Saturday, May 4, 2013

Taiwan Tourism Exhibit at Glorietta Mall

Passing by Makati, I was invited by a fellow blogger to take a look around the exhibit about Taiwan Tourism. The first I noticed was the different travel agencies and airlines that arranges packages deals like Global Access Travel & Tours. Formerly called Formosa, is located not far from the North of the Philippines. Better yet, it's still on the same time zone as the Philippines so there are no worries about jet lag.

The event reminds me of a small scale travel expo only that it concentrates on Taiwan alone. Besides the package deals and flight rates, there are some exciting activities that can happen on the whole day of the exhibit.

You can have your picture taken with a quartet dressed up with traditional Taiwanese clothing and helps you wearing a spare traditional clothes. There are also trivial questions and games from the stage area where you can win original Taiwanese sweets.

One of Taiwan's major tourism is their leisure farms. On their booth, they give simple do-it-yourself fun-art activities. There are also schedule performances of Taiwan's cultural talents like a lion dance. This just proves that there are more to see in Taiwan personally than in locally dubbed Taiwanese TV series. It's really time to visit Taiwan.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Camarines Norte Part 2

Bagasbas Lighthouse Hotel Resort
It is my first time to go anywhere in the Bicol Region. Upon our arrival in Bagasbas one early morning, I realize that we were near a beach judging by the winds. We got settled after long travel to catch up with the remaining hours of sleep. When we woke up by daylight, I realized that we were already along the beach line. After having our hearty breakfast, we prepped up for the town center.
Bagasbas beach
On our way, we passed by a nearby park. I was oriented that stood here was a replica of a monument dedicated to Jose Rizal, the Philippine national hero. Not the monument of Rizal in Luneta. I was oriented two years after Rizal’s death in 1896, the first monument in his honor was first constructed here in Daet, the capital of Camarines Norte. 
Replica of the first Rizal monument

We proceeded to the actual location of the first monument. The three-sided stone pylon stands 15 feet. Unlike the monument in Manila, it has no statue of Rizal. Written on its square podium are Rizal’s novels, Noli Me Tangere, El Filibusterismo, and Morga, tribute to Antonio De Morga, author of Sucesos de las islas Filipinas, an important book about the history of early Spanish colonization. On the top most triangle is an eight-rayed sun, a 5 pointed star, and a phrase, “A Jose Rizal” (To Jose Rizal). This is the source of national pride for the Bicolanos. The next part will be about our tour on the Museo Bulawan.

The First Rizal Monument

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Destination: Camarines Norte Part 1

Replica of the first Rizal monument

This was my first visit to the Bicol Region and I know friends who are from that province. I am starting a series of blog posts during my time and experiences in Camarines Norte. We left Manila around 5:30 in the afternoon by a private vehicle provided by the Provincial Tourism Office of Camarines Norte. The group  is composed of Bernard Supetran, PR consultant, Benjamin Layug of Business Mirror and Byahero, a travel website, Joselito Cinco of Manila Standard,  Kara Santos of Sunday Inquirer and yours truly. We arrived at Bagasbas in Camarines Norte at 1:30 in the morning which totals seven hours of travel by land and we stayed in Bagasbas Lighthouse Hotel Resort along Bagasbas Boulevard facing the Bagasbas beach.

Camarines Norte is found in the Northwestern of coast of the Bicol Peninsula, which forms the southeastern section of Luzon. It is one of the six provinces of Bicol Region. The major industries Camarines Norte is proud of are jewelry making, fishing, aquatic products, processing of queen pineapple and tourism. Camarines Norte has a total land area of 232,007 hectares composed of twelve municipalities and is divided in Tagalog and Bicolano speaking towns. Total population of Camarines Norte is about 470,654. The ratio of population density is 202 persons to a square kilometer. In my next blog post, I will feature the churches of Camarines Norte that are celebrating their four hundred years.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Corregidor Adventure Tour Challenge Experience

Last December, I was able to join the first Corregidor Adventour Challenge along with the traditional media practitioners from different newspaper publications upon invitation of Bernard Supetran ,PR consultant. I was the only blogger then. In this post, I am going to spoil some details but not narrate in detail to maintain suspense for those who will decide to try it in one of the Corregidor tours in the future. This was my second time in Corregidor. The first was during a boy scout camping. We toured Corregidor just like any other tour guest.

There were two groups of four. To distinguish the Adventour participants from regular tour guests, we were required to wear the Adventour shirt and equipped with a sling bag containing bottled water, energy bar, scratch paper and pen. We were also given a large searchlight for the dark areas.

One of the obstacles was to find puzzle pieces inside balloons at the starting point to form a map. Another obstacle is to requires you to solve word puzzles. Another obstacle requires to walk blindfolded by one team member guided by another without spilling paper cups filled with water. The last one obstacle is a real challenge that requires teamwork which I will not reveal.
Getting up from an old Japanese escape tunnel

What makes it fun was unlike the regular touring, this is more exciting. You travel the island on foot and get to go through a dark Japanese duck walk tunnel crawling with large geckos. You don't get to do that on a regular tour and it's really an immersing experience which makes it a better tour alternative for me. The Adventour is also ideal for group dynamics and team building especially if you are into Amazing Race type of activity. The Adventour Challenge is now called Adventure Tour Challenge. To inquire about Corregidor Adventure Tour, contact Sun Cruise at (02)527-5555.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hotel H2O

I first heard about this hotel when I was invited to attend the Asian launch of a Fox series, FlashForward almost two years ago. When I got there, I just found out that it was still in progress but it is operational and I was one of the privilege to be the first to stay. The room has an internet cable connection and an office desk, a vault.

The bed is a queensized and the bath room shower is also unique. If you are not occupying the seaside with a window, you will have a better display of an aquarium instead. It is unlike any hotel, I stayed at. It would also be an ideal place for photo shoot. There is also a bar that is located on a seaside and some restaurants that you don't see in usual places. Hotel H2O is located at Manila Ocean Park.