After booking a budget ticket to Jakarta via Air Asia, I thought that the next best thing to do was to book a hotel that would be easy on the pocket as well. I was going to Jakarta to attend two meetings. The venue of the first meeting was located at the client’s office in South Jakarta. I opened Google maps and typed my client’s office address. After the location pin showed up, I typed “hotels nearby”. A number of hotels showed up in an instant with their corresponding room rates per night. I was easily intrigued by the room rates of ZEN Rooms SCBD at P 553.49 per night.
Wow! What a bargain! I clicked their icon and was directed to their website. At those budget-friendly rates, they offer the following amenities:
20 Sq m Room
24-hour Front Desk
Flat Screen TV
Non Smoking Room
Their online customer service was also very helpful. I chatted with Dayne and she was accommodating with my inquiries. I did not book my stay immediately because I was a little bit wary quite frankly. How can a hotel charge so low and be able to provide the amenities that they claim? So, I gave it a thought for a week. Well, honestly, I did not really have time to think about it since I was too busy. A week before my date of departure, I finally decided to take the risk and booked my stay at ZEN Rooms SCBD anyway. I mean, what was there to lose? I am not picky. I just needed a place to sleep in.
Can you believe this? I only paid P 1,660.46 for a three-night stay in Jakarta, Indonesia!
Upon arrival at the CGK or Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, I grabbed my mobile, clicked the GRAB icon, inputted ZEN Rooms SCBD and requested for a GRAB driver. I paid IDR 128,000 or PHP 486 for GRAB and IDR 35,000 or PHP 133.00 for toll fees.
Here is ZEN Rooms SCBD on Google Maps:
Arriving at the hotel, it almost felt like I was coming home to my former apartment in Project 8, Quezon City. It was homey and I was welcomed by Echo, the receptionist aka caretaker. I received a ZEN Rooms Toiletries Bag containing a bottle of shampoo, bath gel, soap and a dental kit.
The room was tidy and smelled clean. Of course, it was not a five-star hotel accommodation but it was decent and just right for my budget. It had good air-conditioning, LCD TV with basic cable channels, personal refrigerator, safety deposit box, closet and two bottles of complimentary mineral water.
The room had a wall clock but no battery. LOL.
Unfortunately, there was no hot shower. But who needs one anyway when in tropical Jakarta? There was also no adapter available. Good thing I brought my Air Asia Travel Adapter.
So if you are a smart traveler, you might want to choose ZEN Rooms in Jakarta, Indonesia.
ZEN Rooms operates in Southeast Asia’s top destinations offering quality and affordable accommodation. They have 5,000 rooms across 50 cities in 7 countries.
With ZEN Rooms, I was able to spend less on accommodation and got extra money to go around Jakarta and spend on good food.
DISCOUNT COUPON CODE
By the way, I have a discount coupon code that you can use valid until June 27, 2018. Just click here. Avail of $20 discount* at ZEN Rooms Hotels when you travel to Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong.
Here is another smartphone that I am so excited about. Finally, the all-new Vivo V9 is here! Price is Php17,990. Pre-orders will be accepted from March 26 to April 2, 2018. Availability is on April 13.
6.3″, 1080 x 2280 IPS Capacitive Touch Screen
154.81 x 75.03 x 7.89 mm
Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 Octa-core Processor
64GB ROM (Supports microSD Card up to 256GB) Storage
Pearl Black , Gold
Funtouch OS 4.0 ( Based on Android 8.1) Operating System
Front 24 MP Camera
Rear 16 MP + 5 MP Camera with Flash
Ultra HD, PPT, Professional, Slow, Time-Lapse Photography, Camera Filter, Live, AI Bokeh, AI HDR, AI Face Beauty, Panorama, 4K Video, Palm capture, Gender detection, Retina Flash, AR Stickers
USB Power Adapter
Protective Film (applied)
Global smartphone brand Vivo has revealed its all-new sleek and stylish V9 flagship unit at the City of Dreams Manila in a summer-themed unveiling that was attended by over 200 members of the press and other guests.
Vivo welcomed its guests late Thursday afternoon at the Wave, a contemporary poolside deck, restaurant, and bar so they can experience the V9 and take selfies and photos with the sunset as their backdrop. Vivo then picked one lucky and creative photo posted on Instagram to win a V9 unit.
Vivo executives led by Brand Director Annie Lim answered some of the questions of the media during the V9 press launch.
The program continued at the City of Dreams Grand Ballroom with Myx VJ Ai dela Cruz as the host. They were formally welcomed by Vivo Brand Director Annie Lim who recapped the smartphone company’s feats in the Philippines. Since it entered the Philippine market in 2016, Vivo has been steadily rising to become the country’s top three brand with over 5,200 stores and 1.5 million users nationwide.
Vivo’s Jomari Morales followed Lim’s remarks by presenting all the goods on the V9. She highlighted the Vivo V9’s 90% screen-to-body ratio, the 24-megapixel selfie camera and 16MP+5MP dual read camera, and the AI-powered photography for a “perfect view” and a “perfect shot.”
