Wedding Reception Essentials: What and Why


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Wedding celebration is not a simple occasion as it seems to be. It varies depending on the culture of the couple and of course, their budget. To proclaim and celebrate their love for one another, some couples are willing to spend hundreds of thousands of pesos while others make the most out of their hard-earned money. For the couple that is browsing a checklist of what you need to buy or prepare before your big day, don’t forget that what matters most — after all the enjoyment and kilig that you will feel on your wedding day — is how you worked through it as lovers.

It’s true, it will be somehow stressful for the couple and their guests if that special day wasn’t planned thoroughly. A well-prepared wedding makes the mind at ease and be able to appreciate what’s happening at the moment, not only for the couple but for the family and friends as well. Skipping the gown, rings, bridal car and other symbolic prerequisites for the ceremony itself, we will look into the essentials of a wedding reception that makes it memorable to your beloved guests.

Throughout the events we’ve experienced, here are the important elements that you actually need to consider when organizing your dream wedding.


1. Rooms

Two major reasons why each of you should have a nice, spacious, and separate room: convenience for your family and entourage, and reduces stress drastically. It will be less hassle for everyone if there’s a place where they can dress up, do their hair and makeup, and even have a meal before the ceremony. Assembling in one place would also give the best opportunity for the official photographer to capture the couple’s preparation whilst having the feeling of being nervous yet super excited.

By providing your family and entourage with private rooms, you will surely remove their worries on where to do this or that and to avoid the rush of preparing in the morning. It will also be favorable especially for friends and those relatives who will come from a far place since they’ll have a pleasant area to relax before the ceremony.

What is greater than starting your day waking up with a big smile at a cozy and comfortable room on your special day? Take note that the beauty rest is as important as the honeymoon!

2. Ceremony Venue

Whether it’s in the church, beach, garden, judge’s room, pavilion, event hall, or any other place that you can suggest, the venue for the ceremony is ideally the first to be considered. Ideally, to avoid the hassle of traveling too far, it’s located near the place where you have done your preparation. It would also be nice if there’s a nearby reception area as well.

Usually, couples are married at their respective church. If, for some reason, you ended up looking for a church here in barangay Bagumbong in Caloocan City, you might want to check out Sto. Niño de Congreso Parish. Not only it’s the biggest one in here, but the nicest too! It’s phenomenal setting will make everyone teary-eyed as the bride marches towards the groom.

Besides the fact that you will be officially become one in the eyes of your loved ones, this is also the place where your sincerest vows to each other will be declared.

3. Reception Venue

Choosing the right venue is undeniably hard. First, it should be able to accommodate your expected number of guests and each of their unexpected plus one. An air-conditioned hall is preferable since more often than not, weddings are held at day time, that is, on the hottest hours of the day. Furthermore, during rainy season, having an enclosed venue is helpful. Finding a venue with the right size is like buying a t-shirt — it would be inappropriate if it’s too small or too big.

Panoramic view of the venue at Casa Gilmore

To know more about our venue, click here.

Next, make sure that your suppliers have enough space to set up their services. For example, the caterer should have a wash area for their dishes in case more visitors show up. While for a photo booth, it requires to have an adequate amount of space just in case different groups queue up for their turn to have a picture. In general, the supervisor of the venue must be considerate and be able to adjust whenever unforeseen circumstances arise. It’s critical that the venue allows to be redecorated to respect the couple’s choice of theme.

Needless to say, the venue itself should have a marvelous ambiance.

4. Host

Have you ever heard of the online game Dota? The goal is simple — conquer the enemy’s base. In this game, a team is composed of two roles namely support and carry. The supports help the team to gain strength while the carries literally carry the group to victory.

In any event, the host acts as the carry, that is, the success of the affair depends on how they have handled it. From the opening remarks up to the part where words like “Let’s get this party started!” or “Thank you all for coming, have a good night!” are mentioned, the entertainer’s basic agenda is to:

  • share the couple’s journey starting from how they met
  • amuse everybody to avoid idle moments
  • make sure that the program is completed on time with ease
  • be able to connect with the guests
  • acknowledge the couple’s family, guests, sponsors and suppliers

It’s highly recommended that you watch your candidate’s performance videos so that you’ll have an idea about how they communicate with their audience. The important characteristics of hosts are witty but not annoying, confident but not arrogant, fluent and well-mannered when speaking, sensitive and respectful to each other’s feelings. Above all, hosts must be energetic because they act as the fuel of the party.

