Jun 25, 2012
Location : Cebu City, Philippines
In Search Of
After my 10-day Vipassana Meditation in Cebu, I found myself within the orbit of seekers pursuing higher evolution. I speculate that they are in search of the truth, in search of themselves, and in general, searching for clarity to all the insanity they see around them. Since I have a mind curious of life's hidden secrets, it is a natural progression for me to resonate with them. Most of them, perhaps, seek enlightenment. On the other hand, I can care less about enlightenment as I care more about marginal gains I make in knowing myself more and the planet I live in. I'm still enjoying my bliss together with my madness. I simply want life to unravel and reveal its golden nuggets - existence in the quantum world, being filtered down to a speck of consciousness, traveling outside the tangible universe, etc. All these things have been claimed by mystics, seers and sages over millenia. Now, theoretical physics have the math to support it. If it's out there, I want to experience it. Everything under the sun is fair game.
After the meditation, I had an instant family - a loosely-held group of Vipassana practitioners. We just held our first full-day sit in Minglanilla, Cebu. Every now and then, a few of us would get together and talk about our practice and how Vipassana has shaped our lives into something more purposeful. In Cebu, Vipassana's future is uncertain. There is no center and there is no money to hold another 10-day sit. I'm confident however, that the universe will find a way to make it happen - it always does anyway.
Surya Nanda Yoga
The group that somehow adopted me are the yogis and yoginis of Surya Nanda Yoga. It's a tight group who practise together and hang-out together. They are illuminated by their bliss and selflessly open their doors to others who wish to bask in it. I'm one of the takers, and profoundly grateful for it. They've tagged me along for their weekly routine - not just the yoga practice, but Zen meditation on Thursday, Dharma talks on Fridays, Saturday night chillouts, and teacher-training on Sundays. Their studio is close to where I stay, and have afforded me the privilege of free yoga - wow! Because of this, I almost always practise my yoga daily.
Golden 90 Days
I've always wondered what transforms after 90 days of continuous practice. I once asked an Art of Living guru how powerful a breathing exercise (pranayama) we've just done, is. His answer still reverberates, "do this religiously for 90 days and you'll find the answer to your question." Of course, 90 days continuous daily practise is difficult as something always comes up. But this golden '90 day' time frame never left my headspace. If it applies to pranayama, then it should apply to yoga. One of these days....
I get to hang-out with the parcour boyz because they hang-out with the Surya Nanda crew. I see the complement - parcour and yoga. Add meditation to that and you form a mosaic laying out a bigger picture of like-minded individuals. It's cool seeing them do their tricks - the firedance, body acrobatics, etc. I'm inspired making a few attempts joining them - it's a rush.
Ananda Marga Wellness Center
I met a group of devotees performing bass and drums at the Handuran Pizza one evening. I've actually met one of them sometime back in Davao, which got me an invite to visit their center. I thought I'd just say "Hi", but I was offered a room, yoga, meals and health treatment. They even performed a fire dance to all the ashram guests that night. Whoa! The center is haven for those seeking alternative and holistic treatment to health or weight issues. I've met some local guests and foreigners who came all the way from Cyprus. The Margis do this without any pressure to join their organization, which makes it totally cool.
Chu Un Buddhist Temple
This is as close as I got to Sunday school. Ever since I got inside the walled perimeter of a Chinese Temple in Bacolod and experienced the openness and airy expanse of the place, and the welcoming demeanor of the temple keepers, I became partial to it. No week would go by without me spending an evening at the Chu Un Buddhist Temple in Cebu either for Dharma talks, calligraphy, or Zen meditation. I'm usually with my Vipassana friends or Surya Nanda friends. Oftentimes, they also serve sumptuous and free vegetarian dishes (yea! free food!). Since I always eat out and often times default to meat, I find this a refreshing and nutritious alternative.
