What To Do If You Lose Your Philippine Passport

Losing a passport is one of the most stressful things that could happen to a traveler, especially when abroad. In fact, it is also one of my biggest fears (gasp!)–I can imagine the headache and the hassle you have to go through, as well as the change of plans and expenses you will incur. Losing a passport is not very fun.

Even if you haven’t lost your passport, some preparedness and knowledge will come in handy in case the event arises (we hope it won’t!). This will help diminish stress levels. Read on if you want to know what to do in the case that you, or a loved one, lose a Philippine passport.

First, How NOT to Lose Your Passport

First of all, let’s talk about deterrents–how NOT to lose your passport.

Your passport should be the first and last thing you check when leaving or arriving at all times.

Most hotels have safe boxes–use them. Leave your valuables and passport when not needed. You’re less likely to lose your passport if you kept it safely locked in your hotel room than bring it with you everywhere. I don’t carry my passport unless I have reason to.

Granted, there are countries that do require mandatory identification checks. If you do choose to carry it around when touring, just make sure your wary of your valuables and keep your handbag close to you at all times.

Also, carrying a passport when clubbing is a bad idea.

Finally, always bring a photocopy of your passport when traveling. Leave a copy to trusted family and friends too, or even keep a digital version of your passport so you can easily print it when the need arises.

Losing Your Philippine Passport at Home

If you already lost all hope and resign to the fact that you have indeed lost your passport, you need to file an Affidavit of Loss and a Police Report. Get the Affidavit of Loss from a lawyer, where you will have to state all the details on how you lost your passport: when, where, how, etc. This document must be notarized.

For the Police Report, go to the nearest police station that covers the area where you lost your passport. Even if you lost your passport by sheer carelessness and not through criminal activity like theft or arson (hey, it can happen), you still need to file a police report.

Apart from these two requisites, you need the usual documents to passport application: your NSO birth certificate, valid Government-issued ID, etc.

Just go through the same process of applying for a passport, just pay an additional Lost Passport fee of Php200. To learn more about the new passport application process in Cebu, read my blog post here!

Losing Your Passport Abroad

If you lose your passport while traveling abroad, you need to act fast. The first thing you need to do is to file a Police Report. You’ll also need the police report for travel insurance claims and declaration of lost passport. Immediate action will also prevent anyone from using your passport illegally.

The next step is to locate and contact the nearest embassy or consulate (For a list of Philippine Embassies and Consulates around the world, refer to this link). You need to make a personal appearance, so book an appointment (as walk-ins are generally not allowed). The Philippine embassy or consulate or normally available for appointment on weekday mornings, so let’s hope you didn’t lose your passport over the weekend!

philippine_embassy

Bring your police report, passport photos, itinerary, flight details and proof of citizenship.You will need to pay some fees in cash and should be able to get your temporary passport within 24 hours. The embassy or consulate can either give you a replacement passport that will allow you to finish your trip or an emergency travel document that will get you back home ASAP.

 

 

How to Score Cheap Flights to Europe

 

how-to-score-cheap-flights-to-europe

‘You must lead a very glamorous lifestyle, traveling to Europe a lot.’

One of the biggest misconceptions of my life. I wish I had Blair Waldorf’s problems, but sincerely, I don’t.

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I wish I had Blair Waldorf’s problems.

The truth is, I’m just very resourceful. You can score tickets to Europe for as low as PHP 20,000 round trip, if you know how and where to look. Personally, most of my flights to Europe were around Php25,000-Php32,000 round, all-in.

Don’t Fly Direct

Very important tip: don’t fly direct from Philippines. Fly out to Hong Kong, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur first, where I’m sure you can get a handful of deals from Cebu Pacific or AirAsia). From there, you would then have multitudes of budget flight options that will take you to Europe.

Fly Budget Airlines

Fly budget carriers. Some airlines that provide the cheapest rates are: Aeroflot (you can read my review on this airline), Air China, Air France and KLM.

Don’t expect stellar service however–you get what you pay for. I have flown Aeroflot four times and each time would remember telling myself: never flying Aeroflot again!!! but then end up booking flights with them again.