Morales also presented the Vivo V9’s improved game mode that would enable users to take calls or open other apps without pausing the gaming applications or play without any interruptions.
After her presentation, Vivo’s Junior Brand Manager Christian Jocson revealed that anyone can enjoy a V9 for a “perfect” price of Php17,990 with pre-orders beginning on March 26 until April 2.
Lim, Morales, Jocson, and Xian Gana from Vivo then answered the media’s questions during the Q&A. Their exchanges were focused on the Vivo’s plans in the Philippines and the V9’s capabilities.
Vivo Brand Director Annie Lim acknowledged the smartphone brand’s partners, Ayala Malls and SM Supermalls, during the launch of the V9.
Vivo partners, Ayala Malls and SM Supermalls, were also recognized during the event during the ceremonial exchange of tokens. Lim handed the malls’ representatives with a Little V doll.
Fresh faces of Vivo
Vivo also welcomed its newest endorsers, up-and-coming actors Edward Barber and Ivan Dorschner.
Barber is the onscreen partner of young actress Maymay Entrata who also joined the event. Entrata was the first who joined Vivo in September 2017 during the launch of the V7+. His endorsement deal with Vivo is something MayWard fans have been patiently waiting for since the pair already worked together for the smartphone brand during their first Making Mega shoot in Germany last year.
Dorschner, meanwhile, charmed the press with his good looks and charisma. He was one of Kuya’s guests in Pinoy Big Brother in 2010. Since then, he became one of GMA Network’s top leading men after starring alongside young actress and fellow Vivo endorser Barbie Forteza in the primetime series “Meant To Be.”
Aside from the launch of the new flagship smartphone V9,Vivo also introduced its newest endorsers, Ivan Dorschner and Edward Barber.
Barber, Entrata, and Dorschner also picked three lucky winners of the Vivo V9 during the raffle. They also joined the Vivo executives for a toast for the V9. Also with them onstage were other Vivo endorsers young pop soul singer Sassa Dagdag, acoustic singer-songwriter TJ Monterde, and balladeer Jason James Dy who closed the night with their performances.
A global smartphone brand focused on introducing perfect sound quality and ultimate photography with cutting-edge technology, Vivo develops innovative and stylish products for young people. We now have over two hundred million users and are one of the preferred brands of young people around the world. As an Official Sponsor of the FIFA World Cup™, Vivo believes in the importance of encouraging young people to embrace self-expression and an energetic lifestyle.
The opinions, representations and statements made within this press release are those of the author and not of http://www.joelandrada.com as a whole. Any copyright remains with the author and any liability with regard to infringement of intellectual property rights remain with them. This blog site accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.
Kwikset has always been a part of our household for as long as I can remember. I have always thought that Kwikset was a local brand. I mean why call it Kwikset rather than Quickset, right?
It was only when I attended Kwikset’s Roadshow last March 15, 2018 at the Blue Leaf Filipinas that I learned about Kwikset being the number one selling U.S. lock brand.
I arrived an hour before the start of the roadshow. That is why most of the photos shown here would lack a lot of people in it. LOL. The event was attended by media and potential customers and dealers. I met Elaine Bersamin, Sales Director, at the reception area and told me to go around first while waiting for the event to start. She also offered to safekeep my drone for my convenience.
Dave Albert, Vice President and Managing Director of APAC Spectrum Brands Inc., welcomed everyone and gave a brief history of Kwikset. He said that Kwikset is the largest tubular lock manufacturer in the world with a production output of 250,000 door locks per day. They have manufacturing sites in China, Mexico, the United States of America and the Philippines. Kwikset’s manufacturing site in the Philippines is located in Subic, Olongapo City, Zambales employing close to 5000 Filipinos.
Kwikset, the pioneer in residential locks with a tubular design, was launched in 1946 by Adolf Schoepe and Karl Rhinehart. It was named Kwikset to highlight its speedy installation. In the Philippines, Kwikset has been commercially available since the 1980s.
Kevin Sander, International Brand Manager, discussed Kwikset’s brand premise and promise that is “Made for the world you live in.” And during Kwikset’s Roadshow, we witnessed firsthand how durable, innovative, stylish and secure Kwikset really is.
We were divided into small groups and each group was made to visit three stations in rotation where each of Kwikset’s brand promises of Durability, Innovation and Style were showcased. The groups then reconvened for the fourth brand promise of Security.
Durability for the world you live in
Sander showed us how Kwikset locks are strong, secure and reliable.
He put two door knobs, a Kwikset and a competing brand, to the test by soaking them in ammonia. After ten minutes or so, the competing brand corroded and turned black while the Kwikset door knob retained its shiny and golden appearance.
Sander also shared that every one of their products is put through rigorous third party testing and certified to meet or exceed both ANSI (American National Standards Institute)and BHMA (Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association) standards. All Kwikset products can withstand whatever life throws at them.
