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A Quick Weekend Getaway to Subic In a Budget

If you’re feeling cooped or has been dreaming of a weekend getaway with your family or friends without overspending, then Subic is a perfect destination for you.

Subic in Olangapo is a place in the Philippines that is teeming with beautiful beaches, mangroves, and plenty of fun activities to do. It is in the northern part of Luzon which is very close to Manila. Getting there is not very complicated if you are already coming from nearby metro areas like Caloocan, Manila, and Quezon City, and nearby towns along the North Express Way which is one of the main artery leading to Subic, Olongapo. You can either take a public transportation via bus or drive your own car for faster navigation. What ever your choice is to get there, you will surely find your way with GPS, the traditional map, by following the directions given by your travel guide or Subic Hotel booking confirmation’s details, or simply follow the street signs.

Accommodation

There are many accommodations to choose from in Subic. You do not have to spend a fortune to book a family room too. An example is, a family room for max. of 6 pax in Golden Slumber Resort for an overnight stay and the rate is based on today’s date in Traveloka when you search for Subic hotels is only Php 3,800 inclusive of tax. You can use the resort’s amenities like the pool for a quick dip.

Activities

(Photo credit:  zoobic.com.ph)

There are plenty of things to do in Subic while you are there over the weekend.  You can visit Zoobic Safari and experience nature up close, go trekking or even pet small animals too.

Entrance rates vary for adults and kids:

Adult: Php 545
Kid:  Php 445 (4 ft. and below)
FREE: kids 3 ft. and below

And if you buy your tickets online, you get 10% discount! (Based on Zoobic Safari’s website)

If the zoo is not your thing, then you can head on to Ocean Adventure and watch cute dolphins and sea lions perform their acts in front of many spectators. Ocean Adventure has a 4+1 promo right now which costs Php 3,155 for 4 pax and plus 1, making it a 5 pax rate! However, the rate is valid only until 16 Dec. 2016 but the reservation is not required for the 4+1 promo.

(Photo credit: chancesfading.blogspot.com)

Is your group into hiking and marveling on the beauty of mother nature? Then enjoy Pamulaklakin Forest Trail. Here you will get to walk for 30 minutes along a trail with a guide who will teach you how to follow a trail and even give trivia on some of the plants’ medicinal properties that you will find along the way.  The entrance fee is also relatively cheap.

Is thrilling activities and adventure your group’s thing?  Feel like a superhero or Tarzan as you zip through one tree to another with Tree Top Adventure’s adrenalin pumping rides like the canopy ride, superman ride, silver surfer, and others. Rates vary per ride or as combination. However, with your Php 100, you will surely have some activity to do in Tree Top Adventure.

Dining

Aside from the thrills and nature encounters, there are plenty of food outlets to try to satisfy your cravings without burning a whole in your pocket.  Check out some local food outlets in Subic and stretch your budget to enjoy your meals.

Hotshots – a Garden Fresh salad will cost your Php 179 and the Filipino Style Barbecue is only Php 159.

The Coffee Shop Restaurant – known  now for their coffee but for their giant tacos for only Php 90!

Or you may even try the ubiquitous McDonald’s, Jollibee, amongst others.

So, stop thinking about that weekend trip you have been longing to take and just do it! Having fun with your family or friends need not be costly as you can split the cost amongst other members of the group so everyone gets to enjoy and save too! Happy trip!

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Palm Plaza Hotel Review in Manila

I booked a double bedroom for a night last Sep. 24-25, 2015 in Palm Plaza Hotel which is near the famous landmarks in Manila like Luneta, Malate, Roxas Blvd. and other places of interest within easy reach.

The hotel is very easy to find. It is located along the stretch of Pedro Gil, very near to Robinson’s Place Manila, Department of Justice, Philippine General Hospital, and the Malate area. You can go to the hotel via public transportations like the railway transit, public jeepneys, buses or taxis plying the route of Manila.

What I like:
Free wifi
Very polite and customer-service oriented staff
Clean rooms
Location
Accessibility via various transportation means
Near malls, churches
Plenty of restaurants and food outlet within walking distance
The price is ok considering it is an old hotel. I still consider the rate within the budget range.

What I don’t like:
Outdated furnitures
Tiled floor which tends to get cold when you don’t have spare slippers to wear around
Slight noise from public transportations and nearby bars
The lights are not enough in the room. I feel it was a bit dark.
No available parking in the hotel. Parking is nearby on other establishment.

Room rate: 
I booked using Booking.com and got a good deal of around Php 1200++ per double bedroom per night without breakfast.

Nearby attractions:
Malate Church
Luneta Park
Intramuros
Roxas Boulevard


My recommendation: 3 out of 5

I am still giving this hotel a good rate because of the friendly, efficient and very courteous staff. Everyone was helpful and we felt at home and secured in their premise. I also like the fact that it offered free wi-fi and the location was fantastic!

I am not sure if this hotel is a good fit for families with younger kids as this location is near the “Red Light District” but not really in that locale. You will find videoke bars and restaurants nearby.

If you wish to book in this hotel or find other accommodations in Manila or anywhere in the world, check out the search field below for other budget accommodations:

Booking.com
This hotel has 133 rooms and other usual amenities like air-conditioned rooms, business center, laundry/pressing, room service, etc.
Located at 524 Pedro Gil Corner M. Adriatico Street, Malate, Malate, 1004 Manila, Philippines

Disclaimer:
I personally booked and paid for this stay. I was not compensated by the property in any way to write this review.

(All photos are my personal property. Pls. do not use without my permission.)

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Car Rental for Tourists in Cebu Philippines

Photo credit: yahoo images

Whether you live in Cebu or are visiting as a tourist, you may at some point want to use a Cebu car rental company. Having your own vehicle is the only way to visit the many tourist attractions scattered around the island, and to take in the full beauty of the area. A lot of visitors may be wary about driving after reading about the traffic problems in the Philippines, but Cebu is relatively fine, it is only in Manila where things can become very confusing. So if you are travelling to Cebu, then use Cebu car rental and get to see places that many other people never get to see, and that includes those who live on the island.

I can share with everyone a couple of reasons why you should have a car hire in Cebu but first, let me tell you that hiring a car rental in the Philippines can be different than that of hiring one in the UK or USA, especially if you are using a local Cebu company. Most will want proof of who you are, if you are a non-resident such as passport, driving license, international driving license, and proof of address. It is usually normal for a deposit to be paid when you book. Most Cebu car rental companies will want copies of all of these documents emailed before you arrive, but you will still need to visit the office on arrival to pay the rental charge in full, and to leave some kind of photo ID with them. Car rental Cebu includes all the relevant insurance cover for the Philippines, so you do not have to worry about that. 

Once all the paperwork has been completed you will then be given the car you have hired. As with any car rental company anywhere in the world, it is advisable to go over the car looking for previous damage and noting it with the car rental Cebu company and this saves on possible disputes later on. You can use technology for this; take some pictures or videos, and immediately upload them to somewhere like Facebook. Doing these time stamps will help you to have proof of the vehicle condition when you collected it.

Driving around Cebu is easy, and these days there is GPS available to help you out, and it is recommended that you take advantage of this. Using car rental in Cebu can really enhance your experience of the area, and you can leave the island to fly home knowing that you have seen more of the local culture and landmarks than those who do not hire a car.

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Tour Cebu – For My Second Trip!

I have long dreamt of taking a Cebu tour or two so that I can see all of the hidden beauties within the area. I had been to Cebu three years ago and I loved the time that I got to spend there, but I did not get to see all of the things that I knew were scattered around the island. I have begun planning my second trip and will be going on the options to tour Cebu that I have read about.
The one tour that I know that I have to go on is the bike tour. I really enjoy getting out into the open air on a bike and I think that getting to explore the off grid areas of the island will be awesome as an itinerary in a Cebu tour. I have to try to decide how long of a tour I want to take. They are offered in short trips that will only take a day, but they also offer multiple day trips lasting as long as thirteen days. I know that I will not go as long as thirteen days, but more than one might be nice.
I would also like to go on a city tour.I did not get to see much of the city when I was there last. I had a hotel that was right on the beach and I spent much of my time soaking up the sun and enjoying the sandy beach that was just footsteps from my room. I have read about some of the attractions that are to be enjoyed within the city and would love to explore many of them. The place that I would like to see most in the city is Taoist Temple and other must have and must experience Cebu tour. I look forward to shopping the different stores and collecting many souvenirs from the shops.
Once I have had my taste of the city, a countryside tour sounds perfect. Spending a day viewing stone churches, town plazas and bell towers as well as the other architecture built during the Spanish era would be quite memorable. I can already picture myself wondering though the area with my camera capturing images that many people only dream of seeing in person.
Lastly, I must go on the waterfall adventure. I look forward to making my way through the mountains, climbing my way up big hills to catch a glimpse of the Kawasan Falls so that I can feel the water spritzing my face as I stand in awe at one of Mother Natures most beautiful creations. I would love to enjoy a nice picnic lunch just before taking a swim in the cool, crystal blue waters below the falls.
Very few things in this world are as beautiful to me as the wonders that this world has to offer me. I have read that many of the beautiful things that I want to see are within the different Cebu tour that I am considering. I will make memories that will be held dear to me for as long as I live and breathe.

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Palawan’s Under Ground River is One of the Provisional 7 Wonders of the World

Photo credit: globalnation.inquirer.net

It is a pride and joy to know that our very own Palawan’s Underground River has made it to provisional list of the new 7 Wonders of the World based on the result release by New7Wonders in Zurich, Switzerland.

I have not been in Palawan yet but seeing the magnificent view of the province’s natural beauty is enough to make me want to go there and see the wonder up close.

The Puerto Princesa’s subterranean river is a navigable underground river. Old trees grow by the river banks and near the mouth of the cave. The cave features limestone karst mountain landscape and plenty of stalagmites, stalactites and beautiful chambers to boast.

I hope the PPUR will make it to the final list which will be announced early 2012. I also hope that the Philippines and the local government of Palawan will be ready to accept throngs of visiting tourists especially now that PPUR has reached elite and global status.

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