Friday, August 31, 2007

Missionary Route Airlines in the Philippines

It’s time now to take away the limelight to those mainstream airlines here in the Philippines (PAL, Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific) for the mean time and let’s focus on those humble airlines offering the so called “missionary routes” which big airline companies find unprofitable so they are shying away from them. Another reason for mainstream airlines “abandoning” the missionary routes is that their jet aircraft is not suitable for short runways.

One of my friend wants to go to Siargao but she’s having second thoughts because of the possible hassles on going there through Butuan via PAL or Cebu Pacific. She doesn’t know that SEAIR flies directly to Siargao via Cebu.

The Mindanao provinces of Jolo and Tawi-Tawi are now very accessible for foreign or even local tourists from Luzon and Visayas also throughthe help of SEAIR or Asian Spirit Airlines via Zamboanga.

The promo fare of the two airlines for Siargao, Jolo and Tawi-Tawi starts at 1,019 pesos excluding taxes and fuel surcharge.

In Luzon, SEAIR even flies to Batanes and Baler in Aurora province. Asian Spirit on the other hand flies to Masbate, Virac in Catanduanes and San Fernando in La Union.

Footnote: I found the photographs featured above at … check out their other cool airplane photos.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Last Minute Travel Tips

photo taken from

I'm now back from my Malaysia trip. After observing my travel habits including those of my fellow passengers I want to share to my readers this indispensable tips to make your hundred or thousand miles journey hassle free and without inconveniencing other travellers.

Before going to the airport:

*Always have a blue or black in pen handy to sign immigration declaration forms and other documents.

*Remember to lock every single zipper in your bag. When packing, to get fewer wrinkles on your clothes, roll them! Particularly shirts and they also allow you to add more stuff into your luggage. Oprah even does it.

*After all the bomb scares around the world, make sure you don’t bring in any liquid on your hand luggage to avoid inconvenience. (You could bring a certain regulated amount but it is better just to put it on your checked luggage).

*Dress light but bring a jacket just in case you can’t stand the cold temperature inside an aircraft. Don’t overdress unless of course your final destination is Japan. And finally, don’t wear clothes with metallic objects as you will regret it after going through countless security checks.

*Bring extra clothes on your carry-on to freshen up and just in case your flight will be delayed forever and you don’t have access to your luggage anymore.

*Remember PLMT -- passport, luggage, money, ticket

At the airport:

*Be aware if the airport where you will be departing requires you to pay anything like travel taxes or terminal fees. Most airports wouldn't charge you anymore for those taxes as it is already incorporated in your ticket except Manila, Saigon and Bangkok to name a few.

*Carry less hand luggage as much as possible especially when transiting to different airports.

*If you don’t want to use your credit card abroad always have an extra U$20 in your wallet even after your trip. Just in case you get stuck in an airport even if your bag you got in London looks great... it's not worth it if you're starving and lost in a 10 hour layover in an unfamiliar airport. There’s an exemption: Singapore Changi International Airport – where else would you look forward to being delayed.

Inside an aircraft:

*For the millionth time, do remember to turn off your mobile phone before boarding the aircraft because everyone will blame you when the plane crashes. Remember the preflight announcement? “Turn off any electronic devices as it may interfere with the aircraft navigation equipment.”

*When seating in economy class remember that personal space is a premium and needed to be respected at all times. Avoid reclining your seat before take-off or during landing. Remember, you are inside an airplane, not a Victory Liner bus.

*It is perfectly fine to take off your shoes during along flight and people would not mind but make sure that your feet don’t smell like a skunk as the plane is an enclosed space.

*The low humidity levels of outside air being supplied to the cabin can cause drying of the eyes which can irritate wearers of contact lenses.

*And finally, no, they do not serve hard drinks for breakfast. Look on the bright side, you should avoid them including coffee and tea as they act as diuretics. It is best to stay hydrated during a long flight so diuretics are a no no.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm off to Malaysia... I'll be back in a jiffy

I'm not be able to blog for about the next 5 days as I will be on a well-deserved vacation in Kuala Lumpur a.k.a. KL and the pre-colonial trading hub of Melaka a.k.a Malacca in Malaysia. This will be my 3rd time to go to Kuala Lumpur, 1st time in Melaka and 7th time to be in Malaysia but I still look forward to go to this beautiful country every time. This year is Visit Malaysia 2007 as they celebrate their Golden Year as an independent country this coming August 31.

The month of August will be filled with a myriad of parades, cultural performances, street shows and carnivals to commemorate Merdeka Day (Independence Day). It was on August 31, 1957 when history was made as the Union Jack was lowered and the Malaysian flag hoisted.

Malaysia has fervently embraced modern technology as it boasts the tallest twin towers in the world (the Petronas Towers). But the country still has some of the world's most remote jungle in Sarawak and Sabah and an atmospheric colonial hill station in the Cameron Highlands. Even in the capital KL which bristles with ambitious new building projects, one can still find exotic markets and plenty of local color.

