Samal Island: A place to reminisce

If you plan to unwind from the struggling life circumstances, you surely can. You can relax from the challenges months after this global status quo of fear and uncertainty. You may even ask when this situation lasts. While waiting, you can set your plans and cherry-pick one of the fine-looking and over-the-top tourist destinations in the Philippines. You can probably name many of the attractive tourist spots on your list. However, you, most probably, think of El Nido, Coron, or Puerto Princesa in Palawan. Or perhaps, you just select Boracay in Aklan as the starting point of your adventure in the country. Whatever your pick is, you, maybe, are closer to your choice.

However, other destinations are just right in the corner. You may change your plans to do so if you just wish to explore other places aside from what you already knew. You just need to see a map and find the right spot there. You know your friends have so much fun and joy during their exciting excursions at Samal Island, and you won’t let yourself alone. So, you take your trip.

Then, you select Samal Island. Your friends tell you that. You check the map, and yes, you decide to try. You need to know that Samal Island is off the shoreline of Davao City in the southern part of the Philippines. And yet, you don’t have a fixed plan. You don’t know what to do. You just try to set your plans and choose the immaculate and untouched island of Samal. From there you may visit the Pearl Farm where you can see thousands of white-lipped oysters, with once cultured for pink, white, and gold pearls. Quite exciting, isn’t it? But, there is more than that!

Local and foreign tourists these days decide to visit this world-class beach resort in the Philippines. Samal Island with its white shingle and panoramic scenery lets tourists muse over everlasting happiness. So, you set your plans and check the guidelines from the Department of Tourism in the Philippines.

Guidelines on the Entry of Tourists to the Philippines

The Department of Tourism upholds travel guidelines and things to do in the new country. If you wish to visit the Philippines, you need to observe the guidelines.

    • Foreign nationals from other countries can enter the Philippines for business and tourism purposes.
    • They can enter the country and stay in the region without visas.
    • However, the tourists’ stay must not exceed 21 days.
    • As long as they have valid returned tickets back to their countries.
    • Foreign tourists must have their passports, which are valid for at least six months throughout their travel.
    • Of course, you need to know that Immigration Officers (IO) at ports of entry have special jurisdictions. They can exercise their decisions to concede passport holders to enter as long as the passports are valid for at least sixty (60) days.

Bureau of Customs

When you arrive in the Philippines, you know some rules. You can take their duty-free belongings, such as two cartons of cigarettes and two tins of pipe tobacco. They can also bring one liter of alcohol if they want to have it. However, for the Balikbayans, the BOC implements distinct guidelines. Tourists need to check these tourists with their Consulate or Embassy in their home city.

Philippine Currency

Foreign tourists must know the currency in the Philippines. They need to know the value of a Peso (₱) and a Centavo. They need to learn and remember that 100 centavos = ₱1.

Foreign tourists must know the coin denominations in the Philippines. The coin denominations of the Philippines are the following:

    • For centavos: 1, 5, 10, and 25 centavos
    • For Pesos: ₱1, ₱5, and ₱10

Foreign tourists must also consider the bill denominations, such as 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1, 000 pesos. When you arrive at the airport, please go directly to the exchange counters at the airport. You can also go to your hotel to get your money exchanged. Somehow, you can go to the banks, big department stores, and permitted and approved money changing shops. Please remember that exchanging money somewhere, not sanctioned by the government, is unlawful. For that reason, tourist must be cautious about it.

If you wish to go and conduct cashless transactions, you can use credit or debit cards. These payment methods are available in the country. However, only big institutions, hotels and resorts, and restaurants will accept the following cards, such as American Express, MasterCard, and Visas. If you have travelers’ checks like the American Express, you can also use them. However, only those chic and exclusive hotels and large department stores will accept them.

Now, you are green to go to Samal Island. Enjoy the refreshing water and the serene destination that you probably want to reminisce.


Agutayan Island: A tourist destination to consider

You may be thinking about where Agutayan Island is. You may get lost by finding the right name and spot since similar names exist on the map. However, Agutayan Island, despite all the names, may take you to Jasaan, Misamis Oriental in Mindanao, Philippines.

The name Agutayan Island sounds homegrown or local. However, the splendor of the place attracts many local and foreign tourists. Considering the cerulean and crystal water plus the cleanliness of the bay, you will never miss them. These tourists come together and spend their days and nights of adventure out in the sun.

Conversely, some local and foreign tourists may comment on the place. Some say that the place is barren and naked and that somehow the place does not get the lure. But, here you are. You are witnessing majesty and magnificence as you take your steps on the white sand. When you look around, you will see nothing but water and sand – no trees, no mountains, and no corner shops that sell food nearby. That completely sets some off. However, please don’t bother if the place does not have food shops nearby. You cannot just ignore the beauty of the sand and the charming bluish cool waters that touch your feet.

