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Weekend Wanderlust: Embracing the Elements in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

A weekend road trip is a perfect way to unwind after a long week of hard work. When the wanderlust hits, self-drive rental car options in Manila, Philippines allow you to explore the hidden gems and not-so-hidden retreats the Read more

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Weekend Wanderlust: Embracing the Elements in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

Posted on by Administrator in Hot Spots | Comments Off on Weekend Wanderlust: Embracing the Elements in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

Ocean with Blue WaterA weekend road trip is a perfect way to unwind after a long week of hard work. When the wanderlust hits, self-drive rental car options in Manila, Philippines allow you to explore the hidden gems and not-so-hidden retreats the country has to offer.

Driving yourself gives you more freedom to explore compared to when you’re on a guided trip or sticking to familiar bus routes. You don’t have to limit yourself only to places around the capital. You can even drive as far north as Ilocos Norte.

Pagudpud, in particular, is a small coastal town in the province famous among local and foreign travelers for its beaches and other natural wonders.

Enjoy the Sun at Saud Beach

Saud Beach’s white sand beach and clear waters is a great way to relax after a long eight- to ten-hour drive to Pagudpud. As one of the town’s main tourist attractions, it’ll be easy to find inns and restaurants near the beach. Apart from beach resorts, the locals also open their doors to tourists for affordable homestay options.

Moreover, Saud Beach serves as a perfect jumping-off point to the other must-see tourist attractions.

Feel the Wind along the Bangui Coastline

The 20 huge windmills dotting the coastline of Bangui Bay is a popular tourist spot. It attracted over 191,300 visitors in 2010 alone, and the figure has only gone up since then despite not having been built as a tourist attraction.

The Bangui Wind Farm is the first wind power plant in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. It was built to minimize the region’s energy consumption. The 70-meter tall windmills now provide 40 percent of the electricity in the entire Ilocos Norte province.

Explore the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

The Kapurpurawan Rock Formation just west of the Bangui Wind Farm is a must-see destination, especially for hikers. After a short drive on a dirt road, you’ll need to hike (or ride a horse) for several minutes before reaching the rock formation along the Burgos coastline. The picturesque beauty of the creamy white limestone formations makes the trip worth it.

Whether it’s a solo adventure or a bonding activity with friends, grab the chance to go on a road trip and leave all your stress behind. Take time to enjoy nature and reset your mindset for a strong start on your next work week.

Boosting the Efficiency of Your Hot Water System

Posted on by Ann Klatt in Hot Spots | Comments Off on Boosting the Efficiency of Your Hot Water System

Plumber checking the water heating systemQuality is important when you are looking to buy a new hot water system. The way you shop, how much research you do, and the final decisions matter a lot.

Of course, you don’t want to buy one and replace it only after a month. However, your water heater’s service life greatly depends on the type of care and maintenance you give to it. All Hours Plumbing and HVAC, home of experienced plumbers in Park City, shares some of the smartest ways to keep your system performing at its best:

Reduce the temperatures

The good thing with modern water heaters is that you can always adjust the temperature of the water in the tank by some degrees. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t know this, and they end up paying expensively on energy bills. Of course, you want to set the temperatures high to kill all the bacteria on the water. Well, you don’t need to raise the temperatures to the maximum. The manual provides conditions at which bacteria cannot survive. That is why you must read and understand it so that you can maximize energy savings.

Insulate your tank

Whether it’s during the winter or summer, the temperatures of the air surrounding your hot water tank are usually cooler than the water. This means some heat from the tank is gradually lost and more energy is needed to heat your water to desired temperatures. Fortunately, applying specialized insulation ensures that the heat is confined and high-energy demands by your heater are minimized.

Consider a tankless heating system

A tankless water heater is usually a good option, especially for a homeowner whose desire is to save energy. When you hire a plumber to regularly service it, you won’t need a reservoir to heat and maintain the temperatures therein at all times. The water is only heated when the need arises. This way, not only do you cut back on energy costs but also boost your heater’s service life.

With economic times getting tougher and harder to cope, it’s important to learn how to cut down unnecessary expenses as much as you can, more so on recurrent bills such as water and energy costs.

Three Things to Consider When Buying Door Handles

Posted on by Ann Klatt in Hot Spots | Comments Off on Three Things to Consider When Buying Door Handles

Keys inserted in a door knobWhen building your dream house in Australia, have you thought about the design and style of the door hardware that you are going to use? Door hardware such as knobs, locks, and hinges may seem insignificant details to you now, but you should not neglect them as they play an important role in helping you achieve the overall design of your home. Here are three things you need to consider when choosing the right door handles for your home.

