Wednesday, June 27, 2007

WOW Philippines... Tara! byahe tayo

I believe that the Philippines has something to offer for all kinds of travelers. One can be spoilt by the vast choices. If you are an adventure vulture and love beaches there are more than 7,000 islands to choose from. White sand, brown sand and black sand, the Philippines have it... and there's even a pink sand beach in Zamboanga (wow!).

Traveling within the Philippines is a very good way to experience life itself. People who have the chance to travel should immerse themselves with the local culture and not just be a passive traveler.
Some say that the Philippines is more of a Latin American country because of its strong cultural ties with Spain. As a result, the people are passionate and emotional about life. I don't mind labeling Filipinos as a Latin American-Asian. Anyway, my country has a rich history combining different cultural influences like Asian, European and American.

Filipinos are very fond of the English language so as a result it is the third largest English speaking country in the world. It has a rich history combining Asian, European and American influences.

My Lakbayan grade is B-!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

Created by Eugene Villar.

Budget Airlines... A Fun & Cheeeeap Way to Travel

The budget airline industry (a.k.a. low cost carriers, no-frills airlines and discount airlines) here in the Philippines is still in its infancy stage with Cebu Pacific (CEB) ( setting the pace for all other airlines. The business model of most budget airlines including CEB is patterned after its U.S. counterparts like Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airlines.

If your only concern is to get to point B from point A in a prompt manner in just a fraction of a cost compared with their full-service counterparts then budget airlines are for you.

Most budget airlines offer seat sales regularly. For CEB, bargain hunters should always log-on at its web site every Monday as it is the day seat sales usually starts. I once took advantage of the FREE seat sale of Air Asia ( with flights leaving from Clark Field to Kuala Lumpur for only 3,300 pesos for a roundtrip ticket last year. Air Asia advertised it as a FREE seat sale so the 3,000 bucks I paid all went to the Malaysian and Philippine governments as taxes. One drawback of booking during a seat sale is that your travel date would have to be at least in a month's time.

They are called budget airlines because their operating cost structure is lower than their full-service competitors. In layman's term they are airlines with low ticket prices and limited services regardless of their operating costs. CEB and its counterparts enjoy a lower operating costs because of many factors which include a single passenger class, a single type of aircraft which may reduce its servicing costs, use of electronic ticket and the elimination of in-flight services like complimentary food and drinks. Most budget airlines offers a food and beverage option which passengers will have to pay.

One disadvantage of flying CEB on international flights like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Bangkok is that all of those flights are considered red-eye flights as you would leave late in the evening and arrive in your destination before sunrise. Budget airlines take advantage of red-eye flights as during these times landing fees and aircraft parking fees are lower. But the timings of CEB's flights to and from Hong Kong are great. One can leave Manila early morning to take advantage of the day activities and leave HK late at night.

For me, I don't mind traveling with budget airlines when I'm on a vacation because I value more the $avings that I get from them rather than having those bland and sometimes unpalatable airline food in a full-service airline. I can save more than 50% of the ticket price by taking a budget airline which can buy lots of souvenirs with the money I save... But when I'm on an official trip or someone would buy me a ticket, I don't mind traveling with a full-service airline. hehehe :)

happy travels to all!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Nomination for Janette Toral's Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2007

I saw a post from one of my friends on Janette Toral's (Reflective Thinking - Taking the 8th Habit Challenge) project/contest: The Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2007.

Here Are The Rules
Write a post listing a maximum of 10 blogs created since 8-1-2006 that you think are the most influential.

Include a link to the original Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2007 writing project post.

Leave a comment on the original writing project post, with a link to your own post, so that your votes can be counted.

Posts are tallied weekly. The project is on its third week and those blogs who have been voted only once so far will be deleted unless voted again.

I nominate:

  • The AnitoKid Chronikos - A Financial Analyst and Information Scientist's blog on billiards, Philippine Sports, the oil and gas industry, and information technology.
I love the AnitoKid! Keep on blogging A-Kid!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Singapore -- the little red dot on the globe

Singapore is the first place I set foot on outside of the Philippines. For whatever reason I fell in love with the place that's why I kept on coming back in that island nation 4x in just a span of less than 2 years.

The small country is a big melting pot united by a common neutral first language left behind by its colonizers England, a burning passion for good food & cuisines, a terrible fear of losing out to others and the insidious respect of the government.

It's a "fine" country (as in fine=penalties). You should be more aware of what you should not do rather than what to do. Despite that, one will love the order and precision of daily activities day-in and day-out. It is a city masquerading as a country, buzzing with the trappings of modern living.

