Thursday, August 27, 2015

Great Santa Cruz Island is home to the Philippines’ renowned “Pink Beach.” It is one of the more breathtaking places in the country, and unlike some of the beaches which were developed for public consumption, this beach was preserved, as opposed to commercialized. This island is located near Zamboanga City in the Zamboanga del Sur province.

Because Zamboanga counts as one of the hot spots of strife in the Philippines, tourism to the island has cut down a bit. In the 1970s to the early 1980s, this was a favorite tourist destination for Germans and Italians. Nowadays, the local government is working to enhance the island’s beauty and potential as a tourist destination. The best way to get there is to fly into Zamboanga City, then head on over to Paseo del Mar from the airport.

Going to the island via land trip from elsewhere in Mindanao is also doable, however, due to safety concerns, it would best to steer clear of extended travel via land.

That aside, the Pink Beach should be on any Filipino’s travel “bucket list,” risks notwithstanding. It is a rare moment where you can see beauty as refreshing and breathtaking as this:

In going to Great Santa Cruz Island, here are things you need to know:

  • There are no accommodations on the island, but there are cottage that tourists can rent.
  • Camping is not allowed, however, so save yourself the trouble and just pack food and your camera and its accessories.
  • Although, a plus is that visitors can just head to the City Tourism Office in Paseo del Mar without a need to make reservations beforehand.
  • The beach is located in a high-risk area, so you may be assisted by armed police officers.
  • Other travelers advise to bring your own rice or corn, though seafood can be bought from island vendors. 
  • A boat trip may cost Php 1,000, round trip, good for up to 10 people. You may pay an additional Php 100 in excess of that number.
  • Entrance Fee is Php 20, while the Terminal Fee is Php 5.
If you choose to rent a cottage, here are the rates:
  • Php 100 for a 6-person cottage
  • Php 200 for a 10-person cottage
  • Php 500 for a 15 to 30-person pavilion

[Source of the rates:]

The island is said to be very therapeutic. Some travelers even say that they felt closer to the Creator as they came over. Many report that the security risks they were apprehensive of could not be felt as they traveled to the island. They also spoke of the delicious fresh seafood, and the colorful sights they were treated to, upon their visit.

If you are apprehensive of the beach-loving crowd, take heart, as the visitors are limited to only 250 people at a time. So introverts can soak up the sun, the sand, and the surf without the drain of dealing with the crowds.

So plan a trip to the Pink Beach, once in your life, if you dare. It’s well worth the risk, real or imagined.


Photo Credits: Anne Gacer

Add To Your Travel Bucket List: The Pink Beach In Zamboanga

Monday, August 10, 2015

FLASH! Headquarters Of Minions Located In Metro Manila! 

FLASH! Headquarters Of Minions Located In Metro Manila!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bacolod Traffic Cop Singing and Dancing In The Rain.

Bacolod Traffic Cop Singing and Dancing In The Rain

Friday, July 17, 2015

It's more fun playing golf at Club Intramuros these days because golfers can now ride a Segway while doing their 18 holes. 

Intramuros golf course, also known as Club Intramuros, is a public course with a short length (par 66, 4,326 yards).  The club (which was established in 1907) is located in the heart of Manila and can be played in just over two hours, which makes it ideal for business people looking for a quick round of golf.

With the use of a Segway, the round can even be much quicker.

Prior to playing golf on a Segway, one will be trained by the Segway staff on how to use the equipment properly. 

The Club Intramuros golf course surrounds Fort Santiago, in the heart of historic Old Manila.

Contact Details

Club Intramuros,
Bonifacio Drive cor. Aduana Street,
Port Area,
Tel: +(63-2) 527-6613
Fax: +(63-2) 527-6614

Club Intramuros is managed by the

You Can Now Ride A Segway While Playing Golf At Intramuros

Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer is over, and most Filipino parents are now going back to the grind of taking their kids through the school routines. The yuppies also feel the change in the atmosphere, as the vibe really is different when the summer months are over.

But what if you’re one of those who didn’t quite savor their summer vacations, but instead, chose to put in more hours at work, start new projects, and just generally stuck to being a workaholic? Is it too late for you to grab a weekend and enjoy the beach?

It’s never too late to make the most out of your vacation leave credits. And today is a good day to plan your weekend getaway.

