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A ys no s Pi u ng PL iti is rV fo

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Just the two oF us Davao with my mom

m ay 2012

Holidays for Kids From horse riding to jungle tours Palawan’s La Terrasse Good food, all local

PLus! sEAIR LAuncHEs fLIgHTs To KoTA KInAbALu And K ALIbo

Inside inflight | may | 2012



04 e ditor’s note 06 in the news Clark eyes P12B budget terminal by 2015; Marina Bay Resorts to rise by 2014 06 Cale ndar What not to miss in May 08 In My Bag Good times in Bohol: Fashion buyer Erik Hannikainen on island hopping, river cruising, and cockfighting in Bohol


10 In Room Resort review: Legaspi Suites 12 InDULGE La Terrasse Restaurant Cafe 14 In Pe rson Me and my travels: Solenn Heussaff



16 cove r s tory: Davao with My Mom InFlight contrubutor Kristine Fonacier takes her mom on a three-day activity-packed trip to Davao and lives to tell the tale 26 inside r’s guide : Holidays for Kids Children’s book author Maricel Pangilinan on 10 of the best days out for kids, from jungle survival tours to lunch in the middle of the ocean 31 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

On the cover: Writer Kristine Fonacier and mom Rhodora on a trip to Davao Kristine’s top by Promod Cover credits: Photo by Rhonson Ng Fashion styling by Waldo Villados Location: Pearl Farm Beach Resort, Kaputian, Island Garden City of Samal, Davao

may 2012

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editor’s note

People. Places. Adventures.


t’s Mother’s Day on May 13 this year and we thought it fitting to feature family travels this issue as a tribute to our moms. Contributing writer Kristine Fonacier writes about a three-day activitypacked trip to Davao with her mom, seeing the province with her mom’s eyes. “Traveling together — as any duo competing in the Amazing Race will tell you — allows you to see your companion in a new light. As I was to find out in the next few days, my mom was more adaptable than I’ve given her credit for,” Kristine wrote. Follow the ups and downs of her first-time travel with her mom on pages 16 to 25. For our insider’s guide, children’s book author and mother of five Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan reveals her top 10 favorite holidays with kids. Her list included not just jungle survival tours for her boys, but also pineapple picking in Bukidnon and a very interesting lunch-out with kids in the middle of the sea. For more travel ideas for kids, turn to pages 26-28. This issue continues our twin magazine format, featuring a separate section called Bakasyon, our guide for visiting Pinoys (colloquial for Filipinos) and OFWS (Overseas Filipino Workers). Bakasyon features a small business success story revolving around “Mang Larry” who started a small barbecue stall and made it profitable, plus, news features on personal finance, real estate, shopping, and budget travels. Finally, we’d like to announce that South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) starts its Clark to Kota Kinabalu flights on May 1, kicking off with thrice a week flights, and on May 4, its Clark-Kalibo flights at four times weekly. Flights to Bangkok are now daily, up from four times a week. More announcements are expected from the airline on expansion of flights and increased frequencies. ‘Till next month.

giselle javison Editor, InFlight



| may 2012


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


Diosdado Macapagal International Airport

W h a t n o t t o m i s s i n MAY

11 to 27

Forbidden Broadway


Pahiyas Festival


Singapore Arts Festival: Our Lost Poems


Lady Gaga: Born This Way Ball

Watch “Forbidden Broadway”, a riotous musical revue poking fun at broadway shows. Starring Liesl Batucan, Caisa Borromeo, OJ Mariano, and Lorenz Martinez. Directed by Joel Trinidad. Call Ticketworld at +632/ 891 9999 for tickets

Clark Eyes P12B Budget Terminal by 2015 President Benigno Aquino III already gave his approval to proceed with the setting up of a P12-billion budget terminal on a 40-hectare area close to Clark International Airport at Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga to accommodate some10 million passengers a year, according to Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) president Victor Luciano. The budget terminal is targeted to open in 2015. Luciano also said that The Asia Foundation, a non-profit and non-governmental organization, is carrying out a feasibility study on the planned terminal. CIAC said the terminal, which will be linked to the existing Clark International Airport terminal, will cost only P4 million, with the rest of the funding going to civil works, new software system and equipment, and aircraft parking area. Plans to open a budget terminal was prompted by the increased operations of budget airlines in Clark. Local paper SunStar recently reported that Air Asia Philippines alone was expecting its passenger traffic in Clark to increase to about five million in five to seven years. Aviation authorities said Clark should be ready to accommodate the increase in flights and passenger volume. ■

Marina Bay Resorts To Rise by 2014

Marina Bay Resorts’ architect’s perspective

The $2-billion Marina Bay Resorts hotel complex will open at Bagong Nayong Pilipino in the Manila Bay area by the third quarter of 2014. The hotel complex will include two casino hotels, one catering to the high-end market and the other to the general market, and a 1,000-room budget hotel. Tiger Resorts and Entertainment, a subsidiary of Japan-based casino resorts developer and operator Universal Entertainment, intends to make the complex a “world-class par with rivals in Asia”.



| may 2012

Marina Bay Resorts will create an indoor man-made beach, replicating the country’s world-renowned summer destinations. Other planned attractions are large-scale water fountain shows and high-end fashion boutiques and outlet malls. ■

macapa g al airp o rt ph o t o b y T E T E P marasi g a n

Experience the colors, sights, food, and shopping at the Lucban San Isidro Pahiyas Festival! Participating houses in Lucban are all decorated with kiping (leaf shaped wafers made of rice) and local handicraft, and there’s shopping at the fleamarkets, dining in restaurants and local open houses, the grand parade of floats, dancing and marching bands. Visit

The Singapore Arts Festival 2012: “Our Lost Poems” pays tribute to myths, legends, wandering thoughts, reflections, lost riddles and hidden stories through a showcase of various artworks like paintings, illustration of stories, poetry reading and more. Festival runs until June 2. For more information, visit

Lady Gaga will be coming back to Manila in a concert that forms part of her “Born This Way Ball Tour”. The concert will be held at the newly constructed SM Mall of Asia Arena. Lady Gaga popularized hit songs Born This Way, Bad Romance, Poker Face, Paparazzi, Just Dance, Telephone and Alejandro. Call Ticketworld for tickets



In My Bag

Good Times in Bohol

Rustan’s fashion buyer Erik Hannikainen has pleasant memories of Bohol, from island hopping, river cruising, to exciting cockfights I n ter v iew b y M ar g ie F ra n cisc o P h o t o s b y L ee S a n tia g o

“I’ve been to Bohol a few times and have always enjoyed my trip there. The island has all manner of historical and natural sites, which means there’s always something to do and see if I don’t want to sit on the beach all day. You’ve got the Spanish colonial churches, the Chocolate Hills, tarsiers, caves, coral reefs. The first time I went there was with an old Oxford friend and we island hopped, visited the churches, all the usual sights, and attended a cockfight, which was particularly exciting. We went to see the church in Loboc, which had beautiful interiors and the famous bamboo organ, went up the river, and had lunch there. We were surrounded by jungle greenery, all very evocative. I’ve been in Bohol at several different times of the year, and the weather has generally been rather good, especially when we went island hopping and had picnic lunches organized by the hotel.” Things I take when I travel: 1 Hackett Belgravia wash bag in canvas with leather trim (P21,500 or about US $500) 2 Luxury Panama fedora hat (P4,250) 3 Hackett boat shoes (P11,550) 4 Faconnable polo shirts (rates start at P4,950) 5 Dolce & Gabbana The One Sport (P2,650) 6 Vintage swim shorts (P3,950) 7 Faconnable keyhole sunglasses (P11,500) 8 Clarins Men anti-fatigue eye serum (P2,650), Clarins sunscreen soothing cream progressive tanning (P1,750), Clarins after sun moisturizer self-tanning (P1,450) 9 Dunhill travel watch case (P11,105)


| InFlight | may 2012






Turn to



Page 30 for store contact info


For more ideas on travel gear and essentials, visit

INRoom Hotels and resorts

Legaspi Suites Location and spacious rooms make Legaspi Suites a favorite of business and leisure travelers, says Kristine Fonacier


IRST IMPRESSIONS. Small in size (with only 20 rooms) but big in personality. The entire complex is like a Spanish-era manor, with a low, four-storey building with white walls framing a courtyard, and wrought-iron arches to welcome visitors.

Premier room

Location. On P. Pelayo Street, at the center of Davao City’s main business and commercial district, but away from tall buildings and noisy bars.


ROOMS. Our deluxe room (P1,995 or about US $46 a room night) was roomy, with two double beds, a sofa and a dining table, and still enough floor space to spare. Premier rooms are essentially the same, but feature a matrimonial bed. Suites have two large beds. FOOD. The hotel courtyard has shops and restaurants, including Kusina Selera, which has earned a reputation as one of the best dining places in the city, offering Filipino dishes from all over the country, with a few nods to Mindanao specialties – all done well and using only the freshest ingredients from Davao. WE LIKE. Its large rooms make it very good value for money. Not so keen. There have been complaints about the restaurant’s 7am breakfast starting late, which means that some business travelers and

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Legaspi Suites’ courtyard

tour groups with early departures have had to give it a miss. The courtyard also closes relatively early at 11pm so no more place for late night meals or hanging out at this time. VERDICT. Thanks to its location, the hotel is frequented mostly by business travelers. It is also a good choice for leisure travelers who want a quiet base at the end of a long day of sightseeing. ■

Rates start at P1,995 for a deluxe or a premier room with breakfast at Kusina Selera. Tel: +6382/ 227 8613 Email: URL: HOW TO GET THERE There are multiple flights daily from Manila to Francisco Bangoy International Airport. MidSea Express flies between Davao and Cotabato twice a week and between Davao and Bohol thrice a week. SilkAir has direct flights between Davao and Singapore. It is easy to get taxis from the airport or anywhere in town.

e x teri o r ph o t o s b y rh o n s o n n g

INdulge food and restaur ant

La Terrasse

Local, organic ingredients? Great tasting food? Ditchay Roxas has got it right, says Lei Chavez


HE SETTING. La Terrasse is a two-storey restaurant surrounded by lush bamboo trees, screening it from the main highway. It’s built using environmentallyfriendly materials: hardwood used for the bar are recycled from old houses; banana fiber paper make up the low hanging lamps; the roof is designed to collect rainwater.

THE FOOD. Restaurant owner Ditchay Roxas sources organic ingredients from local producers and from her own garden. The menu is a combined effort of Roxas and Chef Mark Louie Magnaye, a former chef at the Marco Polo Davao. First-timers should not miss the bestseller adobo overload (P475 or about US $11), organic native chicken and pork slowly braised in vinegar, soy sauce and garlic, then fried, then served on a bed of adobo fried rice together with crunchy pork cracklings and green mango relish. Start off your meal with the duck confit rolled in mandarine crepes (P200), a refreshing wrap of sliced cucumbers and braised duck strips garnished with herbs and Peking sauce. The combination is light on the palate, a perfect prelude to the suggested main course of poached prawns in bernice cream sauce, poached prawns on a bed of garlic-sautéed spinach. The slow cooking of the prawns produced moist and tender meat complimented by the tarragon sauce. The highlight of the meal is the roulade de porc a la toscane (P305), pork flank rolled and stuffed with herbs then roasted in medium-fire, producing a crunchy outside

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Adobo overload

La Terrasse’s exterior and right, interior, all beaming “eco”

yet maintaining moist and tender meat. The roulade’s bursting flavors leave a tinge of peppery aftertaste in the palate. Cap off the meal with a homemade coffee-kahlui ice cream (P105 per scoop) or a tangy sour lemon tart (P150).

PRICE. A full course meal for two is about P700 to P800 excluding wine. VERDICT. One of the best restaurants in Puerto Princesa. The wide food selection can satisfy anyone. ■

THE SERVICE. Warm and attentive. WHO DINES THERE. On weekdays, the place is filled with local tourists and expats. The place is a favorite for family celebrations and company outings.

La Terasse Restaurant Rizal Avenue, Bancao Bancao, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan Tel: +6348/ 434 1787

INPerson Me and My Travels Solenn Heussaff, Actress and Make-up Artist I n ter v iew b y M ar g ie F ra n cisc o


hat kind of a traveler are you? I love beaches more than cities but I’m always game to visit anywhere. In Argentina, I went to

see the glaciers down south.

Your favorite destination in the Philippines? Palawan because it’s not too crowded; it’s more relaxing and they have trekking, waterfalls, diving. There’s a lot of things to do. The lagoons there are so beautiful. You can kayak too. Anywhere in the Philippines you’d like to visit next? Batanes. It’s very beautiful. What’s your favorite resort in the Philippines? Discovery Shores Boracay (www., tel: +6336/ 288 4500). The spa there is amazing and you really feel like you’re at home. There’s the jacuzzi at night on the rooftop. And the service is really good. Your favorite leisure activity? I like wakeboarding. I love to do water sports.

How about shopping? Shopping, I guess, is very limited in the Philippines. When you buy something, everyone has it. What I do is I usually go around Greenbelt and then when I see something I like, I buy it and take it to a dressmaker or craftsman to make it unique. Any favorite local designer? Lulu Tan-Gan ( is very eccentric but still very wearable. What are your favorite makeup brands? I use

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Makeup Forever products. But I also love the Etude House blush ( category_37/Etude-House.htm). What is the best sunscreen, pair of sunglasses, and skin care? Hawaiian Tropic has the right amount of SPF. I don’t know about the best pair, but I love my Chanel sunglasses. For the skin, I wash my face twice in a day. And then for the body, of course, I have to say Asian Secrets ( What’s your beauty advice to those who are constantly outdoors? Always apply sunblock before going out; always condition the hair; and always take water with you. Worst holiday experience? I went to Barcelona with my friend, Georgina (Wilson). We just researched a club online, went to that club and ended up in the middle of a factory – no club, no taxi cabs, nothing. So we ended up walking for two hours along the highway and there were lots of trucks and I really thought it was the end of us. Luckily, after two hours of walking and being scared and running on the streets and hiding behind trees, we found a taxi. What do you pack? When going to a city destination, I always take my coat from Warehouse, a dress and a scarf. When I go to the beach, I take my bikinis and a simple cover up. For makeup, my foundation from Makeup Forever, blush from Etude House, and lipstick from MAC. I also pack my Hawaiian Tropic sunblock. Biggest packing mistake? Overpacking. I like to set like two outfits a day — one for the whole day, one at night. So that’s a lot of outfits if you’re staying for 10 days. Then you can’t buy anything because

you’ll have overweight baggage. Favorite restaurant? I love Kai Neo Japanese Restauarant (+632/ 757 5209-10) at Greenbelt. I really love Japanese food. I always get the shitake mushroom salad and the fried scallops appetizer. It’s really stupid but I go all the way to France for the perfect Vietnamese food! It’s called Yao Lang San on Avenue de’Ivry. Everytime I go to France, it’s always my first stop. What do you do when you’re at home? I’m a movie whore! I love to watch movies on DVD. Or sketch. What do people not know about you? That I’m a cowboy. I really don’t care where I am, what I do as long as I’m with good people. Aside from acting and being in showbiz, what would you like to do? I was designing before but since I don’t have time to dedicate to fashion anymore, I stopped. Hopefully after the shows or sometime in 2012, I could open a small line and use what I studied in school. Where do you see yourself five years from now? Five years from now, I’ll probably have one kid, hopefully married, and with my own fashion line. ■

French-Filipino Solenn Heussaff took up beauty and fashion make-up at the Fleurimont School in Paris, and studied prosthetics at the Make Up For Ever Academy. She is also a model and one of the official castaways of Survivor Philippines Celebrity Edition.

Writer Kristine (front) and mom Rhodora Fonacier braving Maxima Aquafun Resort’s treetop canopy walk

Kristine’s top by Promod

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Cover Story

Davao Mom with my

Kristine Fonacier takes her mom on a three-day activity-packed trip to Davao and lives to tell the tale Photos by Rhonson Ng


e didn’t travel much when I was a child. Not that my mom and dad didn’t want to travel. To them and their generation, travel was too much effort and was far too expensive. The early 70s was a time before budget airlines and cheap hotels. For many Filipinos then, travel by air meant shelling out half a year’s wages. And with five girls in our family, any trip by land or sea was tantamount to organizing a polar expedition. These days, things are a little different. Mom and dad, who are now in their 50s, are starting to discover the joys of travel, making time for trips abroad. We tried to encourage mom to see more of our country and last 2002, she went with Dad to Boracay, and thoroughly enjoyed it. When I invited her to join me for a mother and daughter trip to Davao for InFlight, she was delighted. “This is the first time I’ve traveled like this,” she

said as we boarded the van we’ve hired to take us through four days in Davao. I didn’t know exactly what she meant, until she told me this was her first time to travel outside of Luzon, save for a Boracay trip years ago. More important, this was our first time to travel together, just the two of us. “This should test us,” I thought. Traveling together — as any duo competing in the Amazing Race will tell you — allows you to see your companion in a new light. As I was to find out in the next few days, my mom was more adaptable than I’ve given her credit for. Davao was a good starting point for our trip. It has all the comforts and conveniences of a big city, as well as the mountains and beaches just minutes away. Davao also conjures up pleasant memories. My dad used to go to Davao for business when he was younger, often coming back home with baskets of mangosteen and pomelos, coconut crabs, and the smelly and heavenly-tasting durian fruit. For us, Davao was food heaven.

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Cover Story

Day One

Fishing at Mt. Apo Highland Resort and right, the still waters of Mt. Apo resort’s lagoon

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First up was the famous Mt. Apo, which at 9,692 feet is the highest mountain in the country. It’s two hours away from Davao City, forming a border between Davao del Sur and Cotabato. It is so massive that it deflects storms, protecting Davao City from the worst of tropical weather. In deference to my mom, we drove to Mt. Apo instead of taking the more active option of a twoto three-hour hike up to its peak. After a brief viewing of the venerable mountain, it was onwards to Mt. Apo Highland Resort, located in Kapatagan, Digos City. The resort was more of a camp site, designed for the adventurous and the backpacking mountaineers. “We don’t have a bathroom!” my mother called out from inside the cottage. Mt. Apo Highland Resort had eight concrete cottages raised on stilts, framing a garden and a central camping area. Toilet and showers were located outdoors. After mom’s initial outburst, she took the long walk in the rain to the other end of the campgrounds to the shared showers, and declared it more than tolerable. By early evening, she was happily taking pictures of Lake Mirror, and of the foggy view of Mt. Apo’s peak. Plans for afternoon activities in the area

were scuppered, as the rains had turned the roads to mud. We expected sweltering hot days rather than rain and cool weather. We had wanted to visit the sculpture garden of local artist Kublai (born Mujahid Ponce Millan), about 15 minutes down the road. But the driver told us that the van could only drop us off at the foot of the dirt path that goes up to Kublai’s garden, as the path was steep and muddy and required a 4x4 to navigate. I thought I’d spare my mom more muddy walks.

Day Two

On our second day, no one, I think, was more relieved than I was to be driving back to the city. I wanted my mother to be more comfortable. We stopped to see the famous Crocodile Farm and Zoo. My mom never had an affinity with animals, but she let the gamekeepers wrap an albino Burmese python around her shoulders, while I could only put on a frozen smile and politely refused to get closer to any reptile.

Cover Story

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Cover Story

Butterfly Garden

Pearl Farm

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Cover Story

Min Ponce, mother of the artist Kublai, invited us for coffee at the Ponce Suites The Unconvention Center, a “gallery hotel” in a residential neighborhood within Davao City proper. Kublai’s signature works — gigantic sculptures of human figures, sometimes whimsical, sometimes fantastic, sometimes grotesque — line the hotel’s façade, but it isn’t until you step into Ponce Suite’s hallways that the full visual onslaught really begins. Hundreds of paintings, photographs, and multimedia work are on display, covering every available surface. It’s virtually impossible to look at every piece, unless you devote two or three full days to it. “This is so…unique,” my mother said, snapping away like a photographer on assignment. “For my Facebook,” she whispered. After about an hour’s worth of camera time, we staggered into the hotel’s coffee shop, grateful for both the airconditioning and for the respite from the stimulus overload. Min Ponce sat down with us to explain what she described as a “short but near-miraculous story of Ponce Suites” — how she had had to take out 22 bank loans to fund its construction, and how everything had just fallen into place, making the “unconvention center” a hit among the backpacker set, earning it a featured recommendation in the Lonely Planet Philippines guidebook and third place among all the Davao hotels in TripAdvisor, behind only the high-end resorts and hotels. On our way to our hotel, the Legaspi Suites, we passed familiar landmarks such as Apo View, one of the oldest hotels, the Marco Polo, the cathedral, and the park. Signs of more construction activity was quite apparent. There were sprawling, spankingnew malls, new subdivisions, and the site for the first high-rise condominium in the city. Davao is becoming more like Metro Manila or Cebu City minus the noise and the pollution. Quality of life here is enhanced by the proximity of the sea and the mountain. It’s no surprise that it came out first in an Asiaweek survey as the country’s “Most Livable City” and the 17th overall in Asia. At Legaspi Suites, check-in was pleasant and quick. We were booked in a very roomy deluxe room — two double beds, a sofa, and a dining table, and still had generous floor space left over; I’ve been told that the hotel has a reputation for being generous with space, and it looked like they earned that reputation very well. The 20-room hotel is a new build, with modern interiors, but the white painted walls and iron grillwork in balconies, and the wrought iron arch in the

Day out at the zoo: “Mom let them wrap an albino Burmese python around her shoulders,” said Kristine, who admits to not being comfortable around snakes. Bottom, local artist Kubai whose works are showcased at Ponce Suites The Unconvention Centre

entrance give it old-world charm. On the ground floor of the hotel complex is Kusina Selera, a restaurant specializing in everyday Filipino food from different regions, using the best of Davao’s local produce. We found that it had lived up very well to its fastgrowing reputation as one of the city’s best restaurants, a solid reputation that is built on unpretentious, very good food. Food is top of mind on this trip, with my mom declaring that “We can’t go to Davao and not eat tuna”. The place is tuna country after all, and you can’t get tuna any fresher. We had lunch at Marina Tuna Seafood Market and Restaurant, and ordered a run of all kinds of tuna dishes. We found that the

choice tuna cuts are reserved for the grill, or as ceviche (kilaw) and sashimi. We also had tuna eyeball soup — not to everyone’s liking, but definitely to my mother’s — and tuna kare-kare. Also on the menu were deep-fried tuna tail, tuna tendons, and, if you’re really brave, bagaybay, which is made up entirely of tuna testicles. Outside the restaurant, there is a kiosk that sells snacks – tuna burgers, tuna siopao, tuna lugaw or congee. From Marina Tuna, we headed back to the center of town for a mom-friendly activity: shopping. The Aldevinco market is traditionally the place to go, and it was nothing like I envisioned from my dad’s stories. Clean and well-ordered, it was miles

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Cover Story

absolutely loves it. “We’ve got a nice place up in the hills. I go to the beach every other week. Sometimes I cross over to Samal Island in the morning, and then check in to the office at lunch,” she told me.

Day Three

Clockwise from left, this spread: Museo Dabawenyo; Pearl Farm’s walkway that leads to the spa; T’boli Weaving Center

Right, writer Kristine’s top by Promod

and away better than the claustrophobic stalls one might expect to find. Mindanao antiques and traditional clothes sit cheekby-jowl with dresses and costume jewelry imported from Malaysia and Thailand, and Davao’s signature pomelo and durian are all boxed up, ready for you to take home on your trip back. Within half an hour in Aldevinco, my mom had already managed to load our van with boxes of fruit and other local delicacies. She was also on a mission to buy pearls — Davao is famous for its pearl divers — and spent a good deal of time looking through the shops and quizzing the clerks. Next stop was Museo Dabawenyo, a showcase of the culture and history of Davao’s various tribes, and then a stop at T’boli Weaving Center at the Pearl Farm Marina for a demonstration of traditional weaving techniques. Any visit to the city must include dinner at least once at Jack’s Ridge Restaurant and Resort, a complex built on an overlook that affords a stunning view of Davao City and of Davao Gulf. In the daytime, it’s a good way to get the lay of the land, but at night, the view of the lit-up cityscape can be truly breathtaking. “Even the restrooms have a view!” There are flyers and brochures at the entrance to any of the three restaurants at Jack’s Ridge, trumpeting the fact that the area used to be a Japanese army encampment in

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World War II; all traces of its military past are gone now, and the area swarms not with uniformed officers, but with large groups of merry-makers. A full day done, we checked into the Bahia Spa & Wellness Center for a soothing aromatherapy massage. Bahia, part of the Metro Lifestyle Spa and Fitness Complex, also had a massive gym, with separate floor levels for gym workout and classes. The walk-in rate for out-of-town visitors was only P150 (about US $3.5). It was nearly 11pm when we went back to our room. My mom was ready for bed, while I had a date for drinks at the bar with an old friend, Sharlene, who now lives in Davao and

The next morning, our third day, we were off to see Samal ourselves. The Sta. Ana pier had a roll on, roll off ferry that accommodated our van for a smooth 15-minute crossing to the Island Garden City of Samal. From Samal port, it’s a half hour’s drive to Maxima House, a beautiful, two-storey house built on stilts over the water, located in the Peñaplata area of Samal. My mother, who is not a fan of the beach, nevertheless swooned at the sight of the house and of the stunningly clear waters around it. My mom and I arrived at some compromise for the day’s activity. She agreed to brave a treetop canopy walk at Maxima Aquafun resort, just half a kilometer away from Maxima House, in exchange for a visit to Pearl Farm and its soothing spa. After being muddied and feeling tired from all the “adventure” that I put her through, the luxury and the restfulness of Pearl Farm was just what she needed. It was every bit as beautiful as my dad described it — and perhaps even better, now that it’s benefited from a renovation and an updating of its interiors. It remains, then as now, a stylish retreat done in Filipino-island style: the huge family cottages that line the garden walkway from the gate to the front desk are designed to honor the bahay kubo aesthetic, and the open-air restaurant that faces the swimming pool and a private beach cove is done up with island accents. “This is really beautiful. Maybe we can do this for a family vacation next time,” my mother said. And I expressed surprise that she would even consider a beach vacation. “You and your sisters can have the sun and the water. Your dad and I will sit in the shade with the grandkids,” she said. In the afternoon, we returned to Maxima. She sat at the balcony watching dusk descend, while I took a kayak out into the water and paddled out to watch the sunset from the sea. Total bliss. ■

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ESSENTIALS GETTING THERE The Francisco Bangoy International Airport, which primarily serves Davao City, is the main airport for Mindanao. There are multiple flights daily from here to Manila, Clark Airbase, Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo and Zamboanga. MidSea Express flies between Davao and Cotabato twice a week and between Davao and Bohol thrice a week. A wide network of public buses connect Davao to other major Philippine cities and provinces, including Cagayan de Oro, General Santos City, and Cotabato. You can also take the inter-island ferry (on the “roll-on, roll-off” system) from Manila to Davao; the trip takes about 3 days/2 nights. Sulpicio Lines and SuperFerry ply the route Manila and Davao twice weekly. GETTING AROUND The most convenient way to get around Davao City and its neighboring areas is a hired van. Ecotrans Car Rental rents out regular vans (Nissan Escapade vans) for P2,400 per day, and special vans (Toyota Grandia vans) for P3,000 per day including driver and fuel for tours within the city for 10 hours’ use. There’s extra charge by the hour if you exceed 10 hours, and if you go to Samal Island, you have to pay an additional P800 plus ferry fee. For a trip to Mt. Apo Park, van rental costs P4,000 excluding fuel. To book, call +6382/ 221 2746, 221 7432, 305 3159, or email • Taxis are easy to find within the city, and are on the road 24 hours a day. Rates are the same as in Manila (P40 flag down +P3.50 per few meters), though the Davao taxi system is known for being well-regulated and passenger-friendly. • You can also navigate the city via its network of jeepneys and tricycles, though you will need to ask a local for directions to get from point A to point B, as Davao’s many roads can be rather confusing. The Davao local government unit is also piloting a number of electric-powered “e-jeepneys” in limited routes. WHERE TO STAY • Mt. Apo Highland Resort Kapatagan, Digos, Davao del Sur

