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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

BPI EXPRESS CREDIT is Your Practical and Reliable Travel Companion



We Filipinos love bringing tons of cash, to the joy of pickpockets and holduppers. At the mall for example, we prefer transacting in cash instead of just having our card swiped at the counter. The inconvenience. We fail to take advantage of the benefits of cashless society because of misconceptions and lack of information. This is also true when it comes to credit cards.

I have been a Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) client for years and for the most part, I was like everybody else. Every out-of-the-country trip, I go to my bank, buy dollars and have them exchanged in the local currency upon reaching my destination. Part of the fun, but also part of the hassle.
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BPI Express Credit

In our recent China trip, we tried something different. Sure we still brought with us dollars, but in China, you get charged per transaction when exchanging dollars. So it's not the amount that you exchange but how many times you do it. In short, it is not practical to exchange small denominations multiple times. Once at your destination, you need a small amount of local currency for the airport-to-hotel transfer and other small purchases and the significant difference in exchange rate at airports means it is not the best place to have all your money exchanged. That is when your credit card becomes handy.

We have BPI Express Credit but other than using the credit card to book flights, we were hesitant to use it abroad. I was worried I might get charged high on foreign conversion or incur hidden charges. That is about to change.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Comfort: The Premium Price is Right

If you plan to buy or rent a vacation house, comfort should be on top of your priority list. While you are looking at hundreds of properties, the rental or purchase costs should not discourage you to compromise your family’s comfort. After all, a vacation is the right time to deserve relaxation and recreation in style. Even on a short vacation, the lack of comfort can make a big difference in your overall experience. Whether it is a faulty air-conditioning unit, noisy location or a bad mattress; the little things can add up to a stressful holiday.

Picking the best vacation house is a challenge for every family. However, you should always keep a close eye on the comfort factor of every property. If you have children, the minor flaws of the location will truly affect their experience. The unfamiliarity of a new place has already put them in an awkward position, so you need to make sure that everything is in order to reduce their anxieties. Adults are more adaptable, but they, too, have their own expectations and standards. As the vacation planner, you need to make sure that the house you will be purchasing or renting has complete amenities to satisfy the needs of your family.

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There are a lot of resource tools that could help you pinpoint the best vacation property within your budget range and choice of location. You can scour classified ads and real estate brochures to know more about the existing properties for rent or sale. If you have the means to access the internet, there are online property marketplaces that you can use for free. The Philippine property finding platform, Zipmatch, is a worthwhile option that you can try. You can not only check curated listings from the site but also get concierge or broker service if need be. You can also ask for referrals from friends and co- workers to build your property list and narrow it down to your dream vacation house.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Free Entrance on Sundays at the NATIONAL MUSEUM of the Philippines #NationalArtGallery

So kung hindi pa libre and entrance hindi pa ako makakapag National Museum. Not that I cannot afford it. 350 pesos is no biggie but something else gets prioritized when I am in the City of Manila. Don't blame me, museum visits are usually associated to anything boring. But not the National Museum of the Philippines. This one is on a different level. And to find out that they have this Free Entrance Program every Sunday made me wanna check it out finally especially because we were in Intramuros at that time at ilang tumbling nalang. Lols

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Juan Luna's Spoliarium at The National Art Gallery #NationalMuseum
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Monday, June 15, 2015

MARTESSEM MOUNTAIN RESORT: A Sky Resort in Tanay Like No Other

Martessem Mountain Resort in Tanay, Rizal is nestled amidst Sierra Madre mountain range and the bay. Sitting on a hilltop 2000ft above sea level, guest rooms afford a refreshing combination of earth and sky with panoramic views of the highlands, foothills and valleys rolling down the verdant slopes of Tanay.

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Martessem Mountain Resort in Tanay Rizal

Monday, June 8, 2015

MYRNA's BAMBOO COTTAGES: A Compliment to the Ultimate Island-feel Experience that is Camiguin


Another local destination on my bucket list ticked off. A few more major ones left including Batanes and Siargao. I thought Camiguin is not an easy one but I was wrong. One can fly directly to the island from Manila or via Cagayan de Oro. We went for the latter. Camiguin didn't disappoint. It was more than I anticipated it to be. Made me write a couple of blogs about the attractions as follows;
--CAMIGUIN TRAVEL GUIDE: Itinerary, Budget + Attractions and Tour Contacts
--White Island vs. Mantigue Island #Camiguin
--Sto. Nino Cold Spring vs Ardent Hot Spring #Camiguin

And here is the last one to the series. The place where we stayed. It is worth mentioning because it really contributed much to the overall pleasant experience in Camiguin where we stayed three days two nights.

