A New Era Of Space Travel Is On The Horizon

Data from public opinion polls indicate that nearly fifty million people would like to visit space. In fact as many as two million people each year would take the journey beyond the outer limits of Earth's gravity. The public's fascination with space travel means the potential development of a space travel tourism industry with revenues that could amount to $10 billion or more every year.
Therefore, it really is not hard to understand the interest in commercial space travel by private business. In fact, more than six companies are working to making commercial space travel a reality. However, the company that is closest to becoming the industry pioneer is Virgin Galactic. The company is a well funded joint venture of Richard Branson, Burt Rutan, and Paul Allen.
Eager future space travelers should consider that the development of Virgin Galactic's Space Ship Two is nearly completed and could be performing test flights by the end of the year into space. The spacecrafts successful predecessor, Spaceship One, last reached space on October 4, 2004, winning the $10m Ansari X Prize. The larger and more powerful, Space Ship Two, is being built to accommodate two pilots and six passengers. Indeed, there will be enough room on board to experience the freedom of movement in the zero gravity of space. Initially, Virgin Galactic has ordered five spaceships to begin the business of commercial space travel and tourism.
The Spaceships will launch from the Virgin Galactic's spaceport which is currently under construction in the state of New Mexico. The spaceport will be the first commercial space launch and control facility in the United States. The $200m spaceport project is designed to cover 27 square miles. It will feature a mission control station, runways, and the Virgin Galactic headquarters. Much of the facility will be built underground.

Customers that want to experience commercial space travel have been lining up for tickets. 75 people have already paid the entire $200,000 fee. William Shatner, Sigourney Weaver, and Paris Hilton are reported to be among the early space tourists while hundreds of others have put down more than thirty million dollars in deposits to reserve their seat for a flight on Virgin's Spaceships. However, the initial experience of commercial space flight will be brief and it will not exactly represent a bargain ride. Passengers will spend just under 10 minutes in space at an altitude of only 65 miles, high enough to experience free fall and to see the curvature of the earth.
Of course, the creation of the new space travel tourism industry comes with government regulations. Already the United States Federal Aviation Administration has published its guidelines for commercial space travel, one hundred and twenty three pages of regulations that require disclosure and passenger training. Requirements include a disclosure on the number of trips the spacecraft has made into orbit and a history of its problems as well as a notice that the spacecraft has not been government certified. Also required is pre flight training for passengers in order to be properly prepared to handle emergencies such as a fire or loss of cabin pressure. Passengers will also be subject to the no-fly list currently operating in the US which is designed to stop terrorists boarding regular passenger flights.

It is expected that once people experience future commercial space travel, that they will want to make space their ultimate vacation destination. Therefore, the next innovative commercial space business venture may be the orbiting space hotel. Robert Bigelow, who made his fortune with hotel chain Budget Suites Of America, is already working on a prototype orbiting hotel. Bigelow has invested $75 million into the project, with a estimate of $425 million more a necessary commitment for the future.

His orbiting hotel venture is being developed under the corporate name of Bigelow Aerospace. The firm has successfully completed the first phase of the project by launching a small pod that inflates aloft called Genesis I. It is the first in a series of launches scheduled every six months for the next two and a half years. Genesis I has marked the beginning of what could be the first privately funded space station. The project is a prototype for cheap, livable, interconnecting rooms for commercial use in space similar in design to the International Space Station. In fact, Genesis I was an early concept for the ISS that was researched through funding by NASA. Robert Bigelow has since purchased the rights to the patent of the technology for his Genesis prototype.

Flowboarding at Flow House Manila


Calling all thrill seekers out in there! A new water activity has set and waiting for you to be tested! Have you already tried wakeboarding? Surfing? Skimboarding? Yeah? Hmm... how about flowboarding? Not yet? Well, flowboarding is the new hype in town which gives waterboard sports a new kind of face. Flowboarding combines the look of surfing, the tricks of skateboarding, and the boards of wakeboarding yet instead of doing it outdoor, flowboarding are being manipulated/controlled by mechanics. The said sport has been evolving since the 80's but been an underdog since the market which offers this sport is just limited as they are only seen on some resorts, cruise ships, etc. But worry no more because Flow House Manila brought it to the metro and they are now operating!