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Jack’s Ridge

Kusina Selera

Marina Tuna

Bahia Spa and Wellness

For reservations, call +63922/ 856 9792 or +6382/ 275 7955 • Legaspi Suites Rates are at about P1,995/double occupancy for both Premier and Deluxe rooms, and P3,395/ quadruple occupancy for a suite. WiFi is free, and rates include breakfast at Kusina Selera. Tel. +6382/ 227 8613 URL: • Ponce Suites The Unconvention Centre Rates start at P399 for a room with shared bathroom facilities; P1,250 for private rooms. Conference facilities and seminar packages are also available. Corner Roads 3 and 4, Doña Vicenta Village, Bajada, Davao City Tel. +6382/ 227 9070, 286 9144 Mobile: +63929/ 810 5699 Email:, resvn@poncesuites. net • Maxima Aquafun/Maxima Beach House Day trip packages to use the Aquafun facilities

start at P200; cottages are at P1,800/night. Maxima House rents for P15,000/night, for a maximum of 10 people Brgy. Cawag, Peñaplata, Garden City of Samal Tel. +6382/ 282 2339, 271 2626 • Pearl Farm Beach Resort Kaputian, Island Garden City of Samal Tel. +6382/ 221 9970 Email:,, URL: WHERE TO DINE • Jack’s Ridge Resort and Restaurant There are three restaurants at Jack’s Ridge: Taklobo, the main restaurant, and Kai’s Bar and Grill, both offer casual Filipino cuisine; Karlo’s Gourmet and Coffee serves international fare. There are also cottages, an events venue, a swimming pool, and a souvenir shop on the premises. Shrine Hills, Matina, Davao City Tel. +6382/ 297 8830, 297 8831

Cover Story

• Kusina Selera Serves fine Filipino food in an elevated-casual setting. Doors 9-11, Legaspi Suites 115 P. Pelayo St. (formerly Legaspi St.) Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippines Tel. +6382/ 221 2695

• Crocodile Farm/ Butterfly House Open Monday to Thursday (8am to 6pm) and Friday through Sunday (8am to 7pm) Entrance fees: P150/ adult; P70/ children two to 12 years old Riverfront, Diversion Road, Maa, Davao City Tel. +6382/ 286 8883 and 286 1054

• Marina Tuna Seafood Market and Restaurant Km. 8, Barrio Pampanga, Sasa, Davao City Tel. +6382/ 233 2666, 235 8553

• Bahia Spa and Wellness Offers a full range of spa services, including massage therapy, facials, body scrub, tubsoaking bath treatment, and hand and foot spa Metro Lifestyle Building A F. Torres cor. E. Jacinto Ext., Davao City Tel. +6382/ 228 6182 and 228 6180 ■

WHERE TO GO • Aldevinco Shopping Center Claro M. Recto Ave. cor. Manuel Roxas Ave., Davao City Customer Service Tel. +6382/ 222 3281, 227 2151 loc. 203 and 207 • T’Boli Weaving Center at the Pearl Farm Marina Lizada Drive, Lanang, Davao City Tel. +6382/ 234 7018 and +6382/ 234 6987 Weavers’ demonstration only upon appointment.

map illustrati o n b y marl o n see

InFlight would like to thank the Department of Tourism Region XI regional director Art Boncato for assisting the team during coverage, Ecotrans Car Rental for providing transportation, and Mt. Apo Highland Resort, Legaspi Suites and Maxima House for housing the team. InFlight would also like to thank Tessie Henderson of Intas Travel ( for recommending the tour itinerary for the Davao with my mom story

Pearl Farm Beach Resort

may 2012

| InFlight | 25

Insider’s Guide

Holidays for

kids Children's book author Maricel Pangilinan on 10 of the best days out for kids, from jungle survival tours to lunch in the middle of the ocean

Jungle Environmental Survival Tour (JEST) Camp

About Our insider Maricel LaxaPangilinan, 42, is a children's book author and mother to five kids. Her fourth and latest book, "Kuya na si Bunso" (My Youngest is Now a Big Brother) will be available at National Bookstore branches on mother's day, May 13. Pangilinan is also an actress and writes a weekly column for Philippine Star called “Mommy Talk." Follow Pangilinan on Twitter @ mommymaricel for updates. Call +632/ 994 5908 for inquiries


Jungle survival tour in Subic

“I have two boys and they’re very much into the outdoor life. I'd recommend the jungle survival tour, which takes your kids trekking into the forest, learning basic survival skills like locating sources of potable water, setting up traps. The area has a mini zoo, a butterfly garden, aviary, and a view deck where you can see this beautiful panoramic view of Subic. There is an

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amphitheater surrounded by huge trees.” Jungle Environmental Survival Tour (JEST) Camp Tel.: +6347/ 252 1489 URL:


Horseback riding in Baguio

“My children are often in Baguio with my husband, Anthony. We love it there because we can ride a horse and explore the mountains. There’s the Wright Park Riding Circle, where the kids can go horseback riding for an hour with a guide. The kids also enjoy going to the market to eat camote que (caramelized sweet potatoes) and banana que (caramelized bananas). It's the place to pick up ube (yam) jam and Good Shepherd peanut brittle. Baguio is also the best place for strawberries. About 30 minutes away from Baguio City is the Strawberry Farm in Benguet where we can pick the strawberries ourselves.” • Wright Park Riding Circle is on Gibraltar Road, Baguio City

• Good Shepherd Convent Tel.: +6374/ 424 1109 URL: • Strawberry Farm Tel.: +6374/ 423 7852


Tagaytay Highlands, Taal Volcano and Taal Lake

“Tagaytay Highlands has horseback riding, gardening, cable cars that allow you a view of the whole of Tagaytay. We once took our children for a tour of Taal Volcano and to cross the Taal Lake. They learned to sail on Taal Lake. At night stargazing is great here because of the clear vast night sky. Let your kids take their telescopes and laser pens so they could connect all the stars. [Ed: Tagaytay Highlands arranges stargazing.] For the side trips, visit Ilog Maria and Corner Stone Pottery in Cavite to buy souvenirs. You can also visit Nuvali for the bike trails and the fresh air.” • Tagaytay Highlands

Tagaytay Highlands

Tel.: +6346/ 483 2988 URL: • Taal Volcano Day Tours Tel.: +632/ 925 1009 URL: • Ilog Maria Honeybee Farm Tel.: +6346/ 865 0018 URL: • Cornerstone Pottery Farm Mobile: +63919/ 238 5535 or +63906/ 458 4678 URL: • Nuvali Tel.: +6349/ 302 6088 or 302 6091 URL:


Eating in the middle of the ocean in Cebu

The most unforgettable experience for us was when we went to the middle of the ocean in Cebu to go to the Seafood Stilt Restaurant, where waiters dive to get your order and cook it in front of you. We ordered

n u v ali ph o t o b y j o cas see

freshly steamed saang shells that you dip in vinegar with chili, crabs with aligue or crab fat, scallops, mussels, shrimps.” • Seafood Stilt Restaurant Tel.: +6332/ 231 5060



One-day tour in Bohol

“I had a date with my daughter in Bohol back when she was seven years old. We went to visit the Baclayon Church and the church in Loay. Of course we didn't miss the tarsiers, the Billar mahogany forest, Chocolate Hills. Then the two of us went on a cruise along Loboc River, ate lunch while being serenaded by local musicians. I arranged for a solo ferry tour with my daughter so she and I could have a real bonding activity." • Bohol Day Tour Tel.: +6338/ 411 4170 URL: • Bohol Tourism Office Tel.: +6338/ 411 3666 or 501 9186

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Insider’s Guide


Pomelo and durian binge in Davao

“Pearl Farm was where Anthony and I had our honeymoon. We’d take the kids there for swimming. When we’re in Davao, we can’t miss out on eating pomelos and durian. Go to local fruit stands on Magsaysay Avenue.” • Pearl Farm Tel.: +6382/ 221 9970 • Magsaysay Avenue fruits stalls faces the Magsaysay Park on Magsaysay Avenue in downtown Davao City


See the pineapple plantation in Bukidnon

“I was an endorser for Del Monte Kitchenomics for six years. Part of being an endorser, of course, is to go to Del Monte plantation in Bukidnon, where — as my son Donny describes it — ‘there are millions and millions of hectares of plantations and millions and millions of people picking all these pineapples.’ Go and take your kids to the Del Monte pineapple plantation and its factories to see how the fruits are canned, separated, labeled and then eat at the Del Monte Golf Club where the café serves really good steaks. Go to Camiguin Island for the lanzones festival and tour the different hot springs and super pristine white sand beaches. Oh! The zipline in Bukidnon! That’s the longest zipline now in Asia, and I have kids who are very adventurous so, you know, it’s a big thrill for them.” • Del Monte Golf Club Cawayanon, San Miguel, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon Tel.: +6388/ 855 5976 to 78 • Dahilayan Adventure Park Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon Tel.: +6388/ 857 2663, 856 3690, 856 2102 URL:



“When we’re in Bacolod, we visit Bahay Pag-asa, a place built by a foundation set up by La Salle to rehabilitate juvenile delinquents. I think it’s a place for the family to visit just to allow your children to understand that some kids there may have had some difficulties

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Saud Beach, Pagudpud

in life that pushed them to commit crimes. Bacolod is also known for its Spanish-era ancestral houses and the beaches in Silay.” • Bahay Pag-asa Tel.: +6334/ 453 9545 URL:

Tel.: +6336/ 288 6687 • Asya Premier URL:


"Take the whole Ilocos Norte tour — Fort Ilocandia, sandboarding, beaches in Pagudpud. Visit the Marcos Museum. But what my children enjoyed the most was seeing all the longganisa (local sausages). At San Nicolas Public Market, they saw the whole process of making longganisa.” • Fort Ilocandia Tel.: +6377/ 670 9101 URL: • Xtreme North Sandboarding Tel.: +63919/ 873 5516 URL: • Marcos Museum and Mausoleum Tel.: +6377/ 770 4242 By appointment only ■


“When we stayed at ShangriLa Boracay, my children had a blast! We did everything from parasailing, running in the beach, diving. But the highlight of our trip was riding the tricycle to D’Mall, a shopping place and market. At D’Mall they had their hair braided, and ate at Island Chicken Inasal, a restaurant specializing in grilled chicken, served with aromatic chicken oil sauce. We also went to Asya Premier just to experience a sunset dinner there.” • Shangri-La Boracay Tel.: +6336/ 288 4988 URL: • Island Chicken Inasal


Ilocos Norte

- - M ar g ie F ra n cisc o

saud beach ph o t o b y o g g ie ram o s

INdex For In My Bag

Dolce and Gabbana 1/F Rustan’s Department Store, Ayala Avenue, Makati City +632/ 813 3739 Dunhill 1/F Rustan’s Department Store, Ayala Avenue, Makati City +632/ 813 3739 Faconnable 3/F Rustan’s Department Store, Ayala Avenue, Makati City +632/ 813 3739 Hackett 3/F Rustan’s Department Store, Ayala Avenue, Makati City +632/ 813 3739 InstitutClarins 5/F Rustan’s Department Store, Ayala Avenue, Makati City +632/ 817 8414

store directory

Tommy Hilfiger 1/F Rustan’s Department Store, Ayala Avenue, Makati City +632/ 813 3739

For cover

Promod Ground Floor, SM Southmall, Alabang, Zapote Road, Las Piñas +632/ 519 7343



In My Bag

Good Times in Bohol

Rustan’s fashion buyer Erik Hannikainen has pleasant memories of Bohol, from island hopping, river cruising, to exciting cockfights IntervIew by MargIe FrancIsco Photos by Lee santIago

“I’ve Been To Bohol a few times and have always enjoyed my trip there. The island has all manner of historical and natural sites, which means there’s always something to do and see if I don’t want to sit on the beach all day. You’ve got the Spanish colonial churches, the Chocolate Hills, tarsiers, caves, coral reefs. The first time I went there was with an old Oxford friend and we island hopped, visited the churches, all the usual sights, and attended a cockfight, which was particularly exciting. We went to see the church in Loboc, which had beautiful interiors and the famous bamboo organ, went up the river, and had lunch there. We were surrounded by jungle greenery, all very evocative. I’ve been in Bohol at several different times of the year, and the weather has generally been rather good, especially when we went island hopping and had picnic lunches organized by the hotel.” ThInGs I Take when I Travel: 1 Hackett Belgravia wash bag in canvas with leather trim (P21,500 or about US $500) 2 Luxury Panama fedora hat (P4,250) 3 Hackett boat shoes (P11,550) 4 Faconnable polo shirts (rates start at P4,950) 5 Dolce & Gabbana The One Sport (P2,650) 6 Vintage swim shorts (P3,950) 7 Faconnable keyhole sunglasses (P11,500) 8 Clarins Men anti-fatigue eye serum (P2,650), Clarins sunscreen soothing cream progressive tanning (P1,750), Clarins after sun moisturizer self-tanning (P1,450) 9 Dunhill travel watch case (P11,105)









Turn to

Page 30 for store contact info

8 | InFlight

| May 2012

For more ideas on travel gear and essentials, visit

City Guides

B ata n e s // b or ac ay // C ebu // C l a r k // davao // el n i d o // 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

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p38 Airline guides

Pearl Farm Beach Resort, Davao

pearl farm beach res o rt ph o t o b y rh o n s o n n g

map illustrati o n s b y marl o n see

may 2012

| InFlight | 31


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. Mobile: +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 P1,600. Mobile: +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 P4,000, inclusive of set breakfast and roundtrip airport transfers. (www. Mobile: +63920/ 272 7836 • 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. Tel: +6336/ 288 4500 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

ph o t o b y o g g ie ram o s

InFlight City Guides


photo by jocas a . see



Golden Cowrie

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



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

ph o t o b y erick li o n g o re n

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 P8.50.


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: +6345/ 892 0134 • Holiday Inn Clark. A local favorite, the Holiday Inn has air-conditioned rooms and WiFi. Private garden villas are also available for families and groups. Tel: +6345/ 599 8000 Things to do • One of the activities in Clark is horseback riding at El Kabayo Riding Stables. • For P3,000, tourists can enjoy a dip at the

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. MACAU• 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

thailand bangkok



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

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.

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 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

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

may 2012

| InFlight | 35

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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| may 2012

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), Batanes and Tablas (Romblon), as well as to regional routes Singapore, Hong Kong, Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia and Bangkok in Thailand.

Destinations • Caticlan (Boracay) • Kalibo (Aklan) • Manila • Basco (Batanes) • Tablas (Romblon) • 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 | may 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













THAILAND Tablas Island


ROMBLON Caticlan














may 2012

| InFlight | 39

All That Buzz Dornier Media Launches Second Wedding Isle Dornier Media International, publisher of InFlight magazine, launched Wedding Isle, The Forum, on March 10, 2012 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila. Wedding Isle, The Forum is a one-day exhibit that featured hotels and resorts, and real estate developers in the Philippines catering to weddings and honeymoons. Alta Vista de Boracay, Discovery ShoresBoracay, Misibis Bay, Tarsier Botanika, The Tides and Epic Boracay, Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Megaworld Corporation and PROFriend each set up a loungy booth at Sofitel’s Mindanao Ballroom, and gave their brief video presentations during the show. Designers Frederick Peralta and Ramon Santiago also presented their latest collection of wedding gowns, tailor made for resort weddings, in a fashion show, the event’s highlight. Wacoal gift certificates, Beverly Hills 6750 gift certificates, an overnight stay at Boracay Garden Resort’s Junior Suite, and a Fridays Boracay Overnight stay were raffled off to some 100 guests, most of which were top wedding and event planners in the country. SeaTiger chief operating officer Patrick Tan opened the event while Sofitel’s sales and marketing director Chanelle Garvey gave the welcome remarks. Wedding Isle supplement, InFlight, Bakasyon and Indulge magazines are Dornier Media publications distributed onboard all SEAIR and SeaTiger flights. Wedding Isle, The Forum event was produced in cooperation with Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila.

Gown by Ramon Santiago

- M o n ica D e L e o n

Clockwise from here: Wedding gowns and suit designed by Frederick Peralta for Wedding Isle, The Forum’s fashion show

Dornier Media staff with designer Ramon Santiago (third from left)

Fashion designer Frederick Peralta and Dornier Media’s Margie Defensor

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P h o t o s b y M arti n A n th o n y D efe n s o r

inflight promotions

Travel Club Launches Mad About Travel Fair Travel Club, owned and operated by The Primer Group of Companies, launched the first of a series of fairs called Mad About Travel at the TriNoma Mall on March 16-18. The fair’s main thrust focused on health and wellness by means of traveling. Two more events are set on July 22-29 at Ayala Center Cebu, and on October 12-14 at Glorietta, Ayala Center in Makati. Attendees were offered discount on Travel Club’s and partners’ various products. Event partners Philippine Airlines, Filman Travel Agency, Allied Bank, Fitness First, El Nido Resorts, Philltoa, Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa, Blue Water Spa had booths that offered special packages and services. Brands Slendertone, Backjoy, Fitflop, Healthy Back Bag, Hedgren, Delsey, Travelon and Go Travel showcased their best product selections. Airline flights, hotel accommodation and gift certificates were raffled off vis-à-vis games that were organized throughout the fair. And with Travel Club celebrating its 20th year in December, it has partnered with Allied Bank in launching its first Travel Club Platinum Mastercard that will entitle holders special privileges like discounts on Primer products, earning Mabuhay Miles mileage points, rebates, and 0% installment payment option, to name a few. Application forms for The Travel Club Platinum Mastercard can be availed from any Travel Club branch. Visit for store location details. Greenbelt 5 branch tel: +632/ 757 4051.

