Wednesday, December 7, 2016

THE BREAK OF DAWN AT INDONESIA’S ICON OF CULTURAL HERITAGE

THE BREAK OF DAWN AT INDONESIA’S ICON OF CULTURAL HERITAGE

No two sunsets are the same.  And I guess the same holds true for sunrise.  But there would be less comparison for me when we speak of sunrise, as seldom do I wake up that early to witness the break of dawn and feel the warmth of the morning rays.

To visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site Borobudur Temple in Central Java, Indonesia is one willing exception of my extended slumber. Call time was 3:30AM.  And at 4:30AM, we were at Manohara Hotel grounds for the special registration of sunrise viewing before the regular guests are allowed to enter. 

It was all worth it.

Monday, December 5, 2016

INTERESTING FEATURES OF MAGELANG INDONESIA

INTERESTING FEATURES OF MAGELANG INDONESIA

Apart from being the gateway to a ninth-century Buddhist monument, Borobudur Temple, there is more to discover at Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia.  Magelang City is a small city located in a fertile agricultural area and one of the most densely populated regions on Central Java.

A year ago, I and my friends wandered in the streets of Magelang but only for a few hours as we insisted in going back to Malioboro Yogyakarta just after sunset at Borobudur Temple - even if it entails haggling for cab fares in the most creative and persuasive way we can.  There was total darkness in the dirt road and we I, speaking for myself, felt we’re trapped in a dungeon with nowhere to go.  There’s nothing interesting as perceived.  But such perception all changed through the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia’s prepared itinerary.  Indeed, there are interesting sites to visit and things to do at Magelang, Java, Indonesia.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

TRAVEL GUIDE: IT’S ALL ABOUT YOGYAKARTA (“JOGJAKARTA”)

TRAVEL GUIDE: IT’S ALL ABOUT YOGYAKARTA (“JOGJAKARTA”)

Cliché sounding, but it is indeed lovelier the second time around.  On both occasions of my visit, weather is consistently unpredictable and the heavy downpour makes me want to curl up in bed and lounge at the hotel room.  But with fixed itinerary made possible by the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia, exploring Yogyakarta becomes hassle-free.

Yogyakarta or Jogjakarta is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Indonesia after Bali. There are about 70,000 handicraft industry and other facilities in the likes of accommodation and transportation. As the capital of Yogyakarta Special Region in Java Indonesia, it is renowned as the center of education, classical Javanese fine art and culture in the likes of batik, ballet, drama, music, poetry and puppet shows.

Monday, November 28, 2016

TRIP OF WONDERS: WORKING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS

TRIP OF WONDERS: WORKING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS

I am just your typical travel blogger.  My narratives and even guides are not that perfect, syntax and grammatically-challenged at times, and more so non-existent in the cyber world.  I initially started to share my stories to serve as notes and a repository of intangible and memorable life experiences – all related to travel.  Through time, I fortunately was able to build a number of readers – not that much but sufficient to boost my ego in pursuing the passion for travel blogging.

When social media accounts became part of every households’ routine and every millenials menu for the day, I was fortunate to be absorbed by the bandwagon – not only my blog readers but my social media followings likewise increased drastically and dramatically.

But what’s the point of all these introductions?  I only wanted to say that because of this passion, I had the once in a lifetime opportunity of being able to travel with the online celebrities of Southeast Asia and much more be friends with them- as if you have known them for a very long time.  This is the very essence I suppose of the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia’s campaign – Trip Of Wonders - gathering the social media and online influencers in a fun and enjoyable way with a backdrop that is worthy of sharing and to fully exclaim that it is indeed “Wonderful Indonesia”.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

ISLAND HOP FROM AO NANG, KRABI

ISLAND HOP FROM AO NANG, KRABI

Parked long tail boats and panoramic high limestone cliffs greeted us at the beach front of our hotel.  That sight will be constant for the days to come.  But we did not intend to be fixed on that view.  Roaming around the commercial area of Ao Nang one night, we were able to get a good bargain rate for an island hopping adventure.  And so we made the exploration the following day.

Friday, November 18, 2016

HOLIDAY INN RESORT KRABI AO NANG BEACH

HOLIDAY INN RESORT KRABI AO NANG BEACH

A beachfront accommodation is what we need after days of partying in an island.  Bound for Krabi, Thailand, the chill side of a tropical beach scene is what we expected.  Fortunately, we were provided more than our expectations.

The limestone rock formations, parked long tail boats, the clear waters and the fine white sand devoid of tourists were the perfect beach front view.  We were at the best accommodation there is at Ao Nang Beach, Krabi and that is, the Holiday Inn Resort.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A SUMMER STORY THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN: FULL MOON PARTY

A SUMMER STORY THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN: FULL MOON PARTY

Chaos and one hell of a party.  That is the very impression I get on what we are about to experience at the Haad Rin Beach of Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand one summer. A one-year in the making plan which started from drinking spree conversations proposed by Jerik in Manila backed-up by supportive airlines providing seat sales.

Lessons learned from travellers and friends who went ahead of us served as our guide.  Drugs, sex, thievery, harassment and all sort of vices came as a warning.  But we made it through in a fun and clean excursion. 

