And so in an hour this 2Go ship will arrive in Caticlan Port. In about an hour, I will finally get to anchor myself yet again to a new place. Well… not really a new place that I am not familiar with rather a place I have fallen in love with the first time I saw it years ago. Boracay.
Way back, mid 2000s, I saved enough money and got the opportunity to visit Boracay and see what was all the rave about. I told myself then that I will one day stay there, work and live the rest of my life as an islander.
Years passed, I have become so busy to even remember and that Boracay dream remained to be just a dream… a seemingly distant reality. The regular news about its degradation and alarming pollution made it less attractive for me to even reconsider reliving the dream. Its closure on April 26, 2018 was the ultimate sign for me to kill the dream.
Then came October 2018. While backpacking in Southern Leyte, my long time friend of 10 years, Jen, asked me to join her in Boracay on October 26, 2018, exactly 6 months after its closure for rehabilitation. She said that it would be a great subject for my vlog. I could not agree more. Featuring Boracay on my blog and vlog after six months of closure would certainly be a hit. I said I needed to be there. Jen told me that I just needed to pay for my airline tickets and she will shoulder the accommodations. How could I say no to that? Who would? So, without batting an eyelash and without checking my cash flow, I booked the cheapest flight to Caticlan. You see, keeping track of my expenses became vital since I left the corporate world in 2016 when I got a redundancy package. Working as a freelance digital nomad now requires a higher level of financial acumen and emotional quotient so to speak.
After seven years, alas, I was back on the island. Boracay is back… back to how it was… back to how it should be. I fell in love again and that dream of living on the island got resuscitated. But the odds were against me and chances were slim. How can I even do it when I have financial responsibilities in the city? There were a lot of questions that needed to be answered before I could even begin to entertain the idea of Boracay.
But as they say, be careful what you wish for because you might just get it… sooner than later.
After my 12-day stay on the island, I was back in Metro Manila in November to do my usual grind. Before leaving the island, Jen and I agreed to be back in February 2019 with meaner beach bodies. Funny. So I booked the cheapest ticket I could find and remained religious to my intermittent fasting cycle.
On February 21, 2019, with meaner bodies, Jen and I met at the Clark International Airport to board a flight to Caticlan. We were supposed to meet at Trinoma to catch the P2P bus to Clark together at 5 AM. But as expected, Jen did not make it on time.
I stayed on the island for 11 days. My stay surprisingly did not push through as planned. You see, I intended to stay on the beach more often which did not happen. I think I only got to swim twice. I planned to stay up late bar hopping which did not happen. I was mostly in the hotel room either doing a teleconference or editing videos. I planned to spend more alone time but instead I was busy arranging island activities for a group of 126. I planned to visit my friends on Carabao Island but I was busy meeting new friends on the island instead. And that was when things started to happen.
For better definition, watch the video below posted on Youtube.
Hi there. I am Joel Jaws Andrada and I am a Travel Blogger and Videographer. Here is a sample of my work.
For better definition, watch the video below posted on Youtube.
I lost my drone in Batanes, Philippines. I went to Batanes to cover the wonderful and amazing tourist spots in collaboration with a local travel agency. I went to Vayang Rolling Hills and took off. My first attempt failed as I chickened out and decided to land as soon as I felt the gustiness of the wind. I told myself, “next time, Jaws… next time.” And then in ten minutes, I took off for the second time. I struggled piloting my drone…. until I could no longer control it. I wanted it to return to me but the wind just won’t let it. I could feel my drone’s yearning to come home to me… I stared at the distance counter on my mobile go higher and higher as my drone went farther and farther away. I watched my drone as it grew smaller and smaller in the horizon until we lost contact.
To some, it was just a drone. To me, it was all the video projects and travel opportunities gone with the wind. One thing I learned in Batanes is to never give up especially when I went back to Vayang Hills on my last day. The wind was a little less gusty but still feisty as ever. Batanes taught me that life will always be tough and the only way to live is to be tougher and sway with the wind. I am not giving up. This is what I am good at.
I am asking help from you so I can replace my lost drone so I can start making travel videos again and fulfill my commitments. Click here to donate. I am a bit tight on resources but I will prevail.
If you are also in need of a video editor, I can work for you. Thank you for your time and for even reading this piece.
I went to Batanes to cover the wonderful and amazing tourist spots. I went to Vayang Rolling Hills and took off. My first attempt failed as I chickened out and decided to land as soon as I felt the gustiness of the wind. I told myself, “next time, Jaws… next time.”
