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S P E C I A L R E P O R T: T H E P H I L I P P I N E ’ S Q U E S T TO B E T H E B E S T D E S T I N AT I O N I N T H E WO R L D F O R M E D I C A L TO U R I S T S

Issue 51, Vo lum e VI I OCTOBER & NOVEMBER 2016


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SOARING LIKE AGILA As Enchanted Kingdom celebrates its 21st anniversary this coming October 15, 2016, it redefines its position as the only world-class themed amusement park destination in the country. It signals the start of EK’s vision of differentiating itself further with one-of-akind unique rides and attractions, world-class entertainment and performances and superlative guest service. Enchanted Kingdom is coming off a banner year last year and its popularity here and abroad continues to grow, with Trip Advisor recognizing this and including EK in its list of Asia’s Top 25 Amusement Parks. As Enchanted Kingdom embarks on its expansion and redevelopment plan, this regional popularity will definitely increase much further starting with the arrival this year of Agila: The EKsperience, its grandest and most innovative ride attraction in 21 years! Agila will truly be a must-see attraction not only for foreign visitors but most especially for all Filipinos, young and old alike. Big surprises are in store for all guests during Enchanted Kingdom’s 21st anniversary celebration starting this October and continuing on until the end of the year, from our ground-breaking new rides and attractions, to our totally new entertainment, food and merchandise offerings.

AGILA: The EKsperience This 2016, Enchanted Kingdom proudly launches its most ambitious offering in 21 years – Agila: The EKsperience – the first flying theater in Southeast Asia and the largest single unit flying theater in the world! This unique attraction is named Agila as a tribute to the magnificent Philippine eagle, the largest bird of prey of its kind in the world. It not only signifies Enchanted Kingdom’s commitment to promote and support the Philippine eagle’s conservation efforts; Agila also stands as a symbol of the Filipino’s indomitable spirit to soar above all the challenges of life. Agila: The Experience will feature pioneering and patented motion theater technology simulating the flight of an eagle. It will showcase some twenty of the country’s stunning destinations within a six-minute feature film, all captured through aerial videography in vividly clear 6K resolution by an Emmy award winning cinematographer known for some astonishing aerial videography in the award winning reality television series “Survivor”, and blockbuster movie hit “Titanic”. Agila: The Experience will be unrivaled in bringing guests the very best of the Philippines through a spectacular flying adventure!


An Iconic Landmark Rises The Agila Flying Theater is the largest of its kind in the world in terms of seating capacity – accommodating 105 guests at any one time every ride cycle. Housed in an iconic circular building symbolizing the sun in the Philippine flag, this 10-storey high structure will be EK’s largest single attraction to-date by the time it opens, with a footprint of over 6,000 square meters. The high-ceilinged interior of the theater houses three-tiers of motion-base seating with special effects designed to provide an uninterrupted panoramic view of a massive curved screen ensuring a fully immersive and interactive viewing experience. The Agila Flying Theater was designed and engineered by Simex-Iwerks of Toronto, Canada, a global leader in special effects driven motion simulator theater attractions and films, and Rhetroactive of Los Angeles, California, an internationally renowned attraction integrator and designer of engaging entertainment experiences. Their collaboration will deliver a thrilling and entertaining experience with various special effects to the riders. The iconic building itself was designed by an innovative local architectural firm, DQA Design & Planning, Inc. Agila: The Experience will definitely be an unforgettable ride attraction at Enchanted Kingdom when it finally opens in 2016 and beyond.

EK Ghostbusters Live opens in October 2016 After the howling success of its locally produced horror walk-through attractions in tie ups with the producers of the local movies Pagpag and Kubot, Enchanted Kingdom proudly brings in the official franchise of the global blockbuster hit Ghostbusters for its latest world-class attraction, to be launched just in time for Halloween. Ghostbusters Live! is based on the global blockbuster hit series including the latest version which was just released this July 2016, and features state-of-the-art scare effects that will surely offer a thrilling fun experience for the whole family. It is a unique concept made possible with a partnership with the licensee of Ghostbusters - Sudden Impact! Entertainment Company of New York, USA. To ramp up the excitement with the launching of the new attraction, in-park activities will be held and supernatural ghoulish sightings are sure to abound

around the premiere theme park’s sprawling grounds. Park guests need not be afraid, though, because they know “who they’re gonna call!”

EK @ 21 According to Mr. Mamon, quoting some words from his virtual mentor Walter Elias Disney, “If you think that we are through with our plans because we are celebrating our 21st year, let me just say this. We are just starting and you ain’t seen nothing yet!” He continues, “There’s a lot more magic coming over the horizon as we envision Enchanted Kingdom to be an integrated attractions destination catering to wholesome family leisure &entertainment, transforming and enhancing the EK experience beyond a single standalone themed amusement park. The arrival of Agila: The Eksperience heralds the start of this transformation for a bigger and more magical place for bonding and creating memorable moments for all ages. There will be a lot more exciting reasons to visit Enchanted Kingdom and experience the magic that sets it apart from anything else. To know more about the upcoming events you may visit www.enchantedkingdom.ph or call us at 02-830.3535/02584.3535.


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EXPLORER Enchanted Kingdom At 21: Soaring Like Agila “Big surprises are in store for all guests during Enchanted Kingdom’s 21st anniversary celebration starting this October and continuing on until the end of the year, from our ground-breaking new rides and attractions, to our totally new entertainment, food and merchandise offerings.” More on page 4... DISCOVERY Resorts World Manila: Setting The Stage For Filipino Talent “Sensing a momentum for cultivating homegrown talent and interest in the performing arts, RWM, through the vision of founding chairman Dr. Andrew L. Tan, founded the Original Pilipino Performing Arts (OPPA) Foundation.” More on Page 12…

SPECIAL REPORT I MEDICAL TOURISM 01 Infographic: Philippines, Asia’s Heart of Medical Tourism More on page 42... 02 The Emerging Medical Tourism Industry in the Philippines More on page 44...

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TRAVEL I AMAZING ESCAPES Sorsogon: Breathtaking Adventures At The Heart Of Nature “As the province never fails to grace its visitors with the beauty of nature all year round, Sorsogon pitches exciting adventures that will provide you the most unique nature experience.“ More on Page 88… TRAVEL I ADVENTURE Masbate: Trip To Three Islands “Situated at the crossroads of Luzon and Visayas, the province of Masbate consists of three major islands: Masbate, Ticao, and Burias. Each island has its own charm that will satisfy every traveler’s heart. “ More on Page 92…

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FE ATURES October & November 2016 I. KEEPING A JOURNAL THE PUBLISHER’S NOTE on page 16... The Status Quo “Whichever side of the aisle you are on in these hotly contested debates, we can all surely agree that things are really different now—and it hasn’t even been 6 months.”

Capitol Commons

ON THE COVER ORTIGAS & COMPANY 01 Capital Commons “As it celebrates its 85th anniversary, Ortigas & Co. delivers on the fresh and unique with Gastro and Estancia at Capitol Commons.” More on page 20 02 Defining & Envisioning A Home “Few people would argue that leaving home is a lot easier than coming back. After months or years spent in unfamiliar places, the idea of returning to a place
you thought you have outgrown seems
a little somber. Others would say the opposite— that there’s comfort in the familiar and that home,
essentially, is the downrush of the things you pine for after a very long absence.“ More on page 24 INVESTMENT I REAL ESTATE Batangas “With a close proximity to Metro-Manila and Tagaytay, Batangas has quickly become one of the best places to invest and retire in the entire country.” More on page 28... INVESTMENT I INSIGHTS & ANALYSIS Economy On The Upswing “Improved standard of living for a greater portion of the population, in turn, bodes well for higher incomes of businesses, economic officials said.” More on page 34... INVESTMENT I FRANCHISING Mr. Softy: Always Fresh, Always Exciting “Our franchisees tell us that with Mr. Softy, things are really different compared to other franchise brands—your investment is around 60% while your pro t is 40%. However, with Mr. Softy, your investment is around 40% while your pro t is 60%.” Vic expressed.” More on page 36...

20 INVESTMENT I INSIGHTS & ANALYSIS The Top 5 Philippine Industries Foreign Investors Should Dive Into “In the near-term, economic growth is likely to remain strong and is projected to accelerate to 6.4 percent in 2016 before tampering slightly to 6.2 percent in 2017.” More on page 40... OUTLOOK I THE RISE OF A NATION Economic Development & Human Rights “Extrajudicial violence is largely a result of a society’s complete lack of trust and con dence in a government’s ability to enforce laws—an ineffective government which is mired by rampant, systematic corruption— that’s why this subject is rather tragic.” More on page 50... IN-DEPTH I THE RISE OF FILIPINO-AMERICANS 01 100 Years of Filipino-American Accomplishments “Filipino Americans have long been making achievements in America since the end of the Philippine-American war in 1902.” More on page 62... 02 Coming Home: How it feels to relocate back to the Philippines as a Millennial Filipino-American More on page 68... 03 The Adventurous Fil-Am More on page 74... 04 The Foodie Fil-Am

More on page 76... 05 The Hipster Fil-Am More on page 78... SPOTLIGHT I EVENTS The Champion’s Comeback: Pacquiao Returns To The Boxing World More on page 84... LIFESTYLE I HEALTH & WELLNESS The Eyebrowdery “Not all people are blessed with perfect eyebrows. In fact, most of us get crazy
and spend hours in front of the mirror just to achieve the right arch. As the name suggests, The Eyebrowdery’s main service is all about giving you your desired perfect eyebrows without the need of a bulky cosmetic kit.” More on page 80... LIFESTYLE I EXERCISE & FITNESS Take A Shot: Understanding The Art Of The Golf Swing. More on page 82... INDUSTRY I HEALTHCARE The 4Th Paaammi Annual Convention 2016 “A total of 200 international and local delegates from the medical industry attended the most prestigious convention to date. Likewise, it also became a venue to promote camaraderie among the AntiAging and Aesthetic doctors.” More on page 86...

S U B S C R I B E T O D A Y 6 I S S U E S / 1 Y E A R F O R O N LY $ 3 0 Available nationwide at all major bookstores / selected restaurants & ca fes / inside hotel rooms and at Duty Free Philippines. Also available at special events and subscriptions throughout the world.


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WRITERS SENIOR Advertising & ACCOUNT Executive BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER senior Multimedia Developer Multimedia Developers LAYOUT & GRAPHIC DESIGNER OFFICE Manager

Dana M. Sioson CHARISSE NICOLE TRINIDAD Kimberly delos Santos GREG TRINIDAD, ROCELLE ANABEZA, KARL TANALGO jazmine laboriante, KATrina DELA CRUZ

Issue 51 / volume viI ON THE COVER CAPITOL COMMONS The newest lifestyle hangout in Ortigas Center, Philippines.

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RWM’s production of “The King and I” was the longest-running Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in Southeast Asia.

Present during the launch of the Original Pilipino Performing Arts (OPPA) Foundation was its Board of Trustees (from left) Rufino Abad, Marilou Almaden, Michael Stuart Williams, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Kingson Sian, Mark Manalang, and Isidro Garcia

Setting the Stage for Filipino Talent BY MARY JANE DEJADA

Resorts World Manila (RWM), the Philippines’ first and leading integrated entertainment and tourism destination, is staging the classic musical “Annie” at the Newport Performing Arts Theater (NPAT). Launched in 2010, the 1,500-seat NPAT has helped revitalize the local theater and performing arts scene. It has been home to six major stage productions, starting with KAOS as the first show. This was followed by a series of musicals featuring all-Filipino casts and crews, The Sound of Music (2011), The King and I (2012), Cinderella (2013), Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (2014), and Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical (2015). “For the past seven years, it has always been our advocacy to champion the Filipino in all of our endeavors. Annie, which opened on September 30, continues the proud tradition of bringing Filipino talent at center stage where it belongs,” said RWM President Kingson Sian. “This unwavering commitment resonates strongest in our drive to nurture the performing arts.” Sensing a momentum for cultivating homegrown talent and interest in the performing arts, RWM, through the vision of founding chairman Dr. Andrew L. Tan, founded the Original Pilipino Performing Arts (OPPA) Foundation. With help from Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc. (TIHGI), owner and operator

RWM and the kids of “Annie” promise a bright tomorrow for Philippine performing arts

This unwavering commitment resonates strongest in our drive to nurture the performing arts. Kingson Sian President, Resorts World Manila of RWM, the foundation aims to cultivate Filipino talent by supporting the local industry with an initial funding of up to Php100 million.

“The Sound of Music” started off RWM’s tradition of successfully staging musical theater classics with all-FIlipino casts and crews.

The resources will be channeled to grants and scholarships providing artists with avenues and opportunities for development, and elevating standards and capabilities by providing global expertise and resources. OPPA has the support of many leading luminaries in the local performance arts industry, such as Philippine Opera Company Artistic and Managing Director Karla Gutierrez, Manila Philharmonic Orchestra Musical Director Maestro Rodel Colmenar, musical theater and opera director Jaime Del Mundo, Theater Icon and OPPA Foundation President Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, along with RWM Chief Operations Manager for Entertainment Alou Almaden. Together, they select and guide young Filipino artists who have the heart and talent to take Philippine theater to new heights. “We looked for individuals who have both the drive and the talent for performance arts,” Lauchengco-Yulo said. “It wasn’t enough for somebody to just have the natural ability to sing, dance, or act, but we looked for that special spark that we feel could one day uplift the local theater industry.” “Beyond thrilling the world, we at RWM are also committed to social responsibility and corporate citizenship. One of the ways we achieve this is by nurturing the performing arts,” Sian said. ANNIE opens on September 30, 2016 and runs until December 4, 2016 at Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resorts World Manila. Visit www.rwmanila.com or call the Tourist/Visitor Hotline (+632) 908-8833 for more information. Learn more about OPPA at www.oppafoundation.org.


THROUGH THE LENS I PHOTO OF THE MONTH


MAYON VOLCANO, ALBAY, BICOL REGION PHOTOGRAPH BY NOEL TY


KEEPING A JOURNAL

Publisher’s Note

THE STATUS QUO

Status quo is the Latin phrase meaning the existing state of affairs. In the world of business, there are many sayings and clichés. Go to any business related website you will surely find articles with headline titles as, “Is the status quo hurting your business?” Or, “Why keeping the status quo is beneficial in marketing.” For the business strategist, they will tell you that “When the industry and your competitors are zigging, then you must zag.” And that moving in a straight line will take you and lead you to nowhere. You can see this when a company rebrands their logo, changes their website, company slogan, diversifies into new markets, industries, products, and services—you name it. However and perhaps, these same concepts can also be used for governmental policies and procedures. In the Presidential election cycle which I have keenly observed both in the Philippines and the United States, you often hear the words change—that the general direction which society is moving toward needs to either change or remain the same. The concepts and policies for what needs to actually change however is subjective and whether or not society is actually progressing or regressing depends on what your personal life is like and how they affect you, your family, your work, and friends. In the United States, you have two very polarizing candidates who are neck and neck in the race to be the next President. With the new President, nearly half of the American population will be stuck with a leader that they do not like. This is simply the fact of democracy—can’t make everybody happy, but the majority rules. In the Philippines, President Duterte won nearly 40% of the vote against 5 candidates. Leading up to his election, he campaigned on the platform that he was going to change many, many things—that keeping the status quo for the Filipino people and the country jeopardizes the very existence of our great nation—and the majority of Filipino voters agreed. Now that President Duterte is in office, he is living up to what he said

he would do. People are reacting both positively and negatively both in the Philippines and in the broader international level. Whether it is his war on drugs and the reports of extra-judicial, vigilante killings or the change in relationship with America, Russia, China and the general international community (like the European Union and United Nations), you can’t simply sit back and read the news reports and not feel or think something. Whichever side of the aisle you are on in these hotly contested debates, we can all surely agree that things are really different now—and it hasn’t even been 6 months. I can’t help but wonder what our country will be like in 1 year let alone 6 years because I simply do not know. But I’m looking forward to it. We all in one way or another either on a weekly or even daily basis think about our own personal status quos—some people even post it on Facebook. Whether it is in our relationships, careers, living conditions, and finances, the status quo directly affects our moods and attitudes. I’ve always been a strong supporter of self-analyzing whatever situation I find myself in. And I hope that you too will do the same because after all, our time here is limited. If you don’t want to move away from your family for a job in the Middle East or USA, then don’t. If you don’t want to do drugs anymore, then don’t. If you’re a criminal, but don’t want to go to jail then change. If you’re not satisfied with your job, then find a new job. We all have a choice, but we all have excuses. Yet, consequentially, not changing the status quo and doing the same mistake over and over and expecting a different result—that’s the true definition of insanity according to Albert Einstein.

