Ten Things to do in the Philippines (Balikbayan Blog)

Filed under: Features — admin at 5:22 pm on Monday, December 7, 2009

 Merry Christmas!

Punung-puno na naman ang NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) sa pag-uwi ng ating mga bagong bayani—ang mga OFWs.

Here’s a Christmas list on suggested things to do on your short but happy trip to the Philippines:

1. Visit family and do not forget the pasalubong!

Huwag niyo na gawin lahat except this one. Kung ayaw ninyong maghimutok ang mga kamag-anak ninyo, lalung-lalo na ang mga lolo’t lola. Maramdamin ang mga matatanda. Kung maikli lang ang oras ninyo sa Pilipinas, isabay na lahat ng kamag-anak. Di naman importante na maraming pagkain o handa sa mga kamag-anak mo. Ang importante ay ang “pasalubong”!

Do you know that there is no word for “pasalubong” in the English language? That’s because the Filipinos are known to be very thoughtful and generous to their families. Hindi ‘kanya-kanya.’ Yun nga lang, kapag may nakalimutan ka na kamag-anak, sangkaterba na ang maririnig mo:

“Grabe nagbago na siya.”

“Ang kuripot naman. Saan kaya niya nilalagay lahat ng pera niya? Isaksak na lang niya sa baga niya”

“Yumaman lang, nagbago na.”

“Nag-ibang bansa lang, nakalimot na, sama makarma.”


Ang kaso, ang dami nating kamag-anak. Even if we buy all the towels in Kmart or try to accommodate all our relatives by going to a dollar store in the U.S. or  a Hakien shop in Japan (all items are 45 pesos), talo ka pa rin sa “over-baggage fee” kapag nai-check in mo na ang bagahe mo. Kung ang iniisip ninyo ay “over-baggage fee,” may solusyon diyan. Paano niyo maiiwasan ang mga masasakit na salita?

2. Shop at the lowest prices in Divisoria’s 168 and Tutuban

To avoid the dreaded “over-baggage” fee that sometimes cost as much as the plane fare (believe me, that happened to me!), do your shopping  in the Philippines. Malay ba nila! Unless they read my blog too! Hahaha!

Duty Free is a good idea—all imported and same prices if you buy the stuff abroad but no “over-baggage fee.” If you have a limited budget, go to Divisoria. You would literally open your jaw at the prices of the goods sold there. SOBRANG MURA! May nakakilala nga na tindera sa akin at sinigaw, “Si Giselle Sanchez, nag-Didivisoria?”  Sagot ko, “Oo. Si Imelda Romualdez  Marcos nga, e, nag-168. Bakit di ako puwede? “

168 Mall and Tutuban are found in Divisoria. Some 168 stalls are open as early as 3:00 a.m. Parking is very difficult in 168 so please come early. There is ample parking in Tutuban Mall. Please be careful with your bags and wallets. Also, if your buying in bulk, please count your items and make sure they are all functional and have no damage. I don’t think that there are exchange policies in Divisoria due to the low prices.

2. For TFC subscribers, watch WOWOWEE!

“Giselle, may mga kamag-anak ako galing L.A., pasok mo naman sa Wowowee.”

Naku po, sobrang diyahe na ako sa mga ABS-CBN friends ko. If you’re a TFC subscriber, you can just call TFC in your country and they will arrange it for you. You must do this at least one month before. Alam mo naman tayong mga Pilipino, ang hilig sa last minute. Di po puwede yun dahil may allotment po tayo sa TFC subscribers pero kailangan din i-accommodate ang daan-daang nagka-camp out sa labas ng ABS-CBN the day before para lang una sila sa pila na nag-uumpisa ng ala-una ng umaga!  Panalo talaga si Willie!

3. For GMA subscribers, visit Manny Pacquiao’s taping

I really don’t know the policies for this but you can try. I’m not promising an affirmative answer but as I have said, you can try. If you’re a GMA subscriber, you can try calling your GMA cable provider in your country and ask if your group you can visit  the taping of Manny Paquiao’s sitcom Show me the Money. If GMA agrees to this, you’re lucky! But if indeed you are lucky to see Pacquiao face to face, just don’t  have the guts to ask if the rumors between him and Krista Ranillo are true or not. Baka makatikim kayo ng pambansang kamao…ng asawa niyang si Jinkee! Buti nga sa inyo. Huwag kasi nakikialam ng buhay ng may buhay.

4. Have a thermal scan with Dr. Roderick Tan in MDTI (Medical Digital Infared Thermal Imaging) to detect “hot spots” in your body through Infared technology.

I do this yearly to save my costs for my yearly medical check-ups. When you have a “hot spot” in your body, it means that there is an inflammation and there is something wrong in that specific place. For example, in the my recent MDTI, Dr. Tan discovered that I had an inflammation in my teeth, so I went to the dentist, and true enough, there was a cavity that was about to develop which is why it was not yet painful. He also discovered an inflammation on my digestive system so I had it checked and I was diagnosed by the doctors of having acid reflux.

Yearly medical check-ups are as important as saving money in the bank because PRVENTION IS THE BEST CURE! But these check-ups cost $5,000 to $10,000 if you don’t have any insurance in the U.S. or the countries you work in. Here in the Philippines, it can cost you $1,000 especially if you have the complete check-up that would require you to check-in for one day in the hospital. But if you already know which part of your body deserves special attention because you already had your body scanned through thermal imaging, then it will save you time and money.

