The Top 3 AirAsia Zest Destinations on my Wish List

Nothing stirs my soul as much as the thought of travel. Daydreaming of travel destinations has become my past time. I really schedule my work around my travel for the year. I book in advance because it is a reliable method for getting affordable flights. Lucky for us budget travelers, AirAsia Zest flies from Manila! We can now reach domestic destinations like Cebu, Davao, Kalibo (Boracay), Puerto Princesa, Tagbilaran, Cagayan De Oro from NAIA Terminal 4. We do not even have to go to Clark to travel to Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Shanghai, Incheon!

AirAsia Zest - Nuffnang - Contest Badge - Final v2

Here are the Top 3 AirAsia Zest destinations on my wish list:

1. CEBU

I have been to this province many times over but I always love going back there.  The province has a lot to offer.  The farthest I have gone north is Bantayan Island and I plan to go back with friends.  I love how the beaches are not crowded…

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…and I get to see beautiful sunrise.

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The great news is that Bantayan Island is just one of the many destinations in the province of Cebu to explore. I have yet to visit Malapascua, Camotes and Sumilon, to name a few.

Cebu City itself is rich in history and culture, a haven for those who love shopping and a food paradise for those who love to bring pasalubong to their loved ones. Why am I writing this? I now crave danggit, dried mangoes, masi, rosquillos and masareal.

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2. Puerto Princesa, Palawan

I was lucky to visit the place last year. We had a short tour in Puerto Princesa that I want to go back! I have not been to Honda Bay and The Underground River.  I also want to visit the towns of San Vicente and El Nido. The great thing about Puerto Princesa is that the city is clean and the people are friendly. We randomly hailed a tricycle in the street and asked to be toured around the city and we got an instant tour guide as a bonus. Apparently, the drivers are trained to act a tour guide if the need arise.

The trip to Palawan was a dream and I always find myself browsing through my photos. I really had fun.
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I do not mind going back to these places, too.
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3. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur is a beautiful city which my aunt and I visited for less that 24 hours.   This is city needs a take two from me and I promise not to get lost the second time! Ha!  Most  of my photos in Kuala Lumpur are taken behind the blue tint of the tour bus window. We were too tired to get off the bus after being lost for more than an hour. In hindsight, Kuala Lumpur is a nice city to get lost. Streets are well-paved and lined with trees.

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Travel really excites me and the AirAsia and Zest Air partnership in AirAsia Zest is just as exciting.  Just read below:

Zest Air is now flying with AirAsia, The World’s Best Low Cost Airline. The Civil Aeronautics Board (“CAB”) approved “AirAsia Zest” as the new brand name of Zest Airways, Inc. CAB also approved the new logo of Zest Airways, Inc., wherein the Zest name has been incorporated into the iconic red hot circle, which is the signature logo of AirAsia.

AirAsia Zest Chairman Mikee Romero said, “We are excited to introduce AirAsia Zest, and what it represents. With our alliance, we are well positioned to offer our guests the strength of our combined network of domestic and international routesand unrivaled daily low fares, proving a world class travel experience that every Filipino deserves. We hope this brand new look is the first of many steps towards making AirAsia Zest an airline that continues to revolutionize air travel in the Philippines. We are geared up and committed to ensuring that AirAsia Zest lives up to the same incredibly high standards of AirAsia,” Romero said.

AirAsia Zest, The Right Way to Fly!

 

      ***This is my entry to a Nuffnang Contest.

11 Reasons Why I Enjoyed Ilocos

It was the annual trip with friends.  We started traveling together during our trip to Naga for the Peñafrancia in 2011. It was followed last year with a trip to Sagada. This year, Ilocos is the destination.  New friends joined us this year and it was as memorable as before. You know you had a wonderful trip when you still keep smiling while thinking about the banters inside the van, the road mishap and a personal experience that could break a friendship should the story leak out. (It was a story not meant to be written. I trust my friends to keep my secret. Ha!)

What I love about this country is that she continues to amaze me as I travel to provinces I have never been. Even places I have stepped foot before continue to mesmerize me. I love it here!