Roger L. Oriel

Chief Executive Officer & Publisher Asian Journal Media Group


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THAT’S INTERNATIONAL. In partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, Balikbayan Magazine is now distributed at 101 local and foreign Philippine embassies, consulates, offices, and outposts to compliment our existing distribution channels such as bookstores, hotel and resort rooms, hospitals, banks, clinics, restaurants, shops, travel agencies, events, and subscriptions. 14

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ON THE COVER

CAPITOL COMMONS

CA PITOL C OMMONS: Ortigas & Co.’s re-imagination of what lifestyle destinations should be. As it celebrates its 85th anniversary, Ortigas & Co. delivers on the fresh and unique with Gastro and Estancia at Capitol Commons.


When Capitol Commons first opened in 2013, everybody was so excited and immediately flocked to the new lifestyle hub of premier property developer Ortigas & Co. The 10-hectare mixed-use complex was a welcome addition to the Pasig district, where it stood in the former site of the Old Rizal Provincial Capitol. Novel gastronomic fares were the initial offers of Capitol Commons, and everyone was just eager to sample these. Who wouldn’t want to take a trip here anyway? Gastro, which housed these dining greats, featured restaurants that have fresh concepts and menus of surefire palate winners. Tipsy Pig, Black Olive, Sentro 1771, Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken and Starbucks kept the metro abuzz with their culinary offers ranging from European continental dishes and Filipino favorites. Friends and families gathered in Black Olive for their extensive beer selection, which are best paired with their signature truffled items such as truffled mushroom crostini, truffled fries, and their can’t-bemissed involtini of grilled eggplant, roast tomato, feta cheese, and black olives. Tipsy Pig is another destination for drinks as well, with their salted caramel beer as certified crowd-drawer, and a mouthwatering selection of American comfort food in huge servings to pair them with. Now, Gastro remains as every foodie’s default go-to in the Ortigas Center and Kapitolyo area – for good reason. Not only do patrons get to savor delectable dishes, they also get to enjoy them in an ambience that’s laidback and refreshing, while still giving that air of sophistication that is a true mark of Ortigas & Co.

An urban style sanctuary comes in A little over a year after Gastro was introduced, Ortigas & Co. continued its development streak in Capitol Commons with the launch of retail hub Estancia. Coming off strong from Gastro, the premier property developer made sure its newest retail offer isn’t your typical mall destination. Estancia is positioned to be a spot for consumers who are looking for options beyond the usual. Here, global brands spanning apparel, home décor and furniture, jewelry, and cosmetics, as well as both the popular crowd-drawers and niche stores, can be found. As Ortigas & Co.’s upscale retail offer, it is a model of modernity, sophistication, and style.


ON THE COVER

CAPITOL COMMONS

Capitol Commons’ Gastro Strip

A walk through Estancia’s four floors inspires a retail fantasy. Fans of home décor and furniture can spruce up their homes with chic, contemporary pieces from West Elm or from the expertly-crafted choices in Pottery Barn. The latter has even opened Pottery Barn shops specific for teens and kids, for even more decorative options across ages. Estancia also prides in housing the lone Philippine shops of select global fashion brands. These brands include one of Europe’s leading fashion retailers Cortefiel and the boutique of famed American designer Isaac Mizrahi. The flagship store of iconic British handbag and accessory brand Kurt Geiger is also here. Apart from the specialized fashion stops, Estancia also has the big-name brands that have become a staple in every style maven’s closet. There’s Japanese apparel giant Uniqlo, Gap, Old Navy, Aeropostale, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Payless, Calvin Klein Jeans, and Lacoste, among many others. Beauty junkies are also in for some retail therapy with Beauty Bar and its slew of cosmetic brands as well as Lush, Burt’s Bees, L’Occitane, and VMV Hypoallergenics.

Capitol Commons Park right across Estancia

Alternative shopping experience While Estancia’s stronghold remains in its unique retail selection, it continues to explore its concept and expound the experience of consumers. Estancia is also open to independent local retailers who are looking for a means to showcase their goods. Every now and then, Estancia plays host to weekend markets in its Bridgeway to give way to local retailers. From handcrafted goods, independently designed

and manufactured apparel, to homemade culinary goodies, these weekend markets offer an unconventional yet treasured shopping encounter for the mall’s visitors. Estancia partners with groups who organize themselves as a collective of independent retailers who are looking for avenues to carry their products. This is a great way to add value to the experience of going to Estancia because it gives shoppers a fresh perspective on how shopping should be enjoyed.


Entrance of Capitol Commons along Shaw Boulevard

A culinary destination emerges Estancia, which means “to stay a while”, gives visitors a lot of reasons to linger with its excellent line-up of shops. But even more is to be discovered in this gem inside Capitol Commons – delicious discoveries at that. At the lower ground level of Estancia is a gastronomic hub that is every foodie’s dream. Expanding the appetizing offers at Gastro is a palate dream land featuring tastes from the world over. Estancia is also built as a place to embark on a delicious sojourn of local and international tastes. Established favorites like Café Mediterranean and Pancake House are just two of the familiar names currently residing here. There’s also premium Japanese ramen cuisine from Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen and Vietnamese fare from Ba

Noi. Customers wanting a burger fix with exciting twists can get a grub at Burgers & Brewskies while cravings for homegrown dishes can be satisfied at XO 46 Heritage Bistro. Coffee fans can enjoy a sip at Craft or UCC Clockwork. Those into healthier meals can reserve a table at The Wholesome Table while those game for a new take on sausages can head to Spice and Cleaver. Breads and pastries are hot and fresh always at The Artisan Emporium and more dessert options can be enjoyed at Cara Mia Gelateria and PBCo. With the best of retail and dining in this urban lifestyle mecca, no wonder Estancia has become a choice spot for the city’s discerning crowd. As one of the centerpieces in Capitol Commons, Estancia is gearing up for even more surprises in the

future with its planned expansion and the addition of an entertainment complex to house its cinemas. Furthermore, the wellloved Unimart in Greenhills is building its second branch after so many decades right beside Estancia. It’s hard to imagine that just a little more than two years ago, this block along the section where Meralco Avenue meets Shaw Boulevard was only a piece of land planned with promising ventures. Now, Capitol Commons is a place to see and be seen, where families and friends converge for post-work grubs or much-needed weekend mall excursions. Ortigas & Co. is set on further enhancing the space to truly become a synergized area for home, work, and play and Gastro and Estancia are proof that the company is well on its way.

For 85 years, Ortigas & Co. has been bringing to life some of the nation’s most loved and most iconic places such as Capitol Commons, Frontera Verde, Greenhills Shopping Center and subdivisions of Greenmeadows, Greenhills, and Valle Verde – and with it, creating new experiences, traditions, and aspirations. Still, it continues to build for life. For more information, visit www.ortigas.com.ph.


ON THE COVER

CAPITOL COMMONS

D EFINING AND EN V IS IO NING A H O ME : Ortigas says it’s a blend of the exciting and the familiar


The Royalton 2-Bedroom Living Area

Artist’s Perspective of The Royalton

The Royalton 1-Bedroom Master Bedroom

Few people would argue that leaving home is a lot easier than coming back. After months or years spent in unfamiliar places, the idea of returning to a place you thought you have outgrown seems a little somber. Others would say the opposite—that there’s comfort in the familiar and that home, essentially, is the downrush of the things you pine for after a very long absence. Home—of its many definitions and of the many feelings associated with it, few would have the ability and the boldness to build one. So, when Ortigas & Co. decided to create living spaces on the same ground as the old Rizal Provincial Capitol in Pasig, the project naturally had to meld the desire for the familiar and the quest for

something fresh. The old seat of the Rizal local government is now called Capitol Commons, a 10-hectare property that’s buzzing with activity: from early morning joggers making their rounds, the midday lunch crowd getting their curry or ramen fix, and late-evening office workers going for the two-bottle night cap. But that is only one side of the development. Right across the Capitol Commons’ retail centerpiece Estancia is the residential component that’s being built at this very hour. There are three towers under construction: The Imperium, The Royalton, and Maven– all of them unique, but catering to a great crowd of cosmopolitan, modern royals, and urban natives.


ON THE COVER

CAPITOL COMMONS

Master Bedroom at The Imperium 3-Bedroom Suite

The towers The Imperium hums exclusivity. Its typical configuration is four units to a floor with cuts at a minimum of 100 square meters. The name ‘Imperium’ comes from a Latin word meaning ‘power to rule.’ Splice this fact with the architectural design and simple but elegant aesthetic, and you see a really good picture of its future residents. The same is true for the Royalton. It was the very first tower in Capitol Commons introduced by Ortigas & Co. and its proposition was rather modest: the tower would be a permanent feast for the eyes, regardless if you are looking from a distance or within its confines. The magic again lies in the design—it’s stunning, sinuous, it is beautiful as it is purposive. From a broad range of cuts ranging from 34 to 154 square meters, none of Royalton’s units are quite alike. Unit cuts and sizes give a whole new meaning to variety, and the use of space can be decided on and done to the detail based on the owner’s preferences. Right across Estancia, the progress of Royalton’s construction is what appears most prominent. Those who have decided to make The Royalton their home would be the first to experience the fun and progressive energy of Capitol Commons.

Artist’s Perspective of The Imperium

Dining Area at The Imperium 3-Bedroom Suite

Living area at The Imperium 3-Bedroom Suite


Artist’s Perspective of Maven

Maven 1-Bedroom Living Room Area

Maven 1-Bedroom Master Bedroom

Of the three towers, the launch of Maven was the one met with most enthusiasm by the happy crowd of twenty- to thirtysomethings all looking for a place that expresses who they are. It is the haven of the creative class. Maven is a 62-storey masterpiece packed with features and amenities that encourage a rapid flow of ideas, conversations, philosophies. Everything about this place can be Instagram-worthy, from the Craft Room, Work Room, to the Media Room. They have an uncanny semblance to that third-wave coffee shop or the busy co-working space. And that’s exactly how it is meant to be.

A home Is Capitol Commons a familiar home? Yes, because the comforts are there: food, clothing options, and access to a good movie house, amenities. Most of all, it is a piece of property in a place closest to the hearts of most balikbayans. Is it an exciting place to go back or settle in to? There is no question about that.

Craft Room

Capitol Commons is the newest addition to the Ortigas Central Business District. It is located at Meralco Ave. cor. Shaw Blvd., Pasig City. For more information, visit website at www.ortigas.com.ph.

For 85 years, Ortigas & Co. has been bringing to life some of the nation’s most loved and most iconic places such as Capitol Commons, Frontera Verde, Greenhills Shopping Center and subdivisions of Greenmeadows, Greenhills, and Valle Verde – and with it, creating new experiences, traditions, and aspirations. Still, it continues to build for life. For more information, visit www.ortigas.com.ph.


INVESTMENT REA L ESTATE

BATANGAS. Whatever travel experience or investment opportunity you’re looking for, you can find it all here in Batangas. From natural to man-made, from preserved structures to modern greatness, from simple and relaxing vacations to thrilling and breathtaking adventures, whatever your interest may be, Batangas simply has it all.


INVESTMENT

REA L ESTATE

Religious Sites 01. Basilica of St. Martin de Tours (Taal) 02. Caleruega Church (Nasugbu) 03. Carmelite Convent of Lipa (Lipa City) 04. Immaculate Concepcion Parish Church (Bauan 05. Marian Orchard (Balete) 06. Saint Raphael Archangel Parish Church (Calaca) 07. San Sebastian Cathedral (Lipa City) 08. San Jose Church (San Jose) 09. Sanctuario of Our Lady of Caysasay (Taal)

Other Man-made Attractions 01. Lago de Oro (Calatagan) 02. Batangas Racing Circuit (Rosario) 03. Fantasy World (Lemery) 04. Batangas Country Club (Batangas City 05. Malarayat Golf and Country Club (Lipa City)

DELICACIES When you travel, it’s a common rule that you try the local foods to completely appreciate your destination. When it comes to Batangas, your taste buds will be more than just satisfied with its culinary gems. 01.

Kapeng Barako

02.

Bulalo Batangas

03. 04. 05.

Batangas is famous for its world class sites. Among its premier travel spots are the Verde Island Passage, also known as “the center of the center of marine biodiversity in the world” with Anilao as the so-called “birthplace of scuba diving in the Philippines.” The province also boasts of a mysterious, natural wonder—Taal Volcano, a volcano within a volcano surrounded by a lake. Because of the short 90-minute commute time from Manila, Batangas is the ideal escape for locals who want get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. But aside from its proximity, what makes the province more stunning is it never runs out of things and places to offer for all types of travellers, investors, and retirees. For the adventure seeker, the mountains in Batangas are perfect for hiking and trekking. For people who seek to have a glimpse of the past, they can check Taal Heritage Village which is one of the most well-preserved Spanish colonial towns in the entire country. And if it’s just a simple and relaxing vacation, the province has a myriad of options to select from. But apart from these well-travelled places, Batangas is soon to introduce a new iconic destination that will be taller than Brazil’s Christ Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro and United States’ Statue of Liberty in New York.

Natural Attractions

Cultural and Heritage Sites

Tawilis

01. Casa de Segunda (Lipa City)

Adobo sa dilaw

02. Calatagan Mangrove Forest Conser-

02. Mabini Shrine (Tanauan

Lomi

vation Park (Calatagan)

06.

Maliputo

07.

Goto Batangas

04. Mt. Malarayat (Lipa City)

Lomi Batangas

05. Taal Lake and Volcano

Caldereta Batangas

06. Verde Island Passage

09.

Montemaria, proudly described as the Mother of All Asia, is home to the world’s largest statue of Virgin Mary. The 96 meters high (315 feet) construction is currently being built at the heart of the massive development situated in Montemaria, Batangas. The late, internationally renowned Philippine Artist Eduardo “Ed” Castrillo, sculpted the bronze hands and face of the statue. Nestling on top of a 25-meter tall podium, the Marian shrine’s construction is expected to be complete by December this year. The Memorial Complex is being developed and operated by the Montemaria Asia Pilgrims, INC. (MAPI), a non-profit organization. The eight-hectare sanctuary will offer chapel, retreat facilities, meditation gardens, seminar and conference rooms, scala sancta, view decks, and Way of the Cross. It will also house an exhibition hall and gallery of all images of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Meanwhile, the surrounding area of Montemaria will include residential and retirement villages, hotels, condotels, and other recreational facilities that will offer various activities such as scuba diving and sailing. The monument, dedicated for unity and peace of all countries in the world, is expected to attract millions of tourists not only from the Philippines but also from the international community.

01. Anilao diving spots (Mabini)

03. Mt. Batulao (Nasugbu)

08.

Must See! Montemaria

City) 03. Malabrigo Lighthouse (Lobo) 04. Leon Apacible Historical Landmark (Taal) 05. Taal Heritage Village (Taal)

WRITER DANA M. SIOSON


Montemaria, Batangas


INVESTMENT

REA L ESTATE

Verde Island Passage, Batangas

BEACHES More than anything else, Batangas is well-known for its alluring coastlines. Each beach has its own charm. While some are sandy, pebbly, rocky, and totally secluded—there are some fully developed. Batangas will always be that pristine, excellent vacation spot by the sea.

Calatagan Popular among Manileño weekenders, Calatagan offers engaging activities such as wakeboarding, spa services, snorkeling, diving, and exploring Cape Santiago lighthouse.

Lemery For some people, the fine black sands of Lemery are therapeutic. The place is also famous for skimboarding.

Fortune Island, Batangas

Lian The municipality of Lian is recognized for the creamy white sands of Matabungkay and for the colorful balsas (bamboo beach rafts), making it the perfect destination for summer getaways.

Mabini

San Juan

It’s underwater grandeur makes it a prominent diving and snorkeling site. Mabini cradles Anilao, a world-class dive spot.

World-class resorts are developed along its off-white to fairer sand in Laiya and Hugom. Its pristine waters also attracts a lot of vacationers.

Lobo

Nasugbu

Tingloy

This beach destination is perfect for people who wanted lesser crowd. Lobo takes pride of its clear waters and fine white sands along the shoreline of Bgry. Fabrica.

The municipality of Nasugbu is where first-class tourist spots are located, including the Natipuan Beach, Tali Beach, Kawayan Cove, Twin Islands, and Fortune Islands.

The perfect blend of its rugged mountain and white sand beaches makes it ideal for adventure seekers. Its small treks that end up to the beach can make your trip more unique.


FESTIVALS

May

Ala Eh festival is no doubt one of the most colorful and grandiose festivals in the Philippines. Held every December 8, it is the celebration of the founding anniversary of the province. But aside from Ala Eh, Batangas is also regarded for its cheerful and bright festivals throughout the year.

01. May 1 – Pabitin Festival (Balete) 02. May 2 – Sublian Festival (Bauan) 03. May 8 – Balsa Festival (Lian) 04. May 14 – Pastulan Festival (San Pascual) 05. May 15 – Piyesta ng Tinapay

February to April 01. Last Week of February-March 7 – Mahaguyog Festival (Sto. Tomas) 02. March/April – Dagit (Holy Week) (Ibaan) 03. April 23 – Yamang Dagat Festival (Mabini)

(Cuenca) 06. May 26 – Sigpawan Festival (Lemery) 07. May 30 – Regatta (Maria Paz, Tanauan City) 08. Last Sunday of May – Grand La Paz (Alitagtag)

June 01. June 9 – Sinukmani Festival (Rosario) 02. June 20 – Lomi Festival (Lipa City) 03. June 24 – Bancathon Festival (Calatagan) 04. June 24 – Parada ng Lechon (Balayan)

July

Canyon Cove, Nasugbu, Batamgas

01. July 23 – Sublian Festival (Batangas City)

August 01. August 9 – Maliputo Festival (San Nicolas) 02. August 12 – Kambingan Festival (Tuy)

September GETTING THERE From Manila, you can drive through South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and make your way to the Batangas Exit. From there, turn right and drive straight until you reach the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) tollway. Turn left. Go through Balagtas exit and turn left once more. You will see the road heading to Batangas City proper. For commuters, you can ride bus heading to Batangas in Buendia, Gil Puyat, EDSA Cubao, EDSA Kamuning, and Alabang bus terminals. Depending on your destination, the distance and your budget, there are many ways and means in getting around the province. You can choose from riding public jeepneys, tricycles, vans, and boats.

01. September 10 – Bancaton Festival (San Nicolas) 02. September 27 – Anihan Festival (Lobo)

October 01. First Friday of October – Eggstravaganza (San Jose) 02. October 24 – Calacatchara Festival (Calaca)

December 01. December 1 – Kabakahan Festival (Padre Garcia) 02. December 2 – Mardi Gras (Nasugbu) 03. December 1-8 – Ala Eh! Festival (entire Batangas Province) 04. December 12 – Lambayok Festival (San Juan)

*For investment opportunities in Batangas, contact info@PremierAsiaPacific.com.


OUTLOOK

THE ECONOMY

E C ON OMY O N THE UPSW I NG 01 Fund managers told: PH to remain one of fastest growing in Asia under Duterte leadership. 02 Government says businesses to flourish amid efforts to raise living standards. The country’s economic officials have vouched before local and foreign fund managers for the Philippines’ ability to remain a regional outperformer throughout the Duterte administration. In a conference call with financial-market players and other stakeholders, the officials said the Philippines is further building on its past economic gains and is poised to realize bright prospects for businesses over the medium to long term. The officials reiterated the government’s economic growth target of 6.0 - 7.0 percent for this year, 6.5 - 7.5 percent for next year, and 7.0 - 8.0 percent for 2018 to 2022, as well as concrete strategies to make the benefits of growth felt by a greater majority. Should the growth targets be realized, the Philippines would continue to outpace growth rates of most Asian countries. In the second quarter of 2016, the Philippines grew by 7 percent, the second fastest in Asia following India’s 7.1 percent and ahead of China’s 6.7 percent. “The unique growth story of the Philippine economy—one that is founded not only on strength but also on long-term stability and resilience—offers opportunities for business activity to thrive not only now but well into the future,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said in the conference call held September 1 at the BSP’s headquarters in Manila. There were more than 100 fund managers and other stakeholders from the Philippines, neighboring Asian countries, and Europe who registered to the conference call, which was organized by the Investor Relations Office (IRO). Officials from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) highlighted before the conference call participants the strategies

under the Duterte administration to raise living standards, more so of people below the poverty line. NEDA Deputy Director General Rosemarie Edillon said these include support for further development of the manufacturing sector and for reversal of the contraction of the agriculture sector, as well as higher public spending on infrastructure and social services in areas outside Metro Manila. Improved standard of living for a greater portion of the population, in turn, bodes well for higher incomes of businesses, economic officials said. “We have had 17 years of uninterrupted economic expansion. Our challenge lies in the distribution of gains from the economic growth. The [Duterte administration’s] socioeconomic development agenda will address this challenge,” said Reynaldo Cancio, NEDA Director for National Policy and Planning. Meantime, Assistant Secretary Ameenah Pangandaman of the Department of Budget and Management said plans to ramp up public infrastructure spending would help boost job generation, thus complementing povertyreduction efforts. Under the proposed national budget for 2017, infrastructure will get P860.7 billion, up 13.8 percent from this year’s allocation. Also, among the DBM’s initiatives is the 24/7 construction work program, under which construction activities involving public infrastructure will be will be done 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. To fulfill this, labor requirements for infrastructure projects will at least double, Pangandaman said. The budget official said the DBM has an agenda to improve absorptive capacity of line agencies to ensure accelerated public spending on development projects and programs. A highlight of this agenda is the simplification of the government procurement process. The Government Procurement Policy Board approved on August 9 the revised IRR, which streamlines and makes uniform the procurement process in government. It requires having standard procurement manuals, and bid documents and

forms for simpler and more transparent process. “We don’t see any problem in hitting our expenditure target. We have outlined strategies to boost spending,” Pangandaman said. Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran of the Department of Finance said the decision of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s economic team to raise the budget deficit ceiling from 2.0 to 3.0 percent of gross domestic product was meant to raise the public sector’s contribution to poverty reduction. “We believe that for real change to materialize, for economic empowerment especially at the grassroots level to proceed, we need to invest massively in our people so as to become globally competitive and in infrastructure so as to raise productivity,” Beltran said. The Department of Finance has submitted to Congress for legislation a proposed tax reform package, which includes a provision reducing personal income tax rate from the maximum 32 percent to 25 percent. This is meant to increase take-home pay and boost purchasing power of consumers. To avoid erosion of government revenues, the tax reform package likewise contains compensatory provisions, including lifting of VAT exemptions of certain sectors, imposition of excise tax on sugary products, and updating of excise tax on oil. Meantime, Deputy Treasurer Erwin Sta. Ana said the Bureau of the Treasury would continue to observe prudent debt management strategies with the aim of further reducing the share of interest payments in the government’s budget. In turn, he said, more funds can be allocated for development initiatives. “We will continue to be proactive in managing government debt,” Sta. Ana said. The teleconference, targeted to be held on a regular basis, is one of the latest initiatives of the IRO to engage local and foreign financial market players and other stakeholders. The conduct of such an activity is a global best practice advocated by international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund and the Institute of International Finance. SOURCE INVESTOR RELATIONS OFFICE (IRO)


OUTLOOK

THE ECONOMY

Humble Beginnings

MR. SOFTY

Always Fresh, Always Exciting

Buying ice cream is buying happiness. And with Mr. Softy, normal days are always made special and sprinkled with bliss no matter what time of the year.

Taking pride in its cool and sweet soft-serve ice cream treats, Mr. Softy started as a small family business in the Philippines back in 2000. Having worked formerly as sales manager at an ice cream company, Victorino “Vic” Isidro Perea was very familiar with the ins and outs of the business—making him an expert in the delectables. “After working with an ice cream company, I brought home with me an ice cream maker,” he recalled. “And from there is how we started our own ice cream business.” Friends, family, and his neighbors would request Vic to satisfy their cravings and create all sorts of ice cream flavors and combinations. As a result of this, Vic became inspired to pursue ice cream production. During those days, it became so popular that his family decided to turn it into a real business. In the same year, Vic’s family rented out a two square meter space at the nearby public market of Sta. Elena in Marikina for P9,000. Starting off with five flavors in rotation from a single machine. Vic didn’t expect to draw long queues of people in their first day. “When we started the business, it was not called Mr. Softy yet. Back then, we didn’t have any name yet. We opened our first stall in the market, selling ice cream in cones for just five pesos. We were very surprised because we had lines of customers every day,” he said. Since the stall was located within the rice section, the long lines of people that blocked the stalls of rice vendors complained to them. They initially asked their customers to line up by the pedestrian lane, however for Vic, this too was not fair to the pedestrians. And so, to meet the demands of their faithful customers, the company began opening outlets in other wet markets, taking the first step in expanding their humble business. Their strategic location attracted

market goers with some loose change who wanted to treat their children with ice cream.

A Family Business A year after their business opening, Vic decided to set up a dealership network. The company sold ice cream machines and provided their dealers with a supply of raw materials. They initially grew to a network of 120 outlets in just a span of two years. With the continuous expansion of the company, the family works together in managing the business. Vic’s wife, Dra. Marinella Perea, serves as the Executive Vice President and Treasurer. Vinson, the eldest son is in charge of marketing and sales. Vernon, the second son handles operations. Virgo, the third son is the brain behind new concepts. While the only daughter, Catherine Ann, is responsible for events and new products. Their extraordinary teamwork, partnered with family discipline, enabled Mr. Softy to undergo groundbreaking, tremendous success.

Expansion of Treats Mr. Softy’s premium products continue to draw crowds everyday not only because of its delicious, creamy taste, but largely in part to its affordable prices. “As we all know, Mr. Softy has been around for so many years and still growing. At the core of our business is an ice cream product that is of high quality and yet very much affordable,” Vic said. Mr. Softy offers many varieties of soft-served ice cream in a wafer, Belgian cone or cup, plain or coated with different flavors such as chocolate, strawberry and banana, or a concoction of sprinkled with chocolates and candies. The company sets their standards of high quality through the Bureau of Food and Drugs to ensure their customers and partners that their products are safe for consumption.

WRITER DANA M. SIOSON


OUTLOOK

THE ECONOMY

Headed by Virgo, Mr. Softy also takes pride in their dynamic Research and Development Team. Virgo went to New Jersey and Florida to study and learn new techniques on how to make different frozen desserts. “Now this puts Mr. Softy in a competitive position as we are capable of producing new product lines. And we can easily keep up with the changes in the landscape in the frozen desserts industry in the Philippines,” he said. Currently, Mr. Softy Ice cream is present in over 72 outlets nationwide in the Philippines and is rapidly expanding as the company continually seeks strategic alliances with malls like SM, Robinsons, and other major malls and establishments in the Philippines. Mr. Softy is now taking another big step forward as the company plans to spread the joy of soft-serve ice cream outside the country.

Three W’s When it comes to running the business, Vic believes in the three W’s which stands for Win, Win, and Win situation. “Win for the customers, Win for our partners, and Win for the company,” he explained. “We have a commitment to our customers that they will continue to enjoy consuming delicious, nutritious, and creamiest soft-serve ice cream in town. We also believe in keeping Mr. Softy fun and exciting.” Unlike common hard, frozen ice creams in supermarkets, soft-serve ice cream contains less fat, Vic expressed. As they have their own laboratory where products are always newly made and not stocked, Mr. Softy also takes pride in their ice cream’s freshness. “We also believe in keeping Mr. Softy fresh and exciting. We are committed in our continuous pursuit of excellence to benefit both our customers and partners.” Vic said.

Evolving to a Franchise

Eventually, from dealership, the company changed the network to franchising programs. “Good relationships between the franchisee and franchisor are essential

“ CARMELITA AMANDY SM City Lucena, Pacific Mall Lucena Enverga College, Lucena, Quezon (Franchisee since May 2004)

“ JENNIFER SAMIA SM City Cabanatuan SM City Baliwag

I renew my contract with Mr. Softy because it has the best quality soft-serve ice cream; it’s fresh, affordable and popular besides being customer’s favorite. Despite having several competitors around the vicinity, Mr. Softy Ice cream continues to flourish. I found it to be a very challenging business wherein everybody involved needs to be aggressive in promoting its products. We are not alone in doing this because we have a very supportive franchisor and staff with unending innovations/ marketing strategies to improve the operations and services of Mr. Softy so that customers will be happier and more satisfied.

Six years akong naging empleyado ng Mr. Softy. Kaya alam ko kung gaano sila kabenta at kung paano nila alagaan ang kanilang mga employees at franchisees. Ngayon, sa tulong ng training, experience at benefits na nakuha ko sa kanila, isa na ako sa mga bagong franchise owners! Thank you sa Mr. Softy, at sa tiwalang ibinigay ninyo sa akin. God bless and more power!

in franchising. It is the most important thing for the franchisee to be successful,” Vinson said. “We at Mr. Softy greatly value our franchisees. We keep an open line of communication with them 24/7.” Aside from its yummy and delicious ice cream products, the company lauds the high profitability of its franchise program. “Our franchisees tell us that with Mr. Softy, things are really different compared to other franchise brands—your invest-

ment is around 60% while your profit is 40%. However with Mr. Softy, your investment is around 40% while your profit is 60%.” Vic expressed. Now, the Mr. Softy brand has more than one hundred branches and franchises across the country and still continues to grow with the vision of sharing their ice cream and the warmth of a proudly run family business and Philippine made product.


OUTLOOK

THE ECONOMY

T H E TOP 5 P HI L IP P I NE I N D U ST R IES F O R E I G N I NVESTO R S SHOU L D DIV E INTO “In the near-term, economic growth is likely to remain strong and is projected to accelerate to 6.4 percent in 2016 before tampering slightly to 6.2 percent in 2017.�

6.4 % ( 2016 )

BPO IT-BPM industry is set to earn $25 billion in 2016 and US$48 billion by 2020, health care outsourcing is the fastest growing subsector with $3 billion in annual revenue.

RETAIL Rise of well compsentated BPO workers has led to an increase in consumer spending, attracting international brands such as Uniqlo, H&M, and Cotton On.


President Rodrigo Duterte says he is willing to amed the 1987 Constitution, which imposes foreignowned equity restrictions, to allow foreign-owned business to flourish in the country,

GAMING Investment bank Credit Suisse forecasts the Philippines casinos to generate gaming revenue of $6 billion by 2018, potentially making the country one of the top four in the world by this measure.

REAL ESTATE Investors can capitalize on the growing market 5-way: suburban apartments/townhouses, residential lots, office space, townships outside the metro, and upscale condos in central business districts.