Here are two hosts which presumably belong at the top, namely, Ms. Jam Saquilayan of Host Jam and Mr. Gibo Trampe of FLIXY Event Management. The genuineness of their smile tells how passionate they are in what they do. Also, their captivating mood ignites any party and you’ll never get bored when they begin.

5. Food

“Barriga llena, corazón contento”.

Spanish Proverb

When translated to English, the quote is equal to “A full stomach makes a happy heart.” Aside from being there to celebrate with the couple on their special day, the guest’s satisfaction also comes from savoring every bite! If you intend to hire a catering service, it’s necessary for you to do food tasting, ask photos of their setups, and most importantly seek reviews from their recent clients. This is needed because the contentment of your visitors is in their hands.

There are many catering services all over the country. Some of them probably serve the same dish or use similar setups. But when it comes to elegance and reliableness, not to mention the distinct flavor it offers, Janet’s Quality Catering Services is among the best.

In addition to the main course, finger foods can be served too! Shown below is a buffet prepared by Chris & Zel Kakanin Buffet. Just by looking at the photo, you’ll certainly want to try their product.

The meal is indeed an integral part of any event. From the appetizer down to the dessert, it must be planned and prepared wholeheartedly. Either hiring caterers or some relative of yours to cook for the wedding, it should be noted that the deliciousness of food is supplemented by variation. You don’t want your visitors to remember your wedding as an “all-pork-nuptial” or “chicken-galore-wedding”, do you? The best way to feed your guests is to serve them, if possible, a little of everything.

6. Music

If the food is yet to be served and the host is off the mic, what could a guest do besides scrolling through facebook’s feed or chatting with a friend? It’s none other than listening to music. Did you ever wonder why selecting high quality equipment with a knowledgeable disc jockey is necessary?

The main reason to have a nice sound system is that it sets the mood of the crowd. Without a doubt, there was a time in your life that one of your favorite songs was played and all you wanted was to sing and dance with it. The louder the sound, the more impact it has. However, keep in mind that increasing the volume of a low-grade equipment sometimes result to noise which causes discomfort. For sure, everybody will enjoy having a meal while hearing pleasant music. Don’t hesitate to spend when it comes to your visitor’s entertainment.

Hiring a professional band should be considered as well since nothing beats live music. It will also be advantageous if a wise disc jockey is present because the adjustments of the sound won’t be a problem at all. Wise in a sense that the DJ should have the ability to recognize the crowd’s mood, to play appropriate songs depending on the current scenario, and should be able to make the guests feel more connected with the event.

7. Photographer

A nice way to reminisce is by staring through a photo. But what are we seeking in that certain picture? It’s the feelings that we want to remember at that moment in time. Hence, we must capture this priceless instances with the help of a true artist.

Let’s take a look at one of the finest from the Philippines in this industry. Shown below is a documentary created by Habi Collective Media which tells the love story of the first couple who had their wedding at Casa Gilmore Events Place.

Gudo and Lanie love story by Habi Collective Media

See how unique it is? This video is doubtlessly splendid! To view more perfect films like this, check out Habi Collective Media’s facebook page here.

Concepts of works like music videos, short story, documentaries and same day edit are being marketed throughout different social media websites so it’s up to you what you’d like to have. Photographer’s packages vary hugely depending on client’s demand. The cheaper the better of course but make sure it’s of the best quality. Again, look for reviews from recent customers to know your prospect’s performance before choosing one. After all, the couple must take the best shot.

8. Lights

In the field of movies, we can analogize lights to the films that were underrated. This implies that not all of us can see its true beauty. Here are notable examples of how lights can change the appearance of a venue. Let’s start with a setup of center stage by B7Rain Lights and Sounds, followed by a comparison photo by RQ Sounds Light This and a romantic light setup by Audionpac Lightsnsounds. Be careful not to be blown away by the brilliance!

Synchronizing it with the vibe of the song that is being played, light creates its own paradise that would uplift our perception of the moment. Ask your light rentals if they have a device called digital multiplex (DMX) which acts as the controller of lights. With a DMX, lights can fade out and smoothly switch to another color during love songs and can suddenly start flickering whenever the beat drops. The rate might be expensive but it would be the one that would bring your event to a whole new level.

