Category Archives: Philippines

#APECSuccess, Congrats PH!

PH and Papua New Guinea Cooperation

PH & Vietnam Cooperation

PH & Chile Cooperation

PH & Canada Cooperation

PH & Colombia Cooperation

PH & Russia Cooperation

PH & Mexico Cooperation

PH & South Korea Cooperation

PH & Australia Cooperation

PH & US Cooperation

Congratulations to the Philippine team who organized the event!

We all know the inconvenience it brought to the traffic and to the cancelled flights.

Yes, they could have prepared better for this like holding the meeting off island like the other host countries did in the past years. But our country decided to do it this way… their way.

Still, we cannot discount the effort, the sleepless nights, and the anxieties of the organizing team. I know because I worked for an events company for a year. It’s no mean feat.

Here’s to looking forward to fruitful economic cooperation with the APEC member economies!

Cheers!

Special Note: Thanks to Rappler for the images and information.

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Metro Manila Standstill

Banners_APECRoadAdvisories_151103_1503_MOA-road-closure-tw 2

NCR road advisory for APEC leaders’ meet. More road advisories here http://apec2015.ph/2015/10/27/apec-aelm-road-advisories/

Metro Manila, or even NCR, is now preparing for a one-week standstill. No, it’s not because of a Manny Pacquaio boxing match. It’s not even because of an AlDub Nation activity.

The country will host the most high-profile event, the APEC Leaders’ Meeting. Here’s the Primer. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 21-member economies will gather here in the Philippines. Top leaders, senior officials, top businessmen and industry experts will meet and discuss about three main items namely trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation, economic and technical cooperation (Ecotech).

It is an important event for the member economies, as it is for the country.

But why the standstill?

Classes in all levels in the National Capital Region (NCR) are called off, government offices and public services, airline flights flying out and flying in to Manila are cancelled for one week from November 16 to November 20. Private offices, including banks, will be closed for business for two days, November 18-19. Road closures/reroutes have been set up.

The city does not only go on a standstill, business is also shut down.

In my sons’ school, they did away with their original schedule of semestral break and would just take the break during the APEC week. But because of the disruption of flight and business skeds, we cannot do anything much.

I wonder how the airlines would fare with all the flights cancelled; how the banks will do it without any transaction for two days; how we will cope with further delays in our public services.

If we are to be concerned of appearances, I wonder how it would look to the world that our country cannot host an important meeting without sending its people and businesses to sleep BECAUSE of lack of foresight and planning.

Articles about the APEC Meeting

APEC 2015: Where delegates met in PH
Not ready to host APEC
LIST: Schedule of bank operations during APEC PH 2015
Manila goes into lockdown mode for Apec summit

Flight Cancellations

Philippine Airlines – PAL cancels over 200 flights in relation to APEC Meet in Manila; offers free flight rebooking

Cebu Pacific Air – CEB Advisory – 2015 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting

Air Asia – Flight cancellations for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting 2015

1,364 domestic, int’l flights cancelled, more roads closed due to APEC meet

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Join Resorts World Manila’s Pinoy Ultimate Jeepney 2015!

I remember those days when the jeepneys, called Saraos, were all shiny, colorful, well-decorated, and fly (not ply) the streets of Manila. I wonder how and why the jeepneys we have today have gone old and decrepit.

But Resorts World Manila is trying to bring back the glory of Philippine a jeepneys by the Pinoy Ultimate Jeepney 2015 Design Contest. Now on its 4th year, RW is inviting amateur artists from colleges and universities all over the country to participate and represent their respective schools in this innovative competition.

This year’s theme is ‘What Makes Pinoys Smile,’ this Pinoy Ultimate Jeepney (PUJ) Design Challenge pays homage to Bacolod’s MassKara Festival by translating the fête’s vibrant colors and merry imagery into rolling works of art that portray Filipino resilience.

The top 10 designs will be chosen and made into fully-functional jeepneys to be displayed at Resorts World Manila for judging. This year’s grand winner will receive Php300,000 and the runner-up will receive Php200,000. The public can also vote via online and via SMS for the 2015 PUJ People’s Choice Award, which will win for the winning entry Php100,000 in cash.

The contest is now open for submission of entries. Deadline is extended until November 7, 2015.

Want to join the challenge? Download the entry forms and complete information HERE.

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#itsmorefuninthephilippines

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Navigate Through Go Manila

Go Manila

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

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

Features of Go Manila 

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

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

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

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

Download This App Now!
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=hs.app.gomanila

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Website
https://gomanila.ph

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#itsmorefuninthephilippines

Explore Siquijor Island

Siquijor Island Tourist Map (Explore Siquijor FB Page)

Photo grabbed from Explore Siquijor Facebook Page

Siquijor is small but an  island full of mysteries, so they say.

