MANDALUYONG – THE SUN-KISSED SHORES of the Philippines have long lured travelers with their powdery sands and turquoise waters. But in 2024, the archipelago has the opportunity to write a new chapter in its tourism story, one that goes beyond beach bliss and delves into the vibrant tapestry of landscapes, cultures, and experiences waiting to be discovered.

To captivate curious travelers and climb the ladder of global tourism popularity, the Philippines needs to shift its focus. While paradise beaches will forever be a draw, they must be complemented by diversifying tourism offerings, prioritizing sustainability, and crafting deeper connections with visitors.

The Call of Adventure Beyond the Shore:

Imagine trekking through emerald rice terraces in Banaue, their delicate steps a testament to generations of farmers. Picture yourself scaling the majestic peaks of Batanes, the wind whispering tales of ancient Ifugao spirits. Or feel the exhilaration of diving into the kaleidoscopic reefs of Palawan, home to vibrant coral gardens and playful marine life.

A new dawn in Philippine tourism: More than just beaches

The Philippines boasts a landscape far richer than just beaches. Lush rainforests, rugged mountains, and serene rice paddies beckon hikers, bikers, and nature enthusiasts. Hidden waterfalls tumble through verdant jungles, promising tranquility and adventure in equal measure. This diversity, if effectively promoted, can attract a new generation of travelers seeking unique experiences beyond the sun lounger.

Sustainable Steps for a Brighter Future:

Tourism, a double-edged sword, can both enrich and exploit. The Philippines must prioritize sustainable practices to ensure its natural wonders and cultural treasures remain pristine for generations to come. Responsible tourism initiatives like eco-friendly transportation, community-based projects, and conservation programs are not just environmental necessities, but also magnets for environmentally conscious travelers.

Imagine staying in an eco-lodge nestled in the Taal Volcano highlands, built with locally sourced materials and employing sustainable energy practices. Picture yourself learning weaving techniques from women in Ifugao villages, contributing directly to their livelihoods while preserving their traditional crafts. These immersive experiences, rooted in sustainability and community engagement, resonate with conscious travelers seeking responsible adventures.

The Tourism Department could partner with the Department of Trade and Industry and immerse visitors with the wonder of local craftsmanship from basket-weaving to wine-making. (photo not Crossroads Hostels)

From Visas to Vr: Enhancing Accessibility and Engagement:

Navigating travel logistics can be a frustrating hurdle. Streamlining visa applications, implementing online visa options, and improving airport infrastructure can ensure smoother travel experiences for visitors. Digital advancements also offer exciting possibilities. Augmented reality tours can bring historical sites to life, while virtual reality experiences can showcase hidden wonders to travelers before they even book their flights.

But true engagement goes beyond technology. It’s about sharing stories, traditions, and the warmth of Filipino hospitality. Offering cooking classes where visitors learn to whip up a steaming adobo, or organizing homestays in rural villages where tourists can truly immerse themselves in local life – these are the experiences that create lasting memories and foster genuine connections.

The government did a lot of good. It’s now more important to develope that and tap more stakeholders. (photo by

Building a Brighter Tourism Future:

The Philippines’ tourism journey demands collaboration. Working with local communities, private stakeholders, and government agencies is key to ensure a holistic and sustainable approach. By showcasing the country’s diverse landscapes, promoting responsible practices, and fostering meaningful connections with visitors, the Philippines can unlock its full tourism potential in 2024 and beyond.

This is not just about attracting more tourists; it’s about creating a tourism industry that benefits everyone – from local communities to the environment, and of course, the curious travelers seeking an unforgettable adventure. So, let’s venture beyond the beaches, embrace sustainable practices, and forge deeper connections. In 2024, the Philippines can rewrite its tourism story, inviting the world to discover a destination as diverse, vibrant, and unforgettable as its people.


A GROWING SENTIMENT to place Mega Manila (Metro Manila + outlying provinces such as Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Romblon, and Quezon provinces (CALABARZON) under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) is snowballing. The sentiment was brought out by tired, fatigued health care workers whose stress and pressures in caring for more COVID-19 victims in official and makeshift medical facilities are reaching a condition where their health and physical condition may breakdown. Doctors, nurses, medical technicians are front-liners caring for the people’s health and in turn, it affects the country’s economy. 

