El Nido, they call this place, “Heaven on earth”. The nickname itself says it all.

A lot of people think that El Nido is an expensive place to go to, it’s not. As long as you know where to find the cheapest rooms and the budget food in the area. For those who have an ample amount of extra money to spend, there are 5 star hotels in Miniloc Island and Lagen Island. But for those backpackers who are in a budget but would like to experience a little heaven on earth, then there are a lot of cheap bed & breakfast rooms near the town.

If you ask me, it’s useless to stay in an expensive room or resort. El Nido is all about hopping from one island to the next. That’s how you spend most of your time in El Nido. There’s no point of staying in a luxury hotel/resort when you won’t be staying there most of the time.

Here’s how to get there:

There are direct flights going to Puerto Princesa for those coming from Manila or Cebu. In our case, our flight was from Cebu to Puerto Princesa – 1 hour flight via Cebu Pacific.

El Nido is located 5-6 hours away from Puerto Princesa travelling by van.


Prior to booking for a room, check out the reviews online like Travel Online. There are a lot of cheap rooms available in the area but choose the one’s near the town since it’s very accessible to almost everything: sari-sari stores, restaurants, bar, etc…

Marina Garden Resort have really good reviews from Trip Advisor. The place looks nice and clean too. You would need to book a month or two before your scheduled trip to make sure that you’ll get a room. We tried to book 2 weeks before but all rooms were already occupied.

During our stay, we crashed in Ogie’s Pension House which is located right next to Marina. This place is ideal for those people who are just looking for a decent place to crash. There’s a free wifi at their veranda and free breakfast for two. You can choose either an air-conditioned room or a fan room depending on your budget. Their air-conditioned room per night is Php 1,400 while their fan rooms are Php 700.

If you have already booked a room in any resort in El Nido, make an arrangement to have someone pick you up from the airport. No need to worry about being overcharged, their transportation fee’s are uniformed except if you pay using a credit card. Some Travel and Tours agencies will charge an additional 6% or 7% fee.

If you haven’t made any arrangements, no need to worry. The offices for the travel and tours are 2-3 minutes away from the airport. You can either walk or ride a tricycle to get there.


Tricycle fee: Php10/person
Air conditioned Van: 700/person; one way (5-6 hours trip)

From Puerto Princesa to El Nido:

After a 3 hour drive, you’ll have your first stop to grab something to eat, stretch, and freshen up.

After 4 hours and 30 minutes, you’ll get a good 1 hour and 30 minutes of rough road.

Once you reach El Nido and have already settled in your room, make sure to book for a tour for the next day. You can also book for the tours you’re interested in before your scheduled flight to Puerto Princesa or even if you’re already in Puerto Princesa through any of the Travel and Tours agencies in the area.

Tour rate:

Tour A: 700 per head (Small & Big Lagoon, Simizu, Secret Lagoon, Payong -Payong, 7 Commando)

Tour B: 800 per head (Panglusian, Snake Island, Cudognon and Catedral Caves, Pinagbuyutan Island)

Tour C: 900 per head (Hidden Beach Tapiutan, Star Beach, Matinloc and Helicopter Islands)

Tour D: 700 per head (Cadlao Lagoon, Balinaod, Pasandigan Beach, Napnap & Bukal Beach)

Tours A and C was recommended by almost every local that you ask.

Aside  —  Posted: December 11, 2012 in Beach, It's More Fun in the Phils, Places, Resorts
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Today is a sad day for most Filipino’s as our “pambansang idol” lost the fight to Juan Marquez.

It’s also sad to know that there are a number of my fellow Filipino’s celebrating despite of Manny’s defeat. Manny is an inspiration to a lot of Filipino’s. He was able to achieve something that made a lot of people proud to be a Filipino; that anything is possible no matter what status in life you’re in; that if you just put your heart in to it, you’ll be able to achieve your dreams.

We all need someone to look up to – someone who inspires us, motivates us to continue to do what we are doing, to never give up. That’s what Manny is to a lot of Filipino’s: their idol; their source of motivation and inspiration.

As I was browsing through my news feed in Facebook and Twitter, people are blaming his change of religion, entering politics and being over confident as the reasons for his defeat. In a way, all of their opinions are correct.

When people talk about religion, the first thing that comes in to my mind is faith. Faith plays a big role in our lives. We all need to have faith in everything that we do. Faith motivates us to succeed. Though it’s not an assurance that we will succeed but having faith in God keeps us motivated no matter what religion we’re in; no matter which God we believe in. But relying everything in faith is a different story. Stereotyping is not good either. Whether you are a Catholic, Born again, Muslim, etc., we all need to respect each others religion.

I’m not sure how much training Manny had but if he was too distracted with Politics then it’s possible that it’s one of the reasons why he lost. In sports, training and focus plays a big role in winning.

Confidence… being confident is a good thing. It keeps you focused and calm. But being over confident is another thing – it makes you sluggish. It keeps your guard down.

In the end, boxing is still a sport. Everyone has an equal opportunity to win. The person who had a better strategy, better skill and preparation wins. Inspiration and motivation should also be taken in to consideration.

Let me leave you with this thought: Life is all about ups and downs. Sometimes you’re on top, sometimes you’re at the bottom. What matters is how many times you’ve tried to go back to the top when you’ve hit the bottom.

Everyone was very excited to attend the seminar. We expected to see some of the most influential leaders today in person – John Maxwell and Seth Godin to name a few. To our dismay, it was just a video broadcast. I knew it was too good to be true. Still, there were a lot of things that I learned from the seminar.

The program was facilitated by Francis Kong, a Filipino based in Manila who is an inspirational speaker and corporate trainer.

The first video was from John Maxwell. He is a leadership expert and best-selling author of the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. He talked about the relationship between leaders and influence.

According to John Maxwell, “Leadership is Influence” and there are 5 levels of influence:

1. Position

  • People follow you because you have position or authority but it doesn’t make you a leader. The downside: people who follow you will give the least amount of their time and efforts.

2. Permission: Relationship

  • People start to follow you because you have a connection with them – they respect you as a person. Leaders should find a way to connect with their people and build a relationship with them.
  • Good leaders listen well, constantly observing and is always striving to learn. Leaders shoud have an attitude of servitude – loves to serve.

3. Production

  • Helping the bottom line of the company. Leaders become effective because they deliver results. Leaders should produce by example. Show their people on how to be effective and how to be productive.
  • Gain credibility. Be a role model. Walk the talk.
  • Who you are as a leader is who you attract.
  • Leaders create momentum because momentum takes care 80% of the problems.

4. People development: Reproduction

  • Good leaders don’t produce good followers, they produce good leaders.
  • Success without succession is failure; always have a succession plan.
  • You grow a company by growing people. There are three keys to developing people:
    1. Recruitment: know the characteristics of the kind of people that you need in your team/company.
    2. Positioning: successful leaders know what their people need to reach their potential.
    3. Equip (1) I do it: reproduce what you are. (2) I do it and you’re with me: mentor, coach and inspire. (3) You do it and I’m with you: show support. (4) You do it: show trust and confidence. (5) You do it and somebody is with you: train that person to train somebody; pass on what he/she have learned and it’s time for him/her to create and influence people to become leaders.

5. Pinnacle (personhood); Respect: People follow you because of who you are and because of what you have done. Be a mentor, a coach, role model and inspire people.

Now, ask yourself this, what level am I on with that person? You’ll be surprised that you are not on the same level with everybody.

The 2nd video was from Frans Johansson. He is the best-selling author of The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights of the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts and Cultures.

According to Frans Johansson, diversity drives innovation. The best ideas emerge when very different perspectives meet.

