Category Archives: Travel

Boosting the Gaming Industry in the Philippines

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The 120-hectare integrated casino and tourism hub that is being contructed in Manila Bay is envisioned to boost the gaming industry in the country. Dubbed as the Entertainment City, it will make the Philippines the next market to watch that will overtake those in Las Vegas and Singapore, as indicated in a research report by Citi.

Already there are about 40 casinos in the Philippines and if you are looking for a party casino, then these are highly exclusive slot machine VIP clubs, sure to meet your needs and then some . The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), a government owned and controlled corporation, operates most of these casinos. In 2011, PAGCOR reported a revenue of P36 billion. It hopes to increase this revenue in the years to come.

While many oppose such projects, casinos and other gaming hubs can boost the economy, being a big revenue resource. Being an entertainment hub, it can attract tourists just like in Las Vegas. It’s what’s happening now at Resorts World Manila. People go there not to gamble but to shop and dine, watch plays and see movies. Gamblers gamble, others enjoy the entertainment. It can provide jobs as well. And jobs mean provision which gives people a decent life.

Some Practical Tips 

  1. Bring a watch – Most, if not all casinos don’t have clocks in the gaming area. I guess so that gamblers won’t know the time, and would just play on.
  2. Know the essential areas – These are the restrooms, the restaurant, the area where you can cash out your chips. Often these areas are located in the innermost parts of the building where going to and fro would make you pass by other gaming areas or gaming machines. If you know the reason for this, then you’d know how to avoid the temptation of playing again, if you feel you’ve had enough.
  3. Be a wise player/casino-goer – In gambling, there is such a thing as adrenaline pumping techniques, where you get those near-wins. So you tend to play on some more and win a little. But you want more, so you play again. Know the signs and know when to quit. There also those freebies who would make you stay longer in the area and keep you there.
  4. Avoid alcohol – Obviously, you wouldn’t want to be drunk while playing.
  5. Play with a budget in mind – Let’s hope you stay sober and sane to stick with your budget.

The Philippines is on Sale: 23rd Philippine Travel Mart

The upcoming 23rd Philippine Travel Mart (PTM) this coming August 10 to 12 at the SMX convention Center, Pasay City, will showcase the Sale ng Bayan. The Philippines on Sale, is the tagline.

The event will be featuring heritage and eco-adventure tours from all over the Philippines, bringing in new tour products into the market every year.

Organized by the Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA), in cooperation with the Department of Tourism, this annual event will have almost 250 exhibitors presenting their tour products through colorful pavilions and booths. The Sale ng Bayan will also launch “Philippine Island Fun Caravan Getaways”—joint group tours that cover various locations from all over the Philippines. These 4-day to 8-day tours pool local, balikbayan, and foreign tourists together to avail of special packages that would have otherwise cost a lot of money if done individually. Featured tours include the Batanes-Cagayan Northern-scape, Cordilleras Cultural Weekend Warrior Caravan, Central Visayas Backdoor tour, and the Tuna-T’Boli trail, among others.

“It has always been our goal to outdo ourselves every year,” says PHILTOA President Cesar Cruz, who is also the chairman of the upcoming PTM. “Innovation is key. We’ve been working closely with tour operators and government agencies alike to offer newer, better products yearly.”

Like most trade shows, the PTM will still feature classic destinations such as Bohol, Boracay, Cebu and Palawan. Also not to be missed are the individual tour packages that have anywhere from 70 to 80% discounted prices, such as “Kulinarya” (Binondo food trip for as low as P648), “Health and Wellness” (Tagaytay Wellness trip for as low as P2900), “Festivals” (Panagbenga trip for as low as P5500), and many more. Aside from the endless array of tour products in the country’s biggest gathering of tour operators, the PTM will also provide informative seminars for students dubbed as Byahe-info. Also scheduled is an Eco Chorale Competition, a Folk Dance Competition, and even a Tourism Quiz Bee—ensuring educational activities for everyone in attendance.

It’s more fun in the Philippines!

7 Advantages of Taking A Day Tour When On Domestic Holiday

When we travel to exotic locations like Egypt, we would not think twice about booking tours for this and that, but when it comes to going on holiday in our own country we often neglect to think that there are many day tours that suit both domestic and international visitors. Why is it we assume that we can go visit somewhere and do it our self so often in our own country?

There are many advantages of going on a day tour, particularly in Australia, and the distances involved, for example, a blue mountains tour would just make more sense when visiting Sydney. Lets take a look at some of them.