Here are three reasons why July is a great time to start planning a trip to the beach:

  • Boracay is on “off-season” mode. Sure, a good number of people now say that Boracay is overrated and it just isn’t the same anymore. However, let’s face it: Boracay is still, by far, the most accessible and most convenience-filled beach in the Philippines. Accessible, transportation-wise, and convenience-filled, because all you need to do would be to book your flight, book your hotel, wait for your trip’s schedule, pack your things, and get there. The unspoiled beaches in the Philippines tend to be challenging to get to, and you may even need to bring your own tents, food, and other such provisions. If you want a fuss-free, discounted getaway just to clear your mind and see nothing but the sand and the blue sea for a change, Boracay is still the best go-to beach.
  • It’s a cooler time. This summer was probably the hottest in the Philippines, going up to 40 degrees Celsius in Metro Manila. If you’re like most of us spoiled urbanites, you wouldn’t want to trek through, say, D’Mall, with your things (most likely in a heavy backpack or a rather large trolley) to get to your hotel in the scorching sun. Now is the best time to go, and breaking a sweat (unavoidable in a tropical country, really) would be less of an ordeal than in the summer. And since it’s a cooler time, it’s time to plan trips throughout the year. You should totally start a travel “bucket list” of sorts. Boracay would be great to clear your head for a weekend; going to all the great spots in the Philippines at least once in your life will certainly make your toil worth it.
  • You totally should take quarterly trips. High performance guru Brendon Burchard says in his book The Charge that anyone who wants to keep themselves in top form for productivity should recharge regularly. In fact, he advises that you need to plan a getaway for yourself every 90 days, just to recharge, reset, and come back to work with a fresh drive to do awesome things. Now is a great time to start planning those vacations!

July is just around the corner, and you can’t afford to burn out with the grind. So don’t mind the fact that the rainy days are upon us. Plan your “summers,” get to your travel bucket list, because it’s simply more fun in the Philippines!

Plan Your Weekend Getaways Now

Friday, June 26, 2015

This June 30, #AxeBlackFabio paints the Palace Pool Club black with his first ever pop-up bar.

Expect his take on #LessEffortMoreStyle.

Click on this link to know more:

Less Effort More Style Event at The Palace Pool Club on June 30

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tucked away in the PHINMA Gallery of the Negros Museum along Gatuslao Street, the Negros Museum Cafe has served only the best cuisine that the local produce has to offer.

Veering away from preserved meats and products, the Cafe’s head chef and proprietor, Guido Nijssen, has chosen to use only the freshest ingredients found in local markets. Fresh artisan bread, smoked ham, bacon, and different kinds of cheese are prepared every day.

Join us in the 4th year anniversary celebration of a true Negrense experience, the Negros Museum Cafe.

Related Posts :

Discovering "Millionaire's Row" In Bacolod City

Wander in the part of Bacolod City which is not usually written about in tourist guidebooks or travel blogs and discover the charm of Old Negros Island.  ....Read More

4th Year Anniversary of the Negros Museum Cafe

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Many people associate progress with the emergence of spanking new buildings cladded with aluminum sheets and "clean" lines which actually border on bland.  In the heart of the Visayas, where two regions are comfortably nestled, the Western Visayas Region, and the newly formed Negros Island Region better known as The Sweet Spot of the Philippines, such may not be the case.

Here at the heart of the sugar industry, where elegant mansions were erected at the turn of the century due to the sugar boom catalyzed by a British man named Nicolas Loney, the locals are training their sights on enshrining their culture by preserving old houses, instead of knocking them down.

In Iloilo City, citizens were first aghast at the idea that the famed Yusay-Consing Mansion in Molo district could be demolished by its new owners, the SM Group .  Thinking that the Yusay-Consing Mansion would fall prey to the wrecking ball, recent photos have shown that the SM Group is sticking to its 2014 press statement in restoring the ancestral home through adaptive re-use, hiring no less than Architect Augusto Villalon.

SM emphasized that there is an adaptive reuse plan for the Yusay-Consing Mansion, which faces the plaza in Molo and gothic-designed Roman Catholic Saint Anne Parish Church.  While a commercial building will be built within the compound, the mansion, which was in a decayed state, is currently being rehabilitated for use as a heritage museum with a cultural retail shop.

“The mansion will showcase the best of Ilonggo arts, crafts and delicacies,” SM said in a statement.

Built in the 1920s, the Yusay-Consing Mansion was originally owned by Doña Petra Lacson-Yusay. It was later handed down to the family of Timoteo Consing Sr., who served as Iloilo governor from 1935-1937.  The mansion was said to be where Presidents Manuel Quezon and Sergio Osmeña were hosted and stayed in when they would visit Iloilo.

Art Deco Staircase of Balay Daku
Across the pond in the island of Negros, families have been refurbishing their homes to further showcase to visitors, the splendor of a glorious past.

Just as what is happening in Iloilo, a number of houses have been brought to better shape to show future generations the Negrense life as it was in the first half of the 1900s.  Museum Curator John Silva recently made a public post on Facebook showing the Most Beautiful Art Deco House in the Philippines.

Located in a street which was once known as Millionaire's Row, the Generoso Villanueva house, also known as Balay Daku (big house) continues to wow its limited visitors. 

On the same street, Burgos Street, another similar balay daku also shows the shining past of Negros and Bacolod City.  This is the house of Don Mariano Ramos.

Between the two houses and other mansions for which Negros is known for, Ms. Bambi Harper had this to comment on John Silva's post on Facebook, "Negrenses appear to have better taste than Manileños.  Think of all those Art Deco houses in New Manila that were replaced by condos of no particular artistic value."

Ramos Ancestral Home

Photo credits to : Hawili Hurom (Iloilo), Voltaire Siacor and John Silva (Daku Balay), Lloyd Tronco (Ramos Ancestral Home).

Related Posts :

Discovering "Millionaire's Row" In Bacolod City

Wander in the part of Bacolod City which is not usually written about in tourist guidebooks or travel blogs and discover the charm of Old Negros Island.  ....Read More

Heritage Preservation - More Fun in West Visayas and Negros Island

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The saying that eating is more fun in the Philippines has been validated in a recent international poll as Filipino food took the spotlight by making it to number 2.

In a Facebook poll, CNN asked "Which destination has the world's best food?"

The Philippines made it to the second spot with 1,528 votes just behind Taiwan which received 8,242 votes.

"Blessed with an abundance of seafood, tropical fruits and creative cooks, there's more to Filipino food than the mind-boggling balut (duck embryo)," CNN wrote.

Last April, the Department of Tourism along with other agencies hosted Madrid Fusión Manila, which was viewed as an opportunity for the Philippines as a gastronomical destination in Asia.

"This is an effort of the Department of Tourism to make sure Manila, as it represents all Filipinos, retakes its place as one of the most important gastronomical capitals in this part of the world," Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said. 

Top food critics like Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain praised Filipino food, even saying it's going to be the next big thing.

Aside from Taiwan and Philippines, six other Asian countries made it to the list:

    Hong Kong

"Clearly, Asian food is on people's minds these days. That or we have a lot of readers in the region who want to support their homeland's culinary prowess. With the exception of Italy and Greece, every place on our list is in Asia," CNN wrote.

PHL Has The 2nd Best Food In The World - CNN Poll

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wherever you choose to go in the Philippines, it’s the Filipinos that will make your holiday unforgettable. Lonely Planet calls us, ‘among the most ebullient and easy going people anywhere.’
Don’t be shy about coming up to a Filipino and starting a conversation. We’re not just fun, we’re officially friendly too. ranked us the friendliest country in Asia – eight in the world!

Filipinos are pre-dominantly of Malay stock with a sprinkling of Chinese, Spanish, American and Arab blood. More than 100 cultural minority groups are scattered throughout the country.

Roman Catholicism is practiced by approximately 83% of the population. The rest of the religions are mostly Christian. There are Muslims and Buddhists too.

  • Language

    We have two official languages – Filipino and English.

    Filipino is based on Tagalog, the predominant dialect from the Luzon mainland, and is used nationally to communicate among the ethnic groups. There are seven (7) other widely used languages: Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicolano, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense. Apart from these, there are more than 176 local dialects!

    Like any living language, Filipino is in a process of development through loans from Philippine or foreign languages, as well as from inventions among different sub-cultures (ask someone about “becky speak” or “gay lingo”).

    Thanks to the American Period, American English was and continues to be taught in schools. Filipinos get a healthy amount of Hollywood movies and American TV shows too. So if you speak English, feel free to ask for directions or strike up a conversation. If the Filipino you spoke to can’t speak English, he’ll happily pull in someone who does.

  • Culture
    You’ll soon discover our love for color. You’ll see it in jeepneys, tricycles, bancas, and even our fiestas. While you’re here, you’re bound to see one – because they happen almost every day. There are a ton of festivals like the Masskara festival in Bacolod, the Pahiyas in Quezon, Sinulog in Cebu, Kadayawan in Davao and Panagbenga in Baguio.

    Metro Manila is the center for entertainment and cultural activities. International acts are always flying in, while local acts are always on stage.
    Visit museums in Metro Manila and other parts of the country to get a glimpse of Philippine history and culture.

    At art galleries – in up-market neighborhoods, malls, urban hang-outs or heritage streets – you can feel the creative pulse of the country from leading and promising visual artists.
    Check local event magazines given out free at restaurants, as well as online city guides, for the latest of these events, plus film festivals, dance parties, weekend classes, pop-up shopping venues and other fun things to do!

    Check these sites for the latest events:

  • Food
    Food is a huge part of Filipino culture—in fact, the local word for ‘Hello,’ is ‘Have you eaten?’ And though little-known, you’ll find our cuisine as beautiful and surprising as the country. Esquire UK described dinner in Manila as a ‘growing flirtation that was turning into true love’.
    Filipino food is an exotic, tasteful fusion of Oriental, European, and American culinary influences with a wide variety of fresh seafood and delectable fruits. These influences have been adapted to local ingredients and the Filipino palate to create distinctly Filipino dishes.
    Take “kare-kare” — what started as a Filipino take on curry. Instead of curry paste, some ancient, resourceful cook ground peanuts to make a thick stew, then paired it with “bagoong” (fish paste). The dish now is so far from its inspiration, but has become its own kind of good.

  • Brief history
    Long ago, these islands were home to Indo-Malays and Chinese merchants. Then in 1521, Spanish explorers led by Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan discovered them. They named the archipelago “Felipinas” after Spain’s Philip II, and introduced Christianity to the people.
    The explorers saw the islands’ potential for commerce, with Manila and Cebu as strategic trading ports. They established the seat of government in Cebu, later moving it to Manila in 1571. The islands were a colony of Spain from the 16th to the 19th century, for a total of 333 years.

    The Filipinos waged Asia’s first nationalist revolution in 1896. On June 12, 1898, they won their independence from Spain.

    After the Spaniards left, the Americans came, introducing their educational and legal systems, as well as their democratic form of government. They ruled for 48 years until World War II broke out in 1941.

    Japanese troops invaded the country on December 8, 1941 and stayed for four years. The US forces returned to liberate the Filipinos and finally recognized Philippine independence on July 4, 1946.

We The Filipino People

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Negros Island - a One Island Region, the SWEET Spot of the Philippines!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bacolod City recently released a nifty guide for travelers and tourists entitled "50 Things To Do In Bacolod".

All you need to know for your next trip is there.  We at though introduce you to the 51st thing you need to do when in the City of Smiles.

For those who arrive in Bacolod City and follow what is usually written on travel books and blogs, the usual stops are the Negros Museum, the Provincial Capitol of Negros Occidental, and the Ruins (Mariano Lacson Mansion) which is technically located in the next city of Talisay.

What is often missed in Bacolod is a street which was once known as Millionaire's Row.  This street is hardly publicized because most tour guides can only reach back to Bacolod's glory days of the 1960s and the 1970s.  The importance of this street goes back to the pre-war decade of the 1930s.

It was back in the 1930s when Generoso M. Villanueva, a prominent sugar planter, and his wife Paz, built the first art deco  structure in Bacolod City. Designed solely by the owner, the three-story, poured-concrete steel reinforced building with graceful curved balconies, parapets, and porthole steel-cased windows looks like the Titanic on land. It was known among the locals as the Boat House. Among family, though, it was simply called Daku Balay (the big house).

On the same street, another similar daku balay (big house) also shows the glorious past of Negros and Bacolod City.  This is the house of Don Mariano Ramos.

Mariano Ramos was among the first Presidente Municipals appointed in Bacolod City.  At that time, Bacolod was not yet chartered as a city and thus did not have any mayor yet.  Mariano Ramos was a former classmate of Manuel L. Quezon in Letran and the late president did stop by this house often during his many trips to Negros Island.

Between the two mansions mentioned are other houses which are resplendent of Bacolod's decadent pre-war past.  It is of little wonder then that during the Japanese occupation in World War 2, the head of the Japanese Imperial Army, headed by General Takeshi Kono, took over the houses in Millionaire's Row as these two houses had the tallest miradors (viewing towers) to observe the city from all directions.

The Japanese Imperial Army commanded all forces occupying Negros from Millionaire's Row until the surrender in August 1945.

The street known as Millionaire's Row is commonly known today as Burgos Street.  In the same manner that one visits Lombard Street (the most crooked street in the world) in San Francisco, or the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, or Las Ramblas in Barcelona, one should not miss Burgos Street when in Bacolod City.

All mansions can be viewed from the street as these are all still closed to the public, except one which is the currently run as a museum, the Dizon-Ramos Museum.

Photo credits to Voltaire Siacor (Villanueva Art Deco House) and Lloyd Tronco (Mariano Ramos House)

The 51st Thing You Need to Do When In Bacolod City

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