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d R s n AI he lu a ts SE unc ba igh a l La Kin o F ta alib Ko K

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Top Honeymoon Hotspots

Our pick of tropical islands and resorts for loved up couples

f ebrua ry-m a rc h 201 2

A Wedding Planner Tells All Teena Barretto on the A to Z of planning your big day Diving in Style Around Visayas in a luxury liveaboard Me and My Travels Columnist Isabel Roces


A 20-page Supplement


At Sofitel Philippine Plaza, every luxury is at your disposal to ensure that gatherings are extra special and that joyful moments are forever remembered. Inspiration is the ultimate luxury at Sofitel as your environment is meticulously planned to create occasions that delight. Whether you plan to marry, host parties of any size or hold meetings, big or small, every event is always inspired at Sofitel. For bookings and inquiries, call (551.5555 ext. 6940 and 832.6999, or email at

Inside i n fl igh t | februa ry-m a rc h | 2012



04 e ditor’s note 06 in the news SEAIR launches Kota Kinabalu and Kalibo flights, Azalea Resorts opens in Baguio, and hot hotel news and events 08 Cale ndar What not to miss in March 10 In My Bag Yuchenco Museum curator Jeannie Javelosa on holidays in Bacolod and what goes in her travel bag



12 In Room Resort review: Boracay Garden Resort Resort Hotel feature: Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila’s Club Millesime 16 In Pe rson Me and my travels: Isabel Roces, columnist 18 Diving in Style Don’t rough it out. Book a luxury dive yacht with five-star chefs to boot. Gutsy Tuason climbs aboard 28 cove r s tory: Top Honeymoon Hotspots Our pick of tropical hideaways, self-catering villas, and luxury hotels for loved up couples


36 inside r’s guide : A Wedding Planner Tells All Hot showbiz wedding planner Teena Barretto lets us in on her world of weddings and what every couple should know

Cover credits: Photo by Jeffrey Sonora Art direction by Jocas See Styling by Vanessa Johnson for Monsters Production Hair and makeup by Rocky Orejola Modeling by Nica Balaoro and Jhune Arienda, On models: strapless sweetheart gown by Veejay Floresca; beige linen suit by Frederick Peralta Location: Misibis Bay, Cagraray Island, Albay

55 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


A 20-page Supplement Page 44

february-march 2012

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editor’s note

People. Places. Adventures.


this issue, InFlight managing editor Monica De Leon and staff writer Margarita Francisco give you their pick of top honeymoon hotspots, from tropical islands to posh resorts. The choices range from a secluded three-hectare island fringed by one of the most immaculate white beaches in the country, at one end of the scale, to a helicopter ride over Hong Kong enroute to a pampering stay in a lavish suite at the Peninsula Hotel, at the other. Elsewhere, hotshot showbiz wedding planner Teena Barretto opens up to InFlight about the A to Z of planning a wedding, including her pick of top wedding destinations and party suppliers in the country. Barretto has organized weddings of local celebrities and socialites with budgets of anywhere from P400,000 to P2 million. For a fee of P45,000 upwards, even those on a smaller budget can call her in. On page 18, underwater photographer Gutsy Tuason climbs aboard the Philippine Siren, a diveboat he describes as “possibly one of the most luxurious liveaboards operating in the country today”. Gutsy’s life at sea meant al fresco meals prepared by five-star chefs, and served in the dining area at the stern of the boat, dives in top underwater sites in Southern Visayas, and nights spent in an airconditioned cabin equipped with an entertainment system and personal computer for surfing and viewing photos taken during dives. Not a bad way to make a living. And just when we think the trip can’t get any better, Gutsy encounters a whale shark on his last day and gets the rare chance to swim with the gentle giant. All this, plus travel and hotel news in and around the region. Click for our online edition. giselle javison Editor, InFlight

e di t o r ial

executive Editor Editor-In-Chief managing EDITOR Art Director Writer

C o n t r ib u t ing p h o t o g r ap h e r s

Ferdz Decena, Joel Garcia, Ken Go, Dan Harvey, Oggie Ramos, Jeffrey Sonora, Daniel Soriano, Steve Tirona, Gutsy Tuason C o n t r ib u t ing w r i t e r s

Lei Chavez, Freida Dario, Ferdz Decena, Catherine Kirchhoff, Jan Lao, Oggie Ramos, Ces Rodriguez, Mari-an Santos, Gutsy Tuason

A d v e r t ising S al e s and M a r k e t ing

Margie Defensor Kathleen Joy Parayno Ad traffic & circulation assistant Kris Diane Sario media representative Joyce Ann Moros Sales and marketing director account executive

P u blis h ing

publisher Publishing director


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B o a r d o f A d v is e r s

Seair chairman Publishing director Editorial director Director General manager Legal counsel

Iren Dornier Nikos Gitsis Giselle Javison Delza Apostol Monica De Leon Atty. Celina Cua


Editorial: +632/ 553 7976; Email:; Press releases: Advertising: +632/ 553 7978; Email: Subscription and Archive: Email: p h ilippin e C o p y r ig h t © 2 0 1 2

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View of Mt. Kinabalu in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

SEAIR to Launch Low Cost Flights to Kota Kinabalu and Kalibo South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR), in partnership with low cost Airline Tiger Airways, will launch flights to Kota Kinabalu and Kalibo from Clark on May 1 this year, using the 144-seater Airbus 319. SEAIR will fly Clark to Kota Kinabalu every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 3:05pm, with Kota Kinabalu to Clark flights scheduled at 5:35pm. Starting May 4, SEAIR will start flights from Clark to Kalibo, Aklan at 12:15pm every Friday and Sunday, with a return flight scheduled at 2pm. One way fare to Kota Kinabalu will start



| february-march 2012

at P999 (about US $23), while to Kalibo, P849, for the travel period from May 1 to December 31 2012. Flights will be onboard the 144-steater Airbus 319. Kota Kinabalu is the airline’s fifth international destination, in addition to Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau and Bangkok. Kalibo is considered a major gateway to Boracay Island, located an hour and 30 minutes’ drive from Caticlan jetty port, the jump off point to Boracay. The SEAIR-Tiger Airways Partner Airline Programme allows SEAIR to distribute its seats

through Tiger Airways’ established internet booking system ( SEAIR, the first Tiger Airways Partner Airline in the Asia Pacific region, is also the Philippines’ second oldest airline, and the first airline to be based in Clark. It has pioneered commercial flights to the country’s fastest growing tourist destinations including Boracay, Batanes and northern Palawan. ■ For more information, visit Passengers can also log on to to book seats.

p h o t o b y w ac k y g o c h o c o

R ep o r t b y M ar g i e F ra n c i sc o


R ep o r t b y M ar g i e F ra n c i sc o

Cocoon Boutique Hotel: Our Green Choice Suite bedroom

Newly opened Cocoon Boutique Hotel, located in Timog, Quezon City, is serious about being green. The 40-room hotel was built using natural and recycled materials, including

architectural salvaged ipil, yakal and tindalo, wood, and warm cast concrete. The suites are adorned with intricate fretwork from old homes, and makes ample use of recycled wood, inverter-type air-conditioners that use less electricity and are less damaging to the ozone layer, LED televisions, and a thermoelectric refrigerator. An air-to-air exchanger system brings in fresh cool air from the roofdeck into the acoustically-panelled hallways, doing away with the need for air-conditioning. ■ Cocoon Boutique Hotel is at 61 Scout Tobias corner Scout Rallos Streets, Brgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City. Call: +632/ 998 3117 or 921 2706-08 for bookings and inquiries.

Azalea Resorts & Residences Opens In Baguio Azalea Residences Baguio, a 99-room hotel at Leonard Wood Loop, five minutes from Session Road, opened last December 3, 2011. The hotel has 99 suite rooms, including one- to three-bedroom suites each with a living area with a sofa bed and flat-screen cable TV, bedrooms with queen size beds and toilet and bath with hot and cold shower, and a dining and kitchen area. ■ For hotel reservations or inquiries, email at or call at +632/ 579 4894 or 579 4890 or visit www.azalea.

Tourism’s New Slogan:

The Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT) new tourism slogan, “It’s more fun in the Philippines”, according to Tourism secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr., “seeks to highlight all the best that the country has to offer...” During the launch of the slogan in January, Jimenez said, “Our strategy is simple: while other countries invite you to observe, Filipinos can promise a more heartfelt and interesting experience. Wherever you go, whatever you do in the country, it’s the Filipinos that will complete your vacation and will make your holiday unforgettable.” ■ Visit



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Deluxe room

Object of Desire Seattle-based sex-toy company Revel Body is causing quite a stir after patenting a technology inspired by the popular Sonicare electric toothbrush, and applying it to the “Orb”, a new-age vibrator. The company says the orb has a “broader range of vibration and enables better control and satisfaction.” The orb has been the focus of much internet discussion. Some people were so inspired that they’ve apparently taken to viewing and using their electric toothbrush in a new way. ■


W ha t n o t t o m i s s i n ma r ch


Jekyll and Hyde

16 to 18

In The Heights: A Repeat

30 to 31

Hanson Shout It Out Tour

Repertory Philippines will hold daily performances of Jekyll and Hyde, an evocative tale of the epic battle between good and evil based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story of a late 19th century brilliant doctor in London whose experiments with human personality create a murderous counterpart. The play, which will run from March 16 to April 15, features Michael Williams and Jet Pangan alternately playing Jekyll and Hyde, Kalila Aguiluz as Lucy and Cris Villonco as Emma. Directed by Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo. Onstage, Greenbelt 1, Makati. For tickets, call +632/ 571 6926.

After a successful run last year, Atlantis Productions’ upbeat musical In The Heights is back on stage on March 16 to 18. In The Heights revolves around the lives of New York City DominicanAmericans in the neighborhood of Washington Heights. The hopes, dreams, budding romances and conflicts of the Hispanic characters intertwine in the colorful showcase of hip-hop, salsa, merengue and soul music. Starring Nyoy Volante as Unsavi, K-La Rivera as Nina, and Jackie Lou Blanco as Camila. Directed by Bobby Garcia and Chari Arespacochaga. Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium at RCBC Plaza, Makati City. Call Ticketworld for tickets.

After a five-year touring hiatus from different parts of the globe, pop-rock trio Hanson announces additional shows in the Philippines beginning March 30 in Manila and 31 in Cebu. Shout It Out World Tour aims to promote their fifth studio album “Shout It Out”. The trio will sing songs from the album like “Give A Little” and “Thinking ‘Bout Somethin’” as well as highlights from their earlier four albums that include eight top 40 singles in the UK and Latin America. Call TicketNet +632/ 911 5555.



In My Bag

Southern Retreat

Yuchengco Museum curator Jeannie Javelosa takes a break in Bacolod for family time and comfort food Interview by Margie Francisco P r o d u c t s h ot s b y da n h a r v e y y u s ay

“My favorite destination is my old home town of Bacolod in Negros Occidental. I was there in December last year during the Organic Trade Fair Festival. I stayed at my parent’s house. It’s really spending time with family and the local food that I look forward to on my visits. I always go for the original chicken inasal [Manukan Country is home to the original chicken inasal or grilled chicken, the Ilonggo Way]. Bob’s (Tel: +6334/ 434 2409) for their batchoy soup and chicken babe. A restaurant called 21 Food Corner (21st Lacson Street) serves old time favorite native and seafood dishes. Their crablets and sinigang soup are just delicious! My parents’ house in Sta. Clara Subdivision is a one-storey house with screen doors, open spaces, and big windows that let natural light come in. The big garden is filled with santan, gumamela, and orchids my mom grows. There’s a small vegetable plot at the back of the garden, planted with local vegetables — alugbati, malunggay, and sayote that we use for our own cooking. When at home, I usually cook healthy meals of organic veggies, roast chicken or broiled fish or veggie pasta. If I cook Filipino food, it’s usually soups and broiled dishes, not much fried.“ Things I take when I travel: 1 Apple iPad (about P19,300) 2 Ballet flat slip-ons (P4,200) 3 Samsonite travel roll-on bag (P2,234) 4 Manduka super-light travel yoga mat (P2,150) 5 Clarins facial cleanser (P1,550); ECHOstore Body Basics grapefruit shampoo (P155) and conditioner (P155); Travel organic eye moisturizer (P130); small organic roll on perfume (P440) 6 Shawl and blanket (each from P6,750)


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Turn to

Page 64 for store contact info

For more ideas on travel gear and essentials, visit

INRoom Hotels and resorts

Boracay Garden Resort Margie Francisco checks out the 200-room beachfront resort and gives her verdict


IRST IMPRESSIONS. The 200room Boracay Garden Resort has a beachfront entrance that leads straight to a 1.5 hectare open space with three swimming pools, landscaped gardens, cabanas, and a poolside bar via a tunnel-like pathway. The rooms that face the pool have a small balcony, separated from the next door guest room balcony by a planter so it could get rather social. Although parts of the resort are still under renovation, noise has not been a problem.

Family room

galantine, lengua estofado, and buffalo baby back ribs. WE LIKE. The quiet and relaxing atmosphere. Though not at the top end of the luxury scale like its sister resorts Boracay Regency and Regency Lagoon, the hotel gives you good value for money.

Location. Beachfront, middle of Station 2, Boracay Island. The resort is about five minutes’ walk to the island shopping center D’Mall.

VERDICT. A good bet for families and groups. ■

ROOMS. I was booked in a premier room with doors that lead out to the pool. At 470sqft, the room can accommodate four people. The furniture are of teak and dark hardwood; the bathroom is large, with a separate shower and bath; the balcony has sun-loungers; and amenities are a sitting area with plush sofa, in-room dining, cable TV, and charged WiFi internet access. FOOD. Garden Café offers buffet breakfast staples and an a la carte menu featuring an array of Asian dishes. I’d recommend their lemongrass grilled salmon fillet in green Thai curry sauce. House specialties are chicken

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Rates start at P5,332 (US $124) per room night, with breakfast for two. Tel: +6336/ 288 6672 to 76 Email: URL:

Garden Café

HOW TO GET THERE SEAIR (, +632/ 849 0100) flies daily to Caticlan from Manila. SEAIR also offers convenient island transfers from Caticlan Airport, all the way to Boracay’s Cagban Pier, where tricycles for hire are available.


Heaven on the Club Floor From Hermes toiletries to a pillow menu, Sofitel Philippine Plaza’s Club Millesime goes the distance, says Margie Francisco

Deluxe suite


IRST IMPRESSIONS. Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila’s Club Millesime executive club floor and club lounge on the 10th floor is a mix of gentleman’s club and posh first class airport lounge. A room night here starts at P15,000, affording you complimentary in-room and club lounge snacks, use of the library lounge, wine tasting from 5pm to 7pm, and use of a luxuriously furnished conference room. Location. Along the Manila Bay Area, just minutes to nightspots, shopping and historic sites in Manila, and 30 minutes away from the international and domestic airports. ROOMS. Each of the 105 suites of Club Millésime has large glass windows that give you a view of Manila Bay. The club floor rooms, each at 38sqm, offers a pillow menu, Hermes toiletries, iPod and Bose speakers, free WiFi, and complimentary in-room snacks. FOOD. Guests at the club floor enjoy complimentary a la carte breakfasts. With Spiral — the best buffet in town — currently under renovation, LeBar serves Spiral’s best sellers ranging from Chinese, Japanese, Italian and more. Don’t miss the cheese selections, the foie gras (if available), the fresh seafood cooked the way you want it done, the chocolate chip

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The junior suite’s living and dining areas


cookies, and the gelatos. WE LIKE. The club’s cozy balconies where you can dine al fresco privately with a view of Manila Bay. iMac computers, board games, and a DVD library are all available for use anytime. NOT SO KEEN. Can’t think of anything. Rooms are not cheap, but you get what you pay for. VERDICT. An ultimate escape, considering you’re in the city. ■


Room rates start at P15,000 (about US $349) per room night, inclusive of breakfast and afternoon snacks for two adults and one child below 12, and cocktails. CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City Tel: +632/ 832 6993 Email: URL:


Me and My Travels Isabel Roces, Beauty Columnist Intervie w by LEI chave z


hat’s your most memorable trip? I enjoyed my trip to Sagada and Batad in 2010. I slept in nothing more than a wooden box with an outdoor toilet. I was cursing every now and then. But on the whole I liked it because it was so different. When we arrived there was a festival; we took a lot of good pictures; the food was good. We jumped off a cliff; we saw the hanging coffins; we went spelunking wearing slippers. My trip to Batanes in 2008 was also unforgettable. We went to an island on board a cup-shaped boat that smelled of engine fuel and shared seating space with goats. Your favorite destinations? I like Apo Island in Dumaguete, where the sandbars are really nice. I also love Cagayan de Oro, particularly Camiguin, because of its beautiful sandbars, hot and cold springs, and white water rafting. Bacolod because I find a certain charm in old houses and the old lifestyle. Favorite beach? I don’t have a favorite beach. When I want something more rustic, I go to Palawan. I often go to Boracay because it’s a place my friends visit all the time. I’ve been to beaches

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in Europe, the United States and Asia, but the Philippines really has the best beaches. Any place you’ve never been to but would like to visit? Saranggani. I’m enticed by the beaches. I’d like to explore the Babuyan Group of Islands too. What’s your idea of paradise? A sandbar, just a long stretch of beach. I’d like a place where there’s not too many people. What’s the craziest thing you did while on vacation? Jumping off a cliff with cascading waterfalls in Batad. Any plans of going abroad? I’ve always wanted to check out London. I also want to check out Tomorrowland, a huge rave party in Europe. It’s like the Woodstock, with an outdoors set-up. What do you take home with you when you travel? I love clothes. I buy a lot of accessories, mainly semi-precious jewelries. Your travel essentials? My iPod, phone, clothes that don’t need ironing, a hard case bag from Dempsey that has all the stickers from the places I’ve visited, and rubber flip flops packed in a sling bag.

Any beauty advice for women who travel often? Don’t pack mascara or foundation if heading anywhere tropical; if spending loads of time in the water, take a leave-in conditioner. Your favorite skin and hair care essentials? Messy Bessy insect repellent, Dermalogica SPF 15 matte block, Pureology Antifade Shampoo and conditioner (100% vegan ingredients), Pevonia (soap with calming properties and 100% organic), Kiehl’s facial wash. Where do you go to unwind after work? The restaurants I like are Zuni Restaurant and Wine Bar (+632/ 757 0361) at Greenbelt and Umu Japanese Restaurant (+632/ 8673333) at the Dusit Thani Manila, where they serve sake and fresh skewers during happy hours. On Sundays, I have champagne brunch at Sala (www. ■

Isabel Roces is a beauty columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) and a professional model. She was editor-at-large for Turista, PDI’s travel magazine. She graduated with a degree in International Design from the Philippine School of International Design.