Officers and Members of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) calls on the national government to act decisively and immediately to help all medical professionals

If and when the government decides to put us back to ECQ, CROSSROADS HOSTEL MANILA WILL CONTINUE TO OPEN and be of service to other front-liners in the country such as businesses that should still continue to serve and open.

To help all our potential guests, the following protocols will be applied as provided by the Tourism Department (DOT) thru the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Guests we can accommodate:

  1. Transiting foreign guests;
  2. Distressed OFWs;
  3. Quarantine-bound Repatriated OFWs;
  4. Quarantine-bound Non-OFWs;
  5. All-types of Government workers;
  6. Health care workers and ECQ-allowed types of workers in ECQ zones 

Under ECQ and when checked-in in the hostel, remember that we’re not allowed to do the following for guests:

  1. Provide daily housekeeping. Cleaning and sanitation of rooms shall be conducted only as may be necessary;
  2. Open ancillary establishments such as restaurants and cafés but can prepare
    1. (i) packed meals for distribution to guests who opt for the same; and
    2. (ii) food orders for take-out and deliveries only.

Additionally, under ECQ (under Section 12 of the same DOT order), shared-room preferences will not be given to Health care professionals and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). They have to pay for one room, which is still more affordable than other accommodations by 30%.

We hope this article helps re-condition the minds of our would-be guests. It’s not as different as GCQ but under ECQ, only few businesses will open. Do you have any questions? Let us help you. Click the link and ask us with the help of the Facebook button found here in this article. #hostelshelp

/Photos by GMA News (main photo), John Louie Netro (artwork), PCP (artwork), JV Ejercity (tired med professionals photo)

An independent artist, John Louie Netro, made this work to dramatize the plight of our medical workers in Mega Manila. CNN Philippines featured this artwork in their Facebook post.

To our guests’ benefit, we’re publishing the text of the Administrative Order 2020-002-A send to us by the DOT issued June 9th, 2020.


Section 8. Permitted guests under ECQ. – Accommodation Establishments in areas declared to be under ECQ are allowed to accommodate only the following: (a) Guests who had existing bookings or reservations under any Accommodation Establishment within Luzon as of 17 March 2020, and outside Luzon as of 01 May 2020; (b) Foreign Guests who are transiting through, or are otherwise temporarily staying in the Philippines for a short period and will leave the country; (c) Long Staying Guests; (d) Distressed OFWs; (e) Repatriated OFWs in compliance with approved quarantine protocols; (f) Non-OFWs who may be required to undergo mandatory facility-based quarantine; (g) Stranded Passengers; (h) Employees of agencies and instrumentalities of the Government, including Government-Owned and –Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) and Local Government Units (LGUs), especially health and emergency frontline, border control, and other critical services workers; and (i) Health care workers and other employees from establishments that are allowed to operate during the ECQ pursuant to the IATF Omnibus Guidelines; provided, that their place of work is located within the same ECQ zone.

Section 9. New Bookings under ECQ. – Except for Long Staying Guests, new bookings of guests falling under Section 8 shall be allowed.

Section 10. Prohibited Bookings under ECQ. – No Accommodation Establishment in an ECQ zone shall provide accommodation for persons undertaking leisure travel.

Section 11. Limited Operations under ECQ. –Accommodation Establishments in ECQ zones shall operate only to provide basic accommodation services to guests and food preparation services for take-out and delivery to the public. For this purpose: (a) Room service shall not be allowed; (b) Daily housekeeping shall not be implemented. Cleaning and sanitation of rooms shall be conducted only as may be necessary; (c) Only a Skeleton Workforce which shall be composed of In House Staff shall be retained; and (d) Ancillary establishments within the premises, such as restaurants, cafés, bars, gyms, spas, and the like, shall not be allowed to operate or to provide room service; provided, that Accommodation Establishments may prepare (i) packed meals for distribution to guests who opt for the same; and (ii) food orders for take-out and delivery only.