9. Hair and Makeup Artist

For a moment, feel the beauty of a goddess. Hair and makeup artists (HMUA) are indeed what you’ll need on your wedding day. A little bit of brush here and there will make guys ask you how you doin’.

HMUA charge depending on the number of people to be glamorized. It’s important for the artists to communicate well with you because it’s how they would understand what you want to look like under cosmetics. Take a look at how Ms. May Alba of Kolorete Ni May and Mrs. Sheina Obejero of SPO Makeup Artistry transformed these gorgeous princesses into queens. As we can see, they’ve applied cosmetics flawlessly — not too little nor too much.

Isn’t it nice to look stunning for the duration of the event?

10. Souvenir

Give the guests a gift that symbolizes the reciprocation of the gratitude that you have felt when you celebrated your special day with them. Any souvenir is always appreciated, provided that it represents the couple. For example, a decanter — for all the cheers you’ve made — would be a nice item to give to the friends who gave respect to all the bottoms up! Well, it could be a water or juice container for nondrinkers. The unique and simpler it is, the better.

Crafted giveaways are also a thing too! In today’s time, art is a fundamental concept where most of the people are trying to learn through experience. Craft stores appeared and offer different kinds and qualities of product that are ready to be exported for your wedding day. Never hesitate to ask Google about it. Here is an example of a personalized key chain created by My Little Leather.

While for The Cactus Tita, they offer adorable plants and stylish kitchenware. What a cool gift to give!

11. Bar

People love to chat in general. How can we make a conversation more interesting? Of course, by renting a mobile bar! Don’t worry, it’s rare that someone gets drunk from the booth since the drinks are limited. The rate depends on the beverages that will be served, the location of the event, and the number of hours you’ll be using their free-flowing feature.

Mobile bars differs mostly on presentation. If you want a countryside theme, you may want to consider suppliers like the Kampai Cocktail Bar. Their rustic bar design would definitely bring you that kind of ambiance. Shown below are photos of a well-known mobile bar in the Philippines which is the Mixed Mobile Bar. The appearance and flavor of their drinks will make you forget to “drink moderately”. Even celebrities hire them! You can check out their website here.

Wedding parties last four hours on average — including eating time. During the program, most caterers don’t serve any liquid refreshment except water. Thus, it would be nice to have a bar so that the guests will have something to drink while the program is going on and if they intend to stay a little longer for the after party. Are you one of those couples who have friends that desire to be tipsy whenever they see the squad after a very long time?

12. Coordinator

Like the catering services, wedding coordinators offer an all-in wedding package which means they will supply almost everything that were written here. What’s great in this kind of deal is that it won’t be difficult for the couple to find suppliers. Imagine having meetings with different people at different times to talk about the menu, theme and decorations, sound and lights equipment, photographers and coordinators, hosts and venue rental. Sounds a lot of work, right?

Sometimes, hiring coordinators might be out of the budget but getting one would save you a lot of time. Its convenience is what you pay here. For the couple who wants to have a do-it-yourself wedding (which is cheaper), appointing and distributing tasks to close relatives and friends is not a bad idea at all. If ever you need a wedding coordinator that is kind, cooperative and reasonably priced, you may contact Ms. Lai Valdez of LAI’s ARTi Party Needs & Events.


Note that…

It may take a while to look for outstanding and inexpensive suppliers but doing so will make you and your guests satisfied. Moreover, if you picked the right supplier, lots of money can be saved which surely most of the newlyweds need after the occasion.

Now that we know what are the necessities of a wedding reception, we can see that it revolves around three concepts — convenience, entertainment and memorabilia. As long as these three ideas are balanced and well-ordered, couples won’t be troubled at all. Categorizing the elements discussed above according to what they mainly contribute, we have:

Convenience Entertainment Memorabilia
Rooms
Ceremony venue
Reception venue
HMUA
Coordinator
Host
Music
Lights
Bar
Food
Photographer
Souvenir

For the couples out there who are designing their reception, take it easy. Embrace the excitement caused by planning. Also, respect your partner’s needs and compromise with their wants. Don’t let budget dictate your fulfillment. Therefore, always remember it’s your journey that brings meaning to the wedding.

Congratulations and best wishes in advance!

