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Boracay’s Top Places to Party From hot bars to dance clubs, we’ve got the place for you Hopping Mad Exploring Gorgeous Guimaras Eco Chic Cocoon Boutique Hotel Plus: El Nido Airport Expands For Bigger Aircraft

Live in Manila The City’s Top Music Venues


inflight | decemBER 2012-january 2013



06 in the news El Nido Airport gets ready for bigger aircraft; Fairmont Hotel and Raffles to launch a dual hotel brand; Europe’s Christkindlmarket now in Manila 08 Cale ndar What not to miss in December 2012 and January 2013 10 In Room Hotel review: Cocoon Boutique Hotel 12 InDULGE Restaurant review: Kasbah


14 ME AND MY TRAVELS Chef Sau del Rosario

Special features 18 Lisa Macuja-Elizalde: Farewell to FullLength Ballet 20 Boracay’s Top Places to Party for the Festive Season: From dance clubs to hot bars, Freida Dario lists 7 of the best 14


22 cove r s tory Live in Manila: The City’s Top Music Venues 32 De s tination Fe ature Hopping Mad: Exploring Gorgeous Guimaras

40 INFLIGHT Guide s • Destination guides to the Philippines and neighboring countries • Airline Guides: All you need to know about leisure airlines South East Asian Airlines and Island Transvoyager

Cover credits: Photo by Daniel Soriano Location: 19 East Bar & Grill, Parañaque


| InFlight | december-january 2013 • •


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| december-january 2013

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INTheNews t r av e l | l i f e s t y l e | h o t e l s & r e s o r t s | a r t s & fa s h i o n | a n d m o r e

Old El Nido Airport

El Nido Airport Prepares for Bigger Aircraft El Nido Airport’s recently extended runway will be able to accommodate bigger bodied aircraft, including a 48-seater ATR 42. Complete runway improvement is expected by first quarter of 2013. The airport’s main airline, Island Transvoyager (ITI), which operates from Manila to El Nido Airport and Sandoval Airport in Taytay, Palawan, plans to acquire a 48-seater ATR 42, to add to its fleet of Dornier 228-212.

El Nido airport’s first stage of expansion, which was completed last October, included the expansion of its runway and renovation of its arrival and departure lounges. The Ten Knots Group, owner of El Nido Airport, is behind the runway and airport renovation project. All improvements are according to the construction standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Manual of Standards implemented by

the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). El Nido in Palawan is about an-hour-andfifteen-minute flight from Manila. It’s one of the places in the country blessed with beautiful pristine islands, islets and beaches, and towering limestone cliffs, and one of Palawan’s protected areas. ■ Visit or www.




| december-january 2013

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Affordable ways to get you to Clark International Airport. Philtranco Bus. Leaves daily from Pasay City station at 6:30am, 8:30am, 11:30am, 2:30pm and 8:30pm. Leaves daily from SM Megamall at 7:00am, 9:00am, 12:00nn, 3:00pm and 9:00pm. Return trips from Clark Airport at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 4:30pm, 8:30pm and 12:30am. Fare is from P400 to P450. For more information, contact +632-851-8077 to 79. Victory liner Bus. Leaves daily from Marquee Mall (Angeles City) at 9:00am, 10:20am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:30pm and 7:00pm. Return trips from Clark Airport at 10:00am, 11:00am, 2:30pm, 4:00pm and 5:00pm. Fare is Php50 or free for connecting passengers of Victory Liner. Call +632-559-7735. tourists car transPort serVices. Avis Rent-A-Car +632-718-4062 | Airport Shuttle Service +6345-892-1311 | JMW Rent-A-Car +63458883693 | New Motech +6345-889-0797 | T-DES Transport +6345-656-3269. air-conditioned PuBlic JeePneys. Look for green-and-whitepainted jeepneys stationed at Dau Bus Terminal beside Jollibee and Mister Donut. Fare is P50 to P100. regular PuBlic JeePneys. Stationed at jeepney terminal near Clark main gate and SM Clark. Ask for fastest, nearest route going to Clark International Airport. Fare is P12.


Fairmont Hotel main lobby


What not to miss in December and January


Sosogon Festival


UP MADZ Christmas Concert 2012


Sorsogon is celebrating the birth of its city and the abundance of pili to 16 nut, its main crop, with a week-long Sosogon Festival, which features colorful street dancing, parades, concerts, and sports competition. Visit, or call at +63956/ 421 5632


Fairmont Hotel and Raffles to Launch a Dual Hotel Brand Fairmont Hotel and Raffles Suites and Residences are launching a dual hotel brand in Makati City on December 3. The dual branding allows guests the option of booking either Fairmont’s deluxe rooms or Raffles’ suites and private residences, as well as enjoy the two hotels’ shared amenities. Fairmont has 280 deluxe rooms and a Fairmont Gold Floor with private check in for Fairmont President Club members. Raffles offers 237 private residences and 32 suites. The two hotels have separate driveways and lobbies, but share a 900sqm ballroom, two large outdoor pools, Fairmont’s Willow Stream Spa, the salon, fitness center, and a three-level basement parking. The 30-storey building of the two deluxe hotels and residences is located on the corner of Makati Avenue and Arnaiz Avenue in Makati’s Central Business District. Fairmont’s design is contemporary Filipino, making use of mahogany wood, and abundant local materials such as coco-twig and abacalaminated glass. Raffles’ design is modern yet elegant, designed to evoke the “timeless essence of Raffles.” It uses materials such as satin silk, damask colors, velvet and hand tufted rugs. Raffles also carries two of its signature bars, Long Bar and Writers Bar. Developed by the Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), the project’s architecture is by Arquitectonica with interior design by Bent Severin International. ■ Visit or for more details.

Europe’s Christkindlmarket Now in Manila The European Chamber of Commerce (ECCP) will launch the first European Christmas event Christkindlmarket in the Philippines on December 3-9 at the SM Mall of Asia’s Ice Skating Rink. Stalls will sell various European finds including authentic European food such as European cheese (Arla Foods, Bel International Group), Twinings tea brand, European traditional wines and German beer (Eurofoods Group), and Chocolate Fire, a Melbourne based store. Expect regular band and choir performances. The market, which dates back to 1545 and originated in Germany, is aimed at promoting European traditions in the Philippines. ■ Visit for more details.



| december-january 2013

Nothing like Christmas carols to get you into the yuletide spirit. Book your tickets now for the University of the Philippines (UP) Madrigal Singers to 16 (MADZ) annual Christmas concert at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Main Theater in Pasay City. MADZ is one of the country’s most awarded choir groups, having toured and competed in various countries such as Austria, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. Visit December

Giant Lantern Festival

Join the Ligligan Parul Festival (Giant Lantern Festival) in San Fernando, Pampanga at Robinsons San Fernando. Some of the city’s 12 barangays will compete for various awards for the best handcrafted lanterns, some of which are about 18 feet in diameter with roughly 5,000 light bulbs. It’s a real feast for the senses with a parade of brightly lit giant lanterns. San Fernando is also the best place to pick up a lantern or two to adorn your home this Christmas. Contact San Fernado Tourism office at +6345/ 961 5022 for more information.



Party in Paradise Tattoo Expo


45th Dinagyang Festival


Catch the Party in Paradise Tattoo Expo at the Cebu International Convention Center, Mandaue City. Foreign tattoo artists from Australia, Germany, USA, to 13 Spain, Korea, and Taiwan, and local artists will join the event. Lyle Tuttle, one of America’s well-known tattoo artists, is expected to come to the event. Visit, or call +63932/ 157 0816 for more information.


Don’t miss Iloilo City’s 45th Dinagyang Festival showcasing Iloilo’s folk dances, religious procession, cultural parade, and an Ati-atihan contest that will to 27 be participated by 11 groups; participants are painted all over their body and will dance to the drumbeats. Cultural performances will be held in four venues specifically in Freedom Grandstand, Provincial Capitol, Quezon le Desma Street, and Maria Clara Street. Visit, or contact +6333/ 336 3439.

INRoom Hotels and resorts

P h o t o s c o urtes y o f M ike T an , J a y M itra and G e o ff G o n z ales

Cocoon Boutique Hotel

Kristine Fonacier falls in love with Cocoon’s stylish interior and green credentials Studio room at Cocoon


IRST IMPRESSION. A stylish modern Filipino boutique hotel. The lobby has traditional wood carvings and wooden cartwheels on the walls, and near the entrance, an antique Steinway piano and stunning chandelier, that, incredibly, only consumes 50W of electricity. LOCATION. Cocoon sits on the border of the quiet residential Scout area and Timog Avenue with its restaurants, shops, and entertainment areas. ROOMS. Spacious with large windows bringing in natural light. The beds are luxurious, with memory foam mattresses, and goose-down enclosed duvets and pillows. The bathroom is equally spacious, with his-and-hers sinks and a full-sized bathtub, complemented by large windows that let the sunlight cascade in.

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FOOD. The hotel has two restaurants, one on the sixth-floor deck, where breakfast and after-hours cocktails are served by the pool, and Abuela’s Coffeeshop on the ground floor. The true draw, however, are the two restaurant concessionaires attached to the hotel — Il Duello for good Italian food, and Paire, a unique patisserie that specializes in cake-and-cocktail pairings. We Like. Cocoon lives up to its claim as a green hotel. All lights are outfitted with low-wattage bulbs; rainwater is harvested and recycled for hotel use; and everything from the hotel stationery to the toiletries are made from eco-friendly, sustainable materials. Not So Keen. As of this writing, some lastminute renovations were underway to prepare for the hotel’s grand launch. The good news is that this should all be done by October 2012. Verdict. I honestly haven’t had such a good, restful night in a city hotel before

Cocoon — enough reason to come back for a quiet staycation. Cocoon Boutique Hotel is refreshingly sincere in its efforts to be a green enterprise and to offer good value and service to its clients. ■


Rates start at P7,000 (about US $163) for the deluxe room, but as an introductory promo, the hotel is offering a discount of up to 40%. Certain limitations apply. 61 Scout Tobias cor. Scout Rallos Streets, Bgy. LagingHanda, Quezon City Tel: +632/ 998 3117 Email: Url:

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| InFlight | 11

INdulge restaur ant review

Clockwise from left: Kasbah’s cozy seating, quirky lamps at the bar, and the signature berber lamb tagine

Mad for Morocco

Soak in Moroccan culture and food at trendy Kasbah, says Monica De Leon P h o t o s b y D an I E L S o rian o


HE SETTING. Kasbah’s high-ceilinged, split-level interior has an eclectic mix of Moroccan and Mediterranean pieces. The walls are roughly-painted terracotta; various lamps are hung from the ceiling; the bar is set against a blue accent wall with an arched-cupboard. Scattered here and there are shishas or oriental tobacco pipes; and if you want a Moroccan mint tea, you get it served in silver Moroccan teapots. The restaurant has a total area of 200sqm, enough space to fit in 100 people. There’s an al fresco area, a mezzanine, a main dining hall bathed in natural light, and couch seats in a subdued section. Local tourists and businessmen frequent the place.

THE FOOD. Authentic Moroccan, what else? Order a tagine, the house specialty. The berber lamb tagine (P745 or about US $17 solo; P1,115 to share) is delicious, cooked gently for hours so the meat falls off the bone. The warm flavors are balanced by

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the sweetness of oranges and prunes. The chicken tagine (P440 solo; P660 to share) is thick, fragrant, hot and heavily spiced with herbs — the cumin stands out — and cooked with homemade lemon preserves, an authenic Moroccan concoction. Its flavors are explosive. For salad, the watermelon, feta & olive salad (P285 solo; P385 to share) is refreshing with its delicate mixture of flavors. For dessert, try the cardamom & pistachio panna cotta (P250), which goes well with the Moroccan mint tea. Other specialties are the chicken pastilla and kebabs for the main course, and baklava for dessert. The Moroccan-inspired cocktail mixes concocted by a mixologist from LA are a must try too. There’s an extensive wine selection and local and imported beers. Kasbah owner Madonna English created the restaurant’s menu, initially for Kasbah Boracay, its first branch, intent on using only the freshest herbs and ingredients. Kasbah’s dishes, she says, are “well-spiced, not hot and spicy, with a strong Mediterranean influence.” English, who spent 10 years importing

furniture from Marrakesh to the UK, fell in love with Moroccan culture and cuisine. Then she got started with the idea of opening a Moroccan restaurant. She hired executive chef Fadi Zaidane who worked in the kitchens of Morocco and five-star hotels in the Middle East to man Kasbah The Fort’s kitchen. THE SERVICE. Efficient, warm and friendly without being intrusive. Who dines Here. Local tourists, affluent crowd, corporate types on lunch or dinner meetings. Price. A full course meal costs about P1,200 per person. VERDICT. A must visit. ■

Kasbah The Fort 19th street, corner 7th Avenue, The Fort, Taguig City Mobile: +63917/ 205 9902

Me and My Travels Chef Sau del Rosario I nterview b y M o nica D e L e o n

my top travel tip is be organized. Travel light so you can take a lot of things back home. I never travel without my cellphone. I like to keep in touch. I also take mint candies and mouthwash. I always pity the flight attendants who have to face passengers’ morning breath. Other travel essentials are my Khiel’s lipgloss for winter, scarves, and lots of pairs of shoes. Most of the time I travel alone but my ideal travel companion is someone who likes food, art, walking, and museums. Paris for me is paradise — the chug-chugging of the train and the smell of smoke coming from it, violinists playing onboard, endless walks while enjoying a baguette. I spend a lot on accommodation and then I go to small restaurants and hole-in-thewalls. You’ll never go wrong with Four Seasons ( Paris has a lot of small hotels like Hotel de Crillon (, which is quaint. In the US, I book at the moderatelypriced yet comfortable Marriott Hotel (www. If I have limited budget, I go to the Scarlet Hotel ( in Singapore. The Metropolitan Hotel in Bangkok ( is fantastic. It used to be the YMCA that’s now a beautiful boutique hotel with a mix of old and new. Aside from Paris, which is my second home, my favorite city is Rio de Janeiro. It’s very colorful. I like quiet places too where there are no

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tall buildings and shopping malls. I like Bangkok, which has a good mix of quiet and busy. I like Asian cities and small cities like Kathmandu in Nepal. I hate LA and all its subways. I find it boring. I also didn’t like Tokyo because I had problems communicating with people and finding my way around. I found Singapore and Shanghai very artificial. I am not biased but I think Boracay’s beach is still the best. The quality of sand is amazing. I also like Bali. You hop on a car and shortly you’ll be in a quaint town where they make batiks. Ipanema in Brazil is scary to go to but nevertheless fun especially seeing those bikini-clad tourists. I splurge on one very good restaurant, whether a simple one or a Michelin-star, when I travel. I also always get myself a nice pair of shoes. I like Italian and Bally’s my favorite. Good service for me is attention to detail, rolling out the red carpet for you, well, not literally, a big smile, and some pampering. Discovery Shores in Boracay (www. and Discovery Country Suites in Tagaytay (www. both have good service. At Discovery Country Suites, they not only make up your room, but also leave warm milk and cookies for the night. If for instance you send your torn shirt to laundry, it gets back mended. When I travel I miss my five cats and three dogs. My housekeeper and sometimes my

friends look after them when I’m away. I love the fleamarkets, clubs, bakeries, eskinitas (sidestreets). For the five years that I’ve lived in Paris, I’ve only been to the Eiffel Tower once on my third year when a visiting friend asked me to go. The Louvre is different though. I love it and have been there for like 14 times. I also stop by a church whenever I travel to give thanks to God. My best holiday was my recent one with family in the US. I never liked the US but last January, I visited my parents who are based in Vegas. We celebrated the New Year at the Napa Valley, and toured around LA and San Francisco for three days. There were 12 of us in all, including my pamangkins (nieces, nephews), packed in a car, singing, teasing each other, relishing memories when we were young, and literally crying. We had degustation in LA and went to a pier to hang out in San Francisco, where we also took pictures of us at the Golden Gate. When we were in Napa, we got too drunk and couldn’t leave the place to drive out because of cops who were on guard. My worst trip was in Dabaka, Bangladesh for a job interview. Outside the airport, two kids were literally pulling my suitcases from me so they could carry it for me to give them a tip. When I reached the car service, impoverished kids enveloped our car and started pounding on the windows, begging for alms. The car was covered with people and couldn’t move. It was scary. When I got to the hotel, even without the interview yet, I had decided that I couldn’t live there. Later that day

Villa Café’s Chef Sau del Rosario

december-january 2013

| InFlight | 15

Me and My Travels

I got dressed and went out. A guy started taking interest in my sunglasses. At first it was just one guy, then his friends came ‘round. I ran back to the hotel and was told by the GM never to do that again. I shortened my trip to three days and flew out to India. When traveling, what I hate are the airports, connecting flights, long traveling hours, flight cancellations, bad service, bitchy stewardesses, bad facilities, no napkins, no internet connection, exaggerated security. I’ve always liked going to Spain for its food, the religiousness of the people, the way of life. Barcelona never sleeps. It’s restless. I always like visiting the northern part of Italy like Florence and Tuscany, its capital city Rome, and Venice, which is magical and charming. Sardinia has some of the most beautiful beaches. I feel safe in Bangkok. I like shopping there. Phuket is wonderful. It’s got the Koh Samui (, and Krabi, which has beautiful beaches. I eat anything that’s strange. I’ve eaten insects in Bangkok, frogs in France, and rabbit stew and bull’s testes in a restaurant on top of a mountain in San Moritz, Switzerland. My most memorable meal was when I was still a student in France. I was poor, almost penniless. I worked in a two-Michelin star restaurant. From the kitchen I would sneak out some foie gras and cheeses, and buy bread and cheap wine, and these would be my meal for three days. On days off, I’d buy a whole poulet roti chicken, which I’d eat for two-three days. In Shangri-La I met Chef Alain Reix. I took him around Manila. He gave me his number, which I kept for about seven years. He told me to call him when I visit Paris. And I did. He took me to Le Jules Verne ( at the Eiffel Tower for a fine degustation meal. I had lobster, scallops, steak and good wine. The best part was he hired me.

Thai restaurant ( dusit-thani-manila), Azu Thai (www.azuthai. com), People’s Palace (www.peoplespalacethai. com) and Som’s (+632/ 836 0075), a holein-the-wall in BelAir in Makati that always gets packed with diners. For Filipino, aside from Villa Café (, I like Milky Way (www., Via Mare (www.viamare., Abe’s ( and some provincial restaurants in Pampanga like Everybody’s Café (+6345/ 860 1121). I also get Filipino food from a Filipino carindera in Rue de Passy in Paris where they sell banana cue, lugaw (local risotto), pinakbet (veggies stewed in shrimp paste). In Singapore there are also Filipino food sold at the Far East Building. I love the Roman pizza in Europe. I also like Italian food, which is the safest to get in any country.

I love Asian flavors. For Chinese, I go to Shang Palace at Shangri-La Makati ( manila/makatishangrila), and Summer Palace at Shangri-La EDSA ( edsashangrila). For Thai, Dusit Thani Manila’s

I’m like a trader. When I travel I always take home spices, rock salts, vegetables, kitchen gadgets, post cards. My house is full of stuff from my travels — train tickets, small paintings, magnets on my fridge. ■

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Chef Sau del Rosario is launching this December his first book entitled Joy: 20 Years of Cooking. Del Rosario describes his coffee table book as “a story book with 60 recipes I’ve created through the years.” Co-authored and edited by San Hontiveros. About Chef Sau del Rosario Chef Sau del Rosario runs Villa Cafe (www. together with his business partner Chef Jam Melchor. Del Rosario trained in Nice, France, under Michelin Chef Christian Plumail of Restaurant L’Univers then later worked at the three Michelin star Restaurant Le Divellec in Paris. Prior to his stint in France, he worked at the Peninsula, Shangri-La, Westin and Hyatt in Manila. Del Rosario is a Hotel Management graduate of UP Diliman. He was nominated Best Chef of the Year for two consecutive years at the prestigious Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets’ Awards (www. ■

Visit our piece of paradise! Soon to open: Fridays Boquete, Puerto Galera See you in beautiful Boquete! For reservations and inquiries, contact our Makati Sales Office at +632.8929283 or email us at

Special Feature


Farewell to Full-Length Ballet

After dancing the lead in Kitri, Giselle and Carmen for three decades, the Philippines’ only prima ballerina, the 48-yearold Lisa Macuja is retiring from full-length ballet, says Cielo Flores


isa Macuja-Elizalde, the country’s leading light in classical ballet, retired from full length ballet last October 27. Her last full length ballet performance was as Kitri in Don Quixote in her second Swang Song Series that closed last October at the Aliw Theater. During the series she also performed the title roles of Giselle and Carmen. Kitri was her dream role, describing it as “...a character that fit me like second skin, the ballet persona that brought out the best in my dancing...” She’s played Kitri 54 times, and it has become her signature role. “Full-length ballets (two-, three- or fouract ballets) that mean at least two hours of dancing time by the principal ballerina and her principal danseur partner are the most strenuous and taxing forms of ballet dancing and this is why I am choosing to dance these roles for the last time, while I can still dance them in their original choreography, the way they are meant to be danced,” she said. “I will continue to lead and direct my company and school — Ballet Manila. I will be more active in teaching and mentoring. I hope to be able to try other forms of theater such as straight acting maybe. I will also hold a big gala concert called Lisa @ 30 @ 50. I hope to still be dancing short pieces so I hope not to completely disappear from active performing.” Macuja-Elizalde has been a principal dancer in over 300 full-length ballet productions, performing in 90 cities around five continents. She is the first foreign soloist to join the prestigious Kirov Ballet in Russia. In 1986, she performed at the Mariinksy

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Elizalde as Kitri in Don Quixote

Prima ballerina Lisa MacujaElizalde

Theater as principal ballerina for Don Quixote, Nut Cracker and Giselle productions. She was the first ballerina to bring home a laureate prize — a silver medal from the 1987 AsiaPacific Ballet Competition in Tokyo. In 1990, she completed the senior division semi-finals at the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi and won fifth place at the 1992 International Diaghilev Ballet Competition in Moscow, Russia. And finally in 1995, she established her own ballet school, Ballet Manila. Ballet Manila’s 17th Performance Season includes Sinderela ATBP on December 1, 2, 8 and 9, 2012, and My Funny Valentine that will run from February 15-17, 2013. Visit for more on Lisa Macuja. Visit for Ballet Manila schedule and ticket inquiries. ■

My favorite things

Shows: West End or Broadway musicals such as Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera and similar The Big Bang Theory musical theater productions. I was hooked on Lost, Desperate Housewives, House and Modern Family. The entire family sits down to watch The Big Bang Theory. For classical ballet, I can never get tired of watching Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote. Galleries: The National Museum, Ayala Museum, Yuchengco Museum. Truth be told, my favorite exposure now to Filipino artists is through my radio/television show Art 2 Art on DZRH 666AM. We are going on our fifth year already, and every week I get to interview Filipino artists. Entertainment: Theater, concerts, dance and ballet performances. On my days off, I like to just lie in bed and watch television or DVDs. I also love reading. Read: I have read most of Julie Jameson books; Sophie Kinsella is also a favorite as well as Stephen King and James Patterson. I am on the second book of The Giver trilogy by Lois Lowry. I am about to start The Rapture by Lauren Kate and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. ■ Visit for more on Elizalde’s favorite things

Special Feature

Boracay’s Top 7 Places to Party Whether you like the dance club scene or would rather down 15 shots of booze for bragging rights, there’s a bar and a club with your name on it, says Freida Dario Pat’s Creek Bar



LOCATION: In a secluded area in Bulabog Beach (southern tip)

LOCATION: D’Mall beachfront, Station 2

Why go: You’ve never really partied in Boracay until you’ve been to AREA 51, known for its distinctive island vibe and incredible music by resident DJs Manster and Reo. During full lunar phase, AREA 51’s monthly “Full Moon” parties are a time of renewal and liberation; people welcome the unspoken license to let loose, uniting one and all through music, tribal drumming and fire dancing. AREA 51 plays host to some of the biggest parties on the island, particularly on special holidays like Halloween and New Year’s Eve. For reservations and event bookings, contact Jude at +63917/ 327 4824 or Karen at +63917/ 716 1626. Visit

STATION 2 STRIP: PATS CREEK BAR, BOM BOM BAR and EXIT BAR LOCATION: Hit the party strip and meet the locals at hip dives along Station 2, from Pat’s Creek Bar (, to Bom Bom Bar and Exit Bar ( EXIT.Bar.Boracay) Why go: For travelers looking for a respite from the crowds, or a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy good music on the beach, this strip is the place to go. Sit on the drift wood chairs or laze around on the beachfront with ice-cold beer or your favorite cocktail, and relish the über cool vibe!

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Why go: Dine, drink, and dance to your heart’s content at Boracay’s premiere hotspot, brought to you by the creators of Manila’s hottest super clubs. There’s always something happening on any given night of the week, all-year-round. Resident DJs Mike Collantes & Acidburn serve-up dance music from 10pm onwards, to fever-pitch proportions. Guest DJs from all over the world have graced Epic’s decks for some of the best parties on this side of paradise. For reservations, call +6336/ 288 1477, email info@, or visit Find them on Facebook and stay tuned for announcements at

COCOMANGAS SHOOTER BAR LOCATION: Main Road, Balabag. Hard to miss with its constant crowd lining up by the road entrance most nights


Why go: Famous for its “Still Standing After 15” drinking challenge, Cocomangas invites customers to prove they can down 15 different shots of assorted booze and still remain standing. Those who pass get a point for their country, a free T-shirt or jersey, and their name engraved on a bronze plaque at the bar’s wall of fame. The Philippines still rules on the scoreboard with 10,637 still standing, followed by Taiwan with 7,221 still standing, and Korea in third place with 7,056 still standing. For reservations, call +6336/ 288 4455 or visit www.

LOCATION: Plazoleta, near Boat Station 2


Why go: Juice Bar in Boracay Island has been the location for unforgettable nights of dancing and fun, with DJs playing to the crowd’s pleasure. Lively and friendly bartenders, ready to serve you your poison of choice. For reservations, call +6336/ 288 6917, +63917/ 723 7582, or email

CLUB PARAW LOCATION: Main Road, Balabag, Station One Why go: After extensive reconstruction and renovation efforts of this two-storey affair, with comfortable native style décor, the result is a bigger and better clubbing experience. For reservations, call +6336/ 288 6151

LOCATION: Station 2, pathway (between Epic Boracay and Juice Bar) Why go: Known as the place “where the party never stops,” and as the last bar standing on any given night, Summer Place is your last party stop. The fun starts early here. Ask about the private bathrooms at the back. For P10, you can opt for a cleaner private restroom. For reservations, call +6336/ 288 3144 ■

Cover Story

The City’s Top Music Venues S t o r y b y C es R o drigue z

OUR MUSIC VENUE CRITICS Eric Caruncho is a staff writer of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. He is the author of Punks, Poets & Poseurs, an anthology of his articles on the Pinoy rock music scene of the late 80s and early 90s, a time of creative blossoming for artists like Joey Ayala and the Eraserheads.

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Francis “Brew” Reyes plays guitar with Peso Movement, a new band formed by Japs Sergio of Rivermaya. He is also a VJ for the TV show RockMYX, a record producer, and a blogger for Yahoo! Philippines. Francis was a member of local rock band The Dawn for many years and worked as a DJ for the defunct seminal radio station NU107.

Side A performing at 19 East

1 9 E ast P h o t o b y D ane S o rian o

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hen director Tony Gilroy said he chose Manila to shoot The Bourne Legacy because “it felt so Bourne-ish,” he set off a teensy tempest when some objected to his description of the city as “colorful and ugly and gritty, raw and stinky and crowded.” If Gilroy were more laconic, he should’ve just said, “It’s so rock & roll,” and flashed twofisted devil horns. Indeed, all that color and grit roost just as comfortably in Manila’s music scene, where the most exciting musical acts cram into spaces the size of a thimble and blast music that’s nuclear, original, unkempt and never boring. Music critic Eric Caruncho and musician/ producer Francis Reyes pick the places that crank out the kind of chaos worthy of a Bourne-by-way-of Manila soundtrack. 19 East Bar & Grill Easily the place with the most space, best sound equipment, stage area, and parking. Pop shaman Ely Buendia — he of Eraserheads fame – agrees, describing 19 East in a blog post as “probably the best-sounding venue in the whole archipelago and a stone’s throw away from my place.” The lineup of performers can be eclectic, but it’s always top-notch. It ranges from mainstream pop to folk to jazz to R&B to the usual indie. And, if you need a break from the music, you can have your dinner and drinks al fresco in the Garden Bar, where food is mostly Filipino. Sample acts: Side A, Gloc 9, Urbandub, MYMP. Km. 19, East Service Road, Parañaque Open from Mondays to Saturdays from 5pm to 2:30pm Tel: +63 2/ 837 6903 Url:

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Cover Story

Full-room only at 19 East

P h o t o b y D ane S o rian o

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Cover Story

Open mic night at The Hydra

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P h o t o s b y D ane S o rian o

Indie band setting the mood for the crowd at Route 196

Route 196 As teensy as SaGUIJO but with a quieter lounge area. Peso Movement, Francis Reyes’ band with former Rivermaya bassist Japs Sergio, plays here, as do indie darlings like Up Dharma Down, Ciudad, Drip and a welter of bands of every rock or alternative persuasion. Plus, the pizza is delicious. 196-A Katipunan Avenue Extension, Blue Ridge, Quezon City Open from 6pm to 2am on Tuesday to Thursday, and extends till 3am on Fridays and Saturdays Tel: +632/ 439 1972 Url: For schedules, visit Route 196 Bar on Facebook

