Browse Month by February 2017
Business, tourism, Travel

Air Asia is back in Clark 

Air Asia Philippines is set to resume its flights at the Clark International Airport, a move to seen as a welcome development by authorities of the state-run Clark International Airport Corp., the operating arm of the international gateway north of Manila. 

Air Asia will launch thrice weekly Clark-Kalibo flights starting March 27 and four times weekly flights to and from Davao by April 22, two routes that are expected to further boost CRKs passenger traffic.

“CIAC’s efforts to attract more airlines have been rewarded and we are glad that Air Asia has finally agreed to resume flights this year,” Alexander Cauguiran, CIAC’s President and CEO, said during the second leg of the CRK Roadshow in Dagupan City on Friday.

Clark Intl Airport President Alexander Cauguiran discussing the plans of CIAC

Cauguiran added that Air Asia’s business decision is a positive effect of President Rodrigo Duterte’s thrusts to further develop and encourage additional flights at the airport of the north

“(Department of Transportation) Secretary Art Tugade’s marching order is for us to entice airlines to ensure first-rate operations of Clark airport,” Cauguiran added.

Air Asia, awarded the World’s Best Low Cost Carrier for eight consecutive years, has earlier committed to connect domestic cities to the North and Central Luzon regions and to choice tourist destinations in the country.

The resumption of Air Asia’s flights at CRK is seen to strengthen domestic hub. It also marks the airline’s return after it suspended operations in 2013 and transferred operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“The target market (of passengers) from central and Northern Luzon is ripe and we expect that passenger volume will grow in years to come as we continue to promote CRK as the next choice gateway of the country,” Cauguiran said.

Philippine Airlines had already made its strong presence at CRK with domestic flights to Caticlan, Cebu, Davao, and international flights via Incheon in South Korea. The flag-carrier is also set to launch its Palawan route via Puerto Princesa and Busuanga domestic flights by March 26.

Clark International Airport hosts other airlines such as Emirates Airlines via Dubai, Qatar Airways via Doha, Asiana Airlines via Incheon, Jin Air via Incheon and Busan, Cebu Pacific Air via Hong kong, and Tiger Air via Singapore.

tourism, Travel

Sunflower Maze in Tayug is an agritourism destination

Allied Botanical Corporation has put up  an amazing Sunflower Maze believed to be the first in the country. 

The maze, since the announcement has drawn a huge crowd from nearby towns and provinces to farm enthusiasts in various parts of the country. 

This was the first time they focused on agritourism as the Agritourism development Law has been passed. They used to showcase their produce from the seeds they develop and offer to the market. 

Allied Botanicals are market leaders for Pinakbet seeds in Luzon. They sell seeds of edible herbs, Baguio vegetables, corn, onions, squash, peppers of all shapes and sizes. If you can name all the veggies in the ‘Bahay Kubo‘ song, they have it. 😄😄 

The Sunflower maze has mini-themed gardens inside it. So visitors can go through the maze and be welcomed by the floral beds in various themes. 

Aside from the flowers,  you will enjoy picking fresh produce in the farm. You can also buy seeds and agricultural products and farm inputs from the booths inside the demo farm. 

Be inspired to plant your own herb garden in thier own version of an edible garden. 

There is a pick and pay session that visitors will surely enjoy. Just be ready to shell out P100 entrance fee when you come over. 

Our farm day experience was worth the trip. We not only learned to appreciate the beautiful view, but most importantly we learned that agritourism is highly profitable if more farms such as Allied Botanicals will follow the lead. 

The sunflower maze is located in Lichauco Tayug Pangasinan. 

tourism, Travel

Dasol Dazzles Bloggers



Dasol’s Colibra Island

It was a quick and unplanned trip to the Land of the Solar Salt — the dazzling town of Dasol. Pangasinan Bloggers are to meet the Pampanga Bloggers in Tambobong Beach Rains Resort on the first weekend of February. We took a bus to Dasol, afraid that our little car might not be able to endure the rocky ascent of the road to Tambobong.

When we got there, we were welcomed by the sumptuous breakfast served to us by Kuya Greg and family who owns the Rains Resort. It was a feast and we were not able to resist. Resorts and home stays in Tambobong can cook meal for guests, using fresh harvest from the sea. Guests can just request the keepers, and they will be glad to do it for you for a minimal fee.

