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Have you ever wonder to visit Maldives which is located in the center of Indian Ocean? Did you know that we have multiple similar Maldives as well here in the Philippines? yes, that is true. One is in Bais, Negros Oriental and another one in Grace Island Resort located in San Jose, Mindoro. So if you have a tight budget going to Maldives, why not go to our own Maldives version right? Going to Maldives will cost you about Php40,000 or even more for one person while going to one of this  local destination can go as low as Php10,000. That’s a huge difference right?

So let’s get started then and will focus in the Maldives of Mindoro – Grace Island Resort. Originally, we don’t have any idea about this place until we saw a promo airfare sale offered by Philippines Airlines bound to San Jose, Mindoro from Clark. The one way ticket was only Php250 just last 2 weeks ago. So after computing for the three of us, it was only around Php3,500 round trip! that was a great deal already versus going there through RORO bus which is also give you similiar expenses plus the travel time of around 24 hours or less while traveling by plane will only take you there for 45 minutes.  Make sure to check for promo from PAL and Cebu Pacific as both offer direct flight to San Jose Mindoro.

How to Book an accommodation in Grace Island Resort?

Grace Island Resort offers different packages depending on your goal and number of person. They have honeymoon package for couple, threesome for a small family or friends or even for a huge group. They have a day tour and overnight packages as well. Check their website at www.grace-island-resort.com to know more about the price rates, photos and other info. Personally, we availed their threesome package since we have our Son with us, Von Artemis! The overnight all in rate cost Php8,000. That includes the airport pickup, boat roundtrip travel, overnight floating cottage accommodation with 2 beds, set of meals for lunch, dinner and breakfast. It also includes free kayak boat, bike, ball activities and others. They also have a mini-zoo within the island and obstacle course for team building activities. Aside from that, they have a play ground for kids so its a child friendly resort.

Make sure to bring your under water camera, aerial drone if available, snorkling and goggles, sunblock and camera.

Overall, our expenses are as follow for three persons:

Airfare from Clark to San Jose – Php3,500 (3 pax for roundtrip)
Grace Island Overnight Accomodation – Php8,000
Jetski water activity – Php500
Optional tip – Php500

Overall: Php12,500 for a perfect holiday 🙂

Do you wanna visit this place or if you have question, please drop your message below.

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Kultura Splash Wave Pool Resort Review – The only wave pool resort in Northern Luzon, is it really worth it? Well, let see and let us know what can you say in this video:

Overall based on my findings, the cost amounting Php280 for adult during weekends is very reasonable. Its not that cheap nor affordable, its just average. I recommend you to try this one specially if you are in Northern Luzon. The splash wave was really cool and most specially the water slides that are similar to Splash island in Laguna and Aqua Planet in Clark. So instead of going to the said places, why not just head here and enjoy?

Did you know that Armenia is the only FREE visa on arrival country we can visit us Filipinos in the European continent? Yes that is true! did you also know that its the only country that you can experience snow and do skiing without any difficult visa to get comparing to South Korea, Japan and China. How is that possible? well give you a quick guide on how we did it as part of our Middle East Europe tour coming from Manila.

See our flight and 1st day tour from Dubai straight to Yerevan, Armenia.

Here are our travel itinerary:

1. Book a cheap flight from Manila to Dubai round trip (since there is no flight directly to Armenia, you need to connwct through Dubai or Mozcow first). We got a great deal from www.cebupacificair.com for only Php2,750 each roundtrip. Isn’t amazing? yes, we got it last year during the New Year sale and the flight was last November 4 to November 14. I will attached here our flight itinerary for all your reference:

Cebu Pacific Promo Manila Dubai

2. Acquire a Tourist Visa before traveling to Dubai, UAE. You can easily get one through any accredited travel and tour operator in Dubai, Airlines or any friends living there. In our case, we just contacted my classmate in UP and he assisted me to get one. It only took us about 2 days to get the e-visa that should be printed before checking in the airport. It will also be shown and stamp in Dubai immigration. The cost of Visa is around 250 aed or about Php5,500.

