Saturday, December 31, 2011

Malaysia: Incentive Trip Day 5

Malaysia Trip Day 5

This special incentive trip given to us by Gano iTouch Philippines thru their 3rd Quarter Travel Blitz Promo wouldn't be complete without a familiarization tour of the plantation and headquarters of where the world's biggest organic ganoderma plantion can be found. After all, it's just fitting to visit the company that has given us the opportunity to earn and share with family and friends the therapeutic benefits the red ganoderma mushroom can provide. Geez, I can't even tell how many coffee sessions I've shared with fellow coffee drinkers. From our Day 4 trip from Penang, our group traveled a couple more hours to Leverage Business Hotel in Alor Setar where we stayed overnight. I've been anticipating our last day in Malaysia and I'm pretty excited to learn more about Gano Excel's mushroom's cultivation process, research and development to actual production.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Malaysia: Incentive Trip Day 4

Malaysia Trip Day 4
It's morning of Day 4 when upon waking up, familiar dream was presented right before my eyes, my ideal community of city living while being embraced by the beauty of lush landscape and sparkling seascape. Yes it's possible when you're in Penang (just take a closer look at the above panoramic photo I took) 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Penang, Malaysia: Temples, Beach and Food Treats

Food Treats in Penang
Foodies, travelers and photographers will surely enjoy the scenic sights and gastronomic treats this turtle-shaped island of Georgetown, Penang can offer. Being regarded as the food capital of Malaysia, Penang also embraces the modern facet of both East and West while retaining the traditions and old world charm making it a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site worth exploring.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Malaysia: Incentive Trip Day 3

Malaysia Day 3
I woke up at exactly 6am feeling the gentle chills. Good thing I had my socks to comfort my ice freezing feet. I’m really weak when it comes to cold temperatures. I barely had 3 hours of sleep coming from the night tour at Indoor Theme Park of Resorts World Genting. We were scheduled to move out by 11am, so before going to sleep, I convinced everyone to wake up really early so we could have ample time to roam around the outdoors.
November 14, 2011. Day 3

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Malaysia - Genting Highlands Overnight Stay and the Cable Car Experience

Genting Skyway

Nestled 6000 ft above sea level is Genting Highlands also known as Resorts World Genting. It's basically a theme park on top of a mountain and currently has 6 hotels where visitors could choose where to spend the night - Maxims Genting, Highlands Hotel, Resort Hotel, Theme Park Hotel, First World Hotel, Awana Genting Highlands Golf & Country Resort. They're all accessible via zigzag road and Genting Skyway. We were all thrilled when we found out we're going to ride the gondola that spans 3.38km, making it the longest cable car system in South East Asia and one of the world's fastest.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Malaysia: Incentive Trip Day 2

We had a fabulous first day in Malaysia with visiting the Petronas Twin Towers at night as the highlight of Day 1. We also visited sights in Putrajaya, Merdeka Square, dined at Sek Yuen Restaurant and strolled along the streets of KL.  

November 13, 2011. Day 2

We were scheduled to go Beryl's Chocolate Kingdom, Petronas Twin Towers, Batu Caves and Genting Highlands for our second day in Malaysia. I was personally looking forward to see the Lord Murugan statue in Batu Caves and in riding the cable car in Genting. It was a fun hectic second day going from Kuala Lumpur to the adventure highlands of Genting. 

Malaysia trip Day 2

It was a good sunny morning in KL when I woke up. Before going down for breakfast, I took the photo below, kind of reminding me of a scene in a slum area from the movie Entrapment where Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones were planning to steal $8 billion at International Clearance Bank at the then tallest building in the world, the Petronas.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Malaysia: Batu Caves

inside Batu Caves

After a sumptuous lunch at Ampang Homeland Yong Tau Foo Sdn Bhd, we're on to our next destination, the Batu Caves. Batu Caves is most famous for having the largest golden statue of Lord Murugan, it's both a Hindu shrine and a tourist attraction.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Malaysia: Incentive Trip Day 1

Bad news - I have to cancel my 3-day Boracay trip.
Good news - I'll travel to Malaysia for 5 days for FREE!

Before the bad news...