Innovation for the world you live in
We then moved to the next station where we learned about Kwikset’s dedication to research and development. Kwikset has innovative locks powered by technology that not only changes how their locks work but more importantly provides convenient features that can change how people live.
Kwikset Electronic Locks
Highlighted during the event was Kwikset Electronic Locks which are locks operated by an electronic touchscreen or keypad and have a back-up keyway. Electronic Locks lock and open using an access code which can be personalized. For more information about Kwikset Electronic Locks, click here.
Kwikset SmartKey Security
Another product line showcased was the Kwikset SmartKey Security. It uses a patented technology that protects against advanced break-in techniques. This technology also allows the owner to reset the lock himself in a jiffy.
Watch the short clip below about how six of America’s top locksmiths tried to pick Kwikset locks with SmartKey technology.
For more information about the Kwikset SmartKey Security, click here.
Kwikset with Microban
Kwikset also has door hard wares that have an added layer of protection against bacterial growth. This product line features the Microban technology.
For more information about the Kwikset Microban, click here.
Style for the world you live in
At the third station, we learned that Kwikset products are crafted without sacrificing security for style. Both departments of Marketing and Engineering work together to come up with tediously designed products.
Security for the world you live in
At the last station, Sander demonstrated how Kwikset deadbolts offer superior security and prevent against common forced entry attacks. Watch the video below to see how Sander used a saw and even asked volunteers to use a hammer to test Kwikset’s brand promise of security.
Sander reiterated that Kwikset products are put through rigorous third party testing and certified to meet or exceed ANSI/BHMA standards.
Kwikset is available in modern and traditional trade outlets. The Smart Key Technology will soon be launched in the next six to twelve months and shall be initially available in Wilcon Depot.
Top executives of Herco Trading Inc., the number one hardware distributor in the Philippines, also attended the affair.
According to Noel Chan, Department Manager of Herco Trading Inc., Kwikset will be more visible than ever in trade. He affirmed that after the Kwikset Roadshow, more exciting trade activities should be expected as they prepare for the surge in demand for Kwikset.
I left the roadshow with a brand new appreciation for Kwikset. I learned that a lock is not always a lock. Only Kwikset can guarantee security and style for life.
For more information, visit https://www.kwikset.com/
Yesterday, March 17, 2018, I had the most wonderful opportunity to attend and cover Air Asia’s Red Hub Convention at The Axon at Green Sun in Makati City, Philippines. Thank you Air Asia. As a BIG Member, it was a privilege and an honor to be covering this event.
AirAsia, the World’s Best Low Cost Carrier, held a digital convention for digital nomads and entrepreneurs at the The Axon at Green Sun. The convention focused on the culture of digital nomads and how AirAsia connects them across Asia.
Who or what are Digital Nomads? They can vary from self-employed freelancers or full-time employees, often of start-ups. Digital nomads are internet-savvy individuals who earn their living from a distance. They usually move from one place to another from co-working spaces to coffee shops to beaches, both in Manila and in other parts of the world.
You see, I have been self-employed after leaving the corporate environment in 2016. With the lack of a better term then, I would call myself an online nomad, working outside cubicles and the usual working hours as an online content producer/creator.
I first learned about the term digital nomad two years ago and how digital nomads, mostly foreigners, have crowded the internet cafes and coffee shops in Bali, Indonesia, sharing work spaces while waiting for the next wave to surf.
The term digital nomad or diginomad was all too foreign then. It amazes me how fast it has become popular locally in just a span of two years. Now there are more virtual offices and co-work spaces and more jobs offering flexible work schedules and work-from-home options.
AirAsia Philippines CEO Captain Dexter Comendador welcomed everyone by how AirAsia supports the growing needs of these digital nomads in the workplace.
AirAsia Philippines CEO Captain Dexter Comendador said “AirAsia aims to continuously provide better connection to our guests, not only through our massive network in Asia and beyond but also through innovative, digital, and mobile solutions so they can grow and expand their experiences and network on a regional scale. There is a lot of talent in the region which, to date, has lacked the access and opportunities that are readily available to budding entrepreneurs in the West. Through AirAsia Red Hub Convention, we aim to provide the platform and the environment to encourage, validate, and ultimately implement new exciting ideas.”
The prominent speakers who graced the event were:
Pete Chareonwongsak – Regional Chief Operations Officer, AirAsia
Norhizam Kadir – VP, Growth Ecosystems Development, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)
Johannes Jaeger –Co-founder, Hack Horizon
Shahab Shabibi – CEO & Co-founder, Machine Ventures
Steve Munroe – CEO & Co-founder, Hubud
Mikko Barranda – CEO & Co-founder, Acceler8
Aarom Sarma – CEO, Touristly
Trisha Velarmino – P.S. I’m On My Way, Travel Blogger
The Red Hub Convention Speakers focused on 3 topics:
The Future of Work- about the growth and expansion of the startup industry
Venture Adventures- focused on how the way we work is changing with the emergence of new, innovative economic models and how mobility has evolved to bring new opportunities for the workforce of tomorrow
Borderless Business- highlighted the opportunities and ease of doing business across borders, particularly for entrepreneurs in key startup economies such as Manila, Jakarta, Bali, Hong Kong, China
The Red Hub Convention came at a perfect time for Filipinos, especially with more people venturing into their own businesses. Manila is fast becoming one of Southeast Asia’s growing startup hubs.
