Sunday, June 19, 2016

I've only been to Bagan for two full days so I haven't really explored it that much. Since I do not have much time to explore the thousands of pagodas in the city I've tried my best to at least spend time scouting for the best restaurants to eat. I do not want to Google so together with my college friend, Evan we wander around Nyaung-U to the Old Bagan to try what's in store for our hungry tummies. While walking in the food strip, Weather Spoon's Bagan caught our attention since it was a full house. We waited for a couple of minutes but it looked like the customers were enjoying their local beer, burgers and pizzas so we decided to look for another restaurant to try.

We went back for dinner but again, Weather Spoon's Bagan was full so we tried another restaurant, again! We thought we'd never had a chance to try their food but luckily the next morning we're able to finally dine at the resto. There were not too many people when we arrived since it was still too early. Most of the visitors were still enjoying the sunrise view of Bagan. It was phenomenal by the way (I'll discuss this is my next post, hahaha)

A photo posted by Glen Santillan (@escapemanila) on

We tried their Myanmar-style Fish Curry and Myanmar-style beef curry, both were served with plain rice and equally delicious Myanmar-style salad. I paired my beef curry with their Papaya Salad and Evan ordered Tomato Salad. The food were really good. It's too different from the usual curry that I've tried. And the salad? It was delightful!

So, if you are planning to visit Bagan, I highly recommend you eat at Weather Spoon's Bagan. The restaurant is small and cozy and is a good place to meet fellow travelers.

Here's the menu of Weather Spoon's Bagan. 1USD is approximately 1,200 Myanmar Kyat.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Top telecoms embark on a three-year transformation to the digital world with new logos.

PLDT and Smart Executives with its Chairman & CEO Manny V. Pangilinan

Digital service provider PLDT Inc., formerly Philippine Long Distance Company, and its mobile service subsidiary Smart Communications, unveil new logos as part of its brand identity evolution. This is a decisive move towards a more data-driven business, reflecting the current demand of its increasingly digital customer base.

The new branding campaign embodies the PLDT-Smart three-year "digital pivot," a key part of which is the transformation of current networks into the ultimate in data infrastructure capabilities, which will eventually provide customers with a wide array of powerful digital services. 

PLDT-Smart Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan says, "Rather than allow ourselves to be disrupted by new technologies, we are disrupting ourselves. We have embarked on a digital pivot to enable us to serve the increasing needs of our people's digital lifestyle and the country's growing digital economy."

Manny V Pangilian at the unveiling of the new PLDT & Smart Logo

The telecom duo puts its money where its mouth is. The two companies have jointly made a commitment for capital expenditures for this purpose with a PhP43 billion allocation for 2016, and a further PhP100 million more in the pipeline. PLDT is in the midst of acquiring part of the telco assets of San Miguel Corp. which includes the right to use the 700 MHz frequency, more commonly referred to as the  digital dividend. This will significantly increase the telcos' ability to provide powerful and widespread wireless communications such as 5G, even in rural areas. San Miguel has had control over this particular spectrum since 2005.  

In addition,  PLDT and its subsidiaries, including Talas Data Intelligence and Voyager Innovation, are in the midst of developing and providing more efficient and convenient financial and digital technology services to the Group's customers.  Mr. Pangilinan reveals, "We shall lead the digital revolution by embracing the smart life within the organization, pursuing digital innovations and enabling our customers to go digital in their own ways. The biggest winners will be our customers who will have a growing range of choices at their fingertips."

New look
PLDT and Smart now have logos that represent the main thrusts of the Group's business, namely value for customers, meaningful innovations, and outstanding people. The central figure in both logos is appropriately enough a stylized equilateral triangle, which also happens to be the symbol for Greek letter "delta,"  representing change. Mr. Pangilinan explains, "Taken together, these three pillars create tremendous energy that will enable our customers to achieve their limitless potential. The triangle’s three sides support each other. Thus, an inherent strength flows harmoniously among the sides to sustain the structure."

