Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Experience an exclusive escape at The Island Buenavista! The Island Buenavista is a 4-hectare exclusive island resort located at Barangay Balet, Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS). It is a piece of paradise you can call your own as you are able to rent the whole island just for you and your group exclusively. It's an ideal place to laze around while enjoying the pristine white sand beach and the resort's facilities and amenities.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Any plans yet on where you’ll spend your summer vacation? There’s no shortage of choices in terms of activities this summer, from trekking up in the mountains to diving in the seas, we’ve got you covered on all of those.

Let’s start at the mountains, shall we? Baguio is a default destination for many Filipinos, and for good reason. Aside from its cool climate, there are also a lot of activities waiting to be experienced. Try the zipline in Camp John Hay, pick berries outside the city, have a dose of art in the BenCab Museum, or just enjoy the view at Mines View Park.

Strawberries at La Trinidad, Bengeut
How to get there
Victory Liner and Genesis bus companies have hourly trip to Baguio City from their bus terminals in Pasay, Cubao and Caloocan. Fare for regular airconditioned bus is around P450. 

Sagada in Mountain Province is a stark contrast from urbanized Baguio. Nature activities abound whether you’re trekking the mountains to see the hanging coffins, climbing the stepped rice fields, or spelunking in the limestone caves. Don’t pass the opportunity to witness local customs, as the locals have ceremonies for life events like weddings, planting, and harvesting rice.

The Pine Trees of Sagada
How to get there
There are quite a lot of options in going to Sagada. One is a direct bus route from Manila to Bontoc via Coda Lines Corporation. Bus leaves at 8PM daily in their Legarda Terminal. Another option is to take an Ohayami Bus or Dangwa Transit to Banaue and then take a jeepney to Bontoc then Sagada. You may also travel via Baguio and take a GL Liner or Lizardo Transit from Baguio to Sagada. GL Bus leaves Baguio four times daily starting at 6AM and last trip is at 1PM. Lizardo trans on the other hand leaves Baguio at 9:15AM.  Fare is P220.00.

What summer wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the beach? As far as beach goes, Boracay is king. You can try out literally everything under the sun from sunbathing  to diving, to jetskiing, to parasailing, to mountain climbing. When you get tired of it all, you can always get a massage by the beach.

Boracay, Philippines

El Nido
El Nido is in itself heaven on earth, with its glittering waters and limestone islands that seem to float as if by magic. Choose your summer base among its many islands then ride your boat to the Big Lagoon where you might share a reef with a sea turtle.

El Nido, Palawan

Bantayan Island
Bantayan is a picturesque island off mainland Cebu. It’s a great choice if you’re looking to satisfy your hunger for history along with your craving for the beach. Start off your day with a dive in the reefs in the morning, then head off to the heritage sites in the afternoon to end your day.    

Sta. Fe Beach Resort, Bantayan Island

From climbing the highest peaks of Mount Apo to diving the deep waters of Samal Island, Davao offers every summer activity imaginable.  Drop by for a visit to the kings of wildlife, the Philippine Eagle, in its home base in the Philippine Eagle Center, and Pangil, the largest crocodile in the Crocodile Park.

Babu Santa Beach Resort, Talicud Island, Samal

When you talk about Bohol, you’ll immediately think Tarsier, Chocolate Hills, and the Loboc River Cruise. But Bohol is also home to up and coming Panglao Beach, which has garnered a following of its own. Its waters are clear, its beaches are great, and the food is good, too.

Chocolate Hills of Bohol

Lake Sebu
Enchanting doesn’t begin to describe Lake Sebu in South Cotabato, with its unspoilt lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. Ride a boat around the lake and visit the seven waterfalls, or hike up to the virgin forest if you’re feeling active. Don’t forget to immerse yourself in the T’boli culture at the SIKAT Cultural Center.

Hikong Bente, Lake Sebu

From the deepest south we go north to Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte. Not only it is popular for its beaches, Pagudpud also has cultural environmental sights. Drive around to see Cape Bojeador, the Bangui Windmills, Kapurpurawan Rock formation, and the scenic route of Patapat Viaduct.

Saud Beach, Pagudpud

Brace yourselves, surfing junkies, because Siargao is the place to be if you want to catch a wave. But it’s not only the waves that define Siargao, there are also dive sites and tidal pools around that you can explore. Try the shallow waters and rock formations in Magpupungko for starters.