The Hydra (former Skarlet Jazz Kitchen) This low-ceilinged club lined with banquettes and outside tables for smokers hosts a slew of‌everything, including heavy metal, reggae and punk. But it also lives up with performers showcasing the many variations of jazz and the blues, from big band to fusion. Sample acts: AMP Big Band and Unleashed. There are also open mike blues nights. Scout Ybardolaza corner Timog, Quezon City Open daily from 6pm to 3am Tel: +63927/ 626 4006 Url: For schedules, visit The Hydra on Facebook

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The Satellites band at 70s Bistro

70s Bistro One of the oldest live music venues in the city, the popular 70s Bistro is hidden away in a suburban residential neighborhood. Beginning as a folk bar, 70s Bistro has seen legends on its stage from Joey Ayala to the Eraserheads and the Jerks. Veteran folk and rock bands hold court almost daily in this much-beloved bar. Parokya Ni Edgar, popular in the Philippines for their novelty songs, still plays here on Mondays and there are occasional specials such as Beatles Nights. 46 Anonas Street, Project 2, Quezon City. Open from Monday to Saturday from 7pm to 1:30am Tel: +63927/ 214 0036, +63919/ 475 4136 Url: For schedules visit 70s Bistro on Facebook

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P h o t o b y D ane S o rian o

Cover Story

Ely Buendia with his Oktaves bandmates performing at Roadhouse

The Roadhouse Manila Bay Last September, 35 bands signed up for the first Philippine Blues Competition, the eliminations of which were held at the Roadhouse. Who knew there were that many blues bands in the country? It warms the cockles of rock roots fans. Roadhouse has an obvious biker theme, but the clientele is more than petrol heads. This is a proper venue for sitting down and eating with friends even if you don’t care for the blues. It’s got good food, ice-cold beers and nightly performances from some of the best bands in the country. Get warmed up with a bucket of beer and prawn crackers for P300. Unlimited draft beer is P350. Sample acts: Joe Bonamassa, Bleu Rascals, The Oktaves. SM By the Bay, Mall of Asia, Pasay City Open daily from 5pm to 2am Tel. +632/ 836 7632 Url: For schedules visit The Roadhouse Manila Bay on Facebook

P h o t o b y A bs A band o

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Cover Story

Indie band playing at SaGUIJO

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P h o t o b y A bs A band o

Lourd De Veyra

Dave Eggar

Malasimbo Arts Festival


Not a music venue and not in Manila, but a three-day annual music and arts festival held every March at the foot of Mount Malasimbo near the beautiful beach town of Puerto Galera, Mindoro island. To get there, take the three-hour bus ride from Manila to the port of Batangas and a 30- to 45-minute ferry ride to Puerto Galera. The performers are a mix of local artists and invited foreign guests. This year, the legendary Joe Bataan, who invented Afro-Latin funk in the 60s and eventually called it “salsoul,” was a guest performer. There’s live music (pop, rock, ethnic), DJs, installation art and cultural workshops. Next year’s event is expected to attract some 6,000 people so preparations are underway to set up two stages 200 meters apart from each other. Usually, Malasimbo features a variety of bands and showcases new artists every year. Tel: +63917/ 878 6609 (Olive D’Aboville) Url: ab o ve P h o t o s b y P eter T o libas

SaGUIJO Indie band haven smack bang in the middle of Makati’s glitzy yuppiedom. It’s oh-so-tiny, but that’s all the better for an authentic Pinoy in-your-face live experience — and anyway, the crowd may spill into the street if it’s a really big night. This is the venue to squeeze into for anything grunge, down home, experimental, and avant-garde. Anything goes, with independent groups appearing alongside more established artists, but what’s always a given is that the music will be top-notch. Sample acts: Radioactive Sago Project, Taken By Cars, Tarsius. 7612 Guijo Street, San Antonio Village, Makati Open from Tuesday to Saturday at 6pm. Gigs start at 10pm Tel: +632/ 897 8629 Url: ■

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Destination Feature

Hopping Mad

The beautiful islands around Guimaras, in the heart of the Visayas, aren’t that well known to tourists — which is all the more reason to get there before they’re discovered, says Oggie Ramos P h o t o s b y H ermes S ings o n

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Nagarao Island Resort: Blue pastel sky and the sea at low tide


uimaras – a short hop across the Iloilo Strait from bustling Iloilo City — is known by Filipinos for mangoes and not much else. It’s never been a major tourist draw, but these days that’s changing as the island draws visitors in search of some serious island-hopping. What makes Guimaras so tempting is the number of satellite islands that float enticingly around it, particularly off its southeast coast. They have exotic names

such as Nao-wai and Nalunga. Some of these islands are almost uninhabited, while some have thriving barrios. Most have fine beaches and lush hinterlands for trekking. The fact that you don’t know what you’ll find until you arrive is part of the thrill. One of these islands is Nagarao. I first came here four years ago on a backpacking trip. It was raining on that first visit, and it’s raining again. Not that it matters. After an overcast afternoon exploring Nagarao’s beaches and coves, we have dinner to the relaxing pitter-patter of rain on the grass

roof and then head early to our cottage where I am snoozing under the mosquito net well before the power is off at 11pm. The next morning, we wake to pale sunshine. Andy, the resort owner’s son, has a dog called Booboo who follows us like a shadow as we take photographs along the rocky shores and the mangrove areas on the eastern side of the island. Our accommodation at Nagarao Island Resort is one of 20 rustic cottages facing the sea. It’s nothing fancy, but when you’re “doing” tropical islands, who needs fancy?

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Destination Feature

Costa Aguada Island Resort

The mobile signal is spotty and electricity is limited, but there’s endless fresh seafood and cold beers while we play after-dinner billiards. There aren’t many other guests so it feels like we’ve got the island almost to ourselves. That’s not far from the truth. The population of Nagarao is only about 30. Others have settled here but not all have stayed. Hiking through the forest, we stumble upon the ruins of an old stone house owned by a German couple who used to live here. Emma, the resort’s caretaker, is one of the 30. She has lived on the island for 16 years and says she never tires of it. At first it was lonely, she agrees, but “you get accustomed to the peace and quiet.” When she visits her hometown of Iloilo — with its honking traffic and strip malls — she finds it so busy and noisy she can’t wait to get back to Nagarao. Nagarao is a great base for seeing dozens of islands in this area, many of them uninhabited save for a few fisherfolk or the odd farmer. Inampulugan, a privately owned crocodile shaped island to the northeast of Nagarao, is about 30 minutes away by boat. Here, we stay at Costa Aguada Island Resort, on the south side of the island. It has spacious, native-style beachfront cottages fashioned mostly from bamboo. Power comes on twice a day and there’s air-conditioning, but the sea breeze wafting gently through the cottage is much better. Staff can arrange sight-seeing tours by road, island-hopping trips and a full range of activities including horse riding, mountain biking, climbing, caving, fishing and kayaking. There’s a swimming pool, massage and — if you’ve got some serious money to spend and want to island-hop in style — a helipad. The next day, we spend the early part of the morning chatting with the villagers, most of them from three generations of workers who settled, married and took up roots here, relying on fishing and the coconut industry. At one time, the village men were producing about 30 tonnes of copra every month. The women weave bags from grass and make organic soap using coconut, which they sell to resort guests. From the resort, you can climb the hill behind to a viewing deck perched on top. There are mangroves to explore and a turtle haven for Hawksbill turtles. In the village,

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Destination Feature

there’s a reminder of the island’s very tangible history; the remains of a World War II bunker used by occupying Japanese forces. Other day trips include ruins from the Spanish and American eras, including Guisi Lighthouse, an eighteenth century Spanish lighthouse near the beautiful Guisi Beach and, back on Guimaras itself, the remains of the United States Army cantonment, Camp Jossman, once home to the 19th US Infantry Regiment and two battalions of Philippine Scouts. That evening, we find ourselves sharing the Coconut Pavilion restaurant with a group of missionaries. The food is excellent — a native dish called binakol, which is chicken simmered in coconut milk inside a coconut shell, slow-cooked over hot coals. Coconut is something of a theme on Inampulugan. Dessert is coconut ice-cream. After dinner, have a nightcap at the relaxed little bar on the beach. The weather remains temperamental so we have to abandon plans to visit Us-Usan Island, to the west of Inampulugan. Us-Usan is mysterious and enticing, a slither of land that’s said to be home to only one family, who live Crusoe-esque style near a dazzling white sand beach with a magnificent sandbar. The more you see, the more there remains to be seen, so I make a mental note to return. Another island on many island-hopping agenda in the area is Nauway, where you can buy fresh seafood from fishermen and have it cooked on the beach for lunch. Back on Guimaras, we’ve got a few hours to spare before heading back to Iloilo for our flight, so we visit Our Lady of the Philippines Trappist Abbey in Jordan, the bustling little island capital. The Abbey is the only male monastery in the Philippines. Established in 1972 by the Cistercian Order — whose emphasis is on manual labor and self-sufficiency, it’s also the source of ubiquitous Trappist brand products such as mango jam, mango tarts and everything-mango, making it a good place to pick up a pasalubong (small presents). Visitors of all sorts, from believers to curious tourists, drop by to get a photograph, send prayer requests, or have a chat with Brother Peter, who watches over the dispensary and welcomes guests. Details online: ■

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Horse riding in Costa Aguada

Brother Peter of Our Lady of the Philippines Abbey


Organic soap making

Our Lady of the Philippines Trappist Abbey

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Destination Feature

Raymen Beach Resort

Jannah-Glycel Beach House

essentials HOW TO GET THERE SEAIR ( flies daily from Manila to Iloilo City. From Iloilo City, you can take a taxi to Ortiz Wharf and then a local ferry across the Guimaras Strait to Jordan (Fare: P14, around 15 minutes). In Guimaras you can travel by rented van and boat.

