Philippine travel guide, bunches of recommended Philippine attractions with prices breakdown, contact numbers, photos, route and trail information and transportation fares. All listed to have a perfect itinerary before you travel.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Explore Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur

St. Augustine Church in Paoay

Experience the Ilocos tour and take pleasure in a delightful journey to the Philippines’ well-to-do heritage and milestone.

See the sights of Vigan which for the most part boasts of its great tourism owing to its rich cultural traditions and landmarks, consisting of more than 180 antique, well-preserved old-Spanish houses and architectural infrastructures that still date back in the 18th and 19th century eras.


Acknowledged as the only blooming Spanish colony in the entire country, Vigan has been highly safe-guarded and revamped as one of the chief historical tourist destinations in the country.

Bell Tower Bantay, Ilocos Sur

Wait till you explore the unique appeal of Laoag, the home of the famous, former president Ferdinand Marcos, and be mesmerized with its rich culture and traditions too. By far, tourism has been an instrument in contributing to the money-making industry of the Laoag City, permitting the growth and expansion of many business investments, with well-paved roads and exciting nearby tourist attractions. Fall in love with its Spanish-inspired church designs, Marcos-regime mansions, Laoag Sinking Bell Tower, Batac Museum, the heart-pumping 4x4 sand dunes adventure and a whole lot more.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Moreover, Laoag has been recognized as the leading tourist spot in Region I and included in the most-recommended top 10 must-visit attractions in the Philippines so just bearing that in mind, it is no longer shocking why Laoag is deemed as one of the most sought after touring destinations in the Philippines.

Blue Lagoon in Pagudpud

After exploring into the old-fashioned city of Vigan and Laoag, Pagudpud is the next stopover that should never miss when visiting Ilocos. Pagudpud is a 4th class municipality and seaside resort town of the countryside of Ilocos Norte in the northern portion of Ilocos. Its mystical waterfalls, majestic cliffs, white sand coastal areas and lucid turquoise waters make it a blissful vacation target not just for tourists but for the locals alike.

Kabigan Falls, Pagudpud

Pagudpud is slowly making its way to the limelight owing to isolated beach famous as the Blue Lagoon as well as the extensive Saud Beach.

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Pagudpud is also famous for its Kabigan Falls, Patapat Viaduct, Bangui View Deck, Pagudpud Beach and its other neighbouring travel spots such as the Cape Bojedor Light House, Bangui Mills and Kapupurawan Rock Formations.

Photos Credits to Mark Albert Alejo Cruz

Thursday, December 19, 2013 by pinoytravelpod · 0

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What To Do in Manila - Manila Travel Guide, Itinerary and Expenses

Traveling to Manila is some kind of a little adventure despite that the famous Inferno book author Dan Brown called it as "Gates of Hell". I been to Manila before but this recent visit was more fun because we do a lot of street walks and public commute (riding to a jeepney, motorcycle, MRT and LRT). I know it is a tiring journey but it's challenging. Through that, you'll be more smart in directions, at least experience how does it feel living in Manila even in a short time and of course for documentation to feed my travel blog.

An old building captured from walkway going to Glorietta

But honestly, Manila isn't the type of place to unwind. You know, I love beaches, water and trees. (in short jungle. lol), but I appreciate the chance to write something about Manila. I wrote our travel story in Manila Ocean Park, Star City and you might want to read also about Divisoria and Baclaran.

So what you'll gonna do on your first visit in Manila (If you intend just to travel). Here are the recommended places to visit in Manila. I will also show you our itinerary, daily expenses and our routes from hotel to every places we visited. Just in case you want to follow our itinerary when you go to Manila.

1.] Intramuros
2.] Fort santiago
3.} Old Manila (You can see old houses, buildings, churches and streets here)
4.] Manila Ocean Park
5.] Star City
6.] Ice Skating at Mall of Asia
7.] Makati
8.] Greenbelt 1-5 and Glorietta Mall
9.] Divisoria and Baclaran
10.] Binondo and China Town in Manila
11.] Cultural Center of the Philippines

Here's our Itinerary, Routes and Daily Expenses

Day 1

9:00AM - 10:00AM - Breakfast at Old Spaghetti House
10:00AM - 11:00AM - ETA Manila Ocean Park
11:00AM - 6:30PM  - Manila Ocean Park
6:30PM - 7:00PM - ETA Intramorus and Fort Santiago
7:30PM - 8:00PM - ETA  Star City
12:00AM - 12:30AM - Going back to hotel


A touch of latte and old spaghetti style in olive oil for breakfast

   
The cool ambiance of the Old Spaghetti House

Day 1 Routes and Expenses

We started our day by having a breakfast at the Old Spaghetti House in Robinsons Mall (P200.00). We checked in at Go Hotel in Otis (P1,200 for 3 nights). We chose Otis branch because it is near on our travel destinations. Robinsons Mall is located just below Go Hotel, Otis.

- In front of Go Hotel, ride a tricycle going to UN Avenue (P8.00).

- From UN Avenue, cross the other side and just walk ahead. Manila Ocean Park is located near Rizal Park and just a walking distance from Otis. We asked the locals for the right directions until our foot took us to Manila Ocean Park. See Manila Ocean Park attraction rates.

- From Manila Ocean Park, take a tricycle again going to Intramuros. I recommend going to Intramuros at day light (20.00).

- From Intramuros, ride an FX - (Roxas - Sucat route) to reach Star City (P15.00). We stopped at Roxas, near CPP (Cultural Center of the Philippines). From there, just walked a little to reach Star City. See Star City ride fees.

- Going back to Go Hotel, ride a jeepney from Star City going to MOA (P15.00).

- From jeepney terminal in MOA, take PUJ bound to Harrison (P8.00).

- From Harrison, cross to the right side road and ride a jeepney bound to Mabini (in front of 7-Eleven) (P8.00)

- We stopped at PAGCOR in UN Avenue then walked a little to reach the tricycles going to Otis. (P10.00)

Day 2

7:00AM 8:00AM - Breakfast
8:00AM 8:15AM - ETA Wifi City at Sampaloc
9:00AM - 1:00PM - Shop at Divisoria
1:00PM - 2:00PM - Going back to Hotel
3:00PM - 3:30PM - ETA Mall of Asia
6:00PM - 7:00PM - Baclaran

An early street walk along Sampaloc street, going to Wifi City

Day 2 Routes and Expenses

- Ride a tricycle going to UN Avenue (P8.00)
- From UN Avenue, take a jeepney bound to Cubao and stop at Sampaloc (P8.00)
- We walked at PUJ terminal bound to Divisoria (P8.00)
- From Divisoria, we took a jeepney going back to UN Avenue (P8.00)
- Then ride again a tricycle going to Otis (P10.00)
- Going to MOA, from UN Avenue, take LRT going to EDSA (P8.00)
- From Edsa, there's a multi-cab terminal bound to MOA (color orange multi-cab) (P8.00)
- From MOA terminal, ride a jeepney going to Harrison (P8.00)
- From Harrison, cross to the right side road and ride a jeepney bound to Mabini (in front of 7-Eleven) (P8.00)
- We stopped at PAGCOR in UN Avenue. We walked a little to reach the tricycles going to Otis. (P10.00)

Day 3

8:00AM - 10:00AM - ETA Makati
10:00AM - 10:30AM - Breakfast at Mandarin Deli
10:30AM - 12:00NN - Rockwell
1:00PM - 3:00PM - Greenbelt

The famous Croughnut in Mandarin Deli located at Makati City

Day 3 Routes and Expenses

- Ride a tricycle going to UN Avenue (P8.00)
- From UN Avenue, take LRT going to Gil Puyat Station (P15.00)
- From Gil Puyat Station, ride an MRT going to Ayala Station
- Going to Rockwell, ride a PUJ bound to Guadalupe and stop at Rockwell Mall
- Going back to Ayala, ride a jeepney with the same route

A Persian restaurant in Glorietta 3

Mini park outside Glorietta Malls in Makati City

I envy the architects and engineers who designed these buildings. 
For the charms and crystals only :))


Check out our other posts about Manila.
Manila Ocean Park and Star City Amusement Park
Divisoria and Baclaran Shopping Tips 

For more info, please drop a comment below or use our contact form. Hope you enjoy and thanks for reading. ;-)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 by pinoytravelpod · 0

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Are you Brave Enough to Shop at Divisoria and Baclaran? Check Our Based on Experienced Tips


Shopping at Divisoria and Baclaran is a must try if you're in a tight budget and wants to bring a lot of pasalubong items before going home. But most tourist were so afraid to go there because of some reviews that they were having bad experiences and were a victim of pickpockets.

I wanted to visit Divisoria and Baclaran not just to shop (because I don't have a lot of money to shop hehehe), but also to do a little sight seeing of how crowded it is (according to Manila Forums I read) and for documentation and blog purposes. :D


On our day 2 Manila tour, we do a little street walk along Sampaloc street in Manila. From there, we headed to PUJ terminal bound to Divisoria. The fare is only PHP 8.00. Since we were alien on that place, we usually took the front seat or near the driver so that we can ask the driver from time to time. Some drivers were really helpful to our journey because aside from the street guides they gave us, they also gave us warnings not to be at these certain places because a lot of pickpockets can be found.


So, we stopped at CM Recto Avenue and we just walked a little to reached 168 Mall. The place was crowded and a lot of alleys, streets in here, there and everywhere. Good thing, my travel buddy was also "in" to our pakikipagsapalaran in Divisoria, lol.

We shop at 168 Mall in Divisoria. We were planning to shop at the heart of Divisoria and go to Binondo but I was so worried as I saw a lot more and more people. Maybe I wasn't that brave enough. :D


After shopping, we went back to hotel to deposit our things and to rest for a while. After lunch, we went off again to MOA and to meet a friend of mine. Late in the afternoon, we shopped at Baclaran. From MOA, there were PUJ terminals. We took a PUJ bound to Baclaran. Viewing from the jeepney, I can say that we're almost at Baclaran because of those crowded place ahead, full of mini stores, booths and variety of products displayed on the streets.


I bought 3 pairs of sandals and shoes because they were cute and very affordable. Please take note that those were not branded. No branded for sale on Divisoria and Baclaran. If you find any, those were not original. Just in case you didn't know nyehehe.


Since there were more people in Baclaran compare to Divisoria and it was already dark and alleys were so narrow, I didn't care to fit those shoes I bought.

Here are some tips when you shop at Divisoria and Baclaran

1.] Wear Plain and Simple

You wouldn't want to get pickpocket's attention, right? So wear something plain and simple yet comfortable. If it is possible, avoid wearing accessories like pure gold earrings, necklace, bracelet and everything that are expensive. You cannot haggle too if vendors think you're rich, in fact they will increase their selling price for you.

2.] Use Sling Bags or Body Bags

I know women love to shop, so instead of using shoulder bags, why not use a sling bag. You can secure your items more because sling bags can be drawn easily to your front. I wore a sling bag that day and it was easy getting money from my bag and I would just embraced it while struggling a way out from the crowd.

3.] Prepare Small Bills

I would recommend to prepare small bills like 20's, 50's and 100's. Avoid handling a 1,000 bill if the amount you owe is just 120.00. It is just for fast transaction and securing money.

4.] You should know how to Haggle

Best shoppers knows how to haggle. Don't be shy, vendors were used to it. :D Here's an example haggling scenario.

Me: How much?
Vendor: 250 pesos
Me: What’s your last price?
Vendor: 230.
Me: Can I have it for 180?
Vendor. No, last price is 230
Me: How about 200?
Vendor: Nope
Me: I'll buy 2 for 350.
Vendor: 200 each, last price.
Me: Okay (cge nlng)

And that’s how I got these 2 little cute shoes for my pamangkin! Another method is to directly haggle the owner. :D


5.] Become aware of the people around you

Usually, pickpockets wear decent clothes. So have a sharp eye on them. While shopping at Baclaran, a friend of mine spotted a pick-pocketing scene, and that's how I know that usually they wear a decent clothes.

6.] Shop at Non Peak Season

And last but not the least, you should not shop during peak season like November to December. The number of people will multiply by 3, 5 to 10. And that means, you should be 200% more careful. So if it is possible, try not to shop at Divisoria and Baclaran at peak season.

Check out our other posts about Manila.
Manila Travel Guide, Itinerary and Expenses
Manila Ocean Park and Star City Amusement Park

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 by pinoytravelpod · 0

Monday, November 4, 2013

Manila Ocean Park and Star City Amusement Park


We started our day 1 tour by going to Manila Ocean Park. There were lots to do in Manila Ocean Park. I would recommend to start this activity by morning or early in the afternoon. In our case, we went there around 11:00AM, but you should start by morning if you wish to do a major activities like fish feeding, fish spa, swimming and close encounter with rays and sharks.

 
Jelly Exhibit. Jellies became more beautiful with lights effect

We bought a ticket to see most of their attractions like Jelly exhibit, All Star Bird Show, Ocenarium, Antarctica, Penguin Talk Show, Sea Lion Show, Birds of Prey Kingdom and a lot more. It was fun meeting the trained sea lions and birds. Hats off to all animal trainers.

The two funny and well trained sea lions


The All Star Bird Show and their trainers

Inside Oceanarium, you'll see different variety of fishes. Varies from small to large sea creatures. Most of the sea creatures we saw were so amazingly beautiful. You can see different rays and types of sharks too, and I thank God for creating creatures like them.

A spider crab

A stunned shark.lol

The tunnel passage in Manila Ocean Park. Photo credits to Saggi Space

If you haven't been to a winter place, well visiting Trails to Antarctica will help you experience how would it feel during winter. You'll noticed a white smoke when you breath. I was expecting a snow like form on Trails to Antarctica (silly me). The ice hardened and it's slippery when you walked onto it. You can find Penguins in there too.

Photo taken at Trails to Antarctica

We ended Manila Ocean Park tour by witnessing a Musical Fountain Show. It was stunning, from the lights effect, fountain and the fireworks. 


Manila Ocean Park Attraction Fees

Ocean's Amazing Duo - PHP 550.00
2 Attractions
- Oceanarium
- Trails to Antarctica

Deep Sea Rush PHP 550.00
5 Attractions
- Oceanarium
- Marine Life Habitat
- Jelly Exhibit
- Sea Lion Show
- Musical Fountain Show

Sea Breeze Express PHP 700.00
8 Attractions
- Oceanarium
- Marine Life Habitat
- Jelly Exhibit
- Sea Lion Show
- Musical Fountain Show
- Birds of Prey Kingdom
- All Star Bird Show
- Penguin Talk Show

Pacific Sky Wonder PHP 900.00
9Attractions
- Oceanarium
- Marine Life Habitat
- Jelly Exhibit
- Sea Lion Show
- Musical Fountain Show
- Birds of Prey Kingdom
- All Star Bird Show
- Penguin Talk Show
- Trails to Antarctica

For more details, please check their website at https://www.manilaoceanpark.com/main/tickets

Manila Ocean Park's Location

Manila Ocean Park is located at Behind Quirino Grandstand, Luneta, Metro Manila. Their location is near to our hotel so we just walked to get there. See our travel routes and itinerary soon!

Star City Manila Amusement Park


After the musical show, we went to Star City. Actually we planned to visit Enchanted Kingdom in Laguna but we run out of time. Good thing, Star City was there. We consumed most of our time on the bumped car. And of course, we didn't miss to ride a roller coaster and other dizzy-vomiting rides.


A Pirate adventure on Star City

Star City Amusement Park's Location

It is located at Vicente Sotto, Manila. Next to Cultural Center of the Philippines complex in Pasay City. See our itinerary and travel routes to Manila soon!

