Hikes | Travels | Food

Mt. Pulag's Akiki-Ambangeg Trai

A day hike to Luzon island's highest peak

Monday, January 27, 2014

Staycation Philippines : The Linden Suites, Ortigas

Party was in full swing by the time I arrived. It was 11:00 PM, night was young but I was already feeling sluggish, body clock nagged me as it was 3 hours past my usual sleeping hours. :P Gah! 

I felt a surge of happy energy when I saw everyone. There were around 19 smiley, pleasant faces in the room, a mix of familiar faces, old friends and complete strangers. 

Our group practically occupied the entire 19th floor at Tower 1, with 8 rooms assigned to us. An executive suite, a 78 sqm. room with its own living area, one bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living area witnessed hours of karaoke, food frenzy and electrified chatters.  I loved how the room had enough space to accommodate everyone and with its high ceilings, it didn't feel cramped at all. 
Party midway, before some of us were lured towards the bed. (Photo from Gay of PinayTravelJunkie.com)
The interiors, all in earth tone shades gave out the ambiance of a  home away from home. Their rooms are packed with necessary appliances like a microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, television and aircon, very apt for a small party. Its location along San Miguel avenue, which is roughly 10-15 minutes walk from SM Mega Mall makes it accessible to commuters, balikbayans and foreign visitors who don't have their own transportation. Guests bringing a car could use the basement parking or the paid parking lot near the back of the hotel, fronting UA&P along Pearl Drive. 

Someone couldn't resist the urge to selfie :P Another lovable thing about the rooms at Linden are the full
length mirrors. In our suite, there's two full length mirrors, one in the bathroom and another one near the closet. :)
(Photo from pinaytraveljunkie.com)
People brought in their share for the feast and we introduced some Filipino delicacies to our foreign bloggers guests, Sab ofJust One Way Ticket  and  Kate of Adventurous Kate.

There was pudding from Aklan, fried lumpia, Mango float, a heaping platter of Pinoy version of Spaghetti which is sweet, loaded with cheese and slices of hotdogs, pichi-pichi, kutsinta, chopseuy (Chinese dish also popular in the Philippines) and the crowd drawer, Cebu's Original Lechon belly, roasted boneless pig, originating from Cebu. (FB Page here. Thanks Mr. Marlon Gochan and Julius of Lakwatserong Tsinelas!)
Photo from Oman of lawstude.net
Sab brought in fruits and bottles of Boracay Rum. Using the blender loaned by the hotel, she came up with glasses of spiked fruit shake which we enjoyed. 

Then there were the 12 glossy bottles of Frontera wine from Chile provided by Fly Ace Corporation. I particularly liked the sweetness of Moscato, white wine that's popularly enjoyed as part of dessert and ideal for new wine lovers. 

By 2:00 AM, midway the raucous talking and singing, I found myself crawling to our assigned room bidding goodnight to the energetic ones who survived two more hours before surrendering to the comforts of their bedrooms. I slept soundly despite the party noise which was a few feet from our room. The bed was firm which is good for the back but not ideal for jumping up and down like a kid.  I loved the comforter, thick and very soft, I snuggled with it like a lover. :p
Our bedroom which fit me and my 2 roomies, Dom of escapeislands.com and Gay of pinaytraveljunkie.com.
Thanks to Marky for taking this shot. :) (Photo from Gay's cam)
The next morning, I woke up, excited for the breakfast buffet, included with the overnight stay. The spread is adequate and quite tasty (especially the baked fish). It had 3 types or rice, sausages, soup, salad station, fishes, all sorts of breads, egg station, cereals, dessert area, 3 types of juices and overflowing coffee. It was such a great mood lifter, especially since none of us had adequate sleep. 
Breakfast at the Mesclun Bar & Restaurant. Photo from Melo of outoftownblog.com
To book a room at the Linden Suites, visit their website. You can also check out the reviews at Trip Advisor

The Linden Suites 
#37 San Miguel Avenue
Ortigas Centre, Pasig City, Philippines
Contact Number : +(63)02 638 7878
Facebook Page : Linden Suites

Friday, January 24, 2014

Travel News : Going to Asia? Try Withlocals.com

Love travel?  On the look-out for a freelancing travel-related job? Both perhaps?

If you’re the type of traveler who enjoys getting into the root of the culture of the place you’re visiting and in need of a trusted local guide to take you around,  Withlocals  may just be what you need!

Through their website, Netherlands-based start-up Withlocals connects travelers with locals through food and experiences.  
Waterfall hike anyone? Location : Chiang Mai, Thailand
"We would love travelers to experience the real local tradition and not the tourist ones, and give local people the possibility to earn money with things they are good at!" - WithLocals.com

Where is it Available? Thailand, Nepal (oh this place makes me feel giddy with all its hiking destinations!), Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam (known as a foodie haven!) and Sri Lanka (where Adam's Peak is, a place on my bucket list!). 
Ah the foodie in me is elated! On this experience, you get to visit your Vietnamese host's home
where they will prepare dinner and eat with you.  Location : Hanoi, Vietnam
How to Book?
More information here.

Is is Safe to book?
Withlocals offers : 

  • A fully comprehensive, authentic review system.
  • A verified supplier system. We only promote hosts with whom we’ve had personal contact and once we have personally guaranteed the quality of the experience.
  • We rely on the reviews and the sense of community built on the site to help maintain the quality of the experiences.
  • We guarantee your experience and will fully refund your money if you are less than 100% satisfied.

Now, for those who are looking for a travel-related jobs, register as a Host : 
If you're a host in need of a platform to promote and offer your travel services that fall under the category of food, tour or experience, then you just need to create your profile at the website and fill in the necessary details. You will be visited by local ambassadors from the company as part of  their verified supplier system as they only promote hosts with whom they've had personal contact and can guarantee the quality of the experience.
More information here.

Need a little more convincing? Do check out their interview with TechInAsiaan online technology media company based across Asia and the US that shares news on Asia's technology and start-up scene. :) 

I know I'm just a bearer of this interesting piece of news but since I had to do some reading about them, I  managed to convince myself to try them on my next overseas travel! Oh where do I go?! :)  

Btw, I am not connected with the company, please route all your queries through their contact page.

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