FilmFridays: Our film goes to Portugal

For a filmmaker like me, it’s always a good thing to know that people would like to watch your films. In my case, our film “Share the Care” goes to Portugal! Buti pa siya. :))

Last week during a vacation trip to Bohol, I’ve received a wonderful news sent to me via e-mail. It’s from the organizer of Die Erste Vertikale or First Vertical Film Festival. But wait, What is a Vertical film? In simple terms, the film is shot and edited using a 9:16 aspect ratio. This is the event’s official poster.

In essence, the organizers want our film to be screened in Horta, Portugal and in some parts of Europe including Germany! Unfortunately, I’ve never heard of Horta but upon searching it on Google, I’ve seen how beautiful it is. It’s a “maritime town on the east coast of Faial in the Azores” according to a blog. Had I gotten enough time and resources, I would have attended and witnessed the picturesque view myself!

Frankly, it’s my first time to be receiving this kind of news— a film programmer abroad asking me to send them a copy of our film so that they can show it to their audience. It’s surreal, at first– I mean, a stranger has taken interest to view what you’ve created. Anyway, Sharing you a screenshot of the email. Update though, we didn’t win anything but that’s totally okay! 🙂 My goal, as a filmmaker, has always been to let people see our film and not just to take home awards. It brings so much *kilig* knowing people out there, across the globe and total strangers at that, would like to pay attention to what you have created, some out of sweat and tears and your hard-earned money involved! Haha. The invitation from the organizers is an honor in itself.

We made our film “Share the Care” to showcase how the love that starts from our homes can be shared to others in simple and sincere acts of kindness. It’s also a sneak peek of how typical Filipinos commute their way to work. If you’re a foreigner reading this right now, the mass transportation in the Philippines has been totally disappointing. Many times in the past, passengers aboard the MRT have to be unloaded because of technical problems. Also, Traffic in Metro Manila is one of the worst in the world. It eats a lot of your time. In most cases, you can be stuck for an hour or so en route to work. At worst, may be 3 or 4 especially if it rains and floods. I’m still hoping it would be improved though!

As for updates on our film, we’re currently working on the film’s official trailer and poster but in the meantime, we’d love to share with you a still from “Share the Care”.

Thank you to the organizers of First Vertical film festival for including us in your lineup this year. We hope it’s not the last and we’re looking forward to sharing more Pinoy content abroad. 🙂

Continue reading “FilmFridays: Our film goes to Portugal”

TOSS Travel Thursdays: Why You Should To Travel

Deadlines. New projects coming in. Client meetings that just gets piled up over time. Sounds stressful, doesn’t it? The grind that we face every single day is not an easy battle to win over. It is tedious, worrisome, and can even result to a burn out. Even if you have a well-organized schedule, it doesn’t save you from a possible burn out because all you do is work, work, work, work, work. Cue Rihanna.

If you’re a workaholic (like me and most of us), sometimes, you even hear a nagging voice that tells you to skip using your vacation leaves because that’s equal to being unproductive. But is that really true?

Apparently, CNN does not agree. Because in this article, they listed the reasons why vacations are very much need for our health and wellness.

In TOSS Travel Thursdays, we’re giving you the basis of why you should finally overrule that internal echo you’re hearing and finally give yourself a well-deserved travel vacation!

Palaui
My mentors and friend from PLM.

Traveling lets us free our minds.

Whether we go halfway across the world or just go around wherever our feet takes us, nothing beats an adventure in-progress. It lets us get away with our usual busy world and take on worlds we’ve never seen. Traveling also recharges us. It inspires us to be better, do better, and work harder. It lets us connect with the things we have felt we have lost.

Pisa Carmela
My sister, Carmela in Italy.

We get to learn new things.

Even if you intend to just chill in your travels, it is always a guarantee that you’ll learn something new somehow. May it be the food, the culture, the people, the sights, or the history,  it is sure that you’d get return home armed with bits of knowledge gained from your recent trip. The takeaway is learning never ends. So might as well get the most out of it whenever you can. Explore! Discover. Enjoy. You will never really know when that knowledge would become useful.

Cinematheque Baguio
Checking out the latest movies at the Baguio Cinematheque.

Journey of Self-discovery

Not all travels go smoothly, sometimes we get lost or probably sleep pass our destination. Moments like these would require us to breathe in and take a chance on spontaneity. Ask the locals how to get to your destination. There are also moments when we see locals do something that is quite foreign to us, so we ask them to satisfy our curiosity and get to know the place. This very simple act reminds us that even little things in life can boost our confidence just because we survive another trip.

Temple of Leah Cebu
Temple of Leah in Cebu.

Unforgettable adventures

New things, new sights, new people — endless possibilities abound! Traveling creates memories that are unforgettable and something we’d like to come back to when we lack motivation to go forward.

Amazing People

In our travels, whether we fly solo or be with our loved ones, there will always be people who would make our adventure more memorable. There are people who we meet and interact with by chance, and some over and over again. As if they’re a recurring character in this travelogue. And if some twist of fate, you dream of a travel romance, who knows, your trip might lead you to a kindred soul that you’ve been relentlessly looking for all these years. Pleasant surprises are always in the corner.

Breathtaking Sights

Traveling lets us see greenery. Vast landscapes, vibrant greenery or the calm beach that let’s us look at how majestic Mother Nature is. When we travel, we let our eyes take a break from concrete, glass, and steel, away away from the hustle bustle of the city. It lets us break free from the concrete jungle we see every day.

These are just a few things to remind you why travel vacations are a must. Don’t feel guilty about it. You’ve worked hard and long, and you deserve this.

 

Now the questions is, where will your feet take you next?

Let TOSS Travel and Tours help you. 🙂 We’re an FB and message away. 🙂

Where To Go Featured Picture
Sagada, Philippines

TOSS Travel Thursdays: Plan That Perfect Barkada Getaway

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How You Can Plan That Perfect Barkada Getaway

Nandirito kami, ang barkada mong tunay

Aawit sa’yo

Sa lungkot at ligaya, hirap at ginhawa

Kami’y kasama mo

Your very own barkada are the people you can run to whenever we hit up rough patches or whenever we experience life’s bests (and worsts). When the barkada gets together, there is always that ruckus as to where to go and what to do. Familiar ba sa inyo, guys? So if you have been designated as a ringleader for that get-together, these are the things that can help you make sure that your barkada getaway will be as perfect as it can get.

1. Set-up a group conversation

In groups, to be able to do something collectively, we should get a group consensus. Majority wins. Setting up a group conversation online, whether via Viber or WhatsApp, will help you organize your trip without the need for a physical meeting. These days, we know that everyone is busy so instead of having weekly meet-ups that could eat up your time, why not convene online?

Ideas as to where to go, what to do, itineraries to create, food to eat, whose car will be used by who … these things can be sorted with a group conversation that is just a click away. Note that polls can now be created in these group conversations so getting that consensus becomes faster.

2. Set a date

After a group conversation is created, time to settle a date where most of you/ majority of the participants are available. Setting the date can also eliminate the possibility of confusion. This gives everyone an idea of the final headcount which is crucial in planning a trip.

3. The AMBAGAN

Now that a date has been set, time to know how much each can spend for the trip. Including transportation costs and lodging. This will help you know your spending power as a group and will help you decide where you can go, where you can stay and what you can eat in your trip… altogether of course.

4. Budget and Research

Now that you have an idea as to how much each one can give, time to look for places to go and to stay. With your spending capability in mind, give your friends an idea as to what your money as a group can offer all of you. Set aside money for food that can fit for the number of days you’d be in the place and know group-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy so that more memories and shared experiences can be created.

5. TOKA

In Filipino, toka means to be in charge of something. Know which friends can lend their car to the trip. This will lessen your transportation budget, because instead of commuting, the budget can be converted to gas money. Know who can cook, marinate, shop ahead of time to lessen kitchen preps. Know which friends can do which tasks so that your burden as a ringleader will be lessened. After all, this trip is not just for them, but also for you to enjoy.

Barkada trips are always fun and exciting. And you can lessen the hassle if you plan ahead as a group! There will always something to be put into your barkada photo albums. With this short guide, you will be able to create that perfect barkada getaway for all.

Tick off your travel barkada bucket list by following TOSS Travel and Tours. We offer group tours and customize travel packages depending on your needs.

Photo sources:

1. androidpit.com 2. karcpapc.com 3. Firststatesuper.com.au 4. 110220volts.com 5. Bornrealist.com

TOSS Travel Tuesdays: Trips to do to get over a break-up

TOSS Travel Thursdays:

Where To Go After A Break-up And Some Songs To Accompany Your Trip (Part 1)

When looking for ways to mend a broken heart, why not go on a travel adventure that encourages you to do some soul-searching?

Yes, eating a tub of ice cream or eat-crying with chips while watching Bridget Jones’s Diary can put a bandaid on that broken heart of yours. But perhaps, when that fails, nothing beats Mother Nature and adventure combined to make you forget the ouchies of your break-up. Dash in some music into that combination and make that trip one for the books and imagine yourself in a travel music videos in which you are the protagonist and in the end, you’ll end up your own hero. Eat, Pray, Love anyone?

So, we’ve lined up, a list of places to go to mend that broken heart and (some) songs that can make your self-rediscovery more meaningful:

1. Mount Pinatubo x Caution To The Wind cover by Clara Benin

CLARA BENIN

If there is one thing that can describe you after a break-up and Mount Pinatubo, that would be the words, beautiful disaster. If you are a beginner in mountain climbing, that is not a problem in conquering Mt. Pinatubo. This place is also a change of scenery from the expected greenery of your usual mountains, for it will serve you whites, greys, and ashes. Moreover, expect a lake to award you for conquering this mountain. As you climb higher, listening to Clara Benin’s rendition of “Caution To The Wind” gives the trip a mix of spunky and calm in a good way you never even might have imagined.

2. Isla Verde x Sa Hindi Pag-alala by Munimuni

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Part of moving on is rediscovery. It is trying to live without that person whom you have always looked forward to be with, perhaps even the rest of your life. (Ouch for reliving unwanted memories though~!) Rediscovering what it was like to live on your own might be super uncomfortable. At first! And that’s usually a part of it especially in the beginning. One thing that Isla Verde can help you with in rediscovering yourself is its isolation from urbanity and most of the civilization. Sight and sound of ocean always have that calming effect and Munimuni’s calm yet moving narration of how a man finally decides to move on, prepares you to a world full of self-love and appreciation to people that will always have your back no matter what.

3. Taiwan x Overdrive by Eraserheads

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Sometimes a whole change of scenery, a change of language we hear and to be in a place where everything is a bit foreign are collectively what we need to open our minds to the process of moving on. Taiwan is a land of contrasts, where modernity and greenery can be found. It is also a play on ancient and contemporary, which will surely make your mind wander along with your heart. A perfect song to accompany you in your trip to Taiwan is somewhat a staple to most Filipinos, Eraserheads’ “Overdrive” makes you forget the things needed to be out of mind and embraces the call of wanderlust wherever you are. Or perhaps a bit of F4, to relive your Meteor Garden memories eh!?

4. Bhutan x Leaves by Ben&Ben

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If you are looking for something that is revitalizing, something that feels good even after it is long gone, a trip to Bhutan together with Ben&Ben’sLeaves” is a combination you will love to be remembered of every now and then. Bhutan is a kingdom in the Himalayas; it is a country covered with greens and mystery. Having a law that requires its land to be forested by at least 60%, this place is surely treat to those who loves nature, while its deep Buddhist culture will amaze those who love to explore new traditions and practices.

Traveling and music do wonders to make the soul feel rejuvenated. These are just few of the places and songs that can help you rediscover yourself as you welcome singlehood once more. Any more recommendations?

Give us a shoutout if you want to travel with us at TOSS. 🙂

-AGG

Picture Sources:

Pinatubo: klook.com, angelescity.com; Clara Benin: Clara Benin Fb page; Isla Verde: jontotheworld.com, poortraveler.net; Simula EP: munimuni.bandcamp.com; Munimuni: wheretogobaguio.com; Taiwan: worldin1001view.com, pedaltaiwan.com; Eraserheads: spotify.com; Bhutan: tourism.gov.bt , journeystocome.com; Ben&Ben: bandwagon.com

TOSS Travel Thursdays: A Quick Guide To Travelling Solo

A Quick Guide To Flying Solo

Traveling is a natural habit buried deep in our DNAs. It is something that is easy to fall in love with and if it becomes a habit, it is definitely something hard to quit.

Usually, when we travel, we are with friends, with family or other loved ones, but what if we have to travel alone? Or what if you’re just itching to get away from the hustle and bustle of the metro and you just want to reconnect with your inner self? How to go about travelling solo now?

In here, we share some tips.

1. Know where to go

One of the things a traveler must have is a destination. A knee-jerk reaction would be to travel somewhere local or perhaps somewhere you’re quite familiar with. That’s probably the safest and most predicatable thing you can do. A destination, even if you already know it like the back of your hand, is still going to be different because you taking your time to to rediscover it in your point of view, not because of what others has told you. But if necessity has pushed you to travel somewhere where everything is new then you have to…

2. Research

Knowledge is power, yup we know that alright. Whether the place you’ll be going to is a familiar one or a foreign one, nothing beats knowing the place, the culture, the tips and the ways of the land. Researching can help you in a lot of ways: it can help you save money by knowing where to stay and eat in much cheaper prices; it can help you save time by knowing which attractions are near to each other or knowing which attractions can you go to early in the morning or late at night. Researching gives you practicality which is a very important trait to take along with you in your travels.

3. Plan, Plan, Plan

Other than knowing your destination, planning for it is very important. Does the place have cold weather? Or a hot one? Does it usually rain in the afternoon even it’s so sunny in the morning? Planning where to go, what to take with you, where to stay and what to do— all of these things should be done ahead of time because time saved means more time to explore the destination without being limited to sticking to the itinerary.

4. Book everything that can be pre-booked.

Some sites can offer you cheaper prices when you pre-book. Pre-booking saves you the hassle of going to different accommodations, be it hotels, inns and hostels just to see which one gives better price than the other. It helps you decide early where to sit, where to stay. In short, it prevents unnecessary stress during your travel.

5. Label your things.

Wallets, bags, and other things that can be labelled must be labelled with your name and the place you stay. These are just safety measures in case they are misplaced or lost.

6. Less is better.

Traveling light is best when you are alone. Save yourself from having to worry about back pains in case you’re a backpacker or having to squeeze in your big luggage within a small space. This practice also lessens your worry of leaving things in your room and gives you the option of just bringing it all with you when you go out.

7. Awareness and alertness every single time.Whether you go local or abroad, these two combined is always a must. Traveling alone can be fun but if you may have heard by now, some solo travellers also have to deal with some unfortunate events. Staying alert and being mindful of your surroundings can save you from misfortunes you may encounter.

8. Mingle with the locals

Having trips wherever they maybe becomes more memorable when you make friends while you’re on the road. Befriend the locals! They will surely point you to the best hot spots in town– whether you’re looking for the the best coffee shop, the best dining spot or just looking for a quiet place to let time pass. And ask nicely, and be sure to say thanks!

To sum it up, a combination of a sense of adventure and spontaneity plus research and preparation will give you a solo trip to remember. Again, it’s okay to be an adventure daredevil, but make sure to consider the pros and cons of your actions during your trip. Oh, and enjoy the journey while it lasts!

You can always check out TOSS Travel and Tours  for a hassle-free and affordable travel assistance. 😉

Continue reading “TOSS Travel Thursdays: A Quick Guide To Travelling Solo”

TOSS Travel Thursdays: How You Can Go Green In Your Travels

Recent events have lead people to think a long way. Starbucks banning the use of straws in a few years time? Check! Nowadays, the world has become aware of the alarming amount of plastics found in our oceans, in our lands, and within animals living with us.

Did you even know that the Philippines has ranked third among the worst plastic polluters in the world?? Thus, zero waste efforts are slowly making waves not only in the country but worldwide.

A small step in reducing the plastic we use every day and changing our habits gradually can go a long way for the place we live in. That is why here are some tips you can use to go green in your travels.

Make your handy water bottle your thirst quenching buddy.Instead of buying bottled water every time thirst catches up with you, why not try bringing reusable bottles? Bringing these does not only lessen your plastic consumption but also saves money. Instead of spending 10 or even as much as 25 pesos for a bottled water, using reusable water bottles only needs confidence to ask if there are refilling stations around.

Ditch single-use plastics and go with reusableTravels also lead to purchasing pasalubong for family and friends. Vendors in pasalubong centers usually use plastic bags for your purchase and since your family and friends have their own pabilin to be fulfilled, it would result to you having tons of plastic on hard. Bringing your reusable bags or eco bags, makes handling multiple things more convenient, plus looks more chic than plastic bags.

SegregateSome parks and a few hotels have bins to segregate your waste. This simple act of separating biodegradable to non-bio to recyclables goes a long way. Few establishments would use the biodegradables collected to create organic fertilizer. They might also sell the recyclables collected from their bins. So learn to discern which things you can put in the biodegradable bin, in the non-bio bin and the recyclable bin so that you can help these establishments in implementing proper waste disposal.

Don’t litterWe like snacking as we ride and go about in our travels. Packs of chips are usually a best friend to satisfy hunger while en route to our destinations. Candies, on the other hand, are handy to fight motion sickness. Now, if you see no trash bins around, then keep those wrappers in your pockets, because, you’ll never know where your trash might go if you just throw them away. 

Pick it up“Because I am one of the idiots who lives in it.” This line of Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy is something that we should really dwell on when we try to take one for Mother Earth. If other people cannot throw their trash on bins, then if you can and don’t mind doing so, just pick it up. In the long run, we’re doing it for Earth anyway so pick away!

For more tips, just visit https://www.facebook.com/TOSStravelandtours on Facebook or follow us on Instagram @TOSSTravelandTours.–AGG   Continue reading “TOSS Travel Thursdays: How You Can Go Green In Your Travels”

TOSS: Where To Go In Luzon To Deal with the Cold Weather Blues

Rainy days have arrived, gone were the days of sun and heat —and we say hello to cold and lazy days ahead.

Picture11When we think of the rainy season, we would look forward to comfy clothes, hot drinks, and a good book. But what if craving for good comfort food kicks in? What if the travel itch needs to be scratched, would you let the rain stop you?

With those problems needed to be solved, here are the some places all over Luzon to satisfy your wants in one go:

  1. Pampanga

pampanga

Like every province in Central Luzon, Pampanga is a melting pot of cultures from both North and South; hailed as the “Culinary Capital of the Philippines”, Pampanga is sure to give you a culinary experience you’ll wish to go back again.

Recommended dishes in Pampanga:

Picture2(Pictured in: Top (L-R): Sisig, Betute Tugak, Bottom (L-R): Bulanglang, Morcon)

  1. Ilocos Region

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The Ilocos Region does not only have history trapped in the modern times, it is also home to Ilocano cuisine that will make that hours of journey more memorable not only to the heart but also to your stomach.

Recommended dishes in the Ilocos Region:

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(Pictured in: Top(L-R): Sinanglaw, Ilocos Empanada, Bottom: Vigan Longganisa)

  1. Cordilleras

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Though the Cordillera Region won’t be the first in-line when you think of rainy day escapades, nothing would beat nature in its most raw, plus, the chilly weather makes the journey a wee bit more adventurous. The Cordilleras will surely give you a culinary treat that feels like going back to the roots with foods made with simplicity and tradition.

Recommended dishes in Cordillera:

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(Pictured in: Top (L-R): Pinikpikan, Pinuneg, Bottom (L-R): Binungor, Soup No. 5 )

  1. Batangas

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Batangas is a well-known spot for nearby Summer getaways, where beaches sprawl all over the province. However during the rainy seasons, Batangas is also a place that would not usually pop-up in mind. However, this region like those up in this list, is popular for its regional delicacies. Moreover, its proximity to the metro gives you the opportunity to easily give in to cravings and enjoy a little road trip in pursuing it.

Recommended dishes in Batangas:

Picture8(Pictured in: Left: Batangas Lomi, Right: Goto)

  1. Tagaytay

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Its all-year cold weather gives birth to nothing but the best of comfort foods to enjoy. Just like Batangas, its nearness to the capital region, gives you an easy access to comfort food whenever time permits.

Recommended dishes in Tagaytay:

Picture10(Pictured in: Top: Bulalo, Bottom (L-R): Coconut Cream Pie, Crispy Tawilis)

For a hassle-free and affordable travel assistance, check out TOSS Travel and Tours.

Pictures Lifted from:

Pampanga, Ilocos Region, Batangas, Tagaytay: Wikipedia

Sisig, Bulanglang, Pinakbet: panlasangpinoyrecipes.com

Morcon: pinoyroadtrip.com

Betute Tugak: mekenisaguli.wordpress.com

Sinanglaw: angsarap.net

Ilocos Empanada: pinoyrecipe.net

Vigan Longganisa: lakadpilipinas.com

Cordilleras: whc.unesco.org

Pinikpikan,pinuneg, binungor,: eatsinbaguio.wordpress.com

Soup no.5: blauearth.com

Bulalo: outoftownblog.com

Crispy Tawilis: en.yelp.com.ph

 

P.S.: Pictures of Coconut Cream Pie, Goto and Batangas Lomi care of April Grace Garcia J

-AGG