A Tribute to the 44 Fallen Heroes

These are the names of the  Philippine National Police-Special Action Force's fallen heroes. They were killed in the town of Mamasapano in Maguindanao province on Sunday, January 25, 2015 during a clash with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). Their mission was to serve arrest warrants to two suspected terrorists—Malaysian Jemaah Islamiyah leader Zulkifli bin Hir also known as Marwan and Filipino bomb maker Abdulbasit Usman. 

Photo credit to GMA News

Let us offer prayers for the fallen heroes and their families. We grieve with the families of the fallen SAF members. 

1. Sr. Insp. Ryan Ballesteros Pabalinas 
2. Sr. Insp. John Garry Alcantara Erana 
3. Sr. Insp. Max Jim Ramirez Tria 
4. Sr. Insp. Cyrus Paleyan Anniban 
5. Sr. Insp. Gednat G. Tabdi 
6. Insp. Joey Sacristan Gamutan 
7. Insp. Rennie Tayrus 
8. SPO1 Lover L. Inocencio 
9. PO3 Rodrigo F. Acob Jr. 
10. PO3 Virgel S. Villanueva 
11. PO3 Andres Viernes Duque Jr. 
12. PO3 Vitoriano Nacion Acain 
13. PO3 Noel Onangey Golocan 
14. PO3 Junrel Narvas Kibete 
15. PO3 Jed-In Abubakar Asjali 
16. PO3 Robert Dommolog Aliaga 
17. PO3 John Lloyd Rebammonte Sumbilla 
18. PO2 Amman Misuari Esmulla 
19. PO2 Peterson I. Carap 
20. PO2 Roger C. Cordero 
 21. PO2 Nicky DC Nacino Jr. 
22. PO2 Glenn Berecio Badua 
23. PO2 Chum Goc-Ong Agabon 
24. PO2 Richelle Salangan Baluga 
25. PO2 Noel Nebrida Balaca 
26. PO2 Joel Bimidang Dulnuan 
27. PO2 Godofredo Basak Cabanlet 
28. PO2 Franklin Cadap Danao 
29. PO2 Walner Faustino Danao 
30. PO2 Jerry Dailay Kayob 
31. PO2 Noble Sungay Kiangan 
32. PO2 Ephraim G. Mejia 
33. PO2 Omar Agacer Nacionales 
34. PO2 Rodel Eva Ramacula 
35. PO2 Romeo Valles Senin II 
36. PO1 Russel Bawaan Bilog 
37. PO1 Angel C. Kodiamat 
38. PO1 Windell Llano Candano 
39. PO1 Loreto Guyab Capinding 
40. PO1 Gringo Charag Cayang-o 
41. PO1 Romeo Cumanoy Cempron 
42. PO1 Mark Lory Orloque Clemencio 
43. PO1 Joseph Gumatay Sagonoy 
44. PO1 Oliebeth Ligutan Viernes

May you all rest in peace. We salute you for your invaluable service to the country.

Source: http://www.gmanetwork.com/

A Taste of Davao Chocolate : Cacao de Davao

Davao is now a major producer of cacao beans in the country, in fact it is now being considered as the "Cacao Capital" of the Philippines due to its high production of Cacao beans. 

During the Davao Food Appreciation Tour 2014, we got to learn more about the Cacao industry in Davao Region. One of the sponsors of DFAT 2014 was Cacao de Davao, a major player in chocolate production in the region. It produces premium quality chocolates made from locally produced cacao beans. 

Cacao de Davao manufactures chocolate products such as Unsweetened 100% Chocolate Callets, Unsweetened 100% Cocoa Powder, 70% Dark Chocolate made with Coconut Sugar, and Cocoa Nibs. In addition, the company also sells pastries and drinks such as Fudgy Choco Brownies, Milk Chocolate as well as Dark Chocolate filled with Durian Jam. 

So, what are you waiting for? Get a taste of Davao chocolate now! It's as good as the imported chocolates we have in the market.

Cacao de Davao
San Pedro Extension, Davao City 
Mobile Number:  0917 250 2226
Instagram: @cacaodedavao 

Cacao De Davao products are also available in EchoStore branches nationwide and Sea Green Cafe and Lifestyle Shop.

*Thank you to Chamee Pecson of MissLitratista.com for sharing me her photos.
**Disclaimer: Cacao de Davao is one of the partner-establishments of DFAT 2014.

Davao Torotot Festival Ushers in Visit Philippines Year

Thousands of Dabawenyos blowed their horns at the stroke of midnight welcoming both the New Year and the Visit Philippines Year 2015 (VPY2015) during the 2nd Davao Torotot Festival in Davao City.

