Showing posts with label Philippine Tourism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philippine Tourism. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

5 simple ways overseas Pinoys can help Philippine Tourism

Are you an overseas Pinoy or an OFW?  I am too.  Whether you have moved abroad temporarily or permanently, I think we all have a very important role to play in promoting Philippine Tourism.

The Philippines is a Tourism gold mine

I have always believed that the Philippines is a Tourism gold mine, but somehow our 4.7 Million tourists in 2013 pales in comparison to Indonesia's 8 Million and Malaysia's 25 Million.

El Nido Miniloc Island Resort, Palawan, Philippines
The Philippines offers fantastic beaches (in Boracay, Davao, Cebu, El Nido), unique land formations (Chocolate Hills, Hundred Islands), caves, an underground river, volcanoes (Taal, Pinatubo, Mayon), surf spots (Siargao), diving spots, mountain climbing, and those are just the natural wonders.  You can also go to places of historical significance, 16th to 18th century churches, the massive fiestas and festivals, and the even more massive shopping malls.  And we haven't even talked about the food, the services and the hospitality of the Filipinos.

Earthquake Baroque Paoay Church (18th Century)
Ilocos Norte, Philippines
Being OFWs and Pinoys outside of the Philippines, we should look at ourselves as tourism ambassadors.  Hey, I'm proud to share that I've managed to convince a couple of colleagues here in Australia to spend their honeymoon in El Nido, Palawan (where my wife and I had our 1st honeymoon as well) and they thoroughly enjoyed it.  They didn't even need much convincing - I showed them our photos from our Honeymoon, told them how great a time we had, and they were sold.  Well, it also helped that in 2013 Palawan was named by Travel and Leisure Magazine as the World's Best Island (and #2 was Boracay).

I encourage you to be a Philippine Tourism Ambassador.  Here are 5 simple ways we can all help the Philippines become the Tourism darling it deserves to be...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Choco-late de Batirol in Baguio is heaven in a cup!

The rich chocolate aroma wafted in our general direction, and all of us went... "mmmm... sarap!"


Chocolate de Batirol, the perfect place to spend a cool and sunny Baguio afternoon

Inside Baguio City's Camp John Hay is a little restaurant called Choco-late de Batirol. Oozing with character, this rustic resting spot is the perfect place to spend a cool and sunny Baguio afternoon, sipping chocolate based drinks while reading a good book, or just hanging out with friends and family...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Parasailing in Boracay

Parasailing in Boracay

If you've never gone Para-sailing before, Boracay is the perfect place to try it - with the breathtaking view of the island, the wonderful warm breeze and the accommodating crew to assist you, you will surely enjoy the experience. We sure did!
Excited to fly Para-sailing style for the first time!

We were leaving Boracay the next morning and were feeling adventurous enough to try either the "Helmet Diving" or "ParaSailing", and eventually decided on the latter...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Our Valentine weekend was really HOT!

Valentines Day 2010 brought Liz and I to the Clark Air Field in Pampanga for one really HOT weekend

The 15th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.

We were up bright and early on that sunny Valentines Day morning as we made our way through the streets of Clark Air Base. We had stayed at Hotel Stotsenberg for the evening after Duty Free Shopping and dinner at a grill and wine restaurant.  We got lost several times while looking for a dinner place there, and so we read the directions to the Fiesta venue carefully.  Thankfully we did not get lost again!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Magnificent Paoay Church, Ilocos Norte

We arrived in the evening at one of the most beautiful and well preserved Catholic churches in the Philippines, the Paoay Church for the wedding rehearsal of my friends Eg and Ryan. They were getting married the following day.

There was a chorus of exclamations when we got out of the jeepney. The lighted facade of Paoay Church was magnificent in the darkness.

Paoay Church is the St. Augustine Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte

It was around 8 o'clock in the evening and already quite dark. We alighted our service jeepney and walked towards the Paoay Church. We were ushered in the side entrance by the caretaker...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Mayon Volcano, Legazpi City, Albay

Back in 2004, my family and I went to Albay to see the beautiful perfect cone of Mayon Volcano.  I remember we arrived - after 14 hours on the road - late in the evening and so did not get a chance to see it that night.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Fish Spa at the Manila Ocean Park


Our day at the Manila Ocean Park was well spent. Liz and I enjoyed looking at the colorful fishies and reading about their characteristics and such - and we even found Nemo!  When we got to the end, we had a nice view of the Manila Bay and an option to either take a glass bottom boat ride or have our feet eaten nibbled by fish... at a Fish Spa!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tali Beach, Nasugbu, Batangas


If you have inquiries about the Tali Beach private resort featured here, text or call the owners at 361-7091 or 0917-8828760 or email them at talibeach[at] - Tell them you got their contact info from! :D

It was Liz's department outing, and I was one of the designated drivers! Hehehe. The tradeoff: 2 days on a private resort on Tali Beach, Nasugbu, Batangas, with hotelier people who have great taste, great skills in the kitchen, and a ton of hilarious hotel stories. The 2 hour drive up was worth it. :D

Squeezing in some Tali Beach time

It was my first time in Tali Beach, and actually also my first time on a beach resort in Nasugbu. I know Nasugbu only for the wedding chapels, haha; a whole lot of my colleagues have gotten married in Caleruega, Chapel on the Hill and thereabouts, so I was pretty familiar with the place. :p

We were there on June 12 and 13. A sliver of one of the shortest summers I've ever experienced. During our stay, the sun was tucked away for the most part, although we did get to swim for about an hour or so. Liz's colleagues prepared several games for the group. I am always amused at how game everyone is in their team and I like it that they create the fun for themselves and for everybody. I think it's an important lesson, that even in a corporate setting, with hierarchies of positions and office politics, that it shouldn't prevent you from enjoying yourself and participating in a few games. Besides, everyone needs a bit of fun!

