San Juan to Makati


4 Seats Only Available in PAL May Kalibo Flights

Posted in Boracay,Philippine Airlines,travel,visayas by yangiwei on September 23, 2010
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The wallpaper in Room 213.

After I told JIH about my Boracay trip, she told her colleague Dianne, who asked me how to go about things.

She said that someone was paying for their trip in May, but she didn’t bring the exact dates.  3 days, 2 nights, like my trip. 2 couples.

I checked out the PAL site and found out that  I had gotten a great bargain in March, when I got our Kalibo tickets for

P 1,417 on weekdays.  That was six months ahead of time.

Butterfly asked me to remember that Discovery Channel was Channel 14.

At first, I made the mistake of inputting May 2010 instead of 2011.

For May 24, returning on May 26, Kalibo would cost P 5,792 per person including taxes, with less than 4 seats, so that won’t do for Dianne.

April 30 has only 2 seats left for Caticlan.  I thought that April 30-May 2 would be ideal since April 30‘s a Saturday, May 1 is Labor Day, and May 2 might be declared a holiday.

I also couldn’t access April from the May calendar.  I had to go to April.

I forgot to tell Butterfly that her Mentalist is also showing on 2nd Avenue.

After clicking on the dates, I clicked on ‘Search.’

The best roundtrip that I foundwas May 21, Saturday, leaving Manila for Kalibo at 9:00 am, then leave Kalibo at 18:05 on May 23, Monday.

For Caticlan, there were 4 seats going but only 2 coming back.  One option would be two people on the 16:20 and the other two on the 16:50.  P 5,792, May 30 and June 1.

At eight months ahead of time, you could get the 13:15 flight (9:00 was sold out) on April 30 then leave  for Manila on May 2 at 10:30.  Hmm. that doesn’t sound like a good deal.

Butterfly went, We got ourselves a fancy schmancy place here.

It takes about 45 minutes to get from Caticlan to Boracay.  It takes 1:25 to get from Kalibo to Caticlan.

I told Dianne that paying through credit card was the only way to buy tickets. At those rates.

Room 213

Astoria Boracay’s Room 213

Posted in Astoria Boracay,Boracay,room,travel,visayas by yangiwei on September 20, 2010
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I suspect that this is across our balcony.

One of the guys who wanted to be my Astoria Boracay roommate was MA.  I told him that it was a good thing that I didn’t invite him, as the Astoria washroom door was like badminton singles service i.e. long and narrow.  I would have preferred a doubles door, short and wide.

The door of Room 213 was so long that it made a dragging sound on the carpet whenever it was opened or closed.  It was so narrow that, from inside the washroom, I could  clearly see my roommate going to her bed.  And vice-versa, I suppose.  And there was no  hiding behind a wall, too.  Or a shower curtain, as there was none!

Our room had a vault, which I appreciated especially since we didn't have one at Balai Isabel.

My roommate complained that the water pressure was not strong, from zero, which was fixed the day after we called it in.  I told her that since the glass covered only maybe about a third of the shower area, that a stronger pressure would flood the washroom.

My complaint was that I could hardly figure out the controls.

Aside from the water, we also had an outlet and the wifi fixed.  Roommate said that she would give Astoria Bora 10/10 for trying.  The front desk, for example, called up the tech guy at night but we couldn’t get anywhere because the front desk obviously had no idea what I was talking about, when I said that I couldn’t even get a signal, so I couldn’t input the network key or the like.

Our curtains were often open, too, as there was only one set of neighbors that passed us.

The plumbing guy went to our room within the same night that I called it in, even though I had requested for repair the next day, as Roommate wanted to sleep already.  I let him in the same night.

Photos: Teddy Concon, Reservations Officer, Astoria Boracay

A Guy Roommate?

Posted in Astoria Boracay,Boracay,room,travel,visayas by yangiwei on September 17, 2010
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The view from outside our room. I took this photo using Butterfly's Sony Cybershot.

I told RKLdG that my goal this year is to have more female friends, as my guy friends are ‘useless.’  The women I invited tried to be helpful, suggesting that I bring my parents, sisters, and my close friends.  I found this funny.  Thanks a lot for your help!  I had such a hard time scrambling for a female roommate, that I considered bringing two guy friends or invite a guy friend and wife or girlfriend.

From my classmate Atty. Sta. Ana's Fb.

Here I was, bugging my girlfriends to go with me, here were my guy friends asking me why I didn’t bring them.

Another roommate would have been a little tight, but doable.

I had emailed Teddy Concon of Astoria Boracay asking if I could have two roommates and got this reply:

‘Dear Ms. [yangiwei],

Greetings!

With regards to your question, there will be an Extra person charge amounting to

Php 1, 000/night (Inclusive of Breakfast- Choice of American or Filipino)

Should you wish to confirm on the above details, You  may email us anytime or you may contact [us] at tel. (63 2) 632 9420 / 910 0557.

Thank you and Have a nice day!

Sincerely,

Ms.Teddy Concon
Reservations Officer
Telefax: (63 2) 632 9420
Email: rsvn@astoriaboracay.com’

The Search for the Bora Roommate

Posted in Astoria Boracay,Boracay,travel,visayas by yangiwei on September 2, 2010
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Boy Kuripot told me to pack only a couple of shirts per day.

After five months of planning our trip to Bora, my roommate backs out a week before the trip!  My friend suggested that I send out a mass email saying that whoever replies first, will be my roommate. The mothers  of little kids said that they couldn’t just leave like that.  Others said that they had important meetings, etc. planned as long ago as a year ago.  A client who I invited to be my roommate even invited me to be her roommate for a trip that she had planned to go on, with her husband.

Boy Kuripot told me to bring only a pair of pajamas. I brought two.

RS even jokingly said yes, thinking that I was joking, too.

Butterfly pointed out that Boy Kuripot is a guy, that guys can go topless.

I invited RKLdG, who had just arrived from Europe, so she declined the invite.  She said that the younger ones would need permission from their parents, but the older ones wouldn’t.  I told her that permission from parents was not an issue.  She asked me if I had any gay friends.  I told her that my only gay friend was in Singapore.  She said something about my age, hinting that it would be ok to bring a guy!

Butterfly said that I should have brought my Artwork shirts.

Well, maybe two guys, or a guy and a girl.

With the exception of my key, I needed them, but didn't use any of them at Bora.

There were some ‘false alarms,’ like JH who said that she’d get back to me the next day or DGA later in the day, and NC who had only two days’ leave left, but who I tempted to go, telling her that the hotel room was more than P 6,000 a night.  Her office didn’t allow her to go, because she needed to give a week’s notice.

If you were to deposit a Metro Manila cheque in Bora, would it incur charges?

Finally, on Friday, four days before Aug. 24, Butterfly emailed me back, Did someone beat me to it?  Why didn’t I think of her earlier?

I only remembered my meds on the last day, when I saw them.

Reserving our Astoria Bora room

Posted in Astoria Boracay,Boracay,travel,visayas by yangiwei on May 26, 2010
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Before we booked our flight, I spoke with Ms. Teddy Concon of Astoria Boracay.

RRR-R said that she wanted to stay in Astoria this summer, but it was fully booked.

She asked me if I was a member.

She asked me to attach my GC through fax or email, then asked me for the GC number, because she didn’t open all my photo files.

I told her our check-in day, and she told us that check-in time is 2 pm.  I also told her our checkout day, two days later, and she told us that the check-out time is 12 noon.

She told us that there’s a security deposit of  P 1,000 per night, refundable upon checkout

She told us that the roundtrip transfer includes land and sea transfers from airport to resort then back, and does not include environmental fees: like views of other locations.

She can hold our room reservation until one month before.

She asked for my cellphone, landline number, email and nationality/citizenship.  Why do people ask for nationality and not citizenship?  What’s the difference?  WordWeb says that nationality refers to people of common origins or traditions.  So I’m Tsinay?

I emailed her our flight details.

Bora in August

Posted in Boracay,travel,visayas by yangiwei on April 14, 2010
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Signed by VAY.

According to AMYC, Boracay is a good place to visit in August.  Lots of foreigners because it’s summer in the US.  I said that it must be quieter, as Pinoys (me included) tend to be noisy.  She said that when Pinoys are around, there are cigarette butts and cans on the beach.

Astoria Boracay Document Checklist

Posted in Boracay,travel,visayas by yangiwei on March 30, 2010
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The Astoria Bora launch.

printout of PAL confirmation

2 valid IDs (as per Maki)

GC

room confirmation from Astoria Bora

transfer confirmation, Southwest Tours c/o Astoria Bora

Maki, did I forget anything?

Astoria Boracay Room Features

Posted in Boracay,travel,visayas by yangiwei on March 22, 2010
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Email from Perry:

“Game na ako — you also gotta make sure the room is available.  Better call to reserve just before getting air booking then confirm after flight is booked.”

Actually, I could have done this last night, except I was so sleepy!

Was it AYL or RKL who was not hopeful last Sunday, that I had not booked my hotel room by now, even for a September expiration?  She thinks that I won’t get a room anymore.  I told her that Astoria Boracay is not yet open.  R said that since the hotel wants us bloggers to go, that we’ll probably get booked.  Besides, I thought that June to September is the non-peak season?