The previous PLDT logo was iconic, an abstraction of the telephone receiver with four sides, and had enjoyed a 33-year stint. The  new logo heralds a welcome change in both look and services. For Smart, the new logo is only the third in its 25-year history.

Recent PLDT innovations
PLDT is fast approaching its ninth decade, but it is still changing lives. At 88 years old, the company has always been at the forefront of communications technology.

  • It was the first to offer DSL subscribers with the ability to share data with a Smart mobile subscription
  • It launched a wide array of web-capable devices including the Telpad, an online tablet hub that controls home digital services, the TVolutions Stick which converts television sets for use as personal computers, and FamCam, a mobile-enabled CCTV that streams home security footage wirelessly   
  • Its subsidiary, Smart, pioneered the deployment of LTE-A, which enabled it to offer 4.5G service in Boracay
  • It offered businesses with a series of digital enterprise services through its  SMACS (Social, Mobility, Analytics, Cloud, and Security) platform, including the Philippines' first mobile app using geo-fencing called MarketBuilder

Sunday, June 12, 2016

I was one of the not so lucky people who have not experience a tour at a Coca-Cola Plant during my high school years. Yeah, it's a bummer! We were supposed to have a field trip to the plant but it got cancelled so the idea of getting to taste an ice cold Coke fresh off the bottling line remained just a thought for many years. So, when I got invited to be a part of a media tour at the plant, I did not hesitate and said, yes!

Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines ranked 10th among the largest Coca-Cola Bottlers in the world, the only nation outside South America in the top 10. It offers 18 FDA-approved brands with a wide product variants selection spread throughout the country. 

And so the journey begins...

Our first stop was at the Coca-Cola FEMSA Davao Plant, where the journey of a bottle begins. The Davao plant was established in May 1950 an was moved to its current location along Mac Arthur highway in Barangay Ulas in 1974 which occupies 3.8 hectares. The plant has the capability to produce about 1.1M gallons of beverage annually. 

Cat Avelino, Coca-Cola FAMSA's External Communications & CSR Manager

Just like in any other plant tours, before we commenced our media tour, we were briefed by Cat Avelino, Coca-Cola FAMSA's External Communications & CSR Manager about the company's values and how it remained the top choice by many Filipinos when it comes to soft drinks. 

How the Coca-Cola is made?

The bottling process starts from the preparation of the raw materials, ingredients (basically composed of water, sweeteners, and natural flavors), then onto the bottle washer where the bottles are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, filled, capped, and inspected using state-of-the-art equipment and the strictest quality control measures. Bottles that pass the stringent quality control are then put into crates and brought to the warehouse for immediate dispatch.

Now that it's bottled, where are those Coca-Cola products go?

After the filled bottles are put into crates, they are delivered to the distribution center where they are tagged and loaded to the trucks in accordance to the customers order for a certain day. They are being dispatched for delivery  to retail establishments.

Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines has two distribution centers serving Southern Mindanao area, employing 395 associates and providing beverage requirements close to 80,000 establishments.

A Taste of Success

Most of the establishments supported by Coca-Cola FEMSA are small to medium enteprises (SMEs) sari-sari stores and carinderias or eateries.

One of them is Nanay Vangie, owner of Vangie Eatery , a thriving carinderia in Bangkal, Davao City. Nanay Vangie started small 30 years ago and grew her business eventually into a bigger outlet today. 

Nanay Vangie is an exclusive Coca-Cola outlet since she started her business. From just four dishes and two carinderia tables, she now offers 40 types of dishes and serve more than 100 customers a day. Her carinderia mainly caters to local residents in the area as well as students and office workers in the vicinity who are looking for a meal and a cold drink.

She is grateful for the support she received from Coca-Cola sales executive assigned to her for guiding her and keeping her business on track. With the success of her business, she was able to send her children to school. 

"Coca-Cola plays a major role in my family's life as it helped us get through the day from our daily expenses, sending my children to schools, among other expenses," she said.

Nanay Vangie has five children, three of which are now young professionals.

