Tuesday, October 29, 2013

GLIMPSE | Our Lady of the Pillar's Malampaya Sound Fluvial Parade

October 12, 2013. New Guinlo, Taytay, Palawan - by the bay of Malampaya Sound, New Guinlo citizens and devotees paraded their patron saint, Nuestra Señora del Pilar, to the brakish water showcasing their solidarity of faith, give thanks, and to ask her blessings for abundant fish in the watershed. 

More photos of the fluvial procession will be posted next.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hotel Review | Hotel Centro, Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Hotel Centro
National Highway, Brgy. San Pedro
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
Telephone Number: (048) 434.1110 

Most traveler, when they stay in a city hotel, they either pay a fortune for a decent one but end up with unnecessary facilities they are never going to use or stay in a budget hotel and find themselves in some musty building that doesn't look like it has been cleaned since 1950. That is a fact.

In Puerto Princesa City however, such is life in this brand new hotel, Hotel Centro.

From outside, Hotel Centro's exterior remains integral to its appeal.  Complementing the natural beauty and vastness of Puerto Princesa, a fashionable modern-classic building fleeced in bright white with green vegetation around it. Its location in the ‘wide open’ square, at the very heart of the Philippines' city in the forest gives its guest an easy striking distance to everything in the city and gives an instant head-start over rival hotels.

Rome was welcomed warmly on arrival and a friendly young man escorted him to his second-floor billet. The top-notch hotel offers 111 highly stylish guest rooms that provides quality and comfortable accommodation (check my room review here). Both businessman and holidaymaker guests will definitely have maximum comfort for that much deserved goodnight’s rest in Hotel Centro's newly built rooms. 

The main dining area, Expressions Cafe, is spacious and yet remains cozy with a magnificent view of swimming pool, Verde Garden and manicured garden on the other side. The food tastes remarkably good and the prices won’t give you indigestion (check out my complimentary breakfast post here). And if you are in the mood for romantic, resort-feel dinner, Hotel Centro's Verde Garden is a perfect setting. 

If you are a business traveler, you will definitely enjoy the convenience of working in Hotel Centro's fully functional Business Center equipped with 2 desktop computers with high-speed internet access and Wi-Fi connectivity. A holidaymaker will surely love dipping into hotel's very nice swimming pool and admire the Palawan sun while sipping cocktails from the nearby Soul Pool Bar. No dull moments here, guests can shop "pasalubongs" at the souvenir shop, or have a blissful escape at Whizza Spa. There's an Atletico Fitness Center fronting the garden for fitness conscious visitor available to use, free of charge.

Hotel Centro really offers an all-round package, there's no excuse to be bored. The hotel itself is an attraction, it's a destination - and one well worth going the extra mile to discover.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Travel Tip: How to Check Your Flight Status Online

Everything you wanna know are just few clicks away including your flight status.

Using google chrome's address bar or google.com, type in a flight number and the top result is the details of your  flight and its status. So, for example, typing in 2P 944 reveals that PAL Express Flight 944 departs Puerto Princesa at 5:00 PM today and arrives at  Manila at 6:20 PM local time.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Room Review | Hotel Centro, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

Hotel Centro
National Highway, Brgy. San Pedro
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
Telephone Number: (048) 434.1110

Straight from northern Palawan's Municipality of Taytay, a 4-hour land travel, Rome checked-in at Puerto Princesa's top-notch hotel - Hotel Centro.  He arrived at exactly 2 pm.  Standing at the front of a brand new, modern-classic designed hotel, Hotel Centro's visual impact has a gorgeous appeal, Rome thought.

His arrival was expected, there was a feeling of belonging as he approached the reception. Sincere affection and kindness were reflected from the guard's smile to the attendant greetings... "Good afternoon, welcome to Hotel Centro", he cordially said while opening the glass door for Rome. The gentleman on reception called for a welcome drink, had him registered quickly, handed him his electronic key card and offered to give Rome a guided tour of the hotel but he politely declined because he was desperate to freshen-up and take a short nap before his scheduled dinner with his friends.

Opening the wooden door of room 203 that use electronic identification door lock system was a pleasant surprise. Hotel Centro's newly built deluxe room was beautifully finished, with lot of woods, neutral colors, top-notch fixtures and fittings, and generous bathroom. His room was comfortably fashioned with work desk, 1 queen-sized and 1 single bed. Acres of fluffy immaculate whiteness cover the bed with a fluffy duvet and comfortably soft pillows. With free internet access! It was such a glorious and delighting room.

Equipped with Samsung LCD TV with cable channels, there's an in-room movies and DVD player in his room. It's sexy, grown-up and eminently stylish room, he figured.

There's a silver tea & coffee electric kettle with china tea cups and complimentary tea & coffee amenity. Plus, a mini bar with in-can sodas and 2 complimentary bottled water in it.  
The shower streamed generous amount of hot or cold water. It gave him a proper drenching with comprehensive supply of bath amenities from Pure Herbs. Pure Herbs contain the finest formulations and created using natural botanical ingredients, from pure essential oils of Rosemary, Melissa and Thyme. According to its website, Pure Herbs products is renowned for their healing powers, sophisticated fragrances and a rich array of natural and organic extracts to truly nourish the skin, soothe the body and revive the soul. Two sets of fresh and tidy white towels were neatly hanged on towel bar.