He commented about establishments wanting bloggers now.

Like Vay’s friend TSA, R thought that I got the GC because of Vay.  She didn’t even know that I was attending the cocktails!

Good, but the cheesecake was even better!

I sent out this email to sales@astoriaboracay.com, attaching photos of the front (my name, 3 days, 2 nights, standard room) and back (validity) of the GC:

“Dear Madam/Sir,

I have a GC for 3 days, two nights in a standard room at your hotel.  May I make a tentative reservation before we book our flight then confirm the reservation once our flight details are finalized?  My roommate is Ms. [Perry].

Photos of my GC are attached.

Please advise available dates in September.
I understand that your check-in time is 2 pm while the check-out time is 12 noon?

Is the de luxe room the same as the standard room?

Are all your rooms non-smoking?  Do standard rooms have a kitchenette and microwave oven?  How many pairs of slippers and toothcare sets are you providing us?  What about towels?

What are round trip transfers?

Would appreciate hearing from you.”

I’m so excited!

Room features listed in the Astoria Boracay Fact Sheet include internet access, ref, cable TV, safety deposit box, phone, voice mail, non-smoking, slippers, balcony/terrace, shampoo, conditioner, toothcare set, soap, bath towels, hand towels, face towels, hair dryer.

Perry, I guess we’ll just bring our own slippers, toothbrushes and toothpastes just in case one of us forgets to bring her set?

Round trip transfers are P 950 via Kalibo and P 700 via Caticlan.  Is this the bus going to and from the airport?  If so, that makes the Kalibo bus more expensive than the plane ride!

By the way, I hope that the staff of Astoria Boracay has been alerted that we bloggers will be taking photos of everything!  I don’t want a repeat of the camera pass incident at PETA.  An usher asked me, while I was taking photos of the play, whether I had a camera pass.  I told him that Leloy told us at the bloggers‘ briefing, that we could take photos.  I stopped taking photos.  During intermission, I spoke with the Usher Head (my invented title), who courteously asked me if I had asked for permission to take photos. I said that no, I did not ask for permission, that Leloy had told us that we could take photos.  He asked a marketing lady, who said that she remembered me.  She said that yes, as long as I don’t use a flash, which I didn’t.  After the intermission, the play was almost ending.  I took a photo or two na lang, versus about five more that I could have taken before the intermission if the usher had not stopped me.  The play turned out to be Juan Tamad, as the poster had declared, and Exie Abola had pointed out, not Boto the Musical, as had been scheduled in the brochure.  No one corrected me when I asked, in person, and over the phone, for a pass for Boto.  The play was about elections, and it was a musical.  So was this a renaming?

Anyway, I emailed Astoria Boracay to ask for photography rules.

Where to go in Boracay

Posted in Boracay,travel,visayas by yangiwei on March 22, 2010
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OAP mentions both these restos:

Aria prawns–recommended by AYL, who was in Bora two years ago.

True Food Indian Food–recommended by AMYC.

Since I’ll be in Bora for three days, and our GC includes breakfast only, I guess I could use a list of  at least four more restos?  No, I’m with Perry.  Maybe ten is more like it!  And that’s on my diet too!

Info on buses, vans and tricycles

Hmm, looks like SEAIR‘s not such a good idea.

Cebu Pacific Fares Higher than PAL’s

Posted in Boracay,travel,visayas by yangiwei on March 22, 2010
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At least to Boracay (Caticlan), in September.  Was it Astoria Boracay Director of Sales, Ping Regalado, who advised me to try Monday or Tuesday, as the rates are around P 800 to P 1,000 from June to September?  On September 6, Monday, the lowest Go Fare with checked bags, is P 1,239, leaving Manila at 1545H and arriving at Bora at 1655H.

The return flights on Wednesday, September 8, are priced at P 2,615 with checked bags.  The last P 2,615 flight leaves Bora at 1715H.

According to Ivan Henares:

“SEAIR is offering special anniversary promos in celebration of its 15th anniversary on March 25, 2010. Check out the special morning rates of as low as Php1,999.20 per way all-in for flights to and from Boracay before 7 a.m. Selling and travel period is from February 1, 2010 onwards.

There’s also a Php1,500.00 discount per way for all seats, flights and routes if you book via www.flyseair.com from March 14 to 25, 2010 for travel from [sic] for travel on June 15 to October 15, 2010. Just type iloveseair15 in the promo code field when booking. Find out the latest promos by joining the SEAIR Fan Page on Facebook.”

I wonder why Perry only mentioned PAL, and not SEAIR.  Is SEAIR safe?

Good. Cheesy but not too dense. My favorite dish of the night.

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