On Advocacy and Profit Matters in Running an Online Travel Shop

Weeks ago I was way, way over the moon when one of the leading daily deal sites in the country approached me for tour partnership. It is about providing Manila City Tours particularly to Intramuros and Binondo. Now why me and my online travel shop? Every one knows that there is only one person known doing heritage tours in Intramuros. Same in Binondo for food tours. I don't want to drop names but they are Manila's celebrated tour guides. They were able to combine their advocacy and entrepreneurial skills just enough to make a living out of what they love doing the most.  And I admire them for that.

The Horticulture Philippines 2014 Opening Ceremony!


I had a great time joining the opening ceremony of Horticulture Philippines yesterday! Honestly while on the way to Quezon City Memorial Circle where this event is held, I thought I will be completely bored as I am not a plant enthusiast. Plus I live in a 24th floor condo unit, there is no extra space to grow any ornamental plants therefore it is not practical for me to spend my time here. But since I have already said "yes" to Lawrence, a fellow blogger to cover the event I have to be there. Turned out that it was such an eye candy and a stress - reliever while strolling to the different landscape designs of blooming flowers, mushrooms, ferns, bonsai etc spread all over the place. Just over a  week ago I went there with Lawrence to check the place and it was really bare and untidy. 

Binondo Walking Food and Heritage Tour Package 2014


We would like to invite you to our Binondo Walking Food and Heritage Tour every Saturday or Sunday. We are also open to your desired available day, just let us know in advance.  

There are two options: for a half day tour and one whole day tour. This is going to be a discussion of heritage and lots of food. 

We will eat lots hopia, dimsum, tikoy authentic noodles, siopao and more! Come join us!



Quezon City Heritage Tour with a sidetrip to Horticulture Philippines 2014

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Do you know that Quezon City used to be the Philippines' capital for 28 years from 1948 to 1976? There's so much to learn about this place actually! With that we would like to invite you for Quezon City Heritage Tour with a sidetrip to Horticulture Philippines 2014 this coming January 25, 2014 from 8am - 12noon.  

The Horticulture Philippines 2014 is a 10 day exhibit will be showing the best landscaping and plant competition in the metro. This is perfect for your family members who love gardening. Then will will cap off the tour by eating at Coconut House where we will let you eat their best - selling different dishes made of coconut!

Rate: P800 each (20% discount for students,  senior citizens and government officials)


                                                                                                                     For more information please contact 0998-989-3921 or email  mariaronab@gmail.com

An Online Ticket Reservation System for Manila's MRT & LRT train stations



When I quit my 8 year old job and decided to go freelance, it was literally a career suicide I have to cope up with. I knew I have to live a lifestyle way lower than what I used to be. 

It means I have to cut corners in every aspect of my spending habits. No more buying of a cute dress and dropping by to my favorite coffee shop every payday of every month.  Except only if I need to. 


Most of all I learned to ride to our public train station religiously because it is the fastest and the cheapest to go around the metro. 


Horticulture Philippines 2014

The Philippine Horticulture Society in partnership with Quezon Memorial Circle , Quezon City Government presents Horticulture 2014 .

Want to join the biggest garden show for 2014? Check this Horticulture Philippines 2014.  There will be landscaping competition, plant competition, lectures, demonstration, raffles and tour. Special opening will be held on January 23, 2013 for invited guests, VIP's, members and media.

We also would like to invite you to our Quezon City Heritage Tour with a sidetrip to Horticulture Philippines 2014 on Jan. 25th 2014. For more information please click here.

A 2-day conference will be held from January 24 to 25, 2014 at the Bureau of Soils, Visayas Avenue , Quezon City . Post Conference Tour as well on January 26, 2014.

For details: Call 377-0234, SMS 0916-229-92-73, 0917-56354-74 PHS Secretariat

For school , educational field trips please try to contact the secretariat . There is a minimal entrance fee of Php 20 for the general public and Php 10.00 for students , senior citizens and government employees with valid ID's * entrance fee is subject to change , this rate was base on the 2013 show.

Credit Cards for Travel and Accommodations

2014 is the Year of the Horse, an animal sign which tells us it’s a good year to go places and run for miles. Speaking literally, if you plan to travel a lot this year, you might want to use your credit card to get air miles and save money. 

If you don’t have a credit card yet, there are different credit card companies that offer bonuses, special privileges, and travel loyalty programs like air miles.

Travel Maria is now DTI accredited!

Travel Maria, my online travel shop and blog is  now DTI - accredited under the business name MRB Maria Travel Services with Certificate No. 0305344. The validity of the permit is five years from January 10, 2014 to January 10, 2019. I hope this won't cause confusion as the keywords  "Travel" and "Maria" in my online site and business name registration is in different order. 

The  DTI (Department of Trade of Industry) is the branch of the Philippine government that provides information for business owners, exporters, investors and consumers. One of its tasks is to approve and renew business names. I went personally to one of its nearest office in my place which is in Lux Building, Wack - Wack Mandaluyong. 


Practical Motivations for Opening a Hotel Business in the Philippines

In the hotel business, there are a lot of variables to success that may be out of your hands. After all, you can't fully control the flow of tourists or visitors in any location, or stop natural disasters from happening. Of course, you may be able to do some effective marketing to alleviate the situation, but that may only cause tiny ripples to a whole ocean of causes and effects. But however bad these things may seem, these should not really pose as deterrents to putting up a hotel business. What you should be checking for instead are these factors:

The Annual Sagada Bonfire Festival

Our  Sagada Bonfire Fest 2013 souvenir 
If you want to experience a different kind of nightlife where people gather around the biggest bonfire they probably have ever seen in their whole life, come visit Sagada during last week of December. They have this event called Sagada Bonfire Festival where traditional games and folk dances of Igorots (people of Sagada) are performed as a way of educating the guests of the lives of their ancestors during pre - colonization period. I am very lucky I was able to catch it during my Sagada tour with side trips to Banaue, Benguet and Baguio.

The climate from December to February in Sagada and neighboring mountains are at its coldest so you will get to feel the winter sans snow! I suggest you bring a cap, scarf, jacket, wear long sleeve attires and pants instead. 

You may be wondering of all the things that Sagada can make a festival out of, why bonfires? I think obviously because it represents their resilience to the cold weather. One can just stay in the room the whole day and whole night for that kind of weather then forget to plant crops or learn new skills outside but they proved that was not a problem. Their rice terraces are one of the world's most admired architecture that has baffled a lot of engineers on how these were built without aid from technology hundreds of years ago!

Visita Iglesia Tour Package Laguna 2014

Date:  Mar  20th, 2014
Rate: P1, 199 
Promo: 7 Pax + 1 FREE

We'd like to invite you to visit Laguna's heritage - rich churches! 

Tour Highlights

St. Gregory Church  or Majayjay Catholic Church, St. James The Apostle Church or Paete Church, San Pedro De Alcantara Church or Pakil Church and many more

--------------------------------                                                      
  Our Visita Iglesia Bulaca 2016 is now open for joiners. For more information kindly email mariaronab@gmail.com or  text / call via this number 042 007 4134 ANYTIME.    Early bird on or before Mar 14: Php 2k Iglesia Tour Package in Bulacan 2016 with breakfast, lunch buffet and afternoon snacks.

We will send you the complete details   and itinerary soon.

Visita Iglesia Tour Pampanga 2014

Day Tour to Pampanga: P1, 200 each
Date: Apr. 17th, 2014

Tour Highlights
San Guillermo Church | Betis Church | Guaga Church | Lubao Church | Bacolor Church | San Fernando Cathedral | Minalin Church | Apalit Church | San Luis Church | Arayat Church
 Angeles City Church


                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Our Visita Iglesia Bulacan 2016 is now open for joiners. For more information kindly email mariaronab@gmail.com or  text / call via this number 042 007 4134 ANYTIME.    Early bird on or before Mar 14: Php 2k Iglesia Tour Package in Bulacan 2016 with breakfast, lunch buffet and afternoon snacks.

We will send you the complete details   and itinerary soon.



Visita Iglesia Tour Package in Quezon Pronvice /Kamay Ni Hesus 2014

Visita Iglesia Kamay ni Hesus Healing Pilgrimage with Liliw Side trip

Date: Apr 5th , 2014

Rate: P 1,888/pax base 
                                                              Our Visita Iglesia Bulacan is now open for joiners. For more information kindly email mariaronab@gmail.com or  text / call via this number 042 007 4134 ANYTIME.    Early bird on or before Mar 14: Php 2k Iglesia Tour Package in Bulacan 2016 with breakfast, lunch buffet and afternoon snacks.

We will send you the complete details   and itinerary soon.

Visita Iglesia Tour Package Bulacan 2014

Day Tour Rate: P1, 200 each 


We'd like to invite you to visit Bulacan's richest and most historical churches:


  Our Visita Iglesia Bulacan 2016 is now open for joiners. For more information kindly email mariaronab@gmail.com or  text / call via this number 042 007 4134 ANYTIME.    Early bird on or before Mar 14: Php 2k Iglesia Tour Package in Bulacan 2016 with breakfast, lunch buffet and afternoon snacks.

We will send you the complete details   and itinerary soon.



Visita Iglesia Tour Package Batangas 2014

Visita Iglesia Tour Package Batangas 2014
Day Tour Rate: P1, 100 each
Date : April 12, 2014

INCLUSIONS: 

Visita Iglesia Day tour of Batangas – 14 churches 
Private transfers 
Entrance to Caleruega 
Travel insurance 
ID 
Rosary and pamphlet 

                                                     For more information kindly email mariaronab@gmail.com or  text / call via this number 0998 989 3921 ANYTIME.

Visita Iglesia Tour Package Bataan 2014

Day Tour to   Bataan: P1, 200 each
Dinalupihan Church
Hermosa Church of St Peter of Varona (old)
Orani Church Our lady of the Rosary (old)
Samal Church of St Catherine of Sienna (old)
Abucay Church of St. Dominic (old)
Balanga Cathedral of St. Joseph (old)
Pilar Church | Orion Church of St Michael the Archangel (old)
Bagac Church of St Catherine of Alexandra (old) | Morong Church              

For more information kindly email mariaronab@gmail.com or text / call 0998 989 3921                                                                                                              ANYTIME.        

10 Reasons I am Looking Forward in 2014

Me in the mountains of Sagada
I am writing this just hours after I arrived from a free trip to Sagada, Banaue, Benguet and Baguio courtesy of one of my travel partners. This is another free trip I received actually ( October 2013 I brought my mom to Ilocos for free as well).  This is also the longest I have disconnected myself online.  Believe me It feels really good to leave the online world for a while.

For five days, I did not checked my social media accounts and email inboxes.  I want to take more photos of the trip but I took less because I choose to please my own eyes this time. Sometimes the time we spent taking lots of photos and checking our smartphone letting them know your whereabouts, really took so much of our chance to enjoy the moment. 

And I think It helped me to reflect on things I have to work hard for and look forward in 2014. I would like to share as well this list to inspire me and remind me for the whole year round that I need to accomplish these: