This is the best piece of advice I could ever give to those who want to travel the world, or much closer to our hearts, the ASEAN: Getting lost is not a bad thing at all.

Lost in ASEAN
By Chet Lloyd G. Montoro

asean travel

For those who enjoy travelling and going to new places, it may be a common thing to not know exactly where you’re going. Sometimes, you come to a point where the internet fails you and your handy maps don’t exactly help. Getting lost in your own country or city is fairly easy, but getting lost in a different country is a new matter altogether. It, then, leads us to a question – what happens next?

In my experience, there has always been a thin line between excitement and panic. Getting lost forces us to engage ourselves in conversations – mind you – these are not small-talk. Instead, we try to look as nice as we can, so as to allow strangers to feel delighted all the while helping us out. Also, this prevents others from thinking that we’re about to do something nasty!

That small moment where we realize we have to step-up our game and to converse gets me excited. When I got lost in Melaka, Malaysia, I realized that my English won’t be of any help. I arrived there at night and everyone in the bus was worried because I didn’t have a place to stay. My lucky stars sent me two German angels, though, who offered to bring me to their hostel: I know what you’re thinking, and it wasn’t like that! They only offered to bring me to the concierge of the said hostel and to ask if there were still any vacancies. Going through the Chinese New Year in Chinatown in Melaka pushed me to use non-verbal cues and my own version of sign language to simply get my message across. Fortunately, I learned that a nice smile breaks barriers and allows for a much relaxed atmosphere. It is this very tool I used to ease the hassle and pain of explaining myself to locals.

This is not always the case, though. Sometimes, locals know how to speak English well and I found out that even when they speak English, it doesn’t guarantee you won’t get lost. Learning from this previous experience, I further pushed my luck to its limits when I got lost in Genting Highlands. Little did I know, I needed to pre-book my bus ride home. Try to picture a small guy – that’s me – seated on the nearest seat beside the bus ticket counter and finding out that the next bus will leave in four days. This is the panic I was telling you about a while ago. When faced with such a situation, we don’t scream. Instead, we let internal panic to take over.

As I am the type who wouldn’t really cry in front of a crowd, I sat silently beside the ticket counter and focused on the big fail I had just witnessed. After almost an hour, my lucky stars have granted me further luck when two Indians approached me and asked if I wanted to split a cab. These two guys spoke English well enough to get me teary eyed with their offer. In my head, I was already plotting to talk to the Pork Floss vendor near me so I could get back to the city center. Thankfully, I never really had to do that. At the end of our ride back, I gained two new friends and a concise walkthrough of Indian culture. You see, it’s not about who you are or where you’re from or what you do; but it’s entirely about your capacity to adjust and to communicate.

Most of us would resort to asking questions when we get lost. However, I do not belong to this category. During a recent trip to Singapore, I made it to a point that I had with me three physical maps, my Google maps, and instructions I got from blogs. You might think I didn’t get lost, but I did! I thought that since a number of Singaporeans speak English, I’d find it easy to get to my destination. Alas, accents get in the way. The first cab ride my family and I took was with an Uncle who spoke fluent English with a fluent accent. It took us ten minutes to get to the place where he dropped us off, but it wasn’t exactly where we needed to go to. To cut the story short, we walked and followed the maps as we were afraid that the next cab experience would be the same. My brother and I were laughing it off, but my parents were already frustrated. This is why stopping for a while and really pondering on the next steps really matters.

Now, this is a common thing I noticed in all of my travels across the ASEAN – locals are willing to help. While spreading my big map in front of my face, a handful of Singaporeans approached me and offered a hand. I respectfully refused them thrice, but they never really left. Naturally, as a Pinoy traveller with delikadesa and with parents who are tired of walking endlessly, I finally agreed to receive help. This is the part where I share with you the concept of humility and acceptance – being humble enough to shut our ego and acceptance that we cannot refer to blogs as the Word; they are only but a guide. Moreover, we bring out our mobile devices too much and try our best to source our best friend, Google, for the right answers that we sometimes forget that the best answers come from the locals themselves. In fact, the most genuine of experiences root from the very information a local could give.

