IATA Code: CEB – Mactan Cebu International Airport

International Air Transport Association (IATALocation Identifier uses a 3-letter code to identify locations of airports throughout the world.419674_10150619212324667_908690600_n (1)

CEB or known as Mactan-Cebu International Airport is one of the main gateways in the Philippines. It is stationed in the Queen City of the South. Located in the Visayas Region, Mactan-Cebu International Airport has been serving a lot of travelers going from and to other countries and parts of the Philippines.

For the international terminal, most flights were to Northeastern part of Asia such as Japan and Korea. It has airline offices for Air Busan, Jeju Air, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines. Not only that, local carriers such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and AirAsia also utilise CEB for flights to other parts of Asia. As I had my starting point in CEB, I noticed that some parts were under construction. Thus, giving a lot of negative feedback on my part as an airport terminal guest. Issues that left me complaining were:

1. There were no seats for passengers or sendoff significant others on the waiting area.

2. ACs didn’t work that well. It was indeed hot.

3. Some gates were barricaded with yellow lines signifying that they were under construction.

4. It was small for an international airport.

Even though there were negative criticisms for CEB, there were also positive points I noticed. First is it was neat and clean. Second, it was in order. Third, it may have been a small airport terminal but it was still spacious, maybe because the passengers were moving in and out. There were only less delay flights or problems on the airport grounds that made it a good thing about how MCIAA/ Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority efficient.

Well, let me give you a tour. Upon entering the gates, you can get a trolley just near the door gates. You can walk from the door gate to your right side and see stalls for coffee, money changers, and airline offices.

Food stalls, money changers, and airline offices

Food stalls, money changers, and airline offices


Airport Chapel

Airport Chapel

Then, there is a ramp going to the check-in counter area. Here, passengers were the only persons allowed. Once you get in, you will go to an X-ray inspection for you luggage.

X-ray

X-ray inspection for luggage

Once cleared, can proceed directly to the check-in counter if they are open already.

Check-in Counters

Check-in Counters

As soon as you have your boarding pass, you will see this table at the middle. This is the travel tax counter.

Travel Tax Counter

Travel Tax Counter

After finishing paying the travel tax, you can head to the terminal fee counter to pay for it.

Terminal Fee Counter

Terminal Fee Counter

When the terminal ticket has been stapled or placed in your passport, you can go inside the boarding gates passing through passport control for exit stamp.

Going to Boarding Gates

Going to Boarding Gates


Near Boarding Gates

Near Boarding Gates

There in boarding gates, you wait for announcement if your plane has arrived and ready for boarding.

Boarding gates with TV to entertain passengers waiting for their flight

Boarding gates with TV to entertain passengers waiting for their flight

While for domestic area, it has been 10 years when I last used CEB hub. I haven’t tried flying from/ to there. But as far as I could remember, my experience using CEB was good.

Easy access to both international and local gates

Easy access to both international and local gates

In general, even though CEB has hit and miss some points but it was a good airport terminal. Maybe soon when I fly back to the Philippines, CEB would be one of the best options to land with due to the proximity to my home province.

Hopping Accommodations Like A Dummy

I had a quick trip in the capital of my home country. That trip was good for 5 days and basically, I needed a place to stay. Since the purpose of visiting Metro Manila was to finish some paperwork and have it submitted to offices here and there, then I have to look for hotels, apartelle, dormtel, hostels and guesthouses within or nearest to these offices. These offices were located within Ermita, Manila, so, I have made reservations and I’ve been hopping accommodations like a dummy coz the proximity between these places were just within 1 kilometre.

First accommodation I have stayed was a one-starred apartelle. I have been staying in this apartelle for almost all my trips in Manila. I’ve been a loyal guest to them coming back every 2 to 3 years. I got a standard room located in Ermita which is 5 minutes walk from Robinson’s Place Mall. The name is Yasmin Apartelle. It has offered an affordable price per room. I got a good deal because of being a loyal guest, they gave me 10% discount. For a standard room in their new building, it will cost PhP1,600 and PhP1,200 in the old building. Great thing about Yasmin Apartelle is, it offered free wi-fi connection, toiletries, big room space and the feeling of being at home. The star of this apartelle is of course the staff. I have made acquaintances from the receptionist to the chef to the housekeeping staff. They always wear a smile and that is what I like about this place. You felt that you are welcomed and they are pleased to see you. Surely, it was a hard time to say goodbye before I moved to another accommodation. I will definitely recommend to everyone to spend their time or stay in Yasmin Apartelle. Good job!

Reception Area

Reception Area


Receiving Area

Receiving Area


Comfy Bed

Comfy Bed


The Toilet and Bath

The Toilet and Bath


AC, study table, fridge and TV

AC, study table, fridge and TV


Hot and Cold Shower

Hot and Cold Shower


Yasmin Apartelle alfresco area

Yasmin Apartelle alfresco area

Name: Yasmin Apartelle
Location: 453 Arquiza St., Ermita, Manila, Philippines
Room Rate: Standard Room in New Building starts at PhP1,600 and in Old Building at PhP1,200.
Contact Details:
Mobile – (+63) 947-897-2881
Telephone – (+632) 523-5107; 524-5134
Email – yasminapartelle@yahoo.com; delia0909@aol.com

Contact Details

Contact Details


Map

Map

Then, I transferred to a different accommodation. It was just 1 block away from Yasmin Apartelle. This another accommodation is well known to backpackers and travelers who are in a tight budget. They’ve been awarded by TripAdvisor as a good place to stay from the positive feedback from the guests. I stayed in a two-starred Hostellery. It is near to Manila’s tourist spots such as Rizal Park, Manila Ocean Park, and Intramuros. Hostellery provides modern and comfortable rooms with air conditioning and free access to Wi-fi. They also provide free toiletries and a bidet. It had a 24-hour front desk, lockers, TV lounge, laundry and most of all, free breakfast. This, too, surely I will recommend to my friends who are planning to visit Manila.

Hostellery Logo

Hostellery Logo


Receiving Area

Receiving Area

hostellery10

Front Desk

Front Desk


Guest Information Form

Guest Registration Form


Dormitory Type Room with 4 Double Decks

Dormitory Type Room with 4 Double Decks


Shower Cubicle

Hot and Cold Shower Cubicle


TV Lounge

TV Lounge


Cafeteria Area

Dining Hall


Free Breakfast with Juice or Coffee

Free Breakfast with Juice or Coffee


Recreational Area

Recreational Area


Wall Painting

Wall Painting


Computer for Public Use

Computer for Public Use

Name: Hostellery
Location: 418 Plaza Nuestra Senyora De Guia, Alhambra cor. Ferguson St, Ermita, Manila, Philippines
Room Rate: Dorm-type Room starts at PhP700/bed with free breakfast.
Contact Details:
Mobile – (+63) 927-574-3452
Telephone – (+632) 521-6545
Email – hostellery@gmail.com

Brochure with contact details

Brochure with contact details


Rooms

Rooms

Third accommodation stop was at Malate Pensionne, Inc. A little far from the previous place I stayed. This one, I made a reservation thru Booking.com and I’ve read that this property is a 3-star. It is just a 5-minute walk to Manila Bay and is near a famous coffee shop, Coffee Bean. It has been also awarded with a TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence. Naming all those positive qualities, I had raised my expectations about the place. Then one day when I was in Malate Pensionne, Inc, first, it was OK. The staff were accommodating, friendly and helpful. It wasn’t the check-in time yet and I was a little bit hungry and I told them if I can go out and be right back during the check-in time so, they offered me the luggage storage from the front desk. When I came back, everything went smooth. I was assisted with an employee to carry my luggage in my room. But upon opening the room, my smile went upside down. The room was dirty, the light was dim, the AC was not working well, the space and everything were in bad position. It was like a place that wasn’t maintained. The TV signal was always interrupted. The wi-fi connection can’t reach the room so, you need to go down to the lounge to access it. The shower, toilet…I think all were really substandard. Definitely, a place I won’t be coming back at all. Malate Pensionne, Inc made an impression to me but in the worst type. It was the worst accommodation experience I had from the years I’ve been traveling and checking in and out of hotels.

