TAGAYTAY: MusiCamp Philippines 2017

“Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form.”

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MusiCamp Philippines offers an immersive musical experience. It is a nice activity to cap my summer adventure. It is my first time to attend a music camp. And I am so grateful and honored to be chosen as the representative of Light Network Bloggers Group at the MusiCamp for 4 days and 3 nights in 4 houses in Tagaytay City last May 31 to June 3, 2017. This summer music workshop are both for kids and adults alike.

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For once, I felt the vibe on how to be a MusiCamper.   If you’re wondering why it is spelled with only one C, it is because it is a Christ centered music camp.

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The MusiCamp Philippines faculty were comprised of world-class singers and performers. Most of the teachers were from either UST or UP College of music. Other teachers were from professional ensembles who work to cultivate music artistry, discipline and an appreciation of music. In fact, MusiCamp Philippines is now on its 10th year, founded by Pastor Jewpeter Vidad in 2007.   He is also the owner of JV music school at V.Luna in Quezon City.  Go visit his music school if you want to learn how to play any instruments or if you want to enhance your singing voice by taking up music lessons.

Musicamp Guitar Lesson with Teacher Zaren

MusiCampers who has a basic instrument knowledge brought with them their guitars and violins. Some of the participants were really gifted, they could compose songs in an instant. Most of them play by ear and only learned note reading at the MusiCamp.

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MusiCamp Philippines has a big impact on some MusiCamper’s transformation that can last a lifetime. Just like what happened to one musicamper from last year who used to play the piano and returned this year playing the violin. Reason? She got so inspired with the Music Campers who played the violin last year! And she’s only 13-years old. Wooot! That is awesome! I myself would like to learn how to play the violin.

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The MusiCampers were divided into three teams the yellow team, the red and the blue team.

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Each team were assigned with a leader and assistant staff.

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The MusiCamp has practice time, teacher concert, choir classes, English comprehension, song writing classes, bible reading, master classes, guitar classes, drums classes, violin classes, organ classes and voice classes all of these and more within 4 days and 3 nights.

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At the MusiCamp, I observed that everybody were inspired to show off their God given musical ability and were very industrious partaking in rehearsals even until the wee hours of the morning. The performances of both the teachers and MusiCampers plus the organized recreational activities headed by American missionaries JR and Zack completed the camp experience.

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I can say that the MusiCamp went beyond my expectations. I am glad to have met all of these passionate people.

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The teachers encourage musical creativity in everyone. I super love the experience! Each teacher made each musicamper felt important.

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In a fun and practical way, campers were introduced the aspects of songwriting, like harmony, hooks, riffs and rhythmic accompaniment, basic chord progressions, intros, chorus-verse format, rhyming and even joke and storytelling, which is a very useful skills for even the more experienced song-writers.

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I learned that song composition is as easy as counting 1 to 3. All you have to do is to choose a genre of the song that you want to sing. And share a story that you want to tell. The MusiCampers were thought about composition and form, explore and recognize a variety of verses/choruses, beat, accompaniment and other essential basic knowledge on song writing. After a series of musical games, exercises, songwriting workshop and the study of different elements of music, the MusiCampers a.k.a. aspiring songwriters and singers were asked to put their ideas to music. The MusiCampers were subdivided into a smaller group and each one were asked to participate to build and write lyrics, compose and arrange their own songs. By the end of the 4 days and 3 days the Music campers had not only tried writing and collaborated with fellow MusiCampers on the creation of original songs and arrangements.

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The MusiCampers got to present and perform their original compositions in front of the crowd and guests during the banquet on the final night at the MusiCamp.

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The Chief of Police of Tagaytay City even attended the teachers concert on Day 1.

MusiCamp comprises a variety of music and worship activities. MusiCampers not only learned how to perform in front of the crowd, they also learned to be more Jesus centered. There’s a guest pastor each night who shared their wisdom and words of God from the bible. Each day, the campers sing spiritual truths and learn cool dance moves too during their morning exercises activities.

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The MusiCampers got to explore not only music making in a positive environment, but also learned English prowess, tips on public speaking. It is filled with activities that build the musiCampers musical skills and challenges their creativity in intuitive and fun ways.