HOSPITALITY & LEISURE Total earnings gained from tourism activities from January to May 2016 amounted to about Php 106.61 billion.

VVVVVV VVVVVV VVVVVV VVVVVV VVVVVV VVVVVV VV

VVVVVV VVVV VVVVVV VVVVVV VV

VVVVVV VVVVVV VV

Sources: https://www.hoppler.com.ph/blog/experts-insights/top-9-industries-in-the-philippines http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/country/phillipines/publication/philippine-economic-update---april-2016


FA S T FA C T S :

PHILIPPINES: ASIA’S HEART OF MEDICAL TOURISM

1. •

Filipinos are very fluent in English

Businesses, education, and healthcare facilities use English as their medium of language

A medical, healthcare, and wellness tourism destination

200,000 total number of foreigners who came to the Philippines for medical treatments such as cosmetic surgery

Foreigners who speak English will have no difficultyrelating to and

WHY IS THE PHILIPPINES CONSIDERED THE HEART OF ASIA? Philippines regional healthcare hub of Asia

World’s 3rd largest Englishspeaking nation

ENGLISH FLUENCY

transacting with Filipino

2. •

TOP-NOTCH FACILITIES State-of-the-art diagnostic,

and eye or dental treatments

therapeutic and intensive care

$200 million generated from the busting medical tourism

facilities and equipment, including

industry alone

those for dental and aesthetic procedure •

Two tertiary hospitals have been accredited by the Joint Commission International, others have been certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Tertiary Hospitals geared for medical tourism are better-equipped than most hospitals in the US, Canda, Europe

Seamless world-class healthcare. Partnerships are forged between the country’s top hospitals and medical institutions overseas especially in the US.

Foreigners who visit the country as tourists, work here as expats, or choose it as their second home after retirement, all discover the warmth and hospitality that are unique to Filipinos.

3. •

Knowledge - Filipino doctors receive the best medical education from established institutions recognized

These are attributes that medical tourism travelers discover

around the world

when they receive treatment in the Heart of Asia’s hospitals and clinics.

HIGHLY-QUALIFIED, SOUGHT AFTER MEDICAL TEAMS

Experience - Most have undergone rigid and extensive training, are certified to practice in other


countries, and are exposed to the rarest, most complicated diseases. •

US RATE

Php 3.1 - 5.7 M

Dedication - They care about your

83 - 86%

health and wellness •

S AV I N G S

PH RATE

Php 0.494 - 0.725 M Corona Artery Bypass Surgery

They care about patients. At their core, Filipino doctors combine KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE and

US RATE

DEDICATION to deliver world-class

Php 3.2 - 6 M

service and compassionate care.

81 - 85% S AV I N G S

4.

WORLD-CLASS CARE AT A FRACTION OF A COST.

PH RATE

Php 0.602 - 0.903 M Heart-valve Replacement

The Philippines offer a wide range of high-quality services at a cost 50% to

US RATE

80% lower compared to those in the US

84 - 86%

and Europe:

S AV I N G S

Php 1.4 - 2.45 M PH RATE

Php 0.215 - 0.326 M

dental and cosmetic procedures

oncology

cardiology

stem cell therapy

rejuvenating spa treatments

US RATE

long-term healthcare and retirement

Php 1.4 - 2.45 M

Hip Replacement

84 - 86%

AFFORDABLE TREATMENTS

S AV I N G S

Cost of bone-marrow transplant :

PH RATE

Php 0.215 - 0.326 M Hip Replacement

$250, 000 United States vs $20, 000 Philippines

5. 4.

REJUVENATE IN A TROPICAL PARADISE WITH STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY AND FACILITIES

4. 6.

• •

procedure – home to beaches and seaside resorts that provide relaxing, refreshing tropical paradise •

Modern conveniences for 21st century living: high-tech telecom networks, cable tv, internet services, highly-urbanized cosmopolitan areas

Filipinos are HAPPY PEOPLE - About 30,000 Filipino healthcare professionals deployed yearly in over 130 different countries and are known for their

7107 ISLANDS : Choose where you can recover after your medical

FILIPINOS HAVE THEIR HEARTS IN THE RIGHT PLACE

positive attitude and high level of competence. •

Filipinos are COMPASSIONATE - Various research studies show that patients recover faster and feel happier when they receive compassionate care.

Filipino values are what win over tourists - Friendliness, compassion, cheerfulness are values that every Filipino grows up with and imbibes.

Filipinos are FRIENDLY and HOSPITABLE - A multicultural race FILIPINOS have a high respect to culture and can relate to anyone, regardless of color, gender or age.

Sources: http://www.tourism.gov.ph/Pages/PhilippinesTheHeartofAsia.aspx | http://www.mte101.com/news/ show/the-lure-of-medical-tourism-of-asia | http://www.philippinesheartofasia.ph/?view=featured


OUTLOOK

HEALTHCARE

THE EMERGING MEDICAL TOURISM INDUSTRY IN THE PHILIPPINES

TOP MEDICAL TOURIS M D ES TINATION WORLDWID E:

1 CANADA

55.44% RUSSIA

69.83%

73.02% CANADA

UNITED KINGDOM 72.4%

POLAND

MEXICO

74.8%

JAMAICA

72.4%

FRANCE

COSTA RICA

72.59%

SPAIN

GERMANY

73.29% ITALY

COLOMBIA

CHINA

72.37% ISRAEL

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

79.09%

65.49%

66.98%

69.74%

71.25%

72.91%

2 UNITED KINGDOM

JAPAN

74.53%

70.23%

SOUTH KOREA

PHILIPPINES

64.52%

DUBAI

70.94%

71.58%

3

INDIA

73.1%

74.26%

THAILAND

72.65%

BRAZIL

64.82% 68.4%

SINGAPORE

SOUTH AFRICA

ISRAEL

4

ARGENTINA Medical Tourism Industry score based on Medical Costs and Destination Attractiveness

SINGAPORE

For the past decade, the travel and tourism industry continues to have a significant impact on the Philippines’ economic growth. According to the latest report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the industry has contributed a total of Php 1.43 trillion to the nation’s economy in the previous year. This is equivalent to about 10.6 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The figure, creating another promising economic growth engine, is also forecasted to rise by 6.6 percent this year and an additional 5.4 percent increase by 2026. As a tropical archipelago brimming in biodiversity and rich culture, destinations in the Philippines have been commonly visualized as beaches, underwater gardens, mountains, and historical and cultural sites. But apart from natural and cultural awes, the Philippines has become the prime destination for medical tourists. And our country

has been gaining international popularity for the past few years.

5

Traveling for Health care The emerging medical tourism industry is primarily fueled by the demand for a more inexpensive treatment cost compared to western countries--such as that of the United States and the United Kingdom. Despite being a fraction of the cost, the Philippines maintains and delivers high quality medical procedures and health standards. Traditionally, people from underdeveloped countries have no choice but to seek medical treatments in highly developed countries due to the lack of availability in their country. But because of the globalization of medical technology, the present situation has reversed, especially when clients get the same--or in many instances, even better quality medical procedures and services at a relatively lower cost-condition.

C O S TA R I C A

6 I T A LY

7 GERMANY

WRITER DANA M. SIOSON


OUTLOOK

HEALTHCARE

When it comes to the medical tourism industry, the Philippines generated $66 million in 2013 but tremendously grew to $145 million in 2014, according to the 2014 study by Ian Youngman, a medical tourism author. Records also show that the country now serves approximately 80,000 to 250,000 patients annually. If asked, would you believe if you were told that the Philippines actually belongs to the list of the top ten most popular countries in the global medical tourism industry? According to the list of the International Healthcare Research Center and the Medical Tourism Association (MTA), the Philippines now ranks 8th among the top medical tourism destinations in the world—ranking even ahead of developed countries and economic superpowers like Japan and France. MTA, a non-profit global association for the medical tourism and international patient industry, works with healthcare providers, governments, insurance companies, employers, and other buyers of healthcare--with a primary focus on

providing the highest quality transparent healthcare.

BIGGES T MARKETS OF MED ICAL TOU RIS M IN THE PHILIPPINES

Popular Medical Treatments in PH Among the most popular services offered in the Philippines are surgeries, therapies, dental services, cosmetic services, and other medical treatments. In recent years, unknown to most Filipinos, people have already been traveling to the Philippines for medical treatment before the country even became a popular healthcare destination. According to a recent study released by Transparency Market Research, the cost of treatment in developing medical tourism countries ranges from 20% to 30% less than the cost in the United States—allowing the patient to save up to 30% to upwards of 85% on medical services. Because of the low cost of living in the Philippines compared to other developed nations, the country offers relatively less expensive medical rates for expatriates and tourists. Also, the leading hospitals in the country offer state of the art medical equipment

1 NORTH AMERICA

2 EUROPEAN UNION

3 UNITED KINGDOM

4 T H E G U L F S TAT E S

MEDICAL PROCEDURE

MEXICO

USA

POLAND

TURKEY

ISRAEL

S. KOREA

VIETN

5

Angioplasty

$10,400

$28,200

$5,300

$4,800

$7,500

$17,700

Hip Replacement

$13,500

$40,364

$5,500

$13,900

$36,000

$21,000

$9,25

Knee Replacement

$12,900

$35,000

$8,200

$10,400

$25,000

$17,500

$8,00

IVF Treatment

$5,000

$12,400

$4,900

$5,200

$5,500

Gastric Bypass

$11,500

$25,000

$9,750

$13,800

$24,000

$10,900

Breast Implants

$3,800

$6,400

$3,900

$4,500

$3,800

$3,800

Rhinoplasty

$3,800

$6,500

$2,500

$3,100

$4,600

$3,980

Face Lift

$4,900

$11,000

$4,000

$6,700

$6,800

$6,000

$4,15

Liposuction

$3,000

$5,500

$1,800

$3,000

$2,500

$2,900 C H I N A

$3,00

Tummy Tuck

$4,500

$8,000

$3,550

$4,000

$10,900

$5000

$3,00

LASIK (Both Eyes)

$1,900

$4,000

$1,850

$1,700

$3,800

$1700

Cataract Surgery (Per Eye)

$2,100

$3,500

$750

$1,600

$3,700

Heart Valve Replacement

$28,200

$170,000

$19,000

$17,200

$28,500

$39,900

$900

$2,500

$925

$1,100

$1,200

$1,350

$27,000

$123,000

$14,000

$13,900

$28,000

$26,000

$7900 AUSTRALIA

6

7 J A PA N

Dental Implant Heart Bypass

GLOBAL MEDICAL INDEX AS OF 2015

The Philippines is proving to be one of the top destinations for medical tourism

St. Luke’s, one of the premier hospitals in the country, offers an outpatient check-

$4,00

$2,10

$1,72


OUTLOOK

HEALTHCARE

REA

ISRAEL

S. KOREA

700

$7,500

$17,700

00

$36,000

$21,000

$9,250

$8,000

$9,250 $17,000

$8,000 $13,900

$7,200 $17,000

$13,900

$5,000$7,200 - $7,600 ³

$5,000 - $7,600 ³

00

$25,000

$17,500

$8,000

$7,700

$8,000 $14,000

$7,700 $16,000

$14,000 $6,600

$16,000

$5,200$6,600 - $7,700 ³

$5,200 - $7,700 ³

$5,500

$7900

$6,900

$4,100

$6,900 $14900

$4,100$2,500

$14900

$5,300+ $2,500⁸

$5,300+ ⁸

00

$24,000

$10,900

$9,900

$16,800

$9,900 $13,700

$7,000 $16,800

$13,700

$7,000 $9,800+

$9,800+

00

$3,800

$3,800

$4,000

$3,800

$4,000 $3,500

$3,800 $8,400

$3,500$3,000

$8,400

$3,000$3,000 - $3,500 ³

$3,000 - $3,500 ³

80

$4,600

$3,980

$2,100

$2,200

$2,100 $3,300

$2,200 $2,200

$3,300$2,400

$2,200

$2,000$2,400 - $2,500 ³

$2,000 - $2,500 ³

00

VIETNAM

MALAYSIA $8,000

VIETNAM THAILAND $4,200

MALAYSIA SINGAPORE THAILAND INDIA $8,000 $13,400

$4,200$5,700

SINGAPORE

PHILIPPINES INDIA

PHILIPPINES

$13,400

$6,646 $5,700 ²

$6,646 ²

00

$6,800

$6,000

$4,150

$3, 550

$4,150 $3,950

$3, 550 $440

$3,950$3,500

$440

$3,500$3,500 - $4,500 ³

$3,500 - $4,500 ³

00

$2,500

$2,900

$3,000

$2,500

$3,000 $2,500

$2,500 $2,900

$2,500$2,800

$2,900

$3,000$2,800 - $4,000 ³

$3,000 - $4,000 ³

00

$10,900

$5000

$3,000

$3,900

$3,000 $5,300

$3,900 $4,650

$5,300$3,500

$4,650

$3,000$3,500 - $4,000 ³

$3,000 - $4,000 ³

00

$3,800

$1700

$1,720

$3,450

$1,720 $2,310

$3,450 $3,800

$2,310$1,000

$3,800

$1,500+ $1,000⁷

$1,500+ ⁷

$3,000

$1,800

$3,000 $3,250

$1,800$1,500

$3,250

$1,300$1,500 - $3,300 ⁶

$1,300 - $3,300 ⁶

$3,700

00

$28,500

$39,900

$13,500

$17,200

$13,500 $16,900

$17,200 $9,500

$18,000 [Single Valve Replacement] $18,000 [Single Valve Replaceme $16,900 $22,000 [Double $9,500 Valve Replacement] $22,000 ¹ [Double Valve Replacement

50

$1,200

$1,350

$1,500

$1,720

$2,700 $1,500

$1,720$900

unit - $600 ³ $5,610 [2 implants + 3 $500 - $600 ³ $5,610 [2 implants + 3$500 $2,700 $900

00

$28,000

$26,000

$12,100

$15,000

$17,200 $12,100

$7,900 $15,000

$17,200

bridge (fused to non-precious metal)] bridge ⁴ (fused to non-precious metal)

$15,314$7,900 - $26,147

$15,314 - $26,147

[Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting] [Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

