Freshest Footprints

P499 ONLY: Escape boredom with RedDoorz


I know the heavy traffic along EDSA and the unpleasant weather (oh that habagat sh*t) have been both tiring, exhausting the very core of our innocence. 

But let's face it, what's left for us is to enjoy every inch of the bumper-to-bumber experience and the cold rain. Do we have any choice anyway?

If you are living in Baguio or somewhere in the Cordilleras, it has been an un-fateful week after continuous rainfall. I was there last weekend and I had to return back to Metro Manila in less than 12 hours because the weather was making me less productive. 

Well, there is some new that will cheer us up if you want to skip the ghosting of this ghost month (for non-Chinese pips, this month is considered the All Saints season that should be observed quiet and boring), RedDoorz has something for us!


It’s that season between vacay-happy Summer and the coming ‘Ber months. Traffic, too much work, piled up tasks and pressure can likely get you down.

There’s one word that will lift you up. Escape. The very thought of it is the ultimate adventure, whether just around the city or in destinations around the Philippines.


According to the still ongoing Framingham Heart Study, men and women who travel often are less likely to get heart disease. It also found that because travel relieves stress, it improves mental health, boosts the immune system and promotes fitness.

The good news is, it’s so easy to travel these days. Affordable hotels with quality accommodations like RedDoorz have 150+ properties in 10+ cities all over the Philippines. The RedDoorz travel app, downloadable from the Apple store or Google Play Store, puts staycations or out of town trips literally at one’s fingertips.


You can escape anytime you want and find an affordable RedDoorz hotel from north to south. Here are 6 Escape ideas you can easily pull off when the spirit moves you:

1. Do a Staycation. Treat the family to a fun weekend. Or just disappear for a day or two watching streamed movies all day. You can choose from boutique hotels, inns, apartels or condotels that are part of the RedDoorz partner chain. It won’t cost much, but the experience is priceless.

2. Go Out of Town. You can easily book a room using the RedDoorz app and find your desired accommodation in Baguio, Pampanga, Metro Manila, Tagaytay, Palawan, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod or  Davao. Just leave the world behind even for just a weekend. Even for just a day.

3. Try a Couple Getaway. The pressure of work and the day to day grind of housekeeping can really be straining. Grab some time off with your special someone for some peace and quiet and rediscover the joy of each other’s company.

4. Reward yourself. Pat yourself on the back for that promotion or the exam that you just passed. Celebrate your accomplishments and be kind to No. 1. Effortless travel is the best gift you can give yourself. A weekend in Palawan or Davao would be a really good choice!

5. Celebrate a Special Occasion. Blow your birthday candles in the private cocoon of a RedDoorz hotel room. Toast one another on your special anniversary. You can even invent holidays and celebrate the victory of your winning team. It all feels extra good when you don’t have to wash the dishes yourself.

6. Get some Me Time. Ultimately, the most important person is you. Discover the fun and adventure of solo travel and feel relaxed, recharged and rejuvenated.

This August, RedDoorz released its biggest sale ever! Just P499 per night on rooms anywhere in the Philippines till August 31. You can paint the town red. In any RedDoorz town you want.
                                                                                

10 Hacks When Commuting to Baguio City


For eight straight weekends, I have found myself commuting to Baguio. 

This made me decide to move to Cubao where the terminals for buses going north are located from my rented condo unit in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig. It was a big decision. 

So now from Amaia Cubao along P. Tuazon Avenue, it takes a 15- minute walk to reach Victory Liner and Genesis terminals. Every Friday night, that is what I do.

Here are some hacks I want to share with you.




1. Long queue at Victory Liner? Use your Premiere Card.

Buy a Premiere Card at a kiosk for P300, and you can join the VIP lane along with PWD persons. For future trips, you can also use it as a debit card to make your online reservations. 

Even in Baguio whenever I climb the stairs to the booking area and find a long line of passengers, I just show my card to the security guard and I am escorted to the VIP lane where I am next in line. 

Some people may think that P300 is a big amount of money to waste, but time and convenience is worth more than that amount. In fact while I am waiting for my new card to be delivered by Metrobank to our office in Galleria, I purchased my second card for emergency. 



2. Long queue of chance passengers at Victory Liner? Go to Genesis instead!

While I go to Baguio regularly, I do not have a plan on what trip to take. Thus, I always end up buying a regular ticket at Victory Liner then give a shot at the chance passenger lane. 

For many years that has been my routine. But hey, there is a Genesis bus a few meters away whether in Cubao or Pasay. 

At Genesis, they aboard passengers on a first come- first served basis. They do not have a reservation system, which is perfect for me who goes to the station at any given moment.

Genesis has been my favorite in my past trips, but I have to warn you about how their conductors lie to you: do not believe when they say it is the last bus to Baguio-- they have hourly trips to Baguio.

Here's a photo from my previous trip where only about five of us were riding the bus on a stormy Saturday evening.



3. Rushing? Take the Joy Bus (Genesis) or Deluxe Bus (Victory) or ask about their regular trips that take  the TPLEX route. 

Joy Bus and Deluxe buses are equipped with a restroom, so stopovers are no longer needed. 

Of course, these trips are a bit more pricey. 

Another option: ask about their regular buses that pass through TPLEX. This is a rarity since most buses still use the regular route on SCTEX wherein they pass through more areas for passenger drop offs. 

Both options will transport you from Metro Manila to Baguio for four hours or less, instead of the regular six hours. 

Photo courtesy of How She Wanders



4. Use long pants, thick sweaters, and a hoodie. Geez!

Praaaaamis, it is colder inside the bus than in Baguio. And you cannot tell the conductor to adjust the aircon temp.

Well, if you find yourself in a situation where you are really, really cold, try rubbing yourself to your seatmate for some heat sharing. 

So please believe me when I say it's winter inside the bus. The good thing is you cou can be as fashionable as this:


 But here's my version without the hoodie! K-Pop, anyone?


5. Bring barya.

Not all restrooms in stopovers are free to use. I am referring to the stopovers of Genesis. With Victory, all of their stopovers have restrooms that are free to use.

Thus when you go out to pee, always bring with you at least five pesos. Add etneb if you want to buy some chichiria.

Me? I'm ready!



6. Never believe those barkers near the terminal when they say there are no longer trips to Baguio.  Just go straight ahead to the booking office or the driver of the bus.

7. Don't worry about public transport in Baguio. Take a taxi!

Baguio taxis are the most honest and the most responsible. Go to the news to prove my claim duhhh. 

Although taxi rate in the Baguio- La Trinidad area has drastically increased, you can rely on them. You can tell them to bring you to a specific address and you’ll reach that address without any worries. 



8. Heading to Baguio for your Sagada trip?

Buses bound for Sagada are located in Dangwa and Slaughter House terminals. Look for GL or Lizardo buses that will take you to this view.

Okay if you have questions about the trips, I'll try to answer them with my two beautiful sissies- Manang Marlene and Ading Khujie!


9. No more cash? There are ATM machines inside Victory Liner Cubao.

10. The cord!

Always make sure that your cord is easy to find in your bag. There are buses with ports, so you can charge your phone while on the road. 

Extra Hack: 

11. If you are Grabbing your way to Genesis Cubao, you should pin Dominion Bus Terminal located along EDSA cor. New York Avenue instead. The more famous Genesis Cubao terminal, which is far across the road, is not for buses bound for Baguio.  

DID I MISS A HACK? Throw us a comment.  

Limited Time Only: Yummylicious Yakitori at Century Park Hotel


Manila, Philippines – Century Park Hotel (CPH), one of the finest hotels in Manila, is proud to announce its latest offer, Yummylicious Yakitori!


At P895 net, the sumptuous set meal for two is available this July at the hotel’s Japanese outlet, Century Tsukiji.

Enjoy seven skewers loaded with kani bacon, chicken tail, shrimp, salmon belly, chicken wings, ox tongue and squid together with two bowls of Japanese rice, two bowls of miso soup and two servings of vegetable salad.

Yummylicious Yakitori is available for a limited time only. 

Century Tsukiji offers traditional and unique Japanese specialties. The food outlet is open daily from 11:00AM to 2:00PM and 6:00PM to 10:00PM.

“We hope you enjoy our latest food offer that is sure to satisfy your craving for Japanese fare,” said Anthony Tan, CPH’s General Manager.

To know more, visit www.centurypark.com or contact information@centurypark.com.ph and telephone numbers: (632) 528-8888 and (63917) 528-5888. 

New in Batangas: A Black Sand Paradise with Inflatable Island


Sorry, white sand is now overrated.


At The Seashore Beach Club in San Juan, Batangas, a stretch of black sand seems to tell a different flavor of a tropical paradise.

In the horizon is the mythical Mt. Banahaw that long time ago was an active volcano. This creature's ashes are to be blamed for the black color of the beach, but should also be thanked for the raw ingredient in skin purifying and detoxifying.

When I walked on the black sand beach, I went barefoot to feel the volcanic element. In other other parts of Batangas, the sand is white.

The young Seashore Beach Club is yet to maximize the black sand. But I am sure spa houses will be reigning in the area someday.

