GETTING HERE FROM WHEREVER YOU ARE:
First of all, it is a good idea to shop CAREFULLY for your airline tickets. You can start by doing the following:
A. Go to a few travel agents and find out what THEIR best price would be.
B. Go to a few "ticket consolidators" and find out what THEIR best price would be.
C. Go to a few of the "bid for tickets" companies -- and try to save 40% or maybe more.
For example, the following links should open for you if you click on them, and
it will cost you NOTHING to find out
how inexpensively you can fly to the Philippines from wherever you are.
BiddingForTravel.com - The informed Priceline Travel Bidding Forum
Cheap Flights, Hotels, and Rental Cars -- Discount Airfare Priceline.com
Priceline and Hotwire Forum
Once you find out how inexpensively you can fly to the Philippines -- and how inexpensively you can stay at a nice resort here in the Philippines -- you might decide that YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO STAY HOME.
Would that be cool... or what ???
Regarding the following directions, most of our guests print a hard-copy, and carry it with them while on the way here.
Anyway... it is easy to get to SKIP’S BEACH RESORT (or anywhere else here in the Philippines) from almost any city in the world – as follows:
Pacific Airlines has a direct flight into Cebu
City from Hong Kong.
Therefore, Cathay Pacific allows travelers to avoid the many problems that are associated with landing in
Manila and then needing to
arrange transportation to Cebu
AS ONLY TWO EXAMPLES OF POSSIBLE PROBLEMS:
On local flights (from Manila to Cebu) there is a good chance that you will not be allowed to bring the same amount of
luggage with you without paying a LOT of extra money. For example, on International flights we are generally allowed
two suitcases that weigh 70 pounds each (a total of 140 pounds) -- whereas on local flights within the Philippines you
might be allowed to take MUCH less weight than that, and be charged a LOT of money for any anything additional.
Obviously, this might be a good reason to avoid some of the local flights.
when you get to Manila, you might find that getting from THE INTERNATIONAL
AIRPORT to THE DOMESTIC
AIRPORT in time to catch your flight to Cebu City can be a major problem.
2. Before you fly to the Philippines, it is a good idea for you to change the equivalent of $100. U.S. into Philippine Pesos. This can be done at the airport where you begin your flight (e.g. in America). One hundred dollars worth of Philippines Pesos should take care of your immediate expenses (for taxi, hotel, food, entertainment, etc.) when you first arrive here in the Philippines. On the other hand, if you are inclined to be "paranoid" then you might want to change $200. U.S. into Pesos. Remember: Most businesses here will not accept American money.
3. IMPORTANT: The money changers in the Philippines prefer "brand new" currency, in large denominations. Therefore, I suggest that you bring only brand-new $100. U.S. bills with you. As weird as it might sound, the money changers here might refuse to accept any bills that are dirty, wrinkled, or damaged IN ANY WAY.
airplane arrives at
take a taxi to the St. Mark Hotel. The taxi driver will know how to find it. Be
sure you use ONLY a “metered” taxi. You should ask if they have a meter
before you get into the taxi. The taxi might cost the equivalent of $7.
NOTICE: The taxi driver might try to talk you into going to a more expensive hotel (where he gets a
"kick-back" for delivering you). DON'T FALL FOR THAT SCAM.
5. A room at the Kiwi Lodge will be clean and comfortable and reasonably priced. U.S. If you let everyone know that you are a friend of Skip Ellsworth (at Skip's Beach Resort) they will take good care of you simply because they get so much business from us.
6. The Kiwi Lodge has a good restaurant, and each of your meals there will be very inexpensive. U.S.
7. The next day, you should change money into Pesos. We get the best exchange-rates from a money changer that is located in the lobby of The Hallmark Hotel, directly across the street from Gaisano Metro Department Store. The department store is only three blocks from the Cebu Business Hotel, and you can ask directions from anyone. Right now (October 12, 2006) the exchange rate is approximately 50 Pesos for 1 U.S. dollar.
8. IMPORTANT: After you change your Dollars into Pesos, you should make all of your purchases (even a pack of chewing gum) using the largest bills you have, so you will accumulate a large quantity of small bills in Pesos. It is very important to get small bills in Pesos while you are in the city, because in the provincial (rural) areas almost no one has change.
9. In the "country" areas, there is no such thing as an ATM MACHINE -- or whatever they are called. Therefore, you should bring plenty of cash with you. The need for cash can not be over-emphasized, because you will be in serious trouble if you run out of money in some small town that is miles from anywhere.