San Isidro or Sabang. Rate: Non-airconditioned cottages start at $33; Air-conditioned cottages at $50. Manila Sales Office: +632/ 896 5422; 752 3688 Email: Web:

PLACES TO STAY • Nagarao Island Resort is about 10-15 minutes by small boat from San Isidro or Sabang. Rate: P2,100 (about US $49) per person per day (full board including three set meals, exclusive of drinks). There are 10 cottages all with private bathroom. Tel: +6333/ 329 0078 Mobile: +63918/ 908 0730 Email:

• Raymen Beach Resort in Alubihod, Nueva Valencia is a popular, affordable favorite on a lovely white-sand beach. It has 45 airconditioned rooms and 10 fan rooms. Rates: P1,350-P4,500 Tel: +6333/ 396 0252

• Costa Aguada Island Resort is on Inampulugan Island, off the eastern coast of Guimaras, about 20-30 minutes by boat from

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• Jannah-Glycel Beach House in Talisay, Nueva Valencia is homey, with a relaxing, garden setting. 10 air-conditioned rooms at the moment (18 by year-end) Rate: P1,800-P2,200 Tel: +6333/ 582 1003 Mobile: +63929/ 281 6498 Email:

map illustrati o n b y mark david see

City Guides

bacolod // Batanes // bor ac ay // Cebu // Clark // davao // el nido // iloilo puerto princesa // tacloban // Bangkok Hong kong // kota kinabalu // Singapore

Updated Every Issue

p40 Destination guides

p48 Airline guides

Apulit Island Resort, Taytay, Palawan

apulit island resort photo by jocas a. see

m a p i l lu s t r at i o n s by m a r lo n s e e

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InFlight City Guides

Bacolod jeepneys routes: Banago-Libertad, MandalaganLibertad, Bata-Libertad, Shopping-Libertad routes.


Where to eat


Country code: +63 Area code: 34 Currency: Philippine Peso (US $1 = about P43)

From the airport • Car Hire: Nyala Tours provide chauffeur driven sedans, SUVs and vans for daily rates starting at P1,800 for the first 10 hours. Tel: +6334/ 434 4589 • Taxi: Air-conditioned taxis can be found outside the aiport. • Jeepney: Jeepneys are common modes of transport within the city. There are four major

• Nena’s Beth at Manokan Country. Known for its grilled chicken known as inasal. Tel: +6334/ 433 8830 • Bascon Café. Quiet, elegant and serves moderately priced but delicious food. Traditional fares like callos, lengua estofado, steaks make up the menu. Tel: +6334/ 433 2011 • Jacopo’s. Serves Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Their dishes are for sharing. Try their pita bread with three dippings: baba ganush, hummus, and chili. Tel: +6334/ 707 2333

Where to stay

• L’Fisher Hotel is a landmark in Bacolod, has been servicing tourists for more than 20 years. After undergoing renovations in 2009, the interiors of the hotel showcase Negrense ingenuity with the use of locally produced furniture and fixtures. Tel: +6334/ 433 3731-39 • O Hotel has 53 fully-air-conditioned rooms and suites, all designed and furnished with warm and cold showers, safety deposit box, telephone, refrigerator, cable TV and WiFi internet access.

Tel: +6334/ 433 7401-04 • Check Inn Hotel Bacolod is located in the heart

of Bacolod City, right beside the Bacolod City Hall. It has 91 fully air-conditioned rooms with hot and cold shower, with a 24-hour stand by power generator. Rates range from P650 to P1,750. Majority of the guests prefer the rooftop rooms because of the scenic garden in the center of the area. Tel: +6334/ 432 3755 Things to do

• Visit Balay Negrense in Silay. It's a museumlike house showcasing the 19th century home of a sugar baron. It has a horse-carriage entrance at the back of the house and the rooms all have huge windows and doors. • Visit The Ruins and see how the rich sugar haciendero Don Mariano Lacson and his wife Maria Braga lived. A walk into the mansion will show the intricate designs that tell their love story and the wonderful life that the family has led back then. • Enjoy Mambukal Mountain Resorts where tourists can go boating, climb the seven waterfalls, or swim in the cold natural pool or their sulfur hot spring. There are also bats to see, red sulfuric mud you can put on your skin, and lots of Bacolod food to eat in their Ikea Cafe.

photo by oggie ramos

Batanes Owners and Drivers Association (BATODA) at +63906/ 697 0679 or +63929/ 703 8404. Rate within Basco proper is at P30. itbayat island

batan island

sabtang island

Country code: +63 Area code: 78 Currency: Philippine Peso (US $1 = about P43)

From the airport • Car Hire: For car and van rentals, contact Ivatanya c/o Batanes Cultural Travel Agency (BCTA). The hire costs P2,200 per day. For more information, call BCTA at +632 635 4810 or email • Tricycle: Tricycles can be found along Lizardo Street, Barangay Kayhuvukan in Basco. You can also call the 24-hour service of Basco Tricycle

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Where to eat • Hiro’s Café is a restaurant serving local staple food like beef stew, fish lumpia, and sandwiches. Located at 409 Abad St., Basco, Batanes • Honesty Coffee Shop is an unmanned storecafé operating on honesty-basis. You can grab coffee, cola, fried bananas, biscuits or anything you’d like from the store, and jot down your order on a notebook next to the box where you are to leave your payment. Radiwan, Ivana, Batanes • Bunker Café is steps away from the famous Basco Lighthouse. It opens at night for dinner and serves Ivatan dishes like uved balls, uved lunis and native fern salad. Tel: +63999/ 727 4789 Where to stay

• Batanes Resort is nestled atop a hill, facing the

South China Sea. A typical cottage here has two rooms with ensuite bathroom, airconditioning, and hot water. Rates are about P1,800 a night. Mobile: +63999/ 990 7554 • Batanes Seaside Lodge and Restaurant. This 15-room lodge is popular for celebrities. There is TV, free WiFi, aircon, and hot shower. Rates

The cliffs of Viang, just 20 minutes from the airport

start from P1,600. Mobile: +63921/ 229 0120 or +63999/ 994 2313 • Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge is a boutique hotel perched on top of a hill and has had good reviews. Rates start at P7,500, inclusive of set breakfast. ( Mobile: +63920/ 272 7836 • For more on places to stay in Batanes, visit www.

InFlight City Guides

Boracay Road with alleys leading to White Beach. Tricycle fare starts from P10. Chartered rates for tricycles range between P100 (from Cagban to Station 3) to P200 (from Cagban to Yapak). Tricycles also offer island tours for up to a group of four for P300 per hour. For more information, call the Boracay Land Transport Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BLTMPC) at +6336/ 288 3090 or 288 3271.

Country code: +63 Area code: 36 Currency: Philippine Peso (US $1 = about P43)

From the airport • You can fly to Boracay via Caticlan Airport and Kalibo Airport. From Caticlan, a shuttle bus takes you to the jetty port where you ride a boat to take you to Boracay Island in five to 10 minutes. From Kalibo, it’s another two-hour land travel to Caticlan jetty port on air-conditioned shuttle bus or coasters. • Tricycles: Tricycles can drop you off on Main

• Boracay Regency Beach Resort is a

Where to eat • Anzani is highly-rated restaurant that served affordables European food. Tel: +6332/ 232 7375 • CNT Lechon serves the best lechon or roast pig in Cebu City. Tel: +6332/ 254 4249 • Golden Cowrie for Filipino food and Cebuano dishes. Tel: +6332/ 238 1206

cebu island

Where to stay

mactan island

Country code: +63 Area code: 32 Currency: Philippine Peso (US $1 = about P43)

From the airport

• Car Hire: Call any of Cebu Trip Rent-a-Car's


• Cebu City Marriott Hotel features 301 rooms

and 23 suites equipped with aircon, cable TV, mini bar, high-speed internet access, and with luxurious beddings. Tel: +6332/ 411 5800 URL: • Marco Polo Plaza Cebu mixes Western comforts and Asian hospitality, comprised of 329 guest rooms (some with a view of the mountain or sea) and suites. Tel: +6332/ 253 1111 URL: • Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino has 561 rooms with two casino floors open 24 hours. 
 Tel: +6332/ 232 6888 URL:

24-hour numbers +6332/ 262 4697 or +63917/ 320 5688. Nightlife • Taxi: Metered taxis are lined up outside the MALAYSIA arrivals' terminal. Fares down town to the city • Marshall Irish Pub Bar and Restaurant serves proper are about P150. burgers and sandwiches as well as Filipino dishes

| december-january 2013 SINGAPORE


like caldereta and afritada. Also try its signature drinks greenttini, Irish Eyes and Leprechaun. Open Monday to Sunday 5pm to 1am. URL: www.; Tel: +6332/ 412 6418 • MO2 Restobar is a disco bar with KTV rooms that opened in 2011. Rental of KTV rooms start at P1,200. The menu ranges from burgers and sandwiches to Chinese noodles and pizzas. URL:; Tel: +63917/ 320 6262

photo by jocas a. see

Golden Cowrie

bantayan island


Where to stay

Mediterranean-style, 285-room property with excellent facilities and amenities. Tel: +6336/ 288 6111 to 17TARLAC • Punta Rosa Resort is a resort in a secluded Where to eat area in Station 1, with seven types of accommodation, each with its own verandah that • For a list of the best Boracay restaurants, read overlooks White Beach, en suite bathroom with our InFlight Guide to Boracay at Clark rain shower, and fixtures made of native materials, • Real Coffee is a good place for breakfast ideal for couples. Tel: +6336/ 288 6740 and a nice cup of coffee. Try their freshly baked brownies, banana walnut and calamansi muffins, • Discovery Shores Boracay has 88 spacious and oatmeal cookies. Tel: +6336/ 288 5340 guestrooms all exuding luxury, combining traditional fabrics and furniture with modern • If you’re into Moroccan cuisine, try Kasbah’s PAMPANGA amenities. Its two-level clubhouse has the resort's lamb tajine, a stew slow cooked in the traditional restaurant, bar, function room and spa. tajine, a glazed terra cotta casserole with a Tel: +6336/ 288 4500 funneled lid. Tel: +6336/ 288 4790 • Aria is best known for authentic Italian cuisine. Nightlife It’s a good place for pasta, salad and pizzas cooked from wood-fired oven. Tel: +6336/ 288 • Epic for celebrity spotting and some of the best 5573 parties on the island. Visit BATAAN • Zuzuni serves delectable Greek cuisine. Try their • The Sand Bar for watching fire dancers BULACAN and enjoying a drink by the beach. Visit www. moussaka or baked layers of eggplant with ground or call +6336/ 288 3161 beef and béchamel sauce, souvlaki or skewered