Although the startup scene in the country may be young, it has a lot of potential for innovation and the recent convention encouraged our fellow Filipinos to step up and step out of their comfort zones.
Through AirAsia, Filipinos now have the opportunity to explore business beyond borders while continuing to thrive in entrepreneurial pursuits. With Air Asia’s low-cost and efficient flying options, digital nomads can now easily travel across different cities in Asia and look for business opportunities. The Red Hub Convention was perfect for whether you’re a digital nomad, industry expert or social entrepreneur.
The convention ended at four in the afternoon. I had a grand time connecting with other digital nomads from different segments of the online world. I believe I gained enough confidence after learning that there is indeed a bright future for me as an Online Content Creator and a Travel Blogger. I just need to be authentic, consistent and persevering in publishing relevant online content for the 3.6 billion people who are online. Got to go! Every minute counts. I need to finish stuff here in the Philippines before I board a plane to Jakarta (of course, via Air Asia) tomorrow morning. Signing out for now. Peace!
Just a heads up. This is a long post. LOL. If you do not have enough time to read, then scroll down for the two-minute-or-so video that I did for Misamis Occidental or click here.
Otherwise, read on…
Mindanao, the second biggest land mass of the Philippine archipelago of more than 7,100 islands, has always fascinated me. Personally, I think that Mindanao has not been given all these years the amount of attention it rightfully deserves. To many, Mindanao still remains a big mystery. Most of the news we got about Mindanao were about insurgency and war-torn places. But those are all in the past I believe.
It is high time that Mindanao be showcased as a tourist destination. With the current administration’s commitment to drive Mindanao’s tourism to new heights, there is no doubt that more people will begin to understand, appreciate and love this gifted land in the South.
Below is a short video that I prepared featuring the beautiful province of Misamis Occidental. Believe me when I say that this video does not give justice to what Misamis Occidental can offer. There is more to explore and discover in Misamis Occidental.
For high definition, watch this youtube post:
The first time I joined the Department of Tourism’s media-familiarization trip was in January when we visited emerging tourist destinations in Malabon, Las Pinas and Paranaque.
Last February, I joined yet again the Department of Tourism and we flew all the way to Mindanao to discover and explore emerging tourist destinations in Misamis Occidental. With me were fellow travel bloggers, Josh Tanador of www.mgalaagnijosh.com and Sonya Sison and Carmela Nery of www.seekertravels.com.
Misamis Occidental is a province in Northern Mindanao. Oroquieta is the capital city. The two other component cities are Ozamiz and Tangub. In this three-day trip, I was able to quickly visit all cities and only four out of the fourteen municipalities, Clarin, Jimenez, Plaridel and Sapang Dalaga. I must say that it was such a short visit. There were so many places to see with so little time.
By Land: Air conditioned buses to and from Dipolog, Pagadian and Cagayan De Oro
By Sea: Regular trips to and from Cebu, Manila, Dipolog, Dumaguete and Tagbiliran
Ozamis City is nestled at the entrance of Pangil Bay. Behind Ozamiz City stands the 7,956 feet Mount Malindang and Mt. Malindang Range National Park, declared as an ASEAN National Park.
On February 27, 2018, we landed in Ozamiz City Airport at six thirty in the morning via Philippine Airlines. We were welcomed by the indefatigable Marketing and Promotions Manager of the Department of Tourism Region 10 Mr. Carlston Barcenella Maglangit.
What made this trip extra special was meeting a good old friend, Bro. Arianwen Lopez. We were on board the same flight to Ozamiz. Bro. Arwee came from Manila to visit his family. He is with the De La Salle Brothers.
After retrieving our checked-in luggage, the group proceeded to the Royal Garden Hotel to check-in and freshen up.
Royal Garden Hotel is located on Burgos Street corner Zamora Street, Ozamiz City. Call +63-88-521-2888 or 2889 for booking and inquiries.
The Department of Tourism Regional Director Ms. May Salvana- Unchuan met us at the hotel. In no time, we were on our way and ready for a fun-filled day of touring Ozamiz City.
We also met the Ozamiz City Tourism Officer, Jaime Tomada. The tourist spots we visited in Ozamiz City were:
Also known as Fuerte de la Concepcion y del Triunfo, the Cotta Fort and Shrine was built by the Spaniards in 1755 to serve as a fortress to protect the region from pirates. It is one of the oldest historical structures in the province.
The Cotta Fort houses the engraved image of the Our Lady of Triumph of the Cross which is visited by devotees from all over the country specially on its feast day, July 16.
Get a glimpse of the city’s rich history at the Ozamiz City Museum situated inside the Cotta Fort.
Michael Fuentes, Tourism Staff of Ozamiz City, gave us a brief history of the city. He also showed the future plans for Cotta Shrine’s renovation.
Rodriguez Ancestral House
One of the ancestral houses located in Ozamiz City is the Rodriguez Residence, believed to have been visited by Dr. Jose Rizal, the National Hero of the Philippines, during his exile in Dapitan. We were welcomed by the house’s caretaker, Ms. Darsila Hoyohoy.
We then had a quick refreshing stop at Mon’s Grill to taste their version of Halo-Halo (Mix-mix) dubbed as the World’s Best Halo-Halo. Halo-halo is a popular Filipino dessert made of shaved ice, evaporated milk and a variety of ingredients such as sweet beans, coconut, jelly, banana, sago pearls, sweet camote sometimes best topped with a scoop of ice cream and a spoonful of leche flan.
Tangub City, formerly known us Regidor, is the Christmas Symbols Capital of the Philippines. Last February 28, the city celebrated its 50th charter anniversary. Indeed, it was the perfect time for us to visit.
Tangub City is an hour-drive from Ozamiz City. Upon arrival, we were welcomed by the Tourism Officer Ms. Baby Paller with a welcome lei and a passport to the Christmas Symbols Festival.
Before visiting the Christmas Symbols Festival, we went to the Belvedere (French for view deck) in Fertig Hills of Mt. Malindang. Situated at an altitude of 1100 meters above sea level, we got a 360-degree view of the virgin forests of Mt. Malindang and the whole Panguil Bay.
The Presidential Spokesperson, the Honorable Secretary Harry Roque, was also at the Belvedere when we visited. Roque was invited to be Tangub’s Honored Golden Anniversary Guest Speaker during the Stadium Lights Show happening that night.
Christmas Symbols Festival
After spending a chill afternoon at the Belvedere, we headed back to the city proper for a quick visit to the Christmas Symbols Festival. Annually, Tangubanons take pride in showing off their creativity through the various Christmas Symbols that light up the plaza starting in the first week of December until the last week of January the following year. Although it was already February, most of the Christmas Symbols were still lit up.
Stadium Lights Parade Festival
After dinner, we headed to the Tangub City Stadium to witness The Stadium Lights Parade Festival. This festival is a show that is participated in by schools and local and national government agencies all over Tangub City in celebration of the city’s charter anniversary celebration. When we arrived, the stadium was jam-packed. I was told that there must be about 50,000 people crowding the stadium. I also felt the excitement and high energy in the air. Of course, I came prepared. I brought my drone and got a go-signal from the organizers and the Department of Tourism to take some aerial footage.
I will update this blog as soon as I finish some quick edits on the aerial footage of some of the performances.
The Lights Festival and Parade was a total feast for the eyes. The people’s effort and passion to participate in this annual event is truly admirable. Kudos to Tangub City and Happy 50th Anniversary!
We got back to the hotel close to midnight. What a fun-filled day for Day One. Oh, haven’t I told you? This was only Day One! LOL.
Other Festivals in Tangub City:
SobreMesa Summer Fair Festival- from 2nd week of April until end of May
Dalit Festival aka mother of festivals in Mindanao- September 29
I hope to be back in Tangub City when these places of interest open:
Panguil Bay Bridge- longest bridge in the Philippines after its completion
Migcanaway River Esplanade- longest river walk (5 km) in the country after its completion
Gardens of the World- only world-class garden in the Philippines within Mt. Malindang Range National Park, declared as an ASEAN National Park, will be opened by 2019.
For accommodation and reservations, contact the Tangub City Tourism Office at +63-88-545-0141.
We started Day Two by having breakfast in Clarin. Clarin is a municipality just above Ozamiz City.
Clarin House of Suman
Ms. Novie Grace Reponte, the Tourism Officer of Clarin, brought us to Clarin House of Suman for breakfast and to know more about Clarin’s specialty, i.e., Suman.
Suman, a popular Filipino delicacy, is rice cake wrapped in banana leaves.
The Clarin House of Suman produces and sells thirteen (13) varieties:
The Clarin House of Suman is a popular stop-over for pasalubong (gift or souvenir). It is located along the highway, hard to miss with its green exterior and a giant suman as a front pillar.
The Suman Production House is located just across the street. According to Ms. Rita Cajeta, Local Government Unit (LGU) Coordinator, they produce and sell an average of 2500 pieces of suman per day.
Now that was a lot of suman for me!
For orders, you may contact +63-946-9658222 or +63-917-440-7615.
After breakfast, we were back on the road for a thirty-minute drive to the municipality of Jimenez to visit the Church of St. John the Baptist, a National Cultural Treasure.
St. John The Baptist Church
The St. John The Baptist Church was declared a Natural Cultural Treasure of the Philippines in 2001. It is located at the Brgy. Poblacion, Jimenez, Misamis Occidental.
The church was completed in the late 1880s. It has a Baroque architecture, and built mostly from coral stone.
St. John the Baptist Church in Jimenez, Misamis Occidental also has a pipe organ.
