Monday, September 29, 2014

Budget Travel To Singapore - For only P15,000 including Airfare, Hotel, Food and Pasalubong

Singapore has always been known to be very expensive and modern despite being a small island country. If you don't plan your trip well, it might drain your savings or worse you'll end up regretting to have traveled to this Lion City. 

I went to Singapore a few weeks ago and just spent a little less than P15,000 for the entire trip. P5,500 for the roundfare Cebu Pacific tickets (Promo Fare) from Manila to Singapore and vice versa. P1,620 for the travel tax, P550 for the terminal fee, P3,000 for hotel accommodation (3nights), P2700 food for 3days, P720 for pasalubong, P900 for fare.

That amount might increase if you want to try the rides in Universal Studios or do a side-trip to Indonesia or Malaysia.

But hey, Immigration Officer at times may not let you leave the country even if you already have a boarding pass or have traveled other Asian Countries in the past. I'm not scaring you but I'm just giving you a warning. There were people who were denied and were banned from going in because they didn't pass the small talk. Some were crying and others were even mad and begging. Immigration officer might ask for some documents to make sure you are travelling for the right purpose (Hotel Confirmation, size of the bed that you reserved, credit cards, Company ID's or even itineraries).

Singapore is stricter now in allowing Filipinos to get in to their beautiful Garden City. Some of those who went to Singapore took advantage of the tourist pass when they were actually there to look for work. Once the 30-day pass is almost over, they would exit to neighboring countries for a day like Indonesia or Malaysia then come back again to have another 30-day pass. 

Now let say you are already in Singapore. Here are some tips that I have for you.

1. Take the Public Transport.

Singapore is very organized and their train system is the fastest way for you to get around the city. It is also one of the cleanest in the world and has access to every part of Singapore. You have the option to buy the EZ Link Card for $12 and use $7 of its value or get a Tourist Pass pass for $20 for 3 days of unlimited rides. In my case, I just paid per trip since I only have few places to visit. 

2. Check in at a Budget Hotel.

You don't really need to be in an expensive hotel since most of the time you are out and exploring the country. I stayed at Hotel 81 in Geylang with a friend. We only paid around P3k each for 3 nights. They have clean rooms with wifi and have complimentary drinks (bottled water and coffee). It is also strategically located near the train station, bus stop and other tourist spots. 

You can also try couch surfing where you get to sleep for free. It is a community of travellers that offer free accommodation to member surfers.  

3. Eat in a hawker centre.

If you are a fan of chinese or indian food then you have to go where the locals eat. Lau Pa Sat is a good choice. They have delicious noodles, chowfan, barbeques and rice meals for just around $5. If you decide to splurge some more, then you can try authentic Arabian Food at the Arab Street. 

4. Money Changer at the Airport.

Since I only have few pesos to spend, I decided to just have it changed at Changi Airport. 1 Singaporean Dollar is equivalent to more or less P36. 

5. Walk and Take it easy. 

You'll enjoy Singapore more if you walk and walk. They have impeccably clean and safe streets. Tourist Spots are near each other (Merlion Park, Esplanade, Helix Bridge, Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands and Fullerton Place). If you want to see the whole of Singapore, you can ride the Singapore Flyer for $25 or pay $23 to have a tour in Marina Bay Sands Skypark. I didn't pay when I was there.  All I did was go to KUDETA Club atop Marina Bay Sands and ordered a glass of beer and there I am. 

6. Bar Hop

We literally dance the night away from one bar to another in Clarke Quay. I enjoyed wiggling with the foreingers and shaking our butts together. We hopped from one bar to another and left our things at The Pump Room. I just find it amazing that even after 2 hours, they were still there, untouched. Such a good feeling knowing you are in place where people don't steal.

7. Don't spend too much on buying Souvenirs.

Go to Chinatown or Bugis for cheap and good souvenirs. 

8. Feel like a kid in Universal Studios (additional $55)

There some online shops that offer the Universal Studios Ticket lesser than its actual price. Take advantage of that instead of buying it on the spot. It was raining when I arrived in Sentosa that's why we never really got the chance to try their rides. So after having a photo opp near the Universal Globe, we just spent our money buying some chocolates at the Hersheys Store. 

9. Side Trip to Indonesia (additional $50 for a Roundtrip Fare)

For only 50 Singaporean Dollars, you can go to Batam Island in Indonesia. Take the ferry from Harbour City. Travel time is 55 minutes. Visit some mosques, parks and enjoy some water sports activities. Once you come back to Singapore, don't be nervous when it's taking time for Immigration Officer to stamp your passport with another 30-day entry pass. They just wanna sure you're not back to look for work. 

10. Side Trip to Malaysia.

It will take 6 hours bus ride from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and will cost you P800. You can also go the southern part of Malaysia, the Johor Bahru, in a matter of 45 minutes. From the Woodlands Train Station, Take the bus and pay around P100. Then check out the Royal Abu Bakar Museum and the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque. 

