Iloilo! So we had no choice but to walk our way to Days Hotel which was no joke. Imagine walking a long distance with your heavy bags?

Finally, we arrived at Days Hotel with full of sweat! Rio camed and our little tour began. Our first stop was a lunch break at JD's Bakeshop at La Paz.

Having lunch at JB's Bakeshop (Photo taken by Rio Calle)
After the lunch, Rio took us to Central Philippine University. On our way to CPU, we had so fun like we totally forgot that we were not alone in the jeepney. Lots of crazy stuffs have been thrown at each other and everyone laughs at it. That was so crazy yet so fun! Rio toured us to the vicinity of CPU the moment we arrived there.

Fun moments at the jeepney...
CPU College of Engineering Building...
Next to CPU was the Biscocho House located at Jaro. Some of my company bought biscochos to dig in. Afterwhich, we went straight to Jaro Cathedral which was just a walking distance away from Biscocho House. The church was very historical and elegant.

The Jaro Cathedral.
We were suppose to go to Peri Todds with them that time but it was already 3:00 PM and our flight going back to Cebu was scheduled at 7:00 PM on the same day. It is the norms of the airline company to advise passengers to come to the airport 2 hours before the flight. So we bid goodbye to our company and ate the famous La Paz Batchoy before going back to get our stuffs.

La Paz Batchoy! Yummy!

Before going to the airport, we bought some pasalubongs for our mates. I also bought something for someone. We rode our way to the airport and waited for our flight. While waiting, we found Ms. Janette who was also waiting for her 7:20 PM flight to Manila. We chatted with her and to our surprise, she treated us to a dinner! We also saw Clarence Mongado, who was also at the same flight with us, and Jun Ed Sunido, whom I believe shared the same flight with Ms. Janette Toral. We boarded to the plane and flew back to Cebu.

Me with Ms. Janette at Iloilo International Airport.
The experience I had together with my friends was, like I said, very memorable. I learned many thing from Iloilo. I will forever treasure this extraordinary experience of mine. To Kevin, Alvin, Ronnell, CBS, Iloilo Bloggers, Bloggers I met, Rio, Ms. Janette, and to all, MADAMU GID NGA SALAMAT!

The rest of the photos by: Kevin Ray Chua