Liwliwa Hostel: La Zerena Beach Resort

Searching for a private room in Liwliwa, San Felipe Zambales can be difficult on a weekend when everything is almost fully booked. Good thing we wandered a bit more and found La Zerena just across Circle Hostel.

We took one of their nipa huts that is good for two to three persons. The comfort rooms are communal located near the huts are reasonably clean and water is good.

The resort is about two to three minutes walk to the beach.

la zerena resort

 la zerena resort

 

 la zerena resort

 

 la zerena resort

Priced at 1,200 La Zerena nipa huts are quite affordable specially if there’s going to be three of you splitting the cost. I also like the resort’s location since it is just right beside Fely’s Canteen and store where we bought most of our necessities.

Airconditioned rooms though are priced at 3,000 pesos good for two.

PisoFare: CebuPacific Travel From June 10 -December 10, 2017

After a loooooooooooooong while, Cebu Pacific Air is back with their piso fare!

Cebu Pacific or CebPac as it is more popularly know came to popularize pisofares which sparked the domestic travel surge in the country. However CebPac has yet to pull another pisofare promo since last year until today!

So what are you waiting for head on to www.cebupacificair.com to book your flight!

 

PISO SALE

How to choose accommodations online

One of the most critical decision making for backpackers is choosing the right accommodation for their trip. It has to be a perfect balance between a good price, sanitation, service and security.

We’ve come up with some pointers to help you on how to decide for your accommodation.

> Set a price range
Determine how much you are willing to spend. Create a good range so that you can still be flexible with the choices that would come up on your search. Allowing you to bargain or maybe compromise on some luxury if any since you have a budget that you are working on, making it a good deciding tool in choosing your accommodation.

how to search for a cheap hotel Photo by Moyan Brenn

> Determine the best location
Where do you want to stay, find the best location that is proximate to convenience stores, markets and transportation that will enable you to move around quickly and get things such as food easily. It may be a bit off the attractions that you are going to see as prices to these kind of accommodation are off the hook most of the time but a good access to transportation modes such as the bus and train will be most helpful.

how to search for a cheap hotelPhoto by  StreetFly JZ

> Security
this is practically part of determining the area of your accommodation, but I wanted to point this out seperately as this is one big factor in your decision making. One could get a great location, easy access to stuff but is just right off near a neighborhood with a bad reputation. Prioritize safety.

how to search for a  cheap hotelPhoto by TimLee90

> Sanitation
As much as you want to save money for your accommodation it is also important to have a good clean room. Most common mistake about selecting accommodation is the notion that you’ll just be sleeping in it since you will be out touring and exploring. We must also keep in mind that after all the tiring activity you’d be needing a good night sleep and rest and musky old room infested with bugs wouldn’t help in getting one for you at all.

how to search a cheap hotel Photo by Magalie L’Abbé

Choosing the right accommodation can be a daunting task but with the right tools like hotel search engines and online booking companies like Agoda that helps you get the best prices available will lighten up the burden. Just keep stick with what you want and how much you are willing to bargain for and everything should be alright.

Got more tips? Leave it at the comments below, we’d love to hear it from you!

5 Places To Visit In Manila On Rainy Days

Satisfying your wanderlust can be a bit frustrating when it rains, when you can’t really climb mountains or enjoy a good day at the beach. Here are a few things/places that you can do or visit when Mr. Sunshine decides not to come out.

1. National Museum of the Filipino People (National Museum)
Location: Taft Ave, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila
Prices: Free on Sundays, Php 120 (Adult) Closed on Mondays
Website: www.nationalmuseum.gov.ph

Photosource: Wikipedia

Sometimes overlooked by locals, The National Museum – formally known as The National Museum of the Filipino People- has massively improved over the last decade. Not only does it houses national treasures of gold and priceless artifacts, it is also now expanding to the Filipino’s Natural History and the acquisition of new buildings.

2. Trampoline Park
Location: Greenfields District, Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City
Prices: Starts at 320
Website: www.trampolinepark.ph

Photosource: www.trampolinepark.ph

Go back to your childhood with all the jumping that you did. Well you can’t jump on your bed anymore or else you’d break it, but your can jump all you want at the first and only trampoline park in the Philippines.

