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“Travel is at its most rewarding when it ceases to be about your reaching a destination and becomes indistinguishable from living your life.” -Paul Theroux

In the heart of Luzon, flanked between Zambales to the west and Bulacan to the east lies the gastronomic capital of the Philippines, Pampanga. Long before it got its well-known moniker today, the province was once known as La Pampanga which was designated by the Spaniards. The unique appellation stemmed from the encounter the Spaniards had with natives who were living along banks or “pampang” in Spanish of the Pampanga River in 1571, marking it as the first Spanish province in the Luzon Island. Today, this quirky little province is home to the world-renowned sisig and the finest Philippine dishes. Apart from Pampanga’s obvious flair for culinary masterpieces, the province is also known for its annual Easter re-enactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and come Christmas season; holiday revellers can enjoy seeing the giant Christmas lanterns. The province has come a long way from being known as the land of natives living by the riverbanks, but their long and colourful history remains.

Apart from the diverse tourist attractions and the bustling nightlife, Pampanga also houses world-class resorts, casinos, golf courses and duty-free shopping. With all these attractions, you are guaranteed a myriad of activities whenever you are in the city. From the heritage sites, historical churches to the array of various restaurants, your one-day itinerary to Pampanga is sure to be full of things to do. Here are some of the places you should definitely not miss during your visit.

1.)     San Guillermo Parish Church (Bacolor, Pampanga)

It is a known fact that the Philippines traces some of its roots to the Spanish colonization, and a concrete evidence of that is the remnants of Spanish culture and heritage sites. Apart from that, the country is peppered with ancient and historic churches. Pampanga has its fair share of them. The San Guillermo Parish Church, an old church originally established by Augustinian Friars in 1576 used to be a placed of worship but is now known as a local tourist spot owing to the devastation that hit it back in 1995. Half of the church is buried from the lahar flow caused Mount Pinatubo’s eruption. Aside from taking photos, one should never miss visiting the museum located in the church complex.

2.) JB Betis Woodcraft (Guagua, Pampanga)

Next, to the San Guillermo Church, your next visit should be JB Betis Woodcrafts in Betis Guagua, Pampanga where you can appreciate the finest wood creations made by wood connoisseurs. From furniture to statues, every wooden creation is an evident showcase of their expertise which is obvious from the meticulously fine details etched in their products. If you are looking to fill your home with locally made furniture that is nonetheless impressive, the town of Betis is your best bet.

3.)  Atching Lilian’s (Mexico, Pampanga)

What is a trip to Pampanga without indulging your palate and sampling some of its finest epicurean delicacies and famous dishes? And what better way to satisfy your appetite than beginning it with a hearty and savory lunch? In a grandiose ancestral Mexico, Pampanga lives Atching Lilian, one of Pampanga’s culinary virtuosos. Considering that she is a master at her craft, Atching Lilian is a known culinary historian and hosts a cooking show. A tour to her place is not only limited to eating her food but would also entail a tour in her kitchen where she would show you her antique cookware collections as well as a demonstration of how making San Nicolas cookies, Pampanga’s famous dessert. Everyone visiting is required to bring their big appetites with them as after the tour you are treated to a buffet of food she has specially prepared. Included are some of Pampanga’s famous dishes such as Tamales, Morcon and Dinuguan.

4.)  Betis Church (Guagua, Pampanga)

After lunch, a visit to another church is in order. Though relatively unknown, the town of Betis has its own local version of the Sistine Chapel which is the St. John the Apostle Church (Betis Church). Built in the 18th century by Augustinians, the Betis Church is incredibly well-maintained, and the imposing structure remains majestic until today. Considering its grand architecture and impressive wall murals, the church is rightfully protected as a National Cultural Treasure. Though a lot of pictures of the church have surfaced online, nothing beats seeing this marvellous and historic structure for yourself.

5.) Pinatubo Museum

End your trip with a visit to the Pinatubo Museum, one of Pampanga’s newest tourist attractions and is a recent addition to the Center for Kapampangan Studies. With its opening just last June 14, 2016, on the 25th anniversary of the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, the museum features a mural timeline of the history of Mt. Pinatubo. Additionally, one can observe the many various exhibits by Joel Mallari and mural sculptures by Arnel Garcia.

Never lie is the golden rule to lead a righteous life; but there are situations that demand to break the rules. A lie that is meant to harm no one, and is spoken to avoid a trouble is a good lie like at the time of traveling. Going to new places, exposes us to the risk many unwanted situations. Uncalled for attention, risk of harassment, theft and a host of awkward situations can arise out of nowhere, and plain innocent lie to run out of such troubles is totally appropriate.

