Tuesday, January 29, 2008

From SDK to STK

I had to wake up very early today to catch my 7am flight to Cebu. I'm scheduled to do a 2-day training for the Cebu tech staff on SQL and C# with the .NET Software Development Kit (SDK). My stomach was not cooperating very well this morning so I had to use the toilet while at the Terminal 2, then once again while onboard the plane. I swear -- that PAL lavatory at the back end of the airline felt like the smallest lavatory I have ever been in. I can't imagine how anyone bigger than me would comfortably fit inside, not even to mention, potential "mile-high clubbers" (if you know what I mean).

Since I did not check-in any baggage, I was able to go out of the Mactan airport immediately. Traffic wasn't so bad today so I got to the office around 10am I think and proceeded to setup for the training. Everything went uneventfully and we finished our first day at around 6pm.

Upon the recommendation of the local staff, I decided to be a bit adventurous and tried out a local STK (aka. sutokil, which is a Bisaya contraction of the words sugba-tola-kilaw). From what I understand, STK is like their local version of a grillery but more focused on seafood (although they insist that its not really the same as a barbecue-han). Since the more popular STK restaurant Neo Neo was a bit out of the way, the local guys suggested I try STK Ta Bay which is only a kilometer or two from the office. I hopped onto a taxi and told the driver where I'm headed. He had to think a few seconds to remember where that place is. So perhaps its not as popular as I thought it was. He brought me to some small street with 2 brightly-lit food joints -- a grillery called Yayoy's, and a small restaurant beside it -- STK Ta Bay.

STK Ta Bay is actually an old house that was converted into a restaurant. The food was ok. I ordered their mixed seafood and grilled pork. The portions were small so it was just right for a single diner. Food was fairly cheap (well, there wasn't much ambiance either). After dinner, I had to walk a couple of blocks to get back to the main street where I could hail a cab to take me to Marco Polo Hotel, where I was booked.

Marco Polo Hotel is the former Cebu Plaza Hotel. It sits on top of a hill and is fairly close to the midtown where most of the activities (malls, offices) are. I've stayed at the old Cebu Plaza for like a week back during my Citibank days. It has been given a significant face-lift with its new incarnation as part of the Marco Polo chain. And that's a good thing since I think it was abandoned for some time after it closed.

I initially asked Cols if she wanted to come to Cebu with me since the room is already paid for anyway (I'll just sneak her in). She wasn't too thrilled when she found out that I was going to be staying in Marco Polo. She has heard my dad's horror stories (as in, ghost stories) of his stay before at the old Cebu Plaza days. Dad said he swears he has heard of poltergeist-ic activities, and at one time, he had to call room service to send someone to stay on guard at his room so he can sleep.

My night's stay at Marco Polo was unevently (thankfully). The rooms were very nice. I stayed at Room 1220. The only thing I found strange with my room was the uneven flooring. For some strange reason, the floor is not even -- it dips by maybe an inch in the middle of the room. I think they may have added some tiles and threw over a carpet on top without leveling the whole floor to save on costs.

While resting my feet, I caught up with last week's episode of Heroes 2, which I recorded and burned onto DVD-RW using my Philips DVD Recorder. Then had a really hot shower and off to sleep...

No comments: