Category Archives: Travel Blog

MANILA TRAVEL DIARY: Electrosurgery on My Milia and Flat Warts

My sister, Dr. Belen Lardizabal Dofitas, dermatologist extradordinaire
My sister, Dr. Belen Lardizabal Dofitas, dermatologist extradordinaire

TRAVEL DIARY: March 7, 2016 – No pain, no gain! My dermatologist-sister, Dr. Belen Lardizabal Dofitas, made me “Plastic Woman” by putting cellophane tape over the facial anesthesia applied to areas of my face and neck. The tape was placed so that the anesthesia would be absorbed for an hour before she performed electrosurgery, zapping my many “milia” on my face (those tiny white bumps are cysts made of keratin) and flat warts on my neck. This particular procedure was almost painless, that is, you could smell some minuscule burnt skin, feel some slight needle pricks and heat as she zapped the milia. Afterwards, she placed antibiotic on all the zapped areas and told me not to wash my face and neck until noon tomorrow (24 hours after the procedure). The total waiting time from anesthesia to electrosurgery: Possibly three hours, not including the traffic.

Lorna, Plastic Woman
Lorna, Plastic Woman

You can see some redness on my face. In a couple of days, I will see some dots (scarring) which will then just fall off. The milia inside those dots will also jut out and fall off. The others will be easy to scrape off during my next facial (just like blackheads and whiteheads). My sister had used a needle on one of the larger and harder milia above my left eye. My gain is that I can now put on my eye make-up without having tiny bumps. The only downside is that I have to keep wearing sunscreen (SPF 50 to SPF 70) forever.

Lorna, after electrosurgery
Lorna, after electrosurgery

This procedure was done at QualiMed, FMAB Building (Faculty Medical Arts Building) at PGH (Philippine General Hospital). The cost? It is easier to estimate it this way: Zapping up to 10 milia is PH1,000. So, if you have 20 milia, it is PH2,000 (or $42.55, PH47=US$1). It could be less. This is just a good ballpark figure to remember.

I will have more work done during my next trip this October. I need to tighten my chin and my neck so this means saving PH20,000 to PH30,000 ($426-$638.30). Belen would like to use laser on some of my darker freckles so they would look lighter.

Pricing, as always, is subject to change without any notice.

Does anyone want to join me for a skin care medical tourism journey this late October/early November? This is a personal invitation since I am such a believer…

There are many doctors to choose from — depending where you will be staying. Belen has many dermatologists she can recommend us to — especially since most of them are her former students.

There are other clinics such as Clínica Manila (Dr. Hernan Delizo’s “baby” and the visionary behind the ONE HEALTH CARD) that can help you. I have experienced the services of Clínica Manila and QualiMed — and I can share with you that medical tourism in the Philippines is such a good experience with value-packed pricing.

I look forward to what Cebu has to offer!

One day after Lorna's electrosurgery
One day after Lorna’s electrosurgery

TRAVEL DIARY: March 8, 2016 – One day after the electrosurgery on my face (performed by my dermatologist sister at QualiMed-FMAB at PGH) to zap the tiny milia (the cysts made out of keratin). The scabs will fall off before I leave for the US next week.

You need to know how to walk with confidence. I wasn’t even aware that people were staring at me politely. I bet you they couldn’t decide if I had chicken pox scars, right? LOL

Packing Tips: Travel light for business or vacation with your carry-on luggage

My heavy travel schedule is such that I have learned how to pack everything inside my Samsonite laptop bag and a duffel bag good for a week or two. Here are some videos I collected that gives practical packing tips for travellers. I follow some of these tips, believe it or not. Here’s the best tip I got from a book: To prevent static from your clothes, bring some of your clothes dryer sheets like Bounce with Febreze. Rub them lightly over your clothes when you are dressing up! Oila, no more static clinging to your body!

If you plan to travel to the US, always check for carry-on luggage packing tips. That 1 quart ziploc bag comes in handy even if you travel to other countries.

For the Blackberry 8830 World Edition users, being able to use your phone as a modem so you don’t have to rely on WIFI — this is the way to go! I used this during my travel to the Netherlands and I was the envy of international travelers at Schiphol Airport.

How to Pack for Vacation : How to Pack a Carry-On Bag
From Expert Village. Embedding isn’t allowed so just click on the video.

How To Pack Everything For Your Vacation Into a Carry-on

Girls Gone Styled Ep. 6: How To Pack Like A Fashionista


Think You Know How To Pack A Suitcase?

