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Friday, July 24, 2015

PINK MANILA HOSTEL Weekend #HostelStay

I wanted a repeat of the pleasant hostel stay experience we had a few years back where we checked in at MNL Hostel in Makati on a weekend where it felt like being in another country since we were the only locals in a foreign tourist dominated accommodation. We spent most of the time in common areas of MNL Hostel socializing with fellow travelers sharing their wonderful stories on the road and learning about their experiences in and out of the country. Some of the foreigners I talked to have been to more destinations in the Philippines than I have been to so it was really a good chance to get tips from them.

Since MNL Hostel is located in the happening district of Poblacion Makati, we also got to explore the area for food choices. Poblacion prides itself with lots of restaurants, pubs and the nightlife here is really
alive.Read: Good
Vibe + Good Crowd at MNL BOUTIQUE HOSTEL

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There are only a few such accommodations in Metro Manila so I was excited when I found out that another hostel opened in Manila City and this one has a pool! Yes, PINK MANILA HOSTEL has one. It is rare to find a hostel with a pool. I actually don't remember any in the country with
such facility.

Finally had the chance to try the place last month. Booked via Agoda for around 490php for a bunk bed. I was surprised to be greeted by a young French guy at the front desk who asked for our passports. I immediately told him we are locals and that we are here to just chill and feel the place. The guy is a university student in France doing volunteer work here . His English is a bit difficult to comprehend at times but good enough. He assisted us to our room and oriented us about where things are.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Filipino Food Overload at THREE SISTERS' RESTAURANT Pasig



Located along the East Capitol Drive in Brgy. Kapitolyo, Three Sisters' Restaurant was established back in 1941. People would visit Three Sisters' Refreshment Parlor for their halo-halo and noodle dishes.

With over 70 years of existence, they are still serving hearty Filipino dishes from the founder, Lola Rosa's original recipes. With such a long history in the restaurant industry and a list of mouthwatering foods-to-try on their menu, Three Sisters’ is one of the suggested place to try in Kapitolyo.

Having read the reviews online, I was excited to try their bestsellers and forget about what diet is.
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Pancit Bihon at Three Sisters' Restaurant Pasig

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

PRIVATO HOTEL Staycation + Food Finds in #KapitolyoPasig


I love cityscapes. And with the fast growing skyline of Metro Manila, it's an exciting time to savor the view. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to try Privato Hotel in Kapitolyo Pasig. I saw a couple of photos of the hotel pool with the wonderful view of Ortigas Skyline and I thought I have to try the place. And I was not disappointed. Crave satisfied. We checked a few weeks ago. June is officially rainy season in the Philippines but we were blessed with not-so-gloomy weather. Perfect for another relaxing staycation weekend.

Privato Hotel is an Italian-inspired business and lifestyle hotel in Pasig City, strategically located near Capitol Commons, an upcoming lifestyle and dining development, and the Ortigas Central Business District. The hotel boasts of 177 rooms designed in contemporary style.

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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.
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