June 24, 2017

Incredible India: Chronicles, Travel Guide, Itinerary and Budget in Northern India (Kolkata, Varanasi, Jaipur, Mathura, Agra and Ladakh)

India is a vast country located in South Asia. It is called a sub-continent because of its size and geography. India bordered by China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan. On its west is the Arabian Sea while on its east is the Bay of Bengal. On its south is the vast Indian Ocean. It is impossible to travel around India if you are limited to 15-days annual leave – like what we have here in the Philippines. Unless you resign and decided to be a full-time nomad, there you can travel the whole country continuously. For us who has limited vacation leave, efficient planning must be undertaken to utilize the stay in India.

Why India
We started conceptualizing the trip a year before the actual trip. We decided to do it on winter. We heard stories of delayed flight and train schedule due to the weather (but I think Indian trains are always late regardless of season) and the Taj Mahal will not visible. Still we choose the tail end of the winder in time for my birthday and the Holi Festival. Forget about the dirty streets and mob of people begging on the streets, its the culture,the people, the ancient wonders that made us decide to tick off India.  

June 17, 2017

Quezon Province: Alibijaban Brought Happiness to Our Summer Plus Travel Guide

Finally, we boarded the 15-capacity boat off to the island called Alibijaban. After almost 12 hours of land travel from Quezon City to San Andres, Quezon Province we saw the turquoise-clear water, white and almost power-fine sand of Alibijaban Island. It wasn’t an expectation versus reality moment when my foot first touched the warm water of the shore. It was really it! There were people enjoying the beach but not too much to fail our weekend escape. Alibijaban Island is great escape to those who are willing to enjoy the long journey down to the island.

The Van we rented left Cubao at exactly 1AM just like we all planned. When we organize events like this, my last thought would be, if the group would click at first impression – impressions do not really last but it is an important factor to determine the color of the group. As much as possible, we invite happy souls and positive folks to join the event. In Filipino “Walang drama dapat at walang attitude” Gladly our group was loaded with people like that.

The journey was longer than I expected. The 8 hours Google Map forecast became 9 then 10, 11 then finally 12 hours. Add the weather then that makes me felt anxious. Weather reports said that it will be a bed-weather for Metro Manila and its nearby provinces. Weather agency images shows that there were no dark clouds in the southern part of Quezon Province and it gave me relief. But the heaven shows otherwise. Tick clouds appeared when we exit Lucban and heavy rain fell when we reached Lucena City. San Andres though is still 4 hours from Lucena. A positive attitude was my shield towards the weather.

At 11AM, we met our guide Ronnel outside the Port of San Andres in his yellow shirt and all smiled face. We immediately went to the market to buy things that we need in the island. We commissioned his mother to cook for us for our entire stay. Ronnel and his entire family, unexpectedly assisted us in all that we need in the Island. I owe them so much because in my opinion we had a great feast in the island.

June 09, 2017

QC Medical Tourism Stakeholders Summit, a Success!

Quezon City Mayor Herbert M. Bautista leads signing of “Vision 2020 Commitment”
QC Medical Tourism Stakeholders Summit, a Success!

The Quezon City Tourism Department held the “QC Medical Tourism Stakeholders Summit” last June 6 at the newly-opened Quezon Ballroom of Seda Hotel Vertis North, Quezon City.  The Summit was officially opened by no less than Quezon City Mayor Herbert M. Bautista. Various officials, such as Quezon City Representatives, Councilors, and Department Heads were also present at the event.

It was a success as the Summit gathered a high attendance among Quezon City’s tourism stakeholders. Aside from representatives from the private and public hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ association, also in attendance were members of various travel agencies, hotels, spas, gyms, and wellness centers.

“I am delighted to speak in front of all of you as this event is a realization of our vision to make Quezon City a ‘Wellness Capital of Asia.’  I have instructed the Tourism Department to host this event to gather inputs from stakeholders and to come up with an effective plan to raise the profile of Quezon City in the world medical tourism stage,” the Mayor said in his speech.

