Monday, July 17, 2017

MEMORIES OF PENANG, MALAYSIA


The scorching and unbearable heat of Penang, Malaysia was unforgiving.  But with the company of great travel buddies and the random moment’s vis-à-vis city tours and nightly drinking sprees, the predicaments and endless inconvenience vanished into thin air. 

I never planned nor thought of coming to Penang soon, more particularly on a summer season.  I do perspire a lot and with the combo of having to walk from one destination to another and the intense heat, you could just imagine me in sweating buckets.  But being with my friends in this long weekend is just too irresistible especially that they have been part of my summer trips annually or the other way around, I invite myself for their summer trip.  And apart from that, convincing myself that Penang was worth the visit came easy.

The intense heat notwithstanding, Penang has a lot of surprises to offer in a gastronomical and touristy way.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

THE RUF RESTO BAR OF FERRA HOTEL BORACAY

THE RUF RESTO BAR OF FERRA HOTEL BORACAY

Boracay Island is known for its vibrant nightlife.  There are a lot of activities to choose from while enjoying the sea breeze and the coldness of the night.  But not all visitors would prefer dining by the beach.

There is one stand-out roof deck bar in the island of Boracay which is gaining popularity among locals and tourists alike.  Why?  It is relatively isolated from the beachfront but ambiance is perfect for relaxation – just in line with most visitors’ reason for being in the island… to relax and simply enjoy the moment.

This one-of-a-kind roof deck bar is the in-house restaurant of the Ferra Hotel – the Ruf Resto Bar.  And it never runs out of surprises – from the excellent hospitality service to the menu selections it have.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

THE BEST FAMILY TREATS ONLY AT MOVENPICK HOTEL CEBU

THE BEST FAMILY TREATS ONLY AT MOVENPICK HOTEL CEBU

It was a one-year in the making plan for a grand family vacation to coincide with the wedding of my brother in Cebu City.  But even on the last minute, our extended stay in Cebu City is uncertain.  We are destined for impromptu bookings and planning after all.  Our family trips are done at the last weekend of the year until the New Year.  We all live separately and independently from one another and even miles, cities and countries apart.  Vacations abroad are the only time that we get together.

For this mid-year, we will be going to Seoul, South Korea.  But before that, a one of a kind and memorable stay in Cebu is in order.  And there is no other hotel which can provide the luxurious family treat that we needed than Movenpick Hotel situated at Mactan Island in Cebu.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

NOW OPEN: GO HOTELS CUBAO QUEZON CITY

NOW OPEN: GO HOTELS CUBAO QUEZON CITY

Numbered are the brands in the hospitality industry related to tourism whose target market is the domestic sector.  For now, the perception of traveling has changed that it is not only for the wealthy as it becomes accessible to all, only if planned and budget is strictly followed.

Go Hotels is one popular chain of budget hotels in the country even made more accessible through the opening of a branch right at the center of commercial hub in Quezon City – Cubao.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

CAFÉ VOILA: AUTHENTIC ASIAN FLAVORS AT YOUR DISPOSAL

CAFÉ VOILA:  AUTHENTIC ASIAN FLAVORS AT YOUR DISPOSAL

I could say that our group are all well-versed and acquainted with Southeast Asia, ranging from culture, landmarks and most importantly cuisine.  We have been traveling around Southeast Asia even way before we entered the world of travel blogging. 

And in one weekend, the group converged enroute Tagaytay City for a staycation at Crosswind Resort Suites after several months of hiatus.  And due to distance from the city proper and the unbearable heat of the summer, we decided to dine at Café Voila, situated just at the main gate of the hotel.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

CROSSWINDS RESORTS SUITES TAGAYTAY: THE ALPINE ESCAPE

CROSSWINDS RESORT SUITES TAGAYTAY: THE ALPINE ESCAPE

It was a scenic route to quite a high elevation in Tagaytay City.  Isolated from the city center and major landmarks of Tagaytay, there sits a Swiss-inspired property that goes by the name of Crosswinds Resort Suites.

The hotel is situated at the center of this Swiss community.  Thus, before one can reach the hotel, we have to pass through the laidback and tranquil community that surrounds the 100-hectare vast property.

This is the quiet alpine escape that folks like us in the metro would call as heaven.  The scent of the pine trees without having to go north, like Baguio City, and the view of the rolling hills makes the hotel a perfect treat for a weekend.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

THE REFURBISHED HERITAGE HOTEL MANILA AND RIVIERA CAFÉ


THE REFURBISHED HERITAGE HOTEL MANILA AND RIVIERA CAFÉ

From years ago, I had my staycation experience at Heritage Hotel Manila together with my parents and siblings.  The casino was then operating under PAGCOR.  It had the simplest of all staycation experience I had.  It needs renovation I said to myself, to keep up with the competition and the needs of the demanding clients.

Today, the façade maintains its old charm with a more improved, pleasant and comfortable staycation experience, not to mention the interiors more elaborate and stylishly modern.  At the intersection of EDSA and Roxas Boulevard, the Heritage Hotel Manila is a 2-minute walk from a bus stop, 2 km from SM Mall of Asia and accessible to international and domestic airports.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

EARTHEAVEN: THE SILENT SANCTUARY IN SAN MATEO

EARTHEAVEN: THE SILENT SANCTUARY IN SAN MATEO

There are three things one shall consider when visiting this silent sanctuary in San Mateo, Rizal:
1.  There is no mobile signal, much more internet connection.
2.  Alcoholic beverages and cigarette smoking is strictly prohibited.
3.  Spiritual growth will be enhanced after the stay.

On one weekend, we were lead to the mountainous estate in Brgy. Silangan, San Mateo, Rizal, Philippines to discover a tranquil place yet filled with adventures.

Explore Experience, and Enjoy is the theme of this recreational resort.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

The arts and crafts of a particular city is mostly evident on the best buys for gifts and souvenirs.  With a vibrant city such as Seoul, there are definitely a lot of places to wander and do the window shop, drink and loiter, as the case may be.

Cebu Pacific Air has made Seoul, South Korea accessible to Filipinos with the regular flights it offers daily from Manila, Cebu and Kalibo.  And with these, there are landmarks and places of interest that appeals most to Filipinos, being close to our culture and not to mention the costs attached to it, being cheap and reasonable.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

HOTEL BAROATO – SEOUL CITY

HOTEL BAROATO – SEOUL CITY

Conceptualized with the use of uncovered mass concrete, wood, metal and glass-interior finishing materials, Hotel Baroato provides the experience of a modern Korean living.  Literally translated, it means upright (“baro”) gift (“ato”).

The hotel is strategically located, being a few distances only from the Hongik University subway station passing by artsy cafes and restaurants and no need for line transfers when going to and from the Incheon International Airport.  The challenge is, it is specifically situated in one narrow alley, although still manageable.

Monday, May 15, 2017

TRIP TO BUSAN

TRIP TO BUSAN

The second most populous city of South Korea is now becoming a popular tourist destination.  With direct flights from Manila to Busan through Cebu Pacific Air, a time-constrained discovery of the large port city of Busan becomes an easy feat.

This is my first time in Busan City and we will only be at the city for 2 full days.

Our focal point is the Haeundae.  We arrived late at night from Manila and checked-in at our confirmed booking at Haeundae.  The area is lit by neon signboards with aligned bars and restaurants crowded by both locals and the sojourners.

Along the way, art installations are prominent in the main thoroughfare and side alleys with unique architectural designs of skyscrapers, bordered by the sea and the mountains at one end.  Judging from its topographical features, Busan City will be about mountains, beaches and the temples.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

INSTAGRAMMABLE FEATURES OF THE SEOUL TOWER

INSTAGRAMMABLE FEATURES OF THE SEOUL TOWER

There is more of what to do than the self poses in front of the iconic landmark of Seoul – the Namsam Seoul Tower.  As one of the tallest towers in the Orient, it is almost 480m above sea level and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city.

The tower was first established as a broadcast tower to send out TV and radio signals in 1969.  Today, it also serves as a multi-cultural venue in the city and a place for relaxation for friends and families.

What makes the Namsam Seoul Tower interesting is apart from the restaurants and recreational centers that it offers, there are corners worthy to be immortalized in the form of Instagram-worthy pictures.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

SORAEKSAN NATIONAL PARK

SORAEKSAN NATIONAL PARK

The least that I can do when on a vacation abroad is to hike mountains.  But if the mountain is snow-covered and of littered forest snow, it would be an exception.  In South Korea, there is a mountain named Seorak, which literally translates “seol” (snow) and “ak” (big mountain).  From that name, I was enticed to go up the mountains and witness the panoramic mountain range.

Was it worth the travel? Yes.

Monday, April 24, 2017

UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES OF SOUTH KOREA

UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES OF SOUTH KOREA

UNESCO-inscribed places of interest is my priority when visiting a country.  South Korea is no exception to my feat, though a work in progress to complete.  As of 2016, there are twelve world heritage sites in South Korea composed of eleven cultural sites and one natural site.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A DAY IN NUSA PENIDA

A DAY IN NUSA PENIDA

After that whirlwind affair with the rugged coastline and panoramic seascape of Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia, I would definitely not recommend a short sojourn – day trip to be specific.

Despite the limited tourist infrastructure and poor dirt road conditions, it is highly recommended to spend more time in the island, have it a few sites for each day.

Time-constrained on our case, we managed to visit only the famed and touristy landmarks of Nusa Penida.