3. Malling
Location: Everywhere
Prices: Free to shopping spree

Photosource: Wikipedia

Probably something mundane for the a Metro Manila local, but if you are a tourist the Mall is a tourist spot that you should check out on your visit in city. Manila hosts some of the biggest malls in the world, yep you read that right, boasting thousands of square meters of mixed retail, entertainment, sports, cultural and even spritual centers all in one roof. Being a tropical country, the mall has become the Philippine’s sort of town center where people converge and commune for most cities as it provides comfort with its climate controlled environment. Top Malls to visit are

Mega Mall

SM North EDSA

Robinsons Galleria

SM Mall of Asia

TriNoMa

Sharila Plaza Mall

4. DreamPlay
Location: City Of Dreams Aseana Business Park, Paranaque City
Prices: Starts at Php 380 for kids and Php 210 for adults
Website: www.cityofdreams.com.ph

Probably the closest that you can get to that Disneyland and Universal Studios feel here in the Philippines. Dreamscape’s Dreamland showcases attraction from Dreamscape’s movie franchises such as Shrek and Kung Fu Panda.

5. Mystery Manila
Location: Unit 9A 2/F JW Plaza Bldg., E. Rodriguez Ave., Quezon City
Prices: Minimum of two players (Max of 5) at Php 400 – Php 500 per pax.

Remember those games that you play on your PC where you try to solve mysteries through a series of clues? Well this game just got real! Enter different rooms with mysteries to be solved just the same way as you would on your computer, if you are challenged by these type of games virtually we are pretty sure that you’d enjoy it even better in person.

See rainy days don’t have to be that boring. You just need to know what to do and where to go. Manila is full of life only that sometimes these pockets of fun are hidden within the nooks and cranny of the metro and we are more than happy to help you find them!

If you have suggestions on what else to do on a rainy day in Manila, leave them on the comment section or if you want to be featured on the site let us know through email we are here to help you send the word out!

Safe Surf: Learn Surfing With The Experts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you are like me who have all these kinds of fears and are just obsessive compulsive when it comes to safety, but on the other hand wants to go on adventures like surfing you should definitely try out Tropical Swells.

 

Tropical Swells is a school founded by experts in surfing with years of experience with the aim of teaching surfing to everyone in a safe environment until you are ready for the open waters! Sounds just like for me… hahaha!

Tropical Swells invited us for a day of safe surfing in a controlled environment, where? At Whiterock Beach Resort! They will be walking you through from the basics till you learn how to ride the waves one step at the time at the pace that you’d feel comfortable with.

If you want to try out surfing and learn it from the experts you may check their information below and start riding those waves.

 

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  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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If you are interested and got a few questions in your mind, you may head to www.tropicalswells.com or email them at surfsup@tropicalswells.com.

Tropical Swells Surf Camp: Supercharge Your Summer

Summer is just around the corner! And, what does that mean? Sun. Sand. And SURF! Why not?

All of us already know that surfing is an exhilarating extreme sport. Immersing yourself into a surfer’s culture brings benefits that make it one of the most unique and fulfilling experiences of your life.

Fitness. Build your more than usual dream “beach bod.” Surfing a physically demanding activity, but a fun one at that. You engage your entire body when you start to surf. The more you surf, the more motivated you become to becoming fit and healthy. When you’re healthy, you give instantly give yourself a confidence boost.

Now, imagine yourself in an amazingly ripped physique while you’re ripping those waves.

Travel. If you need to get away, you’ll find a perfectly good form of release through this activity. You’ll find solitude. You’ll make new friends. And, I’ve got to admit, being on those waves gives one a sense of oneness and respect for nature. There’s really always something therapeutic in whisking yourself for a while.

DSC_0255

Now, take a hold of life by getting on that board and enjoying every bit of surf time on the water. TropicalSwells has found a way to merge both benefits in a safe and fun way through their Surf School at White Rock Beach Hotel + Waterpark in Matain, Subic.

Wavepool. Beginners get the chance to perfect their stance and balance on the surfboard, learn and improve their paddling, and catch a few surfing tricks on their own. For those who aren’t really amateurs in surfing, it’s a good avenue to find a consistent rhythm of waves and a spot with the ability to practice “crowd control” at the lineup.

Age. Jim Moriarty of SurfRider Foundation says, “As soon as they express an interest.” Nan Waldman of Education + Parenting in Quoradinating adds, “Whenever the child herself or himself feels ready and WANTS to.” SurfSimply’s Harry Knight caps it well, “In my experance over the years, there is no correct age to teach someone, and I have taught children as young as 2, and adults in their 70’s.”

TropicalSwells is excited to teach anyone interested, starting from 4 years old and up. Equipped with life-saving skills, our instructors are ASI-certified.

IntroSurf. Want to surf? We guarantee you’ll learn the basics of surfing and surf waves on the wave pool in 2 hours.