The tallest twin towers in the world

And of course my favorite, The Malaysia Food Festival 2007 which coincides with my visit where visitors can expect unique gastronomical multi-sensory culinary adventures that will be experienced not only through delicious food but through competitions, interactive cooking demonstrations and celebrity chef appearances. There will be an overflow of mouthwatering, local and traditional delights like my favorite chicken satay, beef rendang and ais kacang.

ais kacang (the local halo-halo)

chicken satay with peanut sauce--more than the usual barbecue

For several decades, Malaysia has industrialized rapidly, transforming itself from an economy whose livelihood relied primarily on the production of mineral and agricultural export commodities into an economy dominated by manufacturing and services.

I encourage everybody to come and be mesmerized by a unique multicultural populace celebrating 50 years of nationhood in harmony and peaceful co-existence.

For more travel information concerning Malaysia just click the Holiday in Malaysia icon below.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

One Word Meme

J@n!ce, a cool and wonderful mother of two from Singapore, tagged me on this one word meme. It is too simple to resist :

Where is your cell phone? On my office desk
Relationship? Single
Your hair? Very short
Work? Financial analyst
Your sister? 1
Your favorite thing? Travel
Your dream last night? I can't remember
Your favorite drink? Apple juice
Your dream car? Rolls Royce
The room you’re in? Office
Your shoes? A brown one from Kickers
Your fears? Mumu (ghost)
What do you want to be in 10 years? A globetrotter
Who did you hang out with this weekend? My sister and mom
What are you not good at? Art
Muffin? Double chocolate
One of your wish list items? To travel first class
Where you grew up? Las Pinas City, Philippines
Last thing you did? Ate a banana bought from 711
What are you wearing? Blue polo and gray socks
What aren’t you wearing? Huh???
Your pet? George, a dog
Your computer? At home? Just a generic type (self-assembled)
Your life? Fun
Your mood? Enthusiastic, I will be on vacation leave in 48 hrs
Missing? Time
What are you thinking about right now? What's for dinner
Your car? Isuzu pick-up, it's not mine
Your kitchen? Just the right size and I guess it has everything I need to cook & bake
Your summer? March to June
Your favorite color? Green
Last time you laughed? 20 minutes ago
Last time you cried? I'm not saying
School? I last attended University of Santo Tomas
Love? Family

Now, I would like to tag :

Dodong Flores

Monday, August 20, 2007


I love my shot of this Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 with Rolls Royce engine

This is the vacation alphabet:

is for Vacating my office space for a few days.
A is for Abdicate or relinquishing the daily grind.
C is for Canceling or putting on-hold all calls, emails and blogging.
A is for Absent, with pay of course.
T is for The pasalubong, if there's any (how my friends wish it).
I is for Intermission, will 4 days suffice?
is for Old photographs goodbye, welcome new photographs.
N is for Navigation and searches, the leisurely kind.

I'm now excited to go back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this coming weekend. The country will celebrate its 50th Independence Day so activities abound throughout the country particularly in the capital city. I and my friend will be returning in that city with no concrete plans what to do or where to go which is my best kind of holiday. I will just let my feet do the walking and brain do the thinking on what to do and eat.

See you all soon...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Rain Rain Go Away... atleast in Shandong Province, China

I saw this picture released by China Central Television (CCTV) yesterday and up to now I want to look at it when I'm feeling stressed because it instantly disappear. It never fails to draw a smile to someone upon seeing this. As flooding is a serious matter around the globe, I sympathize for the victims of floods here in the Philippines and elsewhere, including those in Shandong Province, China (where this picture was taken). All I can say is that our very own Ninoy Aquino International Airport or any other airport in the Philippines for that matter is still lucky not to endure the same faith with Yantai Airport.

The runway at Yantai Airport in China's Shandong Province suffered surface flooding of up to 50 centimeters on the12th of August, which led to airport workers attempting to push a Shandong Airlines Bombardier CRJ200LR jet to safety.

Many areas of China have been hit by flash floods during this year's unusually severe rainy season. The CCTV picture, which was shot last Sunday, showed the Yantai Airport in the Shandong Province with considerable surface flooding over the runway. Airport workers could be seen attempting to push one of the planes away from the flooded area of the runway.

I bet that airplane is heavy enough given the situation and they have to push it against the flood current.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Thanks a Million!

I would like to thank Mr. Judd Corizan of The Rising Blogger for honoring my August 2, 2007 post Problems with Traveling...and How to Deal with Them as post of the day for August 14.

According to the blog's profile, the award is different from other “Blog of the Day” sites because he awards your POST/s, not your blogs. Your winning post could be from any day, of any month. The Rising Blogger simply awards authors that are insightful, creative, interesting, funny or original. The goal: All awarded sites will ultimately increase traffic to both the winning blogger and to The Rising Blogger.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Iligan -- City of Majestic Waterfalls

The first thing which comes to mind when someone mentions Iligan City in Lanao del Norte is the majestic Maria Cristina Falls which is one of the most replendent among the falls in the Philippines. It stands 320 feet high and is the veritable source of industrial power in the region. Trust me, there's more to Iligan than just the Maria Cristina Falls... There's also the two-tiered Limunsudan Falls which is the highest in the country that measures 870 feet and several other waterfalls which are all worthy of a visit.