Blizzard Games: World of Warcraft – Gameplay Review


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Well met, champion!

Have you heard about Blizzard Entertainment? If you consider yourself a gamer, then you should have tried to play at least one of their creations. Be careful when you’re hardcore because it might eat you alive! 😂

After spending thousands of hours playing, I think it’s time for me to share my experience as Chiliflavor (my battle tag) and to contribute insights about my favorite Blizzard game—World of Warcraft.

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. was established in 1991. Since then, most of their games require you to buy the license for you to be able to play with other gamers all over the world. I’ve had the chance to play some of it—thanks to my cousins, when I was nine years old, specifically, Warcraft III: Frozen Throne and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.


HOW TO INSTALL BLIZZARD GAMES

First, you have to sign up and download the Blizzard Battle.net desktop application. This platform serves as the game client for all Blizzard games. Battle.net, or simply “BNet,” mainly connects all the players and manages the installation or updates of your games. Through BNet, you can add or message your friends, watch Blizzard’s tournaments, stream your game via Facebook Live, browse Blizzard’s shop, and read upcoming changes in the games you play.

Battle.net Desktop Application

What’s nice with BNet is that it has a mobile application to ensure the safety of your account. Upon first logging in, it will ask you to choose what region do you want to sign in; it’s best to select the ones they recommend. Just be careful when purchasing a game since it will only be playable in the region you have selected.



WORLD OF WARCRAFT

Type: Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG)

Year Released: 2004

Initial Cost: $14.99

GAMEPLAY:

World of Warcraft, or commonly known as “WoW,” is one of the most successful MMORPG of all time. For fifteen years, millions of players have ventured in Azeroth—Warcraft’s world, to mainly fight for what they believe. WoW’s story line is a sequel to the game Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne; it’s part of the Warcraft series which started and revolved around the conflict between two factions: the Horde and the Alliance.

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth | Cinematic Trailer

Note that, you need to pay $14.99 per month to play WoW. This is the only game of Blizzard that requires a monthly subscription. With this payment, you’ll be able to play the contents of the current and earlier expansions. It’s surprising that I’ve encountered players of different ages, ranging from 9 to 60 years old. Most of them are professionals in real life and have their own families; while others, well, are online all day and just enjoying life. 😂


CHARACTER CREATION

After installing WoW, it’s time to create your first character! Consequently, you have to select your “realm.” Realms act as servers in WoW and differ in population as well as the ratio between the Horde and the Alliance. You can choose any realm you want as long as your latency is good in that server. Shown below is thecharacter creation interface where you’ll choose what faction, race, and class do you want to play.

Create New Character

In my case, I’m playing a Nightborne Warrior which can be a tank or a damage dealer.

Chiliflavor | My First Character

Races: Human, Orc, Dwarf, Undead, Night Elf, Tauren, Gnome, Troll, Draenei, Blood Elf, Worgen, Goblin, Pandaren, Allied Races (needs to be unlocked)

Classes: Warrior, Paladin, Hunter, Rogue, Priest, Shaman, Mage, Warlock, Monk, Druid, Demon Hunter, Death Knight

Note that you can only communicate verbally with players that belong to the same faction. For example, if you’re an Alliance and you came across a Horde player somewhere in the open world, they won’t be able to understand what you have typed. There are two options in this scenario: run or duel him—I always choose the latter. 😂


Blizzard’s games are well-known for its end-game content, that is, the real grinding begins after reaching maximum level!

Let’s take a look at some activities that you can do in Azeroth.

1) Questing / Leveling

“Loremaster” is a title given only to those players who were able to complete all the main quests in the story line of World of Warcraft. Believe it or not, many players play because of the story. It’s one of the reasons why millions of gamers come back to WoW. Yes, some may have quit the game for a couple of months or years but when a new expansion was announced, for sure, most of them will subscribe again to at least check it out.

Sample Quest

If you’re new, leveling your first character from Lvl. 1 to Lvl. 120 would be overwhelming. Even though it’s challenging, it would be the greatest time to slowly learn WoW’s gameplay and to familiarize yourself with your chosen class. If you can’t reach max level, then clearly, “you are not prepared!” 😂

Map of Azeroth

2) Dungeons

Running a dungeon is the usual leveling activity in WoW especially for veterans. To smoothly clear a dungeon, you need to have a party that is composed of five players where each member fulfills their designated role: a tank, three damage dealers and a healer.