This is the best piece of advice I could ever give to those who want to travel the world, or much closer to our hearts, the ASEAN: Getting lost is not a bad thing at all. This allows us to stick to the basics and infuse panic with a hint of excitement. We should muster up the courage to talk to locals – hoping that at the end of the day, we may have a stranger turned into a friend. In the midst of buildings or sceneries foreign to our minds, we may find ourselves physically lost but we will arrive at that point where we find places and locals unknowingly growing on us.


(Submitted for the #MyAseanStory blog writing project )

My Asean Story

Sophia Reyes, Philippines

I was born and raised in the Philippines (PH), and growing up I was blessed enough to have travelled to a couple of countries with my family. In 2010, however, I was granted a very rare opportunity to do my internship overseas with a multi-national giant. Hence, in October 2010, I took my first solo flight out of the country and went to Singapore (SG) for my 7-month internship.

My colleagues were so sweet during my last day – they threw me a surprise farewell!

Prior to that flight, I had never been to SG and I had no idea what it was like. Everything about the country was new to me. I must say, most people love the food and shopping there, but what struck me the most was the efficiency of EVERYTHING. For one, you only need ONE card to function as your ATM, debit card, and transport card. Also, almost everything can be done online. How awesome is that? It was so easy and convenient to settle in, even for an 19-year-old like me. It goes without saying I enjoyed my time in SG – it taught me a lot about life, work, and everything in between.

When I returned to the Philippines in mid 2011, I had 2 more years to finish my Engineering degree. During that time, the Philippine subsidiary of the MNC I worked in took me in as a part-time intern for over a year. When I finally finished my degree in 2013, I was fortunate enough as the SG subsidiary welcomed me back. Yay!

At this point, I already knew what I needed to settle in SG, so I gave myself a week prior to start of work to get my affairs in order (a.k.a. find a place to stay at). The same day I landed, I started getting in touch with numerous property agents, and by my 2nd day there I was already doing viewings. One agent in particular asked me out right after our viewing, and even the days after that. I had a lot of time on my hands, so I thought, why not?

My agent-turned-boyfriend. Boy, did we move fast.

Little did I know, 4 days later we’d be a thing. I remember telling my friends something like “Guys, I’m not quite sure what happened – I think I just got into a relationship.”

“What?! Were you hacked?!”

“Girl we’re not even done mourning you leaving us yet!”

“Are you high?!”

Well, we’ve been together since ???? We were able to explore SG, and even went on a couple of trips to Manila. During those trips, I remember him saying he’d love to move there someday, which frankly I won’t mind at all. After all, PH is home <3

Our ASEAN adventures (clockwise from top-left): (1) Whenever SG had haze, we had to go out for dinner wearing these masks, (2) watched our first concert together – my all-time favorite Jason Mraz, (3) surprise countdown to midnight for my birthday, (4) sneaky wefie after getting rushed to the ER for fainting in the middle of the street, (5) day trip to Taal Volcano on one of our Manila trips, (6) BKK: that time the Filipina flew in from SG and the Singaporean flew in from PH.

In early 2016, he moved to Cambodia (KH) to pursue business. Video calls and messaging became our regular thing, but we decided we’d meet halfway in Bangkok (BKK) whenever we could. I must have taken at least 5 flights to Bangkok within the first half of that year! Towards Q3 though, he needed me to help out in his ventures, and we decided it would be better not to have to take flights to see each other. Hence, towards the end of 2016, I embraced the concept of YOLO, left my corporate job, and moved to BKK!

I’ve been here since then, out of the corporate world (my boyfriend’s my boss now ????) and learning Thai language full time.

Leaving corporate life meant leaving these crazy fun people. But then again, YOLO.

We’re celebrating our 4th anniversary soon, and we have yet to decide which ASEAN country to settle in. For the record, I’m a Filipina who loves SG, and he’s a Singaporean who loves PH. We both like BKK though, so we juuust might stay here. Who knows?


(Submitted for the #MyAseanStory blog writing project )


my asean story

1. Home can be anywhere in the world.

I first went to Singapore in 1997. I was six years old and my dad, my siblings and I tagged along since my mom had to fly there for work. There’s not much I remember from the trip but I must’ve loved it since I’ve been there more than five times after that. Whether it’s just a half-day layover or an entire week’s stay, Singapore taught me that I can feel at home anywhere in the world that I decide to love.


2. You can find friends anywhere.

Years before I met fellow travelers in hostels, I learned about the importance of being friendly watching my father haggle in Bangkok. He was given a fifty percent discount for a polo shirt after he talked about Manny Pacquiao to a Thai vendor at the weekend market. Even if there was nothing to gain, he’d smile at people in the train or begin a conversation with our cab drivers.


3. Try not to romanticize things.

Before flying to Kuala Lumpur, I saw the Petronas Towers in a local movie. Watching the film made me more excited about the trip and seeing the twin skyscrapers for myself. When I finally got there, I realized that situations are not as ideal as they seem in documentaries, movies, postcards, photos, blogs and magazines. Finding the perfect place to take a photo was challenging, and not going at the right time of day or year will leave you drenched in sweat and haggard-looking in photos. With the right disposition, however, you’ll gain rich memories and good stories to tell.


4. When it’s love, you’ll know it.

My first out-of-the-country travel with friends was to Ho Chi Minh. If you want to know how much I enjoyed it, know that I’ve returned to Vietnam for two birthdays after that. The culture, the energy, the coffee, and the food draw me in with each visit. I can’t wait to go back on my next birthday.


5. Going solo is sometimes necessary.

My friends and I planned a trip to Bali. I have Indonesian friends based in Jakarta and I didn’t want to go to the country without seeing them so I flew to the capital first. Though I spent many hours of the day with friends, not having companions in the flights allowed me to talk to strangers and staying in a hostel gained me a couple of new friends. Aside from meeting people, the peace and freedom that go with being alone are highs I’ve began looking for since then.


6. Minimizing can enrich your life.

Time travel would be the most apt description for my trip to Yangon and Bagan. The architecture, the absence of Uber and Waze, and the overall vibe just made me feel like I was living in a different era. I loved every bit of it. It was great not having to rely on technology to get to places, it was interesting hearing screeches in the railway because the trains were so old, and it was mind-blowing that telegram there was a system, and not a messaging app. I felt that all those allowed me to be fully present in each experience.


7. Be ready for detours.

Having grown up with my mom and older sister fixing itineraries for our trips, it was a bit of a challenge when I had to do it for me and my friends. A lapse in judgment made me decide to go on a day trip to Phnom Penh from Siem Reap. Luck seemed far when our bus broke down midway and we didn’t make it to the museums we planned on visiting. Even without a change of clothes, we decided that it was more practical to stay the night so we could see a bit of the city the following morning. Instead of sulking at the misfortune, we looked for a cheap hostel, bought toiletries, looked for good food and ended the night with drinks. I loved that we still saw the museums I wanted to go to, shared interesting conversations with people we met and had an unforgettable 24 hours in Cambodia’s capital.


8. The road less travelled will gain you experiences not people get to have.

This seems like a no-brainer but I was affirmed of this during a short trip to Brunei. An irresistible promo fare led my best friend and I to the small country. One trip allowed us to appreciate and understand Islam, eat amazing versions of food we’ve tried in Thailand and Indonesia, and get to know about fellow Filipinos who’ve decided to work and live there. Our Muslim tour guide also became a good friend whom we’re still in touch with today.


9. Nurturing your sense of adventure is essential.

Laos is the only ASEAN country that I haven’t visited yet. I have no flights booked to date but I hope to make the trip by next year. This early, I already know that I want to swim in the Kuang Si Falls, go temple hopping, meditate in a monastery, and see the sunset over the Mekong River. Having been to the nine other countries have taught me that there’ll always be something to do, someone to meet and somewhere to be. I can’t wait to find out what that country has in store for me.


10. Have a home base.

I love travelling and I see myself doing it for many more years to come. It has enriched my life in many ways but I know, deep in me, that there will never be a place like home. I’ll always find myself booking that return flight to the Philippines.

(Submitted for the #MyAseanStory blog writing project )

“Belo Talc-free powder ,crafted with care for the most delicate skin, for the most meticulous moms.”

Here are the 3 winners

1. Emiliana Sison
2.  Angelie Namindang
3. Almaira Casanguan

Move over talcum powder. I discovered Belo Talc-free powder and I am simply loving it. Oh, so soft and soothing , so I want to talk to you about the benefits:

Belo Talc-free powder

  1. Natural– Belo talc-free powder is  made from certified natural and finely milled rice and maize.

2.  Talc-free – Formulated without talc, gluten, phthalates, parabens, dyes and most common allergens brings me peace of mind.

belo talc-free powder

made from certified natural and finely milled rice and maize.

3.  Hypoallergenic and this means my skin feels so much softer, dry and comfortable.  Moisture gets absorbed without causing irritation for delicate young skin.

4. Ultra Absorbent – Before I came across Belo talc free powder, I was already using cornstarch on my back to absorb the moisture caused by perspiration. Of course, you know how rice is super absorbent. In fact, when you drop your cellphone in water, they say a phone can be saved by putting it in a container of uncooked rice overnight. Now , I get the best of both worlds- certified natural and finely milled rice and maize.

5.  Safe -Did you know that in the Philippines, most baby powders contain Talc, an ingredient that has been the subject of debate and over 1,000 lawsuits in the US  that date back to 1971?  Several studies conducted over the past 25 years found an association between perineal talc powders and ovarian cancer.  I feel safe knowing the powder I use is  talc-free. My advice is not to use powder in the genital area, even if they’re safer to use than talc.

Belo Baby Talc-free Powder also comes in a very cute packaging that already includes a soft puff.

It’s safe for baby but please remember to take care to avoid baby’s face when applying powder to avoid inhalation.  Carefully dust lightly all over the body, avoiding baby’s face. There has been a case study where “careless use of corn starch for infant skin care can lead to accidental aspiration of this substance and severe respiratory disease.”

When I told my husband that I now have talc-free powder, he junked his foot powder and the baby talcum powder.  He often tells me to powder his back to absorb extra moisture and keep his skin dry. I lovingly powdered his back with Belo talc-free powder , making sure to powder gently to avoid any extra powder particles floating in the air. The fresh scent of the powder is mild and so soothing.

I am so relieved that  the skincare I only trust now has talc-free powder. Aren’t you excited that three of you might have a chance to win Belo Baby talc-free powder gift packs? Here are the mechanics:

  1. Follow me on twitter @momblogger
  2. Tweet which benefit/s on this post struck you the most…explain why and use hashtag #BeloBaby. Multiple unique tweets allowed.
  3. I will choose the best three tweets by June 1 and tag you on twitter.

Belo Baby Talc-free Powder is now available in leading supermarkets and department stores nationwide. You can also buy now here: and enjoy FREE delivery until May 31 with a minimum purchase.

For further information, check Belo talc-free powder by visiting, Twitter: @belobabylove, Instagram: @belobabylove



“Ikaw kasi!” Olivia blurted out to her friend Rose as they assessed the outcome of a project presentation. Prior to the big day, each of them had two different takes on the client’s proposal. After much debate, Olivia gave in to Rose’s peg but the client was not that convinced. A heated argument ensued. Rose felt her friend was quick to drop her like a hot potato when things go wrong but in the face of accolades, she would be eager to grab the limelight.

