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Monday, May 18, 2015

PreNup Shoot in Burot Beach (Practice Shoot)

Burot Beach is not just a perfect destination for beach lovers but also a perfect location for prenup shoots and the likes. Well, what we had here in Burot was not really an official PreNup Shoot but a practice instead.

Some call it as the '365 Day Before the Wedding' shoot but whatever they call it, Burot Beach is highly recommended for those couples on a budget. Just get ready for the Php60.00 entrance fee per pax and that's it. You're ready to roll! No photoshoot fee. :)

Below are the samples:



Hope 'ma friends liked it. Best wishes Joey and Shem! :)

For more information about Burot Beach and detailed itinerary, read here:
Burot Beach: A Secret Beach in Calatagan

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Davao Aims for World-Class Tourism Services

Davao is improving its tour guide services to attract more visitors, create more jobs, and put the province on the map as a global travel destination.

“Davao is considered one of safest cities globally, with some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, best seafood, and amazing eco-tourism attractions,” said GeneRose Tecson, president of The Guide Union for Inbound Destination and Ecotourism (GUIDE), Inc. “Tour guides are recognized as important ambassadors, and by providing them with world-class training, we hope to take a big step towards making Davao one of the region’s most desirable cities for tourists.”

To upgrade the quality of its services, GUIDE Davao recently concluded a series of training program on tour guiding services using the tourism skills grant from the Department of Tourism (DOT). Funded by the Government of Canada and administered by Asian Development Bank (ADB) under the Philippines Improving Competitiveness in Tourism (PICTourism) program, it was designed to support the government’s effort to achieve inclusive growth and create employment opportunities in tourism.

“More than providing financial assistance to support professional skills training, the grant will usher in jobs and opportunities for growth for young DavaoeƱos,” Tecson said. “Using what we learned from the training, we seek to expand training and mentoring to junior tour guides in various cities and municipalities in the Davao region and help develop a new breed of tourism industry workers.”

Tecson said that while members of their group are licensed and accredited by the DOT and have received previous trainings, they seek to benefit from more relevant training courses to achieve world-class status. With the help of the skills grant, they conducted workshops on personality development, quality in communications, security awareness, train the trainers, and professional tour guiding.

For the personality development, quality in communications, and train the trainers, the group enlisted the services of Davao-based Joji Ilagan Career Center Foundation, Inc. Meanwhile, to improve their skills on tour guiding techniques, the group was trained by U.S.-based multilingual tour manager and tourist guide trainer Maricar Donato.

As a result of the trainings, GUIDE Davao generated more awareness on their group, increasing its membership by up to almost 50 percent. With the help of DOT-ADB-Canada grant, GUIDE Davao hopes to improve its services and training programs to align with the standards of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Tourism as well as the newly-implemented standards of the DOT.

GUIDE Davao also hopes to become a key driving force in making their province known more globally, with tour guides as Davao’s fifth icon. Davao is best known for its Durian fruit, the Waling Orchid, Mount Apo and the Philippine Eagle.

Monday, April 20, 2015

12 Places to Enjoy This Summer 2015

Sure you have been feeling the unbearable summer heat for a couple of weeks now. Where have you spent your summer lately? Have you planned any family getaways yet? In the Philippines, with over 7000 plus choices, planning for a vacation is really a tough job. To help you out, we're coming up with a list of places where you can enjoy your summer this year.

1. Calaguas Island
Mahabang Buhangin in Tinaga Island still remains as our most favorite beach destination. Its long strip of white powdery sand is the bomb. The water is extremely clear too!
See also: Calaguas, the Paradise Island and Calaguas Island Travel Guide Series
Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte

2. Baler, Aurora
Baler is a perfect destination for those adventure-seekers. Here, you may go surfing, hiking, biking, ATV riding, and a lot more.
See also:
Baler - Itinerary, Budget, & Where to Stay
Where to Stay in Baler - List of Resorts, Transients, Lodges, Inns, etc
On Sun, Surf, and Sisterhood - An Overnight Reunion in Baler
Ditumabo Falls - Meeting the Mother of All Falls in Baler
Sabang Beach in Baler, Aurora

3. Batad
Batad is famous of its amphitheater-like rice terraces. It is one of the rice terraces in Ifugao declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also considered as the best rice terraces in the Philippines since it was really cultivated to perfection from top to bottom. It is also said that Batad Rice Terraces was built two thousand years ago.