3. Book quality but cheap accomodation in Dubai. We got a 4-star hotel for only Php2,200 per night called Safron Boutique Hotel. You can book it online through booking.com. We also tried 1-star hotel like Emirates Hotel and Garden Inn for only Php1,200 to Php1,500. If you compare the difference  better go through the 4-star accomodation to enjoy your vacation.

4. Get a good deal flight from Dubai to Armenia through flydubai.com. I checked their website and the cheapest European connection is only Php7,000 roundtrip going to Bulgaria and Netherlands. For Armenia, we got each roundtrip ticket for Php15,000, a bit costly comparing to the other connections. Subscribe to their website and monitor the promotion for Armenia.

5. Pay Visa on arrival in Armenian immigration. The cost of the visa is only 3,000 drum or about Php400 estimate and you can stay there up to 2 months depending kn your itinerary. For us, we mentioned that will only stay for 5 days but they gave us 20 days so it might be their minimum duration i think.

6. Get a local and friendly tour guide with accomodation. Before going to Armenia, i did my research and contacted a local tourist guide so they can pick us in the airport. We got a good deal for only $250 good for 4 days that include the travel and tour, airport pickup and drop-off, welcome drinks and other freebies.

Check out my different blog post for our complete itinerary during our 4 to 5 days visit in Yerevan, Armenia.

Manila to Dubai Day 1 – Complete Walkthrough 🙂

Did you know that we had a great deal from Cebu Pacific? we booked last year for Manila-Dubai-Manila for only Php2,750 round trip? yes! that is true and it was the year end promo last December 28, 2017. The normal plane ticket going to Dubai from Manila is ranging from Php7,500 to Php20,000 per passenger and sometimes it will go up if you plan to fly within the week.

Check out this blog post to learn more on how to get a good deal in airlines, hotels and tour packages.

Time check, its 10 in the morning November 4, 2018. I booked a round trip ticket together with my wifey for only Php5,750 bound to Dubai. Unfortunately, Von Artemis our son will not be with us this time because of his school commitment and we can’t afford to miss his classes for 10 days. So we have to leave him first in the house of my mother in law in Antipolo City before going to the airport.

It was heart-breaking leaving your son for few days as we are normally flying together but no worries, will be bringing him in to our next local and international tour destination. We travelled back to our condo unit in Quezon City to leave the car and get some of our hand-carry laggage.

Preparation going to the airport

Time check: 1:00PM

Our boarding time is 3:45pm in NAIA 3 international airport and we are still in our condo unit. It is true that if you are in hurry and excited about your travel journey then you will get confuse and forget other important things you should bring? just like in our case, we forgot our power bank, bluetooth headset, mouse, brush, makeup for my wifey and snacks. Best practice is to keep these all inside your bag a day before your scheduled travel.

We immediately booked a Grab car to pick us up and the total cost was Php687 pesos. It took us 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach the airport. Upon reaching the departure bays, we where shocked because the queue was quite long. This is probably due undas and long weekends as people started to go back on their respective countries or provinces.

We only have an hour to get our boarding pass and luckily we already checked-in online so we don’t need to wait in the airport for 3 hours. We have to pay Php1,650 each for the travel tax. We need to show our passport, tourist visa for UAE and the travel tax payment slip. Since we don’t have any check in luggage, we thought that our hand-carry bag is more than 7KG the allowed per pax but luckily they didn’t check it however they noticed that the diameter and width of my bag seems may not fit in the luggage area inside the plane. The bag is actually small and i just compressed it so we are able to move forward in the immigration counter.

Time check: 3:30PM

It’s boarding time and we are still in the immigration counter as the queue was quite long again. It took us about 30 minutes just to get our turn and clear the immigration officer queue.

We haven’t eaten so we decided to buy something really quick and shocked that it was the last call and we heard both our names in the air! we have to run really fast just like the amazing race series to get in to the pit stop. Luckily we are able to get inside the Cebu Pacific Airbus 330 bound to Dubai.