The blame game is a universal occurrence and the Filipino version can be summarized in two words “Ikaw kasi.” Loosely translated as “because of you”, “ikaw kasi” is a ready blurt-out when things go wrong.

This is deeply embedded in the Pinoy psyche that even young children seem to adapt the accusatory statement so naturally. When little Juanito stumbled, he promptly accused the playmate nearest him and pointed a finger at him, “Ikaw kasi!”

“Sabi ko na nga ba” (I thought so) or “sabi ko sa iyo eh” (I told you so) is a twin blame statement. Dora loves to pull this line when someone commits a boo-boo in her presence.  Her son takes a wrong turn while driving and she comments, “sabi ko sa iyo dapat doon tayo eh” (I told you so, you should have taken the other street).” Her sister overlooks a damage in a new bag she bought and she goes, “sabi sa iyo mas maganda bumili sa kabilang tindahan e” (I told you so, you should have purchased from the other store.)

Filipinos may be a happy lot but they could really score low when taking full responsibility for personal mistakes or pitfalls. Level up “ikaw kasi” and we see the full spectrum in the Pinoy’s life. Beaten athletes throw in the towel in disappointment and they point to the referee’s wrong call, the judges favoring the opponent, or the underground syndicate manipulating the games.

Losing politicians sling mud at the dirty elections and dirtier archenemies. Even the president easily finger points to his predecessor for every act of corruption and scam happening under his administration. furthers, “the Philippines has a long history of holding up excuses for its failure to prosper. The sorry state of the country — the least promising in a region of high achievers — has been blamed on imperialism, foreign meddling, dictatorships, bad weather, lack of ‘freedom’, and corruption. “

We have all seen it and have said it ourselves one time or the other, whether we admit it or not. But why is  “ikaw kasi” so tempting to use? Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D. explains that the blame game is based on four core irrational beliefs:

If something has gone wrong (or is not the way it should be), then someone other than myself must be identified and blamed for causing the situation.

This person/s’ malfeasance diminishes the respect he/she deserves as a person.

So, it is permissible (and only fitting) to treat this person/s in ways he/she deserves to be treated such as ignoring, name-calling, and in extreme cases, physical assault.

I must not accept any significant degree of responsibility for the situation inasmuch as to do so would be to admit that I am myself also diminished as a person, and therefore deserving of the same disapprobation and negative treatment.

Olivia is a classic case of the first irrational belief. The “Ikaw Kasi” virus carrier feels better when she points a finger to someone else when something goes wrong. Although Olivia initially agreed that her friend Rose’s peg was better for presentation, the client’s cold reception was a major letdown and Rose was the most convenient excuse for the apparent failure.

The second illogical premise is that a mistake diminishes the respect a person thinks he deserves. This point of view helps us why an rising athlete craving for respect among his peers and professional circle, and popularity from the public takes a loss as a major blow to his self-respect or more aptly, his pride. Blaming the unfairness of the referee’s call and the judges’ decision, and even the opponent’s alleged connection to the local Mafia may be helpful for him to lick his wounds.

Taking on the diminishing respect slant, “Ikaw Kasi” is justified by trying to get even with the unwitting victim. Little Juanito trips over a rock while running and blames a playmate closest to him. Convinced that he was pushed, he may even pick a fight to cover up his humiliation lest he be teased as stupid by the rest of the gang.

Dora, on the other hand, embodies Dr. Cohen’s fourth assertion that “Ikaw Kasi” people do not want anything to do with an awkward situation lest her self-respect will also be diminished. Dora is quick to point out mistakes and puts herself in a higher pedestal to appear higher and mightier. further explains that the main purposes for the blame game is finding excuse and displacement but a deeper look sums up to the fact that those who easily blurts out “Ikaw Kasi” lacks the emotional and psychological maturity to take responsibility and is ruled by fear of failure and rejection. Getting into the blame game may give a temporary relief but this will eventually backlash.

Dr. Cohen points out to lost opportunities by resorting to the “Ikaw Kasi” syndrome, “by failing to take personal responsibility the road to constructive change is blocked.”

Seasoned sports commentator Chino Trinidad aptly puts it in one of his reports. “Unless an athlete stops putting the blame on others and starts taking the responsibility to learn from his own mistakes and works on his weaknesses, he can never achieve true success.”

How do we break out of this compulsion? Dr. Cohen shares, “Give up your blame claim that someone always has to be blamed and made to pay. Everyday life isn’t a court of law and you aren’t the judge and jury. Accept yourself and others unconditionally.”

So the next time you err or get into an uncomfortable situation, take hold of yourself and breathe, “It’s my fault. I can do better next time.”

by Jasmine Barrios as originally posted at Philippine Online Chronicles

Photo: “Blame” by ???Ian, c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved

Updated: June 6, announcement of winners

Updated : extended to June 5, 2017 for last day of submission 

Each of us has a story on ASEAN. An ASEAN story is a travel story, a rights story, a labor story, a business story, a political story.” The story touches  parents,  students,  professionals, farmers , laborers, and every ASEAN citizen. The blog writing project “My ASEAN Story” is open to bloggers worldwide who  want to share their personal story . You can post it on your blogging platform and get a chance to win an ASEAN memorabilia. (See mechanics below the post)

Winners of the #MyAseanStory Blog Writing Project

Our Asean love story

Ten life lessons I’ve learned from visiting ASEAN countries

Getting lost is not a bad thing at all.

The top 3 winners will receive an ASEAN backpack while the rest will get an ASEAN themed notebook with a foldable backpack. Please contact me at noemidado @ on how to get your prizes.

Here are the submissions:

Some realizations during the SEABA Championship

Our Hanoi trip & enjoying the sights and sounds of a UNESCO World Heritage Site

My Asean life story :  Business in the hands of John and Vonny Oei

Takeaways from Studying in Singapore

Our Asean love story

Ten life lessons I’ve learned from visiting ASEAN countries

Silip sa Siem Reap (A glimpse of Siem Reap)

Getting lost is not a bad thing at all.

My Heart is Rooted in the Philippines

Kuala Lumpur: 16 months later 


This is my story.

The ASEAN is at the heart of Asia  and feels so close to home. What comes  to your mind when you hear about ASEAN? I bet  most of you are grateful about the  visa-free travel in the 10 Southeast Asian countries. I have traveled  to eight ASEAN member states except for Brunei and Myanmar .  Food and travel go hand in hand.   Yes, “food is the centerpiece  with many ASEAN societies sharing a common passion for food as a social get-together activity”.  Beyond travel and food,  an invitation to attend the 1st ASEAN Social Media Strategy Meeting in Jakarta in 2011 totally changed my life.

my asean story

Being there with other social media personalities in the ASEAN region was a learning experience. The sharing meant also an exchange of ideas that can be also replicated in my sphere of influence. What did I share? There is no secret to SOCIAL MEDIA except to listen, connect, share and engage and be passionate about the topics shared.

my asean story

The informal meeting also inspired me to consider writing more about the ASEAN instead of just concentrating on Philippine issues. The progress in ASEAN integration and the ongoing community building efforts is something that everyone should know. I gained a lot of basic understanding of what ASEAN meant as a region of opportunities.

my asean story

I would have never known about Asean opportunities and benefits if I didn’t attend this conference and the 2nd social media exchange in Bangkok . Our participation in the 2011 and 2013 social media exchange  led to the ASEAN secretariat being more active on twitter and facebook.  My awareness on ASEAN is not anymore limited to politics or the visa-free travel benefits but that ASEAN is one big community with a vision for 2025.

