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Nami Island’s Beauty Will Take Your Breath Away

This tiny crescent island in South Korea holds an otherworldly splendour.

It was Chuseok when I stepped foot on Korean soil again. A major harvest festival and a three-day holiday, it’s a celebration that begins on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar on the full moon. Chuseok, like many other harvest festivals around the world, is held around the autumn equinox. This time of thanksgiving for good harvest is observed through Koreans visiting their ancestral hometowns, paying their respect to their parents and eating traditional Korean feasts. 

Once I arrived, the first destination straight from Incheon airport was Namiseom Island (popularly known as Nami Island), a tiny half-moon shaped island located in Chuncheon, a place that I couldn’t go to on my last visit because it was far from Seoul.

The nearly-five-hour trip from dawn in Cebu to mid-morning in Incheon clearly wore out most of my companions since they fell asleep as soon as we got on the bus. Not one for falling asleep even during long trips, I watched as the scene outside my window changed from the tall urban skyline to the laidback rural residential areas and stretches of plantations.

Two and a half hours later—the traffic jams we encountered along the way added to our estimated travel time (however, I was unfazed, being a resident of Cebu)—we had arrived, but not quite yet. We were in Chuncheon, the city where the island was located, but we had to take a five-minute ferry ride to cross the river between the port and Nami Island.

Upon embarking the ferry, I was already admiring the trees that stretched as far as my eyes could see. The sunlight that streamed past the canopy of leaves overhead as I walked was a muted gold, almost silver in colour as it illuminated the path. The breeze was slightly chilly, even more so because of the many trees that lined up the path and were scattered around the island.

Nami Island is beautiful when visited in autumn (early autumn, in my case), so the volume of visitors arriving and admiring the surroundings was not a surprise. Though tiny, it was filled with sights and sounds. Couples took photos every chance they got, with their clothes color-coordinated and their smiles nearly identical in happiness. Kids ran around with their parents chasing after them to make sure they didn’t fall. Tourists huddled together as their tour guide explained the place’s history.

Those familiar with Nami Island will associate it with the K-drama titled “Winter Sonata”. A statue of the main characters had been erected in the middle of the island, named the “First Kiss Statue” in which the two lovers are locked in an embrace and staring into each other’s eyes.

On Nami Island, the animals are able to roam freely. Squirrels, rabbits, deer, peacocks, ostriches, geese, and many other critters greet you as you go around.

The trees of Metasequoia Road, Gingko Tree Lane and Central Korean Pine Tree Lane are the most popular photo spots, where their heights make it seem like they’re holding up the heavens. In early autumn, the foliage is still verdant and deep while it turns into a mixture of reds, oranges and yellow later in the season. It’s possible to just stand in between the rows of trees and simply lose yourself in the scenery.

Of course, you can’t forget to get a taste of the food. Try the Hotteok at one of the many food stalls available on the island. Best described as pancake with a crisp outer layer and a gooey red bean filling, it’s a popular Korean street food that goes for just KRW1,000. It’s delicious when you take a stroll on the wooden walks around the lake’s edge as you take in the stunning view of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Though the island is small, it does take some time to get around between places. It’s possible to rent a bike or take an electronic car if walking isn’t something you’d like to do, or if you would just like to enjoy the scenery while on a bike.

It’s a wonder how a tiny crescent island could hold so much beauty. The moment I walked off the island and onto the ferry to the city, I knew I would come back for more.

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Enjoy a Funtastic Easter Sunday with the Kids at Rustans

Easter is just a skip away, and for kids it’s really a super fun holiday.

Egg-citing treats and surprises await them at the Rustan’s Easter Party on Sunday, April 21, 2 p.m. at the  Rustan’s Children’s Department, Ayala Center Cebu. For a minimum single receipt purchase of  P 3,000 from the Kids’ Department, come and enjoy the following:

Food Carts

Sure to delight kids are a selection of food carts filled with yummy sweet and savory snacks. 

Easter Egg Hunt

The Easter Bunny hid many colorful Easter eggs at the barnyard for our precious little hunters to find. Hop along and join the search for a chance to win special prizes from our different kids’ brands. Each participant also gets a Kinderjoy egg!

Easter Egg Decorating

Kids get to design and take home their one-of-a-kind egg creation at the Easter egg decorating station.

Crayola Art Activity

Let your kid’s inner artist shine. Make a splash with pastel shades, bright patterns or rainbow colors. 

Lego Building Contest

Fancy building an Easter bunny or a giant Easter egg? Let kids’ imaginations take flight with the Lego Building Contest at the Lego Corner. Exciting prizes are in store for those with the most creative and imaginative Lego creations.

It’s going to be a very hoppy Easter celebration at the Rustan’s Department Store.

For more information and updates, visit https://rustans.com.ph and @rustansph on Facebook and Instagram

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Here’s What Cebu’s Restaurateurs are Preparing for Easter Week

The arrival of Holy Week often means a mass exodus out of the city—whether it’s for a trip back to one’s hometown or an opportunity for a vacation. That being said, food choices during this time are often limited, with restaurants cutting down hours to prepare for the holidays, or creating menus that suit the season.
 
