Destination, Vietnam

Falling in love with Hanoi the second time around

The first time I went to Hanoi was in 2010. It was the last stop in my 10-day trip in Vietnam, and after going from Ho Chi Minh, Hoi An, and Hue, I’m ready to just take it easy. Fortunately (or unfortunately), Toy Story 3 just came out, so instead of sightseeing as all the travelers are doing, I did what the locals do on a Saturday afternoon: I watched a movie. Apart from that and my day trip to Halong Bay, I did nothing else in Hanoi.

Hanoi, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

That’s why when I got the invite from Cebu Pacific to visit Hanoi, I jumped on the chance to really see what Hanoi has to offer.

Cebu Pacific flies to Hanoi three times a week from Manila. The flight arrives in Hanoi just past midnight, and flies back at 1 am, giving tourists an entire day to explore the city after and before their flight. Perfect for a weekend getaway.

Though the trip was just a tad longer than my previous trip to Hanoi, I was able to see and do a lot more. Here are the things I loved about this city:
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Cebu, Destination, Philippines, Travel Budget

Bantayan Island Travel Expenses and Notes

Last August, I finally bit the bullet and booked a flight to Cebu to finally make it out of the city and explore Bantayan Island. It just so happened that I won Airbnb credits at a contest, and there was a beachfront house listed. Perfect.

Sta. Fe Beach

Traveling for almost 12 hours from my house to Sta. Fe is quite taxing, but that place was worth traveling by air, land, and sea. The weather is still quite cool in the Philippines this time of the year, and most of the locals are either recovering from the Christmas season or traveling to the Sto. Niño festivals in Kalibo, Iloilo, or Cebu. It’s mostly foreign tourists we saw in Bantayan, and there’s not a lot of them either.
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Everything Travel

Of pearls and vendors

How do you deal with touts when you travel? In my years of travel, I've learned to ignore them, as engaging them (or in some extreme cases, just having a brief eye contact) leads to non-stop badgering to buy or contract their services. Unfortunately, I wasn't share this advice to my cousin, so she got annoyed into buying a couple…read more
Cebu, Philippines, Reviews

Review: Harolds Hotel in Cebu City

In our family Viber group chat, my brother expressed his interest in joining the Cebu Marathon in January 2015. He’s excited by the lechon-shaped medal, but he laments that the rates for the good hotels are all too high. I told him to look for Harolds Hotel. He searched for the hotel on Agoda, and was surprised to see how cheap the rates are.

Harolds Hotel Cebu

I found out about Harolds Hotel when Agoda arranged for me and my friend to stay there before we leave Cebu. Our flight was fairly early, and we felt much comfortable staying overnight in the city, instead of traveling all the way from Badian.
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Manila, Philippines, Reviews

A birthday treat at Edsa Shangri-La Hotel

I love getting e-mails from Hong Kong, because that meant good things were coming. And I was right — with it came a question: am I traveling sometime soon, and can Shangri-La assist with my accommodations? My travel plans at the time were non-existent, but I knew I wanted to have a special treat for my birthday, and that’s how I ended up at Edsa Shangri-La Hotel last Monday.

Edsa Shangri-La Hotel
Edsa Shangri-La all decked out for Christmas

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Cebu, Destination, Philippines, Reviews

Paradise found in Badian Island Resort and Spa

When asked what kind of place I would like to go to care of Agoda.com, my answer came quickly: the beach. Living in the city all of my life, getting the chance to see and be close to the sea is always a thrill, even if I can’t swim that well and scared of very deep water. The turquoise water, the sand on my feet, the bright blue sky, and the gentle breeze that tickle the coconut trees, that for me is the formula to happiness.

Badian Island Resort and Spa
Take me back to Badian

A couple of months after that conversation, Charisse got back to me with another question: would I like to stay at Badian Island Resort and Spa? A quick read about the property resulted in an even quicker (and overly excited) yes.
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Philippines, Reviews

Azalea Residences Baguio

I’ve been to Baguio four times, and each time, I stayed somewhere new. I’ve stayed at a house in La Trinidad, where meals were had at the outdoor patio, and the steaming hot dishes brought out were cold by the time it reached our mouths. I’ve stayed at a cabin in Teacher’s Camp, where I shivered under the sheets, and dared not get out of the bed once the lights are out, even if I needed to pee. I’ve also stayed at a transient house, where we had a very basic room, in contrast to the elegance of The Manor and Hotel Elizabeth, when I joined the Lakbay Norte. So for a chance to try out another Baguio hotel, I’m more than game for it (especially since it was sweltering in Manila).

Azalea Residences
Azalea Residences Baguio

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Philippines, Reviews

Review: Injap Tower Hotel in Iloilo City

I was in a self-imposed travel hiatus, which I was aiming to stretch until October, but I was all too happy to break it for a chance to visit Iloilo, upon the invitation Injap Tower Hotel. One of the newest hotels in Iloilo city, it is located not in the downtown city center, in the area near the city’s new developing CBD.


Injap Tower Hotel at the West Diversion Road, Iloilo City

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