Monday, April 23, 2018


Earlier this month, Philippines AirAsia introduced a new in-flight meal featuring Davao's Malagos chocolate made by celebrity Chef JP Anglo.


Last April 12, 2018, Philippines AirAsia started offering its new Roasted Dalandan Chicken to its guests.The new chicken meal is served with pimiento sauce flavoured using Davao's famed and internationally recognized Malagos chocolates.


During the launch of the new Santan menu, Chef JP Anglo said, "I am incredibly happy and excited to share my first dish especially made for an airline and I love it that AirAsia is literally taking Filipino home grown products ad talents to greater heights."


Aside from the introduction of the new Roasted Dalandan Chicken meal, AirAsia also brought some social entrepreneurs from Manila, Cebu, and Davao with some sample of their products for the members of the media and bloggers to see and try. Their products are now sold on all AirAsia flights in the whole ASEAN region, rest of Asia, Australia, and the US.





AirAsia Philippines CEO Captain Dexter Commendador said, "AirAsia is a sociable and innovative brand we take pride of our collaborative nature. There is so much talent and unique products in the Philippines especially in Davao that deserve the world's attention and it brings us so much pride that we are with Chef JP, Malagos chocolates and social entrepreneurs who all value a strong, innovative service culture - which is also the hallmark of AirAsia's brand of service."



AirAsia's Roasted Dalandan Chicken meal is now available on all AirAsia domestic and international flights in the Philippines with the Z2 flight code. You can pre-book your meals to save up to 20% compared to the regular price when purchasing on board. You can visit www.airasia.com to book your flight. 



Taipei is an interesting city with plenty to do, eat and experience even for those who are only staying for a couple of days. You can go to national parks nearby, visit cultural and historical sites, shop till you drop, eat at the markets or just relax and unwind.


Get In and Out

Taipei is accessible from Manila; many airlines (Philippine Airlines, EVA Air, Air Asia and Cebu Pacific just to name a few) have direct flights to and from the city. Book tickets in advance to get the lowest possible prices. [Read: Beijing Travel Guide]

You can easily take public transport to and from the airport. However, not all of these operate for 24 hours so you might have to take a taxi, if you’re arrival is too early or late.
If you have no choice but to take a cab, you can hire one for around NT$900-NT$1200. A cheaper option is to get on the train to Taiwan Main Station; this is around NT$160. There are also buses that depart from the airport to different parts of the city. If you want to go to Taipei 101, CitiAir Bus 1960 will get you there for NT$145. Bus 1819 goes to Taipei Main Railway Station and the fare is NT$125. [Airport transfer to Taipei]


Get a Visa

As of this writing, Filipinos are visa-free whenever entering Taiwan. You don’t need travel certificates or an e-visa to visit this country. However, the duration of visa-free entry for Filipinos is up to July 31, 2018 only.

Around the City

Taipei is easy to DIY because of the networks of buses and subway trains to and from different places. Some attractions are right next to stations, while others are just a couple of minutes walk. You won’t get lost as the names of stations are in ‘pinyin’ or English. [Rent a Pocket Wifi in Taiwan]

You can use some passes to get discounts on trips using the metro or bus. [Buy a Taipei Double Decker Bus Tour]


EasyCard

This makes it easy to pay for buses and metro rides. All you have to do is top it up with cash and you’re good to go. You can purchase this card in convenience stores and subway stations. With this card, you can get a discount whenever you take the bus or metro in the city. You can also use this to buy things at 7-11 or Family Mart.
Metro Pass

  1. One Day Pass NT$150
  1. 24-Hour Pass NT$180
  1. 48-Hour Pass NT$280
  1. 72-Hour Pass NT$380

Activate the card at the gate of the metro; once you do this, you can use it for an unlimited number of times.
Taipei Fun Pass

  1. One Day Pass NT$180
  1. Two Day Pass NT$310
  1. Three Day Pass NT$440
  1. Five Day Pass NT$700

This pass is valid for both metro and bus rides.

