PHILIPPINES | 2013 Official Holiday Dates

Planning for your travel schedules for the year 2013? Here is the list of the dates that are official declared as holidays for the year. Based on the Proclamation No. 459 s. 2012, these are the regular holidays, special (non-working days), and special holidays (for all schools) for 2013.
Regular holidays and special days for the year 2013 shall be observed in the country: 

A. Regular Holidays 
January 1 (Tuesday)             New Year’s Day
March 28                             Maundy Thursday
March 29                             Good Friday
April 9 (Tuesday)                  Araw ng Kagitingan
May 1 (Wednesday)              Labor Day
June 12 (Wednesday)            Independence Day
August 26 (Monday)             National Heroes Day
November 30 (Saturday)       Bonifacio Day
December 25 (Wednesday)   Christmas Day
December 30 (Monday)         Rizal Day
B. Special (Non-Working) Days 
March 30                              Black Saturday
August 21 (Wednesday)        Ninoy Aquino Day
November 1 (Friday)            All Saints Day
December 31 (Tuesday)       Last Day of the Year 
Additional special (non-working) days:
November 2 (Saturday)
December 24 (Tuesday)
C. Special Holiday (for all schools) 
EDSA Revolution Anniversary February 25 (Monday)
Section 2 of Proclamation 459 s 2012 states: “The proclamations declaring national holidays for the observance of Eid’l Fitr and Eidul Adha shall hereafter be issued after the approximate dates of the Islamic holidays have been determined in accordance with the Islamic calendar (Hijra) or the lunar calendar, or upon Islamic astronomical calculations, whichever is possible or convenient. To this end, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) shall inform the Office of the President on which day the holiday shall fall.
Hope that helps you plan ahead for your travel schedules for 2013!

Start with a Plan

Enough of the wandering thoughts – Start planning already!

When you’ve been thinking about traveling, pretty much you’ll have some random if not target destination/s up your curve already. Before anything else proceeds, plan your next move carefully like as if each move is guarding your king on a chess board game.  But mostly, planning is just doing an en passant move, advancing two squares when capturing an opponents pawn. Whether or not your plan include up to the minute details of trip, just a  rough route, or getting that phone number of a sister’s college friend who knows someone who knows some good travel agent, then by all means go, and overcome self limitations!

Planning may not get you nowhere near your destination yet. It actually is but still a part of the frame of thought of getting on that road. But it does let you move on the step of trying to realize that dream.
Keep in mind that planning no matter how detailed, or careless may you be, it will give you half the sound comfort you need when you’re already on that road.  So look it up on the internet, draw out your route on the map, or sequence your activities for an itinerary, — each travel planning depends on the nature of the trip, duration, budget, and the company of people you are with. Do not fret if your planning stage takes longer, or just fraction of the actual duration of the trip. This is, after all, your comfort zoning for an adventure yet to be experience, so just be cool, and have fun with it.

ER Coverage for Travelers & Non-Travelers Give-Away

If you do not think it is safe, it probably isn’t but then again for adventure, and thrill seeking people — degree of safety is, uhm, relevant. Because sometimes, safety is not a gadget but a state of mind. Or something like that. And despite all our attempts to keep safe, there are circumstances beyond us sometimes. Which leads me to this very month late give-away stashed as draft for a while.
Imagine my excitement opening up packages, and letters that came in succession as birth month July came crazy waltzing in. The people behind Paramount Life and General Insurance Corporation and MedAsia Philippines was nice enough to send a word of thanks for the previous review I did on the Prepaid Emergency Medical Assistance or the ER Card Plus. I like it because the  insurance coverage has affiliated hospitals they have on the list that could be ideal for those who travel. It was nice of them to send me one because the previous one I had has already expired. But the good thing was, they sent two more along for extras.

The cards are good for the late half of 2012. So if you still have travels for the remaining months of the year, you’re more than welcome to join. If you do not have travels planned up but wants to get a chance to win these, by all means join up. You can check out how to activate the card at the ER Card Plus site. And since, Pinay Travelista is hibernating, as the writer behind it made a self-imposed ultimatum on something (really scary, she might as well go crazy if she won’t break her promise not to travel for the rest of the year — let’s see) for her, uhm, future — you guys gets a chance to win one of not just two, but three ER Cards Plus! This contest will only run for 2 weeks — another one is brewing up, best of luck!

For more details on the ER Card Plus, read Prepaid Medical Assistance or visit the ER Card Plus site. This contest is open to everyone within the Philippines. Items will be shipped for free. Contest will run from August 10 – August 24, 2012. All information generated from this raffle giveaway warrants full disclosure, and will only be used within the bounds of this raffle contest. Winners will be drawn, and announced on August 25, 2012.

