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Monday, April 30, 2012

CNN and the World has its #eyeonthephilippines

I am still on "bangag"mode as I just came home from another out-of-town-weekend.Checked my tweets before calling it early morning siesta but one of the tweets caught my attention.CNN is featuring the Philippines on a whole week of focus on the country.I jumped out of bed and immediately opened my tv. ---CNN EYE ON THE PHILIPPINES.!!!!!

CNN and the World has its #eyeonthephilippines

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Give Mom a Caricature from MARRIOTT MANILA

Will be in Pangasinan again by the time you read this post.Time to meet my mother and the rest of my family.It's been months since I didn't go home. I am sure it's going to be an emotional reunion again---well,sorta.I always get touchy when I see my mom.She is dear to me. I think it's from her that i get my "sentimental-type personality"if there is anything like that. Will be a perfect time to celebrate an early Mother's day with her I guess.

How I wish I could bring her to Manila and take her to Marriott Manila for a treat as I heard they have this wonderful promo for moms.......

official photo
Give Mom a Caricature from MARRIOTT MANILA

Friday, April 27, 2012

RAMADA MANILA CENTRAL Hotel along Ongpin Binondo Opens Today!

RAMADA MANILA CENTRAL Hotel  opens today.If at any rate you haven't heard of it, don't blame yourself. As I said, today will be the first time it will be open to the public. What is Ramada Manila Central? It's the newest and most strategically located hotel in the historic street of Ongpin in Binondo Manila.

I was invited in the hotel the other day for a peek into what they have to offer and I am very excited to show it to you.First of all, I would like to say that the location of this new hotel is its prime advantage. We all love Binondo area right?And for those who haven't been to the place, you sure are missing something. Binondo is the oldest Chinatown in the world.That said, there's a lot of economic activity and history in the area.

I remember having my first photowalk here a few years ago and most newbie photographers surely know this.It has become a tradition for wannabe photographers to try street photography here as it offers a glimpse into the continuing metamorphosis of the old Chinatown , dynamic in its renewal while trying to maintain a legacy which dates back hundreds of years.

This new hotel, RAMADA MANILA CENTRAL  is a reflection of what is Binondo today--- "a fusion of history and contemporary"

 RAMADA MANILA CENTRAL Hotel along Ongpin Binondo Opens Today

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

GLOBE the first to launch NOKIA LUMIA 800: #GlobeLumia800

The Philippines used to be a NOKIA Country. Not anymore? Maybe yes but the  NOKIA LUMIA 800 launch by Globe last Tuesday which became a worldwide trending topic only shows that Filipinos still has a strong affection to the brand.

Globe Telecom, became the first Philippine telco to mount a launch event for the Nokia Lumia line with the unveiling of the Globe-exclusive Nokia Lumia 800. And only Globe knows how to do it best---party party!!!! Hundreds of Nokia fanatics, celebrities, social butterflies and VIPs as well as media guests trooped to Beso Cucina Vinoteka, a new cool place in the heart of Bonifacio Global City Central, to witness everything cool about the Nokia Lumia 800 and how it’s best paired with an unlimited data plan from Globe Postpaid. 

 GLOBE the first to launch NOKIA LUMIA 800: #GlobeLumia800

dinner at BAY's INN Baler Aurora: not worth the wait

I would like to assure you that I am writing this post in a state of being "full"--that in contrast to being "hungry. What's that commercial again which says ├┐ou are not you when you are hungry"???? That's true.So I made sure my anger has wallowed before I started writing this post.

I am referring to the "dining experience" we had in Baler Aurora on our 2nd night. Let's name the establishment. BAY'S INN which I now associate with the word "horror".

Bay's Inn Baler Aurora 
 BAY's INN Baler Aurora: not worth the wait

Monday, April 23, 2012

BALER AURORA is no doubt a Surfing Paradise

Baler Aurora enticed me out of curiosity more than anything else----SURFING.
I have often associated surfing with Hawaii, ---giant waves, cloud 9's----long before surfing destinations in the Philippines like Siargao and San Juan La union became popular.And if there is another place getting more and more famous with surfing, it would be BEALER AURORA. And so I wanted to check it out, not because I wanted to surf but because I wanted to know if it really deserves the title as a Surfing Destination.

