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Monday, July 11, 2016

Where to Stay in Bolinao: Casa Almarenzo

Casa Almarenzo Bed & Breakfast is a private getaway in the western tip of Pangasinan - Patar, Bolinao (around 30 to 45 minutes to Patar Beach). This Bed and Breakfast was originally built as a family resthouse way back 2010 but was opened to the public in the year 2013.
The welcome facade of Casa Almarenzo Bed & Breakfast

That relaxing atmosphere in the family room - refreshing beach view right outside the window

A Santorini-feel is also set at the entire resort with its all-white structures and rooms.
Casa Almarenzo has 2 infinity pools - a 5-feet deep pool and a kiddie pool.
Their kiddie pool is indeed, a real kid-friendly pool.
Clean and not so chlorine-rich infinity pools

Casa Almarenzo is perfect for families since they have accommodations for big groups. Place is also secluded and is not crowded which  is ideal for bonding and relaxation at the same time.
Free use of hammock, kayak boats, billiards, and dart boards
Best spot for 'kwentuhan' and 'inuman'

Dining Area/Restaurant

The entire resort is instagrammable too! It is filled with quotes like this

Rates are quite too pricey compared to other resorts in Patar, Bolinao but the customer service is totally amiable. The whole staff is accommodating and polite. Guests may also use the common area - dining, kitchen, etc. for free. Also, you may ask the staff to cook for your group for a minimum fee of Php200 for the entire meal; you may either buy the food in the market or ask them to buy the food for you.

Casa Almarenzo Bed & Breakfast
313 Patar Road, Brgy. Estanza,
Bolinao, Pangasinan

For more information, you may contact Mr. Bong Pangilinan at 09228588453. You may also visit their website at

Monday, July 04, 2016

#MayForever: Admission to the National Museum is Now Permanently Free!

Good news everyone!

Effective July 1, 2016, admission to National Museum of the Philippines and all its museums nationwide is now FREE. Yes, permanently no entrance fees anymore. This applies for all visitors - Filipino or foreign.
The National Museum is the cultural repository center of the Philippines that preserves our country's rich artistic, historical, and cultural heritage. Inside the National Museum lies the national cultural treasures of the Philippines - a collection of the best of the best - a collection of thousands of fine art and natural history pieces from all over the Philippines.

"The policy of the free admission has been established by the Board of Trustees of the National Museum, in order to build significant spikes in viewership, especially among younger Filipinos. Spikes in viewership has been observed since 2013 up until this year when admission has been made free of charge for various traditional reasons - National Arts Month (February), National Heritage Month (May), and National Museums and Galleries Month (October)."

"Enhancing universal access by all Filipinos to what we proudly exhibit as our national patrimony and heritage has always been a primary concern. And with this new policy, we hope to reach more people than ever before, both by encouraging visits to our museums, and by bringing the National Museum's programs and resources to communities throughout the national capital and all the regions of our archipelago."
For more information, you can visit their official website, The National Museum is located at P. Burgos Drive at the Old Finance Building, Rizal Park, Manila and is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:00AM-5:00PM. You may also check their official Facebook Page here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Where to Stay in Subic: The Reef

Planning for a quick getaway to Subic? Thinking on where to stay in Subic?

Ssssh... No need to waste your precious brain cells. I'll share one of my latest discoveries last summer - The Reef Hotel & Residences.
The newly-opened The Reef Hotel & Residences in Subic

The Reef Hotel & Residences is the newest 32-room boutique hotel in Subic. It is strategically and conveniently located at Bldg. 532 Waterfront Road, Central Business District Subic Bay Freeport Zone 2222 (Near Alava Pier).

It has easy access to convenience stores (7-11 is just right down the corner), restaurants, shopping centers, and various tourist spots in Subic.
Junior Suite of The Reef

All rooms includes the following:
* Complimentary Breakfast at The Pirates (good for 2 pax)
* Bottled Water
* Coffee & Tea-Making Facility
* LED Cabled TV
* In-room safe
* Fiber-Optic WIFI Connection
* Hot & Cold Shower
* Balcony
* Kitchenette (Suites only)

The Junior Suite is a 27 sq meter studio type room
Fully-equipped kitchenette - personal refrigerator, induction stove, microwave, and kitchen sink

Hot & Cold Rain Shower, Bidet, and Toiletries. Ayos!

Modern, posh, and creative sticky labels

Modern-designed, beautiful architecture, simply elegant, relaxing plus this...
Whoo! Stunning view of Subic Bay

grabbed from The Reef Official Facebook Page

Room Rates are as follows:
Deluxe Parkview....................Php3250 (good for 2 pax)
Deluxe Bayview.....................Php3500 (good for 2 pax)
Junior Suite............................Php3800 (good for 2 pax)
Executive Suite......................Php4100 (good for 2 pax)
Family Suite Parkview............Php4600 (good for 3 pax)
Family Suite Bayview.............Php4900 (good for 3 pax)
*** Extra Person w/ bed & breakfast Php700 per head
*** Children from 8-12 years old w/ breakfast Php300 per head

The Reef Hotel & Residences
Bldg. 532 Waterfront Road,
Central Business District Subic Bay
Freeport Zone 2222

For more information, you may contact (047)2513256, 09954574539, 09209590413. You may also send them an email at

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sponsored Video: Discover and Crave for the NEW Ice Cream Layers You Never Knew Existed! Nestle Drumstick

Woah! This is cool! I have got to see the latest and I think the coolest ad of Nestle Drumstick. And hey, I can say that, yes, it was indeed Funner than Ever!

Take a quick look on Nestle Drumstick's newest video ad:

Done? Are you guys still okay?
I bet you have been drooling for Nestle Drumstick Choco Brownie Fudge, now. This video is crazy! It might not work like neither an app nor a virtual reality video but it  makes one think that it's interactive because of letting the audience engage on exploring the different layers of Nestle Drumstick by hovering that navigation icon on Nestle Drumstick.

It is definitely so much fun exploring and discovering every delectable layer of this Level-Up Nestle Drumstick experience. Every delicious detail of this ice cream is worth drooling for! Haha!

Grabbed from Nestle Drumstick official Facebook Account

The theme of the video is exactly how people are into nowadays - Explore and Travel. Just like the wonders of discovering and traveling to new places, probably, the reason for existence of this newest ice cream is to give one a funner than ever life experience which will bring one to a different high.
Grabbed from Nestle Drumstick official Facebook Account

You might have not considered it yet but Nestle Drumstick could be the best travel companion ever for your Funner Than Ever trips this year. It is cool, jam-packed, and not so demanding. Highly recommended for summer, and since it is Forever Summer here in the beautiful country, Philippines - this is perfect!

Oh, I forgot, rainy season is coming but do not fret, you can still definitely explore places and enjoy Nestle Drumstick no matter the weather is. And even how simple your day will be - a weekend at home, a day at the office, 3 hours in traffic, etc, Nestle Drumstick would definitely make any part of your day Funner than Ever.
Grabbed from Nestle Drumstick official Facebook Account

So what are you waiting for? Grab one now!
I just did. Enjoy! :)

***** This post has been sponsored by Nestle, but all the thoughts are my own.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Travel Expo: Travel Madness Expo 2016

Travel Madness Expo is set to happen this July 8 to 10 at SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.
Travel Madness Expo is spearheaded by Travel Innovators, Inc. (TTI). This event is designed and created to be a one-stop marketplace for all travel enthusiasts, agencies, resorts, hotels, and airline carriers.
Gates are open from 9AM to 7PM. Ticket prices are Php50.00 (General Admission) and Php40.00 (Senior Citizens and PWD).

See you there!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Cinemalaya 2016: List of Films, Trailers, Posters, Schedule, and Ticket Prices

52 days more before the 12th Cinemalaya Film Festival!
Cultural Center of the Philippines, Pasay City Philippines

Once again Cinemalaya Foundation Inc. will treat indie film enthusiasts for another batch of fresh and out-of-the-box concepts in the field of digital film making industry. Now on its 12th year, with its theme, "Break the Surface", Cinemalaya 2016 will run from August 5 - 14, 2016 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in Pasay City.