Toni while on vacation in the US

Personal snapshots from Isabel’s various travels. Clockwise from top left: Dessert time at a vegan resto in New York; outside St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow; parasailing in Mactan Island, Cebu; island hopping with European friends in Krabi, Thailand; and having fun in Paris

Special Feature

The Philippine Siren with full sails on, cruising off Moalboal, Cebu

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Diving in Style

Don't rough it out. Book a luxury dive yacht with five-star chefs to boot. Gutsy Tuason climbs aboard Photos by Gutsy Tuason

february-march 2012

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late August thunderstorm was just about to roll over Manila, threatening the already delayed flight to Cebu, but nothing would have stopped me from making my highly anticipated trip on board the Philippine Siren, possibly the most luxurious dive boat operating in the Philippines today. After arriving at the Mactan airport, it was a quick five-minute ride to the Cebu Yacht Club where we checked in with the World Wide Dive and Sail office and checked out the beauty of a boat they owned, our home for the next eight days. We were to navigate the Southern Visayas route, winding through famed dive spots in Bohol, Negros and Cebu, on their last trip of the season. The Siren is a traditional Indonesian sailing ship called a phinisi, 40 meters long with eight generous cabins good for up to 16 divers. Crafted by hand from ironwood and teak, you get the feeling of being on an old explorer ship, and while the sails are seldom used, it is a magnificent sight when they are hoisted. We had our meals al fresco in the dining area at the stern of the boat, and inside the spacious lounge are camera tables, a computer and a huge flat screen TV for viewing movies, videos and pictures from the day’s dive, and an oft-frequented cocktail bar. All cabins are airconditioned and fan-cooled, all having ensuite bathrooms, an entertainment system and a computer, which I discovered was hooked up to the main computer in the lounge, so be aware that the NSFW — internet speak for not suitable for work — site you’re viewing in your cabin may be broadcast to the lounge TV. The food, expectedly, is excellent, with onboard chefs who used to work at five-star hotels. For the diving, there are two rubber inflatable chase boats and a compressor system that allows you to use the same tank for each dive. Your tank is filled in between dives using a long hose from the main compressor, minimizing the damage to your Clockwise from top personal dive gear, since it is not left, this spread: Cruise transferred from tank to tank. director Andrea Walkner enjoys diving in the warm Just make sure your tank is filled and crystal clear waters before leaving for your dive. The off Sumilon Island; a typical dive schedule is three day deluxe cabin of the Siren; the Siren’s main lounge; dives and a night dive, but you can opt for a dusk dive if the boat and one of many fine meals onboard manager grants your request.

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Special Feature

february-march 2012

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Special Feature

The Southern Visayas route

Cabilao Island. Our first stop, situated between Cebu and Bohol. Some of the highlights included a giant yellow anglerfish, a pregnant ornate ghost pipefish and a sea fan with pygmy seahorse. The seagrass area also provided plenty of photo ops for the blue-banded goby pair. Balicasag Island. Twenty minutes from Panglao Island, Balicasag is a gem of both pelagic and macro life. If your eyes are not looking into the blue for schooling jacks and barracuda, green sea turtles and Spanish mackerel, the reef is swarming with grouper, fusiliers and an array of nudibranchs. Around the sandy seagrass, keep an eye out for cuttlefish, gobies and leaf fish. Coral growth on the reef is equally spectacular. And for the lucky few, whale sharks do sometimes appear. But don’t hold your breath. Dauin, Negros. We were actually supposed to dive Panglao Island next, but due to strong winds we detoured to Dauin, which is not normally included in the Southern Visayas itinerary because guests usually end the trip with a one-week stay at the Atmosphere Resort (Tel: +6335/ 400 6940) there. Dauin is by far the best muck/macro diving (diving in a muddy environment) in the Visayas. Some of the legendary sites include Cars, Pyramids and the Atlantis house reef. Most dives are relatively shallow and are loaded with critters too many to mention, but here is a partial list of animals I managed to get mug shots of: common and thorny seahorse, pipehorse, Xenon crab covered with commensal shrimp, seamoths, ghost pipefish, clown anglerfish (various sizes and colors), devilfish, waspfish, bigfin reef squid and an artificial reef with 20 resident lionfish. All this in a day of diving — I could have spent a week there and still not capture every critter in the area. Sumilon Island. After the explosion of life in Dauin, a real sensory overload, it was a nice change to do some wall dives in Sumilon. Though lacking in the variety of marine life, Sumilon makes up for it with vodka-clear water and colorful coral life. I managed to entertain myself shooting sailfin gobies, porcelain crabs,

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Clockwise from top, this spread: A pair of blue-band gobies in Cabilao Island; a thorny seahorse at dusk in Daiun, Negros; a big-fin reef squid spotted during a night dive off Dauin; and a hawkfish, just one of the many critters in Moalboal, Cebu

february-march 2012

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Special Feature

a lone great barracuda and an assortment of Nembrotha nudibranchs. It also has a sand bar that most guests took advantage of, having cocktails and taking the ever-so-popular “jump shot” at sunset. Moalboal. Moalboal could have the distinction of being the Turtle Capital of the Visayas, as they are seen practically on almost every dive. The house reef at Club Serena offers decorator crabs, pygmy seahorses and even a resident green sea turtle. Close to the house reef is the airplane wreck, a single engine Cessna that was, according to local folklore, piloted and crash-landed by a certain Indian stunt diver who was often seen hanging around the Moalboal area. Further away is the marine sanctuary, a great place for a night dive. There I saw the most massive reef octopus that squirted out a plume of ink, turning a threemeter radius underwater pitch black. Pescador Island. A few years back, a strange phenomenon happened around the island – a ball of sardines showed up and has since grown into a swarming ball easily numbering in the millions. Some experts think it is the largest school of sardines, with the exception of the annual sardine migration in South Africa. Last year the lucky few that visited the island were witness to an awesome display of thresher sharks attacking the bait ball. The threshers have since moved on (or have been hunted), but regular predators include mangrove snappers, trevallies, bonito tuna and the occasional yellowfin tuna. I had a chance encounter with a whale shark while the Siren was enroute to Pescador and without hesitation I jumped in and snorkeled with the seven-meter animal for a minute or so. What a way to end the last dive of the trip.

“I had a chance encounter with a whale shark while the Siren was enroute to Pescador and without hesitation I jumped in and snorkeled with the seven-meter animal for a minute or so. What a way to end the last dive of the trip”

Overall, the Southern Visayas trip on the Philippine Siren was a great mix of creatures large and small, with diving terrain varying from drop-offs to sloping reefs, sea grass flats and pure muck magic. And to do it in complete comfort and style was just the icing on the cake. ■ Worldwide Dive and Sail Philippines offers a sevennight Southern Visayas luxury liveaboard for 1,850 EUR (about US $2,435) that includes use of Aqua Lung Wave BCD, Calypso regulator, 3mm shorty wetsuit, mask and fins, meals, refreshments and snacks for the whole trip, and free Nitrox fills for Nitrox divers. On offer too for groups is a package wherein you pay for seven places and receive one place free of charge, or 14 places and receive two places free of charge. Call +6332/ 494 0544 or visit

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m a p i l lu s t r at i o n by m a r k dav i d s e e

Counterclockwise from top, this spread: A blenny in Balicasag Island, Bohol "smiles" for the camera; a sea jelly appears to glow at the deeper depths off Pescador Island; and a sailfin goby guards its nest on a sandy flat in Sumilon Island

february-march 2012

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Top Honeymoon Hot Spots

InFlight’s Monica De Leon and Maggie Francisco give their pick of tropical hideaways, self-catering villas, and luxury hotels for loved up couples 28 |


| february-march 2012

Four Seasons photos by Markus Gortz

Cover Story

Four Seasons can lay out a private dinner on the beach, complete with torches. Left, the resort’s 125sqm beach villa with a private plunge pool and the beach just a few steps a way

Four Seasons Koh Samui Koh Samui, Thail and

The draw: An exotic honeymoon complete with elephant rides to a jungle waterfall, sunset cruises, and kayak tours of coral reefs. Or why not go for Koh Samui’s “Once in a blue moon” romantic dinner by the beach, with a meal for two prepared by executive chef Alex Gares, tiki torches and traditional Thai music in the background. Cap the evening by releasing floating lanterns out into the sea – a ritual that’s believed to bring good fortune. Location: Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui is nestled in the northwestern tip of Laem Yai Bay, in a natural amphitheater that faces a small cove and the Gulf of Siam in Thailand. Good to know: A bouquet of flowers, a bottle of sparkling wine and cake, and a rose petal pathway to the villa are what greets couples upon check-in. Book the 125sqm beach villa, located steps away from the resort’s private beach. The villa has an unobstructed view of the magnificent Samui sunsets from the sundeck where there’s a curtained daybed, dining table, two chaise lounges, a refrigerated private bar, private infinity pool, and a deluxe bathroom that opens onto a deck with an outdoor shower. Four Seasons has 60 one-bedroom villas on stilts and 14 residence villas. To book, visit, or call +6677/ 243 000.

