Posts tagged “Philippines

07 Oct 2011: Lakbay Norte 3 Blogger Contest

Outdoor Adventures of the North

Today, the North Philippines Visitor’s Bureau (NPVB), in cooperation with Manila North Tollways Corporation and Victory Liner, announced that it will be holding Lakbay Norte 3: a nine-day Media Tour of North Philippines on 22..30 Jan 2012.

During this annual event, NPVB will bring a bus load of media participants from broadsheet, TV, travel magazines, and blogs to produce over 100 articles and features about North and Central Luzon.  To select the six bloggers who will join this year’s adventure, NPVB is conducting a contest.

The contest’s mechanics, terms and conditions may be found here.  Join now!

Summary of Competition Dates:

Application Period: 07..31 Oct

Pre-Selection: starts as soon as entries come in until 04 Nov

Notification of Finalists – 05 Nov

Article Preparation – 06..14 Nov

Uploading of Entries in Facebook – 15 Nov

Contest Period: 16 Nov..18 Dec

Judging Period: 19..21 Dec

Winners Informed: 23 Dec

Lakbay Norte 3: 22..30 Jan

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12 Mar 2011: The 2nd Philippine International Pyromusical Competition (Australia and the Philippines)

Last Saturday, 12 Mar 2011, my wish came true: I joined luminaries in the local blogging community (Trip@doraPinay Solo BackpackerJourneying James, Lakwatsera de Primera and Chyng Reyes, among others) in witnessing the magic on the final week of the 2nd Philippine International Pyromusical Competition at the SM Mall of Asia.

This time, we immersed ourselves in the crowd because the balcony where we shot from last 26 Feb 2011 was fully occupied by VIPs.

Australia was the last competitor to present its entry.

Australia’s Pyromusical Presentation

The winners of the competition were announced after Australia’s presentation.  The 2nd Philippine International Pyromusical Competition champion was China with the United Kingdom and Japan as first and second runners-up respectively.

The presentation by our very own Platinum Fireworks, Inc. was an exhibition entry (i.e. not included in the judging).  The host country’s presentation utilized all areas of the venue to showcase maximum firepower and it really lit up the sky.

The Philippines’ Pyromusical Presentation

It was a truly magical evening and I look forward to next year’s competition.

Again, I extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who made this extraordinary experience possible the second time around: the management and staff of SM Mall of AsiaMelo Villareal and Engrs. Ross & Ann.


12 Mar 2011: The 2nd Philippine International Pyromusical Competition (Australia & the Philippines)

Last Saturday, 12 Mar 2011, my wish came true: I joined luminaries in the local blogging community (Trip@doraPinay Solo BackpackerJourneying James, Lakwatsera de Primera and Chyng Reyes, among others) in witnessing the magic on the final week of the 2nd Philippine International Pyromusical Competition at the SM Mall of Asia.

This time, we immersed ourselves in the crowd because the balcony where we shot from last 26 Feb 2011 was fully occupied by VIPs.

Australia's Pyromusical Presentation

Australia was the last competitor to present its entry.

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26 Feb 2011: The 2nd Philippine International Pyromusical Competition (China & France)

Last Saturday, 26 Feb 2011, I had the opportunity to spend the day at SM Mall of Asia with someone amazing.

The main event of the day was watching the 2nd Philippine International Pyromusical Competition (China and France).  A stroke of very good luck allowed me to view the fireworks in the presence of luminaries in the local blogging community: Trip@dora, Journeying James, Pusang Kalye, Adaphobic and Pinay Solo Backpacker.  I even had the honor of using a very famous camera to take photos of the fireworks.

Test Shot

I find it difficult to describe the awesome displays shown by China and France so I will let these pictures do the talking:

China's Pyromusical Presentation

France's Pyromusical Presentation

Leaving the area was quite challenging after the presentations.  The huge crowd overwhelmed the capacity of the public transportation system in the vicinity.  However, I very much enjoyed walking since I had an amazing companion.