HIBLANG ABO by Ralston Jover
Synopsis: This film speaks volumes of muted memories and infinite struggles among 4 men in their twilight years, confined in a hospice facility or home for the aged. Their gray hair grows and fades unnoticed, their lives enter the void of oblivion. Everything unfolds so naturally into their swan song until their body pains and heartaches yield the same intensity, when their hearing and feelings become permanently impaired; and when their blurry vision and memories become clear signs that the inevitable state of death is as fleeting as the vibrancy of life itself.

Synopsis: Adam is a 14-year-old charming and introvert boy, born with the secret of having both male and female genitals. As an intersex, he finds himself embarked and lost in a painful transformation - a journey that takes him into the physical and spiritual limits of gender identity and into the ambiguities of fate and desires.

ANG BAGONG PAMILYA NI PONCHING by Inna Salazar and Dos Ocampo
Synopsis: A religious who does petty crimes, Ponching, gets into a new venture, text scamming, thinking it will not really hurt anyone. One day, his seemingly 'innocent' text scam accidentally cons a recipient into thinking he is the bastard child of their late relative.

DAGSIN by Atom Magadia
Synopsis: After surviving the Death March, Martial Law, and the loss of his legs, Justino became an atheist. But when his wife dies, a part of him is yearning to believe in life beyond death; just for a chance to be with her again. Searching for parts of her he can still hold on to, he devours her diaries for information into their past -- opening a Pandora's box of secrets.

I AMERICA by Ivan Andrew Payawal
Synopsis: "I America" is a dramedy about a complex half-Pinay, half-Caucasian lady looking for American living in Olongapo City who tries to get her passport and US Visa in order to meet her father personally for the first time.

KUSINA by David Corpuz & Cenon Palomares
Synopsis: Kusina (The Kitchen) is the silent witness to the life and love of Juanita. It is her sanctuary, the place where she creates the dishes for her family, her friends, even enemies and strangers. Through cooking, she gets to know the people around her, and in return, reveal herself to them.

LANDO AT BUGOY by Vic Acedillo Jr.
Synopsis: Disrespected by his teenage son, a 40-year-old High School dropout tries to solve this problem by returning to school which only makes his son hate him even more. Amidst the struggle between them, an unexpected event changes everything.

MERCURY IS MINE by Jason Paul Laxamana
Synopsis: Carmen, a middle-aged cook, is about to close down her eatery at the foot of Mt. Arayat when a white American teenage boy named Mercury approaches her and begs for work in exchange of nothing but shelter.
TUOS by Derick Cabrido
Synopsis: A woman chosen to keep an age-old tradition alive must now choose between her granddaughter's life and a belief that shackled her in solitary confinement.
Synopsis: Jane and Aries are teenage parents. They make a living out of stealing on the streets... until fate hits back at them.


BUTAS by Richard Cawed
FISH OUT OF WATER by Ramon Alberto Garilao
BUGTAO by Noah del Rosario
PEKTUS by Isabel Maria Luz Quesada
NAKAUWI NA by John Relano
ANG HAPON NI NANDING by Rommel Tolentino
GET CERTIFIED by Isaias Herrera Zantua
FOREVER NATIN by Mary Clarence Espiritu

General Ticket Information:
Regular Price:
Php150/head per screening

Discounts available for the ff:
50% off for students (CCP Screenings only)
20% off for Senior Citizens
20% off for Government & Military Personnel

Festival Passes (available for CCP Screenings only):
One Day Pass (Php700.00)
- includes admission to 4-6 screenings for 1 day; priority lane entry to screening venues in CCP

Festival Pass (Php2000.00)
- includes admission to all competition films; priority lane entry to screening venues in CCP; complimentary souvenir program & subscription to e-newsletter

Flexi Pass (Php3000.00)
- includes admission to all competition films + 8 exhibition films of your choice; priority lane entry to screening venues in CCP; complimentary souvenir program & subscription to e-newsletter

Premium Pass (Php5000.00)
- guaranteed accommodation to all Festival screenings, Congress & Forums; guaranteed accommodation to the Opening & Closing Awards Nights; priority lane entry to screening venues in CCP; access to VIP Lounge; invitations to Festival receptions, parties, & special events; complimentary souvenir program & subscription to e-newsletter

Schedule of Screenings:
Click here to check complete summary of screenings for Cinemalaya 2016.