Philippines Among Marine Diving 2012 Event’s Top Three Dive Destinations The Philippines ranked third in the Marine Diving 2012, one of the largest diving and beach resort exhibits in Asia, held on April 6-8, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan. The selection was made through a voting system done by the subscribers of the prestigious Japan dive publication Marine Dive Magazine. Since the Philippines’ participation in the exhibit in 2000, it has always been part of the top five destinations. This year, the Philippines is the only ASEAN country to make it to the top three. The other two were the Maldives and Palau. Some 200 exhibitors from 50 different countries participated in the event. The Philippines showcased diving in the Philippines by placing five aquariums inside its booth vis-à-vis a display of marine life paintings hung on the wall. Japan is one of the top three sources of foreign tourist arrival in the Philippines in 2011.


| InFlight | may 2012

The Farm Offers 30% Off This summer, wellness center The Farm offering 30% off on accommodation, five-course gourmet meals, spa treatments, integrated medical services, and Six-Night Specialized Healing Retreats. The Farm’s Six-Night Healing Retreats, such as Organic Weight Loss, Beauty & Longevity, Diabetes Prevention, and Heart Health, provide a vacation package that includes a series of purification techniques and holistic health services designed to bring about optimal levels of wellness and health. For more information and to book, call +632/ 884 8074, +63918/ 884 8080, email or URL:

5,000 Reefbuds To Repair Boracay’s Coral System In an effort to save the coral reefs due to the increased sea-surface temperature, unregulated tourism and over-fishing, the local government unit of Boracay Island launched a P60-million artificial reef project early this year. Private groups and the local government plunged 121 artificial reef domes some 12-50 feet deep in Boracay's waters, covering an area of about 130sqm to help boost coral growth. The domes provide a healthy habitat that can attract various fish species. The domes also function as wave breakers, especially during typhoon season. The coastal-resource management is a project of the Boracay Beach Management Program (BBMP) with the LGUs, the Boracay Foundation, Philippine Chamber of Commerce-Boracay, Petron Corp., Petron Foundation, San Miguel Corp. and other stakeholders. For more information and updates, call +6336/ 288 3971.

A Guide for visiting Pinoys

Top 5 Investment Tips

From real estate to food kiosks

Remittance Lowdown

The top 3 ways of sending money back home

Back-to-school Shopping

Top best value shops

Lauro Convencido, popularly known as Mang Larry, the man behind the famous isawan (kiosk selling grilled innards) inside the UP campus

Small Business Success: Mang Larry’s Isawan sa UP Plus: OFW exit clearances soon available at Duty Free Shops Photo by Daniel Soriano


m ay 2 0 1 2


60 64

54 46 Editor’s Note NEWS

48 POEA sets up Labor Assistance Center

Satellite Office at Duty Free Philippines; OWWA gives college scholarship to OFW dependends food special

50 Cool down

Five summer desserts food blogger Anton Diaz says are worth trying out, once more


B a k as y o n | m ay 2 0 1 2


52 Back to school shopping

Go Mom blogger Lilian Ramos-Yeo reveals her favorite budget shops from school uniforms to school supplies

60 Me and mom time

Travel expert Aileen Clemente lists five breaks with mom in tow personal finance

62 Top 5 money spinners

Fiancial adviser Randell Tiongson lists five of business ventures with high success rate

64 Wise home buying

DMCI marketing officer Cherrie Lyn Cruz’s useful tips on buying your first dream home COVER STORY

54 Buhay isawan sa UP

From a small nondescript stall at the state university campus, Mang Larry’s Isawan has grown into a money spinner and an icon of university life

Editor’s Note Midsummer is the time when you’re torn between summer, reviewing the boxes on your holiday checklist that you haven’t ticked, and you start planning for the month of June, the time when classes start in Manila. For a mom like me with four boys, nothing can be more scatterbrain-inducing than working full time, and in between, still making up for what’s left of summer and at the same time, starting sorting uniforms that needed mending or replacement, shopping for school bags and shoes and undergarments to replace those worn and torn by rugged hard-to-tame school boys, enrolling the kids. In this issue of Bakasyon, we present to you stories that are fit for the season that is a combination of summer and back-to-school. Mothers are also treated special in this issue. On page 50, we have food blogger Anton Diaz sharing his favorite summer desserts that, before rainy season hits, he bets you should try, or try once more. While on page 52, practical shopper and blogger, also a mom, Lilian Ramos-Yeo recommends shops and department stores where you can shop for less for school supplies, uniforms and other things your child will need in school. Of course there’s the staple travel theme within our pages but we give our travel section a little twist. On May 13, mother’s day, which falls every second Sunday of May, is the day we pay tribute to our beloved mothers. So for our Travel section, we interviewed travel expert Aileen Clemente who listed some activities perfect for us to try out with our moms. We also have in this issue to show an inspiring story of isawan (kiosk that sells grilled innards) owner Mang Larry, a Filipino who started small but eventually became a money spinner and an icon of university life. Wishing you a well spent midsummer! Monica De Leon Managing editor

A Guide for visiting Pinoys

editorial Editor Managing editor Art director Writer

Giselle Javison Monica De Leon Jocas See Margarita Francisco

Contributing photographers Ferdz Decena, Joel Garcia, Oggie Ramos, Lee Santiago, Jeffrey Sonora, Daniel Soriano Contributing writers Lei Chavez, Freida Dario, Ferdz Decena, Jan Lao, Oggie Ramos, Ces Rodriguez

Advertising Sales and Marketing Sales and marketing director

Margie Defensor

Media representative

Joyce Ann Moros

Publishing Publisher Admin officer

Dornier Media Andre Palma

Board of Advisers Iren Dornier Nikos Gitsis Giselle Javison Delza Apostol Atty. Celina Cua

Inquiries Editorial: +632/ 553 7976 Email:; Advertising: +632/ 553 7978 Email:

philippine Copyright © 2012

Dornier Media International 4F, Lerose Building, 832 Edades Street corner Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City, Philippines Telefax: +632/ 840 2802 • Email:


B a k as y o n | m ay 2 0 1 2


POEA Sets up Labor Assistance Center Satellite Office at Duty Free Philippines

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) vacationing in the country may soon have their exit clearances processed while shopping at Duty Free Philippines in Parañaque City. Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) administrator Hans Cacdac said his agency had set up a Labor Assistance Center satellite office at the Duty Free building in Parañaque to process the overseas employment certificates (OEC) of OFWs while they shopped. Meanwhile, Department of Labor secretary Rosalinda Baldoz hailed the setting up of the LAC unit at Duty Free Philippines saying, this would help many OFWs, most of whom were usually pressed for time, get some requirements done along with their shopping. OFWs are required to present their OECs at the airport prior to leaving the country to return to their jobs abroad. The center will be open from 10am to 5pm during weekdays, excluding holidays. ■ For more information, call POEA at +632/ 722 1144

OWWA Gives College Scholarship to OFW Dependents Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) launches the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP), a scholarship grant offered to beneficiaries or dependents of Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are members of OWWA. The scholarship on offer covers a four- or five-year baccalaureate course of choice by the applicant. OWWA dependents — a child of a married OWWA member or brother/sister of an unmarried OWWA member — must submit a duly accomplished form and completed requirements (the forms can be downloaded from or can be gathered from any OWWA Regional Welfare office), must pass the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) adminitered exam, and make it to its top 100 qualifers nationwide. These applicants, to be eligible for the program, must also be Filipino citizens no older than 21 years, have an average grade of at least 80%, belong to the upper 20% of the graduating class, and bear a good health and moral standing. Once an OWWA dependent qualifies for the scholarship, he/she can take up any preferred course from any Commission on Higher


B a k as y o n | m ay 2 0 1 2

Education (CHED) A queue of OFW accredited institution dependents who took the in the country. Note EDSP last year that they must also pass the entrance exam and other qualifications set by the receiving school. The forms and required attachments may be submitted to respective OWWA Regional Welfare offices. OWWA Regional Welfare Office 1 (RWO1) sets September as deadline for submission of requirements (a specific date to be announced later). Those taking the exam are informed by RWO1 of the result via an SMS. ■ Interested parties in Region 1 may inquire at +63927/ 620 7300 or +63908/ 863 4250. Visit for related announcements and for contact info of other OWWA regional offices


Food special

Purple yam cake


Cool Down

Before summer is over, here are 5 summer desserts food blogger Anton Diaz says are worth trying out, once more The Kitchen’s Best

Pièce de résistance: The Kitchen’s Best purple yam cake (P650 or about US $15, rectangular 5x7, P1,100, 9in round cake), layered with creamy purple yam mousseline that highlights the crunchy and chewy nutty sheets of meringue. It’s a uniquely rich Filipino treat decked with soft and velvety halaya (jelly) for that real melt-in-the-mouth goodness. The Kitchen’s Best by Roselyn Tiangco Tel.: +632/ 211 0010 or 843 3847

The Cru Kitchen

Pièce de résistance: Queso de bola cheesecake (P180 for a slice; P600 for a 6in round cake). It has a nice tender Graham butter crust that holds up well without crumbling. It offers a complex mix of flavors and textures on your palate, beginning with the sweet and creamy cheese courtesy of tiny pockets of salty queso de bola (edam cheese) in the cake’s feathery yet velvety body. In fact, you can almost smell the goodness of the cheese once you open the box. The Cru Kitchen Tel.: +632/ 828 4474