The sad thing is that innovation only becomes obvious after the fact; the difficult part is before the fact because we are horrible at predicting what ideas will work.

Our first step to changing the world is to start with an idea. The best way to start with this idea is at the intersection of different cultures and ideas.

Figure out something that you can do and make it happen. There is somebody making those connections and it should be you!

The 3rd video was from Seth Godin. An entrepreneur, marketing expert and best-selling author of 12 Books including “Linchpin“. He talked about desicions.

He says that the first decision is looking at the world and either seeing what is or seeing what we are hoping for.

The 2nd decision every company needs to make is: are you going to yell at people to try to get their attention or will you build a business based on permission? – earn the right to whisper to the ears of your customers. Build a relationship with them.

The 3rd decision that you have to make is: are you invisible or are you remarkable?

The 4th decision is: are you in the story business or are you in the fact business? – facts doesn’t matter anymorr. The story that you tell customers about your product is what matters.

The 5th decision is you: will you defend the status quo or will you invent the future?

The biggest decision of all: will you be an interchangeable person or an irreplaceable person? – interchangeable persons are good at doing the normal things while irreplaceable persons are the best at what they do. Touch people, do something that no one else is willing to do – to do art, create things.

The next decision is: are in the business of complying or do you want to own things?

The next decision is the difference between scarcity and abundance.

The future comes down to this: are you an accountant or are you an artist? – an accountant does the same things day after day. An artist on the other hand, creates things.

The 4th video was from Suzy Welch. A best-selling author, television commentator, and noted business journalist.

She said that when making desicions, start by thinking about its consequences in “10-10-10”.

10 days – immediate future
10 months – near future
10 years – future you want to create

Suzy Welch says that 10-10-10 works because it connects your decision making to your future.

Values also plays an important role in our lives. Values are like our fingerprints.

She gave 3 questions to ask ourselves in identifying our values:

  1. What makes you cry on your 70th birthday party? This question is about legacy.
  2. What do you want people to say when about you when you’re not in the room? This question is about character.
  3. What did you love about your upbringing and what did you hate about it? This question is about home.

When you connect your values to good decision making, you live authentically. Authentic lives are joyful. 10-10-10 sounds simple but it’s hard. You are forced to live what you believe.

To wrap it all up, for us to succeed and to be a great leader, we need to learn how to be influential, we should innovate; keep on finding ways to create the future, make the decision on what path to take, and know your values and live your life by those values.

If you’re an adventurous, outdoor or a nature lover type of a person, then this place is tailored for you. The place offers a lot of fun filled outdoor activities like hiking, trekking, water rafting, rappelling, zip line, wake boarding, camping, caving, horseback riding, ATV and a lot more. Whether you’re going there alone, with a special someone, friends or family, the trip will surely be worth it.
Getting there:
Danasan Eco Adventure Park is located in Danao City, 40 km+ north of Cebu. They have a shuttle service for those who are planning to spend some time at the park. See below:
Cebu – Danasan – Cebu: Php 400 per head and a minimum of 10 persons (round trip).
Danao – Danasan – Danao: Php 200 per head and a minimum of 10 persons (round trip).  
In our case, we hired a jeepney going to Danao – the jeepney’s route was Cebu – Compostela – Cebu. Those jeepney’s are usually parked at White Gold – most drivers charge too much, so make sure to negotiate. We paid them Php 1,600 (round trip: Cebu – Danao – Cebu). It took less than two (2) hours to get to Danao from Cebu City. When we arrived at Danao City’s terminal, we hired another jeep going to Danasan Eco Adventure Park – paid Php 1,400 for the trip (Danao – Danasan – Danao). It took us another two (2) hours or more before we reached Danasan since the jeepney driver took the wrong route which was so much further than the usual route. The usual route would only take less than an hour.
Accommodation and Activities:
Once you reach Danasan Eco Adventure Park, proceed to their front desk to get a cottage or room (It would be best to have a reservation before going to Danasan). Their air-conditioned room ranges from Php 2,000 – Php 4,000 per night while their non-air-conditioned room ranges from Php 1,800 – Php 7,800 per night depending on the number of persons. They also have a cottage for day use which is Php 500 per day (good for 4-15 persons) while tents are Php 300 (good for 2-3 persons). You don’t really need an air-conditioned room since the place has a cold environment. I’m not sure if that’s usually the case but when we went there, it was cold as ice.
You can also schedule the activities that you would want to experience before going to your cottage/room. The prices for their activities are not too expensive. So if you’re planning to stay there for 2 nights and 3 days, you should be able to experience most or all of their activities without worrying too much of the cost.
I would suggest for you to try wake boarding and ATV. ATV’s might be very common nowadays but what’s different about this place is their terrain. It was raining that time so we were going through mud and rough roads – which made the trip more fun. Be prepared to be covered with mud and get dirty.

