Friday, February 29, 2008

The Need for Speed

53 words

Speed test

Found this at Jenlex's blog and it seemed interesting. I had a typing lesson several years ago and I can't remember my grade anymore :) I think 53 words per minute is decent enough. At least I'm accurate.

Here's the breakdown of my grade:
You type 290 characters per minute
You have 53 correct words and
you have 0 wrong words

I now tag Janice, Kaye, Che and Punditocracy. It pays for a blogger to type fast, agree? :)

Friday, February 22, 2008

I'm off to Iligan and Camiguin... I'll be Back in a Jiffy!

White Island overlooking the main island of Camiguin

I love long weekends! Because of this I'll be going to my favorite province, Camiguin, and to Iligan, the City of Majestic Waterfalls. This would be my 2nd time in Camiguin but 1st time in Iligan so I'm very excited.

My only regret in this upcoming trip is that I booked our Cagayan de Oro (CDO) tickets via Air Philippines (Air Phil) with their 30 something year-old Boeing 737-200 aircraft. I don't know what came to me to even consider buying an Air Phil ticket. In the first place Air Phil does not offer the very much sought after convenience of online booking of tickets so you have to buy your ticket at their offices or travel agents. Nowadays, I want to know if there's a travel agency which does not charge an additional 100 pesos (service fee) for each ticket per sector for domestic travel.

I don't know but I think in terms of aircraft age Air Philippines owns the most "senior" among Philippines-based jet aircraft. On another negative note, as compared with Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines, the timing of Air Phil's CDO flight is not good for leisure travelers who wants an early morning flight in and late afternoon flight out.

To make the long story story short... lesson learned. So next time I'll be going to Cagayan de Oro I'll see to it that I'll book a ticket with an airline operating a new, more environment friendly, good smelling airplanes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The 33rd International Bamboo Organ Festival

As a resident of Las Pinas City, I invite everyone to visit my hometown starting tomorrow, February 21 up to February 29 for the 33rd edition of the International Bamboo Organ Festival.

Thursday, Feb. 21 - GALA

Misa de Sales (1826), from Iglesia de Baclayon, Bohol - Las Pinas Boys Choir with Bamboo organ

Bach Cantata no. 82 – Noel Azcona, solo baritone, with Festival Orchestra conducted by Chino Toledo

Handel – Organ Concert op. 4 #2 – Festival Orchestra with Ghislain Leroy ( France)


Full program of organ music on Bamboo Organ and Auditorium organ by Ghislain Leroy ( France)

Saturday, Feb. 23 - In Concert: Las PiƱas Boys Choir


Monday, Feb. 25 - ORGAN AND VOICES

Concerto for two organs with Armando Salarza and Rea Lodronio

Misa de Sales (1826), from Iglesia de Baclayon, Bohol - Las Pinas Boys Choir with Bamboo organ

Bach Cantata no. 82 – Noel Azcona, solo baritone, with Festival Orchestra conducted by Chino Toledo

Wednesday and Friday, Feb. 27 and 29 MISA DI GLORIA

Ticket prices: P600, P400, P200

Please call 510-3839 for more information

Friday, February 15, 2008

Capiz & Iloilo for 33 Hours

This weekend would not be an ordinary one, well at least for me eventhough it is not a long weekend I am scheduled to go to Iloilo as it is the 86th birthday of my grandfather. I didn't file a vacation leave so this will be just a Saturday-Sunday affair. I will be the last one to arrive yet be the first one to leave the next day as my mom, dad and sister will stay there for 2 more days (It sounds that I'm a workaholic, but I doubt it). My relatives from the U.S. and here in Manila will all be there so I have no reason not to attend because Manila is closer than the U.S. from Iloilo, hehehe :)

I'm feeling adventurous so I didn't bought a direct Manila-Iloilo-Manila ticket. Alternatively, I booked a flight to Roxas City, Capiz via Philippine Airlines which will leave 5:30 am tomorrow. It would just be a 1 hour flight so I expect to be out of the airport before 6:00 am. Roxas City is dubbed as the "Seafood Capital of the Philippines" but I don't expect to eat seafood that early in the morning. It will be my 4th or 5th time to visit Roxas City so I don't anymore plan to go sightseeing. I just plan to have my breakfast in a local restaurant and I will be off to my father's town in Dingle, Iloilo for a good 2 hrs. van/bus ride.