A trip to Batad includes a lot of walking and trekking. Do not miss to dip into the cold waters of Tappiya Falls.
See also: Ramon's Native HomeStay and Restaurant

4. Talisayin Cove
An untouched beauty, Talisayin Cove is located between Anawangin Cove and Nagsasa Cove along the coastline of San Antonio, Zambales. For those looking for silence and me-time, Talisayin must definitely be added on your bucket list.

5. Magalawa Island
Magalawa is an island in Palauig, Zambales surrounded by the vast China Sea. It is a small (barangay) island that offers a rustic experience due to its untouched and uncrowded beach. If you're looking for some peaceful getaway, have a quick escape to Magalawa.
See also: Finding Magalawa - Your-Do-It-Yourself Travel Guide
Magalawa Island, Zambales

6. Bolinao, Pangasinan
One of my most favorite Philippine destinations. It is not as popular as Hundred Islands but is definitely worth the 6 hour travel time from Manila.
See also: Bolinao Itinerary - Your Do-It-Yourself Guide to Chasing Bolinao Pangasinan and Philippines in Focus - Sunset at Patar Rock Formation
The Rock Formation in Patar Beach, Bolinao, Pangasinan

7. Batanes
Batanes is located in the northernmost tip of the Philippines. Plane tickets are usually expensive but Batanes' stunningly amazing beauty of green pastures and white beaches make it all worth it. Batanes is usually dubbed as the ultimate dream destination in the Philippines.

8. Cagbalete Island
Cagbalete Island is located in the town of Mauban Quezon. The island is surrounded by white sand and can be considered as a perfect paradise for nature lovers. Though it is only 3 hours away from Manila, Cagbalete remains to be untouched.
See also: A Stormy Overnight Stay in Cagbalete Island and Discovering Cagbalete Island

9. Burot Beach
Burot Beach was previously called as Elizalde Beach. It is recently bought by SM Group of Companies and is open for public until further notice. Burot Beach is considered as one of the best beaches near Manila due to its accessibility, budget, and of course, its uncrowded white sand beach.
See also: Burot Beach, A Secret Beach in Calatagan and Revisiting Burot Beach in Calatagan
Burot Beach in Calatagan, Batangas

10. Boracay
Boracay is a small island located in Malay, Aklan, Philippines. It is considered as the World's Most Favorite Beach Destination for 2015. It has been making its name in the international scene over the past years - Best Overall Island of 2012 and 2013 2nd-Best Island Destination (after Palawan). Boracay is everything that you are looking for - from paradise, pristine white beach, adventure-filled activities, to a bunch of resturants and night parties. It's a good mix of nature and modernity at its best!
See also: A Weekend Getaway at Boracay
Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan, Philippines

11. Mount Pinatubo
Mt. Pinatubo is an active volcano located northwest of Manila (around 3-4 hours travel). Its destructive eruption in 1991 left a masterpiece in nature - its magnificent deep blue-green crater lake surrounded by ash valleys and boulders (lahar).  
See also: On Chasing Crater and New Friends - Conquering Mt Pinatubo
Mt Pinatubo Crater Lake

12. Sagada
Sagada Province is around 275 kilometers north of Manila (around 10 to 12 hrs travel time). It is one of the most popular destinations in the country, a dream destination due to its cold weather and rich culture. Do not miss spelunking the Sumaguing Cave!
See also:
Sagada - Itinerary, Budget, Where to Eat, and What To Do's
Don't Tell My Mother What I Did on My Birthday - Another I Survived Sagada Story
That Place Called Sagada - Of Fog, Tea, Momma Spits, and Pag-ibig
 Mt Kiltepan in Sagada Province

So pack your bags and leave, we barely have like a month and a half to go before summer ends. Well, anyways, we really don't need to rush; as foreign visitors usually say, "Summer is Forever in the Philippines". Enjoy!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sagada: Itinerary, Budget, Where To Eat, & What To Do's



Weeeee! So, I have just ticked off another one from my bucket list. Hooray! Hooray!