  • Driving. You may think that you are free and carefree because you are driving yourself, but there will be many things that you have to think of. It is not much fun when you are visiting wineries and you cannot partake in all those beautiful wines because you have to worry about drink driving.
  • Cost. Remember that on a tour you are moving as a group, and that means that the tour operator can arrange entries and meals based on group buying discounts. You have better chance of getting what you want at a more affordable price.
  • Company. If you are one of those people who thinks that moving around in a group thinks it is not fun, then you should think again. Going on a day tour is a great way to make new friends and acquaintances. Everyone is in the mood for a good time and in all of my experience travelling and on tours, they have been some of the best experiences.
  • Safety. If something goes wrong and you are on your own, you will know it. On a tour you are being taken care of. You are insured against something going wrong, and if something does you have people who are trained at taking care and solving the situation.
  • Information. One of the biggest plus points of any day tour, you are being escorted by those who know all the ins and outs of where you are visiting. Tour guides and drivers know their business and have often spent a lot of time researching all those little bits of information and history that can make visiting somewhere all that more interesting. How much are you missing out on when you go it alone?
  • Timing. Day tours have a schedule. And they can stay on their schedule because they are skilled and very practised at what they do. You know you will be getting back at 4pm when the tour says so. Who wants to miss out on that night at the opera because they were caught in traffic or had a flat tire?
  • Sit back. Ultimately you day is hassle free and someone else has made all the arrangements and will manage your day for you. All you need to do is spend your time enjoying yourself, eating, drinking, chatting and taking photos. The only way to behave on any holiday!

Summer Means RoadTrip

I love taking roadtrips. Who doesn’t? During roadtrips, you can do two things that you love doing at one time: travel and  eat. 😀

A couple of weeks ago, my family and I went to Boracay via Kalibo. Naturally, from Kalibo we had to take a van to Caticlan. We were all excited about the roadtrip ahead. :) We already had food with us from chips to McDonald’s burgers, anyway.

These are a few of the shots I was able to take during the trip from Kalibo to Caticlan:

My nephew shared that when you cross a bridge, at the foot of the bridge, you hold your breath and make a wish. Then you breathe out at the end of the bridge. We passed by a couple of bridges after so we did just that.

We had fun during that roadtrip. :) You, too, can do the roadtrip this summer and make it more fun by bringing along your favorite McDonad’s fare.

Planning the Ultimate East Coast Road Trip

Planning a road trip is a great way to explore the country and the road trip along the east coast is one of the best and most traveled road trip pathways Australia has to offer. Here, we’ve listed our top tips for planning the ultimate east coast road trip. From choosing the best apartments Brisbane has to offer when enjoying your time in Queensland’s capital, to the best times to travel to make sure you have the best holiday possible.

  • Plan ahead- This seems obvious, but really it is important to take the time out and find out what is going on in the places you are visiting along the coastline. There are festivals held in many coastal towns throughout the year some of which you may want to make sure you can attend. Other areas you may want to be informed about so you can avoid the traffic. Either way, make sure you have a plan with driving targets to reach each day to make sure you cover the right amount of ground in the allocated time.
  • Caring for your vehicle-Make sure that your vehicle has been serviced before you leave and that your spare tire and car jack are both in working order. It may also be a good idea to carry some oil, loads of water and even jumper cables to keep your car driving smoothly and in case of any mishaps.
  • Bring drinks and snacks that don’t need to be refrigerated- It’s a good idea to have a stash of snacks in the car that don’t need to be in the fridge. This means that you don’t have to stop frequently when your hungry and it also means that there’s no rush to eat them all in one day or throw out after a short amount of time.
  • Accommodation in the right location- Because your holiday consists of quite a bit of driving, the last thing you will want to be doing when you stop for a few nights is drive around. For instance when you stay in some of the main areas make sure you can walk to the major places you want to visit. There are many serviced apartments Brisbane has to offer that are a short stroll to the cities major attractions, restaurants and bars. Driving is fun, but you don’t want to overdo it, so make sure you book in the right accommodation along the way.

Planning a road trip is a wonderful way to spend a holiday. Whether it’s a romantic getaway, a family holiday or a trip with friends the east coast has some wonderful places to explore perfect for every type of traveler.

I hope you’ve found our tips on how to get the most out of your east coast road trip useful, helping you to ensure that your road trip is not only a memorable experience, but a safe and hassle free one too.

Car Repairs Made Easy

Our 2004 Isuzu Dimax 4×2  pick-up vehicle was recently serviced for general check-up and repair. With the odometer reading now at 245,000 kms., regular check-ups should not be missed.

