Monday, April 28, 2014

Think Green: 10 Eco-friendly Travel Tips

Traveling the 80 provinces in the Philippines was by far one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Not only did I earn so many amazing memories that are worth a lifetime, but more than that, it reinforced my belief that we have an incredibly beautiful country—a place we all have the duty to protect.

Recently, I’m glad to have caught up with my friend, Kidd, an environmental activist, one of the people I look up to when it comes to sustainable practices and mitigating environmental impact when traveling.  Over lunch, we’ve come up with some doable tips to guide you in when planning an eco-friendly trip.

Here are some ways to avoid or reduce the negative impact of tourism to the environment.

Explore within your area. Before eyeing the hottest destinations featured in your favorite travel shows or magazines, you might want to consider checking your neck of the woods. Interesting destinations could be lurking near where you live, it saves you a hefty plane fare and a soaring carbon footprint. For us living in Manila, a change of pace and scenery prompts us to go somewhere far and isolated, but you know what, Manila is not too bad to explore! In fact there’s quite a lot to see and do around here.  Spending time in Intramuros and Fort Santiago may be a great way to revisit our history. We also have museums (National Museum, Ayala Museum) where some of the best art works and historical artifacts are housed. If you want to commune with nature, the waterfalls in Rizal, the cool weather in Tagaytay and the beaches in Batangas are only few hours away. Exploring your own city and its neighboring areas is cheaper and an easier way to cut down on your carbon footprint.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hotel Review: Experience ibis Singapore Bencoolen

The lobby at ibis Bencoolen, Singapore 
When traveling abroad, I rely heavily on free WiFi access to stay connected to my family and friends back home. Purchasing a local SIM in the country I visit is not on top of my mind and is costly for a budget traveler like me.  

So when the staff at ibis Hotel Bencoolen told me and fellow blogger, Mica, that we'd be staying in a premium room with a free Handy smartphone that has unlimited data access, and with free local and international calls, I knew instantly that my 2-day stay in Singapore will be fun.

When I entered my well-lit room at the 11th floor, my eyes rested easily on the phone sitting adjacent to the comfy-looking bed. It didn't take long before I started dialing my mother's number to inform her that I've arrived safely and finally settled in my hotel.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Skyscanner 2014 Bloscars: A 48-hour Singapore trip

I stared out the windows as the plane took a descent few minutes before we hit the runway of Changi Airport. The bleak and overcast afternoon sky did not dampen my spirit as the familiar sight of this metropolis came to view -- Singapore is still breathing with a lot of trees and skyscrapers. 

I was on this all-expense paid trip for the Skyscanner Bloscars 2014 Travel Awards in Singapore, a trip that was made possible by Skyscanner.

Just a background, Backpacking Pilipinas won second place in the Philippine Skyscanner 2014 Bloscars Travel Awards. And quite unexpectedly, along with the runner up title came the prize for a free trip to Singapore. What a surprise!

My travel companions for the two-day trip were fellow travel bloggers and Skyscanner winners - Allan of Lantaw (country winner), Carla the Blissfulguro and Mica the Senyorita. I'm glad to have represented our country together with this crowd of inspiring bloggers!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Support Catanduanes Reef Break: Surf Music Festival

This summer, something really exciting (and majestic!) is about to happen in my home province, Catanduanes. The first ever surf and music festival will be hosted by our homegrown surfers and will be held at Puraran Beach, Baras on May 16-18. 

This festival, entitled Catanduanes Reef Break 2014, aims to generate funds for the local surfers who are short on budget when competing in local and national surfing competitions. It will also promote tourism in Catanduanes -- visit our unspoiled beaches, vibrant waterfalls and heritage churches.
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