How to get there?
Flow Hose Manila is located at Molino Boulevard corner Masaito Drive in Bacoor City. If you are going to commute, you may take a commercial van in MOA having a signboard of Paliparan-Molino. Just inform the driver to drop you off at Flow House Manila as it is just along the road. Just in case the driver do not know where Flow House Manila is (since it's just new in the area), just tell them to drop you at V-Central Mall along Molino Boulevard. V-Central Mall is just beside Flow House Manila. Travel time is maximum of an hour.

Option 2: Take a bus at Coastal Mall terminal having a signboard going to Dasmarinas. Then tell the bus conductor to drop you at St. Dominic College of Asia. From there, take a tricycle going to Flow House Manila.

As I am blogging this, Flow House Manila is still in its development period. The area hasn't fully furnished yet like the shopping mall and stuff but the flowboarding area as well as the bar are fully functional. As for their rates and fees, flowboarders will have to spend PhP 650 per hour per head which is inclusive of entrance fee, board rental, instructor, and pool use. For non riders there is an entrance fee of Php 300 which is also a consumable value in the bar/restaurant. Both flow riders and non flow riders can use the pool without time limit. Just kindly refer on the schedule below for the operating hours of Flow House Manila:

Monday – Friday: 10 AM to 12 MN
Saturday – Sunday: 8 AM to 12 MN

The pool side
The bar and restaurant
The flowboarding activity area
Then my family
There are three kinds of position you can do when trying out this activity. First is the laying down position, second is where you are sitting on top of the board and the most difficult one is the stand up position of course. Tip: Flowboarding is considered a sport so basically you will have to keep riding to improve. I fell so many times (surfers called it wipe out) before I was able to do the stand up position. Also always listen to the instructor's advice. They're expert and only wanted to help us to enjoy the experience fully. Do not afraid to get wipe out because the material used by Flow House Manila is similar to that used in trampolines. The ride surface is ready to absorb impacts and will have you bouncing back for more. Yeah I got hurt to some of my wipe out but its tolerable and nothing to worry about.

Lookin' cool right?
Picking some advice from my instructor
Then I let go of the rope and started surfing...
After a minute or less, I got swipe out. lol!
As per what to wear... hmmm there is no dress code in Flow House Manila, but I strongly recommend a boardshort and a rash guard or any comfortable beach clothes. Also bring your own towel and extra clothes. Just anything light and be prepare to get wet!

Flow House Manila also offers not only flowboarding but also a place where you and your friends can enjoy a great drinking experience as its bar has wide range of beverages - Alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Who wouldn't enjoy a glass of Jack Daniels after a nice flow ride huh?

This is me chillin'
So, what you waitin' for? Grab a friend now and experience flowboarding at Flow House Manila!

Flow House Manila
Molino Boulevard corner Masaito Drive, Bacoor, Cavite
Dial 09985545035 for reservations.
Monday – Friday: 10 AM to 12 MN
Saturday – Sunday: 8 AM to 12 MN

Breakdown of Expenses:
Transportation: Below 100 Pesos from Manila (one way)
Flowboarder: 650 Pesos per hour per head
Non rider: 300 Pesos

Geejay Travel log meets IJuander of GMA News TV


Weeks ago, I received a Facebook message from a Program Researcher of GMA News TV. I really didn't expect that I'd be able to get a call from a TV network that big and inviting me to join them in an escapade. IJuander is a tv program here in the Philippines which features/tackles wide range of topics that deals about Filipinos' culture, history, beliefs and the country. It is hosted by GMA's veteran news reporters Susan Enriquez and Cesar Apolinario.

And since summer is fast approaching, the show looked for an amateur travel blogger to be featured on their next episode which is about discovering hidden paradise near the metro. Travelers and non travelers who are looking for a place to spend their holidays and summer will surely love the episode. The IJuander team and I went on an expedition somewhere in Laguna. The place we went to offers a combination of great landscape, adventure and water activities for those who'll be visiting it. And together with La Churva (segment hosts of IJuander), you'll surely enjoy your viewing not only because of the place but also because of their new acts!