These dungeons are instances with different difficulty levels (Normal, Heroic, Mythic, Mythic+) and it’s where you can get experience as well as item upgrades.

Dungeon | Operation: Mechagon

If you’re thinking that this can be completed by randomly spamming buttons to kill monsters, you’re absolutely wrong. The timing of the abilities to be used and the team’s coordination is indeed required. In the end-game content, each dungeon—with its mobs, usual three mini-bosses, and a final boss—has its own mechanics to be followed in order to finish.

Adventure Guide

It may sound complicated but you don’t have to worry at all. Thanks to Blizzard, we have the so-called Adventure Guide. This in-game menu explains every boss’s mechanics that you need to do. Do we really need to study the dungeon? Yes, unless you want to spend 4 hours doing a single dungeon that was supposed to be cleared under 40 minutes. 😂

3) Raids

Raid is the hardest but one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done in World of Warcraft.

Raid | The Eternal Place | Queen Azshara

Raids, like dungeons, are part of the story and have different difficulties, mechanics, and higher item upgrades as well. But, instead of five players, the party is composed of at least 10 to 40 players. Coordination, individual skill, and perseverance of the group are needed to clear a raid.

If you plan to do some raiding, you must study its mechanics wholeheartedly. Otherwise, you’ll be the reason why your guild keeps attempting to defeat the same boss for months; you don’t want your guild to blame you, do you? 😂

Raid | Ny’alotha, the Waking City | Wrathion, The Black Emperor

Usually, Blizzard releases five raids per expansion depending on the progress of its story. As soon as the new raid opens, top guilds are competing to be the World’s First guild. Besides from high level items, what do they get from being included in the top 100 guilds over all realms? It’s none other than glory—every gamer’s desire which a non-gamer would never ever understand. 😁

4) Player Versus Player (PVP)

The reason why I bought WoW in the first place: Battlegrounds.

The reason why I kept playing WoW (until real life responsibilities struck me 😂): Arena.

What I loved the most in World of Warcraft is the Player VS Player or “PVP” feature. Queuing through the premade group or in quick play tab, whether you’re solo or with friends, will put you in a battlefield against the opposing faction. Isn’t it nice to just smash everything that’s on your way after a tiring day at school or work? Luckily, we can do this in Azeroth—not in your home, please!

Battlegrounds | Isle of Conquest

Like in other games nowadays, you can queue in ranked or unrankedmodes of PVP. There are three types of PVP: Open World PVP, Battlegrounds and Arena.

The Open World PVP is what I’ve mentioned in the character creation interface, that is, you can go to war with the other faction by attacking them while they are busy doing their thing or vice-versa.

Meanwhile, in ranked version, Battlegrounds is a 10 versus 10 type of PVP (for unranked it’s 15v15 or 40v40) where you win by doing certain objectives which differ depending on the map. Since your opponent needs to do the same, it matters how you’ll defend your base while attacking theirs.

Lastly, an Arena, the one I played the most, can either be 2v2 or 3v3 and has only one objective: defeat the enemy.

Winning Clips | Arena World Championship | 2019 Spring Season

As long as you have a good rating, nicer item upgrades can be obtained from PVP too. For battlegrounds, if the season ended and your rating belongs to the top 0.5% of all PVP players, the titles “Hero of the Horde” or “Hero of the Alliance” will be rewarded to your character. While in arenas, the title “Gladiator” is the counterpart of being a Hero. This is my main goal in WoW: to be a gladiator. Unfortunately, I’m still working on it. 😅

5) Gold Making

More than half of my total playing hours in World of Warcraft was dedicated in making gold. I was so addicted to it up to the point that I was giving away subscriptions and other games to my friends using Blizzard Balance. 😂

What are the benefits of having so much gold?

First, you can pay your monthly subscription by buying a WoW Token which is approximately 159,034 gold (as of February 2020) from the auction house. Secondly, you can buy items such as crafting materials, battle potions, foods, equipment, toys, pets, mounts, etc., for all of your characters. Thirdly, you can purchase other Blizzard games and its goodies by converting WoW Tokens to Blizzard Balance.