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I decided to sit-in and study voice lessons with Teacher Sharon and on day 3 with Teacher Delight. No instrument is needed. No formal musical training. All that’s needed is an enjoyment of music, the willingness to explore one’s voice which would served as your very own instrument. I especially like how everybody cooperates on all the voice exercises. During our voice lessons, you could feel and see the beauty and rawness and the readiness of each and every MusiCamper to be a part of an exciting and affirmative team!

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I brace myself to get wet during the recreational activity on day 3 and change to my used clothing. Good thing, no one dared to get me wet. Whew! Thank Goodness! It was a ton of fun. I got to watch them on the sidelines.

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Campers learned valuable lessons such as honesty, integrity and sportsmanship. I was amazed at what the MusiCampers had accomplished in just four days and 3 nights.

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Besides the tonne of musical lessons and other fun-in-the-camp activities the campers got to met new friends and also learned more about Jesus!

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Congratulations and thank you to the founder, Pastor Jewpeter Vidad, his brother Pastor Dr. Chris Vidad our over-all Camp Director, and of course Teacher Sharon, my voice teacher and also Teacher Delight, Teacher Tracy, Teacher Andrea, Teacher Monique, Teacher Khayil, Teacher Kaleb, Teacher Zaren,  Teacher Ezra,  Teacher Froilan, Teacher Louie, Sir Nestor and to the staff and crew. Wishing you more MusiCamp’s to come!

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Happiness depends on happenings; joy depends on Jesus.

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“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”- Plato

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To God be the glory!

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This EVENT is made possible through a partnership with Light Network Channel 33
“Magaan dito, kaibigan!”
-The first PHILIPPINE channel to FULLY migrate on DIGITAL TERRESTRIAL TELEVISION last March 1, 2017.
Available via:
*Digital TV/Gadgets over MegaManila
(Search frequency 587.143 mhz)
*Analog TV on Channel 33 Puerto Princesa, Palawan
*CABLE thru Sky Cable Channel 215 (Digital) and Channel 5 (Analog), and Cignal Channel 183 and to over 181 cable operators nationwide.

 

HOP INN HOTEL IS THE BUDGET TRAVELER’S CHOICE

HOP INN HOTEL IS THE BUDGET TRAVELER’S CHOICE

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I began travelling on a shoestring in 2008.   But I only started blogging my experiences and shared it with my readers in 2009.  Before I discovered budget traveling, I was so lucky to have not only one but two very generous relatives who sponsored my trips to China and Hong Kong every holy week.  Back then, we flew via Cathay Pacific because of its premium services and lcd monitors on each of the seats.  I think our travels are expensive because they let me experience fine dining not only in Metro Manila but also in Hong Kong and in mainland China. I even had a chance to dine in an exclusive club -members only restaurant in Hong Kong because of them. Then, I started earning my own money and discovered that traveling can be expensive for someone like me.  So, I started traveling like a local. That is when I discovered that one can travel on a budget to different destinations without putting a large hole on your pocket. The rise of budget traveling has everyone hopping off from one exciting destination on their bucket lists to the next. This upward trend in tourism is largely thanks to the advent of budget airlines offering wildly affordable vacation opportunities for more people both locally and abroad.

Hotels are of course quick to adapt to the steadily growing demand for accommodations in central locales; close to all the sights, sounds, action and adventure a first-time visitor will enjoy – all on a shoestring budget.

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Hop Inn Hotels, a 25- hotel strong Thailand- based chain not only guarantees guests the best locations in each city but also delivers 5-star quality cleanliness, comfort, convenience, and security that makes budget travelers go, “is this really a budget hotel?”

Here’s a rundown of why more and more choose to “hop into” Hop Inn and why it’s considered a one stop hop for travelers on a budget.

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Clean and spacious rooms — Saving on room costs doesn’t mean compromising on cleanliness and comfort. Hop Inn ensures that guests check in to spotless rooms with crisp white sheets that invite absolute relaxation. With more than enough space to accommodate guests and their luggage plus additional bags from pasalubong shopping, Hop Inn rooms make you forget you’re staying at a budget hotel. The bright and clean bathrooms equipped with hairdryers and toiletries are equally spacious, too.

