Tuesday, December 06, 2016

6 Best Countries To Visit Right Now

6 Best Countries To Visit Right Now

Time and money are two of the most common reasons people do not travel. But traveling does not always mean you need billions of pesos. All you need is a bit of cash to get going. Do not worry. The world will still be here. No one has ever said and wished that they have traveled less so they could put longer hours working. 

As to where you are going, we have listed here some of the best countries you must visit right now while you are still young. 


The French know how to make the most of their leisure time. When you visit France, you want to go to Paris. Cross the Eiffel Tower or go to Notre Dame. Then, head to Lyon, which is the second largest city in this country. And if you are a wine lover, you must not forget to visit Bordeaux or Burgundy. You can also make a stop on the French Riviera. 


Next is Italy. It has everything that you want. Art, beaches, mountains and best food. You name it; the country has it. In a matter of days, you can hit different cities. But the first place you must go is in Florence to San Gimignano. This country is a genuine treasure. Italy offers overwhelming community and culture. The residents here only want to eat good food and drink Chianti while loving their country. 


You should go there while you are still young so you could climb Kilimanjaro. Since it is the tallest mountain in Africa, you need a good set of heart and lungs. Reaching the summit can take up to nine days. But it will depend on the route you take. When reaching the top, you will feel like you are on a plane as you get through glaciers, snow, and wooden sign. 


Going to this country is cheap. Even if you come from the Philippines, you do not need a huge amount of money to go there. When going there, head first to Medellin. Then, enjoy the hot springs of Santa Rosa de Cabal before heading to Cocora Valley. Colombia is a country where the past mixes with the present. At the top of South America, you can see the Andes coming to meet Caribbean beaches and dance all night in Cali, which is famous for its dancing. 


Known as the Land of Smiles, Thailand offers cheap adventure. But, just because it is cheap does not mean that it cannot provide you unforgettable holiday. However, you should go there during the hot season. When you choose to travel to Thailand, make sure to head to Bangkok first as it offers some of the greatest food in the world. From Bangkok, you can go to the cooler mountain terrain in the North. Or you can go south and swim to its perfect beaches. 


It is closer to the Philippines. But you must go there while you are still young because of its rugged terrain. It has enchanting landscape and fascinating history. You must start in Ho Chi Minh City. The country may be known for its congested traffic and aggressive touts. However, this country has something exciting to offer.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

International Travel Safety Tips - Avoiding Pickpocket

Traveling in a foreign land will make you an easy victim for pickpockets. However, if you adhere to our international travel safety tips, you can avoid losing your possessions while enjoying your vacation. 

Don’t leave your things unattended. 

It’s pretty obvious, but sometimes, travelers forget about it as they get overwhelmed. But you must never leave your bags and your belongings unattended, even when you’re in a restaurant or at a cafe. Always keep them on your lap. If they’re on your bag, wrap your bag around your leg and never leave it at your feet or the side of your chair. And when you exit the place, always look behind you in case you forget something. 

Avoid keeping your credit cards and cash in one wallet. 

You should have one wallet for your credit cards and another for your money. But never put them all in one wallet. It’s an important travel safety tip in case your one wallet gets stolen. In this way, you’ll still have a source of money to fall back on. 

Never put your wallet in your back pocket. 

It’s a no-no. Always keep it in your front pocket or a zipped bag. But never in a backpack. It’s also essential that you sling your pouch in front so you’ll see it always. 

Don’t wear jewelry and an expensive watch. 

There’s only one reason you should avoid it. That is, expensive items would only make you a target for muggers. And to further avoid thieves, you should avoid crowded areas and strangers, as much as possible. 

Use anti-theft products.

I’m a big fan of Pacsafe Citysafe. It’s a safety handbag that comes with straps that prevent bag slashers who are on motorcycles from slicing through your bag and running off with your bag. Plus, it has built-in splash guards that protect your gears from a thief who’ll slash your bag and run. 

Its zipper pullers can be placed under to prevent pickpockets from reaching your bag. 

You can also go for a travel RFID money belt. What’s great about it is that you can wear it under your clothing so as to prevent theft. Then, it’s equipped with RFID chips that can block illegal scanning of your passports and credit cards. 

If you like using a backpack, you can go for Tigernu anti-thief backpack. It’s an Oxford fabric bag designed to protect your belongings even if you’re preoccupied. It’s difficult to steal your things in your bag because it doesn't have zippers/pockets on the front. The zipper is concealed under a flap. Plus, it’s water-resistant, thereby, keeping your things dry. 

What to do if your credit cards are stolen? 