And then in ten minutes, I took off for the second time. I struggled piloting my drone…. until I could no longer control it. I wanted it to return to me but the wind just won’t let it. I could feel my drone’s yearning to come home to me… I stared at the distance counter on my mobile go higher and higher as my drone went farther and farther away. I watched my drone as it grew smaller and smaller in the horizon until we lost contact.
Thanks to my fellow travel blogger Cai Dominguez of Travelosyo and Kuya Wilson for staying with me and helping me look for my drone. Special thanks, too, to Mark Lawrence B Lechuga of Safetravel Philippines and Mike Barcelona Acebes of Katuvang B&B for their concern.
I will never forget Batanes. Batanes will hold a special place in my heart not only because of this unfortunate experience but because of its sheer and mystical beauty. I am going down in history as the first person to lose his drone while in flight in Batanes.
I am not giving up. I am only on my second day in Batanes. I will come up with a beautiful travel video featuring Batanes with or without a drone. Not yet signing out… sorry. Peace!
Whenever I am abroad, I would walk long distances especially when looking for good bargains. I am sure my traveling friends would agree. Most of the time, I do it to save on fare money. LOL. So, why can’t I do it here? I guess there is less pollution in other countries and they are, more often than not, pedestrian-friendly.
To rise to the challenge, I bought a face mask, an umbrella, a rain coat and a pair of walking shoes. Instead of getting stuck in traffic and having to endure the long and frustrating commute, I walk. Of course, I put on sunblock to protect my skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Click here for my post about the sun’s harmful rays and what it does to the skin.
One time, I walked from Robinson’s Galeria to Cubao. Another, after picking up a special delivery, I walked from the Quezon City Post Office to my house near Camp Crame. Then, after attending a meeting somewhere in Tomas Morato, I decided to walk home, too.
Before I sign out, here is what the Philippine Heart Association has to say about “Sitting As The New Smoking”:
The simplest guideline for all of us would have to be, “Sit less and move more,”according to close to 2,000-member Philippine Heart Association (PHA) andthehusband and wife tandem offitness gurus,Jim and Toni Saret.
Yes, there’s a direct relationship between time spent sitting and your risk of early mortality of any cause. As your total sitting time increases, so does your risk of an early death.
Sittingfor around eight hours a day at the workplace increases the risk of contracting heart disease, cancer and diabetes by 40 percent. Actually, it can cause killer legs, too.
Majority of the world population is in the working age-group. This group are always on the computer.Glued on their seats for eight hours, they lead sedentary lifestyles, while facing different kinds of stress which leads to unhealthy eating (stress eating) and lifestyle. Most of them are unable to engage in appropriate physical activities for their physical and mental well-being. And in worse cases, some do not have the means to cope with stress and maintain mental health.
Eating healthy, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding vices like alcohol and cigarettes are ways of preventing major lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancers as well as other risk factors such as raise blood pressure, raise blood sugar level andobesity. However, awareness and practices of these healthy benefits are still low among the working population
The Philippine Heart Association (PHA), a non-stock, non-profit organization of 1,780 Filipino cardiologists is committed to foster exceptional cardiovascular education and primary care for everyone. Living up to its mission, the PHA aims to do its share on the awareness on preventive and management of heart diseases. The initiative encourages employees to improve their physical and mental well-being, and effectively address sedentary lifestyles by launching a campaign called “Sneakers Friday.”
“Sneakers Friday” capitalizes on promoting physical activity. It is meant to promote workplace health and wellness where personnel are encouraged to wear sneakers, casual top and pants every Friday as a “dress down day.”
The PHA’s “Sneakers Friday” campaign builds on the perspective that individuals have the ability to adopt healthy lifestyles when supported by a conducive workplace environment that promotes “healthy eating, healthy habits and physical and mental fitness.”
In order to obtain a healthy lifestyle, it is important to incorporate wellness in all aspects of one’s life, including the workplace. Corporate wellness generates many positive outcomes for their employees as well as the company itself. Even a simple activity such as walking (or brisk walking, with100 steps per minute) has so many powerful health benefits. When done correctly and regularly, it can be the key to losing weight, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and boosting your memory as well as reducing your risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer and more. Walking could be done effortlessly without interrupting corporate work. One can also choose to take the stairs rather than ride the elevator or when one parks the car, choose the farthest end so you’d have more time to walk.