Buying the cards or pass reduces your expenses and makes paying for metro and bus rides fast and convenient.

Places of Interest

Taipei is an interesting city to explore and discover, here are some places to consider adding to your itinerary.

  • Taipei 101 – the famous landmark and building in the city. Go at night to see it lit up or up to the view deck in the 89th floor. The adult ticket costs NT$600 (New Taiwan Dollar).

  • Elephant Mountain – this trek rewards you with a spectacular view of the city once you reach the viewing area. The best time to go is late afternoon so that you can catch the sunset and see the metropolis lit up.
City View from Elephant Mountain. Photo by: Dmitry Lebedev under CC license

  • Yehliu Geopark – this park has unique rock formations that are picture-perfect; use your imagination to determine the shape of the rocks you’ll see during your visit. Entrance fee NT$80. [Buy ticket now]

  • Ximending – a district famous for shopping and eating; the best time to explore is at night when the buildings and shops are lit up.

  • Shilin Night Market – this market may be touristy, but it is still worth going to because of the food you can try and the items on sale. If you don’t have much time, this is a market to consider adding to your itinerary.
Shihlin Night Market | Photo by Christopher under CC license.

  • Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall – This is a good place to take a stroll in and take photos. You’ll also find a statue of Chiang Kai-Shek in one of the buildings. This is a free attraction.

  • Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall – Another hall with exhibits about Dr. Sun Yat Sen. This is a free attraction.
Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall | Photo by: Wayne Hsieh under CC license.

Day Trips

There are also a few day trips just outside the city, some of them are:

  • Yangmingshan – a nice park to explore for the outdoorsy. The trails are easy to walk on because they are either paved or have wooden pathways. There are different sections for those who want to go up one or some of the peaks. There are also waterfalls and ponds with clear waters that reflect the surrounding mountains and trees.

  • Shifen – a quaint railroad town that has plenty of souvenirs and food to try; you can also send out lanterns. The waterfalls are a highlight of a trip to this destination. [Buy Shifen Half-Day Guided Tour Ticket]

  • Jiufen – if you’ve seen Spirited Away, you’ll recognize the lanterns and buildings right away. Explore the markets, try the food and take as many pictures as possible. [Buy Jiufen Shuttle Bus Ticket from Ximen]

Where to Stay

Taipei is an affordable place to stay in; if you don’t mind sleeping in a dorm room, a bed costs around NTD300 to NTD565+++ a night. A private room costs approximately NTD1000-NTD2000+++ a night. The best places to stay are either near attractions or metro stations. This reduces your expenses and time spent going to and from famous destinations during your trip. Taipei Main Station and Ximending are recommended places to look for accommodation. Below are highly-rated accommodations near Ximending and Taipei Main Station (click to see the rates, reviews and availability):

Sample Expenses


Breakdown (in NTD)
Accommodation
1500 (500 each for two persons for 3 nights)
Transportation
900 (if you buy the passes and just take public transport)
Entrance Fees and/or Tours
680 (if you go to Taipei 101’s observation deck)
Food
1200 (if you eat at small restaurants and street food)
Total Expenses for 4 days and 3 nights
4280

*Conversion of NTD$1 = PHP1.77 (as of writing this article)

The total of NT$4280 each for two is a budget for those who want to explore Taipei for 4 days and 3 nights. That’s approximately PHP7600 each for two persons. If you want to eat at better places or eat more food, or if you want to stay at better accommodation and visit more places, you can increase your budget. A budget of P10000 or around NT$5700 excluding flights and taxes is enough.

*Buy your flight tickets months ahead to get the lowest possible prices.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive early in the morning and check-in at hotel
Visit Sun Yat Sen and Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Halls
Walk around, eat or shop at Ximending at night

Day 2
Visit Yehliu Geopark
Go to Shifen and Jiufen

Day 3
Yangmingshan day trip
Explore Shilin Night Market or other markets

Day 4

Check out of hotel
Go up Taipei 101 or just visit, alternatively, you can also hike Elephant Mountain’s trail

*You can add other places you’d like to visit during your stay or replace some places and go at a more relaxed pace.


