Everything Travel

Win a Microtel discount voucher!

During the Lakbay Norte tour last January, I somehow ended up with three extra Microtel 50% discount voucher. I already have one that came with my press kit, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to use all four cards before it expires in June 2010. I figured it would be better to raffle them off here instead of letting them go to waste.

50% off from Microtel
Prez David not included

So what do you need to do to get the voucher? Simple: just share a travel tip for any of Microtel’s 9 locations. What’s your favorite restaurant in Puerto Princessa? What’s there to do in Tarlac? Where can I buy the sweetest strawberries in Baguio? Post your travel tips and secrets in the comment box and you’re eligible for a raffle entry!
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First impressions: Pacsafe’s Toursafe Handbag

I’ve been in the lookout for a new bag for months now. I wanted a bag that isn’t too casual, yet something that I can bring when I travel. Pacsafe came to my rescue when they gave me the latest model in their women’s bag line: the Toursafe Handbag.

TourSafe Handbag
The Toursafe Handbag

I just got the bag yesterday, and haven’t really used it yet, so I’ll just write about my first impressions of it.
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My favorite Philippine beaches

It’s been two weeks since my last trip, and while I enjoyed staying at home, I found myself itching to go somewhere — anywhere — again. Botched weekend plans made me wistful for the beach. I’ve been lucky to be able to have gone to some of the best beaches the Philippines have to offer. In no particular order, here are my top four:

Coron, Palawan - Island Hopping 22
Ako and Pucchi loves Banol Beach

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Calaguas, the beautiful

I’ve seen the pictures, I read what people have said, but I wasn’t prepared for what I saw and experienced that Sunday. After close to twelve hours of travel (from the time I left the house, including the waiting time at the airport, food breaks, etc), I jump down from the fishing boat into the beach, my fall cushioned by the finest sand I’ve ever come across. So this is Calaguas Island.

Calaguas Island
My work station, analog style.

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Philippines, Travel Budget

Travel Budget: Calaguas Island

I’ve been coming across blogs about Calaguas Island, but truth be told, as much as I am interested to go there, I couldn’t be bothered to plan going there because it seemed so hard. I prefer going to destinations where you just hop on a plane, ride a trike, taxi or van and you’re at the town already. As the saying go, nothing worth having comes easy. All that effort to go to the Calaguas is certainly worth it.

Calaguas Island
Calaguas’ pristine white beach

What finally got me to go there was when one of the bloggers I follow announced that Calaguas is one of her destinations this year. One comment and a seat sale later, I am booked for a flight to Naga. Naga is the closest airport served by most domestic airlines. The closest is Daet, which is served by Seair, though only seasonal. From Naga, you have to ride a van to Daet, then transfer to another van to Paracale. In Paracale, you have to find a willing boatman (and an available boat) to take you out to Calaguas, and buy supplies for your stay there, since there are no stores, no electricity and no water.

Save for the boat rental, the airfare and the van rides, this is a fairly inexpensive trip. It can be made cheaper if you take the bus instead of the plane, and just stay overnight. I think the bus schedule works well for a quick weekend getaway to a gorgeous deserted beach.
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Wandering thoughts

Confessions of a solo female traveler

I am scared. The thought of being alone in an unfamiliar place scares me. No one close by to save me when I’m in a pickle. But the thought of being in an unfamiliar place excites me too. Even if I know no one’s around to save me, it gives me a great sense of satisfaction that I can handle things on my own.

I am paranoid. There’s hardly a time when I don’t think about death when I’m inside a moving vehicle. I think about boats capsizing, trains derailing and planes crashing, usually when I’m inside them. I’m paranoid that someone would take off with my bags as soon as I let my eyes off them. I can think of a hundred reasons not to get out of the house, but I can think of a thousand more reason why I should go out and explore the world.
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