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Tips on How You Can Save Money Every Time You Travel

It’s possible to travel and have fun without having to spend a fortune and max out your best travel credit cards, only to pay it all off in the coming months. Spending a lot of money on holiday does not guarantee you’ll have more fun, anyway. Traveling need not be all about lavish and unnecessary spending. Below are some ideas that you can try to save money while traveling without sacrificing fun and relaxation.

Look for Affordable Accommodations

It’s nice to stay in a beautiful hotel. But if you will be spending all day outside visiting must-see tourist attractions, you will only be using your hotel room for shower and sleep. Instead of fancy hotels, you can opt to stay at more affordable boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, or backpacker’s hostels. If you’re not fussy, you can also check if your destination has couch-surfing options.

Cook Your Own Meals

Food costs can add up rapidly if you’re not careful. Instead of eating lunch and dinner at restaurants, you can buy groceries and cook your own meals. You can just make your own breakfast or have a light dinner at your hotel room.

Most hotel breakfasts are also expensive, and they don’t taste that spectacular as well. If you don’t want to feel deprived of the local cuisine, you can allot one meal to eat outside. Check online for restaurants near your area. Read reviews and compare prices. This way, you’ll know which dishes are worth trying, and how much you have to spend on your meal.

Avoiding Eating in Touristy Places

Sometimes you just have to give in because they are so conveniently near the tourist attractions. But remember to not eat within six blocks of a huge tourist attraction. Prices at these food establishments are way more expensive because locals like to think that all tourists have big money to spend while on vacation.

What you can do instead is to explore side streets and hole in the wall establishments. You will have to be adventurous, but the food is a lot more exciting, costs a lot cheaper, and tastes a whole lot better.

Use Public Transportation

You can Uber your way around town, but what’s the use of going to a place you’ve never been if you have a driver taking you around town? Explore and discover places by walking, cycling, rowing, or taking buses and trains. Take midnight buses or overnight trains when you’re going home late. They’re cheaper and way more fun than sitting at the backseat of a taxi or rented car.

Make the Most out of Free Tourist attractions

Beaches, mountains, museums, and parks are your best bets when it comes to enjoying and exploring without spending anything. Most museums are free in any country you visit. Some may have special exhibits or events that will require a fee or donation. Parks and beaches are usually open to the public. If you want to hike, you can get a local guide or join a group to save on costs.

Already on your toes and ready to go? If you’re traveling on a budget, be sure to check out these best budget places to visit in the Philippines, pure enjoyment guaranteed without breaking the bank!

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Author Bio

Rouselle Isla is an avid book lover who enjoys both printed and digital formats. She also contributes to various reputable online websites and is currently a content creator for iMoney Philippines.

Slow Food Onboard the Ark of Taste 2016

Farmers are Part of Slow Food

By Pacita ‘Chit’ Juan

Yes, it’s not just consumers and diners and chefs. It all starts with the farmer.

Slow Food is about enjoining farmers to keep planting our old heirloom varieties of food. And we have just the event cooked up (pardon the pun) for it on August 6 as our volunteer chef Margarita Fores (Asia’s Best female chef) shares her famous Grace Park restaurant menu with our farmers, yes real farmers that you the reader will help feed on this special day, this special lunch. We will finally break bread with the people who really feed us—the farmers.

As we were planning our third WOFEX event, we know that the public is really interested in helping preserve traditional cooking, heirloom varieties of rice and cacao and souring agents. What better way to cement the relationship between farmer and consumer but to have them come face-to-face. Just like people who have never touched soil, nor planted anything, many consumers have never met a farmer.

So we thought a special meal with a farmer may be a life-changing experience for both consumer and farm guy. The consumer knows about organic and slow food, but the farmers simply plants and reaps. We need to be on the same page. Plant old varieties. Use heirloom seeds. Practice natural farming. Nothing artificial. Use soil instead of other media. (That’s what Earthbeat Farms did. They shifted from hydro to soil).

Earthbeat Farms joins Slow Food

Earthbeat Farms joins Slow Food

And on August  6, we will be able to also talk to the farmers and ask why they do or do not yet grow our traditional varieties—like Siling Labuyo, Batwan, Sua, Tabon Tabon, and why they stopped growing heirloom rice varieties. It will be a fun lunch talking about the same ingredients our grandmothers used but maybe some farmers do not know anymore. It may be that they think there is no market for these “old varieties”. Not everything is about newer choices, higher yields, and seeds that are nowhere to be found (check out the prominence of seedless fruits now). It used to be that our mothers planted the very seeds in our fruits at the table in our backyards. Today, mothers are proud to find fruits that are happily seedless without thinking of its effects on farming and sustainability.