For more info on Star City, please check their website http://www.starcity.com.ph/

Check out our other posts about Manila.
Manila Travel Guide, Itinerary and Expenses
Divisoria and Baclaran Shopping Tips 

Photo Credits to Christine Carreon

Monday, November 4, 2013 by pinoytravelpod · 0

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Scuba Diving at Mansud Wall, Talikud Island - An Organized Dive at Carabao Dive Center

At last, scuba diving was recently checked from my bucket list. I been wanting so long to try this underwater activity and just this month, the diving experience was a success. Thanks to a friend - Wayph.com, who organized the said scuba diving event and also to Carabao Dive Center.


It was my first dive actually and I was so excited. But the moment I saw those heavy oxygen tanks and other equipment, I can't help myself to feel a little bit nervous. But I don't want you to be scared. I assure you, you'll be 100% safe if you follow the dive rules properly and the dive masters and guides were expert on this.




Okay, so we meet up at 7:30AM last Saturday. Once you're already booked in Carabao Dive Center, you must be there at their assembly time. The boat will leave at exactly 8:00AM. The Carabao Dive Center offers an organized dive every weekend. Certified and intro divers are welcome to join. So when you join an organized dive at Carabao Dive Center, you'll also meet another divers.

A short briefing about diving and hand signals

We're in the boat while the dive master brief us shortly about what Scuba Diving is, show us all the diving equipment and teach us the underwater hand signals and the do's and don't while diving. The diving spot is 30 feet from sea level. Very deep isn't it? And you'll feel a little pain on your ears because of the underwater current.

We were divided by 2 groups. 4 intro divers per batch and it will consumed around 30 minutes - depends too on the package you'll pay. Since it was an organized dive, there were certified divers joined us but they don't need any guides. The dive masters and guides will focus on the intro divers.

Swimming while waiting for our turn

The dive guides helped us get our diving equipment. The tank was heavy but it goes lighter when you're in the water. The buoyancy was controlled by our dive guide - for intro divers of course.





So we go down and witnessed a lot of coral reefs. The Mansud Wall was very amazing but we only saw few fishes. I saw different types of sea water organism that blends onto corals. The guide showed me some safe to touch sea living creatures. I have a close encounter with Nemo - the clown fish. Really, there's a lot of new to see.


Finding Nemo





As we go down deeper, my ears started to hurt a little. Glad that I don't have problem with my goggles. Most cases, if your goggles doesn't grip well, water will go inside and I know it's difficult for intro divers to release the water from the mask. The ear pain was just bearable. So I don't mind it and I just enjoyed the underwater experience.



Me and my guide. FC mode.

There were photo shoots too. Included on the diving package you'll pay. If you have an underwater camera, that would be great too. I learned how to remove the breathing apparatus so that I can smile while taking pictures. Glad that it ended well. :D



There were numerous diving spots in Talikud Island. On my first dive, we stopped at Mansud Wall. On my second dive, we stopped at 3 diving spots - Coral Garden, Mansud Wall and Angels's Cove. I heard that there were diving spots too on Dayang Beach. Hopefully, on my next underwater adventure, I would encounter some species like dolphins, butanding or whale shark, pawikan and a manta rays.

I would recommend scuba diving. It is fun, it is an ultimate water adventure that you would surely do it again and again. :D

Carabao Dive Center Fees
Certified Diver (with own gear) – 2 dives                  PHP 750.00
Certified Diver (renting BCD, regulator set, weights) – 2 dives  PHP 1,500
Intro Diver – 1 dive                                          PHP 850

Location
Carabao Dive Center is located at Sta. Ana Wharf, Monteverde St., Davao City.

For Reservations and other Information, please contact the following numbers.
Telephone Numbers: (082) 300-1092 and 284-2319
Mobile Numbers: 0928-504-7642 and 0922-861-0874

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/carabao.divers
Email Address: carabaodivers@yahoo.com
Websites:
http://www.divedavao.com
http://cdc.e-davao.com

Photo Credits to Ian Albert Olden and WayPh.com

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 by pinoytravelpod · 0

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