I was able to book 4 Piso Fare plane tickets to Boracay for mom, me and 2 of my siblings about 6 months prior to the scheduled flight. Cebu Pacific's loyal customers know exactly how Piso Fare works, book in advance to get the best deal. I was thrilled as not only it was my first ever Piso Fare booking, but it will also be my first ever Boracay escapade. Since this is a D-I-Y planned trip, I started researching, read blogs and scoured over travel magazines to help me fill out our itinerary. Fast forward, two months before the much awaited Boracay trip, my aunt presented me with an opportunity of a lifetime - the chance to travel to Malaysia for free. And so I worked harder, negotiated harder and prayed harder until I finally got one of the slots.

Decisions, decisions...

I knew the Malaysia trip will happen on November, the month of our Boracay trip. I kept praying it wouldn't fall anywhere between 14-17. I badly wanted to experience Boracay with my family, especially with mom who at age 54 has yet to see the world-class beach. But alas, the schedule for the Malaysia trip will hit my Boracay family trip. Too bad, now I have to choose...

Why Malaysia?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

An Afternoon Tour in Putrjaya, Malaysia

Seri Wawasan Cable Suspension Bridge
By the time I set foot in Malaysia, I immediately noticed the country's impressive architectural structures and very efficient urban planning. It's like each building is worthy of a snapshot, from mosques to bridges to skyscrapers. Backed up with a very clean surrounding, the road trip from the LCCT airport to Putrajaya itself is nothing but a breath of fresh air, far way different from the traffic and noise pollution I get every time I'm in Manila.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Petronas Twin Towers: Asia's Most Sparkling Megastructure

Petronas Twin Towers
This 450 meters, 88 storey buildings put itself on the map when it became the world's tallest twin towers until today. The Petronas Twin Towers, which took 6 years to complete, has first earned it's much deserved global recognition in 1998 to 2004 when it was hailed as the world's tallest building before there was Taipei 101 and Burj Dubai. Still iconic and proud, this ambitious project which stands at the country's capital Kuala Lumpur, has ultimately become Malaysia's status symbol. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cheaper Than Eagle Creek's Pack it Cubes

I love packing my things especially when I'm about to set foot on a new location. The idea of organizing and thinking of things to bring for me marks the beginning of a journey. The excitement starts there. It's when you begin answering the "what, why bring and just in case" questions that makes the packing experience a pleasure or a pain. 

Before my recent 6-day Asian trip, I scouted the net to find affordable packing cubes that could help save some space and ultimately travel light. I read that packing cubes could be the answer to some serious organization and space saving dilemma. Big thanks to fellow Pinoy Travel Bloggers who've been recommending getting a pack cube, just like Eagle Creek's Pack it Cube. However, the brand is too pricey for me so I wondered around the internet if there's a local manufacturer of packing cubes at a much cheaper price tag and there I found out about Paccube.
paccube's Paisley Pink
I ordered just one large cube (14" x 10" x 3") for Php240 + Php80 shipping fee in cute paisley pink color to give it a test for this out of country trip and was surprised to have put a week's worth of clothes in just one pack! My whole luggage weighs less than 10 kilos and I'm still left with a lot of space for souvenirs. Indeed, a packing cube is a genius creation.

Before I discovered this travel essential, I used to just stack my clothes neatly on my suitcase or backpack. Now that I discovered this space saving gem, I would never go anywhere without it.

Note: This is NOT a sponsored post.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Malaysia: Travel Video

To start off my Malaysia series, let me share with you this travel video I made.

Date of Trip - November 12-17, 2011
Location: Petronas Twin Towers - Kuala Lumpur streets - LCCT Airport - Beryl's Chocolate Kingdom - Genting Highlands - Georgetown, Penang - Thai and Buddhist Temples - Kek Lok Si Temple - Penang Beach - Batu Caves - Putrajaya - Merdeka Square - Alor Setar

Malaysia gave me one of my most memorable trip ever simply because I never spent a dime, or in this case ringgit. It's an incentive trip given to me and other family members. This is exciting! Can't wait to share my stories.

this post is part of my Malaysia Incentive Trip Series:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Philippine Travel Mart's Opening: My Cheap Steal!