Agutayan Island from VicTour Photography

And yes, you are right. The isle appears to be the jewel in the expanse. The cool and revitalizing water can surely take away all reservations from trekking the area. All you need to do is unpack all food products from your containers. Then, you set your tent and experience the natural cerulean waterfront with its stimulating underwater jewels in the cool and blustery zephyr. You surely confirm that experience as one of the exciting adventures.

Moreover, you can see the place with its rich marine life. You can testify that the island is not only for the new spot to swim. You can think that the island is for you to enjoy. Again, you don’t have to worry. Not all people go there. It means that the place isn’t swarming. You can only enjoy going out with friends and family members.

What is more, Agutayan Island is a peaceful place. It certainly is a good place to visit and to unwind. However, you may need to bring with you your hats, sunblock screens, and umbrellas. You may get their skin charred. You see no shades, no trees, and nothing, and the weather is just fine – too steamy and too parched. But, here’s the catch. Tourists can pack all their gears and kinds of stuff – food and water, tent, and anything that gives them shades. In the end, you can enjoy the Agutayan water but different from Pi’s experiences being stranded on a deserted island. This one is different. You surely stay longer than you imagine. The bad news is, you can’t throw your trash in the sea. Of course, you don’t.

At this point, you may think of any. It is fine. You just need to come early between 5 AM and 8 AM because the island may vanish during high tides figuratively. What I mean is that the waters may rise below your knees as you stand on the sand bars or sand floors. You have to see it for yourselves. When you visit Agutayan Island, make sure you get permission from the Department of Tourism in Cagayan de Oro where the Provincial Office resides. To make sure, ask your local tour guide and enjoy your experience. Welcome to Agutayan Island in Jasaan, Misamis Oriental!

Misamis Oriental: A home to remember

I have been traveling to different places here and abroad. I have met people from different walks of life. I have talked to them and made further social engagements until I realized things. I have just realized that meeting those people and traveling to different places or countries to explore culture could be unfair. I became biased at things. My friends told me to stop traveling far places and focus on the local settings. In the first place and for the last time in silence, I stopped moving and thinking. My friends were right!

So, I paused for a while. I just had to clarify my thoughts. I had to consider traveling in my hometown and to look around the beauty in it. Honestly, realizing this one never came to mind. My mind would always tell me to explore those beautiful spots overseas, such as Bali in Indonesia, Pa Tong in Phuket Island, Thailand, or Hawaii. However, I never realized that there have been places in my hometown that would surely touch further inspirations.

Now, Misamis Oriental, Mindanao, Philippines gave me a new perspective. My hometown has, so much, had to offer. The economic standing of Misamis Oriental told me to think about it. One can notice how growing and productive the place is. The province depends largely on its traditional products, such as canned pineapple, sintered ore, crude coco oil, and finished lumber and wood products. As well, the province also produces the following products, such as activated carbon, fatty alcohol, and refined glycerine. It is not only that. The province exports and sells desiccated coconut and cocoa shell charcoal. I didn’t know this; however, the province offered so much in it.

However, you cannot ignore the beautiful beaches and classy hotels in the province. Duka Bay Resort in Medina, Mindanao, for example, would give you an exciting tour and refreshing beaches. There came next, the Chali Beach Resort in Cagayan de Oro that hosts you with a peaceful aura in the city. Most local and foreign tourists take their time traveling around the city and then come home to relax. Another one would be the Jamisolamin Farm & Resort (Red Sand Beach) in Talisayan, Misamis Oriental, Mindanao, Philippines. All these and more are just available here in my hometown. I just lose focus on seeing them or even considering spending time visiting the place. If I think about this, I may have had so much joy and time diving into the blue and crystal clear waters. I surely do.

This time it is time to start traveling locals. Beautiful spots sprout everywhere. You only need to explore and plan to visit the places and experience magic and wonder. Besides, you don’t have to spend much money on travel expenses. You just have to pay less for the satisfying adventure and travel in your place.

OFWs: their struggles abroad

Most of us don’t really know how OFWs struggles to live their lives abroad. Many of us think that they are fine and that they just work there to earn money. We even call working abroad as an opportunity. We desperately need to go there and travel and meet people. However, what we fail to realize is that they suffer more pain than we can never imagine. They feel the pain of longing and homesickness for months. Aside from the fears of having and working with bad people, they spend much of their time struggling to be stronger than they can ever be.

