JUAN Philippines Magazine
4 Nov 2009, 6:35 pm
JUAN Philippines October-November 2009 Issue is out!
Is your flight delayed again? Bored staring at the ceiling while waiting for your flight? Sipping coffee but with nothing to read? Well, we have just got the solution for you! JUAN Philippines Magazine! Check out the latest issue of YOUR Ultimate Travel Guide in the airports and have JUAN as your travel companion. For its October-November issue, JUAN brings you a feature on Baguio—still the summer capital of the Philippines. Also in the most handy travel guide in the country is an article about Danao, Bohol—pegged to be the next Mecca in adventure sports in the country. Find out why Mt. Pulag still attracts climbers from around the country and even around the world. Want to know what to wear in cold weather or outdoors? Visit the first-ever Fashion Editorial of JUAN Magazine and get equipped on what to wear and what to bring with you on your next vacation. Distributed in airports in Cebu, Clark and NAIA and in some call centers and resorts around the country, JUAN Philippines Magazine will revolutionize the way people travel in the Philippines. A copy of the magazine can also be viewed and downloaded at www.juanphilippines.com (300,000 of our readers do!). JUAN Philippines Magazine. Travel. Life. Style. Coming soon. JUANTV.
A Colorful Aliwan Fiesta 2009 (Updated: List of Winners)
25 Apr 2009, 10:00 pm
Just came home from the CCP and the Quirino Grandstand where all festival contingents gather for the grand parade and awarding ceremonies. Despite of rain showers this evening, this year’s Aliwan Festival is once again a huge success. I was there to take pictures of the colorful floats and costumes. I can feel the excitement and energy of every delegates with all those smiles on their faces. While we are still waiting for the announcement of this year’s winners, I would like to share with you some of the photos me and my husband took this afternoon.
Festival Queen Delegates (Clockwise) Candaba, Pampanga; Batangas, Quezon, Baguio
Baguio Panagbenga Float
List of Winners:Festival Dance Competition
Champion: Buyogan Festival of Abuyog, Leyte
2nd Place: Tribu Kasag from Banate, Iloilo (Kasadyahan Festival)
3rd Place: Tribu Paghidaet of La Paz National HIgh School, iloilo (Dinagyang Festival)
Runner Up Honors:
Siloy sa Alcoy
Lapay BantigueFloat Design Competition
Champion: "Abel Iloko" of Laoag City
2nd Place: "Lemba" of Cotabato
3rd Place: Tribu Paghidaet of Dinagyang
Runner up Honors:
Kaguinakit Ta :aya
- Sian Elizabeth Maynard (Sinulog, Cebu City)
2nd Place: Romarie Ivy Cunanan (General Santos City)
Aliah Heitz (Kadayawan, Davao City)
Parul Framil Shah (Panagbenga, Baguio City)
Kate Lao (Pamulinawen, Laoag City)
Congratulations to all the Winners!
Related Post: Aliwan Festival 2009, Schedule of Events
22 Apr 2009, 11:13 pm
I love my country and I’m thankful that we’re blessed with amazing natural sceneries and rich culture that we can all be proud of.
When I started blogging for Pinoy Lakwatsa,
my intention was just to chronicle my life with the places I have been to. I soon realized that I have been inspiring people to travel more as I share my wonderful journey.
I am enticed to discover and explore more of the 7,107 breathtaking islands of the Philippines.
Last night, I was invited at the launching of Awesome Philippines - a first-of-its-kind national tourism campaign for the country held at the M Café at the Ayala Museum. The Department of Tourism of the Philippines (DOT) partnered with MTV Networks International to promote the Philippines as a hip and cool travel destination to young, adventurous travelers.
Among the personalities who were present last night were Secretary Ace Durano, Department of Tourism; Eduardo Mapa Jr., Managing Director/Media Contacts; Sherry Magno, Media Contacts; Yvonne Tey, Director, Marketing Partnerships/MTV Asia; Andrew Chan, Technical Consultant for the activity on Second Life; MTV VJ Maggie Wilson; Undersecretary Eduardo Jarque Jr., Department of Tourism; and Chris Pattinson, MTV.
The author with Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, Angel
, and Grace
The launching of Awesome Philippines
also comes the presentation of its online contest – Video Remixes. This allows us to create our own dream holiday in the Philippines in a creative video story which according to them, could possibly come true! How? Just log on to Awesome Philippines site and register online to upload your dream Philippine holiday video. In this site, you will find different clips of specific destinations. Just pick and edit cuts of the different travel clips and photos based on your personal storyline and choose the soundtrack for your video from the songs available. You can enter as many video entries as you want. If your entry is one of the videos with the highest ratings from other users, you stand a chance to win that dream holiday you remixed with a friend! The contest is ongoing and will last until May 24, 2009.
Another exciting web-based activity which will go live soon is the virtual world of Second Life. As you join this virtual world, you will have access to a multitude of features that allow you to create your own virtual identity, interact with other users, encounter objects, and participate in individual or group tasks while you explore a virtual Philippines.
For more information and to join the Video Remix Contest, logon to www.awesomephilippines.com
22 Apr 2009, 1:53 pm
This was a photograph I took last Saturday somewhere in Tagaytay City.
Our family went on a road trip to south last Saturday to attend a relative’s wedding. The entire morning was so hot and humid particularly when we arrived at the Parish of Our Lady of Lourdes in Tagaytay. Surprisingly in the afternoon, heavy rains poured down. When the rain was over and we were already on our way home, we saw this beautiful rainbow which I can’t help but capture on a picturesque Tagaytay scene. Isn’t it dramatic?
Until this very day, rain never stopped. And I wonder what happened to every beach outing everyone has been planning to do this April?
Is summer almost over?
Aliwan Festival 2009, Schedule of Events
19 Apr 2009, 1:50 pm
Ready for the Philippines’ grandest fiesta? The 7th Aliwan Festival
will be held this coming April 23-25, 2009
. It is a 3-day event that would showcase our country's best fiestas through Street Dance
, Float Design
, and Festival Queen
The much-awaited Grand Parade will happen on 25 April, Saturday afternoon from the Aliw Theater to Quirino Grandstand.
April 23, Thursday
· Streetdance Forum (CCP Silangan Hall)
· One Town, One Product Shoppers Bazaar
· Band Concert and Pasakalye (Aliw Theater outdoor stage - 7:00 p.m.)
April 24, Friday
· One Town, One Product Shoppers Bazaar
· Aliwan Festival Queen Talent Competition (Star Theater, 1:30 p.m.)
· Aliwan Festival Queen Pageant Night (Aliw Theater outdoor stage - 7:00 p.m.)
April 25, Saturday
· One Town, One Product Shoppers Bazaar
· Grand Parade (Aliw Theater Complex to Quirino Grandstand - 4:00 p.m.)
· Awarding Ceremonies (Quirino Grandstand - 9:00 p.m.)
This year’s festival contingents are:
1. Lakbayaw of Tondo, Manila2. Pakalog Festival of Santolan, Pasig
3. Panagbenga Festival, Baguio City
4. Pamulenawen - Laoag City
5. Ibon Ebon of Candaba, Pampanga
6. Disposorio Festival of Hagonoy, Bulacan
7. Luyang Dilaw of Marilao Bulacan
8. Boling boling Festival - Catanuan, Quezon
9. Fiesta de Toros of Nasugbu, Batangas
10. Lapay Bantigue Festival of Masbate city
11. Pulang Angui of Polangue Albay
12. Sinulog Festival of Cebu City
13. Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo City
14. Kasag Festival of Banate, Iloilo
15. Karatong Festival of Dulag, Leyte
16. Buyugan Festival of Abuyog Leyte
17. Kadayawan Festival - Davao city
18. Tuna Festival of General Santos City
19. Halad Festival of Midsayap, Cotabato
20. Kalilangan Festival of General Santos City
21. Buklod Festival - Parang, Shariff Kabunsuan
22. Kalilintad Festival of Mamasapano
Aliwan Festival 2009
CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd, Pasay City
Related Story: A Colorful Aliwan Fiesta (Updated with this year's winners)
PHILIPPINE TOURISM: CREATING EMPLOYMENT WITH EXPANDED INVESTMENTS AND INCREASED TRAVEL MOVEMENT
15 Apr 2009, 10:18 pm Media Release - April 2009
Room capacity in key tourist destinations for the first quarter of 2009 expanded with the opening of new hotels and resorts that created additional employment in the midst of global economic downturn.
For the period January to March 2009, a total of 1,231 additional rooms were opened. With an aggregate cost of P8.016 Billion, these new investments directly employed 1,286 people.
The opening of the P3.18 Billion Imperial Palace Water Park, Resort and Spa increased the room supply in Cebu by 4% to 14,792. With 616 rooms, this new tourism project provided employment to 780 workers.
The San Remigio Beach Club in the northern part of Cebu has also opened its new facilities during the first quarter. With P8.5 Million in investments, the resort has built a convention facility to capture the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) of both international and domestic markets.
Shangri-la’s Boracay Resort and Spa, a high-end 217-room resort in Boracay Island, opened just in time for the influx of tourists on vacation and long holidays. The resort has initially hired 488 workers to manage its various ranges of product offerings.
Seven locators investing in 28 cluster villas for a total cost of P 761.9 Million in the Amanpulo Tourism Enterprise Zone in Palawan also began their operation during the first quarter.
In Metro Manila, the opening of the Legend International’s Park, Bed and Breakfast Hotel, Eurotel Hotel Branch in Makati, and the expansion of Oakwood Serviced Residences increased the total room supply by 320.
By year-end, some 1,946 people will be directly employed nationwide once the additional 2,315 rooms become operational in the following destinations:
* Metro Manila: Manila Ocean Park (120 rooms), The Picasso Serviced Residences (136 rooms), Newport Marriott Hotel (342 rooms), and Maxims Hotel (178 rooms)
* Cebu: Radisson Hotel (400 rooms)
* Boracay: Crowne Regency (449), Phonex Hotel (130 rooms), Boracay Regency Lagoon (120 rooms), Seven Stones (100 rooms), Grand Water (100 rooms)
* Puerto Princesa: Microtel Inns and Suites (50 rooms)
* Tagaytay: Summer Ridge (108 rooms)
* Albay: Discovery Bay Misibis (82 rooms)
With greater demand for tourism services, the Department of Tourism (DOT) endorsed five development projects worth P6.323 Billion in the first quarter of the year. These initiatives will generate 6,340 employment opportunities for local residents in the said tourist areas.
A US$ 200-Million luxury spa and resort is also set to be developed by Banyan Tree in a 55-hectare property in Diwaran Island of Palawan. This project will generate 8,000 direct and indirect jobs during the planning, construction and operational stages from 2009 to 2012.
In Subic, Harbor Yacht Services (HYS) Philippines will construct a restaurant and resort in a marina facility with an investment package of P 36.1 Million.
Creating New Tourist Products
An 18-hectare manmade lake called Lago del Rey, the biggest in the country, was opened to tourists by the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur. With the cost of P 20 Million, this new tourist product complements the wakeboarding park set up by the LGU in 2005. The facility offers family-oriented activities such as boat ride, fishing, and swimming, among others.
Anguib beach in Sta Ana, Cagayan has started to draw foreign and domestic wind and kite surfing enthusiasts because of its unspoiled natural wealth and wider and bigger reef ideal for the said sports. To promote the area, the DOT and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) have organized a windsurfing exhibition which was highly attended by international and local windsurfers.
With increased demand for nature and wildlife adventure, the DOT and the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines have jointly developed birdwatching tours in coordination with tour operators and LGUs in key destinations. The most notable bird watching sites are in Balanga Ciy, Candaba Swamp, Paitan Lake, Pantabangan Dam, Puerto Princesa, Hundred Islands National Park, Subic Bay, Olango Island and Mount Apo.
The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, a leading conservation organization in the United Kingdom will dispatch a fact finding mission in May 2009 to assist the DOT and other agencies in the preservation and promotion of wetlands for wildlife habitat.
A sea kayak tour has also been designed by the DOT and the LGU of Alaminos in the Hundred Islands National Park in Pangasinan. Managed by the Hundred Islands Eco-Tour Association (HIETA), a community-based organization of out-of-school youth, the package involved a half- and whole-day kayak clinic and tour of the charming islets of the Hundred Islands as well as camping experience in Bolo Beach. The HIETA has been tapped by the DOT and Sun and Sea Kayaks to provide tour services during the Kayak Explore Hundred Island Summer Eco-Challenge in April 2009.
Capping on the popularity of the CamSur Wakeboarding Camp, a P500-Million Wakeboard Park will rise on a 12-hectare area in Silang, Cavite.
Increased Travel in Key Destinations
Tourist arrivals in top destinations of the country during the first quarter of 2009 grew by 10.33% for a total of 1.3 Million1.
Cebu attracted the biggest volume of visitors with a share of 32% followed by Boracay (12%), Davao City (11.9%), Camarines Sur (11%), Zambales (7%), and Bohol (5%).
Your browser may not support display of this image.Domestic tourist arrivals to Puerto Princesa City and Coron in Palawan posted a record breaking growth of 392% as more flights were mounted to these destinations from Manila, Cebu, and Caticlan as well as Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia. Likewise, local visitors flocked to Camarines Sur for wakeboarding, Surigao del Sur, Sorsogon (Donsol) for whale shark interaction, Zambales (Subic) for recreation, Ilocos Norte and La Union for sightseeing and beach holiday resulting in double digit gains in these destinations.
Overall, the volume of domestic tourists visiting key destinations grew faster at 13% while foreign arrivals recorded a 4% hike in the first quarter.
Cebu was the most frequently visited destination by foreign tourists with 184,790 arrivals followed by Boracay (63,903), Zambales (25,252), Camarines Sur (24,976), and Bohol (24,350).
Park 'n Fly and Other Transport Service in NAIA 3
7 Apr 2009, 5:02 pm
Thought I would share my experience about Park ‘n Fly during our most recent travel a few months back. Park ‘n Fly is a secured parking service where you could leave your vehicle overnight before flying to your place of destination. Parking fee is at a minimum rate of Php 313.00 for every 24 hour.
So if you’re interested to get their parking service, here’s what to do and what to expect:
1. On your way to the airport, do not go to the terminal yet. Instead, go to the PTT Gas Station where Park ‘n Fly is located (cor MIA Road and Domestic Road).
2. Proceed to the Park ‘n Fly office for some information gathering such as Name, Address, Plate Number, Vehicle Make and Model, Departure Date/Time, Arrival Date/Time, etc.
3. Surrender your vehicle’s key to the Park ‘n Fly staff. The staff will also inspect your car from any existing damages/scratches. The condition of the car will be noted in a report where you will affix your signature. You will also receive a claim stub which should be presented to them when claiming your car.
4. After the vehicle inspection, the staff will then drive your car to a secured and covered parking space.
5. Park ‘n Fly will provide a free airport shuttle service to bring you to the terminal of your flight departure.
6. Upon arrival in Manila, call or send text message to the mobile number written in the claim stub and state your name or plate number. The staff will let you know the bay number where you could wait for the shuttle that would pick you up.
7. Once back in Park ‘n Fly, proceed to the office to settle your bill. They charge P313 for every 24 hours.
8. You may now drive your car back home!
PARK ‘N FLY
Located inside PTT Gas Station
Cor MIA Road and Domestic Road
Telephone No (+632) 852 1946
As an alternative, there are other transport services to choose from at the NAIA terminal 3. You can find them at the bay area outside the terminal. Here are their latest rates:
Yellow Metered Taxi
- All Brand New
- LTFRB Approved Rates
- Php 70.00 Flagdown
- Php 4.00 every 300 meter
Regular Metered Taxi
- Good Condition
- LTFRB Approved Rates
- Php 30.00 Flagdown
- Php 2.50 every 300 meters
Plus additional Php 10.00
Fixed Rate Coupon Taxi
- Well Conditioned
- LTFRB Approved Rates Per Destination
Batangas Beach Resorts
5 Apr 2009, 7:53 am
I am in the midst of contacting and reviewing the nearest beach resorts to Manila for the celebration of my Mother’s birthday this April. Due to her demanding work, she can’t afford to travel with us in any location beyond Laguna
, Batangas or Subic
. So while considering these escapade spots, I realized that I have already compiled a partial list of Batangas Beach Resorts which I wanted to share with you in case you’re also planning your family vacation this summer.
San Juan, Batangas or San Teodoro Mabini, Batangas
Office: (632) 240-2927
Canyon Woods Residential Beach Resort
Canyon Woods Residential Resort
Diokno Highway, Bgy. San Gregorio
Laurel, Batangas, 4221 Philippines
Phone: (632) 521-7878
Fax: (632) 664-6169
Eagle Point Resort
Bo. Bagalangit, Mabini, Batangas
Manila Sales Office: G/F, Corinthian Plaza
121 Paseo de Roxas St. [Office is facing Gamboa St. adjacent to Metrobank.]
Legaspi Village, Makati City 1227 Philippines
Telefax: (632) 813-3553, 813-3560
Mobile no. 0917-8544944
Manila Office: 833 F. Pike St. Greenleaf Tech. Bldg.
Bagong Ilog, Pasig City
Tel/Fax: (+632) 672-2160/62
Kabayan Beach Resort
Bgy. Laiya Aplaya, San Juan, Batangas
Manila: +63 (2) 709-1470
+63 (2) 709-0115
Mobile: +63 (917) 6279357 Amy
: +63 (917) 8963312 Marlon
Email : email@example.com
La Luz Beach Resort
Barrio Hugom, San Juan, Batangas
Contact: +63 (927) 993-8417
Mobile: +63 (916) 394-4367
Maharlika Beach Resort
7310 Looc, Bagalangit, Mabini, Batangas
Mobile : (043)-7510-950
Matabungkay Beach Resort and Hotel
Brgy. Matabungkay, Lian, Batangas
Contact: (0917) 834-12 69 / (0919) 540-0265
Mobile : 0917 5044831
Fax: (0919 )547-0636
Munting Buhangin Beach Camp
Manila Office: 4TH Floor, Loyola Plans Bldg.
849 Arnaiz Ave., Makati City
Contact: 818-1975; 818-4798; 812-5448; 818-0785
818-2083; 810-3594; 812-5679; 818-0689 loc.105
Pier Uno Resort
Fax: 0632 -7125389
Portulano Dive Resort
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Call: 09178124257 and 09175404257
Chat: YM ID:firstname.lastname@example.org
Skype ID: Portulano
Rosegold Beach Resort
Manila Booking Office: Central Business District
Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines
Contact: (+632) 687 2324
Sabangan Beach Resort
Laiya, San Juan, Batangas
Manila Number: +63(2) 914-0848
TeleFax: +63(2) 667-3997
Vistamar Beach Resort
San Jose, Anilao, Mabini Batangas
Contact: (+632) 821-8332 / 823-8265
I'm Voting for EARTH!
24 Mar 2009, 7:28 pm
I’m supporting Earth Hour and I’m spreading the word.
On March 28, 2009 join me and a billion advocates to VOTE for EARTH by switching off your lights for one hour. Or you can vote global warming by leaving your lights on.
The results of the election are being presented at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009. We want one billion votes for Earth, to tell world leaders that we have to take action against global warming.
EARTH HOUR, SATURDAY 28 MARCH 2009 8:30-9:30 PM
Vote Earth For Earth Hour
With the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote, Vote Earth is a global call to action for every individual, every business and every community. A call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet.
for more of Earth Hour logon to http://www.earthhour.org
Tagaytay Picnic Grove
24 Mar 2009, 3:56 pm
If you want to cool down this summer and can’t afford the long hours of traveling to Baguio, why not try going to Tagaytay. It’s just a couple of hours travel from Manila and there are lots of fun yet cheap things a family can do, including going to Tagaytay’s playground – the Picnic Grove.
Picnic Area overlooking Taal Lake and Taal Volcano
Picnic Grove offers a panoramic view of the Taal Volcano. Most of the visitors bring food with them to have picnic inside. By the way, entrance fee to Picnic Grove is now Php 50 and another Php 50 for vehicle parking. There are lots of cottages available in the picnic park which could be rented for at least Php 150.
Tagaytay Picnic Grove - Horseback Riding
Tagaytay’s famous picnic park is also known for its camping sites, eco-adventure trail, and horseback riding adventures. Adults and kids alike can enjoy an hour of horseback riding for the following rates: Big-Php200; Small-Php150. If you want to go to adventure trail, there is an additional fee of Php 150.
One of Tagaytay Picnic Grove’s attractions nowadays is the Tagaytay Ridge Zipline and Cable Car. It’s a breathtaking ride of up to 60km/hour as you fly high on a zipline to up to 300 feet off the ground. Don’t worry, professionally trained staff will assist you and ensure that every second of experience is safe enough to be tried.
Tagaytay Ridge Zipline and Cable Car
Tagaytay Ridge Ziplines & Cable Car Tour Information (from official site http://tagaytayzipline.com/)
- Guests ride a total of four ziplines ranging from 250 meters and one Cable Car
- Platforms and Zip lines range from 150 ft to 300 ft off the ground
- Ziplining involves gliding along a suspended steel cable, using a pulley and climbing harness
- Rides area is in the edge of picnic grove at Tagaytay and covers acres of land in a tropical temperate forest
- Ride duration is approximately 20-30 seconds
- All tours are fully guided
Tagaytay Ridge Cable CarTour
Daily - from 9am to 6pm
ZIPLINE Ride Rates:
1 Way Ride = Php100 per person
2 Way Ride = Php200 per person
Weekend / Holiday Rates
1 Way Ride = Php200 per person
2 Way Ride = Php300 per person
SEAIR celebrates 14th anniversary this Summer!
23 Mar 2009, 7:44 pm
SEAIR will celebrate its 14th anniversary on March 25, 2009, and they are offering a very special treat online. All online ticket purchases from March 25, 2009 to March 28, 2009 get P1400 discount per way, for all fare classes, for all seats, for all routes, and for all flights from June 15, 2009 to September 15, 2009. That's up to P100,000,000 in discounts.
If you're planning to fly via SEAIR, just visit their website at www.flyseair.com and type in the promo code iloveseair14 in the promo code field.
Our Lady of Manaoag Shrine, Pangasinan
22 Mar 2009, 10:56 pm
Now that the Holy Week is fast approaching, I’m sure most you out there are now thinking how to spend the long week. Most of the families I know are taking this opportunity to go to their favorite summer destination. Although there are still some who wishes to take some time to reflect and repent, most of us would still commit to go to Churches on this season. During this times, Our Lady of Manaoag Shrine has been one of the many favorite pilgrimage locations for the Catholics in the Philippines.
The Our Lady of Manaoag Shrine in Pangasinan has been one of my favorite churches ever since I met Paul. Since 2005, I have been keeping a yearly list of my petitions for Our Lady of Manaoag and I should say that most of them has been granted. Now, I come there not just to ask but to say my gratitude for the blessings I have been receiving each year.
Our Lady of Manaoag is known for miraculously curing the sick. It is also a church chosen by many to bless their newly acquired vehicle. Religious objects, candles, even healing oils were sold outside the church.Prayer to Our Lady of Manaoag
Virgin Mother of God, Queen of the most Holy Rosary, thou, who hast chosen to raise thy throne of mercy in Manaoag, to be the beloved protectress and Patron of the Province of Pangasinan, and therefrom to bestow thy graces on us, thy children, banished in this valley of tears, look down with thine eyes of mercy upon me, who am beset with so many dangers of body and soul. Despise not my petition, O dearest Mother, but intercede for me before thy divine Son now and at the hour of my death. Amen.
Virgin of Manaoag, pray for us.