I have been anticipating this year's Philippine Travel Mart not only to get some good loads of DOT brochures and be aquainted on new destinations to watch out hopefully offering local adaptation of jamaica villas and istanbul holiday apartments that I'm longing to experience but also to check out different travel agencies like what I did during last year's PTM. This year I promised myself to get a good deal of tour packages for my scheduled travels in the coming months.
cheap travel and tour packages

Friday, September 2, 2011

2011 Philippine Travel Mart: Schedule of Activities

September 2, 2011 (Friday)
8:15AM - 8:30AM     Ceremonial Opening (Entrance of Hall 3)
8:30AM - 9:30AM     Opening Program (stage Area)
9:30AM - 10:30AM   Foot Parade (Halls 3 and 4)
10:30AM-11:00AM   Presentation from the Department of Tourism (Stage Area)
11:00AM-11:30AM   Presentation from Philippine Airlines (Stage Area)
12:00NN-12:45PM    Presentation from the Department of Tourism (Stage Area)
12:00NN-05:00PM    Biyahe Info (Function Room 1)
12:45PM-01:00PM    Presentation from Citibank
01:00PM-01:30PM    Presentation from the Primer Group of Companies (Stage Area)
01:30PM-02:00PM    Presentation from TIEZA (Stage Area)
02:00PM-02:30PM    Presentation from Philippine Airlines (Stage Area)
03:00PM-08:00PM    Folkloric Dance Competition -College Level (Stage Area)

September 3, 2011 (Saturday)
9:55AM-11:00AM     Tourism Quiz Bee (Stage Area)
11:15AM-12:15PM    La Union Hour (Stage Area)
12:15PM-12:45PM    Presentation from the Primer Group of Companies (Stage Area)
01:00PM-02:00PM    Presentation from Province of Davao (Stage Area)
02:00PM-02:30PM    Presentation from TIEZA (Stage Area)
02:30PM-03:00PM    Presentation from Philippine Airlines (Stage Area)
03:00PM-04:00PM    Presentation from Province of Palawan (Stage Area)
04:00PM-04:45PM    Presentation from the Department of Tourism (Stage Area)
05:30PM-08:00PM    Bituin ng Kasuotang Pilipino (Stage Area)

September 4, 2011 (Sunday)
09:00PM-10:00AM    Thanksgiving Mass (Stage Area)
10:15AM-12:00NN    Folkloric Dance Competition -HS Level (Stage Area)
12:00NN-12:30PM     Presentation from TIEZA (Stage Area)
12:30PM-03:00PM     Echo Chorale Competition-HS Level (Stage Area)
03:00PM-03:15PM     Ensogo Raffle (Stage Area)
03:30PM-04:15PM     Echo Chorale Competition-College Level (Stage Area)
04:15PM-04:30PM     Presentation from the Primer Group of Companies (Stage Area)
04:30PM-06:00PM     Echo Chorale Competition-College Level/ Announcement of Echo Chorale Competition Winners/ Awarding of Winners/ Presentation of Winners (Cultural Show and Echo Chorale) (Stage Area)
06:00PM onwards       Closing Ceremonies / Unveiling of the 23rd PTM Theme (Stage Area)              

Thursday, August 4, 2011

22nd Philippine Travel Mart

Less than a month more to go and travel enthusiasts will reunite once again for the annual Philippine Travel Mart organized by Philtoa, an organization of tour operators and allied members actively involved in the advocacy of responsible tourism. This year, PTM goes on its highly successful BIYAHE SALE NG BAYAN! A once-in-a-year OFFER that makes great adventures, trips and tours, bonding time with family and corporate outings so much more affordable! Great opportunity to book and buy tours, hotel accommodations, airfares, seafares, adventure tours and packages, health and wellness packages, travel packages to any destination in the Philippines generating tremendous turn-out of visitors and buyers! 22nd Philippine Travel Mart  will be using the Department of Tourism's Island Getaways as the official banner of Sale ng Bayan.
Cebu Pacific's booth during the 21st Philippine Travel Mart
Please take note that Day One, from 10am to 12pm, PTM will be open exclusively to corporate buyers. Foreign buyers as well as local corporate buyers and business associations are given the chance to visit, meet the exhibitors in PTM on an exclusive basis. The fair opens to the general public during lunch.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Manila Ocean Park Mid-Year Savers Promo