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meat, garides saganaki pasta and the Mati chocolate sin for dessert. Tel: +6336/ 288 4477

photo by erick liongoren

Clark Where to eat • Pampanga's capital, San Fernando, just 20 minutes from Clark, is home to Everybody's Cafe serving local dishes. • Angeles City is the birthplace of sisig (chopped grilled pork cheeks) and make sure you taste the original at Aling Lucing's. Call +6345/ 888 2317


Where to stay

• Mimosa Resort. Situated in a 175-hectare


Country code: +63 Area code: 45 Currency: Philippine Peso (US $1 = about P43)

From the airport • Car Hire: MLS VIP Rent A Car has daily rates from P800. Call +6345/ 892 6216 or +63918/ 906 7265. • Taxi: Taxi stands are located in the arrival halls of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) and the fare is metered. • Jeep: Public jeepneys areCHINA available outside the airport. Rates start at P8.50.


landscaped property, Mimosa offers both standard hotel rooms and villas. Rates start at P7,260 per night. Tel.: +6345/ 599 7000 • Wild Orchid Resort A property nestled along A. Santiago in Balibago, Angeles with 55 clean, fully-equipped airconditioned rooms, and in-house dining that serves good Filipino dishes. Rates start at P3,900 per night. Tel: +6345/ 892 0134 • Holiday Inn Clark. A local favorite, the Holiday Inn has air-conditioned rooms and WiFi. Private garden villas are also available for families and groups. Tel: +6345/ 599 8000 Things to do

• One of the activities in Clark is horseback riding at El Kabayo Riding Stables. • For P3,000, tourists can enjoy a dip at the Puning Hot Spring.

Aling Lucing's sisig

• Omni Aviation offers Mount Pinatubo Sky Tours overflying Mt. Pinatubo for P5,500 per

person in a four-seater Cessna 172 aircraft. Tel: +6345/ 892 6664 or 599 5524 • If you're a high-roller or just looking for some fun, the Clark area has several casinos including Casino Filipino Angeles, Casino Filipino Mimosa, Fontana Casino and Hotel Stotsenberg's Casablanca Casino. For more information, call the tourism office at +6345/ 599 3222

HONG KONG davao del norte

0445 or 234 1360 or 235 1784

cotabato davao city

south cotabato davao del sur

Where to eat • Jack's Ridge, located just across the Shrine Hills, serves delicious Filipino cuisine in a venue that overlooks the city. Tel: 6382/ 297 8830 to 31 • Harana offers great food at reasonable prices. Try their tuna panga or tuna belly. Tel: +6382/ 227 3937 or 227 5615 • Riverwalk Grill. Located right next to the famous Crocodile Park, Riverwalk Grill is for the adventurous eater, serving crocodile meat, ostrich meat and egg, and pangasius fish. Where to stay

Country code: +63 Area code: 82 Currency: Philippine Peso (US $1 = about P43)

• Mictrotel Inns & Suites Davao has fully fitted

double rooms and suites, all designed to for a comfortable stay. It's right in the Damosa Gateway Complex and IT Park, Davao’s major business and commercial hub, and about a 10 minute ride From the airport away from the airport. Mamay Road, Lanang, • Car Hire: Ecotrans Car Rentals provides point to Davao City. Tel: +632/ 899 7171. Visit www. point and charter service. Car hire are on per hour, per day, per week or pick-up and drop-off basis. Rates start from P500. • Pearl Farm Beach Resort lies in a secluded cove on Samal Island off the coast of Davao City. • Taxi: The simplest way to get around is by taxi. It's perfect for a romantic getaway, for diving Fares start from P40. A typical trip can cost about and snorkeling. This 11-hectare resort was once P70-P95. You can call Mabuhay Taxi directly to a pearl farm, thus the name. Kaputian, Island have a cab driver pick you up. Tel: +6382/ 233

Garden City of Samal. Tel: +6382/ 221 9970 • Eden Nature Park & Resort is a mountain resort

surrounded by lush forests and overlooks the city and the gulf. Great for camping, nature hiking, bird watching, and horseback riding. Matina Town Square McArthur Highway, Matina, Davao City. Tel: +6382/ 299 1020 or 296 0791

Things to do • Visit the Davao Crocodile Park, a breeding center for saltwater and freshwater crocodiles. Visit for schedules of crocodile shows • People's Park along Legazpi Street showcases a mini forest, interactive fountains, ponds and waterfalls, a durian dome, a shady and open plaza, a statue of a gigantic Philippine eagle and a fantasy-themed park with large sculptures made by Mindanaon artist Kublai Millan. • Davao Wildwater Adventure across Davao River. The three-and-a-half-hour wild water rafting starts from Barrio Tamugan in Calinan, and ends at the lowlands. Tel: +6382/ 221 7823 • The Xcelerator is the third longest zipline in Asia at 720m long, with the zipline suspended 200ft above ground. Choose to slide along the zipline either sitting down, superman style or the extreme inverted position. Tel: +6382/ 221 7823

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| InFlight | 43

InFlight City Guides

El Nido • Bus: Two bus companies operate regularly between Puerto Princessa and El Nido, stopping in Roxas and Taytay. Departures are daily at 5am, 6am, 7am, 8am both from El Nido and Puerto Princesa. Travel time is six to eight hours with a fare of P350 per person.

Country code: +63 Area code: 48 Currency: Philippine Peso (US $1 = about P43)

From the airport • El Nido Airport serves South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) and Island Transvoyager, Inc. (ITI). • Van Rental: From Puerto Princesa Airport, van company Fortwally Shuttle Service has daily shuttles to El Nido. Fare is P600 per head. Private tours range from P2,800 to P3,600, inclusive of food. Travel time takes about five hours.

Where to eat • Artcafe for freshly-baked pastries, pizza and pasta. They are known for their pancakes, fresh muesli and homemade yoghurt. Tel: +63917/ 560 4020. Visit • Vista Beach Resort in Corong-corong is known for their lemon pepper tuna or Cajun maya-maya. • An institution in itself, Balay Tubay on Real Street serves Filipino and European cuisine. Local musicians regularly perform. Where to stay

• For a private, luxurious experience, El Nido Resorts has premiere resorts on Lagen and

Miniloc Islands. Visit • Marina Garden Beach Resort at the center of El Nido town offers native-style cottages with basic facilities for budget travelers and concrete country villa rooms with air-con and hot showers. Visit or call

+63917/ 624 7722 or +63908/ 884 3711 Things to do

• Rock climbing & walking. The western side of El Nido town lies in the shadow of an impressive sheer cliff face which is just the visible portion of an even more impressive headland. There are organized walking treks to the top of the headland. • Bacuit Bay has islands with limestone cliffs, ideal for climbing, diving, and swimming. • Explore the island on foot. After a 14 kilometer ride from El Nido Town proper, you can go on a one-hour trek to Nagkalit-kalit Falls in the town of Pasadena. Five kilometers from the waterfalls is the undeveloped Makinit Hotspring, open only for sightseeing. Bulalakaw Falls in Villa Paz, 15 kilometers from El Nido town, is about a two hour hike. Seven kilometers from El Nido town proper is Ille Cave with its archaeological artifacts dating back 10,000 years. The waterfalls are best visited during the rainy season by tricycle. Fares from P600-P800. For more info on El Nido contact El Nido Tourism Office at +63917/ 841 7771 or email or

Iloilo Where to eat

• Tatoy’s Manokan & Seafood is the most

iloilo city

popular, and described by Philippines Travel Guide author Jens Peters as the best, native restaurant. Known for its native lechon manok, tourists and locals alike trek to the restaurant just to eat their tasty chicken. Sto. Nino Sur, Arevalo, Iloilo City • Breakthrough is a native-style restaurant popular among visitors and locals for its fresh and affordable seafood. Tel: +6333/ 337 3027 • Ted’s Oldtimer La Paz Batchoy serves diners the original La Paz batchoy. Tel: +6333/ 320 1945 Where to stay

Country code: +63 Area code: 33 Currency: Philippine Peso (US $1 = about P43)

From the airport

• Car hire: Bench Transport offers a wide

selection of newest models of sedans, AUVs/ SUVs, and vans, with rates starting from P2,200, inclusive of driver and fuel. Tel: +6333/ 336 6190 • Taxi: Taxis are found at a terminal outside the airport. Flagdown rate is P40 for the first 500m, with P3.50 surcharge thereafter.

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| december-january 2013

• Eon Centennial Plaza Hotel has 41 rooms that are fully air-conditioned and have private toilet and bath with shower and tub, cable television, and mini-bar. They’re also furnished with a coffee/ tea maker, hair dryer, and daily newspaper. Tel:+6333/ 337 2277 • Sarabia Manor Hotel is 40 minutes away from the Iloilo Airport and 15 minutes away from the seaports. It has 187 fully air-conditioned spacious rooms equipped with high-speed internet access, satellite and cable television, a working desk, personal refrigerator and complete bathroom amenities. Tel: +6333/ 335 1021 to 27

• MO2 Westown Hotel offers a range of stylish designed rooms which are fully equipped with modern facilities and amenities. Each of the 90 rooms has flat panel television, high-speed LAN internet access, electronic safe, fully stocked miniref, down comforters, cotton pillows, and hot and cold showers. Tel: +6333/ 508 3838

Things to do

• Hunt for authentic antiques at the different

antique shops in Iloilo. There are various collections of Philippine colonial sculptures, wood, stone, and ivory saints, Chinese porcelain wares and other artifacts at reasonable prices. • Take home famous delicacies like pinasugbo (banana brittle), barquillos (local wafer), and biscocho (buttered toasted bread) from Jaro district. Try Panaderia de Molo and Biscocho Haus. • Watch women weavers as they make delicate

jusi, piña and hablon fabrics of elegant designs. Buy finished products at Sinamay Dealer near Arevalo Plaza.

