Search this site:

Links

About This Blog
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!
CATEGORIES
Highly Urbanized Cities

  • Angeles City
  • Bacolod City
  • Baguio City
  • Butuan City
  • Caloocan City
  • Cebu City
  • Cagayan de Oro City
  • Davao City
  • Dagupan City
  • Gen. Santos City
  • Iligan City
  • Iloilo City
  • Lapu-lapu City
  • Las Pinas City
  • Lucena City
  • Makati City
  • Malabon City
  • Mandaluyong City
  • Mandaue City
  • Manila City
  • Marikina City
  • Muntinlupa City
  • Olongapo City
  • Paranaque City
  • Pasay City
  • Pasig City
  • Puerto Princesa City
  • Quezon City
  • San Juan City
  • Tagaytay City
  • Taguig City
  • Tacloban City
  • Valenzuela City
  • Zamboanga City

  • Philippine Provinces
  • Abra
  • Agusan Del Norte
  • Agusan Del Sur
  • Aklan
  • Albay
  • Antique
  • Apayao
  • Basilan
  • Bataan
  • Batanes
  • Batangas
  • Benguet
  • Bohol
  • Bukidnon
  • Bulacan
  • Cagayan
  • Camarines Norte
  • Camarines Sur
  • Camiguin
  • Catanduanes
  • Cavite
  • Cebu
  • Compostela Valley
  • Davao Del Norte
  • Davao Del Sur
  • Dinagat Island
  • Eastern Samar
  • Guimaras
  • Ifugao
  • Ilocos Norte
  • Ilocos Sur
  • Kalinga
  • Isabela
  • La Union
  • Laguna
  • Lanao del Norte
  • Lanao del Sur
  • Leyte
  • Maguindanao
  • Marinduque
  • Masbate
  • Misamis Occidental
  • Misamis Oriental
  • Mountain Province
  • Negros Occidental
  • Negros Oriental
  • Northern Samar
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Palawan
  • Pampanga
  • Pangasinan
  • Quezon
  • Rizal
  • Romblon
  • Samar
  • Saranggani
  • Siquijor
  • Sorsogon
  • South Cotabato
  • Southern Leyte
  • Sulu
  • Surigao Del Norte
  • Surigao Del Sur
  • Tarlac
  • Tawi-tawi
  • Zambales
  • Zamboanga Del Norte
  • Zamboanga Del Sur
  • Zamboanga Sibugay


  • Airlines
  • Airports
  • Architecture
  • Art
  • Beaches
  • Bridges
  • Casinos
  • Caves
  • Churches
  • Delicacies
  • Ferries
  • Festivals
  • Flora and Fauna
  • Golf Courses
  • History
  • Hotels and Resorts
  • Jose Rizal
  • Lighthouses
  • Mosques
  • Museums
  • National Artists
  • National Heroes
  • National Cultural Treasures
  • Parks
  • Public Transportation
  • Restaurants
  • Rivers
  • Seaports
  • Spanish Forts
  • Volcanoes
  • Watchtowers
  • Waterfalls
  • World War II

  • Philippine Tourist Spots
  • Boracay
  • Clark
  • Corregidor
  • Subic
  • Follow/Affiliations

    KMS/CODA Lines Bus to Sagada Fares, Trip Schedules, Contact Number

    KMS Philippines, now CODA Lines Corporation, will open a Manila - Banaue bus route via Bontoc starting April 1, 2015.

    Herewith is the information on bus fares/rates, trip schedules (departure and arrival) for this route that was formerly served by another bus company.

    CODA Lines (photos taken from Coda Line Facebook page)




    KMS Line bus terminal is near LRT 2 Legarda station.
    Contact Number is posted on the picture below, just call the telephone number for any inquiries or possible ticket reservations.

    Related Posts:
    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 @ 8:06 PM, , links to this post

    Taal Volcano Trek Guide: Cost, Rates, Scams and Tourist Traps

    The Philippines, like most other destinations, has lots of scams and tourist traps. Herewith are some of them in Talisay, Batangas with people taking advantage of tourists for extra moolah not thinking that what they're doing scares tourists away and impacts future tourist arrivals

    Here's an updated budget travel guide for Taal Volcano crater trek/hiking with fares, rates and commute/how to get there information, even tourist traps and scams for travelers/backpackers.


    taal volcano talisay batangasearly morning view of Taal Volcano and Taal Lake where fishermen/boatmen wait for passengers to ferry to the volcano island

    Going on a trek to Taal Volcano involves this "script"
    1. Go to Talisay, Batangas either via Tagaytay or Tanauan
    2. Rent a boat
    3. Trek to the crater (boil eggs at steaming hot springs)
    4. Go back (of course)

