Saturday, December 29, 2007

Worlds Best 10 Beaches

Thursday, December 27, 2007

BORACAY RATES for Philippine residents and balikbayans

 

For foreign market rates, click here

Note: if your preferred resort is not on this page, contact us

CLUB TEN BEACH RESORT

Affordable Boracay Package

Promo is valid from November 1 to May 31, 2008

Room Type

Rate per person

Extra Night (w/ bfast)

Single Occupancy

Php5,800

Php2,600

Twin Sharing

Php3,700

Php1,600

Triple Sharing Php3,500 Php1,400
Quadruple Sharing Php3,200 Php1,200

Inclusions:

3days/2nights accommodation

Daily breakfast

Roundtrip transfer

Welcome drinks

PEARL OF THE PACIFIC

Season's Package

Valid from Nov 16- Dec 21, 2007

Occupancy Deluxe Maharlika Inclusions

Single

P12,056

P15,722

- 3days/2nights room accommodation

- Roundtrip Caticlan airport transfers - add P400/pax if Kalibo

- Daily set breakfast

- Complimentary set dinner for 1 night

- Complimentary Aromatherapy massage & Island Salon service

- Welcome drink & welcome lei

- 10% off on food and beverage

Twin

P7,473 P9,307

Triple

P6,760 P7,982

Quadruple

P6,402 P7,320

Child's rate

P1,890 P1,890

 

Extra night rate with breakfast per person

Occupancy Single Twin Triple Quad Child
Deluxe P4,861 P2,569 P2,213 P2,035 P280
Maharlika P6,700 P3,500 P2,825 P2,500 P280

 

Yearend Rate

Valid from Dec 22, 2007 to Jan 3, 2008

Package rate per room per night

Occupancy Deluxe Maharlika Inclusions

Single/Twn/Dbl

P12,056

P15,722

- Overnight room accommodation

- Welcome drink

- Welcome lei

- Buffet breakfast

- Themed dinner at the beachfront

- 1 time complimentary Aromatherapy massage for a minimum of 2 nights stay

- 10% off on food and beverages

Extra Person

P7,473 P9,307

Child

P6,760 P7,982

Compulsory dinner on Dec 31 New Year's Celebration: P1,000 (adult); P800 (child)

RT Transfers - Caticlan

P500/person
RT Transfers - Kalibo P750/person

 

 

ASYA BORACAY

High & Peak Season Rates per person

Valid from 16 Oct 2007 - 31 May 2008

  Single Twin Triple Quad
Deluxe Villa P11,860 P6,560 P5,500 P4,970
   Extra night P5,930 P3,280 P2,750 P2,485
Courtyard Suite P12,920 P7,090 P5,854 P5,235
   Extra Night P6,460 P3,545 P2,927 P2,618
Villa Suite P13,980 P7,620 P6,207 P5,500
   Extra Night P6,990 P3,810 P3,104 P2,750

Inclusions:

- 2 nights accommodation

- Roundtrip land and boat transfers via Caticlan

- Welcome drinks

- Daily breakfast; personal drinks are not included

- Use of water sports equipment and facilities at Asya's Private Cove, swimming pool, wifi connection by the restaurant, poolside and business center

- Complimentary one-time mini bar

- One guest souvenir photo by the gazebo

- Two pairs of slippers and one beach bag for every room

- 12% Government Tax and 10% Service Charge

 

 

FRIDAY'S BORACAY

 

Low

(July 1-Oct 15)

High

(Oct 16, '07-

Jun 18, '08)

Peak

(Dec 18, '07-Jan 7, '08; Feb 4-10, '08; Mar 17-30, '08)

3days/2nights P39,000 P42,000 P45,000
Perfect Honeymoon P44,000 P47,000 P50,000
Dive, Golf or Spa P52,000 P55,000 P58,000
Extra Night w/ Bfast P7,000 P8,000 P9,500
Premier Room Upgrade (per night) P1,500 P1,500 P1,500
Premier Suite P2,500 P2,500 P2500

Note:

- Package is designed for two adults

- Extra person is Php1,600 per person, per night

- Includes: Roundtrip airfare via Caticlan, room accommodation, roundtrip transfers, Daily breakfast, one lunch for two

 

 

WALING-WALING BEACH HOTEL

High Season Package (Oct 16, 2007 - June 15, 2008)

