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Flight chronicles of the backpacker Tutubi, with travelogues, pictures/photos/videos, travel guides, independent and honest reviews, affordable, recommended resorts and hotels (including inns, guesthouses, pension houses, lodges, hostels, condotels, bed and breakfast and other cheap accommodations), commuting guides, routes (sometimes street maps and GPS coordinates/waypoints) and driving directions to answer "how to get there" questions, information and tips on tourism, budget travel and living in Philippines, Exotic Asia and beyond!

Backpacking, independent travel, and flashpacking are cheaper than the "cheapest package tours" and promotional offers around but you can also use travel information for family vacations, even romantic honeymoon destinations.

More than the usual tourist spots and "places to see," this blog advocates heritage conservation, environmental protection, and history awareness for Filipinos, foreigners, and ex-pats wishing to explore Paradise Philippines and Exotic Asia!
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    Froelich Tours Double Decker Buses on EDSA: Fares, Trip Schedules and Issues/Concerns

    Tutubi drives everyday from home to work as a matter of convenience as the present public transportation is chaotic, inconvenient and unsafe.

    the DOTC and the LTFRB started the holiday point-to-point express bus service with the aim of convincing car owners to leave car at home to avail of the premium bus service of just park their cars at SM North EDSA, SM Megamall or Glorietta

    these premium double decker buses have a seating capacity of 70 passengers. The VIP lounge has a toilet (comfort room or CR), Refrigerator, TV at tables. There are GPS, free Internet wifi and CCTV for security (hold-ups and pickpockets can be avoided

    Trip Schedules:
    first trip: 7:30am and every thirty minutes thereafter
    last trip: to be determined

    Double Decker Bus Fare:

    Route SM Megamall – Glorietta 5: PhP40.00
    SM North Edsa – Glorietta (vice versa): PhP55.00

    Tutubi's issues and concerns

    It would be better if they also solve last mile problem from Glorietta to Ayala Avenue (probably near Paseo de Roxas) as this can walked of transfer to derepit buses plying the Ayala/Leveriza route?

    How about premium buses from BGC, MRT, Ayala (or Buendia) to LRT and even up to SM Mall of Asia?
    this solves the inconvenience of commuting from BGC to Makati CBD which usually takes a taxi ride?
    Government don't know this because they don't take public transportation

    If they can fix the MRT to be efficient, connect it to LRT 1 at SM North/Trinoma then have another convenient link to Ortigas CBD (sort of loop service) and to BGC, I will really leave my car at home but for now-- it's a BIG NO!

    to really professionalize and make efficient public transportation, buses drivers and conductors must be paid fixed and decent wages, same with jeepney drivers and remove the medieval boundary system. This way, drivers can load/unload only at designated stops, won't engage in racing, won't linger at corners and be more disciplined too

    pictures source unknown as of this time

    Bus Terminals in Cubao
    Bus Station in Pasay/Taft/LRT Buendia
    Bus Stations in Pasay Taft EDSA Rotonda

    Labels: ,

    Read more after the jump!

    posted by backpacking philippines @ 10:28 PM, , links to this post

    DFA: How to Apply for Passport Validity Extension: Fees and Appointment Schedule

    You'll be traveling abroad soon and you realized that your password will expire within six months of your departure, to which you cannot depart due to the six months validity rule of your foreign destination. You head over/inquire at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for the earliest passport renewal schedule and you get at least two months

    Worse, even if you get an earlier passport renewal appointment, the very efficient guys at the DFA cannot deliver your passport due to passport printer issues and huge backlogs.

    Solution: apply for a passport validity extension for free, for a maximum of one year, subject to evaluation

    Procedure on How to Apply for Passport Validity Extension

    1. Confirm with DFA ASEANA or various DFA Regional Offices for appointment schedule for passport extension. This post is for the DFA NCR-Central, Office of Consular Affairs
    in Robinsons Galleria mall in Quezon City. Other malls in NCR with DFA offices are SM Megamall in Mandaluyong and

    Passport extension applications are processed in the afternoon at DFA Robinsons Galleria, after the 150 passport applicants are done, with priority given to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)

    Robinsons Galleria Lingkod Pinoy Center where the Department of Foreign Affairs, Office of Consular Affairs office accepting passport applications and extensions are processed

