March 4, 2015

Contractors for Renovation

I think hubby and I have been watching too much lifestyle shows lately, particularly building tiny houses and renovation shows.

We have been inspired to build a tiny house in our province. We have made plans of starting this June but we realised, we have a commercial building that we needed to renovate first. Our tiny house can wait while we work on our commercial building by the highway.

So, I have been reading about how to go about the renovation. At first we we're bent on DIY-ing. But with no background between hubby and I, we think it's better to hire contractors.

Preparing for a Commercial Building Renovation
When you have purchased a commercial building and need to make renovations for the new business, hiring the right commercial contractors for the job is important. Some commercial buildings just need a facelift and others need to have demolition with rebuilding. Taking the time out of your schedule to interview contractors and inspect the project may not be available. You can use a placement service to assist.

Use a Contractor Placement Service
A contractor matching or placement service is ideal for busy business owners. They do all of the interviewing for you. Their experts take the time to examine certifications, verify qualifications and view the relevant experience that qualified contractors have. This ensures that only the most qualified individuals will be presented to you for consideration.

Present the Details for the Project
As you present the project to a contractor locating service, it is essential that you provide the exact details of the project. This should include a preliminary blueprint, a breakdown of the necessary features and what the space needs to provide. This helps the service match these skills needed to the available contractor pool.

Accepting a Bid
Once you have found a contractor that you are satisfied with, accepting the bid is the last step before construction begins. Ensure that the bid is itemized and that there are no discrepancies. An accepted bid and signed contract move the project forward.

Having the right contractors working on your commercial space is a must. There are specific building codes to maintain as well as zoning standards, safety standards and health codes to maintain. All of these items must be taken into consideration when selecting the right team to complete the work.

January 18, 2015

Happy 2015!

Hi! Just checking in to greet the blogosphere a wonderful 2015!

{We spent Christmas and New Year in Manila}

It's been a long while since I last blogged. I miss blogging. I wish I could go back to my old blogging routine but I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon. I'll probably write a few posts here and there though.

I wish everyone a great 2015!

September 20, 2014

Packed Lunches for a Grade Schooler

EJ has started Grade 3 about two months ago. He likes his teacher and he says he's having a great time learning new things. As parents, that's what we want to hear.

Since he's back to school, that means I am busy in the kitchen everyday preparing his snacks and lunches. EJ brings his snacks with him when he leaves for school in the morning. But the lunch, I send it to his school just before their lunch break.

Last week, he had these:

{Fried rice, Sauteed shrimps, Jellies}

{Penne pasta in tomato sauce, Garlic bread, Mango}

{Rice, Sauteed mixed veggies, Chicken adobo}

{Fried rice, Sausage and beans, Fruits}

{Penne pasta in white sauce, Sausage, Fruits}

EJ eats most of the food I prepare, as long as he doesn't see the onion. But would you believe, he loves fried garlic? He eats it like it is chocolate! He also loves broccoli and mushroom.

I know EJ is not a picky eater but it doesn't make it easy for me to prepare his food everyday. The challenge is to make his lunch non-monotonous, as healthy and as appetizing as possible.

My reward is when EJ comes home and his lunch box is empty. It makes me happy.

July 30, 2014

Surigao del Sur's Tourist Destination: Enchanted River

Enchanted River is probably the most famous of the several tourist destinations in Surigao del Sur. I saw for myself why.

It's Enchanted River for a reason. The water is crystal clear turquoise blue on the deeper part of the river and emerald green on the shallow part.
{the deeper part of the river}

From what we heard, the river is connected to the ocean but nobody can really pinpoint where the water flows in and out. It's a mystery and it's part of the allure of the Enchanted River. 

{the shallow part}

Enchanted River is about an hour and a half travel by car from San Agustin. The road from the national highway going to Enchanted River is still rough road, sad to say. It rained on our way, which made our travel slower because the road was slippery. Paging the Department of Tourism or the local government (or whoever is in-charge of the development in the area), please fix the road asap.

{It was cloudy when we were there but the water was still blue/green. Awesome!}

{we saw several foreigners splashing in the water}

Entrance fee is P30/guest. Tourists/guests are allowed to swim. If you're not a confident swimmer, vests are available for rent. They close at 5pm so overnight swimming is not an option. Besides, who wants to go swimming at night with mystical creatures? Well, at least that's what locals say.

