GetGo Membership Card

Finally! After months and months of waiting, my GetGo Membership Card has arrived! It took 6 months for Cebu Pacific to deliver my card which was very frustrating. I don’t even know what caused the delay.

GetGo sent me 2 cards either by mistake or because they thought sending me 2 will ease my frustration from waiting for 6 months for this

GetGo sent me 2 cards either by mistake or because they thought sending me 2 will ease my frustration from waiting 6 months for this.

What is GetGo?

GetGo is the newest lifestyle rewards program that gives members free flights just by flying with Cebu Pacific and earning points through their everyday spend with GetGo’s merchant partners. These points can be used to buy free flights and add-ons from Cebu Pacific.

When this rewards program was launched, I immediately registered as a member. Since I frequently flew with Cebu Pacific, it seemed logical to sign up, earn points and get free flights 😀

The registration process was easy and intuitive. I just went to their website and filled out my details. After the registration process, I was given a membership number that I can use to redeem rewards or flights. This is GetGo’s website: www.GetGo.com.ph

GetGo also gives out membership cards for a fee which members can present to GetGo merchant partners to avail discounts and earn points. This is where my frustration with GetGo began.

GetGo Card Gets Delayed for 6 Months!

At first, I didn’t request for a GetGo card. Back then, there was no existing promotions with GetGo merchant partners and the only way to earn points was flying with Cebu Pacific.

When GetGo launched their promotions, I decided to request for my membership card. I passed by a GetGo booth at the airport terminal once and asked if I could get my card there. The staff told me that the booth was for new members only. Since I was already an existing member, I had to request for my card through their website. I did just that and paid Php 100 for the delivery. The standard waiting time for the GetGo cards to be delivered was up t0 20 business days.

20 business days passed by but my card didn’t arrive. It took 3 follow up emails, a phone call to their hotline and a long, slightly irate message to their Facebook page before a courier knocked on my door to deliver my card. I placed my request last February 17 and my card arrived on August 31… 1 day after I sent my long letter to their Facebook page. I wonder if my card would still have arrived if I followed up nicely and politely like I did the previous times.

The arrival of my card meant that I can now present my card to GetGo’s merchant partners to earn points and avail discounts. I am specially interested to get discounts from their partner hotels for some staycation. Members can view the current promotions here: https://www.getgo.com.ph/web/getgo/promos

The GetGo Card

When the courier handed the GetGo packet, I was surprised to find 2 cards there. It seemed that they sent me the card that got delayed and produced a new one for me.

I was wondering why there was a rubber band around the envelope.

I was wondering why there was a rubber band around the envelope.

The cards are housed in a very nice and sturdy envelope which I kept to use for my documents. 🙂

It turned out that there were 2 separate envelopes in the packet.

It turns out that there were 2 separate envelopes in the packet.

The cards they sent me were of different designs but had the same information printed. So I can use either of them.

The cards came with a 1-page pamphlet with all the relevant details

The cards came with a 1-page pamphlet with all the relevant details

The page that came with the cards contains information regarding the benefits of GetGo, how to activate the card, and how to redeem points for free flights. The back side contains the Terms and Conditions for membership in GetGo.

Both the card designs were nice. When I ordered, these were only the 2 available designs, but GetGo has added 3 more designs since. I stored the beach card for safekeeping/as a souvenir and put the bike card in my wallet. I honestly can’t remember which design I requested, but the bike design is nice to have with me as a constant reminder that I need to learn how to ride a bike. LOL. 😀

Another card added to my wallet.

Another card added to my wallet.

I just hope that my future transactions with GetGo go smoothly without any hitch or delay.

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Tips on booking during seat sales

All of my travels were made possible because of seat sales. I honestly wouldn’t be traveling as much if there were no seat sales because regular plane tickets are expensive. The cheapest tickets I booked during seat sales were Php 800 for a local destination (Kalibo) and Php 3,000 for an international destination (Hong Kong). Although I don’t buy tickets during every seat sale that happens, I am lucky enough to complete a booking for the times I decide to go somewhere. I have also been asked to book seat sales for friends and family and I was able to help them too. So I am sharing some tips I picked up from my experiences during the numerous times I booked during seat sales 😀

1. PATIENCE is key.

You would be very lucky if you are able to book tickets to the destination you want when you want on your first try. The slots for seat sales go very fast and you have to look for other feasible dates or times. Oftentimes, you are at the payment stage and the website crashes. Or the website doesn’t load at all due to the high volume of traffic. These are the usual things that happened to me during seat sales. I just tried and tried until I was able to receive the confirmation email of my booking. The longest time I spent towards booking seat sales was two hours. I wanted to punch something every time I refreshed the page but I didn’t. I just decided to buy myself ice cream afterwards. LOL!