Read more…

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How Much Do You Know About Philippine Independence?

Philippines is known around the world for its rich and diverse culture that has truly captivated the hearts of many tourists—foreign and local alike. But did you know that its rich and diverse culture roots down to one of the world’s most interesting history known to man. While many people are aware that June 12 holds a special place in many Filipino’s heart, there are still many that are unaware of its true essence.

Here’s an Infographic by M2.0, the leading PR company in the Philippines, on what went down on June 12, one of the pivotal moments in Philippine History, plus facts that many Filipinos would want to know.

118 Years After: How Well Do You Know About Philippine Independence?

Be part of the action, The Amazing Race Asia Season 5

Want to Join The Amazing Race Asia Season 5? Here’s how!

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) Networks, Asia is bringing back The Amazing Race Asia for a fifth season.

Allan Wu hosts The Amazing Race Asia Season 5

Allan Wu hosts The Amazing Race Asia Season 5.

Hosted by Allan Wu, The Amazing Race Asia Season 5 is looking for couples or pairs (with pre-existing relationships) who are ready to face different challenges as they race around the world.

Contestant Requirements:

1. Aged 21 years old above
2. must have valid passports
3. must be a citizen or resident of Asia
4. Physically and mentally fit
5. must be outgoing, adventurous and socially savvy
6. At least one member must have a driver’s license and can drive automatic transmission and manual transmission

The site is now open for application and this can be found at: www.axn-asia.com/TARA

Interested applicants would need to fill out the online application form on the website and will have to submit a 3 minute audition video online.

AXN was home to the previous four seasons, with the most recent edition concluding in 2010, and will now air season five. The show will debut in its fifth run on AXN in late 2016. Ten teams chosen from across the Asia-Pacific region will compete for a chance at the winning crown and US$100,000 in cash.

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Marriott Manila Hotel Brigada Eskwela STS team

Marriott Manila Joins Brigada Eskwela

A Weeklong Cleanup and Beautification Project for The School for the Deaf in Pasay

Marriott Hotel Manila visits the Philippine School for the Deaf, an educational institution for the hearing impaired in Pasay City, Philippines, with a mission to serve and give back to the community.

Carrying paint buckets and brushes in their hands as tools and bringing the Spirit-to-Serve value in their hearts, Marriott Manila’s associates joined the school cleanup project. The activity, also called “Brigada Eskwela”, aims to gather volunteers from different organizations to clean up and beautify the school before its door opens for students this coming academic year.

Living the value of giving back, the hotel is the first to do the cleanup among hundreds of volunteers.

Marriott Hotel Manila General Manager, Bruce Winton

Marriott Hotel Manila General Manager, Bruce Winton led the team to exemplify the Spirit to Serve.

Headed by General Manager, Bruce Winton, there were 50 brilliant hosts from Marriott Hotel Manila who signed up to participate and represent the whole hotel for the project. Aside from the community service, the hotel shouldered the materials needed for the cleanup, such as buckets of paint, thinner, brushes and rollers which will help in adding more life to the school visually to inspire the kids. Having a clean and beautiful environment,  the school will surely inspire the students  and motivate them to excel in their studies.

The volunteers were divided into 3 groups: the first group is in charge for painting the pavement gutters, another group for fences while the last group paints the classrooms and corridors.

50 brilliant hosts from Marriott Hotel Manila signed up for Brigada Eskwela

50 brilliant hosts from Marriott Hotel Manila signed up for Brigada Eskwela.

Marriott Hotel Manila is known for their socio-civic services for the community. The Spirit-to-Serve value was instilled in Marriott International’s employees by Mr. Bill Marriott, founder and CEO of the renowned International hotel chain. He believed that supporting the communities makes the company stronger. It is his ideals that Marriott associates should take care of the guests, each other and the communities. These humbling values strengthen each brilliant host’s passion and dedication for their work at the same time benefiting more individuals than just one’s self.

Marriott Manila Spirit to Serve team

Marriott Manila Spirit to Serve team

Mariott Hotel Manila hosts displaying their Spirt to Serve.