Because of stories of witchcraft, the uninitiated stepping on the island for the first time will feel a bit scared and cautious. But the island really is very welcoming to all guests. I should know, it’s my hometown! :)

When you arrive on the island, you will be welcomed by fresh air and serene sights of ocean and mountains. Except in Larena, the municipality that doesn’t sleep, the quiet atmosphere of the other municipalities is broken only by sporadic spurts of motorcyles and motorcabs.

It’s an island worth exploring for its beach and mountain resorts, fresh produce and warm people.

When in Siquijor

1. Drink fresh buko juice.
2. Eat boiled or fried bananas.
3. Eat native bread made with “tuba” (coconut wine) and stuffed with “bukayo” (sweetened grated coconut meat).
4. Visit old churches.
5. Visit beaches/sanctuaries.
6. Watch the sunset and sunrise.
7. Attend fiestas where anyone can just go in and out of houses and partake of the feast.
8. Check out boulevards.
9. Go cliff-jumping in Salagdoong Beach.
10. Tour the island in one day.

How to get to Siquijor

1. From Manila, take a flight or boat ride to Dumaguete. From Dumaguete, take a ferry or boat ride to Larena or Siquijor. Shipping lines such as Montenegro Shipping Lines. Check schedule here. Or you may take Delta Fast Ferries. Check schedule here.

2. From Cebu, take a flight via Cebu Pacific to Dumaguete or take a bus (Ceres) ride to Liloan Cebu and take the ferry to Sibulan, Dumaguete. Check schedule here. Then from Dumaguete, refer to #1.

Where to stay in Siquijor

There are plenty of inns and resorts to choose from. Check out Local Philippines.

For the rest about the island, I leave it to you to explore and enjoy your trip!

St. Isidore Labrador Church, Lazi, Siquijor

St. Isidore Labrador Church, Lazi, SiquijorSt. Isidore Labrador Convent, Lazi, Siquijor

St. Isidore Labrador Convent, Lazi, Siquijor

Salagdoong Beach

Salagdoong Beach, Maria, SiquijorBoating at Salagdoong Beach Resort,  Maria, Siquijor

Boating at Salagdoong Beach, Maria, SiquijorAccommodation at Coco Grove Beach and Dive Resort

Accommodation at Coco Grove Beach & Dive Resort, San Juan, SiquijorAn intimate dining area, Coco Grove Beach & Dive Resort, San Juan, Siquijor

Intimate Dining at Coco Grove Beach & Dive Resort, San Juan, Siquijor

Resto along the beach of Coco Grove Beach & Dive Resort, San Juan, Siquijor

Resto along the beach of Coco Grove Beach & Dive Resort, San Juan, Siquijor

Sunset in Dumalaay

Sunset at Dumalaay Boulevard Cangmalalag, Larena, SiquijorSunrise in LarenaSunrise, Larena Bay, Siquijor

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#itsmorefuninthephilippines

Philippines with its Unique Sights and Mouthwatering Cuisines, a True Paradise to Satisfy your Wanderlust

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Philippines is heaven for any traveler, with its tropical islands that have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, luxury resorts, amiable villages, tantalizing nightlife and the most delicious cuisine. The country should be on the bucket list of any vacationer who loves to explore nature and loves to try different and delectable food.

People who have never been to the Philippines think that it is a country buzzing with tourists and nothing novel to offer to those who love adventure. While it is true that it is becoming a popular tourist destination, which according to the government report, 2,619,625 visitors have already visited the country, it still has much more to offer to excited backpackers and those on a quest for a unique experience.

The striking places and sights that make the Philippines a dreamland for a traveler:

With more than seven thousand islands, most of which are untouched, Philippines is the best place for a true nature lover. One can explore the beautiful Chocolate Hills that are considered one of the most breathtaking National Geological Monuments, or one can take a walk through history and visit nearly 2,000-year-old rice terraces that were sculpted by the earliest inhabitants of the island or enjoy the pristine beaches, some of which have diving or snorkeling activities where you get to explore splendid coral reefs.

Intramuros also called the Walled City lies at the heart of Manila, you can visit some of the oldest museums, churches and ruins here.

If you love exploring then Rizal Park is a perfect spot for you, pack your travel gear and take a stroll around this park. The park is named after a famous poet and national hero Jose Rizal. And if you believe the spooky tales, then many locals believe this park is haunted.

The Philippines with many islands offers a great range of surfing spots, however, if you do not like large crowds, then pack your surfing gear and rush to Catanduanes that is situated in the Bicol Region. It is a very secluded spot. Here you can surf on the grandiose waves and enjoy the majestic sea.

Whenever you plan an adventurous holiday, it is a good idea to take a travel insurance so your trip is full of adventure and is completely safe. If you packed light and forgot the important travelling gears then you can easily buy travel essentials at Kaymu at local affordable prices.

Experience the most tantalizing Filipino cuisine:

Filipino Cuisine

No real adventure is complete without trying the local food, and Filipino cuisine will not disappoint you. If you love seafood, then Philippines is like a food paradise for you. Fish is a staple food item that is cooked in a variety of different ways with soy sauce and vinegar.

There are few food combinations that you can find only in the Philippines, the unconventional dish called Balut, which is basically a boiled egg. If you are wondering what is so unusual about a boiled egg, then you are in for a surprise. In this boiled egg is a duck embryo, and you consume from the shell by sipping the broth first, after which you remove the shell and swallow the rest of it. There are other exotic food you will fin while island hopping.

Unleash the globetrotter in you and experience the exotic culture, sights and cuisine of the enchanting land of Philippines.

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Pope Francis Visits Manila and Leyte

 

The State of our Streets

 Image grabbed from Philstar

Here in Metro Manila, there is not a day that a motorist does not complain of being stuck in a traffic jam. To travel on the metro streets in a breeze is considered an exception and not the norm.

I for one got a bit scared one time when I was walking along Ayala Avenue and didn’t see any vehicles on the street. As in the street was empty. I had to look around and walk fast for fear that something was amiss.

Such is the state of our streets here.

This morning was no exception. A friend who was taking the Skyway, shared on social network that she got stuck in bad traffic. Everyone thought that it was because of the start of work for the Skyway Stage 3 project, which will connect SLEX to the NLEX through Buendia to Balintawak. This project aims to decongest EDSA, C-5 and other major thoroughfares in Metro Manila. The traffic jam this morning though was caused by a vehicular accident, according to the news.

Still, accident or no accident, metro streets are always jammed every day. Now with the Skyway Stage 3 project, the goal is noble actually. It has to be done.

What gets my beef is the seemingly lack of preparations (again!). Alternate routes, and working ones at that, should have been prepared and established years or months before this project starts. What’s happening, I heard, is that it was only at the start of the project (which is today) when the alternate routes are also identified. Take note, identified. Not prepped and tested.

Such is the state of our streets!

Update

Here are the alternate routes as Skyway Stage 3 construction starts!

COMELEC Lists Official Senate Candidates

In an article in Yahoo!, COMELEC lists the official senate candidates as follows:

1.       Ricardo Penson (independent)
2.       Samson Alcantara (Social Justice Society)
3.       Greco Antonious Beda Belgica (Democratic Party of the Philippines)
4.       Baldomero Falcone (Democratic Party of the Philippines)
5.       Christian Señeres(Democratic Party of the Philippines)
6.       Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV
7.       Former Las Pinas City Rep. Cynthia Villar
8.       Former Akbayan Rep. Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros-Baraquel
9.       Former Senator Maria Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal
10.   Former Senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr
11.   Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara
12.   Senator Alan Peter Cayetano
13.   Senator Antonio Trillanes IV
14.   Senator Aquilino Martin Pimentel 3rd
15.   Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay
16.   Margarita “Tin-Tin” Cojuangco,
17.   Former Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon,
18.   Former Senator Ernesto Maceda
19.   Former Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri
20.   San Juan City Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito
21.   Zambales Rep. Maria Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay
22.   Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce “Jack” Enrile Jr.
23.   Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan,
24.   Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chair Grace Poe-Llamanzares
25.   Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero
26.   Senator Loren Legarda
27.   John Carlos De Los Reyes
28.   Marwil Llasos
29.   Rizalito David
30.   Former Philippine Constabulary chief Ramon Montaño
31.   Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn
32.   Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teodoro “Teddy” Casiño

Read more about these Senatorial candidates here.

A word of advice from me, let’s choose carefully. Besides, don’t you find it disconcerting to have siblings, father and son, father and daughter, mother and son, mother and daughter, husband and wife, etc. in Senate, or even in Congress? I do.

Let’s not make our Houses a family affair.

 

Related post:

My Automated Election Experience

Maybank Credit Cards: Enjoy Life Just Like That!

Make Someone Happy Today. Spread the Good Vibes. Just Like That.

Maybank, a full-service bank, is expanding its offerings by launching their credit card service. To give their clients their deserved financial flexibility, Maybank’s credit cards promise to be more than just a plastic money.  Rather, these credit cards offer a whole experience of positivity, togetherness and adventure.

The Maybank Credit Card EzyPlans

While Maybank is only about to enter the Philippine credit card market, there are already 2.2 million (and counting!) Maybank credit card holders in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Each credit card experience is tailored to fit each region, partnering with local merchants and services to bring the best-value propositions to cardholders.

Expect regional treats and perks in the months to come from the Maybank credit cards. Check out their website,  http://www.maybank2u.com.ph/

Last week, Maybank had a grand launch at Marriott Hotel Manila at the Newport City. The launch was well attended by bank officials, country managers of both Visa and Mastercard, and the banks valued clients.  

The launch ended with a toast led by Mr. Jun Famatigan (PCEO of Maybank), Ms Eden Estrella (Head of Cards, Maybank), Mr. Poch Villareal (Country Manager, Mastercard), and Ms. Pia Arellano (Director for Business Development, Visa)