3days/2nights

   Twin Occupancy

   Triple Occupancy

   Quadruple Occupancy

   Quadruple Occupancy (deluxe)

 

Php8,665/person

Php7,670/person

Php6,795/person

Php7,170/person

4days/3nights

   Twin Occupancy

   Triple Occupancy

   Quadruple Occupancy

   Quadruple Occupancy (deluxe)

 

Php12,145/person

Php10,705/person

Php9,440/person

Php9,980/person

5days/4nights

   Twin Occupancy

   Triple Occupancy

   Quadruple Occupancy

   Quadruple Occupancy (deluxe)

 

Php15,330/person

Php13,490/person

Php11,875/person

Php12,565/person

6days/5nights

   Twin Occupancy

   Triple Occupancy

   Quadruple Occupancy

   Quadruple Occupancy (deluxe)

 

Php18,215/person

Php16,025/person

Php14,110/person

Php14,930/person

  *All rates are subject to 12% evat

Inclusions:

- Superior Room Accommodation - Beachfront

- Daily breakfast

- Daily Dinner

- 1 Hour Full Body Massage in a Cabana, between 9am - 7pm only

- Roundtrip transfers via Caticlan, add Php500 per person if via Kalibo

- Welcome drink and lei upon arrival

- Environmental Fee

 

Note:

- Not valid during Peak Season: Xmas, New Year, Chinese New Year and Holy Week

 

 

LE SOLEIL DE BORACAY

Boracay Pleasure Package

Valid from Oct 16 - May 31, 2008 except peak periods (Dec 21 - Jan 5; Feb 7-14; Mar 17-23)

Accommodation

Rates

Single Occupancy P9,815/person
   Extra night with breakfast P4,200/person/night
Double Occupancy P5,850/person
   Extra night with breakfast P2,000/person/night
Triple Occupancy P4,935/person
   Extra night with breakfast P1,900/person/night
Quad Occupancy P4,569/person
   Extra night with breakfast P1,500/person/night

Inclusions:

- 3days/2nights accommodation in a Deluxe Room

- 2 days set Filipino or American breakfast

- One night set dinner

- Roundtrip transfers via Caticlan

- Welcome drink and lei upon arrival

 

 

LORENZO RESORTS

Boracay Escapade

Valid from Nov 1, 2007 - Mar 31, 2008 (except peak periods)

Resort Single Twin Triple
Lorenzo South      
Premiere P12,710 P7,190 P6,085
   Extra Night P5,890 P3,220 P2,670ff
Superior P11,605 P6,640 P5,720
   Extra Night P5,430 P2,945 P2,485
Lorenzo Villa      
Premiere P8,845 P5,260 P4,800
   Extra night P4,050 P2,255 P2,025
       
Child rate P2,480    
   Extra night P865    

Inclusions:

- Minimum stay of 3days/2nights

- Daily set breakfast and set dinner

- Roundtrip transfers via Caticlan

- One time body massage

- Welcome drinks

- Free shuttle service to and from South and Villa

COCOMANGAS

3days/2nights Promo Package

Valid from Dec 1-20, 2007/ Jan 5-Mar 15, 2008/ Apr 1-May 31, 2008)

Room Type Rate per person
Single Occupancy Php4,950
     Extra night Php1,800
Twin Sharing Php3,750
     Extra night Php1,350
Triple Sharing Php3,600
     Extra night Php1,350
Quad Sharing Php3,450
     Extra night Php1,350

Inclusions:

- 3days/2nights aircon accommodation

- 2 breakfast

- 2 nights dinner (w/o drinks)

- Roundtrip airport transfers (Kalibo or Caticlan)

- Welcome drinks upon arrival

SEAWIND BORACAY

Summer Fun Promo

starts 16 October 2007 ends 15 June 2008

3days/2nights Rate per person in Php
Single 13,870
Twin 7,100
Triple 5,870
Quad 5,350

4days/3nights

Rate per person in Php
Single 19,970
Twin 10,150
Triple 8,400
Quad 7,625

5days/4nights

Rate per person in Php
Single 26,070
Twin 13,200
Triple 10,940
Quad 9,900

6days/5nights

Rate per person in Php
Single 32,170
Twin 16,250
Triple 13,475
Quad 12,175

7days/6nights

Rate per person in Php
Single 38,270
Twin 19,300
Triple 16,000
Quad 14,450

Inclusions:

- Deluxe Room Accommodation

- Daily breakfast

- Welcome drink

- Roundtrip transfers via Caticlan airport (addt'l Php200 for Kalibo airport)

- Not valid during Christmas/New Year, Chinese New Year and Holy Week

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boracay Beach Picture

 

Boracay

Travel Pangasinan: PUTO FESTIVAL

Pangasinan

PUTO FESTIVAL
December 26- December 28 | Calasiao, Pangasinan
Celebration of the town's major produce, rice cake (puto).
 

Pangasinan is a province 250 kilometers north on Manila. The province is bordered by the provinces of Zambales and Tarlac on the south, Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija to the east, La Union on the north and the Lingayen Gulf to the west. The name Pangasinan was derived from the word "asin" or salt due to Pangasinan's vast salt making industry. The province is also a major producer of mangoes, rice, milkfish and bamboo handicrafts.

 

Pangasinan Hundred Islands National ParkToday, Pangasinan is more known for its most popular tourist attraction which is the Hundred Islands National Park. A cluster of more than a hundred islands off the town of Alaminos on the Lingayen Gulf. Of which, the biggest island is named Quezon. Most of the islands are small and uninhabited and are only occasionally visited during the day by local and foreign tourist. Most of the bigger islands have beaches where visitors can spend the day or camp out for a picnic.

 

However, only a few of these island have facilities. Those that offer facilities are: Quezon Island with viewing decks, toilets and picnic sheds, the Governor's Island has accommodation facilities for those who would like to stay longer and the Children's Island which has bathrooms, camping and sleeping areas.

 

Now, visitors to the Hundred Islands can better enjoy their vacation with water sports facilities offered for rent at Lucap Waterfront (Tel # +63 75 5512246) for activities like jet skiing, windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling, parasailing and big game fishing.

 

Other Tourist Attractions of Pangasinan:

 

Pangasinan CavePlaces of interest in Pangasinan are: the 2 lighthouses in Bolinao: the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse in Barangay Patar and the Port Bolinao Lighthouse in Guigui-wanen in Barangay Luciente; the Tara waterfalls in Bolinao; the pristine Balingasay river; Antong Falls in the town of Sison; the Urduja House in Lingayen; the Salasa Church in Bugallon; Mount Balungao in Balungao; Manleluag Spring National Park in Mangatarem; Bolinao Museum; Sanctuario de Senor Divino Tesoro in Calasiao; Redeemer's Cross; Agno Umbrella Rocks and the Lingayen Gulf War Museum in the town of Lingayen.

 

Lingayen Gulf, PangasinanFor the adventurous, there are several caves in Pangasinan waiting to be explored. There is the Cacupangan cave in the town of Mabini, Cindy's cave in Bolinao and the 200 meter Villacorta Caves in the town of Villacorta with waterfalls, pools and rock formations.

 

Aside form the beaches found on the Hundred Islands, one need not get a boat ride to get to a beach in Pangasinan. The coastline of Lingayen Gulf is blessed with numerous beaches for tourist and vacationers. There is the Bonuan beach, videoke stalls to match and other beaches that dot the coastline of Pangasinan.

 

Best Beaches of Pangasinan:

 

Beach at Pangasinan, PhilippinesAbrak Beach in Bolinao has huts for rent for the budget conscious and several resorts for those with bigger budgets.
Tambobong Beach, also in Dasol has pristine waters and a fishing village serves as a backdrop.
Colibra Island, in Dasol has a beautiful shoreline; clear waters that is good for for diving and snorkeling. The island's beach however has no shade. So be prepared to get a dark tan.
Tondol Beach in Anda town offers a long stretch shallow and calm waters. Ideal for sunbathers.

Arnedo Beach also in Bolinao offers several resorts, some with surfing facilities with reasonable rates.

 

How to get to Pangasinan:

Catch a bus from Manila going to Alaminos, Pangasinan. From the town proper of Alaminos, there are tricycles and jeepneys that ply the 3 kilometer route to Lucap town where the Public Assistance Center for the Hundred Islands National Park is located. The center also accepts reservations for accommodations to the islands. From the center, motorized boats (banca) can be hired for a trip to the islands.