On the other hand, you may sell a token too which costs $20 at the Battle.net shop to obtain the same amount of gold as shown from above. If you’re busy with work, family, business or whatever hobby you’re doing but wanted to play World of Warcraft, you can just sell tokens so that you won’t have to worry about the tedious process of farming gold.

Mount: Mighty Caravan Brutosaur
Cost: 5,000,000 Gold
Three-person mount with vendors (Auction house and Repair NPCs)

Each of your characters can learn at most two professions like blacksmith, alchemy, mining, inscription, etc. Items that you have gathered or crafted can be vended in the auction house and this is where most of your gold will come from. If you happen to play WoW and struggling to farm gold, I recommend that you try to see my post in reddit which was a story about how did I reach gold cap (10 million) in less than a year.

Character Statistics Tab

6) Hunting, Socialization, and Tools

6.1) Collection

Mounts, achievements, pets, toys, and costumes are the commonly hunted items in World of Warcraft. I’ll be honest, you can’t acquire it all in months; it would take years to complete it since some items have very low drop rate and can be farmed only once a week.

Mount: Bloodfang Widow
Cost: 2,000,000 Gold
Sold by: The Mad Merchant (Rare NPC)

As a bonus, there are also limited edition collectibles rewarded to those players that willingly support Blizzard. More often than not, I’d be spending my game time “competing” and bumming around Orgrimmar with other players that show off their collection. 😁

Mount: Smoldering Ember Wyrm
Secret Mount Discovered | Thanks to ZosynPriest and Friends

Pet: Treasure Goblin
Obtained from: Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Collector’s Edition

6.2) Guilds / Communities / “Trade Chat”

Guilds, communities and the “trade chat” are important features of World of Warcraft. Without in-game socialization, I doubt that one would keep playing WoW. Guilds are groups in each realm; note that you can only join one guild at a time. On the other hand, communities can have members across different realms and you can join multiple communities at once.

Guild Finder | Frostmourne Realm

A guild is more solid and has its own achievement progress, storage, shared gold, and can compete in mythic raiding (World’s First). Even though communities don’t have the characteristics mentioned, both have the same goal: to build camaraderie.

Trade chat, well, is where the “trolls” hangout. 😂

6.3) Addons and Macros

Before I played WoW, of course as a gamer, I did some research about its gameplay. At first, I didn’t like its graphics since most of the MMORPGs today have nicer video effects. But, as I get to know its story and all the things I’ve mentioned above, World of Warcraft’s graphics perfectly fits its nature—the Warcraft universe.

Azsuna, Broken Isles

In line with that, you can also customize the game’s interface using Addons. WoW’s addons can be installed via Twitch and will be helpful throughout your journey in Azeroth. Some examples of addons are Skada (to track your damage, healing, etc.), TradeSkillMaster (used for gold making), Deadly Boss Mods (used for dungeon and raid mechanics), and ElvUI (used for changing the user interface).

Twitch | WoW Addons

In the world of competitive gaming, every second matters. If you weren’t able to click one button or counter an incoming attack, you could be instantly defeated. The good news is we have Macros. It’s a set of codes, bound to your desired key, that executes multiple commands in a single click to save time and to react instantaneously. Note that, you don’t need to be a programmer to actually write a macro—Google has it all. 😂

7) Role Playing

Role Playing (RP) is a unique aspect of World of Warcraft. It’s literally living in the game—acting out what you feel. The definition and attributes of your toon (character) are all up to you. As simple as creating a background story of your toon, a lifelong mission why you need to traverse Azeroth, or anything else that you can think of that could happen in the Warcraft Universe, are considered Role Playing. You may also use emotes (e.g. /cry, /poke, /lol, /wink, /slap, etc.) and dialogues to interact with other role players.

Here is a hilarious encounter of a curious player, Sekushar, and an experienced role player, Wojo.

While stalking, Sekushar (Non-RP) ended up role playing with Wojo (RP)

What made me fond of RP is that anyone can be whoever he wants. Honestly, I’m still learning about it—starting with character development. If you’re new to this kind of gaming and would like to know more about it, you can freely ask guidance from the veterans at Blizzard forums. They’re very helpful especially to newbies. 😊


WHICH SIDE WILL YOU CHOOSE?

