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Philippine Adventures: Compelling Reasons Why You Should Try ATV Riding at Least Once

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“It is great adrenaline rush, especially running waterfalls. The feeling of dropping off the edge can be thrilling and terrifying at the same time.” -Anna Levesque

It has been said that you have never truly lived until such time that you experience that rush of adrenaline that takes you to new heights.

That feeling that gives you an inexplicable sensation is unlike any other brought about the slight risk in what you are doing. For this reason, a slew of people would literally chase death-defying activities that would more often than not, cross the boundary of what you would consider as daring enough. However, what about those of us who would wish to experience that very same kind of rush sans the risk involved? Well, ATV (all terrain vehicle) riding might just be an activity that addresses your need.

In a nutshell, ATV in the Philippines is pretty much just like driving a small motorcycle or car insomuch that you have pedals to break and accelerate. Perhaps the biggest difference lies on the kind of terrains you would be driving on. All terrain vehicles are specially designed to function in all types of terrains and seasons. With this in mind, you are sure to have that rush of adrenaline. Indeed, while a semblance of risk is involved in ATV riding, it is a calculated one. More importantly, if you invested in a set of appropriate safety gear, the chances of anything untoward happening to you are pretty much mitigated. In any case, if you needed more compelling reasons as to why you should try ATV riding at least once, take a gander at the list below:

 

It takes camping up a notch

If you have been camping for a while, it can feel like you have been doing exactly the same thing every single time insomuch that the monotony of it all tends to take away the fun of camping itself. Forget about doing scavenger hunts, stories and songs around the campfire and take it up a notch by injecting a bit of fun into it. Go ATV riding instead and bring them with you. Explore the wilderness with your ATVs and you are guaranteed to have an even better time scouring the woods than you would have been had you been simply on foot.

 

It beats expensive vacations

Sure, expensive vacations can mean a lifetime of memories, little trinkets and souvenirs from your trip. But after it ends, what are you left with? More importantly, kids tend to get a little restless and fidgety when you are traveling by always asking where you are going next and if you have arrived yet. Instead of taking another fancy vacation, why not take yourself and your family on an ATV ride instead? ATVs can be a medium for spontaneous adventure and fun where all you would need in is simply to hop in, find a good terrain and be on your merry way.

 

Great exercise

This might have escaped your notice but ATV riding actually makes for a very good exercise. While some might think of it as a bit of a stretch to compare it with lifting weights and going for a run, it does get your heart pumping. More importantly, it works your muscles as you have to be tight so as to have better control over the vehicle.

 

Liberating

ATV riding is an incredibly liberating activity for many. In fact, it is an avenue for stress-relief by some. With everything that is currently happening in your life at the moment, it is imperative to stop and focus on the now. If you feel locked and have lost motivation in your work or just need a little dose of inspiration, simply going through the woods on your ATV would help you feel free. It would help you relax and get rid of anything that might be bothering you–at least for the time being.

 

Better than therapy

Sometimes, you just need a good outlet for your frustrations. Unfortunately, everyone is different and sometimes, it takes more than just talking within the four walls of a room to feel better. Maybe what you need is a healthy dose of adrenaline rush–one that takes you to see the sights, enjoy the beautiful landscapes while feeling the air against your skin. Indeed, ATV riding is an excellent way to feel rejuvenated.

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Movie Magic: Four Modern Innovations that Changed the Way We Watch Modern Films

“I intend more of a kinship with silent films than more modern film. I like the old cinema. My films are more of a hybrid—a different style of filmmaking to what I call talking head movies. Some people do not get it–especially the more academic types.” –George Lucas

With the rise of video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, IFlix and the like, it is any wonder why anyone would still go to the cinema nowadays.

Personally, I find it more satisfying to enjoy a film in the midst of strangers and in a darkened chamber rather than in the confines of my bedroom or living room. To me, it just gives cinematic releases a more authentic feel and would elevate the entire experience. Not to mention that there is just something about movie theater snacks that would make the film even more appealing—but hey, maybe that is just me. In any case, there is still so much truth in the fact that the film industry is somewhat declining nowadays as people rarely bother going to the movies. Apart from the rising prices of movie tickets, people seem to find it more convenient to wait for it online to watch and in the confines of their home rather than get out of the house. However, before we get to all that, one should know that back in the day, movies were enjoyed differently. In fact, if there is one industry in the world that has been expansively affected by technological changes, it is none other than film. After all, just compare the effects of movies decades apart and you would see just how far we have come. Apart from that, mechanical and digital innovations have influenced everything from equipment to distribution which changes how films are made and the manner in which we consume them.

In this regard, we should be able to appreciate today’s films better seeing as the art of perfecting them was a long process. So, before checking Solenad Cinema schedule, you might be interested to know these little technological tidbits that made movies the way they are now. You might just not know it, but it would probably make you appreciate the way you enjoy 3D movies viewed in IMAX today.

Movie Camera

Most of us tend to neglect moving pictures which we call films and shows today because we are used to them. Today, they are commonplace but back in the day, a camera that could capture a sequence of photographs into a filmstrip in quick succession was basically nonexistent. The invention did not come to light until the 1800s and without it; we would not have the visual medium that we all enjoy viewing in dark rooms. We might not pay it much heed in films today, but back then, it was said that the audience allegedly ran away from the screen after mistakenly thinking that the events that unfolded on the screen were real.

Synchronous sound

If you are a film enthusiast—even somewhat loosely—you should know that back then, silent films were the thing. In fact, silent films enjoyed a long run before sound could be simultaneously captured to picture. This era was known for over the top slapstick acting as actors had to compensate for the absence of sound. Apart from that, there was also the use of intertitles (titles between shots) and live-music accompaniment to films in theaters which meant that there were obvious limitations in narrative. As a result, complex storylines were basically a nonentity.

Colour

Before the introduction of color into films, movies were enjoyed in black and white. This is not to say that there is something wrong with good black and white films—after all, many films filmed entirely in black and white have received accolades. More importantly, black and white films have been shown to provoke an emotional experience in today’s audiences which can elevate the cinematic experience. However, color did change film for the better—not because it gave movies a pop of life and allowed it to mimic life realistically but it segued to better narratives. One such way that color was cleverly utilized was in The Wizard of Oz in 1939 which depicted the film in two segments: black and white in Kansas while Oz in Technicolour.

Green screen

While it might be a bit difficult to believe, early digital compositing started way back in the 1940s with the “traveling matte” process. Essentially, it utilized blank colored walls as backdrops which they would then superimpose images. Screen colors might have changed throughout the years, but the process and the effect have largely remained the same. With this technique, actors would then be allowed to perform “anywhere in the world” without having to be physically there. More importantly, it gave science fiction and fantasy films a better and more authentic film to them.

The internet

Many of you might be confused as to how the internet made it to this list. But no matter how you look at it, there is a grain of truth to it. After all, the internet has drastically changed the way we see and consume movies. Today, most of us would be viewing movies on our phones or from our personal computers. Incidentally, new formats have emerged and resultantly, ways of accessing them (streaming and downloading) essentially shifting the power from the industry to the consumers.

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Hotel Hacks: Four Money Saving Tips for Your Next Vacation or Staycation

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“Of course great hotels have always been social ideas, flawless mirrors to the particular societies they service.” –Joan Didion

 

Today, hotels are no longer places of refuge which we would consider only when we are on vacation.

Today, hotels of any kind and sort and of whatever tier in luxury have transcended its conventional connotation by being considered by most people as an upgraded version of their rooms at home. Modern hotels are not only commonplace but offer their guests the kind of convenience they cannot experience at home insomuch that people would often check into hotels in proximity to their homes. They would either do this should they wish to relax, unwind, and avail of their amenities and facilities or simply in honor of a momentous celebration.

After all, hotels were not designed solely to cater to tourists but locals who are wishful of a quick getaway as well. And thus, the apt moniker “staycation” as an abbreviated form of a lengthy vacation was coined. Unfortunately, while staying in hotel rooms sounds like an excellent alternative for an extended vacation, it is in by no means affordable—particularly if you have developed an affinity for staying at five-star hotels. However, there are money-saving hacks that would mitigate your overall costs should you wish to book your stay at a hotel. Here are some of the money-saving tips that would help you reduce the overall costs should you book into any of the Pampanga hotels or elsewhere:

 

Enroll in a loyalty program

Enrolling in a loyalty program is especially beneficial to travelers who frequently go on travel trips and check themselves into hotels. Many hotel chains offer loyalty programs with various incentives either for free or for a minimal price. Incentives would range from earning free buffet meals to free rooms after a certain number of stays. In this regard, you would earn more points the more you travel and the more you stay at the same chain or its participating partners. Enrolling in these programs could easily guarantee you a free room after multiple stays. However, even if you do not travel frequently, being a member could still be advantageous for you as you would often get to receive perks that are unavailable to non-members such as spa access, free room upgrades, bottled water and the like.

