GARDEN Cafe – A restaurant in Bohol dedicated to the deaf and mute…=)

Garden Cafe – Tagbilaran, Bohol

“The most beautiful thing in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”~Hellen Keller~

Since blogs are excellent forms to write about something for all its’ worth. Something that can inspire a lot of people. Something that mattered. I decided to write about this quaint restaurant in Bohol that left a significant mark in my heart.

Bottomline: Social awareness.

It is Garden Cafe in Bohol. We landed on this cafe while we were looking for a teller machine. It is just in front this certain bank and we decided to cross the street and check it out. The “Wild, wild West” theme of the facade is enticing.

garden cafe facade
Source: http://www.gardencafetagbilaran.com/contact-us/
garden cafe
Wheels…
bakery
Oh they have a bakery too..

To our surprise, one poster says that all the attendants of this restaurant are either deaf or mute.

poster
Vintage poster..
close up
Close-up of the posters’ portion.

My son even asked me “So how are we going to place our orders?” And I answered him, we will see. At the back of my mind, I was also wondering as to how we will relay them our thoughts. Do we need to write it down or hand gestures. And it is yet to be seen.

polo quesadilla
Pollo quesadillas..

So we had to write our orders. This one tasted really good. It’s like home-made and I noticed something in Bohol, they are excellent in making sauces. The sauce (or salsa) of this one is something to request for more. Pollo is chicken in Spanish.

chiller bb
A chiller with a rotating tray inside.

Aren’t they so enticing? As expected, me and my son ordered for a blueberry cheesecake. A slice for each. It is so creamy, soft and they didn’t skimp on topping blueberries. So, so good. I’ve got tons of anti-oxidants with the blueberries we have consumed for the past days.

This blog will be just brief. My intention is just to plant a seed of thought that there
is a place like this. =)

To check more from this place. You may visit their website: http://www.gardencafetagbilaran.com/contact-us/

Garden Cafe is located at:

#8 J.S. Torralba Street, Tagbilaran City, Philippines

Phone: (+63) (38) 411- 2018 | 411-3701 | 501-0268
http://www.gardencafetagbilaran.com/contact-us/

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Check Bohol for the CHOCOLATE HILLS!

Chocolate Hills-Carmen, Bohol

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” ~Anita Desai~

The ferry ride from Cebu to Bohol and the 200+ steps stairs that I climbed to get a better view of the Chocolate hills were truly worth it. I have to say it because the ferry ride gave me jitters and two in a row were too much for me. Trekking at the Tarsier’s  conservatory is another and having lunch afloat a restaurant that got us around Loboc river.

choco 11
I made it!

The hills when I turned around the vast landscape at 360 degrees was breath taking! Not because I climbed without resting except for a few pauses when I wanted to take pictures of the hills from different angles. I kept on climbing and climbing, I was actually secretly counting it! ahaha! Catching my breath and when I reached the top? The view took my breath away… It was so amazing!

bs
God’s gift… earth and sky…

I have been dreaming to see them even as a child as the teacher asked us to enumerate the list of natural wonders of the Philippines. The Chocolate hills is what I clearly remember along the Banaue rice terraces, Maria Cristina falls and the Mayon volcano. As child, the chocolates literally tickled my imaginations.

choco 6
More than 1,200 conical hills…
choco 5
They came up with several tales out of these hills…
choco 3
Imagine living in front of them..

I am so grateful that I am just meters away from them. We can actually go near them via scooters which are for rent. However, seeing them from the top is indeed enough for me to revel in its’ grandeur.

choco 1
Breath-taking…
choco 12
This one with trees drying up, resembles the color of chocolates.
choco 4
I just wish I took more photos but it rained…

So this is what local and foreign alike are gushing about. Truly considered as one of the country’s pride. I have read endless connotations about this natural wonder and I hope that the local government will exercise all measures to preserve this gift. Apart from its vivid shades comes out bright greens and terra cottas and created a transcendent panorama where visual sights and sounds of someones’ heartbeat coincide. There were a lot of muffled moments from the three of us and even from the other tourists probably we are all running out of words to describe the magnificence verbally. Staring at them in all admiration. Hubby even captured us not blinking.

choco 10
Speechless.. We are beside each other and we weren’t even talking..
choco 9
Oooops!
choco 8
Tatty.. short for “tatay”..
choco 7
Father and son..