 

Buses that ply the Manila - Pangasinan route:

● Dagupan Bus Line (Quezon City to Dagupan) New York St., Cubao Tel # 929-6123, 727-2330

● Victory Liner (Quezon City to Dagupan & Alaminos) Cubao, Q.C. Tel # 727-4688, 727-4534

● Five Star Bus Line (Pasay City to Dagupan & Bolinao) Tel # 833 8339, 833 3009

● City Trans (Manila to Dagupan & Bolinao)

● Philippine Rabbit (Quezon City to Dagupan & Bolinao) EDSA, Q.C. Tel # 734-9838,  734-9836

● Philippine Rapid Manila to Dagupan & Bolinao)

OTHER TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

 
Bonuan Blue Beach Dagupan City
Capitol Building Lingayen
Home Economics Building of the West Central Elem. School Dagupan City
Limahong Channel Lingayen
Lingayen Gulf War Memorial Lingayen
Old St. John's Cathedral Dagupan City
Villa Verde Trail San Nicolas
White Beach San Fabian
Antong Falls Sison
Cacupangan Cave Mabini
Cape Bolinao Beach Bolinao
Mount Balungao Balungao
Santiago Island Bolinao
Tambobong White Beach Dasol
Villacorta Caves Mabini
Bolinao Museum Bolinao
Church of St. James Fortress Bolinao
Redeemer's Cross Bani
Salasa Church Bugallon
Shrine of the Immaculate Concepcion Rosales
Sison Auditorium Lingayen
Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center Lingayen
Oceanographic Marine Laboratory Alaminos
University of the Philippines Marine Service Institute Bolinao
Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation San Carlos City
Bangus Festival Dagupan City
Feast of the Señora de Manaoag Manaoag
Feast of the Señor Divino Tesoro Calasiao
Galicayo Festival Manaoag
Mango/Bamboo Festival San Carlos City
Panangidayew Lingayen
Pista'y Dayat Lingayen Gulf
Puto Festival Calasiao

Travel ILOCOS NORTE: DAMILI FESTIVAL

DAMILI FESTIVAL
December 26 30 | San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte
This is celebrated during San Nicolas Festival that highlights as a street dance competition pantomiming the Damilian's pottery making.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

SIARGAO ISLAND

This newly discovered island boasts of white-sand beaches and surfing waves compared to that of Hawaii. Lying 800 kilometers southeast of Manila, the tear-shaped Siargao Island is a perfect haven for the sun, sea, and surf buffs. It lies on the eastern portion of Surigao del Norte and on the southeastern tip of Mindanao. The island is a mass of tropical land with scores of reefs, points and white beaches.

Its promise as a surfing mecca in the making was discovered in 1993 by American surf photographer John Callahan who went to investigate the rumors of spectacular waves in a little known Mindanao town. He came back from his trip armed with stories about the lovely sun-drenched island and documented his find with beautiful photographs.

Siargao opened itself to the international surfing community by playing host to the Siargao Surfing Cup in the municipality of General Luna. Siargao's Cloud Nine break is said to be among the best in the world and foreign sportsmen view "the unparalleled surf of Siargao as a magnet for deep sea fishing, sailing, wind-surfing, kayaking, and sunbathing on miles of white sandy beaches that the reef-ringed island and its rich waters afford the visitors.

Travel Pagudpud

PAGUDPUD BEACH

If Aklan has Boracay, Ilocos has Pagudpud, its northernmost town bordering the South China Sea. The coastal town of Pagudpud is the perfect setting for panoramic movies and photoshoot for travel magazines cover.

The town's main attractions are Saud Beach, known for its fine white sand stretching for hundreds of meters and Maira-Ira Point, which hides a secluded beach called Blue Lagoon. Other breathtaking landscapes in Pagudpud include Bantay Abot-abot, a natural sculpture carved by the wind and sea, the Mabogabog Falls and the Patapat viaduct that treats motorists to a scenic view of green lushes and blue waters of South China Sea.

Pagudpud is just an hour's drive from Laoag City International Airport. From here, tourists can visit other popular destinations such as the Bangui Wind Farm, the Hispanic village of Vigan, and the old Paoay Church.