About the Author
Joshua Berida is a full time writer, part-time wanderer with insatiable wanderlust. He blogs about his adventures at thewanderingjuan.net.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

P17.00 one-way fare only.  Booking period: Until 22 April 2018. Travel period: May 11, 2018 to October 26, 2018.

In supporting the government's flagship projects to boost tourism and trade, Air Asia continues to introduce new routes that improve connectivity between Clark and other secondary cities like Iloilo, Davao, Tacloban and Cebu.  This will be followed in the future with inter-ASEAN links where Clark can benefit from Air Asia Group's massive network covering over 120 destinations in the whole of ASEAN, in greater Asia, Australia, United States and beyond.


True to being the World’s Best Low-Cost Carrier, Air Asia expands its domestic network in Clark Airport in Pampanga with new flights between Clark and Cebu starting May 11, 2018.


To celebrate this feat, all-in promo fares for Clark to Cebu are now available from as low as P17.00, one-way fare only, until April 22, 2018 at www.airasia.com for travel period between May 11, 2018 and October 26, 2018.


AirAsia Clark (CRK) – Cebu (CEB) flight schedule:
Flight Number
From
To
Departure
Arrival
Frequency
Z2 901
CRK
CEB
10:05
11:25
Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday 
Z2 902
CEB
CRK
11:50
13:10
 Monday,  Wednesday, Friday and Sunday

Keep up-to-date with AirAsia’s latest promotion and activities via Twitter (@AirAsiaPH), Facebook (facebook.com/AirAsiaPhilippines), Instagram (@AirAsiaPh), and on Viber public chat (@AirAsiaPh).


*Terms and conditions apply, one-way only

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


The Philippines is a tropical archipelago composed of more than 7000 islands. Every island that scattered in the vastness of the oceans offers stunning beauty, fascinating marine life and endless tropical and exotic vibe. The Philippines is a mecca for adventurers, thrill seekers and travel junkies. You can always discover an enchanting and pristine beach in every province that will surely awaken your soul. So what are you waiting for? Pack up your bags and let’s start exploring!! [Read: Tiamban Beach and BonBon Beach in Romblon]


Cresta de Gallo Island is my dream paradise Island. It is located in Sibuyan Island in the Province of Romblon. The island is so pristine and gorgeous that it will leave you speechless.  It is undeniably beautiful and it is one of the best islands in the Philippines. The calmness and peacefulness of the island is hard to resist. It is a wonderful reward from days of traveling and exploring around Romblon. [Read: Romblon's Carabao Island]

Cresta de Gallo's shore is an idyllic spot to unwind.

The paradise island of Cresta de Gallo.

Cresta de Gallo is a 4.5 hectares island situated in the Sibuyan Sea. The island is accessible through a motor boat from the quaint town of San Fernando. It will take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach the island depending on winds and waves. The waves can be pretty wild but once you reach the island, all your worries and fears will fade away by the splendidness of the place. We were in awe when we reached the island. Our emotions run wild with wonder and ultimate bliss. We cannot believe that such a beautiful island like this truly exist. I am running out of adjectives to describe the place, just look at my photos. 

The island is surrounded with turquoise blue water, pure sugary white sand and mesmerizing shoreline that creates a perfect island getaway with much less tourist and endless sun-filled memories. There are no source of electricity and fresh water. Also, comfort rooms are not available in the island but the lack of these amenities adds charm and excitement to this astonishing creation. It is the best example of a total island living. You are totally isolated from the rest of the world.  Overnight camping is allowed in the island just make sure that you have enough supplies for your stay. A Php 20 entrance fee is required but you can camp anywhere in the island for free. 

The sugary fine white sand of the island is just enchanting.
Cresta de Gallo Island is not for everyone. The island was created for those who are willing to take the risk. You must be willing to travel 15 hours from Batangas port to Magdiwang port in Sibuyan, you must be willing to overcome rough roads and rocky paths, you must be willing to spend most of your time under the scorching heat of the sun and you must be willing to go out of your comfort zone. If you think that you can conquer everything then you should start planning now. All the hard work and all your doubts will pay off when you set foot in this magnificent island. You will be rewarded with serenity and sheer beauty. The island offers an astonishing charm, it’s like a fantasy. 