Every Saturday at 5:30 in Mango (Cebu), a gathering of free thinkers talk about a particular topic and exchange ideas. The last one I attended, they talked about being assertive (not timid, not aggressive) - or what they call the art of being true without ruffling the feathers of the other party. It's similar to popular bestselling books like Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Effective People. The demographics span a broad spectrum - a kalimasada cum restauranteur, yoginis, parcour boyz, monk-in-the-making, independent seekers, etc. Again, this would be ideal for people seeking evolution of the higher kind - or simply put, for people who want to become better human beings.
In the not-so-distant past, I would immerse myself in adrenaline activities - mountain biking, scuba diving, mountaineering, etc. That is a bliss unto itself. Now, almost in sharp contrast, I've turned around to something more sedated but perhaps more incisive in shaping a headspace that conforms to the natural laws and mindful of the well-being of all sentient entities. It's self-empowerment of a different kind. Once again, this is its own world with its own bliss, its own roller coaster ride of self-doubt, epiphany and collective connectivity.
All this spiritual pursuit is just nice and dandy, but as my yogini friend, Tana once told me, "unless such pursuit is put in the service of others, it's nothing but ego". In my own parlance, if I can't use this as a catalyst for positive change that ripples through our universal fabric, then it's nothing more than spiritual adventurism.
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
ps - many many thanks to my newfound friends who've allowed me into their orbits, and those who offered their friendship, homes and themselves, making me feel at home and welcome to this new and wonderful place - Cebu.
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Iyengar Yoga Teacher
(Jun 25, 2012) Gigit, the Cebu Vipassana group can seek the ATs' approval for weekly group sittings for the continuity of the practice. Likewise, other Vipassana practitioners can also join the group sittings when visiting Cebu.
(Jun 25, 2012) We created a Cebu Vipa FB (https://www.facebook.com/groups/305221676222240/) for Vipa sitters who wish to join or help organize Cebu-based activities. The next sit will have to be scheduled pa - no regular place or weekly sched pa. But we're getting there 🙂
(Jun 25, 2012) Gigit, I just read your "seekers' lair" post. It resonated and only further confirmed that I am grateful to have met you!
(Jun 25, 2012) the gratitude is mutual 🙂
Arlien Alcoseba Buhain
(Jun 25, 2012) You inspire me to start writing for my blog again, Gigit! Thank you! 🙂
(Jun 25, 2012) ...and would like to read your thoughts too, when you begin to blog again 🙂
(Jun 25, 2012) ...and you have enfolded and included us in your daily journey, we are also thankful!
(Jun 25, 2012) You inspire me..thank you! 🙂
Reds Martinez Mahinay
(Jun 25, 2012) Thanks!
(Jun 25, 2012) Nicely said. Thanks for sharing Gigit.
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More on Cebu City:
About Cebu City
Cebu City Google Map
Cebu City, Philippines
Cebu City to Camotes Island
Cebu City to Camotes Islands
- via Consuelo - from Cebu City, take the northbound bus passing through Danao and get off at the Danao Port. At the Port, take a Jomalia Shipping boat for Consuelo (San Francisco, Camotes), P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only).
Camotes Islands to Cebu City
- Poro - Cebu City (fastest and most direct) - go to Poro and take the 8am or 5pm Ocean Jet to Pier One in Cebu City, P380/pax/aircon, 2 hours
- Consuelo - Danao - Cebu City - go to Consuelo (San Francisco) and take the Jomalia Shipping boat to Danao, P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only). From Danao, take the Ceres Bus to Cebu City
Cebu City to Dumaguete
Cebu City to Dumaguete by Boat
- George and Peter Lines - Mon/Thur/Sat/Sun 10pm, (035)225.4337, 0922.557.1023
- Oceanjet - via Tagbilaran, daily 6am, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0918.898.2188
- Cokaliong - Mon/Tue/Wed/Thur/Fri/Sat 7pm, Sun 12pm, 6 hours, (035)225.3599
Cebu City to Dumaguete via Liloan (bus, boat, jeep, tricycle)
- Cebu City South Terminal - take the southbound Ceres bus to Liloan, P200, 5 hours
- Liloan - the bus drops you off at the Liloan Port where you board the Fastcraft to Sibulan, Negros Oriental, P62, 30 mins
- Sibulan - at the Sibulan Port, the jeeps wait for Fastcraft passengers to take them to the public market in Dumaguete, P12, 30 mins.
