Friday, June 29, 2007

fly to china for less

from june 28 to july 4, you can purchase tickets to shanghai, xiamen, guangzhou, and macau via cebu pacific at special introductory rates.

the local airline will be opening flights to shanghai starting september 12 for an introductory price of P1,888 one way. xiamen flights will begin on september 26, for just P888, while you can start traveling to guangzhou on october 10. macau flights will also be available come october 11.

this promo allows you to purchase tickets for travel until december 15, 2007.

after this seat sale, you can avail of tickets to guangzhou, macau, and xiamen at P1,999 one-way, while shanghai flights will cost P2,999 one-way.

having these alternatives will surely boost tourism to and from china. i've always wanted to go and visit, but i was always discouraged by the costs. but thank god for these new fares from cebu pacific, i can now plan for my china trip!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

trips are for unwinding

last weekend, i grabbed the chance to get away from the madness of manila. carlo, a good friend, will be leaving the country soon, and he invited us over to their family's place in sta. teresita, batangas.

the trip reminded me just how much i needed to relax, lay back, and just do nothing. this is how we have "vacations" together--we congregate in a peaceful province, bring a lot of entertainment ammo (various DVDs), make sure we have some food and booze, and just lay around the place all weekend. lying down and stuffing your face in front of the tv are high on the list of things to do whenever we all get together.

my contribution for this particular weekend consisted of seasons 1 and 2 of scrubs, and a pack of keebler soft batch cookies. it was my first time to be at carlo's place, and i found it lovely. it was a round, wooden house with a view of taal. it had a nice garden, and plenty of supplies for a group of six.

when night fell, we took out our fire poi and spun it a couple of times. it was fun to rekindle my love-fear of fire. i doubt i've improved much, but i think i'm getting more comfortable playing with flames.

i retired early, as i was still carrying some stress from the past work week. woke up at a reasonable hour, and took photos of the wonderful view. nico made breakfast--hereford corned beef and rice, and we enjoyed it while watching episode after episode of scrubs. every now and then, we would snap out of the scrubs trance and go out to enjoy the plants, the flowers, and the outdoor area of the place. but we would always gravitate back to the tv, refilling our stomachs every now and then with tilapia, keebler, popcorn, and leftover corned beef.

susie and i decided to cut the sloth routine before the sun set. we drove back to manila and managed to catch dinner at brooklyn pizza. our bodies were sore from the two-hour drive, but the weekend was still pretty relaxing. i can't wait for the next one.

the next one will be an adventure, i promise!

Monday, June 25, 2007

few and far between

that's how my entries have been for the past month, and i've been feeling guilty and disappointed for that, actually. despite my having installed a counter here in my site (it's invisible, so don't try to search for it), i still cannot make a good estimate as to how many of you out there are actually reading the stuff i put up here. i really should study the statistics and what they indicate.

anyway, i apologize for my scarce appearance here these days. i'm trying to make up for it by writing about travel news that i find interesting, but you guys can read them elsewhere online, which means i'm just echoing the words somebody has already written.

i really find it sad that just when i told myself i'd commit to traveling and to actually try to document and share my travel experiences, that's when i started having less time to actually do some trawling around the real world.

y'see, in order for me to travel, i will need funds. traveling is a very expensive drug, not to mention very demanding. aside from the costs, it requires planning and commitment. i make it sound so high maintenance, but after all the trouble, everything's worthwhile, actually. as i was saying, to travel, moolah is needed. so i took on more work to actually get myself some moolah so i can travel more. what i didn't count on was my body actually giving in to the pressures of having more things to worry about.

and because of that, i now have less time to plan my trips--both real and imagined. i try to squeeze in a little internet travel every now and then, but i just have less time now.

so bear with me as i try to get myself back up on the traveling horse. my body is starting to get accustomed to less sleep and more stress, which means i can do more things in the wee hours of the morning instead of just walking around in sandman's realm. plus, i'm also rediscovering the power of multivitamins.

so stay tuned. there will definitely be more trips to come. for my own sanity and your enjoyment.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

soon, we can use cellphones on the plane!

pretty soon, we won't be asked to turn off our phones during flights. thanks to airbus, who developed an onboard mobile phone system, we can soon receive calls, send SMS, and send e-mails through our precious mobile phones.

the planemaker must have a good onboard mobile system in place, because they're the first one to receive an approval from european aviation authorities. even though the system allows voice calls, there is a button that can restrict mobile phone use to SMS and e-mails only.

for the moment, the technology is being tested in short-haul european flights. once airbus receives an airworthiness certification, the onboard mobile phone system can be used by airlines flying within western europe.

to read the full story, click here.

you can also check out airbus to find out more about their planes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

vote for the new seven wonders of the world!

if the olympics are set for 08.08.08 (and it's going to be held in china), 07.07.07 is also quite a fortunate date, because that's when the new seven wonders of the world will be unveiled.

and what's more, you can actually have a say on who gets to make the cut.

n7w, or the new seven wonders, lists 21 other candidates that have a chance to belong in the new seven wonders of the world. n7w is a project of the new seven wonders foundation, who aims to restore various heritage sites in the world. the n7w project are collecting funds from voters worldwide to fund these restoration projects.

the 21 candidates are:
the acropolis - athens, greece
alhambra - granada, spain
angkor - cambodia
the pyramid at chichén itzá - yucatan peninsula, mexico
the statue of christ redeemer - rio de janeiro, brazil
the roman colosseum - rome, italy
the statues of easter island - easter island, chile
the eiffel tower - paris, france
the great wall of china - china
the hagia sophia - istanbul, turkey
kiyomizu temple - kyoto, japan
the kremlin and red square - moscow, russia
machu picchu - peru
neuschwanstein castle - schwangau, germany
petra - jordan
the statue of liberty - new york city, usa
stonehenge - amesbury, united kingdom
sydney opera house - sydney, australia
the taj mahal - agra, india
timbuktu - mali

the 21st candidate is actually the pyramids of giza, but after careful consideration, the foundation decided to make it an honorary n7w candidate, since it's the only remaining wonder of the old seven.

there are three different ways to vote:
1. online
you first have to register at the n7w site to get a free online vote. this type of voting gives you only one chance to vote.

2. by phone
there are various numbers that you can call to phone in your vote. you get to vote for two candidates for each call. calls to the numbers provided will be charged as normal international calls. you can keep phoning in your votes as many times as you like.

3. certificate voting
you can also do this online, but each certificate vote costs $2.00, because the foundation will send you an online certificate that you can print to commemorate your vote. you can keep voting in this manner as many times as you like.

voting ends july 6. announcement will be made in a special official declaration ceremony on july 7, 2007 (07.07.07) in estadio da luz, lisbon, portugal. tickets for this event are also sold in the n7w website.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

how lonely planet began

nope, i'm not going to narrate the story here, but i will tell you where you can read about lonely planet's beginnings.

the instigators of the famous travel guides, maureen and tony wheeler, got started by backpacking across asia, and from there, lonely planet was born.

and now, they've finally decided to tell the whole story of lonely planet's humble beginnings. unlikely destinations: the lonely planet story has just been released by lonely planet, and it will tell you all about the wheelers' story, how they got started with the lonely planet series, and maybe even give you a few insights and tips that you can put to the test on your next trip.

i have yet to confirm if the book is available here, but it's out in the US for $16.95 by tuttle publishing. can't wait to get my hands on it! :D

the philippine travel mart

here's a great way to save on your trips around the philippines!

make your way to sm megamall's megatrade halls on september 7 to 9 and be part of the 18th philippine travel mart.
travel deals up to 50% off! and the best part is, you won't need to go visit a lot of tour operators, because they're all going to be there.

this year, the focus will be on mindanao getaways, so you'll definitely get great travel deals if you're looking to explore the south.

event details:
18th philippine travel mart
dates: september 7 to 9, 2007
venue: sm megamall megatrade halls
philippine tour operators association
organized by: global visions events and marketing network
tel. no.: 6360350; 6371257

PAL photo contest

it seems airlines are into photo contests these days. after cebu smile, there's seair and picatoo's photo contest, and now, philippine airlines is joining in, too!

the PAL photo contest is looking to be the most promising of all, especially in terms of prizes. look at what you can win with your photo:

professional division:

The Beauty of Philippine Scapes Award PHP50,000 plus PAL Travel Package

The Beauty of the Filipino Spirit Award PHP50,000 plus PAL Travel Package

The Beauty of Filipino Culture Award PHP50,000 plus PAL Travel Package

the PAL travel package may be one of the following (to be raffled off between the three winners):
PAL Beijing Package Tour

PAL Bangkok Package Tour
PAL Hong Kong Package Tour

enthusiast division:

The Beauty of Philippine Scapes Award PHP30,000 plus PAL Travel Package
The Beauty of the Filipino Spirit Award PHP30,000 plus PAL Travel Package
The Beauty of Filipino Culture Award PHP30,000 plus PAL Travel Package

the PAL travel packages to be raffled off for this category are:

PAL Boracay Package Tour

PAL Cebu Package Tour

PAL Laoag Package Tour

kids division:

The Beauty of Philippine Scapes Award PHP15,000 plus El Nido Package Tour

The Beauty of the Filipino Spirit Award PHP15,000 plus El Nido Package Tour

The Beauty of Filipino Culture Award PHP15,000 plus El Nido Package Tour

i'd give anything to bring home the beijing package tour, but alas, i'm not a pro photographer. will probably try my luck at the enthusiast division. wouldn't hurt to try, right?

if you'd like to give it a try, too, just check out the mechanics

there are three categories per division:

the beauty of philippine scapes

Scenic shots. If the shots include people in the frame, the ratio to the total composition should be very minimal

- landscapes

- seascapes

- cityscapes

- nightscapes

- underwater shots
- historical landmarks

- architecture
- leisure spots

- night-out hotspots

the beauty of the filipino spirit

portraits, people, values

- people (the major element in the composition should be a person/people)

- remarkable depictions of Filipino values (i.e., industriousness, sincerity, simplicity, earnestness, etc.)

- human emotions (i.e. triumph, love, happiness, etc.); Family, Friendship, Childhood, etc.

the beauty of filipino culture
ests, events, arts, lifestyle

- festivities

- events
- traditions
- arts

- food

so keep shooting those photos, because the contest ends
6pm of august 25!

event details:

PAL photo contest

theme: the beauty of the philippines

divisions: professional, enthusiast, and kids

submit entries to: one workshop, inc.

2241 la fuerza plaza ll, don chino roces ave. corner sabio st. makati city.

i'm back!

it has been such a hectic two weeks, and i'm quite disappointed with myself for not being able to update this blog.

i went back to zambales a couple of weeks back, and even with the rain, i had a blast firedancing on the beach. i hadn't done that in a while, and it's always good to know i can still do it. hehe.

and good news: there are a lot of things coming up, and i'll be writing about them in a bit. :)
please bear with me as i flood this site with goodies and travel updates.

and there's a long weekend coming up. where are you guys gonna be? :D