For me, the best part of a body scan is that I don’t have to go through the painful mammogram. Having a mammogram is as painful as giving birth without an anesthesthetic. Two cold plates squeeze your breast, left to right, up and down. Kumuha ka ng dalawang plancha na hindi nakasaksak sa kuryente. Di ba malamig yung pw*t niya. Ngayon, ipitin mo yung s*so mo sa gitna ng dalawang plancha. Huwag mong titigilan hanggang feeling mo may lumalabas na dugo sa ut*ng mo. Ganun ang pakiramdam ng mammogram. Ang saya-saya ‘di ba. Kung sa lalaki pa, parang hinataw ng batuta ng isang politician yung ari mo. Ganun! Ganun ang feeling!

With the MDTI machine, it just takes your picture and reads the heat level in your body. It’s painless, no radiation (X-rays have so much radiation), and according to their website, www.med-detect.com, “MDTI is the only one that can screen developing future breast cancer and it’s 83% accuracy is comparable to mammography in detecting cancers. Ibig sabihin, magkaka-breast cancer ka pa lang, made-detect na ng machine. I will write a whole blog about this next time.

Breast screening price us only 3,000 pesos (around $60) and a full body scan is only 6,500 pesos ($130) if done here in the Philippines. MDTIs in other countries cost $250 for breast screening and a full body scan cost $500 in other countries. For an appointment, call Dr. Eric Tan’s office at 02-706-38-76 or 0917-816-87-07 or visit them at Unit 1009 Tycoon Center, Pearl Drive, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

5. Know your future with Madame Chi

I usually just do this fortune telling thing for fun. But I must say that Madame Chi is the best in reading your past, present, and future. I was amazed. She will even strengthen your faith in God because she will tell you what to pray for. Madame Chi predicted and told everybody about “Ondoy” but nobody believed her.

She predicted Japan’s earthquakes but Japan bought her predictions and believed her measures of prevention which is the reason why there was minimal damage in the cities of Japan where she predicted the quakes and Japan’s disaster coordinating council was fully prepared so damage was controlled.

Today she predicts that disaster is not over for the Philippines. A huge earthquake will destroy a lot of property so she suggests to all the Filipinos to pray that God will spare us and not make it happen. She also suggests to all that work in tall buildings to pack biscuits, three bottles of mineral water and salt in your tables.

I know a lot of call center agents in Sykes read my blog, so just in case, please take the necessary precautions. For one-on-one sessions with Madame Chi, you may text or call her assistant at 0917-986-07-85 / 0908-215-18-09/ 0915-188-57-74. These cell phone numbers only accept appointments. Please do not use it to ask your personal questions or make prank calls.

7. Visit Cebu, Bohol, Boracay.

You can visit my blog entry on where to  stay in Bohol, Cebu and Boracay. Just CLICK HERE.

8. Have a non-invasive face lift or a lipo using “ultasound” in the Zen Institute

My husband and I have always been a fan of exercise. But ever since we tried the non-invasive lipo (no operation, no injection), bigla kaming tinamad. Hahaha! But we still exercise (pa-minsan-minsan, hehe) .

The Zen ultra lipo uses the ultra sound technology that bursts fat cells (and only fat cells) so it does not destroy any vein or capillary in your body. It literally takes off 1-2 inches from your stomach, thighs and arms. But you can only do it once a week because your liver needs to rest.

I’m also a fan of  the non-invasive face lift that I do once a week. The resolift uses Radio frequency technology. It stimulates the collagen underneath your skin making you look like you’re in your 20’s after. Zen Institute also uses natural fillers (your own blood) versus artificial fillers from chickens for your laugh lines.

Zen Institute Medical spa is located at the 5th floor in Podium (635-47-08), or 69 Scout Rallos, Tomas Morato in Quezon City (441-17-12/ 441-06-92), or Bonifacio Stopover, Bonifacio Global Ciy in The Fort (856-20-27 up to 28 and 0917-548-11-17.) Visit their website at http://www.thezeninstitute.com/.

9. Pay it forward by visiting a charity institution or feeding the poor.

a. Home for the Aged, Golden Acres-  Bagong Bantay, Quezon City or call 929-11-87.

b. Feed the homeless in Nuestra Senora de Guia Parish Church in Malate or contact Brother Rommel at 0908-267-05-51.

c. Feed the children and the poor in Tondo or contact Fr. Eric Santos at 0917-892-14-43 or his facebook account, Paring Eric Santos.

d. Jose Fabella Center- A residential institution that provides temporary shelter for strandees, vagrants and mendicants. Address is Welfareville, Correctional Road, Mandaluyong City and its phone numbers are 531-86-97, 531-11-64, 531-00-90.

e. Haven for Children - A residential institution that provides rehabilitation facilities for boys aged 7-13 who are recovering from substance abuse. Address is Alabang, Muntinlupa City, or call 807-1591.

f. National/Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center- A non-residential institution that provides programs and services to persons with disabilities and other special groups (Project 4 , Quezon City- 913-97-84, 913-97-80)

g. Nayon ng Kabataan- A residential institution for abused, orphaned, abandoned, neglected and exploited children ages 7-17 years old. It is situated in Welfareville Compound, Mandaluyong City, and contact numbers are 532-91-52, 533-17-01.

h. Reception and Study Center for Children- Child-caring institution that provide services to abandoned, neglected and/or surrendered children 0-6 years of age. It is located in Misamis St., Bago Bantay, Quezon City, or call 927-42-44, 926-67-50.

i.Tahanang Walang Hagdan- donate wheelchairs for the institution of the disabled. Visit Aida Street, Marick Subdivision, Cainta, Rizal, or call 655-00-55 up to 59, 655-08-12, fax 677-68-25, 240-21-30.

j. Edsa Shrine Free Medical/Dental clinic- donate medicines, manual help or cash at Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace (Our Lady of EDSA). It’s on EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue, Quezon City, or call 631-57-34.

10. Visit a church and thank God for all the blessings He gave you.