You must call your banks to cancel them. Do it immediately. It’s to prevent transactions made on your card. After calling the banks, file a police report. 

On the other hand, if your passport is stolen, make a police report and request a copy of it. If it’s not available, get its report number, name, and location of the police station. These details are vital. 

If you heed to these international travel safety tips, you can avoid traveling to a foreign land with no passport, wallet or credit cards.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The Pros and Cons of Retiring in the Philippines

The Philippines is in the list of the top 25 retirement destinations in the world. It’s based on several factors, such as benefits, discounts, healthcare, etc. 

Retiring in the Philippines can offer you a lot of advantages. But it also comes with some risks. In this post, let’s talk about the pros and cons of living or retiring in this archipelagic country with more than 7,000 islands. 

The Pros of Retiring in the Philippines 

Extremely low cost of living

It’s known to many foreigners that the Philippines offers a lower cost of living, compared to the US and other parts of the world. Per month, you can comfortably live on around $800 to $1,200. The amount would include dining out or traveling within the country. 

If your monthly benefit is, say, $900, it can already cover your basic living expenses. 

The most interesting part is that you can get a household help at a very affordable rate. That said, even if you’re on a tight budget, you can still afford to hire someone to help you out with cleaning, cooking, and other household chores. 

Beautiful Country

Our country offers a natural beauty. It’s easy to appreciate its surroundings anywhere you are in the Philippines. 

We have several beaches, like Boracay in Aklan and El Nido in Palawan. All of those biggest draws can surely attract people, not just in Asia, but all over the world. 

Incentives for Expats

The Philippines is very welcoming, especially to expats. We even have a government agency that’s designed to attract foreign retirees. 

Some of these financial benefits would include huge discounts to individuals who are 60 years old or above, duty-free import that’s worth $7,000 and exemption from travel taxes. 

Apart from those things, expats can also work and start a business here. Plus, you can stay here in the Philippines as long as you like because your retiree visa doesn't expire. 

However, you’ll need to obtain permanent residency first. Then, once you’re approved, you can easily leave or return without having to reapply for residency. 

Unfortunately, it’s not all pros the retiring in the Philippines. Here are some cons you must consider before you even decide to settle here. 

The Cons of Retiring in the Philippines 


It’s still a burden to some expats, especially in some areas of the country that don’t offer the same level of care in Manila. 

This is one of the reasons some expats with chronic conditions don’t choose the Philippine as they need regular treatment that the country couldn't provide. 

Lack of Infrastructure 

Even though the Philippines is one of the fastest-growing countries in Asia, it still has a problem with infrastructure, which is a huge economic obstacle. 

What it means to you is that you could experience power failures or outdated telecommunication system. You’ll also experience prolonged water shortages, especially during El Nino or summer season. It’s also common to see deteriorating bridges and roads. 

Safety Issues 

Ever since the campaign against drugs started by the current president, it had already resulted in thousands of deaths. However, if you’re not involved in illegal drug trade, there’s nothing to worry about. 

The biggest safety issue isn't the campaign against drugs. It’s actually terrorism. 

Terrorists are targeting markets, sporting events, and theaters. However, not all places in the Philippines are at risk. Only a few parts of the country are linked to terrorism and insurgency. 

These places would include the Sulu Archipelago and southern Sulu area. Certain regions of the island of Mindanao may also pose a threat. 


The Philippines is a beautiful country that attracts expats who want to retire in a better climate with beautiful scenery. Retiring in the Philippines may have its pros and cons, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons. 

The Filipino people are very welcoming to foreigners. Plus, our country offers incentives to retirees. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Top 9 Tourist Spots in Cebu

Cebu is one of the most livable cities in the Philippines. It’s not as crowded as Metro Manila. Cebu is also not as polluted as Manila and other cities in Luzon. Then, the cost of living is more affordable, just like in Davao City. And if you ride a taxi, Cebuano drivers are more trustworthy than drivers in Manila.  

Most tourist spots in Cebu include beautiful islands, historical sites, and scuba diving sites. So, to make the most of your stay in Cebu, here are some of the tourist spots that you don’t want to miss when you’re in the Queen City of the South

1. Magellan’s Cross

The Magellan’s Cross is a symbol of Roman Catholicism in the Philippines. It’s housed in a chapel and it’s been planted there to signify a major event, i.e. the propagation of Roman Catholic faith in the country. 

It’s also a symbol of the colonization in the Philippines by King Philip II of Spain. 

2. Colon Street 

It’s the oldest street in the country and named after Christopher Columbus. This road was built during Spanish Colonization under the Spanish navigator Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. 

