Category Archives: Travel

2014 Vacation Planning

Last year, we made out vacation plans around around August, but now the month is almost over and we still haven’t decided on a place to go. We are thinking of going to Palawan, but we are not yet fully convinced that the places there are kid friendly. So while hubby is busy looking at the latest guitars, amps and affordable brain guitar picks at m123, I am busy scouring the net for good and affordable vacation spots. Hopefully next year’s vacation would be just as fun if not better as this year’s.

How To Find the Perfect Accommodation in Boracay

It’s been a week since we left Boracay and I haven’t told you about the place where we stayed. If you have read about our disastrous first journey then I have more shocking events after that. By the way, I’m writing this in my Galaxy Note so bear with my spelling mistakes please.

Anyway, let me back up a bit. A week before we arrived in Boracay we already paid a deposit for the place we will be staying in. My brother-in-law, Anthony, asked his friends’ recommendations for good places to stay. We wanted a place with a kitchen so we could cook in Boracay. We would be staying there for 7 days and food is the most expensive in our budget and we wanted to save a bit. This accommodation’s name, let’s just call in S, came up. So my BIL and his wife called the place for more info. To make a story short we agreed to rent a 2-room accommodation with a kitchen for P5,500 per night. A week before we left BIL sent P5000 as downpayment to reserve the place.

Sunday came and off we went to Boracay. I already told you that our flight was delayed and the trip was long so we arrived at the beach after 6 hours instead of only what should have been a 4-hour journey. The sun has already set and everything was dark. The electricity also went off but it came back soon after. When we arrived we were so tired and couldn’t wait to see the place we were to stay in for seven days. We opened the door and we saw the kitchen and the living room. Then we saw one room and it was spacious. Then we realized that something important was missing. There was NO second room!

We immediately confronted the person my BIL talked to over the phone. We told her we reserved for an accommodation with two rooms. She said she was clear when she told us there was a kitchen and only ONE room. Hubby, who was still sick, was really pissed. He was looking forward to have a rest after the long journey. But it was already night so we decided to stay for the night and just look for another place to stay. But first we had to eat dinner first.

We were at Station 2 and D’ Talipapa, Boracay’s version of wet market, was only walking distance away. We went there for dinner and ate at Andok’s. Their prices were not bad, just a few pesos higher than their Manila price. We were so hungry we ate our dinner like hungry elephants.

Anyway, our bad luck ended there because that same night we found a resort named, Facebook Resort and that’s where we stayed for the next 7 days. Will tell you more about that later.

But first here are some lessons on the best way to find for the perfect accommodation in Boracay based on our experiences.

How to Find the Best Accommodation in Boracay according to your Budget

  1. Do your research online. Whenever we have an out-of-town trip I always go to Agoda.com to check for our possible accommodation. For customer reviews, I read the reviews on TripAdvisor.com. That’s how I found Dao Diamond Hotel on our Bohol trip last year. To this day, we are still raving about our stay there. 
  2. Ask your friends for recommendations but instead of a phone call, put everything you agreed upon in writing. What happened in our Boracay trip would have been avoided if we corresponded through email instead of just a telephone call.
  3. If you are not sure of your accommodation then reserve for only one night. Do not pay in full so that if anything goes wrong you can still transfer to another place. When we arrived at Boracay we were blown away at how many hotels there are to choose from. Everywhere we look there were places vacant. We were able to haggle personally and in the end, we were satisfied with what we paid.

To sum it up, I now know why Boracay is one of the top destinations in the world. It’s because it is so tourist friendly. You will never run out of choices whether it’s accommodation, things to do, restaurants to eat, or places to shop – it’s all in Boracay! Take advantage of this variety. There are lots of choices that would satisfy all people in all walks of life.

Three Reasons Why Vacations Make You Happy

We’re baaaccccckkkkk!

Going on vacation is really therapeutic. I feel so rested after our 6-day vacation! For the past six days we did nothing but find something to eat, find something to do, or just lie down the beach and watch people from all walks of life.  Boracay has so many activities that you wouldn’t run out of things to do. The downside is everything’s so expensive when you’re on vacation. We went there with our wallets bulging with money but now it’s almost empty. hahaha!