Mariott Hotel Manila hosts displaying their Spirt to Serve

This charitable act of service is part of Marriott Manila’s annual activity, Marriott Associate Appreciation Week (May 16 to 20, 2016), celebrated worldwide by all Marriott International properties to commemorate its founding. The week-long festivities include programs for associates such as Zumba classes, darts competition and lip sync battle. The week will end with the crowning of Mr. and Ms. Marriott, a pageant to hail the worthy hosts that embodies the Marriott cultures and ways.

Marriott Hotel Manila is located at Resorts World Manila. For inquiries, advance orders and reservations, call (02) 9889999 or visit manilamarriott.com. To keep up on their latest offerings, follow @marriottmanila at Facebook and Twitter and, @manilamarirott on Instagram.

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SM Supermalls and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts & Coffee, Biggest Free Doughnut Treat!

 

KK and SM

SM Supermalls and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts & Coffee are teaming up for the biggest free doughnut treat!

SM Supermalls is bringing back its “Download & Win” in-app mobile game and sweetening the deal by giving away 3 Original Glazed® Krispy Kreme doughnuts each to 100 unique SM Supermalls mobile app registered users every day from April 30 to June 30, 2016.

How’s that for a tasty treat?

Embedded within the SM Supermalls Mobile App, “Download & Win” was the first digital scratch card promotion in the country. Its launch during SM Supermalls’ 30th Anniversary was marked with the giving away of exciting prizes such as free mobile data, free Spotify, Facebook, Games, Unli-Call and Unli Text every day for the entire month of March.

The celebration resumes this month with a shower of doughnuts! And joining can’t be simpler – just download the mobile app and get a chance to win.

Digital Scratch Card

Get your digital scratch card via the SM Supermalls mobile app.

Upon signing up in the SM Supermalls mobile app, you will receive a digital scratch card on the app. Scratch off the gray area to find out if you won. Get another shot of winning the next day until the end of the promo period. With some good luck and the daily habit of checking the app, you’ll be closer to sinking your teeth into those tasty doughnut treats for free.

The SM Supermalls Mobile App is free on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. It is loaded with other features that let you plan your shopping even before you get to the mall. A unique feature of the app is the Feed section that highlights the latest store offerings, discounts and promos, services, as well as movies and events in SM malls nationwide. It also has the Mall Directory that provides a complete list of establishments in the malls while the Mall Map shows the exact location of all stores and mall facilities.

To keep up to date on what’s new, visit SM Supermalls website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Viber Public Chat, and Snapchat.

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Looking for Foreclosed Properties to Purchase?

Lamudi Data Shows Where Buyers Can Find Foreclosed Properties

Global real estate portal Lamudi Philippines studied its data on foreclosed houses

In case homebuyers are wondering where they can get affordable houses, cities in Bulacan, Laguna, and Rizal right on the fringes of Metro Manila offer them the most viable options, as these areas are teeming with foreclosed properties, according to data from global real estate website Lamudi Philippines.

In its latest data analysis, Lamudi found that the cities of San Jose Del Monte (Bulacan), Dasmariñas (Cavite), San Mateo (Rizal), Bacoor (Cavite), and Santa Rosa (Laguna) have the most number of listed foreclosed houses in the website. These are followed by Antipolo (Rizal), Imus (Cavite), Caloocan (Metro Manila), San Pedro (Laguna), and Quezon City (Metro Manila). Caloocan and Quezon City are the lone Metro Manila cities that made it the top 10. Together, these cities comprise 51 percent of all foreclosed houses listed in the Lamudi website.

In terms of prices, San Jose Del Monte offers the most affordable foreclosed houses among the top 10 cities. Foreclosed houses in this Bulacan city average Php336,000. Quezon City, meanwhile, offer much pricier foreclosed houses, averaging Php5.33 million.

CITY AVE. PRICE NO. OF LISTINGS
San Jose del Monte P336,000 1,046
Dasmariñas P686,000 635
San Mateo P503,000 487
Bacoor P1.67 million 320
Santa Rosa P1.08 million 253
Antipolo P2.45 million 225
Imus P1.40 million 221
Caloocan P1.54 million 171
San Pedro P1.49 million 147
Quezon City P5.33 million 145

Average prices of foreclosed houses listed on Lamudi Philippines. Data as of March 31, 2016.

Onsite Search

In terms of onsite search volume, Quezon City is the most-searched city for foreclosed properties in the Lamudi website from January 1 to March 31, 2016.

More than 6 percent of all searches for foreclosed properties conducted during the period involved Metro Manila’s largest city. Quezon City is followed by the cities of Las Piñas, Parañaque, and San Jose del Monte, the provinces of Benguet and Laguna, and then by Caloocan. Together, these areas captured almost 20 percent of total search volume for foreclosed properties in the Lamudi website.

