Wednesday, March 29, 2017

[Travel and History] Appreciating Escolta




Part of the Zooper Cruise in Pasig River is a tour around the country's former central business district, Escolta. Through the Pasig River Ferry system, the Escolta station is next to Plaza Mexico. We made a stop from Polland Hopia Store which is one of the most iconic bean cake brands in the Philippines to Sta. Cruz church. The buildings in the district are the reflection of how rich and flourished it was since the Spanish Colonial Era until 1960s. Escolta came from the word “escoltar” which means “to escort”. It is surrounded by Binondo and Sta. Cruz which are also famous streets in history.

Escolta on 1899. Photo Credits to ViVamManila Facebook Page.

Long time ago the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade attracted traders from China and other countries to sell their goods and products that is why the streets were lined with different specialty stores or various products. Seeing a lot of black and white throwback pictures we inherited from our ancestors, we will see how Escolta looked like back then, busy, influx of people, cars, horses and markets.




Bank of the Philippine Islands former Prudential Bank, a Neo-classical style.
Long ago, it is where the tallest buildings could be found being the central business district of the 
country in 19th century. Among the popular buildings are the Prudential Bank that is now a branch of Bank of the Philippine Islands, the Natividad and Burke Buildings. Buildings in Escolta exhibits Neo-Classical, Renaissance and Beaux Art styles of architecture that not only architecture students would appreciate but those history geeks like me as well. Walking along the district gave me a feeling of wonder of what was life like during those times and how it was crowded with so much people back then. The feels were like of that when I went to visit Calle Crisologo in Vigan City. I recommend this place to visit for those who want to appreciate Philippine History more in line with Intramuros and Vigan City.




I would like to thank Zooper Cruise and Zoomanity Group for the chance to tour the city. For more information please e-mail  grace@tagmedia.asia or text 09166299381.

-FAF


Credits to Mr. Nikko Madrilejo for taking my photos included in this article and Viva Manila Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/vivamanila.org/.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

[Events] Introduction to Honeybee Farming Training by Zoomanity Group


Mr. Albee Marcia doing a lecture about the Introduction to Honeybee Farming.

What comes into your mind when you think of honey? Probably we will say that it is expensive, nutritious and delicious. Last March 11, 2017, Zoomanity Group gave us the chance to be part of a training about Honey Bee Farming with an expert guest speaker in the person of Mr. Albee Marcia, an entomologist expert in commercial bee keeping and honey bees. The event was held in Paradizoo, Mendez Cavite as a part of the three month long Power of Three program that aims promote basic training education in different fields of Agriculture that could inspire not only the students but those who are interested to venture in this field.


Mr. Albee Marcia is an expert in commercial Honeybee Farming.


Flow Hive System.

Mr. Albee gave educated us about the basics in Honey Bee farming with demonstrations about the equipments and essentials we need to have. He also enumerated the types of honey bees and history of Bee Farming. Here are the lessons I learned from the training:

1.  Honey Bees are very useful insects. They have this important role in the ecosystem and food chain because they are responsible in pollination and propagation of plants.

2. In commercial Bee Keeping, you should attend a complete seminar because venturing in this business is very risky. You need to maximize and develop your potential in farming and culturing the bees and also takes years.

3. Honey is a food that is part of the history since then. The history of Bee Keeping traces back in 1930s.

4. Bee Keeping is an art and science to produce honey, learning of the bees’ behavior, process and biology.

5. The full seminar for Honey Bee Farming lasts 2-3 days with 1 day for theory and 1 day for hands on application.

6. The reasons why people are interested in Honey Bee Farming are curiosity, production of honey, investment, business and as a hobby.

7. The three species of honey bees are the Apis Dorsata also called pukyutan in the Philippines. These are large type of honey bees found in forests; the Apis Cerana are the Asiatic honey bees that lives commonly in dark places the Apis Adreneformis that lives in subtropical regions in Southeast Asia, specifically in Palawan; they are the smallest species in Asia and the European Apis Mellifera that are breed from wild kind of bees to being domesticated.

8. There are three kinds of bees in one colony. The Queen Bee the female that lays 1,500-3000 eggs. Second are the Worker Bees that we commonly see as performer of duties like honey makers and stingers. Last are the Drones, the male bees that mate the queen and carrier of genes.

9. Bees are important in nature’s biodiversity so we should conserve and preserve the bees.

10.  Honey is the food for the bees.

11. The younger the queen, the better the colony.

12. The best months to start honey bee farming are BER months (September-December).

13. Bubbles in honey indicate that it is not good and fermented.

14. Pure honey is so viscose that it exhibits pressure when poured.

15.  Honey is a simple sugar means it will burn fast inside the body. It is also a natural steroid and has calming effect.

16. There is no expiration for honey.

Very nutritious lunch!

At Lunch Break, we were served sumptuous nutritious foods (vegetable salad, adobo, fried fish and honey juice). The ambiance overlooking the Paradizoo Farm is so relaxing. After lunch Mr. Albee brought us to the Honey Bee House to witness how he demonstrates the collection of honey in colonies and how to operate the machines to extract. Also, he taught us the uses of Bee’s wax, the wax produced by honey bees and discarded into their hives.

Sir Albee harvesting honey from a colony unit.



Perfect Hexagons!

Bees Wax

Flowing Honey.

Honey filtered from solids.

Our mentor taught us the new innovation called Flow Hive. It was like a tap for water where you will harvest honey after you turn it a number of times giving you less effort in harvesting honey and less stress for the bees because you will not open your hive frequently.








For my readers who are interested in this kind of investment, it is estimated to cost less than 20,000 PHP for a flow hive, a whole unit for 35,000 PHP and a colony for 9,500 PHP.

I would like to thank Ms. Grace B. Nicolas for having me as one of the bloggers to cover the event and I hope this blog will help my readers in the Philippines who are thinking of agricultural business to start. Want to visit Paradizoo? You can contact Ms. Grace of Tag Media at grace@tagmedia.asia or text 09166299381.

-FAF

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Theme Parks in the Philippines: Zoobic Safari, Paradizoo, Residence Inn, Zoocobia, Zoocolate Thrills

                                  


Who doesn't love FUN and EXCITEMENT? Let Zoomanity Group Theme Parks spell them for you. 


Zoobic Safari

Tigers. Crocodiles. Snakes. Lizards. Those were just some of the animals you can see in Zoobic Safari. It is one tourist attraction you will find at Subic Bay Freeport’s Forest Adventure. Embracing a fifty hectare land, local and foreign guests can expect an astonishing sight of diverse exotic animals roaming and frolicking in their simulated natural habitat. It features a wide range of habitats present in the forest due to the terrain, presence of streams, and fringing grasslands. These represent the major habitats for varied exotic animals featured in Zoobic Safari Adventure Park which is the only Tiger Safari in the Philippines with more than 50 tigers. Don't forget also the usual breed of tigers and lion which is know as Ligers. 

Address: Group I, Ilanin Forest Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Subic Bay Freeport Zone 
Ticket rates:  Adult – P545.00  Kids - P445.00

Paradizoo Theme Farm

Ever want to give your favorite Tita, Tito or Grandparents a tour in a place full of rich gardens and farm animals? Or you just want to enjoy the weekend with your husband and toddler? Your best destination is the Paradizoo Farm in Mendez in Cavite! See the gardens full of vegetables and floral designs. Have a chance to interact with different interesting farm animals like llama, camels, miniature horses, ostriches, greyhounds, labrador retrievers or ride on a cart drawn by an albino carabao. 

Address: Km. 63 Panungyan Mendez, Cavite 
Ticket rates:  Adult – P149.00  Kids - P99.00

Residence Inn and Zoori

Exhausted of the city life and you wanted to escape even a day or two? Feel the cold breeze of Tagaytay while enjoying a rush of excitement and a breath-taking view in Residence Inn. It is famous for its Mini Zoo and it’s excellent location overlooking Taal Lake, stuff which will surely be appreciated by all ages. Of course, Tagaytay trip isn't complete without  having to try “Bulalo”  or “Tawilis" in their restaurant, the Gazebo, that serves those and also the dangerously good “Dynamite” or Chili cheese rolls that will surely complement with the weather. Affordability? Residence Inn is the perfect place to go if you are on a budget and you are looking for a place away from the noisy city. Don't forget to try also the Zipline overlooking Taal volcano. 

Address: Km. 65 Barrio Neogan Tagaytay City, 4
Ticket rates:  Adult – P249.00  Kids - P199.00

Zoocolate Thrills

Let's go to the Visayan region! Zoocolate Thrills is the only Adventure Theme Park in Loboc, Bohol managed by Zoomanity Group. This promising tourist destination in Bohol offers captivating attractions for everyone. A river cruise is provided for those who want to explore the Loboc River. This fun zoo has different animal encounters & enrichment such as ostriches, tigers, and bearcats. They also offer tram ride, horse/buffalo ride and zip/zing ride. Isn't that fun and exciting?

Address: Barangay Gotozon, Loboc, Bohol 
Ticket rates:  Adult – P99.00  Kids - P99.00

Zoocobia Fun Zoo

You want a ZOO-per thrilling experience? Zoocobia is much more than a place to view animals. It is a complete educational and fun experience. Situated in the beautiful, lush, forested foothills of the extended Clark Freeport Zone, Zoocobia is an ecological experience of impressive proportions. 

-It has a gravity car that is patterned after the luge in Sentosa Resort in Singapore—The Zooc. It runs on a 400 meter track with three hairpin curves! 

-Birds. Have a close encounter with colorful birds perched on tree branches. You will delight at their bright colors and melodious chirping. 

-The PHILIPPINES PRIDE showcases various animals and plants that are endemic to the Philippines – they are indeed the country’s pride. 

-Be amazed with their Garden Maze that features various animals topiaries. The thrill is when you go through the labyrinth and the challenge is to find yourself out of it.

-All roads lead to “The Barn” where many animal-related activities happen. Experience bottle feeding baby farm animal such as goats, sheep and pot bellied pigs.

-See a unique collection of stuffed real animals that have been preserved by our taxidermist at the Menagerie.

Address: Clark Freeport Zone, Angeles City 
Ticket rates:  Adult – P295.00  Kids - P295.00

Isn't that fun and exciting? Book now and avail of the 10% when booked online. Click here.

Wait there's more!

To all the graduates, grab the chance to experience the Zooperb Blowout!
(Zooperb Blowout Poster)

Zoolit Coupons! For only 399 pesos per booklet, you will receive the following coupons that can be use to all 5 theme parks under Zoomanity Group; 6pcs 50% off for entrance 6pcs Buy 1 take 1 for entrance 2 pcs 50% off for hotel accommodation 1 pc 20% off van rentals 1pc 30% off at Resto 1 free photo and more. Savings worth: more than 10k and to order, please call or text 09166299381

Zoomanity Group, the happiest places!

TAG Media and Public Relations is the marketing & branding arm of Zoomanity Group. To know more about the theme parks, please contact us at 09166299381 or send an email to grace@asiadigitalmarketing.ph

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

[Travel] Zoomanity’s Zooper Cruise: History and Environmental Awareness

The view from Valenzuela Ferry Boart Station.

March 04, 2017 – Manila, Philippines.

Long time ago, during the early Philippine History, there was a magnificent river that served as the center of economic activity as well as livelihood with its clear waters, abundance of fishes and a venue of trade and travel in the heart of the country’s most powerful city, Manila. Sadly, most millennials today, including me that was born in the late 80s, never got the chance to witness its glory. As the economy and industrialization progresses over time, the once clean and living river became polluted leading to its demise in 1990s leaving traces of rich history along its banks. How can the generation today appreciate its value? Why some groups like the Zoomanity Foundation still hoping that this nature treasure be revived and conserved?

Zooper Cruise offers a very unique experience under the Zoomanity Foundation with an aim to educate its participants about the rich history and beauty of Metro Manila through a journey along Pasig River via ferry boat cruise. Throughout the cruise were lots of trivia, activities and sumptuous snacks and dinner while seeing the historical edifices along the river’s banks providing more expanded consciousness to participate in the government and Zoomanity Foundation’s aim to conserve this heart of the city, to make it alive again for our generation as well as those generations to come. It is one of the newest projects of Zoomanity Foundation which comprises of four pillars: Education, Entertainment, Environmental Conservation and Exhibit.
Last March 4, 2017, I was one of those who were blessed to be invited for a Zooper Cruise experience. I could say that it was one of the most educational even I have attended. Most of us know how highly polluted the Pasig River is, so who wants to cruise along? After reviewing Zoomanity’s mission and vision, my interest was captured more because of my love for Manila and Philippine history, I knew the Pasig River has a lot to tell.


With the very accommodating Engr. Grace of Tag Media, co-blogger Nikko and my mother.
Arrived early at the ferry. Cozy ambiance.

The captain and owner of the ferry, Engr. Ed Bondad giving a talk.

Mr. Robert L. Yupangco, CEO of  Yupangco Group of Companies.


Coast Guard Station Pureza



Escolta Station.



Plaza Mexico.

My fellow bloggers Nikko and Rhodora.

The meeting place was at the Valenzuela Ferry Station located in Makati and the starting point of the tour. Looking through the windows gave me a feel of amusement seeing less to no garbage and water lilies floating in the river area. I wonder how beautiful this river back to the Spanish Era. The hostesses of the cruise then introduced Engineer Ed Bondad, the captain and owner of the cozy air-conditioned ferry bus we are in. He gave us information about the brand new ferry boat that could cater almost 152 passengers and how ferries could serve as an alternative transport throughout Metro Manila. Thinking about keeping away from traffic on EDSA or Manila? Why not? Also, the captain of the boat taught us so many historical trivia as the ferry cruised to different boat stations, bridges and historical buildings. This event is a great way to know more about renaissance history of Metro Manila which could be promising if given attention by both local and foreign tourists. The CEO of Yupangco Group of Companies to where Zoomanity Foundation is included, Mr. Robert L. Yupangco also gave an encouraging speech for us to support the advocacy.


Post Office Main Building.

Our first significant landmark is in front of the MalacaƱang Palace, the official residence of the President of our country. We were warned not to take pictures for security. He mentioned some interesting stories about the buildings that we passed by. Among these are the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, St. Jude College and Parish, Hospicio de San Jose, old Department of Budget and Management Building as well as the bridges like Ayala Bridge, McArthur Bridge and Quezon Bridge. Did you know that the person who designed the Quezon Bridge and Eifel Tower were the same? It was Gustav Eifel. The crew and staff also let us experience the river in the outside balcony of the ferry to take pictures and appreciate it even more as we approach the Escolta Station in Binondo and tour the area.

Polland Hopia Factory.
Sta. Cruz Church.
The inside of Crown Prince Seafood Restaurant in Escolta.
Some of the foods served in Crown Prince Seafood Restaurant. The soup and the chicken dish were not included because I have no decent picture of the two.

Mr. Robert Yupangco, CEO of Yupangco Group with the cruise staff and crew ended the night in closing remarks.
Upon arriving at Polland Hopia Factory, a very good delicacy store in Escolta, many of the tour participants fell in line to buy Chinese and Filipino food delicacies specially their many flavored hopia. We then headed to the beautiful and classy Sta. Cruz church to have brief prayers and respect. I was indeed awed by the classic buildings in Escolta, the architectural designs were timeless with the knowledge that this district was once the center of economy and trade in the country. To top it all, dinner was served at Crown Prince Seafood Restaurant with authentic and delicious Chinese Cuisine from appetizers to desserts.


Heading back to the ferry with smiling faces, we received an extended ice cream dessert followed by a trivia contest. Prizes were given to those who can answer the trivia questions correctly. Engineer Ed gave another speech about more learning of how important is the role of Pasig River not just in the environment but for the country’s economy and tourism. Zooper Cruise is a way to educate the students as well as every one of us of to be aware and help conserve the Pasig River and its huge contribution to Philippine history. Grateful guests gave donations with a happy heart.

Some of those notable guests were former secretary of Tourism, Mr. Vince Carlos and Presidential Appointee (Board of Directors) Mr. Ed Santos. The last remarks were given by Mr. Robert Yupangco himself thanking everyone with encouragement to support Zooper Cruise for the Pasig River. Along with Engineer Ed and the crew volunteers, the night ended in good spirits in everyone.

Attending such event served as an eye opener for us to value mother nature, to conserve and try to revive the treasure we once had as well as to appreciate the history behind. This cruise is recommended for the youth to engage in to develop their awareness of the advocacies.

I would like to thank Zoomanity Group and Tag Media for the amazing experience. For more details and inquiries, you can contact Tag Media, the public relations of Zoomanity Group at (02) 899-9819/ 899-9824/0917-9521371 or at their website  www.zoomanity.com.ph. For events and services, send inquiry to Ms. Grace Nicolas through her E-Mail: grace@tagmedia.asia or call 09166299381.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Jose Mari L. Yupangco of Yamaha at Asia Leaders Forum Davao





On March 30, 2017 from 10AM to 4PM, another Asia Leaders Forum in Real Estate will be launched in Davao this time with the collaboration between Yupangco Electronics Corporation (Distributor of Yamaha Sound and Audio Technology) headed by Jose Mari Laurel Yupangco, the grandson of our former President of the Philippines (Jose P. Laurel) and TAG Media and Public Relations headed by Engr. Grace Bondad Nicolas (Entrepreneur, Broadcaster, Writer, Public Speaker).

Just last month, January 31, 2017 at Misono Japanese
Restaurant in Makati, the first of its series for this year under Asia Leaders
Forum has been launched with speakers that includes Dr. Elton Tan of E-Hotels,
Robert Laurel Yupangco of Zoomanity Group, Engr. Ben Co of BSC Construction,
Mario Berta of Flyspaces, Congressman Prospero "Butch" Pichay of
Surigao Del Sur, Koo Kwan Kon of Global Morning City Development, Tanya Llana
of Victoria Court, LiZan Kuzter of Impact Hub Manila among others. Attended
also by representatives from SMDC, ProFriends, DMCI, DibZ and Megaworld.

The subject matter experts are trail blazers in their
fields. Participation at Asia Leaders Forum will give you the competitive edge
you need to beat the myriad of other real estate participants chasing deals.
These experts will share with you their strategies and on how to utilize the
power in you to promote the Philippines.

 For this year of ASEAN 50th Anniversary and the chairmanship
of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, all eyes are focus to the Philippines as the
hosting country, it's time to showcase the skills of the Filipinos and the
Philippines products and services. Asia Leaders Forum is just one way to
promote the backbone of any organizations and our world class infrastructures and
talents.

The objective of the forum is to promote the Philippines as
the premier business hub in Asia and to share to participants the updates with
regards to the real estate landscapes in the Philippines & beyond,
technology & digital marketing and the government mandates and
initiatives to improve the real estate sector in the country and the
preparations we are doing for ASEAN 50 since foreign tourist and investors are
coming in.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

[Travel] What to Expect in Baguio City for First Time Travelers

City of Pines.

In the mountainous ranges of Central Cordillera enclosed by the province of Benguet lies a city of rich history, culture and tourism – Baguio City. The Philippines is a tropical country so it means that at times, the weather is mostly hot in the summer season that tourists, local and foreign seek relaxation, leisure as well as learning in this gem city in the central north of the country. Its subtropical highland climate attracts visitors providing relief from the heat of the lowlands having officially named as the Summer Capital of the Philippines since the American Colonial Era. The city got its name from native Ibaloy’s word “bagyiw” means moss because the area has a lot of the kind of plant in the area. When the American came, they changed the face of the city to what we are enjoying today constructing bridges, buildings and landmarks reflecting history. Then came World War II to the earthquake in 1990, Baguio City is indeed a truly gifted precious land.


Mines View Park.

Mines View.


You may have a hard time finding a place to stay during peak season but booking sites like Traveloka.com allow you to compare prices and check out deals in advance. Also, if you are a shopper who wants to find product sales much cheaper than those in the lowlands, you can buy many products from fresh vegetables, fruits, jams to bargain items like those in the night market in Burnham Park. Food lovers also visit Baguio City to find the numerous specialty restaurants, mouth-watering street foods and sweets. I personally liked the organic strawberry ice cream and taho which is very uncommon in the lowlands. Even those who want a break from the city would find it the perfect place to be, with the many hotels, inns, and guesthouses in Baguio that cater to various kinds of travelers.





Baguio City boasts flower industry like no other city or province in the country.



How to get into Baguio City from Metro Manila?

The average travel time to Baguio City from Manila is 4 hours and 6 minutes with the distance of 247 Kilometers. There are two ways of travel.

With your own vehicle: You can through NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) then take exit 85 into SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) to take the lane and to Baguio via Tarlac. Just follow the road signs until you reach MacArthur Highway. Drive straight to Pangasinan, La Union then when you reached Rosario junction, turn right Kennon Road. There is also an alternate road in Marcos Highway, just drive into Rosario to the right entrance.

On Public Transport: The two main bus company that offer trip to Baguio City are Victory Liner and Genesis Transport. Victory Liner usually offers express trips. Their buses were equipped with free Wi-Fi connection and comfort rooms. Genesis Liner on the other hand provides travel time for 6-8 hours depending on the hour of your trip.


Check out their sites for more information:



Where to stay in Baguio City?

Exploring Baguio City would not be complete without planning where to stay. I suggest that you do a research about the types of accommodations based on your preference in consideration to your budget and comfort. In our last visit to Baguio City, we stayed in a friend’s house near the Burnham Park making us have easy access to the places we want to visit to taxi cabs. Transportation rates in the city are slightly cheaper than in Manila. For the budget conscious, you can look for cheap decent inns and rooms with breakfast included. Pension houses accommodate guests in house type rentals, they serve full day meals. Hotels were in various kinds ranging from those simple and neat to deluxe for those who prepared ample amount in their budget.


A view from the balcony of SM Baguio.


What are the most popular sites and tourist spots in Baguio City that you should explore?

The city of Pines is a land where history, nature and art meet. There are historical sites like The Mansion and Camp John Hay that could bring us back in time and learn about the important events in the Philippines the time they were built. Leisure parks like the very famous Burnham Park where you could ride the large swan boats in the lake, sit down in grass to have a picnic and indulge in street foods. There is also the equally precious Mines View Park overlooking the majestic mining town of Itogon in the northern part of the city. Last time we visited, there were influx of tourists but I could say that the view is very worth the visit. I love the colors of the variety of flowers being sold everywhere. The Baguio Botanical Garden exhibits charming flowering plants good for those who want to have ample of OOTD pictures the nature way. Not so far in the area is the Wright Park. This park in just in front of The Mansion with a rectangular pool sided by pine trees in the sides is seen in the area. It is where we bought the very unique strawberry taho (soft tofu) being sold by street vendors. For shoppers, the Session Road comprises of restaurants, boutiques, bookstores, department stores and bazaars. If planning to visit Baguio City through Kennon Road, you will see beautiful mountainous scenic views of trees for a good sightseeing. The premier military institution in the country, the Philippine Military Academy is one of the most visited and photographed sites with all its Pine trees, glorious statues, old military structures and vehicles plus the smile of handsome soldiers and military students roving around.


My favorite Strawberry Taho.


Wright Park.


With the natives.

Baguio Botanical Garden.

The Mansion.


Philippine Military Academy.

There are still so much to visit in Baguio City that I haven’t visited yet and mentioned in this article. For sure, they are worthy to be explored soon.


-Flordeliz Fullo


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