Archive | March, 2010

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3rd Bagasbas Summer Surf Festival on April 9 to 11

The Department of Tourism’s Office of Product Research and Development (DOT-OPRD) with the provincial government of Camarines Norte, Power Play Events Management, MOJO Slippers and sandals are spearheading the holding of the 3rd Bagasbas Summer Surf Festival on April 9 to 11.


Bagasbas Summer Surfing Festival

The surfing event will be held at the Bagasbas Beach in Daet where students and yuppies as well as college kids on summer break are expected to gather and learn about the sport in the pristine, two-kilometer, peeble-free beach. Continue Reading

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Posted in About the Philippines, Camarines Sur, Luzon, Philippine Festivals0 Comments

Be a WOW TOUR GUIDE and Win P300,000!

IslandsPhilippines.Net, a cutting edge Philippine Travel Portal that endeavors to be a powerful digital channel in boosting the growth of the tourism industry, will officially launch a nationwide online and on-ground tourism campaign with a kick-off event at the SM Mall of Asia on April 22, 2010.


Wow Tour Guide

WOW Tour Guide is a seven-month nationwide tourism rally to search for the best destination guides from around the Philippines. Open to all interested parties aged 18 and above who want to represent a Philippine destination, the campaign aims to ignite the sense of nationalism among the youth sector and to answer the tourism industry’s need for destination guides. This is also a great chance for everyone to introduce less explored destinations to the rest of the Philippines and the world through creative tour guiding videos that will be uploaded on www.IslandsPhilippines.Net.

Interested participants need to undergo a pre-screening process at the Department of Tourism Auditorium on April 19 and 20 and must complete the FREE Tour Guiding Seminar to be facilitated by the Department of Tourism at the SM Mall of Asia on April 22-25. Qualified parties may then submit a 5-minute tour guiding video featuring their destination to be uploaded on www.IslandsPhilippines.Net. Entries will be trimmed down to TOP 30 through an online poll and on-ground judging by representatives from both private and government sectors.

A WOW Tour Guide Caravan, in partnership with SM Supermalls, will take place in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to bring the campaign to different destinations in the country. The event will feature a video booth where interested participants may shoot their tour guiding entry, and computer stations where guests may log on to www.IslandsPhilippines.Net to vote for their favorite tour guides.

The WOW Tour Guide Caravan will be in SM Baguio on May 21-23, SM Naga on June 11-13, SM Cebu on June 25-27, SM Iloilo on July 9-11, SM Bacolod on July 23-25, SM Davao on August 6-8 and SM Cagayan de Oro on August 20-22.

A Gala Night Dinner for the awarding ceremony will take place on November 27, 2010 in Manila. The top three tour guides will receive the following cash prizes: P300,000 for the Grand Prize Winner, P150,000 for the 1st runner up and P50,000 for the second runner up. The finalists will also receive a prize from the Department of Tourism for an extensive Tour Guide Training, public speaking training from the Executive Toastmasters Club and other exciting prizes from sponsors.

Stand up and be proud of your heritage. Be a WOW Tour Guide now! For the complete mechanics and for other activities and schedules, log on to www.IslandsPhilippines.Net/wowtourguide.

Posted in About the Philippines, Philippine Travel News, Travel Guide7 Comments

Expats find their havens in Davao

Living in another country with a culture entirely different from yours can be quite a challenge. However, there are people who have learned to embrace the culture and people of the countries where they work, and most of them even decide to stay in that foreign country for good.


Famous Durian Fruit of Davao City

Davao City is not a stranger to expatriates or professionals who live in another country entirely different from their own. In the same manner, most expatriates are no strangers to the city and its attractions which led them to love the city as their own. Continue Reading

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Posted in Davao City, Mindanao5 Comments

Anvaya Cove Beach and Nature Club : The Destination For Activity and Relaxation

Rediscover Bataan and be surprised with this lush paradise that only a few have seen.


Anvaya Cove The Veda Spa

At the Northern tip of Manila, where the sprawling land is rich with thick greens, cobalt waters, fine sand, and sloping terrain, lies a residential seaside development that not only highlights the beauty of nature – but preserves it as well. In Anvaya Cove Beach and Nature Club, Ayala Land Premier’s leisure community in Morong, Bataan, families can enjoy the ideal confluence of a uniquely interactive nature experience and environmental respect, just two-and-a-half hour’s ride from the metro. Continue Reading

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Posted in Bataan, Health and Wellness, Hotels, Luzon4 Comments

Manila Earthquake : Philippine Travel Advisory

At around 1:30pm, Thursday, March 25, 2010, tremors shook parts of Luzon.

According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the earthquake registered a magnitude of 6.1 on the Richter scale, with its epicenter located northeast of Lubang, Occidental Mindoro.


Earthquake in Manila Philippines : No Damages

The shock was also felt at various intensities in Manila, Batangas, Bataan, Olongapo and neighboring areas. Continue Reading

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Posted in About the Philippines, Philippine Travel Advisory, Philippine Travel News0 Comments

Baguio City to pick ‘Lucky Summer Visitors’ during the Holy Week

The Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club (BCBC) is set to select the yearly “Baguio Lucky Summer Visitors” next week in time for the expected exodus of hundreds of tourists to this mountain resort 250 kilometers north of Manila.


Tamawan Village Baguio City

BCBC president “Bombo” Jun Villanueva said the selection committee will be at the major thoroughfares leading to this city during the Holy Week to determine who shall again be entitled for the traditional hospitality and red carpet welcome by the city.

Since the early 1970’s, the program which gives free lodging and other special amenities to the selected visitors greatly improved the tourism industry here. Continue Reading

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Posted in Baguio City, Luzon1 Comment

Philippines bags notable tourism awards in 2010 first quarter

Philippine tourism has a good start in the first quarter of 2010 as the country continues to reap recognition for sustained marketing activities throughout its key segments in China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Russia and North America.


Batanes Island

“Giving honor to our country should be the duty of every Filipino. These achievements at the onset of the year usher in more positive news in Philippine tourism, as we keep on with our efforts to reach important market segments,” said Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Joseph Ace Durano.

The Philippines has been included in the Top 10 Best Destinations for elite travelers in China; awarded Best in Destination Promotions in Beijing; Best Travel Website representation in Russia; and from America, the top spots in Scuba Diving Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Awards. Continue Reading

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Posted in About the Philippines, Philippine Travel News6 Comments

Green Tourism brewing in Davao hotels and supermarkets

You just arrived at your hotel and after switching on the light, which you will later find out is a CFL or Compact Fluorescent Lamp, you then proceed to the bathroom for a leisurely warm shower without knowing that the heat that warmed your bathing water could have come from a pump that collects heat from other sources which is then converted into reusable heat.

Those are just a few of the many characteristics that would make a hotel environment-friendly.

Incidentally, this is not a presumed scenario but what is actually being practiced by most of the hotels here like the Marco Polo Hotel Davao. The hotel also segregates its waste to limit its carbon footprint to a minimum. With these green practices, it should not come as a surprise that Marco Polo Davao was one of the Philippine hotels that received the Asean Green Hotel Recognition Award.

The Marco Polo Davao experience should be an eye opener to other tourism establishments in Davao City that are still hesitant about the practice of green tourism.

“There are numerous tourism establishments and for many of them sustainability is costly,” said Dr. Stefanos Fotiou, regional coordinator of the Resource Efficiency United Nations Environmental Programme.

Fotiou flew all the way from Thailand to Davao City to talk on “Greening the Tourism Industry: The Role of Standards and Certification” during the Green Tourism Forum held at the Marco Polo Hotel early this week.

Marco Polo Hotel Davao general manager Mr. Nigel Fisher said the tourism sector is such a major player in the world economy that there is no place or continent in the world without any tourism activity.

“Tourism has a significant impact on the world economy”, he said, but consumption and the residual products left behind should be a cause for concern.

Mary Anne Montemayor, convenor of the Green Alliance for Davao which organized the event, said green tourism is nothing new but the sector should be encouraged to go for environmentally-friendly practices within their establishments if only to minimize the effects of climate change.

“The green tourism idea has become exponential in view of calamities like typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng, the El Nino phenomenon and the Haiti earthquake,” Montemayor said.

Montemayor said all these calamities make climate change real for all of us, and it is time to take a collective action and make a difference. It may be too far out for the ordinary citizen to relate tourism with climate change. But take note that the moment a tourist books his flight and gets his ticket for a certain tourism destination, it is already equal to a significant carbon footprint that can contribute to global warming.

As Fotiou said, “a typical tourist will consume three to eight times more water than a local in the destination.”

It is thus important that tourism facilities lessen their carbon footprint as much as possible to help in the campaign against global warming, Montemayor said.

“Green tourism is the only way for the future; it has to be a movement and with its growth it can result to a more affordable way of doing things the green way,” Marco Polo Davao Executive Assistant Manager Art Boncato said.

Fotiou said 83 percent of the world’s tourism industry is dominated by small and medium enterprises who find sustainability costly. Despite this, he said, tourism has a great potential to contribute to sustainable development.

Among the United Nations’ initiatives to promote sustainable development is the green passport campaign and the sustainable coastal tourism campaign. It has also established the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) and the Tourism Sustainability Council (TSC) which will be launched this month. The TSC aims to develop GSTC, accredit certification programs and spread awareness of sustainable tourism.