Pièce de résistance: Sapin-sapin (P110/order) or thick layers of halayang ube and kamote (sweet potato) carefully topped by burnt caramelized sugar. A tempting crème brûlée of sorts to fulfill every sweet tooth’s wish. Kuse, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City Tel.: +632/ 836 4966

Little Quiapo

Pièce de résistance: Halo-halo (P99), the psychedelic eyeball-popper comprises eggyolk custard, chickpeas, sweetened kidney beans, colored gelatin, red, green and white sugar palm, nata de coco, purple-yam preserve, sago (tapioca) in syrup, jackfruit,


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Queso de bola cheesecake

macapuno, purple yam ice cream, toasted rice crisps, about an inch of evaporated milk and sugar. Little Quiapo Tel.: +632/ 922 4131


Pièce de résistance: Yema cake (P400/whole; P110/slice). It’s a decadent local version of the classic sans rival, using loads of premium cashew nuts that give the thin wafers a sweetish, nutty flavor. Everything about this cake is deliciously executed, from the meringue to the yema filling that spreads evenly and generously through each layer. It looks dangerously sweet, but, on the

contrary, it’s not. 2/F Promenade Mall, Greenhills. Call five days in advance for reservation Tel.: +632/ 744 3446 e-mail: ■

-- Margarita Francisco

About Anton Diaz Anton Diaz is the blogger behind Our Awesome Planet, a food and travel blog site established since 2005. He also co-founded the hip weekend market Mercato Centrale @ Bonifacio Global City, and the soon-to-launch Soderno @ Molito in Alabang.

Purple yam cake photo by Daniel Soriano

Bangui Windmills


Back to School Shopping Go Mom blogger, Lilian Ramos-Yeo (www. reveals her favorite budget shops from school uniforms to school supplies photo by Daniel Soriano

American Bazaar

Why go. The store offers imported home appliances, accessories and school items, all at P66 (about US $1.6) each. Good buys. Pencil sets, erasers, flash cards, art supplies, paper items. Two-for-P66 items on offer sometimes include glue sticks, notepads, stickers, and project and scrapbook items. Where to go. American Bazaar has branches at Cash and Carry Makati, Waltermart Makati, Robinson’s Otis Manila, Market Market Taguig. Like American Bazaar page on Facebook

and branded pencils with sturdy lead are also sold here. Merriam and Webster carries textbooks from their own publication and selected publishers, art supplies and cute character knick-knacks. Where to go. Arnaiz Avenue corner Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City

Japan Home Center

National Bookstore Otis

Why go. All items at Japan Home Center are at P88 each, except for the “forever-on-sale” Daiso-tagged items at P66 each. Good buys. They have a variety of lunch boxes, stainless cutlery, tinkerboxes and more. You can also buy all original brands of Disney, Hello Kitty and other novelty items featuring cartoon characters. Where to go. Japan Home Center has 27 branches in Metro Manila including Alabang Town Center, Greenhills Shopping Center, Robinson’s Galleria and Park Square 1.

Merriam and Webster Makati

Why go. They deliver for free within Makati for P1,000 minimum-worth purchases. Good buys. Branded school items and affordable alternatives. Quality plastic covers


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Merriam and Webster

Why go. For back-to-school promos, various freebies and discounts. You even get a rebate when you use their environment-friendly red bag when shopping. Good buys. National Bookstore, the most popular bookstore in the country today, has up-to-date school items from notebooks to school supplies to books. Where to go. Ground Level, Robinsons Place Otis, Paz Mendoza Guanzon St., Pandacan, Manila. Tel: +632/ 559 0598-99

Robinson’s Department Store Makati Why go. Here you can find all items you’ll find in any other department store but less the maddening crowd of shoppers. School items for sale are already displayed at the

front for shoppers’ easy access. Good buys. Good quality home items and branded uniforms, school supplies, bags and shoes are fairly priced. Uniform tops and polos range between P150 and P250; shoes range between P350 and P550. Where to go. Robinson’s Department Store is at 3/L Waltermart, Arnaiz Avenue corner Washington Street, Makati City. Tel: +632/ 889 7902

SM Hypermarket Makati

Why go. SM Hypermarket Makati has a massive space allowing for a comfortable shopping experience. There’s free parking and you can expect shorter queues at the cash counter. And they offer promos and freebies regluarly. Good buys. School uniforms, school shoes, rubber shoes and school supplies of various brands. Prices of apparels start from P200 to P750. Where to go. Osmena Avenue, near Buendia, Makati City. Tel: +632/ 887 6701 ■

-- Margarita Francisco

Mang Larry, now a university icon and money spinner. Thanks to his isawan that paved the way


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Buhay Isawan sa UP From a small nondescript stall at the state university campus, Mang Larry’s Isawan has grown into a money spinner and an icon of university life, says Tet Defensor Photos by Daniel Soriano


ang Larry’s isaw — tasty barbecued pork or chicken intestine served hot from his stall — is not just a savory treat at the end of the day for many of the students and residents of the University of the Philippines (UP), the country’s state university, but has become somewhat of a student life icon, just like the blue book, ikot jeep that takes students from class to class inside the university compound, and form-5. The huge “Mang Larry’s Isaw” signage near the UP College of Law is difficult to miss, and so is the smokey, woody aroma of barbecued meat. At P3 (about US .07 cents) a stick, the delectable snack is a hit, and there is often a long queue. “Noong nag-umpisa ako beinte singko lang ang bawat stick,” said Lauro Convencido or Mang Larry, the isaw man himself. The famous isawan stall has been a

campus fixture since 1984. At that time it was simply a side business of Mang Larry, then an employee of LVN Film, one of the biggest film companies in the country, located on P. Tuazon in Cubao, Quezon City. He worked for LVN during its peak in the 80s, but the company stopped making films, and shifted its focus on providing postproduction facilities to active film outfits. Mang Larry got the idea of starting his own isaw business from observing the isawan stalls on his way home from work at LVN. He would get a jeep on Arayat in Quezon City, and almost always notice the crowd in front of an isawan. He tried one and thought the isaw was nothing special and could be improved. “Nakita kong maraming tao, kaya nakaka-engganyong kumain. Hindi naman masarap; parang hindi pa nga nilinis ng mabuti, pero maraming kumakain. Sabi ko sa sarili ko pag ako nagtayo ng ganito, aayusin ko ang pagluto, at pagagandahin ko pa (Lots of people were queuing up to buy it, but it was not even

tasty. It didn’t look that clean. I thought I could cook up a better version),” he said. Mang Larry grew up in a relative’s house in Area 2, UP Diliman, and also witnessed his aunt doing well running a similar barbecue business. “Nagbebenta din sila, pero hindi sila gumagawa ng isaw” he said. One time he told his aunt about the isawan on Arayat, and she encouraged him to start one up himself. “Nagtinda din ako ng dyaryo noon kaya kilala ako sa mga opisina sa UP. Si Senator Angara pa ang presidente noon. Noong sinabi ko sa mga kilala ko sa UP na gusto kong magtayo ng isawan, tinulungan nila ako makakuha ng permit. (I was also selling newspapers then and a lot of the employees at UP knew me. Senator Angara was then president of the university. When I told people in the university that I wanted to set up an isawan, they helped me get a permit)” he said. Mang Larry opened his first isawan at a small canteen for UP workers with a capital of P40. “Maliit pa lang noon, ihawan pa lang,

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“In 1992, Mang Larry resigned from LVN to focus on his growing business. From his daily earnings he was able to invest on a nice stall, a few workers, and more importantly he was able to send his children to school“


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wala pang masyadong nakakaalam kasi kaya wala pang gaanong benta, pero hindi naman siya nalulugi. Lahat ng kita iniipon ko, kasi nagtatrabaho pa naman ako kasi noon. (It was a small business then and not yet that popular, but it was not making a loss. I saved all my earnings from the business because I still had my LVN job then).” Business eventually picked up when Mang Larry was allowed to sell outside Kalayaan Hall. The location was perfect because it was right in the midst of all the student dormitories, just a short walk from Molave, Yakal, Sanggumay and Ipil. The students would often joke about Mang Larry’s afternoon snack business, saying the crowd was like the ticket crowd to a blockbuster movie. Even students from nearby schools like Ateneo and Miriam would drop by for a taste of the famous isaw. In 1992, Mang Larry resigned from LVN to focus on his growing business. From his daily earnings he was able to invest on a nice stall, a few workers, and more importantly he was able to send his children to school.

