Everything Travel

Fold it with Muji

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When you travel with a backpack, you become more conscious of what you put in your bag. It’s not just the space that matters – weight plays a big role, because you have to haul that bag on your back! I’ve gotten quite adept in packing light, though I’m still prone to overpacking (and over shopping!).  My rule is, if it’s bulky, best to leave it at home. If you really must have it with you, wear it.

Muji Foldable Backpack and Flats

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Philippines, Romblon

Carabao Island

Much have been said about Carabao Island in Romblon, and it’s really as beautiful as people say. Just 45 minutes by banca from Boracay, it’s a refreshing change from the crowds and endless touts.

Carabao Island, Romblon
San Jose beach and the tourist center

Boats from Boracay can cost you about Php 1,500 to 2,000 one-way, but the first offer you’l get from the boatmen would be around Php 4,000. You can do it as a day trip, but it’s best to have the complete experience by staying overnight.

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Australia, Preparation

How to apply for an Australian Tourist Visa (2013 edition)

[UPDATE October 13, 2015] Here’s a guide on how you can easily, quickly, and cheaply apply for an Australian tourist visa online

[Update: September 15, 2014] Philippine passport holders can now apply for an Australian tourist visa online through the IMMI website. Application fee must be paid via credit card. You can still apply in person through VFS.

I am not a visa officer, nor am I migration agent. I am in no way affiliated with the Australian Embassy Manila nor with the Australian government. This post comes from my experience with preparing and submitting visa applications for family members and for myself. Also note that this entry pertains to my experience in applying for an Australian tourist visa in April 2013. This is geared towards applicants who holds a Philippine passport, though the preparation can be applied for other nationalities as well. The Australian immigration update their forms every 3 months. I will try to answer your questions the best way that I can, but bear in mind that I can’t answer all your questions. If you ask a question I’ve already answered in the post, I will ignore you.

Australian tourist visa

After almost seven years, I finally have an update to my now epic How to Apply for an Australian Tourist Visa series. I have written two posts on the topic, both garnering over a thousand comments, with one getting over 4,500! I have stopped replying to comments, since I don’t think I’m not the best person to be talking about it, as my knowledge of the visa process is largely obsolete, so the visitors have taken upon themselves to answer each other’s questions, with successful applicants coming back to share their good news and help others. It has become a mini forum of sorts and I have to admit I’m happy it turned out that way. I found it to be a great help when I took another chance to apply for an Australian tourist visa once more.

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Everything Travel

Insanely low business class fares from Philippine Airlines

Philippine Airlines have been promoting the super low prices of their Mabuhay Class seats, both for their domestic and international flights. While the prices were truly tempting, I was rather disappointed that the fares for their Melbourne flights are still rather high. My brother, who received the newsletter with the low fares, noticed that the fares to Brisbane from Manila are quite cheap, and then my sister pointed out that fares from Brisbane to Melbourne go for around AU$100 round trip, so it’s still quite a savings if I’m to take that route.

So I went the PAL website to check if these fares are for real. And they are!

Philippine Airlines economy class ticket
Click on the image to see larger version

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Manila, Philippines, Reviews

Capsule pods at Kabayan Hotel

Here’s something I never got to do while in Japan: stay in a capsule hotel. I am intrigued by the concept, but was dissuaded to try it when my friend Rotch said that it was geared towards short stays only — you need to check out and check in again if you’re staying multiple nights. So when I got an invite from Kabayan Hotel to try out their new capsule dorms, I jumped at the opportunity.

Kabayan Hotel Capsule Pods
Not as small as it looks!

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