Why Rizal is the perfect setting for your dream home

If you’re tired of the constant traffic, heat and pollution of the metro, but still want to have the option to venture into its cities every once in a while, then investing in your own house and lot in Rizal may be your best option.

Removed from the chaos of the metro but still highly accessible

Being located just outside Metro Manila, the province of Rizal offers you an alternative way of life compared to the busier conditions of living in the metro.

However, with new developing infrastructure such as the Metro Manila Expressway, as well as established public transport systems between Metro Manila and Rizal, you’re only a short ride away from where you want to go.

The site for sights, culture and leisure

With its location at the foot of Sierra Madre, with Laguna de Bay to the south, the province of Rizal also affords easy access to incredible sights. These include the awesome views from atop limestone formations at the Masungi Georeserve, waterfalls surrounded by lush forests such as Daranak Falls and Batlag Falls, and the dramatic sight of giant windmills against the azure sky at the Pililla Wind Farm.

Pililla Wind Farm 1
Pililla Wind Farm, Pililla
Pililla Wind Farm 2
Pililla Wind Farm, Pililla

Known as “The Cradle of Philippine Art,” Rizal houses notable museums such as Pinto Art Museum, which showcases contemporary artworks, and Casa Santa, which houses what is considered to be the most extensive private collection of Santa Claus items in the world.

Pinto Art Museum 2
Pinto Art Museum, Antipolo
Pinto Art Museum 1
Pinto Art Museum, Antipolo
casa santa 1
Casa Santa, Antipolo
casa santa 2
Casa Santa, Antipolo

Many leisure resorts capitalize on Rizal’s relaxing atmosphere. Aside from scenic vistas and refreshing swimming pools, resorts like Bahay Bakasyunan also provide adventure-themed activities that make the most of its natural surroundings such as ziplining, wall-climbing, ATV rides and more.

bahay bakasyunan 1
Bahay Bakasyunan, Tanay
bahay bakasyunan 2
Bahay Bakasyunan, Tanay

Gastronomic pleasures in beautiful surroundings

Taking advantage of the province’s rich culinary heritage, abundance of fresh ingredients and naturally stunning environments, restaurateurs are setting up their destination eateries in Rizal.

Sammy’s in Cainta serves Indonesian-inspired food in a cozy and intimate setting, while the Burrow Cafe in Taytay features a seasonal menu made with locally sourced ingredients in a underground cafe surrounded by a verdant forest. Tahanan Bistro in Antipolo, on the other hand, showcases Filipino food served against a breathtaking view of Metro Manila cityscape.

Sammy’s, Cainta
Sammy’s Cainta
Sammy’s, Cainta
Sammy’s, Cainta
Burrow Cafe, Taytay
The Burrow Cafe, Taytay
Burrow Cafe, Taytay
The Burrow Cafe, Taytay
Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo
Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo
Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo
Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

A progressive province

Being so near Metro Manila, Rizal is among the most progressive provinces in the country.

In an April 2013 study, the National Statistics Coordination Board (NCSB) reported that Rizal is the third least poor province in poverty incidence after Cavite and Laguna, indicating its thriving economy that makes it a desirable place to live.

Affordable housing within easy reach

The province also offers affordable house options, particularly in Lumina Baras.

Located in Brgy. Concepcion in Baras, Rizal this newest housing development is just three minutes away from the National Road. Its location affords its residents with easy access to these establishments:

  • Marketplaces and Malls: Baras New Market, Savemore Tanay, Puregold Tanay
  • School, Colleges & Universities: Baras Elementary School, URS Morong, STI College
  • Hospitals and Clinic: Rizal Provincial Hospital System Tanay Annex, Ospital ng Baras, Tanay General Hospital
  • Places of Worship: St. Joseph Parish Church, Inglesia Ni Cristo Baras, St. Jerome Parish Church

Lumina Baras has an array of house models to suit the different needs of homeowners.

Anna Rowhouse. A single-storey dwelling with a 24 square meter floor area and a 36 square meter lot area. Its features include a living area, dining and kitchen with provisions for one bedroom, a service area and toilet and bath, quite suitable as a starter home. Price starts at Php583,000.

Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok

Angelique Duplex. A two-storey duplex home with a 35 square meter floor area and a 54 square meter lot area. Its features include a living area, dining and kitchen with provisions for two bedrooms, a service area, toilet and bath, and a carport. It’s quite well-suited for a small family. Price starts at Php1,450,000.

Lumina Homes Angelique Duplex
Lumina Homes Angelique Duplex
Lumina Homes Angelique Duplex
Lumina Homes Angelique Duplex

Angeli Single Firewall. A two-storey single firewall home with a 42 square meter floor area and a 54 square meter lot area. Its features include a living area, dining and kitchen with provisions for three bedrooms, a service area, toilet and bath, and a carport, perfect for a growing household. Price starts at Php1,704,000.

angeli single firewall 1
angeli single firewall 2
angeli single firewall gf
angeli single firewall 2f

Armina Single Firewall. A two-storey home with a 42 square meter floor area and a 54 square meter lot area. Its features include a living area, dining and kitchen with provisions for three bedrooms, a service area, toilet and bath, and a carport. It also comes with additional features such as a free ceiling and tiles on the ground floor. Price starts at Php1,900,000.

armina single firewall 1
armina single firewall 2
armina single firewall gf
armina single firewall 2f

Athena Single Firewall. A two-storey single firewall home with a 53 square meter floor area and a 63 square meter lot area. It comes complete with one living area, one dining and kitchen, one toilet and bath, three bedrooms, one family area, a service area and a parking space. It will appeal to families who already want a complete home upon move-in. Price starts at Php2,000,000.

athena-single-firewall-image-2
athena-single-firewall-image-1
athena-single-firewall-ground-floor
athena-single-firewall-second-floor

These Lumina homes are well-built, made from high-quality materials and designed with modern conveniences in mind.

Within these walls, you and your family can rest and recharge, spend time with each other and pursue your various passions from from art, to cooking and more, even setting-up a home gym!

Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok

A lot of fun and adventure also await when you venture outside your home into your master-planned Lumina Baras community. You will find a basketball court and a play area where young and old alike can enjoy physical activity, as well as a multi-purpose hall and a gazebo where neighbors can gather for events and celebrations.

Lumina Rosario
Lumina Rosario
Lumina Polomolok

Investing in your own Lumina house and lot is made even easier, thanks to various financing options, such as:

  • Pag-Ibig Financing: offers the lowest possible interest rate with a 14-month downpayment term and a 30-year maximum loan term
  • Bank Financing: has faster loan processing with a 16-month downpayment term and a 20-year maximum loan term
  • Deferred Financing: involves straight payment of total contract price over 24 month at 0% interest
  • Spot Cash: involves full payment of total contract price applying a 6% discount if made within 30 days from payment of reservation fee, 8% if made within the reservation month, and 10% if made within 10 days of reservation date

So explore the possibilities of living so close to Metro Manila but removed from much of its hustle and bustle by residing in Baras, Rizal. Contact Lumina Baras by calling +63 956 6252026 or +63 916 5641903.