Singaporeans live for good because they are all spoilt for choices as there is a rich variety of food due to many cultures and races intermingling the island. Tourists will find the diversity of food just simply amazing (I can guarantee that!).

There are over 70 world class hotels, 18 golf courses and more tourist attractions than you can ever hope to get around while you are there.

Well, I guess that there's more to Singapore than the infamous Merlion and that "Fine City" tag.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Homerisms from a former TV Guide "Father of the Year"

Who needs Confucius, Jose Rizal or William Shakespeare to tell us the real meaning of life... Here are some insights to the essence of one's existence all according to Homer Simpson--a safety inspector at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant somewhere in the U.S.:

"I don't know how much longer I can complain."

"Note to self : Stop Doing Anything"

"Without TV, it's hard to know when one day ends and another begins."

"I'm a rageaholic. I just can't live without rageahol."

"Good things don't end with 'eum'. They end with 'mania' ... or 'tarium'."

"Is it our anniversary? No, we don't have one this year"

25 Reasons to Serve Alcohol at Work (Yeah right!)

This is according to Homer Simpson, the most famous American.

1. It's an incentive to show up.
2. It reduces stress.
3. It leads to more honest communication.
4. It reduces complaint about low pay.
5. It cuts down on time off because you can work with a hangover.
6. Employees tell management what they think, not what management wants to hear.
7. Makes communication interesting due to mumbling and slurred speech.
8. It encourages car pooling.
9. Increases job satisfaction because if you have a bad job, you don't care.
10. It eliminates vacations because people would rather come to work.
11. It makes fellow employees look better.
12. It makes the cafeteria food taste better.
13. Bosses are more likely to hand out raises when they are wasted.
14. Sitting on the copy machine will longer be seen as "gross".
15. Suddenly, burping during a meeting is not so embarrassing.
16. Employees work later since there's no longer a need to relax at the bar.
17. It makes everyone more open with their ideas.
18. Increases your chances of seeing your coworkers drunk and naked.
19. Eliminates the need for employees to get drunk on their lunch break.
20.Increases the chance of seeing your boss naked.
21.Employees no longer need coffee to sober up.
22. A list of 25 reasons, does not have to be 25 long.

Camiguin Fanatic

Camiguin is an island most Filipinos heard of but never been to. When i got the chance to go to Camiguin I don't know what to expect because i just know that it is an island north of Mindanao main island.
The island province with just an area of about 29,000 hectares has 7 volcanoes, yet it is inhabited by more than 75,000 people who must feel safe sleeping on top of a natural bomb. Whaaaat? Yes, beacause the island is a PARADISE! Must be worth it.
People think that it is just an alternative to Boracay, Bohol, Palawan and other beach destinations. That island province has it own charms and wonders. It boasts of a hot spring (Ardent Hot Spring) which is 15 mins. away from a cold spring (Sto. Nino) which is 10 mins. away from a waterfalls (Katibawasan Falls) which is 20 mins. away from the "sunken cemetery" which is 10 mins. to another hot spring which is 20 mins. by boat from a white beach that is actually a sand bar. Yes, all of those are near to each other. Cool!!! You have to go to several provinces to experience all that but not in Camiguin as they are all rolled into 1 small island.
It also owns the world record of the most number of volcanoes as per square kilometer in an island. Hiking enthusiasts may traverse its numerous trails. One can travel its circumferencial road in just 1 hr. through a motorbike which is available for rent for only 500 pesos per day.
One should never leave Camiguin without tasting the yummy Pastel (a small bread filled with a sinful and calorie laden yema) available at Vjandep Bakery.
To get to Camiguin from Manila:
1. Fly in to Cagayan de Oro (1.5 hr via Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific or Air Philippines)
2. Bus from Agora Bus Stn to Balingoan pier
3. Ferry from Balingoan to Benoni town
4. Multicab, jeep or van from Benoni to your accomodation

A journey of a thousand miles (or kilometers)....

My traveling experiences are not that much yet as what I dreamed of. But I'm hoping that I can soon expand my horizons.

I have been to many provinces around Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. My favorite place here in the Philippines is Camiguin (I'll tell you why in my next posts). I had the chance to go out the country just this January 2005 and up to date I have been to 10 countries and territories here in Asia.

Through my travels I began to appreciate big and trivial things. I have learned that there is no such thing as a bad place/country. By going to another country you will know that travel advisories are always wrong. It all depends on how you look at things in a certain perspective. Even towns which are unheard of and are deemed unattractive to tourists still hast its own little gem. I also began appreciating various culture and traditions that people practice as it is important to be sensitive to other people's heritage by respecting their traditions and culture.

I hope I will have a great time blogging!