Travel HUNDRED ISLANDS

HUNDRED ISLANDS

Northern Philippines boasts of white-sand beaches in Pangasinan and Ilocandia. Among the best tourist destinations is the Hundred Islands which can be reached from the Pangasinan town of Alaminos, where the lodging accommodations and restaurants are situated.

At Hundred Islands, the visitor may rent an island for one's own private beach for a day. Short boat rides take off from the village of Lucap to the Hundred Islands.

Beaches stretch along the western coast of Ilocos region. Among the popular beach resorts are Cresta del Mar, Bali Hai, Cabana and the Coconut Grove in La Union province.

Ilocos Norte also has fine resorts such as D'Coral Beach Resort and Fort Ilocandia.

Travel PUERTO GALERA

PUERTO GALERA

Puerto Galera (which means Galleon Port) is one of the most popular beach resorts in the Philippines. A marine reserve, it is endowed with coves, fine sandy beaches and shallow coral reefs ideal for snorkeling.


The place can be reached from the port of Batangas City where a ferry service to Mindoro awaits the tourists. Bancas may be hired to go to Escarceo Point, the best dive spot in Puerto Galera. The area offers positive thrills and guaranteed excitement, with its sudden rushes of strong currents and steep slopes which are a favorite gathering place for large pelagic fish.Diving expeditions are usually organized by certified masters on specific dive spots.

Travel BATANGAS


Anilao, a resort village in Mabini, Batangas is considered the summer mecca of diving fanatics. The resort offers accommodations and diving facilities, plus the services of training clubs that provide courses on diving.

Situated in the southeast area of Batangas province, Anilao may be reached within three hours from Manila through public buses or jeepneys. From Anilao, one can start diving from the shore or go in bancas to nearby islands. Among them is Sombrero (Hat) Island, a marine preserve where sports activities are regulated.

Other dive spots in this side of Batangas are Mapating Rock at Maricaban Island, Caban Cove and Layag Layag Point.

Travel SUBIC

Subic Bay

Subic, the former US naval base in the Philippines, is now a hub for commerce and tourism. Just two-and-a-half hour drive north from Manila, Subic offers a full view of the blue mountain and sea and of the green background of a three-layered virgin forest.

Points of interest include the 18-hole Binictican Golf Course and Clubhouse, a white-sand beach, bowling and arcade center,a ship wharf past a restricted forested area, firing ranges, fishing grounds and an area for bungee jumping.

Visitors to Subic can take a 12-hour jungle survival course, visit an Aeta tribal village, take a bay cruise, explore the coves, end up at the white-sand beach of Grande Island, engage in water sports, go horseback riding or simply enjoy the scenic view of the sea.


Subic Bay is complete with tourism-support facilities that include a marina, a yacht club, hotels, shopping arcades and food shops. It also boasts of an international airport.

Travel SARANGANI

The Beaches of Glan, Sarangani

Glan, the largest town in the Sarangani province, boasts of world-class beach resorts and rich fishing grounds. The terrain of Glan is characterized by flatlands, rolling hills and mountains. Most land areas have been converted to agriculture and fishponds.

The town of Glan is bounded on the east by Davao Del Sur, on the north by Malapatan town, on the west by the South China Sea, and on the south by Sarangani Bay.

Many foreign and local tourists flock to the area during summer because of its splendid beach resorts. The sorrounding waters, particularly in Gumasa, Baliton and Margus areas are rich fishing grounds. As many as 2,400 species of marine animals have been found in the bay. The dominant catch include yellow-fin tuna, shipjack, and mackerel.

Glan can be reached from Manila and Cebu by airplane going to General Santos City and a 45-minute drive from the airport.

Travel GUIMARAS

Guimaras tourism to revive its economy


Nueva Valencia, Guimaras - An Italian couple on a two-month holiday in the Philippines chose to include this paradise in their itinerary and stayed at the Raymen Beach Resort in December 2006, unperturbed by news about the oil spill that brought the island province to world attention in August of the same year.

"We are just here to see good beaches," said the Boldo couple, who are just among the hundreds of foreign guests who kept coming to Guimaras even in the aftermath of the infamous oil spill. Guimaras has 238.3-kilometer coastline, with long stretches of white, powdery sand considered among the finest in the world.