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Free Wi-Fi — Perched up top of the hierarchy of needs, not only when traveling but basically in daily life, a strong and fast Wi-Fi access means timely and ‘mandatory’ sharing of #TravelGrams, #OOTDs, and #YOLO posts. Hop Inn’s free in-room Wi-Fi service also helps guests prepare for and accomplish their work, research and plan their adventures of the day, and check up on friends and family back home.

Hot and cold shower and a comfortable bed— A warm, refreshing bath after a long day’s adventure in the city? Yes, please! All Hop Inn rooms come with hot and cold power showers so guests enjoy a calming prelude to a restful sleep in the hotel’s ultra-comfortable beds guests cannot stop raving about!

Daily housekeeping, 24-hour front desk assistance, and 24-hour security— Hop Inn guests are always greeted by tidy rooms with fresh linens at the end of each day with the hotel’s expert housekeeping team making sure all rooms are spick and span while guests explore the city. With dedicated and friendly front office and security teams available 24/7 and an advanced elevator access and round-the-clock security system, Hop Inn Hotels guarantee a safe, worry-free, and serene stay for all its guests.

Free spacious parking for guests— Guests driving to Hop Inn have access to the hotel’s spacious and secure parking, absolutely free! A sweet gift for Metro dwellers struggling with parking space and steep fees on the daily.

Facilities for PWDs— The joys of travel are free for all to experience and Hop Inn strongly advocates this by ensuring all of its hotels open their doors to persons of all shapes and sizes and are equipped to cater to persons with disabilities and those that require special assistance throughout their stay.

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Lastly, excellent value for money— Budget hotels often deliver exactly what they promise – a place with enough space for a bed to retire to after a long day and nothing more. While travelers can afford such accommodations with just loose change, more often than not they still find themselves shortchanged, especially on the comfort and security aspects. At Hop Inn Hotels, guests enjoy the very best of their money’s worth and more with rates as low as PHP1, 520 nett per room night. A very small cost for such big hospitality.

The Hop Inn Hotel chain’s steady growth across Thailand and the Philippines is testament to the brand’s dedication to deliver its Four Pillar Promise to its guests – Cleanliness, Convenience, Comfort, and Security. But like that exotic food crawl or that adrenaline- pumping theme park ride travelers scribble onto their long and detailed bucket lists, some things are best experienced in the flesh. So, hop into Hop Inn Hotels on your next trip and decide for yourself if it’s truly a #OneStopHop and #TravelGoals- worthy.

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For more information about Hop Inn Hotel, visit www.hopinnhotel.com and follow their social media pages at www.facebook.com/hopinnhotelph and @hopinnhotelph on Twitter and Instagram.

 

BAGUIO CATHEDRAL

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Baguio Cathedral photo taken using my three-year old Sony RX 100 Mark I inside a speeding van during my recent trip to the city of Pines.

Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral is well known as Baguio Cathedral not only in Baguio City but also all over the Philippines.

its distinctive pink exterior, with a rose window and twin square belfries with pyramidal roofs.  It prided itself with a large courtyard with a viewing deck that overlooks Session Road and the downtown commercial district of Baguio.

You can reach the cathedral via private car or by foot.  Yes, don’t worry if you’re on foot. The cathedral is accessible to pedestrians from Session Road via 100-step stone staircase that ends at a Calvary, or through the adjacent campus of Saint Louis University.

Its official address is Mt. Mary Hill, Cathedral Loop, Baguio City, Benguet.  Telephone number is 442-4256.

 

TAGAYTAY HIGHLANDS

Summer time is the best season of the year to have an outdoor barbecue and to go swimming.  Tagaytay is the best option if you want to cool down a bit from the hot Metro Manila Weather because of its proximity.  Afterall, it is less than three hours drive.

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One of the best places to do your outdoor barbecue party and swimming is Tagaytay Highlands.  Tagaytay Highlands is exclusive to members and their guests.  Even if you have lots of money you could not just go there and demand for the guards to let you in.

