Rewarded For Traveling

IMG_0043

If you enjoy traveling, there are ways that you can earn dollars that can go toward a future vacation. These programs give you points that can be exchanged for air travel, hotels and other aspects of your trip. When you go on a vacation, you earn a certain percentage from the total spent on the trip. Once you have enough dollars or points accumulated, you can use them on a car rental, hotel room or something else that you want to save money on when you book your next vacation.

This is a benefit for those who like to travel through the year. Most of the rewards earned don’t expire for quite some time, and you can sometimes combine other offers so that you save more money. If you have a large group traveling together, then this would be an idea so that you don’t spend a lot of money for a hotel room or air travel. One way to save more money is to book your vacation in advance of a busy season so that you get the lower price while using the savings earned from your points. If you want to travel extensively, learn how today for as little money as possible.

One Saturday in UPLB

I had a work trip and some free time so I made arrangements to meet with my college roommates. We have not seen one another in 12 years.  I stayed for one weekend in the house of one of my roommates and we agreed to meet  my other roommate who lives in Laguna.  All of us needed a break from work and school. We brought my roommate’s kids. Laguna is a perfect escape from Metro Manila.

Because my roommate spent her high school in the University of Philippines Los Baños’ Rural High School, she is familiar with the campus and toured us. We were all roommates at the University of the Philippines in Diliman (UP Diliman). I love the UP Diliman campus but I have to say UP LosBaños (UPLB) has its own charm. I should have cross registered and took some subjects there for one summer.

I’ll take you to some places we visited though my photos. This is the park near the entrance.

IMG_1255

UPLB has a Thai Pavilion.  I do not know what the structure is for but anyone can hang out here.

IMG_1256

One of my roommates and I at the Nihon Koen Steps. It looked like we’re in Japan, eh?

IMG_1265

If you get tired after waking on these steps, there are benches where you can rest.

IMG_1279

Going up the mountain, there is the Boy Scouts of the Philippines Jamboree Site.

IMG_1292

This site is near the entrance to the National Art Center of the Philippines.

IMG_1303

On our way up, we passed by this open church, where a wedding scene in one of Aga-Regine movies was shot.

IMG_1307

These are the buildings of the Philippine High School for the Arts. Artistically-inclined scholars study high school here. 

IMG_1332

The topmost area in this route is the National Arts Center.

IMG_1347

On this plateau, we can see the Alligator Lake, parts of Los Baños and Calamba. I think.

IMG_1346

All the touring made us thirsty. We dropped by the College of Agriculture.  They sell delicious fresh milk, yogurt, pork and beef products!

IMG_1369

We still have a lot of time in our hands so we visited IRRI (International Rice Research Institute).  This is the Ipil drive on the way to IRRI.

IMG_1372

We visited  IRRI  a month before Bill Gates did. (Not an important information, I just want to mention that. Hahaha)  IRRI is the premiere institution in the world that conducts research on rice.   The top rice scientists from all over the world work here.

IMG_1373

They study different varieties of rice from all over the world.

IMG_1384

They have different enclosures that mimic the climate of a particular country.

IMG_1386

At the end of the road at IRRI, we found the UP Open University Oblation.

IMG_1377

After this tour, we hung out at the open field in UPLB near the fertility tree.  The fertility tree is just a large acacia tree. It is called as such because a lot of things happen underneath the tree.  What are those things? Your guess is as good as mine.

IMG_1413 We had dinner at Dalcielo inside the campus and we called it a day.

It was a wonderful day with friends.

Vacation Home Pleasures

island

When you go on a vacation with your family, you might think that the only option for somewhere to stay is at a hotel. There are Singer Island vacation rentals and other homes that you can stay in that have most of the amenities that you would find at home. These types of rentals have more room and are ideal for large families or a group of friends who want to stay under the same roof instead of getting a few hotel rooms.

If you want to stay in a location that is quiet and away from all of the sights and sounds of the city, you can often find a vacation home much easier than you can a hotel. There is plenty of space, including separate bedrooms and a living area as well as a kitchen so that you can prepare meals together. Most vacation homes allow pets where hotels usually don’t allow pets. This makes it easier when you are faced with putting your pet in a kennel while you are out of town. While you are in the home, you will likely be in a residential area. You can see what life is like if you are thinking about moving there or if you want to go back in the future.

#WhereToNext with AIRBNB

Airbnb was a lifesaver to us last year. Last year was the first time that my friends and I had to look for a place to stay in Manila without any help from other friends.  A friend of ours, who had a place in Manila, had already migrated to Australia which left us in search of a place to crash (Just an expression. We are nice people!). We did not prepare well for that trip and we were in a budget. It was crunch time. Internet search led me to an Airbnb listing in Quezon City. It was my first time to use this service so I had my apprehensions.  I have read of good reviews from people who have tried it so I was easily convinced give it a try.

We had a wonderful host named Katz. We have not really met her but she was prompt with the replies that it felt like she was really there for us. She sent her assistant, Rose, to meet us when we arrived at her condo. We arrived early from Tuguegarao and I have requested to check-in early. She was not able to accommodate the request because another person was booked at the time. We just wanted to freshen up before we head out so she offered that we use the shower rooms at the pool area. We were also able to leave our things at the reception at the condo.

Her unit was clean and had everything we need to have a comfortable stay. It was better than booking in a hotel. It is seldom that you have your own kitchen in a hotel.  Look how chic her place is! ( And it is so affordable!)   So, we took lots of photos.