Sharing with you another promo from Manila Ocean Park, Mid-Year Savers. Now families and friends can enjoy a package of 3 to 4 attractions with savings up to Php170 to Php250. Attractions include Sea Lion Show, Oceanarium, Fish Spa, Jellies and Glass Bottom Boat Ride.
This promo will run from July 9 to October 9, 2011.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Remembering Davao

Generally, when we hear the word Davao, first thing that comes to mind is Mt. Apo, Philippine's highest mountain, and the sweet smelly Durian. I first stepped into Davao during the 90's when my parents decided to land at Davao Airport instead of the usual GenSan route. It was the first year the clan decided to celebrate a grand reunion at the family's property in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. From Davao Airport, we went straight to Seagull Beach Resort where we had an overnight stay. I remember that drizzly night when mom woke me up because we all needed to transfer at a much higher ground because the sea water is gradually rising, it nearly touches the inside of the stilt cottage where we were staying.

Davao's Seagull Beach Resort during the 90's

Sunday, May 22, 2011

South Cotabato: T'nalak Festival 2011 Schedule

Experience the grandest showcase of rich cultural fabrics of Southern Mindanao with the upcoming T'nalak Festival 2011 this July 12 - 18, 2011.
T'boli Women wearing t'nalak
I've seen the festival twice, the solo trips I made during 2008 and 2010 made me love my province even more. It was truly a fascinating experience being immersed in the rich living heritage and colorful spectrum of Philippine culture, cuisine and crafts.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fun Summer Rides at Splash Island

To make up for the lost leisure time in our recent Pagudpod trip, we decided to continue our water adventure this time at Splash Island.

Some few weeks ago, I treated my recently graduated siblings and cousin to some good Splash Island adventure, the largest water park in the Philippines. With help from Ebay's kuponan, I was able to secure tickets between 50-70% discount! Hurray to Ebay and Splash Island for that budget friendly summer gift. 

Splash Island video

Sunday, April 24, 2011

5 Day Itinerary: North Luzon Road Trip Adventure

This is an overview of the specific places we've been to during our 5 day North Luzon trip.

Day 1: Baguio day tour (Part 1)
Day 2: Baguio day tour (Part 2)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

North Luzon: 5 Cities, 5 Days for only Php5,000

There must have been something amusing about the number 5 during my recent out of town trip. Working harder for my annual pension plan payment, I was geared to be wearing my tipid mode hat for this 5 day trip up north. Luckily, I ended up using less than my target budget. With only Php5,000 this trip covers Baguio, Benguet, Vigan, Laoag and Pagudpud leg with the Panagbenga Festival Grand Float Parade as the trip’s highlight. So how in the world did I manage to work within that budget? Here are my saving tips for those planning to travel to North Luzon:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Morning Swim at Saud Beach,Pagudpud

Since we didn't had the chance to swim after we arrived in Pagudpud, we decided to wake up early for the morning swim as we planned to leave the homestay at 9am sharp. I woke up at around 5am, however it's still really dark outside. So I patiently waited and checked back again by 5:30am, still no light. But we started to ready ourselves and went to the beach at exactly 6am. We could still clearly see the quarter moon and the morning sun hiding from below the mountains. Excited to swim, we dropped our stuff at a nearby beachrock. From Saud Beach, one could see the famous Bangui Windmills surrounded by the morning mist from a distance. The view is breathtaking!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bye Vigan, Hello Pagudpud!

Our 2 hour Kalesa Tour ended in Plaza Salcedo right in front of St. Paul Cathedral. We paid Php300 and had a quick dinner at McDonalds, just beside the cathedral. There are also a number of good local restaurants you can choose from in Vigan such as Cafe Leona, Epectos Bar and Grill, Cindy's, Hambre, Tessie's, Uno Grille and Los Majitos. And yes aside from McDonalds, there's also Jollibee and Greenwich.  