2. Manage your expectations.

Piso fare doesn’t mean that you will only pay Php 1.00 for a ticket. This is just the base fare for the tickets. There are service charges, fees and taxes that will be included in the ticket. Unless the airline explicitly states that the fares are “all-in” (all charges and fees are included), expect that you will be paying more for those round trip tickets.

3. Like the airlines’ Facebook pages and follow their Twitter accounts to keep up to date with promos.

I am also subscribed to their mailing list but the emails arrive 1 day after the seat sale has started and there are no more promo fares left. Sometimes the airlines post a teaser about a future seat sale but oftentimes they just surprise their followers. You have to be alert on these things.

4. Anticipate seat sales.

While it’s true that airlines don’t usually announce seat sales ahead of time, I noticed that promos are announced or happen during particular days.

Seat sale announcements are usually posted on Facebook and Twitter during noon and midnight. And seat sales usually happen when a holiday is coming up. Anticipate seat sales before or at the start of a holiday. This is not 100% accurate though. Sometimes the airlines just want to surprise their customers 😛

5. Register and create a profile in the airlines’ website. Save your travel companions’ details too!

I did this both for Cebu Pacific and AirAsia. My transaction time is a lot shorter because I only have to click a few things instead of typing out my details and my companions’ names and birthdays. Promo fares go by very fast and it’s very helpful to finish your booking at the shortest time possible. If you feel the website is secure, you can also save your payment details as well.

6. Be flexible with your travel dates (and destination).

No more promo fares for Palawan in September, why not try October? No more promo fares at all for Palawan, why not Cebu instead? Travel period is Tuesday to Friday (oh no, sayang ang vacation leave)? Go! ‘Wag maging choosy ‘pag seat sales. Although I am lucky not to have experienced that… yet.

It’s important to be flexible when booking during seat sales because the airlines only assign a limited number of seats for promo fares and there are many people out there competing to get those seats first. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. Or you’ll have to wait for another seat sale. If you’re planning for a trip with your companions, determine dates when you’re all free and have Plan A, B, C and so on for your destinations.

Promo fares for local destinations disappear much faster than for international destinations. And touristy destinations like Boracay, Busuanga (Coron) and Bohol disappear in the blink of an eye.

7. Book in the early hours of the morning.

If you have insomnia or just randomly woke up in the middle of night and (suprise!) there is a seat sale, go and book those tickets! Booking is faster and not prone to errors or website crashes because the rest of the world is still sleeping. I remember booking round trip tickets to Bohol at 2AM and I finished in 15 minutes! Also when an announcement happens at midnight, book within 20-30 minutes of that announcement. Not many people are aware of the seat sale yet so you won’t have to deal with the nightmarish website traffic while things are still quiet. Book too long and you’ll notice that the website will eventually get get slower and pray that you won’t get an error during the last steps of your booking.

I hope the items listed above will help you in the next seat sale. Happy booking! 🙂

Discovering El Nido, Palawan (2014)

El Nido, Palawan has been a dream destination for me ever since I started travelling. I had the impression that El Nido was a wonderful paradise and an expensive vacation. Going on this trip, I can attest that El Nido is really a magnificent paradise. I didn’t want to leave. I had to drag myself back to Manila when our trip ended. I can also attest that going on a trip to El Nido doesn’t have to be so demoralizing for your wallet. 🙂

My Companions:

We were an all-female group for this trip. Rhan, Shiela, Jella and Jema are all dear college friends to me. They are usually game for trips like this and I love going on food trips with them.

Jella, Ruby, Rhan, Jema, Shiela

Jella, Ruby, Rhan, Jema, Shiela

The Flight: Cebu Pacific

Our flight to Puerto Princesa was at 3:40 PM. We all decided to meet at the airport at 2 PM. I already checked us in through Cebu Pacific’s Web Check-in option 3 days before our flight (excited lang). We only had to go to the counters to have our boarding pass printed because my printer ran out of ink.

We still had plenty of time before our flight so we decided to eat at the airport. We were expecting a long travel to El Nido and we didn’t want to feel hungry. Hahaha! We arrived at our gate just as our boarding call was being announced. The flight was only an hour and 15 minutes long. I still haven’t settled into my seat when the pilot announced that we were about to land. Everything was right on schedule.

I just wish that our flight back to Manila was the same though. Our flight got delayed by 6 freaking hours! Our ETD was 10:05 AM but we were informed that there was an aircraft situation and the mechanic still had to fly from Manila. Shiela was supposed to go to the office that day and I had to work when I got home. The delay ruined our plans. Typhoon Luis was still inside PAR and I could understand if the delay was due to bad weather. We were told that our flight would leave at 12 noon instead, but it didn’t happen.

