Cebu City: SIGA 2008

SIGA is an acronym of SSEAYP (Ship for Southeast ASEAN Youth Program) International General Assembly. Each year, Japan or an ASEAN-member country hosts this 4-day assembly of SSEAYP alumni. As May 1 – 4 are Japanese holidays, SIGA is always held on these dates. And this year, it was held in Waterfront Hotel and Resort (Lahug), Cebu City. About 300 international and local participants went to Cebu to witness and participate in this assembly.

For my batch, there were nine (12 including some family members) international participants who attended this year’s SIGA. They came from Japan, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore.

I wasn’t able to attend the whole of SIGA since I was loaded with work and other stuff in Manila. I arrived on May 3, the third day of the assembly, with purposes of meeting my batchmates and helping out with whatever there was to help out. Obviously, I couldn’t join the program anymore since I hadn’t started it. Like last year’s SIGA in Cambodia, my purpose of being with my batchmates was realized. Unfortunately for this year’s SIGA, I wasn’t able to volunteer for any other activity since there weren’t much left on the third day of the assembly. The participants were all sent out for institutional visits and then for shopping – bearing in mind that it was their last day in Cebu. The fourth day was allotted for the participants’ return to their home country.

So what happened in SIGA? I’m not so sure with the rest of the participants but for me, it was all fun! Haha!

Day 1: 03 May 2008

» Arrived at 8 in the morning. The flight was a bit delayed and the weather wasn’t that good. It was raining when I arrived. 😦

» Went to Tambuli, a beachfront in Mactan, for lunch.

» Went snorkeling in Nalusuan Island with John, Aldean, and Dep, while the licensed divers, Atchee (from Japan), Vel (from Brunei), and Francis (from Singapore) went diving. Got several cuts from the corals. 🙂

(L-R) Francis (Singapore), Atchee (Japan), and Vel (Brunei)

John, Vel, Aldean, and Dep

Francis After His Second Dive

» Night out at Y.O.U., a bar located at Mango Avenue – a night of unlimited San Miguel Beer for our non-Filipino friends (and yes, for John too! 🙂 )

Malaysian, Singaporean, Japanese, Bruneian, and Filipino Batchmates at Y.O.U.

Day 2: 04 May 2008

» Got some danggit (dried fish) and dried mangoes for my relatives in Manila so no matter how late we finished the night before, I did my best to get up earlier than everyone else. Upon a friend’s advise, I headed to Taboan Market (a really clean market, I’d say) where rows and rows of dried fish, squid, and other seafood goodies are being sold. As I don’t really go to market places in Manila, I didn’t know if I was able to haggle that much. A kilo of medium-sized danggit cost me PhP 500 while a kilo of medium-sized dried squid was PhP 460. Expensive or not, I bought several kilos anyway. 🙂

At The Waterfront Hotel – Lahug

» Went back to Waterfront Lahug to meet up with the late-risers (haha!).

» Brought our batchmates to SUTUKIL in Lapu-lapu City in Mactan – Cebu’s slight version of Manila’s Dampa. SUTUKIL is an acronym of three Cebuano words which are sugba (grilled), tula (prepared into a soup), kilaw (turned into a raw fish salad).

» Did some shopping at the souvenir stalls in SUTUKIL! 🙂

SUTUKIL, Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan

Shopping For Some Souvenir Items

» Brought our non-Filipino friends around the area, where Shangri-La Mactan (where Yuri, one of our batchmates, was checked-in) and Plantation Bay were two of the stops.

Shangri-La Mactan with Yuri

» Had dinner at Cebu’s Tops, a sightseeing spot overlooking the city proper.

» After Not, Dep, and Atchee left for Manila, Francis, John, Aldean, Vel, and I went for dessert in the city, a fun billiards game (where Aldean and I won over John and Francis. Haha!), and then another round of the local beer for the guys. Hick! Haha!

Day 3 (Cebu): 05 May 2008

» It was departure day for me. But instead of trying to seize whatever moment that was left for my Cebu trip, I decided to extend my sleep up until lunch time. Cebu is one of the destinations which I know I will always go back to. In and around it are amazing places to see. Before I left back for Manila, we made a quick stop-over at Maribago Blue Water Beach Resort to meet with Tanjo, another batchmate, a local of Baguio, who was in town for his honeymoon! Yup! He just married his long-time girlfriend! (Congratulations Tanjo!) 🙂

Bidding Francis Goodbye

Day 3 (Cebu): 05 May 2008

» From the airport, I went straight to Podium for my Trumpets workshop. Afterwhich, I met my Malaysian and Japanese batchmates who were already in Manila for dinner at the Seaside Restaurant. I guess I just missed SSEAYP so much that I couldn’t get enough of it and the people who became part of it. 🙂

Vel’s Last Day in Manila – Dinner At Tiendesitas

» There were succedding meetings after the third day since they went home on different dates. Vel was the last one to fly out of the Philippines to his home country. Can’t wait for the next SIGA. 🙂

(Congratulations to the SSEAYP Officers and Board who made SIGA 2008 a very memorable event!)

Related Post: SIGA 2007 and Siem Reap



  1. That looked fun. Happy reunion! Really wish I could have been there.

    Everyone still looks the same, btw. Still as cool as ever.

  2. pamalfaro said

    Yes, Mongkol, it was fun to be with the SSEAYP people again. I missed SSEAYP so much and all those memories that it gave me enough energy to be with them despite having consecutive late night outs.

    Actually, the PYs were already talking about SIGA Indonesia when we were in Cebu! And it’s still like, a year from now! Haha! Talk about having great memories together and looking forward to more unforgettable memories! 🙂 I miss you… 😦 Wish you were around.

  3. […] Related Post: Cebu City: SIGA 2008 […]

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