I have to thank him for his determination to bring us to this experience. True enough, the beauty of nature nurtures the soul.

Blissful BOHOL!

Blissful Bohol…

“Mother nature has the power to please, to comfort, to calm, and to nurture one’s soul.”~Anthony Douglas Williams~

There are many darn good reasons to desire going back to Cebu again after more than a dozen visits through the years. Besides, what they boasts like the pristine beaches is one thing I haven’t experienced yet even after my most recent visit. Though I’m hoping to get there soon. Probably at Camotes island, Bantayan or Malapascua island. Or check out Little Holland and Temple of Leah.

My son’s father decided to bring me and our son to spend a day in Cebu and another in Bohol. Who can ever resist that? We have been living in separate roofs for more than ten years however we make it a point to be together during our son’s activities in school and from time to time, we bring him out for fun and leisure too. So this 3 days and 2 nights is nothing extra-ordinary to the three of us. Well, just the same, we are all excited. Especially me since I have been wanting to see in my own eyes the magnificent Chocolate hills in Bohol And its for free! Yey! Thank you tatty! =)

Tagbilaran is definitely a locale one can’t get lost at, I often hear that you can roam around the whole town in a day. It isn’t that big. But it has a lot to offer.

Take a look!

Floating restaurant

day tour
Our itinerary..
loboc 6
Rio Verde..
eat all u can
Eat all you can!
loboc
Just after lunch..
loboc 5
4 meters deep.. It’s green due to the algae under..
loboc 3
So this is how cruising feels like! =)

On the side, there was a stop-over for taking pictures with some attractions. We had this giant crab carry us on its’ back . =)

loboc 2
A native took this pic. They were dancing when we came. We also gave him some bills as gratuity. =)

Man-made forest

mmf2
Father and son bonding!
mmf
My so liked it here, I think! =)
mmf5
Trees are like God to me!
mmf4
(–,)

Tarsiers  – the smallest primate in the world 

t3
According to my friends, the Tarsiers can be held before. Now, it’s prohibited.
t1
Just for the experience. =)
t2
I think we saw just three Tarsiers in this 30 minutes trekking.
Source: www.explorerphilippines.com
It can turn its’ head 180 degrees, since their eyes are too big. Such a cutie for me. And I don’t mind not touching them, they looked so fragile to me. I’m okay being just a spectator. Besides, day time is sleeping time for them. Photo source: http://www.explorephilippines.com

Strolled in Bohol

church
We will never miss visiting the churches..
i was here
And I always as in always admired the floors during the old time..
my god
Jesus Christ..
plaza
Look at how they improvised that typical wooden bench..=)
plaza 2
Joint forces!
plaza 3
My epic pose.. I was hoping the pavilion was captured from the roof top. =)
plaza 4
The care taker told us that the birds can feed in your hands, as long as you’ve got some rice for them..
plaza 6
Same pose! ahaha
plaza 5
Moi!
inn
The inn which accommodated has a blueberry cheesecake chilled in a mason jar! 

Chocolate Hills

Bear with me as I am writing a separate blog about the hills. I was too awed by it and this blog is too long already. (–,)

I will not forget what the skies are like in Bohol, how they densely gather along the panorama, how tall and majestic the trees are in that winding road from Loboc to Bilar, how the Tourist guide in the Tarsier Conservatory impeccably reckoned the “To dos and not to dos” prior to traversing the conservatory, how different nationalities huddled in one raft, how excited my husband to see the Tarsiers and wished to bring home one, how my son got obsessed with blueberry cheesecake (he had more than 5 servings I guess), how I lost my breath climbing the 200+ steps to have a better view of the chocolate hills. When it was all worth it! It is indeed the best part of this trip! Witnessing one of the greatest work of nature in the whole world. I thank God for the chance to capture such beauty!

And we are already looking forward to be exploring the other side of Bohol soon – Panglao… =)

Deja vu in CEBU!

Deja vu in Cebu

“Actually, the best gift you could give to her was a lifetime of adventures.”
~Lewis Carroll~ (Alice in Wonderland)

It is on this premise that I am writing again about Cebu. Besides, I am no longer a solo traveler this time, no longer that the trip is work-related. I will be with my family. This has been planned a long time ago and I am glad that it has finally came true. I am pretty sure that I’ll enjoy it and yes, I did, much as I enjoy my trips when I’m traveling solo.