Watch out for promo deals from star airlines. You can get good deals from Etihad and Emirates. Just make sure to check their sites every once in a while.

Buy on the First Month of the Year!

Airlines seem to love giving their best rates and promos on January. So make sure to plan your travels at the start of the year to get the most of your buck.

Use Airfare Comparison Websites

Not all comparison websites are created equal, and no website is also the best–but I do have my own favorite. I prefer Google Flights, but there are also other fare comparison sites such as SkyScanner and FareCompare.

Be Flexible with your Travel Dates

Of course, flying off season will greatly reduce fare costs than traveling during peak season. So generally try to avoid traveling on summer season and holiday season. Fortunately, Philippine summer is from April-May, hence I can easily get cheap flights as I prefer to travel during these months.

These are my short-and-sweet foolproof guide to getting dirt cheap flights to Europe. Nowadays, everyone can fly–it’s just about how to travel cheaper and smarter.

Why I Love Grocery Shopping Abroad

It might be weird for most people, but I get excited every time I go grocery shopping during my travels abroad.

grocery shopping abroad

It seems like a very mundane thing to do, but the grocery store is among the best ways to understand a certain country, culture and people. Food is an important aspect of culture, which you can easily witness in their local grocery store.

A trip to the supermarket is always a potential language lesson. One trip to Auchan got me twenty words richer in French–pommes, framboise, fraise, oeuf, fromage, aubergines, pain, beurre… you’re learning without even trying! I know I like my lait de soja, and my pain sans gluten. Definitely more fun than learning from an audio book.

There are plenty of food items that are staple items in the Philippines that I will rarely find in Europe, and if I do, with ridiculous price tags–Asian instant noodles, coconuts, pineapples, mangoes, dried fish, fish paste and white rice in 20-kg sacks.

I am also amazed at the inexhaustible kinds of cheese, milk, cream and yogurt you could have in European grocery stores! Moreover, you will see fruits or vegetables thrice as huge as Asian counterparts, such as their squash and eggplant. And then, there are also food items that you will never pick up–I mean, I love durian, but I can never fathom on how other people will ever love licorice. Yick.

When abroad, I normally pick up the basics:

  • Fresh Milk – the fresh milk bottled in glass. In Philippines we never have these–only UHT milk or powdered milk!
  • Greek Yogurt – the yogurt selections we have in our country is not real yogurt, and the authentic ones are ridiculously expensive!
  • Chocolate – I need my sugars to survive the day and always pack chocolate or granola bar in my bag to avoid my ever-constant hypoglycemia.
  • Bread and butter – Because I’m always too lazy to cook up something in the morning.
  • Salad – I love my greens and snack on them when I can.
  • Dry shampoo and cocoa butter – these are hygiene products that I love but are rare and overpriced in the Philippines, so I hoard them when I can.

As you can see, I’m not a huge carnivore, but a big dairy lover. I never make it to the meat section, but occasionally do get eggs if I’m not lazy to whip up something!

So there you go. Treat your grocery shopping as a mini-educational tour. What are grocery items that you pick up when traveling?

How to Travel Green: Responsible & Sustainable Travel

 

I travel for a number of reasons: to escape, to live, to love. I travel to be reunited with nature, to rekindle my hope in humanity, to get in touch with the world. It’s all for the sake of love for myself, for mankind and for my planet. Hence I will always decide on getting that one-way ticket over a Prada handbag.

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And yet, it has recently dawned to me that travel isn’t the most environment-friendly hobby. I traveled to appreciate the world, but I’ve come to realize how much my travels have affected the environment.

My boat trip to Surigao was spewing so much pollution that I could see the black smoke visibly on a starless night sky. I witnessed an increased algae growth in the shoreline during my last Boracay trip.

co2 emissions cokaliong
The Cokaliong boat trip to Siargao. 😦

And I can’t just blame other people. I don’t want to wash my hands off the problem, being guilty myself as well. I can’t finish my food sometimes. I drink water from plastic bottles. I drive a gas guzzler. I fly–a lot.

Air travel has a significant harmful impact on the environment. Airplanes emit heat, noise and carbon emissions, thus a major contributor to climate change and global dimming. In fact, New York Times has referred to airline travel as ‘the biggest carbon sin’. Despite the recent improvements in aviation efficiency and reduction of emissions, the rapid growth of air travel still offset the technological advances.

It’s a bit too extreme to reject travel altogether for the sake of the planet, so instead we think about how we can reduce our carbon footprint. A green traveler should adhere to responsible travel practices that support environmental sustainability.

Often, these are things that we already knew but forgot along the way. A few reminders are always helpful. These little steps add up especially if more people do it. By being environmentally responsible, we ensure that the places we love to go to will last for a very long time, and hopefully our future grandkids will enjoy it as much as we did during our prime.

Here are some pointers on how you can travel green.

  • Pack light. When we can’t avoid flying, travel light. The more weight cars, trains and planes carry, the more fuel they consume, and the more carbon emissions they produce.
  • Choose the most environmental form of transport available. On shorter trips, travel by land instead of flying. When flying, you emit 3 to 7 times more greenhouse gases than when you take the car, bus or train. If you can avoid land transportation, walk or bike to your destination when possible.
  • Fly the most direct routes. Take off and landing consume the most energy.
  • Fly economy. First class seats take up more space, and thus more energy, up to 9 times larger than economy! Not only is it more budget-friendly to fly economy, but it’s environment-friendly too.
  • Offset your travel. We can’t avoid transportation–that’s a bit extreme. But why not offset your carbon emissions by doing something good for the planet. Plant trees, do cleanup drives and support environmental programs.
travel light
Travel light! Bring only what you need

During the trip:

  • Order what you can only finish. I know that Pork Medallion looks really good, but you can’t probably finish it anyway. Order what you can only finish, and take away leftovers. Advocate zero waste consumption for the good of the community.
  • Use reusable bottles. Cut down wasteful water bottle purchases by using reusable plastic bottles and refilling in water fountains when you can.
  • Reuse hotel sheets and towels. Conserve water and take shorter showers.
  • Skip the groceries, head for the local market. They probably sell the same thing,  but the grocery products are just placed in wasteful branding and packaging.
  • Take or leave your trash back home. Most developing countries don’t have proper recycling centers or proper waste disposal. Old gadgets, batteries and other synthetic items could be tossed in a landfill that could remain for hundreds of years. Pack them and Take back your trash. Recycle the cardboard boxes of toiletry products before your trip. Delimit your environmental footprint and encourage zero waste.
  • Switch off and unplug unused electronic devices and appliances when not in use. Limit your A/C, thermostat and hot water use only when necessary.
  • Support local. Support locally owned accommodations, eat at local restaurants, get local tour guides, buy locally grown food.
  • Be responsible with souvenirs. Don’t buy products that potentially endanger local treasures such as endangered species and cultural artifacts. Try not to pick up and bring home natural resources including shells, animal bones, plants and other artifacts.

 

 

khmer insects
Eat local. Hahahaha. But seriously, this was an interesting try in Cambodia

 

  • Before doing volunteering efforts, do your research. So many scams and fake charity efforts have sprouted to fool do-gooders. Be responsible and know when and when not to volunteer.

 

“You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

15 Travel Quotes to Inspire You to See the World

I’d like to share with you some of my favorite travel quotes that inspire me every day to go out there and appreciate the world. Enjoy, and share your favorite quotes too!

  1. “Oh the places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

    oh-the-places-youll-go-dr-seuss

  2. “Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey.” – Babs Hoffman

    Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey.jpg

  3. “Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness.” – Ray Bradbury

    'Half-the-fun-of-the-travel-is-the-esthetic-of-lostness.'

