Author: The Crazy Juann

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: a House of Peace and Diversity

Back in 2015 my family booked a group tour to Dubai so that we could experience this part of the globe. This would be our first time going to the middle east since most of our travels have been confined in the US, Europe and Asia. One of our destinations for the tour is a city just 140 kilometres away from Dubai: Abu Dhabi. We were off to visit the largest mosque in the UAE: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque! Truth be told, it is only when I started to travel on my own did I build interest and curiosity about religious structures and the stories behind them. During my teenage years I would pay no attention to the part of the tours where temples, churches, or other centres for worship were involved. My interest was devoted to natural sciences. This time I came prepared with a more open mind and now more curious about going to the little details that go beyond the aesthetics of the structure. Why did they build this? Who built it …

La Castellana Conference Center

A Retreat at La Castellana Conference Center in Negros

Every year it is in our religious practice and norms to attend a retreat where one will experience detachment from the usual activities of our worldly lives and just spend the time in silence and in prayer. Normally I have the retreats in the local center for Opus Dei in our city but this time I opted to go for a closed retreat far away from home. To date this had to be my best retreat experience ever. Coming from Cebu we had rode on an L300 and braved the highways, rode the waves on a barge, and finally wrestled the damaged roads of La Castellana. The total trip was roughly around 8 hours. It wasn’t too hard to find the place as the conference center was distinctively surrounded by tall walls of rocks cemented together. Beside the structure were trucks, a basketball court and what I believe was a welfare center. La Castellana Conference Center The car drove in and we were all impressed by the natural beauty just surrounding us! The house in …

Tinago Falls – The Hidden Falls of Iligan

When I got to Iligan City I had absolutely no other plan than the agenda (conduct a safety seminar) I have already set for the next day. So I contacted one of my friends @wanderingteddybear who is from around here and told him: “surprise me!” Initially he started with a quick city tour to get me a feel of the local city vibes and how to get around and then he decided to take me to one place that would quickly give me the iconic idea of what Iligan City is known for: waterfalls! True enough, Iligan is known as the City of Waterfalls due to the numerous accessible and inaccessible waterfalls in the city!  In Cebu, if you want to reach one of the waterfalls (referring to Mantayupan and Kawasan), it’s a couple of hours drive or trek to even get to one that you could enjoy. Here, it’s just less than an hour away and it’s not very expensive to get there! Just one thing though, this particular waterfall we visited actually requires …

The First Freediving Convention in the Philippines

For the first time in the Philippines, a Freediving Convention was organised. We from Dive ta Bai did not aim for it to be big or grandiose. Our only objective was to get it happening to cause a ripple effect. Initially expecting at least 100 attendees, it was saddening to hear that several backed-out because of Typhoon Paulo which was causing some major cancellations for boat trips and some flight cancellations. However, some freedivers from DTB Cebu, DTB Bohol, SAWUM Freedivers, The Dive Channel, and Freedive HQ attended the event despite the weather and became part of history! I won’t lie, I was nervous about pursuing this event because there have been several things piling up on my plate for work and then this typhoon Paolo/Lan suddenly comes in and changes a whole lot of things. Truth is, I was half my mind to cancel the event and it really was eating me up inside. Then came for me to face the music. At 1:30pm there were still less than 10 people who arrived and …

Dive Ta Bai! – A Freediving Community in the Philippines

Five years ago on the 14th of October, it was a fine Sunday when three bloggers namely Edwin, Doi, and Johnn decided to try “freediving” in the reefs of what then was Tambuli Beach Club. The three were curious about the sport of freediving and did not know much except for what they have tried to experience for themselves. After almost 4 hours in the water, they were quite spent but extremely stoked about the whole experience. With smiles on their faces, they vowed to discover more reefs and take their dives to further depths. Back on dry land, one of them decided to create a Facebook group to invite more friends who might be interested in the group: “Dive ta Bai!”. The group wanted to connect with like-minded individuals who wanted to explore freediving in Cebu. Five years later, the Dive ta Bai community has now over 1000 members with chapters in Bohol, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Diplog,  Iligan, and even Dubai! Dive ta Bai! “Let’s Dive!” The group was informally created as …