The “Sneakers Friday” initial campaign got off the ground spearheaded by medical professionals and cardiovascular experts themselves in November of 2017 with the Makati Medical Center as its launching site, followed by The Medical City where every last weekday was officially declared as “Sneakers Friday.”
Last May 22, 2018, The “Sneakers Friday” campaign was officially launched. This ultimate goal of this campaign is to encourage the corporate sector to integrate more physical activity into their hectic pace and to make them aware that the corporate sector is the paragon of good health.” campaign was officially launched. This ultimate goal of this campaign is to encourage the corporate sector to integrate more physical activity into their hectic pace and to make them aware that the corporate sector is the paragon of good health.
The benefits of incorporating a wellness program like “Sneakers Friday” in your workplace:
Aside from promoting a healthy lifestyle, it relieves employee stress, and it also promotes employee camaraderie. Setting time aside for employees to exercise can help reduce stress and overall sitting time. It also releases endorphins (happy hormones) and in the process creating happier and more energized employees. With a better mood and more energy comes more productivity!
Incorporating the Sneakers Friday campaign is great for promoting employee fitness and health. Partaking in physical fitness activities is proven to lower one’s chances of getting sick, which in return will ultimately lower health care costs for employees and the company. In addition, there’s an increase productivity as employees take fewer sick days too.
Employees get to know fellow employees outside of work. With a great group activity that allows co-workers to get to know each other better, employees will get the benefits of physical activity and the socialization that comes along with the group exercise.
With the “Sneakers Friday” campaign, coupled with healthy habits and lifestyle, the PHA looks forward to seeing happier and heart healthier Filipinos.” campaign, coupled with healthy habits and lifestyle, the PHA looks forward to seeing happier and heart healthier Filipinos.
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.
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.
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.
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
Hubsan Intelligent Co., Ltd is a major manufacturer of remote-controlled drones from Shenzhen, China. They have over 20 different kinds of quadcopters or a helicopter that is lifted and propelled by four rotors.
In the fourth quarter of 2017, a new Hubsan quadcopter in the USA and Europe was launched, the HUBSAN H122D X4 Storm.
● Durable Carbonfiber frame with powerful coreless motors
● WiFiFPV, 720PHD camera, access to App control
● FollowMe Mode for following a moving object
● Waypoints, i.e. setting the flight path and altitude
● Pointof Interest – circling around a certain point
Frame material- carbon fiber
Motor type- coreless
Battery- 7.6V 2S 710mAh LiPo
Camera- built-in 720P HD Camera
Memory card- 4GB TF card
External memory- up to 32GB, Class 4 ( not included )
Transmitter- 2.4GHz Bluetooth
App download- QR code on user manual
Compatible system- Android, iOS
Product weight- 0.1170 kg
Size- 3.7 inch X 3.7 inch
Max Flight Time- 8 minutes
Battery- 7.6V 710mAh Li-Po
Charging Time – 150 minutes
Distance- 100 meters
Built-in HD Camera 720P
FPV:Real Time Photo/Video Transmission
Watch the video below and see for yourself how fun it is to pilot this drone.
720P High Definition Camera
360 Fills & Rolls
Real Time FPV
2.4Ghz RC Control Series
5.8Ghz Video Transmission
Max Flight Time 8 Minutes
I got to fly this sturdy little drone myself. Below is the video. I was a bit hesitant to fly high since I was flying indoors and there were a lot of people around me. I can not wait to fly this outdoors.
As you may have seen in the video, I crashed the drone more than a couple of times. Because of its carbon fiber frame, it remained intact and in good flying condition. This is perfect for beginners. It can also capture stunning photos with its 720P High Definition camera.
The Goggles Version comes with the following:
1 x Hubsan H122D Racing Drone
1 x Transmitter
1 x 7.6V 710mAh Battery
1 x HV002 Goggles
1 x HS001 LCD Monitor
1 x Charger
4 x Blades Material
Carbon Fibre Motor
Coreless Quadcopter Size: 3.7 inch X 3.7 inch Battery
7.6V (2S) 710mAh Lipo
Flight Time: Around 8minutes
Charging Time: 150 minutes
Max Flight: 100± meters
Function: Flips & Rolls
Low Battery Protection
Compatible With FatShark
For more information, please visit the Facebook Page of Pinoydrones here. You can also use my coupon code: JOEL20 to avail of discounts when you purchase one.