(Logos created by Atriace)

With World of Warcraft’s content and gameplay, I’d give it a rating of 9.5 out of 10. I believe that each game has its own room for improvement. It’s a game for all ages and any kind of player, that is, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a noob, a casual player, or even a hardcore gamer. 😂

Even though WoW isn’t free, I assure you that every cent of yours will be worth it. Also, WoW isn’t a “pay to win” game—you can’t be a top player by spending real money. Therefore, This game relies purely on the player’s skill.

Moreover, according to my former guild master, playing WoW is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. It’s not how fast can you progress but how long can you last.


Hoping to see you in Azeroth some time soon!

LOK’TAR OGAR!

Gigantes Island: Getaway Weekend Tour Guide


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Islas de Gigantes

If you’re looking for an affordable place to spend your weekend, you may want to check out this mind-blowing island in Carles, Iloilo. 😄 This place is great for any individual or group who wants to take a break for the upcoming holidays.

Antonia’s Beach, Gigantes Island

My Lady and I visited my province and while we’re on it, we decided we’d drop by Panay’s northwest most island—Islas de Gigantes, the “Island of Giants.” It’s named “Gigantes” after the first residents found gigantic bones from one of its caves. Formally, it’s called Gigantes Group of Islands but people commonly call it “Gigantes.”

There are no jeepneys, grabs or buses in the island. On our first day, we took the island hopping tour offered by our host—Peding’s Place, and started exploring the northern island of Gigantes using a motorcycle. The next day, we traveled to the southern islands via boat.

Let me share our trip to you! 😁

Day 1 – Around the Island

Since we rode the 10:00 A.M. trip of the ferry, we were able to reach the islands before lunch time. After eating delicious scallops, fish and rice, we began touring this wonderful place. 😄

1) Bakwitan Cave

Bakwitan Cave, Gigantes Island

First, we went to Bakwitan cave where the said gigantic bones were discovered. The entrance is just few meters away from our room. No need to bring your hiking bag since it’s just a very short hike. I’ll leave it to you to know what’s inside of that dark cave! 😃

2) Spanish House and Lighthouse

Spanish House and Lighthouse, Gigantes Island

After a couple minutes of riding, we arrived at this old Spanish house where you can have coffee while enjoying the view of the Visayan Sea. Going around the house made me wonder what Islas de Gigantes looked like during the Spanish era! I’m guessing it’s peaceful like what it is now.

3) Pasil Sandbar

Pasil Sandbar, Gigantes Island

Our last destination for Day 1 is the beach called Pasil Sandbar. Here, you can sit and chill by the sea shore while watching the sunset. I highly recommend bringing some booze and food! 🍺

Day 2 – Island Hopping

4) Bantigui Island

Bantigui Island, Gigantes Island

Bantigui Island is well-known for its sandbar. You’ll love swimming here for sure! This is the only area in the Gigantes group that has a souvenir shop. Though you can also buy items at Bancal Port, it’s cheaper, more memorable, and would help the locals’ economy if you bought souvenirs here!

5) Cabugao Gamay Island

Cabugao Gamay Island, Gigantes Island

Instagram users would definitely love this island! You just have make few steps to arrive this sweet spot. Moreover, in Cabugao Gamay, you’ll find the only resort—Maruja Flora’s Island Paradise Resort, where you can eat or camp with your loved ones while enjoying the scenery.

6) Tangke Lagoon

Tangke Lagoon, Gigantes Island

This one’s a thrilling area! Our tour guide told us that if it’s high tide, the big rock (at the lower right of the photo) will submerge. It might look shallow on the picture but the water level is already in the knee level.

On the way back to our boat, we notice some slithering movement—a snake! It swam towards the center of the lagoon as we climb through the rocks. The tour guides are shocked as well! Be careful always! 😂

7) Antonia’s Beach

Antonia’s Beach, Gigantes Island

We didn’t stay long on our destinations except this one. It’s just so beautiful! With our packed lunch that is included in the tour package, we had a nice time eating delicious seafoods.

After eating, we swam and felt like the island is ours! It’s cloudy that time which is good because I forgot to wear sunblock. 😂 What are the odds that we are the only tourists at that moment? 🤭

8) Mini Boracay Beach

Mini Boracay, Gigantes Island

It really is Mini Boracay! The fine sand reminded me of walking on the shore of Bora. This was our last destination for Day 2. After a long and overwhelming day, we stopped by on this island to rest before going back home. We had the nicest view of the horizon while having a snack of bananacue along with a soda!