- Public Market - at the market, you can take any tricycle to your hotel, P8 for short trips
Cebu City to Tagbilaran, Bohol
Cebu City to Tagbilaran, Bohol
- Weesam Express - Pier 4, departs 9:00 AM, 2:00 PM, 6:30 PM, 2 hours
one way: Economy (aircon) P500.00, Economy (non-aircon) P400.00, First Class P600.00
round trip promo (at least 2 days advance booking): Economy (aircon) P600, Economy(non-aircon) P500, First Class P1200
round trip promo (1 day or on the day booking): Economy (aircon) P800, Economy (non-aircon) P700, First Class P1200
- Ocean Jet - Pier 1, departs 6-7-8-9:20-10:40-11:40AM, 1-2-4:20-6:35PM, 2 hours
Open Air / Tourist Class P800, Business Class P1000
+63 932 8734 885 / +63 922 8572 300
- SuperCat (2GO) - Pier 1, departs 08:15-13:30-15:10-18:00-19:40
+63 32 233 7000
- Lite Ferries - Pier 1, departs daily 12:30pm, 10:00pm and 1:00pm (Mon, Wed, Sat)
Standard (Lying) Php 150, Tourist (Lying Aircon) Php 340
+63 977.822.5483 / +63 998.999.5483 / +63 925.347.5483 / (032)255-1721 to 26 / (032)414-9001 to 03
email@example.com / www.liteferry.com
Cebu City to Siquijor by Boat, via Tagbilaran
Cebu City to Siquijor, via Tagbilaran
Cebu City to Siquijor by Bus, via Liloan (Santander)(as of Jan 2023)
There is only one bus plying this route - Sugbo Urban. Tourist class coach, a/c, comfortable, Sun-Fri (these dates keep changing). P420 for bus, P275 for ferry to Liloan. Leaves Cebu City (South Bus Terminal) at 8 pm (Sundays 1 am), heads south to Liloan (Santander), takes the ferry to Larena Port, Siquijor, docks around 5 am, makes a clockwise roundtrip around Siquijor Island - Larena, Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi (stops at Lazi market for breakfast and leaves 6:50 am), San Juan, Siquijor (arrives 8am, P50 from Lazi to Siquijor Poblacion) and catches the 1pm ferry at Larena Port for Liloan, Cebu and resumes its land route. Arrives Cebu City 10 pm.
Sugbo Urban is the cheapest and most convenient way because when it reaches Larena Port (Siquijor), it continues its trip around the island (clockwise) along the circumferential road, passing through - Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi, San Juan, Siquijor...and back to Larena. It spares you the cost of hiring a tricycle or habal-habal which charges exhorbitant fares. Besides, it's a long trip to the other side of the island to be taking by tricycle.
Cebu CityCEBU CITY
More on Cebu Province:
Suggested Destinations in Cebu
- Camotes Islands - caves, beaches
- Cebu City - rich in culture and history, 2nd largest city in the Philippines
- Moalboal - amazing coral reef system, sardine bowl, deep drop-off for freediving
- Oslob - Butanding (whale shark) watching
- Bantayan Island - long stretch of fine white sand beach, Virgin Island for snorkeling
- Malapascua Island - divers' paradise for seeing the rare Thresher Shark
- Cantabaco Cave - Toledo
- Barile Waterfalls - Barile
- Whale Shark Tour - Oslob
- Carcar - chicharon and lechon in public market
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