Hair dryer, vanity set (face care with 3 cotton buds and 3 cotton pads), shower caps, polishing file, shoe polish sponge, shaving kit complete the bathroom amenity.

An electronic safe box fitted for laptops & gadgets was available to use inside the closet for safety and security of his valuable items.

Hotel Centro offers high standards and provides top quality, comfortable accommodation. He slept perfectly well and concluded that this room is godsend to business and leisure travelers who have limited time exploring the city in a forest or to amorous couples looking for a couple of hours of privacy.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Glimpsed | Hotel Centro, Puerto Princesa Palawan

Tempted to splash out? Hotel Centro's incredible swimming pool is one of the best in Puerto Princesa City. Get a drink from the Soul Pool Bar and float around on an inflatable raft while waiting for my room review of Hotel Centro.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Deal Alert: Avail Special Offers at the Top-notch Hotel in Puerto Princesa - Hotel Centro

2014 National Holidays are now out! And to top it all, here's a cheap accommodation deal from the top-notch hotel in Puerto Princesa, Hotel Centro, for your Ultimate Puerto Princesa Vacation!

There is a perfect date idea for the upcoming holiday season for as low as P5,988.00 for two. Get your calendars ready, plan for it as early as now and don’t let expensive immediate travel accommodation rates stop you!

Check out Hotel Centro's Christmas Holidate Special offer. Check availability, reserve and book here.


    Overnight stay in a Deluxe room for two persons
    Buffet breakfast for two at Expressions Café
    Round trip airport transfers
    Special welcome drinks upon arrival
    Express check-in
    Complimentary early check-in at 10am & late check-out until 3 pm
    Welcome Christmas cookies and hot choco in the room upon arrival
    Complete Pure Herbs luxury toilet amenities and bathrobes
    Palaweno delicacy for turn down amenity
    Hotel Centro postcards to send to your loved ones at home
    Special set dinner for two at the Gazebo in Verde Garden
    Souvenir photo during dinner to be printed before check-out
    Web check-in assistance for your departure flight
    10% discount in F&B outlets
    10% discount in spa services
    10% discount on tours

Terms & Conditions:

    Subject to room availability
    2 kids, 11 years old and below are free if sharing bed with adults
    Additional peak season surcharge of P500/room/night (December 16, 2013 to January 7, 2014)
    Stay period: October to January 31, 2014

Manila: (02) 556.5656 
Palawan: (048) 434.1110 
Mobile: (0917) 599.1912

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bacolod’s Vibrant Smile: Masskara Festival 2013 - Schedule of Activities

It’s an idea that really dazzled. 

What began in 1980 to pull the residents of Bacolod City out of the pervasive gloomy atmosphere during a period of crisis and tragedy has become one of the most celebrated festivities in the Philippines and consistently creating huge hashtags to the global tourism community every year. 

The word "Masskara" has a two meaning. First, it is a fusion of the English word "mass" or many and "kara", the Spanish word for "face." MassKara then becomes a "mass of faces," and these faces have to be smiling to project Bacolod's tagline "City of Smiles" since the late 70's. Second, MassKara is a Filipino word "maskara" for the English word "mask", which gives rise to the use of giant smiling masks in vivid hues, colors and design which the gaily costumed dancers wear as they stomp, swing, pulsate and gyrate in the major streets of the city every third weekend nearest to the 19th of October, the City Charter Anniversary of Bacolod. 

The incredibly amazing pieces of masks that are used in the festival are constantly changing from masks influenced by native Filipinos and then influenced by Carnival of Venice and Rio Carnival motifs. Earlier masks had feathers, native beads, and hand painted while modern masks are made of plastic and adorned with beads, colorful feathers and glittering ornaments.

Major activities include the MassKara Queen beauty pageant, carnivals, drum and bugle corps competitions, food festivals, sports events, musical concerts, agriculture-trade fairs, garden shows, and other special events organized ad-hoc every year. 

Below is the Official Schedule of Activities in this year’s Masskara Festival:

October 18, 2013 (Friday)
02:00 pm - MassKara Street Dancing School Category
11:30 pm - Mass Kara Lights Show
11:55 pm - Countdown to Bacolod's 75th Charterday Anniversary
12:00 mn - Fireworks Display

October 19, 2013 (Saturday)
09:00 pm - Electric Dance Parade

October 20, 2013 (Sunday)
09:00 am to 03:00 pm - MassKara Street Dancing Barangay Category in Paglaum Sports Complex

Note: Street dance will start at Araneta Avenue and will end at Paglaum Sports Complex.

Ever since its inception, Bacoleños has hosted an annual MassKara Festival that attracted millions of local and foreign tourists descending on the town to look at the brilliant displays and to witness the festival's highlight, the street dance competition - where people from all walks of life troop to the streets to see colorfully masked dancers gyrating to the rhythm of Latin musical beats in a display of mastery, gaiety, coordination and stamina. Over the years, Masskara festival has become the major tourism identity for Bacolod City. 

MassKara Festival is not anchored from history nor religious or cultural events. MassKara is a festival of Hope. It showcases Bacoleño's ability to smile, to be gregarious and charming and to shoe his instinct to survive and triumph over trials and challenges.