February-march 2012

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Farol de Cabo Enga単o, the 18th century lighthouse situated on top of a hill in Cape Enga単o

Cover Story

Cape Engaño

B a b u ya n C h a n n e l , C a g aya n

The draw: If you like a bit of adventure and scenes from Wuthering Heights, go to Cape Engaño in the northern tip of Palaui Island in Cagayan province. It’s home to the famous Farol de Cabo Engaño, an 18th century lighthouse perched on top of a hill, giving you a breathtaking view of huge rock formations jutting out of the water and seemingly endless white-sand beaches. If you’re up to it, you’re allowed to set up tent near the lighthouse or on the beach. From the cape’s southwest cove, you’ll find a trail and some 225 concrete steps leading to the lighthouse. Palaui Island itself is home to 90 migratory birds, 21 commercial species of fish, and 120 acres of undisturbed coral. Location: Palaui island, home to a quiet fishing community, is located in the town of Sta. Ana in Cagayan, North Luzon. Good to know: After a night in a tent, you might want to spend the rest of your romantic stay in a VIP luxury holiday villa with your own private pool, or perhaps book an oceanfront villa at Cagayan Holiday & Leisure Resort. The resort used to cater solely to Asian high rollers, but is now open to both local and foreign tourists. The resort’s deluxe oceanfront villa starts from P17,500 (about US $407) per night, inclusive of continental breakfast for two. To book, call +632/ 844 0888 or +83918/ 233 0333. Visit

Pension Ivatan Valugan Hometel B ata n e s

The draw: Adventure in a remote, idyllic area. Batanes, located in the northernmost part of the Philippines, is a sleepy coastal province, visited for its simple, unspoilt way of life, temperate climate and pastoral “Marlboro country” setting sometimes likened to Scotland. It’s a great place for enjoying the countryside and beaches. Location: Valugan Bay, south of Basco. Good to know: Book a few days’ stay at Pension Ivatan Valugan Homestay. Valugan Homestay sits along Valugan Bay, with no neighbors at all. The house, like most of Batanes’s stone houses, is simple, offering basic accommodation, including a bedroom, living room, kitchen and dining room. The star attraction, however is the view of

Photos by ferdz decena

Pension Ivatan Valugan Hometel

Valugan Bay. At a certain time of the day, when the winds are quite strong, you can see the rocky shore made dramatic by mists created by the crashing waves. There’s a private pool at the back of the house but who needs this when you can take a dip in one of Batanes’ beautiful beaches. For meals, nothing can beat ambushing a local fishing folk for some of the day’s catch, which they can cook for you for a fee. Or you can always arrange for resort transport to restaurants in the area. Pension Ivatan Valugan Homestay costs P2,000 per night. To book, call Tess Valiente at +63939/ 207 4643 or email The resort can also help arrange bike hire.

Abaca Boutique Resort + Restaurant

M a ct a n Is l a n d , C e b u

The draw: A luxe city escape in a quiet beachfront location, but only 30 minutes

away from the shops and night life. Abaca is one of the most exclusive boutique resorts in Cebu, with only six deluxe rooms and three villas. Book a stay in one of the 110-sqm villas with a private plunge pool and large ensuite bathroom. The interiors showcase the work of leading local designers — including Brad Pitt’s bedmaker — mixing modern with ethnic touches. Villas all have iMac with internet access, LCD satellite TV, and kingsize beds in 100% cotton and silk linens. Location: Mactan Island, about 30 minutes’ ride from Mactan Airport. Good to know: Abaca is home to one of the best fine dining restaurants in Cebu, serving California-Mediterranean inspired meals created by Chef Wade Watson, using produce freshly picked from the resort’s garden. Abaca also offers romantic two-hour chill-out cruises, night scuba diving, and a special couple’s massage. To book a stay or dinner for two at Abaca, call +6332/ 495 3461, email, or visit www.

February-march 2012

| InFlight | 31

Cover Story

its open courtyard and terraces, stone paved walkways, and antique furnishing in all its 20 rooms and four suites. Location: Situated in one of the most prominent residential areas in Macau, at the foot of Barra Hill, just 10 minutes away from the airport and close to popular tourist attractions such as A-Ma Temple, Maritime Museum, Gate of Understanding, and Macau’s shopping and entertainment areas. Good to know: Book the Da Barra suite with its divine four-poster bed, period furniture, Bang & Olufsen surround sound entertainment systems, jacuzzi, Hermes toiletries and a terrace with a view of the Praia Grande Bay. Enjoy Spanish meals and the Inner Harbour sunset at nearby restaurants La Paloma and the Cascata Bar. Book the Da Barra Suite priced at HK$3,450 (about P19,300) per night. Visit for bookings and inquiries.

San Victor Island

B a g a n g a , D ava o O r i e n ta l

The Peninsula Hong Kong ‘s deluxe harbor view suite

The Peninsula Hong Kong The draw: Relive the glamour of a bygone era at The Peninsula Hong Kong. Book one of the hotel’s suites for utmost luxury and pampering. Outside of the hotel, there are harbour cruises, antique hunting, sampling Hong Kong’s various cuisine, and shopping. Location: At the junction of Nathan Road and Salisbury Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. Good to know: Book the Garden Suite on the top floor of the original hotel building with private elevator access. The suite has a master’s bedroom with king size bed, a guest room, sitting room and dining area. The rooftop terrace offers an outdoor jacuzzi and views of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island’s skyline. Couples have direct access to the Sun Terrace, The Peninsula Spa and the Romanesque swimming pool. The suite also has two spacious dressing areas with a vanity

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table, a powder room, two bedside control panels, all the modcons, 24-hour butler service and Rolls-Royce on call. The Peninsula Spa’s VIP Couple Suite has a jacuzzi that overlooks the harbour and various spa treatments for you to choose from. Try “Fly and Dine”, a 15-minute “flightseeing” tour by helicopter around Hong Kong, followed by lunch and dinner in one of the hotel’s restaurants. Flights depart from The Peninsula’s rooftop helipad. Call The Peninsula Hong Kong at +852/ 2920 2888. Visit

Da Barra Suite, Pousada de Sao Tiago

F o r ta l e z a d e S a o T i a g o d a B a r r a , M a c a u

The draw: The Pousada offers you intimate old world charm. The hotel is housed within a 17th century Portuguese fort and has retained much of the period’s character, from

The draw: San Victor Island is Davao’s wellkept secret, a three-hectare island paradise planted to coconut trees and fringed by a white-sand beach. Intas Travel chairman Tessie Henderson, a specialist travel planner, describes it as “more beautiful than Amanpulo or Boracay because it is so small and so secluded, with a spectacular whitesand beach that glistens in the sun.” Location: Just off the gulf of Baganga, Davao Oriental, about a four-hour drive from Davao City. Where to stay: Book the two-storey Amihan cottage in Tropical Kanakbai in Mati, Davao Oriental, 15 minutes away by boat to San Victor Island. Kanakbai is the only private accommodation available for renting out along Dahican Beach’s seven-kilometer shoreline. Enjoy hiking, biking, swimming, surfing or skimboarding or just sit back and enjoy the deserted 1.5-hectare beach. The resort’s two-bedroom tropical house is nestled in a cover of coconut trees, Barbados Almonds, Mahogany trees, and a lush tropical garden. A housekeeper and cook is assigned to you during your stay. You can choose to eat in or have the staff prepare a romantic dinner for two by the beach. From Davao City, you can get to Baganga in three hours by car. Call Davao Oriental Tourism Office at +6387/ 388 3234 to arrange a boat transfer from Baganga Port to San Victor Island. To book Kanakbai, call +63917/ 506 2030 or visit

S a n V i c t o r Is l a n d P h o t o b y J o j i e A l c a n t a r a

Perfect Hideaway: The small, secluded San Victor Island as seen from Baganga Town in Davao Oriental

“San Victor Island is more beautiful than Boracay or Amanpulo”

In Misibis nothing can be more spectacular or more romantic than a candle-lit dinner for two served in an amphitheater overlooking Albay Gulf

Diniwid Beached, viewed from Casa Mika’s verandah

Cover Story

Misibis Bay L e g a z p i , A l b ay

The draw: Where does one begin? Luxury at Misibis starts with a 15-minute helicopter ride from Legazpi Airport in Albay to your luxury villa, a spacious 50sqm room with a view of Albay Gulf and the Pacific Ocean, and a private plunge pool and deck that lead to the beach. The hotel can arrange a private breakfast on top of a hill overlooking Mayon volcano, or a romantic dinner by the beach under a canopy of stars, or in a candle-lit amphitheatre with a view of Albay Gulf. Not to be missed is a sunset cruise along Albay Gulf with Mt. Mayon’s perfect cone in the backdrop. And if you are up to it, how about a drive to Sorsogon, just two hours away, for the chance to swim with the whalesharks? Or go on a hunt for fireflies lighting up dozens of trees? Location: Cagraray Island, Bacacay, Albay Province. Good to know: If diving is your thing, then you must not miss the chance to see the Manta Bowl in Ticao Pass in Masbate, home to the largest concentration of Manta Rays in the Philippines. The jump off point is about two-and-a-half hours’ drive from Misibis. Travel from Legazpi Airport to Misibis can also be by land or onboard a fastcraft. Book a one-bedroom premier villa located on the second and third floor of Misibis Bay. The villa has a jacuzzi in the wraparound verandah. The resort can customize tours or meals. To book at Misibis Bay, call +632/ 661 8888, email, or visit

Casa Mika

B o r a c ay Is l a n d , Ak l a n

The draw: Casa Mika is as private as you can get in Boracay’s party island, home to one of the Philippines best white-sand beaches. This self-catering accommodation perched on a cliff in Diniwid Beach, offers a great view of the sea. From Diniwid Beach you have to climb some 300 steps up to Casa Mika villa that has a wraparound verandah and floor-toceiling sliding glass doors with a breathtaking view of the Sibuyan Sea. The villa is split level, with the master’s bedroom on top, and kitchen, dining and living areas, and extra room on the main ground floor. There’s also an outdoor jacuzzi. At night, fireflies cover the leaves of the trees that have jutted out into the room’s verandah — a rare pleasure. In the morning, you need not lift a finger because as early as 8am, your personal maid is on duty to cook for you, hire a masseuse or

do any of your errands. Location: Diniwid Beach, Boracay Island, about 30 minutes’ tricycle ride from Cagban pier. Good to know: Boracay has hundreds of bars and restaurants to choose from if you fancy a night out. Romantic sunset cruises and beach hopping tours are also available. A room night at Casa Mika costs P5,500 including an assigned maid and excluding the cost of your meals. Service charge for shopping at the market and preparing your meals is P300/meal. An alternative to Casa Mika if couples prefer a beachfront location is the roomier and more updated Casa Mayumi on Station 1, White Beach. To book Casa Mika, call +6336/ 288 5798, or +63920/ 901 9629.

