Category Archives: Lifestyle
Probably one of the best travel-related news I heard these days is the current and upcoming renovations being done in our international airport here in Cebu.
On the 16th of this month, I had the chance to participate in an airport tour headed by Andrew Harrison, Chief Executive Advisor of GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation. We were briefed about the current and upcoming developments in Mactan Cebu International Airport.
Seeing the progress of the current renovation project made me feel more excited about the future of tourism and travel here in Cebu. One of the best highlights of the tour is the development of a new terminal (terminal 2) wherein Kenneth Cobonpue is the interior designer. Yes. You read it right. Kenneth Cobonpue, our very own Cebuano interior designer who is popular worldwide. See a sneak peek of how the new airport terminal would look like in the photo below.
Apology for low quality photo. This is from Andrew’s Power Point presentation.
Terminal 2 is expected to open in the Summer of 2018.
Top 17 Current and Future Changes in Mactan Cebu International Airport
If you travel often, for sure, you already noticed the current developments done in our airport but if you haven’t been to the airport in a long while, you’ll definitely be surprised how the current contractor (GMR-Megawide) is currently doing their task in enhancing the functionality and accessibility of our airport terminal.
Current Changes You Can Now See in our Airport
This 25-year project between the government and GMR-Megawide Airport Corporation (the contractor that won the bidding) aim to construct and manage new commercial facilities within the airport terminal. All new systems installed in the airport are part of ARINC CUPPS Systems. Current visible changes are the following.
1. All Airlines Now Operate Using One Platform
Unlike before wherein airline companies used each of their own system in processing the needs of their passengers, GMR-Megawide had installed vMUSE (a common check-in system for all airlines) last June of this year to make check-in process more efficient. Andrew emphasized that they don’t charge the airline companies for this major change.
2. New Flight Information Display System (AirVue)
This new flight information display system is designed to enhance the operational flow inside the airport. This helps passengers to keep on moving and help the airport increase their revenue opportunities through display advertising. Read more details about this system here.
3. New Domestic Departure Area
4. New Self Check-In Kiosk
All passengers of Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, PAL, and Cebu Pacific can now check-in themselves using this system (SelfServ – Common Use Self Service Check-in Sytem [CUSS]).
5. New White Taxi Boarding Bay at Arrivals Level
Aside from the toilet problems, one of the most annoying part of the airport before is the location of its taxi terminal. Now, the new white taxi boarding bay provides passengers a more comfortable and accessible place to get a taxi.
6. New Airport Medical Center
The passengers’ medical needs and services are now catered in the new clinic located near the airport’s Engineering Office. The new clinic also comes with a new fully equipped ambulance.
Upcoming Changes You Can Expect to See in our Airport
Aside from the gigantic changes that will be brought due to the development of a new terminal (terminal 2), here are first the things you can expect to change in the old terminal (terminal 1).
7. New Terminal Seating
This change is expected to be visible on September of this year.
8. Renovation Plan for Overall International Departures
9. New Plaza Premium International Lounge Interior
10. Airport Mobile Charging Stations
11. Newly Designed Washrooms/Toilets
At last! The long wait is almost over. Comfort rooms that are designed to provide comfort not discomfort.
12. Boarding Pass Validation with Automated Gate
Harrison said that our airport will be the very first in the country to implement this system. Expect to see this change on the 3rd week of August this year.
13. Baggage Reconciliation System
See the rest of the current and upcoming changes in our airport in the Power Point slide presentation I created below.
Disclaimer: The compiled info in this presentation are based from Andrew Harrison’s original Power Point slides.
Exciting Features of Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2
The thing that excites me the most is the development of our airport’s 2nd terminal. By just looking at the planned infrastructure, you can see that this one will be world-class. Andrew said that they want the new terminal to be at par with the best airports in the world but at the same time maintain a theme and air that is uniquely Cebuano.
Without further ado, this is how the Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 will look like.
14. Boarding Gate Area
15. Baggage Reclaim Area
16. Check-In Area
17. Departure Lounge Retail Area
Check the details of this upcoming development in the Power Point presentation below.
As I mentioned already earlier in this blog post, Kenneth Cobonpue will do the interior design of Terminal 2. According to Harrison, the recent renovations and upcoming developments are expected to cost 17 to 19 billion pesos in the first 4 years of the project.
If you need more information about this current airport development project, you may visit the Mactan Cebu International Airport official website at www.mactancebuairport.com.
Putting up a new venture and running a business demand tremendous amounts of discipline and efficiency. After all, there is a lot at stake when you are doing business: the capital invested, the jobs of your employees, your dreams, and so on. Add to this pressure the constant demand for entrepreneurs and businessmen to travel.
According to the Global Business Traveler Association, business travelers go on an average of 268 miles per business trip. If the trip requires flights, this figure can skyrocket up to 954 miles. The association also revealed that business travelers spend an average of two overnight stay each month. Despite this, business travelers emerge as successful in their endeavors. If you have been wondering about the travel routines of successful people, look no further. Read on and learn from the travel habits of business travelers.
They Plan Their Itinerary According to Their Goals for the Trip
Photo Courtesy of Alberto P. Veiga via Flickr
Yes, traveling is fun, but one must admit that it consumes time, money, and energy. Business travelers very well know this fact so they strive to make the trip count. Days — or even weeks or months — before the trip, they schedule the meetings that they need to attend and the tasks on their to-do list. More importantly, they do the best that they can to stick to it.
They Do Their Research
With countless hotels and flights to book, it can be very easy to get lost in travel planning. After mapping out their objectives for the trip, business travelers make sure to do their homework. They scour offers and deals from top-notch accommodation at convenient locations to restaurants that give them the most value for their money.
They Leave Room for Rest and Relaxation
Photo Courtesy of Denise P.S. via Flickr
While business travelers have well-planned schedules, they also include time for leisure and spontaneous fun. For instance, if their business meeting takes place somewhere near a beach, they indulge themselves, especially when they are done with their tasks. Aside from enjoying their stay, they get to reap the health benefits of going to the beach, which can do wonders for their physical and mental wellbeing.
They Create — and Stick to — Their Budget
Again, it is easy to lose focus, especially when it comes to handling finances. However, hardworking business travelers know how painstaking it can be to earn money. With this, even if they can afford everything that they want, they weigh their options and go for smart, practical choices.
They Prepare Things that They Will Need
Photo Courtesy of Lasse Rintakumpu via Flickr
Business travelers need to stay on top of everything that they do so they never leave without making sure they are prepared for the trip. Aside from their smartphones, laptops, clothes, and toiletries, they always bring with them their powerbank, hard drive for their files, hotspot for internet connectivity, and headphones for media files. They also pack according to their unique circumstances like if they take certain medications.
They Tote Around a Notebook or a Note-taking Device
Business travelers learn and generate a ton of ideas from their trips. Instead of letting these fade away, they take notes of it on their preferred tool. They have also developed an organized way of note taking so they can quickly jot down important points from a discussion. More importantly, they review their notes, analyze or reflect on it, and try if they could put the brilliant ideas into action.
They Harness the Power of Apps
Technology, when used properly, can significantly make people go about their routines in the most efficient manner. With this in mind, business travelers use their smartphones and tablets to their advantage. This tech-savvy pack knows the best business travel apps to get the work done — TripIt to organize their bookings, PassBook to board using their smartphones, CudaSign or HelloSign to digitally sign documents, and so much more.
They Travel Responsibly
Photo Courtesy of Nick Harris via Flickr
Business people, being representatives of their brand, need to protect their public image, especially when they go outside their office. Aside from this, business travelers who firmly believe in their corporate social responsibility know all too well that their activities have an impact. With this, they strive to hold themselves in conscientious conduct by following rules and procedures, respecting different customs, valuing the host community’s environment, and so on.
They Take Care of Themselves
Conferences to attend, clients to meet, paperwork to review, a composed and confident image to project — doing all of this and more after long hours of travel can be really exhausting. In order to perform at their very best, business travelers look after their health. Doing this includes eating right, avoiding alcohol especially before a big presentation, and seeking medical help if they feel something wrong.
They Maintain Their Focus
With a thousand items in their jam-packed schedule, these successful people simply cannot afford to lose focus as one wrong move could result in a disaster for their business. While the long stretches of travel can cloud one’s capability to make sound decisions, business travelers have their tried-and-tested methods to clear up their mind. They also do not simply throw caution to the winds and should they have confusing encounters, they step back to think things more thoroughly.
They Track Their Progress at the End of the Day
Photo Courtesy of Next TwentyEight via Flickr
Completing the cycle that started from planning their itinerary according to their goals, business travelers see to it that they review what they have done during the day. Aside from crossing off accomplished items on their list, they reflect on how things could be improved. Moreover, they start planning their to-do list for the following day.
It is often said that traveling is the only thing that you buy that can make you richer. Couple that with keeping these tips in mind so you can emerge as a more efficient individual. Take it from business travelers with lots of things to do on top of having to endure long hours on end. Incorporate these habits of successful people when traveling into your own routine and get started on a more proficient and happier you.
Nowadays almost everyone has their own bucket list, a phrase derived from the expression “kick the bucket,” which is a term for death. A bucket list represents a breakdown of the things a person wants to do before he dies. Travel is one of the high priorities in most people’s list and they do everything they can to reach the destination of their dreams. For some, failure to complete a bucket list is considered a nightmare, something that they really dread happening. Perhaps because for a lot of people, achieving one’s bucket list ideas has become a pursuit to beat not only oneself but also others.
Making and completing the list has become a competition of sorts, with individuals posting travel photos in their social media accounts as proof that they’ve really done it. Attaining a bucket list has somehow become a measure of self-esteem, a yardstick of achievement. There’s also the fear of not being able to enjoy life to the fullest before dying. According to psychologist Linda Blair, the whole business of creating and achieving bucket lists is “a way of denying the idea of death, not coping with it at all. People usually do this to ensure that there are things to look forward to, which means there are things that are still going to happen. My experience warns me that it’s probably done in order to prevent thinking about death.”
Whatever the reason is for your fear of not attaining your bucket list, there’s something you can do to stop it. There are things you can initiate in order to stop fear from paralyzing you and preventing you from ticking items off your list. Here are the steps you need to do in order to achieve your travel goals.
Transform excuses into tasks
It’s human nature to flake out and make excuses for the things that we fail to do. These excuses can be convenient at first but as time goes by, these excuses can have an effect on our overall motivation to achieve things. Slacking off can become a lifelong habit.
You can deal with this by pointing out the excuses you’re making and then turning them into tasks. For instance, if having kids is your primary reason for not traveling, then you can research about the stories of other travelers who have managed to take vacations with their brood. If lack of money is your primary reason, then you should create an estimate of the amount of cash you need to go to your dream destination and figure out ways how you can make that kind of money. If you fear solo traveling, then you can search for inspiring stories about solo travelers to rest your fears about traveling solo.
Change your mindset about traveling
A lot of people are blinded by beliefs that prohibit them from their travel dreams. These people hold on to the idea that traveling, especially solo journey, is terribly expensive and a selfish, self-indulgent activity. They always think of traveling as an overly complicated hobby. These lines of thinking should be adjusted to accommodate ideas that will encourage them to travel. True, traveling can be expensive but there are ways to travel on the cheap. You can stay at budget accommodations and eat at inexpensive restaurants. No, it’s not true that traveling is a selfish act; there’s nothing wrong with wanting to see the most beautiful beach resorts and experience other cultures. It’s a great way to enrich one’s soul and you owe it to yourself to do so. Yes, traveling can be complicated but patience and practice can make things easier in the long run.
Set specific goals
Items on your bucket list look more realistic if you can make specific goals to achieve it. You need to establish a set of criteria in working towards reaching your destination. You can choose a place closest to your current location. You can opt for a place with the least expenses. You can center on that destination that you think you can’t bear to miss out before you die and concentrate all your efforts on it. You can choose a place where you have friends or relatives.
Obsess over the idea
There’s bad obsession and there’s the good kind, which can be very helpful in achieving your travel goal. It’s all about finding out what moves you as a traveler. If it’s your ultimate dream to go to Morocco, find people who’ve been there already and ask them stories about the experience. Search travel videos of Morocco and promise yourself that you will see those spots with your own eyes in the near future. Hoard travel books and read them until you memorize everything there is to know about Morocco. Search for the nicest picture of the place and use it as your mobile and computer screensaver. Watch movies that used Morocco as a setting. Doing these things will fuel your passion for the place and will encourage you to give everything you got to reach that destination.
Surround yourself with like-minded people
People who are not that enthusiastic with traveling can dampen your spirits and make you hesitate in achieving your travel goals. This is why you should socialize and make friends with travelers or at least people who are really dead set in packing their bags and flying off to somewhere mysterious and exotic. It doesn’t matter if you plan to become a solo traveler or if you prefer to travel with a group. Travelers can give you realistic tips on how to find safe and affordable accommodations, food, and transportation. You can also sign up for forums and clubs that share your level of wanderlust.
Used wisely, bucket lists can help immensely in making you attain your travel goals. Do not see it as means to compete with others in terms of self-esteem and achievement. Travel because you want to see the world and gain experience that will make you happy. There’s no need to compare your bucket list to others; the only competition you need is yourself. Manage your fears and allow yourself to see a brand new world that only brave souls like yourself will be able to enjoy.
MYOH 2013 in Cebu on July 18 to 21
For all Cebuano havaianaticos and fashionistas, the yearly Make Your Own Havaianas starts today, July 18 and will run until July 21 at SM Northwing Atrium (during mall hours). Head to SM City and customize your new pair of Havs now!
My Honest Review
Photo Credit – Jorich Ponio
Since 2010, I’ve been attending the annual Make Your Own Havaianas Special Preview event here in Cebu. Though I’m not a fashionista (and definitely not a brand conscious person), I still enjoy some fine things especially if I don’t need to buy them. (: In all honesty, of all the flip-flops brands I’ve known, Havaianas really has a very good branding, and like some elite brands, a lot of people are more than willing to buy it because it’s chic and highly fashionable. Other than that, who would not dream of buying something that is being worn by famous celebrities and socialites?
Cool and trendy
The cool/trendy factor plays a big role why Havaianas is very saleable. This has been heightened even more by the brand’s annual activity that brings havaianaticos together – the Make Your Own Havaianas (MYOH). The brand pioneers the slipper customization trend which has been wholeheartedly embraced by fashionistas and trendsetters all over the globe. Now, who doesn’t want a pair of his or her own Havaianas?
Cute pins and colorful straps
These accessories bring more life and individuality to each pair of Havs – one of the main reasons why the brand is more appealing compared to other fashionable flip-flops.
Not ideal for everyday use
As the brand suggested, Havaianas is more of a fashion item than normal footwear. When it comes to durability, there’s no guarantee that it will last for a year or two especially when it comes to the flip-flops’ straps. Though its flat soles provide better comfort compared to ordinary sandals, its straps are not that durable, and thus, it is not ideal to wear it regularly. Two of my pairs have already been thrown out because the front straps broke and there’s no way that they can be repaired. ): This is also the feedback I often heard from some of my friends. I hope Havaianas can do something with the straps. The soles are really comfortable and it’s a shame to throw them because of the damaged straps.
I highly recommend Havaianas to all fashionistas and brand conscious individuals out there, but for those ones who are looking for flip-flops that they can wear regularly (more especially to those who love to walk most of the time), then this brand is not for you. (:
While Boracay remains a world-class tourist destination that hosts a vast number of luxurious and renowned hotels, the island still has a lot of affordable hotels and inns to offer. So, if you are bound for Boracay, and you are looking for the best and most affordable deal for your accommodation, make sure to consider these budget hotels in Boracay:
Bans Beach Resort
Photo credit: majorpanicuk
Bans Beach Resort is a budget resort that is just situated three kilometers from the white pristine sands of Boracay, and just a few minutes away from the Station 2 D’Mall. For one thousand five hundred pesos only, Bans Beach Resort gives you an air-conditioned room with a set of modern amenities, such as a private bathroom, hot and cold shower, refrigerator, cable television and a Wifi access.
Rate per night: 1,500 PHP
Photo credit: tripadvisor.com
Situated just a few meters away from the famed Boracay White beach, lies a renowned budget hotel known as Villa Romero. The rooms offered by this budget hotel would usually cost around one thousand five hundred to three thousand five hundred pesos per night, depending on the size of the room and the type of accommodation.
Rate per night: 1,500 PHP
Banana Saging Guesthouse
Located in Bulabog Beach, Banana Saging Guesthouse offers their guests with an easy access to the best and liveliest activities that the island has to offer. From Banana Saging Guesthouse, you can take pleasure in visiting and touring Boracay’s finest attractions like the D’Mall, Boat Station 2 and Bulabog beach. On top of that, this budget hotel offers a wealth of comfortable amenities and unrivaled services like a massage center, a restaurant, water sports, a bar and a free Wi-fi access. For the most part, the rates per room per night from this budget hotel would cost around eight hundred to one thousand pesos.
Rate per night: 800 to 1,300 PHP
Photo credit: tripadvisor.com
B&B resort is a tropical resort that offers affordable rates for their services and amenities. For the most part, their rooms would cost around seven to one thousand pesos per night. Aside from its quality and economical rooms, this budget hotel has competent, friendly accommodating personnel.
Rate per night: 700 to 1,000 PHP
Boracay Tourists’ Inn
Photo credit:bee my honey
One of the most affordable inns and hotels in Boracay Island today is the Boracay Tourists’ Inn. For only nine hundred pesos, you get a luxurious and restful place that is equipped with air-conditioning, a cable TV, a private shower and a refrigerator. Aside from offering affordable and luxurious rooms, Boracay’s Tourists’ Inn is also situated just a few steps away from the island’s seashore.
Rater per night: 900 PHP
You do not have to spend a fortune in order to get a luxurious and relaxing vacation in Boracay Island. Besides getting Cebu Pacific promo, you can also save a lot of money from your Boracay escapade by staying at a budget hotel. Aside from their economical rates, budget hotels in Boracay provide tons of amazing amenities as well.
About the Guest Author
This post is written by Melanie Sy, a traveller who wants to share her travel experience and adventures.
Before I will rant about the advantages and disadvantages of my newly bought pocket wifi unit, I will list first my expectations and well-thought reasons why I choose to subscribe to an internet service that would bleed me out Php999 every month (with no option to unsubscribe for 2 years).
For someone like me who tried to live frugally (though I often fail), buying another internet gadget and subscribing to another internet service is definitely a big decision to make. Between the lifestyle that I badly want to maintain and my work, I tried hard to create my own reasons why I need an internet connection all the time.
1. There’s no stable internet connection and signal in the places where I frequently visit outside Cebu.
During holidays and my partner’s work vacations, we often go to his hometown, a small island that’s detached from the main island of Bohol. My USB broadband stick doesn’t work there and I’ve been scouring for ways to solve my internet connectivity problem. The thought of getting a pocket wifi has been playing in my mind with the hope that the signal should improve and would allow me to work even if we’ll stay there for a long period of time.
2. I need a back-up internet connection if my broadband connection at home will break down.
Since I’m a self-proclaimed prepping advocate, the thought of having no internet connection back-up worries me a lot especially in times of calamities and in instances that disruptions of my broadband connection will occur. As my work requires me to be online all the time, internet connectivity is always in the priority of my list. The tediousness of going to internet cafes is something that I don’t want to experience again.
3. I plan to increase my frequency in traveling, thus I need an internet connection all the time to stay connected with my work and clients.
Who doesn’t want to travel? Everyone loves to go to their dream destinations without sacrificing their work. This is one of the biggest reasons why I get a pocket wifi. Though most hotels and coffee shops nowadays have wifi connections, the thought of not worrying if I can have a connection every time I entered a pub or check in into a hotel is quite liberating. The days of asking passwords and become frustrated when the wifi connection doesn’t work is gone. Working anytime and anywhere is very exciting.
4. If my pocket wifi will have good connection and signal at home, I plan to discontinue my broadband subscription on October to minimize expenses for my monthly internet connection bills.
This is something that I’ve been thinking for a while now. I still have second thoughts in discontinuing my broadband connection because so far it is quite fast and reliable. We plan on moving again at the end of the year, thus the possibility of disconnection is always high. But, the thought of only having a wifi connection is something that I can’t see myself doing. In my line of work, a back-up connection is a must. Therefore, this reason is just a mere alibi. LOL!
5. To minimize my coffee shop expenses and avoid hanging out in expensive coffee shops just for the sake of getting a faster internet connection.
Obviously, this is my 2nd biggest reason. Hanging out in coffee shops to get a faster connection for work is really expensive. Also, I don’t plan to keep on avoiding places which I really like just because they have no wifi.
Lastly, though this is a bit silly and lame, I bought a pocket wifi because I want to check-in (in Foursquare) in all the places that I go to. Very, very lame but this is something that I personally crave. Why? Just because. Haha!
Do you own a pocket wifi? What are your main reasons why you bought and subscribe to it? I hope you also have some valid reasons like mine (except the last one). (:
In the past, flip flops or slippers were considered as a poor man’s footwear, an exact opposite to the common trend nowadays. Slippers nowadays are already used as fashion accessories and famous people are commonly seen wearing them.
The Most Liked Brand of Slippers
One of the most popular brands of slippers that gain massive following of loyal customers from all walks of life is Havaianas, a brand of flip flops that originates from Brazil. Havaianas slippers are very durable and comfortable to wear. But, one thing that makes Havaianas unique from other brands is the fact that they give customers the freedom to customize their pair of slippers according to their style and preference.
Make Your Own Havaianas 2012 in Cebu
Here in Cebu, Make Your Own Havaianas is a yearly event that gives Cebuano Havaianicos the freedom to mix and match their preferred soles, straps and pins to create their own unique pair of flip flops.
Make Your Own Havaianas 2012 in Cebu is officially launched today at the Northwing Atrium of SM City and is available to the public until August 5 (Sunday).
A special launching was done yesterday and I got the chance to customize my own pair.
Installing my preferred pin and strap.
Once done customizing your pair, you can have your picture taken in the photo-booth section to document your effort of going out your way to have your custom-made flip flops.
My friend, Jolla posed for me as I’m fed up looking at myself in photos. Lol
Top Famous Celebrities Who Wear Havaianas
Image above shows a few famous celebrities who love to wear their pair of Havaianas. From left are Amanda Seyfried, Blake Lively, Kate Hudson, Miley Cyrus, Nicole Ritchie, and Sienna Miller.
Head on to SM’s Northwing Atrium Center now and customized your own pair of Havaianas!