Section12. Conditions for Room Occupancy under ECQ. – Accommodation Establishments in ECQ zones shall ensure that the following conditions for room occupancy, as required by the DOH, are met: (a) OFWs and Health Workers shall be accommodated in single occupancy rooms. For avoidance of doubt, single occupancy shall mean only one person shall be accommodated in each room. (b) Other guests may be accommodated in double occupancy rooms, provided the following are observed: 1. Distance between the beds should be at least two (2) meters; 2. A divider should be placed between the beds; 3. A bathroom schedule must be observed. Only one person shall be permitted to use the bathroom at any given time; 4. Guests shall disinfect the bathroom after every use using the provided sanitation kit; 5. There shall be no sharing of food or any personal or non-personal belongings; 6. All trash, food and non-food, shall be separated. (c) Each room shall be provided with a sanitation kit which guests shall use to regularly disinfect commonly accessed surfaces and items such as door knobs, light switches, the bathroom sink, etc. (d) When in the Accommodation Establishment, guests shall be confined to their rooms. Mingling with occupants of other rooms shall not be allowed. (e) Guests shall use the same bed and the same room they are billeted in throughout the entire period of their stay.

Accommodation Establishments shall likewise comply with other issuances and guidelines on Minimum Public Health Standards.

“…foreign tourists, non-immigrant visa holders…will be turned back if they land in any of our ports of entry,”

Immigraton Commissioner, Jamie Morente


The country’s Immigration Chief, Jaime Morente, issued a warning upon learning that immigration offices being swamped with calls and queries from netizens who got news that the Philippines has opened its doors to all foreigners.

Morente appealed to the public to stop spreading fake news as it will only sow confusion, and create unwanted chaos in our all ports of the country. Foreigners are still covered by the travel ban.


Morente, on the other hand, announced that foreigners married to Filipino citizens and their dependents, as well as foreign diplomats, can come to the country as earlier announced by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF). “We are therefore advising the different airlines to take note of these latest travel guidelines so that they can accordingly inform their foreign customers who may wish to book their flights to the Philippines,” the BI official said.

In another development, the immigration bureau issued new guidelines in their Facebook page detailing updated restrictions on top of the one mentioned in this article. These are:

Allowed to Enter The Philippines are the following:

  • Filipinos, their foreign spouse and children of Filipino nationals (with documentary proof)
  • Accredited foreign government and international organization officials and their dependents
  • Foreign airline crew members and seafarers
    • (Beginning 01Aug2020, foreign nationals with long-term visas shall be allowed upon compliance with the four (4) IATF-EID conditions)
      1. Must have a valid and existing visa at the time of entry
      2. With pre-booked accredited quarantine facility;
      3. With pre-booked COVID-19 testing provider;
      4. Subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers as set by the National Task Force for COVID-19.


  • Pursuant to IATF-EID Resolution No. 56 Series of 2020 dated 16 July 2020 beginning 01 August 2020:
    1. Section 13 Series visa [sec. 13; sec 13 (a);sec 13 (b);sec 13 (c);sec 13 (d);sec 13 (e); sec 13 (g)]
    2. RA 7919 Visa
    3. EO 324 Visa
    4. Native-born Visa


— only the following shall be allowed to exit the Philippines:

  • Foreign nationals
  • Overseas Filipino workers*
  • Permanent visa holders*
  • Students enrolled abroad and participants accepted in exchange visitor programs*
    • Note: Beginning 22July2020, non-essential outbound travelers shall be allowed upon compliance with the 5 IATF-EID conditions
      1. Submission of confirmed round-trip tickers for those traveling on a tourist visa;
      2. Adequate travel and health insurance to cover rebooking and accommodation expenses if stranded, and hospitalization in case of infection, in such as may be determined by the Department of Tourism (DOT);
      3. Allowed entry by the destination country in accordance with their travel, health and quarantine restrictions;
      4. Execution of a Declaration acknowledging the risks involved in traveling, including risk of delay in their return trip, to b provided for in the check-in counters by the airlines; and
      5. Upon return, shall follow the Guidelines of Returning Overseas Filipinos of the National Task Force for COVID-19;

More updates will be available once it has been verified.