Lucia Cachuela, managing director of the El Retiro Beach Park, noted that international visitor arrivals to Guimaras began to pick up in November. "Tourists are coming back," Cachuela told journalists who visited the province as a part of the Guimaras Tourism Recovery Program spearheaded by the Department of Tourism.

Despite the accident and the negative publicity it generated for the province since August, data show that the number of foreign tourists, or those who spent at least a night in Guimaras, went up to 293 in November from 98 in October, 75 in September, and 237 in August - the month of the accident. In November 2005, there were only 143 foreign tourists in Guimaras.


Foreign excursionists, or day-in visitors, also went up to 525 in November from 453 a year ago. It was also up from 257 in October, and 297 in September. In August, the number of foreign excursionists reached 566.

Guimaras targets to attract more foreign tourists, because they spend the highest amount while in the island. The DOT Guests Assistance Centers in the port towns of Buenavista and Jordan estimated the average daily expenditure of foreign tourist at P2,000; foreign excursionist, P1,500; local tourist, P1,500; and local excursionist, P500.


"Guimaras is very alive and kicking," said Helen Camarista, the officer-in-charge of the Department of Tourism in Western Visayas. "Business has never been stronger."

"Out of 24 accredited resorts, only seven have been hardest hit. So 17 resorts are okay," Camarista, herself a resident of Guimaras, said.

Nueva Valencia Vice Mayor Juan Gaitan agreed, saying many beach resorts remain unspoiled. "We are telling people that not all areas have been affected. We encourage them to come to Guimaras," Gaitan said.


For example, Jose Garomita, president of the Guisi Community-based Heritage Tourism, said that they were able to protect the white-sand beach in Guisi, a sitio in Barangay Dolores, Nueva Valencia town from the oil slick.

Guimaras, a 60,465-hectare island the size of Singapore with five towns and 98 barangays and home to more than 140,000 residents, hogged the headlines when oil tanker MT Solar I carrying 2 million liters of bunker fuel owned by Petron Corp. sank in rough waters 10 miles off the coast of Nueva Valencia town on August 11 this year.

Scientists said about 300,000 liters of the cargo polluted 24,000 square kilometers of waters near the island paradise. The spill was later contained, and clean up operations began.

Ironically, foreign and domestic visitor arrivals to Guimaras went up by 13 percent to 13,566 in August from 11,986 a year ago. Arrivals reached 14,501 in September; 14,163 in October and 12,221 in November.


"More attention has been given to Guimaras since August. Now, there are scientists, researchers, and donors who are coming to Guimaras," Camarista said.

Camarista noted that before the oil spill took place, there were only 4 to 5 departures of pump boats each day. Now, this has gone up to 7 to 10 departures per day, she said.

But a few resorts are still feeling the impact of the tragedy. "When news of the oil spill spread, seven resorts received booking cancellations through email," Camarista conceded.

Peter Harper-bill, an 80-year-old British retiree who manages the Baras Resort, said bookings were less than half of what they used to be. "Normally, we were fully booked around Christmas, but now we are not," Harper-bill said.


Tourism is a major industry in Guimaras. In 2005, tourist arrivals totaled 181,915 and injected P204.3 million into its local economy. Since 2003, tourist arrivals to the province have been rising 30 percent per annum.

Ruben Corpuz, the provincial economic officer, said much of Guimaras, including its spectacular coastline and rich marine biodiversity remain unexplored.

Its main attractions include Roca Encantadia, Guisi Lighthouse, Tiniguiban Islet, Isla Naburot, Lombija Wildlife Resort, Taklong-Tandog Island, Igang Marine Station, Toyo Reef, and La Paz and Pamankulan Fish Sanctuaries. Corpuz said the province is also fast rising as a destination for mountain bike races, kayaking and tours to mango plantations. Guimaras exports sweet mangoes to the United States.

Corpuz said he is optimistic about the tourism prospects in Guimaras for several reasons. These include the expansion of the ports in Jordan and Buenavista towns, the completion of the international airport by March 2007 in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo which is the gateway to Guimaras, and new investments in tourist facilities, such as the multi-million-peso investment in the Lombija Wildlife Resort and Hotel and a new convention center.

Julius Camacho, a cousin of businessman Henry Babiera of the Ortigas Group who develops the Lombija zoo, said that at more than 20 hectares, the zoo will be the largest in the country once it opens sometime in 2008. The zoo has been under development since 1998. Corpuz said about P300 million has already been invested for the development of the project, which is seen to add a new attraction to Guimaras.

