WE’RE SCRATCHING OUR HEADS what to do with the recently approved tax reform in my country. While it gives more small companies like Crossroads Hostel leeway in shielding itself from Value Added Tax (VAT), it will have to contend with the advent of having to pay more in operations cost making it more challenging for us to offset the cost of utilities especially in the coming summer months of March.
Summer, like anywhere else in the world, is increasingly getting warmer and that means higher use of air-conditioners to cool yourself off and more frequent times to open the refrigerators to get your cold drinks or to freeze your drinks.
That’s a lot of money.
Electricity rates in The Philippines are on of the highest in Asia (16th in the World!) and it’s extra challenging for us to get more people to go to The Philippines, let alone have them stay in our hostel because of appointments they have in the nearby Ortigas area.
We’ll take the challenge and hopefully, we’ll come out a winner because whatever investment our guests give us, we put it back to develop our hostel further.
Here’s to creativity in how to get things right.

It's time to give them something in return

It’s time to give them something in return (image:

Military Veterans and Senior Citizens (Lolo and Lola), though count only as a very minor part of our growing number of guests, are a great source of our country’s pride and treasure. They’ve served our country and most especially our family well and that’s why it would be very fitting to honor them with this incentive, which is nothing new in our government system but appropriately well for a business like mine.
According to Section 4, articles a1 and 7 of Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act, a 20% discount is given to any senior citizen who is defined to be above 60 years of age utilizing the services of hotels and/or any other similar establishments. That being so, Crossroads Hostel Manila is declaring the same honor and virtue to any lolo and lola of our country without distinction of nationality, creed, belief, and status.
As for military veterans as defined by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), Crossroads Hostel Manila is extending a 20% discount privilege and benefits to all and every honorably discharged members of our military service.
The best thing about applying this discount to our dear veterans and seniors is that you can put one discount on top of the other, hereby, providing a senior who is also a military veteran a 40% discount on our published and discounted rate.
This is our property’s way of saying, Thank you and thank you for all the sacrifices and hard work you’ve extended our families, our nation.

What better way to impart the message of what a backpacker hostel is than to actually allow more people to experience what backpacking is all about in this country.
Crossroads Hostel Manila is now offering package tours to different parts of the country from very interesting places to bucket-list places that one should go to before they pass this earth.

Let your feet do the talking

Let your feet do the talking

What is Backpacking?
Backpacking is your old fashioned way of getting around places and it’s practiced by more and more people around the world because the experience is nothing like luxury and you get to meet people and do stuff that other packages would offer that is not what you’d expect from locals who can give you the feel and experience you will never get by getting on more expensive tours that offer bus trips, boat tours, and plane rides. Backpacking is touring countryside while immersing yourself with the culture and vibrant lives of locals living in those places.
Is it expensive?
It costs to get around, however, you can be sure that these rates are much lower compared to the one offered by big, established tour agencies. What’s the goal of these lower rates? To get you around faster without cutting quality and safety. You still get the same 4×4 rides you get from others, same boats, same buses, same tents — it’s just easier to reach.
Can I customize my trips?
You bet! In fact, you and your friends can design your own trips, do your own destination, at the dates you want. It’s that simple for as long as you can organize seven-member barkadas and more.
How much is the cost to designing my own tours?
PhP2,000 for Day trips and PhP3,500 for overnight to two day trips. The cost goes higher depending on how many sites you want to visit.
When should I time our trips?
The best time to get around is between January – May and between November to December depending on the weather situations of course.
We have three places you can try to visit this year and we’re sure you are gonna have a lot of fun. Please email us if you have questions or even call us at +63 (2) 984-9844. Please try calling us Manila time if in case you’re reading this from another country.

Screen shot 2013-01-03 at 4.15.11 PMThe Four-time National Magazine Awards winner, Conde Nast Traveller, has given The Philippines a very good face in its recent

Screen Capture of the feature made about The Philippines

Screen Capture of the feature made about The Philippines

feature entitled, “Destinations to Watch in 2013”. It gave iconoclastic travelers another view of the country that has a lot of “deserted” beaches where travelers can get a peek of “around 7,000 of the most heavenly islands in the world.”
Written by Laura Fowler, the magazine gave rave reviews about Palawan Island, which has palm-fringed white-powder beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and natural lagoons for “wild swimming”. The writer praised Bicol and its other deep-sea trenches where serious divers can enjoy “incredible water life, unspoilt coral gardens with rainbow-bright fishes, green sea turtles and dugongs”
The clincher for us at Crossroads Hostel was when it apologized to the country of Maldives because the magazine has found a new love in The Philippines.

