Summer Travel: Ready for the Beach?

Summer months are almost here! The beach waves are calling out to me! Last year was an incomparable summer and how I wish we could all be back again in Boracay!  Just a few more beach outings and I know I’ll learn how to swim.

A week-long vacation by the coast would be fantastic; to wake up by the shore in time for the sunrise; to breathe in fresh air; to run with our dogs by the shore; to feast on freshly-caught fish and shell fishes grilled on the coals; a tall glass of iced lemonade; to sit on the sand under the shades of a palm tree; to walk bare feet on the powdery sand; ahhh, simple pleasures that I imagine.

What are you summer plans?  Wouldn’t it be nice to just pack your bags and go?

each Essentials

Summer Essentials from: Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters


A Visit to Sonya’s Garden, Tagaytay, Philippines

Have you  been to Sonya’s Garden?  Sonya’s Garden is located in Tagaytay and it offers guests a Bed and Breakfast and a Spa where they can enjoy a relaxing time and pampering.  Sonya’s also has its own bakeshop or Panaderia, Restaurant and a Country Store.

Sonya's Garden Tagaytay

Sonya is an expat in Europe and the US who grew up in her grandmother’s country, the Philippines.  Memories in her grandma’s garden have always called her home.  In February 1998, Sonya opened the doors of her secret garden to the public, including locals and tourists who are looking for a tranquil place amidst trees and flowers.

Sonya's Garden Tagaytay

At Sonya’s restaurant, an idyllic setting awaits foodies with garden tables and chairs, large mirrors, and cascading waters by the walls. Here, guests can enjoy fruits and vegetables grown and handpicked from the garden.  Start off with salad greens – a mixed of dill, nasturtium, oxalis and arugula leaves garnished with fruits, olive oil and parmesan cheese.  Freshly-baked wheat bread is served hot from the Panaderia, matched with a variety of dips.

Sonya's Garden Restaurant  Tagaytay

Sonya’s restaurant is also best known to serve simple yet delish pasta with two choices of sauce, sun tomatoes and creamy white sauce with chicken.  Other popular favorites especially among the balikbayans are the gourmet rendition of the adobong pusit cooked in olive oil and sayote tops with shitake mushrooms in coconut milk.

Sonya's Garden Restaurant tagaytay

Planning a wedding?  Sonya’s Garden is the perfect place for a garden wedding.  Check out their website to see their wedding package.

Sonya's Garden Tagaytay

More Photos from Sonya’s Garden:

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Would you like to visit Tagaytay? Check out to find all the best hotels in Tagaytay, in one place.

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Discover Baguio City Philippines!

Two months after the launch of Discover Baguio, I’m happy and proud of what our team has accomplished in such a short span of time.  I personally enjoyed every moment of our “field work”: meeting new people and interviewing business owners who were generous enough to give us the information and the support we need to ensure that each article feature will be worth the read; taking photos on location; and the thrill of discovering new things and places.

Discover Baguio, is a travel website that promotes Baguio City in the Philippines, as a beautiful tourist destination.  Here are some of the articles featured on the site and a peek at some of the photos.  If you have time, please visit the links and share your comments.  And, please take a moment to LIKE our Facebook Page by clicking here.  Thanks much!

cordillera world baguio cityThe Cordillera World

mtcloud bookshop baguio citymtcloud bookshop baguio cityMt Cloud Bookshop

hillstation restaurant baugio cityHill Station Tapas Bar & Restaurant

tam-awan garden in the sky baguio cityTam-awan Village – Garden in the Sky

PNKY bed and breakfast cafe baguio cityPNKY Home, Bed & Breakfast & Travel Cafe

Wright Park baguio cityThe Wright Park

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Are you planning a trip to Baguio City?

Check out to find all the best hotels in Baguio City, in one place.

The Beautiful Island of Boracay

The beautiful island of Boracay is located in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines.  The island can be found at the northwest end of Panay Island and is a part of Aklan province.  Boracay is best known for its powdery, white beach sands which for many travelers is the “best in the world”.

boracay islandThe two most popular beaches in Bora are the White Beach and the Bulabog Beach.  West of the island is the White Beach, which is the main tourist destination.  It is about four kilometers long and is lined with hotels, resorts, lodging houses, restaurants and other business establishments.

boracay islandFacing east is the Bulabog Beach, a favorite spot for the adventurous where you can enjoy windsurfing and kiteboarding.

boracay island

Travel & Leisure magazine names Boracay as one (4th) of the Top 10 Best Islands in the World for 2011.

boracay islandA visit to Bora is not at all cheap. You should save-up a considerable budget to make most out your trip but it is definitely worth the splurge!

On the island, you can enjoy fun and excitement from a wide range of activities: such as snorkeling, diving, helmet-diving, banana-boat ride, jet skiing, boating, sailing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, and para-sailing.

boracay island

The island literally does not sleep at night and you can eat, drink, dance and party until the wee hours of the morning at the Beachfront. If you just want some quiet time to relax and unwind, you can take walks along the beach, wait for the sunrise or watch the sunset.

boracay boracay


Are you planning a trip to Boracay? If yes, these travel tips will come in handy:

1. Book your airline ticket online and make online hotel reservations a few months in advance and avail of special promos.

Check out to find all the best hotel sites in Boracay, in one place.

2. Visit the island during off-peak season when prices are cheaper on almost almost everything including airline tickets, accommodation, food, souvenirs, etc.

3. There are plenty of shops and restaurants outside, just a few walks away from the Beachfront where everything is priced cheaper.

4.  Even if you plan to stay in Boracay for a few days, you don’t need to bring lots of clothes as you can buy swimsuits, shorts, and tee-shirts right from the island.

5. Haggling is encouraged to get discounts from vendors and from locals who are offering island activities.


boracayThe best hotel deals - in 1 simple search

Have you  been to Boracay?

All photos on this post by:

Practical Tips for a First Time Cruiser

Cheap cruises.  If you want to grab great bargains, go on a cruise during off-peak seasons.  You can sign up online to receive announcements from cruise lines whenever they have promotional off-peak cruise sailings.
Be informed.  It’s easy to get enticed by the breathtaking photos and exciting descriptions that you can find from brochures and websites. Before signing up, make sure that you really understand what the cruise line offers as well as the inclusions of the itinerary.  Do your own research by visiting forums online and checking out different cruise lines.
Seek help from a travel agent.  If it is your first time to go on a cruise, it is advisable to get assistance.  A travel agent can help you choose the right company, give you valuable advice to make sure that you will enjoy your trip, and may even offer you a discount, a promotional rate or perks exclusive only to clients.
Study the ship’s deck plan.  This is important when choosing your cabin location.  Make sure that you are aware of the locations where you can find the important rooms, elevators, and emergency exits on the ship.
Avoid unnecessary hassles. Cruise lines usually offer packages that include round trip air tickets.  In this case, delays and cancelled trips won’t be much of a hassle as it is your cruise line’s responsibility to get you to the next flight so you can catch up with the ship at the next port.

Check your travel insurance. 
It is wise to get travel insurance but before signing up, make sure that you have examined the inclusions of the coverage.  Remember that you have the option to get insured with your cruise line, travel agency or a private insurance company.

Don’t forget your passport.
  If you are going to travel outside the US, you will need a passport.
Anticipate the costs.  When planning your vacation cruise budget, don’t forget to consider the extra costs such as gratuities, off-shore tours, laundry/dry cleaning, bar drinks, souvenirs, taxes, and other fees.
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Top Fashion Trend for the Skiing Holidays

Skiing holidays is almost here and fashion designers are gearing up in time for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games (to be held in Vancouver).   Top trend forecast for skiers include longer and baggier jackets, zippers, plaids, and of course loud colors.
And just because you are not an athlete or a skier doesn’t mean you can’t follow the trend.  Ski jackets is a must to beat the cold weather in style and Ralph Lauren has a really cool ski gear collection such as the Racer Jacket in red, blue, black and yellow.
Marks and Spencer introduces a breatheable vest that uses the Merino wool thermal base layer system.  This natural elastic wool is odour- and perspiration-resistant and offers mobility and comfort.

Don’t forget these essential gears:  wool sweater, turtleneck, ski socks, thermal ong johns, neckwarmer, gloves, wool hat, boots and goggles.  Before buying your gear, make sure that you are comfortable to wear it and that it can provide you with sufficient warmth and protection on the slopes.

Sports apparel and gear that are made out of eco-friendly materials are also in for 2010.  From boots to ski suits, choose the ones that are environmentally-friendly and you’ll never go wrong.

Day Dream Destination: CIty of Paris

We would stay at Hotel Baltimore Paris. It’s a 4-star hotel located at the heart of Paris near the Champs-Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower.
We’ll start our day with breakfast in bed and enjoy the fabulous view from the suite’s window.

Take a stroll along the city’s famous roads and admire the old architectural structures.

More sightseeing through Seine River Cruise


Enjoy vintage finds at Clignancourt flea market

Be awed by the “City of Lights” illuminated at night

the Arc de Triomphe


Champs Elysees


the Eiffel Tower

Take pleasure in fine dining

Lounge and sip good wine

Enjoy a goodnight’s rest in a luxurious room for another day in beautiful Paris!

Tour Paris and grab the Accor Hotels City Super Sale to enjoy 60% discount. The offer applies for online booking made from June 23-29 for travels starting July 10 to September 30, 2009.

Room rates will start from as low as US$25 per night. Choose from more than 163 hotels in 27 cities including Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Hanoi, Manila, Mumbai, Sydney, Auckland and Paris.