Myrna's Bamboo Cottages was not on our top choice but some accommodations were really a bit expensive for our budget because it was the onset of peak season when we visited. And since we were here for an authentic Island experience so why not stay in a place that compliments that island-feel experience we were looking for.

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MYRNA's BAMBOO COTTAGES Camiguin

Monday, June 1, 2015

PUEBLO DE PANAY Dining and More: Café Terraza and Festa Restaurant & Cafe Pueblo Festa

This is a blog post that spans 2 years. To be precise, two dining experiences that are two years apart. Allow me to take you back two years ago, it was my last night in Roxas City and my local friend Francis invited me to dine at Cafe Pueblo Festa.


Festa Restaurant & Cafe Pueblo  Festa 
Festa is a restaurant in Pueblo de Panay located right across Robinsons Place Roxas. Popular among patrons for its indoor and al fresco dining, Festa serves a mix of local and international cuisine. Some of the highlights in the menu are the Malicious Gambas, Seafood Pasta, Paella, Kaldereta, and the different types of sumptuous steaks.Hot and cold coffee, tea, and delicious desserts are also available.

What I like about this place is the laidback vie. Being inside Pueblo de Panay gives it an exclusive feel. We were here at night so the mood was relaxed and intimate. 

For inquiries and reservations:
Email Address: festaresto@gmail.com
Contact Numbers:
+63 917 306 5577 / +63 998 540 9010
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Festa Restaurant & Cafe Pueblo  Festa  Roxas City

Monday, May 25, 2015

St. NICHOLAS INN Cagayan De Oro: A Surprise Find

Cagayan de Oro as a set-off point to Camiguin is an interesting city one has to also give time to discover. And so we decided to spend at least 2 nights here ---during arrival and the night before departure -- and feel the place. Even only in transient, we wanted to experience interesting accommodation that we could easily recommend to friends. St.Nicholas Inn is one good example. I was actually more excited about the other inn we booked because of the nice photos on their website but St. Nicholas Inn is way better. A surprise find.

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St. NICHOLAS INN Cagayan De Oro
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Our friend Rupert found this in agoda.com. I reckon the place is relatively new because it has not so many reviews on TripAdvisor yet but that's what makes in appealing. It is fresh and not too crowded. Not to mention that it is located a little off the core downtown area so you feel that laidback vibe that Cagayan de Oro once was before the construction frenzy started.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

5 Reasons To Visit Russia's Sochi


To the Russians it is known as the Black Sea Pearl. To the rest of us it is known as Sochi - the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics. It is estimated that some 4 million tourists visit Sochi each year. But only 3% of those are international travellers. For many international travellers who want to travel to Russia visa is mandatory. The same applies for British residents – if you want to visit Russia visa is required. But do not let that deter you. We look at the top 5 reasons to visit Sochi now that the Olympic hoopla has died down.

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Sochi Russia. Photo credits

Beaches
Beaches, beaches and even more beaches. Black sand beaches stretch as far as the eye can see. Since Sochi is located in the southern most part of Russia and has a subtropical climate, it gets in the region of 300 sunny days per year. Which means that from mid-May until end of October Black Sea is warm enough to take a dip. If lounging on the beach is not your thing, Sochi has an abundance of water parks and water sports to enjoy.

Monday, May 18, 2015

PANDA TEA GARDEN Suites Tagbilaran Bohol

This is one cheap accommodation in Tagbilaran Bohol I booked and fully paid last year but I didn't stay in. The reason, we decided to move to another resort in Panglao Island. But I got to check in, inspect the place and take photos to share here. I remember paying only 800 pesos via Agoda for an overnight stay. So if your budget is only within that range, I say Panda Tea Garden Suites Tagbilaran Bohol is a good alternative.
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PANDA TEA GARDEN Suites Tagbilaran Bohol

Friday, May 15, 2015

Lagoon Suite at SAN ANTONIO RESORT Roxas City

Finally! Remember my article about SAN ANTONIO RESORT in Roxas City two years ago?
Here>> http://www.pusangkalye.net/2013/02/snaked-into-san-antonio-resort-roxas.html. I only sneaked in the resort at that time especially at the pool area so I didn't really have a first-hand experience of how it was like staying there. I was brave because Francis, a local friend, accompanied me. Got to appreciate the poolside and the lovely lake next to it and wished I could go back one day and stay overnight. I finally had the chance last month and I can finally write about the experience.

And who can forget about these photos?

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SAN ANTONIO RESORT Roxas City
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