For its latest updates, visit the Lumina Homes website, or follow it on Facebook.

Find your dream home in the Land of Dreamweavers: Lumina Polomolok in South Cotabato

Admittedly, I haven’t had the chance to venture too far from Metro Manila when it comes to my domestic travels.

Aside from short stays in the provinces surrounding the metro, and the intermittent tours in the northern part of Luzon during Holy Week breaks together with the family, my jobs have allowed me to visit just some parts of Visayas such as Bohol and Cebu.

However, I haven’t really had the opportunity to explore Mindanao, which is quite a shame, really. After all, the country’s second largest island actually has a lot to offer when it comes to amazing views, captivating culture, appetizing delicacies and more.

Take Polomolok in South Cotabato, for example. This municipality does not just boast of a rich and vibrant culture and scenic vistas, it is also possesses a thriving economy.

The Land of Dreamweavers and Dreamy Sights

Polomolok is home to various indigenous groups whose rich heritage brings a lot of color and interest to the area. One of these groups – the T’boli – are renowned for the T’nalak, a special fabric woven by the women of their community from their dreams.

Various unique and colorful iterations of this fabric come into full display as during local celebrations. The Flomlok Festival held during the Foundation Anniversary of Polomolok in September showcases costumes made with T’nalak worn by the locals for the street dance competitions and other festivities.

Aside from the festivities, its nearby attractions which showcase nature at its best are sure to catch your eye. These include the crater lake of pristine waters surrounded by verdant forests Lake Holon; the woodland and wildlife sanctuary Lake Sebu; the colorful and rustic Strawberry Guyabano Farm; and one of South Cotabato’s most sacred sites, the Our Lady of Mt. Matutum Trappistine Monastery.

These vibrant and colorful aspects of life in Polomolok earned it the moniker Little Brazil of the Philippines.

A Thriving Way of Life

While the festivities and local sights would attract visitors, the high quality of life amidst the relaxed atmosphere will surely draw in people looking to build a life and raise their family somewhere new.

With a thriving local economy driven by agriculture and aquaculture, Polomolok is among the wealthiest municipalities in Mindanao. Despite this, Polomolok also boasts of a lower cost of living. Here, the cost of goods and services are much cheaper than in Metro Manila and most of the other areas in the country.

Lumina Polomolok

Polomolok also offers affordable housing options through Lumina Polomolok.

Find your dream home here

On the lookout for a house and lot for sale in Polomolok that won’t break the bank?

At this newest project of affordable house and lot developer Lumina Homes located in an 11.4 hectare area in Brgy. Cannery Site, Polomolok, South Cotabato, you can choose from over 1,400 well-designed and constructed house models for one that will suit your needs.

Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok

Looking for something fuss-free and low maintenance for your starter home? The Anna Rowhouse should be right up your alley. It is a single-storey dwelling with a 24 square meter floor area and a 37 square meter lot area, built with living and dining areas with provisions for one to two bedrooms, a service area and toilet and bath. Price starts at Php552,000.

Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok

If you have a small family, you would find your perfect fit with the Angeli Townhouse. It is a two-storey home with a 42 square meter floor area and a 36 square meter lot area, built with living and dining areas with provision for three bedrooms , a service area, toilet and bath and carport. Price starts at Php1,109,000.

Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok

If you’re looking for a little more space, you will surely gravitate towards the Armina Single Firewall Home which is a single detached two-storey home with a 42 square meter floor area and a 54 square meter lot area, built with living and dining areas with provision for three bedrooms , a service area, toilet and bath and carport. Price starts at Php1,527,000.

Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok

Aside from having an affordable yet comfortable abode, living in a Lumina Homes community also affords you with amenities that make for great times spent out of doors!

Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok

These include a basketball court, children’s playground, function hall, and mini gardens enclosed in a perimeter fence with 24/7 security, plus free shuttle service to and from town.

Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok

Living in Lumina Polomolok also lets you stay close to the action with these establishments within easy reach:

  • Marketplaces and Malls: Gaisano Mall, Friendly Mart, TLG Shoppers Mart and Price Mart Super Store
  • School, Colleges & Universities: Christian School of Polomolok, B.E.S.T College of Polomolok Inc., General Santos Academy, Polomolok National High School, SDA Dolefil Elementary School, and Notre Dame-Siena College of Polomolok
  • Hospitals and Clinic: Polomolok Municipal Hospital Inc., Bontuyan Medical Hospital Inc., Heramil Hospital, and JGR Medical Clinic and Services
  • Places of Worship: Our Lady Of Lourdes Parish, Central Polomolok Baptist Church and Southern Baptist Church

Getting your own Lumina dream home is made even easier, thanks to various financing options, such as:

  • Pag-Ibig Financing which offers the lowest possible interest rate with a 14-month downpayment term and a 30-year maximum loan term
  • Bank Financing which has faster loan processing with a 16-month downpayment term and a 20-year maximum loan term
  • Deferred Financing which involves straight payment of total contract price over 24 month at 0% interest
  • Spot Cash which involves full payment of total contract price applying a 6% discount if made within 30 days from payment of reservation fee, 8% if made within the reservation month, and 10% if made within 10 days of reservation date

So open yourself and your family up to fresh possibilities that living in Polomolok, South Cotabato has to offer! Contact Lumina Polomolok by calling +63 917 6296523, or drop by its sales office at Unit 4, 2F RCMIR Building, National Highways, Polomolok South Cotabato.

For its latest updates, visit the Lumina Homes website, or follow it on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Polomolok Field Photo by Julienne M on Unsplash

Have fun in the great outdoors with your Lumina Rosario community

While we do spend most of our leisure time, safe and cozy, inside our home, it is the community just outside its doors that make it the ideal abode.

When we take our family on a sojourn beyond the walls of our house and explore our immediate vicinity, we are able to take part in the local scene. Our interactions with our neighbors and local merchants during our time out of doors help shape our total experience in our particular locale.

Lumina Rosario

Take living in Lumina Rosario, for example.

This newest project of mass housing community developer Lumina Homes is located in a 46-hectare property in Barangay Quilib in Rosario, Batangas.

Lumina Rosario House Models

In this location, would-be homeowners on the lookout for a house and lot for sale in Batangas, can find their dream home among the Lumina Homes’ well-designed and constructed house models, regardless of their stage in life.

The Anna Rowhouse, for instance, is a bungalow type dwelling with a 24 square meter floor area and a 36 square meter minimum lot area, perfect for those who want a starter home. Already built with living and dining areas, kitchen, toilet and bath, as well as a provision for one bedroom and service area, it is ideal for those who want something low-maintenance for their first abode.

On the other hand, home buyers with small families would gravitate towards the Adriana Townhouse. A two-storey home with a 44 square meter floor area and a 36 square meter minimum lot area, it is built with living and dining areas, kitchen, toilet and bath, provision for two bedrooms, service area and a garage.