Pangulasian Island Resort

E l N i d o , Pa l a w a n

Pool villa

The draw: El Nido is perhaps one of the most romantic places in the Philippines for a honeymoon. You can spend an idyllic day in one of the area’s numerous uninhabited beaches, arrange for a picnic lunch or cocktails in one of the caves, and at night, book a private banca (outrigger boat) ride – great during a full moon – in the Big and Small Lagoon, surrounded by Cathedral like cliffs and still, glassy waters. The resort can even arrange for a string quartet to serenade you. Book El Nido Resorts’ Pangulasian Island Resort which opens sometime May this year for a luxury stay in one of its villas with a private 22sqm pool and a balcony looking out to Bacuit Bay. Location: About 40 minutes’ banca ride from the main El Nido town, and close to Miniloc Island Resort, also by El Nido Resorts, and Snake Island, a famous patch of white sandy beach. Good to know: A marine sanctuary nearby is great for snorkeling. El Nido area itself has 20 dive sites and lots of islets and islands to explore. Visit For general inquiries, call +632/ 894 5644. ■

Naughty nights

Maggie Francisco gives us the lowdown on hen and stag nights, whether you’d like things risque or nice HEN PARTIES A Night ala Marilyn Monroe. Gather your girlfriends for a diva night at the Marilyn Monroe room at Victoria Court, where you can revel in the glamour of rose-filled bedframes and Old Hollywood vanity tables. Have guests come in their Gossip Girl and Sex & the City inspired outfits. For bookings, call Victoria Court Hillcrest at +632/ 671 9773. Visit The Pleasure Place. Pleasure Place, a sex shop-cum-party venue, can decorate the room you’ve booked according to the party theme. Hire inhouse male stripper Jiro, hold naughty party games, or invite The Pleasure Place owner Eleanor Leung for a private talk on orgasm and masturbation. For reservations, call Eleanor Leung at +63917/ 880 5866. Party All Night. At Opus, ladies in a group of eight get a complimentary bottle of Bacardi Rum, plus cosmopolitans, appletinis, and lychee martinis at P150 only for the whole night. Ladies night titled Bella is on Wednesdays. Sexy house music, played by Bella nights resident DJs, add to the chic vibe. Opus Restaurant and Lounge, 2/F Newport Mall, Resorts World, Pasay City. For table bookings, call +63917/ 809 4093 or +632/ 804 0086. STAG PARTIES Austin Powers Night. Get all the guys together at the Embassy suite and Austin Powers suite, complete with replica props from the film! The rooms have entertainment systems to play your own music or movies, WiFi, and gourmet room service. To spice up the groom-to-be’s last night as a single, hire a sexy dancer from Katz Coyote. Party package rates start at P5,000, inclusive of a five-hour accommodation plus freebies and souvenir items. For bookings and inquiries, call Hotel Victoria de Malate at +632/ 521 1084 or visit www. For more information on Katz Coyote, call +63927/ 456 7368 and look for Romeo. ■ - - R e p o r t b y M a r g i e F r a n c i sc o

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Insider’s Guide

An Insider's Look at Weddings

Hot showbiz wedding planner Teena Barretto lets us in on her world of weddings and what every couple should know

Interview by Margie Francisco

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Bride's best friend: One of Barretto's favorite hair and makeup artists Cherry Pacheco working her magic

Insider’s Guide

Wedding planner Teena Barretto has organized some of the most memorable showbiz weddings in the country, One couple wanted Barretto to move heaven and earth for fireworks at the reception even if a permit was near impossible, another wanted a wedding organized in two weeks, and another an enchanted garden wedding at the top of a tower covered with Christmas decoration. Barretto’s clientele of 20- and 30-somethings spend between P400,000 (about US $9,300) to P2 million for their big day and majority prefer "destination weddings," or weddings outside Metro Manila. To book Barretto, you'd need a budget of at least P60,000 to P80,000, depending on the scale of the requirements, and some eight to 10 months’ lead time to make sure you get into her calendar. “Since a lot of people are on a budget, everybody wants to go for the Martha Stewart concept, the DIY look, the shabby chic, the back to basics concept," Barretto says. "That way, the creativity of the bride, the groom, and their friends shine. For example, you'll see votive candles handcrafted by the bride herself or invitations personally handcrafted by the bride, making it look like a scrapbook. Things like these make it cost efficient but full of meaning.” As a wedding planner, Barretto educates couples about the real costs to expect in renting out venues and hiring suppliers. The misconception about wedding planners is that they’re too expensive. “When a couple books us, as much as possible I get them discounts on invitations, favors, bridal accessories, party gifts, and so on,” Barretto says. The first consultation is free. This first meeting allows Barretto to gauge at what stage the planning process is and what package would suit the

Barretto's pick

Wedding destinations

Breakfast set-up overlooking Taal Volcano


“It gives guests a total experience. When couples tell me, ‘I don't want it to be a one-day affair. I want it to be a weekend experience for my guests,’ I automatically think Boracay. It's a party island. It's paradise. I’m working on a wedding at Discovery Shores for 50 people with a budget of P400,000.” The Discover Happy Ever After wedding package starts at P183,000++ for a wedding reception of 50 persons. For inquiries and reservations, call the Discovery Shores Boracay sales department at +632/ 719 6692 to 93


“It's accessible. People enjoy the cool weather of Tagaytay. It's not as congested as Baguio. There are a lot of wedding venues in Tagaytay. I would suggest Taal Vista Lodge. Your reception would have that magnificent view of the Taal Lake and Volcano.” For Taal Vista Lodge reservations, call +6346/ 413 1000


“Bellarocca. It's very beautiful because of the Santorini feel of the whole place. It being in a secluded island, it's very nice, very serene.” Wedding packages at Bellarocca start at P264,000 for 20 persons up to P760,000 for 100 persons, with an additional person rate at P4,000. Call + 632/ 310 9931 or 328 8831 for bookings or email: info@bellaroccaresorts. com

Barretto (second from left) with clients

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Discovery Shores Boracay beach wedding set-up

Barretto's pick

Bridal gowns Malou Castillejos

“Three words to describe Malou’s designs – classic, timeless, and perfect. She specializes in Filipiniana wedding gowns and Barong Tagalog using the Philippines' piña or pineapple fabric and the finest fabrics from around the world. She also creates matching veil, shoes, headdress and accessories.” For appointments, call +632/ 913 8936 or 913 8993

Randy Ortiz

“Randy’s designs, I would say, are minimalist. It’s simple yet the design will make you go ‘Wow!’ He made the gown of Claudine Barretto in this beaded bustier-top gown.” For appointments, call +63920/ 600 6449 or +63922/ 835 8117 A sweetheart gown by Randy Ortiz

Eric Pineda

“Eric makes bridal gowns as if everything is a production. From afar, you’d think the gown is simple but up close, the details are so intricate.” For appointments, call +632/ 740 2004-15

Gown by Malou Castillejos

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Insider’s Guide

Barretto's pick

Hair and makeup Madge Lejano

“Before anything else, she asks her bride, ‘What color would be used to perfectly match her skin tone? Is her skin acidic? Is she allergic?’ Madge is also a stylist. She’ll tell you what accessories fit or what kind of hairstyle best suits you." Madge Lejano’s rates start at P15,000 for bride and two companions. Lejano is responsible for Danica Sotto’s hair and makeup on her wedding to Marc Pingris. Visit her website or email

Cherry Pacheco

“Cherry is bubbly and fun to work with and can help calm you down.” Cherry Pacheco’s rates start at P20,000 for three persons. For bookings, call +63917/ 894 1975 or email cherry@ Visit to view her works

Dior Co

Bridal hair and make-up by Cherry Pacheco

“Dior is known for offering both traditional and airbrush make-up for weddings. The make up is classic, very natural on the bride.” Dior Co charges P20,000 for the bride, mother of the bride and mother of the groom. An additional P3,500 is charged for each additional person. Call +63917/ 845 1230 or email Visit to view her works