  4. “I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
    i-am-not-the-same-having-seen-the-moon-from-the-other-side-of-the-world

  5. “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

    traveling-leaves-you-speechless-and-makes-you-a-storyteller

  1. “The world is just awesome.” – Discovery Channel

    world-is-just-awesome

  2.  “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

    life-is-either-an-adventure-or-nothing-helen-keller

  3. “Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember and remember more than I have seen.” – Benjamin Disraeli

    benjamin-disraeliLike-all-great-travelers,-I-have-seen-more-than-I-remember--and-remember-more-than-I-have-seen

  4. “Travel far enough, you meet yourself.” – David Mitchell

    “Travel-far-enough,-you-meet-yourself.”-

  5. “Paris is always a good idea.” – Audrey Hepburn

    paris-is-always-a-good-idea-audrey-hepburn

  6. “Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.” — Lawrence Block

    Our-happiest-moments-as-tourists-always-seem-to-come-when-we-stumble-upon-one-thing-while-in-pursuit-of-something-else

  7.  “Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” – Anita Desai

    wherever-you-go-becomes-a-part-of-you-somehow

  8. “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It’s deadly.” Paulo Coelho

    paulo-coelho-If-you-think-adventure-is-dangerous-try-routine.-It’s-deadly

  9. “Travel teaches toleration.” – Benjamin Disraeli

    travel-teaches-toleration

  10. “You don’t choose the day you enter the world and you don’t choose the day you leave. It’s what you do in between that makes all the difference.” – Anita Septimus

    “You don’t choose the day you enter the world and you don’t choose the day you leave. It’s what you do in between that makes all the difference.”

  11. “Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves.” – Carol Pearson Heroes-take-journeys,-confront-dragons,-and-discover-the-treasure-of-their-true-selves

  12. “Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.” – Isabelle Eberhardt

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  13. “Not all who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkein

    not-all-who-wander-are-lost

  14. “I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

    _-Robert-Louis-Stevenson.jpg

  15. “We travel to do everything, and to do nothing.” – Postcard Pretty

    we-travel-to-do-everything-and-nothing

Around Cebu: 5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Try Salsa

You get tired of Cebu’s club scene after a while: same crowd, same scenario, same cliché dance moves. I’m not really a creature of habit so after a couple of Saturday night outs that already feel like routine, I was ready for a change of scene.

I heard of a weekly salsa event at Maya Mexican through a friend, and finally decided to see it one Wednesday evening when I had nothing to do. And it’s just what it’s name means: salsa is hot, and I’m not talking about the dip!

salsa night maya cebu

Not convinced and still a little shy? I’ll give you five good reasons why salsa dancing should be mainstream!

1. Salsa is sexy.

Salsa is sexy. A guy friend I brought there said: “This is cool. It’s like a scene from the Dirty Dancing movie.” It unleashes the inner latino/a in you. Without noticing it, your hips start to do the talking.

It’s not that difficult too–and this is coming from someone with admittedly two left feet.  After learning a few basic steps from one salsa night, you can already look like you know what you’re doing. If your lead is exceptional, you’ll look just as awesome as well. Just go with it!

2. It will never be a cock fest.

Maya has a lively and more international crowd. At any given salsa night, male to female ratio is 1:3. What are the chances to having that ratio in any other party or event? Close to none.

So if you’re tired of dancing with other dudes and need more female eye candy, you’re always welcome to check Salsa Wednesdays out.

3. Salsa Nights also mean Buy 1 Take 1 on Mojitos!

Yes, you heard it. Maya Mexican Restaurant also offers Buy 1 Take 1 on Mojitos and P395 on all burritos all night long, only every Wednesdays.

4. There will be some respect of personal space.

I don’t like a lot of things about clubbing: the sweat, the smell, and the ‘accidental’ groping. Good thing you won’t have to deal with these with salsa. Sure, you’ll still be sweating(salsa is good cardio workout!), but at least you won’t come out smelling like smoke and a mixture of other people’s smells.

5. It’s free.

Oh shat, I had to wait ’til the end of my post to announce the most important thing: it’s free! Grab your most comfortable heels and check it out.

Salsa Wednesdays are every Wednesdays at 8:30PM to 12:00 midnight at MAYA Mexican Restaurant, Crossroads, Banilad Cebu City.