While it’s interesting to know what these food spots will offer, we’re curious about what the people behind them prepare at home. To satiate our curiosity, we asked some of Cebu’s notable chefs and restaurateurs what they’re cooking up this week.
 
 
“For Most Holy week days, we’re most likely out of town. But buona pascqua is huge in Italy. So when we’re in town, we’re spending Sundays around the kitchen. We do gnocchi in all sorts of forms. We’re rolling it, then pan frying, adding reduced liquid , adding meat. Using cauliflower to make it healthier. And how can Easter be without a sweet? A Burnt Caramelized mini “otap” Tart with pear is our choice.” —Kate Anzani, Anzani
 
 
“One day this Holy Week, it’s going to be ribeye, mashed potatoes, puttanesca pasta for dinner and homemade tacos & margarita for the afternoon. Other days, we dine out.” —Jan Rodriguez, Weekend 

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Here’s How Cebu’s Milk Tea Shops Are Changing How We Enjoy Milk Tea

Milk tea shops are always filled to the brim daily by tens and hundreds of milk tea lovers from all around the city to savor their favorite iced milk tea drinks. At this point, milk tea businesses are upping their game with the tough competition.

The milk tea frenzy continues to go viral in the city of Cebu and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Milk tea shops are always filled to the brim daily by tens and hundreds of milk tea lovers from all around the city to savor their favorite iced milk tea drinks. At this point, milk tea businesses are upping their game with the tough competition, may it be creating new and unique flavors to add to their menu, creating delivery systems for easier transactions in the comforts of their customers’ homes or innovating new products that are inspired from the flavorful milk tea drink.

That being said, we prepared a list of the different ways to enjoy milk tea in Cebu for all the milk tea lovers out there.

 

Milk Tea Shake

Zagu’s Pearl Milk Tea

Way before this nationwide obsession for milk tea had started, Zagu, the famous pearl shake brand in the Philippines, was one step ahead of bringing us a shake flavor that would unknowingly become a trend in the upcoming years. Zagu has been serving our favorite flavored drink for years now and people are still talking about it.

Zagu’s Pearl Milk Tea is fairly sweet just like any typical iced milk tea drink that you can buy but this one has a unique twist to its texture that you cannot find in any tea shop around the city. With the summer coming along, this milk tea will definitely cool you from the heat and satisfy your milk tea cravings as well. The best thing about it is that you don’t have to go through great lengths in finding a Zagu. You can basically find it in any mall in Cebu. Just go to a food court and you’ll surely find one.

 

Milk Tea Float

Cocoa Cookies and Cream Milk Tea Ice Cream

Photo owned by Serenitea

Coke floats and coffee floats from famous fast food chains were all the rage years ago. With today’s trends it’s no surprise that someone would definitely create something similar to a float. That being said, Serenitea brings us the joy of enjoying everyone’s favorite drink in a way we’re used to, a cold drink with sweet goodness on top.

Serenitea brings you a drink and a treat, all in one cup, with their milk tea float served in a variety of flavors that you can choose from. Beat the summer heat by enjoying Serenitea’s Milk Tea Ice Cream drinks that comes with various flavors that you can choose from and enjoy.

Serenitea is located at Calyx Centre, Cebu IT Park, Apas.

 

Milk Tea Soft Serve

Koala Tea’s Milk Tea Soft Serve With Pearls and Waffle

Photo owned by Koala Tea

The latest trend among everything in the list is the new milk tea soft serve that is available in a milk tea shop that is also new in Cebu. The famous milk tea soft serve from Koala Tea definitely broke the internet when they introduced the soft serve last month, making every milk tea lover shake with excitement as they try a new way to enjoy their milk teas.

Koala Tea serves their milk tea soft serve with pearls or oreo as a topping but if the two doesn’t float your boat, it’s okay! Koala Tea prepared a variety of toppings that you can add with your soft serve such as pudding, cream cheese and many more. They even have a waffle to go with your soft serve. How amazing is that? With the variety that they offer, surely, you’ll find one that suits your taste.

Koala Tea is located at SSY Business Center, Salinas Drive, Lahug.

 

Milk Tea Frappe

Serenitea’s Okinawa Arctic Slush

Photo owned by Serenitea

Serenitea has done it again with this new way of serving milk tea. Just recently, they introduced their Arctic Slush line that consists of cold beverages including their new milk tea frappe.

Their bestselling Okinawa flavored milk tea is now served in an ice blend topped with whipped cream and drizzled with caramel syrup and Okinawa powder. What better way to thank all the Serenitea lovers than bringing them a variety of choices to enjoy their favorite drink? Now, you don’t have to choose between ordering a frappe and a milk tea because Serenitea serves them both in one cup for you.

Grab your milk tea frappe at Calyx Centre, Cebu IT Park, Apas.

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