Sharing all things about pet-friendly travels and full-time work from home setup

Affordable Local Tour Packages and Summer Escapades

Don't know where to go this Holy Week? I’ve got a list of local tour packages and summer escapades you might wanna try. However if you can’t make it at these dates let me know, we can fix an itinerary for you.

Highly recommended! Check our blog post about Laoag, Vigan and Pagudpud  

Day 0 Apr 4 Wed 10pm Manila to Vigan            
Day 1  Apr 5 Thur St. Augustine Parish Church of Bantay & Bell Tower
                               Calle Crisologo Walking Tour,   St. Paul's Cathedral & St. Paul's Bell Tower & Plaza Salcedo, Paburnayan Pottery Making, Paoayan Loom Weaving
                               Burgos Museum, Vigan Public Market, Baluarte ni Chavit
                               Check in Laoag
  Day 2 Apr 6 Fri  7am Wake up, Breakfast, Check Out
                               Wind mills, Bagui View Deck, Kapurpuran Rock For Burgos Light House, Kabigan      ________________Waterfalls                    
                               Check in Pagudpud
                               Timangtan rock formation, Bantay Abot Cave,   Patapat bridge, Aqua Grande Paraiso ni Anton
                               Beach bumming

Day 3 Apr 7 Sat 7am Wake up, breakfast and Check out
                       11 am Singking bell tower, Marcos Museum in Batac, Fort Ilocandia (if u r checked in Fort ilocandia)  Malacanang of the North, Sand Dunes (Temptation Island Shoot) ,   Paoay Church
                       8 pm Board the bus back to Manila

Day 4 Apr 8 Sun 5 am ETA Manila

Package Rate
P 5,249/pax (Quad Sharing)
P 5,499/pax (triple Sharing)

Inclusive of
• Round Trip Aircon Bus
• 3days/2night Accommodation
• 3 Breakfast
• Vigan Museum Entrances
• Giant Empanada Snack
• Malacanan of the North Entrance
• Beach Entrance
• Pinakbet Pizza
• Service of Tour Shepherds
Not included are the lunch and dinners so you can do food trip adventure and eat at your own budget, take more photos while waiting for the food to be cooked and served.

FOR Inquiry or Temporary Reservation
• 50% First Come First Serve Reservation
• 50% Confirmation on March 27 Tuesday 6pm

Visita Iglesia 2012

Laguna Visita Iglesia
April 5, 2012 Thursday

St. Gregory Church (Majayjay Catholic Church) Reputedly one of the oldest churches in the Philippines built in 1575 using forced labor. Antique relief statues of saints, which were brought by the Spaniards, are preserved in this church. Its belfry houses four small bells and one big bell – which are probably the oldest in the country.

St. James The Apostle Church (Paete Church) Like many of the churches in the province, the Paete Church was built during the early Spanish period. But the novelty of this church lies in the fact that all the religious images found here were carved and/or painted by the residents of Paete long ago.
San Pedro De Alcantara Church (Pakil Church) Completed in 1767 after 35 years of construction, the architectural design of the Pedro de Alcantara Parish Church is reminiscent of the Corinthian and Ionic styles. In 1788, the Virgin of Turumba was enshrined in this church. Through the years, the church has survived great calamities. Along with the rectory, it was burned in 1851 but was repaired the same year; it survived two earthquakes, one in 1881 and the other in 1937.

5 AM Point of Pick 5AM Quezon Ave, 5:15AM StarMall, Pasig
5:30AM Buendia, Makati 5: 45AM Alabang
6am Pick Up Light Breakfast at SLEX (pax Account)
1. San Antonio de Padua Church in Pila
2. St. Mary Magdalene Church; Magdalena
3. St. James Parish Apostle; Paete
4. St. Gregory The Great Parish; Majayjay
5. St. Peter of Alcantara Parish Church; Pakil;
6. St. John The Baptist Parish Church; Liliw;
7. St. Bartholomew Parish; Nagcarlan;
8 pm Estimated Time of Arrival Back to Manila
PROMO Package Rate P 888 if paid in January
P 999/pax if paid in February
P 1,199/pax if paid in March
P 1,399/pax if paid in April
More Promo: 7pax plus one FREE
• Round Trip Aircon Vehicle
• Healthy Buffet Lunch
• Bottled Water
• Afternoon Halo Halo in Liliw
• Service of Tour Coordinator
• Religious Souvenir to reflect on
Not included : Breakfast, am snack, tip to the local coordinator/

Bulacan Visita Iglesia
Friday, April 6, 2012
5:00am until 6:00pm
Bulacan Visita Iglesia
April 6, 2012 Bulacan
1. San Pascual Baylon Church in Obando is one of the oldest and most historic churches in the Philippines. St. Pascual Baylon, St. Claire of Assisi and the Our Lady of Salambao, a celebration that was mentioned by Jose Rizal, the Philippine national hero, in the pages of his Spanish-language novel, the Noli Me Tangere
2. Divine Mercy National Shrine in Marilao
3. Basilica Minore de Immaculada Concepcion in Malolos City
This historic church was in 1896 the seat of power of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo—the first president of the Republic of the Philippines. Located in front of the Basilica Minore is a century-old tree known as the Kalayaan Tree (Tree of Freedom) which was planted by Pres. Aguinaldo during a lull in the historic Malolos Convention. It is presently the seat of the Diocese of Malolos, and has been the bastion of faith for the past centuries.
4. Barasoain Church in Malolos City
A national shrine, the historic Barasoain Church is the site of the Constitutional Convention of the first Philippine Republic, making the Philippines the very first Asian Government to promulgate a Constitution. It was the Seat of the First Philippine Republic on Sept. 15, 1898 to the last week of Feb. 1899 under the presidency of Pedro Paterno. In its convent the Universidad Literaria Cientifica de Filipinas was first housed.
5. Plaridel Catholic Church in Plaridel A 400-year old Parish Church
6. St. Martin of Tours Church in Bocaue
7. Assumption of Our Lady of Bulacan, Bulacan
5:00 am Alabang
5:15 am Makati
5:30 am Pasig
6:00 am Quezon City
Chruch Tour
12:00 nn Healthy Lunch
Finish the Church Tour
6:00 pm Estimated Time of Arrival in Manila
PROMO Package Rate
P 1,199/pax if paid in February
P 1,399/pax if paid in March
P 1,599/pax if paid in April
More Promo: 7pax plus one FREE
• Round Trip Aircon Vehicle
• Healthy Buffet Lunch
• Bottled Water
• Afternoon Halo Halo in Barasoin
• Service of Tour Coordinator
• Religious Souvenir to reflect on
Not included : Breakfast, am snack, tip to the local coordinator/

We also have one for Banawe, Batad and Bontoc and Best of Bicol Holy Week Tour Package. Send me email at or contact me 09198835984. Again if you guys not available on these dates just tell us the dates and we'll create another itinerary for you.

Tours courtesy of Nature Awareness & Conservation Club, Inc. (NonStock, NonProfit NGO)

Yes! Date a Girl Who Travels

I don't wanna be cheesy and feel like as easy as this Sunday morning but I got caught in less than a second about this blog that is spreading like wildfire on Facebook. Already had 12, 000 views within a day it was posted. Mostly shared by travel fanatics and the title is  "Date a Girl Who Travels" which goes like this 

"Date a girl who travels. Date a girl who would rather save up for out of town trips or day trips than buy new shoes or clothes. She may not look like a fashion plate, but behind that tanned and freckled face from all the days out in the sun, lies a mind that can take you places and an open heart that will take you for what you are, not for what you can be. "

Don't even want to sound rrrrrooooomantic but yeah I think every girl who read this would feel like sharing it to the world and would feel like this girl. Recently I got bitten by the travel bug but not promising to do it in full 
blast as I don't have the resources (TIME is number one and it is priceless) but you know the longing of getting to another place for sometime just to be different from the usual routine that is enslaving us for obligatory reasons,  walking like there is no rush, talking to the locals, eating their food, knowing their history and learning something are definitely priceless especially moments like "that bloke she met while watching the sun rise in Angkor Wat". So I learned a new term today "bloke"! It kinda sounded like "Date me! Date me!" stuff but please read the post. Yeah a bit cheesy but forget it it is still very inspiring! 

Reminds me of Cristin, that American girl who has been to 43 countries already! She will be here for 2 months to see Philippines. She and I were hosted by another American guy when I went to cebu a few days ago. The three of us just met for the first time because of a travel website not knowing each other previously, slept in the same room and shared some beers together. Of course I am reminding you readers to be careful as well in dealing with strangers. We don't know who are good and who are not. I told her how lucky she is to have been to these countries, she said she does not feel exactly as I thought about it because she gave up so many things because of this. I will have a separate post about this soon. How I spent my 24 hours in the oldest city in the Philippines just to escape the pressures of my birthday. Wait, why 24 hours?! Because I got work the next day! I was thinking of just to get to Cebu to get on and off the airport then go to Bohol but the whole plan never happened! But I think what happened was actually the best. So stay tuned :)

Ooopps, I guess I've said enough, ladies you may click here the story. Let me know what you think.  [Photo courtesy of]

Philippines is in Top Twenty Places to Emigrate for Young People by The Telegraph UK

Surprisingly or should I not say that  the Philippines is ranked 8th out of 20 countries in the list of  Top Twenty Places to Emigrate for Young People by The Telegraph UK. Reason it cited is "The Philippines has beautiful islands and beaches, many relatively unspoilt by tourism. Its position close to the booming heart of east Asia is an advantage."

Photo courtesy of The Telegraph UK. To view the whole list of countries you may click here. Can anyone tell where in Manila is this photo taken?

Philippines' Locally Made Tablets Named After Rizal's novels: Noli 2.0 & Fili 2.0

Yes, not so many know that the Philippines has local tablets named after Jose Rizal's novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo: Noli 2.0 & Fili 2.0 Mr. John Leyson is the brain behind his company VINTA World Innovations Inc.

According to "Noli and El Fili both have a 7” Multitouch display with Android 2.2 on board. The only difference between the two is that El Fili has 3G connectivity and has double the storage capacity (8gb). Both devices have a 1Ghz processor, MiniSD slot, 1080p video recording and 2 megapixel camera. As of 2011, prices are expected to range from P13,000 for the Noli and 18,000 for El Fili."

Anyway most of us would opt to buy that one with a name. Just to let you know guys we have one here locally too. Check VINTA World Innovations Inc. here

What I Learned In the 5th Annual Women Entrepreneurs Conference

Lately I have been reading a lot about people having successful business with a viral entrepreneurial spirit online so when I heard about the 5th Annual Women Entrepreneurs Conference to be held in Mandarin Hotel Makati I did not waste any time and checked it out.

An economist, a blogger and a multi-awarded entrepreneur led the conference. I was like what am I doing here, because mostly the women who are there have their own businesses so I just quietly take a seat and listen to the speakers. I just came out from my 11PM – 8AM shift that night and I am attending a 9AM gathering! I was gulping a very cold energy drink freezing in my left hand and after I am done I grabbed a 'burning' coffee just to keep me up the whole event. Then I make sure I am standing after and walking for a while from time to time so that I won’t fall asleep. This is tough really please
do not do this!

Ronald Balbieran who is an economist was the first speaker and talked about well, Economy and since I am not into this stuff I was trying my best to absorb anything but the jargon words are drowning me plus my sleepy head but all throughout his talk our Philippine economy is all good to start any business and we have to thank our bachelor president he said. If there is one thing that got in my head is this one:

Manila occupies only 0.2% of the total land area of the Philippines but 18% of the total population of the country is residing here. Thirty-four percent of GDP income of the country is coming from Manila. So if we ask is the Philippines over-populated? NO. Only in Manila. What we need is proper distribution of our booming population and good governance.

Next is a blogger, Patricia Gosiengtian of whom I can relate the most of all the speakers since we share the same interest and that is why you are reading this. She talked about outbound marketing which is the trend before like advertising through billboards, radio, tv etc. Now it is all inbound marketing. You create your own content and optimize it. Then promote it to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus etc. Her story is pretty interesting because she started blogging at 18 if Im not mistaken and her fashion blog is getting page views per day of 50, 000 plus!

Josiah Go, the last speaker is not-your-ordinary-entrepreneur. When his introduction was read I can’t help but my jaw dropped of the awards under his belt. This guy's task is tough. He helps losing companies to recover and gives free seminars about it. He also gives financial funds and anyone with a very nice idea can get in touch with him and give a 5 minute pitch. If you’re idea is pretty cool go check him out. You may also follow him @josiahgo on Twitter. He tweets thoughts and advices about entrepreneurship.

World's Largest Floating Book Fair will Visit Manila Feb 17 - Mar 3 2012

Philippine Star reports that MV Logos Hope, the world’s largest floating book fair will visit Manila on her maiden voyage around the world. More than 5,000 books at affordable prices will be displayed about science, sports, hobbies, cookery, the arts, medicine, dictionaries, languages, and philosophy etc.  The public can roam around parts of the ship: Experience Deck for wide viewing of horizons, the Welcome Area, where there is a short movie & interactive display presentation and the International Café for snacks.

MV Logos Hope will be docked at Pier 15, Berth 4, South Harbor from Feb. 17 until March 13. Time to visit are 10am - 9:30pm Monday - Saturday, 1pm - 9:30pm on Sundays but closed on Mondays. Tickets are only P20; children under 12 are allowed for free, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Photo courtesy of Philippine Star. To read the whole article of you may click here

Thank you!

Checking my  phone!
Wanna say thank you  to the one who found and returned my smartphone! I was like 'You sure you wanna return this?' Any lessons learned? Haven't learned any yet actually this happened a few times already . If is returned thank you if not, fine.

I live online so having a smartphone really is amazing. I think that the number of hours I  have flirted with a guy  online is way, more than in person . But anyway  I give due credit to the online world for letting me meet a few good men as well for business and non - business  purposes.

Ah pls  don't be surprised if from time to  time I mention about boys. Well I am in the right age and in the right mind totally. What I notice is if I spice up a little about boys there's a lot reading here. Probably much more interested than what this blog is all about. So we have to  go with the flow! No  naming names promise.  I know what  to tell and  what  not tell.

Day 3: Vigan Tour

From Pagudpud, we went back to Laoag city thru bus for 60. From there you can take a bus ride to Vigan for P120 - famous for  its old houses. We went to learn how to do pot-making for free at  RG Jar Factory. Then we went to lola Virginia Quiteviz house (Lola's Homeweaving since 1929 - Home of native Abel Iloco in Naguilian) and  learned weaving this time also for free. The feeling of learning these crafts are liberating. I urge anyone going to any place to not to see the place alone but learn something! We also went to Syquia mansion and Burgos museum - if you want to see old stuff from past you can go there for only P20 eantrance 

Calle Crisologo is perhaps the most beautiful street in the Philippines. Why? It takes back anyone how it feels like to be in the streets of our great-great-grandparents before! We ate at Leona's cafe , a fine dining restaurant. You may try their bagnet - it resembles the lechon kawali version or try poque - poque. I suggest you go their late afternoon or evening because it looks very rrrroooomantic (yeah I guess!) and colorful when the lights are on like you wished you were walking here with someone doing hhww(holding-hands-while-walking). Shut up Rona! This is the best place to buy local handicrafts - the best if not the finest for pasalubong (to bring home and give as gift). Mind you there is a club along Calle Crisolog Street! So if you are a party rat. You're indeed lucky there is one here in a heritage site. Or if you have time as well you may see Vigan in river in a heritage cruise for only P150 every 8AM  and 4PM only.

Lyn my buddy had to go to Manila after and I had to stay in Vigan Hotel for a night. There is wifi everywhere! Unlike other hotels there that only in the lobby you can go online. A must try for breakfast is the durong pandesal - pandesal with flavor of malunggay. I hope they open a store here in Manila soon! What is good thing about Vigan, is their  Tourism council office is located in the heart just a few walk away from Leona's cafe. You may go there if you have questions want to check them out ask where is the affordable place to stay or where to go they have the answers! Just ask any of the tricycle drivers.

Cafe Leona

Old jeep 
Hi there :) My name is Maria Rona Beltran, the founder of this travel blotg and shop - Travel Maria you are reading right now. I want to stay connected to you to a lot of other ways so I am sharing you other social media accounts.  See y'all online soon:)

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Day 2: Pagudpud Tour

From Laoag to Pagudpud which is also part of Ilocos Norte, take a 2-hour bus ride for P60. This place is quite far from the centro. What is known here are homestays. Homestays are like the local version of Roomorama where a tourist can stay to a family. What is different is you get to talk to them, feel their family atmosphere and of course they cook for you lutong bahay style! The fried lobster was unforgettable. I ate with my bare hands! We stayed at Hannah Lou Homestay which is very cheap P250 per night per person and as low as P50 is their home-made meals. Now what is cool about this is Mang Ruben, the father also offers two tours for P600 with his tricycle! Now this is a different kind of road trip. He first let us see hundreds if not thousands of wild ducks (wild ducks can fly!) in a swamp near to his house, the lovely Bangui wind mills, the Kapurpurawan rock (uniqure limestone formation like you are walking in a desert) and the Cape Bojeador lighthouse that has been operating since the 18th century! We are blessed we have a sunny weather, bring a hat and be ready to walk and walk and walk!

No these are NOT birds flying. These are WILD DUCKS. Yes they can fly!

Bangui Wind Mills

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
View from Kapurpurawan Rock the South China Sea
Cape Bojeador Light house since 1872 
Hi there :) My name is Maria Rona Beltran, the founder of this travel blotg and shop - Travel Maria you are reading right now. I want to stay connected to you to a lot of other ways so I am sharing you other social media accounts.  See y'all online soon:)

Like my  blog's Facebook Fan Page here
Subscribe to me on Facebook here
Follow me on Twitter hereInstagram here or Foursquare here

Day 1: Laoag Tour

Laoag City is the the capital city of Ilocos Norte, and the province's political, commercial, and industrial hub. We started here since this is where the Ilocos region's only commercial airport is based.

Laoag to Batac 
Riding in a jeep for only P10, we visited Marcos Museum and Mausoleum where former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos' stuff is housed telling his biography and also his waxed dead body. Entrance to museum is only P50. We also tasted their local delicacy that Ilocos is know for - empanada for only P45. You may also try Tinubo, it is cheese, butter & sugar melt inside a bamboo cane that you need to smash first before you eat.
Marcos Museum 

Batac to Paoay
Another jeepney ride for P10, we visited Paoay Church which is a UNESCO Heritage site. Just adjacent to the church is the Herencia Cafe, a fine dining restaurant that has a very good view of Paoay Church. You can try their Poque - poque pizza and pinakbet. The best!

Paoay Church
Herencia Cafe

Tryke Tour
Just by walking to the nearby blocks of Herencia Cafe, you may approach tricycle drivers and ask them for a Tryke Tour. Itinerary is Paoay Lake, Malacanang of the North, Fort Ilocandia hotel and Sand Dunes.
Paoay Lake
Fort Ilocandia
Saramsam Ylocano Resto
Poque - poque Pizza

Don't forget also to drop by at Saramsam Ylocano Resto at Laoag City - another fine dining restaurant. Known for putting a little twist on every Ilocano dishes they offer. Try their Poque-poque pizza and their malunggay ice cream that you may need to spray a calamansi to make it tastier.  Weird!

Malacañang of the North

Paoay Sand Dunes
Madre De Cacao 
Lots of lovely madre de cacao trees we saw! 

Ilocos Tour: Laoag, Pagudpud and Vigan

For four nights and four days, I and Lyn a friend took a Laoag, Pagudpud and Vigan tour. We started in Ilocos Norte where we visited Laoag City and Pagudpud. Then we went to Ilocos Sur in Vigan. Our favorites are the Paoay Church - one of the most photographed  and UNESCO protected church in the world,  the  Bangui Wind Mills at Pagudpud. Oh boy! We screamed the very first time we saw it from a distance while we are still inside a bus. Heck the people were looking at us! Oh of course who would not fall in love with Vigan - with those old houses that anyone walking there will feel like they've been transported back to our great-great-grandparents days. 

If you need assistance and complete itinerary where to go and where to stay CONTACT US we offer an Laoag, Vigan and Pagudpud Tour Package ANYTIME we will provide you the options where to stay and where to go. Just tell us WHEN is the date.

Day 1: Laoag Tour
Day 2: Pagudpud Tour
Day 3:  Vigan Tour

Bangui Wind Mills

Kapurpurawan Rocks 

Saud Beach

Paoay Church

Inside Herencia Cafe 

Cape Bojeador Light House

Vigan Cathedral

Along Calle Crisologo Street

Hi there :) My name is Maria Rona Beltran, the Founder of this travel blog and shop - Travel Maria you are reading right now. I want to stay connected to you to a lot of other online ways so I am sharing you my other social media accounts.  See y'all online soon:)

Like my  blog's Facebook Fan Page here
Subscribe to me on Facebook here
Follow me on Twitter hereInstagram here or Foursquare here


Lecture 1
by Dr. Fernando N. Zialcita

This talk will focus on three challenges that make  the preservation of architectural heritage a daunting task in the Philippines: 

1) It is perceived as being elitist and of little relevance to the concerns of ordinary people;
2) Attitudes towards old things range from ambivalence to disdain; and
3) Since many textbooks portray the Spanish legacy as evil, why then should we preserve pre-20th century structures? How can they be Pinoy?

The possible opportunities that Dr. Zialcita will explore are: 
1) The rehabilitation of heritage structures can help tourism (already proven in Vigan) and create social housing (not yet happening here);
2) Events can be created to make old buildings come alive, also young architects could take old structures as inspiration for creating designs that are new yet rooted; and 
3) A closer look at our colonial history will reveal both negativities and positivities. The positive influences remain relevant and can be re-used.

Lecture 2
by Ms. Matec Villanueva, President and CEO, PUBLICIS
Discover how to market heritage conservation as if it were a consumer product, who the primary and other target audiences are, how to package the heritage conservation "message", and the elements of a basic marketing plan for heritage conservation.
Lunch will be BYOB (bring your own baon). HCS staff will also be available to purchase your lunch at select restaurants. Please order and pay for your lunch when you register. Please stay at the venue during lunch break for networking and to allow us to start the afternoon lecture on schedule.
  • Report on Status of HCS's ongoing activities
  • Presentation of HCS Program of Activities for 2012
  • Formation of Working Committees

Raffle Prizes:  (To qualify, just bring along two (2) new members)
Sibylla Cumana by Jose Rizal (translations in English by Gemma Cruz Araneta, in Tagalog by Rio Almario) worth P950.00
Myself Elsewhere by Carmen Guerrero Nakpil, worth P500
Heroes and Villains by Carmen Guerrero Nakpil, worth P500
Wala Lang by Dr. Jaime Laya worth P400
Puentes de España en las Filipinas by Arch. Manuel Maximo L. C. Noch, worth P1,400.00
Under the Stacks by Saul Hofilena worth P2,500.00

back-to-back lectures on Saturday, 4 February, 9:00 a.m. at Gota de Leche, 859 S.H. Loyola St., Sampaloc, Manila.  RSVP: Dorie/Luz/Sam at 3534494 * 5854285 * 0917 8668853 *
Members in Good Standing: FREE registration
Guests: P200
Undergraduate students: P100