Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Advent of the Bicycles in the Philippines

It’s everywhere, folks. Bicycle lanes here, bicycle rides there.

There’s no denying that Filipinos have the healthy gene in there system. Since more cities are promoting healthy lifestyles, providing walkways, park recreations and more bicycles lanes, it just makes perfect sense to get a bicycle of your own. Even in our own village, the number of bicyclists and bicycle enthusiasts has increased by a tenfold. Yes, those little stainless steel frames with square baskets hanging upfront are now a trending health item.

Bicycles... I’ve seen pink ones, blue ones, and even orange ones. Aside from the now-popular Japanese bikes, there’s also the ones known as folding bikes.

My sister’s officemate has a Pacific folding bike. His health regimen includes biking long distances along the busy roads of Metro Manila (Pasay in particular) and eating four eggs a day. Unlike most enthusiasts however, this person takes his folding bike to the office with him. He uses it to travel with in his free time. You would think Metro Manila was his playground.

His usual bike routine includes going through long distances with his beloved bicycle. Once he gets tired, he stops, folds his bike, and hails the next jeepney he could fit himself and his bike in to go back to his starting poing. He’s been doing this for more than a year, and the fruits of his exercise has paid off—just like John Lloyd’s new hobby has done wonders to his body.

The Many Benefits of Using a Bicycle to Travel

1. Biking builds and tones your muscles. It’s also a great way to increase your endurance.
2. It does not cause pollution, which further helps in promoting the Philippines’ Clean Air Act.
3. It’s a great way to socialize and meet other bike enthusiasts.
4. It’s cheap and convenient.

Taiwan, India, and China are the world’s leading bicycle producers. However, unlike the latter countries, Taiwan-made bicycles are intended for exporting. This is why Taiwan’s bike industry continuously strives for excellence and versatility. Brands like Pacific, Merida, and Giant are becoming names to reckon with in the biking industry.

Yes, expect cold-rolled steel tubing, magnesium alloy and carbon-fiber frames!

Just like Japan’s 5S, Taiwan’s bike industry has 3N (New Materials, New Technologies, and New Designs) to prepare it for the different environments the bikes will be used in.

The Taiwan Excellence campaign, with the implementation of TAITRA (Taiwan External Trade Development Council), aims for us, Filipinos, to discover a range of high-quality Taiwan-made products that carries the country’s seal of excellence. Their campaign is also endorsed by our local celebrity, Iya Villania-Arellano.

You can learn more about Taiwan Excellence by browsing through their pages: the Taiwan Excellence website or their Facebook page.

Disclaimer: Although this post is sponsored, the content and opinions are my own.
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Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Lotus Garden Suites in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

Well, this is the second time I've stayed in the place. This time, I'd probably rate it Above Average. It's not perfect, but it's still the best place I've ever stayed at. Also, it's a few meters away from the airport. 

The Lotus Garden's top view from the tree house.
Personal Experience Staying in Lotus Garden Suites

1. Staff. The staff are extremely nice and friendly. All of them were courteous and cheery. To compensate for the mishap in the rooms, they upped my free breakfast meal to be served with garlic rice rather than bread.

The Lotus Garden Suites' huge pond at the entrance.
2. Food. I'm a so-and-so on this one. Breakfast was okay. I love that they always have fruits on the plate. Their coffee is pretty good, too. Instead of the instant creamer, it's served with evaporated milk. I have yet to try to their Japanese cuisines, but I intend to do so another time.

Brewed coffee, brown sugar, and milk in the morning
3. Room. I just love the Okisaki room. It has always been my favorite place to crash. The bathroom in it is roofed (unlike the other bathrooms), and it's situated above the pond with floating lilies and swimming kois. It's also probably the only room with decent cellular reception if your network is SUN cellular.

Lotus Garden Suites' Mikado Room
Sensei Bedroom
The Sensei room would be my next pick because the bathroom (bathed in sunlight or moonlight) has the best water pressure. They also have a bidet beside the toilet, which is an added plus. But compared to Mikado, the floor is tiled rather than wooden. Expect it to get pretty cold when you wake up in the morning for a quick bahtroom break.

Lotus Garden Suites Sensei Room Open-roof Garden Bathroom
Mikado Bathroom at Night
Nature-inspired Open-roof Shower
Yes, it can get pretty cool at night, so expect to end up with a cold after taking a nice bath.
4. Lounge Area. Now, this is where Lotus Garden will always one of the best inns to book a room in. Their lounge area is Japanese-themed and nature-rich. Their restaurant/ reception areaOn one side, books are rowed in wooden shelves.  Not only is it surrounded with plants, the ponds filled with floating flora and fauna. They have a swimming turtle in the pond beside the Sensei room. 

Lounge Area and Restobar
Another Lounge Area
5. Price. The price is just about right. In comparison, the room in Corazon Tourist Inn was 180 php more expensive than a room in Lotus Garden Suites.

The tree house looks nice too.
I think that wraps up my experience for the Lotus Garden Suites.

Personal Ratings

1. Staff: 5/5
2. Food: 3/5 (I have yet to taste their sushi)
3. Room: 4/5 (My first pick is Okisaki. Sensei would be next among the standard/regular rooms).
4. Lounge: 5/5 (Travelers get to enjoy well-thought landscaping and beautiful greenery simply by hanging-out on their restaurant.
5. Price: 5/5

The Lotus Garden Suites Information

Address: 371 Rizal Ave. Puerto Princesa City, Palawan PH 5300
Phone: (048) 434 11 32

Next stop, Ardent Suites in Puerto Princesa, Palawan... 
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