Just when I thought I have already graduated from the rave parties (wild I should say), this one is too hard to resist especially that I’m with my favorite and trusted travel buddies.  And this one makes the difference why we all went home safe and filled with memories to cherish.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A WALKTHROUGH OF DAVAO CITY

A WALKTHROUGH OF DAVAO CITY

Being at the heart of Davao City has a lot of advantages.  Logistics made easy and movement is not restricted. There could be as many destinations covered for a limited number of days.

Because itinerary is unplanned, we just go where our feet leads us and through the help of our friend, Olan, serving as our instant tour guide.

Friday, November 11, 2016

SAMAL ISLAND ON A RANDOM CIRCUMSTANCE

SAMAL ISLAND ON A RANDOM CIRCUMSTANCE

It was our last night in Davao City.  And so the booze and the videoke sessions commenced.  It was fun.  And that night I decided, I will not go with my travel buddies to Samal Island as I need to rest and cure my hangover.

Call time came.  I ignored it.  But the persuasiveness of my travel buddies still had me dragged to the port devoid of breakfast inside a dizzy world.

Boarded on a ferry from Sasa Wharf, it took only minutes before we reached the Port of the Island Garden of the City of Samal.  The clear waters were a good introduction of what Samal Island is.  Time-constrained, we have to select only a few of the many destinations and beaches the island has to offer.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

THERE’S MORE TO A CROCODILE AT DAVAO CROCODILE PARK

THERE’S MORE TO CROCODILES AT DAVAO CROCODILE PARK

With no fixed itinerary while in Davao City, the whole morning was spent lying on bed.  Until we get exhausted sleeping and lounging, and decided to drag ourselves out of our comfy rooms and went with our friend, Olan, who will serve as our tour guide for the day.

It was decided we visit the Davao Crocodile Park.  I had no expectations for the supposed excursion then.  All I know is that I’ll be seeing crocodiles in the park.  And to my surprise there’s more to crocodiles at the Davao Crocodile Park.

Friday, November 4, 2016

THE HEART OF DAVAO: MARCO POLO DAVAO

THE HEART OF DAVAO: MARCO POLO DAVAO

One year in the making.  My close friends and travel buddies have prepared for this a long time – to visit Davao City on my birth month.  There are uncontrollable circumstances though.  Some have to let go for career opportunities and others on security issues.

Days before our flight, a bombing incident took place just a few steps from where our transient abode in Davao is.  But knowing the calibre of this international hospitality brand, we know we are safe at Marco Polo Hotel Davao.

There could be no better host when in Davao City than Marco Polo.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

FIBREFILL: EXPERIENCE QUALITY SLEEP ON NON-WOVEN PRODUCTS

FIBREFILL: EXPERIENCE QUALITY SLEEP ON NON-WOVEN PRODUCTS

Sleep is a luxury in itself for those always on the road and even for workaholics who devote more time to be corporate slaves.  Sleeping time is the so-called holy hours – a sacred one and a time for pampering one’s self.

I rate hotel staycations based on the comfort and quality sleep I had.  If there is one common denominator for my trip in Boracay Island and Baguio City, while staying at Ferra Hotel and Azalea Residences, respectively, that is, more time were spent within the confines of the hotel than its landmark destinations.

Recently, I found out that both hotels’ pillow and linen supplier is one of the country’s leading nonwoven and beddings manufacturer – Fibrefill Manufacturing Inc. 

And that explains the long hours of comfort sleep and slumber.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

AZALEA HOTELS AND RESIDENCES BAGUIO CITY

AZALEA HOTELS AND RESIDENCES BAGUIO CITY

In yet another random circumstance, a road trip commenced to the City of Pines one weekend.  There was a heavy downpour enroute and even as we reached Baguio City.

It was one memorable weekend group getaway at Baguio City’s first and only 4-star serviced apartment hotel.  A narrow uphill street leading to a hidden haven.  And at the end of the road, there stood the Azalea Hotels and Residences Baguio.  Our home for another weekend.

Monday, October 17, 2016

TACLOBAN CITY | CELEBRATING JO’S MILAGRINA SECOND YEAR

TACLOBAN CITY | CELEBRATING JO’S MILAGRINA SECOND YEAR

There are a lot of restaurants and coffee shops now in Tacloban City.  But there are a few that remains my favorite.  Seldom do I go home and I must say it must be a quality time spent for homecoming.

Jo’s Milagrina of Burgos Street, Tacloban City is one of those I frequent every time I go home.  The chicken inato is a given at this family style dining restaurant.  The garden ambiance even makes it more conducive for celebrations.  And fortunately, I was there for the 2nd anniversary of Jo’s Milagrina Tacloban City branch.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

TACLOBAN CITY | LEAF LOUNGE OF IRONWOOD HOTEL

TACLOBAN CITY | LEAF LOUNGE OF IRONWOOD HOTEL

I never experienced rooftop dining while growing up in Tacloban City.  But today, a number has emerged and have added to the must-visits of the city.

For two consecutive homecomings this year, I have stayed at the Ironwood Hotel of Burgos Street, Downtown Tacloban City.  The warm welcome is a given and the efficient hospitality service they provide.  Now it’s time to lounge at the rooftop bar and have a glimpse of the city lights and a birds-eye view of the structures that surround.