To reach the beach club, one needs to endure a three-hour drive from Metro Manila. Commuting is a big no-no as ALPS buses do not pass by the club so another ride is needed to get to this new destination.

Upon reaching the beach club's location in Brgy. Calublub, a small road welcomes visitors with high coconut trees dancing to the tune of birds chirping from everywhere. As everyone knows, long rides lead to worthy, beautiful places.

The landscape is totally rural- no houses or developments can be seen in the distance- making the spot very tranquil, perfect for soul searchers.

On the 16th of June this year, the beach club is opening a 104-bed hotel to provide accommodation. The master-plan for the development also includes four pools, clubhouses, a restaurant, receiving area, and a huge inflatable island.

The inflatable island, named Aquaplay, can be enjoyed at P888 per person for day-tour visitors. The package includes a two- hour stay and lunch.

The Tayabas Sea where the inflatable island is stationed at is home to harmless jellyfish. Thus, kids need not panic when they see these creatures swimming with them in the open seas.

According to the beach club president, Mr. Arnell Mindanao, they are also developing other resorts in Romblon, Pagudpud, Sorsogon, Coron and El Nido.

On its third year of operation, Seashore expects Aquaplay to add more reasons for families in Metro Manila and nearby provinces to visit San Juan, Batangas and discover a new taste of tropical paradise on the shore covered with volcanic ashes.












FRIENDLY NOTES WHEN CAPTURING FOOTPRINTS

1. The front of the beach club was covered with white soil. Black sand is naked at remaining stretch of the beach. After a few kilometers, the sand becomes white.

2. The ALPS bus ride going to San Juan from its terminal in Buendia costs P240 (one way). The beach club has no shuttle for visitors (for now). Thus, I recommend Seashore for those with private cars.

3. There are investment packages offered at Seashore. But as usual, every investor invests at his own risk.

4. It's a 2 out of 5 stars for me for now. But I think it is a promising development. I just hope the owner has the good people who will help in delivering the master plan.

5. How black is black? All of these photos I took at a rainy summer day are raw and unfiltered. I do not want to give you any false hope or any inaccurate projection of the place.

6. Mr. Mindanao was a lead broker at Avida.


7. The 3rd Club, the resort beside Seashore, is also owned by the same company. They have nipa huts that are perfect for weekend getaways. Again, these photos are UNFILTERED to give you the most factual review of the resort.







Read more about Seashore HERE.

Beyond Relaxation: Five Benefits of a Staycation


Time for some modern concept of relaxation- staycation, a combination of the word “stay” and “vacation” is not a new concept. It is simply when one chooses to stay at their home country or check-in at a hotel, instead of going abroad for vacation.



A staycation or holistay, as defined by Wikipedia, is also a period in which an individual participates in leisure activities within driving distance of his or her own home. Lately, the trend has been increasing as more numbers of people now find more peace by spending time at home and have some needed rest and relaxation. More than that, staycations also offer a lot of quiet and humble benefits.

1. Staycations save time

Living in the Philippines means having to battle at least 3 hours of travel going from home to work and vice versa. Just imagine how much worse the traffic can get when it is a drive going to the airport! More than that, long airline terminal queues also eat up a significant part of a traveler’s day. Add all the hassle of traffic, terminal queues, departure procedures, etc. One day could easily be wasted on preparation.

2. Staycations are good for the environment

Checking in at a hotel also means contributing less to your carbon footprint! You would not have to use airplanes which require a massive amount of carbon emissions. Staying in a hotel is less harmful to the environment and really just pampers you to the core.

3. Staycations give time for meditation

Our fast-paced lifestyle limits our time to meditate and value the importance of rest. Taking a break during a staycation allows you to spend your energy on your body and use it as a time for spiritual, emotional, and physical rest and healing.

4. Staycations can inspire

Having some down time also gives you a chance to explore more ideas. Quiet times away from chaos can generate fresh ideas and inspirations that can later be turned to productive projects.

5. Staycations save money

Staycations also save a huge amount of money. You need not worry about spending so much on food, budgeting travel expenses, and expensive air fares. All staycations really ask of you is to stay put and rest at your own terms.

Already convinced to hold your well-deserved, yet affordable R & R? Century Park Hotel (CPH) is here to make it happen! Located at the heart of Manila, CPH boasts facilities and rooms that are perfect for you to simply unwind and enjoy your time with your family. Currently, CPH has Summer Solstice Special Room Rate promo which starts at Php 3,500 (net) per room per night. Now reap the benefits of that staycation the quick, affordable, and easy way at your home away from home, Century Park Hotel!