If you’re interested to learn salsa dancing, you can learn within a month with Cebu Salsa Club at Epic Performance and Fitness, every TTh at their Escario Branch from 7:30pm-9:00pm, and every Sun at their Oakridge, AS Fortuna branch from 10:00am-12:00pm. For more information, you can check Cebu Salsa Club’s FB page.

How to Pronounce Places: When in the UK

We’ve all had our own faux-pas here and there, but there’s nothing more embarrassing than mispronouncing a place while traveling. Like any Filipino (and Spanish and Latino), I pronounce everything as it is.

Being Filipino, my grandmother Angelina was ‘Ang-hel-li-na’, not how Jolie is more famously called; and the Los Angeles is certainly not pronounced ‘Loss An-jel-izz’.

For us it’s challenging to travel to places with excessive, complicated spellings like France. And yet, traveling to a completely English-speaking country like the United Kingdom doesn’t mean it’s any easier–they also like to pronounce things a little differently.

Here are some common place pronunciation mistakes, and how to properly pronounce them (at my very best! I’m only a non-local too, after all). Avoid yourself from future embarrassment and say it like a local.

  • Reading – a large town located outside London, in Berkshire, England.

reading

  • River Thames – the longest river in England, where the Tower Bridge and London Bridge are built upon.

thames

  • Leicester, Gloucester, Worcester, Bicester – for all place names ending in ‘-cester’, you leave out the ‘ce’ and you just pronounce the ‘-ster’. If you are comfortable with saying it with a twang, ‘-stah’, you can do so.

leicester square45

I read from another blog that to ask for ‘Worcestershire Sauce’, you can drop the -shire. You don’t need to say the complete name–everyone calls it ‘Worcester (or Woss-ter) Sauce’.

  • Warwick, Chiswick, Keswick – The English like to pretend that ‘w’ doesn’t exist and prefer to leave it out like it doesn’t exist.

warwick

chiswick

…And yet, as to my reader Jill said, ‘Gatwick’ (as in the airport) is pronounced ‘Gat-wick’. Talk about confusion.

  • Greenwich, Norwich – Again the ‘w’ is ignored, and the ‘ich’ is pronounced as in ‘itch’, not ‘ick’

greenwich-pronunciation

  • Dartmouth, Bournemouth, Exemouth – ‘-moth’ is not pronounced like it’s the oral opening of the human face.

dartmouth

  • Edinburgh – Edinburgh doesn’t rhyme with Pittsburgh after all.

edinburgh-pronunciation

  • Salisbury – Another one of my faux-pas where I tend to pronounce everything as it’s spelled.

salisbury

How Your Nails Can Survive Travel

I openly talk about it to most of my friends. I would have been happy to be born a man–the joys to easily get away with backpacking alone, or peeing on the side street when I really need to go! But since I am born a woman I have to go through certain inconveniences such as menstruation, giving birth and looking pretty.

Doing a mani-pedi is one of my least favorite girly activities because it can be so impractical and time-consuming. You sit there in the salon for an hour and you can’t get any work done, plus you can’t even do anything or touch anything hours after or it will mess up your nails.

I am a pretty rough handler so my perfectly manicured nails usually end up ruined a few hours after, or the next day if I’m lucky. I cannot like a good manicure, and they don’t seem to like me either.

So girls, imagine my awe when I discovered ‘gel nails‘.

I know, I know. Gel nails have been around for awhile. I can’t believe I just discovered this shit.

‘What, seriously? It doesn’t come off?’ I asked the salon’s receptionist for the eighth time. Apparently these ‘gel nails’ are almost bulletproof and are cured via UV light permanently. You can’t remove it with plain nail polish remover too, you need to come back to the salon to have them removed via soaking it in something. You need to pay extra to have it removed.

I am not the best person to talk about hair, makeup and other girly stuff. I can’t draw my brows symmetrically and leave the house with my hair wet. Hence why this is a travel blog and not a makeup blog.