Puerto Princesa standard routes. The fare around the city starts at P8 per person. Where to eat

• Kinabuch’s Bar & Grill serves grilled squid,

puerto princesa city


Country code: +63 Area code: 48 Currency: Philippine Peso (US $1 = about P43)

From the airport • Car Hire: Ellen’s Travel and Tours offers van rentals in Puerto Princesa City. A three-hour city tour costs P600. Call +6348/ 434 7052 • Jeep: Available 24 hours and covers most of the city. The usual cost for a jeepney ride is P8 for the first three kilometers. • Multicabs: Multicabs and tricycles have


grilled blue marlin steak, baked mussels, and the local delicacy tamilok, a wood worm. Tel: +6348/ 434 5194 • KaLui serves only seafood and vegetables and the menu varies according to the catch of the day. There’s also a vegetarian option. Tel: +6348/ 433 2580 • La Terrasse has a delicatessen offering organic produce, homemade by local entrepreneurs. For sale are dried fish called dilis, bread, chorizo, smoked bacon, yoghurt, cheese and vegetables. Tel: +6348/ 434 1787 Where to stay

• Marina de Bay, located 20 minutes from

Puerto Princesa Airport, has 18 air-conditioned villas surrounded by mangroves and landscaped gardens. Each room has a balcony with a view of the Puerto Princesa Bay. Tel: +6348/ 723 1754 • Sheridan Beach Resort and Spa has 94 spacious guest rooms and suites; all are tastefully furnished and decorated in a contemporary Asian style with local touches. Tel: +6348/ 434 1449

• Jeepney: Jeepneys can be found outside the arrivals terminal in Tacloban City. Fares start at P8. tacloban city


Country code: +63 Area code: 53 Currency: Philippine Peso (US $1 = about P43)

From the airport • Car Hire: Duptours Shuttle Service offers vans for rent per day starting at P5,500. Tel: +6353/ 523 8107 • Havens Rent-A-Car is the first and only selfdrive car rental in Tacloban City. On the menu are sedans, auv-suv-type vehicles and a Starex van. Rates start from P2,500 for a 24-hour use of sedans. Tel: +6353/ 523 0765, 321 0846

Where to eat

• Ocho Seafood Grill for seafood. Pick your seafood of choice and have it cooked the way you want it done. Its bestsellers are baked scallop, porbidang kangkong, an Ilongo dish cooked in coconut milk, and sarad (a seashell variant cooked in soysauce and vinegar). Tel: +6353/ 3254171, Located at Sen. Enage Street. Visit • Sunzibar serves Mexican meals and is famous for their nachos salad and rum ribs. Tel: +6353/ 5234565. Located at Burgos Street • Rafael Farm is a restaurant and a park, about 11km away from the famous Philippine landmark San Juanico Bridge. Specializing in native food, this restaurant serves lechon kawali, native tinolang manok, and fish kinilaw. Tel: +6353/ 325 0729

Where to stay

• Hotel Alejandro is a five-storey structure having

a total of four executive suites, 25 standard rooms and 33 deluxe rooms. The fifth level is the roof deck where parties are mostly held as it can accommodate up to 200 persons. Tel: +6353/ 321 7033 • Welcome Home Pensione has 28 guest

• Balay Inato Pension, a three-year old guesthouse near the airport with 14 fully airconditioned rooms, equipped with cable TV, intercom, hot and cold shower, and private lanai. Also offers free Wi-Fi. Tel: +6348/ 433 8595

Things to do

• Underground river tour. Book at least two

weeks in advance to be assured of a place in the tour. URL: • Visit The Gypsy’s Lair. Apart from being home to local artists and musicians, the lively café features an eclectic menu consisting of Filipino, Asian, Spanish and Western cooking. Located at Mercado de San Miguel • Honda Bay island tour. The tour offers white sand and blue seas on any number of small islands in the bay. Average cost P1,100 per person, inclusive of transfers, lunch, and entrance fees to some of the islands

rooms that can accommodate from one to seven persons per room. It offers a range of affordable budget, standard and suite rooms when staying in Tacloban. Free internet access is available at their cottage and lounge areas. Tel: 6353/ 321 2739 • Leyte Park Resort Hotel was built by former First Lady Imelda Marcos in 1979 and is now a major tourism and convention complex with its six-hectare parkland nestled on a hill overlooking beautiful San Pedro Bay. Tel: +6353/ 325 6000 Things to do

• Sto. Niño Church. Considered the main church

in Tacloban City, this house of prayer is home of the Señor Santo Niño that believed to be miraculous. • San Juanico Bridge, about 15 minutes away north of Tacloban City, is a 2.16-kilometer long S-shaped span connecting the islands of Leyte and Samar. • Inzomnia Bar is a big nightlife hotspot in Tacloban, where parties are being held nightly. Featuring the newest hip music with the club DJs, good food and drinks at reasonable prices. Tel:+6353/ 321 1588 • A visit to the Sto. Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum will give you an idea how the Marcos clan lived. A guided tour for up to five persons costs P200.

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InFlight City Guides

Bangkok Where to eat

• Bed Supperclub is Bangkok's trendiest address

Country code: +66 Currency: Thai Baht (US $.032 = THB 1)

with its contemporary, all-white, tubular design, serving modern Asian cuisine. Try the roast duck and mushroom risotto with foie gras cream and dried shallots, and the BSC Burger, wagyu beef, gorgonzola, smoked bacon and hand cut fries. 26 Soi Sukhumvit 11, Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoeynua, Wattana. Tel: +66/ 2651 3537 • Hidden in Talaat Mai in "Trok Itsaranuphap" is Hong Kong Noodles, famous for its wheat-andegg noodle soups. Come for breakfast or lunch, but prepare to wait for a seat. 136 Trok Itsaranuphap, Th Charoen Krung • You'll find Thai and Chinese street food at Soi 38 Night Market. Try the famous flame-fried phat thai and divine mango sticky rice. Soi 38, Th Sukhumvit

From the airport • Bangkok Skytrain: Bangkok Skytrain (BTS) operates from 6am to 12mn everyday with two main lines – Sukhumwit and Silom lines. The fare ranges from 15 to 40 Thai Baht (THB 15-40). • Taxi: Finding a taxi is not a hassle, especially around hotels, shopping malls and other tourist attractions. The fare starts at THB 35 for the first two kilometers, and THB 2 per kilometer thereafter.

Where to stay • Wendy House is a good-value budget choice. A brightly colored coffee shop and reception greet visitors. There's internet, laundry and business services. 36/2 Soi Kasemson 1, Rama1 Road, Patumwan. Tel: +66/ 2214 1149 or +66/ 2214 1150 • The Sukhothai is surrounded by lush, tropical gardens and decorative pools, close to shopping, entertainment and historical sites, and the Suvarnabhumi Airport. The hotel features 210

thailand bangkok



contemporary Thai guestrooms, three restaurants, a swimming pool, health club and spa. 13/3 South Sathorn Road Tel: +66/ 2344 8888 • The Peninsula Hotel has 370 guestrooms and 60 one-bedroom suites, each with state-of-the-art electronic system for access to features at the touch of a button, modcons, luxurious furniture, bespoke accessories, and a large balcony that overlooks the city and Chao Pharya River. 333 Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan. Tel: +66/ 2861 2888 Shopping

• Chatuchak Weekend Market is where to go

for antique pieces, beautiful plants, hand-woven textiles and ceramics. Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, Chatuchak • Flower Market is one of the most interesting places in Bangkok. You can fill up an entire car with orchids and spend only $6 maximum. Chak Phet Street, Bangkok • Gem shops are ubiquitous in Bangkok – and many of them will rip you off. David Glickman at Lambert Holding Co. offers a cash-back guarantee with no time limit; if you change your mind about a purchase, you can return it, no questions asked. 807 Silom Road. Tel: +66/ 2236 4349

Hong Kong china

hong kong

Country code: +852 Currency: HK Dollar (US $1 = HKD 8)

From the airport • Train: The MTR (Mass Transit Railway)-operated Airport Expresscan get you to Kowloon in just 21 minutes and Hong Kong Island in 24 minutes. It also operates a complimentary shuttle bus service from the stations to most major hotels. The platform is located within the terminal building, connected to the Arrivals Hall, and is clearly signed. Return fare is HKD 160 (Kowloon) or HKD 180 (Hong Kong). It is also possible to purchase

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MACAU | december-january 2013

tickets that include unlimited use of the MTR for three days, which are very good value for money. • Taxi: Upon arrival, make your way to the Taxi Station via the left-hand ramp outside the Arrivals Hall. Taxis are color-coded but red taxis will travel to most areas, including Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula. An approximate taxi fare to Central is HKD 290 and to Tsim Sha Tsui is HKD 230. Where to eat • Yung Kee is a local favorite and has been awarded a Michelin star in 2010. Famous are its roast meats, especially the goose, seafood and dim sum. Address: 32-40 Wellington St., Central Tel: +852/ 2522 1624 • Ajisen Ramen serves affordable and satisfying noodle soup and curries and bento boxes served in a traditional Japanese setting, with over 30 outlets across Hong Kong. Address: Shop 5, 4/F, Langham Place, 8 Argyle St., Mong Kok, Kowloon Tel: +852/ 3514 4396 Where to stay

• Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. Located in

Central near the major business landmarks that’s an ideal place to stay if visiting for shopping. With 501 guestrooms, 71 of which are suites. Select

rooms and suites overlook Victoria Harbour and the surrounding cityscape. Operates 10 restaurants and bars, including the Michelinstarred Pierre and the three-storey Mandarin Spa. Rates start from HKD 4,100. Address: 5 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong Tel: +852/ 2522 0111 URL: • The Peninsula Hong Kong. Hong Kong's grand old dame that features rooms with high ceilings and classical proportions, all spelling luxury. Rates start from HKD 5,580. Tel: +852/ 2920 2888 Visit • Park Lane Hong Kong offers 805 fully equipped guestrooms and suites with the view of the famed Victoria Harbour and Park ideal for business and leisure travellers alike. Rates start from HKD 2,470. Tel: +852/ 2293 8888 URL: • W Hong Kong has 393 rooms and specialty suites featuring interesting infusions of wood, fire, earth, metal and water and modcons in each room. Rates start from HKD 3,300. Address: 1 Austin Road West Kowloon Station Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Tel: +852 3717 2222 URL:

Kota Kinabalu RM 160 for a whole day’s use if traveling within Kota Kinabalu. Call Kinabalu Heritage Tours & Car Rental at +6088/ 318 311. kota kinabalu

Where to eat • @mosphere Restaurant (Tel: +6088/ 425 100) for its oven-roasted Australian beef tenderloin and a selection of sorbets and ice-creams for dessert. • First Beach Café (Tel: +6088/ 268 546) serves Borneo favorites like curries, noodles and a Sabah sushi called hinava.

mt. kinabalu

• Kampong Nelayan Seafood Restaurant macau

Country code: +6088 Currency: Malaysian Ringgit (US $1 = RM 3)

From the airport • Taxi: A taxi costs around RM 25, and takes only 10 minutes to the city center, situated eight kilometers away. • Bus: There is a minibus terminal outside the airport that can take you to the city center. The bus costs RM 1.50. • Car rental: A car for hire, excluding driver, costs

balconies with views of the Pantai Dalit Beach. Room rates start at RM 640 per night. Call +6088/ 792 888 • Novotel Borneo is a four-star hotel with 263 rooms and suites, each with LCD satellite TV, internet access, in-room safe, coffee and tea making facilities and a flexible workplace. Rates start at RM 260 per night. Call +6088/ 529 888 Kinabalu Heritage Tours For a wide range of travel and tour packages, call +6088/ 318 311

(Tel: +6088/ 23 003) for its prawn dish, Sabah vegetable with garlic, ostrich meat with spring onions and ginger and steamed saltwater grouper in sauce. Where to stay

• The Jesselton Hotel is a 32-room hotel with

a colonial house feel. It has a cozy lounge, and a restaurant that serves international and Asian cuisine. Room rates start at RM 191 per night. Call +6088/ 223 333 • Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort is a five-star hotel with 420 guestrooms in soft earth tones and intricate panel carvings. All ground floor rooms have private lanais while upper rooms have private

Novotel Borneo

Singapore and SG$ 1.20. Buy a copy of TransitLink Guide available at most bookstores for a comprehensive guide on bus time-tables, routes and fares, sold at SG$ 1.50. • Taxi: A taxi stand is located outside the departure hall of the airport. A taxi from the airport to the city has a SG$ 3 surcharge but there is no surcharge when you travel from city to the airport. A trip from Changi airport to the city costs about SG$ 13, excluding surcharge. New Majestic Hotel

Where to eat

Country code: +65 Currency: SG Dollar (US $1 = about 1.30 SGD)

• 49 Katong Laksa. For authentic Peranakan specialty Laksa. Tel: +65/ 6344 5101 • Jumbo Seafood. Known for its black pepper beef short ribs, sweet and sour prawns, and Yangshou fried rice. Tel: +65/ 6442 3435

From the airport Getting around Singapore on foot is a pleasant and hassle-free way of seeing the center of the city, but when you want to venture slightly farther or dart between different districts, then a bus or train is the fastest and most economical option. • Car Hire: San’s Tours and Car Rentals charges daily rates between SGD$ 90 per day for a minimum of five days. Call +65/ 6734 9922. • Bus: A trip will cost you between 60 cents

Where to stay • The Scarlet Hotel Singapore is an 80-room “lavish” hotel set in a four hectare property at the center of Singapore, close to the Thian Hock Keng Temple, Sri Mariamman Temple, and Raffles Place. It’s designed in modern Moulin Rouge style. Room rates start from SG$ 235. Tel: +65/ 6511 3333 URL: • New Majestic Hotel offers 30 exclusive and

unique rooms that incorporate the 1920's style with being state of the art, with modern luxurious amenities. Rates start at SG$ 268. Address: 31-37 Bukit Pasoh Road, Chinatown Tel: +65/ 6511 4700 URL: • Wanderlust is a left-field and totally experimental boutique hotel set to draw madcap voyagers and curious travellers to its doorstep. Located in Little India, the hotel has four thematic levels with 29 rooms created by award winning Singapore designers. Rates start at SG$ 219. Address: 2 Dickson Road
 Tel: +65/ 6396 3322 URL:

december-january 2013

| InFlight | 47

AirlineGuide Airbus 319

Dornier 228

South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR)

Island Transvoyager (ITI)

Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAIR) is the second oldest airline in the Philippines. SEAIR was founded in 1995 by Capt. Iren Dornier, Capt. Nikos Gitsis, and Tomas Lopez, starting operations from Manila to Rodriguez and Busuanga, Palawan. In 1996, it started the Caticlan route, servicing Boracay bound passengers. SEAIR now flies to domestic destinations such as Kalibo (Boracay), as well as to international routes Singapore, Hong Kong, Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia and Bangkok in Thailand. In August, SEAIR will start direct flights from Manila to Cebu, Davao, Kalibo, Tacloban (Leyte), Puerto Princesa (Palawan), Iloilo and Bacolod.

Island Transvoyager, Inc. (ITI) is the airline that operates to prime tourist destinations El Nido and Taytay, both in Palawan, offering as much as daily flights from Manila. ITI is the official carrier of the upmarket El Nido Resorts that operates three resorts in El Nido and one in Taytay. Both El Nido and Taytay are known for having stunning limestone cliffs, white sandy beaches, and highly diverse eco systems. ITI is also engaged in air taxi services and air charter operations using the 19-seater Dornier 228-212 aircraft. It is committed to protecting the environment and conserving the natural resources and beauty of El Nido, and is the first airline to establish a program to offset carbon emissions in 2008.

Destinations • Bacolod • Cebu • Clark • Davao • Iloilo • Kalibo (Boracay) • Manila

• Puerto Princesa • Tacloban • Bangkok (Thailand) • Hong Kong • Kota Kinabalu (Sabah, Malaysia) • Singapore

Fleet • 4 Dornier 328 • 1 LET 410 UVP-E • 2 Airbus A-319 • 3 Airbus A-320

Booking and Ticketing • Book online at or • Makati: Unit 202 La O' Center Building, 1000 Arnaiz Avenue (formerly Pasay Road) corner Makati Avenue, Makati City Tel: +632/ 849 0100 • Cebu: SEAIR Cebu Office, YMCA Building, Jones Avenue, Cebu City Tel: +6332/ 341 4879 • Clark: Unit 166, SM City CSEZ, Clarkfield, Pampanga Tel: +6343/ 499 0258-59 • All airport destinations


| InFlight | december-january 2013

Destinations • El Nido (Palawan) • Taytay (Palawan)

Fleet • 3 Dornier 228

Booking and Ticketing • ITI Hangar No. 5-03-127, Andrews Avenue (near PAL Medical Center), Domestic Airport, Pasay City Tel: +632/ 851 5664, 851 5674 Email: URL:






SEAIR International Route Map










Kalibo AKLAN









SEAIR low cost flights from Manila ITI flights











El Nido



PALAWAN Puerto Princesa






december-january 2013

| InFlight | 49

inflight promotions

El Nido Resorts is One of Asia’s Top Eco Resorts El Nido Resorts in Palawan has been cited as one of Asia’s Top Eco Resorts in the Green issue of Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia October edition. The travel magazine also described the resort as one of “Our 20 Favorite Green Hotels,” for being “active in both reef and island conservation, helping to protect giant-clam gardens, and supporting the reintroduction of endangered Philippine cockatoos.” El Nido Resorts include eco-luxury resorts Apulit Island, Miniloc Island, Lagen Island and the newly opened Pangulasian Island. El Nido Resorts' environmental team guarantees that each island adheres to the highest standards of ecological conservation. The resorts’ other environmental projects involve rainwater harvesting, use of solar panels, and organic farming. Visit

The Farm at San Benito Celebrates its 10th year The Farm at San Benito in Lipa, Batangas is celebrating its 10th year this year with special anniversary rates, and the launch of 10 new deluxe pool villas. Save 20 percent off in their two-night wellness and golf holiday rates, 25 percent off in their four-night Detox Cleanse package, and 30 percent off in the specialized six-night healing retreats. The prestigious SENSES Wellness Awards in Berlin, Germany awarded The Farm as the “Best Medical Wellness Resort”. Visit

Sofitel’s Spiral Reopens with 21 Dining Ateliers Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel’s soft opening of the newly-renovated Spiral last October 30 opened a new dining concept of having 21 different dining experiences in one go. Diners get to see for themselves the craftsmanship behind the dishes served with the restaurant’s more daring open-kitchen setups. Nine hired professional chefs are the artisans behind the 21 dining ateliers of Spiral namely the Salad and Appetizer, L’Ecailler, Sushi Sashimi, L’Epicerie, Japanese dishes, French Stove, Rotisserie, Wood fired Oven, Churrasco, Pecking Duck Oven, Steam Baskets, Chinese Wok, Asian Noodles, North Indian, Filipino, Thai, Korean, La Bulangerie, La Patisserie, and Chocolateire and Creamery. The rebirth of Spiral cost about P500 million. Japan’s Design Studio Spin designed the restaurant interiors; Filipino fashion designer Rajo Laurel designed the uniforms of the staff; while the 21-foot sculpture of National Artist Eduardo Castrillo that has been a Spiral signature is kept standing at its commanding post behind the spiral staircase. The refreshed main dining floor can accommodate 452 people at a time, and there are six private dining rooms for intimate groups. Sofitel has also invested about P210 million for its protection against strong typhoons. Among the efforts is to improve the sea wall that separates the hotel property from Manila Bay, which is targeted to complete in January. The Spiral is located at Sofitel Philippine Plaza, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. Call +632/ 551 5555 for more details or visit www.

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| december-january 2013

InFlight December-January 2013  

Good Times in the Philippines

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