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This by invitation only barbecue party was made into reality by Wilcon Builders in partnership with Bull Grill from the USA , Food Magazine, Working Mom and Abs-Cbn.

If you spell fun with how great the ambiance is and how delicious the food is, Then you’ll love our fun outdoor barbecue feast at Tagaytay Highlands!

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Together with Chef Jessie .

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And my other blogger friends

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We had so much fun in the sun!

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With Lucia, Annalyn’s lovely daughter <3

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With Jerry Tiu, ( Chris’s Tiu’s dad) one of the owners of Tagaytay Highlands and Ms. Rosemarie Ong, Wilcon Depot Owner.

Summer is the best time for an outdoor picnic so go ahead and buy your very own Bull barbecue grill exclusively distributed by Wilcon Depot in the Philippines.

 

 

TV5’s LAKBAI REALITY TRAVEL ADVENTURE SHOW: Features Presidential Son Baste Duterte and Friends

LAKBAI BASTE DUTERTE UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

After my 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. training class in Makati, I immediately went to BGC for TV5’s Lakbai travel show presscon. I got there a little bit early because I was really excited to meet Baste.  Thanks to my teacher/trainor Ma’am Quich who dismissed us a little bit early.  I was able to eat an early dinner, catch up with blogger friends and had enough time to prepare my camera, sd card and battery just in time for the presscon that started at around 7 p.m.

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Photo Credits to the owner

LAKBAI is a witty compressed form of “Lakaw Ta Bai” in Davaoeno dialect or Visayan language which translates to “Lakad tayo, kaibigan” in Tagalog or “Tara Na Bes!” in Tagalog slang.  It is a clever title that also connote the Tagalog word “Lakbay” which means “Travel” so the best translation I could think of is “Let’s travel my friend” in English.

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Photo Credits to the owner

“Wala eh, hindi ko na mapigilan kasi, ‘di ba? Nag-decide na lang ako to try showbiz (I can’t help it, I can’t stop it, isn’t it?  that’s why I just decided to try showbiz),” the 29-year old Sebastian “Baste” Duterte said at TV5’s Lakbai’s media launch held at Aracama Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City on Wednesday night.

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Photo Credits to Baste’s FB Page

Baste also shared that the producer who presented the reality tv format show did not have a hard time luring him in.  “They didn’t convince me. Desisyon ko lang ito. Sayang din naman iyong suweldo. Iyon lang naman iyon (This is my own decision.  I don’t want to pass the chance to earn money.  That’s all there is to it),” Duterte shared.

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Photo from Baste’s instagram.  It shows a glimpse of the young Duterte’s playful nature in the company of his bff S’Boi. Ha ha ha!

“If this doesn’t work out, puwede naman akong umuwi sa Davao (I’ll go back home to Davao),” he added.

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Everyone had a good laugh with the witty answers of the young Duterte.

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His father, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRRD) is famous for his witty one-liner similar to the ones Baste said during the press conference.  I guess it is part of the charm of the Duterte’s.

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But as far as acting is concerned, Baste Duterte said he is closing his doors.

“Wala talaga akong talent sa pag-acting. Ito kasi travel show, reality pa. Wala na akong babaguhin. Bayaran lang ako (I don’t have talent for acting.  This is a travel show, what’s more it’s a reality show.  I don’t have to change anything about myself.  I’m just gonna get paid for this),” Baste Duterte said.

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Photo Credit to Sebastian Duterte’s Instagram Account

This is Baste Duterte’s first bid in the local entertainment scene.  It you can still recall, Baste’s only close brushed in show business was through his involvement with sexy star Ellen Adarna.  Whom he had an eight months relationship.

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Photo Credits to the owner

He claims to ba camera shy, so the producer of the show, Jako De Leon ( Joey De Leon’s son) made sure he’ll be comfortable by allowing him to star together with some of his closest friends —his best friend since Kindergarten S’Boi Malicay,  his lawyer who eventually became his drinking buddy and friend Atty. Alexis Lumbatan and his surfing videographer who eventually became his friend Andrei Apostol.

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It also feature viral video sensation, Bogart the Explorer, who also hails from Davao and has an above average “Australian Accent”.