“Now work life is a bit more under control although no less stressful...and oftentimes I deal with rather explosive emotions, because planning a wedding is always personal” couple. She explains that “there are typically three stages in the planning process. The first stage is when a couple has just begun to plan and they’re not sure where to start. The second is when a couple has chosen a reception venue and needs assistance from that point onwards. The third is when they have chosen the location of the wedding and most, if not all, suppliers but they are looking for our help to oversee the final few weeks before the wedding and the day of wedding.” Barretto's company Hitched Weddings and Events has been in business for eight years. Barretto started her career working as an advertising executive in a telecommunications company before becoming a wedding planner. “Before, my life revolved around client meetings, TVC shoots, print shoots, post prod, doing

overtime for billboards and print ads, talking to my celebrity endorsers, all these and a whole lot more.” Now work life is a bit more under her control although no less stressful, working closely with brides and grooms and their family and friends, and oftentimes dealing with rather explosive emotions, because planning a wedding she says is always personal. Asked what advice she can give to couples, she says, “Many of the couples think that a wedding planner will come in and tell them what to do. No; the bride and groom plan their wedding and we work to make it stress free and fun as possible for them. We make suggestions, give advice, assist in all areas the couple would ask us to assist in. But ultimately, the couple will be the decisionmaker. After all, it's their big day.” ■

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Insider’s Guide

Barretto's pick


Cake Concepts

“Cake Concepts make good fondant cakes. There are several flavors to choose from, but the most popular ones are apple walnut and carrot walnut. Chocolate, fruit and butter cake are not far behind.” Cake Concepts is at 306 Bonni Serrano Avenue, San Juan, Metro Manila. Call +632/ 723 2570 to book appointments. Visit for their online gallery

Judy Uson

“Judy’s known as “the cake artist.” I remember her cake being featured once in Metro Weddings. It was a carrot walnut cake with fondant icing. The cake has draperies and Judy attached nine Swarovski bracelets.” Judy’s cakes are custom-designed and final prices would depend on the size, flavors and design of the cake. A three-layer cake could cost anywhere between P9,000 and P20,000. Meetings and consultations are by appointment only. Call +632/ 430 8512 or +63917/ 324 2768

Penk Ching

“Penk Ching is a genius with cakes. She sets up all her cakes herself. You can ask her to give you a simple three-tiered fondant cakes or she can make you this big five-tiered cake with green, orange and purple jewels hanging on each layer and on top. Her cakes are so beautiful, they’re like a work of art, and you wouldn’t want to eat it.” For consultations and meetings, call +632/ 413 4996, +63917/ 812 2676, or email

Drinks Barretto says mobile bars are the way to go. “I highly recommend Party Fuel. You can either go for a mobile bar for hours of free flowing drinks, or if you want to limit the drinks, you can have those bottled cocktails where a bottle is good for like, 20 maybe 25 shots.” To book Party Fuel, call +632/ 725 2396 or +63917 537 6750 or email

"Cake artist" Judy Uson's wacky and fun cakes

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Whenever you’re in town, whether for business or leisure, Harolds is where you’ve got to be. With 90 superior rooms and deluxe suites exquisitely prepared with a guest’s individual preference in mind, Harolds is more than ready to show you a good time. We’ve redefined the standards of a luxury business hotel by going all the way to provide you with a personalized standard of service, luxury and privacy. We’ll see to it that everything—and we really mean everything— will be just as you like them to be.

Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City 6000 Philippines Tel.: +63.32.5057777 Fax.: +63.32.2382888

Email :

MAKATI OFFICE: Unit 2504, 25/F, Philippine Axa Life Centre, 1286 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue Makati City 1203 Philippines Tel.: +63.2.7596292 +63.2.7596298 Fax: +63.2.8454154

s u p p l e m e n t


Experience a return to beauty and wellness at Manila’s only 5-star luxury resort hotel. Exquisite natural views and impeccable service await to provide blissful respites from harried city life. From French treatments at Le Spa, to state-of-the-art fitness regimens at So Fit, to medical spa retreats at The Zen Institute, to world-class beauty and styling at Philippe Tordjman Le Salon, Sofitel meets your every requirement for holistic well-being. Jogging trails, tennis and petanque courts, an aqua golf range, 18-hole putting green and a lagoon-shaped swimming pool are available for your pleasure. Life is beautiful at Sofitel! For bookings and inquiries, call extension 1588 or email at

s u p p l e m e n t

Tarsier Botanik a

Heaven on an island The seven-hectare Tarsier Botanika is all grandiose, from its stunning landscaping to fine wining and dining


arsier Botanika’s uniqueness comes from its natural environment that’s home to over 3,000 varieties of plants and trees from Bohol and other parts of the country, mixed with an extensive collection of stone and bronze statues, sculptures, hand-carved stone jars and other art pieces. The garden has an animal sanctuary, and a stable and riding arena, an ideal location for large garden weddings. Sunset wedding ceremonies at the park start at 4pm; evening parties start with cocktails at 6pm followed by dinner at 7pm. Tarsier Botanika plays venue to weddings and can accommodate up to 200 guests at a given time. The exotic flowers used to

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decorate the banquet and ceremony are from the garden itself, styled by resort owner and landscaper Patricia Moussempes. Styles, decor and themes of course are according to the couple’s preference. Ceremonial wedding rites and reception can also be done at the reclining Buddha area, a magnificent 1,000sqm area surrounded by lush greenery, wild flowers and trees, or the classic garden, or at the Tarsier Paprika, a restaurant with an ocean view and an exotic garden backdrop that can sit 150 guests, or the stable and riding arena where tents and gazebos can be set up. Its atmosphere turns romantic in the evening when the lanterns hung on trees get lit together with the chandeliers, accented by flowers and vines and lavish fabrics as decor.

Food & Drinks An in-house chef flown in from a prestigious hotel in the Carribean heads the kitchen. Offered are European and Asian cuisine, prepared using fresh herbs from the resort’s own garden and exotic spices from around the world. The pastry kitchen specializes in éclairs, l’opera, and gateau au chocolat. A wide selection of cocktails, including the “Tarsier Botanika Special,” a mix of dark rhum, malibu, grenadine syrup, fresh milk, pineapple juice and orange juice, is available.

CAKE Wedding cakes of all size and flavor are made by Moussempes herself, who is also a chef patissier. Cakes range from gumpaste cake with royal icing flowers, fondant icing, buttercream and chocolate or the croquet-en-bouche, a traditional French wedding cake decorated with sugared almonds, chocolates, macaroons or ganache. ■ Tarsier Botanika is in a seven-hectare botanical garden on Panglao Island, Bohol, about 20 minutes away from Tagbilaran City. Tel: +6338/ 416 1289 or 416 0952 Url:

s u p p l e m e n t

Alta Vista de Boracay’s infinity pool

A l t a V ISTA d e B o r a c a y

From top to bottom At Alta Vista de Boracay you can exchange vows from the mountains, and be right next to the beach when toasting your day


lta Vista de Boracay has the best of both worlds — it’s set in the mountains with a fantastic view of the sea and a golf course, and with access to the secluded Puka Beach, where wedding receptions can be held. The best months to get wed in Alta Vista de Boracay is from November to February, the Amihan Season. And couples can have their pick of a sunrise or a sunset wedding. Both are just majestic moments if in this part of the island. The Dinara Viewing Deck is an open air area of Alta Vista de Boracay with a marvelous view and can accommodate 50 people in a standing cocktail set up at a given time. This is where the wedding ceremony in Alta Vista de Boracay takes place. Alta Visa de Boracay has access to Puka Beach that can hold receptions

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for weddings. Alta Vista de Boracay has a tie-up with Eco Ville, which has its own convention center on Puka Beach that can take charge of the beach reception. For further exclusivity, tents to enclose the recception area can be set up. For decor, it’s local materials, particularly bamboo, and it’s mixed with flowers available in the area. The reception can either have a round table setup or a cocktail setup, whichever pleases the couple. It’s a team effort at Alta Vista de Boracay in facilitating weddings, with the hotel manager, and head of F&B and the housekeeping departments working together in order to put up the Alta Vista de Boracay Wedding event.

Food & Drinks Alta Vista de Boracay offers seafood and pasta

menu, and green salad. Drinks at dinner are fresh fruit juices, and for cocktails, local rhum. Alta Vista de Boracay is a premier condo community project of DMCI Homes — a company of innovative builders and engineering experts that develop modern day living solutions for urban families. Each of its developments is built with world-standard craftsmanship borne from D.M. Consunji Inc.’s almost 60 years of experience in the construction and development industry. Its corporate philosophy is anchored on a deep understanding that buying a home is more about investing in a better way of living. Alta Vista de Boracay is the perfect validation of this timely proposition. Thanks to this featurerich ideally located community, residents can finally enjoy a more comfortable and meaningful way of life where they can feel real good to be home. ■

Alta Vista de Boracay de Boracay is located in Brgy. Yapak, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan. Manila Reservations: +632/ 403 2672 Website: Facebook: altavistadeboracay (official page)

s u p p l e m e n t

D i s c o v e r y Sh o r e s B o r a c a y

All in one piece

A beautiful beach with a picture-perfect sunset, exquisite décor and culinary masterpieces make up your Discovery Shores dream wedding


iscovery Shores’ stretch of white sandy beach that occupies some 120ft of Boracay Island’s renowned White Beach with a backdrop of the glorious island sunset is perhaps the main draw for couples wanting to get married in this famous wedding destination. Discovery Shores has been creating bespoke wedding setups to suit couples’ preferences, using unique adornments and with great attention to detail. The resort’s tents adorned with large crystal chandeliers have been their unspoken statement, with classic white as the staple decor. Wedding vows at Discovery Shores are best exchanged at sunset. The bride enters an arc

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with curtains, walks down the pathway filled with flowers, and meets her groom waiting under a bamboo canopy close to the water’s edge. If it’s low tide, then it’s a long walk for the bride. 5:30pm is cocktails time and everyone is ushered to a loungy, more casual venue for mingling. The tables are a mix of high and low with classic, minimalist centerpieces. However, the resort can transform the venue into how couples envision it, even if it means flying in flowers from abroad. Dinner at 7pm is usually sit down and candlelit in round or rectangular tables adorned with beautiful flowers, shells, crystals or any other special centerpiece the couple fancies. Low tables are usually reserved for kids.