Here are 5 most often told lies which are quite safe to be told when traveling (especially when alone) –

I am here with my friends

Solo travelers are the most susceptible targets of mischief mongers. So lying about having some company with you can help you avoid their uncalled for attention and steer them clear from your way.

No, it is not my first time here

Pretend that it is not your first visit to the place. This will give the impression you probably understand the place and the its ways. For instance, cab drivers will not run you around the long route to make you pay extra.

Yes, my boyfriend/husband is about to Join Me

For women travel alone, it is best to pretend to have male company around. It will keep the evil-minded creatures at bay and will send the ‘not interested/unavailable signal to the cheap gawkers.

I am staying at a relative’s place/ I don’t exactly remember the address of that hostel

When strangers try and make conversation, it is okay. But if they try to extract personal information, dodge them. Don’t share your personal number or the address of the place you are staying at. Saying that you are living with a local relative is the best way out.

“Hi, yes my GPS is on.” Say that Loud on Phone; to be heard around

This is one of the safest lies, while traveling in a taxi in the night hours. The driver will be cautious on knowing that someone on the other side of the phone is monitoring your movement and any untoward action can lead to bad consequences.

I English Not Well

To keep the annoying sticky touts from following you all along the way, pretend not understanding the language. Speak broken form of the language he is speaking. Do not let him know which language you understand, and have baffled expressions.

8 Major Tips to Track down Your Expenses While Traveling down the Road

Did you lose another week just billing down the receipts through all your credit card charges, and paper receipts that would work out to show how many purchases were done and were actually the business expenses? If so then it is the right time to set up the organizational efforts by implementing an expense tracking software that would help in tracking down the business in real time. Given below are the 5 major tips that would help you track down your expenses while travelling down the road. Here you can also find the tips to minimise your travelling expenses.

Making use of credit cards where ever possible

Credit cards are generally considered to be every one best friend, especially while travelling. For example, when charging a meal on credit, I am sure that you would be getting a receipt that you could save and enter when you return from the vacation. Even if you lose or forget to keep the receipt the purchase would show up in credit statements entering the expenses at that time.

Staying on top of your receipts

When you have receipts related to the business-related purchases than have them stored in the envelopes or shoe boxes and then filing them in an accordion file organized by month. If you are audited you would here then require receipts as an evidence for all the evidence made. This is also known as one of the best methods to save time.

If you do not get a receipt then jot it down in another receipt

There are times when you would not get receipts for the expenses made. And in things like cash tips, street food purchased are something that does not come with the paper trail, you would here than need to jot down the expenses in the margin of receipts that you already have with you. Also, it would be great if you remember where the money is being spent and write down those expenses.

Using the right software to track down and analyse your business expenses

Most of the expense management software programs provide options to create the expense categories and linking them to line the items on your tax forms reducing the time spent on billing your business expenses. These are programs that could be used to generate profit and loss statements assessing the financial health of your business.

Taking down notes in your phone

This is one of the most alternative methods that most of the individuals like, as they would not have to deal with the receipts making a note in their smartphones about each and every expense made. This system has generally seemed to work out well if you have a texting plan too. You could again go one step further and choose a mobile expense tracking software app.

Centralize Travel

Instead of having each booking done separately, consider consolidating your travelling by going through the same website for each and everything you need in terms of travel. Say for example Expedia has a business section that would help you book trips tracking down the expenses all in one place. Once you have hired employees in the team the centralized type of space would be beneficial.

Scanning down the receipts

If you have a regular practice of maintaining all the receipts in the pocket of your laptop bag, you are then losing out a few expenses. The loss would then add up to hundreds and dollars of dollars. There are a few apps available online that would help you track down all the expenses using the smartphones or tablet camera. Once you have the receipt saved you could then have paper version thrown away. While looking out for receipts in the app to make sure that would allow you to find receipts you need when you need them.

Being Timely

Have your expenses recorded on a timely basis so that you do not end up with a pile of receipts. Having your receipts documented on regular basis would not just save your time in the long run but would also ensure that your financial records are up to date.

So what are your tips for tracking down the business expenses while travelling? We are always open for some good ideas and suggestions in terms of expense management software. Help us out with your expense management tips by leaving the comments below.

Riding the train as a main method of transportation has been popular in other countries for decades, but in the United States, it has taken a bit of time for the railroad industry to gain popularity. No doubt about it: train travel is a one of a kind experience that will leave a lasting impression for each rider. Those that choose to travel by train get the opportunity to sit back and unwind while enjoying the beauty of nature as they pass through both the city and countryside. But, that’s not the only benefit. Here are some other great reasons why traveling by train is a great option.