Lastly, home buyers with larger families would find either the Angeli Duplex or the Angeli Single Firewall well-suited to their needs. Both feature a floor area of 53 square meters and a minimum lot area of 63 square meters, and are built with living and dining areas, kitchen, toilet and bath, 3 bedrooms with partitions, family area and garage. The difference between the two models is that the duplex is one of two adjacent units while the single firewall is detached from other units by a space of approximately 3 meters. These house models definitely provide families with more room to grow!

These housing options are made even more accessible to would-be home buyers thanks to various financing options, such as:

  • Pag-Ibig Financing which has an interest rate of just 6.5% over a payment period ranging from 5 to 30 years
  • Bank Financing which has faster loan processing payable between 5 to 20 years
  • Deferred Financing which involves straight payment of total contract price over 24 month at 0% interest
  • Spot Cash Total Contract Price which involves full payment of total contract price within 30 days after reservation applying a 6% discount.

The Amenities.

Aside from a wonderful structure that they can furnish according to their taste and mold into a home for their family, Lumina homeowners also get to enjoy a sprawling outdoor area where they can hold fun activities together with their neighbors and establish their own community.

Kids can have fun playtime with their friends at the parks and playground area while the more sports-minded residents can make full use of the covered basketball court for sports and fitness activities.

Lumina Rosario
Lumina Rosario
Lumina Rosario
Lumina Rosario
Lumina Rosario
Lumina Rosario

Public events and private functions may also be held at the shared commercial area to help foster a community spirit.

The friendly guards at the guard house help to ensure the safety and security of the community while the shuttle service enables residents to easily venture out and enjoy more of what the locale has to offer by way of culture and entertainment.

Lumina Rosario
Lumina Rosario

The Local Flavors.

Rosario, Batangas is the home of the Sinukmani Festival, a feast held every year on the 9th day of June since 2005. It celebrates the local delicacy Sinukmani, more widely known as Biko, which is made with the area’s top local produce: rice, coconut and sugar cane.

Other must-try gustatory delights in the area include the Goto Batangas which is a soup made with tripe, intestines, liver, and beef shank in a broth flavored with onions, ginger, and annato powder and served with steamed rice, as well as the Lomi Batangas, a Chinese-inspired noodle soup made even heartier by the Batanguenos with the addition of pork meat, tripe, crispy skin and other sundry ingredients.

Places to Visit and Enjoy.

Residing in Lumina Rosario makes the region’s breathtaking tourist attractions all the more accessible to those with a little bit of wanderlust.

Villa Crisanta Garden Resort, for instance, is a perfect destination to escape the metro’s hustle and bustle with its verdant gardens and leisure spa facilities.

An hour’s ride away from Lumina Rosario would get the traveller to popular beach destination Laiya in San Juan, Batangas.

Laiya, Batangas

Those seeking serenity can enjoy the sun, sand and sea of beachfront resort Playa Laiya while those seeking thrills can enjoy the adrenaline-pumping activities at Laiya Adventure Park such as a 630-meter zipline, wall climbing, rapelling, freefall, aerial walk and downhill tubing.

Indeed, there’s no shortage of things to enjoy out-of-doors if you reside at Lumina Rosario. And the best part is that after all your outdoor fun, you can always come home to your vibrant community and your comfortable Lumina Homes abode.

So inquire now for a Lumina Rosario house and lot for sale in Batangas by calling +63 919 0812972 or +63 917 8342349 or by visiting the sales office at Lumina Lipa Site in Brgy. Tibig, Lipa City, Batangas and be on your way towards becoming a #CertifiedKabarangayLumina.

Other #LuminaHomes projects in the province are located in Lipa, Bauan, Tanauan and Sto. Tomas.

For more details, follow Lumina Rosario on Facebook or visit the Lumina Homes webpage.

6 Interesting Facts about Ankor Wat

Ankor Wat, located north of Siem Reap in Cambodia, is one of the country’s most visited tourist spots as well as its most iconic symbols. In fact, being a source of pride for the country, it has appeared on Cambodian national flags since the 1860s, and is the reason for more than fifty percent of international tourist visits to Cambodia each year.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

If you’re planning a trip to Cambodia, a visit to Angkor Wat is sure to be part of your itinerary.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

It is located five kilometers from Siem Reap, which affords tourists with various options for accommodations and transportation to and from the site.

Why don’t you wow your traveling friends when you tour the area armed with these interesting tidbits about this famous tourist attraction?

1. It is the world’s largest religious monument.

Sprawling across 1.6 square kilometers (162 hectares or 402 acres), it is considered to be the largest religious monument in the world by land area covered.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Its construction consumed five million tons of sandstone quarried from the holy mountain of Phnom Kulen located over fifty kilometers away from the site.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

2. It is a holy place to two major Asian religions.

Although originally built in the twelfth century by the Khmer King Suyavarman II as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu, Angkor Wat was converted to a Buddhist temple twenty-seven after his death by a devout Buddhist king Jayavarman VII.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

3. It was originally called by another name.

The temple was originally named Vrah Visnuloka or Parama Visnuloka, which means the “sacred dwelling of Vishnu” in Sanskrit.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Its current name, on the other hand, translates to “city of temples” in Khmer, from Angkor which means “city” and Wat which means “temple grounds.”

4. It may have been intended as a funerary temple.

Deviating from the norm among Khmer temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west rather than the east. A western orientation normally relates to death in Hinduism leading archeologists and scholars to conclude that Suyavarman intended it to serve as his funerary temple.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Adding strength to this inference is the counter-clockwise direction of the basreliefs as rituals occur in reverse order in Brahmanic funerary services.

5. Here, nature and human architecture make for picturesque views.

In the centuries after it was built, Angkor Wat suffered neglect. During this time, the surrounding forest has swallowed many parts of the complex until the site was rediscovered by French naturalist and explore Henri Mouhot in 1860.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

For many years, silk cotton, thitpok and strangler fig trees have grown over, under, around and even through the sandstone structures. This sets various breathtaking sceneries in the complex wherein nature is seen to have overtaken the man-made structures.

6. Various countries are working to preserve it.

Given its historical and cultural significance, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992, which encouraged international efforts to save it. Countries such as China, France, Germany and Japan are involved in various conservation projects to repair and preserve various parts of the complex.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Excited to tour Angkor Wat yet? Click here for more info on visiting Angkor Wat and Cambodia.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Disclosure: Photos featured here were taken during a 2012 trip to Angkor Wat sponsored by A&E Networks.

Hotel Sogo innovates New Normal hotel features

Experts say it will take longer before the world completely heals from the effect of COVID19. As the country prepares to ease up after the almost three months of Enhance Community Quarantine, Hotel Sogo steps up for their version of the hotel industry’s ‘new normal’.

Hotel Sogo is doing various ways to ensure the safety and security of its guests and employees against the spread of Covid19 virus, once they go back to regular operations. Top on its list will be the use of ultraviolet (UV) lights in disinfecting around its facilities and intensified the process from checking-in to ordering of food to make sure their facilities as So Clean. The ultraviolet (UV) lights are highly effective at disinfection, as its rays are capable of killing bacteria, germs, and viruses.