Food & Drinks Chef Hadille Mata heads the award winning culinary team of Discovery Shores. Dinner buffets usually have a salad and hot station, pasta station, tempura station, and the resort’s pride, the grilling and carving station where sumptuous Angus beef is served for guests to enjoy. Favored cocktail drinks are the Mojito, Margarita and Daiquiri. For dinner, soda, iced tea, local beers and/or wine from the resort’s wine list are served. Hard liquor is the typical party drink.

W E D D I N G CAKE Discovery Shores customizes almost all their cakes from a simple one layer to a three layer cake. One of their most sought after cake is the Lemon Pound cake with fondant icing. ■

Discovery Shores Boracay is set on a premier beachfront location at Station 1, Boracay Island, Malay Aklan. Tel: +632/ 720 8888 or +6336/ 288 4500 Website:

Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook, or visit / january 2012

| InFlight | 51

s u p p l e m e n t

Misibis Bay

No questions asked Misibis Bay makes your big day happen wherever, however you want it done


isibis Bay on Cagraray Island, Albay is perfect for a romantic wedding. But what makes it extra special is that your wedding options here are endless, and that they’re no holds barred when it comes to meeting up couples’ wishes and expectations. Misibis Bay’s 1km stretch beachfront, perfect for sunset weddings, is the biggest venue for weddings that can accommodate up to 400 people at a time. The ampitheater, with the breathtaking view of the Albay Gulf and nearby islands, is rather romantic especially when lit with candles, perfect for themed dinners and pre-wedding parties. The Marina, an exclusive enclave with a seaview and a

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short walk from the resort, is ideal for intimate weddings of only 20 attendees.And for couples who prefer exchanging vows the traditional way, then there’s the glass enclosed Stella Maris Chapel that on a clear day offers an amazing view of the renowned Mt. Mayon, legendary for its perfect cone shape. Simple and elegant resort setup is recommended by Misibis Bay staff however they ultimately bow down to every preference and request of couples getting wed at their resort. Local flowers such as Thai grass, aster, baby’s breath, callalili, wax flower, astromeria and chrysanthemum are typically used to liven the wedding venues. While couples usually have their wedding planner to coordinate the styling of the place, Misibis Bay’s F&B and

operations manager can transform a venue into how couples imagine it to be. A buffet setup is recommended for outdoor wedding receptions, while indoors, plated or buffet is ideal.

Food & Drinks Chef Rex Cortes, also the resort’s F&B manager, has brought his expertise to Misibis Bay’s kitchen. At a given time, the resort can prepare full course meals for up to 500 people. For drinks, the Cagraray Sunrise, a refreshing drink made of lemon and carrots, won’t disappoint. For the matured crowd, the frozen margarita and buko lychee martini are the bestsellers.

CAKE Misibis Bay can whip up any cake any couple may want. ■

Misibis Bay is located at Cagraray Island, Bacacay, Albay Province. Tel: +632/ 661 8888 Url:

january 2012

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City Guides

B ata n e s // b or ac ay // C ebu // C l a r k // davao // el n i d o // M a n i l a // B a ngkok // Hong kong // ko ta k i n a b a lu // Si ng a p or e // Ho t el di r ec t ory // promo t ions

Updated Every Issue

p56 Destination guides

p62 Airline guides

Hong Kong skyline viewed from The Peak

kota k i n a b a lu p h oto by wac k y g o c h o c o

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

february-march 2012

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The cliffs of Viang, just 20 minutes from the airport

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

Where to eat

• Therese Coffee Shop serves Ivatan dishes. Try

batan island

sabtang island

Country code: +63 Area code: 78 Currency: Philippine Peso (P1 = about US $43)

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

their perfectly grilled cow ribs. Tel: +63916/ 114 2632 and +6921/ 404 0567. • Brandon’s Restaurant serves sandwiches and fruit shakes and some Ivatan specialties. Located along National Road and Abad Street. • Casa Napoli’s Pizza or Pasta serves good homemade pizzas and pasta dishes. Mobile: +63999/ 990 7553.

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 12-room lodge is popular for celebrities. There is TV, free WiFi, aircon, and hot shower. Rates start from P1,200. Tel: +63921/ 229 0120 or +63915/ 940 4823 • Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge is a boutique hotel perched on top of a hill and has had

good reviews. Rates start at P7.425, inclusive of set breakfast and roundtrip airport transfers. (www. Tel: +6327/ 290 2402 • For more on places to stay in Batanes, visit www.

Boracay leading to White Beach. Tricycle fare starts from P10. Chartered rates for tricycles range between P75 (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 (P1 = about US $43)

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: Though not allowed on the beach, tricycles can drop you off on Main Road with alleys

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Where to eat • For a complete list of the best Boracay restaurants, read our InFlight Guide to Boracay at • Real Coffee is a good place for breakfast and a nice cup of coffee. Try their freshly baked brownies, banana walnut and calamansi muffins, and oatmeal cookies. Tel: +6336/ 288 5340 • If you’re into Moroccan cuisine, try Kasbah’s lamb tajine, a stew slow cooked in the traditional tajine, a glazed terra cotta casserole with a funneled lid. Tel: +6336/ 288 4790 • Aria is best known for authentic Italian cuisine. It’s a good place for pasta, salad and pizzas cooked from wood-fired oven. Tel: +6336/ 288 5573 • Zuzuni serves delectable Greek cuisine. Try their moussaka or baked layers of eggplant with ground beef and béchamel sauce, souvlaki or

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

• Boracay Regency Beach Resort is a

Mediterranean-style, 285-room property with excellent facilities and amenities ideal for couples, group of friends and families alike. Tel: +6336/ 288 6111 to 17 • Punta Rosa Resort is a resort in a secluded area in Station 1, with seven types of accommodation, each with its own verandah that overlooks White Beach, en suite bathroom with rain shower, and fixtures made of native materials, ideal for couples. Tel: +6336/ 288 6740 • Discovery Shores Boracay has 88 spacious guestrooms all exuding luxury, combining traditional fabrics and furniture with modern amenities. Its two-level clubhouse has the resort's restaurant, bar, function room and spa. Nightlife

• Epic for celebrity spotting and some of the best

parties on the island. Visit • The Sand Bar for watching fire dancers and enjoying a drink by the beach. Visit www. or call +6336/ 288 3161

photo by oggie ramos

InFlight City Guides


photo by jocas a. see


Cebu 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

bantayan island

cebu island

Golden Cowrie



mactan island

Where to stay

• 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. Country code: +63 Tel: +6332/ 411 5800 Area code: 32 URL: Currency: Philippine Peso (P1 = about US $43) • Marco Polo Plaza Cebu mixes Western comforts and Asian hospitality, comprised of 329 guest rooms (some with a view of the mountain or From the airport sea) and suites. • Car Hire: Call any of Cebu Trip Rent-a-Car's Tel: +6332/ 253 1111 24-hour numbers +6332/ 262 4697 or +63917/ URL: 320 5688. • Taxi: Metered taxis are lined up outside the • Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino has 561 MALAYSIA arrivals' terminal. Fares down town to the city rooms with two casino floors open 24 hours. 
 proper are about P150. Tel: +6332/ 232 6888


URL: Nightlife • Formo is a resto-lounge frequented by Cebu’s young professionals. Tel: +6332/ 420 7070 or 236 7700 • Vudu is the place for after-dinner drinks and dancing. URL:


InFlight City Guides

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 or +63918/ 212 6461.


Where to stay

• Mimosa Resort. Situated in a 175-hectare


Country code: +63 Area code: 45 Currency: Philippine Peso (P1 = about US $43)

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.


landscaped property, Mimosa offers both standard hotel rooms and villas. Rates start at P6,600 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: +632/ 892 0138 • 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

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 Santo Nino Shrine, 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 (P1 = about US $43)

• 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

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Puning Hot Spring. • 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 2854 The cliffs of Viang, just 20 minutes from the airport

HONG KONG davao del norte

Aling Lucing's sisig

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

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 (P1 = about US $43)

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 • The Alternative Center has an extensive menu of delicious vegan cuisine from soups to entrees plus exotic teas. Meat dishes are also available. Tel: +63917/ 896 3408 • 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 +63926/ 993 8803 or email or

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

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InFlight City Guides

Hong Kong china

hong kong

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

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

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, 67 of which are suites, all

overlooking Victoria Harbour and the surrounding cityscape. Operates 10 restaurants and bars, including the Michelin-starred Pierre and the threestorey Mandarin Spa. Rates start from HKD 7,600. 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 4,160. 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 • Car rental: A car for hire, excluding driver, costs

RM 220 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)

mt. kinabalu

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. macau

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

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 195 per night. Call +6088/ 529 888 Kinabalu Heritage Tours For a wide range of travel and tour packages, call +6088/ 318 311

• Kampong Nelayan Seafood Restaurant

(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

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.

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a colonial house feel. It has a cozy lounge, and a restaurant that serves international and Asian cuisine. Room rates start at RM 160 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 • Bus: A trip will cost you between 60 cents 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.