Medical Tourism is a growing trend of travelling across international borders to obtain health care.  It does only affect the medical field but more importantly, the travel and tourism industry.

“On a global scale, I have learned that Medical Tourism is one of the so-called sunrise industries.  A report forecasts the World Medical Tourism market to be at US$143 Billion by 2020.  Growth is phenomenal and the Philippines is poised to benefit because of our hospitality, skilled doctors, and ready facilities. QC wants to be part of it and I want all you here this morning to be also part of this success story,” the Mayor added.

Though other countries may claim to have far more superior facilities or equipment, the Philippines is not far behind as our hospitals are also equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. Add to that, the world renowned Filipino hospitality shines best in the Medical Tourism field. 

“But Medical Tourism is not only about hospitals or clinics. It is about People. I believe Filipinos are the best in terms of providing that personal and effective health care.  Medical Tourism is also providing the best experience for the patient and his or her family,” he said. For him, Medical Tourism serves as a catalyst to bring in more tourists to Quezon City.

As a proof of the city’s commitment to pursue its vision to become a Medical and Wellness Tourism destination, Mayor Bautista led in the signing of a “Vision 2020 Commitment” detailing steps and action plans to make the dream a reality.  

Add to that, to learn from the best practices abroad, the Summit featured Abrianna Kim, the Executive Director of Medical Tourism Association Korea as Keynote Speaker.  She spoke about the importance of collaboration between government and the private sector as a first step to an effective medical tourism program.  To put the local perspective, Cynthia Lazo from the Department of Tourism, Josephine Aguilar from St. Luke’s and Rick and Eva Trinidad from Philippine Medical Tourism, Inc. shared their time and expertise for the benefit of the Summit attendees.

With the success of the Summit, it is a proof that Quezon City is now “Ready for the World” and its stakeholders are supporting the vision of Mayor Bautista.

For more updates, visit http://www.qcmedtourism.net./

June 06, 2017

TAGAYTAY: Lazea Tagaytay Inn - A Bed and Breakfast

Tagaytay City is a popular quick getaway for those who are living in Metro Manila. For just 2-hours drive, you will enjoy an average of 24 degrees temperature plus the family friendly attractions the city offers. At 634 meters high above sea level, the city offers spectacular view of the Taal Lake and the smallest volcano in the country the Taal Volcano. With the influx of tourist from Manila and nearby provinces, accommodation in the city has been very competitive in the past years.

Last weekend we were invited by Lazea Tagaytay Inn to have a weekend escape in Tagaytay City. Just in time for the stressful weekday and horrifying current events, we drove to Tagaytay and relaxed just for a while.

June 05, 2017

TAGAYTAY: Museo Orlina - a Glass Museum

If you are an artist or just an art enthusiast, you definitely know Mr. Ramos Orlina. I do not fall in either of the two but I do appreciate art like this. Thus when I saw the Museo Orlina featured on TV, I said that this is a must if given a chance to travel in Tagaytay. Luckily, we were invited by Lazea Tagaytay Inn which is just minutes away by walk from the Museo Orlina. 

A collaboration between Ramon Orlina and National Artist Ben Cab

Five Most Romantic Islands in the Philippines

People ask me all the time what are the most romantic places to visit, so I figured that I should write a quick guide about it. Only when I sat down to begin writing, I realized exactly how hard this task is. There are literally hundreds of stunning islands, all perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Since each place has its own unique style, it's practically impossible to choose only a few.

So, what I did instead was to build a shortlist which would be as diverse as possible. The islands i chose to highlight are all very different from one another – so you get a diverse list of romantic places. Hopefully you'll be able to find at least something that matches your style and budget. The destinations I ended up choosing are based on my own personal taste, and are listed in no particular order.

June 03, 2017

Tips in Traveling in the Philippines Using Motorcycle

Motorcycle riding has gone more than viral in the Philippines. It’s a lifestyle for some, a hobby for many and a way of living for most of the folks. Who would not love the comfort and convenience motorcycle gives to commuters? Aside from you getting away easily from traffic jams in the metro there is joy and convenience when you ride a motorcycle especially during road trips in the country side.