IMG_0506

Bathroom is clean.

IMG_0497

We had rainshower!

IMG_0499

This is a loft so a photoshoot in the stairs is a must.  hahaha!

IMG_0503

There are two bedrooms upstairs. Two of us stayed in this room. I did not have a photo of the other room.

Sorry for the bad angle.

Sorry for the bad angle.

The entire unit is air-conditioned.

IMG_0511

We really enjoyed our stay here.

We have a trip coming up and my friends already told me to look for a place to stay. I would have wanted to book Katz place again. However, there will be around 10 of us in this trip. Katz place can only accommodate 4 people.

So,#WhereToNext?

I am eyeing on Gella’s place. Gella just recently listed her place  so I have to ask her for some details of the accommodations because she showed an empty loft. I have already contacted her and she replied quickly. I pick her place because it can accommodate a lot of people. The location is near the malls.  My friends usually rely on me whenever we travel to Manila.  However, I will be visiting other friends in our next trip so getting a place near malls would be easier for them to navigate the area without me.  This is number one on my wishlist. I have yet to show the photos to my friends.

The place looked well-lit and airy.

With Airbnb, I cannot just stop at one listing. I have added another place to my wishlist. Antonio’s place looks nice, too.  However, it only accommodates 8 people  but I am putting this on my wishlist in case someone would not be joining us on the trip. He has good reviews from guests who have stayed in his place.  Plus, there is access to a pool!

One thing I loved about Airbnb is that it allows me to live in a place like a local- like a home away from home.

You get a discount when your book a value of $75 or more in any listing, this is my referral link to get that discount: book now! You can also list your place through the link. If you have extra rooms in your place, you can be host through Airbnb  and earn from it. That is a good business idea.

“WHETHER AN APARTMENT FOR A MONTH, A CASTLE FOR A WEEK, OR A VILLA FOR A MONTH, AIRBNB CONNECTS PEOPLE TO UNIQUE TRAVEL EXPERIENCES, AT ANY PRICE POINT, IN MORE THAN 34,000 CITIES AND 190 COUNTRIES”

#WhereToNext #Airbnb #AirbnbPH

A Weekend in Lanuza

My friend invited me to a trip to Lanuza. It was a free trip. I would be with my good friends and I have not traveled with them before so this would be a new experience. How can I say no to that offer? I sent prayers to high heavens that I do not have to work that weekend. God answered my prayers so off we went to Lanuza one November weekend.

It was the annual surfing festival in Lanuza. Lanuza is a surfing town in Surigao del Sur. Their surfing season starts in November. My friend works for a company that is a major sponsor of the festival.

IMG_3682
We arrived at noon. The awarding of prizes for the champion surfers was scheduled in the evening so we had the afternoon to spare. Lanuza is a charming surfing town. You’ll meet kids slathered in sunblock carrying surfboards in the streets.

20141108-IMG_3691

Our first stop is the white house.

20141108-IMG_3684

This is a century-old mansion.

IMG_3631

IMG_3634

A descendant of the original owners showed us around. We were treated to a rich cup of chocolate.

IMG_3658

Look at the dish dryer!
IMG_3655
We were all happy to see this plate. All of us had this plate at home when we were growing up.
IMG_3653

Our next stop is the Marine Sanctuary.

IMG_3703

We walked to a Bantay Dagat outpost.

20141108-IMG_3734

This is the view from the outpost.

20141108-IMG_3722

Our host took us to the next town in Cortez. He showed us photos of what we expect to see. We were convinced.  By the time we reached the site, we were blown away by the sight. It was an AWESOME place.  I have not seen anything like it before.

Friends, this is Laswitan in Cortez, Surigao del Sur!

20141108-20141108-IMG_3842

It looks like one but that is not a waterfalls.

It is actually a rock formation. Waves from the sea crash against those rocks.

20141108-IMG_3836

The waves overflow.

20141108-IMG_3839

When water drips down, it looked like this.

20141108-IMG_3841

You can actually swim in the lagoon. The unsafe area is cordoned off.

IMG_3823

We left at 5PM.  It is a beautiful place.

20141108-IMG_3926

It was so beautiful that my friend went back two weeks after. She told me that the waves did not crash against the rocks and the friends she brought there missed the experience we had.  I guess we were lucky to experience this phenomenon.

In the evening, we attended the award ceremonies.

20141108-IMG_3931

We went to Lanuza during the anniversary of Supertyphoon Yolanda. As part of the program, sky lanterns were released.

20141108-IMG_3942

We left Lanuza the next day but not before doing some activities in the morning. We were scheduled to do more sightseeing so we were not sure if we could try surfing. We spent some time on the beach to observe surfers.  Kids as young as this one already knew how to surf.

1957640_10154802709685253_3358319331449197628_o

We went spelunking in the morning inside the Campamento Caves. We spent almost an hour inside the cave.  There were lots of interesting formations inside. Can you see the bat?

20141109-IMG_4081

My friend took a dip at the Hubason River.

IMG_4153

We still had time to spare in the afternoon. So my friends took a short surfing lesson. Look at them!

20141109-IMG_9001a (73)

20141109-IMG_9001a (90)

I was not able to try it because I got that monthly thingamajig.  🙁 So I just posed for a photo.

Thanks to my friend, Ernelyn, for inviting me to this trip.  It was one memorable weekend.

20141109-IMG_9001a (18)