He said the strategy is to encourage tourism business to voluntarily adopt the basic green guidelines so they can become more sustainable.

Fotiou said the GSTC is the minimum basis for the standards to be accredited.

However, he said a global sustainable accreditation will not work because there are different situations unique for Davao and for the other tourism destinations.

He suggested that the green tourism initiative should start as a local initiative to be accredited by the national organization and then the GSTC.

Fotiou also made mention of Envirotel which is one of the UN initiatives to promote green tourism. This is a simple and practical guide that will assist hotel managers and staff to incorporate environmental practices in their daily operations. The small hotels will be able to download this tool for free once it is uploaded on the UNEP website.

Marco Polo Davao is however not the only tourism establishment in the city that has started to go green.

“Green tourism is now practiced by some responsible resorts and tourism players and the Davao Gulf Management Council has in fact acknowledged some in the hope that others will follow,” Save Davao Gulf Foundation, Inc. president and Councillor Leo Avila III said.

Toryanos, a local native chicken house, is also keen about green tourism and has already started implementing green changes by using environmentally-friendly products for its chicken house. Used barbecue sticks have also been recycled and are now used by the chicken house to fill up its walls.

SM City Davao, another tourism establishment, has also strengthened its environmental protection advocacy by making sure that all the lights inside the mall are CFLs since they use less power and have a longer rated life.

The Mall also partnered with the Davao Light and Power Company for the CFL Exchange Project. It is also involved in the “Trash to Cash” campaign.

SM City regional operations manager for Mindanao Debby A. Go said the company’s core environmental programs are in the areas of energy efficiency, water conservation, air quality efficiency and solid waste management. It has also spearheaded the green bag campaign. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has recognized SM City Davao for its best environmental advocacy and campaign.

Montemayor said there are a lot of pressing environmental issues affecting the Davao Region’s tourism industry foremost of which is the power crisis. She said the industry is one of the major users of energy and it is important that the tourism sector start embracing an energy-saving lifestyle.

By using CFL, Department of Energy chief science and research specialist Engr. Antonio de Guzman said, the consumer could save up to 5 kilowatt hour which is equal to P37.50 per month.

This, she added, means foregoing up to 2.1 kg of CO2 emission.

Montemayor said promoting Davao City as a major green destination will not only help the region but will also contribute to sustainable tourism. Green tourism could actually mean tourism areas that are bent in protecting their environments. These are areas that are proud of their environmentally safe practices, from resorts, restaurants and even hotels that are unpolluted and with minimal carbon footprints.

Department of Tourism-Tourism Services and Regional Offices undersecretary Oscar P. Palabyab said there is a market for green tourism and “Davao City will be the Green City of the Philippines.”

He said it is all about creating communities that are clean and healthy, which will then create the tourism markets. The world’s temperature is rising and the effects are already manifested in terms of the calamities that the whole world is experiencing. While the Philippines is not among the big league countries that pollute the environment with their carbon emissions, the country’s largest city in terms of land area can make a dent in lessening the world’s carbon footprint by going green. Source – PNA

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Posted in About the Philippines, Davao City, Mindanao, Philippine Travel News10 Comments

Department of Tourism office in Beijing awarded best in destination promotions

The Department of Tourism office in Beijing, China (DOT Beijing) was recently given the ‘Best Destination Promotions’ Award by the China Travel Agent (CTA) Magazine in recognition of tourism promotional and marketing activities undertaken by the Philippines in China. This is the fourth year that DOT Beijing has won the award for the Philippines.

Philippine Department of Tourism

The annual Destination Promotions award is being judged by CTA Magazine’s editorial board based on the quantity, quality and effectiveness of tourism promotional activities undertaken during the year by the national tourism organizations (NTOs). The finalists are screened by selected airlines and major tour wholesalers with whom the NTOs have worked with or who have benefited from said tourism activities. Continue Reading

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Posted in About the Philippines, Philippine Travel News4 Comments

Bohol Welcomes the Peacock

Bohol’s new luxury tourist destination, The Peacock Garden Resort and Spa was recently inaugurated by Tourism Sec. Ace Durano along with DOT regional director Dawnie Roa and top local government officials led by Gov. Erico Aumentado, Rep. Edgar Chatto, Tagbilaran Mayor Dan Neri Lim and the Peacock Garden’s visionary owners Hans and Lani Schoof. Monsignor Leonardo Medroso, Bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran, officiated at the blessing rites.

Panoramic View of the Hotel

The Peacock Garden is situated in Upper Laya, Baclayon, a tranquil and picturesque town only 15-minutes away from Tagbilaran City. Nestled on a hill promontory, it looks out to Bohol Sea and its fabled beaches. Continue Reading

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Posted in Bohol, Hotels, Visayas2 Comments

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