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The Great Wall of China is referred to in Mandarin as Wanli Changcheng (10,000-Li Long Wall or simply very long wall) BEIJING, CHINA- S...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ramen and Resilience: Confessions of a Chronically Broke Blogger

Let's be honest, folks. This blog ain't exactly funded by champagne wishes and caviar dreams. My bank account does a better impression of a black hole than a financial safety net. But hey, welcome to the beautiful (slightly terrifying) world of being a broke blogger!
Before you picture me living in a cardboard box (although, cardboard can be surprisingly good for insulation!), working like you're broke isn't about wallowing in misery. It's about channeling that " gotta make this work" energy into something amazing. Think of it as creative fuel, the kind that comes with a side of instant noodles and a healthy dose of determination.

My days are a glorious jumble of hustling. There's the 9-to-5 that pays the bills (and occasionally funds a fancy coffee), followed by the evenings spent pounding away at this keyboard, churning out blog posts like a one-person content factory.

But here's the thing: being broke has its perks. It forces you to get creative. You become a master bargain-hunter, scoring deals that would make ninjas jealous. Free museum days become your new best friend, and the library transforms into your personal Netflix of books.

Sure, some days are rough. Staring at a screen when your eyelids feel like lead weights isn't exactly thrilling. But then you remember that dream collaboration you're chasing, that new course you're saving up for, or the travel adventure you're planning (hello, budget airlines!). Suddenly, the tiredness feels less like a burden and more like a badge of honor – proof of the hustle.

Working like you're broke isn't easy, but it's definitely a journey. It's about learning to make the most of what you have, building resilience with every challenge, and discovering a hidden well of resourcefulness within yourself.

So, to all my fellow broke friends out there, chin up! Our empty pockets might hold us back for a bit, but our potential is limitless. Let's turn this hustle into a success story, one ramen noodle at a time.

P.S. If you have any budget-friendly blogging tips, drop them in the comments! We're all in this together, after all.


Three-ride connection to get to the Clark Hot Air Balloon Festival

Visitors for the Hot Air Balloon Festival from Manila can 
  1. Take the commuter bus from Avenida/Pasay/Cubao to get to Dau bus terminal in Angeles City, Pampanga. You could also ride the buses bound for Baguio 24 hrs a day.
  2. From Dau, jeepneys will take them to the main gate of Clark where they can alight and 
  3. Board a jeepney that will take them from the main gate to the Clark Hot Air Balloon Festival site. 
Normally, this three-ride connection should bring visitors into Clark from the bus terminal in Pasay, Cubao or Manila in a little over two hours. Information on costs and schedules can be found on the  list below.
PROS Public bus fare is cheap.

CONS In previous events, visitors experienced problems catching the connecting rides after the bus arrived in Angeles city, especially during Saturday and Sunday of the Hot Air Balloon Festival weekend. These problems are no comparison to the difficulties in getting a jeepney ride leaving the Clark Hot Air Balloon Fiesta site to get back to the bus terminal in Angeles City for the ride back to Manila. Many visitors were stranded for literally hours waiting to get out of Clark. 

Unsolicited advice for the 2012 Clark Hot Air Balloon Festival visitors, especially families with children planning to travel by bus to Angeles City, Pampanga please plan your trips carefully.

Main bus terminals are at Pasay and Cubao where you will find  
  • Victory Liner From Caloocan P126 From Cubao 131 From Pasay 141 Aircon 24 hours
  • BLTB now called DLTB
  • Five Star buses 
  • Partas, Cubao (halfway up E.D.S.A. heading north)-
  • Dominion- Aircon bus P 116
  • Dagupan 
  • Partas, Monumento (north, near expressway) for Victory Liner, and  
  • Philippine Rabbit Avenida Terminal. 24 hours from 12 midnight. They have hourly departures from their Avenida Terminal just by Doroteo Jose LRT Station- P 130 aircon
  • Philtranco- we use their service whenever we go to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport e-mail:, (63) 2 851.8078 to 79 Pick-up Point: Pasay, Megamall A
Jeepneys from Dau cost P10 per person to Fields Avenue
Tricycle cost is between P50 - 70.