I just feel so bless because they picked me and was able to experience working with those people. It was definitely a new experience to remember! So please... please don't miss this week's episode of IJuander. The episode will be aired this coming Wednesday (April 1, 2015) from 8pm-9pm, only on GMA News TV (Channel 11).

[04/02/2015 Update] For those who weren't able to watch IJuander, you may watch last night's episode with the videos below:

Part I:

Part II:

[DIY] A Ride to the Crater of Mt Pinatubo


Mt. Pinatubo is situated in the section of Luzon called Cabusilan Mountain Range also known as the Zambales Mountains. It became a mainstream right after its major eruption back in 1991. That eruption was labeled as the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century next to Novarupta where its effects were devastating and felt worldwide. Now, although Mt. Pinatubo and areas surrounding it is still covered by lahar deposits, it has also become a tourist attraction of the country because of the wonderful landscape it has become. Adventure seekers, nature lovers and landscape photographers will surely enjoy exploring the site most specially its crater part.

How to get there?
Me and my friends goal was to ride our mountain bikes from the jump off point of Mt. Pinatubo up to its crater. But do not worry as this blog will still show you on how to get there by commute/public transportation. Our journey starts as we arrive at the bus terminal of Victory Liner in Pasay. We chose Victory Liner because they do not charge carrying cargo such as bikes. You can take any bus that will pass by Capas Junction. Buses going to Baguio, Dagupan, Pangasinan and Tarlac are some of the bus route that will take you there. We took the bus going to Dagupan and just told the bus conductor to drop us at Capas (near the Capas Municipal Hall). We then paid 180 pesos each which was a 3-hour bus ride. As we alight at Capas, we then started pedaling our bikes in search of a hotel to stay in. The next day, we started pedaling again going to the Tourism office of Mt Pinatubo for registration. As for you, take a tricycle in Capas to take you directly to Santa Juliana tourism office. It will be a long ride as well so fare will be most likely 300 pesos, one way.

On our way to the tourism Office
The registration area
Satellite Municipal Tourism Office
Tourists who wanted to see Mt. Pinatubo must register first at the tourism office and settle the fees below. By the way, these are mandatory fees and you'll not be able to pass through the security of Mt Pinatubo without the approval of this office. Note: The office is open as early as 6am and closes by 10am. Meaning to say, visitors must settle a ride going to Mt Pinatubo before the office closes. Visitors who'll not be able to book a ride before that time will have to try their luck the next day. Aw.

4x4 Jeepney Ride - 3,000 pesos (good for 5 pax)
Local Guide Fee - 500 pesos
Registration/Conservation fee - 450 pesos/pax

For Reservation:
Ms Mai - 0947-3912134

Signing to a waiver...
Even we have our bikes and intend to ride it all through out from the tourism office, we were still obligated to rent the 4x4 jeepney. It is a policy that visitors should be accompanied by a jeep when visiting the crater. So basically the 4x4 jeepney serves as our convoy.

Approximately, it was a 1 1/2 hour jeepney ride packed with breathtaking views. I didn't mind the striking heat of the sun because of what my eyes saw during the trip. I never thought that the destruction of 1991 eruption will result to an art-like landscape now. You can even instruct the driver to stop anywhere along the road if you intend to take photos of the views as well as the locals and aetas that lives there. The aetas who lives there are really friendly, you'll see them smiling and waving their hands as you passed by them. Tip: Smile back, ok?

Can you feel the heat? hehe
More visitors that day
This way will lead you to the village of aetas
Reached the point where we have to lift and roll our bikes
After the bumpy with river crossing ride, you'll reach the point where will lead you to the crater of the mountain. In this case, you'll have to walk. I saw a sign that says, it will be just a 1km trek to reach the top. More or less it will be just a 20 minutes trek. In our case, it took us 30-40 mins as we have to lift our bikes up to the crater. Haha. I felt sorry for my bike because it was a hard one for her. I bumped her so many times and even scratched some of its part. Huhu. But nonetheless, as we've reached the top, it was all paid off. The fresh air, the crater, the view... it was a site to see! Time for more photo op! Note: There are comfort rooms in the area. Tip: Packed your own food and water. Yes, there are stalls on your way up however they sold it like 3-4 times of its original price.