Anyway, we only go on vacation once a year so it’s worth it. They say spending your money on vacations is better than gadgets. Wanna know why? Because it’ll give you happiness three times over!

Let me enumerate:

First. Before you go on vacation you experience high looking forward to your much awaited trip. Since we booked our flight last August we have been looking forward this trip for months on end!

Second. Of course you’ll be happy on the days of vacation itself.

Third. After your vacation you will look back and sigh at the happy memories you have experienced from your vacation.

I’m not kidding with the third one. We have been reminiscing our Bohol trip over and over the past year. Sometimes hubby would say, “I miss Bohol,” and Z would say, “I do too!” Then hubby would say, “Don’t worry because in a few months we’ll be going to…” and Z would finish, “Boracay!” They would repeat this conversation over and over and we would just be happy thinking about it. haha!

Anyway, we’re happy that our vacation was a successful one. We left with our pockets empty but we bring back hearts full of joy and minds refreshed and recharged. We’re already planning our vacation next year. The problem is we’re running out of places to go in our country that’s child friendly. We can’t go to Palawan because there’s a lot of island hopping involved and it’s not very safe for kids. My friend told me Ilocos is not child-friendly either because you have to travel far and wide to get from one tourist destination to another.

That’s why we’re thinking of going to Hongkong Disneyland but if you have any suggestions we might change our mind.

Leave your thoughts please.TIA!
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Boracay 2013 – Delayed Flight to Kalibo, Aklan

Hi Everyone! We’re now in Boracay. We arrived last Sunday night via Zest Air Kalibo. I just want to put on the record that I didn’t know how tiring it was to travel on this route.. I booked this flight way back last August. Tried to find direct flight to Caticlan airport but everything was booked so I reserved a Kalibo flight thinking it was going to be easy.

Anyway, so after months of waiting we arrived at the airport last Sunday at 12 noon. Our flight was at 2:20 pm but a few days earlier I received an email that it was moved to 1:55. Check in was a breeze. We got in easy except for my SIL who had a small scissor in her bag. The X-ray machine saw it right away so her bag was opened. They took away her scissors and even got suspicious with her baby wipes. They almost took it away but let it go eventually.

We waited at Terminal 4 for the plane to arrive. You know, this terminal is so child and mother friendly. I know they have lots of bad things to say about our local airports but Terminal 4 has a small playground and a breastfeeding station. It was the perfect terminal for me. Yes, I didn’t need anything else. haha!

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I was really happy while the kids raided the playground. They were there for two hours playing and having fun. This year we travelled with my husband’s brother’s family and we have four kids in between us so this playground is really heaven sent. In my mind I wondered why terminal 2 didn’t have one.

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Then two hours later I found the reason why. Our Zest Air flight got delayed and our estimated departure time was moved by an hour. Oh no, by this time the kids already had enough of the playground. What were we supposed to do? I had to know what was going on so I asked Information what was really happening and where in the world was our plane? They said they didn’t know where it was at the moment (they’re still waiting for advice daw). That wasn’t good enough for me so I prodded more and found out that our plane came from out of the country. It was supposed to land at Kalibo before going to Manila but it didn’t arrive there on time. Out of frustration I asked if this delay happens quite often they said yes. I asked what time the people who had the same flight the day before – what time they were able to leave. She said 4pm!

After hearing that I adjusted my expectations so I wouldn’t have to wait only to be asked to wait again. Now I know why there is a playground at this terminal. haha!

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Zack and I went to the breastfeeding station. It was not as comfy but it was enough. He was able to sleep soundly there. I wanted to sleep too but there was a large sign saying, “This is not a sleeping area” which I couldn’t ignore.

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Me, Z, Zack, Hubby, my BIL, my nephew Ren, my SIL, and their youngest, Tim (not in the pic and the one who took the shot was my SIL, Yuri)

At around 4pm we finally were able to board. By that time Zack was awake and had lots of energy. I tell you we were the passengers you don’t want sit near the airplane. He refused to sit still and would stand on our laps and touch everything he could get his hands on!