Surfing in Siargao Photo by Miguel Navaza on Flickr

We hope these got you excited for your summer getaway. Ready your bags and your selfie sticks, because you’ll want to remember every moment of this summer.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Quest Hotel and Conference Center is a 3-star hotel in Cebu City. It has 427 comfortable and spacious furnished rooms and 10 modern meeting rooms with state-of-the art facilities. It is conveniently located in Cebu's business district and is a walking distance to Ayala Mall.

The Amenities
Quest Hotel has 374 Deluxe Rooms, 37 Premier Deluxe Rooms (with balcony), 5 Executive Suites and 11 Junior Suites that suits every traveler's needs whether it is for business or leisure. Aside from the comfortable rooms, it also has 10 state of the art Meeting Facilities ideal for conferences and summits. In addition, it has a restaurant which serves both local and international dishes and a swimming pool on the 7th floor and a pool bar at the same time so guest can sip on their favorite drink while lazing in the pool area. It is also equipped with a gym on the 6th floor where guests can workout and stay fit while they are away from their home. A free Wifi is also available in the hotel.

Swimming Pool at the 7th Floor

The Room
I stayed in one of their deluxe rooms and I must say I had a comfortable sleep during the night. The bed was huge and the mattress was so comfy. The linen was clean and smelled good. The room was spacious too. It is equipped with a side table and a writing desk. A mini bar is also available for the convenience of the guests. I was lucky to be staying in a corner room so I got a pretty good view of the Cebu Cityscape. 

Deluxe Room

The Location
I definitely love Quest's location. It is situated near Ayala Mall and within few distance from other tourist attractions. I attended the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit at the Cebu Capitol and it was close enough for me to conveniently go to the venue.

Overlooking view of the city from my room

The Service
The customer service was of high quality. I was greeted with a smile and was assisted with my needs. The staff were friendly and accommodating. 

The gym at the 6th Floor

The Buffet Breakfast
One of the best parts in staying with Quest is their Buffet Breakfast at Puso Bistro & Bar. It has a wide array of both local and international dishes and pastries. You can choose from their various choices of fresh salad and fruits to the sumptuous Filipino favorite dishes and delectable pastries.

Assorted pastries at the buffet breakfast

Overall Impression
I highly recommend Quest Hotel if you are visiting Cebu City. I'm sure you'll have loads of fun as much I did. Good food, comfortable and affordable rooms as well as state of the art facilities.

Quest Hotel and Conference Center

Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Cebu City, 6000 Philippines
t: +63 32 4025999 f: +63 32 4025986 e: CebuInfo@Quest-Hotels.Com

Room Rates:
Deluxe Room - P5,700+++/night
Premier Deluxe - P6,300+++/night
Junior Suite - P9,700+++/night
Executive Suite - P11,200+++/night

*Rooms include breakfast for two, exclusive of government taxes and service charge.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

One of the considerations we take when we travel is the visa restrictions of the countries we plan to visit. It’s annoying when you already made plans and bookings and later on got your visa application denied.

Henley & Partners, a global company specializing in residence and citizenship planning has published the Visa Restrictions Index for 2014. The company ranks 200 countries according to the travel freedom that their citizens can benefit from. It counted the number of destinations that their citizen can visit without having to obtain a visa prior to their travel.

Here’s a list of the top 5 and bottom 5 passports based on the study.

Finland, Germany, Sweden, USA, United Kingdom
Rank: 1
Score: 174 (Number of destinations citizens can travel visa-free)

Canada, Denmark
Rank: 2
Score: 173

Belgium, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain
Rank: 3
Score: 172

Austria, Ireland, Norway
Rank: 4
Score: 171

New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland
Rank: 5
Score: 170

Rank: 90
Score: 37

Palestinian Territory
Rank: 91
Score: 35

Pakistan, Somalia
Rank: 92
Score: 32

Rank: 93
Score: 31

So how about the Philippines? Click on the image and see how we rank.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

After a series of judging (three to be exact), the winners of this year's Christmas Symbols Festival in Tangub City has been announced. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Established five years ago, Gloria's Fantasyland is one of the country's top theme parks and is considered the first amusement park in Mindanao. It is situated inside the Gloria de Dapitan Entertainment Complex right at the heart of Dapitan City. It features amazing rides such as Zimmerman coaster, Go Kart, Beehive, and Bumper Cars as well as a 5D theater and the must-see Horror House.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Year 2014 has been a good year for Escape Manila. I have traveled to a lot of places and met a lot of people which became good friends. The highlight of this year's travel was when I visited Itbayat, the northernmost inhabited island of the Philippines and when I set foot in Saluag, the southernmost Island in the country.

Itbayat - the Northernmost inhabited isalnd in the Philippines