Hong Kong Disneyland – Day 1

On our day 1 of our Hong Kong-Macau vacation, we headed to Hong Kong Disneyland despite the jetlag and lacking hours of sleep. We arrived in Hong Kong at 7:40 AM, went straight to our guesthouse in Tsim Sha Tsui via the Airport Bus and grabbed our breakfast at Yoshinoya.

Disneyland Fireworks

Disneyland fireworks

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Camp Sabros Zip Line and other zip lines in Davao

Last week, my husband Jeff and our outdoor group, PHINOE, conquered the highest mountain in the Philippines, Mt. Apo. As a sidetrip, they checked out Camp Sabros which is very near the jump-off point of Mt. Apo. I wish I was with Jeff at Camp Sabros because I really wanted to try zip lining since it was featured on TV. Jeff decided to capture his zip line experience to show me. This is one great experience I want to try once I set foot in Davao… see for yourself!

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Spending the holidays at the Manila Ocean Park, Philippines

The Manila Ocean Park is the newest attraction in here in Manila, Philippines for Filipinos to enjoy. We don’t have to go to Hongkong’s Ocean Park, or to Singapore’s Sentosa, or to Malaysia’s Ocean Park attractions anymore. The Philippines is teeming with colorful sea life and this is a great way to showcase the treasures of our oceans. Manila Ocean Park’s entrance fee is Php 400 for adults; Php 350 for kids 4.5 ft. and below; children 2 ft. and below are free of admission fee. They also offer discounts for senior citizens, just present the Senior Citizen ID upon payment of the entrance fee.

Manila Ocean Park’s facade


There are 7 sections in Manila Ocean Park for you to explore: Agos (Flow), Bahura (Reef), Laot (Fishing Ground), Buhay na Karagatan (Living Ocean), Ang Kalaliman (The Deep), Pagi (Overhang Tank), and Pating (Shark). In Agos (Flow), there is a Touch Pool where you can touch and feel a real Starfish. Like Singapore’s and Hongkong’s Oceanarium, our own Manila Ocean Park has an underwater tunnel, a breathtaking 25-meter walk is surely an enjoyable experience for kids and adults like. Prepare your video/digital cameras and catch a glimpse of the huge Pagi or the colorful sea of fish passing by. Don’t miss the last section, Pating (Shark), we were able to watch a diver cleaning the huge aquarium of the sharks. Very entertaining.

my 2-year old nephew enjoying the fishes


At the second floor, there’s an activity area and a snack area where kids can draw and create their own art. Manila Ocean Park is the first to offer a Fish Spa, tiny fishes will start to eat dead skin cells from your feet. Price for the Fish Spa is Php 100. Another activity is the Glass Bottom Boat Ride, for Php 150, you will get to ride and see the creatures from the Buhay na Karagatan (Living Ocean).

activity area at the second floor

Glass Bottom Boat Ride for Php 150

The development of Manila Ocean Park is still in progress, later on, it will have a mall and a hotel. Right now, you can find the Ozeano Restaurant, eating there gives you a backdrop of the Manila Bay. Just past the restaurant is the Souvenir Shop, souvenir T-shirts are at a reasonable price of Php 300-Php 360.

Ozeano Restaurant

souvenir t-shirts for Php 300-Php 360

Additional information:

Manila Ocean Park Website: http://www.manilaoceanpark.com/
Manila Ocean Park is located behind Quirino Grandstand, Luneta Park, Manila, Philippines. The Manila Hotel is just nearby.
Operating Hours:
Mon – Friday 10AM to 9PM
Sat – Sun 9AM to 9PM


How to travel comfortably inside a plane with Cebu Pacific’s Seat Selector

Nanay is going to the province on the first week of November and I booked her tickets online. Comparing the prices of Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific, I chose the latter since it’s Php 1,000 cheaper than PAL. Booking online with their interface is a breeze, just prepare your credit card (Visa or Mastercard) as you will use this for paying your tickets. On with the booking process, I entered necessary information until I was redirected to a Seat Selector page. An aircraft illustration that shows what seats are taken, vacant, which ones are near the lavatories and emergency exits are properly labelled. I selected the seat by the window on the second row for Nanay. The Seat Selector is optional but I want Nanay to have a comfortable trip, it’s only an additional Php 100 (Standard Seat) or Php 200 (Premium Seat) to your airfare.

Cebu Pacific’s Seat Selector

The Seat Selector is also a great tool for group of friends and families travelling together. They get to occupy the whole row or all window/aisle seats for all they want. There was this instance when my husband and I were seated rows apart going to Kalibo, Aklan. I have no one to talk to for the hour-long trip and I just listened to my Ipod. I hate travelling alone, moreso, when you’re seated beside a noisy and inconsiderate passenger. Another plain booboo I had was when I requested a window seat only to find out that the only view I can see is the aircraft’s gigantic wings. To visit Cebu Pacific’s FAQ page, click here.

Sidetrips in Aklan (Sampaguita Gardens, Ramboy’s, Bagobos)

When you’re in Aklan for your Boracay trip and you have time to spare, visiting Jojo’s Christmas Cottage at Sampaguita Gardens in New Washington, Aklan is well worth it. It’s a 10-minute ride from the Kalibo Airport. The highlight inside the Sampaguita Gardens is Jojo’s Christmas Cottage. In here, the motto is “Everyday is Christmas”. The cottage had its share of media exposures and was featured on some of TV shows like Rated K. The cottage houses “Precious Moments” doll collections and various Christmas trees in all forms, themes and sizes. Souvenir items like handicrafts, T-shirts, trinkets and other Precious Moments knick-knacks are sold here.


Jojo’s Christmas Cottage at night

Sampaguita Gardens is sort-of a Mini-Disneyland of Aklan in my opinion. It also has a Thai Spa, Thai-inspired Mr. Butcher’s House, hotel, butterfly garden, coffee shop, function hall and the Oriental Flavors Restaurant for your fine dining experience.

Restaurants:

To taste the best Lechon Manok in Aklan, go to Ramboy’s along the hi-way of Numancia, Aklan. For Caticlan-bound visitors, you can’t miss this place since public transportation always pass this route.


Ramboy’s, Numancia, Aklan

Just beside Ramboy’s is another restaurant called Bagobos. We had our dinner at this place on our first day. We ordered Crispy Pata and Sisig, the Crispy Pata is delicious. But service is really really slow, I’m warning you not to eat here if you’re looking for a quick bite.


Bagobos, Numancia, Aklan

Where to stay and eat in Boracay on a budget

Budget Accomodations:

We all know that tourists from all parts of the world flock to Boracay. And with these, prices of some commodities like food and lodging might be expensive for average travelers like me. First would be the accommodation, beach resorts in Boracay offer varied rates for their fan rooms (cheapest) and the deluxe rooms with air-con, hot water and cable TV. Beachfront hotels have higher rates as well as those hotels found in Station 1. We stayed at Casa Pilar in Station 3. Reasonable rates for a decent cottage, it has its own restaurant and security of the resort is not a problem. Rates of rooms, contact number, email and website are as follows:

Casa Pilar Beach Resort (Station 3, Boracay Island, Aklan)

Deluxe AC: lean season Php 2900 – peak season Php 4000
Superior AC: lean season Php 2400 – peak season Php 3300
Standard AC: lean season Php 2000 – peak season Php 2800
Fan Room: lean season Php 1200 – peak season Php 1800
Tel: (63 36) 2883073
Email:
casa_pilar@yahoo.com
Website:
http://www.casapilarboracay.com/

During our stay, we found a newly built hotel just near Casa Pilar, also in Station 3, called Boracay Sands Hotel. The curiosity in us made us ask for their room rates, the receptionist willingly showed us the rooms and boy, I made a promise to stay in this hotel the next time around. Rooms have 2 double beds, and LCD TV, and a personal ref to boot.

Boracay Sands Hotel (room, pool)
Boracay Sands Hotel (Station 3, Boracay Island, Aklan)
Room rate per night without breakfast: Php 3,850
Tel. no: (036) 2884967 / 4966
CP no: 0927-304-01-31
Budget meals:

Boracay has plenty of restaurants to cater tourists from all walks of life. From fine dining to a simple eatery, you’ll find something somewhere to satisfy your hunger. Andok’s Dokito Frito in Station 3 offers their staple Lechon Manok and other budget meals like Pork Chop, Fried Chicken, Barbecue and Filipino foods. Price of their budget meals starts at Php 49.00. Mang Inasal in D’Mall also has a number of customers because of their cheap but delicious meals. Prices also start from Php 49.00 and up. I ordered Tosilog and Jeff ordered Chicken Inasal when we had our breakfast. If you’re craving for pizza, Yellow Cab has a branch in Station 3 just beside Casa Pilar. They also deliver to your hotels.

Tosilog and Chicken Inasal from Mang Inasal; Yellow Cab

Souvenirs:

For your keepsakes and pasalubongs from Boracay, go to D’Mall to find plenty of keychains and ref magnets for 7 pieces for Php 100. T-shirts that scream “Boracay” range from Php 150-500. On my first visit, I bought T-shirts from “Lonely Planet“. This time, I discovered another store that offers rocking designs called “Metamorphosis“. They sell handpainted shirts and canvass bags for Php 250-580. Just ask for discounts when buying at the store. For summer accessories, sellers can be found at the beach and just choose at your liking from a variety of earrings, necklaces and bracelets offered by the locals.

Metamorphosis Boutique


Accessories and ref magnets a plenty

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