"We also envision Guimaras to be a logistics hub. Guimaras Strait has the deepest berth for international vessels," Corpuz said. "For Guimaras, there is no other way but up." Roderick T. dela Cruz.

Travel PALAWAN

Palawan beaches are best in Asia


The beaches of Palawan topped the list of the best beaches of Asia identified by the prestigious international magazine Condé Nast Traveler in its October 2007 issue.

The New York-based magazine, published by Condé Nast Publications, the same company that owns the New Yorker, Vogue, Glamour, and Bon Appetit, listed Palawan beaches ahead of other spectacular Asian destinations such as Beach No. 7 at Havelock Island in India; Nihiwatu Beach on Sumba Island in Indonesia; Baa on North Ari and North Malé Atolls in the Maldives; and Laem Tong Bay on Koh Phi Phi in Thailand.

According to the magazine's Great Asian Beach Finder article, "Palawan province's 1,200 miles of sugary beaches wrapped around 1,780 pristine islands have attracted travelers since Chinese traders crossed now-sunken land bridges from Borneo."

It said Palawan's rich ecosystem supports two United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's World Heritage Sites, the coral-rich Tubbataha Reef Marine Park and Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park, a limestone karst landscape with an underground tributary that emerges into the sea.

"Almost as unique is Miniloc Island Resort, where a private beach leads to crystalline waters rife with damselfish. Sister property Lagen Island Resort's 51 newer overwater pavilions are overshadowed only by Amanpulo, Amanresorts' 40 huts scattered along Pamalican Island 's powdery strand," the magazine said.

The same article listed diving on Bacuit Bay in El Nido, Palawan, where Miniloc Island Resort and Lagen Island Resort are located, as among the best beach sports that Asia can offer. It cited Bacuit Bay for its prehistoric limestone rocks, gentle currents, and large concentration of fish.

On the other hand, Amanpulo was listed as the best beach hotel and most romantic Asian property, with glass walls that optimize Sulu Sea views framed by lush foliage thick with black-naped orioles and neon-blue Steere's pittas. Twenty-nine suites encircle the private resort on the 220-acre Pamalican Island , 225 miles south of Manila .

The list was comprised of over 30 beach locations in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, China, and Japan
Except for Palawan beaches and resorts, no other Philippine destinations made it to the list for such categories as best beaches overall, best beach spas, best beach parties, best beach scenery, best beach hotels, and beach for sports.

It was the second time this year that the New York magazine included Palawan in its top story. In its January 2007 issue, Conde Nast featured Palawan as a Great Value Vacation destination along with top tourist destinations such as Crystal Cove in California and Stewart Island in New Zealand.

In that article, Palawan was cited as a "restful retreat where you can unplug from the everyday."

Visit Palawan
Club Noah Isabelle

Travel BOHOL



Bohol is one of the loveliest islands in southern Philippines. It is situated at the heart of Visayas and with coastline skimmed by gentle coves and white-sand beaches. Many highways snake along sparkling beaches or leafy rivers where one can stop at any point and jump in.

With its rolling hills and plateaus, crystal springs and beaches, the province of Bohol is a picturesque province replete with ancestral homes and centuries-old churches. Bohol is composed of numerous isles - Panglao, Pamilacan, Cabilao, Jao, Mahanay and Lapinin, which are excellent dive spots.


The Chocolate Hills is but one of the many natural wonders to be found in Bohol. The province is the home of the world's smallest monkey, the tarsier. The size of a fist, the tarsier lives on the hills of Corella, some ten kilometers from Tagbilaran. Other exotic flora and fauna may also be found amongst the forest of Bohol.


Bohol's various mountainous and water formations also serve as a natural playground for the adventurous tourist. One can cruise its rivers, hike up the hills, swim the deep waters, or just stroll down the avenues. Bohol is just waiting to surprise you.

Tagbilaran, Bohol's capital town can be reached by plane or boat from Cebu and Manila. Numerous tourist inns and excellent resorts are found in Tagbilaran and Panglao island.


Travel DAVAO

SAMAL ISLAND, DAVAO

Samal Island offers unending fascination with its white-sand beaches, thick mangroves, coral reefs, rolling hills and rock formations.It is an archipelago of nine islands located in the Davao Gulf about 700 meters south of Davao City. An ideal model for resort and development, Samal Island provides a fabulous site for sunrise and sunset.