Dadapilan, Center for Ilokano Studies
After lunch, we went back to our lodge, the Dadapilan and bid farewell to Ate Malot for the warm welcome and hearty breakfast meal. Our accommodation fee is an affordable Php 300 including breakfast. Their area is just a few blocks away from Heritage Village and a stone throws away from Simbaan a Bassit and an internet shop :)

We left off and made our way to Partas Terminal heading to Laoag. It was an hour and a half trip and paid Php121 for the bus ticket (air conditioned). From Partas Terminal in Laoag, we quickly rode a tricycle to take us to the terminal bus going to Pagudpud. The ticket cost a cheaper Php60 but unlike Partas, the bus we rode was just ordinary and crampy. But heck, we enjoyed the 2 hour trip anyway with gorgeous views to feast on!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Vigan: A Haven of Cultural Heritage

Vigan is synonymous to history. When we think of Vigan, pictures of old Spanish houses, century old churches, of calesas, longganisas and bagnet comes to our mind. It magically walks you down memory lane.

Vigan, the only World Heritage City in the Philippines was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list of sites and monuments on December 2, 1999. It represents a unique fusion of Asian building design and construction with European colonial architecture and planning. Today, Vigan remains to be the home of proud Bigueños who welcome everyone with warm smiles to the city where traditions blend well with the present demands of the times.

From Baguio to Vigan, join me as I drive you up North and transport you to thousands of years back during the Spanish colonial period,  minus the war of course.:)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kalesa Tour: Bantay Bell Tower and St. Augustine Parish Church

From the pottery shop of Mr. Fidel Go, our Kalesa Tour brought us to two of Vigan's best known and picturesque sight - the Bell tower and St. Paul Cathedral. Before we could all get off the kalesa, we saw lovely Chinese couple who were probably in their 70s about to leave the place with their hired kalesa as well. They smiled as they bid bye bye to us. They seem to be enjoying their romantic kalesa tour like us. We also also said hi and smiled back at them as we get down and started walking our way up.
Bantay Bell Tower and St. Augustine Parish Church
It was already noon at that time and we could really feel the burns on our skin so we just contented ourselves with merely taking photographs and a quick tour as we marvel at the two remarkable landmarks.  We really don't have the luxury of time to climb the bell tower as we needed to be in Pagudpod hopefully before sunset. So off to tour last historical site for the day, the St. Paul Cathedral.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Vigan's Pagburnayan: Meeting Philippine's National Folk Artist, Fidel Go

Right after a fun tour at Baluarte, Kuya Arnel of Calesa #157 brought us to one of Vigan's must see attraction, the Pagburnayan. This is where traditional burnay jars of varied shapes, designs and sizes are made. It was also here that we get to meet and talk to Vigan's pride, Philippine's National Folk Artist, Mr. Fidel Antiporda Go.
Fidel Antiporda Go, National Folk Artist

Monday, April 4, 2011

Kalesa Tour: Visiting Baluarte

We started off the kalesa tour at the end of Calle Crisologo Street at Heritage Village. Getting to Baluarte from Heritage Village through a kalesa is not a wise decision since they charge per hour - it basically ate up our half an hour tour because it was far! We suggest getting there by tricycle.

Baluarte is 80 hectares of gently rolling terrains, hills and mountain sides, the structures of facilities and amenities, its phases of construction is in its best possible realistic and natural habitat for good and sound animal care.

Located along the western seaboard of Northern Luzon 408 kilometers north of Manila, bounded in the South by South China Sea, Baluarte has its breathtaking view of Vigan City. Baluarte is open to the public and admission is FREE. It is actually Governor Chavit's gift to the people of Vigan where residents are accorded free use of spaces for their livelihood programs. (source)

When we arrived, a line of colorful birds greeted us at the entrance and an ostrich strolling freely around the area. It was already noon when we arrived, the people  were saying we're lucky because it's feeding time! We get to see the animals in action! Feeding time you say? Sounds like a scary Jurrasic line to me!

Presenting the familiar faces of Baluarte!

Have the courage to come face to face with the world's largest cat?

Right after the live animal show, the host started presenting to us this huge Siberian Bengal tiger as he was being brought out from a nearby cage. It was amazing to see a tiger that big outside of its cage (don't worry he has steel chains). My cousin wanted to hug the tiger while I am gathering my guts to get near it, it left me with no choice. It was a scary decision but I'm glad I did.

Touching the tiger is like touching one of God's magnificent masterpiece - so beautiful yet so fierce! But I guess Mr. Tiger has long been used to being surrounded with people. For Php100, you can have your picture taken with mr. tiger and will then be given the print out copy after 15 minutes.

my cousin Leah with Baluarte's parrot
You can also ride a pony to get around the circle. You can also race with the ostrich if you want! Lol! Oh, don't forget to take a picture with the birds, you can ask someone there to put the bird on your shoulder or on top of your head, your choice, really! 