The Myth

We may think that OFWs are strong people. The strength that we think comes from their abilities to live their lives away from the families, their children, and their wives. We think that they are happy every time we see them laugh when we talk over the phone via video chat from Messenger or any social media. Our friends and neighbors when talking to us often say, “Oh, you are rich because your husband or wife works abroad” or simply “Oh, you’re fine despite the absence of your husband and wife.” We have remarks like these; however, what we don’t know is that they struggle their lives to survive from hardships and the people around them.

OFWs’ Dilemmas

OFWs strive hard to survive. It means that they have to learn to be strong to fight against homesickness or nostalgia. They have to fight against their demons and their emotions. For the first three months of going away, they struggle to balance their decisions. However, some of them are weaker than we think. They admit defeat. Many of us can hear news reports that OFWs jump from the Fourth Floor or drink many drugs inside the toilet because of confusion, loneliness, and other factors. And yes, OFWs may come to a point where and when they give up their jobs and plan to come home. Once they decide, they cannot make things possible due to their contracts.

Crab Mentality

Some OFWs behave differently abroad. Perhaps, their loneliness and isolation made them feel brutal and tough. They possess strange or even weirder attitudes. For example, they trick other OFWs so that their employers will get mad at them. Some think why this thing happens when other OFWs only to finish the contract and go home. They do not even seek for promotions. The problem is that distance and loneliness make some OFWs stiff and unyielding. They become callous, cruel, and vicious OFWs, and they do not think any more clearly. These OFWs manage to adjust their lives in a foreign land; however, their character changed.

Benefits of Working Abroad

OFWs remain untouched by pain and time if they are ready to work abroad. If they have some experiences, they can no longer feel the problems of loneliness. They can adapt to the new environment. However, those OFWs that are just new may realize and think of the benefits of going abroad. Thinking about it may lessen the sense of returning home or the sense of losing their minds. I tell you this. Loneliness can kill OFWs. Despite the problems that OFWs feel, they must realize the fact that working abroad is advantageous and that it inspires them to continue to work on their dreams. By this, they can gain benefits:

    • Meeting new cultures and building cultural awareness
    • Augmenting your personal and professional profile via CV
    • Having value-added communication skills
    • Enhancing self-confidence and resourcefulness
    • Increasing the sense of freedom from self and disposition
    • Attaining new experiences to improve professional skills

Now, OFWs can survive from their struggles if they choose to try stirring themselves the fruit of their labor. For us, they go abroad out of love and sacrifice. Because of their love to give their loved ones a good life, they sacrifice the distance and the time despite the distance. They also feel joy since they can earn a lot of money and send them to their loved ones despite the sadness.

Farming and Gardening: Earning Money at Home

I bet we want to know this. We may probably think we can’t do something despite the outbreak. With low incomes, we can’t even afford to buy expensive food products anymore because we want to keep our money tight. We can’t lose our money by having unplanned shopping. We can’t even buy clothes and other stuffed materials because we know they don’t constitute our priorities. So, we stick to the plans. We sick to the basic needs that we care about according to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. And times like this; we spend much money to buy those food products.

However, all products go up due to the chance and change of the situations – lack of supplies and deliveries due to travel restrictions. Somehow, we can’t think of any but probably re-define a new landscape and structure of our needs and priorities. And now, if we are looking for something to earn during the COVID-19 pandemic, we can. However, this topic may be off your radar – farming and gardening. And the exciting part is, we can even sell the products and earn money without going to the office for work. For that matter, we can do the following tricks.


So, we think about our vacant backyard. It seems spacious that we think we can plant more vegetables and fruit trees. So we study some stuff on how to make gardens or on how to plant fruits and vegetables that surely give us good produce after two to three months. We can plant more fruits and vegetables that don’t require long periods to harvest. We can probably choose to plant some of the following:

    • radishes with only 25 days to harvest
    • carrots for 50 days
    • salad leaves for 21 days
    • spinach 30 days
    • bush beans for 60 days, and more

We can also plant more tomatoes if we like. Tomatoes, which can be fruits and vegetables, are good for health. As well, we can plant some green-leafy vegetables and fruits and sell them when we have them. Of course, some people earn dollars for those products in the neighborhood.


When we have hectares or just some spacious lot, we can surely plant more root crops and vegetables that do not require half a year or even years to grow. We can farm more of these radishes, carrots, other green-leafy vegetables. The good thing is, we can sell them when we produce more of them in the community. We can promote our healthy and safe fruit and vegetable products without fertilizers. We just need to have attractive presentations when we sell them in the neighborhood.