    Rates:

    Boat Rental Rate/Fee: PhP1,500.00 (standard boat rate)
    Trek guide: PhP500.00 (good for 6 persons)
    Horse ride: PhP450.00 (if you don't feel like trekking)

    Beware of these Scams/Tourist Traps:
    boat guide fee: PhP500.00
    Boat "unloading fee" : PhP50.00 (just a small piece of wood to step on to get off the boat)
    Drinks at the crater: PhP50.00 (vendor will tell you that you need to buy one for your guide)
    Photography: PhP400.00/picture (they will take pictures but not required to avail)


    Other Rates and Fees:
    SLEX Toll fee: PhP214.00 (Nichols to StarToll)
    SLEX to Startoll: PhP25.00
    Startoll Tanauan exit: PhP7.00


    Overnight Accommodations:
    Balai Sofia Bed and Breakfast PhP1,399.00 (overnight stay)
    Club Balai Isabel

    Overall budget/cost for a Taal Volcano day tour will be low if you avoid tourist traps and scams

    How to Get to Talisay, Batangas


    Labels: , , , ,

    Read more after the jump!

    posted by backpacking philippines @ 8:10 PM, , links to this post

    BGC Traffic Marshal Flat Tire Incident

    BGC traffic marshal Mahinay caught Tutubi and his ride with a flat tire. What he did was not any thing expected.

    With all the recent bad press the Bonifacio Global City, with traffic marshals/security guards trapping motorists into "illegal parking" traffic violations and towing (wrecker), was traffic marshal Mahinay cast from a different mold?

    Tutubi drove from Makati to BGC, specifically at the corner of 4th Avenue and 31st Street, in front of Net One Center (Silk Road Restaurant) and felt the uneven balance of his ride. His guess was confirmed when a bystander pointed to a flat tire

    After a few minutes, traffic marshal Mahinay (wearing vest number 73) arrived and started to shoo away other parked/waiting vehicles with blinkers on.

    Tutubi drove nearer the traffic marshal and informed him that he has a flat tire to which Mr. Mahinay volunteered to help to change it.

    Tutubi went down to get the tools and to bring down the spare tire.

    Traffic marshal Mahinay, Tutubi learned, was not knowledgeable in removing the tire (that Tutubi knows he has to kick and use entire body weight just to unbolt the tire. ). Instead of teaching traffic marshal Mahinay, he opted to drive to the nearest gasoline station (Shell on 5th avenue) to ask for assistance and also because it started to rain a bit.

    Traffic marshal Mahinay instead of leaving, volunteered to escort Tutubi to the gas station

    At the gas station, Tutubi was able to speak to a gasoline boy who knew how to change a Toyota Innova's flat tire, who did it under slight drizzle while Mahinay watches to know how to do it.

    Bonifacio Global City (BGC) traffic marshal 73 Mahinay (in silhouette) watches over Scarlett (Tutubi's Toyota Innova ride) while the Shell employee replaces the tire.


    After just a few minutes it was done, Tutubi gave the unnamed gasoline station attendant a small token for the act. He also offered the same token to traffic marshal Mahinay to which he declined, something not ordinary in this day and age.

    to traffic marshal Mahinay, may your tribe increase, and be an example to others!

    Labels:

    Read more after the jump!

    posted by backpacking philippines @ 6:30 PM, , links to this post

    Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway (TPLEX) Toll Fee/Rates

    UPDATE:

    SMC will open the new segment of TPLEx on December 20 linking Rosales to Urdaneta, Pangasinan toll-free i.e free of charge
    till January 20, 2015.

    Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway (TPLEX) is a toll road being built by San Miguel Corporation (SMC) to connect to SCTEX (Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway) all the way to Rosario, La Union to cut travel time to Baguio from 6 hours to around 3.5 hours.

    The remainder of the tollroad segment to Rosario, La Union will be completed by December 2015, three years ahead of schedule.




    Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway (TPLEx) toll gates:
    La Paz in Tarlac City, Victoria, Gerona, Paniqui and Moncada in Tarlac;
    Rosales, Urdaneta City and Pozzorrubio in Pangasinan,
    Rosario in La Union.

    Class 1 vehicles (multiply rates by 2 to get toll rates for Class 2 vehicles and by 3 for approximate toll fee for Class 3 vehicles

    Related:
    NLEX, SLEX, SCTEX Toll Fees


    Labels:

    Read more after the jump!