To prepare its employees in servicing its guests, Hotel Sogo makes sure to protect their employees from the virus by giving them vitamins to boost their immunity and provided personalized PPEs. Hotel Sogo employees have their medical check-ups and Covid19 testing to make sure that their personnel is free from the virus to make sure that the employees and not just the facilities are So Good and ready for their regular operations.

Guests need not worry during their stay Hotel Sogo ensures that operations and preparations are So Safe, as mandatory temperature checks, passage through disinfecting tent, and use of disinfecting foot tray are in place. The availability of hand sanitizers in common areas, are strictly observed, as well as social distancing from the receiving process to elevator use going to their rooms. Facilities are also redesigned and modified to protect the guests and employees, like placing the glass panel divider on top of the front desk.

All of this information can be found in Hotel Sogo’s ‘new normal’ video playbook. The video is shared with relevant government agencies like the Department of Health (DOH), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Department of Tourism (DOT), in the hope that the video could serve as a benchmark of other similar establishments prior to their reopening.

Watch Hotel Sogo’s ‘new normal’ playbook video to know more.

Video and details provided by Hotel Sogo in a recent press release.

Z Hostel and Makati’s Tourism Office offer a different kind of walking tour to the public

The late artist, tour guide and cultural activist Carlos Celdran described Manila as “can be chaotic and spiritual, dirty and divine, gritty and gorgeous all at once.”

The same can be said about the area in Makati known as Poblacion.

Long saddled with the reputation of being the red-light district hiding in the shade of the soaring skyscrapers of Makati’s Central Business District, Poblacion has slowly but surely been shedding its seedier veneer to reveal a place with its own character. It may be crowded and wornout in some places, but it has its own vibrance and local flavor.

Z Hostel, known as “one of the hippest hostels in Makati,” itself stands on what used to be the site of a brothel. Today, it is the place where young travelers and backpackers stay for a few days of comfort and relative luxury.

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Z Hostel recently partnered with Makati City’s International Relations Department in offering its Poblacion Walking Tour, not just to the hostel’s guests but also to locals who want to see another side of Poblacion, all for free.

Together with my daughter #ExhibitA, I took part in the tour to check out Poblacion’s happenin’ places.

An alternative to the usual walking tours wherein museums and heritage sites are the destinations of choice, this is essentially a pub crawl which takes its guests around the immediate radius of the hostel to check out some of the establishments they can hang out in (and have a drink or two) during their stay.

Tour guide Jian Miranda, himself a Makati resident for twenty-one years, shared his knowledge and love of the place by picking out spots worthy of note (such as the former drug den turned events venue, where to get the best barbecue in Poblacion and the names – and ingredients – of the streetfood being hawked on street corners) and the stories behind the various joints featured in the tour.

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

The first stop in the walking tour was Agimat Foraging Bar and Kitchen. With the branches of an old Balete tree serving as the shelves of the bar, Agimat serves up magic and mystery with every drink. Prior to presenting you with your concoction of choice inspired by the four elements apoy (fire), lupa (earth), tubig (water), hangin (air) and buhay (life), the crew would perform a ritual complete with ethnic masks, drums and chants. Being a foraging kitchen and bar, Agimat takes ingredients and culinary influences from various parts of the country to come up with unique and memorable dishes and drinks. It’s definitely worth a second visit.

The second stop of our walking tour was Julyan Coffee Spot, a newly opened coffee shop that also showcases artwork by the owners’ son, Julyan. More than a quiet place to sit and relax while enjoying artisanal coffee, Julyan Coffee Spot is also a social enterprise: it provides training and employment to persons with disability (PWDs). In fact the baristas serving coffee are deaf and communicate by sign language. I’d love to spend more time here with just my laptop and my cuppa joe, to work on my blog, or maybe get around to writing the Next Great Filipino Novel (yeah, I can dream, right?).

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Kartel Roofdeck Bar, the next stop in the tour, offers a scenic view of the Makati skyline from the towering buildings in the CBD to the hotels and night spots in the surrounding the area. Here, we were given free shots to help us loosen our reserve and get to know our fellow tourists. I wouldn’t mind a return visit where I can leisurely enjoy a light mocktail along with the cool evening breeze.

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

The final stop in the walking tour is Kondwi. Set in a big, black, boxy type of building, it actually houses a vibrant cocktail lounge at the ground floor and an exhibit space for artwork on the second floor. The last time I was here was when the upper floor was occupied by the Johnnie Walker Highball Arcade earlier this month. I’d love to see the next exhibits, take part in the salsa dance lessons, as well as taste more of Kondwi’s artistic takes on food and drink.

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

After the tour, the group was treated to cocktails at the Z Roofdeck. Too bad I wasn’t able to join as #ExhibitA and I had the rush home for our dinner date. Oh well…

The walking tour is primarily geared towards tourists looking for places where they can tipple, but it can also be the springboard for a local foodie’s rediscovery of the gritty and gorgeous Poblacion area.

The Poblacion Walking Tour is offered to Z Hotel guests and, recently, to locals as well every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday T 4pm with Z Hostel as the meeting point. Want to take part in the next Poblacion Walking Tour? Sign up here.

Here are the locations of the places we visited today:

  • Z Hostel: 5660 Don Pedro St. Brgy. Poblacion, Makati City (Tel: +63 917 8898531 or +63 2 88560851)
  • Agimat Foraging Bar and Kitchen: Second Floor, 5972 Alfonso Corner Fermina Street, Poblacion, Makati City. (Tel: +63 917 8904039)
  • Julyan Coffee Spot: 5936 Gloria Street, Poblacion, Makati City (Tel: +63 917 6860895)
  • Kartel Rooftop Bar: 5921 Algier Street, Poblacion, Makati City (Tel: +63 917 5638811)
  • Kondwi: 6109 Albert Street,Poblacion, Makati City(Tel: +63 917 7771633)

New TLC series TRAVEL FOR LOVE premieres on Valentine’s Day

TRAVEL FOR LOVE is a new unscripted series that reinvents the genre of travel shows, with the added element of new relationships in foreign lands. In this series, 5 micro influencers set off on a trip of a lifetime to experience all the magic of new adventures, and the anticipation of meeting potential romantic interests, for the first time.

Travel for Love is a social experiment presenting all the thrills of travel, with a refreshing take on the beginnings of new relationships. This ten-part series takes place in 5 different cities in Asia –Kuching, Yogyakarta, Dalat, Kuala Lumpur and Bohol. Throughout the series, the influencers will experience amazing local flavors, discover stunning destinations and delve into the unique cultures of their host cities, all whilst challenging their comfort zones, by going on three blind dates. After meeting 3 romantic hopefuls, each influencer will need to choose just 1 person, to go on a second date with. Will sparks fly, or will things smoulder and perhaps ignite new,intangible connections?

Premieres Friday, 14 February 2020 at 9.25pm TLC (SKYcable ch 243 HD | 62 SD in Metro Manila).

Ep 1: Mariska Date 1

Fiercely different, Mariska, Tony, Tahanee, Honey and Samantha journey to 5 different cities seeking adventure and love. In the rainforest of Sarawak, musician Mariska from Jakarta meets first date Kevin.

Ep 2: Honey & Samantha Date 1

In KL, Filipina Samantha goes to new heights with first date Alvin. While Penangite Honey meets first date Shane in Bohol exploring romance underwater before taking the plunge into a bizarre situation.

Ep 3: Tahanee & Tony Date 1

New Yorker Tony’s first date Queenie in Dalat involves dancing and it’s an awkward start right out of his comfort zone. Malaysian Tahanee wonders if worldly first date Levi in Jogja is too much for her.

Ep 4: Mariska & Honey Date 2

Mariska meets second date, Dan in Sarawak and is forced to confront her biggest fear; worms. Meanwhile, in Bohol, Honey surprises herself by letting second date Philippe in on a dark secret from her past.

Ep 5: Samantha & Tahanee Date 2

Tahanee meets charming second date Daymasand shares intimate memories of her late mother. In KL Samantha is impressed by handsome second date Dharrshen but things take an unexpected turn.

Ep 6: Mariska Date 3 & Tony Date 2

City slicker Sean, treats Mariska to a trip of a lifetime in Kuching! Tony’s second date Jessie from Dalat loves flowers and sunsets, so she is sure to get his mother’s approval, but can she get his?

Ep 7: Honey & Tahanee Date 3

Thetwo Malaysians, meet their final date. Honey, feeling vulnerable, wears her heart on her sleeve with Marco in Bohol, whilst Tahanee goes on an adventurous date at Gua Pindul in Yogyakarta with Pajay.

Ep 8: Samantha & Tony Date 3

Flirtatious sparks fly when Tony meets Lyn in Dalat. But can they overcome the language barrier? Samantha’s thirddate Ilai in KL has left her wondering if he is the real deal.

Ep 9: THE SECOND DATE_Part 1

It is the ultimate dilemma for Mariska, Tony, Tahanee, Honey and Samantha. Who will they choose for a second date? They reminisce about their journeys and theirdates as they try to make the right choice.

Ep 10: THE SECOND DATE_Part 2

Mariska, Tony, Tahanee, Honey and Samantha meet their chosen second dates. Will they pursue romance or just stay friends? Mariska’s original song Aeroplane debuts in the final moments of this episode.

Show details and images provided by TLC.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.

SKY to raffle off Hokkaido, Japan trip for two

Enjoy a fun getaway in the “Land of the Rising Sun” to start the year right with SKY’s “Go Hokkaido Flyaway Promo” where a subscriber and a travel companion will win an all-expense paid 5D/4N trip to Hokkaido, Japan.

This exciting flyaway is made possible with Hotel 101, which put together a fun-filled itinerary for the lucky SKY subscriber.

The winner will have the chance to go on fabulous escapades, including a trip to Sapporo’s famous Odori Park, Sapporo Clock Tower, the Sapporo Old Government Building, the festive Shiroi Koibito Park, Tanuki Koji/ Susukino shopping street, North Snowland in Chitose, Lake Shikotsu, Mt. Moiwa, Sapporo Beer Garden, Otaru Canal City, Music Box Museum, Kitachi Glass Factory, Mitsui Outlet Park, and get to dine at the Gyuya Edohachi.

Subscribers just need to log on to mysky.com.ph/myaccounts, register their SKY account number, or update their mobile numbers and/or email addresses from January 25 to February 25, 2020 to qualify for the raffle promo.

The promo is available to all SKY Fiber, SKYcable and SKYdirect Postpaid subscribers. The winner and his travel companion must have valid passports for six months from the travel period and must have a Japan VISA. The deadline for registration is February 25, 2020.

Travel promo period is from March 23 to 27, 2020. For more details, visit mysky.com.ph/gohokkaido.

Bayview Hotel GM Eugene T. Yap: Leading with compassion

A good leader possesses not one but a combination of many good qualities. For Bayview Park Hotel Manila’s General Manager Eugene T. Yap, his best assets stem from his innate compassion for people and the desire to always provide service that only gets better over time.

Mr. Yap took his seat as the hotel’s General Manager in 2002, but he has been with Bayview Hotel Development Corp., the company that owns and operates the hotel, since it acquired the property in the late 1980s. At that time, he was serving from the company’s head office in Makati as part of the legal team that handled the property acquisition. Later, he was tasked to look over the structure’s renovations and repairs.

Bayview Park Hotel

It may seem like a stretch for a corporate lawyer to work in the operations and management side of a hotel. After getting a business degree at the University of Santo Tomas in 1985, Atty. Yap pursued a legal career and went straight to law school at Manuel L. Quezon University, before passing the bar exams in 1990. But as he recalls, “You know how children usually dream what they always see? When we were younger, whenever we go to restaurants or hotels and service is given to us superbly and we feel happy about it, you tend to feel like you want to work in those types of service. At that time there wasn’t really much of a ‘hospitality industry’ to be spoken of so I wouldn’t call this my childhood dream. But when our company acquired Bayview, I simply began to love the property.”

The passion to serve people became Yap’s main drivers at work. “In the hospitality industry, we serve our guests and we take care of our employees. In the legal practice, we also take care of our clients and our staff. So, in this aspect, they are really not much different,” he says. He believes that good service can only be provided to hotel guests when the people working behind the scenes are also being valued by their leader, so he strives to give them a good working environment and has even adopted a program called the Managers’ Initiative. Through this program, employees are encouraged to pitch in their suggestions on how they can improve the hotel’s services, amenities, and even marketing efforts, and gives them the platform to explore their ideas. He also puts value in having a work-life balance among his employees and even with himself. “I always set a time limit for work because when you are enjoying the work, you tend to lose track of time and you should never lose time for your family. It is also important for me and my staff to recharge once in a while so we can provide better service to our guests when we return to work.”

Bayview Park Hotel

When asked to describe his leadership style, “You can say relaxed but still professional. I believe in accountability where each one is responsible for their own actions, but I also believe in learning from others. I am forever a student of the hospitality industry so I try my best to learn from all people.” He constantly keeps a listening ear open for comments and suggestions from every person who walks into the hotel because he believes that “Guests are your best teachers.” He says, “How do I know when I’m doing a good job? When I see guests smiling. When they are satisfied with your service, that guest will keep coming back and keep asking for you. When the guest starts needing you, that means you’re doing something right.”

Not only at Bayview Park Hotel does Mr. Yap apply his mantras of good leadership. He also takes pride in being the president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines (HRAP). As leader to the organization, he aims to leave a mark in the industry through his “leadership by accommodation,” which is founded on understanding, being approachable, and being reasonable. “Just keep on giving the best available service to your guests and don’t forget to give your employees the pat on the back that they deserve. When you start receiving compliments from your guests and loyalty from staff, that’s where success comes in.”

