Underrated Places To Visit This Holy Week

Take advantage of the long holidays this Holy Week to relax and reflect in these best-kept Philippine destinations.

The next much-awaited time of the year in the Philippines after Christmas is the Lenten season. Many use this time to escape the hustle and bustle of life in Metro Manila and other big cities and just seek comfort and freedom from everyday stress. Combining religion and summer vacation, the Holy Week is the best time to get that much-needed rest and offer a silent prayer.

To help you in this endeavor, real estate website MyProperty has listed down some of the must-go sites this Holy week that might be less crowded and just perfect for the season. Relax and reflect in these awesome places so you’ll get back with a refreshed mind and body.

Siquijor 

The mystical island of Siquijor also boasts various tourist destinations. Some of the most noted are the Isla del Fuego, the pristine beaches in San Juan town and the centuries-old St. Francis de Asisi Parish, which is also the biggest convent in the country built in 1884. Siquijor also have a butterfly sanctuary and breathtaking waterfalls and springs but medical tourism is the real attraction here. The province is known for the alternative healing methods of the locals.

Simultaneous with Holy Week is their yearly Healing Festival. The four-day festival is opened by a Holy Mass and will include healing sessions, exploration in Cantabon Cave and a holy trek to Mount Bandilaan.

Deep Forest Waterfall, National Park Island of Siquijor, Philippines. Photo via Shutterstock.

Tarlac

The Philippines has its own version of the Holy Land located in the province of Tarlac. Just 30 minutes away from the main highway and located at the top of a mountain in Bamban are life-size images that show the mysteries of the Holy Rosary and a number of Bible verses. The local “Holy Land” also has a replica of the tomb of Jesus Christ to complete the experience. It also highlights a 40-foot statue of Jesus on the cross on Mount Golgotha.

Furthermore, Tarlac should be part of anyone’s bucket list as some of the most thrilling tourism experiences can be found here, including the Mount Pinatubo trek adventure and Kart City Tarlac. Museums, waterfalls, and luscious food finds also dot the city to ensure a worthwhile vacation for all.

The Pinatubo Crater Lake. Photo via Shutterstock.

Cagayan Valley

Slowly rising to popularity are the well-preserved white-sand beaches of Cagayan and Palaui Island’s raw beauty is at the top of the list. Once hailed as one of the “World’s 100 Best Beaches” by CNN, Palaui is beyond doubt a magnificent sight to behold and experience.

Aside from its amazing water features, Cagayan has other activities perfect for all especially for the season of Lent. Historic pilgrimage sites can also be found in this stunning province tucked in the quaint northern part of the Philippines. One of the must-visit pilgrimage destinations in the country is the Calvary Hills in the town of Iguig. Life-size statues depicting the 14 Stations of the Cross and the old church of San Antonio de Galica built in the 1900s can be explored here. What’s best is its astonishing location atop a hill, which affords every visitor scenic views of the mighty Cagayan River.

Sunset in Sta. Ana, Cagayan. Photo via Shutterstock.

Mount Pulong Bato in Zamboanga City

Going to a pilgrimage is a favorite Pinoy activity during lent. In Zamboanga City, you can go on a nature trekking while observing religious traditions. At Pulong Bato in Abong Abong Park, the Stations of the Cross commence at the foot of the mountain and end at the peak. Religious images are also scattered and carved into the mountainside.

After hiking and praying, you will surely get a different kind of high spiritually and mentally once you reach the top to rest and just appreciate the picturesque views.

Apart from this marvelous religious place, Zamboanga City is also the home of a large number of natural and man-made attractions to add worth to a meaningful vacation. Carreon, Congo, Nancy, Busay, and Merloquet Falls are just some of the water adventures that are an absolute must-see in Zamboanga City, in addition to beaches and neighboring islands.

Mount Pulong Bato in Zamboanga City. Photo by Zamboanga Historical Landmarks

Iloilo

Take your annual Visita Iglesia a notch higher by visiting the beautiful province of Iloilo. A trip to the centuries-old churches of the province is a must especially for your Holy Week reflection. Be in awe with the historical churches that surround Iloilo, such as the Jaro Cathedral, Molo Church, Miag-ao Church, and Guimbal Church, to name just a few.

After church hopping, neighboring island-province of Guimaras is just a short boat-ride away, which offers a different kind of water adventure for tourists. Forget about time and stress through the various offerings, such as marine sanctuaries, limestone formations, isolated beaches and coves, and a lot more.

Miag-ao Church in Iloilo. Photo via Shutterstock.

Free yourself with stress, feast on the beauty of the country, and observe the true meaning of the Lenten season through these lovely places in the Philippines that offer a total spiritual and mental cleansing.

Better Your Craft With These Real Estate Presentation Tips From Miriam Quiambao

Former beauty queen turned successful real estate broker Miriam Quiambao shares some personal tips and advice that helped her conquer the real estate scene.

From the glamorous pageant stage, Miriam Quiambao-Roberto is now a wife, a mother, a TV host, an inspirational speaker, entrepreneur, investor, property manager and a real estate broker. Juggling all of these roles, Quiambao still managed to learn and excel.

Now that the most-awaited Lamudi Philippines Brokers Awards Night is coming near, more aspirants are getting hyped up to know what it really takes to be one of the best brokers in the country. For this reason, Miriam Quiambao shares the ingredients of her success to other inspiring brokers, here are some proven tips and advice from the 1999 Miss Universe first runner-up herself.

Above all aspects of being a real estate professional, presentation might be the most important. Whether it is showing a home to a possible buyer or renter, or helping owners sell their properties while clinching the best deal, the job requires a great deal of persuasion and convincing. Unfortunately, this is not as easy as it sounds. Common mistakes are hard selling or being too dull as they present. The most unforgivable, however, is coming unprepared and being unprofessional in front of clients.

Arrive on Time or Earlier Than Scheduled

This is a basic best practice not only in real estate dealings. According to Miriam, being early at the venue sets the tone for how the presentation goes. As the owner of Q Estates Management and the Managing Director of 3Win Realty & Development Corporation, Miriam is regularly attending meetings, and she says that arriving ahead allows one to settle in to the venue before a presentation, avoiding having to rush and be unkempt. Arriving early also gives you the chance to prepare yourself and your visual aids if you have any.

“For brokers and in anything actually where one wants to appear as professional, I would suggest you come on time. In fact, even 15 minutes before the meeting, because that will allow you to relax a little and settle in, and not rush because you’ve found an ample parking space or the venue itself beforehand. If you are meeting with a seller, it also allows you to prepare with them way before the buyer arrives,” Ms. Quiambao shared.

Preparation Is Key

Whether in media or in business, preparation is a necessity. Unlike in a television or movie shoot where mistakes can be corrected, there are no retakes when making a live presentation to a client, so preparation is very important. More than arming yourself with the right words, coming confident and prepared ensures that the clients feels a professional kind of care from you and not just there to push business.

“If there are documents or need-to-know information that are required or that might come up in the meeting, you should already have acquired or researched that way before. If you’re the selling broker, you want to make sure you’ve done your due diligence, so that the person you are selling to does not experience any problems because of your lack of it,” shared by the Philippine Realty TV host.

“Always take note that your reputation is also on the line, so you want to make sure that you are showing your fellow brokers and their buyers or sellers the professionalism they deserve. For instance, you should avoid occurrences where you will present a property for sale that will turn out as a problematic property and will cause delay in the process due to your lack of research,” Ms. Quiambao added.

The Way You Present Yourself Also Matters

“The way you carry yourself and the way you look are the first measure to your character. It can show that you are trustworthy and also reflect on the kind of work that you do. If you look disorderly, they may think that’s how you work.” Going beyond aesthetics, clients prefers to listen to a presentable speaker, and keen to do business with someone knows how to care for him- or herself.”

It is all in the details, says Miriam, as the presentation begins the instant you meet the person or people you are presenting to. “Always practice proper hygiene and present yourself professionally, because they will immediately see that you cared enough to be put together well for the presentation.”

“When you introduce yourself, it is important to give them a nice, firm handshake. Not too long, not too short, not too strong, not too limp but just right. Remember as well that eye contact shows confidence and that you are secure about yourself and your job,” Ms Quiambao detailed.

Finish Strong and Follow up Gently

Even if the presentation did not end in a deal, it is still vital to leave a good lasting impression. Miriam stressed that business doesn’t end when the presentations are finished, and being appreciative and sending follow-ups can build relationships that all started with that initial meeting.

“It would be nice if you could send them birthday cards or Christmas cards, flowers, or a decently priced bottle of wine. Nothing too expensive, but just something they can remember you by. Those little actions will mean a lot to your clients. Apart from showing professionalism and appreciation of their time, this will likewise ensure that you will be on top of their mind in case they need to buy, sell, or rent property in the future,” Ms. Quiambao ended.