The Night Before…


I was told to get a lot of sleep because I haven’t been much lately. It’s been nerve wracking & stressful but not this part- I am already proud of the work I have done and the work I can put in and that I WILL put in. I do not question that.

I am proud of the content and the advocacy behind it and my heart, now I can only just sit back and see how the world takes it. But beyond that, I will not question if I worked hard enough for it or if i am good enough to do it. I’m not gonna stress myself out like that. I just need to work hard, work smart , pray and trust that God will give me what He thinks is best for me. I’m ok with this. It is settling.

I’m so excited though. If I’m being completely honest. I am soo excited. I’m probably more excited about everything that’s happening more than getting married. I know that sounds weird but I say this because now I can finally be married. I can finally just do the things that make me happy and excited and maybe this time I can be happier.

So we’ll see what happens tomorrow. For the first time in a long time, I am excited about tomorrow.

[VLOG/ BLOG] Cebu Ocean Park- Everything You Need To Know- Prices, Attractions, Interactions, Etc.

As of August 24, 2019, Cebu Ocean Park is now on their soft opening. While they are scheduled for their grand opening sometime in October 2019, guests are welcome to explore the area as early as now.

Here is everything you need to know about the area:

Cebu Ocean Park is located at Sm Seaside Complex, right beside Pedro Calungsod Church at the SRP. You can there via My Buses and PUJ aside from private vehicles.

They are open on Mondays- Fridays from 10:00am – 6:00 pm
Saturday, Sundays & Public Holidays from 9:30 am- 6:00 pm
with tickets being sold at P600.00 for locals on weekdays, P800.00 for foreigners and locals on weekends

Children accompanied by a paying adult that are below 2 ft. enter for free!

Cebu’s Ocean Park is said to be 6 times bigger as compared to the original Ocean Park in Manila and houses a range of animals from reptiles, birds, fishes and more!

There are 3 floors with specific sections for guest to enjoy such as the Jungle Trek, Creepy Critters, Lories, Seven Seas, Interaction Center, Fish Spa, Amphitheater, 360 Acrylic and others.

The Jungle Trek & Lorie section takes guests on an outdoor adventure allowing them to not only see but also interact with different kinds of birds, fresh water fish and reptiles such as lizards & snakes.

For P100.00 guests can feed the Lorie birds fresh nectar atop a viewing deck that shows a… birds eye view of the area.

The Seven Seas section carries various salt water creatures mostly tropical fish and in one section, eels. While they do not have the jelly fish room like in Manila, I am curious to see if this is something that they will be adding overtime.

The Center of Interaction, as the name suggests, is where guests can pay to experience different interactive activities with the animals such as Croc Cage diving (P2,000.00) where guests are encapsulated in a circular acrylic case wherein they are submerged into the crocodile area, Stingray Interaction (P1,000.00) where guests can swim with stingrays (or as pointed out by a friend- Eagle rays) and the Sea Trek (P1,200.00) where guests can walk around underwater while being surrounded by fish.

If you’re more of a watcher than a doer, this area has acrylic panels where you can get up close and personal with the Eagle rays and other wild life.

There is also a fish spa section (P100.00) where you can have “doctor fish” give your skin a little refreshing.

We also walked into their bird show stadium which can house 800 guests. While everything within Ocean Park is currently functioning and running except for the bird show section- this sis also another segment of the show I am greatly looking forward to.

Fun fact: I’ve been asking around where to apply as an animal trainer. I’m dead serious about working there. Everyone thinks I’m joking. I’m not.

The 360 acrylic section is where most, if not all, of your photos will most likely be taken. lol. jk. or not.

Curated feeds aside, the 360 acrylic walkthrough is a dome shaped pathway that is completely surrounded by water and different kinds of salt water fish with the main attraction being the sting rays and sharks!

The end of the hall eventually leads to the deep tank lagoon with lots of seating space and a great viewing glass for everyone to sit back and enjoy.

This is the last attraction of the tour before heading out to shop and eat.

While there are a few snack stalls along the area, there is also a Chinese restaurant named Gusto right before the exit. While I wasn’t able to check out the prices or get a peak at the food- as the Chinese characters on the logo suggest, I’m guessing that they’re oriental offerings.

If you’re on a budget or aren’t a fan of Chinese food, SM Seaside Cebu is right across you so with lots of other food selections.

They also have a gift shop section where parents can then be harassed by their children to buy then a stuffed toy. JUST KIDDING!!! or not. But seriously, they have a gift shop with lots of trinkets and memorabilia for guests to take home!

Other paid offerings:
Photo printing
Private function rooms

Should I make a reservation for tickets?
You can! But with the amount of people that the area can accommodate, it is unlikely that reservations are necessary.

Contact details?
(032) 888 5288


Is it worth it do go right now?
Honestly, if you asked me, it depends. 80% of the animals are already there and you barely know what you’re missing (aside from the bird show). If you’re from Cebu, we all have the privilege of waiting but if you’re a guest and are eager to see this wonderful new attraction, I definitely would not pass up the opportunity.

Do they have penguins?
No… not yet (?) I asked and they said they have yet to find out if they will or will not be available in Cebu.

What’s the state of the fish?
As a freshwater tank keeper, I would say that the fish are kept in the necessary living conditions considering that they are being kept in captivity. I was unsure about how I felt about COP opening in Cebu but seeing how much was taken into consideration in terms of space, temperature, lighting and how well the staff know about the animals, their needs and their general outlook- I know that the animals are safe and happy.