I am more involved in social media by raising awareness for ASEAN which is part of my work as Senior Consultant for the ASEAN 2017 Committee on Media Affairs and Strategic Communications (CMASC). The looks of hope from the students and citizens during the ASEAN roadshows and school tours inspire me to continue to promote the  opportunities and benefits for the citizens in ASEAN .

my asean story

I know you , too, have a personal story on ASEAN as a student, a mother, a tourist, an entrepreneur, a teacher or even as a blogger… and I hope you can share it through your blog.

I am holding a blog writing project and a chance to win an ASEAN memorabilia. Here are the   guidelines:

1. The contest is open to all bloggers worldwide.
2. Follow  @asean2017 on twitter or
3. Write a blog post of your own personal story with a minimum of 500 words on the theme #MyAseanStory” and post it on your blog platform (self-hosted blog, facebook, tumblr, wordpress)

  • What are your life experiences: challenges , great memories?

I will even share it on my social networks.
4. Use the hashtag #MyAseanStory #Asean2017 when sharing your post in social media.
5. Contest will start May 9 and end May 31, 2017. Cut off of entries is 11:59 PM on May 31, 2017. (Update extended June 5 11:59pm)
6. The post that is creative and interesting will receive an ASEAN memorabilia

The top three winners will get this beautiful blue backpack with Asean goodies inside 

Inside the ASEAN backpack

12 will receive an ASEAN themed notebook with pen plus an ASEAN foldable backpack

A total of 15 winners will get these awesome prizes.

7.  A team of bloggers will select the 15 winning blog entries. Winners will be announced on June 3, 2017

So,  have fun, get your creative juice flowing, and share your ASEAN story.

my asean story

Here are the submissions:

Some realizations during the SEABA Championship

Our Hanoi trip & enjoying the sights and sounds of a UNESCO World Heritage Site

My Asean life story :  Business in the hands of John and Vonny Oei

Takeaways from Studying in Singapore

Our Asean love story

Ten life lessons I’ve learned from visiting ASEAN countries

Silip sa Siem Reap (A glimpse of Siem Reap)

Getting lost is not a bad thing at all.

My Heart is Rooted in the Philippines

Kuala Lumpur: 16 months later 

I am happy to discover Loc&Stor 24/7 Secure Self-Storage , the perfect solution for my storage needs. I have that peace of mind knowing my precious belongings are housed  in a secure facility  rather than your typical bodega/warehouse.  Let me share this storage solution that you might also be looking for.

I looked at my bodega located just under the stairs. Why , oh why have I accumulated so much stuff? I glanced at the five huge boxes of Christmas decors while dragging out five more boxes consisting of  clothes. The boxes spilled over to the room of my helpers which is a no-no to me because I want their rooms to look organized too.

storage for rent manila philippines

The piles of stuff and clutter are stress triggers for me. My mind screamed “I need more space”.  Sure, I conducted  garage sales and got rid of a lot of clothes and other useless items but I was left with these boxes of sentimental stuff.

storage for rent manila philippines

I couldn’t bear to get rid of the first dress of my two daughters or the clothes of my beloved son who died at six years old, or the vintage clothes of my mom. I touched each piece of clothing….Keep only what “sparks joy,” the KonMari method says. Yes, I felt joy as I touched the pink dress or the blue shorts.   Discard everything else, and assign a home for everything within your home.

storage for rent manila philippines

But my home got flooded by Ondoy .  Not only do I need extra space, I want a safe, secure self-storage place . For many years, I looked  at possible storage for rent in Manila, until a month ago, when my sister-in-law introduced me to her friend, Anna who owned  Loc&Stor 24/7  along with her husband, Sam Peterson.