For more information about the 12th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, visit or call 832-3704/832-3706.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

How to Travel More This 2016

Every now and then, each of us would like to escape and just simply go and get away. Probably, we just want to travel. Probably, we just want to explore more places. Probably, we want to experience more of life. Or probably, we just really want to spend our hard-earned money somewhere else. Yes, each of us has our own different reasons; reasons that do not need neither any validation nor a logical explanation.

This year, I am turning 30...
Yes, I am turning 30. OMG! I am turning 30. This is unbelievable!
I thought once I turn 30, I am going to look old. I am going to look mature and all the words that will come out of my mouth are all 'words of wisdom'. Nice! And that, my friend, was my vision before on how I will look and how I should be when I turn 30. Haha

I actually have a couple of days left before my 30th birthday and I have not seen any rapid changes on my looks or on how I talk. Damn! I still love to play around. I know some people of this age start planning out their wedding - where to's, how to's, etc. and here I am drafting and planning my "where to's-how to's" of my upcoming trips.

Anyways, before getting any melodramatic here (oh my gosh! I am having some birthday blues again!), here are some tips on how to travel more this year ('coz that is all I want to do this year):

1. Plan ahead!
Let's go ahead and forget the spontaneous trips. Why? One goes out of his or her budget since the trip is unplanned. There are a lot more tendencies or huge possibilities that one will spend more.

2. Sharing is Caring.
Have you heard about couchsurfing? Well, I have not tried it yet but I would love to. There are a lot of communities or groups in social media sites that offer couchsurfing for travelers and/or backpackers.

3.  Stop thinking that traveling is for rich people only.
If you are going to wait for you to be rich before hopping on a plane, a bus, or a boat, then, you would never ever have that chance to travel and see more. Just like how the saying goes, "Travel is the only thing that makes you richer."

4. Wants vs Needs. Basic vs Luxury.
Have a reality check from time to time and ask yourselves first before purchasing something. Is it a want or a need? Do I really need it? Do I really need or is it just this newest ad tells me that I need it or make me want it? Let's slash off the luxury and just go for the basic. There are always more to life than the latest and most fab gadget in town.

5. Make small sacrifices everyday.
Or at least on a regular manner. Instead of buying your meals from the fastfood everyday, why not prepare home-cooked meals for work? In this way, you are going to save not just a hundred bucks or two, you can also make sure that it is healthier too.

Another small sacrifice is instead of taking a cab or Uber when going to work, you might want to do some stretching and have a walk. You may also use the local/public transportation instead. It may remove a little bit of your convenience and comfort but at the end of the day, it will be really worth it.

6. Goodbye Starbucks.
Nuff said.

7. Join Travel Bazaars or Travel Expos.
Do not be afraid to join and explore travel bazaars. You would not be forced to buy anything once you get there. It would all be up to you if you find the offers helpful and affordable. In travel expos, hundreds of travel agencies such as Traveloka Philippines showcase their different destination travel and tours. I have attended a number of travel bazaars and I must say that it's worth the visit.

8. Build a Travel Fund
Save, save, and save. In this way, you would not see travel as a luxury. Building a travel fund has  helped me for how many years now. One does not need to directly touch his or her work salary to travel really; you just need to save those change. In one way or another, you would not notice that you have already saved up enough for a trip to your dream destination.

9. Just do it.
And last but not the least, just do it. Just travel. Travel anywhere. Travel where you want to go. Travel where your feet bring you. Travel where your heart tells you to go. If we would keep on waiting for the right time to travel, the right time may not come. So what are you waiting for? Just grab up your bag and book for a trip.