#1: It’s easy on the budget
Traveling can be a very expensive pastime, but traveling by train is a great cost effective solution to expensive airfare, especially if you’re just traveling a short distance. Rates on the train are very affordable and for passengers that don’t need to get to their destination right away, train travel can be a great way to cut costs and give you a unique opportunity to see surrounding areas that you might not other see if you travel by plane.

#2: More baggage allowed
Tired of restrictions from the airlines about baggage? Train travel generally allows passengers two carry-on items up to 50 pounds in addition to personal items. Riders can also check up to 4 bags (50 pound limit) with the first two being free. That means passengers have the option to bring nearly 200 pounds on a trip, something that airlines wouldn’t ever allow.

#3: Relaxation
Airplane seats are incredibly cramped and allow for almost no leg room. Train seats not only have more room but passengers are able to get up, move around, and sit out on viewing decks while the train is moving so people can get fresh air and see the scenery first hand.  Train travel is relaxing and a lot more comfortable than plane or even automobile travel!

#4: Convenience
Train travel offers passengers more convenience and less hassle. Train stations are generally right in the middle of downtown or in central city locations, which means most passengers will be dropped off near to where they want to be. In addition, say goodbye to long security lines and other stresses that come with airport travel. Most times, passengers can arrive at the train station only 30 minutes ahead of time and just hop onto the train.

Traveling by train is a fun and peaceful experience that has a unique sense of charm about it. Passengers can read books, play cards, or just simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful scenery that rushes by.

Here you can find out the list of top 100 travel and tourism blogs. This analysis is based on the alexa and google page rank.

Top 100 Travel Blogs

1 Ytravel Blog
2 Land Lopers
3 Y Travel Blog
4 A Luxury Travel Blog
5 The Planet D
6 The Expert Vagabond
7 Wandering Earl
8 Adventurous Kate
9 Legal Nomads
10 Wandering Trader
11 Twenty Something Travel
12 The Everywhereist
13 Go Backpacking
14 Migrationology
15 LandLopers
16 Uncornered Market
17 Everything Everywhere
18 Nomadic Samuel
19 Solo Traveler
20 A Dangerous Business
21 Never Ending Voyage
22 Green Global Travel
23 That Backpacker
24 Almost Fearless
25 Young Adventuress
26 Wandering Educators
27 A Little Adrift
28 The Vacation Gals
29 Ken Kaminesky Photography
30 Amateur Traveler
31 Bacon is Magic
32 Travels of Adam
33 Otts World
34 E Tramping
35 The Professional Hobo
36 Ordinary Traveler
37 Fox Nomad
38 Delicious Baby
39 Wild Junket
40 Leave Your Daily Hell
41 Go See Write
42 One Step 4Ward
43 Hecktic Travels
44 The Expeditioner
45 Travel O Cafe
46 Around the World in 80 Jobs
47 Brendan’s Adventures
48 Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel
49 Plum Deluxe
50 Get Tourism Info
51 Beers and Beans
52 Camels & Chocolate
53 My Itchy Travel Feet
54 The Longest Way Home
55 Traveling Canucks
56 Globetrotter Girls
57 Alex In Wanderland
58 Art of Adventuring
59 Breathe Dream Go
60 The Traveling Praters
61 Dave’s Travel Corner
62 Time Travel Turtle
63 Tourist 2 Townie
64 Velvet Escape
65 Never Ending Footsteps
66 Soul Travelers 3
67 Budget Traveller
68 The Barefoot Nomad
69 Just One Way Ticket
70 Gypsy Nester
71 Vagabond Journey
72 Off The Path
73 Cheapest Destinations Blog
74 Francis Tapon
75 Ever In Transit
76 Nerd’s Eye View
77 Man on the Lam
78 Goats On The Road
79 Finding The Universe
80 Be My Travel Muse
81 Inside The Travel Lab
82 Family On Bikes
83 Around the World L
84 Muza Chan
85 Crazy Sexy Fun Traveler
86 Just Travelous
87 Extra Pack of Peanuts
88 Virtual Wayfarer
89 LL World Tour
90 As We Travel
91 Women On The Road
92 Bucket List Journey
93 Indie Travel Podcast
94 Monkeys and Mountains
95 Changes in Longitude
96 The Constant Rambler
97 The Blonde Abroad
98 Over Yonderlust
99 Heather on Her Travels
100 Turkish Travel Blog

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