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Vigan Itinerary and Travel guide Coron Itinerary and Travel guide Baguio Itinerary and Travel guide Tagaytay Itinerary and Travel Guide Iligan City Itinerary and Travel Guide Bacolod Itinerary and Travel Guide Antique Itinerary and Travel Guide Tarlac Itinerary and Travel Guide Corregidor Itinerary and Travel Guide

Patar Rock Formation Bolinao

A chasm dropped beneath the shallow seabed, its opening, an angry mouth overgrown with golden seaweeds. It was frothing. Alive. The fuming sea filled it one moment, the rift, swallowing it the next; a furious repetition that hypnotizes. I stood at its edge, watching it dance, when a particularly massive wave slammed the dinosaur-like coral rock just behind it. It broke my reverie, remembering I was towing a camera with me.

Treasures of Bolinao Resort Lobby
TREASURES OF BOLINAO LOBBY

Treasures of Bolinao Resort
AN OVERVIEW OF THE RESORT FROM THE MAIN HOUSE ROOF TOP

It was almost three years since our last visit to Bolinao, a place where lasting friendships has been kindled. We were definitely excited when an invite to revisit it presented itself. We boarded a bus from Cubao one afternoon and arrived at Bolinao’s Poblacion close to midnight.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Wednesday, March 1, 2017

While most of us are enjoying our everyday lives, millions of people in the world are suffering from hunger. Did you know you could help fight this through something that is already part of your routine? If you’re one of those fortunate people who can help in the easiest way possible, would you?

Everyday, we unlock our phone approximately more than a dozen times. A new app (I know, have been checking out travel apps, left and right, like my Traveloka Review) has made this habit productive and helpful. Launched in February 2017, Unlock Food is a movement that has a mission to help fight world hunger. When installed, the app places a banner on your lock screen which generates advertising revenue when you unlock your phone. With just a simple act and for free, you can already donate to charity and help feed hungry people.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Monday, February 27, 2017
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After booking a flight using the Traveloka app, my next step in fulfilling my Davao comeback was to book a hotel. And I really didn’t have to go far to check for one, the same app also has deals for accommodations, and like its flights, it has discounts too!

Traveloka Booking Casa Leticia Boutique Hotel Davao
CHECKING IN AT DAVAO’S CASA LETICIA BOUTIQUE HOTEL

Before checking for hotels, I checked the ongoing promo at Traveloka. At the time, they have a Valentine’s Day deal for hotels using the voucher code LUVPIO; 35% off the original price with discounts up to PHP700.00. Not bad, not bad. So, on to the hotels section of the app.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Saturday, February 25, 2017
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Taipei Three Day Itinerary & Budget

Taipei City is a bustling metropolis often ignored by travelers and backpackers. The city, Taiwan’s capital, is located on the northern part of the country and boasts of developed infrastructures, organized train and transportation system, unique street foods, and interesting tourist attractions that can appeal to a wide variety of travelers. Within the city, one can explore old districts with distinct Chinese influences, check out temples, wharfs and even a hiking trail that would reward you with a panoramic view of Taipei. Do a quick out of the city excursion and the sceneries gets even more interesting—strange geoparks, old Japanese mining towns, waterfalls, a sparkling lake town—all within easy reach from the city.

Taipei Three Day Itinerary Tour Budget
JIUFEN’S OLD STREET, AN HOUR AWAY FROM TAIPEI

During our three day tour of Taipei, I made an extensive itinerary that covered important places of interest in Taipei, plus a whole day tour outside the city. We did walking tours along an old district of the city, visited temples and memorial halls, did a short hiking activity, shopped and feasted on street foods.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Thursday, February 23, 2017

Shifen Old Street

Dusk was settling as we walked through a quiet neighborhood in Shifen. A red giant lantern, scrawled haphazardly with unintelligible words and doodles, suddenly bobbed above the roofline, swayed slightly with the wind, before finally flying off into the twilight. A few steps later, the narrow road opened into a rail track. Vibrant shops filled both its sides, with crowds of tourists milling around the sidewalk and the single train track running in the middle. Most of them were holding a similar sky lantern, lit, poised, and ready to take their wishes into the darkening sky.

Shifen Old Street Train Station
THE SHIFEN TRAIN STATION IS NOT CONNECTED TO THE MRT

Shifen has been elusive to us. Located at the Pingxi District in New Taipei, it’s about an hour away by bus from Taipei’s MRT Brown Line. Near as it was, it still took us several hours to finally reach this place. Shifen is a popular daytrip destination for Taipei tourists and is usually paired with tours at Pingxi, Yehliu Geopark and Jiufen.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Taipei Westgate Hotel Lobby

A slew of massively fat gentlemen dressed in crisp suits flew overhead. On a darkened niche, white dragons, wings poised for flight, sat waiting while a white bear garbed in aqua blue shorts and suspenders sat unmoving on one corner. We went pass this surreal scene, dragging our suitcases and backpacks behind us. No, we’re not loss on a mossy fog-laden forest conjured by the Grimms Brother but at the snazzy lobby of the Taipei Westgate Hotel.

Taipei Westgate Hotel Ximending
WELCOME SNACK AT THE TAIPEI WESTGATE HOTEL

Perfectly located along the Taipei’s hip district, the Ximending Pedestrian Street, and literally just a hop away from the city’s MRT Green Line, Taipei Westgate Hotel became our home for our second night in the city.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Sunday, February 19, 2017

Jiufen Old Street Taiwan

Like it has always been, it was again drizzling in Jiufen. We waited for it to abate to a fine mist before rushing across the highway and starting the ascent across the glistening stone steps towards its heart. And its heart was beating fast; pumped with people going up and down its arteries, holding colorful umbrellas competing with the red Chinese lanterns lightly bobbing over teahouses, aromas of cooking mingling with the scent of new rain, and mists, magical mist, hovering above everything else, swirling slowly like a daydream.

Jiufen Old Street Taiwan
THE STAIRS LEADING TO JIUFEN OLD STREET

But getting to Jiufen wasn’t really the stuff of dreams. We started off late from the Yehliu Geopark on the second day of our tour, day one being set for our Taipei day tour. The original plan was to take a bus from Yehliu to Keelung City, perhaps visit the Elelphant Rock if we still have time, before proceeding on another bus bound for Jiufen. With daylight slowly getting shorter, we decided to take a cab, haggling hard to bring it down to TWD1,200.00 for the five of us. It was twice more expensive than taking the bus, but was also twice as fast (we checked using our Flytpack). And with our limited time in Taiwan, we’d definitely take time over money.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Friday, February 17, 2017

Yehliu Geopark Queen's Head

There were ten times as many people as there were the mushroom-like stones rising out of the geopark. We should’ve expected this, visiting one of Taiwan’s famous tourist spots on a weekend. My friend tried posing in front of the rock formations, waiting for tourists to clear the view, but to no avail. After some minutes of waiting, the view almost cleared, then another group suddenly appeared into the frame. Shoot it! I’ll just clone everyone off in Snapseed, my friend exclaimed in frustration.

Yehliu Geopark Wanli District
SHORT WALK FROM THE BUS STATION TO YEHLIU GEOPARK

Yehliu Geopark is located at the Wanli District of New Taipei. Getting to Yehliu from Taipei is easy enough. Since we were lodged at the Grand Hyatt Taipei, we just took a train to the Taipei Main Station (using the 3-day train pass we used for our Taipei day trip), and from there, took a Yehliu-bound bus for TWD96.00 (PHP148.84). It took about an hour and half to reach the Yehliu Bus Stop. From there we just walked for about ten minutes to the gate of the geopark (good thing we have our Flytpack with us, else we would have taken a cab), passing by a sleepy town fronted by a less than busy wharf.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Wednesday, February 15, 2017