For the meantime, book your loved ones with us, at CROSSROADS HOSTEL for quarantine purposes if you need our assistance. It’s simple, easy, and we help all our guests go through the 4-day quarantine process. We’re accredited by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) through the Tourism Department (DOT). You can also chat with us if you have questions using Viber and WhatsApp with our number: +639478957600. Talk to you soon. Facebook? Talk to us!

News Source

WE’RE RECALLING WHAT WE DID in preparation for the lockdown. We call it the seven unusual steps because, for us, it’s not normal for a small business to take this route and try to predict the ravaging effects of such a disease and create solutions out of it. At least in our local context. This post is more for our purpose and nothing more. It is to prepare for the next ‘one’ in the hopes of helping other businesses learn from our experience. There’s a bonus tip that one should look out for in case you’re going to follow our ‘trail’. So without much further ado, the steps we took are:

NOT THE NEWS YOU WANT but it’s what we had to prepare for: Feb 7, 2020 news of CNN Philippines which reads, ‘PHILIPPINES REPORTS THIRD CONFIRMED CASE OF NOVEL CORONAVIRUS’
  1. We listened to the news, studied the problem – Ever since the news broke out in Week 1 of January 2020 in the Philippines, we intently followed the progress of the virus’ spread: We followed what it is, how it’s spread, where is it now, how dangerous it is.
    Called then NCoV-19 (Novel Coronavirus of 2019), China was grappling on how to contain the spread of the disease. It hasn’t acted decisively and for good reason: It doesn’t know what it is up against. So we followed the story and picked good websites, extracted helpful information that can help protect employees, then guests, then the business. During that time, the only clue much of the world knows was that it causes flu-like symptoms and it’s fatal if not treated fast.
  2. We took the pragmatic approach – We took into consideration realistic angles of how fast the virus spreads, how it is spread, and what initial actions to take to repel the effects towards guests, towards employees, and towards the business as a whole. This is different than just creating conjectures that may just create scenarios that place fear in us rather than preparing for practical action where minimal funds were set aside to start investing in protective masks, goggles, and alcohol to repulse the contagion. Timing is key and hedging ourselves for the worse is better than not preparing at all.
  3. We ‘Seized the day’ – After careful studying the news trickling in, how the disease is to spread, and how this will all play out, we know it will affect the hostel business either slowly or decisively. So while praying for the best to come, we also pushed further with plans as news spews with fear and confusion as it spirals almost out of control through social media and cable televisions. We started drawing up plans, created signs, oriented staff members, and even talked to guests on how they can protect themselves essentially shoring up to keep the hostel’s reputation even going unreservedly shunning guests from specific countries where the virus may have come from or have been. Checked-in guests have to be protected.
  4. We acted to protect guests – Guests’ confidence and security are paramount and there are two types of guests: local ones and foreigners. To both types, we have to prepare ‘exit strategies’ so each one can feel the hospitality and service we stand for. We readied vehicles to guarantee that guests are herded to the airports on the eve (and on the day) of the lockdown. We researched and readied information on how to help guests especially getting their embassy numbers and information where to drop off local guests in case public transportations are halted. The public fear is palpable and so filtering information is important so that important ones are handed and can be made useful for confused guests.
    As soon as we have information, we give it to our guests, and guests are also assisted with flight, airport, and shuttle information and leave the hostel the moment is needed so foreign guests can continue with their journey home or to their next destination.
  5. Moved to protect hostel employees – Employees are as golden as the owners are in crisis moments like this. Your staff provide the extra hands, feet, and mind you need to execute plans you’ve drawn up. Every personnel was given daily briefings, re-orienting their approach to work, and understand the dangers of how this virus spreads. They were given pointers and tips before they engage guests to protect them from the ‘unseen enemy’ because every employee matters.
  6. Executed our plans – Plan execution is prime. No success is ever achieved when no action is taken. Our objective was to protect our guests and nothing at this point can go wrong. Signs are up, posted in strategic places, employees are oriented so they can become your enforcer of new health policies, current guests are briefed so they won’t feel much anxiety of the unknown, future guests were emailed about the cancellation and their refunds, protective gears were bought are ready and distributed to each staff, and spray bottles of disinfectant sprays are posted in every room and corner of the hostel that gives guests more protection from the virus. We made sure that all those who booked their stay in Crossroads Hostel Manila are protected first – business, comes second.
  7. We evaluated and adjusted our actions – More news about the virus came and went. We re-iterated our plans. Our coordination now includes the national tourism department and we evaluated our plans, compared it with mandated ones, and adjusted what we know to make sure it stays current. For example, we bought white vinegar and Pinesol thinking it can kill the virus but later on found out that Lysol sprays, alcohol, soaps, and bleaches are the only ones that can kill the virus. In the absence of Lysol and alcohol, we used dish-washing liquid and water as an alternative spray to protect ourselves from this airborne disease.
  8. BONUS! We got accredited. I didn’t know then but now I do. Accreditation is very important. We applied for the tourism board’s accreditation to give Crossroads Hostel a leg to stand on. While we get raving reviews year in and year out from guests, the accreditation given by the said government department proved positive in times like this. As soon as the government locked down the region, the tourism department provided us the ‘shield’ to keep our business open and accommodate workers from different places and backgrounds. This paved the way for us to get business right away from a Business Processing Outsource company just a kilometer from us.