Some reminders though:

1. As much as possible travel lite. 
2. Bring your passport with you all the time.
3. Have en extra Cash or Credit Card for emergencies.
4. Buy a prepaid sim and register for a 1 week data plan.

In my case, I just registered to Smart's all day roaming for only P500 to avoid the hassle of finding a good network provider in Singapore. They now have coverage in 10 Asian Countries; Singapore (Starhub), Indonesia (Indosat), Malaysia (DiGi and CelCom), Hong Kong (via Hutchison), Japan (NTT DoCoMo), Macau (Hutchison), South Korea (KT), Thailand (True), Taiwan (FarEastOne) and Vietnam (Vinaphone). When I checked my bill, there were no unwanted data charges. This is also available to prepaid subscribers.

To register:

1. Text ROAM ON then send to 333 before leaving the country.
2. For prepaid subcribers, load P500 for a one day subscription of ALL-DAY SURF ABROAD.
3. Check your mobile network settings and Make sure you are connected to SMART’s Conexus Roaming Partner 
4. Dial *133# to access the USSD Menu. Press ANSWER then enter 5 to choose DATA ROAMING.
4. Choose your location from the list of countries and roaming partner.
5. Select the All-DAY SURF ABROAD 500. You will receive a confirmation upon successful availment. 
For more information, check out  #SmartAllDaySurfAbroad 

Budget Travel to Singapore
Affordable Travel To Singapore
Blog about Singapore

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Alberto's Pizza in Gensan

Alberto's Pizza recently opened its newest branch in General Santos City last September 20, 2014. Located at GPSS Arcade, J. Catolico Avenue, Alberto's Pizza offers more than 25 thin crust pizza flavors available in 9 and 11" sizes with either a Quickmelt Cheese or Mozarella Cheese topping.

Alberto's Pizza started 6 years ago in Cebu and has become a favorite to many because their pizzas are affordable and delicious. Prices range from P75-P200.

I find Alberto's Pizza way way better than Yellow Cab or Pizza Kaya, tastes like home-made pizza. 

They also serve Shakes, Ice Cream and Halo Halo. 

Here are some photos of their branch in Gensan. They offer free delivery with no minimum order required. Call them at 0917-309-2213 (Gobe), 0998-535-0316 (Smart), 083-878-0412 (PLDT).

Friday, September 26, 2014

Smart Free Internet

I wasn't there when it was announced but I knew the moment I got the invite that it would be something great and beneficial for Smart's Prepaid Subscriber

And I was right! Starting yesterday, September 26, as long as you have P1 load, you be entitled to have 30MB of free internet daily until November 30, 2014.

Smart, Talk N'Text and Sun cellular currently has a total of 66 million subscribers. a little more than 1/3 of them have smart phones while 15 million of them are already experiencing mobile internet.

The free internet is not just for Facebook, unlike competition. You can use Twitter, Instagram, Skype, Viber. Amazon and even Google platforms. I can even update my blog with that offer.

 Yesterday my friend tried it while we watching Star Cinema's Maria Leonora Theresa horror film. True to its promise, it did work fine. 

To avail all you have to do is Text FREE and send it to 9999. You will have to send that daily if you would like to continue enjoying such benefit.

For more details! Check out Smart's official website!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Unlimited Music Streaming on Spinnr for only P15

Loving Spinnr so much that I get to play Adam Levine's #LostStars every now and then. A song that can either break you down or make you emotional. If you wanna hear it and more of his songs then you better check out Spinnr! Smart Communications even has an offer for its Prepaid Subscribers. 

For only P15 a day, you don't only get unlimited music streaming on Spinnr, but also 150 text messages to all networks and 5 mins worth of airtime to Smart and Talk 'N Text. All you have to do is text CTM15 and send it to 2266. #SmartCTM15

Click the photo for more details!

Seafood Island gives back to community

Seafood Island now has a total of 28 branches nationwide and is now opening new restaurant concepts. 

One of them is The BIKERS' CAFE that doesn't only offer balanced and healthy food choices but also Bike Parking and Shower. 

Another one is the cowboy inspired BONE and BARREL Bistro that serves steaks and shank redemption. I've been to their branch in Eastwood Libis and have tried their tapas, salads, bulalo and their specialty and flavoured beers.

And the soon to open CHOPSEUY which will offer Filipino-Chinese style comfort food.

As part of Seafood Island's advocacy and in celebration of their 10th year, they will be launching their BATANG TRI GRASSROOTS Program to give back something to the community. 

The program will train children to be good at sports under Coach Jojo Macalintal. For every purchase of the Jomac Boodle at any Seafood Island, P300 of P1450 will be donated to the program to provide grants in terms of race fees, equipments, clothing allowance, accommodation, food and other need of the aspiring triathletes

For more details, you can check Blackbeard's Seafood Island official Facebook and on Twitter:  @SeafoodIsland and on Instagram: SeafoodIsland