I dreamt of visiting Sagada for a long time or should I say, when I started having this interest on watching travel shows. I found everything so amazing that since then, I included Sagada in my Dream Destinations.




How To Get There:
Sagada in Mountain Province is 275 kilometers north of Manila. It can only be reached via Baguio or Banaue. Via Baguio - From Manila, take Victory Liner. Ideal trip would be 10:00 PM so you will reach Baguio around 5AM. From Victory Liner Baguio, ride a cab to Dangwa Terminal (less than 10 mins travel time). GL Liner has 4 daily trips to Sagada (Fare Php220); you may take the first trip which is scheduled every 6AM. The bus ride to Sagada is approximately around 6 hours with 3 stop overs.

Where To Stay in Sagada:
 * George Guest House (Main Building & Annex)
Contact Nos 09185480406,09209483133,09206070994,09399020996

* Residential Lodge Sagada
Contact Nos 09196728744

* Misty Lodge
Contact Nos 09994459899

* Rock Inn Cafe
Contact Nos 09209095899

* Travelers Inn
Contact Nos 09207992960

What To Do/Where To Go in Sagada:
Sagada has been a long-time Dream Destination for me so expect that I had done a lot of research and planning. I even downloaded a couple of Sagada maps which were my bases in creating my own Sagada Itinerary.

To my surprise, when I got off the bus, it was like everything on the map was in front of me. Those famous Sagada restaurants and a handful of best spots that I thought were too far can be seen immediately from the bus drop-off point. That's how small Sagada is.

To be honest, I got stuck for about 2 minutes from where I was standing; doing nothing at all but watching Sagada for the first time. It seemed that I was watching a live travel show - people were busy and laid back at the same time, well, I cannot describe it exactly. All I know was, at that very exact moment, I uttered, "Grabe! Ang liit lang pala ng Sagada!"

Realizing how small the town is made me more excited. I thought to myself, "What's with Sagada? It's just a small town but it's very popular in travel shows and even in travel magazines.

* Pay a visit to St. Mary's Church
* Watch the sunrise at Kiltepan Peak
*Explore the Sumaguing Cave
  * Visit the Lumiang Burial Cave
* Learn something new at Sagada Pottery
  * Spend an afternoon at Lake Danum
* Watch the sunset at Lake Danum

SAGADA ITINERARY (5 Days-4 Nights)

Day 0 (Thursday)
10:00PM  ETD Victory Liner Edsa

Day 1 (Friday)
04:00AM  ETA Baguio City
04:30AM  Dangwa Terminal (Lizardo/GL Transit)
06:00AM  ETD Baguio to Sagada
11:00AM  ETA Sagada Municipal Hall
11:30AM  Check-in at George Guest House
12:00NN  Lunch at Masferre Restaurant
01:30PM  Book tours and guides at SAGGAS and at Municipal Hall
02:00PM  Tour Sagada (Sagada Weaving, St. Mary's Church, Souvenir Shops, Make a reservation at
                
Log Cabin for Saturday Night Buffet)
04:30PM  Merienda at Lemon Pie House
06:00PM  Dinner and Inom-inom at Sagada Pine Cafe

Day 2 (Saturday)
02:30AM  Rise and Shine!
03:00AM  ETD Van to Kiltepan Peak
05:30AM  Watch sunrise at Kiltepan Peak
07:30AM  Breakfast at Rock Inn's Cafe Bodega (can include Orange Picking activity if in season)
08:30AM  Back to George Guest House (chill and prepare for Lumiang Cave and Spelunking)
09:30AM  Visit Lumiang Burial Cave
10:00AM  Start Spelunking at Sumaguing Cave
01:00PM  Lunch at Pinikpikan Haus
02:00PM  Back to George Guest House (chill and prepare for Lake Danum)
03:00PM  ETD Van to Sagada Pottery-Lake Danum
03:30PM  ETA Sagada Pottery
04:00PM  ETD Sagada Pottery to Lake Danum
04:30PM  ETA Lake Danum
05:00PM  Watch sunset at Lake Danum
06:30PM  ETD Lake Danum to Sagada Town Proper
07:30PM  ETA Sagada Town Proper. Dinner at Log Cabin.
08:45PM  Back to George Guest House