Details and images provided in a recent press release,

UKEAS to Partner with British Embassy Manila for Study World UK Education Fair

UKEAS Philippines is proud to announce a joint partnership with British Embassy Manila for the upcoming Study World UK Education Fair on 18 January, 2020, at Shangri-La Hotel Makati. The Study World UK Education Fair will provide students with the chance to explore opportunities to complete their post-graduate studies at the top universities in the United Kingdom.

“The British Embassy is really pleased to once again be working with UKEAS. The UK has a world-class education offering, and our higher education institutions are amongst the most renowned and prestigious in the world. For 2020, the British Embassy Manila, UKEAS, and the British Council are partnering together to bring this message across to students in the Philippines,” shares Richard Colley, the United Kingdom’s Director of Trade & Investment. “UKEAS’ Study World makes studying in the UK accessible to many Filipinos who aspire to broaden their horizons through learning at our prestigious universities. As education becomes more globalised, we want to make sure that everybody hears about educational opportunities in the UK. To do so, we choose to work with partners who exemplify British values.”

What is the Study World UK Education Fair?

This January’s up-coming Study World UK Education Fair will bring representatives from the leading universities in the United Kingdom to Manila. The event will allow students to gain all the necessary information needed to pursue an education in the UK, while giving them access to seminars and keynote speeches.

UKEAS4

“Students and universities in the Philippines will be able to see the spectrum of UK education in a series of events that the Embassy is organising in partnership with UKEAS and the British Council. As well as the Study World UK Education Fair, we will also host a UK-PH University Partnership Conference and a series of networking events for academic institutions,” says Richard Colley. “We believe by establishing UK-PH partnerships, we will create more opportunities to unlock joint research projects, broadening of curricula and access to new resource materials and exchanges for both students and faculty members.”

Participating universities include:

  • Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin (NEW)
  • Birmingham City University (NEW)
  • Coventry University (NEW)
  • University of Sunderland (NEW)
  • QA Higher Education (NEW)
    • Northumbria University London
    • Solent University
    • Ulster University London
    • University of Roehampton
  • Navitas
  • INTO – City University
  • INTO – University of Liverpool
  • University of Leeds
  • Hult International Business School – London
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • University of South Wales

“The UK is serious in its commitment to make education accessible and relevant. This also supports Philippine industries and their workforces for the future,” adds Richard Colley. “Study World UK Education Fair will give prospective students, whether undergraduates or professionals seeking to top-up their qualifications, access to special sessions on university applications, essay writing, visa applications, and living in the UK. There will also be a helpdesk, to give advice and information on student funding opportunities including self-paid and part or full scholarships.”

Attain World Class Education at Study World UK 2020

“We are committed to championing the breadth and diversity of UK education. As a destination of choice for students from around the globe, we are committed to supporting our global partners in their educational objectives, and to sharing UK knowledge and expertise,” says Richard Colley.

Get one step closer to your dream of studying overseas with UKEAS and British Embassy Manila at the Study World UK Education Fair on 18 January, 2020, at Shangri-La Hotel Makati.

“We are proud of the UK’s outstanding reputation for education. Four UK universities are in the top 10 of the QS World University Rankings. University degree qualifications from the UK are among the best and desirable in the world and highly valued by employers globally,” says Richard Colley. “UK education programmes are delivered in many innovative ways. As well as classroom-based learning, there are opportunities for online, community-based and immersive study. Degree courses can also be studied at a Philippine university but with 6-12 months of the course being completed in the UK.”

Education is great! Register here to begin your journey to study overseas.

“Education is Great” and #YouCanWithUKEAS

Program information and images provided in a recent press release.

Lucky SKY subscriber to win a trip to Bali, Singapore or Taiwan with AXN’s Chillout/Thrillout flyaway promo

AXN treats SKY subscribers this October as it brings back viewers’ favourite action-packed shows that will inspire them to chill-out or thrill-out with the newest seasons of hit U.S. series, “Hawaii Five-O,” “The Blacklist” and “Supernatural” – with an adventure trip promo.

AXN COTO Keyart

“Hawaii Five-O,” a police procedural drama series, returned to the small screen last September 28 for its tenth season. Steve McGarrett and Danny Williams, played by Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan respectively, are on a mission to tackle more crimes, but with serious consequences like terrorism and organized crime. New episodes air every Saturday at 9:45 PM, within 12 hours of its U.S. telecast.

“Blacklist” is still going strong and will debut its seventh season this month. The show picks up from the cliffhanger of season six when Red (James Spader) was stabbed by Katarina (Lotte Verbeek) with a syringe and his unconscious body was thrown into a van. Catch Liz (Megan Boone) as she attempts to save Red from her mother, and discover the other mysteries she needs to solve. “Blacklist” premieres on October 5, and airs every Saturday at 10:40PM, within 12 hours of its U.S. telecast.

“Supernatural” will return with its final season. In their fourteen years on TV, Dean (Jared Padalecki) and Sam (Jensen Ackles) have already defeated countless monsters. But in the 14th season finale, the brothers faced off with the most powerful villain yet: God. In the upcoming season, the show’s executive producer said in the last Comic Con that not only will the brothers be dealing with the end of the world, but they will also be grappling with the very idea of free will. “Supernatural” premieres on October 14, and airs every Monday at 10:40 PM, within the same week of its U.S. Telecast.

With these new episodes come AXN’s ‘Chill Out or Thrill Out’ promo, where a lucky SKY subscriber will get to choose between a chill-out vacation in Bali or Taiwan, or a thrilling one in Singapore. The lucky subscriber will get to bring his or her companion on a 4D/3N trip to one of the three destinations.

Simply visit mysky.com.ph/axnchillout, fill out the form, and answer which of the three shows above do you like the most! AXN’s ‘Chill Out or Thrill Out’ flyaway promo is open to all subscribers of SKY Fiber Unli Broadband + HD Cable, SKYcable and SKYdirect nationwide.

AXN is on SKYcable Ch49 (SD) & Ch247 (HD) in Mega Manila, Ch604 (SD) & Ch737 (HD) in Regional, and SKYdirect Ch34 (HD).

To subscribe to SKYcable, fill up this form.

Show and promo details provided by SKY in a recent press release.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.

Five ways Saltitude, Anilao will make your next beach vacay your best ever

Urban life is not a piece of cake for us city slickers, is it? Hectic schedules and those infernal traffic jams do take a toll on our dispositions, and sometimes, even on our physical health.

Sometimes, don’t you just wish you could hie off somewhere, hibernate for a while and luxuriate in peace and quiet? Or how about taking a break from being a desk warrior and be out in the sun, getting your muscles in motion doing something fun? How about spending time with the people you love away from the stresses of city life?

Well, guess what: you can do all these and more at Saltitude Dive & Beach Resort, one of the trendiest vacay spots to enter the Anilao beach scene.

Saltitude Environment

Saltitude Environment

Saltitude Environment

Spend your beach vacation at Saltitude and you’ll be bringing home not just a great tan but also a lot of great memories. How? Well, let me count the ways:

One: Whimsically decorated rooms get you in your vacay groove.