Have a happy and safe travels this 2016! :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Travel-Related Tagalog Movies: List, Synopsis, Poster, Trailer, and Featured Locations

It has been more than a month since I declared a leave from going out; the budget, weather, and limited VLs are just some of the factors. (Not to mention the real reason that the twenty-something-girl in me attacked, who also misses the comfort of her bed, enjoys the kilig-factor in PBB Teens and Coco Martin's teleserye every night.)

Though I haven't explored the Philippines for that span of time, the following movies made me see a lot of must-visits in our country:

Above the Clouds
Synopsis: "After losing his parents in a flood, 15-year-old Andy is forced to live in the Mountain Province with his estranged grandfather. Feeling they have lost everything, the two embark on a journey and start to come to terms with their grief." 

Location Featured: Mt. Pulag

Forever and A Day
Synopsis: "Eugene (Sam Milby) arrives in Bukidnon with only one intention: to forget his problems at work. But when he meets Raffy (KC Concepcion) and as they travel and go on ridiculous and death-defying activities together, they start to form a friendship that goes beyond Euge's original plan. Raffy helps Euge appreciate himself more and to look at things in a positive way. With Raffy, Euge begins to believe in himself again. Soon, against his own expectations, he admits to himself that has fallen in love with this girl. But life is truly ironic. The moment Euge expresses his feelings for her, Raffy suddenly starts to push him away. She admits that he can never have her, and she doesn't want Eugene to hope for a happy ending with her, because she cannot be loved. Now, it is Euge's turn to make Raffy believe in love again, just as how she reminded him to believe in himself. But is faith enough to change the course of their destiny? And is his love strong enough for him to sacrifice everything for a relationship that will not last, and for a girl who will leave him soon?"

Locations Featured: Cagayan De Oro, Camp Philips(Bukidnon), Dahilayan Park(Bukidnon), Manolo Fortich(Bukidnon), Garden of Gethsemane(Antipolo), Tinago Falls(Iligan City)

That Thing Called Tadhana
Synopsis: "While struggling to meet the strict airline baggage requirements, a woman meets a man who heroically comes to her aid. Both are in despair out of love, which urges them to form a charming friendship which would take them out of the crowded airport and into the secluded city of Sagada where they would attempt to mend each other's heart and find the answer to the question, "Where do broken hearts go?""

Locations Featured: Baguio, Sagada  

Sakaling Hindi Makarating
Synopsis: "The story of a young woman on a journey throughout the Philippines in search of an anonymous postcard writer."

Locations Featured: Zamboanga, Siquijor, Marinduque, Ilocos Norte, and Batanes

You're My Boss
Synopsis: "This film centers on a smart and bossy airline company executive named Georgina who will do everything to close an important deal with foreign visitors. They, however, would not negotiate with anyone in their company save for their big boss who's on leave. In an attempt to win them over, she introduces her assistant Pong as the president and thus begins the pretense that will lead them to discover what's real and lovable about each other."

Location Featured: Batanes

Synopsis: "Ploning, is a story of one man's search for the enigmatic woman who has deeply wounded him in the past. Having grown up in an illegal Taiwanese fishing vessel, Rodrigo (30 years old) returns to the beautiful island of Cuyo and is given from sunrise to sunset to look for his Ploning. In his search, he discovers that the woman he loved and adored as a boy is not the woman he thought he knew. Ploning has displayed her maternal love for Digo ( the 6-year old Rodrigo) but is shrouded in her mysterious love and devotion for Tomas, her childhood sweetheart who left her when she was 16. This 30-year-old spinster who has held a special place amongst the people as a dutiful daughter, a devoted friend, a caring sister and a loving maternal figure is slowly unveiled through Rodrigos memory and an emotional meeting with Plonings confidante, Seling. Through his search, Ploning will be revealed as the islands most bittersweet source of selfless love."

Location Featured: Cuyo Island, Palawan

Close To You 
Synopsis: "Manuel and Marian have been friends since they were kids. They are so close that they know each others secret... well, almost. For the last 16 years, Manuel never had the courage to tell Marian how much he loves her.

On the other hand, Marian sees Manuel as no more than her best friend. Marian's greatest love has always been Lance (Sam Milby), a classmate who protected her from bullies back in Grade School. Ever since Lance and his family migrated abroad 10 years ago, Marian never had the chance to establish contact with him again. The only thing that Marian knows is that Lance has become the lead singer of the new rock band, Orion.

Good fortune smiles on Marian when Orion decides to tour the Philippines. Marian is intent on seeing Lance again, and she brings Manuel with her on a chase that brings them around the Philippines and abroad. Manuel believes that the whole chase is futile because a popular star like Lance will not remember a simple girl like Marian.

When Lance and Marian finally meet again, sparks fly between them. Manuel has to decide - Will he let his best friend be happy with her Prince Charming or will he fight for the love that has kept him alive for the last 16 years?"

Locations Featured: Chocolate Hills(Bohol), Loboc River(Bohol), Davao, Dumaguete City

Synopsis: "In 1898, a band of Spanish soldiers heroically defended Baler against Filipino forces for 337 long and grueling days. The battle, now referred to as the Siege of Baler, is the setting of a forbidden love between a Mestizo soldier (Jericho Rosales) and a Filipina lass (Ann Curtis) who lived at the end of the 19th Century."

Locations Featured: Baler, Calatagan(Batangas), Tanay(Rizal)

Synopsis: "Pam meets Rico, an Ivatan, and decides to leave her stressful life in the city to follow him to Batanes to meet his parents and marry him. Pam tries to adapt to the Ivatan way of life but hates the sea that Rico loves so much. He hatred for the sea intensifies when her husband Rico dies in a fishing accident. Pam is devastated and decides to go back to Manila. But when she sensed that the sea was laughing at her failure, she chose to stay in Batanes to be with Rico's family. In one of her trips to the sea, she accidentally meets Kao Ken Chu, a Taiwanese, whom she rescues during a storm. As they spend time together, the two eventually fall for each other despite language barriers and cultural differences."   

Location Featured: Batanes 

The Road
Synopsis: Luis (TJ Trinidad) is a successful policeman who was recently awarded for his skills in investigations despite his track record of being reckless and not following protocols. He was asked by a woman to investigate on the mysterious disappearance of 3 teenagers on an abandoned road. In 1998, a young woman (Rhian Ramos) and her younger sister are abducted and held prisoner in an old house that holds deadly secrets. In 1988, a young boy is trapped inside his own house, held captive by his domineering mother (Carmina Villaroel). The boy becomes witness to some horrible things, and is soon haunted by the ghosts of those wronged. The three stories tell a much larger story, revealing the violent history that surrounds this particular road."

Locations Featured: a road somewhere in the Philippines

Panaghoy sa Suba
Synopsis: "The film is set during the American occupation in 1942 and the Japanese occupation in 1945 in the Southern province of the Philippines."

Locations Featured: Bohol

Don't Give Up on Us Baby
Synopsis: "Abby (Judy Ann Santos) thinks she has everything under control until her bestfriend Sabina walks out of her own bridal shower weeks before her marriage to Abby's younger brother, Samuel. With a cassette tape left behind by Sabina as her only lead, Abby vows to find her best friend and bring her back in time for the wedding.

Abby's search takes her to Baguio. There she meets Vince (Piolo Pascual) and his younger brother Marco, a folk singer in a local pub whose voice she heard in Sabina's tape. Vince claims that he recorded the song for his friend Rabbit who was supposed to give it to his girlfriend (Sabina). Abby persuades Vince to take her to Rabbit in the hope to find Sabina. Marco thinks of an idea to get Vince and Abby together.

As Abby and Vince travel together through the mountain provinces, love tries to find its way through their hearts but will it survive the journey?"

Locations Featured: Baguio, Bontoc Mountain Province, La Trinidad Benguet, Sison(Pangasinan), Sagada(Mountain Province)

Do you know any other travel-related Tagalog movies? 
Hope you can share them too. :)

*****Originally published on August 8, 2012. Updated today, June 14, 2016.
Copyright © 2016 Chasing Philippines
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