We were given a Chickenjoy meal for our lunch but what we wanted was to go home. We asked to be transferred to another flight as our right but the ground personnel told us that the mechanic would be arriving in the next flight and we didn’t have long to wait. 2 PM came and we still weren’t inside the plane. We were then told that they were waiting for clearance. It was 4 PM when we flew. But the time we arrived in Manila, it was already rush hour. I live in Quezon City so I had to travel from south to north. Nakaka-stress!

If only the ground personnel granted our request to be transferred to another flight. The time spent waiting could have been spent on more important things. I ended up working until midnight that day.

The road to El Nido:

I contacted Northern Hope Tours to arrange for our van transfers from Puerto Princesa to El Nido and vice versa. We paid Php 500 for each way. We could have taken a bus and paid for a cheaper fare but I read that their are several stopovers for the trip. We didn’t mind paying more if it meant getting to El Nido sooner and more comfortably.

the van that took us to El Nido

the van that took us to El Nido

When I payed the downpayment and Northern Hope confirmed our booking with them, I was told that the driver would be waiting for us at Puerto Princesa International Airport. I didn’t have time before the trip to call them up and confirm the arrangement but our driver was already there when we exited the airport. We were told that he had to pick up more guests and we will be on our way. We requested to stop somewhere so we could buy snacks for the trip and the driver obliged. There were only 9 of us for this trip and it was a comfortable fit. I liked that Northen Hope didn’t fill out all the seats 🙂

The trip to El Nido takes about 6 hours from Puerto Princesa. We started the road trip at 5 PM and the road was a little creepy. There were no lights and houses were few and far in between. I was afraid to look out the windows in case I see a flash of white or something. Hahaha! The road was smooth and there was no traffic. I felt that the driver was driving a little too fast but I was confident at the way he drove.

At 8 PM, we stopped at Halfway Cafe to have dinner. We were the only guests at the time so it didn’t take long to find seats and order. Food was delicious! I ordered Bicol Express, cup noodles and a large bottled water all for Php 150.  And the restrooms are very clean which was a pleasant surprise.

it really is located halfway between Puerto Princesa and El Nido

it really is located halfway between Puerto Princesa and El Nido

simple but clean interiors

simple but clean interiors

About 1.5 hours before reaching El Nido, the roads alternate between rough and smooth. There were road construction sites that we passed by so I guess the road will get better when these are finished.

On our trip back to Puerto Princesa, we left El Nido at past 10 AM so we were able to see the views – mountains, trees, farms and seas. But we were stuck on the road for more than an hour because there was an accident between two vehicles that blocked the road. We had to wait until they moved the vehicles to the side before we could pass.

We were looking forward to a delicious lunch at Halfway Cafe, but instead we stopped at Bacuit Grill Restaurant. Food was also delicious. I paid Php 95 for the nilagang baka and Coca-cola I ordered.

Bacuit Grill Restaurant

Bacuit Grill Restaurant

Bacuit's colorful and homey interiors

Bacuit’s colorful and homey interiors

Our Accommodation: Telesfora Beach Cottages

Me and my companions wanted a beachfront accommodation so I searched for somewhere that wouldn’t hurt our wallets too much. I found Telesfora Beach Cottages while browsing through blogs. Ms. Chat was very prompt in answering my emails and it was a factor that made me decide to confirm our booking with them. She gave us the barkada room which cost Php 500 per person per night.

our home in El Nido

our home in El Nido

I also didn’t have time to confirm our arrival time on the day of our trip. I just mentioned in my earlier emails that we would be arriving at night. I was so thankful that our room was ready when we arrived at 11 PM. One of the staff was also there to welcome us. The room was built for 8 people so it was very spacious when we were only 5 in the group. Blankets, towels and soaps were laid out on the beds for all of us when we arrived. I love the way they folded the towels.

first glimpse of our room

first glimpse of our room

and the rest of the beds. we didn't occupy the upper decks

and the rest of the beds. we didn’t occupy the upper decks

I love the creativity :)

I love the creativity 🙂

Besides these, our room also had air conditioning, a TV and a toilet and bath. No water heater though. But the water was not so cold for shower so I didn’t mind. The water in Manila is colder if you want to have a basis for comparison.

When we woke up the next day, I got a chance to see the rest of Telesfora.

the rooms located just across from our room

the rooms located just across from our room

the entrance to Telesfora from the beach side

the entrance to Telesfora from the beach side

And this breathtaking view was what greeted us early in the morning ❤

a glimpse of El Nido's beauty

a glimpse of El Nido’s beauty

The breakfast that came with our room is a simple continental breakfast. We also had the option of taking tea or coffee in the morning. I loved the bread and pineapple jam that they served. We thought that it wouldn’t last us until lunch, but the bread felt heavy on our stomachs.

more butter and jam please

more butter and jam please

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