 

Follow your favorite hotel chains on social media

In this modern age, it would be almost impossible for a hotel chain not to have a social media page where their customers and prospective ones could follow them and their promotions—that is unless they are rather old and have not decided to go digital yet. However, know that by following your favorite hotels, you can easily see online promotions such as discount deals that only followers are privy to. Similarly, you would also be the first to know of these deals and you can easily avail of them before they run out.

Look for hotels that do not charge children

Depending on the management, hotels do not typically charge children who would be staying in a room with their parents to a certain extent and if they are below a certain age. However, this purely depends on the hotel management as there are some hotels such as all-inclusive chains that do in consideration of the activities done and food consumption per person. In this regard, it is best to look for hotels that do not charge kids that share a room with their parents. An even better hotel would be one that does not charge kids for meals so that you can save by a lot on meals alone. Incidentally, look for hotels that offer you complimentary breakfast for your stay where the entire family can participate and not only the adults.

Eat in

Hotel food can be pretty pricey and if you are a family of four or more, the expenses on food alone can really add up. With this in mind, look for hotels that have in-room fridges and food reheating appliances such as microwaves and then go to town in your local convenience store. Find snack items, drinks, and easy-to-prepare meals which do not require much food preparation to consume. Keep the family well-stocked and fed. However, this does not mean that you should live on cup noodles alone for the duration of your trip. What it does is ensure that everyone can keep hunger pangs at bay without having to spend a lot.

 

 

With the tips above, you would not only be able to ensure a comfortable stay but one that does not break the bank as well—regardless of whether you are booking a hotel room for a long vacation or a brief staycation. With these tips, you would not be taken aback by the exorbitant hotel bill and charges by the next time you check into one of the hotels in whichever part of the world.

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The Top Four Reasons to Hold Team Building Activities

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“A successful team is a group of many hands but of one mind.” –Bill Bethel

We have all heard the merits and benefits of hosting team building events. The two words themselves can mean different things to a lot of people. For employees, a team building event can mean at least a day away from the office, and perhaps a chance to check out the grounds of Nuvali. Furthermore, team building activities would mean engaging in fun activities that would consequently strengthen their bond with their colleagues. Unfortunately, for employers, this could mean a day that could potentially have been spent productively but was instead spent on what would be akin to a makeshift vacation at the company’s expense. However, employers, supervisors, and bosses should not be so quick to dismiss the idea of team building. After all, apart from granting your employees a brief reprieve from work and having fun with each other, it also strengthens their morale which could significantly remunerate the company—as it is, happier employees would consequently result in a better workforce and office environment.

In any case, here are some of the reasons why you should hold team building activities:

1.) Increases productivity

Team building activities—regardless of wherever they are held—are generally collaborative in nature. As a result, not only does it challenge employees to learn how to work as a team, but would also enable them to learn how to work together efficiently. It allows your staff to discover their colleagues’ different skills as well as showcase their own—both of which are paramount in understanding how to approach a problem. This very same knowledge, when applied in the office environment, would make for a productive workforce and would resultantly make for a more efficient set of individuals.

2.) Improve communication

Team building activities would give participants the opportunity to openly communicate with each other. In the office setting, clear and open communication are two integral elements paramount to the success of projects and relationships. The exercises involved in team building activities foster better communication skills among your staff and as a result, would cultivate open communication in the corporate environment. Furthermore, team building activities allow your staff to get to know one another beyond the confines in the office and a casual setting no less. When it comes to building trust among your staff, this is important.

3.) Develop problem-solving skills

Most team building activities require problem-solving skills and would naturally involve a simulated problem that your staff needs to work out and solve. Considering that most team building activities are conducted in a casual setting, participants are less likely to feel any pressure than they would should an issue occur in the workplace. In a way, their success in solving problems in team building activities would build their confidence and increase their morale. Lastly, the skills they would have developed during the various activities would be ones that would ultimately be beneficial in the corporate environment.

4.) Keep employees motivated

Conducting a team building activity lets your staff and employees know that their success is integral to the company and that you, yourself care about them. Apart from providing employees an avenue for relaxation, team building events are tailored to help participants develop new skills and help them grow as well. These are two things which would show your commitment to your employees’ success. As a result, your staff and employees would likely reciprocate by producing better work and investing in the business. Moreover, they would feel a sense of pride in their individual jobs and are likely to attempt achieving company goals. Considering all these, it would be natural for employees to feel motivated and enthusiastic in doing their jobs. Seeing as team building activities are centered on building better professional relationships, your employees would likely look forward to reporting for work as it would mean seeing their colleagues.

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Four Things to See and Visit in Pampanga

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Home to the world-famous beer match, sisig and other innumerable savory dishes, Pampanga is known to be more than just the Philippines’ central hub of epicurean and gastronomic delights. Back in the 1800s, it was one of the eight provinces placed under martial law when it rebelled against the Spanish government. Today, it is known to be a vibrant and buoyant province with three cities and nineteen municipalities. However, apart from being incredible connoisseurs of Kapangpangan food, there is a lot more that would entice a local or a tourist to visit this lovely province. Aside from Alviera in Porac, there are a lot more attractions to see and behold in Pampanga.

Here are some of the spots you should see and visit whenever you get the chance to be in the province:

1.) Water Park

While Laguna has its share of a water park in the form of Splash Island, it has nothing against the couple of water parks situated in Pampanga. Puning Hot Springs which is located in Sapang Bato in Angeles City is known not only for its hot springs, but is also considered to be an Aeta ancestral land as well. Surrounded by lush and verdant foliage, Puning Hot Springs draws patrons by the droves with its eleven natural hot springs. For those who prefer something a little different, there is also a hot sand which visitors can soak themselves into. In Clark Freeport Zone, another water theme park has found home in the form of Fontana Water Park. It has a total of ten water park features and among them the wave pool is the most popular with waves as high as three feet coming in six kinds.

2.) Adventure Park

Pampanga has no shortage of adventure parks, and the Sandbox is just one of the many it hosts. Situated in Ayala Land’s Alviera estate in Porac, the Sandbox features the first rollercoaster zipline which gives visitors a rush of thrill and adrenaline. Furthermore, the Giant Swing which is known to be the tallest swing in the country can also be found here. In Mabalacat, one can find Zoocobia Fun Zoo. Do not be misled by the name though as it hosts more than just zoo animals and is, in fact, a theme park. Apart from the myriad of animals, one can see, it also boasts a garden maze full of animal topiaries while you make your way around the garden maze. Lastly, for individuals looking for a bit of a rush, they can try the Zooc which is the only gravity car track in the Philippines.

3.) Museums

Museums are the remnants of what was passed down in history and are considered to be cathedrals of ancient artifacts. Seeing as Pampanga is known to be an excellent place of history, it would only be understandable for it to have its fair share of museums. Nayong Pilipino is the epitome of Kapangpangan history as it features replicas of the Philippines’ most famous sights such as the Chocolate Hills and Magellan’s Cross. In Angeles City, one can find the Air Force City Park which doubles as a recreational facility that features and showcases actual fighter aircrafts used during the second world war.

4.) Natural Parks

Pampanga has no shortage of natural parks. If horseback riding is your thing, Clark Freeport Zone’s El Kabayo should definitely make it to your itinerary. The place itself is reminiscent of an old Western town inspired from an American cowboy movie. You can even see Western structures and establishments such as a makeshift saloon and a telegraph office to add to the authentic feel of a Western town. Activities one can enjoy are riding lessons, carriage tours, shopping and a myriad of photo opportunities.

 

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Must Read for Newbies in Budget Traveling

Given with a little amount of money, what can you do to all-out the fun and enjoyment with your travel? Well, actually there are a lot! Whether you are going for a day tour or three-days-two-nights trip, you can minimize your expenses without compromising the adventures you are out for. For example, if you are going to Cebu, condo out for staycation rent is good. Want more tips? Continue reading:

BEFORE WANDERING

planning your trip

Draft your itinerary and other plans ahead of time

Every trip needs careful planning. From the flights, resort, and food choices and down to the activities you are going to do. Just remember to leave some time for spontaneity and rest.

Basically, planning ahead of your target travel date saves a lot of time and budget. Hello to Piso sales or seat sales of Airlines and discounts you can get if you book hotels few weeks or months prior to your stay.

And obviously, know how to save money

At the end of the day, you are still going to spend money. You just can’t say “Bahala na” and go on your trip even if you are so broke. Again, traveling requires enough money. Know how to save without compromising your needs.

Consider taking travel and tour packages

Surprisingly there are a lot of cheap travel and tour packages flocking online. If you are going to closely take a look at it, in some offers, you can still save a few bucks if you are going to plan on your own. However, considering that everything is already there usually includes transportation, accommodation, and itinerary, it’s also a good deal. However, some people don’t avail of travel and tour packages for they feel restricted on having their own activities.

Note that to ask for some free time if ever you are going to take travel and tour packages. You need and deserve it.

Read blogs and articles about others’ trip

It is also important to know some tips and reviews from other travelers. They’ve been there so most probably and they have a better grip on what’s with the place you are going to visit. It would be best if you have a friend or someone you can ask who resides in the location you opt to travel to. Ask for some advice and tips. You will be lucky if they allow you to stay in their place. So tipid!