$9,261 - $11522

$9,261 - $11522

[Peripheral Bypass Surgery] ¹

[Peripheral Bypass Surgery] ¹

Luke’s, spitals one of the premier hospitals country, heck- offersthat an outpatient checkare on par with top institutions in worry about language barriers in the centers do not necessarily mean bad kage tests,that includes basic blood tests, INVESTMENT AND INNOVATION tic surgeryinmecca,” Korea. tic surgery Breast implants mecca,” South in jewel Korea.public Breast implants in INVESTMENT other nations like the US and Europe. In Philippines like AND otherINNOVATION countries Asia. South services. There are many basic lungsevaluation of the heart, lungs South Korea starts from Php177,000+ South Korea or USD3,800, starts from Php177,000+ USD3,800, Medical Tourism in the Philippines Medical continues Tourism tospoken--not in at-the Philippines continues to atfact, five hospitals have been certified English is widely only by hospitals such as the Heart, Lung andorKiddominal organs. starting price ofcompared Php140,000-160,000 to a starting price of Php140,000-160,000 tract patients from all over the tract world. patients It has been from conall over compared the world. to It ahas been confor excellent medical care by the Joint medical professionals but by almost 90 ney Centers and the Philippine Children’s USD3,000-3,500. These figures or USD3,000-3,500. continue to at-These figures continue to atsidered as one of the major benefits sideredinasthe oneretirement of the majororbenefits in the retirement Commission International one the of the percent of the population. Aside Medical Center. Still, we cannot deny to subsidize 104 /FEMALE Php4,830 or USD104 tract foreign patientsin asthe well astract investors foreign topatients subsidize as well as investors market,(JCI), part from unique travel market, destinations part fromFilipino in thethe unique travel destinations sive of Professional mostFees) prestigious healthcare accrediting from that, Filipinos are known for their thatmedical public breakthroughs health facilities generally medicalwith breakthroughs and medicinal research to andaremedicinal research to country. Despite the competition country. with Despite other ASEAN the competition other ASEAN Urinalysis bodies in the United States. warm hospitality and compassionate provide discoverprocedures, new alternatives promote discoverato new better alternatives life. lowertoquality promotehealth a better life. countries that offer similar medical countries procedures, that offer it keeps similar medical it keepstoperceived Routine Stool “Partand ofcomes our view of the what’s going “Partthan toofhappen our view over of what’s going to happen over abreast with the latest technology abreast and with practices thekind latest in the practices attitude. This oftechnology treatment freein services private ones. Complete Blood Count the next tento years is, first,in theBack global the next population ten years isis, gofirst, the global population is gomedical industry. One exampleof medical ischarge the laser-assisted industry. One inexample is the laser-assisted and is now considered be one in 2006, the Philippine Medical Ag) Hepatitis B Screening (HBSAg) institutions These medical include: to increase a billion ing to people, increase frombyseven about a billion people, from seven situ keratomileusis (LASIK) eye situ surgery keratomileusis that is (LASIK) fast ing eye surgery by thatabout is fast of the country’s best innate assets. Tourism Program was launched through Hepatitis B Screening 01. Asian Hospitalbecoming and Medical Center, treatment billion to attracting eight billion. Second, billion 50% to of eight that increase billion. Second, 50% of that increase an in-demand becoming attracting an in-demand foreign treatment foreign HBsAg the Departments ofhave Health, Tourism, is going to be people over the isage going of 50. to So be you people over the age of 50. So you have patients. A normal case LASIK patients. surgery A costs normal about case LASIK surgery costs about Muntinlupa City anti HBc (Total) Trade Industry, andpopulation Foreign Affairs. not onlyfor an both expanding population not and only but an anaging expanding popubut an aging popuPhp70,000 or around USD1,500 Php70,000 for bothoreyes. around AndUSD1,500 eyes. And The Challenge 02. Makati Medical Center, Makati City Chest X-Ray (PAL) lation.” lation.” even in cosmetic surgery, the Philippines even in cosmetic remainssurgery, to be the Philippines remains to beThis program aims to ensure that the Even though the Philippine medical 03. St. Luke’s Medical Center, Bonifacio ECG) Resting Electrocardiogram (ECG) highly competitive with the world’s world’s Jimenez, be-known CEO“plasof Novartis -Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis through highly be-known competitive“plaswith the-Joseph Philippines is globally competitive industry is still maturing, we are being Global City ndwellww.stluke.com.ph/healthservices/healthandwellimplementation of quality standards in recognized by the international com04. St. Luke’s Medical Center, Quezon r/13 both public and private sector. munity. This is definitely something to be City To realize our full potential as the best proud of. However, this industry is mainly 05. The Medical City, Pasig City medical destination in the World, the captured by the private sector. As Filipinos, country must promote and create partnerAt the time, hospitals our challenge liesIOLhere. cost professional of fees. Does not same include cost of ⁶62 Cataract Surgeryaround estimatedthe cost per ⁶ Cataract eye depending Surgeryonestimated the (intraocular cost per eye lens) depending used. Recovery on the IOL period (intraocular normally lens) takes used. three Recovery days to period two weeks. normally Source: takes Asian three days to two weeks. in the private and public⁷ health ac ducer Rehabilitation,country Peacemaker, Introducer Eye Institute 2013accredited entry on the Retirement Eye People Institute & Healthcare 2013 entry Coalition theInternational Retirement &website, Healthcare Coalitionships International ⁷ LASIK (Laser website, In Situ www.rhc.com.ph Keratomileusis) LASIK laser (Laser refractive In Situ Keratomileusis) la are now internationally from theonlower class of the www.rhc.com.ph 1geJune 2015 and are subject to change surgery is indicated for patients 21 years surgery and is older. indicated Asian forEye patients Institute 21 uses yearsBausch and older. + Lomb AsianTechnolas Eye Institute VICTUS usesfemtosecond Bauschway, + Lomb laser Technolas from Germany VICTUS tofemtosecond create a laser from Germany sectors. That more Filipino citizens according to the Department of Tourism economy--even in the middle class--finds d rate is an estimation and does not flap. Average price for this surgery starts flap. Average at $1,500 price depending for this surgery on patient’s starts condition at $1,500 anddepending preference. onSource: patient’swww.asianeyeinstitute.com condition and preference. Source: ⁸ At present, www.asianeyeinstitute.com there are ⁸ At pre can also appreciate, enjoy, and afford www. dical Tourism Philippines website, www. 2 centers in the country that offer IVF 2 centers (In Vitro in Fertilization) the country treatment that offer IVF and (In other Vitro forms Fertilization) of assisted treatment reproductive and other technology, forms of RM assisted Lab and reproductive Victory ART technology, (Assisted RM Lab and Victory A (DOT), Department of Health (DOH) and private hospitals too expensive so they ns.treatment is estimated at 6 months. Reproductive Techniques). Source: www.asianhospital.com Reproductive Techniques). Source: www.asianhospital.com quality health care services—which they Department of Trade and Industry – Board turn to public medical facilities. But what’s thopedic ov.ph Center. Source: www.doh.gov.ph deserve to begin with. of Investments (DTI–BOI)’s latest report. so bad about the public medical facilities? Also, foreign tourists do not have to

To be clear, public hospitals and health BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM

61

BALIKBAYANMA

9/30/16 4:57 PM


OUTLOOK

THE RISE OF A NATION

E C ON OMIC D EV E LO P M E N T & HUM A N R IG HTS

ON CHINA

90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40%

World’s Leading Economic Power

30%

Responding to the Pew Research Center’s Survey, here are the views widely held in the Philippines on different countries. What country is the world’s leading economic power? ON UNITED STATES

20% 10%

1 4%

2013

2014

2015

ON EUROPEAN UNION

90%

80%

80%

6 7%

60%

1 4%

0%

90%

70%

1 3%

6 8%

70%

66%

60%

50%

50%

40%

40%

30%

30%

20%

20%

10%

10%

0%

4%

2%

4%

0% 2012

2013

Recently, the longstanding historical and diplomatic ties between the Philippines and the United States have made it to the forefront of international and local news headlines in light of President Duterte’s quest to once and for all build a new Philippines—a nation no longer ravaged by drugs, corruption, violent and petty crime, and foreign hegemony. Within this global media storm that President Duterte has found himself in— partly to his own rather poignant choice of words and actions, has foreign governments, the United Nations, human rights

2014

2015

organizations, to millions of ordinary netizens (both globally and locally) chiming in—debating whether or not economic development takes precedent over human rights violations. Indirectly included in this conversation are the nearly 10 million Filipinos throughout the world who now find themselves in a precarious position—having to either defend, criticize, or even fight President Duterte because of the effect this has not only on Filipino race relations throughout the World, but in addition to individual personal and professional interests in the

2013

2014

2015

Philippines—and you need not look any further than your own Facebook or Twitter newsfeeds or in the comments section of news articles to understand the polarizing viewpoints on President Duterte. How the President and the Philippines is viewed globally is critical to the country’s economic growth especially since labor is the country’s biggest export, international tourism has significantly increased over the past few years (and created thousands of jobs nationwide), the tremendous emergence of providing multinational corporations with business process outsourcing

WRITER RAPHAEL JOHN C. ORIEL


OUTLOOK

THE RISE OF A NATION

IMMIGRATION 70%

61%

OPINION OF THE UNITED STATES 64%

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable view of the U.S.? Percent of in-favor Filipinos

All immigrants Filipino immigrants

60% 50%

85 %

2013

40% 29%

30%

28%

20% 10% 10%

2014

92%

2015

92%

09%

0% Entered before 2000

70%

Entered 2000 to 2009

Entered 2010 or later

All LPRs LPRs from the Philippines

60%

0

53%

50%

44%

40% 28%

30%

21% 16%

20%

19%

10% 0% Family-sponsored preferences

Employement-based preferences

INSURANCE

Entered 2010 or later

All immigrants Filipino immigrants Native born

80% 60% 40%

30

60

90

services (which is now the biggest in the World over India), and lastly the steady economic growth and climb of foreign direct investment which has outperformed neighboring Asian countries. Like any war, collateral damage is inevitable—from innocent people being killed to a stagnating economy. However, do the ends justify the means? Here are several things to be consider for the next 6 years of President Duterte’s term. Is it even possible for a country to truly detoxify itself from decades of habitual, systematic criminality by overlooking due process, extra judicial killings, and moral high ground? Is it justifiable to halt present and steady economic growth in the name of future growth, security, and presumptive prosperity? Do drugs actually kill more people and play a prominent role in perpetuating poverty? What developed or developing country doesn’t have human rights violations—historically, does such a country actually even exist? And finally, factoring in the overall picture, is President Duterte actually justified especially with his 91% approval rating in the Philippines? Let’s take a closer look.

20%

The Moral Dilemna: The Grey Area

0% With private health insurance

With public coverage

Uninsured

“For the haves, don’t you dare change a thing. For the have nots—change everything.”

WRITER RAPHAEL JOHN C. ORIEL


OUTLOOK

THE RISE OF A NATION

Often argued in political debates regarding economic development is whether to separate human rights issues altogether and to make economic development a singular topic on its own. Through countless research spanning multiple decades coming from the United Nations to hundreds, if not thousands of international private think-tanks indicates that human rights are highly correlated with economic development and are more often times than not, actually precursors for it. For extrajudicial violence and a lack of due process which are human rights violations, citizens may view it as simply a matter of good vs. evil. This in turn, is what drives a country to explode into personal action—citizens begin taking matters into their own hands against those perceived as criminals. Once the violence has started, it can be quite difficult to stop. Extrajudicial violence is largely a result of a society’s complete lack of trust and confidence in a government’s ability to enforce laws—an ineffective government which is mired by rampant, systematic corruption—that’s why this subject is rather tragic. In a recent September interview with the New York Times, Phelim Kine, the Deputy Director of the Asia Division at Human Rights Watch said, “The fact is that

All immigrants Filipino immigrants Native born

Jobs 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Management, business, science, and arts occupations

Service occupations

NUMBER OF IMMIGRANTS

CONFIDENCE IN THE U.S. PRESIDENT How much confidence do you have in the U.S. President to do the right thing regarding world affairs?

Sales and office occupations

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

1980

501,000

1990

913,000

2000

1,369,000

2006

1,638,000

2010

1,778,000

2013

1,844,000

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

84 %

2013

AGE GROUP (FILIPINO IMMIGRANTS)

All immigrants Filipino immigrants Native born

80%

89 %

2014

60% 40% 2015

94%

20% 0%

0

30

60

90

Under 18

18 to 64

65 and over


FILIPINO AND OTHER ASIAN IMMIGRANTS

Ethnicity

Population

Educational Attainment

Median Household Income

2004 (Percent of Population 25 and older) HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE

BACHERLOR’S DEGREE OR MORE

PER 2004 SURVEY DATA

PER 2009 SURVEY DATA

Chinese

4,010,114

80.8%

50.2%

$ 57,433

$ 68,613

Filipinos

3,416,840

90.8%

47.9%

$ 65,700

$ 76,455

Asian Indians

3,183,063

90.2%

67.9%

$ 68,771

$ 86,660

Vietnamese

1,737,433

$ 45,980

$ 54,799

Koreans

1,706,822

90.2%

50.8%

$43,195

$ 53,934

Japanese

1,304,286

93.4%

43.7%

$ 53,763

$ 65,767

Pakistani

409,163

Cambodian

276,667

Hmong

260,073

Thai

237,583


OUTLOOK

THE RISE OF A NATION

U.S. PERSONAL FREEDOMS

Tourism

Does the U.S. government respect the personal freedoms of its people?

VISITOR ARRIVALS TO THE PHILIPPINES JANUARY - JULY 2016

Percent of Filipinos saying Yes.

OTHERS 1% OVERSEAS FILIPINOS 4 %

91%

2013

AFRICA MIDDLE EAST 1% AUSTRALASIA/PACIFIC 5%

87 %

2014

2015

89 %

0

AMERICA ASIA TOP SPENDING MARKET (IN BILLION PHP) JULY 2016 KOREA USA J A PA N TA I WA N CHINA AUSTRALIA UNITED KINGDOM CANADA SINGAPORE M A L AY S I A

2.0

4.0

60

90

the judicial system, the court system, is broken in the Philippines…When you factor in elements of corruption, and perceptions that people can buy themselves protection from the police or buy themselves out of trouble, this adds up to a lot of frustration among Filipinos who sense that government and the judicial system is part of the problem, not the solution.” Further, based on survey data and research from Latin America on extrajudicial violence, people who have little faith in government institutions were more likely to say that vigilante violence is justified. In contrast, citizens who live under strong governments and a well-respected law enforcement would strongly condemn vigilantism. As a result of this, citizens cannot believe in institutional reform because it was the institution that created the problems to begin with. Hence, President Duterte’s actions are largely favored by the people he serves since he has exploited the sentiment of the citizens—do whatever it takes to solve the nation’s problems. Over the past decade, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority, crime solution efficiency or the percentage of crimes solved out of reported crimes was at almost 90% in 2004. In 2013, it was at a staggering 29%.

EUROPE

00

30

6.0


OUTLOOK

THE RISE OF A NATION

For The Benefit of Society: Economic Development

Analyzing Singapore’s late Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew’s economic policies, in its simplest form, test whether or not the political system improves the standards of living for the majority of people and if they are safe and free—is a woman free to walk late at night, are people free to leave their doors open without the fear of burglary, do they have clean water, and is quality health care and education readily accessible for all? Today, and for a few decades running, Singapore is one of the world’s leaders in GDP per capita income and economic freedom. Yet, is Singapore’s government system of laws a pure democracy? The short answer is no and many people describe the government is largely autocratic. According to the Human Rights Watch organization, they cite Singapore as, “The government limits rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and association using overly broad legal provisions on security, public order, morality, and racial and religious harmony. It punishes critics by using defamation laws and the archaic offense of “scandalizing the judiciary,” requires a police permit for any cause-related gathering, and limits public speaking or rallies to a single designated area…Corporal punishment by caning is a mandatory additional punishment for a range of crimes. LGBT people still face systematic legal discrimination.” But, what Filipino in their right mind wouldn’t wish the Philippines was an economic superpower like Singapore? Yet the question remains, is the purge in the Philippines justified in the name of economic developmental progress? And unfortunately, you can’t have one without influencing the other. Still to this day, the most technologically advanced and economically developed democratic nation, the United States has come under fire with recent police officer shootings of African-Americans. Human rights violations happen all over the world everyday and it doesn’t matter if you are living in a developed, developing, or underdeveloped country—from Israeli settlements in Palestinian land, Europe and the refugee crisis, and human trafficking that is alarmingly rampant across Asia to just name a few. The Philippines is hardly alone in the global war on drugs. And the Philippines

TOP 10 VISITOR MARKET (JANUARY-JULY 2016) Does the U.S. government respect the personal freedoms of its people? Percent of Filipinos saying Yes. 900,000 800,000 700,000 600,000 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 000,000 KOREA

USA

CHINA

JAPAN

AUSTRALIA TAIWAN SINGAPORE CANADA

is not the first country to execute people for drug related crimes—judicial or otherwise—this is actually prevalent throughout the world. According to the 2015 report by drug policy NGO Harm Reduction International, since 2010, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Malaysia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia have all executed drug traffickers. In Thailand’s 2003 war on drugs, under then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, more than 13,000 arrests, 36,000 surrenders to the police, and nearly 1,200 deaths occurred in just his first month. A few decades prior to that, Indonesia waged its own war on drugs. From the period of 1983 to 1985, thousands died in the name of crime reduction and economic development—20 years later, Indonesia is a global economic force. So are the criticisms of foreign heads of state fair or foul against President Duterte?—especially since crime reduction was at the very core of his presidential campaign—winning nearly 40% of the vote. Examining the key synergies between economic development and human rights, it is abundantly clear that the two are impossible to disconnect. Factoring in law and history, however, when people are denied their rights, it results in social instability or even war which have enormous economic consequences—which have lasting effects on present and future generations. For example, taking a closer look at former, late President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, who is mostly

UNITED MALAYSIA KINGDOM

renowned as a successful leader, is now understood as having failed in the war on drugs. According to drugpolicy.org, in a report written by Tony Newman, the director of media relations at the Drug Policy Alliance writes that, “Reagans’ “war at home” was not only ineffective it was disastrous… Ronald Reagan’s harsh drug policies not only led to exploding prisons, they blocked expansion of syringe exchange programs and other harm reduction policies that could have prevented hundreds of thousands of people from contracting HIV and dying from AIDS.” Mr. Newman goes on to write that African-Americans, “despite using drugs at similar rates as whites, were targeted by law enforcement and incarcerated at grossly disproportionate rates.” As a result of the treatment of police officers on the African-American community, will present and future generations of African-Americans be cynical of and fear law enforcement officers? Can the same be said of police officers and drug traffickers in the Philippines? Yet, it is hard to ignore if the Philippines might actually be an outlier especially since President Duterte, as of August 2016, has a 91% approval rating nationwide. And in the words of President Duterte, “I am not answerable to anyone but the Filipino people who elected me as President.” Even before Reagan, President Richard Nixon also declared a war on drugs which is considerably anachronistic to President Duterte’s own drug war. President Nixon’s


FILIPINOS & THE US ELECTIONS

States where Filipinos have the highest proportion of Asians

HOW MANY? (BASED ON 2010 CENSUS)

– 3.4 million US residents are of Filipino descent. That’s 1.2% of the 311.59 million US population. About 700,000 Filipinos in the US are elligible to vote. That’s 17.5% of the Filipino population there.