If I only book a direct Manila-Iloilo ticket I'll expect somebody to fetch me at the Iloilo Airport. I specifically directed my dad not to fetch me anymore because he doesn't know that I will be coming from Capiz.

The party for my grandfather will be in the afternoon so I have time to spare for my Capiz-Iloilo solo roadtrip. It is also time for meeting distant relatives for the first time. I expect that it would be a fiesta-scale of people attending from the afternoon 'til the evening as I heard that they ordered two lechon baboy. It would not be an ordinary party as what my tita told me because she ordered 100 sets of invitation and giveaways here in Manila.

My return flight would be at 5:20 pm the next day via Philippine Airlines also but this this I will be more practical so I will be departing from Iloilo. I don't know if I still have the time to go to Iloilo City to buy pasalubong for my friends and officemates.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Travel Tour Expo 2008

Calling all fellow travelers!

The 15th edition of the Travel Tour Expo being organized by the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) will be held at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City from Feb. 15 to 17, 2008. It will be the biggest event for the travel and tourism industry here in the Philippines this year. There will be over 150 participating companies which include airlines, hotels, foreign tourist organizations, resorts and of course tour operators occupying more than 300 booths.

Exhibition Hours:

15 February - Friday
10 AM - 8 PM

16 February - Saturday
10 AM - 9 PM

17 February - Sunday
10 AM - 8 PM

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tips for Domestic Travel and Beyond

Eventough that major domestic airlines offer PISO or EIGHT pesos fare this time of the traveling season you can also make your travels cheaper without availing of the PISO fare. Because of deregulation and competition, air travel became cheaper today than in 10 or even 5 years ago and it could get cheaper if only the price of petroleum products (particularly jet fuel) will be much stable.

* To start with, budgeting and finding a cheap hotel or restaurant will not help so much if the destination itself is expensive. Here's my point: I love Camiguin not only because of its beaches, waterfalls, hot springs, cold springs and 7 volcanoes but because it is cheaper to travel or even live there than to go to Boracay which has only a beach to offer.

* The Internet contains gazillion of information about the place where you plan to spend your vacation from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi so it pays to google first your destination before trying to make any reservation for hotels, transportation arrangements and organized tours.

* The best website I think there is for those who seek everything under the sun about travel is I enjoy reading everything it says on a particular destination I am interested in and one can even ask as question in the member's forum. is another great site to view reviews of hotels, restaurants and tourist spots.

* When you have a contact in that particular destination be it a hotel reservation clerk, a van-for-hire agent or whatever, don't be afraid to ask for DISCOUNTS as they are available throughout the year even for peak season.

* If you still don't have an air ticket, you may find cheaper tickets during weekdays rather than flying on a Saturday or Sunday. Usually, the roundtrip discount don't apply to domestic airline tickets so try to check all the airlines if they offer a cheaper fare on your way to your destination or your return flight. It is common for me to have a different airline on the way back to Manila because of lower fare or better flight schedule.

* If you find information which the Internet offers not sufficient, you can request for a free visitor's guide or brochure from the local or regional tourism office of your destination. Maps and travel books are expensive and there's no need to bring those bulky Lonely Planet guides when you can print maps and information you need.

* When time is not an issue, it's always cheaper to travel off-season as the price of everything travel related significantly drops. And besides, the promotional fare of airlines are always timed during the off-season. I found out that September is the best time to visit Boracay if you hate crowds obstructing your view of the beach. Locals even dubbed September as the "little summer" as the weather is good during that time. Anytime of the year is the best time if you want to go to any Mindanao destinations as that region is always not on the path of typhoons.

Remember, the later you wait to do your planning for that well deserved vacation, the more you will likely to pay for it so it PAYS to plan early.