Ilocos is in the northeastern part of the country.  We got Wowtrippers to arrange the trip for us. We booked them for the Sagada trip last year and we had a blast.  It is a worry-free trip. They took care of everything without a hitch (except for the busted tire but the driver quickly replaced it with a spare). Like their Facebook page. They have trips to different destinations scheduled for the year where you can join in. You can also have your trip arranged for your group.

Anyway, these are the reasons why I enjoyed Ilocos.

1. Nature trek.  Kabigan Falls is a short trek but it was a sweet introduction to what Ilocos has to offer.

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2. Patapat Viaduct. Wikipedia says that a viaduct is a bridge composed of small spaces for crossing a valley or gorge. In this case, instead of cutting/knocking the terrain to make way for a road, the mountain is untouched and a bridge was built above the coastline.

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3. Bantay Abot cave.  I learned that Bantay Abot means a “mountain with a hole”.  If you look at this photo, you’ll understand.

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This is a nice view in going to Bantay Abot Cave.

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4. Saud Beach. In Pagudpud, we were billeted at Polaris Resort. It is a beachside resort so after the itinerary for the day, we spent the late afternoon at the beach.

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The sunset was gorgeous.
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My friends posed with the setting sun.

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5. Bangui Windmills. A trip to the north is not complete without visiting this landmark. I remember when I was in high school, we were required to have a science project. I asked my father’s help and being a mechanical engineer that he was, he made a windmill for me. Nah. It was only a prototype and we hardly had wind to propel the blades. I had to spin it manually for the light at the end to have power. I had to change my project. My father would have been thrilled to see the windmills.
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6. Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. I dream of going to Biri Island in the Eastern Visayas. I think this is the next best thing to Biri Island.  The  white rock formation is shaped by the waves of the sea. This is nature’s own sculpture.

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We took the opportunity to pose against the white rock. So colorful. The place is beautiful and scorching. Bring umbrellas!

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This is the sight on our way back to our van. Lovely.
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7. Food trip. Let the photos do the talking.
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8. Sand Dunes. Imagine five screaming women in a 4X4. It was fun. I never thought I would enjoy what felt like a roller coaster ride without the seatbelt! The 4×4 would roll down the sand dunes perpendicularly. We allowed our voices rumble through a vast expanse of land. We were holding the rails of the vehicle because our lives depend on it. We felt we conquered our fears. It is a must-try!

Take from the camera of my friend, Jean.

Taken from the camera of my friend, Jean.

Other friends in the next vehicle caught up on us. The photo below is from Wowtrippers.

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9. Vigan’s Calle Crisologo. This famous street brought us back in time. Actually, all buildings in Vigan’s city center have the same architectural style of this famous street.

I purposely edited the colors of the photos to have a vintage feel.
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We rode the calesa on our way back to the hotel.
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10. Visiting Churches. We only visited two but it was enough.This is the Church of Saint Augustine but is most popularly known as the Paoay Church. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as an example of the influence of Baroque architecture in the Philippines.
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This is the Bantay Church.
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This is how it looks inside.
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The church has a nice method for lighting candles.
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Outside is a standalone bell tower. The guide told us that several movies and soaps were filmed here.
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11. My fun friends. We bonded because of travel and I love how each one is game. Killjoys are not allowed.

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Photos from Ayet, Jean and Mark

We are now looking forward to our next trip. We are aiming for Coron next year.

36 Random Thoughts from a 36-Year-Old

I was supposed to write this on my birthday but work and travel got in the way.  Initially, I wanted to do a life lessons list but I changed my mind because, at 36, I neither have rich life lessons to share nor wisdom to give advice. An advice that work for me may not work for another person. These are just thoughts in my head and you may agree or disagree with me.

1. Being alone and being lonely are two different things.
2. You hold power over your own happiness.
3. When you know yourself well, opinions of others do not matter.
4. Life is short. Forgive more. Love more. Smile more.
5. Being an introvert is underrated. I watched a TED talk by Susan Cain. Being an introvert, I can totally relate.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KYU2j0TM4]

6. Work hard. There is value in labor. However, it is also efficient to work smart. Learn how to remove unnecessary tasks that can only cause stress.
7. What a person shares in social media is only a fraction of what a person is all about.