Exotic Bird Lovers of CEBU – XBLOC

It’s still less than a year since I decided that I will begin keeping birds again and I am rather thankful that this time I did not pursue the craft in my own but sought advice and guidance from those who have built several years of experience from mistakes and victories in aviculture. My mentors and friends are those known aviculturists from the: EXOTIC BIRD LOVERS of CEBU or more popularly known as XBLOC. Beginnings in Istorya.net The group had their early beginnings even before Facebook became quite popular. For Cebu, it was Istorya.net that was the choice place to be online and discussing topics of common interest. I remember even browsing pet discussions back in my high school days. This was the place to be in to share about your pets. One particular thread that focused on the keeping of Exotic birds was the: Exotic Bird lovers of Cebu. “We started as forumers sa istorya.net… There was a thread there about birds and we log-in everyday to talk about what birds we had, who …

Raven Nigthclub – Best Nightlife in Xiamen

Typically if one were to spend an enjoyable evening in Xiamen you’d be off to the streets of Wang Shan Lou where shopping and a whole line of food selection can be found. But as the lights start turning off, shops start closing, and the people start going home, there’s only one place you’d rather be as you party the night away: Raven Nightclub! Just point to the Conrad Building which is one of the beautiful towers that standout in a continuously growing skyscraping city of Xiamen and the taxi drivers will quickly take you there. It’s not very far from Zhong Shan Lou so it’s really a great place to be in right after your food trip or touristy walk around the shopping street. The people coming here are all in for a grand time and you can really tell the Chinese people really know how to bring out the goods! You can see a whole lot of Champagne bottles, Möet, and delicious bowls of fresh fruits served for the guests. I can also …

Green naped Lory

Introducing: The Birds of Cebu!

I’ve finally succumbed to what a lot of pet owners have been doing for the past decade: creating social media accounts for pets. In my case, since I have over 30+ birds, I’ve created a consolidated page and IG account for all of them.   It’s out of the cage time! It’s really difficult to get a shot of Charlie, Pili and Ozai in one perch! This was a lucky shot. #birdsofcebu #birdsofig #birdsofinstagram #parrotsofig #parrotsofinstagram #petsgram #instapets #instabird #parrot #indianringneck #irn #bird #pet #charlietheirn #sunconure #conuresofinstagram #rainbowlorikeet #greennapedlory #lory A post shared by Birds of Cebu (@birdsofcebu) on Sep 12, 2017 at 2:16am PDT So for those of you who are interested to see what I’m posting you can actually follow them at @birdsofcebu . The whole idea is to share some bits of information about these domesticated birds (I do not keep any wild-caught birds as an advocacy to preserve wildlife). More than just pretty pictures or colorful feathers, these birds are quite the lively flock and each of them have their own attitude …

Cebu Island, Cebu Province, and Cebu City

Did you know that Cebu City is not part of Cebu Province and the Lapu-lapu City is not part of Cebu Province or Cebu City but is part of Cebu? Confused already? Read on. For a good number of people, Cebu is basically Cebu City. Especially for those who have not really read into what Cebu has to offer, the common assumption is CEBU is Cebu City or even their neighboring cities. Well, I think it’s time to clarify exactly the division of Cebu in geographical partitions: The North, South and the Metro First off, it would be best to identify Cebu as a group of islands in Central Visayas, the biggest being the main island and 167 other islands surrounding it. So to clarify, so long as you are in CEBU islands, yes you’re in Cebu. But what about Cebu City? Well Cebu City is a city on its own and does not include the other cities like Mandaue, Talisay, and Balamban. We’ll get to those divisions further later. First thing you need to know, in …

Guillaume Nery

Guillaume Nery Freediving Workshop – What’s It Like?

I was running a bit late and was worried that the class was already heading to boat to begin their first dive of the day. Gosh of all days to be late! I can’t help it. The night before I was just so filled with excitement to finally meet Guillaume Nery, world-famous CNF (constant weight no fins) freediver! The order from my work came at the last minute that I shall be covering for the Dive Philippines social media, the Guillaume Nery Freediving Workshop for Mactan! Okay so admittedly this is not going to be about how I was a student of the workshop but I’d say I was able to get at least  a good portion of what the students might have experienced during the workshop so please do read on. Building Expectations Before the workshop even started I already had a schedule of the activities and they were pretty much the same throughout the rest of the three-day workshop. We got yoga in the morning with Julie Gartier, then some lecture first, dives, …