Travel essentials, tips, itinerary and budgets when planning a trip to Hong Kong

They say you cannot visit all the hot spots in Hong Kong in one visit, the key here is to prioritize the destination that motivates you from food hunting, shopping and strolling. It involves a lot of WALKING! So brace yourself and wear comfortable clothing and shoes.  What’s nice about there – people are fast-paced, the escalators are fast and the transportation from city bus to MTR are super fast and efficient. The food hubs at night are excitingly busy,  the shopping districts are open until midnight. Arm yourself with the moolah and you’re ready to hit the HK culture!

Travel Guide: Things to do in Hong KongVisit Macau
– Lago de Senado (Senate Square) Continue reading

Travel Guide: Golden Crown Guest House Accommodations, Hong Kong Itinerary and Expenses

Updated travel guide as of 2017, places mostly covered are Tsim Sha Tsui, Mongkok, Jordan, Victoria Harbour, Sha Tin and Lantau Island. This trip is planned ahead of time from airline to accommodation. It’s best to contact the hotel/guest house directly thru the website. Inquiries and reservation can be done online. Golden Crown Guest House (GCGH) requires a deposit of HK$1000 ($130) via PayPal or credit card, the rest of the balance can be paid upon arrival. The reception also exchange $ to HK$ with rate not lower than 7.7 , they also have discounted tickets to Disneyland, Ocean Park, The Peak Tram, Macau Ferry and the rest of the tourist spots in HK. I recommend purchasing tickets in advance to save time. For detailed travel tips – Travel Guide: Things to do in Hong Kong and Macau where to find the cheap swags and food joints!

Transportation to and from airport, purchase Octopus card at International Airport Arrivals, this card is Continue reading

Travel Philippines via Online Booking

Traveling to the Philippines from island to island has become convenient to everybody with the help of online booking sites that offers comparison from hotel rates/accommodation to location guide.

Astoria Palawan: Travel Philippines via Online Booking

Since 2012, I started to book our family trips through hotel booking sites. Makes your inquiries comes in handy with the detailed information available for every traveler. The most recent trip we had was in Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan last September 2016. We booked a 2 room suite at Astoria Palawan for 4D/3N. The accommodation comes with breakfast buffet, shuttle service and private amenities such as infinity pool, fat bikes, kayak boats, paddle boards and nearby Palawan water park access. City tours and tourist spot tours are charge separately but can be scheduled with hotel assistance.

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Make your own traditional Filipino Costume
DIY Igorot Costume for Buwan Ng Wika Celebration

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Young girls are fun to dress-up and play with different characters, but with Ifugao costume for Buwan ng Wika school events I am more excited for parents to dress up their little boys with this traditional Filipino costume, the Igorot costume. Why? Most young boys frequently look safe with their minimalist outfit made of red cotton pants, white shirt (camiso de chino), red scarf and salakot; and of course with barong tagalog. Igorot costume is easy to assemble if your on a budget, plus you will achieve a look unique for your child.

Palabigkasan mula sa Aklat ng Mateo #BuwanNgWika ni #GoDrei #theseedmontessorischool #TSMS #elocution

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DIY Igorot Costume

The basic materials needed are:

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How to Apply for a Firearms License in the Philippines
Step by Step Procedure in Securing Firearms License and Permits in the Philippines

LTOAPF and PTCFOR applications
DI Clearance by the Directorate for Intelligence
Neuro-Psychiatric Test by Health Service
Drug Test by the Crime Laboratory
NBI Clearance
Finance Service

The government’s Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) is yet to deliver an Internet-based streamline processing of application for both licensing and permit acquisition. There has been talks from FEO to upgrade its information technology system by the end of 2015 to accommodate the LTOPF, as mandated by Republic Act No. 10591, the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Law of 2013. Streamlining the application process for the License To Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF) and Permit To Carry Firearms Outside Residence (PTCFOR) to deal with some of the protest of gun owners that license requirements are “redundant and excessive.”
 photo How to Apply for a Firearms License in the Philippines.jpg

Under the new gun control law, all firearm owners—even those with current gun licenses—are required to first obtain an LTOPF, which is similar to a driver’s license, before they can own a gun. Under the old system, a gun owner got licenses and permits to carry for each gun.

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Disaster Preparedness: What To Do During and After Earthquake

Philippines Government Agencies
Safety Information

PHIVOLCS (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology) and OCD (Office of Civil Defense) has launched Valley Fault System Atlas (VFS Atlas) and has previously warned people from affected areas about possible impending activity from the West Valley Fault. Earthquakes cannot be predicted, we encouraged the public to be a step ahead in anticipating the disaster, be prepared to learn on what should you do if an earthquake occurs.