3. Taoist Temple 

Situated in the Beverly Hills Subdivision, the Taoist Temple is another popular tourist spot in the city. Built in 1972, it’s the center of worship for those who follow Taoism. To reach the temple, you need to take a lot of steps. So, it’s not ideal for tourists with weak knees and legs.

4. Cebu IT Park 

It’s not just an IT hub, but it’s also a lifestyle and recreation destination. Cebu IT Park offers a wide selection of cafes, wellness centers, restaurants, and retail stores, as well as bars. During the night, the place becomes livelier. 

5. Mactan Shrine

It’s in Lapu-Lapu City in Mactan Island. In here, you’ll find the 20-meter tall monument of Rajah Lapu-Lapu. He was the first Filipino hero who defeated the Spaniards and killed Ferdinand Magellan on April 27, 1521. 

6. Tabo-An Market 

It’s a haven for those who are looking for dried squid, tuyo, dilis and several others. Dried mangos and otap are also found here. 

7. Sky Experience Adventure

Do you want an adrenaline rush type of experience? If you do, then you should go to Crown Regency Hotel and Towers. The place offers heart-pounding activities, such as Vertical Climb, Edge Coaster, Urban Zipline (this I like) and Tower Walk. 

8. Mango Square

Besides the IT Park, Mango Square is also a perfect place to enjoy your night with your friends and family. In here, you’ll enjoy the fun and lively music and nightlife in the heart of the city. 

9. Food trip 

Forget about your diet. Eat as much lechon as you want. Enjoy the street food paired with puso. It’s a cup of cooked rice wrapped in palm leaves. 

Other tourist spots in Cebu that you can go to will include Fort San Pedro, Basilica del Santo Nino, Metropolitan Cathedral, and Provincial Capitol Building. Of course, there are other places that you can visit if you go to Cebu that aren’t listed here. 

Did I miss anything? Please leave a comment. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Where is the Philippine Arena?

The Philippine Arena is considered as the world’s biggest indoor arena. But it wasn't built by the government. Rather, it’s a source of pride of INC members.

It’s situated in a 75-hectare enterprise zone in Bulacan, Philippines. Although it’s a Filipino pride, it’s designed by Populous, an Australian company. 

But the construction was done by Hanwha Engineering and Construction Corp. The structural engineering was managed by Buro Happold, a London-based company. The audio and video design is provided by a Canadian company known as the Engineering Harmonics. 

Opened on July 27, 2014, the Philippine Arena is so significant that the construction cost around $200 million. It took three years to build it. Touted as the biggest arena in the world, it has a seating capacity of 55,000. 

How does it compare with Singapore’s National Stadium? 

The Philippine Arena and Singapore’s National Stadium are categorised differently. Both has 55,000 seats. But the Philippine Arena is an arena as it’s used for indoor activities. The National Stadium, on the other hand, is a stadium that accommodates outdoor activities. 

Furthermore, the Singapore’s stadium has a retractable roof. Ours has a fully air-conditioned structure. 

Not for profit

Built by Iglesia ni Cristo, the Philippine Arena was designed and constructed not to make a profit. Its intention is to be a place where people can gather for religious, cultural and sporting events. 

Did you know that it’s made from voluntary offerings? 

Yes, the biggest arena in the world has become possible through the voluntary offerings of the INC members. For the INC, giving offerings is a duty and not as a donation. 

The Landscape Artist

The Philippine Arena’s landscape was designed by the same firm that landscaped the National September 11 Memorial and Museum — the PWP Landscape Architecture. It’s a world-renowned firm that also designed Jamison Square, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and several others. 

Up to 100,000 People 

The master plan was for the arena to accommodate 100,000 people. That is it has a seating capacity of 50,000 and another 50,000 at a live site, which is outside to share in an important event. The overall masterplan was to include shopping centers, residential developments, and hospital. 

The arena is built as a multi-use sports and concert venue. From boxing to basketball to musical performances, the Philippine Arena can handle them. 

Can other religious groups use it? 

According to the INC spokesperson, the rule is that the event must not offend the teachings of the Bible. That means other religious organisations can use it as long as they oblige with the rules and regulations of the Philippine Arena. 

Unique Layout 

Unlike other arenas in the Philippines, it’s divided into three sections. Each section has a seat color based on the INC flag, i.e. green, white and red. 

It’s also ready for potential disasters. In a Discovery Channel documentary, the arena was highlighted to be quake-proof. That is, it’s built with flexibility and strength. It can also survive seismic forces that might occur in the Philippines. Plus, there are enough exits. When a disaster strikes, people in the arena can escape within four to six minutes. 

Image Source: Philippine Arena

Advertise with IZEA Media