Tuesday, August 30, 2011

UP Diliman: One Happy Saturday

The campus of the University of the Philippines in Diliman (Quezon City) is a special place for me. I consider it as my second "home campus" in my alma mater, the first one is my beloved UP Manila. Many of my happy memories were made in UPD (short-cut for UP Diliman). I can still remember the colorful lantern parades each year, doing research inside its well-stocked libraries, our final exam in walking and foundation of physical fitness, sitting by the sunken garden... Thus, I am quite familiar with the different areas of the campus. The UP campus in Diliman is a destination in itself, it is worth your travel time.
The Cine Adarna of the UP Film Institute

A Postcard from Holland

Last August 25, 2011 I received my first postcard since I joined an interesting project. That project is called Postcrossing which is a "post card crossing project" and by being a member you will receive real postcards, which are quite a rarity in this e-mail era, from random sources in the world.

Postcard from the Netherlands. It shows the well known products and sights of Holland.

How does the Postcrossing project work? First, a member should request an address and along with it is a Postcard ID. Second, The member should mail a postcard to the address that he/she received  , it is very important that the Postcard ID is indicated on the postcard. Third, the receiver of the postcard sent must register the Postcard ID at the Postcrossing website. Fourth, once the Postcard ID is registered you can now receive a postcard from a random Postcrossing member, wait until he postcard arrives. Fifth, Register the Postcard ID of the card that you received. Go back to step one to receive more postcards and make a person from a different part of the world smile because of a postcard that you sent.

Orange envelope with Nederland stamps

I learned about Postcrossing from a post in a pinoy travel blog, I got curious and tried it. The first postcard I sent was received by a Postcrossing member in Japan and the first postcard I received is from a member in the Netherlands. I enjoy collecting postcards and postage stamps, I smiled when the postcard I received was enclosed in an orange envelope that is adorned by postage stamps from the Netherlands! Reading the short message of your co-member written on the postcard gives a good start for your day.

Postcards presents a snapshot of what a place has to offer and you can learn new things by just looking at one. I believe that collecting postcards and traveling is a good mix of hobbies. Postcrossing is also an excellent opportunity to promote the Philippines as a travel destination by sending postcards that depicts beautiful and intersting vistas of our country. Also, the Postcrossing project provides additional income to the the local postal system. Sending postcards to any country is priced at Php 14.00 per postcard. The price of sending a postcard to Singapore is the same with that of sending one to France. I hope you can also try being part of the Postcrossing project.

Travel Tip: Money Matters

Money is a vital resource during your sojourns. It can make or break a trip. During the planning stage an estimate of how much you need should be set and you should follow your budget during your trip. Running out of or loosing it while on a trip is a huge mistake.Extra money serves as a safety cushion for such incidents. Extra money is useful in paying unplanned costs a perfect example are  impulse purchases. Always secure your travel money at all times. It is best to keep emergency money in the not-so-obvious places such as inside your socks you are wearing (but wrap your paper bills first in plastic), in between notebooks, inside secret compartments of luggage, underneath your stash of clothes inside bags.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Travel Nostalgia: Searching for Newspaper in Batanes

            Let me share one of the many travel experiences that I gained during my stay in Batanes in 2010.

            Reading broadsheets is part of my routine, for me the newspaper is an important source of information and this keeps me updated on current events. During my stay in Batanes last April to the early part of May 2010 I tried to find a store that sells and buy a  newspaper.

 I asked the different general merchandise stores along Abad Street, the main commercial area, in Basco (the capital of Batanes) if they are selling the daily broadsheets and I found out that they do not have any. Luckily, I was informed by one of the shops that I asked that there is only one seller of newspaper in Basco (or even for the whole province) and it is located near Ivatan Lodge.

A Street Scene in Basco, Batanes with a clear view of Mount Iraya (2010)