FIL-AM AFFILATION (BASED ON THE 2012 NATIONAL ASIAN AMERICAN SURVEY) Fastest-Growing Nevada, 24,000 (more than double of 200

figure); 30,000 of whom are in Las Vegas; mostly employed in casinos or health care facilities.

Virginia, more than 400,000 WHAT ARE THEIR ISSUES? In the US •

Persistent Unemployment

Healthcare Reform

Welfare

Social Security

Immigration Policy

Veteran Equity

Student Debt

Entrepreneurship/ Small Business

WHERE ARE THEY? (BASED ON 2010 CENSUS) 49% reside in the West Coast 16.3% reside in the South 16.5% are in other states 9.7% reside in the Northeast 8.4% reside in the Midwest

45% NON - PARTISAN

Call Center/BPO jobs

Migration to us as nurses and teachers, as relatives of citizens or permanent residents

Military cooperation (spratlys, etc.)

Recipients of remittance from relatives in the US

REPUBLICAN

24% D E M O C R AT S

Ownership

In the Philippines

27%


OUTLOOK

THE RISE OF A NATION

campaign was reactive to the growing rise of civil rights in addition to the counter culture movement that was protesting the Vietnam War. During that era and still even to this day, the war on drugs was not only targeted at the Mexican and Columbian cartels but also drug users—just like in the Philippines today. And it can be argued that President Duterte’s war on drugs is producing faster results than America which is still fighting the war on drugs still to this day.

TOTAL REPORTED CRIMES Source: Philippine Statistics Authority, 2015

2012

2 17, 8 1 2

1 , 03 3 , 8 3 3

2013

2015 PROFILE OF DRUG ABUSERS (Facility Based)* AGE : Mean age of 31 years

2014

1 ,1 6 1 ,1 8 8

New Foreign Policy “It is time we end the unequal, lopsided, oppressive US-PH relationship and stand up for our sovereignty.”—President Duterte Today, the importance of America as a strategic partner of the Philippines goes beyond law and policies. Upwards of 60% of the $27 Billion annually remitted to the Philippines comes directly from North America. The United States is the second largest market for foreign tourist arrivals into the country and the second biggest spending market. The Philippines ranks as the 26th-largest export market and the 30th-largest supplier of the United States. And finally, historically, the U.S. has been the Philippines’ largest foreign investor although, in light of recent remarks by the Duterte administration, strategic partnerships will be diverted away from the United States and explored with China and Russia. Consequently, this is making Filipino-Americans and the global business community on edge—left wondering, confused, scared, and shocked which is already showing signs in the economy. Financial markets are beginning to react—credit rating agencies and major corporations are warning President Duterte that his well-intentioned m ­ easures to prevent the Philippines from becoming a narco-state is having effects on the salubrious economy he inherited from the Aquino administration. The economy is already showing signs with the Philippine peso hitting a seven-year low the last week of September. Observing how the tense dispute in the South China Sea played out and President Duterte recently stating that all historical treaties with the US will be respected, it is highly doubtful he would seriously move

According to the Dangerous Drugs Board of the Philippines, in a survey released last September, the Philippines has 1.8 million drug users and 4.8 million Filipinos aged 1068 years old have used illegal drugs at least once in their lives.

CRIME SOLUTION EFFICIENCY

8 8 .7 9

2012

SEX : Ratio of male and female 14:1 CIVIL STATUS : Single 49.13% STATUS OF EMPLOYMENT : Unemployed 53.20% EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT : College Level 28.34% ECONOMIC STATUS : Average Monthly Family Income Php 10,172.00 PLACE OF RESIDENCE : Urban (specifically NCR 43.89%)

36.67

2013

DURATION OF DRUG – TAKING : More than six (6) years NATURE OF DRUG – TAKING : Poly drug use**

2014

28.56

CRIME RATE: • • •

225 (2012) 1,033,833 (2013) 1,161,188 (2014)

to fully embrace relations with China over the institutionalized relations with the United States. In all likelihood, this hardline stance on American relations is posturing for America to concede more military assistance—which is miniscule compared to what is provided to Europe and the Middle East. Since President Duterte is hardly a single-issue president having promised to deliver on improving the country’s infrastructure, health care, environment policies, and education, this can largely be a prevailing factor for courting and improving foreign relations with China in order to spark investments. Just last February 2016, in Davao City, during his campaign for presidency, Duterte made it clear that he wants to talk investment with China and that China should “Build us a railway just like the one you built in

DRUGS/SUBSTANCES OF ABUSE :  Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (Shabu) Cannabis (Marijuana) Cocaine *Residential Facilities **Poly drug users –abuse of more than one (1) drugs

Africa and let’s set aside disagreements for a while.” Major foreign investors such as China, Japan, and South Korea have all expressed significant interest to provide the Philippines with a nationwide transportation system that is still at the very core of experiencing tremendous economic growth. It is still way too early to assess President Duterte’s foreign policy as he can easily move back to Washington over Beijing especially if bilateral talks with China and Russia fail to produce significant results. Yet, we could only hope that it would take more than words to break the historical bonds between America and its strongest ally in Asia, the Philippines. Join the conversation. RJ.Oriel@AsianJournalinc.com


IN-DEPTH

FILIPINO AMERICANS

1933

10 0 YEA RS

Mundo became the first ever woman to be admitted into Harvard Medical School in 1936 where she studied pediatrics, many years before Harvard began accepting female students in 1944. Although she was admitted under the administrators’ mistake of her gender, they decided not to turn her away due to her strong records. She also attended the University of Chicago and completed her Master’s degree in bacteriology at the Boston University School of Medicine before returning to the Philippines. Mundo had many more achievements after Harvard which include being the first woman named National Scientist of the Philippines in 1980 and founding the first pediatric hospital in the Philippines.

of Filipino-American accomplishments

Filipino Americans have long been making achievements in America since the end of the Philippine-American war in 1902. Here is a list of some notable Filipino-American achievements from the last 100 years.

1913

PhilippineAmerican War

Just being a few years after the end of the PhilippineAmerican War that made the Philippines an independent country, the Filipino-American identity was still being formed. When World War I ended in November 1918, many Filipinos found jobs as “sakadas” or contract workers and laborers. By the early 1920s, many organized strikes and unions lead by Filipino labor leaders started to pop up with hopes of improving work and living conditions for Filipino workers.  Other fortunate Filipinos came to America as “pensionados” to study under the American educational system. Many decades after, Filipino-Americans have been making many contributions and achievements in the United States in education, entrepreneurship, medicine, arts, culinary, and more.

1923

1943

Jose Calugas Received the Medal of Honor from United States A rmy General George Marshall. Jose Calugas was a Philippine native as well as a World War II hero. Calugas voluntarily ran 1,000 yards to a newly enemy bombed and shelled battery gun position to organize a volunteer squad and place the gun back into commission all while being shot at by Japanese artillery. Calugas earned his Medal of Honor as a Mess Sergeant with the 88th Field Artillery in the Philippine Scouts and was the only Filipino to do so.

Pedro Flores The man responsible for yo-yos in the United States. He is considered to be the man responsible for the invention of the yo-yo. Born in Vintar, Ilocos Norte, Philippines, Flores came to the United States in 1915 where he attended the High School of Commerce in San Francisco. While working as a bellboy, Flores came across an article about a self-made millionaire who profited off selling a ball attached to a rubber band which reminded Flores’ of the “badalore,” a toy that has been played for hundreds of years in the Philippines. Flores saw the market opportunity in the US and between the years 1929 and 1932, he started and ran the Yo-yo Manufacturing Company in Santa Barbara, California before selling the company and trademark to Donald F. Duncan, Sr.

Fe del Mundo The first Asian and first female student to attend Harvard Medical University

1953

Sugar Pie DeSanto (Umpeylia Marsema Balinton) - Famous Rhy thm & Blues singer Born on October 1935 in Brooklyn, New York to a Filipino father and a AfricanAmerican concert pianist mother, Sugar Pie DeSanto (Umpeylia Marsema Balinton) grew up to become a famous R&B singer with many of her songs landing on the Billboard’s Hot R&B chart.

WRITER CHARISSE NICOLE TRINIDAD


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IN-DEPTH

FILIPINO AMERICANS

1983 DeSanto went on to touring with The Johnny Otis Revue and then with The James Brown Revue. One of her singles, I Want to Know, reached number four on the Billboard’s Hot R&B chart. She wrote, performed, and did collaborations with many other artists including her ex-husband Pee Wee Kingsley and with her childhood friend Etta James with whom she placed more singles on the Billboard Hot R&B chart. She was also given a number of awards including the Bay Area Music Award in 1999 for best female blues singer, the Pioneer Award in September 2008 by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, and a lifetime achievement award in November 2009 from the Goldie Awards.

1963

- First Asian-American male, and first Filipino-American, to host a regularly scheduled national news broadcas Emil Guillermo is an award-winning commentator and journalist and was the first Asian-American male, as well as the first Filipino-American to host a regularly scheduled national news broadcast. The San Francisco born journalist went to Lowell High School and went on to study film and history at Harvard University where he was a member of the Harvard Lampoon and was elected Ivy Orator for his humor, a position shared by other Lampoon members and comedians Conan O’Brien and James Downey.

1985

- Social activists, civil right movement leaders, and pioneers.

1973

Thelma Buchholdt - First female FilipinoAmerican legislator in the United States of America Thelma Garcia Buchholdt was a Filipino-American community activist, historian, public speaker, author, as well as the first female Filipino-American legislator in the United States and first Filipino-American elected to a United States legislative body in which the constituency was less than 3% Asian American.

Diosdado “Dado” Banatao - Co-founder of Mostron, Chips and Technologies, and S3 Graphics. Dado Banatao is primarily known to the Filipinos for his backstory, being the son of a farmer from a small barrio in Iguig in Cagayan Valley who would eventually grow up to pioneer the PC chip set and graphics acceleration architecture that continue to be two of the foundation technologies in every PC today. As an engineer, he is credited with developing several key semiconductor technologies and is regarded as a Silicon Valley visionary. He co-founded three technology startups, S3 (SBLU), Chips & Technologies (INTC) and Mostron, and became a venture partner at the Mayfield Fund. He would later form Tallwood Venture Capital, as its managing partner. He also serves as the chairman of PhilDev, a non-profit organization that aims to eradicate poverty through education, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz

Philip Vera Cruz and Larry Itliong were both Filipino American farm workers, leaders in the Asian American civil rights movement, and pioneers of the 1965 Grape Strike and Boycott. Vera Cruz was born in Ilocos Sur, Philippines and came to the United States in 1926 working on farms, restaurants, and canneries like many Filipino immigrants at the time before moving to California where he found his place in activism. In 1960, Vera Cruz formed the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, the majority of whom were Filipino, which participated in many agricultural strikes in Coachella and Delano in California, before merging with the United Farm Workers under the famous activist Cesar Chavez.

Emil Guillermo

1987

Faith Bautista - President and CEO, National Asian American Coalition Faith Bautista has served with the community since 1987. She is currently the President and CEO of National Asian American Coalition (formerly Mabuhay Alliance), a HUD approved homeowner, small business and consumer advocacy organization serving nation’s 18 million Asian Americans. Through Faith’s dedication and hard work, the National Asian American Coalition has expanded to be a national organization with its headquarters in the Greater Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay Area (San Bruno), a regulatory office in Washington, DC and satellite offices in San Diego and Milpitas. Faith advocates in the halls of Congress, in the California legislature and in front of key federal legislators, such as the Federal Reserve, FDIC, FTC, FCC and SEC and among America’s Fortune 500 corporations, as a major voice for the Asian American community.

WRITER CHARISSE NICOLE TRINIDAD


IN-DEPTH

FILIPINO AMERICANS

1993

Van Partible - Animator and creator of the classic cartoon series, Johnny Bravo.

Philippine-born Van Partible is an animator, writer, and producer best known for creating the famous animated television series Johnny Bravo. Partible loved drawing as a child and grew up copying artwork from old comic book collections. Moving the United States at the age of nine, he eventually wound up attending Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California where he studied animation.

2010

Bruno Mars rose to prominence with his super-hit singles like “Just the Way You Are”, “Grenade”, and “Locked Out of Heaven”. With worldwide sales of over 11 million albums and 68 million singles, he is undoubtedly, one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. Along with being a great singer, he is also known for his showmanship which makes him a very entertaining stage performer.

2013: Cristeta Comerford - First Asian and first female White House Executive Chef.

1993

Cristeta “Cris” Comerford was born Cristeta Pasia in Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines and now works in the most famous house in the United States. She attended Manila Science High School before attending the University of the Philippines, Diliman in Quezon City where she majored in food technology. At the age of 23, she left the university without a degree to the United States where she got her first job at a Sheraton Hotel near the O’Hare International Airport. After working at a few hotels and restaurants in Chicago, Washington, D.C, and in Vienna, she was recruited to work in the Clinton White House by White House executive chef Walter Scheib III in 1995. She continued to work until Scheib’s resignation in 2005. Following Scheib’s resignation, first lady Laura Bush appointed Comerford as the White House executive chef. In August 2005, Comerford became the first minority and first female to hold the position.

Filipino Doctors & Nurses

Between 1994 and 2003, more than 85,000 nurses left the Philippines for the United States. A good proportion of that figure are doctors who decided to become nurses. While the number of Filipino medical professionals that have increased alongside other Asian groups since 1965, their unique historical experience as former nationals, close historic ties to the U.S. military, and prevalence in health-care professions sets Filipino immigrants apart from the other immigrant groups.