Day 3 (Sunday)
05:30AM  Rise and Shine!
06:00AM  Sunday Mass at St. Mary's Church
07:15AM  Breakfast at Yoghurt House
08:00AM  Enjoy Sunday Market (Try Halo-Halo w/ Macaroni.)
10:00AM  Visit the Hanging Coffins at Echo Valley
11:30AM  Lunch at Salt and Pepper
01:30PM  Other tours (Options: Bomod-ok Falls, Bokong Falls, Sagada Underground River)
05:00PM  Chill at Persimmon Cafe
06:30PM  Dinner at Misty Lodge Cafe

Day 4 (Monday)
04:00AM  Rise and Shine!
05:30AM  Check-out at George Guest House
06:00AM  ETD Sagada to Baguio
12:00NN  ETA Baguio
12:15PM  Lunch at Good Taste
01:15PM  Buy Tickets at Victory Liner Baguio
02:00PM  ETD Baguio to Manila
08:00PM  ETA Manila :) 

Sunday, March 01, 2015

That Place Called Sagada: Of Fog, Tea, Momma Spits, and Pag-Ibig




"Para sa mga umibig, nasaktan, ngunit umibig pa rin. You know, tatanga-tanga."
- That Thing Called Tadhana


I wonder how many people embarked on a sudden road trip to Sagada after watching the romantic film, 'That Thing Called Tadhana." Funny though, 'coz of this adorable movie, it may now be valid to cry while on a bus somewhere. For sure, a lot of people tried to look for that famous juicy hotdog in one of the stop-overs too. And last but not the least, hmmm... I wonder how many girls flocked to Mt. Kiltepan to cry out, "Ayoko na! Ang sakit-sakit! Ayoko Na!"




So here's your quick guide to Sagada Province to guide you in your 'That Thing Called Tadhana-ish' trip:

Para sa mga umibig, nasaktan, ngunit umibig pa rin. You know, tatanga-tanga.
Para sa mga umibig, nasaktan, ngunit umibig pa rin. O para lang sa mga gusto lang talagang pumunta ng Sagada.
Sagada in Mountain Province is 275 kilometers north of Manila. It can only be reached via Baguio or Banaue. Via Baguio - From Manila, take Victory Liner. Ideal trip would be 10:00 PM so you will reach Baguio around 5AM. From Victory Liner Baguio, ride a cab to Dangwa Terminal (less than 10 mins travel time). GL Liner has 4 daily trips to Sagada (Fare Php220); you may take the first trip which is scheduled every 6AM. The bus ride to Sagada is approximately around 6 hours with 3 stop overs. It's a long WINDING scenic journey, so make sure to take Bonamine (I had to take one, sleep, take another tablet, and sleep again. That's how winding it is!) The bus will stop in front of the Sagada Municipal Hall; that's where you start. :)

"Gusto kong mag-Baguio."
Not really sure why Baguio and Sagada are always on top of the list of the heartbroken. It could probably be the weather - the tranquility and coldness in Sagada. The 0% crime rate (so it's kinda safe for the 'tuliro). Or it could probably the mere reason of going somewhere no one knows you; somewhere you are allowed to cry and be weak. Naks! Spell deep, spell hugot. 

O baka naman sa dahilang para yung tipong kapag nag-emo ka, may fog-fog effect pa! Bongga di ba! Bonggang #Feels!
Where do broken hearts go nga ba talaga?
Taken at Mt. Kiltepan, Sagada Province while waiting for the sunrise.