Schedule of Religious Activities:Masses
Few of the candles offered by pilgrims
Monday - Friday every hour 5am - 11am
Saturday - every hour 5am - 12nn & 4:30pm
Sunday - every hour 5am - 12nn, 3pm & 4:30pmConfession
Wednesday and Friday 7am - 8:30am
After every mass at the sacristyRosary
Monday to Saturday 5:45pmBaptism
Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday10am - Registration, 11am - BaptismBlessing of Religious Articles
Inside the Church after every mass and at the Blessing Area at the back of the church 3pm-4pmFiestas
First Sunday of October and Third Wednesday after Easter SundayHow to get to Manaoag in Pangasinan:
Go to bus companies like Victory Liner (Dagupan Destination), Five Star, or Dagupan Bus Line and ask them to drop you at Manaoag Church. The trip takes about 4 hours. If you’re coming from Baguio, Manaoag is about 2 hours.Our Lady of Manaoag Shrine
Manaoag, Pangasinan, Philippines
+63 (075) 529-0132
Niko's Cabanas - Our Home in Puerto Princesa, Palawan
22 Mar 2009, 9:48 pm
My husband and I have nothing but the most pleasant experience when we first stayed in Niko’s Cabanas back in June 2008. That’s why when I recommended it to all of my in-laws to be our temporary home in Puerto Princesa, I knew I won’t have regrets endorsing the place.
It felt good to be back. The rooms and facilities were still well-maintained and clean as before. I noticed that the landscape looked even beautiful today. And yeah, the kids love the pool!
Mr. Efren never failed to impress us with his distinctive way of managing the resort. He was very warm and generous. Always present to greet his visitors and have a small chat with them. He ensured that our needs were met and concerns were all attended. He even advised us not to get their package tour that time because we were quite a large group. Instead, he helped design an itinerary for our family so we could save on our rates. Really, how many times have you actually talked to a manager every time you check-in a hotel or resort?
Niko’s Cabanas is our home in Puerto Princesa. We will never get tired of coming here every time we will visit this scenic city. My in-laws were all happy about their Palawan experience and it was extra satisfying as compared to our first visit. Maybe because we’re with Paul’s dear family. It was always great to be with family during a tour like this. Oh yeah, I’ll definitely come back here. My short term goal now is to bring my own family in Palawan someday. Mama and Papa, beyond doubt, will enjoy this kind of trip. And for sure, Niko’s Cabanas will still be our home in Palawan!
Puerto Princesa, Palawan Revisited - Part 2 (Subterranean River)
8 Feb 2009, 10:16 pm
I remember telling my readers how fascinated I was with the beauty of Palawan. 7 months ago I mentioned here, “Palawan is a stunning place. And I will definitely frequent this paradise!” No doubt we were back. And I’m still very much in love with Palawan!
I already described to you my journey to the famous Puerto Princesa Subterranean River during my first time visit there (click here
for that article). I just want to mention in this post some tips on how to get to the underground river if you’re not getting a tour guide (normally, it’s Php 1,500 per individual for a complete package). Sometimes, a package tour would cost you more especially when you’re a big group. It’s still up to you if you think you can save by hiring a travel and tour guide and pay a package tour or just do it on your own. If you chose the latter, this post might be helpful to you.
First of all, you have to get a van that will transport you back and forth (from your hotel going to the wharf). The river is located on the mid western coast of Palawan and it would take you an approximately 1 hour of road trip to get there. The construction of road going to Sabang is almost completed so it’s lesser travel time now compared before when it was more than 2 hours of rough road travel. Just imagine that? Anyway, we negotiated a van for Php 3,500. That’s round trip already.
Before you head to Sabang, make sure to secure first your permit from the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park Office. You will definitely see this office on your way to the wharf. Also, the driver would know so just ask him to bring you to the office to do your registration and pick up your permit papers. You will not pay anything from this office.
Once you’re in the wharf, there is an office there where you would pay your entrance fee to the Subterranean River. Adult – Php 150 and Children 6-12 years old – Php 30.
After paying the entrance fee, it’s now time to negotiate for a motorboat. This is the boat that would bring you to the beach where the Underground River is located. Each boat can only accommodate 6 passengers. Boat hire is Php 700. Travel time – another 20 minutes. I also remember paying an additional of Php 3 per head + Php 10 for the entire group as an entrance fee to port going to Subterranean River.
Remember, this is not the same boat that will tour you inside the cave. Once the motorboat reaches the Sabang shoreline, you will still have to trek your way down to the Underground River. Again, while waiting for your turn to get inside the cave, make sure you register your name and fill up some important information. Lastly, wear your head gear and life vest and enjoy your 45 minute tour of our very own Puerto Princesa Subterranean River!
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park Office
No. 11 National Highway, Junction 1
Brgy. San Miguel, Puerto Princesa City 5300, Palawan, Philippines
Tel: 048-433-2409 Fax: 048-434-2509
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Puerto Princesa, Palawan Revisited - Part 1
5 Feb 2009, 9:29 pm
Last month, I mentioned that I will be doing again a tour of Puerto Princesa, this time not with any of our friends, but with Paul’s entire family. It was such a fun and unforgettable tour (I always love to travel with our family)! You see, all of them were first timers of Palawan, and for someone who’s relatively familiar with the province, I suggest we disregard getting any package tours available. This is to save a lot of money because we were quite a big group (7 adults, 4 kids, 1 infant). I love how I’m starting to master the art of budget travel. Firstly, I booked our round trip tickets through one of my favorite budget airline, Cebu Pacific Air’s promo for only P16,000+ (yeah, that’s all of us). The plane tickets alone were such a tremendous saving!
My in-laws, Karen and Ryan on the day of our arrival at the airport
Anyways, with the guidance of Kuya Efren, the ever reliable manager of Niko’s Cabanas, (watch out for my story about our stay in Niko’s) he was able to teach me how to save more by not getting a package tour. And I want to share it to my readers through this post. During these tough times, we have to be extra wise in spending but it doesn’t mean that we don’t need to enjoy anymore.
You see, sometimes a package tour could save you a lot as compared to just doing it all by yourselves. I guess if you’re a couple traveling (like Paul and me during our first time tour of Palawan, click here
for related article) you would save more if you pay for a package tour. But imagine paying P9,000++ each for a group of 10 people? (ok maybe we could get discounts for the kids) But still, impractical!
If you’re a first time tourist of Puerto Princesa, there are few spots that are definitely not to be missed – Honda Bay Islands, Crocodile Farm (for the kids), and of course the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River. Of course not to miss out in the list are some of Palawan’s delectable restaurants such as Ka Lui and Kinabuch.