This will be a 10 hours flight ride and have to be productive while on air. Similar time travel as what i experienced in my Guam to Hawaii travel way back May 2013.

See you all in Dubai and good night.

Dubai International Airport

Inside Dubai Mall

Yehey! successfully landed in Dubai International Airport. Time check: 9:30 Dubai local time, est about 3:30 AM Manila time. Going around the Dubai airport was like a tourist spot already because of the big different with our airport in NAIA and Clark.

The airport was nice, clean, with state of the art facilities. It was considered one of the busiest airport in the world. We have to clear the immigration then start moving forward to our hotel.

There is no Grab in Dubai so i used Uber to bring us in Emirates Hotel that we booked few days ago via Booking.com.

After an hour of rest, we went to Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa.

Dubai Mall Full View

Dubai Mall Aquarium

(Check out our episode 2 video here.)

End of Day 1 😉

Traveling should be fun, easy and relaxing. Some blogs normally post the cheapest way to enjoy your adventure however we need to ask ourself if we really enjoy our tour or we are just tired and exhausted because we really want to save? well it all depends on the person preference and budget but i really recommend that we travel practically. I’ve been traveling to many local and international destination in the past 12 years. I experienced both the luxury type tour and poor traveler style. There are pros and cons in both ways but at the end, we want a tour that we enjoy to unwind for an affordable price, not that cheap and not that high. So, i am focusing most of my guides in a balance way that you can still enjoy your adventure like a king.

Before getting started, did you know that the word Tacloban came from the word “Tak-lub”a basket type to catch fish. It also became a major trading route town in the late 18th century. Tacloban city is well-known for its role in World War II, because it was set as major command post and based of the US forces. It was also the first town liberated by Douglas MacArthur’s command forces versus the Japanese Imperial army because Manila was under the Japanese control.

This post focuses in the 12 things you can do in Tacloban City for more or less than Php2,000 that is good up to 5 person. So that is like Php400 pesos each to get around Tacloban. The first thing i recommend is hire a hatch back sedan car in Haven’s Rent a Car for only Php1,500 pesos good for 12 hours. Make sure to book ahead of time because they are one of the most known rent a car in Tacloban City, Leyte. They will deliver your rented car in your hotel lobby or in the airport. The remaining Php500 will be use for the gasoline which can take you to all 12 best destination in Tacloban that includes the most popular and longest bridge in the Philippines, San Juanico Bridge, about 30 minutes away from downtown.

Here are my suggested itinerary so you can maximise your whole day stay in Tacloban City tour:

1. Cross and stop at San Juanico Bridge ( a must to visit 😎) – roundtrip estimate time 1 hour and half
You’re Tacloban tour will not be complete if you didn’t visit this place. It’s the iconic one of a kind suspension and longest bridge in the Philippines. You can forget the other destination below just to visit this first. Just to give you a heads up, there are police and military checkpoints in both ends of the bridge for the security and safety of all passenger cruising the borders of Leyte and Samar. Also take note that its not allowed to stop anytime in any part of the bridge so make sure you prepare your camera before hitting the quick hazard button in the car. You can only stay there for about 2 to 5 minutes depending on the number of cars on queue. Just be responsible to others and make sure you “hindi tyo nkakaabala sa ibang drivers crossing” (still thinking of the english word of this).  You can check my other blog post for the San Juanico Experience and the time i lost my DJi Tello Drone 😱.
san-juanico-bridge-drone-shot

 

2. “I Shall Return” MacArthur Park monument
I will never forget that word from Douglas MacArthur when i was young “I Shall Return”, so this will be our opportunity to select this next destination after San Juanico Bridge. Some tourist can’t last longer or the whole day specially minor and senior citizens that’s why some areas are not visited. Having that said, going here directly is advisable for general tourist to make sure you visit the top 2 destinations in Tacloban. There is nothing special here though but you can see the history of why MacArthur is in Tacloban. You can also see the beauty of San Pablo Bay and take pictures.

macArthur-monument-2018

3. Boy Scout monument
I was a Boy Scout during my childhood and visiting this for a few minutes is one of a kind experience. This is just 500 meters away in MacArthur Park and surrounded by different government offices in the Leyte region.