Located at the northwestern coast of Mindanao, bounded on the south by the municipality of Linamon of Lanao del Norte; on the north by Lugait, Misamis Oriental; on the east by the territories of Lanao del Sur and Bukidnon; and on the west by Iligan Bay.

From Luzon or Visayas, the fastest and most convenient way to get to Iligan is by air to Cagayan de Oro (CDO). From CDO you can take a bus and travel 86 kilometers to Iligan.

Othere Points of Interest in Iligan:

Macapagal-Macaraeg Ancestral House - The ancestral house of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Anahaw Open Amphitheater - It is the biggest open amphitheater in Mindanao and it is the best site to view Iligan City.

Timoga Cold Spring - It has pristine, cool and crystal clear waters freely flowing towards several swimming pools

"Adlaw sa Iligan" festival commemorates the founding of the city every 16th of June and every 27th of September the city holds the "Kasadya Festival" (literally means merry making) features Iligan's best dances.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Calling All F1 Lovers... Let's Go to Singapore Next Year

Singapore is a country with a nocturnal population. They like doing things at night when most of us just want to go to sleep. The world's first wildlife park built for visits at night, the Singapore Night Safari is not like any ordinary zoo illuminated by the night as visitors are able to view over 1,000 nocturnal animals of 100 species in vast naturalistic habitats. Golf lovers trek to Jurong Country Club for a round of golf after the sunset. People are swarming the night markets and hawker stands like there's no tomorrow.

Now, for the 1st time in Formula One (F1) racing history Singapore will host a nighttime race on a new purpose-built street circuit. It will truly be an exotic addition to the F1 race as it will be the 1st and only fully lit street race. The Singaporean organizers anticipate that it will quickly establish itself as one of the most dramatic and atmospheric races on F1 calendar.

The plan is that the Singapore Grand Prix will take place on public roads around the Marina Bay area which will include powerful lighting systems that will replicate daylight conditions. More than 80,000 spectators will be able to get a grandstand seat which includes hospitality areas lining the track.

Interesting notes:
  • Singapore was the first foreign soil that Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal stepped on. He was on his way to Spain to study medicine in May 1882.
  • Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the first Philippine president, met the U.S. Consul at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore more than a century ago to discuss and secure U.S. support for the Philippines.
  • Last August 9, Singapore celebrated its 42nd National Day and this year marks the 38th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and the Philippines.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

New Tourism Industry Vocabulary

If you don't know what "red-eye flight" and "missionary routes" mean, just look it up on Google. Here are some unique terms that will beef up your tourism lingo. The frequency that you will use these words in everyday life will determine how you love to travel.

arm restle
n. the ongoing battle waged with your seatmate over the middle armrest. Maneuvers include elbogartingrecline and conquer (capturing the armrest during feigned or actual sleep). (slow advance of the elbow to gain ground) and

flight dependent
n. neighboring passenger who, flying solo, turns to you in search of company/a drinking partner/a date.

gabbin pressure
n. sense of obligation to chat to the passenger next to you during a flight. ("I'm just recovering from gabbin pressure - I sat next to a real flight dependent.")

John the Laptist
n. the guy in front of you who reclines his seat until his head is in your lap.

n. the inability to calculate a foreign exchange rate without elaborate financial and/or tech support.

n. tourist + moron. ("Don't even bother with the Louvre on a Saturday. It's overrun with tourons.")

n. the state of affairs when one little thing goes wrong and then everything snowballs toward disaster. ("It started as a minor delay in Seattle and ended up a full-blown travelanche involving lost luggage, bad airport food, and dire intestinal consequences.")

n. unidentified stained object; mysterious mark on hotel carpet or bedding. ("Alexis refuses to stay at subpar hotels due to her intense fear of U.S.O.'s.")

got this from fellow blogger Gimikera Is In.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Problems When Traveling... And How to Deal With Them

One can bear in mind these very easy tips to follow for a worry free travel even when circumstances are not on your side. The following are according to one travel blogger:
  • When it rains: play games, visit museums and galleries, take an umbrella and go out anyway
  • When the tourists are swarming: get out earlier, laugh it off, make friends, or get off the beaten track
  • When the hawkers are in your face selling t-shirts: politely but firmly decline (unless you want one) and move on
  • When the coveted cafe or nook has clearly been bulldozed for a shopping complex: shrug and seek out some other local haunts
  • When the place just doesn’t look like the postcards/guidebook promised: lighten up. Try and ‘discover’ things rather than visiting all the usual suspects
  • When you get sick: Don’t push through it; give in, look after yourself and cross your fingers it’s a 24-hour thing.
  • You get robbed: Report it to the police, keep safe, try and keep going. Don’t let it be your only holiday memory.
Any more problems you can think of? Post it in the comment section below. Thanks

photograph taken from