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It didn’t help that we were further delayed because of air traffic. The plane can’t take off yet because there were airplanes before it waiting to take off too. Before that it was delayed because Kalibo airport hadn’t given them the signal to depart. Kalibo International Airport can only fit four planes at once so they had to schedule everything like a clock work.

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Finally, the plane was able to take off. Zack fell silent as he realized what was going on. He looked out the window for a long time processing the information. I really hope he remembers this trip even though he’s only 2. A few minutes later the crew got their trolley and pushed the refreshments along the alley. I didn’t want to buy something but after waiting for four hours at the airport I was hungry. So we bought a pack of cookies for P80 pesos. Some bought cup noodles and the aroma wafted through the plane. Don’t you just hate it when they do that? haha! It took all my self control to not buy those noodles.

The plane ride was too short (only 45 minutes!) and we landed before 5pm at Kalibo International Airport. We wanted to go to Boracay but this plane ride we didn’t want to end.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a city famous for many things some of which include the spectacular shows, gambling, shopping, clubs, and exquisite hotels. If you have not been to the infamous city of partying yet, then you should probably book your next vacation there now! Not only is it a great place to have a fun night out with the friends, but it is also a terrific place to take your family. Spending several nights at one of Vegas’ hotels alone is a getaway in itself! Take Caesar’s Palace for example. The hotel has almost 4,000 rooms and a 166,000 square foot gaming space along with a 636,000 square foot shopping mall that highlights a free show called, “Fall of Atlantis” which features fire and water erupting. Caesar’s Palace Hotel highlights some of Las Vegas’ most popular shows such as Celine Dion and Shania Twain. There is something for everyone in the family. If you are not completely intrigued by the entertainment and shopping this hotel has to offer then just check out the architecture and design of this elaborate hotel. Caesar’s Palace has got lavish furnishing, polished concrete, and stunning design all throughout the ends of this enormous hotel. It will surely take your breath away. If that still doesn’t marvel the pants off you, then there is the famous Caesar’s Buffet. There is no doubt that that will have you in awe.

On Our Way to Church

On our way to church last Sunday we stopped by Jollibee at SLEX. We were already famished having gone out without eating any breakfast and since we’re early we decided to kill some time on the way. Chewee came along with us since we can’t live him alone in the house if we will be gone for more than a day. We usually spend the weekend at my in-laws so we’ll be gone for two days. The trouble with having a dog along is you can’t bring him inside fast foods except for places where they have outdoor eating and good thing this Jollibee branch has that.

The only thing was the area where we could sit was on the second floor and near some railings. I know it was made with wrought iron railing parts which is sturdy but I was still nervous because kids can be so naughty and you never know what could happen. But we had no choice so we stayed put hoping they will stay still. But the kids want to admire the view. Of course, Zack was not content just standing he had to climb up the railings to have a better look.

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Moms, don’t panic with what you see because there’s still about two feet of area beyond the railings. Still we were worried Zack would fall down after he decided to traverse the railings from one side to another. Just look at his face here you just knew he’s planning something wicked. haha!

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Anyway, as soon as we finished eating we hurriedly went on our way. Zack didn’t want to stop and Chewee made a mess underneath the table. Ooops!

Cebu Pacific Piso Sale

Two years ago we booked a flight with Cebu Pacific for our trip to Bohol. It was the first time our kids were able to see an airplane and airport lighting up close. It was the best vacation we had as a family! Until now,  out of nowhere  my son would sometimes quip, “I miss Bohol!” I can only sigh when I hear that because I feel the same way too. So my husband and I decided to make this a yearly thing. We also agreed that we can’t call it a vacation until we’re there for at least 5 days. Three days is way to short for us.

So two months ago, I booked another budget flight but this time we are going to see the famous Boracay! But we’re bringing more people along because my BIL’s family and my SIL will come too. We will be there for 7 whole days enjoying the sun and the beach, sipping mango juice while enjoying the view, and swimming in our itsy bitsy bikinis (we wish!) haha!  We even want Christmas to go by quickly because we’ll go there after the holidays. I think January is the perfect month to go because the typhoon season is over plus there are less tourists which means lower prices (hopefully) for everything.