“You’ve seen me being funny in my travel videos. But in this show, these guys are the funny ones. They’re hilarious. You’ll love them,” Bogart the explorer said.

“I’ve done a solo travel show, and I can tell you this is 100 times more fun talaga,” he quips.

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Baste Duterte and his friends will personally show us the different places in the Philippines that are less travelled. The show’s producer promises everyone that the places they’ve covered for Lakbai were never seen before.  Since it is a reality show among friends expect it to be hilarious, comfortable and easy to relate to. Just like your own barkada trip.  Baste and his squad promises you that you’ll find yourself laughing so hard when you watch their show.

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A special guest will also appear in each episode. For the first episode the only clue they gave me is sexy, female.  So, in order for you to know who that special guest is don’t forget to watch the pilot episode on May 21 after the PBA game over at TV 5.

The show, which will air every Sunday night after the Philippine Basketball Association games, runs for an hour per episode, and will cover two to three places per installment.

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According to TV 5 Head of Programming Mell Yazon-Tolentino the places that was visited by Baste and friends are the city of Mati in Davao Oriental, the city of Dumaguete in Negros Oriental, Siargao and the provinces of Bukidnon and Siquijor.

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https://web.facebook.com/MjMarforiOfficial/videos/645534055571515/

“Lakbai” premieres on May 21, 2017 after the PBA match between Ginebra and San Miguel.  It there’s no overtime I think Lakbai’s premiere episode will be shown at around 8:45 p.m. if there’s an overtime.  So better eat dinner or prepare your snacks and rate Baste on his first ever reality television show.

Lakaw ta bai!

#Lakbai #LakawTaBai #LakbaiTV5 #Baste #BasteDuterte

PASIG RIVER: Zooper Cruise

PASIG RIVER: Zooper Cruise

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Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss. — David Bolling

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Do you have a few pesos to spare but don’t have the luxury of time to go to another country? Well, rejoice, you’re in luck because you could experience a wonderful time without overspending, and without cutting down on the fun. You don’t even have to go outside Metro Manila for your sweet escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

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The Philippines is blessed with beautiful destinations, natural and man-made alike. And Pasig River is one of the most beautiful gateway that we should help rehabilitate so the future generations will be able to enjoy it in the years to come, not only by Filipinos but also by the rest of the world.

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I’ve travelled extensively in the different places in the Philippines and in South East Asia and I could say that the Philippines is really beautiful.

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Of course my travels are mostly diy’s and within a budget and not your typical luxurious, expensive getaway!  Why? Because based on my experience you can have a wonderful time in the different places here in the Philippines even when you’re on a budget. Yes, even if you consider yourself poor. It’s all a matter of planning, proper budgeting, and preparation.

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Do you want to experience how it is to travel from Makati to Binondo sans traffic? Well, you can do that! Plus, you don’t need to spend a huge amount to have fun with friends and family this summer.  Not a lot of people know about this hidden treasure that is traversing Pasig River.  All my photos were taken aboard the Zooper Cruise.

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I was not aware that there are stilt houses along Pasig River!  All the views on this blog post were taken when I availed of the Zooper cruise! They’re magnificent!

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Did you know that you can avail of the Zooper cruise happening every first Saturday of the month from Makati to Escolta in Binondo for Under Php2,000 inclusive of two snacks and dinner? Whoah! You might say, yes kabagang! It is under Php2,000! Imagine the money you can save plus you need lesser time to spend on the commute! This transport solution is very affordable.  It remind me of Singapore amphibian bus and Hong Kong ferry boat!

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Our journey began at Alveo Showroom where we had a light snacks then we were then brought by a white coaster to Valenzuela Ferry Station in Makati.

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Look at the Tiger stuffed toy! It is so huggable! The Zooper cruise has a huge LED TV!

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It has comfortable seats and clean comfort rooms.

I think putting an air-conditioned boats in Pasig River is a work of a genius. It helps reduce everyone’s carbon footprint. On average, an average-sized sedan will spew about 575 pounds of carbon monoxide annually, according to an EPA study on emissions. Carpooling could potentially cut that to about half, if more people did it. But, travelling via an air-conditioned boat that can accommodate 115 passengers could actually cut the carbon footprint to almost 1/8!

