Monday, December 29, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
For those who want to go shopping in Hong Kong or Bangkok, just pay a little over Php500 to Php 1,000 ($11-$21) for a roundtrip ticket in any of the airline's international destination except Osaka, Japan.
So much for the blabber... just go to the official Cebu Pacific Air website to confirm the authenticity of this very good news.
Merry Christmas to all!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I compiled a number of articles and comments from forums, blogs and magazine articles regarding this very trivial matter. It looks like the debate on this issue is still on-going for quite some time now. As for me, I enjoy being a tourist and enjoy more being a traveler. What's the difference? You figure it out for yourself because I don't want to label anyone as this or that and then pat myself on the back for being open-minded, anyway the following criteria are self-explanatory. There's nothing wrong to be labeled as a traveler or just a tourist as it is a matter of preference. This is a free planet, do whatever morally right and legal all you want, including labeling yourself as a traveler or a tourist.
- Locals like the waiters serving your breakfasts and taxi drivers would definitely prefer big spending tourists rather than seeing a flock of travelers. Explanation: Locals always prefer a bus full of Japanese tourists than a Boeing 747 full of backpackers.
- One traveler said that if you go to another country, sit in your hotel the whole time, maybe only leave it to go and eat at a restaurant that is themed for foreign visitors to seem like you have never left your own country and if you never even interact with any locals in a destination, then it could not be called as TRAVEL
- Tourists ditch the backpack and instead prefer those bags with wheels that you can easily drag from the airport up to your hotel/resort/motel/hostel. When you open a tourist's bag you can smell perfumes which were all bought from the Duty Free shop unlike a traveler's bag which emits a spicy scent of clothes that haven't been washed for days or even weeks.
- Few tourists go traveling alone while backpacking travelers often vagabond solo. For a start, luxury hotels would be charging extra for a single supplement.
- There is an irony in the sense that the "self-labeled" traveler begins to define himself against the habits of a tourist. Some judge it by how meager the lodgings or how low the budget rather than a personal navigation of the transformative experience.
- It is sad to know that tourists are looked down on by travelers, but to an expat there is no difference between the two. But to a local, an expat may as well be an extended tourist.
So now, are you a traveler or a tourist?
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
This is the 2nd to the last of my series of absolutely FREE tickets because of the generosity of Cebu Pacific Air. To end my traveling spree in a high note, me and my family are now booked in a 2-bedroom suite at Waterfront Hotel & Casino in Lahug, Cebu City also for FREE including FREE buffet daily breakfasts and FREE airport transfers. Sorry, I am not at liberty to disclose here in my blog why are we not going to pay for our stay in the said hotel :) All I can say is that I am very thankful for the generous offer given to us.
This is my 4th time to be in Cebu this year. The Queen City of the south is not actually my top or even second favorite city or province here in the Philippines but I find it very appealing as you can do and find anything like what other big cities offer plus it has also the charm and all what you look for in a province. Beautiful white sand beaches are just minutes away from the city plus there are many islands accessible by small boats which rival the top beach destinations here in the Philippines.
I only hope that Cebu Pacific will win more awards or be the #1 domestic airline again in the Philippines they will again think to have another round of "absolutely free seats." For those who missed it or didn't hear about that very good news, Cebu Pacific offered through its website 50,000 seats last September 19-21 which you will only pay 0.00 pesos.
the above photo was taken from http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=646758&page=20
Friday, December 12, 2008
There is an unexplained jovial ecstatic animated feeling that build the foundation of most successful travel stories shared with friends, family and strangers. My friends are always asking me why I enjoy traveling. First thing first, traveling is quite addictive so by just saying that I don't need to explain my point further. Nevertheless, for the next paragraphs I will share to you some of my most frequent response to my friends who are curious to know the hidden joys and pains of traveling.
1. Believe it or not, traveling is cheaper than what most people think
If you know very well when, where and how to go to a certain place through persistent research then you will save not only money during your travel but also you will save time asking strangers for directions and it may also save your life as you will find out what to do and not to do in a particular place. Like a boy scout, you should always be prepared in case there is a seat sale being offered by an airline or room discounts being offered by a hotel or resort. I already experienced traveling outside the country in a 5-star flag carrier (as accredited by Skytrax) for just the same price of a low-cost carrier ticket going to Davao (no it's not Philippine Airlines as it is only a 3-star airline according to Skytrax). I am not just being lucky as I availed it again for my April 2009 travel for Cambodia. If you don't look for a bargain then you will never find one. In other words, if you patiently look for it you will find it.