Let me share with you some activities or must-dos that I listed down minus the trip to the beaches. As there’ll always be a next time.

It is our son’s first time to visit the queen city of the south, so I made it a point that he see the site of Magellan’s Cross as it is the seat of our Catholic faith, say a prayer, and see the museum. They are by the way just adjacent to one another. Personally, I also want to see for myself how much was damaged to this old church after the typhoon last year. It breaks my heart to see some sites being destroyed when it was standing there for the longest time.

This is one reason why I also included in my list to go back to Tacloban one of these days when it became my second home some years ago.

Our itinerary includes a visit to Cobonpue’s showroom, the Ferangali store which is the oldest makers of guitars in Cebu, shop dried fish at Taboan market as pasalubong, shop souvenirs at Fuente circle and visit Rica’s at The Henry hotel. They don’t want the “Edge coast ride”. Ryan wanted the “Lantaw” restaurant. It is a floating resto serving authentic Filipino cuisine, but this time, I was the one who slashed it from the list as I do not want to be floating again! I’ve had too much of it for the past days. Upon seeing my final list, both boys requested to see Ayala Terraces, Cebu. Oh well, I forgot that they are mall rats too.

b
Islands Souvenirs made the “I love ___!” slogan nationwide! =) I think I might blog it if I collected at least 10 of these..
a
Shopping first before everything else! ❤

As a thriving blogger, this has been very convenient for me to splash into just about every imaginable activity that I can write about and I never expected that it can include malling, ahaha!

Appreciating the struggle, especially if I checked on fellow bloggers who have been blogging when I didn’t know anything about blogging at all. The awards, the statistics, the events they have attended, I honestly look at them as inspirations. I blog because I love to blog, it has been my coping tool and it destresses me in a special way. The likes and comments from people who are strangers to me are like fuels that brings me throttling to pursue my passion.

Luck is not on my side when our ferry schedule was moved from 11am to 2pm. It meant that I can no longer catch up with my appointment visiting Cobonpue’s showroom. =(

I am not the crying over spilled milk type of person so we just proceed with our shopping and dinner at Rica’s. The two boys didn’t even remember about the showroom. And I am not also there to sulk. I believe that there’ll always be a next time. And visiting places is one of my antidotes to boredom.

Visiting Rica’s, a 30 minute drive from our hotel, was truly worth it. I am sure the quirkiness of the place will be liked by the two boys. And more importantly, the list on the menu. =)

This is what we’ve had:

focacia
Focacia sticks as appetizer..
cheese cigar
It’s mozzarella inside.. =)
lengua
Lengua for me.. My son liked the escarole salad, he said the vinaigrette is good..
4 cheese
My son’s pizza, with 4 cheeses…
angus beef tapa
Tatty’s choice is the Angus beef tapa.. ideal for breakfast but fits supper too. The meat is very tender..
best seller
Best seller – Brazo de Mantecado..
2 thumbs up
2 thumbs up! =)
happy tummy
Full!

Oh well, we’re so full. Picture-taking is a must. I have been dreaming of the unique elevated chairs and that red figure.

audrey
Yey! ❤
red guy
Finally, I met him! =)

A little stroll here and there.

paseo 3
Father and son!
paseo
Mother and son!
paseo 2
The parents! lol!

While planning itinerary for the following day. As the night gets a little less younger, we opted to go back to the hotel and take a restful slumber, it was a day coming from Bohol via a ferry and tomorrow’s another day.

three's
Boys, let’s call it a day! =)

The two are already sleeping when I craved for a mango shake. =)

mango
Don’t miss the mango shake when you’re in Cebu! =)

We made sure to acquire the free breakfast our inn offered. I am super tired, so I asked them to go ahead. But the truth is, I wanted them to have time together since the trip was really meant for my son and his dad. And, another truth is, I wanted to have my “Me time”. So I had it until they came back to the room and planned to wake me up and were surprise that the room is empty. The two knows where to find me. And until they came, my “Me time” was already well spent and sufficient to last me a few more days. =)

bfast ko
My free breakfast.. =)
cofi ko
My coffee is free too. However, I suddenly craved for mango shake again. This time, I went for the green one.. Yum!
look up
Admired the eclectic vibe.. Varying lamps in all colors.
bfast
The boys are back.

We decided to go out lunch time. Visited the church, the museum, did one more round to shop.

cross
Where our faith began..
shop
Shirts for us..
key chains
Knick knacks for friends..
5
Sto. Nino de Cebu..
1
I wasn’t able to find out who are they.. =(
2
Our Lord Jesus Christ..
3
The altar..
4
Brought me back in time..
museum
We wouldn’t wanna miss a part of history..

And headed to the mall to find a nice place for lunch. The three of us are starving. This is what we spotted.

chicahan sa cebu
Cute name..=)
beef chank
Beef is so tender and the gravy is similar to my favorite gravy from Pancake house..=)
scallops
Been a while since I had scallops..
pakbet
We gotta have veggies! One of the best pinakbet I’ve tried..

And guess what, their rice (Jasmine I think), is unlimited. We consumed 2 whopping bowls! I was known to be Ms. rice..=)

lunch
Happy tummy!

For dessert we tried some cakes from Dessert Factory (which I will share with you in another blog) and I wouldn’t want to miss my daily doze of coffee, I got my usual cafe late not from Starbucks (the two boys freaked out upon seeing the queue, it’s like more than 20 people were falling in line to get their own doze of coffee too!). I found Krispy kreme just across so I took mine from there. 3 pax VS 20+ pax. I guess it saved me more than 30 minutes.

mall
Next stop-Taboan market..

Then we head to Taboan market to buy dried fish. It took us a 30 minute taxi drive to reach the famous market. Cebu is known for their delicacies, this and dried mangoes. I got my mom a bracelet too.

Just in time, we need to be back to the hotel, packed-up and checked-in earlier for our flight back to Manila.

bye cebu
We had a pic with the Sto. Nino. =)
bye 3
We’re going home!
bye 2
I’m pretty sure they’re happy! I really hope so! (–,)

Because I am! (–,) I’ll be transparent, this trip sucked the hell out of me, drained my last drop of energy, (not to mention an almost 1 hour delayed flight back home and cost of staying in the lounge) not to mention the ferry ride (twice), but I truly enjoyed having these two men who explored a different world with me. I can only be grateful having them in this adventure.

What I miss in Tacloban? (part 2)

Tacloban has taught me to enjoy solitude. I learned there not to mind being alone (for a time). There’s so much to do in Tacloban if you’re a traveler! And I had to come up with a part 2 from my previous post:

TAC 20
Since I do not have the luxury to dine in restaurants all the time, I get the “puso”, their version of steamed rice wrapped in dried coconut leaves, and I pair them with their famous bbq (smaller version if compared with the usual bbqs that we are familiar with), and vegee soup and mango float from the hotel. Voila! (–,)
TAC 18
Hotel de Angelo is just a block away from Kapalua Spa which I frequents every weekend.
jose carlo
Jose Carlo is Tacloban’s version of Starbucks. After I went to church, I stopped by here to sip their coffee and freshly baked breads and pastries. If i’m picking my laundry (just beside this coffee shop), I am often tempted to stop by. They have wifi and computers for rent as well. I love coffee, don’t I?
TAC 2
I especially miss their festivals. Full of color, full of life, you’ll be in trance and will forget all the homesickness of being away from your family.
TAC 3
Aaaaaw! And look at how they smiled at me! They’re so sincere. They willingly posed for me when I requested for their photo as one of my souvenirs. The costumes, its’ colors and the abundance of culture showcased with pride in this event.  It’s more fun in Tacloban! (–,)
Scallops delights me everywhere in Tacloban! <3 no rashes for me, as you can be sure they've been always fresh!
Scallops delights me everywhere in Tacloban!

When you get to visit Tacloban, if you love Japanese food. You can have it here. I eyed one near my hotel, it’s Tempura haus, sorry no pictures, the ambience is great, this is where I first witness the flexibility of polycarbonates, as they used said material for their dividers, Miso soup is great (and always hot) and the tempuras themselves served hot and crisp as well.

Another is Tsinoy’s Grill. Owner was kind enough to deliver my food in my hotel if at times I don’t feel like going out. It’s been a great stay in Tacloban. Actually, there were a lot of things that I was not able to do in Tacloban. The caves, I forgot about the caves. And I haven’t tried Rafael’s farm. I’d be back soon. (–,) Besides, I’ve acquired great and reliable friends from Tacloban! ❤