Do they have elevators/ escalators?

Any other questions? Feel free to leave them in the comment section below!

Keep Swimming,
Issa Gandionco

KBBQ with Private Function Rooms Monster Grill – Lahug, Cebu City

I love Korean BBQ. I LOVE KOREAN BBQ. I love smelling like KBBQ. I love sweating like KBBQ. The anthem of my life is 7 Meats and yes, it is about KBBQ. Have I made my point yet? :p

Korean BBQ spots have been popping up all over the place over the last few years, each one with their own twist like buffet styles, over the top side dishes, insanely low eat-all-you-can prices and you name it!

But one thing that I have yet to encounter in Cebu has been private function rooms where friends and family can gather and soak up in all that good KBBQ smoke. (lol) However, all that’s changed very recently with Monster Grill by Lemon Tree Spa recently opening their doors in the Lahug area.

I don’t exactly know how we found out about this place (probably through a FB add or from one of Paolo’s cousins) but we were really glad that we did! We really like how spacious the area is and even when it was packed with people, we barely noticed any smoke and unlike other KBBQ locations, it wasn’t chaotic nor did it feel claustrophobic.

As I mentioned, my favorite thing about this KBBQ restaurant is that they have private room options located on the second floor with options for small, medium and large groups. Some rooms even have projectors where guests can discuss meetings and etc. The two times that we’ve been there (within a month, might I add), we requested for the private rooms and thoroughly enjoyed cooking, talking and being able to laugh boisterously without the fear of judgement from other diners.

Another thing that I also REALLY like about Monster Grill is the unusually thick cut of their samgyupsal. I’ve been accustomed to the thiner slices of samgyupsal so I was both intrigued and apprehensive about trying it but I actually really liked it. In fact, I might even like it compared to the usual.

I was also able to try out their beef cuts and it was pretty similar to the short plate at Pearl Meat Shop (but picture, better location!) so yes, Monster Grill is officially my favorite KBBQ place in the entire world. For now. :p

I will be completely honest though, I do feel like they scrimp a bit on the side dishes but we can’t really have everything so I’ll take what I can. But in fair, they also have a lot of food offerings which encourages diners to actually eat something else aside from their meat.

Monster Grill is located at the Tree Shade Spa complex in Lahug (beside Metro Sports). They have parking, a cafe, a massage parlour and a bar in the area, as well.

They also accept credit cards & reservations.

Operating times: 10:00 AM – 1:00 AM everyday

Issa Gandionco

Esquina Pasta Bar, Cebu

Lately laundry days with my sister have been one of my favorite bi-monthly chores (we’re disgusting, I know!) because laundry days are the times we both get to walk around the Mabolo area and discover new restaurants in Cebu.

For those who are wondering, I do my laundry at Rapid Rinse in Mabolo and if you didn’t already know, Mabolo is a haven when in comes to hole in the wall restaurants and such.

This week, we stumbled into a PASTA BAR which first of all, I never even knew existed (!!!) and boy did we have a blast!

I first heard of Esquina Pasta Bar on Instagram and was instantly drawn to their bright & catchy marketing material and well, long story short, I had to go. So last Wednesday, on laundry day, we ventured out to Esquina Pasta Bar at 39 C Pres. Laurel St. Villa Aurora, Kasambagan, Cebu City

Getting to the place was a little bit difficult for us because 1, we walked to the location & 2, we have no sense of direction and cannot comprehend maps. It took us a good 15 minutes to finally figure out where Esquina was but once you walk by it, you can’t miss it! (I was suggested to follow Waze to get there)

The pasta bar is outdoors but well ventilated and shaded for those who are iffy about the heat & humidity. Plus, the pretty exteriors makes you forget you’re even outdoors so there’s really nothing to worry about!

I was really interested in their menu as they not only had a nice selection of regular & premium pastas but they also offered what they call the Collossal Chicken, which is closely resemblant to Taiwan’s popular Hot Star chicken.

We were only able to order two of the items on their menu which was ok because it only made us want to go back sooner even more!

We were definitely impressed by the serving size and flavors in each of the dishes that we tasted and I also really appreciated how they altered my linguine shrimp scampi and made it non- spicy, as per my request.

Country Fried Steak – P 180.00

Linguine Shrimp Scampi –  Php 155

I am definitely going back to Esquina Pasta Bar in the near future and would suggest this pasta bar to my younger market who loves adventures and good food. I can’t wait til my next foodie adventure (hopefully laundry days can be a weekly thing) but until then, please do drop by Esquina Pasta Bar.

Esquina Pasta Bar is open every Tuesday – Sunday from 4:00 pm – 12 mn


Issa Gandionco

Marriage Is Weird

Paolo & I aren’t on speaking terms right now because of something I did or rather… Did not do.

But he bought us dinner tonight and milk tea so I think that means he still loves me.

Ironically, all the food he ordered was spicy so I don’t really understand if he’s sorry or he wanted to torture me and the milktea as an afterthought 😂

Marriage is weird. I don’t know if I love it, hate it, regret it (sometimes). It’s just weird.

This weekend is Influencity and I’m saving my earnings to apply for a Visa because I haven’t stopped missing my family at all. Not even a tiny little bit.

You’d think that after marriage I’d be so excited and just want to be a wife but nothing much has really changed in our lives aside for the fact that we’ve gotten 10x busier so I think I am allowed to want to go places and do things.

Besides its feels like awfully long time since I’ve gotten on a plane but also, it was literally only about 6 months ago. Lol.