The St. John the Baptist Church has a clock and bell tower. I am glad I went up the tower to see the bells up close and personal. The bells have inscriptions in Spanish! I was standing before objects of historical significance!
We then went to the Jimenez Municipal Hall, adjacent to the church, to have snacks.
We were served Jimenez’s version of Suman Luya or Suman flavored with ginger (see photos below from Cindy LaRosa). Yummy!
The Mayor’s office and Tourism Officer Mr. Bong Abelidas, also had a surprise birthday cake for RD (Regional Director) May Salvana-Unchuan who celebrated her birthday on February 26, 2018.
The heritage Municipality of Jimenez is also one of the best preserved colonial towns in the entire Philippines. That is why the local government is pushing it to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List just like the historic city of Vigan.
We were able to visit one of the ancestral houses, the Aldren Tac-An Nacion Residence, built in 1914. The ground floor used to be the Bacarro Printing Press where the emergency money or Mickey Mouse money was printed during the Japanese Occupation.
Standing on the bank of the Jimenez River is what the town folks call the Enchanted Camel Tree. The people of Jimenez say that this tree bears different fruits depending on the season. There is a lot more going around town about this superstitious tree such as people hearing voices emanating from it. It is also believed that beautiful fair-skinned people live inside it.
Not far from the Camel Tree is the ancestral Jimenez Catholic Cemetery. This cemetery gave me the creeps when we visited. It has a stonewall partially covered with moss and other wild plants. Moreover, towering in the middle of this graveyard is a huge Balete Tree.
From Jimenez, we drove for an hour and a half to the Municipality of Plaridel to visit Bawbawon (The Hidden Island).
To get to the island, we rode a boat for about ten (10) minutes from a dock that was near the legislative building of Plaridel… I think… I can’t remember… I was sleepwalking. I fell asleep during the road trip. LOL. I just found myself in the boat. LOL.
Anyway, it was a scenic route getting to Bawbawon Beach. So I took out my camera and started clicking away. It was the first time for me to see mangrove growing on white sand! Well, I am saying on white sand because how can mangrove grow in sand? I guess it must be growing in regular soil underneath all that white sand, right? Anyway, I hope you got my point. LOL. Just the same… How cool is that? I was totally mesmerized by the island’s raw and pure beauty. I got a lot of footage so I might just post a vlog soon about Bawbawon Beach– one of my favorite places in the Philippines.
Bawbawon Beach is a protected area and is currently closed as they prepare the island for its grand opening soon. I hope I get to visit the island again when it opens.
After a sumptuous lunch in Bawbawon Beach, we headed back to the mainland to catch the sunset and have dinner in Sapang Dalaga. Thanks to Mercy Rentuza, the Tourism Officer of Plaridel for making sure we had a grand time on the island.
After thirty minutes, we arrived at the foot of the Caluya Shrine. We were welcomed by the Tourism Officer of Sapang Dalaga, Ms Melchoniza “Chin” Calago.
We rushed to catch the sunset. We climbed 198 steps more or less. Let me know when you visit how many steps it really is. LOL. When I got to the top, I was almost out of breath. Whew… me with my mini-production house on my back. But all the climbing was worth it. The view was breathtaking and the 45-foot-tall statue on a 10-foot-high pedestal with its open arms seemed to welcome me. The Caluya Shrine is a replica of Rio De Janeiro’s Christ The Redeemer. It stunningly stands on top of a hill at an elevation of 120 meters above sea level overlooking the Murcielagos Bay, Naputhas Island, Mount Malindang and Dioyo River.
Every second mattered. I prepared my drone for take-off while there was still daylight. The colors in this place was simply majestic!
We had dinner in one of the floating cottages in the middle of Murcielagos Bay. No electricity and all but we had rechargeable lamps, cellphone flashlights, great food and company.
For bookings and reservations, contact the Sapang Dalaga Municipal Tourism Office at +63-938-295-8093 or their Facebook Page here.
Php 500.00 – good for 15-20 persons
Php 1,000.00 – good for 50 persons
Php 2,000.00 – good for 75 persons
Pump boat fare (back and forth) with life vests- Php 30.00 per person
Lifeguard fee- Php 100.00
Garbage bag- Php 20.00 with a deposit fee of Php 180.00
You may bring your own trash bags. Be responsible of your food wastes and trash.
Cooking in the cottage is not allowed.
I hope to be back soon to see the 60-ft high Sapang Dalaga Falls. I also want to experience the Dioyo River Cruise.
We spent our last night in Misamis Occidental in Costa Del Sol in Oroquieta City.
We did not have time to go around Oroquieta anymore. We were set to depart early morning the next day for Iligan City, Lanao Del Norte to visit Ma. Cristina Falls and have lunch the Pagana Maranao way before catching our flight back to Manila via Laguindingan International Airport in Cagayan De Oro, Misamis Oriental. I will be publishing another article soon about our quick but memorable trip to Iligan City, Lanao Del Norte.
It’s Zooper Zummer once again and of course, we are launching the only theme park activity at night which received a nice raved from the patrons.
Stay awake, hear your heartbeat pounding, blood in your veins rushing as the rising excitement heightened in the night’s summer breeze. Zoobic Safari brings back the much awaited “Night Safari”, packed with more thrill and excitement. Discover your braver side and tour around this exotic sanctuary at night, the first of its kind in the Philippines.
Gear up your nocturnal senses and prepare for a series of roaring nights of fun in visiting Zoobic Safari’sclassic attractions, Serpentarium; a wild encounter with snakes, lizards and iguanas, Zoobic Park, a walk-through petting zoo, Tiger Safari, an enclosed safari jeep ride that will take you to the tigers’ natural habitat, Croco Loco, a crocodile lair where you will have a chance to feed them. Take a walk together with the greyhounds and follow the night trail in Greyhound Walk.. Enjoy a different and bolder show specially prepared for the night’s entertainment; expect an explosive presentation that will surely growl your mind away.
Anticipate a wilder quest as Zoobic Safari offers you its latest feral attraction, the Lion Safari on a day adventure. Witness these ferocious Kings of the Jungle up close and more intimidating.
Package 1: Entrance with 8 activities
Php 695 – Adult
Php 595 – Kids 4 ft and below, FREE – Kids 3 ft and below
Night Safari Tour (Zoobic Park, Serpentarium, Zoobic Cave, Forbidden Cave, Tiger Safari Ride, Greyhound Walk, Croco Loco) for approximately 2 hours.
Night Safari Jungle Show
Package 2: Zoolit Booklet
Php 399 / Booklet
FREE – Kids 3 ft and below
6- 50% off entrance tickets
6- Buy 1 take 1 entrance tickets
2- 50% off hotel accommodation (Azotea in Makati, Tiara Hotel in Subic, Residence Inn Tagaytay)
Book online at Zoobic Safari’s official payment portal: www.zoomanitypayment.com
All Saturdays from Mar 3, 2018 to May 26, 2018.
Over-the-counter payment at BDO
ATM / Debit card
Experience the wild nights and see the other side of time of the animal kingdom.
For inquiries contact 09778978877 or visit www.zoomanity.com.ph. TAG Media and Public Relations handles Zoomanity Group for Marketing, Branding, Public Relations, Events and Promotions.
The opinions, representations and statements made within this guest article are those of the author and not of http://www.joelandrada.com as a whole. Any copyright remains with the author and any liability with regard to infringement of intellectual property rights remain with them. This blog site accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. Featured images were provided by client.
I used to handle anti-hypertensive, anti-cholesterol and specialty products. I crossed over to Consumer Marketing to handle Cherifer, the Philippines’ number one multivitamin brand. I also had the opportunity to handle Cetaphil, the Philippines’ most recommended brand of cleansers and moisturizers by Dermatologists and Pediatricians. It was during my time when Cetaphil launched its many firsts in the local market: first TV Ad, first billboard and first online presence.
I am also a film maker. I studied film under the direction of the late Direk Marilou Diaz Abaya. I have done acting, production design, art direction and (assistant) directing for TV, film and TV Ad productions.
Aside from blogging and video productions, I still do marketing and business development consultancy for a number of multinational companies locally and regionally.
My Key Learnings As A Marketer
Based on first-hand experience and what I learned from my mentors over the years, the key success of any brand relies on three factors:
Getting the right consumer insights
Coming up with insight-based strategies
Implementing and monitoring strategy-driven tactics
My Key Learnings As A Film Maker
As a film maker, my mentor, Direk Marilou Diaz- Abaya, always stressed the importance of the “WHO” in effective storytelling. She said that the story should remain consistent to the subject’s core and his or her significant human experience.
Sounds very similar but different, huh? Well, it all boils down to knowing who the customer (marketing) or who the subject is (film making) and tailor-fitting the communication strategy or the storytelling without compromising the brand premise and promise or the truth and the signification human experience.
It is because of these key personal learnings that I got all pumped up when I heard about the First Consumer Insighting Conference happening on April 26-27, 2018 at The Events Center at the Century Mall, Makati City, Philippines.
I am attending the event and so looking forward to learn more.
Registration is still ongoing. Get your tickets here. The regular rate is Php 15,500. Group rates are also available at Php 12,000 per person, if you are registering for a group of three or more.
FIRST CONSUMER INSIGHTING CONFERENCE 2018
MANILA – On April 26-27, marketers, creative professionals, researchers, and decision-makers, will come together for the first Consumer Insighting and Storytelling Conference, happening in Makati City.
The event, presented by Synergy Market Research + Consultancy, is the only conference that focuses on the intersection of insighting and creativity – two disciplines that are imperative for businesses today. It is a rebranded and expanded version of the company’s successful “HuGOT It Right” seminar-workshop series, which was launched in 2016.