Filipinos’ interest for foreclosed properties has also been increasing every quarter, at least according to Lamudi data.

The property website showed that search volume for foreclosed properties increased 5 percent from Q2 2015 to Q3 2015; 9 percent from Q3 2015 to Q4 2015; and a remarkable 75 percent from Q4 2015 to Q1 2016.

On the other hand, the proportion of searches attributed to foreclosed properties in relation to total searches made has also been increasing every quarter: 1.42 percent in Q2 2015; 1.68 percent in Q3 2015; 2.15 percent in Q4 2015; and 2.34 percent in Q1 2016.

Filipinos Still Uneducated About Foreclosures

However, foreclosed properties may not be on most people’s game plan when buying their first property. Perhaps because of pity or because they feel they are taking advantage of others’ misfortune, Filipino homebuyers may hesitate to buy foreclosed houses.

But this should not be the case. According to Ramil Arquileta, CEO of My Saving Grace Realty and Development Corp., a firm that specializes in foreclosed properties, foreclosed properties offer homebuyers that best affordable option in order for them to finally afford a home.

There are several advantages of buying foreclosed homes, according to Arquileta. “For one, the buyer can use regular housing loan or mortgage financing to acquire the property.”

In addition, the property will also be sold for the outstanding mortgage balance owed by the previous owner to the foreclosing mortgage holder. This means the property will be sold at a much lower price. Most importantly, as properties that became foreclosed are under the name of the foreclosing bank or mortgage holder, the titles will be clear, eliminating the risk for homebuyers to get scammed.

However, Arquileta advises would-be buyers of foreclosed properties to buy only from banks and their accredited brokers/brokerages to minimize the risk of ending up with a problematic property.

But Filipinos’ attitude toward foreclosures looks to be changing gradually, as shown by Lamudi’s data. As more and more banks and financial institutions are exploring online tools to market these non-performing assets, Filipinos will find it easier to discover and inquire about foreclosed properties. At least three major banks are now working with Lamudi to effectively market their acquired assets. As of this writing, there are almost 19,500 foreclosed properties listed on Lamudi, ranging from houses and condos to parking spaces and residential lots.

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ABOUT LAMUDI

Launched in 2013, Lamudi is a global property portal focusing exclusively on emerging markets. The fast-growing platform is currently available in 34 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, with more than 800,000 real estate listings across its global network. The leading real estate marketplace offers sellers, buyers, landlords and renters a secure and easy-to-use platform to find or list properties online. For more information, please visit http://www.lamudi.com.ph

Visit Lamudi Philippines on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Derek Ramsay, My Candidate

My Candidate

My Candidate, the Movie

My Candidate, the Movie

Derek, Iza & Shaina give the election season a romantic twist in “My Candidate”

Now, that the election fever has died down. The Filipinos have voted, and lucky candidates have emerged the winners. I think it’s time to get that much needed break and watch a movie. If you have unfriended your favorite movie buddy during the campaign period, well, pick from your loyal friends. *wink*

Showbiz hunk Derek Ramsay, Iza Calzado and Shaina Magdayao give us a different tale of love and romance this election season via “My Candidate” from Quantum Films, MJM Productions, Tuko Film Productions at Butchi Boy Films, producers of the award-winning and critically-acclaimed romantic-comedy films, “English Only, Please” and “#Walang Forever.”

The film is set against a political background and so, it is timely as today’s headlines.

Derek plays Congressman Sonny Suarez, now seeking a Senate seat. He may be a perfect candidate but is painfully shy and a bit withdrawn.

Iza, meanwhile, is Vera Sanchez, Sonny’s erstwhile girlfriend and archrival in his senatorial bid.

She possesses strengths lacking in Sonny.  She's charming as well as engaging but is not able to relate to people from the grassroots.

Shaina is Billie Pono, a life coach and communications trainer.  Sonny’s campaign team hires her services to help polish their candidate’s public speaking skill and innate charisma.

Billie succeeds at turning Sonny into the dream candidate and the two become close while at work.

In turn, Sonny is able to unleash some unresolved issues  in Billie’s life, including her insecurities thereby making her a better version of herself.

The movie’s teaser immediately earned almost a million views, shares and likes the minute it was posted on the “MC” Facebook page.

Netizens swore by Derek, Iza and Shaina’s outstanding performances.

Shaina held her own against Iza in the film, and this may be considered as her biggest break as a lead actress.

