Philippines, Travel News

Here’s something to do in the Philippines: go to Bonbon Festival, a celebration of Art, Environment and Community!

 Looking forward to another adventure in the Philiipines, but already running out of ideas for a great summer adventure? 

Why don’t you try BONBON FESTIVAL held at Sitio Tagbakin, Brgy. Halang Lipa City, Batangas this coming May 21, 2016 from 6am onwards. 

Now on it’s second year, Bonbon Festival is back to celebrate Arts, Environment and Community in a one of a kind one-day event which will be participated by young professionals, students, different artists in Batangas Province, and invited guests from other places. Bonbon Festival is the first eco-green festival in the province which aims to support and sustain the environment by using arts and culture as one of the tools for preservation and development. The festival will be 

 

What to expect: 

Gala at Pasyal sa Lawa/ Knowledge Tour

Know the story of the lake region and eruption history of Taal Volcano via boat ride from Sitio Tagbakin, Lipa City to San Nicolas to Volcano Island and back. Enjoy the horse ride and trek with local tour guide and the rest of the team.
Mananghalian/Lunch

Savor a sumptuous lunch of Batangas fusion cuisine and local refreshments.

 

Huntahan sa Lawa/ Talkback

Join a series of meaningful talkback and discussions about Art and Environment with interactive community workshops that culminates the afternoon activities.

 

Hapunan/ Dinner by the Lake, Art Installations and Performance Art

Experience Batangas Art and Culture through performances. Listen to the old time Kundiman music plus musical performances dedicated to Taal led by independent Batangueno musicians including LAC Music Department. Cocktails are available with a party capping the night with all-out-fun and dancing.

 

Participants may choose from 2 packages:

 For inquiries and ticket purchase you may contact: Mr. Carlo Aguila at 043-740-7112 or 0917 877-9144. 

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Manila!, Reviews

Review: Z Hostel Makati is perfect for budget travelers with preference for comfort 

Disclosure: KamikazeeGirl was invited  by budget hostel Z Hostel Makati for an overnight stay during the onset of the holidays. This was my observation and full review. 

 
If you are a budget traveler like me who is always on the look out for cheap digs without sacrificing comfort, cleanliness or style, consider staying at the Z Hostel located in Don Pedro, Poblacion, Makati City. 


Check In 

Check in process is very straight forward, quick and easy. You can easily have reservations through the Z Hostel website or the many third party booking sites online. Upon check in, you will be given your key card, your towel and a bracelet with the RFID chip which you can use to purchase food and drinks within the hotel premises. 

   
    
 

I have stayed in a lot of hostels in HongKong, Singapore, Seoul, Busan and Tokyo, and I must say that it is only at Z Hostel Manila where I encountered the use of the RFID in purchasing beverages and meals within the hotel premises. 

The RFID at Z can be loaded and reloaded at the lobby and at the rooftop bar where guests usually unwind. 

Rooms and hotel premises 

Rooms at Z is no frills, basic, clean and secure. The ultimate must-haves when looking for a place to stay in. 

As for me, I have three non-negotiables: a locking door, a flushing rest room and a bug-free bed. Obviously, Z Hostel passed all these. 

A bed in any of the dorm rooms comes with its own night light, sufficient electrical outlets for charging of your devices, a pillow and a simple bed sheet. For valuables, each room also comes with lockers while guests are advised to bring their own lock and keys. 

One thing that Z Hostel can improve on is the availability of basic toiletries within the room. In Tokyo and Taipei, resort owners usually include a pair of dispensers in the common rest room: one for the shampoo/conditioner and one for the body wash. 

   


  

Rates begin at PHP899 for a bed on an All-Female Dorm while private rooms begin at PHP2,430 for a night’s stay. Z Hostel has mixed dorm rooms and female dorm rooms which can house 4,6 or 8 persons.

  

   
    

Dining In 

Z ZHostel  has a solid F&B line up, starting from their ground floor cafe where breakfast and most of the meals is commonly served.
   