Honda Bay Island Tour
Happy Family :)
Normally, a regular Honda Bay tour cost each individual around P1,500. That would include an air-conditioned van to drop/pick you up in the wharf, entrance fee to three islands (ie Pandan, Snake, and Starfish), lunch at one of the island destinations, and the rental of the motorboat. If you want to snorkel and forgot to bring with you your gears, you can rent them at an additional cost. (Snorkeling mask is P100, and a pair of aqua shoes is P50).
The author with Karen, Ryan and their kids, on the way to Star Fish Island
In our case, Niko’s Cabanas provided a van for our group which we pay only P600.00 (two way; 20minutes from our hotel). Once at the Sta. Lourdes Wharf, you will have to negotiate a motorboat for an entire day of island hopping. Boat rental ranges from P1,200 to P1,500 (for a boat that could accommodate 10 passengers).
Daddy Ric, Trisha, Andre and Aaliyah
Some islands would require an entrance fee like the Starfish Island and Pandan Island. On the other hand, you can enjoy Snake Island for free. This is also the island where most of the tourist had their lunch. Instead of bringing in food with you, why not buy fresh seafood here and ask them to cook for you. They charge at a minimal fee and they sell the seafood cheap.
Guevara Siblings - Karen, Tess, and Paul
One thing I’m looking forward to when we are going to Honda Bay is the snorkeling. This is probably the best coral-reef formation I have ever had a close encounter in my entire travel life (of course, I’ve never been to Tubbataha, so maybe I’ll change my mind). My snorkeling experience in Honda Bay is nothing but awesome!
Before I end this first part of my Puerto Princesa Revisited post, let me share with you one funny experience we had when we were in Star Fish Island. Actually it was Paul who saw everything because he was not contented with just one round of snorkeling in Star Fish. He then again dips into the water with his niece Trisha, and the boatman who was guiding them. So it was Paul who described to us what happened.
My husband Paul, with the big catch
According to him, while they were swimming and enjoying the beautiful garden of reefs and colorful, odd shape fishes, their boatman points to them a very big squid. At first, he taught that the boatman was just pointing his finger towards the location of the squid so they could see it themselves. However, shortly after that, the boatman dived deep into the place where the squid was, grab the squid with both hands. And what happened after? The boatman sold the squid to us so we could add that seafood in our lunch. I guess that was undeniably the most fresh, delicious adobong pusit (squid adobo) I’ve ever eaten :)
Watch out for the continuation of this post, featuring the following:
Niko’s Cabanas, Our Home in Puerto Princesa
Crocodile Farm, Mitra’s Ranch and Baker’s Hill
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River
Albay Tour Part 4 – Busay Falls and Black Sand Beaches
5 Feb 2009, 7:03 pm
One thing I learned about this tour is the fact that Albay is merely not all about Mayon Volcano. There are a lot of beautiful scenery in this province. Maybe not as gigantic as the Mayon, but I could fairly say, they are equally beautiful as the famous volcano.
When my husband met my friend Joanne, her father and sister Mafie at the Legazpi airport, Paul immediately asked Tatay (Joanne’s father) if they could include any waterfalls in our itinerary. Fortunately, our tour guides had that already in mind.
Like my husband, I love looking at a waterfalls. The sight and sound of splashing and cascading water is just so serene, so relaxing. It’s a nice place to have a cool refreshing shower with friends or simply a place where I could reflect about many things in life.
As expected, while enjoying the scenic rice fields and farm animals of Malilipot during a 20 minute drive, we proceed to this site, where a small waterfalls is tucked away in one of the barrios.
Busay Falls, towering at 800 feet, is considered one of the tallest falls in the country. It is located at about 20km north of Legazpi City, the capital of Albay. Before you get see the falls, you’ll have to pay an entrance fee of P10.
My friend Joanne and Mafie at one of the black sand beach resorts in Sto. Domingo, Albay
Another thing me and my husband were excited about was seeing a black sand beach. It’s very rare because the black sand were actually created from the natural erosion of volcanic rock of which evolved from ground lava.
Black Sand Beach
Black Sand Beaches are located mostly in Bacacay, Sto. Domingo, and Tiwi.
Albay Tour Part 3 – Lingñon Hills and Mayon Skyline (Resthouse)
5 Feb 2009, 7:02 pm
Apart from the Cagsawa Ruins, here are two of the best locations where you could picture the beautiful Mayon Volcano.Lingnon Hills
(properly pronounced as li-nyon
) has a nice view of the entire Legazpi City.
Lingñon Hills Nature Park
Great place to hangout with friends
Also best spot to oversee the entire Legazpi City, not only Mt. Mayon
The Mayon Skyline (formerly known as Mayon Resthouse) is located on the eastern slope of Mayon Volcano. This is the nearest you could be with Mayon. It is said to be an excellent summer resort because of its cool temperature. One attraction of the Mayon Skyline is its very own planetarium. Inside, is an on-going exhibit and film showing about volcano eruption to better understand the volcanoes.
Mayon Planetarium and Science Park Fee:
Parking Fee – Php 10
Planetarium Fee – Php 10
Toilet Fee – Php 6
Wall Climbing – Php 50/hour
Zip Slide – Php 100
Inside Mayon Planetarium
Cebu Pacific's Domestic Seat Sale for as Low as P188 All-In Promo
4 Feb 2009, 6:15 pm
Summer is here once again! I know a lot of you are now starting to plan for that much awaited vacation with your family. Here’s the good news - the country’s budget airline is offering domestic seat sale for as low as P188 all-in promo. More from Cebu Pacific's Seat Sale Alert E-mail:
Over 100,000 seats have been allocated across all of our domestic routes. Fly for only P188 all-in from Manila to Busuanga, Cebu, Iloilo, Legaspi, Naga, and San Jose (Mindoro).
Snatch your P288 all-in fare for Manila to Cauayan (Isabela), Laoag, and Tuguegarao; and Cebu to Bacolod, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Surigao, and Tacloban.