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Bus Lines in Manila
Aladdin Transit Corporation
1310 Espana Corner Galicia Streets, Sampaloc, Manila
Cagayan. Tel: + 63 2 743 8523; + 63 2 781 9168

Autobus Transport Systems Incorporated
Dimasalang Street Corner Laong Laan Street, Sampaloc, Manila
Baguio, Laoag, Cagayan Valley, Dagupan, Ifugao, Kalinga & Isabela.
Tel: +63 2 735 8098

Baliwag Transit Incorporated
199 Rizal Avenue Extension, Cnr 2nd Avenue, Caloocan City, Manila
33 E.D.S.A., Cubao, Quezon City.
Baliwag, San Jose del Monte, Aparri & TuguegaraoTel: + 63 2 912 3343, + 63 2 912 3349, + 63 2 912 3361

BLTB (Batangas Laguna Tayabas Bus Company)
E.D.S.A., Pasay City
Calamba, Nasugbu, Lucena, Legaspi, Naga, Sorsogon , Leyte & Samar.Tel: + 63 2 833 5508, + 63 2 833 5501, + 63 2 913 1525

Dagupan Bus Lines
E.D.S.A., Cubao, Quezon City
Dagupan, Alaminos, Lingayen, Baguio City & Benguet.
Tel: + 63 2 727 2330, + 63 2 929 6123, + 63 2 928 5639, + 63 2 727 2330, + 63 2 727 2287

Dangwa Tranco Company Incorporated
1600 Dimasalang Street, Sampaloc, Manila.
832 Aurora Boulevard, Cubao.
Benguet & Ifugao
Tel: + 63 2 731 2879, + 63 2 410 1991

Dominion Transit (beside Dagupan Bus)
E.D.S.A., Cubao, Quezon City
Abra, La Union & Ilocos Sur. From 12:30 a.m every hour
Tel: + 63 2 741 4146 ( Shipping),  + 63 2 727-2350,  +63 2 727-2334

Farinas Transit Company
Laong Laan cnr and M dela Fuente Streets, Sampaloc, Manila
Vigan & Laoag.
Tel: + 63 2 731 4507, + 63 2 731 4375, + 63 2 743 8580

Five Star Bus Company
Aurora Boulevard, Pasay City, Manila
Dagupan, Bolinao & Cabanatuan.
Tel: +63 2 833 8339, +63 2 833 3009

Franco Frederico Lines
Sampaloc Manila.
Ilocos Sur & Ilocos Norte.
Tel: +63 2 731 4473, +63 2 731 2584

Inland Trailways Incorporated
E.D.S.A., Pasay City, Manila.
Legaspi, Lucena City, Naga City, Sorsogon.
Tel: +63 2 833 6280.

JAM Transit
Taft Avenue, Pasay City, Manila.
New York Street, Cubao, Quezon City.
Batangas, Quezon & Laguna.
Tel: +63 2 541 4409, +63 2 924 7712, +63 2 831 4390.

JB Line Bicol Express
Aurora Boulevard, Pasay City.
Legaspi, Lucena City & Naga City.
Tel: +63 2 833 2949.

Maria de Leon Transit
Corner Gelinos and Dapitan Streets, Sampaloc, Manila.
San Fernando La Union, Vigan & Laoag.
Tel: +63 2 731 4907.

Partas Transportation Company Incorporated
816 Aurora Boulevard, Cubao, Quezon City.
Baguio, Benguet, Bangued, Laoag, San Fernando La Union,& Vigan.
Tel: +63 2 725 7303, +63 2 724 9820.

Philippine Rabbit Business Lines Incorporated
819 C Palanca Sr. Street, Manila.
E.D.S.A., Quezon City.
Angeles City, Dau, Mabalacat, Samban, Capas, San Miguel, Tarlac, Victoria, Gerona, Paniqui, San Manuel, Carmen, Villasis, Urdaneta, Sison, Saitan, Rosario, Sto, Tomas, Agao, Taloy Sur, Taluy Norte, Baguio, San Fernando-La Union, Bacnotan, Sta. Cruz, Sta. Lucia, Narvacan, Abra Junction, Longog, Vigan, Banqued, Cabugao, Paoay, Batac, Laoag
Tel: +63 2 734 9836, +63 2 734 9838

Philtranco Service Enterprises Incorporated
E.D.S.A., Pasay City.
Daet, Legaspi, Lucena, Naga. Sorsogon, Samar, Leyte, & Davao City.
Tel: +63 2 832 2456, +63 2 833 1369, +63 2 833 5061

Tritran Transit Incorporated
E.D.S.A., Quezon City, Manila
Batangas and Quezon provinces.
Tel: +63 2 925 1758, +63 2 925 1759

Victory Liner Incorporated
E,D.S.A., Pasay City, Manila
713 Rizal Avenue Extension, Caloocan City
E.D.S.A., Cubao
Olongapo, Iba, Tarlac, San Fernando La Unio, Baguio City, Benguet, Alaminos, Bolinao and Dagupan, Tuguegarao & Aparri.
Tel: +63 2 833 0293, +63 2 833 5019, +63 2 361 4665, +63 2 741 1439, +63 2 361 1506, +63 2 361 1510