For dinner,  I had the Beef Tapa which was served with a warm cup of fried rice and my favorite sunny side egg. 

For breakfast, I was directed to the  generous spread of the breakfast bar featuring congee, hard boiled egg slices, bread slices, two types of jams, eggs (cooked according to your preference), fruits, cereals and oatmeals plus juice, coffee or tea. 

  
You pay for your meals using the RFID on your wrist. Paying is very easy: the server will rally your meals on the hand held tablet with RFID capability; after the total amount to be paid is displayed, will you tap the RFID chip against the tablet where the cost of the  meal is immediately deducted and your remaining balance is displayed. 

   
 

As mentioned, you can also use the RFID when you pay for your drinks and bar chow at the rooftop bar. 

Ah – The Rooftop Bar which is already a legend in itself among Z Hostel fans. The Rooftop Bar, with its  laid back atmosphere and cheap drinks and chow is famous not only among guests but also among Makati’s gimmick crowd. 
   

Fellow travel junkies (L to R): KamikazeeGirl, Cao of Z Hostel, fellow bloggers Cindy and Rona and new friend and fellow back packer Rachelle of Australia


   
  

Z Hostel is the kind of place where travelers are encouraged to have fun and just relax, it encourages interaction and promotes nothing but cool vibes among its guests. Service is fast and friendly and each hotel staff seemed geared to provide customers with a nice and memorable stay. 

  
Find Z Hostel at 5660 Don Pedro Street, Makati City. They are also in Facebook: Z Hostel Philippines 

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Manila!, Traveling on a Budget

Z Hostel: Stay here so you don’t have to rough it in Manila 

 I am currently spending the night here at Z Hostel, comfortably tucked inside Makati’s Poblacion district, a stones throw away from the Central Business District. 

   
I am staying in my capacity as a blogger, but as a budget traveler, this hostel has been in my radar since the first time I heard of it from blogger friends. The top marks in TripAdvisor and rave reviews doesn’t hurt either. 

I’ll be posting a more detailed post on my stay but already I am blown away by the chill laid back atmosphere – in fact, I am blogging this using my iPhone sprawled on the lobby couch along with other travelers. 

Laid back and chill = Z Hostel

This post will be all about the photos. I will be chilling in a while before I go back with the full post. 

 Meantime, here are some highlights: 

 
When you check in, you will be issued a key card (the flat, square thing) and an RFID card (the one lopped on the wrist). You can preload your RFID and use it to pay for your food at the cafe or your drinks at the rooftop bar. 

   
Paying what you eat is easy. You just place your RFID bracelet on the device. You can eat yo heart’s content without worrying on cash. 

Yum Tapa

 
  
After a hearty dinner, go up the rooftop bar and enjoy the clear Manila skies and the twinkling lights of Makati 

 

Or if you are a home girl like me who loves to chill while bundled in bed, you can always go to bed early – relax and melt the stress of going around by just laying on the thick bed, equipped with individual night lights and your own socket. 

    
  
 More on my Z Hostel adventure tomorrow. Right now, am gonna enjoy my bed. 

  
 

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Manila!

Go Manila: Your Guide to the Urban Jungle that is Manila

Interested to visit the country’s capital but overwhelmed by the thought of navigating chaotic, crazy Manila?

Out of the country’s 7,100 islands and its many cities and municipalities spread out all through out the country, nothing evokes fear among tourists (and locals) alike than spending a day navigating through the many twists and turns of glorious Manila. From the narrow streets, one way thoroughfares and traffic gridlock, a day spent navigating the busy streets of Manila is not for the faint of heart.

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(from the press release)

Envisioned for both local residents and tourists, Go Manila seeks to make life easy in an otherwise complicated Urban Jungle.

In a click of a button, you can have full access to real time Traffic Livestream, locate and contact Emergency Locations and Hotlines and discover the historic capital of the Philippines at the tip of your finger with easy access to popular tourist destinations, restaurants and nightspots.