Each of Saltitude’s fully air-conditioned rooms is named, furnished and decorated according to the things you can do at the beach in or out of the water. The beddings, curtains and unique DIY tchotchkes are all in keeping with the room’s theme. Each door and some of the wall art are also hand-painted by the owners.

Check them out:

Twin-sharing rooms perfect for intimate trips of couples or BFFs.

Dive.

Saltitude Doors

Saltitude Dive Room

Snorkle.

Saltitude Doors

Saltitude Snorkel

Kayak.

Saltitude Doors

Saltitude Kayak

Fall in Love.

Saltitude Doors

Saltitude Fall in Love

Saltitude Tchotchkes

Talk.

Saltitude Doors

Saltitude Talk

Triple-sharing rooms or huts well-suited for a small family or group.

Sail.

Saltitude Doors

Saltitude Sail

Saltitude Tchotchkes

Chill.

Saltitude Doors

Saltitude Chill

Saltitude Chill

Saltitude Tchotchkes

Sun-bathe.

Saltitude Doors

Saltitude Sun-bathe

And a family room that can accommodate a larger number of guests.

Party.

Saltitude Doors

Saltitude Party

Saltitude Party

Saltitude Party

Two: A whole gamut of outdoor activities lets you make the most of the sun and waves

Co-owners Malou Eaparrago and Jake Calangi are both dive enthusiasts and they let their guest take full advantage of their diving expertise and the resort’s proximity to some of Anilao’s best dive sites.

In fact, newbie divers can get their PADI, RAID or SSI diving certification at the resort through Saltitude’s experienced diving instructors.

Other activities that can be enjoyed while staying at Saltitude include swimming, snorkeling, windsurfing and even trekking to nearby Mount Gulugod Baboy.

Read more details on the outdoor adventures you can have at Saltitude here.

Three: Tasty dishes and delish dining events are sure to satisfy your food cravings

Who would have thought that going to the beach will also present you an opportunity to indulge your inner foodie?

Saltitude’s restaurant aptly named bar and restaurant Mingle serves up appetizing meals using fresh and local ingredients, bar chows and even Saltitude’s very own signature cocktails.

The resort recently launched Brunchin’ at the Beach, a brunch buffet held every Saturday from 6am to 12.30pm where diners can enjoy a sumptuous and well-curated spread of dishes in line with a weekly theme cuisine, all while enjoying the cool and relaxing vibe of the Saltitude’s beach and premises.

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Read more about Brunchin’ at the Beach here.

During summer, Saltitude holds beach barbecues every Saturday night so guest can all come together to enjoy freshly grilled meats and seafood, as well as the cool sea breezes.

Guests with special diets have no need to worry. Just indicate your dietary restrictions when you book your room and the resort will find ways to accommodate you.

Four: It gives you lots of opportunities to rest, relax and re-charge

Who says you have to have a jam-packed itinerary while at the beach?

Make the most of this escape from the stresses of city life by enjoying the scenic views or reading your favorite book while relaxing Saltitude’s beachfront loungechairs, cabanas or hammocks.

Saltitude Relax

Saltitude Relax

Saltitude Relax

Saltitude Relax

Saltitude Relax

Saltitude Relax

Saltitude Relax

Saltitude Relax

Take this time to pamper yourself by booking a session with the resort’s accredited massage therapists.

Saltitude Relax

Saltitude Relax

Consider your stay here your “me time,” and return to your city life fully refreshed, recharged and raring to face the challenges ahead.

Five: It takes its environmental footprint seriously.

Environmentally conscious guests can rest easy as Saltitude also champions environmental causes. It avoids the use of disposable plastic in its operations while also incorporating reclaimed wood and recycled items in its decor.

On September 21, it will host a beach cleanup activity where participants can help in cleaning up a portion the local coastline and divesites while also taking part in environmental lectures and mingling with like-minded guests.

At Saltitude, your beach vacation can be so much more than just some time spent away from the city. It can also be an adventure that stirs your spirit or a balm that soothes your soul.

Saltitude Dive & Beach Resort is located along Manini Road in Mabini, Batangas. To book your stay or reserve a table at the restaurant, call +63 43 4101857, +63 927 4220428 or +63 939 9088843, or email info@saltitude-anilao.com. For more details, check out its website.

Horrific journey into madness at Asylum Manila

Opened in 1939, the Asylum was a premier psychiatric medical institution for the criminally insane. The worst and most violent of psychiatric patients were brought here for treatment and seclusion.

Dr. Vanicutt, a renowned psychiatrist from Pennysylvania, heads the asylum. When his wife died from a mysterious accident, the doctor sank into madness: tormenting and conducting grotesque experiments on the patients.

During the Japanese occupation, the Asylum was mistaken for an abandoned building and a garrison of soldiers was stationed there. They ended up going insane and slaughtering each other.

From then on, the Asylum has been abandoned. The poor souls who wandered there were never heard from again.

Now in 2019, the doors are open again, welcoming new patients while the many unthinkable events that took place in the Asylum are still waiting to be uncovered.

That’s the premise of Asylum Manila, the newest horror attraction in the metro. It is a massive walk-through of dark attractions with sinister live actors, jump scares straight out of horror movies and Hollywood-caliber special effects.

Asylum Manila

Asylum Manila

Asylum Manila

You and your gang (who will, hopefully, stand with you no matter what terrors you encounter inside) will enter the Asylum as its newest patients. Two creepy nurses will check your vitals (making sure that you have no pre-existing medical conditions that will make you unable to complete your journey), then they will reveal the Asylum’s sordid history before ushering you into the house of horrors.

Inside, you will be chased up, down and around by crazed orderlies, chainsaw murderers, cannibalistic undertakers and mutilated patients. You will even encounter characters straight from horror movies such as Annabelle and the Nun from The Conjuring series and Pennywise the Clown from It.

Asylum Manila

Asylum Manila

Asylum Manila

Asylum Manila

Asylum Manila

Asylum Manila

By the end of your 45-minute journey through winding pathways, moving floors and walls, flashing lights and creepy music, you will have experienced thrills and chills that will leave your adrenaline pumpin’ and your knees shakin’.

My friends from #SaanSaPH and I got a sneak peek of Asylum Manila’s attractions the day before it opened to the public and and let me say that the experience was one of the most fun, albeit scary, times we’ve all had together.

Asylum Manila

Asylum Manila

Tickets go on sale starting June 20, priced at Php699 Mondays to Thursdays, and at Php799 Fridays to Sundays. VIP tickets priced at Php1,200 are also available giving holders priority in queue. To buy online, visit AsylumManila.com.

Asylum Manila is located at 1148 E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, New Manila, Quezon City (in front of Christ the King Mission), open from 4pm to 12 midnight. For inquiries or reservations, call +63 945 3007408, +63 945 3007404, +63 947 4612808 or +63 947 4612807.

