Foreign vloggers lockdown stories in the Philippines

Early Christmas pre-covid times in the Philippines

If you do not know yet, The Philippines usually starts to prepare and celebrate early Christmas when it’s BER months which is now… in September. This is NOT the topic though, sorry. I will cover it next time.

Since we cannot travel outside our own country or territories for most of the people around the world, may I show you what these foreign vloggers that are stranded in the Philippines (that I featured before as per this > LINK) are doing right now with the on and off lockdown GCQ, MCQ, ECQ (sigh!) Check them out again and you will be amazed how they coped being on a lockdown with so many varieties of quarantines. FYI, some parts of the country are covid-free! So don’t just trust the media. Search for truth!

Check out their adventures while living/stranded in the Philippines and some actually wants to stay for good.

The Island of PALAWAN – voted as the best island in the world 2020. Especially now that no other tourists around but mostly locals and some stranded foreigners, the nature is much more awesome!

@Jumping Places

SIARGAO – the surfing capital , island hopping etc.

@Martin Solhaugen + Eight Miles from Home

CEBU – the second capital of the country (sort of).

@Finn Snow

DAVAO – is in Mindanao. The President Duterte’s turf. You will change your mind about this region Mindanao. This vlogger bought a land here partnering with his best mate. It helps that they can speak the language there. Check them out.

@Becoming Filipino

MANILA – the capital of the Philippines. These are their updated vlog about INTRAMUROS (The walled city) and their life while living in Makati & BGC respectively. These 2 couples decided to live in the country.

@Making it Happen
@The Juicy vlog

There are some more vloggers but these are my favorite ones that I always watch on Youtube. Since our travel plans was shelved last April. We cannot go and visit the Philippines. It’s really disappointing because I have a very important mission to do there not just for leisure. But yes, it’s better to wait and be safe than sorry. So many restrictions on both countries NZ and PH anyway. So I am just watching these vloggers to feel like I am there.

Thanks for reading and watching these vlogs. You will not regret it and knowledge is POWER!

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Foreign vloggers stranded in the Philippines amidst COVID-19

While on lockdown in New Zealand I must admit that I was hooked up into watching vloggers (up to now actually) traveling the world especially traveling to my birth country THE PHILIPPINES.  We supposed to travel there last April but of course, it has been canceled.  It amazed me that these foreign vloggers begin to love the country and what it can offer even in these tough times.  While traveling they learned about cultures, values, and learned to appreciate the Filipino people who helped them and make them feel at home.  Check their vlogs and you will see some beautiful places and their roller-coaster experiences while on lockdown and up to a current situation which is the General Quarantine (GCQ).  You may find some useful information about the country and their real image as shown by the vloggers as per their real experiences. Please click their name as I linked their sites and their travel experiences before the pandemic.

Prepare to be amazed.

  1.  MAKE IT HAPPEN VLOG  an Austrian couple who always keeps coming back to the Philippines and finally decided to call Manila home and now stranded in SIARGAO (while on holiday) as per this link & another vlog as per this LINK. An extra info from Meljean Solon20 things to do in Siargao” as per this LINK.

2.  THE JUICY VLOG  a couple from the UK traveling around the Philippines who got stranded in their own home base in Manila.  “11 Ways the Philippines is better than the UK” on this LINK.

3.  MARTIN SOLHAUGEN  a Norwegian travel vlogger who is now engaged to another travel vlogger named AVELOVINIT and traveling the Philippines when they got stranded in Siargao as well.  You will see his latest vlog about “Top 10 places you must visit in the Philippines.”

4.  EIGHT MILES FROM HOME  a couple from the UK with a child named Story and her nan also stranded in Siargao.  They have traveled around Asia and lived in Portugal and now thinking of living in the Philippines even after the lockdown.

5.  JUMPING PLACES  a couple both from different countries decided to do full-time vlogging and currently stranded in the beautiful island of EL NIDO PALAWAN.  Here is their current quarantine experience “A Day in El Nido Quarantined” check their other travel to another side of the island >> CORON.

There are some more foreign vloggers and tourists stranded all over the Philippines.  You can easily check them out on Youtube. These are just 5 of my favorite foreign vloggers telling their own experiences and love of travel.  Since we all cannot travel to any country aside from our own so it’s best to show you what I know and why I keep coming back to my birth country the Philippines.  Family. Friends. Values. Nature.  I hope once you have checked them out you will agree with me.

Please also check this site out:  Mom & Son expats (NZ after lockdown) 

Enjoy watching!  Cheers!

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Where to congregate when in/near Manila?

While we are still here… we might as well enjoy and bank on the memories with the family and friends that we left here when I migrated in New Zealand and now as ex-pats in Abu Dhabi and at the moment staying in the Philippines. I say I am lucky to experience different “World”  for a longer period.

Come with me and enjoy the sites here around Manila and I hope you will appreciate it the way we do.  Please click the photos to enlarge.

THE FAMOUS VGC @ BGC – This is where most ex-pats and tourists stay for a longer period.  VGC stands for Venice Grand Canal @ BGC means Bonifacio Global City and someone told me that this is the 2nd place in the world who is allowed to copy the famous Venice Canal in Italy which we also visited last year August and hope to post about Italy after completing some backlogs.  Update: Click the link Venice to go there.

AYALA MUSEUM in Makati – I always passed this place every time we go shop or explore Makati by foot, and this time we really plan to come here and spent half of the day here.  Actually, we didn’t finish checking about history unfortunately and it’s near 7pm when we departed this place and we go hunt for some food to eat.

SOFITEL HOTEL & RESORTS, MANILA – We spent our wedding anniversary and Christmas here.  It’s a relaxing place and looked luxuriously homey when you sit with those many comfort sofas around the bar and the piano.  It’s also a resort so the whole family can enjoy.  Just check the photos!

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Sofitel Manila, vinneve

NUVALI PARK @ Nuvali Sta.Rosa, Laguna – It’s only 1 hour and a half away from Makati or Manila and depends on the traffic and highways or shortcut you’re in you can make it within an hour if you are lucky by car otherwise going here by public transport it’s best to get to Alabang and just 30-45mins you are already there using a white van at the side terminal before you reach the South Station. Just ask around no worries! It only cost P50 pesos per person.  Very affordable.

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There are some more places to go to around Manila for sure and some I already covered in my previous posts aside from added photos that I shared here.  If you are looking for some nightlife… yes Manila has it all but sorry I don’t cover it.  If you are looking for some shopping destinations, Manila has hundreds of big malls everywhere you go and lot’s of restaurants that are affordable too and some pop-ups food stalls.

Thanks for reading and hope you could check my older post in other parts of the World.

Safe travels!

The Daily Post: CONGREGATE 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philippines: Manila Activities

 

Manila Bay Sunset (2).JPG

Photo credit: Wikipedia click this link for more info

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manila_Bay

To get some words from Lonely Planet, Manila sums up   As well as outstanding sightseeing, visitors who put in the effort will discover its creative soul – from edgy galleries to a lively indie music scene. Combine this with a penchant for speakeasy bars, artisan markets, and single-origin coffees, it’s clear to see Manila’s not only one of Asia‘s most underrated cities but one of its coolest.”

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/philippines/manila#ixzz3ydNqf8BX

So many things to see & do just in Manila what more if you get out of town?  Manila has a lot of options for all types of traveler.  For me, I have to think about my 7yr old son so you cannot find here anything about nightlife etc. those are for singles. The only nightlife I can do is eating out, malling and yes festivals & theme parks. Here are some of the photos I can share with you but please do not copy them without crediting me and this post.  Thank you!

FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS @MOA (Mall of Asia) – Lots of free entertainment from all the malls and one of the famous are to be found in SM MOA, Bay City near Manila Bay.

MAKATI CITY TOURIST ATTRACTIONS – Aside from being the business district and has 3 huge interconnecting malls, with lots of bars and restaurants nearby, they also have the Ayala Museum for the whole family, a Park and lots of X’mas decor you can take a photo ops. We don’t have a lot of time so we only have these to show.  Being there for 3days is not enough but for my budget’s sake, it will do.  I find these two items below interesting. Most of the Filipiniana dress is made of Pineapple fiber and this makes it more expensive but beautiful isn’t it? And the nice wall frame I would love to buy but I don’t have enough space in my bag, pity they are very affordable compared to overseas.

 

CITY OF DREAMS MANILA / DREAMPLAY – This is for the whole family especially for kids who love to interact while playing.  You can buy a minimum of 2hrs pass and yes no foods allowed inside which is standard in any theme park though this one is inside this magnificent building which also housed three resort-style 5star hotels (Novu, Crown & Hyatt), a “boulevard” of branded products for the moms and of course, a Casino for dads. Please see this link on Youtube.

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City of Dreams.vinneve photo

 

Museo Pambata – This means Museum for the Kids.  Unfortunately, it was closed when we arrived.  We can only take a few photo outside.  This will be a must for next time as my son and I love museums wherever in the World we may be.

Art In An Island – They have a mini booth inside the Megamall and we gladly take some free shots though it is not as good as the real one in their location in Cubao please check this link from AmusingPlanet.com so you may see what I mean.

 

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Manila Bay view from my hotel

At the end of the day, we go back to our hotel to where we are staying at that time as these activities are located in 3 different locations so I have booked 3 hotels as I have mentioned in my previous post.  Please click this link to read my reviews.  Just in case, you will visit the Country and it’s your first time then, at least, you have an idea where and what to book.  

UPDATE:  I recommend this blog for people who are curious about PHILIPPINES.  She is an expat from the USA and now living in Manila and I find her travel journeys wonderful especially for a mom like me as she is too.  Nevertheless, you will find out some fascinating places in the Philippines so please check her blog thru this LINK.

In my next post, it will be about “The Countryside”.

Also, please check out my page under category RED PLANET (hotel ) for a good budget hotel for all types of travelers especially going to some Asian Countries.  You may find it helpful and I do recommend it as I have experienced them myself (even before they have contacted me to do a page for them).  🙂

Thanks for your time reading this, much appreciated.  🙂

 

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Hotels: Medium to Budget in Manila

If you are a first time visitor to the Philippines and you are a bit complicated with things then I say you better book a hotel from 4star to 5star but I have seen so far lots of tourists coming from all walks of life and from all over the World that they are ok from budget to middle range which is 3-4star depends on what the Hotel says their standard and what is the real feeling you have experienced.  For many years since the birth of my son, Hotel is my home every time I come to visit “Pinas” which I fondly called as a short name.  I have my favorite old homey hotel that I love to come back to every time and have experienced new ones as well which I will tell you now.

HOTEL H2OThis is connected to Manila Ocean Park.  I say this is a 3-4star hotel depends on your experience but for me that time… I was fortunate that I have experienced the best service so I say this is a 4 star. Sometimes you cannot please everybody and I always try to keep an open mind and not to expect too much.  So it depends on how much you paid for.  I have upgraded our room to an Aqua Room as it is much quieter than the Park View room which is facing the Ocean Park that has a stage shows for Sea Lion, Symphony Evening show, etc. so yes expect that though you will get free shows it may not be that fun if you want to sleep in as they open the sounds early morning.

Once you are out of the vicinity of the Hotel premises, Ocean Park is just a few steps away on the ground floor.  It is convenient for families and couples and other types of tourist except business unless they mix business and pleasure.  It is crowded on a weekend. Restaurants are plenty so no worries for that and even fast foods.

BAYVIEW HOTEL – This is a 3 star hotel which becomes my home away from home as I have been using them almost every year that I visit and though they are old now I can still feel comfortable and the view is great facing the Manila Bay which is famous for its sunset but I don’t have a photo of it as we are always away in the morning and coming back late at night.  Also the U.S. Embassy is just in front.  Most of the time they incorporate buffet breakfast into their room rate and they have mostly Asian or Filipino foods as well as Continentals but limited.  Here are some of the photos.

CROWN REGENCY HOTEL – Location! location! location!  It is a 3 star hotel and just opposite 3 major malls connected to each other.  Located in the business district of Makati City.  There is also a Musuem nearby (will post activities separately) and Greenbelt Park to have time to relax and unwind especially for business people or office workers. Lots of taxis and places to go around to or if you prefer to walk the better as you can see more by walking but have your comfy shoes as it will be a long walk indeed. 

RED PLANET HOTELFormerly known as Tune Hotel which is a hotel chain from Malaysia but the receptionist told me that it is now under a new ownership and so they have renamed it.  It is a good budget hotel and I am happy with this hotel chain, hence booked 2 of them in 2 different locations in Shaw Boulevard and Aseana City near Roxas Boulevard.  Both locations has an influx of foreign tourists as well as the locals.  Also they had a tie up with Grabataxi which is a good solution for people who really want some options not to flag any available taxi or haggle with the driver as some are trying to do so when they see a foreign tourists.  Grabataxi has 2 prices – fixed rate by a private car similar to Uber taxi or taxi rate + service charge.  I opted for the former and was satisfied about the service.  Worry free as they booked you in “real time” when you checked out.

Red Planet Aseana photo credit as per their website

This is the type of room we had.. Twin bed

Manila Bay photo credit from Red Planet Hotel

So to sum it all up… these 4 hotels are all good and I do recommend them but if you are on a budget then try to book as early as you can so you save more as it is cheaper to do just that OR book the Red Planet Hotel you can’t go wrong.  Just pay attention to Tripadvisor reviews and other customer’s review from the hotel website if any then you be the judge if it’s worth it.

Thanks for your time reading this.  Happy Trip!