The journey doesn't end

More than its world-class quality and satisfying taste, a Coca-Cola and all the other beverages produced by Coca-Cola FEMSA, is actually made of so much more. It's made out of love, dedication, and happiness by the more than 10,000 people in 19 plants and close to 60 sales offices across the Philippines.

So the next time you open a bottle of Coke, remember that it is more than the fizzy drink you have loved for so many years. It is the result of the hard work and dedication of thousands.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Most people prefer to stay in a hotel where they can be comfortable. This includes their safety, convenience and cleanliness. The Microtel by Wyndham Acropolis has it all. This affordable hotel does not provide things that you don’t need, so it fits the budget of their guests. Wyndham Hotel Group has an international chain of hotels. Here in the Philippines, its establishments can be found in Acropolis, QC, Baguio, Batangas, Boracay, Cabanatuan, Cavite, Davao, General Santos, Mall of Asia, Palawan, South Forbes, Tarlac and UP QC.

Located in the urban district of Eastwood, Mictrotel by Wyndham Acropolis is perfect for those who wants to wander around Metro Manila. It is a 0.5 km walk from the city proper and a 45-minute ride from the NAIA (airport). There is no need to worry about accessibility because it is also within the reach of Eastwood CyberOne Mall, John F. Cotton Hospital and the Medical city. The convenience and the safe environment of this hotel makes it a home away from home.

Microtel by Wyndham Acropolis offers free wifi in all areas, who would not want a free wifi, right? It also has a free parking area, how good is that? They have 84 rooms ready for accommodating its guests. The rooms are in a decent size, with good air conditioning units, a great factor since Metro Manila is a very hot place. It has an electronic keycard entry system, TV with cable channels, IDD and NDD phone, refrigerator, hair dryer and safety deposit box. Microtel is a non-smoking establishment which makes it a child and family friendly hotel. 

Microtel Acropolis also has conference/meeting room to accommodate guests who are in their business trips. A function room is also available for celebrations and gatherings. The hotel also has a spa where you can relax after a day of wandering around the city.  

Microtel by Wyndham Acropolis offers a complimentary buffet breakfast for its guests. They have a skilled kitchen staff to prepare it for you. They also have a bar to where the guests can chill, a restaurant to serve more of their deliciously cooked cuisines and a coffee shop to accommodate those who are on their business trips and those who are enjoying their solitude. There are also vending machines for your convenience.


Microtel by Wyndham Acropolis has a friendly and accommodating staff who will always help you for whatever assistance that you require. 

Overall, I had a great stay at Microtel Acropolis - a comfortable sleep and a worry-free stay!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Have you visited the land down under? Many people who visit the place are speechless about the mesmerising and captivating beauty of the country. They leave the place with a fulfilled feeling and a promise to go back again as soon as they can. So if you haven’t visited the place, maybe it is time that you make some plans now. 

View of the Gold Coast at dusk | Photo by: Wikipedia user Gccec2012

A trip to Oz isn’t that expensive too! There are plenty of airlines that offer airfare discount promo codes. You can even ditch staying at pricey accommodation by renting and driving RVs/campervans all around the Gold Coast. Heck, some rental companies rent out RVs at only 5 dollars per day thru their campervan relocation promos. 
So there’s no excuse not to visit the Gold Coast and scratch it off your bucket list.

Here are some of the awesome activities that you will definitely enjoy when you visit the Gold Coast:

Explore the beautiful beaches that can be considered among the bests in the world.

Burleigh Heads Beach | Photo by Kerrie Brailsford

Gold Coast boasts some really spectacular beaches that will never disappoint you. You can relax in the fine sands and enjoy the sun while having Pacific Ocean as your view or you can also go for some surfing adventure. Australia is popular for really great surfing spots like the Surfers Paradise. Gold Coast has 57 kilometres of coastline that you can explore with different activities to try as well. It is a paradise indeed!

Enjoy the theme parks with the kids or even the kid in you.