Shaina definitely gave the role her all, especially in scenes where her character finds herself slowly falling in love with Sonny.

Take note, Derek and Shaina also register very strong positive vibes on screen. Their romantic scenes together are neither hard sell nor put on, so, their pairing is indeed one of today’s freshest, newest romantic-comedy tandem.

No wonder, Direk Quark Henares is satisfied with his three main stars plus the support cast composed of Al Tantay, Nico Antonio, Ketchup Eusebio, Ricci Chan, Jun Sabayton and Tirso Cruz III in a special role.

The movie imparts all these funny situations during election time coupled with the resounding message that it must indeed be: “Bayan Muna Bago Puso.”

Also part of the movie is box-office director Dan Villegas, who serves as Creative Producer.

Direk Dan is the genius behind such award-winning and blockbuster films as “English Only, Please” and “#Walang Forever.”

His latest hit project is “Always Be My ‘Maybe.'”

Fresh concept. Hilarious story telling. New screen combination.

“My Candidate” gives the election season a romantic twist starting May 11 in theaters nationwide.

FILM              :           “MY CANDIDATE”
CAST              :           DEREK RAMSAY, IZA CALZADO, SHAINA MAGDAYAO, NICO ANTONIO, AL TANTAY, KETCHUP EUSEBIO, RICCI CHAN, JUN SABAYTON ,CHRISTINE BABAO and TIRSO CRUZ III in a special role
DIRECTOR    :           QUARK HENARES
PRODUCERS :          QUANTUM FILMS,  MJM PRODUCTIONS, TUKO FILM
PRODUCTION and BUTCHI BOY FILMS
PLAYDATE   :            MAY 11, 2016

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Potipot Cove

#Destination, Potipot Island

Potipot Island

#Destination: Potipot Island

Potipot Island. Some call it the most photogenic island, and I tend to agree. It’s a small strip off island in Zambales. It’s a kilometer or a 5-10-minute motorized banca ride from any drop-off resort in Uacon, Candelaria, Zambales. I just couldn’t remember the resort across from the island that we stayed in. Ha ha! Will update this blog once I get the name of that resort.

I actually went there in May 2011 with my former colleagues. I know super late post! But better late than never. I can’t show you all our photos because those are like pictorials already. He he!

So let me show you, Potipot Island through these photos.

Banca to Potipot Island

Take a 5-10 minute ride in a motorized boat (banca) to Potipot Island.

The banca to Potipot Island

The banca ride to Potipot Island

Approaching Potipot Island

Approaching Potipot Island

Potipot Island

Nearing Potipot Island

Periphery of Potipot Island (FLM)

Reaching Potipot Island

If I remember, this is the only structure in the island, which serves as an office. There are no inns, no accommodation. But you can pitch a tent, but by nighttime you have to leave the island.

Tree and Beach on Potipot Island (FLM)

Trees lined up along the beach front, and this surrounds the whole island.

Periphery of Potipot Island

More trees and beach, and clear waters surrounding Potipot Island.

More Trees on Potipot Island

Trees provide shade in the inner or center part of Potipot Island.

A clearing at the center of Potipot Island

A clearing at the center of Potipot Island

Posing on Potipot Island

Happily posing on Potipot Island. I just got back from a trip in Boracay here.

On a drift wood at Potipot Island

On a drift wood at Potipot Island. Driftwood abound there, and usually serve as photo opp background. :D

Getting a tan at Potipot Island

Getting more tan at Potipot Island, after spending a week in Boracay. Ha ha!

Posing with a driftwood

Posing with a driftwood, Potipot Island

Reflecting on life on Potipot Island

Reflecting on life on Potipot Island… naks! ;))

The clear water kisses the white sand of Potipot Island.

The clear water kisses the white sand of Potipot Island.

Clear waters surrounding Potipot Island

Clear waters surrounding Potipot Island

Sunburnt at Potipot Island

That was the first time that I got really sunburned!

Resort in Zambales

We stayed in this resort. We rented that house that you can see in this picture. From this resort, you can already see Potipot Island.

Sunset view of Potipot Island from across the resort.

Sunset view of Potipot Island from across the resort.

We had fun going around the small island, taking photos, walking, talking, laughing, and just feeling the sand and ocean water.

We took a private van going to the island, so I can’t really give you clear directions going there. All I can remember is that it took us 6 hours to get there, but it was all worth it!

I stumbled upon a good resource about Potipot Island HERE. Check it out!

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