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Review: Southwinds Hotel Cagayan de Oro City near Centrio Mall

Cagayan de Oro City, Hotels, Mindanaoan Update, Reviews, Travel
Southwinds Hotel is located along Capt. Vicente Roa Street Extension in Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao, Philippines. It is a hotel known for its very strategic location - Southwinds Hotel is right behind the new Centrio Mall Cagayan de Oro or the Ayala Centrio Mall, it's just a few meters away from Gaisano Mall Cagayan de Oro (walking distance) and a few blocks away from Robinson's Mall Cagayan de Oro and Lim Ket Kai Mall CDO (you can just ride one of the local trisikads or padyaks for 5 pesos per person) It's also in front of the main branch of Graphic All-In-One (a large chain of stores that sells cellular phones, cellphone accessories and the like). Just this week, my mom, brother and I stayed in Southwinds Hotel. It was my second time to stay there, the first one was during a media t...

Review: Casa Crystalla (Budget hotel in Cagayan de Oro City)

Cagayan de Oro City, Hotels, Reviews, Travel
Back in college, the Ateneo Glee Club had a joint concert with the Xavier University (Ateneo de Cagayan University) Glee Club. (Don't laugh but I was one of the Sopranos of the Ateneo Glee Club :D) Anyways, all of us had to stay with either foster families or in lodging houses in Cagayan de Oro City. Casa Crystalla, a budget hotel in the City of Golden Friendship, was one of the concert's sponsors and they offered several rooms for my co-club members. (I stayed with the lovely Yap family) Fast forward a few years later, Casa Crystalla CDO is now one of the CDO inns I stay in whenever I'm in town. There are a couple of reasons why I like staying there - for one, the rates are very affordable (I usually get the deluxe room with ref, table and chairs - like a mini sala set of sorts - and b...

The one question I want to ask General Santos City Mayor Pedro “Jun” Acharon

General Santos City, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Opinion, Personal, Travel
A few months ago, my brother and I went to General Santos City, Mindanao. AFTER 14 LONG YEARS. It was a trip planned within a few days - I wanted to take pictures during the Tuna Festival and at the same time, perhaps see some of our relatives (father's side) whom we haven't seen in that long a time. What supposedly was a "reunion" turned out to be a depressing visit. My brother and I learned that some of our relatives are now homeless. Yes, HOMELESS. Their homes in Lot 2, Barangay Apopong, General Santos City have been demolished and they have been living in makeshift shanties for more than a year now. By makeshift I REALLY mean makeshift - they merely took whatever they could retrieve in the heat of the demolitions (there were two in a span of a few months) and they literally just pie...

Cotabato to Cebu, Siargao Surigao to Cebu flights for only P500

Business, Consumer, Cotabato, Flights, Mindanaoan Update, Surigao, Tourism, Travel
Want to fly from Siargao, Surigao (the renowned surfing capital of the Philippines) to Cebu or from Cotabato to Cebu for only P500.00? That's now possible but only for a limited period of time! Cebu Pacific Air just announced that they're now offering flights from Cebu to Cotabato and from Cebu to Siargao starting January 1, 2009. To kick things off, the airline company is offering a P500.00 Go Lite All-In fare. The seat sale STARTS NOW until December 19, 2008 only so book your flights ASAP! The seat sale is good for travel from January 1 to March 18, 2009. Meanwhile, starting January 10, 2009, Cebu Pacific will fly three times weekly between Cebu and Cotabato and the Cebu to Siargao flights will be thrice weekly beginning January 30, 2009. This is definitely another reason for you t...

Will Davao have its own airline soon?

Business, Davao City, Mindanaoan Update, Tourism, Travel
I've been receiving buzz from various businessmen around Mindanao and in Manila that Davao City is supposedly set to have its "own airline" very soon. By own airline, I reckon they mean an entire fleet with "Davao" in its name somewhere and that it will serve as Davao City's very own answer to Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines. I asked a few well-placed personalities in Davao if they've heard of this and most of them did confirm that there are "movements" on this plan. If ever this will push through, this will definitely give Mindanao travel and tourism a big boost. I wonder, though, if the planes of this alleged fleet are as small as those of Mindanao Express' (Beechcraft 1900C)? Or if the planes are basically those of Mindanao Express' and then they'd just change the name? Is t...

Cebu Pacific Air adds more Mindanao-bound flights

Mindanaoan Update, News, Tourism, Travel
Cebu Pacific Air just announced that they've added new services and more flights from Cebu City to Mindanao areas and to other parts of Visayas. Starting January 10, 2009, Cebu Pacific Air will fly three times weekly between Cebu and Cotabato, with a year-round "Go Lite" fare of only Php 888 (roughly US $18) one way. On January 12, 2009, on the other hand, the airline will also begin their thrice-weekly service between Cebu and Siargao (dubbed the surfing capital of Mindanao). "Go Fares" for this route begins at P888.00 as well. I must admit, these are pretty good travel deals especially for us Filipinos. It's definitely high time for us to go see the rest of beautiful Philippines!

My first Sony experience is with my Sony Ericsson K500i

Consumer, Contests, Controversial, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Opinion, Personal, Reviews, Style, Technology, Tourism, Travel
While I consider my father's Sony all-transistor radio my first Sony "encounter," (it was one of his most treasured possessions and when he installed pipe-in sound systems in Jesuit-owned buildings, he'd bring me and his precious all transistor radio along - my role was to belt out songs and he'd test the wirings and quality of sound) I consider my Sony Ericsson k500i mobile phone as my very first Sony experience. In fact, truth be told, my Sony Ericsson k500i cellular phone has been with me through so many "firsts" in my life that it has just been (and still is!) one crazy, amazing, memorable ride. This phone has also played a great part in my quest to find my niche - my very own place under the sun. I bought this Sony product at a time when I felt I badly wanted - nay, needed - a chan...

Davao Chinatown 168 Mall to open December 6, 2008

Business, Corporate, Davao City, News, Travel
Davao Chinatown will be busier this weekend as the much-awaited Chinatown 168 Mall is set to open this Saturday, December 6, 2008. Davao China Town 168 Mall is within the Uyanguren district of Davao City, near the Magsaysay Park (where most durian vendors are) and Agdao area. Initially, I thought that this was a branch of the famed 168 Mall in Binondo, Manila (and I actually got a bit excited since I always see to it that I drop by 168 Manila during my frequent trips there) but such wasn't the case. Nonetheless, the China Town 168 Mall in Davao City is something to look forward to. See you there, fellow Mindanaoan!

Review: Aljem’s Inn Davao budget hotel

Davao City, Hotels, Musings, Reviews, Tourism, Travel
Whenever someone asks me to recommend a good, cheap yet clean and affordable inn within downtown Davao City, I often recommend Aljem's Inn along Rizal Street. Single occupancy is only P750.00 while double occupancy is only P875.00. If you prefer the deluxe accommodation, it's just P975.00 and an extra mattress will only cost P300.00. Those are affordable rates, in my opinion. You have hot and cold shower in your room, cable TV, soaps, soft towels and telephone. Local calls are free of charge. Staying at Aljem's Inn Davao City has a couple of advantages. Guests are offered free breakfast (plated - they usually prepare Filipino almusal/breakfast like tapsilog, tosilog, cornsilog and bangsilog). Now if you're not in the mood for Filipino fare in the morning, note that the inn is right smac...

Want a 15 percent discount on your next SEAIR flight?

Camiguin, Leisure, Mindanaoan Update, Tourism, Travel
Thinking of spending a vacation soon in beautiful Boracay or in exciting Kota Kinabalu? What about visiting Busuanga, Basco Batanes or Baler? Then read on because I have truly exciting news for all of you! You can now avail of a whopping 15 percent discount on your next SEAIR flight if you book through Mindanaoan! How cool is that? If you're planning a trip to any of these areas: Manila to Kota Kinabalu, Busuanga, Coron, Palawan, Basco, Batanes, Borongan, Samar, Daet, Tablas, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Manila to Baler and to other exciting SEAIR destinations, then all you have to do is: Book your flight through SEAIR's website Enter Mindanaoan's code in the "Promotional Code (if any)" section: mbdw53ii And voila! You will immediately see the 15 percent discount! Now was th...

Review: Camiguin Island Golden Sunset Beach Club

Camiguin, Hotels, Reviews, Tourism, Travel
The Camiguin Island Golden Sunset Beach Club is strategically located at Yumbing, Mambajao, Camiguin Island, Mindanao. I say strategic because apart from the fact that it is right within the vicinity of the island's capital town, it is located in front of the famous White Island. So for those of you who want to spend more time at White Island instead of the other tourist attractions in Camiguin (also known as the Island Born of Fire), then Golden Sunset Beach Club Camiguin may be a viable choice. I stayed at the Camiguin Island Golden Sunset Beach Club January of this year. The place is smaller compared to the other resorts in the island. However, this is probably why more people prefer to stay there. I found it discreet, private and clean. I heard that the resort has new owners and tha...

Funny Camiguin Island restaurant washroom photo

Camiguin, Humor, Mindanaoan Update, Tourism, Travel, Weird
Before I finally hit the sack this chilly Sunday evening, let me share with y'all a funny photo I took the last time I was in Camiguin Island, Mindanao, Philippines. My mother, brothers and I went to Camiguin (also known as the Island Born of Fire) early this year and stayed there for 5 days. Anyways, on our second day in the island, we decided to make a quick stop at a restaurant at the Parola area (some of the locals also call it "break water") since we needed "baon" for our day tour. I also had to go to the washroom. So imagine my amusement when I found this: Plastered on the men's washroom door, meanwhile, is a framed brief. I remember laughing so hard that I absolutely needed to enter the women's CR right away, lest that I end up pissing right there and then! Some peopl...

Immunizers company launches travel shots contest

Contests, News, Photos, Travel
Are you a budding photographer like Mindanaoan? Or do you have lots of fun photos? Why don't you consider joining The Immunizers Travel Shots Digital Photo Competition? Submit your best images in three categories and your photos may just pull in P10,000.00! The categories you can submit your photos to are: 1. Extreme Adventure (best action shot) 2. Food Trip (best eating shot) 3. Little Jetsetters (best shot of a traveling child/children) For details on each category, check this page. You can send your entries via email (send to [email protected]) or by joining the Immunizers Flickr group (http://www.flickr.com/groups/immunizers) Deadline for submission is on November 24, 2008, 11:59 PM. The competition is open to all residents of the Philippines. By the way...

Good thing Cebu Pacific is bringing Davao-Hongkong, Davao-Singapore back!

Business, Corporate, Davao City, Internet, Tourism, Travel
So I checked out Cebu Pacific Air's website today just to check on my seat reservations (I'm heading to Manila for the Rihanna - Chris Brown concert and to do a lot of other stuff including Christmas shopping, of course!) and to see what's up when I noticed that they're offering Go International Fares for both Davao - Hongkong and Davao - Singapore routes. The "cheaper" Davao - Hongkong airfares will be offered starting December 5, 2008 while for the Davao - Singapore route, the budget airfares will be offered starting December 4, 2008. So does this mean that Cebu Pacific stopped offering the budget airfares for a while? (*Note - I did a mock booking and I found out that the Davao - Hongkong route right now isn't a direct flight - it passes through Manila) I actually availed of the Dava...

Camiguin’s Lanzones Festival 2008 Schedule

Camiguin, Events, Fiesta, Mindanao, Tourism, Travel
The Island of Camiguin is set to celebrate the 29th Lanzones Festival starting this Saturday, October 18, 2008. The event's special guest speaker is President Gloria Arroyo. The 29th Camiguin Lanzones Festival will last until October 26, 2008. Here's the official schedule of activities: OCTOBER 18, 2008 (SATURDAY) 7 A.M. HOLY THANKSGIVING MASS Venue: San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish Church 1 P.M. PARADE Assembly Area: Provincial Plaza to Camiguin Tourism Center UGMAD 2008 Venue: Camiguin Tourism Center Part I: RIBBON CUTTING Part II: OPENING CEREMONIES: 29thCamiguin Lanzones Festival Declaration of UGMAD 2008 Opening / Viewing of the Exhibits (Depending on the time of PGMA's arrival) MOTORCADE OF CAMIGUIN TOURISM ASSOCIATION THE AMAZING RACE: PINOY X-GAMES SERIES ...

Review: Mallberry Suites Cagayan de Oro City hotel

Business, Cagayan de Oro City, Hotels, Reviews, Tourism, Travel
IMPORTANT NOTE: This review of Mallberry Suites CDO was written in 2008. A lot of things have changed since then. You can see the new facilities and book your Mallberry Suites CDO hotel room here. I've been staying in a lot of various hotels in Cagayan de Oro City as of late. One of my favorites so far is the Mallberry Suites Business Hotel, which is located right along Florentino Street. It's right behind the Robinson's Mall near the Lim Ket Kai Center in downtown Cagayan de Oro City. Mallberry Suites CDO is a relatively new hotel in Cagayan de Oro, which is dubbed the "City of Golden Friendship." It's perfect for traveling businessmen who need a place where "everything's within reach" and for someone who may need to conduct their meetings at the same hotel where they're billeted in...