Logo Just Outside

Logo Just Outside

malate10 malate08

Stairway going to the room

Stairway going to the room


Hard, Smelly Mattress Bed

Hard, Smelly Mattress Bed


cable TV with interrupted signal

cable TV with interrupted signal


Smells like cockroach wardrobe

Smells like cockroach wardrobe


No hot and cold shower

No hot and cold shower


Sink that clogs

Sink that clogs


Need to go down to the lounge to use wi-fi

Need to go down to the lounge to use wi-fi


View outside the lounge

View outside the lounge

Name: Malate Pensionne, Inc
Location: 1771 M. Adriatico St, Malate, Manila, Philippines
Room Rate: Premium Double Room starts at PhP1,300. They also offer different type of rooms from AC to fan, from private to shared bathrooms.
Contact Details:
Telephone – (+632) 523-8304

Last accommodation I’ve stayed was in the centre of Pasay City where you all have the accessibility of going to any part in Metro Manila. I have checked-in near Pasay Rotonda just few walks going to both MRT and LRT-1 train stations. That was in Kabayan Hotel. It is a 3-star hotel near NAIA hubs. It offers free wi-fi access, free breakfast, luggage storage, and a capsule typed accommodation. The lobby was nicely designed which is just near the restaurant. The capsule typed accommodation was just at the second floor. It has 8 capsules with Venetian blind to provide privacy from fellow hotel guests. Though we shared toilet and bath but it was fine coz there were two T&Bs and they provided guests towels and pillow as well. It doesn’t have television yet access to wi-fi was for free. The room was clean and well maintained. The only issue though is the service and the facilities they have. When I checked in, it took about 30 minutes before I could go to my capsule but I was patient enough coz there were a lot of clients who checked in, too. The one toilet of our room was clogged and the main door kept on alarming even though it was properly closed. But those were just little sit-backs. If I’ll head back to Manila, for sure I’ll be staying there again.

Inside the Capsule

Inside the Capsule


Toilet and Bath with Guest Lockers

Toilet and Bath with Guest Lockers


Blinds for Privacy

Blinds for Privacy


There is also a mirror inside the capsule.

There is also a mirror inside the capsule.


8 Capsules in a Room

8 Capsules in a Room

Name: Kabayan Hotel Pasay
Location: 2878 Zamora Street cor. EDSA Rotonda, Manila, Philippines
Room Rate: Capsule typed accommodation starts at PhP750 with shared toilet and bath. Room is air-conditioned, neat and spacious.
Contact Details:
Telephone – (+632) 772-7888
Mobile – (+63) 917-891-0772
E-mail – centralreservations@legendhotels.com.ph
Website – http://www.kabayanhotel.com.ph

Those were the hotel/ accommodations I’ve slept and stayed with just to finish all the errands I have. There were maybe ups and downs for every accommodations but one thing good about it is, they always provided me a roof over my head and kept me safe throughout my stay in Metro Manila and I am grateful for that.

The Perks of Being The Lone Traveler

One fine day, I received an invitation to go to Henann Beach Resort. Henann Beach Resort is a five-starred resort located in Barangay Tawala in Panglao Island, Bohol. It had its soft opening last May and still has lots of buildings under construction. As I was informed, most of the rooms were occupied already since the resort offered 50% discount upon opening it to the public.

The trip going to the said resort takes about 45 minutes from Tagbilaran City with the roads in Panglao Island are all paved making it a smooth drive. Though getting there has an issue since there are not many cars or public vehicles that pass through the resort. So, the best way to get there is to rent a vehicle or hire a transport service either from the city or call the resort itself for pick-up. Henann Beach Resort offers car rental, airport shuttle, or shuttle service for a fee.

When I got there, I was welcomed with this signage just outside the resort premises.

Hennan Beach Resort

Henann Beach Resort

The resort has a 24-hour security service. They were really strict and followed hotel/ resort rules during my visit, the resort was fully booked but I told them that someone invited me and they let me get inside. When I entered the resort, I was in awe seeing the world class style on the resort’s lobby and reception area.20150523_051544 copy

Reception Area

Lobby

Going to the restaurant. (dinner buffet and free breakfast)

Going to the restaurant. (dinner buffet and free breakfast)

Near Front Desk

Near Front Desk

Going to Hotel Rooms

Going to Hotel Rooms

In the first building, I saw the reception area, front desk, restaurant, and hotel rooms with a big swimming pool. It has 5 floors I think but I’m not sure since I didn’t check it out.