The azure water that surrounds the whole island. 

The crystal clear tropical water of Cresta de Gallo.

How to get to Manila to Cresta de Gallo Island?
  • Take the bus from Buendia to Batangas port. Fare Php 177. Travel time is around 2 hours. First trip is around 1 am.
  • From Batangas Port take the ferry bound for Magdiwang Port in Sibuyan Island.          Navios Navigation Shipping lines and Montenegro shipping lines offer direct route to  Sibuyan Island. Fare is Php 1,100. Terminal Fee is Php 30. It will take 14 to 15 hours from    Batangas Port to Magdiwang port in Sibuyan Island. Make sure to book your tickets    early to avoid hassles and delays. 
  • From Magdiwang Port there are Jeepneys waiting at the port going to the town of San Fernando. Travel  time is 2 hours. Fare is Php 200. You can also hire a tricycle for Php 1,000 – 1,200 with    stopover in LAMBINGAN FALLS and CANTINGAS RIVER. 
  • From the town of San Fernando rent a boat going to Cresta de Gallo Island. The        island is 1 hour and 30 minutes boat ride from the mainland. 
GOING BACK: (From Cresta de Gallo to Manila)
  • From the town of San Fernando catch the first trip of jeepneys at around 3:00 am bound to Magdiwang Port.
  • From Magdiwang Port book a ticket bound for Batangas Port.Travel time is 15 hours. fare is Php 1,100. Terminal fee is Php 15. Travel time is around 14 to 15 hours. the ferry leaves at 10 am.
  • From Batangas port take the Bus going to Buendia ,Alabang or Cubao. fare is Php 177. Travel time 2 to 3 hours.

CONTACT PERSON for boat rentals, accommodations and island tours:
Kagawad Boy “Pasik” Suicon.
Contact details: 0926 456 0588
  • I highly recommend kagawad Pasik. He is one of the most accommodating and friendly person that we met in Sibuyan. He is more than willing to guide you in different tourist attractions in his beautiful town. His family is super nice and very hospitable.
  • Boat rentals ranges from Php 2,500 to Php 3,500. 
  • For day tour it’s around Php 2,500 (back and forth) good for 3 to 4 persons and Php 3,500 (back and forth) good for 4 to 6 persons.
  • For overnight stay Php 3,500 (back and forth) good for 3 to 4 persons and Php 3,500 (back and forth) good for 4 to 6 persons.

WHERE TO STAY:
  • During our stay in San Fernando we decided to camp in the beach in the town of San Fernando together with Kagawad Pasik. Beach camping is free. There are numerous transient houses and hotels around San Fernando. 
  • Overnight camping is allowed in Cresta de Gallo Island and its free. Make sure to bring your power banks, flash lights and other useful camping tools.  
Perfect island getaway.


Abouth the Author:
Edss Tolentino is an aspiring travel writer, adventure junkie and a seeker of the unknown. His goal is to explore and discover the 7,641 islands of the Philippines and share its beauty to the world.

Saturday, April 14, 2018


Carabao Island or locally known as Hambil is a tropical dream island located in the town of San Jose in the Province of Romblon. Dubbed as Boracay’s sister, the island is blessed with powdery soft sand, azure water, calm atmosphere, never ending summer vibe and a beautiful landscape and  shoreline that can rival its sister island. Carabao Island is a must visit place to chill and to slow down from our fast city life. 

The picturesque beach of Carabao Island
The island is not yet highly commercialized so you can truly enjoy its serenity with few tourists. The shore is a perfect playground for a sunny afternoon and a wonderful spot to unwind and to savor every moment under the tropical sun. The picturesque shore is perfect for your Instagram goals. According to some locals the sand here is the same in Boracay but what makes Carabao Island extra special are the calm vibe and the laid-back lifestyle in the Island. 


Relaxing shore and the azure water of the island.

Aside from the beach, the island also offers different kinds of adventure that will awaken the inner child in all of us. You can rent a motorbike or locally known as “habal-habal” to explore the whole island and discover secluded and pristine beaches. The “habal-habal” cost at around Php 1000 to 1500. The Island has a wide variety of tourist attractions such as:


Before jumping on the 15 ft. dive

The sleeping baby.
CATHEDRAL CAVE and CLIFF DIVING 

If you are a cliff diving enthusiast you should visit Cathedral cave and Cliff Diving site. First, they will escort you inside Cathedral cave and take a glimpse of the different rock formations and Stalagmites and stalactites. Second, they will take you to their main attraction which is the Cliff diving site. It’s a 12 to 15 ft. from the cliff to the sea floor and another 10 ft from the bottom of the ocean to the surface. It’s pretty high and pretty deep. Nevertheless the experience was blissful and nerve wracking. By the way, I jumped 3 times and it was awesome.

Entrance fee: Php 100

Kuding-Kuding cave and cliff diving site.

The Crystal clear pool inside Kuding-kuding cave.

KUDING-KUDING CAVE and CLIFF DIVING

This is another cliff diving site in the island. The cliff diving here is perfect for beginners since it just 5ft. from the cliff to the water. They also have a smaller cave with a pool inside. I jumped here twice.

Entrance Fee: 100

The highest point in the island.

The Island of Boracay from Tagaytay View Point.

TAGAYTAY VIEW POINT

This is the highest point in the island. The spot is popular for tourist because you will have a clear view of Boracay. This is also a great place to relax after a long day of exploring and conquering rough and rocky roads. 

We discover this hidden beach in our habal-habal tour.

HOW TO GET TO CARABAO ISLAND:



By Air: 

Book a flight from Manilla to Tablas (Tugdan Airport). From the Airport hire a tricycle going to the town of Odiongan. From Odiongan take the jeepney bound for the town of Looc then from looc ride a jeepney going to Santa Fe. Travel time is 1 to 30 minutes. There are passenger boats that leave Santa Fe port at around 9am going to Carabao Island. 

  • Odiongan to Looc, fare is Php 50
  • Looc to Santa Fe, fare is Php 50
  • Santa Fe port to Carabao Island , Fare is Php 100
Alternatively, you can also fly to Caticlan or Kalibo. From Kalibo, take a van to Caticlan. From Caticlan, take a tricycle to San Jose Port (boats to Hambil), fare is around Php50. From the port take a public boat to Carabao Island. Fare is Php80 per person and the boat is scheduled to leave at 8:30AM daily. Charter a boat if you don't plan to stay overnight.

By Sea:

Shipping lines such as 2GO and Montenegro lines have direct trip to Odiongan in Tablas from Batangas Port. Make sure to buy your tickets as early as possible to avoid delays and cutting trips. From Odiongan take the first trip bound for Looc at 6 in the morning. From looc ride a jeepney going to Santa Fe port. From the port catch the earliest trip of passenger boat bound to Carabao Island. Book a ticket now!

  • Bundia to Batangas port, fare is Php 177
  • Batangas port to Odiongan Tablas , fare is Php 795
  • Terminal Fee Php 30
  • Odiongan to looc, fare is Php 50
  • Looc to Santa Fe, fare is Php 50
  • Santa Fe to Carabao Island via Passenger boat , fare is Php 100

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WHERE TO STAY:

There are hotels and transient houses in the island in a reasonable price. Since we are traveling in a shoe string budget, we decided to camp on the beach because its free.


Lanas Beach Resort

Nipa House Resort
Contact Details: 0999 407 4225


Pink sunset in Carabao Island.

About the Author:
Edss Tolentino works a s a Visual Merchandiser in a retail brand. He is an aspiring travel writer, an adventure junkie and a seeker of the unknown. His goal is to explore the 7,641 islands of the Philippines and share its beauty to the world.