Selling fruit juices and pickled products

We can tell we thrive in this arena. When others don’t think of farming and gardening, we have the advantage of harvesting our products. When we do, we have potential income streams that others don’t have during the pandemic. Of course, people like our neighbors will buy those fruit and vegetable products since those items are our priority. We need them because we eat. Now, if we have some of these products during harvest, we can do some tricks. We can make juices for the unsold fruits and sell them in the community. As well, we can make some pickled carrots, radishes, and more. We just preserve them a little bit for days and pack them. After that, we can sell them.

At this point, we can be productive during COVID-19. Farming and gardening are good muscle activities, too. Selling those food products is a plus. But wait, when we well, we also observe social distancing. We can’t escape from the critical eyes because some readers may question how we maintain social distancing. To be honest, we don’t ignore the government mandate to avoid crowds. We just provide fresh products and maintain social distancing. So, we don’t just go outside with people. We go outside because we plant more fruits and vegetables on the farms and at our backyards. The exciting part of this journey is that we beat the economic plunge brought about by the pandemic. We earn a lot of money when no one else can. Now, we don’t know when this problem ends. We still have time to do it. Just get your wheelbarrow, dibbers, garden trowel, fork hoe, garden knife, garden secateurs, heavy-duty hoes, and more to start today. Remember, we can make it, right?

The Philippines, Still Safe for Tourists to Travel

Trekking to the Philippines can be your best place to explore after the COVID-19 pandemic. It is because the beaches and resorts these days are, most probably, clean. And when beaches and resorts are open after COVID-19, local tourists and you yourselves may have a chance to enjoy the waters.

You may ask if traveling to the Philippines is safe. The answer is yes. As long as you know the safety protocols, you are in good hands. You just need a tour guide to help you travel to those exciting places in the country.

    • White Beach in Boracay
    • Chocolate Hills in Bohol
    • Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan
    • Cloud 9 in Siargao
    • Beaches and Diving Spots in Cebu
    • Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao
    • Rizal Park in Manila
    • Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan
    • And many others…

Firstly, you need to research the Philippines and check out the best spots in the country. Secondly, you need to plan. Thirdly, have a map with you throughout the adventure. Perhaps, you may contact a local tour guide with the help of the Tourism Department to give you an intriguing adventure. Lastly, know your every move – wherever you go – to refer to your schedules and list of plans.

Traveling to the Philippines is a smart idea. Considering the prices of food products and clothes, as well as pieces of jewelry, travelers can find their best souvenirs and jewels in the country.

The good thing about traveling to the Philippines is to learn the culture, people, and tradition. You can get acquainted with the sites and people. However, you may have heard that it is not safe to travel to the country, especially women. I tell you this. It is not true. Perhaps, you may imagine to spend yourself alone and unwind without the hassle.

When you decide on traveling solo, you need to take a few precautions. You must be aware of the present situations and know the difference between scams and truths. Of course, there are bad people around the world, and you cannot ignore them. And now, if you like an adventure, you just need to ask for some guidelines and get some vaccinations from your country.

If you need to have one because you are in the United States, get an up to date details on routine vaccinations. The CDC provides guidelines and instructions to all travelers heading to the Philippines. For example, the CDC instructs you to get hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines.

Moreover, the CDC will give you another vaccine if you plan to stay in the country for a longer period. If you plan to stay longer though, you need to be safe – including the consumption of water. The tap water in the Philippines is, to be honest, not safe. It may ruin your exciting adventure. Therefore, you need to buy gallons of mineral and safe drinking water.

What’s more, you may encounter scammers nearby. Do not engage in a conversation when someone offers you to have an extra tour of something and somewhere. Some scammers will introduce themselves as part of the hotel staff where they are working. Please do not allow that conversation to prolong. Just mention that you have no idea while finding your way out of the scene. You need to make sure that you are safe from pickpockets and any other “bad” people.

The laws are friendly in the Philippines. However, somewhere along the way you need further assistance due to untoward incidents. Here are the numbers to contact:

    • 911 for the National Emergency Hotline
    • 117 for the Philippine National Police Hotline
    • (632) 301-2000 for the U.S. Embassy in Manila

At this point, pack your things now. Have your plans, get your cameras and drones, and let the plane take off. See you in the Philippines.

3 Reasons Why Foreign Tourists Should Visit the Philippines

You probably can’t believe why I am writing this one to you. You may think this topic is unfit for the COVID-19 pandemic that pressures us all – economic, political, and social aspects. However, it isn’t good to remain in the upsetting situations. We need to get out of that fiasco that attempts to hook us forever in social distancing, stay-at-home, and one-meter apart policies. We can’t get away with it if we won’t let our minds slip away from that bedlam. After all the problems going around the world, I still think of you guys to cool down a bit and try to visit the Philippines to unwind. You can also do your businesses, or most probably, find time to relax elsewhere. Before you grimace, you need to hear me first. Telling you this may frown your eyebrows, but I tell you, you just need to pause for a little while and think why you should visit the country. If you think this writing is somewhat a marketing strategy, then please consider this. I haven’t earn money for endorsing; I just share my experiences. However, you may ask why tourists should do that. My answer is, why not?