Overall Style and Design

Although small and seemingly insignificant, door handles have a huge impact on the overall design of your home. Thus, it is important to find the right ones, but it is not as simple as that. The sheer number of door handle options available these days is enough to overwhelm anyone. This is why you need to have a clear idea of the theme and look that you want for your home so that you can easily find the right set of door hardware. For example, if you want your home to look contemporary and sleek, you may want to avoid brass knobs with a vintage look and feel to them.

Ease of Use and Comfort

When choosing door handles, you need to consider how they feel in your hands since you will be using them countless times each day. You should also avoid the ones that are tricky to use. You do not want to lock yourself out accidentally, do you?


When purchasing doors, it may come as a surprise to learn that they do not come with latches, handles, locks, and hinges. You can think of them as accessories that need to be bought separately. This is why you need to set a realistic and reasonable amount when budgeting for your door hardware.

You do not necessarily have to buy the most expensive doors and accessories. However, try to avoid buying the cheaper ones of very low quality as they tend to break more easily, leaving your home susceptible to break-ins.

The Mover’s Checklist: Simplifying the Relocation Process

Posted on by Nihonmagazine in Hot Spots | Comments Off on The Mover’s Checklist: Simplifying the Relocation Process

Couple bringing boxes down the stairsThe whole family must be excited to move into their new home. Everyone is thrilled to see their new rooms and make new friends. As the head of the family, you’re responsible for making sure everything is in order.

Moving to a new city requires enough preparation. The problem with some people is they only start fixing their valuables at the last minute. Cramming can only make things worse. This could make you overlook some of the important things you need to prioritize or even lead you to poor financial decisions.

Here’s a checklist for a smoother and more cost-effective home relocation:

1. Transportation Services

The first thing you need to do is to find a reputable transportation service nearby. Make sure they can accommodate all your belongings, especially for your bigger appliances and furniture. Compare the rates they offer from other service providers. Colonial Van Lines mentions that hiring a van lines moving company is a good idea. Many service providers offer flexible options and affordable rates.

2. Packing Items

There are many packaging items you can use for your valuables. Use recycled containers and boxes at home before buying new ones. Using old newspapers can also save some funds on bubble wraps. Label all the items, so it won’t be confusing when you start loading, unloading, and unpacking them.

3. Schedule

List all the tasks you need to accomplish and make a timeline for each. Mark your calendar and start delegating the tasks to other family members. This should make the whole relocation process more organized. Double check the inventory to make sure everything is ready to go.

4. Inspection

Consider checking the property a week before the relocation. Coordinate with the seller or the property manager. Remind them about the final date of your relocation. Inspect the house once again to ensure safety.

Following these simple steps should make the moving process easier and more convenient. Prepare as early as possible and relax until your relocation date.

The Major Benefits of Offsite Modular Construction

Posted on by Nihonmagazine in Hot Spots | Comments Off on The Major Benefits of Offsite Modular Construction

Engineer and Architect PlanningYou may have previously heard of offsite modular construction or perhaps prefab, short for prefabrication. Now, it is more common as offsite constructions, which has gained popularity because it helped construction companies build projects in a much faster and safer way.

Of course, this is compared to the traditional onsite brick and block construction. And it is actually cheaper! Here is why.

Reduction of Cause of Delay

Like in factories, construction in an offsite facility is faster because you eradicate a lot of factors that would contribute to slowing down of work. The weather has always been a big headache for builders as it can indefinitely delay the project.

By prefabricating materials inside a factory, it effectively eliminates the weather factor.

Faster Turnaround

The introduction of offsite construction greatly accelerated the time to complete a project. Here’s why – while you prepare the foundation of the site, they can start work on modular materials. What’s more, you have an assurance that they will use the right mixture properly.

Once the site is ready, delivery of finished products will start to come in.

Relief to Nearby Residents

Noise and air pollution are the foremost complaints many construction companies and project builders are getting from the surrounding communities. Add to the fact that these heavy types of machinery and equipment usually causes heavy traffic, often blocking an entire section.

With the modular fabricated away from the construction site, there will be no more traffic and pollution complaints.

Safer Environment

Construction sites pose great risks to people passing by such as falling debris among other hazardous threats. Prefabricating modular offsite effectively decreases construction-related procedures that may cause falling debris.