Viron Transportation Company Incorporated
Cnr 1209 Blumentritt and Dapitan Streets, Sampaloc, Manila.
E.D.S.A., Cubao, Quezon City
Tarlac, Dagupan, San Fernando La Union, & Vigan.
Tel: +63 2 741 6588


What to bring to the 17th Hot Air Balloon Festival:
 Wide-brimmed hat
Money for food and souvenirs
 Comfortable footwear
 Hand sanitizer (for after using the portable toilets)
Drinking Water 

Please come early – the balloons lift off at 5:30 a.m. 
  • Consider going to Clark the night before and sleeping over in a hotel. It's worth it to see the flag jump and balloon launch!
  • Avoid heatstroke! Water and sports drinks are available for reasonable prices from the many concessionaires of the 2012 Hot Air Balloon Festival. Remember, if you feel thirsty, it means you're already mildly dehydrated. 
  • Don't touch the airplanes! If you break it, you buy it.Stay away from propellers, rotors, and jet engines. Stay out of restricted areas – the US Air Force and AFP are on patrol, and Clark is our most important air base. Obey the rules and report any suspicious activity to the friendly security staff.
Stuff you can do: 
  • Watch the all-day aircraft shows
  • Buy and fly a kite
  • Eat big at the food stalls 
  • Grab all sorts of cool souvenirs
  • Look around the various displays
  • Meet and hang out with real live pilots and ground crew
Most importantly: have fun! :-)

17th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival 2012 FAQs

Q. Where is the exact event site?

A. Air Force City, Clark Freeport, Angeles City in Pampanga.

Q. If I want to avoid traffic at the main gate, is there any other way to enter Clark?

A. Yes you can enter thru SCTEX North, SCTEX South, Friendship Gate and SapangBato. For details, you can check out Clark’s website at

Q. Is there an entrance fee?

A. A P200 per person contribution to the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta Foundation allows you to stay in the event site for the whole day. The foundation utilizes these funds for organizing the show and for sending less privileged high school graduates aspiring to take a career in aviation. 

Q. Where can I purchase entrance coupons?

A. You can purchase entrance coupons at the gate, at any SM Ticketnet outlet, or at ROX Bonifacio Global City and ROX Marquee Mall Clark.

Q. What time should I go?

A. It is advisable to be there early. 5am would be an ideal time for you to be at the main entrance so you can avoid the crowd and see the morning balloon flights.

Q. What day should I go?

A. Everyday is exciting for everyone. All the aerial activities happen every day so it doesn’t matter which day you go.

Q. Are the balloons flying everyday?

A. Yes. Weather permitting, the balloons will take of at around 6:30 everyday from Thursday to Sunday.

Q. Do they also fly in the afternoon?

A. Yes but only on Thursday and Friday. The balloons do a fly-in wherein they try to fly back into the main grounds. On Saturday and Sunday, we will do a NIGHT GLOW. This is when the balloons stay on the ground but will inflate beautifully together in the evening. It’s something one shouldn’t miss.

Q. Can I ride the balloon?

A. Yes but it’s on a first-come-first-serve basis. You will need to line up at the Information Booth early in the morning to register for a balloon ride. A contribution of $200 per person for fuel and pilot’s expenses is required. Children should be at least 10 years old to ride.

Q. What other activities can I see aside from the balloons?

A. If you check out the schedule of activities, it’s a whole day of fun flying. After the balloons take off, the other aerial exhibitions follow like skydiving, paragliding, aerobatics, ultralight flights, RC aircraft displays, professional kite exhibitions and more!

Q. Can I try the activities?

A. Yes, just register at the Information Booth for schedules and availabilities.

Q. Can I bring small children?

A. It’s an event for the whole family so bring your grandparents and your kids too! Children 2 years old and below can enter for free.

Q. Can I bring in food?

A. Yes, but there are 50+ food concessionaires who serve delectable dishes -- freshly cooked!
Q. Can we do a field trip for my school?

A. Absolutely! This is one of the most educational activities your school can enjoy. In the past years, schools come in busloads. You can also call us for a free educational tour inside the grounds.

Q. If my company is interested to sponsor the event, what are your requirements?

A. Interested sponsors, may email us at or call 384-0085.

Q. What if I want to set-up a booth and sell my products?

A. For booth concessionaires, you can email us at or call 384-0085.



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