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I was really excited and Zooper cruise did not fail me! I even saw the front view of Malacanang Palace up close via the Zooper Cruise along Pasig River.

Pasig river is very rich in history! I really love all the trivia shared by the boat’s captain Ed Bondad.

I learned from him that there are eight bridges from Makati to Escolta. And that the distance from the Valenzuela port in Makati to Escolta is 27 kilometers. The Pasig River is a river in the Philippines that connects Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay.

Did you know that?

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Manila’s old name is Amarula.

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In Escolta ferry boat station, they docked the boat and we were given an hour to roam around Escolta in Manila.

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Our first stop was the Sta. Cruz Church.

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Then we stopped by Polland Hopia Restaurant to buy “Pasalubong” and drink some hot tea and eat black mongo hopia courtesy of Ms. Grace Bondad-Nicolas. Thank you, Ms. Grace.

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We head back to the boat after our merienda. And we then went back to Makati via the Zooper Cruise.  Singer May Rivera sang her famous “Aray” song and comedienne Mahal entertained us with a song and dance number while we traverse the Pasig River from Escolta to Makati.

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Upon arrival at Valenzuela Port,  we boarded a white coaster that brought us to Misono Restaurant where we had our dinner. We enjoyed a bento box dinner consisting of Japanese rice, chicken, breaded pork and vegetables.  I also enjoy a hot calamansi drinks.

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Plus dak galbi korean dish. It was delicious!

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Every time you share rides with someone, like the Zooper cruise there’s less carbon monoxide in the air. When you ride the Zooper cruise, you also get to talk to people and have a wonderful experience and gain knowledge about our not so distant past.

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For those who are not fond of solo travel, you can bring your whole family to Zooper Cruise. I bet they’ll have a great time in this cool ride and breathtaking views.

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You could even book your birthday, anniversary, wedding etc. just send me an e-mail at travelonshoestring@gmail.com

Zooper Cruise is under the Zoomanity Group! Special thanks to Zoomanity CEO, Mr. Robert Yupangco and to the very industrious Ms. Grace Bondad-Nicolas for the great experience.

#ZooperCruise #PasigRiver #travelonshoestring

P.S.

Mr. Robert Yupangco told me that on December 2017, we can hop-on to his newest venture!  An amphibious craft for a sightseeing tour which covers both land and sea! Isn’t that amazing?

ILOILO: Isla De Gigantes

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Did you know that the beautiful island of Iloilo called Isla De Gigantes is more accessible from Roxas City in Capiz than from Estancia in Iloilo?

You can fly from Manila or Cebu to Roxas City in Capiz because travel time to Isla De Gigantes is just an hour drive via a private van to Bancal Port in Carles, Iloilo.  Our day tour was arranged by Las Islas Travel and Tours.

We were ferried by a boat provided by Las Islas to Isla De Gigantes.  Travel time is roughly around one hour and a half.  The water was kind of rough when we went to Isla De Gigantes last November. The best time to travel to Isla De Gigantes is during summer months from March to April.

How to Book Your Tour to Gigantes

You may book your own adventure with Las Island Travel and Tours through these channels. Don’t forget to mention “Cha” when sending your inquiry or reservations:

  • Email: lasislastravelandtours@gmail.com
  • Mobile: (+63) 917 7093856 (Globe) / (+63) 939 5340828 (Smart)
  • Landline: (+63) (036) 5210725
  • Facebook: Las Islas Travel and Tours
  • Instagram: @LasIslasTravelAndTours
  • Twitter: @LasIslasPH
  • Punta Dulog, Pueblo de Panay, Lawaan, Roxas City

 

Ilocos: 10 commandments in Ilocano

10 COMMANDMENTS ILOCANO

I am always fascinated with the different dialects we have here in the Philippines.  We’re wired differently and has different set of values.  But it is nice to know that no matter what is your language or dialects, we have the same set of the 10 commandments.

Have you seen the 10 commandments written in Ilocano?  When in Ilocos, try to memorize the ten commandments in Ilocano!