I promised myself that I’ll travel more this year (since I had few last 2015). As early as December last year, I was already thinking of the places and new destination that I can visit and travel. One of my major concern is the budget. Who isn’t, anyway? But I know, that if I really want to make this happen, nothing is impossible. Not even for the budget. So I am carefully planning my future trips allowing me to compute the expenses that I might encounter for my upcoming travel.
For the month of January (and my first official trip for 2016), I went to Cebu to join the Sinulog Festival. It was a dream trip, a bucket list, I should say for me because it’s my first time to be part of the Sinulog celebration. I have been to Cebu for a number of times already but not during the month of January. Last year I went to Medellin with my family and I was surprised of the beauty of that place. I’ll share my experience from my Medellin trip in my upcoming entries.
So I prepared my mind and two weeks before the Sinulog I was already searching for the lowest airfare possible that I can book. Since this is for a domestic flight, it was a choice between AirAisa Philippines and Cebu Pacific. These two airlines are both budget carriers and are popular for offering lowest fare rates.
But since two weeks from Sinulog festivity is actually not a very good time to buy a ticket, there were only few seat sales that was offered and the January 15-19 flight schedule was a tough find. My first plan was to visit ahead of the Grand Parade, which happened on the 17th but I ended up booking a flight scheduled from January 16-19 with Cebgo DG 6503/5J 568. Cut a day short from my previous plan. My departure flight (Jan. 16) from Manila was scheduled 7:20PM, arriving in Cebu at 9:10PM; and Cebu departure (Jan. 19) at 10:30AM arriving in Manila at 11:55AM. Total cost of this round-trip flight is PHP 9,348.68.
Arriving in Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 4 with less than two hours prior to my Manila departure, I had an allowance of time to move around the small airport before boarding.
The DG 6503 aircraft, ATR 72-500, a turboprop carrying 72 passengers operated by Cebgo, also a low-cost airline under the Cebu Pacific parent company, had a 10-minute delay arrival in Terminal 4 but it did bring me and the other passengers safe and right on time in Mactan-Cebu Internatonal Airport.
And now I’m in Cebu. But I had one major problem. I still haven’t got a room to check-in because of the high demands during the Sinulog Festival. I was preparing to sleep at the airport just in case I still couldn’t find a place to stay. I tried HotelQuickly and Airbnb. I successfully booked a reservation from HotelQuickly but for the dates January 18-19 only. There was an open reservation for an Airbnb account but I had to cancel because of the peak rate it was offering.
Great thing that I have few friends in Cebu and Atty. Ehelbert Ouano messaged me that Ford’s Inn in Banilad, has still one more room left. I immediately went to the White Taxi Stand area outside the airport to hail a taxi. There was a long line and had many passengers waiting for the next cab to arrive. Good thing I have the Grab mobile app installed on my smartphone and decided to book a GrabTaxi ride.
When Grab app found me a driver, it took only a second when driver Jason Santillan replied that he’s already inside the airport and was waiting for me at the Grab waiting area. Estimated fare was PHP 138-207 going to Ford’s Inn from the airport. Not bad.
I had a pleasant conversation with Jason during the ride and I was asking him already where will be the best place that I can go to capture photos during the Grand Parade.
I am thankful that driver Jason’s also has that Grab ‘culture’, that positive vibe attitude, normally, most of the regular cab drivers in Metro Manila doesn’t have.
I arrived at the hotel within 30 minutes and went directly to the reception area to inquire for the reservation that Atty. Ethelbert made for me.
Thanks to Cebu Pacific team for the assistance they gave in securing my round-trip flight schedule for this trip. Also, grateful to Atty. Ethelbert, one of my Cebu blogger friends, who hooked me up to Ford’s Inn.