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

    Manila: Hotels, Motels in Sta. Mesa, Pasay and Pasig

    Motels in the Philippines don't have very good reputation, unlike abroad where they're just hotels. They're usually tagged as places to stay, for a short time, for discreet encounters and sex trysts of lovers, illicit or otherwise.

    Motels, though primarily catering couples where privacy is valued, are legitimate cheap places to stay in Manila for weary travelers and even families, some even have themed rooms

    there are at least three places in Metro Manila that are populated with the so called "lovers' motels": Sta Mesa (Manila), Pasig and Pasay City

    Motels in Sta. Mesa, Manila

    Dubbed the Motel Capital of the Philippines, many of these have names of flowers and usually called and belong to the Flower Group, are located on Valenzuela St., Old Sta Mesa and V. Mapa Streets near PUP (Polytechnic University of the Philippines) and Stop N Shop (a no longer extant place near Ramon Magsaysay)

    Gardenia
    Halina
    Queensland Lodge
    Prince Court Lodge
    Town and Country


    Old Sta Mesa street with Gardenia and Halina room rates for "short time" taxi rooms, garage rooms and overnight rates. most taxis you will see here do a maneuver called "biglang liko" :P

    Motels in Pasig

    scattered near Shaw Boulevard and along Hillcrest Drive and Christian Route, many of these hotels also offer very good pancit canton and cheap motel rates

    Dahlia Hotel
    Hill View Lodge
    King Arthur Palace
    Orchids Drive-in Hotel and Restaurant
    Rosal Hotel (Jardin de Rosal)
    Victoria Court

    Motels in Pasay City

    located along F.B. Harrison, EDSA and Roxas Boulevard near Heritage Hotel

    Aliw Inn
    Copacobana Apartment Hotel
    Diamond Inn
    Liza Lodge
    Mabuhay Manor
    Pinoy Pamilya Hotel
    Sogo Grand Hotel

    Notes:

    garage rooms are hotels where you enter and park your vehicles on the ground floor then you walk up the stairs going up to your room. Places are usually dark and privacy guaranteed, you will only meet a roomboy who will also take your orders, check your room and take your payments. How did I know these without really knowing first hand? Google :P

    taxi rooms are rooms where taxis take you and you alight and ride taxis waiting for you. the entrance and exits are usually covered to protect your privacy, in case you need it

    these hotels/motels reported are fully-booked during Valentines Day

    most of these hotels offer discount cards, accept credit card payments (visa, mastecard) and even ATM cards of BancNet.

    Please get in touch with the hotels/motels offiical website , if any, or call for telephone numbers/contact numbers for latest room rates, promos, discount and food menu prices

    lastly, hidden cameras and one way mirrors are just urban legends in motels, it's their business, one faux pas or sex scandal video leak and their business is done.

    Labels: ,

    Read more after the jump!

    posted by backpacking philippines @ 9:25 PM, , links to this post

    List of 2015 Holidays and Long Weekends per Malacanang Proclamation No. 831

    Tara na, biyahe tayo!

    Start planning for your trips for 2015 and buy your airplane tickets at promo prices soon with the recent release of national holidays for 2015 (and long weekends) per Proclamation No. 831:


    A. Regular Holidays

    New Year’s Day – 1 January (Thursday)
    Maundy Thursday – 2 April
    Good Friday – 3 April
    Araw ng Kagitingan – 9 April (Thursday)
    Labor Day – 1 May (Friday)
    Independence Day – 12 June (Friday)
    National Heroes Day – 31 August (Last Monday of August)
    Bonifacio Day – 30 November (Monday)
    Christmas Day – 25 December (Friday)
    Rizal Day – 30 December (Wednesday)

    B. Special (Non-Working) Day

    Chinese New Year – 19 February (Thursday)
    Black Saturday – 4 April
    Ninoy Aquino Day – 21 August (Friday)
    All Saints Day – 1 November (Sunday)
    Additional special (non-working) days
    – 2 January (Friday)
    - 24 December (Thursday)
    Last Day of the Year – 31 December (Thursday)

    C. Special Holiday (for all schools)
    EDSA Revolution Anniversary – 25 February (Wednesday)

    national holidays for 2015, long weekends list


    Labels:

    Read more after the jump!

    posted by backpacking philippines @ 8:14 PM, , links to this post

    Cheap Flights for a Trip to Hong Kong

    The exotic lure of Asian vacation destinations makes them a big draw for many people and there are some fantastic places to visit. Cheap flights to Hong Kong are low-priced and are backed up by world-class service. This makes it an affordable Asian destination and the following are a few tips for getting flights at a budget price.