4.  Leyte Provincial Capitol Building.
Leyte Provincial Capitol 2018

5.  Chill out at Kanhuraw Hill.
Madonna-of-Japan-tacloban
6. Visit the new Sto. Niño Church of Tacloban.

Sto.-Niño-Church-lights-tacloban-city
7.  Discover what’s inside Sto. Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum.

heritage-tacloban
8. Witness the colorful Pintados and Sangyaw Festivals.

sanyaw-festival-tacloban9.  Offer prayers for the people who died during Yolanda.
mv-eva-jocelyn-tacloban-2018
10. Eat and party along Burgos Street.
11. Enjoy Leyte’s mouth-watering delicacies.
12. Hike to the Stations of the Cross and see the overlooking view of Tacloban City.

The whole trip will take more or less than 12 hours depending on how fast you wish to finish each destination. This will be the ideal first day city tour in Tacloban. Now we can proceed in your second day, the Kalanggaman Island tour in Polompon Leyte and the 3rd day tour in San Juanico Park, Golf and Country Club, the best private resort to unwind in Tacloban.

El Nido is one of my dream destination when i was young. I only heard about this magnificent island through television, post card and online. I’ve been to Palawan twice, the first one was way back 2008 with friends and we just visited the capital city of Puerto Princessa plus the under ground river however we didn’t get a chance to visit El Nido that time due to time constrains. Last 2016, we visited back again Palawan and we went to another dream destination, Coron. It was a nice place and i thought my Palawan adventure will end there.

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Just this year 2018, for the 3rd time, I visited Palawan again now together with my parents and sister who just arrived from United States. I make sure that El Nido will be part of our itinerary what ever it cost just to get there. So i rented a car from Puerto Princessa and drove our way there to El Nido for almost 5 hours. I was not dissapointed after all as i saw one of the hidden paradise on earth to tell you all honestly. I’ve been to many popular beach travel destination here in the Philippines like Siargao, Boracay, Camiguin, Caramon, Baler, Hundred Islands, Samal Island in Davao and so much more but only El Nido is the best if we compare it with regards to destination, activities, lagoon and lakes. Well, i’ve posted one best white island destination called Calaguas Island that can be found in Camarines Norte, Bicol region.

What to see in Big Lagoon, El Nido Palawan?

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Food to expect in El Nido Island Tour Philippines

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Kayaking to Small Lagoon El Nido Palawan, Philippines

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Island Hopping El Nido, Palawan 2018

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Cheap El Nido, Palawan Tour as low as Php2,000 each

Yap, for only Php2,000, you will experience this cheap El Nido, Palawan tour. It includes the round trip boat boat rental, lunch, travel tax, entrance and tourist fees.

 

Siargao is a tear-drop shaped island in the Philippine Sea situated 800 kilometers southeast of Manila in the province of Surigao del Norte. It has a land area of approximately 437 square kilometres (169 sq mi). The east where such Art Skyes coast is relatively straight with one deep inlet, Port Pilar.

Image may contain: Christopher Dayagdag, standing, sky, outdoor, water and nature

It was a nice experienced if you want to unwind from a busy city life and schedule. A place where surfers, nature lovers and adventure in one place alone. There was a big difference comparing to the other top local destination in the Philippines such as Boracay, Coron, Caramoan, Bohol and others because here you can feel the through local leaving.

Wanna experience this place as well? how about a cheapest tour package? well check our website www.tourpackagesiargao.com and will fulfil your dream vacation! package starts as low as Php3,000 all in!

Kayangan Island tour, Siargao

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Best Surfing Capital in the Philippines, Cloud 9 Siargao

Image may contain: Christopher Dayagdag, smiling, ocean, outdoor, water and natureBest Island Hopping Siargao

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What to see in Kayangan Lake and Sugba Lagoon, Siargao?

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