    2. At DFA or OCA office, line up for the Passport Application Form and queue number issuance
    3. Fill out passport application form and queue at the Verification Counter to submit the form
    4. Proceed to cashier (passport extension fee is free/gratis but a necessary step)
    5. Wait for another 30 minutes for the release of passport with extended validity stamp

    Passport validity extension stamp on a new passport extension, similar to a VISA stamp

    In Summary (Rant mode):

    How to Apply DFA Passport Extension:

    1. Visit DFA Aseana (near SM Mall of Asia) or any DFA Regional Office
    2. Line up for the Form (which the bright people of DFA hasn't thought of making available online) and queue number
    3. Line up again at the Verification counter to submit the form (wait for your queue number to be called)
    4. After checking your verfication documents, and signing of logbook
    5. Proceed to cashier, just to stamp that it's free as in gratis
    6. Wait for 30 minutes for your name to be called
    7. Receive your passport extended validity with a stamp

    Total Time Wasted: FOUR freakin' HOURS due to government inefficiency of huge passport printing backlog

    Other DFA Regional Offices:
    Angeles City, Bacolod, Baguio, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro (CDO), Cebu, Cotabato, Davao, GenSan, Iloilo, San Fernando (La Union), Legazpi, Lipa City, Lucena, Pampanga Robinsons StarMill City of San Fernando, Pampanga Puerto Princesa (Palawan), Tacloban, Tuguegarao, Zamboanga

    Related Posts:
    OFW OEC Scam
    DFA Passport Application in SM Megamall and Robinsons Galleria
    Green Star Express


    Read more after the jump!

    posted by backpacking philippines @ 8:16 PM, , links to this post

    EDSA Express Bus Fares and Schedule for the Christmas Holiday

    The DOTC and the MMDA is field-testing the Express Bus service on EDSA to lure car owners into leaving cars at home to take public transportation.
    Would this be a hit with car owners?

    According to the MMDA,

    "The express buses will be picking up passengers from Trinoma, SM North Edsa in Quezon City and SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City and bringing them to Park Square Ayala Center, Glorietta 5 and Park Square Terminal all in Makati. The fares range from P50 to P80.

    The buses can load or unload passengers along Ayala Avenue once inside the Makati City Central Business District.

    The operation of the express buses starts around 6 a.m. with trips every 30 minutes. The last trip will be around 10 p.m. on both directions."

    Bus fares (reduced as of December 8, 2015):

    from Quezon City to Glorietta 5 route: P64.00 (previously PhP80.00)

    The Trinoma-to-Park Square in Makati route: PhP60.00

    SM Megamall to Park Square in Makati bus fare: PhP40.00

    Are you a car owneR? Have you taken the MMDA express Connect bus and left your car at home?
    What are your reviews, comments, and reactions?


    Read more after the jump!

    posted by backpacking philippines @ 8:18 PM, , links to this post

    Random Thoughts and Reactions to APEC 2015 Summit in Manila

    ...and now ‪#‎APEC2015PH‬ is done and really successful; even if I see many of my friends, who were inconvenienced, whining about it on social media;
    even if protesters were shown on TV which is still a symbol of our democracy

    For the past four days, Manila was shown to the whole world as the venue where world leaders met, listened to our music, dined our cuisine, wore traditional dresses, imbibed our culture and got a taste of our unique hospitality

    May this event translate to improved tourism, trade and economy as intended

    Kudos, Filipinos and Philippine government!

    Hope to see the next installment after two decades with better infrastructure, that I need not drive my car to work and use trains
    or it be held outside Manila with the needed infrastructure in place

    I see both negatives and positives in our country but I'm patient and understanding.
    I chose to stay put even if I know I can be better off in a foreign land

    for this one, I'm proud to be a Filipino!

    Read more after the jump!

    posted by backpacking philippines @ 6:05 PM, , links to this post

    Sharks and Rays Encounter at Manila Ocean Park

    An attraction inside Manila Ocean Park where you can touch, interact, take pictures and even swim with sting rays, manta rays and sharks, Sharks and Rays Encounter is an educational experience for children.

    the entrance to the attaction is near the main entrance, there are locker rooms to store your clothes and belongings if you want the actual wet encounters. Beside the attraction is Liquid Eat All You Can buffet

    Entrance fee/admission is usually bundled with other attractions but you can also visit just this attraction. Free picture comes with wet encounter admission price.

    Labels: ,

    Read more after the jump!

    posted by backpacking philippines @ 8:54 PM, , links to this post