If you get to visit Vigan, don't forget to stop by Baluarte. Kids and animal lovers will surely love the place, like we did.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kalesa Tour: Morning Stroll at the Heritage Village

From Simbaan a Bassit, we started walking our way to Heritage Village...

On our way, we passed by Crisologo Museum and stopped for a while to get some photos. We weren't able to tour the inside of the museum because we're really running out of time. 

Calle Crisologo is Vigan's most picturesque street. A walk down the cobblestone streets and rows of ancestral houses in thick brick walls standing side by side to each other made me feel like I'm frozen in time. It definitely brought back the mood of the historic Spanish times - the grandeur of the past. There were a number of shops seen along the street selling souvenir pieces, antiques,  furnitures, food parlors and I even saw an Island Souvenir shop. You an also visit the Administration office to grab some brochures.

Calle Crisologo 
I've always wanted to taste the authentic Empanada of Vigan as well as Bagnet, but my cousin said, empanadas are sold in the afternoon. We didn't get to see a store selling one.

Vigan offers a wealth of historical and cultural wonders best experience on foot and through a calesa ride. And so after the stroll, we decided to ride a calesa driven by Kuya Arnel. He said he's been a cochero for the past 15 years. Calesa ride is priced at Php150 per hour.  My 5 year old nephew Cocoy who's always been fascinated with all sorts of cars and trucks fondly calls the calesa #157 the Ferrari! And so we drove the Ferrari til we get to our first stop, the Baluarte.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hello Vigan!

We left Baguio at about 7:30pm. Bus tickets going to Vigan costs Php294 (Partas Bus Airconditioned). My friend MC and I got our seat at the very front row of the bus while my cousin Leah and son Cocoy were seated at the back. It was a long 5 hour drive, good thing we bought Jollibee hotdog sandwiches before getting on the bus. We haven't eaten our dinner yet because of the long line at the Partas Bus Terminal. That was the day when the Panagbenga Grand Float Parade happened.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Baguio: 2 Days 1 Night Itinerary

Here's a sample itinerary of what we did. We actually stayed there for 3 days but I'll just share the places we've seen on the first 2 days since the 3rd day was spent on watching the Panagbenga Float Parade. Prior to the trip, I made some internet research before deciding on what places to go to. Feel free to follow our itinerary on your next Baguio trip.

The first day was spent on touring my friend on the basic tourist spots of Baguio. Places me and my cousin has actually visited a number of times except for the Good Taste Restaurant.

Day 1
07:00 am:      Check in into your hotel/lodging house (we went to Benguet State University to follow up on the status of our reservation. BSU is located near Strawberry Farm, a 30 minute and P77 taxi drive from Victory Bus Liner Baguio Terminal)

08:00 am:      Breakfast at McDonalds beside BSU

09:00 am:      Burnham Park | Session Road | Baguio Cathedral
                     Downtown area

12:00 pm:     Lunch at Good Taste
                     Behind Baguio Center Mall

01:00 pm:     Botanical Garden | Wright Park | The Mansion | Mines View Park | Good Shepherd
                    Leonard Wood Area

05:00 pm     Benguet State University (to check on the status of our reservation and toured the campus)

08:00 pm:     Check in transient house near Lourdes Grotto

Note: We started to feel the heavy traffic on our way back to BSU. There were some miscommunication on our reservation and we're left with no room to stay but ate Jag of BSU was kind enough to look for a better lodging for us. Click here to read more of our first day of tour.