Cassie Ventura - American recording artist, dancer, actress and model 2006

Born on August 26, 1986 in New London, Connecticut, Casandra Elizabeth Ventura AKA Cassie Ventura is an American model and singer. She is a mix of Filipino, Mexican and African American ancestry. Her claim to fame is her single from 2006 “Me & U,” which peaked at Number Three on the Billboard Hot Top 100 and sold more than a million digital downloads.

Bruno Mars - Half Filipino-American Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter

2013:

Pia Wurtzbach - Miss Universe 2015

Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (born Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach in Stuttgart Germany on Sep. 24, 1989) is a Filipino-German actress and model who was crowned Miss Universe 2015 on Dec. 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Before that she won the Binibining Pilipinas 2015, after taking part in the competition for the third time. She represented Cagayan de Oro in the national pageant of the Philippines. Pia has also worked as a host, TV personality, chef, beauty writer, stylist, makeup artist.

WRITER CHARISSE NICOLE TRINIDAD


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IN-DEPTH

FILIPINO AMERICANS

COMING HOME How it feels to relocate back to the Philippines as a Filipino-American. Moving to a foreign country is one of the biggest life transitions you can ever make. While it can be challenging and fraught with paperwork, it can also be an immensely rewarding and enriching experience. Whether the move is for business purposes or for personal reasons, relocating to another country is a huge, frightening, and life-changing leap. Whatever the reason, moving abroad alone is sure to change your life for the better. Here are four FilipinoAmericans who have decided to share their cathartic experiences towards leaving everything they knew and loved to step out of their comfort zone:

Jessica Garcia: 20 yrs. old, College Student

Charisse Trinidad: 20 yrs. old, Lifestyle & Travel Journalist

Moving to anywhere new is always a struggle—especially if you’re moving to a new country. The nerves alone are hell—you worry about everything: about fitting in, making new friends, adjusting to the culture and finding your way in a new place. When I moved to the Philippines, I didn’t even know how to speak the language. My world was turned upside down—from living in California I had to relocate to Manila without prior notice. It was so sudden that I didn’t even have time to digest what was going on, the next thing I knew I was on a plane but getting on that plane was the single best thing I’ve ever done in my life. Yes, I struggle for a while and it took time to really get the hang of things but with all the friendly faces and loving hearts, it didn’t take long before I fell in love with the Philippines. Even with the language barrier, everyone was so understanding and patient with me—they took the time to teach me the language and help me understand a lesson in class when it was just too hard for me to keep up. It would’ve been so easy to bully me and push me around but like true Filipino they chose to love and accept me instead. I even fell in love with the exotic food. Nothing will ever replace Sinigang na Baboy in my heart. That’s why if I could do it all over again—if I had choice to where I would move to, I will always choose the Philippines because it’s everyone’s home. There are a vast number of countries I could’ve moved to but I will always be glad that I moved to beautiful Philippines.

The heat smacked me in the face as soon as I walked out of the airport. It was something I hadn’t felt in over a couple of years. After many sleepless nights, tears, and weeks of trying to calm my nerves, I was finally in Manila. In spite of the traffic, heat and the crowds, I was ecstatic to be back here. I was born and raised in the United States. My decision to come here was pretty shocking to everyone I knew. The million dollar question: “Why the Philippines?” I hate explaining myself. But I realize that it is human nature that we try to make sense of each other’s decisions, especially if it’s someone you know and care about. If I wanted to be wealthy, drive a Mercedes Benz and live in a huge house on the hills, journalism would be my last choice for a profession. I would have just gone into public relations. I know that everyone needs money to survive, but that’s not what inspires me. “Can’t you take up a course in New York University or University of Los Angeles, like, something within the country?” a relative asked. “Life is better here. Why the heck do you want to go back there?” were just some of the other common questions I got when friends and relatives learned I had decided to go to Manila to get a college degree. There are 3 million Filipinos in the US with the biggest influx coming in after the 1960s and after. According to the 2010 census, Filipinos are now the largest Asian ethnic group in East and West Coast, surpassing the Chinese community. Filipinos left their homeland in droves during the mid-20th century for various reasons—whether to escape martial law during the Marcos WRITER CHARISSE NICOLE TRINIDAD


era, or simply to look for greener pastures. And there are so many more who still want to leave today. They said I was baliktad. New York will always be home and no matter how dark my skin gets, I’ll always be an American. But my parents raised me very Filipino and did a good job in preserving culture and at least some understanding of being Filipino and the language. So why would I want to go to the Philippines? The opportunity just presented itself. After college, I began pursuing my love for writing and journalism with a Filipino-American owned magazine called Balikbayan Magazine, and also contributed to various blogs. I was not intending on pursuing in this field, but falling under the right mentors and immersing myself in community issues and conversations inspired me to believe that I could do it. Being of service is my passion. I love storytelling. Like most young people, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. But with learning about the Filipino lifestyle

and journalism, it just clicked. I couldn’t ignore the calling any longer. Journalism was a sideline for me and even some veteran editors I knew told me it was better off as “just a sideline.” Is that what journalism has become? Did the journalism I grew to love and which gave me a reason to live become just a romanticized unrealistic thing of the past? It couldn’t be. Then Balikbayan Magazine came along. I heard the job offer from my father who is highly active in the Accounts department. I then followed Balikbayan Magazine and read almost everything I saw on their website. Why would they even look at someone like me, especially if I was applying as just a fresh grad? I’ve always been the type to apply to everything, even if I thought it was out of reach. That attitude paid off. A few days later I came in for an interview, heard the words I thought I would never hear from a publications company, “You’re hired.”

The next step was deciding whether to take it or not. After a week without sleep, I realized the question was how can I say no? Asian Journal gave me a reason to be excited about writing again. To tell lifestyle stories that inspire smart conversations and drive a thirst for change by harnessing the power of social media was something I always dreamt about. I still have to rub my eyes and pinch myself to check if I’m really sitting here in a Publications Office—if I had really just dropped my entire life in New York for the Philippines. My optimism and idealism will be challenged here—I know. And even if others have lost hope in the Philippines, I have not. No media organization is perfect and I don’t expect everything to work out the way I want it. All I really hope for is to contribute to this exciting new world of Philippine journalism, and to do what I can to hopefully see an even better Philippines.


#loveofcountry

www.LOVEOFCOUNTRYTOURS.com Curated travel programs in the Philippines designed by Balikbayans for Balikbayans. Available in February 2017. For inquiries, contact info@loveofcountrytours.com #loveofcountry


Jezreel Gaius Antonio Apelar: 28 Years Old, Urban Planner

John Ignacio: 31 Years Old, Ed Tech Ninja

New Yorker now living in BGC, Manila. I’m a former NYC educator who enjoyed utilizing technology in the classroom as well as sharing it. I then transitioned to the growing world of the Ed-tech startup scene and took my talents to a Bill Gates-funded personalized education startup, where I had the privilege to work with the most exceptional and diverse group of human beings ever. Years of NYC start-up experience and wearing multiple hats helped me become an Ed-tech ninja, and my mission is to always find and assist the best technology solutions that can improve education. Nowadays I’m traveling all over Asia but wanted a home base to be in Manila to “do cool things that matter” and personally, to find and assist homegrown Filipino talent. So far while living in the Philippines, the internet speed is depressing, the commercials are great (McDo “tuloy pa rin” is my favorite), “kabits” are weirdly celebrated on television, and any actor apparently has the ability to sing in front of a live audience. People are also always late, and you need to really speak Tagalog in order to make “tawad”. I’ve improved my Tagalog in 5 months thanks to my daily practice with Uber drivers, and I’m also happy to say that I’ve found a homegrown Filipino

company that is solving a real problem in the education sector. Their 22-year old CEO, Gian Javelona is the Professor X of the Philippines. Somehow he’s garnered the most talented and witty young Filipino developers I’ve seen in my life. He’s also managed to persevere through the corruption, outdated traditional values, lack of funding, and even really old laptops to developing a scalable product. The name of his company is OrangeApps, and they are currently an all-in-one school management platform that improves the daily operation of any school. It’s also called Orange because Gian wants to be the “Apple” of the Philippines. In my 5 months in Manila, I realized that we fail to invest in our own people in the Philippines. This is evident in my daily commutes, where I pass through tons of companies that are not Filipino owned, and maybe are just moving here for cheap labor. There are even college courses that prepare you for call center work, which I find absurd because I know customer service will be automated in the near future. In the end, there are definitely talent and potential in this beautiful country, I’ll just have to figure out a way to show everyone.

As a kid, I was the only Filipino-American boy in my elementary classes. Luckily for me, I embraced being Filipino early on and it never really bothered me being so different from all the other kids. In fact, I was proud of my heritage as early as kindergarten. I remember my “Show and Tell” time consisted of me sharing souvenirs from the Philippines. I will never forget sharing my exotic shell collection to my classmates. They were all in awe, not having seen anything like it. From then on, I continued to take pride in showing and telling people about my Filipino culture. I knew at some point in my life I wanted to go back to the Philippines. After finishing my master’s degree in urban planning, I thought the Philippines was the perfect place to practice planning and gain experience. Currently, the Philippine economy is one of the fastest growing in Asia. The population is young, vibrant, foreign investment is pouring in, and there is so much optimism all around. I figured, I’m young, and I’m single, Why not now? This was an opportunity of a lifetime. So, I packed my bags, bought a one way ticket on PAL and headed for Manila! Within a few months, I landed a job doing exactly what I loved: urban planning and real estate development. I got my dream job in my dream country. In three years, I have started my own real estate brokerage, now manage an NGO, serve as a consultant on

development projects, started scuba diving, and once in a while do fun voiceovers thanks to my American twang. I love travelling around the Philippines and capturing glimpses of the culture and heritage. It’s fascinating how one social media post can really make an impact on one’s views of the country. I hope continue changing people’s views, one post at a time. Many Filipino-Americans don’t know what life is like in the Philippines. Some have heard horror stories and some have only seen photos of the poverty and blight. While these do exist and they should not be ignored, there is still so much that Filipinos and Filipino-Americans can be proud of. I’m not only an urban planner, but I am also an ambassador of the Philippines to America, and to the rest of the world (the universe, rather). The Philippines is a beautiful country and I encourage everyone to explore, visit and see for themselves. Despite the challenges, I do not regret the decision I made to move here. I am one of thousands of Fil-Ams who are enjoying life out here. The opportunities to make a difference here are limitless. As we celebrate FilipinoAmerican Heritage Month, know that there is so much to be proud of. You just have to see it for yourself and open your mind. It’s a blessing to be able to call oneself Filipino, and also American. This is your month. Take time to “Show and Tell” who you are.

IMAGES EDITOR’S ARCHIVE


IN-DEPTH

FILIPINO AMERICANS

THE ADVENTUROUS FIL-AM

Being an adventurous spirit – you always step out of your comfort zone. You seek more than what meets the eye everywhere you go and you love taking risks. There’s nothing more thrilling to you than exploring what the world has to offer – especially the Philippines – your home. In exploring all that our beautiful lands and culture have to offer, you will start to discover yourself. Here are some things that you can do to get started on your journey:

Visit relatives you’ve never met Yes, you read that correctly – go out of your way to reconnect with family

members you’ve never met before but have heard so many stories about! It’s time that you got to know who this hilarious Tito and amazing cook of a Tita is, instead of always just listening to your parents’ endless chatter about them. You might find that in getting to know them you start to get to know yourself a little better because after all blood is always thicker than water.

Go sight-seeing This is pretty basic but it goes a long way! To say that the Philippines is beautiful is a complete understatement. Make sure you stop to visit our various mountains,

beaches, and landmarks to fill your adventurer heart with glee.

Live like a local There’s nothing better you can do to reconnect with your roots than to live like a local! Get to know the locals in your area and immerse yourself in the Filipino culture. Ride a jeep to the mall, buy a “pamaypay” for this ridiculous heat, stop by the side of the road to get a taste of what street food vendors have to offer but most importantly – wear a smile through it all like a true Filipino

WRITER JESSICA GARCIA | ILLUSTRATOR EUGENE DE GUZMAN


IN-DEPTH

FILIPINO AMERICANS

THE FOODIE FIL-AM

Ahhhh food, the one constant in all our lives – the one that’s been with us through it all. Through heart breaks, movie marathons, hanging out with friends and our happiest moments in life, food has always been there to make the bitter moments bearable and the sweet moments even sweeter. Being a foodie means always pushing your taste buds to its limits and always trying new things! Where better to go on a food adventure than in the Philippines? With our exotic dishes and out of the box recipes your foodie heart will rejoice!

Filipino food like Sinigang, Adobo, and Dinuguan among others are best served at home. This way, the Filipino cuisine of your choice is kept classic. Don’t go for the modernized versions just yet!

Street food is a must! Filipino street food is the best! It might scare you to try it at first but are you a true foodie if you never go out of your comfort zone? Put your taste buds to the taste and enjoy food from the streets – kwek kwek, fishballs, kikiam and so many more! Your foodie soul will be dancing and celebrating for sure.

Kick it old school Filipino dishes are best when homecooked! I know, I know! Going to a restaurant seems more fun but authentic

Classic with a twist Now that you’ve tried all the classic dishes and street food now is the time to

try out the cool new restaurants around town that have their own twist to classic Filipino dishes. Chefs have experimented and come out the victor when mixing and matching different ingredients with our Filipino staple food like papaya sinigang – really, the possibilities are endless so make sure not to miss out and keep on munching!

Trendy food Any true foodie knows that whenever there’s a new food trend you have to try it ASAP! Head on down to the nearest food spots and indulge with your fellow foodies! There are an abundance of new trendy eats around every corner here in the Philippines. You won’t be disappointed!

WRITER JESSICA GARCIA | ILLUSTRATOR EUGENE DE GUZMAN


IN-DEPTH

FILIPINO AMERICANS

THE HIPSTER FIL-AM

Independent, creative, intelligent, unique and never sticking to the norm – a few words to describe what it truly means to be a hipster. You never stick to anything mainstream, you know what you want and you are aren’t afraid to take it! Even if it means that you have to stray from the status quo. Fashion, music and art are a huge part of who you are so here’s a little hipster guide to keeping your dope characteristics when in the Philippines

Classic and Modern museums What true hipster soul doesn’t love to indulge in all kinds of art? Don’t underes-

timate the power of a Pinoy with a paint brush. Get to know your roots through art – there are a vast number to choose from. Whether you like the more classic pieces or the funky modern art every hipster just loves to take selfies with – the Filipino art scene has got you covered!

Trendy Hangouts North, South, East and West – wherever you’re residing, the number of trendy hangouts are endless! Check out the Filipino hippy hangouts and how we #hugot in everything that we do! Whether it’s a jazz club with a heartbroken theme or a coffee shop with drink names that

will make you laugh out loud we’ve got everything to satisfy your hipster heart – and of course the décor is to die for! You’ll just love taking pictures of everything that you do.

Filipino Fashion Scene

We all know that the biggest part of being a hipster is your fashion sense. So why not mix it up and use staple Filipino pieces in your wardrobe to revamp and reconnect to your pinoy blood. Make wooden sandals a thing again! There are always locals selling cultural pieces around every corner – even on the streets! Put a twist to your usual style and wear your culture with pride!

WRITER JESSICA GARCIA | ILLUSTRATOR EUGENE DE GUZMAN


LIFESTYLE

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Wake Up with Makeup As ladies, we always want to keep ourselves pretty—not because we want to impress people around us (although sometimes this case is true) but primarily, it’s because we just want to be our best. When it comes to enhancing our looks, applying cosmetics is one of the strategies we’ve been generally practicing. Nevertheless, our beauty preparation is often time-consuming--and it’s really a dilemma whenever we find ourselves under a tight schedule. Adding up the unpredictable weather, our face might look more of a mess than a masterpiece under the scorching heat or sudden rainfall. With these inconveniences before us, Klarisse Tabao, founder of The Eyebrowdery, introduces us the newest makeup and beauty innovation—the 3D makeup embroidery that will certainly unload the daily hassle off our shoulders.