To Islas de Gigantes from Manila, Philippines

After arriving at Roxas Airport in Capiz, you need to go to Bancal Port in Carles, Iloilo, then ride a ferry to Islas de Gigantes. There are other ports too, but, we chose this one since it’s the nearest to Roxas Airport. It took us almost three hours from the airport to reach Gigantes Island.

Map of Northwestern Panay Island
  • From Roxas Airport, proceed to Pueblo de Panay’s provincial bus terminal and take the trip bound to Estancia, Iloilo. The fare to Balasan Town, where you need to go, is ₱75.00 per head.

  • From Balasan Town, you can ride motorcycles or a tricycle all the way to Bancal Port. I recommend using the motorcycles if you’re comfortable with it since terminals of tricycles have boundaries now. The fare to Bancal port costs ₱150.00 per head.

  • In Bancal Port, each one should pay ₱250.00 to ride the ferry to Gigantes Island. Each of you is obliged to pay the environmental fee of ₱75.00 which also serves as your entrance fee at some mentioned destinations.

  • To go back to Manila from Islas de Gigantes, you can reverse the steps above. From Gigantes Island, ride the ferry boat to Bancal Port. Then, hire a motorcycle to drive you to Balasan Town where you can find a bus or van that’s going to Roxas City.

Where To Stay

Browsing through Agoda, we booked two nights at Peding’s Place for only ₱1,302.00. Without their place on the island, our romantic getaway weekend trip wouldn’t be perfect. 💑

Peding’s Place, Gigantes Island

I’d like to commend the crew—Ate Inday for cooking and Kuya Jonathan for guiding us, for their service, hospitality and sharing their knowledge of the island. Along with their tour package, we’ve had the chance of a lifetime to explore Islas de Gigantes! Thanks for the lovely room, Sir Joseph!

Gigantes group of islands consist of two major lands: North Gigante Island and South Gigante Island. Peding’s Place and several resorts can be located in both islands which also offer the island hopping tour. I’m sure you’ll be able to visit all the tourist spots in a day or two if you availed their package. 😅

Islas de Gigantes Trip Tips 2019

Schedule of the shuttle’s trip to Gigantes Island
  • Check your schedule if it fits the shuttle’s trip. On weekdays, the boat to Gigantes leaves twice a day: one in the morning and later in the afternoon. While on weekends and holidays, it goes back and forth the port thrice a day.

  • Ask your host if they serve meals. During our stay, we haven’t seen any restaurants at all. They have sari-sari stores and eateries but it’s not open 24/7. You probably want to buy snacks and drinks at the port before boarding the ferry.

  • The island now has electricity—they used to have rotations on its availability before, and water source. However, some parts of Gigantes doesn’t have a strong cellular signal so prepare to undergo a social media detoxification. 😂

  • Bring cash since no ATMs are available nor banks.

  • If you’re a big group that scheduled to visit the island, it’s wise to rent a private boat at the port since it’s cheaper and it includes a tour too. But if you’re going solo or with a partner, riding the shuttle and availing your resort’s package tour is recommended.

  • Wish that the weather is great on your selected dates. If it’s raining heavily, you wouldn’t be able to hop around the islands since the waves will be too strong. Like any other beaches, it’s best to visit Gigantes during summer season.

  • If you’ll bring a car, it would be parked at bancal port since the roads of the island is under construction. The only vehicle available at the island is a motorcycle.

  • You have the choice not to avail any package tours. If you intend to traverse Gigantes without a tour guide, it would be more expensive since you’ll still be renting different boats and motorcycles to go around the islands.

  • We haven’t wandered on the other side of the southern island. Our tour guide says there’s a town and lots of resorts too like in the northern island. If you had the chance to go there, let me know! 🙂
Kuya Jonathan of Peding’s Place
Boat ride to South Gigante Island

Having your vacation here at Gigantes Island would be a great idea since you’ll be spending minimal amount of money in exchange of an unforgettable experience. The food is delicious, the people are nice, and the view is stunning! It’s clean and quiet which is perfect to clear your mind.
The calmness of the beaches, the cold breeze, and the island’s overall ambiance will remind you how peaceful life should be. 😍
Mini Boracay, Gigantes Island

Hoping that you’ll visit Islas de Gigantes soon! 😊