"Paano ba makalimot? Gaano katagal yun? One year? Two years? Three? Four? Five?"
While waiting for yourself to move on, you can stay at the following. Take note, moving on cannot be done overnight. Ideal stay in Sagada would at least be 5 Days and 4 Nights.
* George Guest House (Main Building & Annex)
Contact Nos 09185480406,09209483133,09206070994,09399020996

* Residential Lodge Sagada
Contact Nos 09196728744

* Misty Lodge
Contact Nos 09994459899

* Rock Inn Cafe
Contact Nos 09209095899

* Travelers Inn
Contact Nos 09207992960

"Ang bottom line, hindi ka na niya mahal."
And I say, "Dahil ang pag-ibig ay parang Tsaa, kahit gaano kainit, lumalamig din."
I can say that "Sagada Tea" is one of the attractions in this small quaint town. All of the restaurants/eateries in Sagada offer tea. My favorite is the one being sold in Persimmon Cafe. That's the best Sagada resto for me! :)
You may also try the following:
* Log Cabin
* Lemon Pie House
* Yoghurt House

"Pati sa ketchup naaalala mo siya?... Naaalala ko siya sa lahat."
Let go of the memories that you once thought were too good to forget. Create new memories. These will replace the old... these new happy memories will replace all the pain. Start by doing these activities:
* Pay a visit to St. Mary's Church
* Watch the sunrise at Kiltepan Peak
*Explore the Sumaguing Cave
* Visit the Lumiang Burial Cave
* Learn something new at Sagada Pottery
* Spend an afternoon at Lake Danum
* Watch the sunset at Lake Danum

SAGADA ITINERARY (5 Days-4 Nights)

Day 0 (Thursday)
10:00PM  ETD Victory Liner Edsa

Day 1 (Friday)
04:00AM  ETA Baguio City
04:30AM  Dangwa Terminal (Lizardo/GL Transit)
06:00AM  ETD Baguio to Sagada
11:00AM  ETA Sagada Municipal Hall
11:30AM  Check-in at George Guest House
12:00NN  Lunch at Masferre Restaurant
01:30PM  Book tours and guides at SAGGAS and at Municipal Hall
02:00PM  Tour Sagada (Sagada Weaving, St. Mary's Church, Souvenir Shops, Make a reservation at
                 Log Cabin for Saturday Night Buffet)
04:30PM  Merienda at Lemon Pie House
06:00PM  Dinner and Inom-inom at Sagada Pine Cafe

Day 2 (Saturday)
02:30AM  Rise and Shine!
03:00AM  ETD Van to Kiltepan Peak
05:30AM  Watch sunrise at Kiltepan Peak
07:30AM  Breakfast at Rock Inn's Cafe Bodega (can include Orange Picking activity if in season)
08:30AM  Back to George Guest House (chill and prepare for Lumiang Cave and Spelunking)
09:30AM  Visit Lumiang Burial Cave
10:00AM  Start Spelunking at Sumaguing Cave
01:00PM  Lunch at Pinikpikan Haus
02:00PM  Back to George Guest House (chill and prepare for Lake Danum)
03:00PM  ETD Van to Sagada Pottery-Lake Danum
03:30PM  ETA Sagada Pottery
04:00PM  ETD Sagada Pottery to Lake Danum
04:30PM  ETA Lake Danum
05:00PM  Watch sunset at Lake Danum
06:30PM  ETD Lake Danum to Sagada Town Proper
07:30PM  ETA Sagada Town Proper. Dinner at Log Cabin.
08:45PM  Back to George Guest House

Day 3 (Sunday)
05:30AM  Rise and Shine!
06:00AM  Sunday Mass at St. Mary's Church
07:15AM  Breakfast at Yoghurt House
08:00AM  Enjoy Sunday Market (Try Halo-Halo w/ Macaroni.)
10:00AM  Visit the Hanging Coffins at Echo Valley
11:30AM  Lunch at Salt and Pepper
01:30PM  Other tours (Options: Bomod-ok Falls, Bokong Falls, Sagada Underground River)
05:00PM  Chill at Persimmon Cafe
06:30PM  Dinner at Misty Lodge Cafe

Day 4 (Monday)
04:00AM  Rise and Shine!
05:30AM  Check-out at George Guest House
06:00AM  ETD Sagada to Baguio
12:00NN  ETA Baguio
12:15PM  Lunch at Good Taste
01:15PM  Buy Tickets at Victory Liner Baguio
02:00PM  ETD Baguio to Manila
08:00PM  ETA Manila :)

Contrary to usual budget concern, a trip to Sagada is not just for bourgeois (Burgis!). I only spent around less than Php5000 for this 5 Day-4 Night Sagada trip (including the pasalubong).

So how about you? "Pag may dumaang shooting star, anong iwi-wish mo?"
Ako, sana makabalik ako ng Sagada. :)


Unless otherwise stated, all #Hugot lines are excerpted from "That Thing Called Tadhana", a Pinoy romantic comedy film intelligently written and directed by Antoinette Jadaone.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Revisiting Burot Beach, Calatagan


The last month of 2014 had been a very busy month for me - got team buildings and out of towns every weekend that I almost got tired. To wrap it off, we escaped for a relaxing beach getaway in Burot Beach, Calatagan.

For some quick facts about Burot Beach, click here.

I was with my whole family when I visited Burot Beach for the first time. And whenever people ask me about Burot Beach, I would always say how beautiful, accessible, and cheap it is to go there. I would always relay how I enjoyed the beach and how safe it is for the kids. I could say that I'll give it 7/10; the 3 point deduction would only be because of the super dirty comfort rooms.

I admit, I am 'maarte' in terms of using public CRs but just like what I always say: "Mas okay sa'kin ang walang CR, kesa may CR pero madumi." Probably that was also one of the reasons why I had some hesitations to go back to Burot with my friends - I just simply don't think I can handle the CR anymore.

Anyways, the trip pushed through. We arrived there 2 hours past 12 and we immediately set up our tents under the tree. After having our lunch, we decided to explore the place.
Summer is here!

 At the rocky side of Burot Beach

The not so comfortable CR in Burot

Hotdog and Marshmallows Party at night. Woods for bonfire can be purchased for Php200

Since we are all used to working at night. We were all awake at 2 in the morning and were doing some chitchats and some party-parteey on one of the rafts. At around 4 in the morning, we saw a guy walking on the shore who was looking for some fish and shrimps.

At first, we did not believe that it is possible to get some along the shore. But hey, look!

Ahmm... we ended up buying these fresh "Sugpo" for Php150. Would you believe that??!

What's for Lunch? -- Buttered Prawns in Burot Beach


What's new in Burot?
- Henna Tattoo is now available for Php100. The artist roams around the beach and shouts, "Henna! Henna po kayo!". He carries around this clearbook of henna tattoo samples. You cannot haggle. Period.
- Presence of various stores. They claim they have everything that you need - kikiam, ice cream, merienda/snacks. :)
- You may rent a griller for Php100.00.
- Island hopping is now for Php500 per boat.

So since in a few months time, summer is here; why not try to visit Burot Beach? Burot is one of the best beaches near Metro Manila. Enjoy!

Related Posts:
Burot Beach: A Secret Beach in Calatagan

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya Thailand: The Magnificence of Heaven Recreated on Earth



The Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya which is also known as Prasat Mai is a gigantic wooden construction. The whole building is made of wood only - no steels, not even metal nails.
Outside the very artistic 20-storey-tall building of wood carvings


The entire construction is very detailed that even the wooden stairs are made up of small details.

Since the whole building is made up of wood, it uses the Old Wooden Technique Construction. The details and process can be found outside the construction.

The main hall inside the Sanctuary of Truth

The construction has been ongoing for about 30 years already. During the tour, you will notice that some parts are still being constructed. The main reason also why wearing a helmet is a must.
The ceiling is just so unexplainably amazing!

Entrance fee includes a helmet for each visitor and a tour guide for the group. Before the tour, you will be asked of your nationality and preferred language.
Our guide speaks English fluently. :)


The Sanctuary of Truth is located at 206/2 Moo 5, Soi Naklua 12, Naklua, Banglamung, Chonburi.
 
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