Day 2

06:00 am:     Breakfast

08:00 am:     Tam-awan Village | Arko ni Apo
                    Naguilian Area

10:00 am:     BenCab Museum
                    Asin Road

02:00 pm:     Lunch at Mongolian Grill (late lunch because we were too engrossed with the view and collections at the BenCab Museum)
                    located steps away from Burnham Lake

03:30 pm:     Bell Church | Strawberry Farm
                    La Trinidad Area

06:00 pm:     Lourdes Grotto
                    Mirador Hill, western part of Baguio

07:00 pm:    Dinner

Click here to read more of our day2 tour. Here are other tourist spots I wanted to see but sadly there's really not much you can do when your short of time and when traffic (during Panagbenga season) gets in the way. But there's always next time :)
Camp John Hay
Oh My Gulay Restaurant
Philippine Military Academy
Mother's Garden (this is a new discovery according to the owner of the house where we stayed)

Baguio Tour Video (Part 1)
Fresh Strawberry Harvest
Baguio: 2 Days 1 Night Itinerary
Hello Vigan!
Kalesa Tour: Morning Stroll at the Heritage Village
Kalesa Tour: Visiting Baluarte
Vigan's Pagburnayan: Meeting Philippine's National Folk Artist, Fidel Go
Kalesa Tour: Bantay Bell Tower and St. Augustine Parish Church
Vigan: A Haven of Cultural Heritage
Bye Vigan, Hello Pagudpud!
Morning Swim at Saud Beach,Pagudpud
North Luzon: 5 Cities, 5 Days for only Php5,000
5 Day Itinerary: North Luzon Road Trip Adventure
North Luzon: Travel Video

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fresh Strawberry Harvest

On Day 2 of our North Luzon Trip, we went to Strawberry Farm to harvest err what else - fresh strawberries!

After a hearty meal at O' Mai Khan and a quick tour at Bell Church, we geared up for the last stop for the day. Strawberry Farm is located at La Trinidad Valley few meters away from Benguet State University. We walked some few meters more before we arrived at the area. We were all excited especially my nephew Cocoy who loves strawberries very much. Good news is, we're just in time for peak season.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Baguio Day Tour Part 2

Our first day of tour was fun but tiring that I'm just so excited to lay flat in bed. I'm looking forward to a good night sleep, or so I thought...

I woke up 10 minutes before 5am, just in time before my phone alarmed. Good thing I wasn't really drawn into deep sleep as night time in Baguio really gave me one of my biggest chills. I would wake up every now and then putting layers of clothes on top of me (ginawin talaga ako!).  I alarmed the clock to check on my cousin  and pamangkin scheduled to arrive in Baguio by 5am. To my shock, I got an sms at around 4am telling me they're already in Baguio! But they're still not here. I immediately txted them for updates. I would go in and out of the house (challenging, really) to consequently check on them, still no luck. I began to worry.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Random Thoughts on Health and Travel

It has been 2 years since my brother graduated Bachelor of Science in Nursing. When Mom and I attended his graduation, it was like being in an ocean full of Patrick Dempsey's in beautiful nursing scrubs right there. Lol! But just like other nurses here in the country, my brother also wished to work abroad. And just like many fresh graduates then, finding a way out of the country has never been an easy task.

Baguio Day Tour Part 1

After a 5 hour drive from Manila, me and my friend MC finally arrived in Baguio at around 7am. We felt lucky to to finally got out of Victory Bus Liner Terminal, we barely made it on time because we weren't able to book our bus tickets in advance. We waited for 6 hours to finally get on their regular air-conditioned bus.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

13 Travel Tips: Panagbenga Festival

Truly, experience is the best teacher. And having experienced the thrill of Panagbenga myself, I would like to share a few things I learned during our 3 day stay. For those who are planning to go to Baguio for upcoming Panagbenga Festivals, read these reminders/tips below.

1. Reserve your bus ticket at least 2 weeks before your scheduled trip.
I was able to book our plane tickets from Laoag to Manila for our return flight four months before the festival but failed to book our bus ticket to Baguio. Huge mistake! We waited 6 grueling hours at the Victory Liner Bus Terminal in Cubao before finally making it to the bus. Nothing can be more scary than after all the preparations you did, you'll end up missing your trip.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Manila Ocean Park's Win Your Dream Vacation Promo

Summer is getting close. Here's another fabulous promo from Manila Ocean Park!

Let us take you to on an overnight stay in the fabulous Hotel H2O Club Bay Room... for free!

Or let us fly you to the world-renowned white sands of Boracay... for free!

Or even allow us to take you on an exhilarating ride straight to Universal Studios in Singapore... for free!

