Budget Airlines at a Glance

Upon looking at the top ten list of carriers operating in the Philippines, the budget airlines have been ranked higher than Philippine Airlines, the longest running (and probably the most trustworthy) airline we have in the country. With the exception of delays, most of the carriers offer good services and are quite reliable in terms of getting you from A to point B without spending nearly as much as you would with PAL.

Though Parking4Less warns many travelers of the hidden fees that some budget carriers forget to mention, however the cost of the ticket shouldn’t be an issue as long as we read the fine print. Because the last thing anyone wants is to book a cheap flight and then incur a series of extra taxations they were unaware of when booking their tickets.

With all this in mind, here are a few airlines that you should consider flying with on your next trip:

Cebu Pacific Air
Since 1996, Cebu Pacific have flown more than 100 million passengers to 28 cities in 18 countries across Asia, the Middle East, and Australia, deeming them the dominant air cargo carrier in the Philippines due to its high flight frequency across the nation more than any other airline. Their “low fare, great value” strategy helped build their extensive network and led to a joint venture with Singapore’s TigerAir (now Ceb Go) so they could provide more travel options to customers.

While CEB’s national route network is impressive, AirAsia’s regional flight system tops all the budget airlines. Their no-frills business concept that gives travelers the option to pay for additional comforts has enabled them to fly 220 million passengers to more than 88 destinations. One of their partners is the flight comparison website Expedia, enabling travellers to book hotels and car rentals along with their flight.

The second oldest airline in the Philippines is also known for having the lowest fares to destinations such as Caticlan via Clark and Manila and to Puerto Princesa via Caticlan, as it was the pioneer for commercial flights to Caticlan. In the past when travelers wanted to explore the remote areas, South East Asia Airlines was their carrier of choice as they supplied the country with years of uninterrupted services to the most secluded of areas.

Aguinid Falls in Samboan Cebu

Cebu is not a place you typically associate with grand, majestic, cascading water features. In Cebu, Kawasan Falls has set the bar so high that many beautiful waterfalls go unnoticed and under-appreciated, but there are many hidden waterfalls to be found. The positive side about being lesser known can only be a good thing for preserving their natural beauty. In this post, I will be featuring one of the hidden gem of southern Cebu - Samboan. So pack your bags and experience Aguinid Falls of Samboan, Cebu.

About 140 kilometers  south of the city of Cebu city of Samboan sits a majestic, five-tierd waterfall called the Aguinid Falls.  Since made up of five levels, this means that you have to climb the wall of the lower-level falls to fifth waterfall which I would say as the grandest and rewarding part of the adventure. The toughest part I would say would be going to the third level of the waterfalls. Imagine you have to climb at the waterfalls at almost 90 degree and added to that the waters which constantly  flowing down. So make sure you waterproof all your belongings because you have to get wet and wild. To those who does not want to climb up the fifth level, the water collects in a series of pools in each level making it a popular draw for locals and tourists alike.

How to Go to Aguinid Falls

There are buses plying the Cebu-Samboan via the Barili route. Then, just inform the conductor to drop you at barangay Tangbo which is the jump off point to Aguinig Falls. Fare should be 175 pesos for regular buses. Entrance fee is only 10 pesos. You may also leave your belongings here especially if you do not have waterproof bags.

Aside from the Aguinid Falls, there are other water falls and attractions you can visit when in Samboan. Just adjacent to Aguinid is the Binalayan Falls which is equally beautiful with Aguinid but Binalayan is a single tiered water fall. Other attractions include Dao Falls, Colase Marine Sanctuary, Ponong Lake, Mt. Bartolina, Caves, Heritage Buildings, and Samboan Museum.

Christmas Magic at the Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu

Philippines (Cebu), 16 December 2014 – This season, enjoy a modern take on a traditional holiday celebration. It’s a time when the hotel comes alive with a festive atmosphere, fun and of course the very finest in food and live entertainment.  Make Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu your home for the holidays and be assured that a warm holiday welcome awaits you.

