Getting Refund from Viator

“Thing don’t always go as planned. Once we accept this, we become better in dealing with this thing called life.” Enrico Pangan We are heavy users of Viator, and have used it intensively in recent overseas trips. On average, we reserve three tours every trip, and schedule tours every other day. This makes sure we…

Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach [Review]

On a recent trip to Hawaii, we opted for the Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach Hotel, largely for its very “centric” location, and for the good price we got from Expedia. Here is the review I posted to TripAdvisor, and I’m sharing an updated copy here to help future readers make better informed travel decisions. Very…

Stranded in Paradise

A couple of Mondays ago, we were stranded in Paradise. We spent the weekend over at beautiful Izu, and were on our way back to Tokyo. Our Tokyo-bound train was supposed to leave Izukyu-Shimoda at 3PM, but a typhoon had just made landfall, and the trains had been cancelled. We tried renting a car hoping…

Tokyo’s Bicycle

I first heard about Tokyobike from a Japanese TV show where a group of British tourists were talking about Tokyobike and how popular it is in London. My first thought was how ironic that Tokyoites were buying London Brompton Bikes, while Londoners were buying Tokyobikes. I’ve been staying here in Tokyo for about ten years now,…

Earning Zero Mileage Points

Last month, my wife and I took a short trip to Europe flying Qatar Airways. Being a long flight halfway around the world, I was a little curious as to how many mileage points I would get. I later checked my JAL Mileage Bank report (JAL and Qatar Airways are both members of OneWorld), and was a bit…

Azaleas of Minami-Senju

Not known to many people, but Minami-Senju is kind of a hidden gem, known among the locals and hobbyist photographers for azalea spring viewing. The blooms usually start after the sakura cherry blossoms season (mid-April), and last a couple of weeks until around the Japanese golden week (early-May). During this period, the sidewalks and the center…

Three Day Weekend in Kyushu

Last month during the three day weekend (March 19-21), my wife and I went on a trip to Kyushu, in particular in Fukuoka and Mount Aso in Kumamoto. Day One in Fukuoka Interestingly, the first thing people ask me when I tell them I am going to Fukuoka is, “What’s in Fukuoka?”. Aside from tonkotsu…

Filipinos Applying For Schengen Visa from Japan

My wife and I just received our Schengen Visas today, and to help other Filipinos who would also like to visit the Schengen Area, let me share our experience getting it. We were planning to visit Austria and Germany in May so we figured two months before our planned trip would be a good time…

Yellow Tokyo

The other day, I took a day off from work to run some errands, getting my OEC from the Philippine embassy, and renewing my Japanese International Driver’s License, both in preparation for my visit to the Philippines. The weather was amazing with clear blue skies, so I decided to bring my trusty camera with me…

Sumida Fireworks from Minami-Senju

Not known to many people but Minami-Senju also has great views of the Sumida Fireworks. People flock to the riverside to reserve spots from early in the morning. There are also several high-rise residential buildings that offer a clear view of the fireworks, with the Tokyo Sky Tree by its side. For this year, we…

Amazing Race – Davao

During our last trip to the Philippines, we planned for an overnight trip to Davao. We knew it was rushed, but we were determined to accomplish and make the most out of it. Our plan was to take the earliest flight from Manila to Davao on the day one, and then take the last flight from…

The iJeepney

Spotted roaming the streets of the Philippines … the iJeepney!