First major operation include change oil and oil filter, and replacement of fuel filter. A good oiling condition will always make the engine perform efficiently. Next was the check-up on oil leak which resulted to replacement of input and output oil seal at crankshaft. This confirmed my earlier suspicion  that there seemed to be some oil leaks observed at the bottom of the engine. The water pipe hose was likewise replaced because it was found to be already quite “soft” and could anytime malfunction and leak which would result to overheating. All belts were also replaced. These were, timing belt (engine), steering belt (steering wheel), alternator belt (battery charging system), and air-con belt (air conditioner). All of these already showed signs of deterioration after almost reaching their respective service lives. Miscellaneous jobs like check-up of brake and lighting system were finally done.

A minor glitch occurred when it was time to pay for all the repair and check-up jobs. The cost was way over our budget. Let’s just say, we were not able to estimate the cost correctly. If only we consulted a repair price estimator, we could have been more prepared.

It pays to have your cars regularly checked. And it won’t hurt if you also research on auto care tips. It saves you from more expensive repairs and parts acquisition in the future and from the added inconveniences of frequent car breakdowns on the road. More importantly, it may cost your lives.

Five Reasons Why The United Kingdom is a Great Backpacking Destination

Every year, armed with little more than a backpack, a plane ticket and some cheap travel insurance, thousands of young Australians head overseas to begin a backpacking adventure. For many of them, the UK is the main destination. It is a good choice too. Here are five of the things that make the United Kingdom a great choice for Aussie backpackers.

Cultural affinity

Australia’s cultural affinity with Britain is a big part of the reason for the UK’s popularity amongst young Australians. Australia’s history is intertwined with that of the UK. Visiting the UK is an opportunity for many Australians to see where there families came from, perhaps to meet relatives still living there, and in a wider sense to engage with the history of the country that gave birth to today’s Australia. This shared cultural history has also resulted in two countries with similar values and moral codes, making the UK a very easy country for Australians to live, work and socialise in. There are significant practical benefits to this shared culture too. Many young Australian’s are eligible for British passports on ancestral grounds, thus removing all requirements for visas for work and travel.

History

The United Kingdom is a country with a rich and varied history. This means that there is plenty for a visitor to see and learn in the United Kingdom. Royal palaces, ancient cathedrals, historic towns and villages: all these things provide spectacular focal points for the traveller in search of new knowledge and experience. The UK is also a country that values the preservation of tradition. Royal ceremonies, such as the Trooping of the Colour, are a must for any visitor, but more obscure traditions, such as cheese rolling in Gloucestershire, arguably offer a greater insight into this idiosyncratic country.

Language

A factor that should not be overlooked is the shared language. While it is perfectly possible to travel anywhere in the world with a rudimentary grasp of a few phrases and a bit of confidence and enthusiasm, there is no denying that visiting another English speaking country certainly makes things easier. Speaking the language enables you to get right into a new society, rather than merely observing it from the sidelines. If you are planning to work overseas, as many backpackers do, it will expand your options enormously.

Density

The UK is a small country with fairly large population, so you never have to go far to find the next point of interest. Wherever you go in the UK there is something to see or do. Whether it is cultural, historical, natural, or sporting, your range of experience in a limited area is remarkable.

Unparalleled travel links

The UK has a very extensive road and rail network, meaning that it is very easy to get around the various parts of the country. Coupled with its relatively small size, this means that you can see everything from Land’s End on the south west tip of England, to John o’Groats in the far north of Scotland with relative ease. The UK also has unparalleled transport links with the rest of Europe and the world. London is one of the world main airport hubs; if you base yourself in London, your options for short breaks into Europe and even longer trips further afield are enormous.

These are just a few of the reasons why the UK is such a good choice for Aussie backpackers. There are plenty more for you to discover yourself, so start looking for flight deals and get some travel insurance. Your UK adventure awaits.

On Shopping, Flying, and Saving

One of the things I don’t like being on the streets is the temptation to shop here and there, and check out hotels and restaurants.

When I find myself on a street lined with shops and flea markets, I can’t help checking out stuff and go shopping. I wouldn’t mind really if I have Orbitz coupons with me.

Now that I’m thinking of replacing my 3-year-old Dell laptop, I’d love to get those savings Dell coupons.

Aside from on-street shopping, my other passion is traveling. I plan to go overseas early next year and so I’m already looking for good travel packages. If you’re planning the same, and would want a good deal on airfares or travel packages, then head for Orbitz.com.

Let’s! 😉

Dreaming of a Latin American Trip

My travel orientation are places with diverse cultures and indigenous art. People have told me that I can find these places in Latin America.

One of the interesting cities in Latin America is Costa Rica. With its diverse culture of Native American, Spanish, and African, it will surely be a delightful place to visit.

I can already see that Costa Rican vacations will be filled with traditional dishes and Caribbean flavors. I’d love to sample this.

Costa Rica is definitely on my bucket list!