UPDATED: ( August 25, 2012)

Rafflecopter was used to generate, moderate, and draw out the winners.

Congratulations to [1] Ding Fuellos, [2] Pinoy Adventurista, and [3] Xy-Za Yape!!!
Wohooo! Sent you guys an email already! 

NOTE: Pinay Travelista opted to remove the rafflecopter widget

to cover the name of a disqualified drawn out entry. But an image of four draws is  posted up! 

Thanks bunch to everyone who participated! #hugs

Read HOW TO | Online Giveaway with Rafflecopter to see how easy, and effective it is for online contest like these.


Who can hope to be safe? who sufficiently cautious?
Guard himself as he may, every moment’s an ambush.” ~Horace

DIPOLOG CITY | Sta. Cruz Marker & Some Broken Dreams at a Boulevard

On one of our nights in town, we asked our hosts if we could catch a sunset and get to visit the boulevard again. We wanted to see it as the last few curtains of natural light dances in hues of red, orange, and faint yellow. 

Just as it was about fiery red skies, we were greeted by one of the heritage landmark found in Dipolog City, the Sta. Cruz Marker. It is the oldest landmark of Dipolog, and of Christianity. To this day from the time it was erected, the cross plays a significant role in the lives of local folks. Etched on the extended base was En 3 de Mayo 1905 that marks the day a group of Boholanos first landed in this city, and called it their home. Dipolog sits on the tip of western Mindanao and is called the Gateway to Western Mindanao and the Zamboanga Peninsula. It looks on the Negros Provinces, and Cebu beyond the body of water.

A few nights before, hours, or less, before midnight on the same night that we arrived at Dipolog City, we prematurely visited the Boulevard of Broken Dreams, as it is called, with two of our companions arriving late. Having nearly all food establishments closed up, we were told that this is where you can get meals at around that time. Despite the obvious tiredness, and the nagging thoughts of work for me to do, I joined the group to see a bit of town at that dead of night.  It was pitch dark, and the only tell-tale signs of wakefulness was the strong smoke from grills that wafted in the air as we approached the lined up red stalls brightly lighted by light bulbs hanging by their cords.
I could only make out the sound of gentle waves, and the comfortable sea breeze that carries cool air into the land. That night, I wondered why it was called that, and “Was I supposed to leave something there?”, I silently asked myself. There was no answer, except the comfort I felt being there. I knew we were to visit it again, or I’d find time to see it on one of my two favorite times of the day to be at the beach, “Maybe I’ll get  some answers”, I thought.
We had just enough light, and the clouds were playful enough to reflect the shying away of the last rays of the sun. I could just stay there till it was pitched dark again. In this long stretch of walkway, where lined up concrete chairs welcomes anyone, families were there, some joggers keeping themselves in shape, and a few just there looking on into the horizon.
I sat on one of the seats and shared it with 3 others who I presumed were of one family. I wanted to rest my tired feet, and wanted a lower angle for a shot. But I quickly apologized, and stood up when they started talking about family issues I was not supposed to hear. Sometimes people forget their privacy at the heat of the moment, that you just have to give it to them anyways.
I walked along the break water, and saw men placing their baits on their hooks, and throwing their fishing lines into the water. Men as old as my dad, if he was still alive, around the age of my kuya or younger brothers, and some kids around an age of a niece or nephew. And then they sit there waiting for their catch that would fill up their plates that night. I asked a guy for how long he has been doing that, “Since I was 10 years old“, he said. “Are you married now?“, I probed on. “Yes, with 2 kids, and a pregnant wife.” That was honest living, it crushed my heart out because it must be hard for them, but his smile assured me that I should not be. 
I did get an answer before leaving the boulevard that sunset. Maybe I should be more forgiving, and less too hard on myself. I have not lost one of my dreams, or that there’s no need for me to throw one away either. The ordinary scenes, and some locals gentle hearts told me that. That despite the wrong turn, or the plain obvious stalling I was doing. I just took a detour when I took the bend on the road or something, and I will find my way back to it some time. I just have to be okay with that. 
Much as the comforts of our hotel bed was a welcome, I found it hard to sleep that night. I needed a distraction, so I worked instead.

To be true to ourselves, however, is not an easy task. We must break free of the seductions of society and live life on our own terms, under our own values and aligned with our original dreams. We must tap our hidden selves; explore the deep-seated, unseen hopes, desires, strengths and weaknesses that make us who we are. We must understand where we have been and where we are going.
– Robin Sharma