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Unfortunately, we were not able to try the other activities because of time constraints but I will definitely be back to try the other activities.
You can visit http://www.danasanecoadventure.com for more information about Danasan Eco Adventure Park. Or contact them via phone or email:
Telephone: 032-234-0773 or 032-505-7312
Email: info@danasanecoadventure.com

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Photo’s taken by Mr & Mrs Paquingan

One of the most frequent activities done in Cebu is island hopping, since Cebu is surrounded by a small group of islands like Pandanon, Olango, Nalusuan, Gilutungan and Talima Island.

If you enjoy snorkeling and diving in to marine sanctuaries, head to Talima, Gilutungan and Nalusuan – it has a variety of corals and colorful reefs. If you’re looking for a white sand with clear waters, head to Pandanon Island.

One of the best Island Hopping experience that I had was with Islands Banca Cruises. You get to cruise with style. Their banca’s are no ordinary banca – it has sofa’s and bean bags which makes the experience more relaxing and comfortable.

Islands Banca Cruises have different packages that would suit your needs and budget. Just check out their site to see the different packages that they offer. They also have packed lunch if you guys are too lazy to cook: BBQ packed lunch or Seafood packed lunch. You can also order lechon from them. If you’ll be bringing your own food, I think they have a corkage but I think you can bring your own drinks. They also have goggles, fins and snorkels for rent.

It’s very ideal for team building’s since everyone will be in one boat;  everyone will get plenty of chance to mingle and chat with each and everyone. It’s a big boat, you can also play icebreaker games or team building games if you want to.

The only thing that I felt missing was a karaoke. If it had a karaoke, it would been the perfect island hopping experience. Though I’m bad at singing, I’m a Filipino, we love to sing! Yes?

If you’re planning to go isla hopping with your friends or family,  you can reach them at:

Landline: 032 516-1903
Cellphone: 0917 630-0736 / 0932 844-0990
Email: info@islandsbanca.com

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The first time we went to Boracay, we stayed in Best Western Boracay Tropics (Station 2). This time we wanted to go to a different resort, so we stayed in Station 1 – La Fiesta Boracay Resort. It’s not a 5-star resort but if you’re just looking for a decent place to crash with a balcony that has a great view of the beach, then this will the best place for you. La Fiesta is located right in front of the beach and close to Station 2 – it’s pretty near D’ Mall and D’ Talipapa where most of the restaurants are located.

We availed a package through Travel Online. Booked for a 4 days and 3 nights stay. Their 3 days and 2 nights package is rated at Php3,250  per person (Extra Night : Php1250 per person). The rate will depend if it’s peak season or not.