The Tourism Department was commendable for being proactive that by the fourth day after the lockdown was announced by the national government, they already have orders to provide accommodation to front line staff and health workers. The hostel’s occupancy was reduced to 50%, however, this was corrected by our hostel and is now running at 2 persons (maximum) per room no matter how big space the room provided as long as the occupants are not of the same family.
We purchased foot bath for guests’ footwear so it can be disinfected, we bought UV lamps to decontaminate rooms, we bought more alcohol and disinfectants, we made more signboards for new guests to follow and we implemented updated protocols for all staff to follow.

So far, we’re doing good. With such policies, we were able to attract a local Business Processing Outsource (BPO) company to trust us with their skeletal workforce. Through that, we were able to practice and refine our processes and now we’re accepting new guests through our own advertising and promotions.

As the country improves its pandemic status to General Community Quarantine or GCQ since Monday, 1st of June, we’re excited for the new prospects of providing the very best of our programs giving guests safer, cleaner, and more secure budget accommodation here in this hostel.


 We’re near the Ortigas CBD where the MRT Shaw Station is. Call +639373780400 for more details. (Photo:

HELP IS HERE! As our way to help those who need it: if you’re working in the area of Ortigas tomorrow, Monday, 13th August and in need of a warm-dry place to stay because your home is affected by the current weather system, we’re extending a special offer to you to help you cope with the current conditions we’re facing.
Any one who checks in today, Sunday, 12 August until Wednesday, 15th of August and books directly with us — for as long as we have a place to offer — we’re giving PhP300 discount on our already low daily rates. The residual rates will help us maintain the place and it will help you cope with daily expenses you need.
Discounts are ONLY APPLICABLE thru direct and walk-in bookings and on regular rates.
We will not apply the discounts on bookings made thru,,,,, and other online travel agency sites offering our services.
Senior discounts and Persons with Disability discounts still apply over discounted rates.
All guests availing the discounts and checking in must have valid government-issued IDs and must pay cash with security deposits upon checking in.
We close our doors at 8pm for security reasons so all guests getting this deal must check in before this time. Check out times are still 12NN daily.

WE’VE RECEIVED so many inquiries and many ask for a lower price.
We understand the concern but let us help you with more background on what our hostel is.
People mistake Crossroads Hostel like any other ‘Transient Place” where people pay for an ordinary “bed space” on a daily basis, however, we’re not just a bed space — we’re a hostel. A hostel is a property created mainly for backpackers today but we’ve evolved into something else, we’re not just for backpackers but we’re also for business professionals and travelers looking for a budget place to stay.
Budget doesn’t mean cheap, it just means affordable. Affordable because the place offers value to all of its customer traveling this way in the Central Business District (CBD) area of Ortigas shared by the chartered cities of Mandaluyong, Pasig, and Quezon businesses.


We try to make it the most comfortable space you can have at a fraction of a cost located here in the heart of Metro Manila

Our place offers more than 100 square meters of space where every visitor can lounge, cook, and relax in the comforts of a bungalow home.
If you can imagine it, we’re like the home of your favorite evening reality show, Pinoy Big Brother where every Filipino know the place as ‘Bahay Ni Kuya’ (Big Brother’s House). So you’re not confined inside your bedroom inside where you share with other travelers.
Each bedroom is air-conditioned and our rooms have as much as eight beds inside. Our beds have curtains so you can sleep without the prying eyes of another neighbor so a sense of privacy is still maintained. It is cleaned every single day by our housekeeper and your towels are changed every day, your linens every other four days.

It’s a simple but value-driven space you can always count on from us

Our kitchen is as complete as you can get. You may not be able to bake but with all the amenities inside this kitchen you will be able to cook delicious but budget meals to your heart’s content.
We’re located at the heart of Metro Manila. That’s no joke. You go to Google Maps and you type Crossroads Hostel Manila and you’ll see from the map that our location when viewed zoomed out from the map that we’re in the middle of every strategic place you can think of going to. EDSA is just a minute walk away and the entrance to the MRT train (SHAW Boulevard Station) is just right there for your taking.
The wet market where you can buy fresh produce, meat, and other staple foods you like is just five minutes walk away with a pharmacy just beside it.
So with a price of PhP699, taxes included, why settle for a motel that won’t give you that home atmosphere that you want to be in when the comforts and security of home is just right there at Crossroads Hostel Manila.
This is no spiel, no marketing talk — it’s as plain as you can experience it from people who’ve been here the first time, the second time, and those who call our place their home away from home.
For your next travel to Metro Manila and Ortigas area, come consider us and see what we mean because as travelers we make it our business to give you the hospitality every local or foreign traveler deserves.

No problem! Now you can pay your hostel reservations thru Paypal. We’ve made it much easier for you if in case money is not available. We only need your valid email address and you can pay your reservations fast, easy, and trouble-free.
paypal-logoIn The Philippines, mode of cash payments are more frequent than Credit Cards but with foreign guests making their reservations thru Facebook, they can now confirm their bookings made directly with Crossroads Hostel Manila.
Booking your stay with us is much easier with a confirmed reservation especially during months when there are trade shows, conferences, and seminars happening in nearby event places in Ortigas where we are close. So we advice using Paypal when you want to make your reservations to our hostel.
Also please note that we will impose a 5% add-on fee when making payments using Paypal to offset any surcharges the facility imposes on us. But mention this article and we will waive those fees and you will get your payments add-on fee free.
Try it today and guarantee your booking with paid reservations using Paypal.


Our lockers are big enough to store carry on luggage but please do not store food inside.

We want our guests to feel more safe. We want them to leave this place happy and more secure.
Please use our lockers. It’s free to use. There’s no rent to pay.
What to put inside?
Our lockers are located outside rooms and they’re sturdy and tough. You just need to buy yourself a padlock to use it.
Put your wallets, your gadgets, your laptops, some of your clothes, cash, jewelry, and other valuables you prize, however, please do not put liquid, food stuff, and other goods that ants would attack.
Trust but…
A poem: Friends inside this hostel you will meet but in all the travels you do, especially if you have limited resources, please keep a safer distance if you know what we mean.
Hostel Policy
Know that in a budget place like this, we are not insured to cover your lost items so know that you are sole responsible for the things you own and keep. Keep strangers as friends but keep those who come closer be on a watch list. Trust but never trust TOO MUCH.
While we want to raise concerns about safety and security, please do have fun but all we want to convey is to be responsible always. The journey of life is still long and more adventures wait for those who avoid being wrong.