{Enchanted River is located at Brgy. Talisay, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur}

We were also told that the best time to go to Enchanted River is during midday. At around 12nn, the caretaker will ring the bell as a signal to the swimmers to get off the water. The caretaker will then bring out food (rice, bread, etc) to feed the fishes which seem to come out of nowhere. They say it's  a feast for the eyes as these colorful fishes fight for food. After feeding time, the fishes become scarce again while tourists can go back to splashing in the water.

Unfortunately, we were not able to catch this spectacle. But that's another reason for us to visit Enchanted River in the future. 

July 18, 2014

Surigao del Sur's Tourist Destination: Britania Group of Islands

Surigao del Sur is slowly gaining popularity in the tourism industry lately. I say, it's about time. Have you heard about Enchanted River? How about Tinuy-an Falls, the little Niagara Falls of the Philippines? Or Cagwait White Beach, the mini Boracay? All of these and some more are in Surigao del Sur, my home province :)

For this year's home vacation, I invited my siblings to go with us on a tour around Surigao del Sur's tourist destinations because sadly, we haven't been to any of our province's treasures.

From Bohol, we went to Cebu for our flight going to Tandag City. My brother and his family who were coming from Manila were already in Mactan Airport when we arrived.

When we arrived in Tandag, my two siblings were already waiting for us. Both of them are currently based in Surigao, one in Madrid and one in another town.

Our tour's first stop was Britania Group of Islands in San Agustin. Britania Group of Islands has 24 island/islets scattered around Lianga Bay. It's well known for its immaculate clear blue/green waters and fine sand.

After lunch at Tandag, we started our 2-day tour around Surigao del Sur.

San Agustin is about 60-75 minutes away from Tandag. Thankfully, the road is completely cemented making our travel smooth. But from the highway of San Agustin going inside Britania Group of Islands, it's still rough road. I hope they'll fix this soon.

It was past 4pm when we arrived and it was drizzling. Even if we wanted to check out some more inns/places to stay, we only got to check out two: La Entrada and Mac Arthur's.  Of the two, we chose to stay at Mac Arthur's. It's ocean front and the rooms were bigger. We got three rooms for our group. For P1,200/ night, you get an A/C room with three single beds, a toilet and shower, a TV and free breakfast. Sounds like a good deal, just don't expect high on the cleanliness though.

Early the next morning after being served our free breakfast of danggit, hotdog, egg and rice we rode the boat that will take us to four different small islands. The boat with two boatmen costs P1,200 for about 4 hours of island hopping.

{The whole gang from L-R: SIL, niece Sam, brother, moi, EJ, hubby, sister, niece Yufee, brother}

We left at about 8am. Our first island was called Naked Island. It's called Naked Island because there's nothing on it. It's basically a sandbank. It appears and disappears depending on the tide. 

{EJ found the sound of the motorboat too loud}

{This is the closest island called Buslon. This was our last stop.}

{The Naked Island!}

{Happy to be all here!}

{I like this part of the sandbank where the waves meet. The sand was fine but not as fine as Boracay.}

{The rock that looked like a Seal!}

{Kids and a kid at heart having fun!}

We stayed at Naked Island for about an hour. If the kids had their say, we would have stayed there the whole day. They loved the idea of having the islet all to ourselves. 

The next island we visited was called Hagonoy. It's about 5 times bigger than Naked Island and it had some trees and a nipa hut minus the nipa roof. Haha!

{Hagonoy Island}

Hagonoy had a part where the water was still, no waves at all. The kids enjoyed swimming there but they stil preferred the Naked Island. 

{Nice place for a photo. We all had a go here.}

{Hubby thought the coconut leaf can carry his weight. He though wrong. LOL!}

We also stayed here for about an hour. We did a bit of snorkelling and the kids were busy looking for purple shells.

Our third stop was called Hiyor-hiyoran. It was a big island complete with full vegetation. We only stopped here for about 5 minutes because we saw some broken glasses on the sand.

{Hiyor Hiyoran Island}

{At Hiyor Hiyoran}

Our last stop was called Buslon, the closest island from the mainland.

{Part of Britania Group of Islands}

{Buslon Island}

{Buslon Island}

This is the only island we went to with some locals selling some souvenir wood items. We stayed here for only 30 minutes swimming with the kids while some of the adults explored some parts of the island. Buslon had the finest sand among the islands we've visited. 

At 11:30am, we headed back to our inn because we were travelling to the next destination, Enchanted River. The kids wanted to stay longer. They even wanted to go back to Naked Island. Haha! The Naked Island had endeared the kids.

Hubby said he likes to go back to Britania Group of Islands. I do too. But next time we visit, I hope the road is fixed and there will be better choices for accommodation.