10. After you change money in Cebu City, I recommend that you purchase a used cell phone (there are many used phone stores near the intersection of Colon and Palaez). You should get what is called a "Sim" Card to activate the phone, and also have enough "time" installed (via a "time card") to take care of any emergencies. It will probably cost approximately $70. U.S. for the phone and enough "time" installed to do the job. The girl who works at the used phone store will be glad to install the "Sim Card" and the "time" for you, so your phone will be ready to use. The sales-girl will probably even teach you how to send "text messages" on your new phone (which is like sending email messages by phone). In my opinion, the girl will definitely be glad to teach you how to send text messages if you agree to take her to lunch at Jolibee's (the Filipino equivalent of McDonald's). :-)
11. NOTICE: I strongly recommend that you also have the sales-girl add Skip’s cell phone number to your phone's storage bank of numbers, so you can easily call Skip if you have an emergency. The names are stored in the phone alphabetically, so Skip's name should be added as follows: " AAASkip". In that way, it will be the first name in your phone book and you can call him quickly (even in the dark) in case of an emergency. Skip’s cell phone number is as follows: 0916-499-1839. You can call Skip any time of the day or night. I strongly recommend that as soon as you get your new phone, you should immediately make a “test-call” to Skip, to see if your phone system is working properly -- and to establish communication with Skip. Also, it would be a good idea for you to add Belle's number ("AABelle" at 09155754727) and Chip's number ("AAChip" at 09052440677). Chip is only 12 years old, but he is one of the hippest dudes on the planet.
11. If you call Skip's cell phone from out of the country you would need to dial as follows: 011-63-916-499-1839. To reach our land line from out of the country you would need to call 011-63-32-437-8173 (leave a message if the recorder answers).
12. Once you have your own cell phone, and a new phone number, we recommend that you have at least 100 business-cards printed (referred to as “calling cards” in this culture) that include your name -- your nationality – your phone number – and the words, “Please call or text.” In my opinion, if you are coming to the Philippines to meet girls -- and/or perhaps even to find your future wife (???) -- then it is totally imperative that you have a cell phone and calling cards. :-)
13. A good “same-day” print-shop is run by a guy named “Dennis.” His shop is located near the Guadalupe Market. His land line number is 032-255-2027, and his cell phone number is 09193873157. A taxi to Dennis’s print-shop will cost approximately $1.50 U.S. If you tell Dennis that you are a friend of Skip's he will probably print the cards for you while you wait -- because he does all of the "print work" for SKIP'S BEACH RESORT.
14. For “native-style” food in the city, I recommend that you try a restaurant called “PETE’S KITCHEN,” which is located approximately two blocks from the hotel. Also, in the same area there is another good restaurant called “OUR PLACE,” which serves a good pepper-steak with gravy.
15. The next morning, take a taxi to the North Bus Terminal. The taxi will cost approximately $3. U.S.
16. Take the bus that is going to Maya, which is located at the northern tip of the Island of Cebu. The bus trip will probably cost less than $2. U.S. Take an air-conditioned bus if possible -- for reasons that we will explain when you get here. Also, for reasons that we will explain later, be sure to sit in the middle of the bus (half way between the front wheels and the back wheels), AND be sure to sit on the right-hand side of the bus. Tell the bus-driver to let you off the bus at the College of Fisheries in Daanbantayan. The bus ride will take approximately three hours, and it will only stop for one "break" along the way -- which probably means that you should not drink a lot of coffee or soft-drinks before getting on the bus.
As you are
standing by the entrance to the
you will see our SKIP'S BEACH RESORT sign (with an arrow) by the highway. Our resort is located on
the beach only two blocks from the sign. If that confuses you, then just
go to the College of Fisheries and ask one of the beautiful girls for directions to SKIP'S BEACH RESORT.
SEE A PHOTO OF OUR SIGN BELOW...
18. If you missed the bus that goes to Maya, and you don't want to wait an hour for the next one, then take the bus that goes to Daanbantayan (at a slightly lower cost). That bus will let you off at the Public Market at Daanbantayan.
From the Public Market,
BEACH RESORT is only five (?) minutes away. To get to the beach, take a local version of a taxi (e.g. a motorcycle with a
covered side-car) and tell the driver to take you to SKIP’S BEACH RESORT, at
Agujo. The trip will cost less then $1.
SEE PHOTOS OF THE MOTORCYCLES BELOW..
20. If we know you are coming, we will have free coffee waiting for you.
SKIP'S BEACH RESORT is approximately three hours away from Cebu City -- which is the second largest city in the Philippines. Cebu City offers virtually everything that is available in America, such as: huge shopping malls, awesome restaurants, excellent hospitals, casinos, bars, etc.
With a Tourist Visa
that can be obtained after arrival it is possible to live permanently in the
Philippines by simply leaving the country once each year via a quick flight to Hong Kong and
back (e.g. or Borneo, Thailand, Cambodia, etc.).
WARNING: Almost everyone that comes to the Philippines for a visit ends up wanting to stay here FOREVER.
OUR SIGN ALONG THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY:
THE TRICYCLES AT THE PUBLIC MARKET:
OUR THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY ARE AS FOLLOWS:
"In our desire to have
government become our benefactor and sustainer, we have allowed
it to become our taskmaster and overlord. As a result, we have become little more
than well-fed, well-entertained slaves to the state. Freedom, as envisioned by our
forefathers, is gone."
"He is free who lives as he wishes to live; who is neither subject to compulsion
nor to hindrance, nor to force; whose movements to action are not impeded, whose
desires attain their purpose, and who does not fall into that which he would avoid."
Epictetus (ca 55-135 A.D.) Greek philospher Source: Discourses, ca 100 A.D.
"We are reluctant to admit that we owe our liberties to men of a type that today
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