Only P488 all-in for flights from: Manila to Bacolod, Calbayog, Catarman, Caticlan (Boracay), Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, and Virac; and Cebu to Caticlan (Boracay)
P688 all-in fare is up for grabs for Manila to Dumaguete and Roxas; Cebu to Clark, Cotabato, Davao, Dipolog, General Santos, Legaspi, Ozamiz, Puerto Princesa, Siargao, and Zamboanga; and Davao to Iloilo and Zamboanga.
CEB offers a P1,188 all-in fare from Manila to Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato, Davao, Dipolog, General Santos, and Zamboanga.
The promotional sale starts now until February 10, 2009, or until the allotted seats are sold out, for travel beginning February 4 until March 31, 2009. This promotion is non-refundable. Fares quoted are ‘Go Lite’ fares.
‘Go Lite’ fares can be availed by passengers with no check-in luggage. Passengers with check-in bags will just add P200 upon booking.
Hurry, book your flights now through CEB’s website at www.cebupacificair.com!
Albay Tour Part 2 - Cagsawa Ruins Park
26 Jan 2009, 2:16 pm
Cagsawa Ruins Park, Albay
In February 1814, Mayon Volcano has recorded its worst eruption ever in the history. It was said that about 1,200 town people thought that the Cagsawa Church could be a safer place but all of them ended up buried when lava flows cascaded down directly to the church. The bell tower of Cagsawa Church remained during this devastating experience.
Today, known as the Cagsawa Ruins Park, the place is one of the best tourist locations in Albay where you could get a nicer glimpse of the Mayon Volcano. Well, not really. On our first day, and our first attempt to visit Cagsawa Ruins Park, we were dismayed by not even seeing a blur image of the famous volcano. I guess we can blame it to the bad weather condition!
Good thing, we met Enrique, a talented young photographer who taught us how to take pictures with some fun tricks. Let me share some of our pictures. Most of these were taken by our new friend. Notice at the background, the volcano is missing :)
Tiny me and my giant husband!
My Guinobateña friend, Joanne and his dear Tatay, also posing for some cool tricks
Paul with our new friend in Cagsawa Park, Enrique. Finally, we can now see Mayon on our second visit later that day.
Have you voted again for Palawan’s Underground River?
16 Jan 2009, 11:01 pm
I’m gone for the weekend with Paul’s entire family. Well, I find it really coincidental that I am here in Palawan for the second time around, and is voting again for Puerto Princesa’s Subterranean River for the second phase of the official New7Wonders of nature campaign.
There are 261 qualified national and multinational nominees which are now competing to make it to the top 77. Our very own Puerto Princesa Subterranean River is our country’s official entry to compete for the New7Wonders of Nature.
To know more about the Underground River
, read my entry last year
Log-on to http://www.new7wonders.com/
to cast your votes.“Our Heritage is Our Future”
Albay Tour Part 1 - Majestic Mayon Volcano
12 Jan 2009, 9:42 pm
I felt that I should have written this entry earlier while she was still a nominee for the New7Wonders of Nature. Nevertheless, with its majestic beauty, it will never be late to talk about Mayon Volcano.
It was Dec 7 of last year when we landed at the Legazpi Airport. I thought I could never ever see the main reason why we visit Albay. They say, even from the airport, you could already spot Mt. Mayon. However, it was not the case when we were there. The cloudy and windy weather conditions made it difficult for us even to catch a sight of the volcano. It was too frustrating especially if you’re just as excited to take pictures of her.
"Mayon Volcano lies at the eastern portion of the province of Albay. And is about 300 km southeast of Manila. Well known for its beauty and near perfect symmetry, this active volcano is one of the tourist attractions of the country. Mayon reaches up to around 2,462 m above sea level and covers an area of 250 sq km. Its base circumference is 62.8 km encompassing the municipalities of Tabaco, Malilipot, Bacacay, Sto. Domingo, Ligao, Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga, and Legaspi City. Mayon is classified as a strato volcano or composite cone. It consists of deposits formed basically by four major types of volcanic activity; air fall deposition, pyroclastic flows, rai-triggered debris flows, and lava flows. Air fall and pyroclastic flow deposits are composed of unconsolidated materials varying in size from ash to small boulders. These deposits result from the eruption of fragmented rocks from the crater and are transported down slope under the influence of gravity, explosion blast and the prevailing wind. Rainfall during or a long time after an eruption induces debris to flow down the slopes of Mayon Volcano to form debris flow deposits. These lahars are jumbled mixtures of rocks of varying sizes in a matrix of sand, silt and clay. Lava flows accompany most of Mayon’s eruptions. Predominantly blocky in structure, the lava flows issue mostly from the crater and sometimes from fissures that radiate from the cone."
The weather condition was much better the next day. We were both in awe when we finally get to see her on our second day. Paul kept telling me how fascinated he was by the beauty of Mayon. It’s probably one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, but I’m pretty sure it’s also one of the most magnificent wonders of nature.
Happy 2009 from Pinoy Lakwatsa!
31 Dec 2008, 11:48 am
Let me defer my series of Albay posts for a moment with a year-ender message to all of you. This year, we have celebrated Christmas with both of our families – my family in Manila on Christmas Eve, and immediately travel all the way to Baguio City to catch up with husband’s family on Christmas day. Baguio is even colder this season and the very long vacation days made it even more attractive for tourists to spend holidays here.
Today, New Year’s Eve, I would like to end my 2008 articles with a prayer:
"O God of new beginnings and wonderful surprises, thank you for the gift of a new year. May it be a time of grace for us, a time to grow in faith and love, a time to renew our commitment to following Your Son, Jesus. May it be a year of blessing for us, a time to cherish our family and friends, a time to renew our efforts at work, a time to embrace our faith more fully. Walk with us, please, in every day and every hour of this New Year, that the light of Christ might shine through us, in spite of our weaknesses and failings. Above all, may we remember this year that we are a pilgrim on the sacred path to You. Amen."
It has been a tremendous year of travel for both of us and we hope to continuously inspire all of you to discover and revisit the beautiful islands of the Philippines.
Here’s wishing you a Successful 2009 full of Peace, Hope, and Love!