Cheaper Labour Cost

According to many construction companies, they have saved a lot of money from labour cost after they opted to complete the modular materials off the construction site and into the productions lines. With machines creating these modular, builder only need a handful of operators, which means less labour.

In fact, studies suggest that construction companies could save up to 75 percent from worker expenses.

In this age of new construction, better and faster technologies now apply to speed up the completion of the project. It has a big, positive impact on the company in terms of revenue, while it does not cause much disturbance to the people living nearby.

Harness the Power of Exceptional Packing and Grow Your Business

Posted on by Nihonmagazine in Hot Spots | Comments Off on Harness the Power of Exceptional Packing and Grow Your Business

Worker Checking PackagingYour product design is the first thing your prospects interact with when they see your products. Naturally, a well-thought-out packaging design draws their interest and piques their curiosity. It increases the likelihood of buying or trying the product.

With the help of the best packaging solutions in Australia, you can have your products making a statement. An excellent packaging does more than catch the eye of the prospects, it also attests to the quality of your products.

If you can observe this great level of professionalism when packing your products, then you must follow the same rigour when creating the products itself. Here are some credible ways to achieve this feat.

Be bold

In the race for new customers and greater market share, the last thing you need is a conservative approach. You need to go full out in your packaging effort. Be daring and pick a bold design.

Only be sure to come about the design from the point of knowledge. Liaising with an expert can help you come up with a packaging design that resonates with your industry.

The last thing you wish is to assume a trial and error approach when coming up with a packaging strategy. You need to hit the ground running and create a great resonance with the target market. Such an approach saves you valuable time and resources when breaking into a new market.

Consider functionality

Perception is everything when a prospect is making a choice between two related products. Naturally, you want them to pick you up over the competition every time. To inspire brand loyalty, you need to go the extra mile and address some of the nuanced yet vital consumer preferences that make a difference.

In addition to making the packing visually appealing, you need to address functionality. You want to make it easy for your customers to open, use and store the product.

You don’t want people to fight with the packing to access your products as that might amount to a major turn-off. The same case applies when it comes to storing the unused product after opening.

The way you package your products bears a considerable impact on your ability to sell your products. With the right approach, you can create a great resonance between your products and the target market and build brand loyalty.

Australian Farmers Should Invest in Storage Systems to Combat Weather

Posted on by Nihonmagazine in Hot Spots | Comments Off on Australian Farmers Should Invest in Storage Systems to Combat Weather

A Row of Storage FacilitiesBad weather caused poor harvest numbers for Australian farmers in 2017-2018, which should spur a need to invest in storage solutions to prevent spoilage.

Whether they are shipping container sheds or general fabric structures, agribusinesses need to look into more investments in better storage facilities. Another reason to do so involves the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) forecast rebound in grain production for 2018-2019.

Weather Conditions

A dry spell, frosty weather and flooding affected grain production in the country during the previous season. This would take a turn for the better in the next one. According to the USDA, wheat production in Australia would increase almost 12 percent to 24 million metric tonnes in 2018-2019.

However, rice production would largely remain the same in the following season, while growing demand from livestock farmers and higher prices in some parts of the country may limit grain exports.

The domestic feed market is responsible for roughly 10 percent of the grain supply chain, but this has changed in recent years due to the changing weather and a shortage of grassland.

Funding Assistance

A robust harvest greatly depends on the available supply of water, especially rainfall. Some states have provided funding assistance for farmers that grapple with dry weather. In New South Wales, farmers can apply for a $20,000 loan under the Drought Transport Fund.

The financing would help farms to deal with the freight expenses such as water delivery and fodder distribution. While it may be small, the loan would still be useful given that the recent droughts may be the worst in the last eight centuries.


Australian farmers need to consider all options to protect their crop harvest. Pest and spoilage are some of these concerns, so farmers should think whether they have an efficient storage system.

Warehouse Operation: 4 Ways to Maintain Product Integrity

Posted on by Nihonmagazine in Hot Spots | Comments Off on Warehouse Operation: 4 Ways to Maintain Product Integrity

Owner managing his warehouseProducts could break from time to time in your warehouse. Boxes of goods may fall out of the shelving or large items could damage smaller items. The more items that break, the more you can expect to lose money. Moreover, cleaning up the mess takes time away from workers who should be focusing on their primary tasks.