If you’re travelling with the kids then you should include in your itinerary some trips to some wonderful and fun theme parks Gold Coast has to offer. You should visit Australia’s Sea World, Warner Bros Movie World, White Water World, Ripleys Believe it or Not! Odditorium and many more others. The kids will definitely love it and even the kid within you will definitely have a great time too.

Stroll through the rainforest.

Another thing to do during your trip to Gold Coast is to stroll through the rainforest on the Tree Top Walkway. It spans nine suspension bridges that will put you in the midst of canopy and beautiful plants, flowers and birds will surround you once you reach the Observation Deck, which is 30 metres high.  The Tree Top Walkway is free so it makes everything a lot sweeter.

Shop at the best markets and boutiques.

If you love shopping then you should visit the markets and boutiques in town. You can check out the Carrara Markets with 500 stalls of great finds. Free entertainments are also available during weekend visits. You can also visit the Harbour Town outlet mall for some amazing bargain deals that will surely make you go crazy.

Try some adrenaline-pumping activities.

Lastly, you can try some adrenaline-pumping activities that will give you a different kind of high and rush. You can try skydiving, modern bungy jumping, scuba diving, mountain climbing and other activities that you don’t normally do in your daily routine. Trying out these activities will give you extra confidence in yourself.

Australia is a one-of-kind place that you should definitely visit and make sure to put Gold Coast on top of your list. Make your trip more memorable by visiting it with your family, friends or a significant other. And for sure, you will realize how this is indeed worthy to be included on your bucket list

Sunday, May 15, 2016

SMART Bro has recently launched their best 4G Pocket Wifi that will surely change the way you travel and work from anywhere. A 4G Pocket Wifi would normally cost more than a thousand, but for this latest offering of Smart Bro, it's far cheaper than the usual rate with the same or even higher quality than its competitor. At only Php888, everyone can afford to buy their own 4G Pocket Wifi.

The Pocket Wi-Fi comes pre-loaded with 150MB data that’s valid for 30 days. Amazing, right? It can connect up to 10 devices with speed of up to 12 Mbps. Great deal, indeed!

For the best experience, it is recommended to pair your new SMART Bro pocket Wi-Fi with Surfmax 85 which will give you two days of all-day internet up to 800 Mbps of 4G data.

Learn more of Surfmax here:

Get your new 4G Smart Bro Pocket Wifi now and travel and work anywhere with fast speed and reliable internet throughout the country.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Wondering where to treat your mom on Mother's Day? Seda Abreeza Hotel has put together an exquisite offering for moms and the rest of the family to enjoy. 

Seda Abreeza offers an affordable room package from May 7 to 9, 2016 to cater to your family's staycation. Bond with your mom and the rest of the family in one of Davao's top hotels for only P4500 nett per room. The room package includes complimentary breakfast, WiFi access, use of the hotel gym and pool, and one complimentary Spa Gift Certificate for your mom. (Read: Davao 101: A Comprehensive Davao Travel Guide)

To complete your bonding moments, treat your mom and your loved ones at Misto, the hotel's all-day dining restaurant. It offers a Mother's Day Lunch Buffet on May 8, 2016. Sous Chef Giovanna "Bang" Flores and her talented Kitchen Team prepares a buffet spread highlighting hotel specialties and family affair favorites. You'll surely have a gastronomic satisfaction with the dishes they are going to serve. The buffet includes dishes such as the Angus Roast Beef, Lechon, and a Live Pasta Station. Desserts are also one of the highlights of the lunch buffet, as it includes: Lemon Meringue Eclairs, Caramel Chocolate Trifle, Angel Cake with Rose Frosting, Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake, Apple Pie, Lemon Layer Cake with Blueberry Buttercream, Strawberry Crinkle Cookies, Mother’s Day Themed Cakes, Cupcakes, Cookies, and one of Misto’s specialty cakes – Mango Sansrival.

Buffet price is Php 780 nett for adults, and Php 380 nett for kids aged 7 to 12 years old, and free for kids aged 6 and below. 

For further inquiries and reservations, please contact 082-2443000 or 082-3228888 or send an email to