Tagaytay in a Capsule

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Hello! Is it me you're looking for? (insert singing Lionel Ritchie's song here...) I am listening on this tune while typing this post and lost of words for my introduction. It's been a while, right? Again, here's your miss MIA, posting a blogpost for all of you.

Early this year, I was shocked of a big news and that news will be revealed to you soon. Together with that surprise, I was able to go to Tagaytay with the boyfriend. We went to Manila to watch a PBA game of his favorite team as my birthday gift for him. The next day, we went to Tagaytay for a day tour. Being lazy, we booked Hometel & Tagaytay Tours for our Tagaytay day tour with a side trip in the Philippine's Disneyland, Fantasy World. It was supposed to be a group package tour but we didn't expect we were the only one in the tour. It was like we were in a private tour with a package tour price. We were picked up early in the morning and bring back to our hotel in the evening. We went to People's Park, Picnic Grove for lunch, side trip in Batangas and to end the day at Sky Ranch.

People's Park in the Sky
This is a historical urban park in Tagaytay. It's a place where you can see and overlook the Taal volcano. Unfortunately, it was foggy that day that we can't see clearly the beauty of the famous volcano. It's like a mansion with remnants of the past.

Post Christmas Holiday in Palawan

Monday, April 17, 2017

This might be an overdue post because of being MIA lately, but decided to post the remaining posts of last year. Sorry for that. New year resolutions don't really work out for me. At least a few. So here you go.

This is my post Christmas 2016 trip with my mother. We departed after celebrating the 1st year death anniversary of my father. Mother needs a trip therapy and this trip served as my Christmas gift for her. I also benefit from it. I got to visit once and for all, the Philippine's last frontier, Palawan. We're there for 3day 2 nights. We went to El Nido a night and a day then went back to Puerto Princesa the night of the second day. We arrived early evening in El Nido and just went outside for our dinner and some souvenir shopping and got ready for the long day ahead of us tomorrow. Due to departure and arrival time constraints, we departed Davao and Puerto Princesa through AirAsia and Cebu Pacific, respectively.
I would like to write about our accommodation but forgive my bad memory, because I forgot the hostel's name. I also forgot even the name of our hostel in Puerto Princesa. Sorry again for that. I just remembered that El Nido has no electricity in the evening until early morning. Our hostel serves breakfast also. It was a good breakfast, by the way. Since we had a limited time in El Nido, we can only do one tour out of the 4 tours available. Each tour will consumed almost a day, so I guess if you will visit El Nido, allot 3-4 days, maybe. We did Tour A for 1,200PHP per person, by the way. Tour A compose of lagoons and beaches in El Nido (Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island, Small&Big Lagoon and the 7 Commando Beach).

Secret Lagoon is located in a small island surrounded with limestone cliffs. When you enter a small hole, you will be welcomed by a lagoon in the center and a massive caldera that was once a cave which collapsed and then now surrounded with limestone cliffs.

An Afternoon in Pinto Art Museum Antipolo, Philippines

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Living in Philippines' capital, Manila, lets you go to different places in no time; it might be an international flight, domestic flight, concerts, playoffs  and anything in between. Even a quick out of town trip is easy as 1-2-3, just like our trip in Antipolo with friends. I have 2 days stay in Manila from my Taiwan trip HERE to catch up with them. They took me to Pinto Art Museum located in Antipolo. I've heard and saw this museum in social media and I wasn't expecting I can visit it. T'was a nice and educational place, I think. Art lovers will surely love this place and it will be a feast for their eyes. I am not really an art person but being able to visit one is a pleasurable experience.

How To Get There
We used UBER from Pasig to the location for almost 250PHP, if I remember. Due to traffic, I guess we are traveling for almost 2 hours.

If you will try to commute, there are PUJs and FXs going to Antipolo from Santolan station. Also, there is a PUJ terminal in Greenfield District area and FX terminal in SM Megamall parking area. Once in Antipolo, ride a tricycle going to Grand Heights subdivision. The museum is inside the subdivision so just tell the guard you are going in the museum.

For private vehicles, take Ortigas Extension, passing by Cainta junction, then pass Tikling until you reach the Ynares center then make a right turn which will lead you to Grand Heights.

What to expect?
Well, obviously, this is an art museum so expect lots of arts! From paintings, to parental guidance arts, to artworks made of steel, wire, paper, name it, you can find it there. They are works of art of Filipino people. I may not be a lover of art but here are the artworks that interest me. Also, try to have a snack or lunch in their cafe. Their foods are great and worth the price. You can also take it home if you can't finish it all. How's that? Art-lover or not, by all means, visit this "mala-Santorini" place as they say. You will know when you get there.

Less Than 24-Hour Itinerary in Taipei, Taiwan ala Jenponix

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Taipei, capital of Taiwan is a place where history meets modern metropolis. It has interesting things such as history museums, traditional street markets, and shopping centers. This place has so many visitors from all races and fit for travelers of all ages. I, myself was encouraged to visit this capital. Yes, December of last year, I made a stopover to Taipei before going back home in the Philippines for a vacation. Instead of a direct flight to the Philippines, I booked a NGO-TPE-MNL-DVO ticket. It's a 11-hour stopover so what to do with that long hour wait? As for me, it's time to explore the city! By the way, there's half-day free tours offered by the airport. Visit HERE for more information.