It’s Semi-permanent

“It saves me time and effort everyday. I just love it!”

ASHLEY RIVERA “Petra Mahalimuyak” Celebrity DJ, Actress and Youtube sensation

Makeup embroidery is a micro-needling beauty process that has become known in fashion forward countries like Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the United States, and Singapore. In makeup embroidery, you enjoy an enhanced natural look without the trouble of daily preparation and regular retouching. Unlike cosmetic tattooing, this beauty innovation uses vegetable pigment that will fade over years. “The difference between a makeup tattoo and makeup embroidery is that, in makeup embroidery, we use vegetable dye. Vegetable dye does not discolor to blue, green, or red. It lasts for about three to five years,” Klarisse explained. “That’s why our clients like it because as you age, your skin is going to sag. Of course you don’t want your tattoo to sag along with your skin as you get older.” The materials come from natural plant extracts, Klarisse affirmed it’s very friendly and good for the skin. “It has no side effects. Unlike the tattoo that can cause your skin to bloat after a few years—this has none.”


“Beautifying women is my mission, seeing perfect eyebrows as my inspiration!“ Klarisse Tabao, owner and founder of The Eyebrowdery has been a beauty and fashion enthusiast ever since she was a child. She studied Eyebrow, Eyeliner, and Lips Embroidery at the Aesthetics International Academy in Singapore. Licensed abroad, she conducts the makeup embroidery procedures to the clients herself. Klarisse travels outside the country every now and then to study and expand her knowledge in beauty and makeup innovation.

But to really make sure whether you’re allergic to it or not, patch tests are conducted before embroidery procedures.

you,” Klarisse expressed.

Perfect Eyebrows

faces. It’s going to be on your face. So you

Not all people are blessed with perfect eyebrows. In fact, most of us get crazy and spend hours in front of the mirror just to achieve the right arch. As the name suggests, The Eyebrowdery’s main service is all about giving you your desired perfect eyebrows without the need of a bulky cosmetic kit. “First we look at the client’s face. Then we check our client’s health history thoroughly to know if it’s okay for them to proceed or if they should consider not doing it anymore,” Klarisse said. Once approved, pictures will be taken so their customers can compare their looks before and after. “And then we’ll measure the face. If you want your eyebrows higher or if you want it to be just simply straight, we’ll do what you requested from us. Although we would also recommend what we think is best for

“Our client has to approve our drawing first because it’s not going to be on our really have to like what you see in front of the mirror.” When everything is settled, that’s when they’ll do the pigment process. A single operation takes around two hours and since eyebrow fashion tends to change every now and then, makeup embroidery makes it more convenient for clients who prefer to follow the latest trends.

More Beauty Services Next to Eyebrow embroidery, most of

Threadings, Nail services, Spa, and Hot Wax services. Operating hours is from 10am to 9pm, Mondays to Sundays.

their customers avail Lip embroidery service. In Lip embroidery, your lips are toned up to a more natural pinkish color. The Eyebrowdery also conducts Eyeliner Embroidery, Nipple Embroidery, and Mole Embroidery Additionally, they offer Lashtension, Eyebrow Tinting, and Eyelash Perming. They also offer minor services such as

Franchising Opportunities Interested entrepreneurs can franchise The Embroidery for P400,000. This is inclusive of both skills support and services support. The total franchise cost is 2 million--inclusive of office construction, operation materials, and other expenses related to the business system.

For service inquiry and franchising opportunities, you can call 751-7236 or 09166317433, or send a message to appointment@eyebrowdery.com or theeyebrowdery@gmail.com. Visit us at Unit 201 Fox Square Building 53 Connecticut St. Northeast Greenhills 1502 San Juan City Philippines or check our website at eyebrowdery.com


SPOTLIGHT

EVENTS

THE CHAMPION’S COMEBACK Pacquiao returns to the boxing world

After winning a 12-round unanimous decision against Timothy Bradley Jr. last April this year, Filipino boxing champion and now Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao shocked the world with his retirement to focus on his political career and philanthropic work. Yet, through the passing days and months thereafter, the eight-time division champion isn’t about to hang up his gloves just yet. After a brief vacation from the boxing world, Pacquiao fights inside the ring once again. His long-time boxing promoter Bob Arum has announced that Pacquiao’s boxing career will continue on November 5, 2016. Pacquiao will fight the American World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title holder Jessie Vargas at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Vargas has a record of 27 wins, one loss, and 10 knockouts. He won via TKO against his previous opponent, Sadam Ali, last March this year. With a career record of 58 wins and 66 fights, Pacquiao was elected just last May 2016 as part of the Philippine Senate and made it clear that if ever he decided to fight again, he will assure that it will never affect his responsibilities to the government. Determined to prove his promise that boxing won’t interfere with his legislative duties, Pacquiao’s camp said his training will be almost entirely done in the Philippines, adding that he will only fly to the United States when the Upper House takes a break in mid-October.

Boxing fans will also get to see “The Filipino Flash” take the stage prior to the Pacquiao-Vargas card. Filipino-American boxer, Nonito Donaire Jr. will defend his crown against Magdaleno after reclaiming the WBO super bantamweight title last December, following a unanimous verdict over Cesar Juarez. Earlier this April, he defended his belt after coming off a TKO (Technical Knockout) win Hungarian Olympian Zsolt Bedak in the third round. On the other hand, Magdaleno has a 23-0 professional record with 17 of his wins coming by way of knockout. In his latest match, Magdaleno knocked out Pinoy boxer Rey Perez in the seventh round. His fight with Donaire will be his first shot at a world title. With two internationally-renowned Filipino boxing champions fighting in the same event, the occasion is no doubt something spectacular for all Filipinos worldwide and back at home in the Philippines.

WRITER DANA M. SIOSON | PHOTOGRAPHER NOEL TY


INDUSTRY

HEALTHCARE 01

THE 4TH PAAAMMI ANNUAL CONVENTION 2016 The 4th PAAAMMI Annual Convention 2016: Keeping up with the Advances and Changing Trends Philippine Academy of Aesthetic and Age Management Medicine Inc. (PAAAMMI) held its most highly successful 4th Annual Convention at the Grand Ballroom of the New World Manila Bay Hotel last September 2-3, 2016 with a theme aptly titled “Age Management and Aesthetics Revolution: Keeping up with the Advances and Changing Trends.” This two-day convention was the biggest annual gathering of international and national faculty of distinguished speakers, experts and authorities in the specialty of Anti-Aging Medicine. The main objective of the annual convention was to cover a wide range of very interesting topics relating not just day-to-day pursuit of excellence in their field but also on the current, relevant and ongoing global trends that will eventually spell the difference in the way they affect their patient’s medical needs and lives in general. “To be relevant, timely, thoughtprovoking, engaging, revealing and fun. These are the objectives we always set whenever the convention team gathers to lay down the plans for our Annual Conference,” PAAAMMI Annual Convention Over-all Chairman Dr. Maria Ellery Mendez shared some details to this once-a-year Aesthetics and Anti Aging specialists’ gathering. “Our practice does not lie in a vacuum. We are part and parcel of the many changes happening

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worldwide, which necessitate proper and adequate learning, appreciation and adaptation in our part,” PAAAMMI President Dr. Charlie Mendez elaborated. A total of 200 international and local delegates from the medical industry attended the most prestigious convention to date. Likewise, it also became a venue to promote camaraderie among the Anti-Aging and Aesthetic doctors.

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All ready for the 4th PAAAMMI Annual Convention PAAAMMI President Dr. Charlie Mendez PAAAMMI Chairman of the Board Dr. Francis Decangchon PAAAMMI Over-all Convention Chairman Dr. Maria Ellery Mendez Dr. Mikhail Teppone together with PAAAMMI Executive Officers Philippine Medical Association President Dr. Irineo Bernardo Dr. Alaa Abdelkarim Mohammed FouadAbdelkarim Dr. Gordon Pedersen Grand dance number opened the PAAAMMI 4th Annual Convention Dr. Xanya Sofra Senator Win Gatchalian giving his inspirational message PAAAMMI gives their plaque of appreciation to Senator Win Gatchalian


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One of the highlights of the convention were the live demonstrations and workshops were simultaneously performed in satellite rooms by guest speakers and corporate partners. These activities were considered to be a benchmark in the antiaging and age management practice. “PAAAMMI always strive to make each year’s conference far better with higher level of uniqueness, grandiosity, knowledge filling with latest technologies and advancements on the Plenary Lectures by world renowned speakers and Live Demonstrations with workshops to fulfill the taste and eagerness of each of the delegates,” PAAAMMI Vice President Internal Dr. Gisela Trajano-Sarmiento said. PAAAMMI Vice President External Dr. James Boado also added, “The field of medical aesthetics and age management medicine has seen exponential growth but challenges, dangers, and pitfalls proliferate. Practitioners must deal with and put up with everything from an unpredictable economy to rapidly changing and evolving consumer discriminations and sensitivities. With this convention, we wanted the participants to be treated to an enlightening and meaningful lectures that will be beneficial for them in the long run.” Then came the night time when the doctors came in and dressed as their favorite retro icons in the most exciting and successful Fellowship Night entitled “Retro Festival” led by Dr. Richard Sarmiento, chairman of the Fellowship Night Committee. It was definitely a fun and exhilarating experience for everyone. The convention also welcomed new Fellows, Associate Fellows and new members to their fold. They were formally introduced and recognized at the Conferment Ceremonies during the 2nd day of the convention. Thus, the activity was focused to enrich their commitment and dedication to PAAAMMI as well as to the medical field.


TRAVEL AMAZING ESCAPES

BREATHTAKING ADVENTURES AT THE HEART OF NATURE

Sorsogon WRITER DANA SIOSON PHOTOGRAPHER NOEL TY


Located at the southernmost tip of Luzon, Sorsogon is home to one of the Philippines’ prime eco-tourist destinations. The province lauds itself with its lush green landscapes, wide stretch of fine coastlines, and abundant marine life. As the province never fails to grace its visitors with the beauty of nature all year round, Sorsogon pitches exciting adventures that will provide you the most unique nature experience.

Whale interaction in Donsol Because of the large number of whale sharks, locally known as butanding, that frequently visits the province, the municipality of Donsol in Sorsogon is tagged as the “Whale Shark Capital of the World.� These gentle giants can be spotted from November to June. The number of sightings varies depending on the season, however, during the peak months of April and May, people will see at least five or possibly even more than twenty whale sharks a day. Both local and international tourists book the whale shark tours in Donsol because of its cheap, affordable price. The marine giants swim in a small, near to shore area, making it easy for spotters to find them even from the convenience of just sitting on top of a boat. In fact, Donsol is known as having the highest concentration of whale sharks in the world.

Firefly watching in Ogod River Apart from whale shark interactions, firefly watching is a popular activity in Donsol. While waiting for nightfall, you can marvel at the spectacular view of the sunset, and as the sky darkens, thousands of sparkling fireflies illuminate the mangroves and palm trees that line along the River of Ogod. Tourists wishing to capture a glimpse of this majestic scenery can ride small boats that cruise along the river at night.


TRAVEL AMAZING ESCAPES

Diving in Manta Bowl For a more daring underwater exploit, travellers can check out the Manta Bowl located in Ticao Pass that lies between Donsol and Ticao Island. The underwater current in this site is known for being quite strong. Also known as Manta Ray Capital of the Philippines, Manta Bowl is home to a large number of Manta rays—the biggest and most harmless rays in the world. Hammerheads, whale sharks, and other pelagics can also be found here—making it a haven for divers, marine biologists, and underwater photographers.


Boating, Kayaking, and Trekking in Bulusan

springs, and caves while climbing the mountain.

Another travel highlight in Sorsogon is the Bulusan Volcano Natural Park. At the foot of Mount Bulusan is one of the most active volcanoes in the country where guests can rent kayaks and canoes to tour the tranquil and emerald green waters of the Bulusan Lake. Surrounded by verdant rainforest, the nature park is home to fauna and endemic plants, including rare species of vines and orchids. Hikers can also get a glimpse of waterfalls, hot

Getting There Sorsogon is accessible by both land and air. You can take a 12-hour scenic bus ride from Manila to Legazpi City from various terminals in Pasay City and Cubao. On the other hand, if you wanted a faster trip, you may take a 45 minute flight from Manila to Legazpi City. And then from Legazpi City, take a one to two hours public utility van or bus ride to Sorsogon City.


TRAVEL ADVENTURE

TRIP TO THREE ISLANDS

MASBATE


Geographically situated at the heart of the country, the province of Masbate has been known for its cattle ranches and exceptional cowboys. But apart from being the “Cattle Capital of the Philippines,” and subsequently, “Home of Philippine Rodeo,” the province is more than just a cowboyland. From untapped ecological sites to unique activities, exhausted city dwellers will certainly be rewarded by its redeeming features. Situated at the crossroads of Luzon and Visayas, the province of Masbate consists of three major islands: Masbate, Ticao, and Burias. Each island has its own charm that will satisfy every traveler’s heart.

Masbate One of Masbate’s must-see coastal havens is the Buntod sandbar and Marine sanctuary, located at the middle of the seawaters of Barangay Nursery and Barangay Tugbo. Ranked as the second most resilient sanctuary in Central Philippines, the hard and soft coral covers create a spectacular underwater view that’s perfect for snorkeling. Above waters, fine white sands blanket the shores. Here, you can rent kayaks, inner tubes, and snorkeling equipment. Another underwater garden to explore in Masbate is the Bugsayon Marine Sanctuary. Ranked number one among the list of resilient marine sanctuaries in Central Philippines, Bugsayon is home to live corals and other aquatic species. For a wilder adventure, take a trip to Minalayo Sea Snake Island. The island is actually a big limestone rock–a big cave– inhabited by clumps of yellow-lipped sea kraits (walo-walo) and blue-banded sea snakes. Considering the risks, it is important to be with a local guide when you visit the area.


TRAVEL ADVENTURE

Ticao One of the key destinations in Ticao is the Manta Bowl, located in Ticao Pass that lies between Ticao Island and Donsol, Sorsogon. The famous diving site is home to Manta rays-- the world’s largest but harmless rays. For non-divers, the stretch of golden sands along the crystalline sea is a perfect relaxing spot for beach lovers who desire a picturesque view sans the large crowds. You can also spend the day exploring the fields on horseback. You should also try their local version of puto made of cassava and bukayo or sweetened niyog (coconut).

Burias For a more “cast-away” feeling, head to Burias Island and be charmed by the serenity of the untouched and unspoiled white sand beach. Among the islands you can visit in Burias are Sombrero Island, Tinalisayan Island and Sandbar, and Animasola Island. Sombrero Island, as the name suggests, is shaped like a hat and is also a known sea turtle sanctuary. For water sports enthu-


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TRAVEL ADVENTURE

siasts and bird lovers, Tinalisayan Island is where you can enjoy kayaking and bird watching--as migratory birds frolic along sandbars. Meanwhile, Animasola Island’s most distinct feature is its breathtaking rock formations that resemble pancake towers. For an exotic culinary experience, Burias offers tasty “tamilok,” a wood worm found in decaying mangrove logs. Other must-try delicacies in the area are “Laswi” (shellfish) and “Takla” (shrimp). Another unique culinary destination in Burias is the Balinsasayaw House in San Pascual. This house, owned by the Espares family, is nestled by thousands of swiftlets, a type of bird. There, you’ll get a rare opportunity of tasting the local delicacy—a soup made from the bird’s nest.

Getting There The fastest way to travel from Manila to Masbate is to fly from Manila to Masbate City. Another option for commuters is a bus ride from Cubao or Pasay City to Pilar port in Sorsogon. From Pilar port, you can ride a two-hour fast craft to the island. There are also available RORO boats that ship automobiles and motorcycles.



October & November 2016