Some reminders:

  • The attractions are not recommended for children under 12 years old or for persons with known and pre-existing medical conditions such as pregnancy, breathing/heart/psychological/joint/muscle conditions or any conditions made worse by physical exertion.
  • Wear comfortable clothes (no heels) and don’t bring backpacks or bags
  • No taking of photos or filming inside the attractions except in the assigned areas.

Thanks to Zarrah of TheBandWagonChic.com for extending the invitations!

Three things to know for your snowy adventure at Mount Rainier, WA

Having lived all my life in a tropical country, I have never experienced snow. Actually, I’m very sensitive to cold weather and prone to feeling the chills when the temperature drops so I have accepted that experiencing snow will never be a reality.

That changed when my bro decided to take Hubby, the kids and myself to Mount Rainier in Washington State during the fam’s US trip.

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier

Famed Scottish-American naturalist John Muir once said, “Of all the fire mountains which like beacons, once blazed along the Pacific Coast, Mount Rainier is the noblest.”

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier truly offers a lot of awesome sights to behold.  And if you’re planning a similar trip to this famous attraction, here are some things you might like to know:

1. It was formed by volcanic activity and is, in fact, an active volcano.

At 14,410 feet, Mount Rainier stands at the center of the country’s fifth national park and is the most glaciated peak in the continental United States.  It is a product of many prehistoric volcanic activities as evidenced by basalt columns and other remnants of early eruptions and lava flows.

Mount Rainier

Active steam vents, intermittent earth tremors and its previous eruptions indicate that Mount Rainier is sleeping, not dead.  Set your mind at ease, though: there are seismic monitoring stations throughout the place that should be able to provide warning of impending eruptions days in advance.  You should still watch out for other geologic activities that occur with little warning such as rock falls and debris flows.  If you happen to be near a river and notice a rapid rise in water level or prolonged ground tremors and rumbling noise, the park advises to head on to higher ground, 200 feet above river level should be safe.

2. Its landscape is ever-changing.

From a distance, Mount Rainier may seem solid and permanent but, up close, it constantly changes. This spring, melting snow reveal subalpine meadows with flowers that rapidly bloom for pollinating insects, and foraging animals ensure the continuity of life despite the summer that lasts for only two months.

As a wanderer, you also need to be prepared for the changing conditions on the mountain such as retracing hiking routes, snow avalanches, rushing streams and changing weather.  Gear up for potential difficulties you may encounter when you decide to go hiking, snow boarding or climbing.

Mount Rainier

Our group, for example, was initially planning to enjoy the views at Sunrise, the highest point in the park reachable by car but closed roads going to the area made us change our plans to go to visit Longmire, the Narada Falls and the Paradise Visitors Center instead.

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier

Factoring in some flexibility in your sightseeing will ensure that everyone still has a good time despite changes in plans. Be sure to note road closure signs and other safety notices on the way.  You can dial 9-1-1 from any phone located within the park for emergency assistance.

3. Its wilderness is home to diverse fauna.

Beyond the roads, parking lots and visitor centers is sprawling wild land: over 97 percent of the Mount Rainier National Park is protected by the 1964 Wilderness Act that keeps it free from development.  Here, animals such as black bears, beavers, mountain goats, spotted owls and the recently reintroduced Pacific fishers, can roam and live freely in the thick forests, lush meadows, rushing rivers and sparkling lakes.

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier

While exploring Mount Rainier, you can take the opportunity to enjoy all the relaxing green spaces to recharge and reinvigorate yourself away from the stresses of city living.  You can also take in the wonders of nature that are in abundance in the area, thanks to the conservation efforts of the National Parks Service.

Mount Rainier National Park is located in East Ashford, Washington, 90 miles (about 2 hours drive) from Seattle.  The park charges USD30 (Php1,565) for every passenger vehicle, or USD25 (Php1,304)  for every motorcycle.  Walk-ins and bicyclists are charged USD15 (Php783).

For more details about the Mount Rainier National Park, visit its website.

Check out the other attractions the fam and I visited during our US trip:

Sightseeing at the Mukilteo Lighthouse Park, Snohomish County, WA

Did you know that aside from guiding mariners by night or during storms, lighthouses also serve as daymarks – landmarks that are visible from the sea during daylight hours.  To serve as a day mark, the light tower should be brightly painted, and feature distinctive colors and patterns.

One such light tower in the Mukilteo Lighthouse which the fam explored during our trip to the Pacific Northwest.  Designed by renowned  architect Carl W. Leick, this Victorian-style lighthouse, which stands 38 feet high (one of the shortest in the United States), has been operating since March 1, 1906.  By 2001, the US Coast Guard has transferred the Mukilteo Light Station property to the City of Mukilteo, although it still maintains the light and the foghorn as working aids to navigation.

Mukilteo Lighthouse, WA

When it was originally built, the lighthouse was equipped with an oil lamp and a rotating lens; the oil lamp had to be refilled and the rotating lens had to be rewound every three hours.

Mukilteo Lighthouse, WA

Currently, its light is made possible by a fourth order Fresnel lens built in Paris, France in 1852 and brought to Mukilteo when the lighthouse was converted to electricity in 1927.  With a flash pattern of two seconds on / three seconds off which is unique to Mukilteo, the lighthouse is now fully automated and on 24/7.

Mukilteo Lighthouse, WA

Atop the light tower is a breathtaking view of the Possession Sound, named by George Vancouver in 1792 when he claimed possession of the land of “New Georgia” for Great Britain.  Possession Sound connects the main Puget Sound basin to the south with Saratoga Passage and Port Susan to the north.

Mukilteo Lighthouse, WA

Mukilteo Lighthouse, WA

Mukilteo Lighthouse, WA

Mukilteo Lighthouse, WA

Beside the lighthouse is a structure known as the Assistant Keeper’s House which was also designed by Architect Leick as part of the light station.  Today, it serves as a venue for historical exhibits and as a gift shop for visitors.

Mukilteo Lighthouse, WA

Mukilteo Lighthouse, WA

Mukilteo Lighthouse, WA

Mukilteo Lighthouse, WA

Encompassing the light station compound, the sandy beach and shoreline walkway is the Mukilteo Lighthouse Park.  This has one of the most easily accessible shorelines in the Snohomish County, especially among those needing ADA access.  It also displays sculptures by Tulalip tribal carvers and artworks by Joe Grobin and James Madison.

The fam spent a long while here just enjoying the view, skipping rocks along the beach and cooling off with some ice cream at the nearby Diamond Knot outlet.

Mukilteo Lighthouse, WA

Mukilteo Lighthouse, WA

Mukilteo Lighthouse, WA

Diamond Knot, Mukilteo

The Mukilteo Lighthouse Park is a thirty to forty-minute car ride from Seattle.  It is located at 609 Front St, Mukilteo, WA 98275, open 4am to 10pm from May 1 to September 30, and 6am to 10pm from October 1 to April 30.  For inquiries or more information, call (425) 263.8180 or visit its website.

Check out the attractions the fam and I visited during our US trip: