Underwater Photos by Ram Yoro
Kabayan Hotel opened its doors 22 years ago, during which it has built a solid reputation among its patrons and guests for its value for money proposition. With its prime location along EDSA-Pasay and its close proximity to both domestic and international airports, transport terminals, government offices, and employment agencies, it quickly became the hotel of choice for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and balikbayans, providing its own signature brand of warm Filipino hospitality at accessible rates.
MAINLAND Chinese are more than ready to travel to the international destinations, but is the Philippines ready to give them the fun they want?
A GLOBAL organization of private tourism and travel stakeholders threw shade at several governments for imposing restrictions on Chinese outbound travelers.
Sunlight, the air, and an ample swell window make for a great day of surfing in this part of the world. The teardrop shaped island of Siargao is famous for world-class surfing and has introduced the sport to Filipinos.
After a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the traditional Banawe Chinese New Year celebration will make its much-awaited return on Sunday (January 22) to welcome the Year of the Water Rabbit.
THE Philippines has yet to benefit from the sudden reopening of mainland China to international travel.
With a travel fund falling short for a lavish holiday, my family and I decided that if we are to travel to an island, we’ll stay on the rear beach since it will be more affordable for us than choosing accommodations on the main beach. It’s not always true that being in the back means a place is not worth staying; sometimes, you will be surprised.
Story & photos by Arabelle Jimenez
THE Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines visited Kalibo and Boracay Island in Aklan over the weekend, in preparation for the reopening of outbound travel by Chinese citizens. Boracay is one of the favorite destinations of Chinese tourists, especially during the Lunar New Year.
Incredibly surreal, I think to myself as we glide over the choppy waters off the Bicol Peninsula towards the island of Ticao. My excitement at finally making it to Masbate, the 77th province I’ve visited in the Philippines, was palpable as our boat inched closer to the isle’s powdery shores.
The Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA), the largest and most prestigious travel agency association in the country, is always at the forefront in helping advance the travel industry’s growth and expansion. For next year, PTAA is launching its annual and most anticipated travel event, the 30th Travel Tour 2023 and the 8th International Travel Trade Expo 2023 slated on February 3 to 5, 2023 at the SMX Convention Center in MOA Complex, Pasay City.
Being swamped with work and personal commitments, I felt my cup was already empty, thus the invitation to join the Christmas Tree Lighting event at Pico de Loro Cove couldn’t have come at a better time. Passing through Cavite, the traffic was unkind and heavy but that didn’t dampen my spirit because I was so ready to leave the harsh and suffocating environment of the Metro to touch some sand and get my fill of the so-called “vitamin sea.”
Kabayan Hotel has long been a favorite for accommodations among Overseas Filipino Workers as its strategic location in the EDSA Pasay area offers ease of access to the airports, employment agencies, government offices, and allied services. It is also a place where they are treated to warm and thoughtful Filipino hospitality as their send-off to their destination countries or as their first stop upon their journey home.
BEIJING’S recent easing of its zero Covid tolerance policy bodes well for international travel, with most countries, like the Philippines, heavily dependent on the Chinese market for tourism revenue.
Travel, food, and lifestyle bloggers recently made the seven-hour journey to cover the opening of the new annex and experienced the Santorini-like lifestyle at Santiago Cove Hotel & Restaurant in Northern Ilocos Sur.
2GO Express, the courier solutions provider of 2GO Group Inc., is geared up to deliver to more areas across the Philippines for the Christmas holiday rush and beyond.
AS the bulk of tourists in the country starts arriving for the holidays, the planned volt-in of the arrival systems of different government agencies continues to be problematic. Passengers landing at Manila’s airport are still dealing with an unfriendly e-Travel website and confusing queues, despite the relief promised under phase 2 of the new arrival scheme.
World-class Clark International Airport (CRK) in Pampanga has just leveled up its passenger services in partnership with the Plaza Premium Group, the pioneer and industry leader in innovating global airport hospitality services and facilities.
Away from Manila’s capricious hustle and bustle, Taal Vista Hotel evokes a soothing sense of being enveloped by tradition and something palpably festive in the air. I can’t help but feel as though my time here will be special.
For three days, travel agents and members of the media who joined the Subic Bay-Bataan Business Familiarization Tour were treated to a taste of luxury with nostalgia thrown in.
Taal Vista Hotel welcomes the joyful festive season with the theme “Season of Lights” and jubilant activities such as The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and a Night of Music and Wine.
Cebu, known as the queen city of the south, is back with a vengeance after being ravaged by Supertyphoon Odette last year. Planning and rebuilding took a while before the tourism industry got back in the groove of things. Shangri-La Mactan was one of the first destinations to welcome guests with open arms.
Taal Vista Hotel (TVH), one of the country’s pioneer hotels and the best along the Tagaytay Ridge, hosted the recent 23rd national convention of the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines (ATOP).
EXECUTIVES of budget carrier operator Cebu Air Inc. announced they are beefing up the international and domestic route network of Cebu Pacific, increasing the frequencies of certain sectors in time for the holiday season.
Just like the smash K-Pop TV series, crash landing in Leyte province is among the serendipitous experiences even the most jaded travelers will find exciting. Beyond Gen. Douglas MacArthur and the Allied Forces’s legendary return to its sleepy shores during World War II, its countryside charm has an irresistible magnet which can make you say your own “I Shall Return” vow 78 years later.
The pressing need of Metro Manila urbanites over the past decade for a setting that would quickly reconnect them to nature has driven the expansion of Seda Nuvali from a boutique hotel to a newly completed 356-room resort-like property with stunning views of a lake, the Tagaytay Ridge, and the plains of Calabarzon all the way to Laguna de Bay.
There’s high interest in the Philippines as a tourism destination, that’s for sure, but more European tourists will come if only airline fares and hotels were less expensive.
TOURISM stakeholders are celebrating the arrival of 2 million tourists into the country, after having suffered for over two years of poor earnings and joblessness for many.
THE Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), the marketing arm of the Department of Tourism (DOT), sees the Meetings, Incentives, Exhibitions, Conventions (MICE) sector bouncing back in 2023.
I wasn’t the only passenger trying to figure out how to buy a multi-day ticket. Luckily, the staff at the station was helpful to first-time visitors like me. I got my ticket and waited for the train to arrive. I got on the next available train. There was only a trickle of passengers that boarded with me.
After two years of gathering and celebrating via laptop screens, the Hotel and Sales Marketing Association (HSMA) 2022 Virtus Awards ceremony, now finally held face-to-face, was its most joyous edition yet, bringing together the best of the Philippines’s hospitality and tourism industry as they recognized their top sales and marketing professionals, as well as marketing campaigns.
INDIA can be the new outbound travel powerhouse, replacing the Chinese market on which most Asia Pacific destinations rely.
After a long travel hiatus, there’s nothing like an island with a white sandy beach, an ocean breeze, and clear, turquoise waters, sans the crowds, to put your mind at ease. Located in Oslob, at the southern tip of Cebu, the small and breathtakingly beautiful 24-hectare Sumilon Island fits that bill perfectly.
For several decades, the people of Hong Kong and the Philippines have enjoyed close ties. A leading official believes it’s time to revive the relationship.
Revenge tourism is here and it is time to scratch that travel itch. An easy and quick getaway to the south of Manila is just two hours away. Grab your overnighter bag and let us visit this hidden forest in Silang, Cavite.
The Philippines will take global environmental stage once more as it hosts the International Ecotourism Travel Mart (IETM), the world’s first-ever and biggest ecotourism-themed expo from March 29 to April 2, 2023 in Silang, Cavite.
For me, Vancouver has one of the most picturesque settings of any city in the world. Nestled among snow-capped mountains on an ocean inlet, it has an atmosphere that is British in character but with a rich mix of nationalities, with sizable numbers of Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Korean, Japanese, and Iranian residents, making it one of North America’s most cosmopolitan places.
One can never have enough peace and relaxation. With busy work schedules, the hustle and bustle gets the best of us. The best solution? Escaping the urban jungle and trading it for scenic views and a cup of serenity. A reset surrounded by nature is much-needed and there is no better way to do that than getting away from all the noise and heading to a place that feels like home away from home.
Continuing to evolve and raising the bar for premier resort and condominium living, The Spinnaker, at the 24-hectare Club Laiya in San Juan, Batangas, is an eco-friendly, master-planned Leisure Tourism Estates (LTE) beach property inspired by Batangas’ coastal surroundings.
Stories are the marrow of humanity. Conversations serve as the thread that connects communities, allowing histories, cultures, and traditions to flourish from generation to generation. In an era where tourism has afforded us a window to the world, humans and their vibrant stories lend more meaning to experience. Through the human element of travel, destinations transform from being mere points on a map to one that reconnects us to our roots and our humanity.
I heard the news about a possible invasion of Ukraine while I was in the country. I brushed it off as tough talk and as a bargaining position, some of the travelers I’ve met shared the same sentiments. Little did I know that around a month after I left the country in late January 2022, things were never going to be the same.
As the travel restrictions in the country start to ease up, new adventures await for Filipinos who have been wanting to visit Hong Kong. One of the latest additions to Hong Kong’s thrilling tourist attractions is the new Peak Tram which rewards passengers with a stunning view of Victoria Harbor. Starting August 27, the Peak Tram—Asia’s oldest cable car and a must-see attraction in Hong Kong—have reintroduced its thrilling rides with a revamped tramcar, terminus ushers, and improved amenities.
A couple of days after being graced by the presence of National Living Treasure awardee Apuh Ambalang—a Yakan master weaver who unfortunately passed away at age 78 in February 2022—in Lamitan, Basilan, we continued our discovery of the habi (weaving) culture of Zamboanga Peninsula by making an educational stop at the Yakan Village.
The Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA), the largest and most prestigious association of travel agencies in the country, held its 5th Membership Meeting and launched the 10th Emerging Outbound Destinations last September 22 at the Hotel Lucky China Town in Binondo, Manila.
It’s rare to find a true gem in a sea of blue. But this is exactly what we discovered when we arrived at the sparkling blue waters of Boracay: A sprawling 7 hectares of a premier beachfront resort, now welcoming couples and families alike in Boracay’s Station 3.
It was a feast for the senses as visual artists from the northern and southern regions of Luzon gathered once more at the second phase of the Department of Tourism’s Artists’ Exchange Program (AEP).
It was “revenge travel” time once again as I visited the island province of Bohol in a media tour sponsored by the Department of Tourism (DOT) Central Visayas, Bluewater Panglao Resort and Cebu Pacific Air. On December 15, 2020, the province was opened to leisure tourists.
The Ride for Valor, a commemorative ride on two wheels to mark the anniversary of the Bataan Death March during World War II, recently returned on the road after being canceled for two years.
A visit to Vigan is the next best thing to traveling back in time. It was definitely an exciting experience for me as I reveled in the Spanish Colonial surroundings. The sounds of horses trotting as the carriages passed by reminded me of how people used to get around town many moons ago.
A hidden gem surrounded by the crystalline Sulu Sea, mesmerizing marine life, and radiant coral reefs, Banwa Private Island enthralls travelers seeking exclusive and unique adventures in a private sanctuary.
Selcuk, at first, didn’t feel like the the historic place I’ve read about. It seemed like any other tourist city with its streets lined with guesthouses, hotels, shops, and restaurants. However, I didn’t come here to stay in the city but to visit its ancient sites. After I checked in, I was eager and ready to explore Selcuk.
Travel bugs and lovers of the good life can “Eat. Stay. Love” even this rainy season with the much-awaited September Online Sale (SOS) of the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association of the Philippines (HSMA).
In the Philippines, some of the theme parks include the Enchanted Kingdom, Star City, and Sky Ranch.
Business and leisure or “bleisure” travelers can look forward to more exciting accommodation options in Bohol with the Atharra Suites Panglao, an elegant 221-room, 5-story hotel which is envisioned to be the most stylish hotel in the popular beach island.
Going to Goa has the capacity to somehow pull you out momentarily off India. Indeed, its beaches are legendary, and a trip there is never complete without staying at one of those little packets of paradise for a couple of days.
South Korea will be more accessible as additional flights from Clark International Airport (CRK) resume for T’way Air and Royal Air Philippines.
After nearly two years of being cooped up indoors due to the Covid pandemic and its accompanying lockdown, the lowering of alert levels gave us an opportunity to get out and breathe the fresh air.
The City Government of Tanauan, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), and the Provincial Government of Batangas led the observance of the recent 158th birth anniversary of Apolinario Mabini at the Mabini Shrine in Tanauan City, Batangas.