Directions

Directions

Hotel Rooms with Balcony

Hotel Rooms with Balcony

Big Swimming Pool just at the back of our hotel room

Big Swimming Pool just at the back of our hotel room

Seats with the bar at the middle of the swimming pool

Seats with the bar at the middle of the swimming pool

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The Pool was just so tempting

The Pool was just so tempting

Early Morning View

Early Morning View

Next to the hotel rooms are the villas with its own swimming pools and just beside these villas is the clubhouse and when I got inside, I saw five big swimming pools and the view of the beach.

Another building going to other big swimming pools and to the beach

The clubhouse going to other big swimming pools and to the beach

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Just perfect

Just perfect

Pools...pools anywhere

Pools…pools everywhere

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Henann Beach Resort is just in line with Alona Kew Beach. It means that Henann Beach Resort is close to night parties but they also host activities such as fire dancing, live band and etc. The best of all, Henann Beach Resort has a fine white sand beach as well.

Fire Dancer

Fire Dancer

Fire Dancers

Fire Dancers

Fire Dancers

Fire Dancers

As a total package, Henann Beach Resort is one of the best resorts I have been to so far. It has the best of the bests in terms of view, facilities, services and mind you, it is still not fully operational. How much more once everything is put up and working. It has been labelled as the biggest resort in Panglao Island and is under the management of Boracay Regency Beach Resort and Spa. It was indeed a great night stay. I had fun and I enjoyed the perks of being the Lone Traveler.

Address: Beach Front, Alona Beach, Tawala, Panglao Island, Bohol
Contact Details:
Telephone – (6338) 502-9141 to 44
Manila Office – (632) 230-3000 to 02
Email – manila.hbl@henann.com

Check out my video in my YouTube channel, Henann Beach Resort Fire Dancers.

A Place to Ponder

I just got back from my backpacking trip. Last May, I got my Armenian visa thru their e-Visa application. I was thinking about it when suddenly I checked my e-mail and something came up unexpectedly. I still have few months left for my Armenian visa but this new opportunity that has been offered to me can’t be taken for granted. This new world that I am talking about is a promising and prominent country. I have waited for this application for years but just recently, it has moved to my doorstep. Now, I am in the middle of two amazing nations. I got confused and I can’t think of what I wanted to do, therefore, for me to snap out of it, I needed a place where I can think about my decision. Surely, the city doesn’t offer the calm environment conducive to making judgments. Hence, I went to a town up north. I never got the chance to come and stay in this town, so, I took the advantage to visit and called that town a place to ponder. That town is called Buenavista.

Buenavista is a Spanish lingo for good view. It is a town that lies in the northwestern part of the island of Bohol. To get there from Tagbilaran City, the journey will start from Dao Integrated Bus Terminal. There are two types of vehicles you can choose. Either a bus going to Talibon via Buenavista or a public van/ van for hire with the same route. Traveling through a bus will take about an hour and a half due to the bus picking up passengers along the road. While if you will utilise the public van to get there, it will only take 1 hour yet the fare varies coz public van cost much than the bus. You will need to shell out additional PhP30-40 for van for hire. The travel going there was smooth even though some parts of the road were under construction. When I got there, I went directly to Buenavista Eco-Tourism Centre which is located in Barangay Daet. There, I found my place to ponder. There was a river at the back of the building with the breeze from the river that was so comforting. There were also river folks doing their thing. While me, I just sat down on the riverbank, thinking on what I needed to do.

It was indeed helpful with these views I have in front of me.20150517_125435 20150517_125448 20150517_125457 20150517_131520 20150517_131553 20150517_131601 20150517_131610 Photo 5-17-15, 1 16 55 PM

Finally, I have made up my mind. Thanks to the solace and tranquility the town of Buenavista extended to me. I have decided not to go to Armenia anymore and instead, I’ll be going to this new opportunity that God has given me. It will be busy weeks, trying to process all the paperwork to finish my application. You will know it soon enough what country I will be heading to. Just trust me, it will be SOON. 😉

Backpacking Confessions

To travel and discover new lands are great ways to enjoy life. Having said that, it made me realise to venture myself on a backpacking adventure and state the experiences I will have during such trip as backpacking confessions.

I had my backpacking journey just recently. I went to the northern part of the Philippines specifically in Ilocos Region. I brought with me only my backpack with some clothes, camera, phone, and a little money. In hand was my passport with my flight details and I flew to the capital of the country. I never made a plan on where I will stay, I never made a reservation as well. All I have in mind was to survive and continue to travel til where my feet will take me to.