Breakfast at Rains Resort

After breakfast, we had our gears on to island- hopping. Boat ride costs P1,500 and each boat can accommodate 6 people.  There are three islands to visit.One is the Slipper Island, Colibra Island and the Crocodile Island. The first island is where the Sinmimbaan Cave is, it is like a cathedral cave. If the waves are not that strong, one can get off the boat and explore or take photos. I enjoyed the Colibra Island though. Docking to Colibra Island or the island where the sea snakes are will require you to shell out P100. Add another P25 per head as entrance fee and if you need to settle down and use their benches, pay another P100 bucks. I told their municipal tourism officer that they should standardise the pricing and fees as well as collect once so as not to surprise tourists with the fees and charges.

You can stay overnight or the whole day at the Colibra Island. It is one of the most interesting islands that I’ve been to.

Colibra island

According to a young tour guide by the name of Jeremy, one of the most unique spots in the island is the swimming pool where mermaids stay during full moon. I checked it myself and it was indeed interesting.

No wonder this island is the most visited island in Dasol. Aside from the sea snakes that thrive in the island, it has remarkable spots from old coral reefs and limestones hundreds of years back.  We were lucky to find a fisherman selling his catch, a fish I am not familiar with. It looks like a swordfish but its not.

fresh catch from the sea

Amid the bushes in the island, I found my happy corner in this side. Sitting down in the branch of a tree, a horny bush in the background and stones all over the place– this is where this blogger found solace. I felt I belong to the island.

my happy corner


the view from the bushes

We were not able to land at the Crocodile Island because the waves are furious. Believe it or not, while we are at the boat I was able to sing Josh Groban’s You Raise me Up three times because I was so scared of the bumpy boat ride. But that’s what made the trip more exciting.

Upon returning to the main island Tambobong, it was lunch time. Then a short nap to recharge the body then off again to the unexplored cave nearby. Did you know that Dasol has about 300 unexplored caves? I will make another blogpost when we visit some of them. And Dasol is one of the best dive sites in Pangasinan with its fish sanctuaries?

This sunken ship is now fully submerged and only professional divers can go down to see it

I was once told that a major submarine by the United States docked in Dasol was bombed by the Japanese during the World War II and so it remains submerged deep into the waters of Dasol.

The nameless underwater cave

So this short, quick and sweet trip to Tambobong white Beach Dasol made possible by Rains Resort in collaboration with Pampanga Bloggers and Pangasinan Bloggers was such a hit. Don’t go there without a definite place to stay. Contact Rains Resort Beach Front, Madam Salazar compound Osmeña,Tambobong Beach with mobile number 0927.764.6545 and look for Kuya Greg for all the arrangements.

How to go to Dasol? 

From Manila, allot at least 5 hours travel. Hop on a Victory Liner bus to Alaminos City or Bolinao and get off a Alaminos City. Ride another bus going to Sta. Cruz and board off at Bobonot, a few meters before the town proper of Dasol. Ride a trike for P250 to Tambobong. If you are lucky, you can haggle for a lower price.

If you have a car, take the Luisita exit along SCTEX. Take the Camiling route leading to Alaminos City. From Alaminos, drive towards the route going to Zambales. You will pass by the towns of Mabini and Burgos before reaching Dasol.

Pangasinan and Pampanga Bloggers at the beachfront

More of Dasol escapades when we return for a bigger project and a longer stay. Stay tuned for more discoveries and photos and/ or videos of the Dazzling Town of Dasol. Will do a separate post for their solar salt industry and the mysteries of their unexplored caves.

Family, Relationship

What to do when someone dear leaves you behind

I know its February, guys.  And this post does not, in any way try to ruin the ‘love month fever’.

This is a very timely post.  A couple of my Facebook friends recently passed away. And its very painful to their families and to us. We share their loss and its really not easy.

Then comes another friend saying her husband is leaving for a job overseas. And another friend who was left clueless as to where the husband is since there is no formal closure to their relationship. He just vanished and does not return calls or messages. Sad, right?

15 years ago, I left the conjugal abode with only my kids in tow.

Relationships die, it gets terminated. Important people leave. Death takes them. Other people take them. They stop being with you. They move away. They just leave.

Two of my spiritual advisers were promoted and were transferred elsewhere.

I think the most emotionally painful part of one’s life is being left behind. I believe nobody is prepared to be left. That is why the hardest of all is to move on and start anew. I guess, some of you will agree.

So what to do when somebody close to you leaves?

5. Go through the various stages of GRIEF 

Do you remember the acronym DABDA? It stands for Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. We normally experience these in various stages. As to how long depends on each person. But it is natural. So just go through it. Just go through all the pain. Cry if you must. Cry harder if you need to.

According to Grief, in the Denial stage, ‘the world becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Life makes no sense. We are in a state of shock and denial. We go numb. We wonder how we can go on, if we can go on, why we should go on. We try to find a way to simply get through each day.’ Our brain seems to block and deny the pain by numbing our feelings.

Anger then surfaces. When in this stage, we question everything. Situations, circumstances, other people sometimes even God. We just let go of those emotions that are not there before. Anger is the manifestation of pain.  Anger is the hollow shield of loss. That feeling of a temporary shelter from nothingness, from weakness and from the truth.

In Bargaining, we appeal to do anything just to spare our loved one from the situation. Things like ” just give him back to me, and you can take away everything in my possession”, or I am willing to change, just please don’t leave” can be spoken. I once bargained with the Lord, “Lord ako na lang, please. Huwag na lang sya” but to no avail.

Then comes Depression, that extreme sad feeling. That intense desire to withdraw from the world, from anything that matters. That desire to just die and disappear. ‘When a loss fully settles in your soul, the realization that your loved one didn’t get better this time and is not coming back is understandably depressing. If grief is a process of healing, then depression is one of the many necessary steps along the way,’ says Grief.

Acceptance is when you finally realize that eventually you have to accept it. That there is nothing you can do to bring back your loss and that you need to start all over again and move on.

The shorter you go through the stages, the better for your health.

4.  Use selective memory 

I try to control my mind as to the memories and images that comes to it when I am experiencing loss. Your mind is like a television screen. Your brain holds the remote control. So you have the power to change channel whenever you feel the pangs of pain.  Whenever I remember memories that will bring about sadness and tears to my eyes, I immediately snap out of it and distract my brain. That way, I do not allow the hurt to engulf me whenever it wants. I try to control the thoughts dominating my mind.

3.  Don’t usually bargain, accept  fast

In case of death or someone leaving, don’t dwell too much on bargaining stage. Accept fast. Remember that if you cannot do anything to change the situation according to your liking, just accept the fact and think of how to move on. Accept that everything happens for a reason and everything happens in God’s time. Rather than question God’s motive, ask for strength and resilience to carry on and keep moving forward.

Think about the brighter side of life.  In case of death I think of the memories we had. The moments we shared. Those happy days and milestones with the person. And I gladly share the stories with others. In cases of separation, I just say it happens for a reason. God will not give us something we cannot endure. And we all have that survivor genes inside of us.

I’ll say this in Tagalog para intense because this is my belief for so long “Pag ayaw na nya, di ayaw na. Wag mo ng ipilit. Di ka mamamatay pag naghiwalay kayo. Malayo yan sa bituka. Namnamin mo lang yung pain, umarte ka ayon sa ganda, then move on”  Pak ganern.

2. Love yourself more 

After the painful experience, you will eventually see yourself in different kind of light. You will be defensive and protective. You will learn to love your self more. And that is good for you, in the first place. By loving yourself more, you will be very discerning with the circumstances that will come to you. You will learn to value your emotions, your physique, your decisions. Its like a renewal, a cleansing process.

By loving yourself more, you will consider your feeling more and not just give them away to anyone not deserving of your time, effort, talent and resources.

1. Trust God more  

Do you trust that everything happens in God’s time? And do you also trust that He will not give you what you cannot take?   Then trust Him that all pain and sufferings will end.Trust also that man cannot fathom His wisdom. And that if He allows you to survive, be thankful and pray that He keeps you in His care. If God is with you, how can you be alone? If God protects you, who can harm you?

In my experience, life’s difficulties, challenges and painful moments are opportunities for us to stick to our faith and be close to our Creator. He wants His people to never stray away from Him and revolve their lives around His wisdom, around His words and completely submit to Him who owns everything in the universe, our life included.

Relying on your own wisdom, getting mad at Him, rebellion  and sometimes ending your life is not the answer.

Life is too short to be unhappy.