    Use Comparison Sites

    A good place to start when trying to find cheap airfares to Hong Kong is to use flight comparison websites. They can search through the deals offered by hundreds of airlines and are an easy way to get an idea of typical prices. Use a few to see what they deals are like and identify the cheapest airlines for your route.

    Airline’s Website

    If you see cheap fares for a particular airline on a comparison site, it can also be worth checking the airline’s website. They may offer the flight at a cheaper cost and this is worth checking.

    Consider Budget Airlines


    A number of budget airlines have Hong Kong as a destination these days and it can be worth checking any that serve the route you are traveling. Budget carriers might not be included in the details provided by comparison websites, so it is worth checking these separately as they may offer unbeatable prices.

    Book Early

    The best prices for many flights tend to disappear early, so check the costs as soon as you know your dates of travel. If you get in early there may be promotional prices on offer that you can take advantage of to get a cheaper fare.

    Day of Travel

    When searching for flights try to be flexible on the actual day of travel. Prices can vary across the week, with midweek flights generally more affordable than weekend travel. Checking costs on a few different days around your time of travel might save you some money.

    A trip to Hong Kong need not be expensive and with a little planning and forethought it should be possible to find flights at a cheap price. The tips above are some ideas that can help with this. Take them on board to save some money on travel so you have more to spend on the many attractions Hong Kong offers once you arrive.


    Labels: ,

    Read more after the jump!

    posted by backpacking philippines @ 8:44 PM, , links to this post

    Jose Rizal's Favorite Food (153rd Birthday "Party")

    On the 153rd birthday of Philippine national hero, get to know what the man's favorite eats, sort of like a foodie adventure into his stomach.

    What were Jose Rizal's favorite food?

    Answers: tinola (which was served at an event in the opening chapter of Noli Me Tangere), ginisang munggo, and tuyo (which was called sardinas secas). For dessert: toasted pastillas, yema, and empanada

    the dried fish called tuyo and fried rice, Jose Rizal's favorite breakfast

    What's his favorite fish?

    Answer: ayungin (silver perch), endemic to Laguna de Bay, served in different ways, with hefty servings of rice. This was also narrated in his acerbic novel Noli Me Tangere where he wrote "the ayungin is good for sinigang; leave the biya for the escabeche, the dalag and the buan-buan for pesa." They are actually typical Filipino food.


    What's his favorite breakfast?

    Answer: no happy meals here but it's fried rice, tuyo and tsokolate eh (Spanish hot chocolate using tablea)

    Now, Jose Rizal's secret to his genius is in his genes then later developed through hard work and study. It will not help you be a genius if you eat the same food he ate but at least you know geniuses eat like ordinary people.




    Labels: ,

    Read more after the jump!

    posted by backpacking philippines @ 9:16 PM, , links to this post

    List of Countries with Visa-free Entry to the Philippines

    Here's an updated list of countries whose nationals can freely enter the Philippines visa-free or rather visa on arrival taken from the latest post from the Department Of Foreign Affairs

    LIST OF COUNTRIES ALLOWED VISA-FREE ENTRY

    GUIDELINES ON THE ENTRY OF TEMPORARY VISITORS TO THE PHILIPPINES

    Nationals from countries listed below who are traveling to the Philippines for business and tourism purposes are allowed to enter the Philippines without visas for a stay not exceeding thirty (30) days, provided they hold valid tickets for their return journey to port of origin or next port of destination and their passports valid for a period of at least six (6) months beyond the contemplated period of stay. However, Immigration Officers at ports of entry may exercise their discretion to admit holders of passports valid for at least sixty (60) days beyond the intended period of stay.

    Nationals from the following countries are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa for a
    period of stay of thirty (30) days or less:

    Andorra
    Angola
    Antigua and Barbuda
    Argentina
    Australia
    Austria
    Bahamas
    Bahrain
    Barbados
    Belgium
    Belize
    Benin
    Bhutan
    Bolivia
    Botswana
    Brazil*
    Brunei Darussalam
    Bulgaria
    Burkina Faso
    Burundi
    Cambodia
    Cameroon
    Canada
    Cape Verde
    Central African Republic
    Chad
    Chile
    Colombia
    Comoros
    Congo
    Costa Rica
    Cote d’Ivoire
    Croatia
    Cyprus
    Czech Republic
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Denmark
    Djibouti
    Dominica
    Dominican Republic
    Ecuador
    El Salvador
    Equatorial Guinea
    Eritrea
    Estonia
    Ethiopia
    Fiji
    Finland
    France
    Gabon
    Gambia
    Germany
    Ghana
    Greece
    Grenada
    Guatemala
    Guinea
    Guinea Bissau
    Guyana
    Haiti
    Honduras
    Hungary
    Iceland
    Indonesia
    Ireland
    Israel*
    Italy
    Jamaica
    Japan
    Kazakhstan
    Kenya
    Kiribati
    Kuwait
    Kyrgyzstan
    Lao People’s Democratic Republic
    Latvia
    Lesotho
    Liberia
    Liechtenstein
    Lithuania
    Luxembourg
    Madagascar
    Malawi
    Malaysia
    Maldives
    Mali
    Malta
    Marshall Islands
    Mauritania
    Mauritius
    Mexico
    Micronesia
    Monaco
    Mongolia
    Morocco
    Mozambique
    Myanmar
    Namibia
    Nepal
    Netherlands
    New Zealand
    Nicaragua
    Niger
    Norway
    Oman
    Palau
    Panama
    Papua New Guinea
    Paraguay
    Peru
    Poland
    Portugal
    Qatar
    Republic of Korea
    Romania
    Russia
    Rwanda
    Saint Kitts and Nevis
    Saint Lucia
    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    Samoa
    San Marino
    Sao Tome and Principe
    Saudi Arabia
    Senegal
    Seychelles
    Singapore
    Slovak Republic
    Slovenia
    Solomon Islands
    South Africa
    Spain
    Suriname
    Swaziland
    Sweden
    Switzerland
    Tajikistan
    Thailand
    Togo
    Trinidad and Tobago
    Tunisia
    Turkey
    Turkmenistan
    Tuvalu
    Uganda
    United Arab Emirates
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
    United Republic of Tanzania
    United States of America
    Uruguay
    Uzbekistan
    Vanuatu
    Vatican
    Venezuela
    Vietnam
    Zambia
    Zimbabwe

    *The following are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa for a stay not exceeding
    fifty-nine (59) days:

    1. Holders of Brazil passports; and
    2. Holders of Israel passports

    The following are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa for a stay not exceeding fourteen
    (14) days:

    1. Holders of Hong Kong Special Administrative (SAR) passports
    2. Holders of Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) passports

    The following are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa for a stay not exceeding seven (7) days:
    1. Holders of Portuguese Passports issued in Macao
    2. Holders of Hong Kong British passports.

    Important Note:

    Nationals who are subjects of deportation/blacklist orders of the Department and the Bureau of Immigration shall not be admitted to the Philippines. Further inquiries may be addressed to the Visa Division (Telephone numbers:556-0000 and ask the operator to connect you to Visa Division), Department of Foreign Affairs, 2330 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City or to any Philippine Embassy or Consulate abroad.

    for Swedish nationals, you may check out visum usa-ESTA,
    for Indian nationals, Visa for Indians and for Chinese nationals visa for Citizens of China

    Source: Department of Foreign Affairs

    Labels:

    Read more after the jump!

    posted by backpacking philippines @ 9:48 PM, , links to this post

    Reasons Why I Travel, Explore and Blog

    (This blog's eight anniversary post)

    I've been blogging for more than ten years now but this travel blog is celebrating just its eight years in the blogosphere (quite old by the way, the blog, not the blogger)

    One of the most frequently asked questions about travels and bloggers is this:

    Why do we travel?

    I travel because I want to explore the world, because it's there. I want to learn. I want to see, taste, experience something different

    I want to get out of my comfort zone, to try new things, to escape from the hustle and bustle of life

    When I started traveling, I had a bucket list of sorts like traveling to all 80 provinces (now 81) of the Philippines, to visit all countries of ASEAN, to set foot on 6 continents. My latest count on provinces is around 64 and I lately slowed down so I can prepare for my future. I have visited Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore (2x), Thailand (2x), Mumbai (India) and Sydney (Australia)

    When you're growing older (i said older not old), you realize so many things.

    No longer am I in a hurry to visit new places and blog about it. I still have the itch, it's such that I have no time now.

    As i've always been mentioning that you need four things in order to travel: passion, strength, money and time. Take one of them away and you can't travel and explore

    Now, I've realized what is the most important thing that my travels did to me:

    A beautiful sunrise accentuated by reflection from serene sea of Coron in Palawan taken exactly ten years ago

    It's actually not the number of places you've visited, cultures experienced and food tasted. It's how you were able to see the best of cultures you've seen and use the knowledge to improve yourself.

    With traveling, I've become more friendly to nature, more non-judgmental, my taste for food become well-rounded, I've become more nationalistic, observed discipline even if others are not looking.

    What about you? Why do you travel? What did your travels do to you?


    Labels:

    Read more after the jump!

    posted by backpacking philippines @ 9:00 PM, , links to this post