God Bless Us All,
Paul and Mich Guevara
Albay Province, Bicol Region
17 Dec 2008, 10:05 pm
Aerial view of Mt. Mayon
Before we end this year, Paul and I thought to continue our journey to witness the breathtaking entries of our country to the new 7 wonders of nature.
After our recent tours of Palawan and Bohol, where we were amazingly mesmerized by the Underground River
and Chocolate Hills
respectively, we decided to visit Albay, this time, to view the majestic Mayon Volcano.
Albay is a Philippine province located in the Bicol region, about 538 kilometers southeast of Manila. The entire Bicol region is composed of the neighboring provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Sorsogon, and the island provinces of Catanduanes and Masbate.
I tell you, this is probably one of our most budgeted yet most enjoyable tour this year. As usual, we took advantage of Cebu Pacific’s Zero All-in Fare
and we did not rented any tour company to guide us, since my dear friend Joanne, who is an Albay local, volunteered to be our tour guide.
The author, happy to be in Albay.
Paul and I arrived at the Legazpi Airport last December 7 at around 7:00 am (local time). Unfortunately, there were strong wind and rain shower brought by the tail end of the cold front. I thought I would never enjoy my first time tour of Albay because of the bad weather. Thank God, my friend Joanne and her family made it very pleasant and convenient for the two of us. It was without a doubt an experience of a genuine Filipino hospitality.
Whoever thought that there’s basically nothing to see in Albay aside from Mt. Mayon could be making a huge mistake. The province is really blessed with stunning attractions to spot, luscious cuisine to taste, and wonderful people to meet.
Legazpi City, capital of Albay
To give you an idea, here’s a preview of my upcoming posts about the wonderful province of Albay.
Albay Tour Part 1 – Majestic Mayon Volcano
Albay Tour Part 2 – Cagsawa Ruins Park
Albay Tour Part 3 – Lingñon Hills and Mayon Skyline(Resthouse)
Albay Tour Part 4 – Busay Falls and Black Sand Beaches
Albay Tour Part 5 – Hoyop-hoyopan Cave
Albay Tour Part 6 - Albay Churches
Aside from the above, I will also be featuring our temporary home in Albay, the very cozy Pepperland Hotel, which is just few minutes walk from Legazpi Airport. Of course, my Albay chronicle won’t be completed without mentioning my unforgettable taste of Albay’s exotic and delectable cuisine. Gosh, I'm so missing the most spicy Bicol Express I have ever tasted even while I'm writing this. Hmmm, I'm getting hungry now. So till my next post!
Awesome Display of Christmas Lights in Policarpio
2 Dec 2008, 6:38 pm
Belen (Nativity Scene)
No doubt, December is here again! Christmas songs are now continuously played on the radio, most of the establishments look fascinating with their own display of Christmas decoration, and yes, parties and bazaars are here there and everywhere.
House of Santa
To start my December post, I’d like to share some pictures from our recent trip to the enchanting street of Policarpio in Mandaluyong City.
The neighborhood of Policarpio is known for making its houses fancy with awesome Christmas decors and an extravagant display of lights. Every year, people from different places, mostly curious, come to witness how beautiful this neighborhood during the holiday season.
Extravagant display of lights
Contrary to what I expected, not all the houses in Policarpio Street participated in their annual display of Christmas ornaments. Nevertheless, we still enjoyed our tour to this one of a kind vicinity in Mandaluyong. Surely, the spirit of Christmas is flowing in their neighborhood!
Policarpio Neighborhood in Mandaluyong City
Palmridge Private Resort in Pansol, Calamba, Laguna
25 Nov 2008, 8:11 pm
For me, nothing beats the pleasure and comfort of staying in a private place while having the benefit of swimming in a pool reserved only for your family’s exclusive use. That is why I love the private hot spring resorts in Laguna. For our most recent Laguna escapade, we chose to celebrate my mother in law’s birthday at the Palmridge Private Resort. Palmridge Resort is one of those private hot spring resorts that can be rented in Pansol, Laguna. Palmridge, however, has a pavilion that can hold up to 100 guests, making them a good pick for parties like birthdays, weddings, baptismal, or just a plain family get-together.
Here are Palmridge’s facilities which I truly like:
1. Bedrooms - The resort has 3 fully air-conditioned bedrooms. Each has its own toilet and bath.
2. Pavilion - Like I said, it’s ideal for parties! There are also round tables and monoblock chairs (free to use) to complete your party needs.
3. Swimming Pool – Their hot spring adult and kiddie pool are both facing the pavilion. No one will be left out in the scene and parents need not worry about their children’s safety while swimming in the pool.
4. Kitchen, Grilling Station, and a Refrigerator - very clean I must say!
5. Secured Parking – a must, especially if you’re not certain on parking outside the resort. By the way, Palmridge parking area can accommodate up to 2-3 cars.
6. Karaoke – unlimited use of Karaoke and very up-to-date list of songs available.
I had a chance to meet Mr. Eric, the owner of the resort. He told me that it used to be their family’s vacation retreat before they open it to public. No wonder it was well-kept, well-maintained, and elegantly designed. I kept telling Mr. Eric how we loved their Mediterranean inspired villa and how perfect it was for our planned party. Everyone in our family admired their private resort. I guess, this is the best private resort we’ve been to in the hot spring resort town of Pansol in Calamba City.
Palmridge Private Resort is located in Purok 1, Bgy. Pansol, Calamba City, Laguna. For their latest rate, you may get in touch with Mr. Eric at (+63) 917-500 1141 or (049) 8332084. You may also drop them an e-mail at email@example.com.
How to get to Palmridge Private Resort:
Take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). Exit through Calamba toll gate, turn right at the last stretch of the SLEX until you arrive in Calamba Town proper. At the crossing or Rotonda, turn right (landmark – Chowking). Go straight through the main road / hi-way. You will pass by two railroad tracks. Look out for nearby landmarks like Batis ng Makiling and Luisa Ridge Resort. When you see the establishments, you are already in Pansol. Watch out for Barreto Elementary School on the right side of the road. Further down the road, turn right at the corner of Wonder Spring Resort. Now, follow the direction in this map:
A Laguna Private Pool Party (Celebrating Mama Cel's 60th Birthday)
Laguna Hot Spring Resorts