Tali Beach Resort - Holding Hands While Walking

At dusk, we walked around the short beach and "visited" the neighbors. We found the whole beach actually had a row of vacation houses, most probably for rent. It was a nice enough place, although if you're after sand, there's not a lot of that. It's not comparable to the white sand beaches of Boracay or Puerto Galera in the vicinity of the place we stayed at, but rather I would describe the beach as private and relaxing, very well suited for big families that are not much on swimming, but more on spending quality time together, in a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Tali Beach Resort - Non Stop Eating! 

True to form, the food was always exquisite, although I probably gained over 10 pounds in those 2 days, with nothing to do but sit, eat, drink, relax, talk, and sleep. Hehe. Well, I'm not complaining. I had a great relaxing time.Before we left, we bought ourselves some lobsters straight from the fisherman's net. It was quite pricey at Ph600 per lobster, but I figured it would probably cost a lot more at the Market in Manila.

On the way down, we stopped by Tagaytay for lunch then stopped again at Ming's garden for some Yellow Bells and some hanging plants.

Click on the photos to view full sized.

Monday, June 08, 2009

#88 Balai Indang, a hideaway

Our overnight stay at Balai Indang or Balay Indang was thanks to the wedding of Kuya Dean and Ate Joy. Their wedding was in the morning of a Saturday up in Tagaytay (Caleruega, Nasugbu to be exact), so they had booked their whole entourage at the Balai Indang on Friday so that no one would be late! ;) (great idea ya?)

We (Liz and I) went via Tagaytay from Batangas where we left at around 5:30 in the afternoon. Unfortunately for us, May is the season for fiestas in Batangas, and with fiestas come bumper-to-bumper-traffic-causing processions. :)

About half an hour from when we first got stuck, I was already ranting about how they should make laws preventing processions from completely taking away half of the road and effectively freezing traffic! Calling governor V? :p

Driving to Balai Indang

This procession, along the main highway through Bauan, Batangas, held us prisoners for a little more than an hour. The 1.5 hour trip to Tagaytay was extended to almost 3 hours! Good thing Balai Indang was not difficult to find, save for the initial it's-dark-and-are-we-going-in-the-right-direction/is-this-a-horror-movie feeling.

The trick was just to keep an eye out for a large #88 painted on a wall on the left side of the street (coming from Tagaytay!). It's big enough for the near sighted to see. ;)

When we arrived, we were quite hungry. Good thing there was a program for "getting-to-know-each-other-in-the-entourage" before dinner, so there was still a lot of food when we arrived. At dinner, we got to sit with Dean's high school teacher, and she kept us entertained with Dean's childhood stories while we ate dinner...

Great Food and Graham Crackers

The food, (which I cannot describe in detail anymore because I don't remember!) was good, Liz particularly enjoyed the fish something (hehe) and I particularly enjoyed the dessert (of course!) which was (and this one I remember!) Graham crackers that they made into little graham balls (little Graham Bells?) and rolled in coconut bits. Awesome! :D

After dinner, Dean (haha, yes the groom himself) escorted us to our rooms. The set-up was very homey, the lamps and the curtains were very Filipino. There were about 3 rooms per house, and each room was big enough for at least 6 adults: 2 queen sized beds on the first floor and 2 single beds up on the loft.

I especially liked the bathrooms: the shower area was a piece of flat stone surrounded by pebbles, the sink area was a mix of modern and traditional elements, the wooden counters and the ceramics mix well. There were some problems with the door to the toilet area, which was a sliding door and was a bit difficult to close. (heh heh)

Because we arrived late and needed to be up early, we did not really have much time to walk around and enjoy the rest of Balai Indang. I was told there was a swimming pool and a fishing area, and I found a mini-trail with a sign saying "Barefoot walk". There was also a bar with a billiard table. The brochure actually was promoting the place as a family getaway, or a venue for corporate team building activities.

The next day, we were up bright and early, and we got a good look at the lush greens and lovely flowers at Balai Indang. Breakfast was lovely and light while we watched the members of the entourage getting their hair and make-up done (some of them were up at 4AM!) We enjoyed the ambiance of the house, the details in the decorations were exquisite. Liz liked the sink in the ladies room, the ceramic vase with intricate painting detail, and even took a camera in the toilet. ;)

Filipiniana Wedding

Finally we were off to Caleruega for Kuya Dean and Ate Joy's wedding, where I was set to sing at the ceremony. Thank you to the couple for our relaxing, albeit brief stay at Balai Indang!

Click on the photos to view full size. Photos by Liz and Rey using Canon Digital Ixus 90IS.