8. Love is not something that comes with a deadline. The ticking biological clock does not mean I should lower my standards. I still believe in true love. If I can’t find one, I won’t settle with just anyone.

9. While we often associate love with the heart, it is okay to use  your brain.  In a recent discussion with a cousin, he believes that love is not something to be felt and but something to be understood.  This may be something he realized from his relationships.

10. Laughter may not be the best medicine but it makes me really feel better.
11. I do not envy wealth. (Well, sometimes. I am only human) Most of the time, I envy other people’s talents. I try to emulate them and develop my own style. (Singing is something I can do well alone without an audience. Promise. HA!)
12. When I like something, I do not hide it. I click that like button on Facebook. HA!
13. You do not have to win all the time. Life is short but it is not a race. Take a breath and try to take it all in and appreciate the world around.
14. Travel enriches the soul. I love the feeling of stepping in a new place for the first time and that feeling of reconnecting to a familiar place.
15. Simple things also bring great joy- a cup of coffee, a warm hug and a beautiful sunrise.
16. I am not really deeply religious but I believe there is a higher being looking after all of us. I love my Catholic faith but I respect other people’s beliefs, too. Instead of dwelling on our differences, why not celebrate what we have in common?
17. Never underestimate the power of prayer.

Source: http://beyondblessedblog.com/2013/01/01/more-less/

Source: http://beyondblessedblog.com/2013/01/01/more-less/

18. Nobody’s perfect. It is okay make mistakes. Make sure you learn from them.

19. Make time for family and friends.
20. Be thankful. You may not realize how blessed you are.
21. I need to look after my health. I am now at my heaviest weight.
22. I live within in my means. I do not need to pretend I am someone else.

23. I love compliments but I try not let it get in my head. I thank the person complimenting and move on to doing positive things.
24. One of the books that had an impact on me is ‘To Kill a Mockingbird”.   I love this line from the book: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
25. It is never too late to have new dreams.  It is never too late to learn new things.

26. It is not how much you earn. It is how much you saved.  It is not how much you have but how much of what you have you worked hard for.
27.  Words hurt but you can train yourself not to let those words hover your head.
28.  Be open to meet new friends but try to be your own best friend. You have to like who you are  but not too much that you become narcissistic.
29. Be kind.  They say that happy people are those who find joy in helping others.
30.  Be responsible for your actions.
31. While planning for the future, do not forget to appreciate the moment now.
32. Indulge in quiet moments. Silence allows you to listen to your heart.

33.  Don’t take yourself seriously.

34. Life is not fair but that is not a reason to give up.
35. The best is yet to come. Every day is an opportunity to live the best day of your life.
36. I love  dogs.  Aren’t we cute? I seldom post photos with my face on it but I can not resist. I hope I made you smile.

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Care to share some life thoughts you had recently?

Life Down Under

Australia and New Zealand are on my list of places I want to visit someday.  For some people, they dream of actually living there.  I have friends and family who have studied in Australia, are living in Australia and have just migrated to New Zealand.  Both countries are ideal places to live because there are more opportunities for work. Plus, these countries embrace different cultures and have low population density. People also speak English .  These places are relatively closer to home so it is easier to go home when you miss family and friends.

If you have been thinking about a new life in Australia and New Zealand,  check out this event on October 26, 2013 at Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati. Registration is free. Make sure to register at www.fortrustph.eventbrite.com to secure a seat at the event.  Like their Facebook page to get updates: https://www.facebook.com/FortrustPHIf you know somebody who is interested in this event, click the share button below.

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Disclosure: I am not connected with Fortrust Philippines. I am writing this for a friend’s friend. Registration to the event is free and it will be in a nice hotel. If you have nothing to do on October 26 and are interested in this opportunity, sign up on the link provided. I hope this gives you opportunities for a brighter future. I encourage you exercise good judgment in making life decisions. Ask a lot of questions. Weigh the risks and evaluate pros and cons. God bless!

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