Relax in a casual festive atmosphere while the kids enjoy their fill of activities by the garden, pool, beach or game room.  Take advantage of holiday room rates, starting from PHP6,800++ a night inclusive of breakfast buffet for two adults and two kids 11.year old and below. All in-house guests get to enjoy numerous lifestyle activities such as Yoga, Zumba and Pilates; complimentary access to the hotel’s swimming pool, fitness center and private beach as well as priority access to the premier entertainment venue, The Ibiza Beach Club.
movenpick island cebu resort

This holiday season, The Sails offers a large selection of Christmas dishes that is sure to delight the whole family.  Have your fill of the season’s special offerings, including Cebu’s famous belly lechon, roasted turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce and Turducken, a legendary three-bird roasting consisting of a chicken stuffed into a duck which is stuffed into a turkey to name a few. Don’t miss out on the decadent dessert buffet that includes a waffle station and a spectacular array of holiday themed desserts and pastries.

This Yuletide spread, including unlimited Christmas Sangria, Mulled wine and Fruit Punch is available on Christmas Eve (24 December) for dinner at PHP2,500 net per person and for Christmas Day lunch (25 December) at just PHP 2,000 net per person.

From a merry holiday mass and a surprise visit from Santa Claus during Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas day lunch, guests will find plenty to see and do in this part of town.

For inquiries or reservations, please call Cebu Sales office at +63 32 499 7777 or email hotel.cebu@moevenpick.com. Residents from Manila may contact Manila Sales office at +63 02 753 3131 or email manilasales.cebu@moevenpick.com

Best Cebu Blogs Awards 2014

Best Cebu Travel Blog
Credits: Best Cebu Blogs
December is without a doubt, the best month of the year. Christmas is fast approaching, anytime we will be receiving our 13 month pay, its my birth month and its the month where the best of the best blogs in Cebu from different niches will be named. I was utterly stunned and over the moon last 2012 when my blog won two major categories – Best Cebu Travel Blog and Best Cebu Personal Blog. The whole experience during the awarding ceremony and the trophies made me fall in love with blogging even more and made me even more determined to explore every nook of the country and share my stories with other people and to help inspire them to travel and enjoy life.

My blog once again was short-listed into the Best Cebu Travel Blog category together with other six notable travel bloggers. The idea of potentially repeating history made me more excited. I can't wait for the awards night and witness the winners. Congratulations to all the nominees!

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Climbing the Highest Peak in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao

My love for the mountains started in 2011 after I solo backpack Zambales. It was an unplanned climb, because I was there not physically torture myself, but to bum and chill at the fine sand of Anawangin Cove. The decision of climbing Mt. Pundaquit (despite the typhoon signal) gave birth to this new hobby, mountain climbing. After that climbed, I dream of climbing the three highest mountains in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. That's how ambitious I am.

Here comes February of 2012, I got an invitation for a Mt. Pulag climb via the executive Ambangeg­-Ambangeg trail. This is the preferred trail for the non­-climbers who only wanted to witness the sea of clouds which is the major highlight of this climb. I easily confirmed my participation without any second thought that I may not survive the extreme cold weather and the high altitude. Prior to this the highest mountain I climbed is just below a thousand meters above sea level. After climbing the highest roof in Luzon, I had a grandiose idea of climbing not just the three highest peak per major island group, but to explore and climb every mountain as much as possible while I still can.

I do not have any climbing group, because I do not consider myself as a mountaineer. I just love the feeling of being on top of the world both literally and figuratively. The downside of being a freelancer is that you have to wait until someone would invite you for a climb, or you have to organize your own event. I got bored waiting for an invitational climb for Mt. Kanlaon so I decided to organize a climb. Luckily, I have fibr supportive friends who responded to my invitation. Prior to the major climb, we had series of pre-climbs in Cebu to prepare ourselves physically for the treacherous trail of Mt. Kanlaon via Mapot­-Mananawin trail. I would say, this climb was the toughest and the most physically demanding climb I had so far, but that experience did not stop me in finishing my goal of setting foot in every peak of the county's highest mountain per major island group.

The last and the highest mountain that will complete this dream is Mt. Apo which stands 2,954 meters above sea level. Unlike the Kanlaon climb, I do not have any preparation for this climb because I do not have the luxury of time to do so. I almost backed out because my request to take a leave of absence was not granted.    To cut the story short, we were able to find ways and the event was push through. Finally, I was able to reach and stand at the top of the Philippines' highest peak.