Continue reading

The Über-Famous Destinations in Ilocos Norte

If you have seen advertisements or pictures that were shot in Ilocos Norte, then you would have seen these über-famous destinations.

Coming from the south, I passed by a lot of towns in Ilocos Norte. Then something caught my attention when I was on the road, I saw a gleaming infrastructure standing tall on top of the mountain. The trike turned right and I was heading to Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Burgos. I captured images of the lighthouse and the view on top seeing cliffs and the vast sea. Having seen those, I was pumped up to get to other tourist spots.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

View on top where Cape Bojeador Lighthouse is erected

View on top of where Cape Bojeador Lighthouse is standing

Closer view of the lighthouse

Closer view of the lighthouse

View of Burgos

View of Burgos

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Cliff view

Burgos Cliff

I was still in the town of Burgos to see the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. From the main road going to Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, it took about 15-20 minutes ride. A fee for PhP15 for adult is needed to get inside. When I got there, there were store stalls selling food, souvenirs, hats, umbrellas and even horse ride. I thought that the rock formation was just close by but I was wrong. I still need to walk thru lush green little forest and a dirt pavement that led me to different amazing views such as;

Burgos Windmills

Burgos Windmills

Burgos Windmills and the  view

Burgos Windmills and the view

Burgos amazing views

Burgos amazing vista

Burgos sea view

Burgos Sea View

Burgos Sea View

Burgos Sea View

The Epic of Lam-ang

The Epic of Lam-ang

20150512_110842 20150512_110401

and finally, there it was, the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. I would have loved to go near it but man, I’m all wet from sweat. It was very uncomfortable, scorching hot, and no place to find shade. Yet with those discomforts I felt, it was still a mesmerizing scene.

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation from afar

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation from afar

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

 Next stop was in the town of Bangui where the most photographed place in Ilocos Norte can be seen, the Bangui Windmills. The travel time from Burgos to Bangui was about 30-45 minutes. When I got to this famous tourist destination, I was in awe with how ginormous these windmills are. They were close enough and they lined the beach making it more dramatic to look at. Just picture out the light blue sea, the sand, the blue skies mixed with these humungous wind turbines. It made my day. It would be great to visit these windmills early morning or late afternoon to fully enjoy it without getting sunburns.20150512_114106 20150512_114116 20150512_114145 20150512_114248

 After Bangui Windmills, I traveled my way to Pagudpud. It was exhausting traveling that far. I went to Maira-Ira Beach and the famous Blue Lagoon of Pagudpud. The traverse to get to Pagudpud took about 30-45 minutes. But the sight of the beach was a total treatment from the tiring journey. In Maira-Ira Beach or Blue Lagoon, there are a lot of resorts, inns, transient houses and even homestays. The biggest resort and the most famous is Hannah’s Beach Resort. It was wide and spacious and they even have zipline crossing the blue sea from the mountain going to the beach resort. There were a lot of people in Blue Lagoon. Every cottages, resorts and homestays were fully occupied. I was saddened hearing from the resort I planned to stay in that they were also fully booked. I only stayed in Blue Lagoon for an hour, taking pictures and enjoying summer breeze. After that, I went back to Laoag. I didn’t even get the chance to dip in the beach but it was OK. In Hannah’s, I felt like artificial sand or sand powders were placed there coz the surrounding beaches weren’t powdery sand like we used to have in Panglao and Anda, Bohol. But still, I love the view of the rocks, the sea, and the fresh air.

Pagudpud Welcomes You

Pagudpud Welcomes You

I could wake up to this view everyday

I could wake up to this scene everyday

Amazing view

Amazing view

Perfect

Picture perfect

Hannah's Beach Resort

Hannah’s Beach Resort

Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon

Traveling back to Laoag was another grueling ride for 4 hours via bus. I just slept with my sweat soaked shirt, my weary feet, and my skin and face full of dust. The lesson I learned was even though I am backpacking, I still need to make reservations for me not to encounter such issues along the way.

Anyway, I did enjoy and it was another tick on my bucket list. I can say that I have visited and conquered Ilocos Norte’s über-famous tourist destinations.