Anyway, I decided to get one at BTC to see how it would go, and to see how well gel nails could handle my clumsiness. They cost Php380, about twice as expensive than the usual. They cure it with the UV or LED light after every coat. I liked it because once you’re done with the process it’s completely dry and you can do whatever you want once you leave the salon!

gel nails travel

These are my gel nails for two weeks now, taken after my henna session for the Indian wedding I’m attending the next day. They are still holding quite well despite all the traveling and activities I have done. I’m quite impressed, and will probably do it again for another big trip or event. I would recommend this to other girls who find regular manicure annoying and cumbersome like me.

Gel nails is apparently available in several nail spa salons in Cebu such as Salon de Rose, Hollywood Nails, etc.

Cebu Pacific Travel Hacks

I’m a Cebu Pacific frequent flyer, but I’m not gonna lie: I had my own share of Cebu Pacific horror stories. I’ve waited six hours on the airport because of delays. I’ve been left by the plane (even if I was on time). A rude Korean passenger had constantly kicked my airline seat because he didn’t appreciate the plane’s legroom, so I decided to recline my seat to annoy him further. Because I can be nice like that sometimes.

Despite all my bad experiences, I still fly Cebu Pacific, because, why the hell not? No one can beat the CebPac rates. I’m a Cebu Pacific trooper since 2006 and I have seen great improvement on service and support throughout the years.

If you can’t beat Cebu Pacific, what can you do? Do damage control and mitigate (a word I just learned and so badly want to use!). Read through this blog to have future pleasurable flights through some important travel hacks and tips I’ve learned from my constant flights.

  • How to Avoid Delayed Flights

Per my experiences, domestic flights across all local airlines are almost always delayed from 15 to 90 minutes. That’s perfectly normal and something expected in the Philippines due to air traffic congestion, late arrival of aircraft from origin, among others.

The simplest solution is to take the first flight. The first flight is an originator flight, meaning it begins at your specific airport, meaning you won’t be waiting for your aircraft coming from another destination to arrive. A few minutes delay in the first wave of flights will mean delay in subsequent flights throughout the day.

Flying earlier in the day provide a lot of benefits. Sure, waking up before sunrise is hard, but that’s the only most difficult thing. I normally fly between 4am to 6am, or the first wave of flights for a number of reasons: to bypass traffic on the road, less people on the flight, flight crew still on a better mood (not yet sapoton), on-time flights, and these first flights often offer the cheapest rates.

  • How to Book Promo Flights

I’ve heard a lot of people whine that Cebu Pacific piso fares as scams or deceptive marketing strategies. Here’s what I got to say to the skeptics: the piso fare deal is real. I’ve booked piso fare flights countless times. Piso fare flights seem elusive to more people than others–you need to be smart and quick to get these flights!

Piso fares do get sold out quick. I constantly check Cebu Pacific’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts just to be ahead of everyone. The Cebu Pacific website is on my browser’s main web pages. What disorder do you call ardent stalking and an obsessive need to find promo flights? Because, I probably have that.

BTW, piso fare is only the base rate, and does not include other additional fees such as tax, VAT, web admin fee, baggage allowance, etc. It is still cheap however. To give you a good overview, here’s an estimate of roundtrip flights I’ve bought or seen during Cebu Pacific promos:

  • Cebu to Manila: Php 1,500
  • Cebu to Hong Kong: Php 3,000
  • Cebu to Singapore: Php 3,500
  • Manila to Sydney: Php 6,000
  • Manila to Dubai: Php 9,000
  • Manila to Siem Reap: Php 4,000

As of 2015, Cebu Pacific has also removed the fuel surcharge on all promo flights, in line with decreasing fuel prices worldwide.

No one knows when a promo fare comes out, but based on observation I often expect them to come out on Philippine holidays, and they usually make the promo announcements on ungodly hours like 12am-3am.

Sometimes, I could get the promo on a flight to a destination, but have a hard time getting the same promo offer on the return flight. If I can’t find a good return rate, I just buy a one-way ticket and worry about buying the return flight on the next seat sale.