Now that I have completed and reached the highest peaks in Luzon (Mt. Pulag), Visayas (Mt. Kanlaon) and Mindanao (Mt. Apo), that does not mean that I will stop climbing. Like I said, I will continue exploring every nook and every mountain in the country while I still can. My plans right now is exploring the mountains in Cordilleras (Mt. Amuyao, Batad, Mt. Ugo, Bakun Triology and Kibungan Circuit) so if you have any plans of climbing any of this, please don't forget to drop me an invitation.

Sipalay City Travel Guide, Itinerary and Budget

Sipalay, Negros, Beach
Sipalay is located about 200 kilometers both from Bacolod and Dumaguete City. Travel time is 3-4 hours. The remote town of Sipalay is surrounded by islets reminiscent that in Pangasinan, the Hundred Islands.

The main attraction here is diving because of its rich marine life. No wonder why most resorts here offer diving activities. Aside from diving, the major draw of tourist in Sipalay are the beaches. The beach has to be one of Negros best-kept secrets. Unlike other beaches, the sand is sugary white in appearance, hence got its name.

Tinagong dagat, sipalay, negros
Tinagong Dagat

What are the things that you can see and do in Sipalay? There is really nothing much to do and see in the city except for its Poblacion Beach which offers a long stretch of superfine golden sand, perfect for those early morning or twilight walks or jogs and of course sunset viewing. Aside from the Poblacion Beach, here are some attractions in Sipalay that draws most of the tourist.

There is not much information one can see on the internet about Sipalay except the fact that this is the best diving spot in Negros Occidental. The city also became known to many because of Sugar beach. Unlike Philippine famous beaches like Boracay, Calaguas, Caramoan which offers tourist a powdery white sand, in Sugar beach the sand is not powdery-fine and white. Sugar beach is located just north of Sipalay proper. To get there, you must get off the bus at barangay Montilla and get a trike going to Nauhang. Your drop off point would be the bridge where you can hire a small boat going to Sugar beach. What I like about this beach is that it gets very little visitors. A perfect place if you are looking for a quiet beach.

A few minutes from Sugar Beach is La Isla Bonita or more popularly known as Tinagong Dagat. This place is known for its foot bridges that connected the islets together.

Campoquino Bay Beach Resort aerial view

Another must-visit destination in Sipalay is the Campoquino Bay Beach Resort. This is where we spent overnight and paid 150 pesos as camping fee. We pitched our hammocks instead of tents, as shown in the picture below. This is a recommended place if planning to stay overnight in Sipalay. The staffs are genuinely accommodating. Highlight: climb to their tower and witness the aerial view of Sipalay's vast shoreline. Breathtaking view on top!

White sandy beach in Sipalay is located in Punta Ballo Beach. This is also the ideal place for snorekeling and diving because of its rich marine life. Approximately 20 minutes from the Punta Ballo Beach is Campomanes Bay where a spectacular natural harbour was built.

A breathtaking view of the islets of Sipalay can be seen from the Perth Paradise Beach Resort (topmost photo). The place is reminiscent of Hundred Islands in Pangasinan. If you want to go nearer the islets, you can try their bamboo rafts and jet-skies. There is a pool in the resort where you can take photo with the islets as your backdrop. Perfect selfie moment!

Campoquino Bay Beach Resort

How to get to Sipalay from Cebu:

Head to South Bus Terminal. Ceres buses at the south bus terminal leaves the terminal almost on an hourly basis. Take the earliest trip as much as possible because the travel time from the terminal to Liloan Port is approximately 3hours and 30minutes. Fare is 180 pesos for air-conditioned buses. At liloan port, you need to pay 62 pesos for the terminal fee and ferry ticket to Sibulan, Negros Oriental. Because of the proximity, travel time will only take less than 30 minutes.

From Sibulan port, ride a jeep or trike bound for Dumaguete City, then transfer another trike that will take you to Ceres Bus Terminal. I am not sure if there are regular trips from Sibulan Port to Ceres Terminal.  A direct trip from Dumaguete to Sipalay only serve once a day (1:00PM). Other option if cannot take the sole trip is to ride buses bound for Hinoba-an then take another bus to Sipalay. Fare for direct trip is 278 pesos. If coming from Bacolod, hop on a Ceres bus going to Hinoba-an, which will pass by Sipalay.

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