Features :

  • TRAFFIC LIVESTREAM – Get instant and real time access to Manila’s major thoroughfares. Livestream will provide a link to the hundreds of high def CCTV’s installed in various parts of the Metro. Never get stuck in traffic again as these live feeds will provide you ample time to look for alternative route.
  • EMERGENCY LOCATIONS – No GPS and MAPS? No problem. Get the exact locations of Police Stations/Precincts, Hospitals/Clinics, Fire departments and other concerned agencies at the tip of your finger.
  • EMERGENCY HOTLINES – No need for complicated and outdated directories. One click and you get to access and call various police precincts, hospitals, fire departments and all other emergency/disaster related concerns.

It’s a virtual tourist guide and a handy companion for commuters and travelers alike. With Go Manila, everything comes easy!

This app is spearheaded by Manila City Vice Mayor Isko Moreno.

NOTE: All of the CCTV has a limit range only in the Philippines

Download This App Now!

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=hs.app.gomanila

Like us on Facebook 
https://www.facebook.com/gomanila

Follow us on Twitter 
https://twitter.com/gomanilaph

Website
https://gomanila.ph

DISCLAIMER: KamikazeeGirl does not claim ownership of the facts and visuals presented on this post. For questions, please proceed to the Go!Manila website.

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Philippines, press release

Tree Top Adventure presents “Asia Leaders Forum: Social Media Marketing” on August 23, 2015 at Subic Bay Yacht Club

Subic TTA
Tree Top Adventure presents the “Asia Leaders Forum: Social Media Marketing” om August 23, 2015 to be held at the Subic Bay Yacht Club.
Four speakers; Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez, The “Voice Master” Pocholo De Leon Gonzales and Public Relations Experts; Cherry Burwell and Jeoff Solas will provide insights on the following: 
1. Personal Branding
2. How to choose Bloggers for campaigns
3. Social Media responsibility
4. How to sustain and maintain the relationship with bloggers
5. How effectively can marketing managers become the brand ambassadors of their own company.
6. How to convert likes into sales?
Why Social Media Marketing is important.
Social Media Marketing is the process of gaining website traffic or engagement or attention through social media and usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it across their social networks thus produce engagement with the company expectation to convert the engagement to sales.
The resulting electronic word of mouth refers to any statement consumers share via the Internet (e.g., blogs, social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, instant messages, news feeds) about an event, product, service, brand or company. When the underlying message spreads from user to user or becomes viral and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself, this form of marketing results in earned media rather than paid media.
TAG Media and Public Relations is the organizer of Asia Leaders Forum and advocating information to reach a broader audience to understand more about important issues that could help not just companies but individuals to pursue excellence. Asia Leaders Forum is a pocket conference with different topics per event and with influential leaders as speakers.
For more information and for our next events, please check http://www.asiaecommerce.ph or call 09166299381 or email your inquiry to maria@asiaecommerce.ph
About Subic Tree Top Adventure
Enjoy a different kind of nature tripping with Tree Top Adventure –  from 100 feet above the ground! With jungle trails comprised of platforms nestled on branches, suspension bridges, and the world’s first motorized canopy tour, you are sure to get more than a 360 degree of Subic Bay Freeport Zone’s lush, green forest.
For more information, go to www.treetopadventureph.com
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Philippines, press release