Where to eat

• 49 Katong Laksa. For authentic Peranakan

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

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 SG$ 100 and SG$ 150. Call +65/ 6734 9922.

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 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$ 220. Tel: +65 6511 3333

New Majestic Hotel

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$ 260. 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$ 235. Address: 2 Dickson Road
 Tel: +65 6396 3322 URL:

AirlineGuide Airbus 319

SEAIR (Low Cost) Destinations • Clark • Kalibo • Singapore • Hong Kong • Kota Kinabalu • Bangkok (Thailand)

Fleet • 2 Airbus A-319

Booking and Ticketing • Book online at or • Clark: Unit 166, SM City CSEZ, Clarkfield, Pampanga Tel: +6343/ 499 0258-59 • Makati: Unit 202 La O' Center Building, 1000 Arnaiz Avenue (formerly Pasay Road) corner Makati Avenue, Makati City Tel: +632/ 849 0111

Dornier 328

South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR Domestic Islands) Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAIR), a premier leisure airline, 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. To date, SEAIR has the longest history of flights to Caticlan for 16 years. The airline also helped develop Batanes into a major tourist destination. SEAIR now flies to prime tourist destinations such as Caticlan (Boracay), Clark, Batanes, El Nido (Palawan) and Tablas (Romblon), as well as to regional routes Singapore, Hongkong, Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia and Bangkok in Thailand.

Destinations • Clark • Caticlan (Boracay) • Kalibo (Aklan) • Manila • Basco (Batanes) • Tablas (Romblon) • El Nido (Palawan) • Singapore • Hong Kong • Kota Kinabalu • Bangkok (Thailand)

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

Booking and Ticketing • Book online at • 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


| InFlight | february-march 2012

Dornier 228

Island Transvoyager (ITI) 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 • 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, 851 5667 Email: URL:






SEAIR (Low Cost)


























SEAIR Route Map

ITI Route Map








Clark, Angeles






THAILAND Tablas Island


ROMBLON Caticlan



El Nido












february-march 2012

| InFlight | 63

INdex For In My Bag

store directory

Ann Klein 1/F, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Drive corner Estrella Street, Makati City +632/ 898 1463

Rustan’s (for the shawl and blanket) Ayala Avenue, Makati City +632/ 817 8414

Bliss Yoga Manila (for the Maduka yoga mat) Unit 101, DoĂąa Consolacion Building, 122 Jupiter Street, Bel-Air, Makati City +632/ 720 8696

Samsonite Boutique Store 2/F, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City +632/ 501 3718

Clarins Skin Spa 1/F, Rustans Department Store, Ayala Avenue, Makati City +632/ 817 8414 ECHOstore (for Body Basics products, organic eye moisturizer and organic roll on perfume) 1/F, Serendra Piazza, McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig +632/ 901 3485 Power Mac Center 2/F, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Paseo De Roxas Avenue, Makati City +632/ 729 7128

For cover

Veejay Floresca +632/ 964 0818 Frederick Peralta +632/ 521 3463

InFlight Classifieds


For more information: Call: +632 840 2802 or 553 7978 Email:

february-march 2012

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All That Buzz Indulge Boracay Dornier Media International, publisher of InFlight magazine, recently launched its third Boracay edition of Indulge, featuring 13 of the island’s best restaurants, at Kasbah Boracay, attended by close to 100 guests that included sponsors and advertisers. One of the event highlights was the raffling off of 50 prizes, ranging from San Miguel Beer Oktoberfest mugs, Mendoza bags, dinner for two at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila to a three-day accommodation at Nigi Nigi Too Beachfront Resort. Advertisers received framed copies of their restaurant’s feature published in Indulge. Sponsors of the event included Aria Cucina Italiana, Aria Gelato, Bamboo Lounge, Café del Sol, Cyma Greek Taverna, Hama Japanese Cuisine, Kasbah, Lemoni Café, Loco Frio, Ole Spanish Tapas Bar & Restaurant, The Sand Bar, Tribal Café and Zuzuni Hotel & Restaurant. Raffle sponsors included San Miguel Corporation, Primer Group of Companies, Boracay Garden Resort, VMV Cosmetics, Mandala Spa, Tirta Spa, Patio Pacific, Nigi Nigi Too Beachfront Resort, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, and The Peninsula Manila. Other food sponsors were Cafe del Mar, Real Coffee and Purefoods, with San Miguel as drink sponsor. Our thanks to Sandcastles The Apartments Boracay, the official home of the Indulge team during their stay on the island, and South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) for flying the team.

From left: Kasbah manager Stephen Lu, InFlight/Indulge sales and marketing director Margie Defensor, La Reserve’s Elena Brugger, InFlight/ Indulge managing editor Monica De Leon, and InFlight/Indulge staff writer Margarita Francisco

-Monica De Leon

Rowena Bernardo of Kasbah

Zuzuni’s front office supervisor Aldrin Abayon

Cafe del Sol’s dining manager Marcel Valdez (left) and Defensor

Bamboo Lounge’s Darwin Pedrosa

Loco Frio managing partner Gene Dela Cruz (left) with Defensor and Lu

The InFlight/Indulge magazine team with friends, including Triplestar Holdings’ Raymond van Leijenhorst (right) and Atty. Celina Cua (second from right)

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| february-march 2012

Photos by pau l gotiong

i n f l i g h t p r o m o ti o n s

Havaianas Valentine’s Pair

Delsey’s Zip Securi Tech

Flip flop maker Havaianas has added its Valentine’s pair to its endless range of products. The his and hers pair features a carricature of couples holding hands with a grey/black color for men and white/pink for women. The limited edition Havaianas Valentine’s pairs are available in Metro Manila at All Flip-Flops, Complex, Duty Free Philippines Fiesta Mall, Ocean Front, Manila Polo Club, ROX, Rustan’s, Stoked, Tick Tock Flip Flop NAIA Terminal 3, and Urban Athletics. Visit for a complete list of authorized retailers.

Delsey developed the Zip Securi Tech, a patentented zip closure system that’s forced open resistant, which is now available in their current collection. Though the zipper appears conventional, it’s not. It actually consists of two layers of zippers that are sturdier, detering would-be thieves easy access to the contents of your bag, compared to regular zippers that can actually get unzipped even at a prick of a ballpen, and can conceal signs of illegally opening your bag. This Zip Securi Tech system of Delsey allows ease of travel and peace of mind when on the go. Travelers using Delsey with this kind of technology have better chances of avoiding getting robbed of items in their luggage, or being framed up by inserting illegal or illegally acquired items in their bag. Delsey Premium French Luggage is available at all The Travel Club Stores, Duty Free, selected SM Malls, Robinsons, Landmark nationwide. For more information:

Manila Ocean Park’s Life is A Holiday This year, Manila Ocean Park is positioning itself as an “All-Season Holiday Destination within the city.” During the summer holidays, enjoy an indoor glass bottom boat ride for a closer view of the underwater life or the Aquanaut Voyage for an up-close interaction with the rays and fishes. Feel the winter chill in Trails to Antarctica, Manila Ocean Park’s newest attraction, creating a freezing temperature at -15° at the Snow Village. Take a ride on Slide o ‘Fun, the 42 meter long ice slide before you get a glimpse of the penguin exhibit, home of Humboldt penguins. Manila Ocean Park also offers all-in-one holiday fun promo bundles to enjoy together with the newly opened Trails to Antarctica and the Penguin Quest attraction for only P900, see the Oceanarium and the penguins for P600 or watch the Sea Lion Show, Musical Fountain with the Trails to Antarctica for P600. Promo lasts until April 15. For more on Manila Ocean Park’s packages, call +632/ 567 7777 local 119 or visit www.manilaoceanpark. com.

Aristocrat Rediscovers Original Pancit Canton and Lumpia Shanghai The Aristocrat chain of restaurants — one of the Philippines’ icon, establishing itself for the past 75 years as “Home of the Best Chicken Barbecue in Town” — celebrates the Year of the Water Dragon by relaunching its original pancit canton and original lumpia Shanghai dishes, using the restaurant’s traditional ingredients. The Aristocrat’s pancit canton is made with its secret special homemade noodles topped with pork, shrimp, chicken meat, liver and gizzard and assorted fresh vegetables. The lumpia Shanghai is made with the finest quality ingredients and a secret seasoning. It comes with a sweet and sour sauce. For parties, bulk order and catering please call: +632/ 524 7671 or +63917/ 572 2107. Visit www. for more details.

february-march 2012

| InFlight | 67

i n f l i g h t p r o m o ti o n s

East Lagoon

Plantation Bay Opens Summer Frolix Cebu’s Plantation Bay Resort and Spa is launching its Summer Frolix promo for balikbayans this March, offering six nights for the price of three, equivalent to P25,000 (about US $581), and P5,000 worth of freebies from food and beverages to spa and island cruises. The resort is also holding a carnivalthemed event, which features a shooting gallery, ring toss, giant slingshot, slam dunk, balloon bursting and ball in the hall open daily from 8am to 8pm. There are acrobat shows every Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Plantation Bay, located in Marigondon, Mactan Island, just 30 minutes away from Cebu City, is a 256-room hotel recognized as one of the Top 20 resorts in Asia by Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards for three consecutive years. It boasts of saltwater swimming lagoons and four freshwater swimming pools. Visit Plantation Bay Resort has segways for hire for a fun ride within Savannah Park

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| february-march 2012

InFlight February-March 2012  

Good Times in the Philippines

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