Their package includes:

* 1 Standard Room- air conditioned Room with private Bathroom
* 3 days / 2 nights Hotel accommodations
Boracay Tours and Activities – Click here to see rates and get 10% off on all activities – Payment upon Arrival.
* Round trip land & sea transfers Airport – Hotel – Airport via Caticlan
* Welcome Drinks Upon arrival ( From Hotel)
* Free One Time LUNCH From TRAVELONLINE (PIZZA Lunch at Red Coconut Boracay Beach front Restaurant)
* Free One Time DINNER From TRAVELONLINE at Villa De Oro Beach front Restaurant (a choice of Grilled Liempo (Pork belly), Bangus (Milk fish) , Chicken Breast, Chicken Thigh or 2 barbeque Sticks with free soup and eat all you can rice )
* Hotel Surcharges/Service charge included
* Government Taxes included
* VAT (Value added tax) Included

Land and sea transfers are already taken care of by Travel Online. No need to worry about how to get to the island. You will be accompanied by their staff until you get to your resort. We didn’t have any regrets doing business with Travel Online. We would highly recommend their company for those planning to go to Boracay.

For the resort, it was what we expected. We just needed a clean and cheap place to crash. Also, their staff is very friendly, he even introduced us to someone so that we can get a cheaper rate for any water sports in the island.

Great experience overall! I would highly recommend this place.

Check out the list of activities that you can do in Boracay from My Boracay Guide.

Old pics. August 2010.

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Boracay is a small tropical island located in the Philippines.  It is famous for its beautiful white sand beaches. There is a wide range of hotels and resorts to choose from Station 1 to Station 3. From huts on the beach to 5-star resorts, everything is available.  With so many choices some find it hard to choose the right Boracay hotel.  The My Boracay Guide is very useful in deciding which resort to stay.

This is our first time in Boracay and we stayed in Best Western Boracay Tropics (located in Station 2). It has a full service onsite resort, with 44 upscale Superior and Deluxe rooms, and 6 Garden Suites. There is a full restaurant, full bar, health spa, nail salon, KTV rooms, children’s game room, and boutique shop. The resort surrounds a large swimming pool in a large, beautiful tropical garden. It’s 3-5 minutes away from the beach front.

We made a reservation online through their website: www.boracaytropics.com. They had a promo during that time – 3 days and 2 nights room accommodation was for P5,999 good for two (2) persons. It already includes a round trip land and boat transfers from Caticlan Airport, daily breakfast and welcome drinks.

When we arrived in Caticlan Airport, we were greeted by Boracay Tropics’ friendly staff. Their goal is to make sure that it will be a hassle free experience going to Boracay from the Airport. We didn’t have to worry about the transportation going to the resort. Everything was a breeze. Great service!

When we arrived at the resort, we were again greeted by their friendly and hospitable staff, and was given our welcome drinks. Their room is nice, cozy and has a private veranda that has a view of the pool. The environment is very serene – a perfect place to relax and unwind. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone who is planning to go to Boracay. As mentioned, the resort is not located at the beach front but is just 3-5 minutes away.

The resort also has their own restaurant but we decided to dine outside. Boracay has become the home of amazing restaurant serving up authentic flavors from around the world. There are a whole lot of restaurants to choose from. We also got a map from My Boracay Guide which was provided to us when we were at the Airport, so it helped us decide where to dine and places to go to. If you’re craving for fresh seafood’s, D’ Talipapa would be the best place. It’s a seafood market where you can purchase cheap and fresh seafood’s and have it cooked in any of the small restaurants surrounding the area.

Boracay’s nightlife scene has also developed quite nicely.  Bars and discos can be found up and down Boracay’s white beach, keeping the crowds partying till the early hours.  During peak season, Boracay hosts a wide range of international DJ’s playing to packed parties. Fire dancers can also be found all around the island during night time.

Boracay has also developed with respect to activities.  Now each and every day can be packed with fun adventure.  Scuba diving, parasailing, helmet diving, island hopping, zip lining, ATV, zorb, golfing, horseback riding, kiteboarding, and jet skiing are just a few of the many activities on Boracay.

Overall, Boracay is one of the best places that I’ve been to where you can have fun and be able to relax at the same time.