Another tip: when I travel to Europe, I normally book a promo flight from Cebu to Hong Kong and then find another budget airline that can take me from HK to European cities for cheap (as low as 25,000php round trip!)

  • Check in Luggage or Hand Carry?

Prepaid baggage is a wise option to get as excess baggage rates are steep (especially for international flights). I’m a light traveler, so I can normally just backpack and skip check-in luggage. Most airlines allow a carry-on maximum of 7kg. To be safe, I sometimes purchase luggage on the return flight because my carry-on weight increases– dirty laundry is always heavier, plus additional shopping and pasalubong items add to the pile.

Trust me, I’ve begged another Filipino to place my excess items to his check-in luggage. I was refused and the nerve of him because he did not even look anything like JM de Guzman. Won’t work, it only happens in the movies.

(Additional note: Although to be fair, if someone asks you to place items in your luggage, it is wise to refuse, else you could be the next trafficking victim)

  • How to Avoid Missing a Flight 

You’re not a true traveler if you’ve never missed a flight. So far, I’ve missed one domestic flight (Cebu-Cagayan) and one international flight (Dubai-London) for different reasons, both which I traveled with family. I never missed a flight when traveling solo, probably because I’m more aware and accountable for myself when I’m alone haha.

Missing a flight is inconvenient, expensive and annoying. Missing a flight can get you stranded at the airport for several hours to a day. It’s something I never want anyone to experience, so here are tips on how to avoid missing a CebPac flight:

  • The most obvious tip: don’t stay too far from your gate. After going through check-in, immigration and security checks and once you’re inside the terminal, don’t get distracted about getting food or looking at duty-free shops. The first thing you need to do is to locate your gate number. Once you’ve found it, you can probably do your own thing if you still have extra time. But don’t stay too far away from your gate and be wary of any intercom announcements.
  • For connecting flights, allow at least 4 hour time allowance in between flights. Domestic flights are notorious for delays, and you need at least two hours to check in for international flights, go through immigration and security checks.
  • 5J vs TG. Know your Terminal number–especially when in NAIA. Most Cebu Pacific flights are in T3, but since the TigerAir and Cebu Pacific merger, you will now have to check if your flight is a 5J (Cebu Pacific) or a TG (TigerAir). TG flights are in NAIA 4.
  • Should I Get a GetGo Card?

GetGo is CEB’s newest rewards program for frequent fliers where you can earn GetGo points when flying Cebu Pacific. Through the points you can also earn free flights.

Those who were already signed up for CEB Club become automatic GetGo Members. Non-CEB Club members can become GetGo members by paying the initial membership fee of P150.

I am now a GetGo member but still waiting for my card to arrive via mail. I haven’t converted points for free flights yet, so I’ll reserve judgement as of now (but I will update you soon). It’s worth a try to get a GetGo card, there’s nothing to lose. Currently, they are still on beta mode and improving the system and partnering with more merchants to create a more pleasant lifestyle program for their members.

getgo-membership-card

So there you go–some CebPac Travel Hacks that can improve the quality of our flight experience. Let’s make every flight count!

(DISCLAIMER: These insights are based on my personal experiences and may not reflect the experience of other travelers.)

Awesome Cebu Pacific Puns!

Being a budget traveler, I’m an avid Cebu Pacific flyer. CebPac website is among the first sites I check when I open up a browser, so I can see their latest promos even without any future plans of travel. Sometimes, I just check their site for a daily dose of laughter–I can’t get enough of their puns.

Puns and jingles are the ‘scum’ of advertising in the West–but they work so well here in the Philippines.  I have collected some of my favorite Cebu Pacific puns I’d like to share with you. This list will be constantly updated and if you would like to share your favorite CebPac pun, you’re free to join in the fun.

Here are some of CebPac’s best and pun-tastic ads (excuse me, I just had to do that)

1. Movie and Pop Culture References

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2. Music and Song References

How many music and song references can you guess?

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3. Common Phrases

How about Cebu Pacific Puns based on common phrases or sayings?

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5. Puns during the Holidays

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What’s your favorite Cebu Pacific puns? Did I miss anything? Let us know and share!