Schedules and ticket prices may be viewed on the 2nd Philippine International Pyromusical Competition website.

Grab the opportunity to witness the breath-taking display of visual and musical artistry.  It is simply magical!

I extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who made this extraordinary experience possible: the management and staff of SM Mall of Asia, Melo Villareal and Engrs. Ross & Ann.

I hope to experience the magic again on 12 Mar 2011 when the Philippines presents its entry.


20 Dec 2010: My entry to SEAir’s Batanes Winter Blogger’s Contest

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights;  it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”

This is especially true of travel to Batanes.

The awesome beauty of the place will surely satisfy even the most jaded traveller.  Take a moment to look at these photos.  Remember though that they do not really look like this;  they look much-much better!

San Carlos Borrromeo Church, Mahatao

Naidi Lighthouse, Batanes

Sitio Chamantad, Chavayan

It is the Ivatans, however, and their way of life that I admire the most.  Each time I visit, I get more opportunities to interact with them.  I can only hope that with each interaction, I also get to be more like them: simple, kind and caring.

I have just returned from my stint as logistics manager for KayakAsia’s Edge of Region Expedition to Batanes.  In the course of my work, I witnessed and experienced firsthand the extra-ordinary hospitality of the Ivatans.  When an Ivatan welcomes you into his or her home, you cease being a visitor and become a part of their family.

I have been to Batanes thrice.  Why will I be joining the SEAir Batanes Winter Bloggers’ Tour?

I will be joining the SEAir Batanes Winter Bloggers’ Tour as its tour manager.  It is my duty to ensure that my fellow bloggers will experience the awesome beauty of Batanes and the extra-ordinary hospitality of the Ivatans.

At present, I have multiple itineraries prepared.  I also made reservations for the group at an inn with good amenities for bloggers.  All I need are SEAir’s and my fellow bloggers’ votes of confidence.

I look forward to being of service to them.


07 Mar 2010: Zoobic Safari

Blonde and Blue-eyed


For years, I have heard of Zoobic Safari in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.  However, the relative difficulty of visiting Subic led me to put off visiting the place.

Last weekend, however, I found myself in Subic with ten other photographers looking for something to do to make the most of our trip.  We agreed to visit Zoobic Safari because one of us has not seen live tigers yet (?!).

Costs per person were PhP449 for the entrance and PhP50 for the Zoo Train (optional).  If you have your own transport, you may opt to use that instead of availing of the Zoo Train.

Tour guide fee is included in the entrance fee, unlike other private zoos in the Philippines.  Touring the facility took about three hours.  Climate in the facility is modified by mist sprayers hidden in the trees (take note of this to avoid wetting your cameras).

The tour includes a jeep ride through a large enclosure wherein the tigers are free to walk about.  If you so choose, you can purchase some raw chicken to feed to the tigers.

Tiger Taking a Bath


06-08 Jan 2010: Family Trip to Baguio City

Hectic week!  After spending one day in Manila to celebrate an aunt’s birthday, we went on a road trip to Baguio City.  What a way to start the year: two trips in a week!

We stayed 3D/2N at Bloomfield Hotel.  Their Executive Suite was a perfect fit for us (6 adults + 1 toddler).  We encountered some problems with the water supply on our last morning there (the pressure pump for our floor malfunctioned).  The staff was considerate and resourceful in addressing the issue, allowing us to use an unoccupied room’s bathroom to freshen up before our trip back to Manila.  For seasoned travelers to Baguio, I highly recommend this hotel.  However, given its location (i.e. on top of Session Road, near SM Baguio and Baguio Cathedral), this is not the place for communing with nature.

We ticked of all the normal Baguio activities:

  1. Buy food items (strawberry jam and peanut butter) for pasalubong from Benguet State University’s shop
  2. Buy strawberries from Baguio City market for immediate consumption
  3. Picture-taking at Mines View Park
  4. Buy ube jam and other items at the Mountain Maid Training Center, Good Shepherd Convent (still the best ube jam)
  5. Eat lots and lots of vegetables

Mines View Park