Lovely Beaches and Resorts

I surely tell you this. You need to pack some of your things and head to Southeast Asia to visit the Philippines. After COVID-19, which may be soon, you need to unwind yourself and get out of your house. You’ve been there for a while . You stay at home for months as required. This time you need to do something in return – to get yourself refreshed with diving into lovely beaches and lodging in great resorts.

And when you do, you can check out the country as one of the fascinating countries to travel with friends. You may think that I am a bit narcissistic about why I love my own country and that I keep on bragging it to you and others. But, you are wrong. I am just excited about you guys to visit the country because of the lovely beaches and resorts. The catch is simple. All beaches are clean and undisturbed for months since the virus spreads. So, you can expect clean fresh, or salty waters that splash on your skin. You can even think of Coron Islands, El NidoPalawan, Siargao, White Islands, and many others. However, you can go deep in the south region and visit Misamis Oriental, Mindanao, Philippines if you want a tour.

A Dazzling Array of Wonder in Boracay

Glitzy Hotels

If you may think that hotels are classy and expensive, then you are pretty right. You can try finding a new place just distant to the hotels. You just can roam around and shop somewhere along the streets. And yet, if you can afford to pay for the hotel rents, you can positively go back to the parades of rental rooms and choose some exquisite and accommodating hosts and staff members. Some of these hotels hold five-star titles to secure their positions in the market, which you probably experience the best services in the area. And yes, if you are working online or if you have employees you need to call online, you can do it throughout your vacation. In other words, you take your jobs with you.

Best Spots to Get Lost

Most tourists go to the Philippines for various reasons. One of the reasons is the stunning spots in the country. Whether they choose the metropolis over the province, they still get the chance to search for beautiful spots in the region. If the Philippines is not your first time visiting, you can still sightsee the mysteries of the nation. There’s a lot more to rediscover. Once you do that, you can still find the best stunning regions and tourist spots in the country. Besides, the place and the people are so warm that you need to explore some of the uninvited sections of the country.

A Fascinating Turquoise Water in Palawan

Now, these three reasons may be repetitive. But, what else can I do? I may not have a chance to invite you to visit the Philippines. For example, if you are building your startup business and are looking for people to do the task, you need to visit the Philippines. Here, you can hire employees here and choose the ones that qualify for your needs. And time and again, you may probably ask this to me why I write this topic. Why not? You guys are on the right track.

Amazon: To give $10 million to the select groups to advocate impartiality

Some Americans have never learned a lesson about collective justice. They have never forgotten their history of racism, slavery, and violence. These particular references do not stir further issues; however, this statement, I mean this article, brings a new level of discussion to enthuse others to reexamine the American views and to rethink possible strategies to end the sense of bias and intolerance ingrained in the political and social landscape. In response to the eternal skirmish of the black community and people of color, the Amazon Company promises to contribute $10 million to the organizations that drive fairness and justice.

The ACLU Foundation, Black Lives Matter, Brennan Center for Justice, Equal Justice Initiative, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, NAACP, National Bar Association, National Museum of African American History and Culture, National Urban League, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, United Negro College Fund, Year Up, and others become the recipient of Amazon’s funding. The selection of the recipients to receive the $10 million materializes with the assistance of the business’s Black Employee Network (BEN). BEN helps fight systemic racial discrimination or racial intolerance. It runs through the legal system to help expand the educational and financial prospects for Black populations. In other words, BEN will receive the money to fund the local organizations to increase the quality education and the lives of the Black communities.

As well, the company wishes to help those groups that support education for everybody and justice for Black groups in the country. Amazon thinks that the undemocratic and heartless treatment of Black and African Americans is intolerable.

Additionally, the company stands firm to support justice and impartiality. Moreover, it stands firm to defend and support its Black customers, employees, and followers, who help it construct a country. The company helps those people who help him create a world where all people regardless of their ethnic backgrounds can live without fear.

Finally, the management of the Amazon Company and BEN permit the two to team up to support the Black community. This task between the Amazon Company and BEN considerably alters the perceptions of some people in the nation. According to Angelina Howard, the president of BEN, the group will discuss how the Amazon Company stays to support its workers and the whole Black community to cut the appalling events related to hate crimes and racialism.