2. I love learning new and exciting cultures.
This is the most common answer on why people want to travel. Well, it is 100% true. New place, new culture, new experience, new life lessons.
3. Eat anything exotic for your taste without thinking about your diet and counting calories
It's so passe saying that what is exotic to you may be just ordinary to others. For me, ordinary or exotic is just one and the same. If it looks good, just eat it.
Duh! As very obvious as it seems, almost everyone travel to see new places. I love tall buildings, I love beaches, I love mountains, I love temples... see my point?
5. Traveling made me a better person
Traveling made me appreciate the culture and beliefs of other people. I gained many friends who are Muslims, Buddhists and even an atheist. After hearing many negative adjectives about a place I still got what I want and I never had a moment that made me think twice not to go to a certain place. Through traveling I learned that most people are wrong to think that Mindanao is not safe. "Certain parts" of Mindanao are not safe for tourists but not Mindanao itself. Zamboanga and Basilan here I come! (not until next year)
Friday, December 5, 2008
We have no concrete plans yet. One thing is for sure, we will watch the "boxing match of the century" between our very own Manny Pacquiao and Oscar "Golden Boy" de la Hoya of Mexico from early in the morning of Sunday up to maybe past noon (I think the match would not be that long but you know how the number of TV commercials exponentially rise whenever Pacquiao has a fight). After the fight we plan to go to Tiwi Hot Spring or go island hopping. After that it would be just a spontaneous decision where to go or what to do...
Have a great weekend everybody!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
I love long weekends but I love FREE tickets more. This trip is part of my FREE ticket hunting last September 19 when Cebu Pacific Air offered 50,000 domestic tickets for only PHP0.00 including taxes, administration fee and fuel surcharge.
Me and my 6 other friends have no clue what to do in Butuan and we still don't have a place to stay. I'm now humming the tune of "Que Sera Sera" as my philosophy for this CARAGA region trip is "whatever will be, will be." I'm glad that I was given free maps and travel guides of Butuan and Surigao during the Philippine Travel Mart I attended a few months ago at SM Megamall. My map and travel guide is now our lifeline to explore the city. It has the telephone numbers of recommended hotels in it and besides I don't think that hotels will be fully-booked so I am very confident that we can walk-in straight to the hotel without any problems of securing 3 rooms.
I know there is so much to see there in Butuan and the whole province of Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur so I will just let my two feet bring us to wherever. Our first stop is the Butuan City Tourism Office to ask for recommendations where to go, what to see, what to buy as souvenirs and of course what to eat. Anyway, I believe that there will be no dull moments if I'm in company of good friends. I'm now excited to arrive in Butuan as I smell adventure in the making!
Have a great long weekend!
P.S. Thank you to my blogger friend Dodong for allowing me to grab his Butuan photos.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The generosity of Rosilie's family didn't end there as we went to KCC Mall and had coffee after a leisurely walk inside the confines of the airconditioned mall (a luxury for a very humid day). We just talked about blogging and almost anything under the sun. I am so envious to her adventure-junky husband as he almost tried every extreme sport there is. He hasn't yet gone skydiving but it is now included in his to-do list.
If you want to order "blogging-themed" t-shirts then all you have to do is contact Rosilie through her blog. She ships the shirts anywhere in the country. But when you personally buy your shirt at her store in GenSan I guarantee everyone that your purchase will come with a free friend or friends which to me is priceless.
The design of my blogger shirt is not one of these (see pictures below) as mine is a specially made limited edition type, hehehe ;)
Monday, November 24, 2008
For those who want to travel between January 1 to March 18 next year. You should book your tickets now as Cebu Pacific revived its 500-peso ALL-IN seat sale to all its domestic destinations and ZERO fare to all its international destinations.