SurfCamp. Serious about the sport? From level zero, you’ll be surfing ocean waves in only six 2-hour sessions.

Supercharge your summer with the coolest ‘swells’ coaches in our tropical country. Whether you’re looking just a day-trip, or you want to pack a couple days in, TropicalSwells offers a great package for you!

For inquires, please contact surfsup@tropicalswells.com.

Cheapest Way To Batanes

Batanes is probably one of the illusive getaways for most Filipinos who has been bitten by the travel bug. It is the only place in the Philippines where you can experience winter (due to proximity to Taiwan) and not need a visa 🙂 Batanes has become much more popular because of mainstream media appearing in movies like Batanes as well as local and international travel shows. It gives viewers a sneak peak of a land so unique that you’d think twice if you are still in the Philippines. It’s paradise that God tuck away up north to protect it. Having said that it is hard to reach, airfare to the island had been really expensive for the past years due to the scarcity of flights. Fares usually range between 15 thousand pesos to as high as more than 20 thousand pesos! Thanks to competition fares has drastically lowered down.  So now there’s definitely away to go to Batanes on the cheap.

1. Subscribe to Philippine Airlines mailer

Subscribe to PAL’s news letter and get a tip when they go on sale. I was able to score a round trip ticket (MNL-BSO-MNL) for just a little less than 1,800 pesos. I didn’t think twice when I saw the offer and book it right away, it was a no brainer!

subscribe here: Philippine Airlines

or follow them on facebook: PAL FB

 

2. Seeing The Sights

Book a tour – Probably the most hassle free way to check the island/s. If you want to see them all without the hassle of planning where and how to go get a tour package, it’s cheap enough that it wont burn a hole in your pockets.

Check this Article for ideas about Tour Package Rates

Ride a bike! (Like I did) – Rent a bike for a day or two and go around Basco, this is perfect for people who like taking time when they travel. This way you don’t have to drag your self along with the group if it is already time to go. You can also rent a motor bike for around 1,000 pesos for an entire day! I’m pretty sure that you’ll appreciate your stay more if you get around on your own as there are little corners along the road that are really just breath taking!

Note: You can also rent a motorbike in sabtang for about 300 pesos RT to and from barrio Chavayan. Bike rental is from 25-50 pesos per hour depending on what type of bike you rent. Motorbikes in Basco costs about 1,000 pesos

 3. Where To Stay

Contrary to what most believe, Batanes has a lot of inns and rooms to accommodate visitors. Accommodation in the island can be really cheap you just have to know how much you are willing to spend. I for example spent 500 pesos per night for a huge room with an entertainment center – that I never used hahaha, water heater a cute porch if I used the air conditioner I could have been charged with additional 50 pesos, but who needs aircon on an Ivatan winter??? You might want to check Time Travel Lodge if you want to be near the airport, if you are looking for some peace and quite this is the place to go to. On the other hand my friends rented rooms at Marfel and Marfel annex.

Time Travel Lodge

0939-632-8978/ 0916-644-7984/ 0929-166-9838

 

4. Where To Eat

I don’t know if I didn’t look enough for restaurants but I think I have experienced the good ones though. You can experience a good Ivatan feast at Pension Ivatan or feast on sea food at Shanedel’s. You can also ask your accommodation if they can cook for you as they mostly can, otherwise there are carenderias or eateries just like in your neighborhood.

 

Sample Budget For Batanes (This is actually my budget)

Note: Keep in mind that I did not book any package and just did a DIY, also I got some change of several hundred pesos from my pocket money.

budget

 

5 Things To Do In Bantayan Island

Bantayan island is a small piece of paradise north of the main island of Cebu. The island is not as popular as the beaches of Boracay or Palawan so it can be a perfect hideaway for people who like some peace and quite by them selves with friends or family.

Here are a few of the things that you can do while in Bantayan Island.

1. Walk along the fine sands of Sugar Beach.

My favorite thing about bantayan island is the white powdery sand of Sugar beach. Its fine sand really feels good as you walk on a cool afternoon. If you want to stay real near Sugar beach (even beachfront) you can find lots of good accommodations that are friendly on the pocket.

2. Bike around the island

As we step out from the ferry from Hagnayan a ton of tricycle drivers offered us transportation but one of them caught my attention when I replied that there is someone picking us up. The driver offered me if I want to rent a scooter or a motor bike for only 250.00 pesos (roughly around $6) good for 24 hours and 150.00 pesos for bikes. That’s a great bargain for me!