“Consumer Insighting is a powerful currency for brands today. It allows them to get into the heart of what consumers truly want and need, which are most of the times unspoken,” said Germaine Reyes, President and CEO of Synergy Market Research + Consultancy. “However, some run the risk of labeling data findings and observations as ‘insight,’ and we want brands to rediscover the power of insighting, approaching it as both science and art.”
The unique two-day program will feature talks from experts in the fields of marketing, advertising, anthropology, behavioural economics, digital, and design thinking, highlighting how consumer insights are drawn from these diverse sources. After a deep dive into insighting, attendees will learn about the psychology of storytelling and creative techniques they can employ to help them connect to their consumers more effectively. Sessions include:
An Insight About Insights
From the Outside In: How anthropology aids in deeper consumer insight mining
Why Emotions Trump Logic: Storytelling’s Impact on Consumer Purchase Behavior
The Psychology of Storytelling: Why and How Hugot Happens
On the second day, attendees will undergo an intensive design thinking workshop, where they will get the chance to solve on a consumer insighting case study from a featured local brand. This will be facilitated by Miguel Aranaz, an innovation and design strategist and a serial entrepreneur, with an MA in Image and Communications at Goldsmiths University in London, and an alumnus of Stanford School.
“We have crafted this unique program not just for marketing and research professionals, but to everyone who wants to understand their consumers better – not just from a single point-of-view, but through different facets of their psyche.” Reyes said. “Uncovering a true consumer insight is like having an ‘aha’ moment, which can guide your business in how you speak to your customers, how you create new products, and how to innovate in a competitive market.”
To register, visit www.consumerinsightingconference.com
Lazada’s flash sale of the Xiaomi Redmi 5A was a success selling out the available stocks today in less than 1 hour! The Redmi 5A was such a hit with its flash sale price of only P4,390. Featuring a Snapdragon 425 64-bit quad-core processor, 16GB of ROM expandable to 128GB, a 2GB RAM and a 13MP rear and a 5MP front camera, the Redmi 5A is one of the most feature-packed smartphones below the 5000-peso range.
With another batch of shipment already on the way, Lazada has confirmed that the next date of the flash sale will be next week on Monday, March 19, at 1PM. Both the dark grey and the gold version will be available next week. To those who were not fast enough to get the Redmi 5A today, mark your calendars and set up those alarms for next week!
Your best trip ever starts with TravelBook.ph’s Destination: PH!
TravelBook.ph, one of the country’s leading online travel agencies, will be having its first travel fair entitled “Destination: PH” from March 16 to 18, 2018, at the 4th Floor, Activity Center, Century City Mall in Makati.
As part of TravelBook.ph’s objective to promote the country’s most beautiful destinations, this event will be an avenue for customers to get amazing and exciting offers from its hotel and tour partners as well as flight loyalty program partners. Lots of prizes and freebies will also be given away.
Each event attendee will receive one (1) FREE admission ticket with numerous stubs that will entitle them to discounts on the following hotels when they book through TravelBook.ph: 40% off in Circle Inn Iloilo, Circle Inn Bacolod, Azalea Resorts and Residences Baguio, and Azalea Resorts and Residences Boracay; 30% off in The District Boracay; and PHP 1,000.00 off in all hotel partners for a minimum booking amount of PHP 4,000. In addition to these fabulous discounts at the event, over 100 hotels and tour activities from TravelBook.ph will also be on sale!
Tourism industry professionals will also be gracing and conducting talks at the three-day event. Among these are Senior Tourism Operations Officer Ms. Azucena Pallugna from the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) Office of the Undersecretary for Tourism Development; travel blogger Mr. Arjay Abellara of RJ D Explorer blog; illustrator, designer, travel blogger, and contributing writer for ABS-CBN and Travel Now magazine Ms. Sheena Gonzales; lifestyle and travel blogger Ms. Arnie Villanueva of ArnieVillanueva blog; and travel blogger Mr. Rogelio Gabiano, Jr. of the Pinoy Travel Freak blog.
Actor and model Daniel Matsunaga will also be present in the event to share stories of his travel experiences and to participate in a meet-and-greet. Plus, Japanese comedy trio HPN3 from It’s Showtime’s The Funny One will entertain the attendees with their hilarious skits.
TravelBook.ph made it even more exciting as attendees will get a chance to win prizes from the following sponsors: Azalea Hotels and Residences Boracay, Midori Hotel and Casino, Subic Bay Yacht Club, Siglo Suites by Century Properties, The Dessert Museum, Enchanted Kingdom, Zoomanity Group, Inflatable Island, World Traveller Bags and Luggage, AirAsia BIG, GetGo, and Mabuhay Miles. Everyone will also be bringing home some cool freebies!
Interested attendees can pre-register for the event by visiting TravelBook.ph’s event page for Destination: PH on Facebook and clicking the pre-registration link under the details section. Each visitor who pre-registers through this link automatically earns a raffle entry for a chance to win an overnight accommodation at Midori Clark Hotel and Casino in Pampanga or Subic Bay Yacht Club with breakfast for two!
Start your summer adventure with TravelBook.ph and have the best travel experience ever! See you there!