The sale period starts NOW until November 30, 2008 only. More than 400,000 seats are being allotted for this seat sale. For more information just go to the airline's website.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
When I was in Cebu last month I tried my luck at Casino Filipino at the Waterfront Airport Hotel to kill time waiting for the boarding time, luckily I won enough money to pay for my dinner, terminal fee, a few packs of dried mangoes and taxi from NAIA 3 to my house. I guess I'll try it one more time and hope that lady luck is still on my side after a month. I only allow myself to lose up to 300 pesos before I head up to the door and never come back as gambling can be addictive.
I guess that's all it for my Cebu trip.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
This is a very sweet deal as a roundtrip ticket to Kuala Lumpur from Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark, Pampanga will only set you back 1,100 pesos ($25) all-in. It is good to know that Air Asia offers a wide variety of destinations so if you love the beach you can go to Phuket or Bali. If you love old cities you can go to Siem Reap, Cambodia to see the Angkor Wat or Yogyakarta, Indonesia to see the Borubodur temple. If you love nature I highly recommend going to Vietnam to see Halong Bay or the breathtaking rock formations in Guilin, China.
You can go to any destinations in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Brunei, Laos etc. via Kuala Lumpur starting June 2009 for a total of less than 5,000 pesos all-in. That's a steal in itself! Less than 5,000 bucks for 4 plane rides to your destination beyond Kuala Lumpur. Me and my friends purchased tickets to Kuala Lumpur and Phuket for less than 4,000 pesos all-in. Book ASAP as the seat sale will run up to November 16 only.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I also took underwater photographs few days ago in Boracay but it would be in a separate blog entry. I will try to enhance further my underwater photography skills there in Mactan in my next trip in several days. I am not yet a certified diver but I took scuba lessons before so if I have a budget I'll go diving during the weekend to take more underwater pictures.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
There is a package even lower than our 4,430 Boracay package. Air Philippines offered a 3-day package for Palawan for as low as 4,100 pesos which is almost the same banana. I hesitated going to Puerto Princesa on a package because I have a friend who lives there and I can stay in her house for free which I gratefully availed a year ago. I also have a free overnight stay which I will avail soon in a hotel in Puerto Princesa for refering a number of my friends to stay there. I don't have a friend who lives or work in Boracay so it is wiser to go to Boracay on a cheap package than in Puerto Princesa.
This would be my first time to try PAL Express and also my first time going straight to Boracay on an airplane. As my father is from Iloilo province, my previous 6 trips to Boracay all originated from Iloilo and one instance when my family tried the Ro-Ro Strong Republic Nautical Highway proudly being advocated by President Arroyo so I drove from Metro Manila all the way down to Iloilo with a stopover in Batangas, Mindoro and Boracay.
So now, to give justice to my post title... This is just a trivial analogy as I just noticed that since 1996 when I first saw the fine powdery white sand of Boracay I keep on returning on that island every Olympic year. I have been there the same year as the Atlanta Olympics (1996), Sydney Olympics (2000), Athens Olympics (2004) and now the Beijing Olympics (2008). Well, to keep in line with my sports-Boracay analogy, my three other non-Olympic year soujourns in Boracay all coincided with the regional SEA Games (1997, 1999 & 2005). So who says that sports and beach are not closely related? Hahaha! ;)
NOTE: I will not approve comments related to this post which will say that it is a corny analogy ;-)
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I am just a little bothered with the restrictions of availing this type of fare. According to the website the following are the fare conditions for EconoLight Class for regional destinations (Bangkok, Beijing, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Macau, Shanghai, Singapore and Taipei):
1. Free baggage allowance is 15 kilos (the usual for Economy Class is 20 kilos)
2. No meals (only water for domestic flights) (free soda, juice, water, coffee, tea & peanuts for international sectors)
3. No headsets
4. Infants and children travelling with adults holding EconoLight tickets will also have no amenities (No Bassinets/No Milk)
5. Not applicable for passengers who require special handling
6. No advance seat reservations
7. No Mabuhay Lounge Access regardless of membership level
8. Tickets are non-refundable, non-rebookable and non-reroutable
This EconoLight Class are for able bodied passengers only. It's so sad to know that my 84-year old grandfather and my cousin inflicted with polio cannot get cheap tickets for EconoLight Class because of their physical condition as they will have a hard time walking up to the last row of an aircraft. They should be contented with their regular Economy Class airfare.