I’m mentioning this now because Cebu Pacific is having its Piso fare once again for all their domestic and international flights. So grab this chance to travel with your family and book a flight now.

Boracay, Here We Come

Last August, I was lucky enough to book a promo fare from Zest Air going to Boracay. Since we only travel out of town once a year, I prefer it to be a week-long vacation. Booking your flight online is so easy. All you need is a credit card for a smooth transaction. If you don’t have a credit card then don’t worry because you can also deposit your payment at the leading banks.

I learned that airlines offer promo flights during the holidays. If you’re looking for cheap airline tickets then wait until October 26th because that has been declared as a holiday by the president. If you miss that one then wait some more and be sure to check out the different airline’s websites at the stroke of midnight on November 1st, another holiday in the Philippines.

For our Boracay trip, I’ve been thinking of buying some of these personalized frisbees here so we can play around in the sand. We will be going with my BIL’s family so there will be double the fun. Like they say, “The more, the merrier,” and that’s exactly what we’re expecting in this trip.

Don’t walk out of your car looking so messy; Use auto air conditioning kits in your car.

The last thing a person looks forward to is a hot, stuffy and stifling environment in a car. It becomes more annoying if you are a lady and have all your makeup in place. When you remember that your make up will need to be intact by the time you get to your office, the last place you will want to get to is a car with no auto air conditioning kits. These systems have been increasing in demand due to their convenience and reliability. You may think that you are okay without them but wait till summer time and you will sing a different song. Even if you are driving used cars Dallas, ensure that your air conditioning system is not only installed but goes through periodic service. Whether you are driving a small car or utility vehicle air conditioning kits are a must.
Now, you may be thinking that you are okay because you do not bother with makeups and all that. However air conditioning is not just to keep the interior of your car warm or hot. Actually, it is healthy for you to keep a well serviced and performing air conditioning system in your car. Have you ever been driving in the past and an automobile passed remitting toxic fumes? You must have been left wondering the purpose of your traffic policemen. What you did not think about is where those fumes went. Auto air conditioning kits ensure that any particles whether of dust or fumes do not remain in the interior of your car.
Even if you drive utility vehicles you need to ensure that your air conditioning is up and running. If you do not know where your cabin filter is or are not sure how often to have it checked, check the vehicles manufacturer’s manual.

Do You Think I Can Learn to Drive Again?

I remember when I was younger, I couldn’t wait to drive! My stepdad taught me to drive in the streets of Las Pinas. I learned to drive there and I thought my experience was enough. So when I was in college I begged him to let me borrow one of his cars (he buys and sells cars) and he obliged. I don’t know where I got the idea that I could actually drive from Las Pinas to UP Diliman by myself for the very first time. It was getting dark and I didn’t know how I would get there, I was just driving from memory. All I wanted was just to drive, never mind if I hadn’t attended one of those driving schools Scarborough where they train you for tougher roads.

Looking back I can’t believe I could be so reckless back then. After traveling C5 for a few minutes I realized I really didn’t know the way. I wanted to kick myself too for not thinking it was going to be harder to drive at night. Yes, it was my first time to drive without sunlight! I turned right to Pateros and thought that was the correct route. When I realized I was lost I quickly turned back and looked for EDSA. Thankfully, I did find it but until now don’t know how I was able to maneuver EDSA and drive side-by-side the reckless bus drivers without getting into an accident.

Now that I’m 30 I don’t want to drive anymore. I think I’ve lost my reckless gene along with my youth much to my husband’s chagrin because that meant he has to drive me everywhere. haha! But lately I’ve realized I really have to learn to drive again. I can’t rely all the time with my husband who has work to do. Now that the kids are getting bigger I will have to run for errands without my husband by my side. It doesn’t make sense to commute with two kids – one I can handle but two, never – so I must take the wheel again. Since we live in one of the most dangerous places to drive I have to find a driving school similar to driving school Scarborough that can better equip me with dealing with all kinds of driving hazards. After all, I have to be extra cautious with two kids with me.

What do you think? Do you think I can learn to drive again?