ASec Art Boncato at the Torotot Festival
Department of Tourism (DOT) Assistant Secretary Art P. Boncato, Jr.  said during the countdown that the Philippines is all set to become an even more exciting destination in 2015 with the VPY2015. He requested revelers to join the DOT in inviting visitors to the country--to experience the enduring promise of the worldwide tourism campaign; it’s more fun in the Philippines. A short clip showed “15 Ways to Have Fun in the Philippines” that started the countdown revelry. 

Meanwhile, during the formal launch of the VPY2015 in September 2014, DOT Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. said that the campaign aims to highlight different regions in the country. “DOT is applying very sharp pressure to move tourism out of Manila and for people to go to Bohol, Davao. Kung saan masigasig ang local, doon malakas ang turismo.”
ASec Art Boncato with DOT Secretary Mon Jimenez
The Davao region received close to 1.8M visitors in 2013 and the DOT is confident of an increase in 2014 with numbers to be finally tallied at the end of January 2015.  To drive further growth during the VPY2015, the Davao Region has registered major events in the VPY2015 calendar like the Visit Davao Fun Sale, Mt. Apo Boulder Face Challenge and Visit Samal Islands.

To find out what’s happening around the Philippines and how to actively support the campaign this year, log on to visitph2015.com.

Text and photos provided by Department of Tourism XI.

The Stairwell Restaurant at Matina Town Square

I'm Stairwell is a relatively new restaurant in Davao located inside Matina Town Square. It offers sumptuous dishes at affordable prices. It's a modern-themed restaurant with a cozy ambiance. 

Food Feast

The Stairwell has already gained its spot as a new destination for diners at MTS Complex. Aside from its delectable dishes, the restaurant also offers alcoholic beverages which make it ideal to chill out with friends after dinner. 

The Stairwell
Here's are some of the best-sellers of The Stairwell that we have sampled during our visit. They're yummy and pretty much affordable.

Grilled Chicken & Salsa on Pita Crisps P128.00
Stairwell's Signature Honey-Grilled Spareribs P348.00 Half / P598.00 Full
The Stairwell Signature Black Burger P198.00
Stairwell's Signature Chicken Pepper Steak P298.00
Beef Salpicao P278.00
Twice-Baked Oriental Chicken P288.00

The Stairwell Restaurant Menu

The Stairwell Menu - Soups & Starters
The Stairwell Menu - Pasta & Sandwiches
The Stairwell Menu - Main Courses
The Stairwell Menu - Beer Match
The Stairwell Menu - Drinks

Atchup Boulevard Explained

If you are from Davao City, you must have been hearing the expression Atchup Boulevard which has been circulating citywide lately. Some are wondering what Atchup Boulevard means? I am no expert but here's how I see it based on the things I've read online.

Atchup simply means "kuyaw" or "astig" in Tagalog or cool in English. Boulevard on the other hand is a place in Davao City. So, when you hear the phrase Atchup Boulevard, it means people from Boulevard are cool or the place itself is cool.


Atchup diay ka kaayo bai!
Astig ka masyado pare!
You're so cool dude!

There you go, you may now use Atchup when talking to your friends! Hahaha

New Restaurant in Davao City : Huckleberry

Another restobar has recently opened in Davao City. Huckleberry Southern Kitchen & Bar has opened its door to the public in December serving Southern-style cuisine using locally-sourced fresh ingredients. 

Together with some friends from the media, we tried some of the dishes and drinks offered by Huckleberry. From appetizing starters, to their delectable entrees, mouth-watering desserts and strong alcoholic beverages, we definitely had a gastronomically satisfying experience at Huckleberry. These are some of the food items that we tasted:

Shrimp Etouffee on Mashed Potatoes P240.00

Slow Roasted Beef Belly with Sauteed String Beans and Cabbage with Mashed Potatoes P435.00

Jerk Chicken Quesadillas P265.00

Southern Fried Chicken and Corn Muffins P330.00

Huckleberry Burger P315.00

Shrimp Po' Boy P280.00

Potato Chip Crusted Chocolate Cake P160.00

French Toast stuffed with Pastry Cream and Tocino de Cielo P180.00

Overall, the food was good but the most prominent feature of the restobar is their concoction of cocktails and signature alcoholic drinks.  I love their cacao and chili pepper infused rum. It's definitely a must-try when you visit Huckleberry.

Huckleberry Southern Kitchen & Bar Menu

Huckleberry Menu 
Huckleberry Menu 
Huckleberry Menu 
Huckleberry Menu

Huckleberry Southern Kitchen & Bar

Address: Rizal St., corner Bangoy St., Davao City
Opening hours: 11AM-2PM and 5:30PM to 2AM
Phone Number: (082) 285 2586

Peak Hours Augmentation Bus Service Schedule & Routes

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Region XI has announced that as of August 22, the  Peak Hours Augmentation ...