Baler is a 3rd class Municipality in the province of Aurora located 230 kilometers northeast of Manila.

Baler Aurora is no doubt a Surfing Paradise

Friday, April 20, 2012

that NICE GUY #SLATER and the pbbunlimited BIG4 interview

This was one tv reality show I was very passionate about.Dito talaga na-test ang patience ko and the fact that I am very active in social media didn't help.What transpired was a roller coaster ride of emotions day after day.I was very eager for the most part but there came a time when I almost gave up on the show,except that something kept me going, I had to be there to see Slater trough to the BIG NIGHT.Yes, I was bias since day one.It was clear to me that Slater is the one.For many nights, the debate raged.Para lang nakataya ang kinabukasan ng mundo.hahaha. I have never believed in somebody this much....at least in reality tv.

Slater for me (and many of my friends and twitter/fb contacts agree) that Slater has what it takes to be the BIG WINNER.Sharp.Competitive.Good looking.

I almost jumped on my seats therefore when Flow of Abs-Cbn interactive bbm-ed me to have an audince with SLATER YOUNG and the BIG4 winners---Pamu, Biggel and Paco.

PBBunlimited BIG4 
 that NICE GUY #SLATER and the pbbunlimited BIG4

Thursday, April 19, 2012

the MOMMY RETURNS for Mother's Day

It was my mom's birthday the other day but I was too preoccupied with my small little-isolated-world again that I almost forgot give her a call.My bad. Bawi nalang sa Mother's Day :)I wish she lives nearby so I can treat her to the movies. Regal films for you know has another laugh-til-you-cry Mother's Day offering which I am sure my mom would love.

Last Monday, they had a Grand Press Conference in QC and my latest blog correspondent Carla Ladores got it covered for us. Thanks Carla for the lovely photos!!!!

the MOMMY RETURNS movie 
the MOMMY RETURNS for Mother's Day

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

the village near an OPEN PIT MINE in Rizal

I was bored.My wife left (due to a seminar in Baguio) me again and it has been 5days now. Of being alone at home. I don't wanna think deeply of it or else I might get sad, and so I try to entertain myself,and take care of my own needs, butt it's starting to sink.

It has been almost three years now.Of living in a sleepy little village in Binangonan Rizal. I still feel like a stranger here.Maybe because I haven't explored my new province as much as I should............

the " Village" near an OPEN PIT MINE in Rizal

Sunday, April 15, 2012

a peek inside a deluxe room MARRIOTT HOTEL MANILA

I thought I already posted a similar entry before, A PEEK INSIDE MARRIOTT MANILA, but due to some strange reasons I can't figure out, the post was deleted.And so before I give you a summary of our hotel staycation #2, here is a peek inside a deluxe room at MARRIOTT MANILA where we stayed last March 14,2012.

WONDER about how the rooms are at your dream hotels?As a travel blogger, I get to check in to some of the best hotels and accommodations in the country---from budget to high end.And if the finances restricts, I get the privilege to peek inside the rooms by request. The thing is, we get curious at what to expect inside the rooms and the photos provided in the official websites of some hotels/resorts are not enough to satisfy that curiosity. Here in my PEEK INSIDE SERIES, you get to see more photos of the accommodations you are eying for on your next travel destination..........

Here's a peek a peek inside MARRIOTT MANILA
Marriott_Manila_deluxe Room
a peek inside a deluxe room MARRIOTT HOTEL MANILA

After the Storm: ART OF LIVING Stepping up to Sendong

The Filipino nation was devastated by the news last December when typhoon Sendong hit Northern Mindanao killing many of our countrymen and leaving with it an economic and humanitarian crisis.The whole nation was tested again on how we care and help each other during disasters.May of us heeded the call for help in our own little ways. Some of us contributed financial help, some in the form of goods or manpower. I for one was very happy, contributing money has never been so easy---tru my Globe Postpaid, I was able to transfer a particular amount (via pasa load) to the Philippine National Red Cross.