Five things to like about Subic Bay Venezia Hotel

There are so many hotels in Subic Bay, Zambales since it has been established as one of the country’s foremost tourist destination. Subic Bay offers relaxing views of the bay surrounded by the beautiful & pristine mountains–plus the convenience of its proximity to Manila. If you will be coming from the Philippines’ main capital of Manila, the travel time will only be less than 2 hours because of the new route.
Here’s five things that will keep you coming back to Subic Bay Venezia Hotel:
Easy access to the many sights and attractions in and around Subic Bay
1. Accessibility
Subic Bay Venezia Hotel is conveniently located in the heart of the Central Business District Area of the Freeport and is near to numerous shopping malls, duty free shops, entertainment zones, recreational areas, popular tourist destinations, restaurants and beach resorts.
2. Customer Service
The staff are very attentive to your needs and always have a ready smile to brighten up your day from the reception to the waiters. The managers make sure that everything is perfect.
complete amenities make for a comfortable stay
This 51-room hotel, known for its Italian-themed set-up, unparalleled customer service and its commitment to give only the best value for your money is truly a great deal whether you are traveling for business or leisure, on your own or in the company of your family and friends.
The hotel’s selling point is the way it approaches the market. By putting customers first and giving them good value for their money, Subic Bay Venezia Hotel is able to lure a sizeable clientele and some loyal followers away from other more established hotels in Subic Bay.
3. Entertainment
Pagcor Club Venezia Casino is located at the left side of the hotel. It houses more than a hundred slot machines and showcases live performances from numerous top-act, Manila-based local bands, professional singers, stand-up comediennes, and top-performing artists every month. Adjacent to the casino is the New Feng Huang Restaurant where the best oriental food is served. The Hotel also has a Specialty Shop where you can buy different types of imported goods, cigarettes, liquors, chocolates, souvenir items, and the like.
4. Coffee
For a writer like me who likes good coffee all the time, Subic Bay Venezia Hotel has a Coffee Shop where imported coffee is served as well as different types of freshly-made pastries and other treats. All of these for the comfort of the guests. I love their hot mocha also. Superb!
5. Food
Sumptuous food awaits you

Sumptuous food awaits you

When the media team under “TAG Media and Public Relations” covered the tree planting activity of Tree Top Adventure in Subic, the full board meals courtesy of Subic Bay Venezia Hotel are composed of sumptuous Chinese and Filipino food served at the restaurant which is located in the lobby. The ambiance was similar to a mini Manila Hotel with classic architectural design which delighted us while waiting for the chef to finish checking that the food served will all be fresh and hot. The run-away favorite was the pork with mango sauce and beef Teppan plus the plated breakfast of ordinary Filipino dishes but made it special and delicious by the hotel. We loved the presentations.
The team will definitely be back at Subic Bay Venezia Hotel. Join us and experience a relaxing moment with your family and friends.
Contact information:
Address: Building 675, Canal Road corner Aguinaldo Street, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Philippines.
Telephone numbers; 047 252 1888, 252 8399.
Disclosure: Seeded press release
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Manila!, Travel Tips

Love in the Time of No Pera (Or dating with barely a money in your pocket)

When the Hub and I were just dating both of us were just struggling fresh college grads that were either bumming around (him) or struggling to survive in their first writing job (me). Most of the time, we were broke and barely getting by. However, the strict (to non-existent) budget did not hamper us to spending a day together, discovering new sights and basically slowly getting to know each other’s quirks. The challenge then was to find ways to enjoys ourselves without putting more dent in our pockets.

For this post, I will teach you how to have a fun date with your loved one for less than PHP1,000 bucks. Let’s use the old City of Manila as our destination for this “cheapo date”.

Some more cheap ideas

Some more cheap ideas

I. Transportation
Don’t be afraid of taking the public transportation together.Who knows, it can strengthen your bond since if you are guy, you’ll have the opportunity to protect your girlfriend; and if you are a girl, you can show her that you’re not high maintenance and can kick it with him for spontaneous stuff.

When the hub and I started dating, we used to take public transpo all the time going to our Manila haunt. I would recommend though that you wear comfy clothes and footwear since you’ll be walking all the time. Don’t forget to bring a cap or a bandanna to shield yourself from the sun.

A budget of around P40 per person for a return trip from Makati to Manila is good already. Our first destination for the day is in Intramuros and its environs. To go to Intramuros from Makati (JP Rizal), take the jeepney headed for Taft Avenue (Jeepneys with “Bukid” or “L Guinto” on the signboard all end up in Taft). Fare is about PHP8.50. At Taft Avenue, ride the jeep marked “City Hall”, “SM Manila”, “Divisoria” or “Quiapo” — all of these are passing by Intramuros.

credit goes to owner

credit goes to owner

You will alight at the jeepney stop in front of the Manila City Hall. Take the underpass going to Intramuros and walk straight to the entrance along Victoria Street.

credit to owner

credit to owner

II. A little bit of history and sightseeing
While in Intramuros, you can spend time looking at the ruins of the former walled city. There’s a lot to be learned about the cracked nooks and crannies of the former glorious Walled City. Intramuros (or “Within the Walls”) was the former capital and Seat of Power of the City of Manila during the Spanish Empire. If your other half is a history buff (like me!) they’ll get a kick out of reading the many plaques scattered along the walls telling the story behind the now-crumbling walls. For those who always slept during history class, the walls served as an amazing background to your selfies and “emo” shots which–of course–would look great in your Facebook walls.

From Muralla Street, walk left going to General Luna Street pass the Manila Bulletin building and the Department of Labor building; turn right to General Luna and you will be on your way to San Agustin Church and the San Agustin Church Museum.

The San Agustin Church was one of four Philippine churches constructed during the Spanish colonial period to be designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and is now considered as a National Historical Landmark. (SOURCE)

credit to owner

credit to owner

Inside, take time to say your prayers and be amazed at the unique Baroque architecture of the church. While you’re at it, try searching for the resting place of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, a Spanish navigator who founded the City of Cebu and was named the first Governor-General of the Spanish East Indies (which includes the Philippines, Guam and Marianas Islands). When Lopez de Legazpi died of heart failure in Manila in 1572, he was laid to rest inside the church.

But the best part is yet to come. Inside the San Agustin Church complex is the San Agustin Museum which shouldn’t be missed. Entrance fee is PHP100 per person but I guarantee you that it will be worth it. The opportunity to see artifacts and collections from hundreds of years ago. There is no time limit and you can take as long as you like admiring paintings, scupltures and the architecture of the church. Who knows, you might have a newly-found appreciation to our history. Flash photography is not allowed on the upper floors.

The hub and I went here a few years before, out on a whim. While the tall religious structures terrified me at first, there is a surreal feeling of walking along these century-old halls. You can’t help but wonder if you’ll be passing by Jose Rizal as he ponders the fate of the nation in the church’s many halls — for the record, if that happens, you have the option of running away, fast.

Let’s say you started the date at 9AM, by this time — you’ll be starving. If you’ll walk further along General Luna, you will find the Manila Cathedral and in front of it are the many fast food restaurants where you can have your lunch. But if you want to stay classy (you are on a date, after all) you can also try Ristorante Delle Mitre which is owned by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and is directly in front of the Manila Cathedral. Their rice toppings go for PHP118 per order while there are other more expensive items on the menu. There are also pastries, coffee, iced tea being offered so it all depends on your budget. (Their Facebook page here)

By the time you finish lunch, it’ll be mid noon and the sun will be shining at its brightest. You can head out and trace your steps going back to Muralla and then to City Hall and then to the airconed confines of SM Manila if you like. By then, you would have spent about PHP600 for the museum tour and the lunch, plus enough for round trip fares. You can either pass time window shopping or at the game arcade located at the mall’s 5th floor.

Or if you want from San Agustin Church you can ride the jeep going to Rizal Park where you can pass time on the park’s many gardens. Entrance for the Japanese Garden is very minimal and the strong shade of many trees can protect you from the stifling heat.

The point of this post is that if we want to spend time with our loved ones, money shouldn’t really be a concern. There are a lot of free attractions within the city and everything is pretty much accessible–horrendous traffic be damned. What’s important is we discover new things and share new experiences together. After all, that’s the point of being in a relationship?


PS: I will try to look for our old photos inside the San Agustin Museum and update this post with the pics. It’s been a long time that I am now tempted to return to San Augustin and make new memories.

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