Monday, April 27, 2009
PHILIPPINE TOURISM: CREATING EMPLOYMENT WITH EXPANDED INVESTMENTS AND INCREASED TRAVEL MOVEMENT
Room capacity in key tourist destinations for the first quarter of 2009 expanded with the opening of new hotels and resorts that created additional employment in the midst of global economic downturn.
For the period January to March 2009, a total of 1,231 additional rooms were opened. With an aggregate cost of P8.016 Billion, these new investments directly employed 1,286 people.
The opening of the P3.18 Billion Imperial Palace Water Park, Resort and Spa increased the room supply in Cebu by 4% to 14,792. With 616 rooms, this new tourism project provided employment to 780 workers.
The San Remigio Beach Club in the northern part of Cebu has also opened its new facilities during the first quarter. With P8.5 Million in investments, the resort has built a convention facility to capture the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) of both international and domestic markets.
Shangri-la’s Boracay Resort and Spa, a high-end 217-room resort in Boracay Island, opened just in time for the influx of tourists on vacation and long holidays. The resort has initially hired 488 workers to manage its various ranges of product offerings.
Seven locators investing in 28 cluster villas for a total cost of P 761.9 Million in the Amanpulo Tourism Enterprise Zone in Palawan also began their operation during the first quarter.
In Metro Manila, the opening of the Legend International’s Park, Bed and Breakfast Hotel, Eurotel Hotel Branch in Makati, and the expansion of Oakwood Serviced Residences increased the total room supply by 320.
By year-end, some 1,946 people will be directly employed nationwide once the additional 2,315 rooms become operational in the following destinations:
· Metro Manila: Manila Ocean Park (120 rooms), The Picasso Serviced Residences (136 rooms), Newport Marriott Hotel (342 rooms), and Maxims Hotel (178 rooms)
· Cebu: Radisson Hotel (400 rooms)
· Boracay: Crowne Regency (449), Phonex Hotel (130 rooms), Boracay Regency Lagoon (120 rooms), Seven Stones (100 rooms), Grand Water (100 rooms)
· Puerto Princesa: Microtel Inns and Suites (50 rooms)
· Tagaytay: Summer Ridge (108 rooms)
· Albay: Discovery Bay Misibis (82 rooms)
With greater demand for tourism services, the Department of Tourism (DOT) endorsed five development projects worth P6.323 Billion in the first quarter of the year. These initiatives will generate 6,340 employment opportunities for local residents in the said tourist areas.
A US$ 200-Million luxury spa and resort is also set to be developed by Banyan Tree in a 55-hectare property in Diwaran Island of Palawan. This project will generate 8,000 direct and indirect jobs during the planning, construction and operational stages from 2009 to 2012.
In Subic, Harbor Yacht Services (HYS) Philippines will construct a restaurant and resort in a marina facility with an investment package of P 36.1 Million.
Creating New Tourist Products
An 18-hectare manmade lake called Lago del Rey, the biggest in the country, was opened to tourists by the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur. With the cost of P 20 Million, this new tourist product complements the wakeboarding park set up by the LGU in 2005. The facility offers family-oriented activities such as boat ride, fishing, and swimming, among others.
Anguib beach in Sta Ana, Cagayan has started to draw foreign and domestic wind and kite surfing enthusiasts because of its unspoiled natural wealth and wider and bigger reef ideal for the said sports. To promote the area, the DOT and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) have organized a windsurfing exhibition which was highly attended by international and local windsurfers.
With increased demand for nature and wildlife adventure, the DOT and the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines have jointly developed birdwatching tours in coordination with tour operators and LGUs in key destinations. The most notable bird watching sites are in Balanga Ciy, Candaba Swamp, Paitan Lake, Pantabangan Dam, Puerto Princesa, Hundred Islands National Park, Subic Bay, Olango Island and Mount Apo.
The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, a leading conservation organization in the United Kingdom will dispatch a fact finding mission in May 2009 to assist the DOT and other agencies in the preservation and promotion of wetlands for wildlife habitat.
A sea kayak tour has also been designed by the DOT and the LGU of Alaminos in the Hundred Islands National Park in Pangasinan. Managed by the Hundred Islands Eco-Tour Association (HIETA), a community-based organization of out-of-school youth, the package involved a half- and whole-day kayak clinic and tour of the charming islets of the Hundred Islands as well as camping experience in Bolo Beach. The HIETA has been tapped by the DOT and Sun and Sea Kayaks to provide tour services during the Kayak Explore Hundred Island Summer Eco-Challenge in April 2009.
Capping on the popularity of the CamSur Wakeboarding Camp, a P500-Million Wakeboard Park will rise on a 12-hectare area in Silang, Cavite.
Increased Travel in Key Destinations
Tourist arrivals in top destinations of the country during the first quarter of 2009 grew by 10.33% for a total of 1.3 Million.
Cebu attracted the biggest volume of visitors with a share of 32% followed by Boracay (12%), Davao City (11.9%), Camarines Sur (11%), Zambales (7%), and Bohol (5%).
Domestic tourist arrivals to Puerto Princesa City and Coron in Palawan posted a record breaking growth of 392% as more flights were mounted to these destinations from Manila, Cebu, and Caticlan as well as Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia. Likewise, local visitors flocked to Camarines Sur for wakeboarding, Surigao del Sur, Sorsogon (Donsol) for whale shark interaction, Zambales (Subic) for recreation, Ilocos Norte and La Union for sightseeing and beach holiday resulting in double digit gains in these destinations.
Overall, the volume of domestic tourists visiting key destinations grew faster at 13% while foreign arrivals recorded a 4% hike in the first quarter.
Cebu was the most frequently visited destination by foreign tourists with 184,790 arrivals followed by Boracay (63,903), Zambales (25,252), Camarines Sur (24,976), and Bohol (24,350).
As sheer luck would have it on a last minute notice, two of my blogger friends Iris, Bobby and I, witnessed Sen. Mar Roxas and Ms. Korina Sanchez's live confirmation of their engagement on Wowowee.
Ms. Korina was set to be Mr. Willie's host for a segment wherein Sen. Mar donated "padyaks" as prices. Surprize! The Senator arrived and the gameshow was instantly, temporarily transformed into a talk show.
When Mr. Willie Revillame asked how Sen. Mar proposed the latter was happy to oblige. While he was restating the most important part..tears started rolling..tears of utter joy for sure! Ms. Korina wiped the tears off Sen. Mar's face and may I say be it cheesy for others but that moment was "priceless."
When will the wedding be? Maybe December's a good month, white wedding..before Christmas? But for sure if one of them files a leave of absence from work, then the wedding bells may be a few blinks away..oh well, just a guess (wink!wink!)
*for more photos and the video: www.pinayads.com
*invite credits: GlaxoSmithKline
*where: Firehouse Resto at Hyatt Manila
Talk to your doctor about protecting your baby against rotavirus now. It will be one less thing to worry about.
*photo credits: pinayads.com
*where: M Cafe
An online interactive website was also launched (warning, once you log in you may get addicted) containing their many awesome events, awesome updates and even an awesome game!
So byahe na and let's experience Our Awesome Philippines!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
*invite credits: Bizu Greenhills and Paul Pajo *photo credits: Paul Pajo and Irisaerin of pinayads.com
Bizu's Bloggers' Merienda part 2 was again a major sugar rush of epic proportions. Let me walk you thru the experience by enumerating the foodfest fare they prepared:
Mushroom Duxelle in Vol-au-Vent
Salmon with Dill Pistachio Mousseline on Pate Brisee
Caramelized Apples with Brie on Croute
Petit Croque Monsieur
Petit Herbed Chicken Feta in Ciabatta
Classic Scones with Blueberry/Strawberry Balsamic Jam, Chantilly Cream and Whipped Butter
Macarons de Paris
Apple and Mint
Raspberry and Merlot
Passionfruit and Mango
Lemon and Ginger
Lychee and Vanilla
Yoga Cake - their recent masterpiece of a blissful union of tropical passionfruit and hearty yogurt, spread with just the right amount of lemon custard placed in between layers of moist sable and genoise sponge (passionfruit + yogurt + lemon curd)
Bravo and thank you again Bizu Patisserie!
*will upload more photos within the week
*invite credits: Eastwood City and Ms. Tinay; *photo credits: Irisaerin of pinayads.com
Eastwood City offered kids and kids-at-heart five worlds to celebrate Easter this year.
Their "event passport" included various fun-filled activities at a petting zoo, science exhibit, an arcade, magic tricks and mimes, a pony ride arena, a marching band with cosplayers, a face/glitter paint booth, henna tatoo booth, a photo booth, etc. and oh, their Easter egg was larger than an ostrich's egg (major painting session ensued) and little girls got makeovers and treats from David's Salon too!
What can I say but its never too late to have a happy childhood. Thank you Eastwood City for an awesome Easter event!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Jamal Malik is a penniless, eighteen year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" He was arrested due to the allegation of cheating on the premise of how could an uneducated street kid possibly have such knowledge. The Police Inspector probes Jamal overnight and learns of his incredible past, tales of the slums where he and his brother Salim survived, encounters with local gangs to his heartbreak over Latika, the love he lost. Surprisingly, chapters of Jamal's life reveals where he learned the answers to the gameshow.
I highly recommend this flick not just for its uplifting message of hope but moreso that Filipinos may appreciate life here. The first thirty minutes detailed life in India if you are a poverty-stricken kid..family even. Their travails are such a shock especially when its pertaining to basic needs. There are depictions of a more comfortable life in India, still relatively not what some people have here, but corrupt as well. We tend to take for granted our little priveleges or blessings in life like clean water, clean loos, tryke/pedicabs/fx..heck we even have "tingi" or sachet shampoos, deodorants, etc...just watch it and you'll truly appreciate life here in the Philippines!
This will sprout in a 12-hectare property along Calle Industria in Bagumbayan, Q. C. boasting of 15 residdential buildings of staggered heights. It will retain natural features that are unique as well as maximizing the potential of the Marikina River surrounding it.
A development of Ortigas and Co.. Ltd. Partnership. For inquiries, please call 631-5968 and 638-8633, send a fax to 631-5962, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Each has their specialty so to speak and its a given. So every "cooking session" we plan/meeting first (menu, cooking preparations, etc.), list the ingredients/cookwares, head for the supermarket (like an amazing race especially if its an instant get-together), prepare (if need be like if its to be marinated, chop/slice/dice in advance, etc.) and then the show begins (..insert Iron Chef shout here haha!).
Biko (sticky sweet brown rice); Shrimps sauteed in olive oil and garlic; Bean and Potato Salad; Cold Light Macaroni Salad
Shrimps sauteed in olive oil and garlic; Salad greens with vinaigrette
Tuna pasta (tuna with peeled tomatoes sauteed in olive oil and garlic) topped with parmesan
Well, at home I used to bake brownies, cheesecake, etc. (now my oven's broken..*sigh*), pasta especially tuna with olives (moi sis and cousin doesn't really like capers), herbed scrambled eggs or eggs benedict as I learned from moi Auntie Sally, my chinese vegetable noodles is a win (simple but filling), chili tahong as I learned from moi sis (always have it even for karaoke sessions haha!), etc. but don't get me wrong I am no expert.
As of recent entertaining galores at Auntie Sally's house here in Manila I've been the hors d' ouevres "refiller". About eighty percent of the hors d' ouevres or horses doovers as referred to in Australia are handpicked, packaged and delivered from Sydney..stashed in the pantry or in the freezer. For additional choices then a quick trip to Santi's will solve it.
The cheese fare consists of haloumi cheese (pan fried with a dash of lemon), brie, tasty (edam), blue, camembert and some infused with different flavours ( for example, ones infused with almonds comes preserved in a thin coat of black wax).
The abregana meats consists of australian ham and bacon, prosciutto wrapped in melon slices, salami (oh yeah, it smells but its delsih!), sausages, etc.
The pickled onions, black olives, pickled jerkins, etc. paired with port or brandy is also a usual fare.
Fruitcake doused with port or brandy is also present for the sweet tooths to munch on before or after the dindin.
Anyhoo, that's it for moi uber delayed family food post..my tummy's grumbling from all that taptapin' the keyboard..now where's that choco bagel?
*photos from last Christmas (2008), New Year's (2009) and an instant get-together for close family friends (January 4, 2009).
After The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus meet and greet at Trinoma Activity Center, together with Leira, Mark and Ryan..we hopped to Cibo for a quick break and some "reading" hehe!
I had me a cup of Cibo's coffee and I must say its one potent concotion. I usually take my coffee black with minimal sugar but had to try this with cream as well to see if there's a bit of change..drip as it may seem but it hit me just right.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Choco Cake ala mode
Fish and Co.'s has never ceased to keep getting better with innovations in their menu and the ambience, service, portions, quality, cleanliness plus the value for money is indeed worth it!
Here are some of their desserts which I recommend for food lovers and for your bingeing galore moments..enjoy!
(*will edit photo tags soon..=])
Fruit Salad - not the usual Filipino-style fruit salad since this includes apples, peaches, grapes, etc. w/ a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with choco syrup..uber delish and their serving is fit for two or three to share.
Tiramisu - their take on a classic italian dessert made of lady fingers and mascarpone cheese is good and the serving is fit for two or three to share.
Choco Cake ala mode - more like a mud pie ala mode; the choco cake is rich and moist and the vanilla ice cream is a welcome balancing factor and the serving is enough for two to share.
Creme Brulee - Burnt Cream in French, Leche Flan for Filipinos, Burnt Cream, Crema Catalana or Trinity Cream in Europe consists primarily of a rich custard base with a layer of hard caramel done using a handy chef's blowtorch. This version is of a rich vanilla custard base and the usual hard caramel is replaced by poured cooked caramel. Surprisingly light and great with coffee shared by two.
Peaches and Ice Cream - well the tag speaks for itself plus a generous topping of strawberry syrup and fit for two to share.
YOCard, the premiere freecard provider in Metro Manila, serves as a canvass for showcasing postcard print mediums exhibited in a public place for viewing and interaction. This project is an effort to introduce the concept of social design in the country. With Visuals with Vision, your work can push for change and a better livelihood through design.
For more information please visit: www.yocardonline.com
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
*invite credits: CBTL and Geiser-Maclang; *where: Whitespace Contemporary
The exclusive auction held last Mach 31, 2009 (Tuesday) held at Whitespace Contemporary (located along Pasong Tamo Extension), is part of The Bean's ongoing initiative of pursuing one's passion.
Auctioned off hosted by Carlos Celdran, comprised of the following: "Temperature" by Augusto Albor, "Celeste" by Salvador Joel Alonday, "..and remember what peace may there be in silence" by Benjie Cabangis, Zean Cabangis' diptych "Tess and Lito", Noell El Farol's "Mounds with stone settings similar to those in Batanes Island..", Riel Hilarios' "Whatever Happened to Pygmalion and Galatea", Sandra Fabie-Gfeller's "Paper Bag XX", Erwin Leaños' "Bend", Jim Orencio's "Leaves", Ling Quisumbing's "Madre Simula (BIRTH), Jose Terence Ruiz's "Mana: TAKBU and Carlo Angelo Saavedra's "This is the Sea".
All the artworks can also be found on the covers of CBTL's commemorative limited edition Giving Journals as part of the 12 Cups with The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf: Give in to Giving Campaign.
12 partnering organizations are beneficiaries from the exclusive charity auction which cater to different advocacies; Kababaihan Gabay sa Bayan (KAGABAY), Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), Bahay Tuluyan, Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Haribon Foundation, Cartwheel Foundation Inc., Caritas Manila-Restorative Justice, Kythe Inc., Autism Society Phils. (ASP), Philippine Cerebral Palsy Inc. (PCPI), Resources for the Blind Inc. (RBI) and The Philippine Band of Mercy (PBM),
For more information please visit: http://www.coffeebean.com.ph
THIS IS NOT A TRAILER BY KHAVN
Watch the new trailer of Khavn’s films!
“MANILA IN THE FANGS OF DARKNESS” @ Buenos Aires Filmfest (BAFICI), March 25 to April 5, 2009
After premiering late last year at the Viennale and being cited by Film Comment magazine as one of the films to look out for this 2009, “Manila In The Fangs Of Darkness”, a homage to and a deconstruction of the films of Lino Brocka starring Bembol Roco, continues its festival tour at BAFICI, one of the most outstanding film festivals of the world. Next stop: Jeonju Filmfest in Korea (April 30 to May 8).
“BLACKWORMS” @ Oberhausen Filmfest, April 30 to May 5, 2009
Starring Donna Miranda and written by Joseph Nacino, “Blackworms” premieres at this most prestigious shortfilm festival’s International Competition section.
The Classic Brews of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
In a world where the hierarchy of taste is usually determined by what's brand new – nothing provides more satisfaction than classic flavors delivered with a distinct twist.
This is why, nearly 50 years since its inception, the distinct blends, down-home flavors and cozy ambiance continue to remain the main draws for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, who has gone on to indulge the palate of millions across the globe.
As the oldest and largest privately held specialty coffee and tea retailer in the
“Our company is probably one of the few establishments whose exceptional drinks can be attributed to our efforts to directly source superior tea leaves and coffee beans from all over the world,” says The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s Marketing Director Paolo Del Rosario “As well as process and brewing these ingredients fresh daily.”
Innovation is of course, a significant part of the company's success. In fact, the perennial favorite ice blended coffee drinks available today were first served by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf as far back as the 80s.
Today, their specially trademarked Ice Blended® is created starting with their secret coffee extract, which refine their specialty coffees to bring out the richest and most concentrated flavors, and mixed with their specially processed ice to produce a smooth and unique drink.
Trimmed with its trademark oak and tea chest paneled walls, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s interiors draw customers in by virtue of its intimate and inviting décor. Complemented by an attentive service team, a chockfull of amenities, gourmet menu selections and delectable dessert choices, it’s easy to indulge with your favorite cup of coffee or tea within its relaxing and home-like appeal.
Indeed, it is The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's decades old understanding of their craft that allows them to deliver exceptionally. And for the gastronomic experience like no other, it is truly the place where cult favorites, best-loved infusions and innovative new brews are available in every soothing cup.
For more information please visit: http://coffeebean.com.ph
*invite credits: Yehey.com and TGIF; *photo credits: pinayads.comTGI Friday’s: Giving you never-ending reasons to celebrate!
T.G.I Friday’s, one of the top of mind restaurants in the country, offers great popular American cusine, while everyone carefree sits back, enjoys the fun and celebration with good laughs mixed with good food, drinks and conversations. Trademarked as the resto’ in red and white, Friday’s was brought to the Philippine shores in 1993 by Bistro Group of Companies (Italianni’s, Steakhouse, Outback and Fish & Co.), and for a decade and counting has served yet the best in dining, in the most upbeat and casual feel.
Continuously reengineering the dining experience to cater to more and more people whose reasons to celebrate run endless—TGI Friday’s offers A Week of Friday’s, (starts from 5pm ‘til closing) a whole week of non-stop fun and gastronomic treats for the whole gang who celebrates after the workload hours!
A WEEK OF FRIDAY’s ( til closing)
Refillabe Chips and Salsa, Buffalo Wings for 1 & to share, Calamari, Liempo Bites and Thin Onion Rings
Choose your booze! – Buy one take one on beer, cocktails and wine by the glass
Happy Hours every Wednesday- Spend 1,000 and get a chance to play a game and then pick a prize!
Happy hours every Thursday. Special drinks just for this day! – Buy 2 cocktail drinks and get 1 more cocktail FREE.
Fun Fun Fridays
It’s the loudest and happiest day of the week. Spend 1,500, pick a card and you win!
Bring it on workload! Forget about the nonstop to do’s and strenuous work freight because TGI Friday’s will definitely help you chew up all the stress in your money’s worth with an array of mouth-watering meals, lip-smacking appetizers, entrees and desserts matched with great specialty drinks served right up for your dining and drinking pleasure! Experience a different kind of enjoyment each day of the week only with TGI Friday’s A Week of Friday’s.
TGI Friday’s Branches:
| || |
TGI Friday's Sta. Lucia TGI Friday's Alabang
TGI Friday's Tomas Morato TGI Friday's Glorietta
TGI Friday's Manila TGI Friday's Galleria
TGI Friday's Bonifacio High Street TGI Friday's Trinoma
TGI Friday's Mall of Asia TGI Friday's Cebu
*invite credits: Joriben, Peachy and 9Works Theatrical; *photo credits: pinayads.com
SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD MUSICAL SET ON MAY 1-2, 8-10
9 Works Theatrical,
“ Songs For A
Featuring a handful of the country’s most talented theater actors, who have been practicing and sharing their talents with primary Philippine theater companies such as Repertory Philippines, Trumpets, Stages, Philippine Opera Company, and Atlantis Productions. The cast consists of Felix Rivera, Caisa Borromeo, Anna Santamaria, Harold Cruz, Carla Guevara – Laforteza and Ms. Pinky Marquez.
The production team of “ Songs For A
Robbie Guevara (director, set design, projections design), Peachy Atilano (production manager), Dax Carnay (stage manager), Mio Infante (design consultant), Martin Esteva (lighting design), Ceejay Javier (musical director), Felix Rivera (vocal coach), Francis Matheu (choreography), Shelyn Tayanes (marketing), Santi Santamaria (sales), Anna Santamaria (finance), Joselito Tolentino (PR consultant), Jonjon Martin and Carlos Canlas (publicity).
Presented by 9 Works Theatrical and its media partners:
For tickets and inquiries, call 9 Works Theatrical at 557-5860 / 0906-331-5961 or visit www.9workstheatrical.com, or call TicketWorld at tel. 891-9999 or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph.
*invite credits: jonski of yehey.com; photo credits: pinayads.com
Oh yeah IMAX premiere..uber khuel invites! Twas a last minute thingy but sooo worth it! Super thanks to Yehey.com..a wish come true!
On her wedding day, Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) is hit by a meteorite infused with Quantonium that caused her to grow. The government kept her at a secret facility where she met Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie), a mad scientist who accidentally transformed himself into a roach-human hybrid, B.O.B. (Seth Rogen), a gelatinous, brainless mass brought to life in an experiment gone wrong, The Missing Link (Will Arnett), a Creature-from-the-Black-Lagoon-like lizard man, and the skyscraper-sized mutant larvae Insectosaurus. Aalien overlord Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson) arrives on Earth to obtain the precious Quantonium and conquer the world, President Hathaway (Stephen Colbert) offers the monsters their freedom in exchange for defeating the evil mastermind and his legion of clones.
I dare say this has got to be one of this year's family-friendly flicks to watch especially on IMAX. Actually, its not just for kids and parents but also for tweeinies and those with love dilemmas..why? Just watch it and a definite message is there especially for women of this generation.