The Philippine Tourism Department's homework is paying off

The Philippine Tourism Department’s homework is paying off

Thanks to our Tourism Department’s robust campaign in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysians are fast discovering that it is truly more fun in The Philippines. Guest arrivals from that neighboring country peaked in 2012 earning it the 10th spot in the most number of tourists from a nation of origin, up from the 11th spot. South Koreans still hold the top spot with Americans holding firmly on the second place but the Malaysians grew unexpectedly making us think that there’s more to see in The Philippines than what they probably already know.
Malaysia’s very popular tourism campaign “Malaysia, Truly Asia” has raised a lot of curiosity from Westerners following a very intense campaign that started in 1999 that brought in more than seven million tourists and helping it dodge the world economic crisis in 2008.
It will be noted, though, that Malaysian’s favorite gateway destination aside from Manila, Clark, and Cebu is the City of Davao, which is home to the country’s Monkey-eating Eagle. Davao, dubbed as the most “Livable City” is home to other tourism destinations like The Philippine Eagle Foundation and Nature Center, Mt. Apo, and The Pearl Farm Resort to name a few.
Rounding up the Top 10 Sources of Tourist Arrivals in the Country for 2012 are:

  1. Korea (832,437)
  2. United States (534,899)
  3. Japan (341,676)
  4. China (215,814)
  5. Taiwan (188,862)
  6. Australia (147,237)
  7. Singapore (111,200)
  8. Hongkong (98,967)
  9. Canada (96,089)
  10. Malaysia (91,230) Up by almost 22%!

We wrote this post because of this news we saw today from RAPPLER
You can read the same story from these sources:

Thank for the photo.

Mountaineers can trek Mount Pinatubo and enjoy scenes like this in the country

The Philippines do not need to cry when China announced that they’re putting the country out of the Chinese tourists’ map. It’s not the Philippines’ lost when Chinese authorities campaigned against the country because of the Scarborough Shoal stand off. Here are some of the reasons why:
1. Language – English is the common language when people of different nationalities communicate and talk. Chinese can opt to go to Thailand, Vietnam, or Indonesia but they will not be able to communicate as clearly and solidly like Filipinos can.
2. Climate – The Philippines is blessed with warm tropical climate and tourists can enjoy the season with sunbathing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, and the likes in a lot of tropical destinations like Camarines Sur, Cagayan de Oro, Bohol, Palawan and not just Laoag and Boracay where tourists usually flock to.
3. Budget – Compared to Malaysia, Thailand, and even Guam, the Philippines can extend the value of any foreign currency. Can you imagine eating lunch – a la Filipino style – in Lucban, Quezon for just a dollar? Imagine all that food you can take in if you double, triple, or quadruple your budget and still feel like a millionaire with all the money to spare?
4. Hospitality – When it comes to hospitality, there’s nothing like the hospitality of this part of the continent. Where else can you feel closer to home than in a country that treats visitors with much care and love like the Philippines? It is something that Koreans and Americans know and sadly Chinese don’t think the same way.

Gota Beach. An upcoming attraction

5. Adventure – Boracay may have missed 200,000 visitors in May but there’s still a lot of nations it can tap to replace the loss the Chinese authorities are bragging about when they don’t see the beauty of other tourist destinations in Davao, Iloilo, Cebu, Albay, Zambales, Batangas, Pampanga, and a lot more other spots that they will not enjoy.
There’s more to the Philippines than the couple of hundreds of thousands of visitors the country is missing right now but it’s not really our loss when their government is trying to control the very freedom that each Chinese should experience flocking to a country that has yet to be explored. There is really more fun in the Philippines and 200,000 people are missing all the fun. It’s a pity that Crossroads Backpackers Hostel wishes that the Chinese will unveil themselves so they can soil in the fun and know how they can be part of the country’s beauty.

[slideshow]Crossroads learned that The largest Crocodile in captivity can now be found in The Philippines. The Guinness World Record confirmed that ‘Lolong’ – the name villagers gave the croc – took the top spot away from an Australian saltwater crocodile that measured 17 feet (5 meters) only. Lolong, who measured 20.24 feet (6.17 meters), can be found in the southern island of Mindanao in the town of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur. The town is getting a lot of fame and has earned about PhP3 Million (US$71,000.00) since the gigantic reptile was captured in September 2011. The mayor said most of the income went in to feeding Lolong and the upkeep of the park that houses the crocodile. The crocodile, though not an endangered specie, is prized for its leather and this latest proclamation of Guinness will focus on the importance of the town’s biodiversity and the need to protect it. Villages still believe that there’s a repltile larger than Lolong when another saltwater reptile was seen escaping after the latter was captured.
Crossroads invite you to backpack in the southern island of Mindanao not just to see the mammoth-like creature but to enjoy the vast marshlands and wetlands of Agusan del Sur, which is a haven for mountain trekkers who discovered the beauty of Bega, Gibong, and Binaba Falls just to name a few.
Picture Sources:

If they’re excited so are we in The Philippines

Crossroads Hostel noted that budget airlines, Airasia, started flying Filipino passengers to Kuala Lumpur, Saturday, June 9, to expand its business and operations in Southeast Asia. Filipinos own a major stake in this Malaysian airline brand and it will further capitalize on the momentum of bringing in more tourists to the country.
To date, Malaysia accounts for 32,363 tourists or the eleventh biggest source of visitors in the country in the first quarter of this year. So far, the number of Malaysians going to the Philippines increased by almost 75% since 2009 and it seems there’s no stopping them from finding out why it’s more fun in the Philippines.
We are excited to see more Malaysians in the country who can see their Malaysian Ringgit’s value multiply in a country that is known for it’s hospitality. Crossroads Hostel is a perfect place to receive Malaysian travelers who want to discover what is in store for them in a country that may not be truly Asia but it’s definitely more fun than anything they have experienced.

Smile. It’s just more fun in the Philippines

The Philippines broke the one million tourist arrivals mark during the first quarter of this year. It’s well on its way to reach the tourism department’s goal of 4.5M tourist arrivals in 2012.
The aggressive “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign hatched by former advertising executive and now the country’s Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. broke ground in the international scene by placing ad spots on cable giant CNN, hiring more than fifty English cabs to carry the country’s slogan and invite more European travelers to this side of the planet.
Tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2012, reached 1,148,072 or 16% more compared to 2011’s first quarter tourist arrivals. The proactive campaign attempts to capture the imagination of prospective travelers who are looking for more fun in Asia by visiting never-before-seen places and unparalleled hospitality Filipinos can give visitors.
Asian countries dominate the top five number of visitors with South Korean travelers holding the number one spot with more than quarter of a million visitors just in the first three months of this year. The United States, on the other hand, is at number 2 yielding the most number of western vacationers in the country with 179,561 visitors to date.
If you’re testing to see what The Philippines can offer because of your limited budget, don’t worry because Crossroads Hostel can help you control your budget without costing you an arm and a leg just to discover how much more fun the Philippines can be. Check out our reservations and tweet us a question (@chostel) so we can help you decide how inexpensive it is to travel in the Philippines with the help of Crossroads Hostel.
Acknowlodgment: (cover)

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Manila while you have your elective medical procedures, we offer Crossroads Hostel services to you. With our promotional rate of US$7/night/pax, you can be sure to save more have more of The Philippines before you fly back home to your country.
Medical Tourism is a growing industry in the Philippines with doctors and experts patients can rely on. According to the Philippine Medical Tourism, Incorporated, Filipino doctors frequently travel to different countries, especially the United States of America, to learn more about the latest in medical and technical medical procedures that patients may need.
Patients can choose from these fine clinics and hospitals:

You should note that these hospitals and clinics are growing steadily in The Philippines with state-of-the-art equipments within Metropolitan Manila that you can choose from.
Crossroads Hostel will also provide shuttle services so you don’t need to worry about traveling to and from clinics you want us to take you. Inquire now and book your reservation conveniently with our California Garden Square property or to our thirty guest capacity Hostel that will open in October. Use and lodge with Crossroads Hostel.