Ginny McGrath is challenged by a hotel concierge who’s an expert on travelling light.

Virtual Valet – How to Pack a Bag from Esquire Magazine

Sanny Leviste (from honors Yosemite Valley

Updates on May 19, 2011:

Thank you, Robbie Fabian, for introducing me to Sanny Leviste. He has truly been like a slightly-older brother who keeps me on my toes with his intellectually-stimulating activities and sense of humor (he’s become my favorite pun-ologist, someone who likes to pun). From being a champion of the fisher-folk and environmental concerns to dabbling in politics (yeah, Mario Leviste did run for the Philippine Senate, and at that time, he was the youngest to do so), Sanny doesn’t miss a beat working both his left and right brains in his purpose-driven life. La Salle and Ateneo found a brother who chose not to engage in traditional college rivalry. Although he focuses on programs at Heartbridge International Foundation, Sanny finds the time to appreciate nature through his photography. I have many of his nature shots on file, with permission to use them whenever I need them. Recently, he used infrared photography to record his journey to Yosemite Valley. So, here it is.


Vacationing and Partying in Boracay: A Spring Break Travel Special on March 22 -30, 2008


Experience Boracay 2008 - brought to you by Mango Tours

:D If I wasn’t inundated with Spring projects back-to-back, I would be partying in Manila, Cebu, and Boracay. Francesca Regala, at the Cultural Section of the Philippine Consulate General’s Office in San Francisco, is busy helping organize this trip that’s been packaged by Mango Tours. Oh, to be wild and free, forever young Filipina professional that I am. Well, the best that I can do is send the word out that there’s something here for everyone (and vicariously enjoy their experiences)… For those of you who want to know what the partying could be like, go to my YouTube video collection here. You have to scroll down for the Wild on E! adventures in Boracay and other places in the Philippines. For Filipino Americans who want to know more about their roots (while partying!), this is a wonderful travel group to be with!

Go to for the tour packages. Information can also be found at

The experience - the packages for you to choose from

Here’s some contact information for you:

Jappy Francisco
Marketing Director
Mango Tours, Inc.
[email protected]
(866) 262-6452 extension 1404

Francesca Regala
Cultural, Community Relations and Public Information (CCPI) Section
Philippine Consulate General, San Francisco
447 Sutter Street, 6th Floor,
San Francisco, CA 94108 USA
Tel. No.: (415) 433-6666 ext. 314
Fax No.: (415) 421-2641
Email: [email protected]


If you want to put together a tour package of your own to the Philippines — and within Asia — please let me know. It could be your own Spring Break special, an incentive travel trip, a reunion, a meeting, or a conference. I’ll hook you up with the professionals. Who knows, you will also get me as the tour coordinator. Well, if you do get me (no humbug or arrogance here!), you’re in for some wholesome (yes, family-type wholesome!), holistic, pretty wild, and tame adventures in travel.


Filipina Travel Blog: Carol Lim Dayonot’s Magnificent Adventure in the Philippines

Carol Lim Dayonot, photographed by Owen Donnahoo at the Pistahan 2007 Festival in San Francisco ( better than a Filipina American friend to tell us her story — for first timers, vacationers, eco-tourism aficionados, or homesick travellers to the Philippines? When I received Carol’s e-mail a few months ago, I was so fascinated by her “talk story” that I just had to ask if I could feature her e-mail as the first travel diary to be showcased at

The “travel blog” is one of my marketing and public relations strategies. I want to entice internet friends and travel bargain hunters to read about my friends’ adventures (and perhaps, misadventures) during their travels to Asia. The way Wikipedia describes it: “Travel blogs provide a platform for researching destinations as they offer real-world travel experiences undertaken by individual travellers and offer a focused and interactive way of sharing travel experiences within the framework of a like-minded travel community.”

I almost gave Carol’s travel blog another title: “Carol and her pearls travel to the Philippines.” However, I thought you might not get the private joke. Carol, wherever she goes, stands out in a crowd. Her choices of fiery, earthy colors and fusion-fashion designs match her one-of-a-kind pearl jewelry creations and her ebullient, charismatic persona. I’ve seen some friends love her original creations so much that they would buy them off her wrist or her neck.

I’ve chosen a photo that Owen Donnahoo, a member of the Filipina Women’s Network, took of Carol at this year’s Pistahan Festival (with her permission, of course). This is how I remember meeting Carol Lim Dayonot for the first time: wearing one of her eye-catching, unique, and colorful shawls.

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