How To Get There
There are 2 airports in Taiwan. The Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) and the Songshan Airport. If you are arriving in Taiwan, you will most likey arrive in TPE. The former has 2 terminals and the latter airport serves as the regional airport. There are direct flights from Nagoya like the Tiger Air, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, and Japan Airlines. For other flights departing in your area, you may check SkyScanner. I flew with Tiger Air, one of low-cost carriers in Asia for 17,370JPY. Since TPE is not located in the city center, for a 125TWD one way, you will hop on a 45minutes to an hour bus to reach the Taipei Main Station and from there, you can ride their MRT to reach to different locations of the city. Their MRT are user-friendly and stations are close to popular places in the city area. Going back to the airport will be the same, buy a 125TWD bus ticket, hop on the bus and arrive in your airport terminal.

Visa Requirements
Philippine passport holders need a visa to enter Taiwan, however, Philippine passport holders can be visa-exempted in entering Taiwan. Those who have been issued a valid entry visa or have a valid resident/permanent card issued from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, USA, UK and any Schengen countries may enter Taiwan without a visa. Additional to this, entry visas/resident cards from these countries less than 10 years from expiration may also qualify for visa-exempt. Before departure, you must possess a confirmed ticket departing Taiwan, your printed travel authorization certificate (you can fill up HERE), the visa used in your certficate and show these to the immigration officer. If granted, you will have a 30-day visa exemption.

To Do's During Winter in Japan

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Winter may be a favorite of many but also disappointment to some. Early nights means less time outside. Some wants to visit a certain place because of its winter season and I guess Japan is one of those many places. But one must not overlook the winter in Japan. It may not be as cold as countries close to Arctic regions but it bites. I swear. So before snow piles us up here in the blog, I will share to you 10 things you must do when in Japan during its coldest months.

1. Visit a ski park. During winter, this is a famous place for out goers to do. May it be with family, colleagues, friends, and even couples. Famous ski parks may be at the Hokkaido area but you can find also popular ones in Gifu area and even in Tokyo area.

2. Try an outdoor bath (dotenburo). How about book a night or two in a ryokan and experience its outside baths. Yes, it seems cold, but once you're soak in the warm water, "the cold will never bother you anyway". Plus, if the surroundings are covered with snow, it's a plus.

3. Visit Shirakawa-go. This is located in Gifu area where you can see the historic villages of traditional houses covered in snow and will be illuminated during the night. This place is popular for photographers, by the way.

4. Experience illumination parks. During winter, ski parks are not the only famous destinations in Japan but also those parks which illuminates during the night. One of these are Nabana no Sato in Kuwana, Mie. There are also illumination shows even in small parks and outside of train stations.

5. Food trip. This is the best time to pig out! From crabs to sukiyaki and even those ordinary dishes, I can't explain why winter dishes are so appetizing.

6. Mt. Fuji. Climbing Mt. Fuji during winter is prohibited but this will not hinder you to see its majestic beauty. See it near or far with its white caps due to snow if weather permits.

7. Drink coffee. Well, I guess anytime of the year, you can drink coffee but is it more realistic to drink coffee in Starbucks on this cold days. One hotto cafe macchiato, please? 

8. Cool OOTDs. For fashionistas, this may be the great time for "outfit of the day" to share on their social medias. This is the time for those coats, outerwear, layering skills, boots and with all those winter clothing. Just remember, dress what's the weather.

9. Heat-techs are love. Japan may not be cold as Canada, but as for me, everyone needs a heat tech under those layer of clothes. Despite those layers, the cold will find a way through those clothes and these clothing with these technology will at least help you to survive. Promise!

10. Snow. Last but not the least, how can we forget experiencing snowfall. It can't be winter without snow though there are some places experiencing winter without snow like Hongkong. Though its not falling everyday, at least to watch it once during a winter is fulfilling.

So, are you ready to conquer Japan's winter or is Japan ready for you?

Things to Remember While in Cambodia

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Being a female solo traveler almost all the time (this time, in Cambodia, I have a friend of mine), there are always things I remember in traveling a certain place. Enough research on the do's and don'ts will make your travel a fun and memorable one. So here are 5 simple things I would like to share to you to remember when you decide to visit this amazing country.

1. Always buy and drink water in a sealed bottle. Everyone whose been to Cambodia always said this. "DO not drink tap water in Cambodia" or you will ruin your beautiful trip in here. So to prevent yourself getting into an unknown hospital here, you should buy sealed bottled water anywhere you go. And always remember, Cambodia is a tropical country, so hydrate yourself always. Dehydration will not only ruin your trip but it makes you look ugly in those "seems to be" beautiful photos.

2. Better have a reserved tuk-tuk waiting for you in the arrival area of the airport. Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports are far from the center so a "just pick-up" taxi might be expensive than you think. To prevent this high-cost expense, better contact your hotel to pickup you in the airport or find a hotel that offers a complimentary pickup in the airport. This will save you a lot of money plus no haggling needed. Just look for your name in one of those many banners waving outside the arrival area, and voila! enjoy the ride to your hotel.

3. Night markets are good here. Better visit these when you're in Cambodia. Cambodian food is not only delicious and good but they are inexpensive. Just be sure to buy in a stall with fresh goods and they will cook in front of you. Bon appetit!
4. Drown yourself from cheap beers. If this is your first time here, You will definitely be shocked of how the beers are serve in large beer mugs for a cheap price of less than a USD. Since the beers in the country where we came from are not that cheap, compared here, we're just amazed of how the beers are sold inexpensive in Cambodia. Beer drinkers, rejoice!

5. Temple hop. Who will go to Cambodia if one of their reasons is not to temple hop on those famous Angkor Wat and those temples seen in Angelina Jolie's Tom Raider movie? I guess, everyone who will step on this country will definitely visit those famous temples. Better have a reserved tuk-tuk who will bring and drive for you in those temples for 15USD (in our case).

That's it! If you're a first timer, better remember these things and if you've been there, mind sharing your simple things to remember while in this impressive country. See you in my next adventures!