Samal Island, like the rest of Mindanao, is outside of the typhoon belt, and enjoys relatively calm weather. Its coastline is characterized by tall, swaying coconut trees, white sand beaches, rock formations, mangroves, coral reefs, and small fishing villages, all suggestive of a tropical island paradise.

Almost all of the beach areas have white sand, with widths varying from only a few meters to more than 10 meters. It provides ample space for picnic huts, reclining chairs for sun bathing, or for simply relaxing and enjoying the tropical scenery.

The water is crystal clear throughout the coastline, which varies in terrain from gently sloping sand beaches to steep cliffs and rock formations. The colors of the coastline at the beach areas transforms itself from the green lush vegetation of coconut trees, to the white sandy beaches, to the dark blue color of the sea, with its deep waters and coral reefs.

Among its popular attractions are the Aguinaldo Pearl Farm, the caves of Talikud Island, the White Stone Mountain, and the San Jose Muslim Fishing Village.

Cebu, top destination of foreign tourists

Cebu City drew 403,326 international visitors in 2005, making the "queen city of the south" the top provincial destination of foreign travelers. Data from the Department of Tourism (DOT) also showed that Cebu City attracted 1,813 overseas Filipinos and 712,938 domestic travelers last year.

Total number of travelers in the city went up by 10.5 percent to 1.118 million in 2005 from 1.012 million in 2004. Arrivals in Cebu are expected to peak in December 2006, when the city hosts the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leader's Summit and the 4th ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.

Government officials and business leaders from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam will troop to Cebu to discuss the future of ASEAN integration.








Also expected to participate are delegates from Japan, China, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and European Union. This early, the 20 hotels in Cebu have been reporting full occupancy rates, with the influx of Japanese and Korean tourists, despite the recent opening of five-star accommodation facilities like Marco Polo Hotel and Hilton.

Other large hotels in Metro Cebu include Marriot, Waterfront, Midtown, Rajah Park, Diplomat, Northwinds, Sarrosa, Parklane, Crown Regency, GV, Mango Park, Richmonde, Golden Prince, Metropak, Crowne Garden, Grand Hotel, Montebello, Century Golden Peak, Holiday Plaza and Century Plaza.

Aside from Cebu, other top destinations of international visitors outside Metro Manila in 2005 were Aklan, the province which covers the world-class resort island of Boracay, with 157,638; Laguna, home of the Pagsanjan Falls, with 149,531; Pampanga, where Clark Field is located, with 76,133; and Palawan, with 70,066.

Occupying the 11th to 20th list of favorite destinations were Ifugao, site of the Banaue Rice Terraces, Negros Occidental, Baguio City, Iloilo, Cavite, Negros Oriental, Cagayan de Oro City, Batangas, Camiguin, and Ormoc City.

Data showed that some 1.414 million international travelers, 125,476 overseas Filipinos, and 13.631 million domestic tourists for a total of 15.171 million visited the country's tourist attractions outside Metro Manila in 2005. The figure was 15.8 percent higher than the 13.103 million local and foreign tourists who visited the provinces last year.

Travel BORACAY


Widely known as one of the finest swimming destinations in the world, Boracay is blessed with unsullied fine talcum powder-sand beaches. Its tranquil crystal clear waters are perfect for swimming, sailing, fishing and sunbathing.

Boracay also boasts of sapphire seas and spectacular sunsets. Countless hidden coves dot the island and tall coconut trees line up along the beaches.

Boracay lies at the northwest tip of Panay, in the west Visayas region, off the Sibuyan Sea. The island is made up of little communities: Yapak in the north, Balabag in the middle, and Manocmanoc in the south.

Hilly elevations up to 100 meters above sea level characterize Yapak and Manocmanoc. Intertwining trails link the small villages together but many sometimes lead to lush tropical jungles.



To get to Boracay, one has to book a flight to Kalibo, the capital of Aklan province, or Caticlan. Air-conditioned coasters or public buses offer one-hour-and-a-half drive from Kalibo to Caticlan, where one can board a motorized banca for a 30-minute trip to Boracay.



How to go to Boracay

Book your flights to Boracay

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