What to do in an earthquake
For earthquake emergency assistance these are the hotlines to remember:
National Disaster and Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) hotlines: Trunklines: 911-5061 to 65; Operations Center: (02)911-1406, (02)912-2665, (02)912-5668,(02) 911-187
PHIVOLCS Trunkline: (02) 426-1468 to 79, local 124/125 (Seismology)
Red Cross Hotline: 143, (02) 527-0000, (02) 527-8385 to 95; Disaster Management Office: 134 (Staff), 132 (Manager), 133 (Radio Room)
Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Hotline: 136
Complete List of Hotline are available here

For earthquake information, visit PHILVOC’s website at


What should I do if an earthquake occurs

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Dulaang UP Celebrates Apolinario Mabini Sesquicentennial Through New Quintos Play “Ang Huling Lagda ni Apolinario Mabini”

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Manila, Philippines – The troika which is part of the hugely successful musical Ang Nawalang Kapatid– Dexter M. Santos (director), Floy Quintos (playwright), and Krina Cayabyab (music director) collaborate once more in a play celebrating the sublime paralytic’s 150th birth anniversary. Ang Huling Lagda ni Apolinario Mabini chronicles the last days of Apolinario Mabini’s exile in Guam and explores the conditions which spurred him to return to his homeland.

 photo dulaang-up-ang-huling-lagda-ni-Apolinario-Mabini-01.jpg

Ang Huling Lagda ni Apolinario Mabini is a one-act play that begins in April 1901, one late afternoon on a beach in Guam. Continue reading

Where to Buy Children’s Filipiniana Costume for Buwan ng Wika

Maria Clara Costume
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August 2014 Manila Philippines – “Agosto” is the month of Philippine National Language (Buwan ng Wika) when Philippine schools nationwide celebrate the event by wearing Filipiniana costume and preparing Filipino-inspired cultural programs like Filipino dances, songs, story telling, palabigkasan, display of Philippine craft and native products, letting the children appreciate Filipino native food and playing the traditional “larong Pilipino” (Filipino games).

Where to Buy Children's Filipiniana Costume for Buwan ng Wika
Maria Clara costume (ready to wear) for 2015 and Igorot costume (DIY) for 2016

Where to Buy Children’s Filipiniana Costume
Kultura store at SM Department store – with limited design and display
Landmark – limited design
Quiapo – costumes are available year-round. I particularly like the area because there were a strip of specialty shops located near Quiapo church. If you want your child to have unique ready-made Filipiniana costume, browse Maning’s and its neighboring shops they have complete ensemble from costumes, head dress, props, foot wears and accessories.
Commonwealth Market – for those living North of Quezon City, the 3rd floor has a few selections of Filipiniana costume.
Tesoro’s and Rustan’s – for quality costumes
Online shops or (online sellers) – Online shopping can be fun but remember items posted on sale are not always WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get). Online shop offers brand new and preloved items. Be aware that images/photos can be filtered, ask seller for accurate condition. We recommend online shops from eBay and Instagram. But for Ayos Dito and OLX (formerly Sulit) we haven’t tried them yet.

DIY Costume:
For DIY Filipiniana costume, you can have it custom-tailored. Pick your choice of costume and bring it to your “mananahi”. Choose fabrics close to your design and consider comfort when the child wears it. Typically the best place to buy quality textile/fabric at the cheapest price are the following markets:
Kamuning Market
Fabric Warehouse
Wet market

You may also try Fabric Warehouse (but the branch we visited in SM North EDSA have limited stocks) we end up roaming the streets of Tabora market.


In celebration of “Buwan ng Wika,” our child’s school hold various activities to deepen the student’s love for our country and culture. Highlights of the activities are “Palabigkasan” or Elocution exercises, “Malikhaing Pagbasa” or Interpretative reading, “talumpating Di-Handa” or Extemporaneous Speaking and “Malikhaing Paglalahad/Pagkukwento” or Story telling held in the respective levels.

From the past years, our Drei wore mix and match Filipiniana costume. During her pre-school she had a checkered patadyong and kimona with native slipper accessorized with Palawan’s rice pearl earrings, necklace and bracelet which she wore again when she was in first grade, we bought bakya (wooden slipper) at Kultura. First grade class individual palabigkasan piece was entitled “Ang Masayahing Bata.” They perform sing/dance of “Ang Bawat Bata Sa Ating Mundo.”

This year (she could have wear the costume again hahaha! frugal mom that’s what we are) but we asked her what does she want to wear for the Filipino elocution, everyone agreed with a Maria Clara costume complete with native slipper, Davao pearl earrings, flower brooch and red beaded bracelet from my closet, DIY necklace charm made from Rainbow Loom rubber bands and her aunt’s head dress by Rene Salud (from previous year-end ball). The Palabigkasan went smooth, she also led the opening prayer. Second graders recite “Sino Ako” ni Ronald Ebuen Mancesa. The whole class perform an ethnic dance by Pinikpikan (Una-Kaya).

I hope the list of market places can help you with your Filipiniana costume requirements. I particularly like to try Visayan and Mindanao costume in the coming Buwang ng Wika (aren’t we all sick of Baro’t Saya, Balintawak,or Katipunero costume, it’s an awesome costume but very common during this season) in fact there are more cultures need to explore from other regions of island Philippines. 🙂, created by Green Dei (Daryll Villena)
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