Another thing, EconoLight Class are not for diabetics unless you want to starve for 3-4 hrs. when you go to Jakarta, Singapore or Bangkok. On the bright side, passengers can bring their own food. I love picnics 30,000 feet above sea level!
I'm sure that passengers don't care not having Philippine Airlines facilities and services when they buy a Cebu Pacific ticket because they know that they will ALL receive the same services and treatment inside a Cebu Pacific airplane. That is why there is also a curtain separating the business class passengers with the rest of the cattle class so that the airline can make their pampering service discreetly from the rest of the economy class. Maybe there will be also a curtain which would separate the EconoLight Class passenger in the last row of the airlplane in able for them not to smell the ubiquitous airline food being served to non-EconoLight passengers.
If passengers want a budget airline airfare with budget airline services and treatment then why should they fly with Philippine Airlines which in the end will only serve them as if they are riding a Cebu Pacific airplane? And in the first place not all EconoLight airfares are lower than Cebu Pacific airfares.
Well, it all boils down to this... would I try this EconoLight thing? Yes, why not, moreover if the EconoLight airfare is more competitive than Cebu Pacific and with better time of arrival/departure in my intended destination. I don't also mind seating on the last row of the aircraft. Many even believe that the safest part of an aircraft during an emergency landing or other situations is on the tail end. That is also why the black box is located at the back because there is where it can most likely to survive an accident. I would definitely try this EconoLight thing in one of my future flights but definitely not in any flight more than 2 hours.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I think that Boracay, Cebu, Davao and other mainstream local destinations don't have the monopoly (technically speaking it's an oligopoly rather than a monopoly) of beautiful beaches, landscapes and fun activities. I've been to Antique, Calbayog and Catarman and they have many beautiful beaches, waterfalls and other thrills for the adventure vulture. As I don't have yet a digital camera 3 years ago that is why I don't have pictures of them to post here in my blog. If only Zest Air would extend the travel period to April and May I would love to go to Marinduque of Masbate as I have an inkling for small provinces like Camiguin, Guimaras and Siquijor so I know I would definitely enjoy my stay in Marinduque or Masbate.
Note: photograph taken from the official website of Zest Air
Monday, November 3, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The president and chief executive officer of Zest Air is Mr. Alfredo M. Yao, who is more popularly known as Juice King of the Philippines for being also the Chairman of Zest-O Corporation. How I miss the ubiquitous juice drink Zest-O, as it is part of my daily diet until my high-school years, specially my favorite strawberry and mango-orange flavors. So I guess, by now you already know the reason behind the name Zest Air.
As I always believe in the beauty of healthy competition, I hope this "new" airline will give its top rivals like Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air a run for their money. According to Zest Air's website it will offer some of the same aircraft as with Asian Spirit but they will also acquire new planes and it looks like that they will also be operating the Airbus A320 model. I know this will be a good investment for the airline.
It's good to start with an appealing brand name, so now all they have to do is offer value for money flights and in no time they can be on top of the industry.
So what's next? Will Cebu Pacific change its name into Chippy Airlines or C2 Airlines? Will Philippine Airlines change its name into Tanduay Airlines or Allied Airlines? I guess only time will tell although I love the sound of Chippy Airlines, hahaha!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
I never felt that I am just a visitor in Iloilo as I can roam the city with ease and I never asked for directions even if I drive by myself. Although, I am not that familiar with the public transportation system there as I either drive or take a taxi when nobody is available to fetch me at the airport. I'm used to travel alone to Iloilo starting when I was 12 years old when my dad will just drop me off at the Domestic Airport and then my grandfather will fetch me at Iloilo Airport and vise-versa.
My dad is among the busiest person during this event as starting last week here in Manila he kept on shuttling all of our relatives either from NAIA or just the domestic airport and then his role will be duplicated in Iloilo as he will be the official airport meet-and-greet personnel. Our relatives from the U.S. either arrived via Northwest Airlines (late evening flight), Korean Air (afternoon flight) or Philippine Airlines (early morning flight) so I am very proud of the time management skills my dad had.
photo taken from http://iloilo.com.ph