BENGUET/Mountain Province. Zamboanga/Basilan/Tawi-Tawi. Masbate.
IT’S still more fun in the Philippines, but should we state the obvious?
It was a cold winter day when I arrived in Vienna. Fortunately, exploring Vienna is easy because of its pedestrian-friendly streets and extensive public transportation, so I went for it despite the weather.
Located in Talisay, Batangas, Club Balai Isabel is a nature-lover’s dream. It is situated along the shores of Taal Lake and with the best view of Taal Volcano, making the resort ideal for nature trippers. There is more in store, of course.
It was a long trip and border crossing from Zagreb, Croatia to Hungary, however, Budapest was one of the cities on my European bucket list and I was eager to explore it.
Visa-free entry begins for travelers from the new Clark International Airport (CRK) going to South Korea through Yangyang International Airport.
For the second time this year, AAP Lakbay, the travel and tourism arm of the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP), the country’s biggest and oldest national auto club, hosted another curated, modified, and enhanced “Drive, Dine and Discover” caravan. This time the caravan went to the historical, cultural, culinary, and countryside spots of Maragondon and Silang in Cavite to help reboot domestic tourism and local enterprises.
The freedom to take one’s business wherever one goes is a perk of entrepreneurial life. The pandemic has even fast-tracked the new norm to take the office wherever one opts to park his laptop. If working from anywhere has become the lifestyle of choice of entrepreneurs, where else can they work other than the seaside paradise of CaSoBe (Calatagan South Beach), one of Landco’s latest BeachTowns in Batangas.
The provinces of Dinagat, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur in Caraga Region are one of the few places in the Philippines where you can find an abundance of amazing breathtaking island destinations. But finding a group of small islands or islets in one area is a unique rarity for those who want to hop from one beach to another.
As part of the reboot of the tourism industry in the Calabarzon Region, the Department of Tourism has rolled out its culinary circuits to showcase its notable farm tourism sites and their unique farm-to-table dining experiences.
I spent a few days in Zagreb before I took the overnight bus to Dubrovnik. I read that the latter was a touristy and crowded destination due to the popularity of Game of Thrones. However, I assured myself that, that won’t be the case because I scheduled my trip during the winter (and during the Covid pandemic at that). The overnight bus ride was uneventful with a few stops before arriving at the station early in the morning. I didn’t get much sleep, but I was eager to explore Dubrovnik.
On June 27, Spanish Ambassador Jorge Moragas paid a visit to the newly restored La Loma Chapel with Instituto Cervantes Manila Director Javier Galvan. The recent restoration of the chapel was the product of the efforts between Escuela Taller de Filipinas Foundation Inc. or Escuela Taller and the Diocese of Kalookan. The restoration of the chapel facade took 11 months to complete.
The biggest tourism event of the year, 29th Travel Tour Expo 2022, opened last Friday with a big crowd eager to avail of big travel discounts and amazing tour packages from more than 140 exhibitors. The three-day event featured numerous travel destinations and event-exclusive promotions with discounts in airfare, accommodations and tours. At the event, travelers were able to plan their travel schedules, choose their favored transportation mode and even secure travel insurance on the spot. Also, event attendees were treated to exciting raffles, corporate game shows and entertaining programs from exhibitors and sponsors. With the theme “Braving and Shaping the future of Travel,” the Travel Tour Expo hopes to revive the travel industry by encouraging the public to proceed with their long delayed travel plans due to the pandemic.
Long before Covid-19 alert levels went down to their lowest this year, Cebu, ranked as one of the islands in the world by the international travel web site Big 7 Travel and the best island in Asia by renowned magazine Conde Nast, has been jumping the gun on other tourist destinations in the race to reopen local tourism. In fact, for two years now, they have been hosting the “I Love Cebu Summer Sale,” sponsored by the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu Inc. (HRRACI).
After being sidelined for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sarangani Bay (SarBay) Festival made a soft come back albeit in a toned-down environmental initiative to help preserve the bay’s fragile ecosystem.
Ten Knots Phils, Inc., a subsidiary of Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) has completed the first phase of the solar power project to supply renewable energy to Lio Estate, a sustainable township development in El Nido, Palawan. This project is in line with ALI’s commitment to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
More than the party atmosphere, visitors also come to Boracay to put their feet up, slow down, relax and enjoy great food with family and friends. The island is slowly becoming a family and a sustainable tourist destination.
The Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF) has partnered with the National Library of the Philippines (NLP) and LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) community to gather insights on creating a safer physical and cultural space inclusive for everyone.
It’s been almost a decade since my last visit to Sorsogon. When I had the chance to return, I immediately took it. The number of years between my visits made me think about the changes a place could’ve undertaken during that time. However, it wasn’t only the place that may have changed, a different me could’ve been looking at the world differently at that time.
The 2022 edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong, and the second edition of its hybrid fair, welcomes 130 leading galleries from 28 countries and territories. Alongside robust presentations across Galleries, Insights, and Discoveries, this year’s show will offer dynamic public programs that highlight local artists and create meaningful connections in the city and across the globe: Hong Kong-based moving image pioneer Ellen Pau’s new, site-specific moving image work “The Shape of Light,” co-commissioned by Art Basel and M+, supported by the Lead Partner UBS, as well as a special tram project with artists Cherie Cheuk Ka-wai, Stephen Wong Chun-hei, and Shum Kwan-yi, commissioned by Art Basel and co-presented by the Hong Kong Tourism Board. Art Basel Live, Art Basel’s multichannel digital program will once again amplify the show’s content to global audiences.
A testament to its consistent brand of hospitality service beyond compare, Nüwa at City of Dreams Manila achieves two Five Stars in the 2022 Forbes Travel Guide (FTG) Awards for the hotel and its spa for the fifth and third consecutive years, respectively since 2018.
The tranquil and serene Anya Resort sits on 7.2 hectares of farmland straddling parts of Tagaytay and Silang in Cavite.
At Banwa Private Island, team members are everyday heroes who passionately work together in the noble pursuit of protecting Mother Nature. Surrounded by the untouched beauty of the island sanctuary in North-eastern Palawan, the team’s collective love of nature has inspired each one to be custodians of the environment.
Location, Convenience. Wi-fi. These are the necessities that Hotel 101 offers to their guests. Soon, the hotel will be adding another word to this list and that word is sustainable.
A crested honey buzzard is seen from a distance, one of the many things Masungi Georeserve, located in Baras, Rizal, has to offer to the those who are looking for an adventure. That adventure includes a four-hour trek inside the limestone park situated at the foot of the Sierra Madre.
Forbes Travel Guide, the only globally recognized rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas, has awarded Okada Manila yest another Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star for its 2022 Star Award. This is the 3rd year Manila’s grand icon has received this coveted accolade.
Phuket, Thailand’s No. 1 tourist destination did not appeal to me highly until I finally arrived on the island.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) recently held its annual Tourism Update event and announced a revival plan that highlights Hong Kong’s vibrant developments and new experiences, aiming to generate a positive ambience and make the city top-of-mind destination for worldwide travelers when travel resumes.
More than a decade has passed since I first journeyed to Palaui Island. Back in those days, I was still in my earliest phase of exploring the Philippines. Cagayan Province, being in the farthest northeastern part of Luzon, seemed like a foreign country to me back then.
Green season is every frequent traveller’s best kept secret. It is the perfect opportunity to explore Banwa Private Island where nature is in full bloom. Green season means drizzles in the warm and sunny mornings, ideal for swimming, hiking, nearby island adventures and outdoor activities. The cool, fresh breeze makes the days more relaxing, finding paradise in whatever you do.
Viviane Aguilar, 42, has found a new calling. After attending to Covid-19 patients at the height of the pandemic as a barangay health worker, she is now a tourist ambassador.
Travelers landing at the new Clark International Airport Terminal will be greeted by the majestic view of Mount Arayat in the east and the Sacobia mountain ranges in the west.
After two years of lockdowns and movement restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, Filipinos have finally found the best revenge: to travel.
Undeniably, the beaches and water activities of Batangas are what people flock to at this time of the year. However, I have discovered a ton of other activities while also enjoying the hinterlands. Travelers should check it out and maybe take a dip in the ocean after.
With the long, hot summer upon us, the country’s idyllic islands are beckoning us to recapture the fun moments lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The second time we joined another free tour of Renacimiento Manila we went around Chinatown for the Binondo Heritage Tour. Leading the tour this time is Stephen John Pamorada, a cultural entrepreneur and Heritage Collective owner.