Make any of these ultimate dream vacations come true with Manila Ocean Park's Summer Anniversary Promo! Here's how:

Click here to watch self edited video of our Manila Ocean Park Day Tour and find out why it's more than just a  giant aquarium :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

BenCab Museum: On meeting the Master

information desk, BenCab Museum
Making its mark as one of Philippines never to be missed art gallery is the Bencab Museum. Located in a quiet winding Km. 6 Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet, this museum is a 15-minute uphill drive from the center of Baguio City.

We went to the museum day before the Grand Float Parade, we were lucky enough to catch a cab knowing the day would be a bit of a challenge considering it's when the Grand Street Parade happens. I excitedly asked the driver to take us to Bencab Museum but I began to worry when he maneuvered the car straight to Session Road where the traffic is terrible. He said that is the only museum he knew and tried to asked other drivers but they also pointed him to that direction. I said it's in Naguilian area somewhere near Tam-awan Village (based on my online research). Still not knowing where the place is, we agreed to go to Tam-awan Village instead. From Tam-awan, we took another taxi who knew where Bencab Museum is.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Baguio: My first ever Panagbenga Festival Experience

February 27, 2011. An estimated half a million people flocked the streets of Baguio to watch the yearly anticipated event of Baguio city’s 16th Panagbenga Grand Float Parade 2011 . The Festival theme this year : “The Environment and Community in Harmony.” This Flower Festival has surely brought in a great amount of revenue to the local government – good news to Baguio’s tourism industry, horrific to many travelers! (check out my upcoming posts to find out why)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Baguio Panagbenga Festival 2011 Schedule of Activities

February is an exciting month for me and my dear friends as we embark on our first ever Panagbenga experience. For all the excited Baguio travelers out there, here's something we should take note before rushing into the country's summer capital.
unveiling of the 16th Flower Festival's official logo
Here’s the Baguio Flower Festival schedule of activities for 2011:

November 16, 2010 – Launch of Panagbenga 2011
February 1, 2011 – Grand Opening Parade
February 1 – Mar 6, 2011 – Market Encounter
February 12, 2011– Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom
February 13, 2011 – Pre-Valentine Event and Fluvial Float Parade
February 26, 2011 – Grand Panagbenga Street Parade
February 27, 2011 – Grand Float Parade
February 28 – March 6, 2011 – Session Road in Bloom
March 2, 2011 – Pony Boys Day
March 3, 2011 – Central North Luzon Tourism Fair
March 6, 2011 – Grand Closing Ceremony & Grand Fireworks Display (Flowers in the Sky)

image source:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

P99 Musical Fountain Show Promo

The P99 Musical Fountain Show Promo is now extended! This time, you can either pay for your tickets online (credit card payment) or get an SMS coupon (to present on Acquatica ticket booths) on your mobile phone. Come and enjoy this multi-sensory spectacle with your family and friends this Summer season!
Hurry guys! Promo runs January 24, 2011 - March 31, 2011. Check out more picture of Manila Ocean Park at The Walking Tripod

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

18th PTAA Travel Tour Expo 2011

Organized by the Philippine Travel Agencies Association in cooperation with the Department of Tourism launches the 18th PTAA Travel Tour Expo 2011. This much awaited annual 3-day event is scheduled on 18 to 20 February 2011 at Halls 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.
image source:

With the theme “Around the World in 3 Days”, the show aims to feature various hotspots in the Philippines and all over the world. Visitors can expect a glimpse of what awaits them in their chosen destinations while enjoying cultural presentations, souvenir items and discounted travel packages from the exhibitors.

Why join TravelTour Expo 2011?

Friday, January 14, 2011

The 2011 Philippine International Pyromusical Competition Schedule

This February 2011, the Philippine International Pyromusical Competition is set to hold another must see event, gearing up for the 2nd time showcasing the grandest fireworks display seen in the country. Here's the schedule posted on their official website.

Feb 12, 2011 - South Korea & Spain

Feb 19, 2011 - Portugal and United Kingdom

Feb 26, 2011 - China & France

Mar 05, 2011 - Japan & Canada

Mar 12, 2011 - Philippines & Australia

The first Philippine International PyroMusical Competition was held last February 14, 2010 at the SM Mall of Asia just in time for Valentines day.

2010 Winners:
Champion - United Kingdom
2nd Place - Australia
3rd Place - Japan

You can visit their website at for latest news and happenings.
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