Months after the disaster, the problem still lingers. May of our countrymen from Northern Mindanao are yet to recover from the blow, but the attention of the country has been taken away from their plight.

After the Storm: ART OF LIVING Stepping up to Sendong
mini concert in Shangrila Hotel Mandaluyong

Saturday, April 14, 2012

how to commute to BALER AURORA

Baler is a 3rd class Municipality in the province of Aurora located 230 kilometers northeast of Manila. It is fast becoming a tourist destination these days due to surfing which peak during the surfing season from September-February. It was last Holy Week, April 6-8 when me and my friends decided to try the place and if you are familiar with the Philippines, commuting during Holy Week could be hellish. The 5-6 hour ride could get longer and more messy.

GENESIS BUS is the only passenger bus liner with direct daily trips to Baler. They have good aircondititioned buses and if your budget can afford, take their luxury couch called JOYBUS for 600+ pesos.It's non-stop joyride to Baler.

 how to commute to BALER AURORA

Friday, April 13, 2012

10 Cool Things to Do in MATABUNGKAY BEACH HOTEL Batangas

It's Friday again and I am sure many of you will be heading to the countryside for a quick fix.Batangas perhaps? Matabaungkay anyone?

I am positive about this that when someone speaks of Lian Batangas, Matabungkay Beach Resort enters your mind.The resort property has been around for 30 years it has been synonymous to this side of Batangas. With it is a rich legacy.Long before Boracay and other destinations became famous, the then Matabungkay Beach Club used to be the "it" place for beaching and resort standard.

But 30 years behind it could also be a drag. The Filipino customer of our generation has never been as discriminating as it is now.Social media has made "buzz creation"much faster.When people are not satisfied about a resorts services and/or facilities, people speak of it real time and the implications could either make or break a place.

MATABUNGKAY BEACH HOTEL recognize that. The response is the re-branding of the property and the  continuous upgrading of its facilities. Matabungkay Beach Hotel is now juggling to introduce such changes while making sure it stays true to its tradition and rich heritage.....that's no easy feat.

But with all the metamorphosis going on, why does Matabungkay Beach Hotel continue to attract vacationers by the thousands?

Matabungkay Beach Hotel Batangas 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

PHILIPPINE VOLCANOES TEAM + match schedule: Asian 5 Nations Division 1 Rugby Championships

It was decided!!!The Philippine Rugby Football Union (PRFU) has already announced the list of players selected to the team that will compete in the HSBC Asian 5 Nations Division 1 Championships scheduled to begin on Sunday, April 15 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Manila.

Joining the Philippines in Division 1 are Sri Lanka, Singapore and Chinese Taipei. The teams will play each other in a new round-robin format with the objective of further preparing teams for promotion to the Top 5.

And it looks like our boys are in full force!!!!

Asian 5 Nations Division 1 Rugby Championships

the sauna at QUAN SPA Marriott Manila

This was one of the highlights of our #2nd hotel staycation last March 24. This actually came as a surprise.When we checked in at Marriott Manila, I didn't know and I was not told that they have a sauna area which could be accessed for free if you are a guest. It's the pool area that I am always curious about as it is for me one of the showcases of a hotels pride. It was in the afternoon of our first day when we were lazying by the poolside----an unusually rainy summer with a few lightning on the horizon so we were not allowed to have a swim.

Good thing I felt the need to pee and my wife was not in the mood to go back to the room yet. I decided to go to the male restroom.That's when the surprise revealed itself. Turns out that the restroom at the poolside of Marriott Manila is not just an ordinary shower room with toilets,it's a SAUNA Facility at the same time!
QUAN SPA_marriott Manila 
 the sauna at QUAN SPA Marriott Manila

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

who are the bloggers behind PHL360 ?

I usually say OMG when I am very excited, but when I heard about this project, I remarked HALLELUIAH instead. Honestly, I wasn't able to instantly explain my feelings when the project PHL360 came to my awareness .Now I know that it was a combination of wonder and excitement.

My wonder boils at the fact that the whole thing was planned with such secrecy that I haven't heard of it until other bloggers started writing about it.To note that I know some of the people who are behind the project.Have I detached myself too much from the "travel blog scene?". I was one of those who wondered who the 8 main participants will be.I was reduced into one of the ordinary netizens who were wearily curious about who among my favorite bloggers will be part of the team .But this is not about me,it's BIGGER and when it occurred to me one by one who these bloggers are,that sense of wonder turned in excitement.

HALLELUIAH because this project is brilliant!To think that this is a new media initiative made me even more amazed. So what is Team PHL360? 

"It is an independent production organization composed of travel advocates, bloggers and cinematographers. They will be producing a series of webisodes fostering independent and advocacy travel marketed through the new media."

who are the bloggers behind TEAM PHL360 ?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

cheap accommodation in Baler Aurora: KL JAVERS Homestay

I still have a lot of things I wanna write concerning my trips prior to Aurora but I wanna do this one first as I know that there will be so many people who will heeding to Baler and I don't want them to experience the same inconvenience I encountered booking for a place to stay.

Our trip was last weekend, yeah, April 6-8 and it was HOLY WEEK in the Philippines so looking for an accommodation was indeed a pain in the neck.I texted so many resorts along Sabang Beach two weeks before our scheduled tour but to no avail.Some even replied that they are already fully booked for the entire month of April. That's good because it means tourism in Aurora is really picking up. But that meant bad news for me and my friends who have been dying to try surfing and whose vacation is pegged at local holidays.

Good thing I didn't give up, until I saw one discussion over Pinoy Exchange where a fellow travel blogger, Marx of http://www.marxtermind.com/ posted something on the topic.I immediately contacted Marx and I was relieved when i learned that the place he found also online has another room available. It was more of a desperate move in my case. Bawal na ang choosy. What I am saying is, I usually google for the place and try to inspect the photos before I decide, but on this occasion, I just texted the owner, Mr Vincent and the rest is up to faith. I couldn't even remember the name of the place. But after staying there for 3days,2nights, how can I ever forget KL JAVERS Homestay in Baler Aurora.......

 cheap accommodation in Baler Aurora: KL JAVERS Homestay

Monday, April 9, 2012

cheap accommodation in Boracay: SUNSHINE PLACE

Although we stayed in ALTA VISTA DE BORACAY during our 2nd visit to Boracay, it was still a mix of budget and luxury accommodation. I am not rich so I usually travel with financial caution.Although it would be nice to pamper yourself with high end living, I don't usually go for very expensive accommodations unless I have spare cash to spend. Better be safe than sorry. So during our last major tour, I decided to have a mix of budget and medium-end accommodation. 

We arrived in the island of Boracay late afternoon since the flight was from Manila to Kalibo and not Caticlan. The flight was a bit delayed that day and the 1-hour shuttle ride from Kalibo to Caticlan and 30 minute water ferry to the island almost meant it was almost dark when we got to long beach . Having anticipated that, I thought having an expensive hotel on our first night in Boracay will not be practical. I therefore search for a budget accommodation in Boracay, in this case, SUNSHINE PLACE.

  cheap accommodations in Boracay

BEACH RESORTS IN SAN JUAN BATANGAS: Kabayan Beach Resort #LaiyaBeach

Kabayan Beach Resort (formerly Laplaya Beach Resort) opened in 1996. It's one of the first beach resorts to open in La Iya San Jaun Batangas and it has kept it's popularity through the years by constantly upgraded it's facilities and amenities. It is a budget accommodation aimed at families and group travelers.

To be honest, when they said it's an old resort, I immediately thought of a run down place.I was surprised therefore at how they were able to keep the property in tact despite the fact that some of the accommodations are made by bamboo. I guess a couple of upgrades have been done through the years. Certainly couldn't compete with all of the new and chick accommodations sprouting around La Iya beach  but it is a standout within it's price range.

Kabayan  Beach  Resort San Juan Batangas

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I still believe in paradise, but now at least I know it is not some
place that you can look for because it is not where you go.. 

It's how you feel for a moment in your life when you are a part
of something. And if you find that moment, it lasts forever.---- "The Beach."

(from the website)

LA LUZ RESORT located in the Southern tip of La Iya beach in San Juan Batangas was the last location of our Batangas episode shoot of POP Talk where I was one of the guest reviewers.It was already past  five pm when we got here having tried Blue Coral Beach Resort and Kabayan Resort. One thing I noticed is that the location of La Luz is already on the corner of the hill so it was a bit of an effort for our private van to reach the spot.Once at the reception, you will be greeted by a make shift kubo where resort employees greet you with cold drinks, cold towels and warm smiles. You can't see the accommodation from there as you still have walk down the cemented hallway to go to the beach front punctuated by trees ( a lot of them) and walk a few meters more to get to your rooms.

La Luz Resort La Iya San Juan Batangas

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I think I need coffee to counter the nervous anticipation I am having right now.The POP TALK episode of GMA News Tv channel-11 featuring BEACH RESORTS IN SAN JUAN BATANGAS will be aired today at 10pm . This is making me scared.I donno exactly how I will look like on tv.Maybe my uneasiness with the camera would show?I hope not.And especially during the giving of our verdict.I hope I did well there because I couldn't remember what I exactly said.hahaha

Yes, I was one of the three guest reviewers for this particular episode.The online aricle on GMA News Online described the three of us in this fashion......

"Para alamin kung alin sa mga Batangas beach resorts na ito ang pop o flop, sinamahan si Tonipet  ng travel blogger and photographer na si Antonio Carranza, ang project manager at part-time model na si Maria Fe Orozco Bautista, at ang celebrity reviewer at Kapuso Hunk at Survivor na si Ervic.Vijandre.

Shayks!Okay, to counter my nervous feeling, let me talk about the three resorts we visited in detail. Let's start with BLUE CORAL BEACH RESORT

 Blue Coral Beach Resort San Juan Batangas

Monday, April 2, 2012

SUMMER DESTINATION Podcast Series: Zambales TRINITY-- Anawangin Cove

Hi guys, finally decided to started my podcast which I have been wanting to do.I thought it's a lot easier than writing but it's more labor intensive after all.But it's fun and In this first episode.Here,I talked about one of my favorite summer destination North Manila---the place I called ZAMBALES TRINITY----Anawangin,Nagsasa and Capones.

I tried to record a clip for the three of them but it took 30minutes or so to finish so I thought it might bore you to death.So I decided to specifically discuss ANAWANGIN COVE first.

ZAMBALES TRINITY-- all you need to know about Anawangin Cove

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's EASTER IN A GALACTIC WORLD at Marriott Manila

This is for all those who will be staying in Metro manila during Holy Week either because this is where they really celebrate or they were left with no other choice but to stay home due to full occupancy in resorts and attractions all over the country.Yeah, it's so hard to travel during Holy Week.Like in our case, we almost gave up looking for a place to stay in baler Aurora as all the accommodations I contacted told me that they are already fully booked for the season>It pays to plan early.Thanks to another travel blogger, I was able to find one in town proper (Baler) so the surfing lessons will push through after all!Yay! If you are staying in the Metro, do check out the events happening around town You might wanna start with It's EASTER IN A GALACTIC WORLD at Marriott Manila

Blast-off into an astronomical adventure where the whole family is set to see a glimpse of the galaxy. For the upcoming holiday break, why not whip up your own Marriott Manila experience with a bang and avail the Big Bang Stay package for only P10, 980 net. From April 1 to 10 for minimum stay of two nights, this offer includes two tickets to the Lost in Space Easter Party and Game Zoo credits at the Newport Mall. You’ve likely heard about Marriott’s world-renowned ultra plush beds and pillows, opulent bathrooms, sleek and chic nooks of the room. With few opportunities to enjoy longer breaks, now is the best time to treat the whole family in the midst of a packed and busy first quarter. 

 It's EASTER IN A GALACTIC WORLD at Marriott Manila

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