DURING YOUR TRIP

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Set your budget for the day

Know and keep your limits. How much are you going to spend for the meals, transportation, and miscellaneous? You should also keep an allowance or extra on top of your budget.

Don’t be afraid to bargain

We all know that most, if not all, tourist hotspots tend to sell their goods and services way higher than the usual. Some are too much, but others are reasonable. If you can ask for discounts, go ahead. Don’t be too shy to ask but remain to be polite.

Go for carinderia or small food stalls for your meals

Sometimes, you can taste authentic delicacies in not-so-high-end food hubs. Aside from it saves you some money, eating at small food stalls will give you more positive and homey vibes.

Don’t forget to recall all your expenses vis-à-vis the things you’ve done after your trip or right before you leave the place. Make sure all your bags are packed, and nothing’s missing.

There you have it! For sure, you also have a lot of inputs for this topic. Nevertheless, we hope that this short blog was able to give you some clues or ideas for your next travel. True enough – we only live once, so you better make the most out of it. Do not let money matters hinder your way in setting your journey. Wish you all the best of adventures in life!

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Let’s Go to Pampanga!

With only a few weeks left before students go back to school and rain to start pouring down heavily (hello, rainy season), let’s go and explore Pampanga. Pampanga is a province in the Central Luzon and bordered by Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, and Zambales. Its capital is San Fernando, and Angeles City is considered to be its highly urbanized first-class city.

So before everything goes back to “normal” and storms come to our country, here are a few places you may visit in Pampanga:

Sandbox at Alviera

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Sandbox at Alviera, Porac, Pampanga maximizes the place’s sand-richness by being an outdoor adventure go-to. Experience Giant Swing, Philippines’ tallest swing, Aerial Walk Challenge, Avatar One, country’s first-ever roller coaster zip line, Outdoor Archery, and much more in Sandbox. This adventure place is a joint venture development of AyalaLand and LenioLand.

Sky Ranch Pampanga

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If you want some adrenaline rush, go and visit Sky Ranch, which is just around SM Pampanga, and try their 22 rides. Some of the must-try attractions are Bungee Jump, Drop Tower, Loop Roller Coaster,  Space Shuttle, and Super Vikings. There are also child-friendly attractions for the kids who may be too afraid to try those breath-taking rides or maybe they are not yet allowed to ride those. You can also see a giant Ferris wheel known as the Pampanga Eye, only for PHP 150 per ticket!

San Guillermo Church and Betis Church

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San Guillermo Church is a well-known tourist destination way before the catastrophic Mount Pinatubo eruption in 1991 as this Church is one of the oldest in the country. Also dubbed as “half sunken church,” this Baroque-styled Church at Bacolor Pampanga was built by Augustinian friars in 1546. Because of its beauty, this has been the primary location set of “May Bukas Pa,” an ABS-CBN primetime teleserye.

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On the other hand, Betis Church or St. James the Apostle Parish Church is another Baroque-styled Church but in Guagua, Pampanga. This astonishing “Sistine Chapel of the Philippines” is one of the National Cultural Treasures in the Philippines. Betis Church was constructed in 1607 as a dedication to St. James. It was built with concrete materials only 1770 after a few fire broke out within the Church.

Pamintuan Mansion

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The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and Angeles City local government led the inauguration of Pamintuan Mansion as the Museum of Philippine Social History last August 25. 2015. This 125-year-old mansion in Miranda Street, Barangay Sto. Rosario hosts different exhibits, collections, and artworks that showcase the daily lives of Filipinos. There is also a music room where you can listen to various songs as old as the one recorded in 1896. Pamintuan Mansion also became Gen.Emilio Aguinaldo’s headquarters when the seat of the government was moved from Cavite to Pampanga during the battle against the United States.

Pinatubo Museum

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This educational museum was pioneered by the Center for Kapampangan Studies of Holy Angel University to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. You can see a mural timeline dating the history of Mt. Pinatubo years and years ago until its disastrous eruption on June 15, 2991. Pinatubo Museum is open to the public Mondays to Fridays.

Nayong Pilipino Clark

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One of the classic destinations for tours and field trips, visiting Nayong Pilipino will give you a quick cultural and historical tour of our country. This 45-acre amusement theme park homes miniature versions of different iconic Philippine wonders. So if you don’t have the luxury of time and an enormous amount of money to visit all the marvels of our country, you can still see them in Nayong Pilipino Clark. You can also see an exhibit of Malakas and Maganda, an old Philippine legend on how the human race started, mini versions of different Filipino tribes’ villages, and replicas of some of Filipino heroes’ houses.