Advertisement

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

6 Best Countries To Visit Right Now

6 Best Countries To Visit Right Now


Time and money are two of the most common reasons people do not travel. But traveling does not always mean you need billions of pesos. All you need is a bit of cash to get going. Do not worry. The world will still be here. No one has ever said and wished that they have traveled less so they could put longer hours working. 

As to where you are going, we have listed here some of the best countries you must visit right now while you are still young. 

France 

The French know how to make the most of their leisure time. When you visit France, you want to go to Paris. Cross the Eiffel Tower or go to Notre Dame. Then, head to Lyon, which is the second largest city in this country. And if you are a wine lover, you must not forget to visit Bordeaux or Burgundy. You can also make a stop on the French Riviera. 

Italy 


Next is Italy. It has everything that you want. Art, beaches, mountains and best food. You name it; the country has it. In a matter of days, you can hit different cities. But the first place you must go is in Florence to San Gimignano. This country is a genuine treasure. Italy offers overwhelming community and culture. The residents here only want to eat good food and drink Chianti while loving their country. 

Tanzania

You should go there while you are still young so you could climb Kilimanjaro. Since it is the tallest mountain in Africa, you need a good set of heart and lungs. Reaching the summit can take up to nine days. But it will depend on the route you take. When reaching the top, you will feel like you are on a plane as you get through glaciers, snow, and wooden sign. 

Colombia 

Going to this country is cheap. Even if you come from the Philippines, you do not need a huge amount of money to go there. When going there, head first to Medellin. Then, enjoy the hot springs of Santa Rosa de Cabal before heading to Cocora Valley. Colombia is a country where the past mixes with the present. At the top of South America, you can see the Andes coming to meet Caribbean beaches and dance all night in Cali, which is famous for its dancing. 

Thailand 

Known as the Land of Smiles, Thailand offers cheap adventure. But, just because it is cheap does not mean that it cannot provide you unforgettable holiday. However, you should go there during the hot season. When you choose to travel to Thailand, make sure to head to Bangkok first as it offers some of the greatest food in the world. From Bangkok, you can go to the cooler mountain terrain in the North. Or you can go south and swim to its perfect beaches. 

Vietnam


It is closer to the Philippines. But you must go there while you are still young because of its rugged terrain. It has enchanting landscape and fascinating history. You must start in Ho Chi Minh City. The country may be known for its congested traffic and aggressive touts. However, this country has something exciting to offer.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

International Travel Safety Tips - Avoiding Pickpocket



Traveling in a foreign land will make you an easy victim for pickpockets. However, if you adhere to our international travel safety tips, you can avoid losing your possessions while enjoying your vacation. 

Don’t leave your things unattended. 

It’s pretty obvious, but sometimes, travelers forget about it as they get overwhelmed. But you must never leave your bags and your belongings unattended, even when you’re in a restaurant or at a cafe. Always keep them on your lap. If they’re on your bag, wrap your bag around your leg and never leave it at your feet or the side of your chair. And when you exit the place, always look behind you in case you forget something. 

Avoid keeping your credit cards and cash in one wallet. 

You should have one wallet for your credit cards and another for your money. But never put them all in one wallet. It’s an important travel safety tip in case your one wallet gets stolen. In this way, you’ll still have a source of money to fall back on. 

Never put your wallet in your back pocket. 

It’s a no-no. Always keep it in your front pocket or a zipped bag. But never in a backpack. It’s also essential that you sling your pouch in front so you’ll see it always. 

Don’t wear jewelry and an expensive watch. 

There’s only one reason you should avoid it. That is, expensive items would only make you a target for muggers. And to further avoid thieves, you should avoid crowded areas and strangers, as much as possible. 

Use anti-theft products. 

http://www.pacsafe.com/citysafe-cs100-anti-theft-travel-handbag.html

I’m a big fan of Pacsafe Citysafe. It’s a safety handbag that comes with straps that prevent bag slashers who are on motorcycles from slicing through your bag and running off with your bag. Plus, it has built-in splash guards that protect your gears from a thief who’ll slash your bag and run. 

Its zipper pullers can be placed under to prevent pickpockets from reaching your bag. 

You can also go for a travel RFID money belt. What’s great about it is that you can wear it under your clothing so as to prevent theft. Then, it’s equipped with RFID chips that can block illegal scanning of your passports and credit cards. 

If you like using a backpack, you can go for Tigernu anti-thief backpack. It’s an Oxford fabric bag designed to protect your belongings even if you’re preoccupied. It’s difficult to steal your things in your bag because it doesn't have zippers/pockets on the front. The zipper is concealed under a flap. Plus, it’s water-resistant, thereby, keeping your things dry. 

What to do if your credit cards are stolen? 

You must call your banks to cancel them. Do it immediately. It’s to prevent transactions made on your card. After calling the banks, file a police report. 

On the other hand, if your passport is stolen, make a police report and request a copy of it. If it’s not available, get its report number, name, and location of the police station. These details are vital. 


If you heed to these international travel safety tips, you can avoid traveling to a foreign land with no passport, wallet or credit cards.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The Pros and Cons of Retiring in the Philippines


The Philippines is in the list of the top 25 retirement destinations in the world. It’s based on several factors, such as benefits, discounts, healthcare, etc. 

Retiring in the Philippines can offer you a lot of advantages. But it also comes with some risks. In this post, let’s talk about the pros and cons of living or retiring in this archipelagic country with more than 7,000 islands. 

The Pros of Retiring in the Philippines 


Extremely low cost of living

It’s known to many foreigners that the Philippines offers a lower cost of living, compared to the US and other parts of the world. Per month, you can comfortably live on around $800 to $1,200. The amount would include dining out or traveling within the country. 

If your monthly benefit is, say, $900, it can already cover your basic living expenses. 

The most interesting part is that you can get a household help at a very affordable rate. That said, even if you’re on a tight budget, you can still afford to hire someone to help you out with cleaning, cooking, and other household chores. 

Beautiful Country


Our country offers a natural beauty. It’s easy to appreciate its surroundings anywhere you are in the Philippines. 

We have several beaches, like Boracay in Aklan and El Nido in Palawan. All of those biggest draws can surely attract people, not just in Asia, but all over the world. 

Incentives for Expats

The Philippines is very welcoming, especially to expats. We even have a government agency that’s designed to attract foreign retirees. 

Some of these financial benefits would include huge discounts to individuals who are 60 years old or above, duty-free import that’s worth $7,000 and exemption from travel taxes. 

Apart from those things, expats can also work and start a business here. Plus, you can stay here in the Philippines as long as you like because your retiree visa doesn't expire. 

However, you’ll need to obtain permanent residency first. Then, once you’re approved, you can easily leave or return without having to reapply for residency. 

Unfortunately, it’s not all pros the retiring in the Philippines. Here are some cons you must consider before you even decide to settle here. 

The Cons of Retiring in the Philippines 


Healthcare 

It’s still a burden to some expats, especially in some areas of the country that don’t offer the same level of care in Manila. 

This is one of the reasons some expats with chronic conditions don’t choose the Philippine as they need regular treatment that the country couldn't provide. 

Lack of Infrastructure 

Even though the Philippines is one of the fastest-growing countries in Asia, it still has a problem with infrastructure, which is a huge economic obstacle. 

What it means to you is that you could experience power failures or outdated telecommunication system. You’ll also experience prolonged water shortages, especially during El Nino or summer season. It’s also common to see deteriorating bridges and roads. 

Safety Issues 

Ever since the campaign against drugs started by the current president, it had already resulted in thousands of deaths. However, if you’re not involved in illegal drug trade, there’s nothing to worry about. 

The biggest safety issue isn't the campaign against drugs. It’s actually terrorism. 

Terrorists are targeting markets, sporting events, and theaters. However, not all places in the Philippines are at risk. Only a few parts of the country are linked to terrorism and insurgency. 

These places would include the Sulu Archipelago and southern Sulu area. Certain regions of the island of Mindanao may also pose a threat. 

Conclusion 

The Philippines is a beautiful country that attracts expats who want to retire in a better climate with beautiful scenery. Retiring in the Philippines may have its pros and cons, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons. 


The Filipino people are very welcoming to foreigners. Plus, our country offers incentives to retirees. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Top 9 Tourist Spots in Cebu


Cebu is one of the most livable cities in the Philippines. It’s not as crowded as Metro Manila. Cebu is also not as polluted as Manila and other cities in Luzon. Then, the cost of living is more affordable, just like in Davao City. And if you ride a taxi, Cebuano drivers are more trustworthy than drivers in Manila.  

Most tourist spots in Cebu include beautiful islands, historical sites, and scuba diving sites. So, to make the most of your stay in Cebu, here are some of the tourist spots that you don’t want to miss when you’re in the Queen City of the South

1. Magellan’s Cross

The Magellan’s Cross is a symbol of Roman Catholicism in the Philippines. It’s housed in a chapel and it’s been planted there to signify a major event, i.e. the propagation of Roman Catholic faith in the country. 

It’s also a symbol of the colonization in the Philippines by King Philip II of Spain. 

2. Colon Street 

It’s the oldest street in the country and named after Christopher Columbus. This road was built during Spanish Colonization under the Spanish navigator Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. 

3. Taoist Temple 

Situated in the Beverly Hills Subdivision, the Taoist Temple is another popular tourist spot in the city. Built in 1972, it’s the center of worship for those who follow Taoism. To reach the temple, you need to take a lot of steps. So, it’s not ideal for tourists with weak knees and legs.

4. Cebu IT Park 

It’s not just an IT hub, but it’s also a lifestyle and recreation destination. Cebu IT Park offers a wide selection of cafes, wellness centers, restaurants, and retail stores, as well as bars. During the night, the place becomes livelier. 

5. Mactan Shrine

It’s in Lapu-Lapu City in Mactan Island. In here, you’ll find the 20-meter tall monument of Rajah Lapu-Lapu. He was the first Filipino hero who defeated the Spaniards and killed Ferdinand Magellan on April 27, 1521. 

6. Tabo-An Market 

It’s a haven for those who are looking for dried squid, tuyo, dilis and several others. Dried mangos and otap are also found here. 

7. Sky Experience Adventure

Do you want an adrenaline rush type of experience? If you do, then you should go to Crown Regency Hotel and Towers. The place offers heart-pounding activities, such as Vertical Climb, Edge Coaster, Urban Zipline (this I like) and Tower Walk. 

8. Mango Square

Besides the IT Park, Mango Square is also a perfect place to enjoy your night with your friends and family. In here, you’ll enjoy the fun and lively music and nightlife in the heart of the city. 

9. Food trip 

Forget about your diet. Eat as much lechon as you want. Enjoy the street food paired with puso. It’s a cup of cooked rice wrapped in palm leaves. 

Other tourist spots in Cebu that you can go to will include Fort San Pedro, Basilica del Santo Nino, Metropolitan Cathedral, and Provincial Capitol Building. Of course, there are other places that you can visit if you go to Cebu that aren’t listed here. 


Did I miss anything? Please leave a comment. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Where is the Philippine Arena?


The Philippine Arena is considered as the world’s biggest indoor arena. But it wasn't built by the government. Rather, it’s a source of pride of INC members.

It’s situated in a 75-hectare enterprise zone in Bulacan, Philippines. Although it’s a Filipino pride, it’s designed by Populous, an Australian company. 

But the construction was done by Hanwha Engineering and Construction Corp. The structural engineering was managed by Buro Happold, a London-based company. The audio and video design is provided by a Canadian company known as the Engineering Harmonics. 

Opened on July 27, 2014, the Philippine Arena is so significant that the construction cost around $200 million. It took three years to build it. Touted as the biggest arena in the world, it has a seating capacity of 55,000. 

How does it compare with Singapore’s National Stadium? 

The Philippine Arena and Singapore’s National Stadium are categorised differently. Both has 55,000 seats. But the Philippine Arena is an arena as it’s used for indoor activities. The National Stadium, on the other hand, is a stadium that accommodates outdoor activities. 

Furthermore, the Singapore’s stadium has a retractable roof. Ours has a fully air-conditioned structure. 

Not for profit

Built by Iglesia ni Cristo, the Philippine Arena was designed and constructed not to make a profit. Its intention is to be a place where people can gather for religious, cultural and sporting events. 

Did you know that it’s made from voluntary offerings? 

Yes, the biggest arena in the world has become possible through the voluntary offerings of the INC members. For the INC, giving offerings is a duty and not as a donation. 

The Landscape Artist

The Philippine Arena’s landscape was designed by the same firm that landscaped the National September 11 Memorial and Museum — the PWP Landscape Architecture. It’s a world-renowned firm that also designed Jamison Square, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and several others. 

Up to 100,000 People 

The master plan was for the arena to accommodate 100,000 people. That is it has a seating capacity of 50,000 and another 50,000 at a live site, which is outside to share in an important event. The overall masterplan was to include shopping centers, residential developments, and hospital. 

The arena is built as a multi-use sports and concert venue. From boxing to basketball to musical performances, the Philippine Arena can handle them. 

Can other religious groups use it? 

According to the INC spokesperson, the rule is that the event must not offend the teachings of the Bible. That means other religious organisations can use it as long as they oblige with the rules and regulations of the Philippine Arena. 

Unique Layout 

Unlike other arenas in the Philippines, it’s divided into three sections. Each section has a seat color based on the INC flag, i.e. green, white and red. 

It’s also ready for potential disasters. In a Discovery Channel documentary, the arena was highlighted to be quake-proof. That is, it’s built with flexibility and strength. It can also survive seismic forces that might occur in the Philippines. Plus, there are enough exits. When a disaster strikes, people in the arena can escape within four to six minutes. 


Image Source: Philippine Arena

Friday, April 22, 2016

Can You Still Find Affordable Maldives Tour Package?


The Maldives is an exotic, beautiful country. Before, it wasn't possible to travel there on a budget. Now, you can find guesthouses located on the local islands. They offer budget travelers an affordable way to explore the beauty of this country. So, yes. You can find affordable Maldives tour package now. A $1,000 budget isn't bad for one person who wants to stay there for four nights. 

A few years ago, flights to Maldives would cost you around $2000. Then, you’d have to make another budget of $300 a night for hotel rooms. That said, the money that you could spend here could be spent on a longer trip and visit several countries in Asia. 

But things are changing now. Maldives opens its doors to budget travelers and allows them to export it without having to worry about money. 

Budget Travel 

Budget travel in this country is still new. In general, tourism is relatively new to this country. Its first resort opened in 1973. For more than 30 years, the only way to go there is through expensive island resorts. 

But the government changed its regulations. It now allows guesthouses to open on local islands. That is, tourists can now stay with locals so they can have an insight of what life has to offer in this country. 

In 2014, Tiger Airways introduced a budget Maldives tour package. It launched four flights per week to the country’s capital — Male. For only $450, you can have a round trip flight from the Philippines to Male. 

Unfortunately, the trip can take around 14 hours. It includes a five-hour stop in Singapore. Fortunately, the Singapore airport has enough attractions that let you keep yourself busy. 

One of the major costs of touring the country is transfer through a seaplane. That’s because the majority of Maldives is covered with water. Its 1,200 islands are scattered over the 298 square kilometers. 

No booze 

The Maldives is an Islamic country and it prohibits alcohol and pork consumption. You also have to dress conservatively. 

When you choose an affordable Maldives tour package, you must not expect a five-star accommodation. However, the accommodation is mostly clean and new. And yes, you can expect it to have cable TV and Wi-Fi. 

If you go to an inhabited island where Islamic laws apply, you can’t find or eat pork. You also can’t swim in your bikini.

Budget guesthouses offer good value for only $30 a night. With this price, you can have a spacious room, with hot shower, free breakfast, and snorkeling gear, among others. 

One of the best budget places you can stay is at the Water Breeze Guesthouse in Maafushi. Per night is only $61.71. The owner here is lovely, and the breakfast it serves was enormous. 

Cheap transport 

Local ferries can run around $2 for a three-hour journey. Visiting a resort requires riding on a speedboat. But it’s quite expensive. Per person is around $280 for a 450-minute journey. 

If you’re planning to obtain an affordable Maldives tour package, you must make sure that you’re traveling with a group of friends to divide the cost.

Friday, April 15, 2016

8 Interesting Facts of Vatican City



Have you been to Vatican City? Nope? Me neither. But I do know (and pretty sure you know) that it’s the smallest nation, and it’s the home of the Pope, who’s also the head of the state. It’s also the only country to have a continuous non-hereditary monarchy. The reason for this is that the Pope isn't allowed to marry or have kids. 

Here are some other facts that you may not know about the Vatican City. 

1. Its citizens live abroad. 

In 2011, the city had a total number of 594 citizens. This number would include the Cardinals, Swiss Guard, members of the clergy and the nun. 

But most of its citizens are living around the world as they’re in diplomatic positions. The population of the city will only increase by one when its citizens elect a new pope. 

2. It doesn't have an official language. 

It doesn't have an official language, but most of its documents are written in Italian. The community speaks mostly Italian, English, German, French and Spanish. 

3. It is less than 100 years old. 

The Catholic Church has been around for centuries. But the Vatican City came into existence in 1929. Created by Mussolini, the city was set up as an independent state. It’s compensated for assets lost as part of the treaty. The Pope is also banned from getting involved in international affairs. 

4. It issues its own Euros. 

In the past, it issued Lira. However, when the Eurozone was created, it took the Euro currency and made its own coins with the Pope’s head embossed. It also issues a few coins but no notes. Thus, if you have one coin, don’t let it go. 

5. It owns a telescope. 

Because of its small population, it makes it difficult to view the night skies. In 1981, the Vatican Observatory opened a second research centre in Arizona. It conducts astronomical research using a modern telescope installed atop the Mount Graham in the southeast part of the state. 

6. It has the only Latin ATM in the world. 

The only bank in the city is the Vatican bank that has its own ATM. Because Latin is the city’s administrative language, the machines are in Latin. That said, if you don’t understand Latin, you’ll have a hard time getting money out of those machines. If you travel to the Vatican City, make sure that you have enough cash and hold to it tightly. 

7. You can’t be a citizen here even if you were born in Vatican City. 

Even if you were born here, you can’t be a citizen of the Vatican. The reason for this is that a person can only be a citizen by appointment. When you lose your Vatican citizenship, and you’re not a citizen of another country, you’ll automatically become Italian. 

8. It has the highest crime rate. 

Nope not South Africa. This information is based on the number of offences in relation to its total number of population. Crimes here will include shoplifting and pickpocketing. In recent years, there are reports of assassination attempt on the Pope, money laundering and a murder of a Swiss Guard member. 


These are just some of the most interesting facts about the Vatican City. Do you have something to add? Please let us know in the comments below.

Friday, February 19, 2016

South Africa: Places That You Must Go To


Have you been to South Africa yet? Do you know anything about this country? 

On this post, let’s discover the many places that you must go to when you travel to South Africa, the home to many interesting archaeological places. 

The country is known for its wildlife safaris and gorgeous beaches. But the country can offer you more than these things. 

Gauteng

It’s a small province that’s considered by its citizens as the heart of their nation. Gauteng is also regarded as the economic engine of the country. It offers a unique geological history that’s shown at the World Heritage, where you can find a wide array of caves and fossils. This is one of the most important archaeological sites in Africa. 

The Maropeng visitor center showcases a 3.5 million-year evolution of man. You can gaze at the stars while the storytellers recount the daily activities of our ancestors. 

From Johannesburg, you’ll need to drive for 40 minutes to get to Gauteng. 

Vredefort Dome 

Approximately 120 km from Johannesburg, Vredefort Dome is the world’s oldest astrobleme or meteorite impact structure. It dates back 2,023 million years. It’s also considered as the largest with a radius of 190 km. The astrobleme offers evidence of the Earth’s history. It also gives us the understanding of how the planet Earth evolves. 

Vredefort Dome is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Robben Island 

There are several places in South Africa where you can follow the life journey of Nelson Mandela. But to get a better understanding of him, you may visit Robben Island situated in Cape Town. Nelson Mandela spent his 18 years in prison here. 

Or you can go to the Eastern Cape village of Qunu. This is where he spent his younger years. It’s also considered as his burial place. 

Nobel Laureates

If you want to know more about Nelson Mandela, you should consider visiting Orlando West, Soweto. Out of all the streets in the world, it’s the only strip in the world that’s home to two Nobel Laureates. In addition to Nelson Mandela, the South African social rights activist, Desmond Milo Tutu, lived here.  

Mandela’s house, however, has been transformed into a historical site. 

In Orlando West, you can also find Pieterson Memorial, where it commemorates youth resistance against apartheid. 

St. Helena 

It’s a lost island known as the place for the final exile of Napoleon. Besides this information, there are several things that you can do here. You can hike the soaring crags or take the seas by boat. You may also choose to explore its historic villages. 

When you visit St. Helena, make sure that you opt to take the road by car. It’s a very rewarding experience as landscape changes every turn. While you travel, you’ll find wildflowers, waterfalls, Australian eucalyptus, and coffee plantations. 

Everything that you wish to know about South Africa is in the southernmost part of the country. At Kruger National park, you’ll find lions roaming the area freely. If you’re fond of vineyards, you can go to Cape Winelands. The country also offers thriving arts and dinging scenes. 


The people here are welcoming, just like Filipinos. Each time you visit, it offers something new.

Advertise with IZEA Media