My Loc&Stor 24/7 experience

My first impressions:  Wow as in WOW. It totally changed my view on self-storage space.

self storage manila philippines

I took a tour and noted on “What to look for in a Self-Storage Facility”:

self storage manila philippines

After the tour, I was convinced. This is it.  I went back the following week for the paperwork  of a one year rental of a medium  sized , climate controlled room.  Insurance premium of 50,000 pesos coverage is a separate price from the  rental rate. You can actually rent a unit for a minimum of one month, and  pay on a monthly basis if you are unsure of how long you would need the storage. This gives you control over your rental budget. The best thing about renting out for 12 months is you  get the last month free.  Another plus factor , is the flexibility to transfer  to a bigger or smaller unit .

Five boxes could only fit my car so what I am showing here is just the first batch.  There is a cart and an assistant to help me bring my boxes to my storage unit.

self storage manila

Up to five people can have their own personalized PIN code to access my unit.  I chose an RFID key so I can easily pass the card to my husband if he wants to pick up something. Their state of the art security monitoring system can track who goes in and out of my unit, so it is easy to keep tabs on who can access my things.  Their system also sends an email notification each time I open my unit.

Once you have set up an account, you will use a user-defined PIN to access our facility. Your PIN arms and disarms your unit’s alarm, and all access to your unit is electronically logged.

Their elevators are large enough to push in the trolley.

self storage manila

This is the climate controlled area. My self-storage space is in an air conditioned area to manage humidity. This is a desirable option for anyone who needs to store possessions that are heat and/or humidity sensitive like shoes, handbags, paintings and old books or documents. Relative humidity (RH) is the key to managing potential mold or mildew. RH is kept to less than 60%, which significantly reduces the potential for the growth of mold or mildew.

Just walking along the corridors, I can see how clean, well lit, and ventilated Loc&Stor is . Such a far cry from the usual bodega or warehouse  in my mind. I spotted a lot of the security cameras and I feel secure knowing there is also a fire protection in each unit as well as a  24-hour security guard to watch the establishment.

My medium sized storage space in the climate-controlled area is 3.9 square meters. You can compare it to a large elevator. It can fit approximately 40 balikbayan boxes (20x20x20) or 251 document boxes. I am told the actual units vary slightly in area . One has to assume 80% if available volume used , leaving a bit for maneuvering .

See, I can still add more boxes . I can also share my storage space with my sister and the storage boxes from our ancestral family home.

As you can see, I have my own unit which no one else may access except myself or anyone I authorize. Items are never put together or mixed with other customers’ items.

I bought my padlock from Loc&Stor . They sell different kinds of padlocks that you can use for your storage unit.

Here is a video tour during our blogger event:

Their biggest space is around 18 square meters.

Impressive , right? I invited three mommy blogger friends and they were just as enthralled that such a world class self-storage facility exists in Manila.

Loc&Stor is situated within a guarded, gated compound that has been flood-free for decades. Extensive smoke detectors and sprinkler systems are installed throughout the facility, and the entire facility is built to strict fire and floor-loading codes. . They utilize high-definition Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) cameras with night vision to monitor and record all activities within and around our facility. The lighting and security systems are also backed up by generator systems to protect against a security outage. My belongings feel secure with this system.

Loc&Stor has seven different unit sizes, from a 1.5 sqm locker type to an 18 sqm jumbo unit  for you to choose from.   You may also opt for their climate controlled units  like mine to protect old documents or items that are sensitive to mold and mildew.

You can rent shelves that help organize your files and you have free use of Loc&Stor’s  heavy duty trolleys, palette jacks, and step ladders.

Trucks of all sizes, up to a 40 ft container van, can easily fit into their  loading dock, making it very easy to load and unload your cargo ,saving you time and manpower.

Access to your unit is allowed anytime of the day or night at no extra cost. This is ideal for businesses that need to retrieve items on short notice or send off packages at odd hours.

There is so much to love with my storage space. It feels like an extension of my home , so clean, well-ventilated and secure. Check it out too.

If you need that extra space and peace of mind, visit their Facebook page  and their website at or drive to  Loc&Stor 24/7 at 54 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave. (C5), Bagong Ilog, Pasig (They are on waze too).

Or Call  +632-570-2561 / 0916-567-3004