3. Swim at the Ogtong Cave

One of the key features that the island is proud of is the Ogtong Cave. It is inside a private resort so you’d need to pay for a day tour fee to get inside and swim, otherwise if you are a guest of the resort, of course you are free to swim anytime as you wish.

Note:  No pictures here coz we were busy doing #5

4. Island Hopping

5. Bum around the beach and watch the sun rise and set!

The resort that we stayed at was on a very strategic place hence we can see the sun set and sunrise from where we were. Just laying around soaking under the sun is the best (for me) activity that there is to do in a beautiful beach like this.

 

5 Traveler Must Have Apps

In this day and age of technological advancements traveling has never been so much easier than before. Thanks to the invention of coding (and the smart phone of course), different applications can now be downloaded to your phones of which most are free. These applications will definitely help you not just navigate from A to B, but also keep your within your budget on the road.

 

1.  Google Maps

Who would have not have these on their phone, ey? Uhm…. iPhone users i guess? Well  I am not really quite sure if iPhone users have this or not but if can download it, go ahead! Google probably has the largest database of roads mapped out on an application. So instead of carrying that big paper map why not trade it with an easy to use app like Google Maps?

 

2. Train Apps

Major cities throughout the world are densely populated if not widely spread to several square kilometers. For this reason most of these cities have their own Metro (train) system to move people around the metropolis. Luckily, there are apps available like Trainsity for most metros in major cities. But make sure to research more about this because cities like Hong Kong have their own super cool app for their MTR which tells you how, where and when to transfer and get off on a station to get to where you want to be!MTR App

3. Google Translate

You might think that this thing wont actually work offline, well maybe for some functions but it is really handy having this app in times where no one would seem to know how to speak English or your language. To make sure that you don’t run out of luck specially if you are off the grid, download the language packs so that it will still work even without internet connection, brilliant ey!?

 

4. Weather App

Seriously this is one of the most important thing that I use. I actually double check this before I leave my house going to the airport, crazy me huh!? Not really. It is important that you check and double check the weather of your final destination, you don’t want to be over dressed if there’s a heatwave going on or freeze if there was a sudden snow fall right?

 

5. Currency App

Making sure you exchange enough money to another currency is a vital thing if you want to keep up with you budget when you are on the road. That is why having a currency conversion app is really helpful in making those decision that could possibly hurt your budget if you do not think carefully. There are bunches of them out there but I personally recommend the XE Currency Converter, it is simple and fast and handy.

Any apps that we missed out there that you think should be part of this list? Let us know on the comments section below.

 

*note: any logo or trademark that appears on this blog/article belongs rightfully to their respective owners. thebackpackerguide.com does not claim any right from any of them and was used for educational/informational purposes only.

5 Ways To Make Your Luggage Unique

One of the things that I hate most about checking in luggage is the difficulty in spotting yours specially if you have those generic luggage that just blends in perfectly with the rest in carousel.

So we’ve came up with some Ideas that you can use in making your own luggage easier to spot and most specially having your luggage mistakenly taken by another passenger.

 

1. Stickers

Express your creativity and character through stickers. Put as much as you can on your luggage to make it more distinct from others. Put stickers that you buy from each destination that you go to making your luggage an instant travel scrap book.

luggagephoto from niutoday.info

2. Ribbons and Fabrics

Probably the most trick that a lot of people use, but putting a good number or combination of ribbons and even fabrics will surely make your luggage stand out from that bag pile in the airport.

Ribbon-On-Luggage-300x199

3. Spray Paint

I remember the day when the kid wonder Shaira Luna was finder her space in this world, she took  jobs as an artist in a shop in malls like Robinsons Galleria where she paints over plain canvas shoes creating works of art! So I thought why not spray paint or doodle over your luggage!? I’m sure that you’ll spot yours!

painted on bag

From Behance.net

draft_lens21425645module169101963photo_d311c076a82c7240b53f2

from  studentz.squidoo.com

4. Bag Huggers

essential6from zest-inflight.com

 5. Oversized/Big Bagtags

Bag tags are good but they are small and not that easy to see if your bag is on a pile of moving luggage if they are hard to see from afar, so what better way to maximize its effectiveness. It would be a lot more fun if you could make your own unique bag tags!

100924-ella-butterfly-tag1

from lovestamps.com

bag-tags

Which ever way you decide to mark your bag, the important thing is that you make your luggage visible and identifiable even from afar. Remember you can never go overboard in securing your property the easier to spot the better.

Do you have other Ideas in making your luggage unique? Let us know on the comments below!