sightseeing the quote of the month (OCTOBER 2016)

“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams” ~ Oprah Winfrey

Pinoy Backpacker's shared Experience with Immigration Officers


NOTE: Tips on how to react properly in dealing with Airport and Crossborder Immigration Officers abroad (based on my more than 50 airports and crossborders combined visit). This pointers are essential especially if its your first time doing leisure travel outside Philippines. Please read also query comments of our Kababayan's case experience (very important!).

The following are my personal rate of experience (solo travels mostly) on Immigration Officer encounters in airports and crossborder checkpoints abroad. I rate it on scale of 1 to 5, [1 - VERY RELAX (typical inspection & zero interrogation) to 5 - STRICTEST (rigid inspection & extensive interrogation)]: All Southeast Asian Nations are very relax so far [Singapore(2011), Malaysia border(2011), Ho Chi Minh(2011), Cambodia border(2011), Laos border(2011), Kota Kinabalu(2013)Yangon(2014)-1Bangkok(2014), Bali(2014)Kuala Lumpur(2015)Bandar Seri Begawan(2016)];-1 Incheon(2011)-1New Delhi(2012)-1; Beirut(2012)-1; Cairo(2012)-1; Yerevan(2013)-1, Shanghai,Hongkong(2013)-1; Osaka(2013)-1; Czech Republic border(2013)-1; Rome(2013)-1; Tbilisi(2014)-1; Colombo(2014)-1Marrakesh(2014)-1; Istanbul(2014)-1; Nairobi(2014)-1; Tanzania border(2014)-1; Nagoya(2014)-1Beijing(2015)-1; Ulaanbaatar(2015)-1; Croatia border(2015)-1; Bulgaria border(2015)-1; Copenhagen(2015)-1Kathmandu(2015)-1; London(2014)-2; Dubai(2013)-2; Slovenia border(2015)-2; Paris(2013)-3; Palestine border(2013)-3; Gibraltar(2014)-3Male(2014)-4; Manila(2014)-4; Frankfurt(2015)-4;  Hungary border(2015)-4Iran border(2015)-4Switzerland border(2013)-4.5; Tel-Aviv(2013)-5.

Immigration Officers, IO's (known also as Passport Control Officers) play an extremely important role in the security and safety of any countries. At all times, he/she may arrest any person that he has a reasonable suspicion of committing an indictable offense using the "any person powers" (also known as citizen's arrest). In Philippines, many Filipino's today are open-minded in terms of leisure travel. All are dreaming of going abroad just to tour and experience of being there. Therefore, planning how to go is vital especially if travelling on tight budget basis. One of the process along the way is having interviewed by an Immigration Officer. The role of Immigration Officers are to ensure that immigration legislation is enforced. This can cover the rules of entry for Visa applicants, foreign nationals, those seeking asylum or pursuing those in breach of immigration and criminal laws. 

South East Asia visa-on-arrival (VOA) stamps (2010-2011)

Solo Backpacker's Confession with Accomplished Bucket List Tasks

pushing myself beyond limits to define who I am, what I am capable of and how I value life !!

“The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before.” - Albert Einstein

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” - Muhammad Ali

"Solo backpacking is one of the most life-changing experience with definitely have an inspiring outcome. My experience cannot be replicated by anyone else. The experience you have will be your own and the journey you make will depend very much on your motivations..."

At first, traveling alone is indeed scary especially if you have tight budget to allot for. Since life without adventure is very boring, I gamble myself for that matter. In fact, I was too hesitant to do it but choice will not become a better decision (good or bad) unless trying it. Furthermore, maturity molds fast as you travel alone due you only depend on instincts and assessments made. On my case, I started this escapade last 2010 and a local online travel forum was my gateway to build that enough confidence. Since then, there was a huge difference who I was and I am very proud of those changes. Most of these are life-changing moment, it's like a light-version of "Into the Wild" movie thing. So my advise, start locally, then observe, contemplate and enjoy however you want it to be. All successful travelers are mostly on solo. Anyone interested in solo backpacking today has to challenge the leap of faith! Life without an adventure is very boring. In order to achieve something really great, you have to work hard for it ...

Family Budget DIY Day-Trip in Bato Spring San Pablo, Laguna

October 11, 2016 Tuesday

My 20th family outing initiated and of course, usual budget do-it-yourself itinerary from arrival to departure. This trip also served as my family's 3rd tour-visit in Laguna, the first one was in Enchanted Kingdom, Sta. Rosa (Mar. 2010) and the second was in Splash Island, Binan (Jul. 2011)Please take note I did not perform any advance booking, we just simply arrived there as this day was considered as off-peak (weekday and rainy season). Upon reaching San Pablo on a 3hr bus travel from Kamias, Quezon City via JAC Bus Terminal, there was a direct tricycle one-way trip to Bato Spring for PhP150.

FAMILY BUDGET DIY DAY-TRIP IN BATO SPRING ITINERARY
(composed of 1 adult, 1 senior citizen and 2 children (10-yr old and 4yr old)

0600H ETA JAC Kamias Terminal
0630H ETD Kamias, Quezon City; 112*2 + 140 = 364 (discount for senior citizen/student)
0930H ETA Bato Spring Junction (San Pablo); tricycle to Bato Spring (5km) 150
1000H ETA Bato Spring; Entrance Fee 70*3 = 210 (free for 6-yrs old and below)
1130H lunch (paluto of liempo grill, hotdog, rice and water) 490
fun swimming to Cold spring and swimming pool
1500H ETD Bato Spring; tricycle to Junction 150
1530H ETA Junction; Tindahan ng Itlog ni Kuya food trip 405
1630H ETD San Pablo 112*2 + 140 = 364 (discount for senior citizen/student)
2030H ETA Kamias bus terminal, Quezon City

TOTAL BUDGET: PhP 2,133

Family Budget DIY Day-Trip in Bato Spring San Pablo, Laguna

We Don't Need a Reason to Help People and Protect Nature

sightseeing the joy and pleasure of sharing our blessings

"Even the smallest act of caring is like a drop of water - it will make ripples throughout the entire pond"

Never stop doing little things to others. Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts."

I want to gradually shift my passion of traveling to a beneficial act to mankind by sharing the blessings or lessons I gained on the road. It is better to give than to receive. Local people assisted me so much more than I did to them. So if ever I have the opportunity to help them, I seize the day without hesitation. 

1. During my 1st Solo Trip in Mainland China (2013),  locals booked me a domestic flight while in cruising train, assisted me on my way going to hotel, shared a taxi with me going to airport. This were the wonderful experiences I had with the Chinese people.

2. During my Solo Trip in Israel (2013), I assisted 3 Japanese teen-agers to accompany me going to a public bus trip to Jerusalem coming from Dead Sea. Also, I assisted one Filipino Engineer travelling alone at night in Jerusalem Old city to find for his car parked he forgot the whereabouts.

LTP Malaya Mountaineering Outreach Program (LK10-2) in Gen Nakar, Quezon Province (Sep. 2016)

Maniwaya Island Overnight Beach Camping

Budget PhP1,700 Inclusion (van service StarMall - Gen. Luna Port - StarMall, Private Boat Transfer, Island Fees, Driver's meal/Gas/Toll Fees, Island Hopping. This  trip was an organized event posted in https://www.facebook.com/groups/diytravelphilippines/.

MANIWAYA ISLAND OVERNIGHT BEACH CAMP ITINERARY:

Day 0 Friday August 26 2016
10:00pm Assembly StarMall McDo
11:00pm ETD from Assembly Location to Gen Luna Port

Day 1 Saturday August 27, 2016
06:00am ETA in Maniwaya Island
07:00am Breakfast / Trip To Palad Sand Bar (if low tide in the morning)
11:00am Lunch 
02:00pm Lots of chill time [swimming/volleyball/sun bathing/] 
07:00pm Dinner / Socials
11:00pm Lights Out

Day 2 Sunday August 28, 2016
0600am Breakfast / Relax time
0900am Trip to Ungab Rock Formation
1100am Pack up time
0100pm ETD FROM Maniwaya Island to Gen. Luna Port 
1000pm ETA Manila

BUDGET COST: PhP1,700 (fixed rate) + PhP962 (snacks/miscellaneous) = PhP2,662

Maniwaya Island Overnight Beach Camping
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