You can prevent most instances of breakage and avoid the costs using the following strategies:

Invest in high-quality industrial racking systems

Your storage requirements call for the best racking systems for warehouses. Your options include galvanised pallet racking, drive-in racking, cantilever racking and many other storage structures. Some of the crucial factors in choosing your racking system are the goods to store, the volume of items to store and the typical warehouse operation.

You also need to consider the design of your warehouse; the space has to work for the movement of products and people. With the right raking system and appropriate design, you can prevent or minimise future problems.

Don’t overload the racks

Before placing products on the shelves, it’s important to know the storage equipment’s capacity as well as the weight of the items. Determining and following the load capacity of your shelves will keep accidents to a minimum.

Keep the warehouse clean and organised

A dirty warehouse is a safety hazard. It could lead to slips and falls; Worksafe reports that 70 per cent of injuries in warehouses are due to hazardous manual handling and slips, trips and falls.

Install rack column protectors

Rack column protectors may not cost much in the market, but they do a fine job protecting your products in case of a forklift accident. They absorb a significant amount of the impact when the rack gets hit besides preventing the racks from collapsing.

Don’t let product damage in your warehouse slash your profits and tarnish your image. By adopting a few precautionary measures, you can maintain the integrity of your products and keep operations running smoothly.

4 Tips for Setting Up a New Warehouse

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Warehouse with a good setupSo, you’ve finally chosen the perfect warehouse for your business’ storage needs and you’re now excited to set it up with heavy duty long span shelving, floor markings, and all that good stuff. You probably know by now, however, that it’s not going to be an easy job.

You don’t have to lose sleep while thinking about what your warehouse layout should be, though. Here are some tips to help you get started on a setup that’s conducive to productivity.

1. Create an Extra Large Receiving Area

Your receiving team has one of the most important functions in your operations. If anything goes wrong, the whole process is affected. Having enough space to work in when counting and reconciling items to a list or breaking down pallets makes work easier and less confusing.

2. Receiving and Shipping Must Be Separate

Preferably, these two areas must be on separate ends of your warehouse. Like receiving, shipping also entails double-check counting and building pallets that all need to be recorded. Peak seasons won’t be friendly if you had these processes in the same area.

3. Dead Stock Must Have its Own Area

You can’t continue to keep your dead stocks with your moving stocks. Create a separate area for them, so when liquidation comes, you won’t rely on the numbers but on the actual products as well.

4. Put Frequently Picked Products Closer to Shipping

This is an ultimate timesaving tip. Imagine having your most popular products stored the farthest from shipping. Efficiency would be lost right away. If they’re stored closer to shipping, it would take less time for everyone to finish the process and you can have them shipped out in a shorter turn-around time.

Remember that as your business grows, your warehouse needs may change as well. Choose shelving and racking systems that are easy to customise based on your inventory, and train your staff well on these possibilities. Once all these are checked off your list, you’ll be ready to get down to business.

Small Additions that Add Elegance to a Home

Posted on by Ann Klatt in Hot Spots | Comments Off on Small Additions that Add Elegance to a Home

Plant decor in the houseIt’s important to dress your home up as you please for maximum comfort. The following are some techniques you could try out to make your home look better without too much effort.

1. Pine Tongue and Groove

Pine tongue and groove make a huge difference in any home. Placed in strategic locations, they add a touch of elegance that would work in practically all themes. The beauty of such paneling is that it has a universal appeal. Plus, there are lots of designs to choose from.

2. Contrasting Pillows

Add a few pillows on your sofa to add contrast to the overall look of the home. Throw pillows usually come in different shapes and sizes, and as such, it is easy to mix and match as the season warrants. For example, use red pillows for Christmas and something green for Saint Patty’s Day.

3. Fresh Flowers

It’s really amazing how fresh flowers can liven up a room so quickly. No need to spend so much on fresh flowers, however — even everyday flowers you can pick off the garden can add a bit of happiness indoors.

Make a point of putting some in your home, especially during days when you’ll be staying indoors.

4. Natural Light

There’s really no need to spend hundreds in order to boost the beauty of your home. In many cases, all it takes is to take off the drapes or clean the windows to allow natural light in. Open the windows and breathe in fresh air, you’ll thank yourself for it.

5. Odd Groupings

Most decorators follow the ‘rule of three’ technique wherein they usually display multiple items in threes. This is actually more satisfying to the eyes and therefore more relaxing in homes.

Of course, those are just a few of the changes you can make to have a fresher home. In time, you’ll learn how to experiment to achieve the results you want.