Finally! Our goal!
So calm... so relaxing...
Thanks "Kerida" for not letting me down :)
Time for some groupfie...
...and selfies as well :)

We stayed in the crater for an hour  and it was already 3pm when we decided to go down again. We were excited on our way down because it will be an epic ride for our mountain bikes. We were like jets with our speed. The 4x4 jeep who convoyed us even had a hard time keeping with our pace. We reach the tourism office by 5:30pm and went all the way back to the terminal with our bikes.

Travelling and biking... this is life!!!
Yup, there are streams along the way
And rivers too!
More 4x4 jeepneys
Thank you Mt Pinatubo for this epic ride!
It was indeed a memorable bike ride for each of us. Mt. Pinatubo surely left a mark on our lives which we will never forget.

Breakdown of expenses:
Bus (Pasay Terminal - Capas Junction) - 180 pesos
Tricycle (Capas - Tourism Office) - **.**
4x4 Jeepney ride - 3,000 pesos
Local guide - 500 pesos
Registration/Conservation fee - 450 pesos
Tricycle (Tourism Office - Capas) - **.**
Bus (Tarlac Bus Terminal - Pasay) - 211 pesos
Food - *.**

European Tour in Vikings of SM Jazz


Vikings is a well known buffet restaurant in the Philippines for great tasting food as well as luxurious design of interiors. It does not only targets the diners taste buds but also delight their eyes using elegant art pieces and fixtures. That's why I feel so honored and privileged when they invited me AGAIN to dine on one of their new branches which is located in SM Jazz, Makati.

Welcome to Vikings - SM Jazz
Vikings has already established their name in terms of serving quality, fresh and well-replenished food. So for this visit, one of the things I am looking forward to see was what will be the theme of this new branch of theirs. And again, Vikings live up with their reputation. Vikings of SM Jazz is well presented, classy, elegant and cozy with its European theme and designs. My girlfriend and I felt like we were transported to Italy and France when we stepped inside Vikings. It's like we're being toured in Europe with delighting food surrounding us.

Trip to Europe!
Look how clean this place is!
One of the hardest and exciting part of dining in Vikings is how will you be able to taste if not all, most, of the cuisines they serve? Well, I do not know either. Having 50++ or even more dishes they serve, I have no idea how an individual can taste all of it. A great problem to solve huh?

As usual SM Jazz Vikings serves international cuisines ranging from Japanes, Korean, Chinese, Italian, Indian and even Filipino cuisine. Yes, our very own dishes. They serve here bibingka, puto bumbong and a whole lot more. It's a guarantee that you'll be able to satisfied your taste buds with their huge variety of food. 

Our very own desserts
Now enough the reading part and scroll down to see the real deal. :]

Who's up for some pasta?
Dishes here are all well presented
My favorite section in Vikings
Who like to eat some Korean food?
Nice huh?
Some good vibe words from Vikings
They also have DIY corners
Look at the gigantic piece of art
Medium rare please!
What are you looking in there Baby?

Vikings Buffet Rates/Prices

Weekday Lunch
Kids between 3ft to 4ft || P188
Kids between 4ft to 4.5ft || P388
Adults || P688

Weekday Dinner
Kids between 3ft to 4ft || P288
Kids between 4ft to 4.5ft || P588
Adults || P888

Weekend & Holiday Lunch and Dinner
Kids between 3ft to 4ft || P388
Kids between 4ft to 4.5ft || P688
Adults || P888
** Kids below 3 feet are FREE of charge

Once again, thank you Vikings for inviting me!
And if you think that 888 for a dinner or lunch is quite expensive then think again. With Vikings food variety which includes exquisite dishes such as lamb, steak & more and not to mention amazing service & ambiance well, I would say you're not over paying your dining experience and it is still "sulit".