Mang Larry has seen all his five children, except for Angelica 13 who is still at school, through school, just from his earnings from the isawan. His children Alvin 30 and Andrea 27 are both married. Alvin has two children. Alona, 24, is a registered nurse while Angelo, 22, helps out in the business. Like any businessman, he is burdened by the rising cost of basic commodities. With a heavy heart, he openly disclosed that he is left with no choice but to go for a price increase. “Ang taas, taas ng presyo ngayon, kung hindi rin ako magtataas, baka mapunta na lang lahat sa bilihin ang kita ko.” He is currently studying increasing his price from P3 to about P3.50 His wife Elizabeth takes charge of preparing the food to be sold. “Dati may katulong pero ang hirap din kasi, maya-maya aalis o may problema, kaya si Misis na lang. Aside from the popular isaw, his daily menu includes betamax (pork blood cubes), walkman (pig ears) pork barbeque, goto and soft drinks. Mang Larry’s isawan is open seven days a week. He starts his day at 9am, when he

Scrumptious pork isaw or intestines grilled to perfection. Left, the queue of Mang Larry’s isawan, who are primarily UPians (colloquial for UP students)

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Innards on the grills. They go well with Mang Larry’s special sauce. Left, Mang Larry’s isawan doesn’t only attract UP students but also students from neighboring schools like Ateneo de Manila and Miriam College

“Proof of product quality is the weekly bulk orders from restaurants and bars. Aside from being a tasty afternoon snack, isaw is also a delectable pulutan“

buys fresh meat in the market. The meat is thoroughly washed, sliced and skewered on sticks. Grilling begins by lunch hour, in time for the 3pm selling. Depending on the number of people queuing for his tasty treats, Mang Larry closes his stall by 9pm. His stall is currently located at the open lot beside the College of Law. Even former university students would always pass by his stall whenever they are in the campus. He often meets UP alumni who would bring their children to his stall, complete with tales as to how they enjoyed their isaw as students in UP. “Marami akong mga suking estudyante noon, sina Senator Kiko Pangilinan, Senator Pia Cayetano bumibili sila sa akin noon. Noong nasa Kalayaan pa ako si Jessica Sojo laging bumibili sa kin.” In time isaw lovers from all parts of Manila would troop to Diliman to have a taste of the famous isaw. “Si Willy (Revillame), Mayor Bistek, si Aga, dumadaan sila dito noon, mga barkada ko na sila” He would often site food quality as the

reason why so many people have made his isaw a part of their daily life. “Kahit binebenta yan sa kalye, nililinis naman yan ng mabuti. Hindi kami nagtitipid sa tubig, hindi gaya ng iba na basta na lang hinuhugasan.” Proof of product quality is the weekly bulk orders from restaurants and bars. Aside from being a tasty afternoon snack, isaw is also a delectable “pulutan.” Bar owners would buy each stick at P3 each and sell them for at least P40 each in their outlets. His business is guided by the success of Ma Mon Luk restaurants. The formula used from day one, still holds up to the present. “Kung ano ang ginawa nila sa umpisa, hangang ngayon ganun pa din. Hindi ko akalain na magiging sikat ako kaya lagi kong tinatandaan yung sinabi sa akin ng isang Chinese businessman. Dapat huwag kang maging mayabang. Lagi rin dapat tapat sa customer, magpakatotoo at huwag makalimot sa taas.” Is he worried about competition? “Kilala na ako dito sa UP,” he quipped, “kahit marami pang nagtitinda ng isaw dito ako pa rin ang hinahanap.” ■

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Me and Mom Time

Travel expert Aileen Clemente lists 5 breaks that will surely make momma proud

1 Take a walking tour Highly recommended are Ivan Man Dy’s Chinatown food tours and Carlos Celdran’s Walk This Way (especially the historic Intramuros and gossip-laiden CCP “Imelda” tours). Take it a step further and sign up for the Pinoy Eats World Pampanga culinary tour, where you and your mom can hop on a bus with other fun-loving gastronomes and make stopovers at various cultural and culinary spots. Like Pinoy Eats World Tour on for info and schedules. Visit for Ivan Man Dy’s Chinatown food tour. Visit www. for Carlos Celdran’s Imelda tour

2 Go on a road trip

Plan a Viaje del Sol tour of Laguna, where you can go to Casa San Pablo, Herbana Farms, Cafe Lago, Sitio de Amor, Majayjay Bed and Breakfast, Museo ni Cipra, Villa Socorro, Sampaloc and Pandin Lakes, and Tahanan ni Aling Meding. Or a Viaje del Sol tour of Quezon where you can’t miss Ugu Bigyan’s rustic pottery garden in Tiaong, Quezon. Visit

Cubao X

3 Wine and dine in a time warp Dine on genuine Filipino turn-of-thecentury dishes with specialties like adobong Batangas a la Adarna, Pancit 1913 and their best seller, Piassok, a coconut milk based dish rooted from Sulu, similar to the Indonesian beef rendang. The Adarna Food and Culture is also home to various Philippine memorabilia and vintage things, including a sari-sari store and an ancient piano. Adarna Food and Culture is at 119 Kalayaan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City. Call +632/ 926 8712

4 Have a weekend getaway



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Mountain Woods Resort is nestled among the rich greenery of Subic Bay, a two-hour drive from Manila. If you want something different for the summer, the resort gives

you the calm, stress-free experience only a lush surrounding can provide. Pamper in their four-poster beds, infinity pool, candlelit dinners and tree-lined grounds. Call Mountain Woods Manila office at +632/ 671 7349 or visit

5 Do some quirky shopping If mom wants some non-mainstream shopping, take her to Cubao X, which used to be the old Marikina Shoe Expo. In the compound are several shoe stores together with other shops selling clothes, bags, and various knick-knacks. There are also vintage stores and art galleries dedicated to young artists. Cubao X is at Araneta Center, Gen. Romulo Ave., Cubao ■

-- Margarita Francisco

Cubao X photo by Ferdz Decena

Personal Finance

Top 5 Money Spinners Financial adviser Randell Tiongson lists 5 of business ventures with high success rates Interview by Margie Francisco illustrations by mark david see

Food cart Starting a food cart business is easy, but like any other business you have to work hard to make it successful. You need a product people will always want, a good location, and good marketing. Advice: “Location is the key to running a food cart business or any food business, for that matter. You don’t need to start big right away. Getting a very basic cart is all you need to get started.” Capitalization: A minimum of P20,000 will get you a small, wooden cart with a signage, fryers and grillers, and initial inventory and packaging for your products. A capital of around P100,000 will provide the food cart and mall space, including one month deposit and two months advance rental (about US $465-$7,300). Return on investment: Three to five months Risks: Competing food carts in the same location Success rate: 7/10


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Sari-sari store / Convenience store “Sari-sari stores can be found in almost all neighborhoods, sometimes even in every street corner. Most sari-sari stores are operated in a corner of the store owner’s house or within his premises. Advice: It helps to start your store on a street where there is no competition because then you will be filling a need. “You can start promoting your store in your area by putting up an attractive signage and distributing flyers. You can also ask your family and friends to help spread the word about your business.” Capitalization: P5,000-P50,000 covering the initial products to sell in your sari-sari store, consisting of dry goods, toiletries, laundry products and electronic load. Return on investment: Six months to one year Risks: “Having a sari-sari store is a risky business especially if there are a lot of competition. Some store owners will try to minimize the risk by investing more and trying to force their competitors out of the market.” Success rate: 6.5/10

possible options available: be an owner/ operator; a driver and an owner/driver.” Advice: “You have to study the route, if you’re going to start a transport service like a tricycle or a jeepney. If you’re planning to do car and van rentals, then you have to set up and market the business pretty much like a limo service.” Capitalization: P100,000 for tricycles; P1,000,000 for vans Return on investment: Two to three years Risks: “Maintenance cost can be substantial because parts don’t come cheap for vehicles driven to almost exhaustion everyday. Your employed driver also runs the risk of contracting asthma and other respiratory problems due to the air pollution on our city streets.” Success rate: 9/10

Real Estate “The market is divided between owneroccupants and investors hoping to make a profit from property. Right now, majority of the investment is driven by potential tenants looking for units available for lease, including short-term rentals to accommodate tourists.”

Transportation service “Due to their high visibility and undeniable presence in our daily lives, transportation is being considered both a major and secondary source of income. When you invest in this venture, there are three

Advice: “OFWs can begin receiving income almost immediately when they buy a house to rent out.” Many people prefer to rent a place situated in a prime real estate spot so tenants are quite easy to find. Capitalization: From P800,000 Return on investment: Five years Risks: “Real estate is a less volatile investment compared to other businesses.” Real estate locks liquidity and can be difficult to acquire since it requires a lot of money to own a property. On the upside, you profit when a tenant or buyer makes down payment. The monthly rent from tenant gives you cash flow. Success rate: 7.5/10

Personal Finance

Remittance Lowdown

Randell Tiongson on the top three ways of sending money to the Philippines Bank remittances

Water refilling stations “Three of the five fastest growing food and beverage categories in the global market were beverages and the water business, ranked among the top five in the said category.” Advice: “The advantage of being a franchisee is that you’ll get a head start in terms of starting your operations compared to the independent operators who have to discover the business operation on their own. Franchise packages have marketing programs as well so that’s a big help in marketing the product. Independent sellers have to design and develop their own promotional schemes to attract clients.” Capitalization: P400,000 to P1,000,000 for independent seller; P800,000 to P1,000,000 for franchisees Return on investment: 10 months to two years Risks: “There’s an estimated 3,000 “water stores” across the country. And many of them are inside affluent villages and subdivisions. So again, location is the key.” Success rate: 7.5/10 ■

According to personal finance expert Randell Tiongson, Banco De Oro (BDO), named top remittance bank for years 2008-2010 in the Philippines, has links with numerous international money transfer companies like Xoom, Xpress Money, and Wells Fargo Express allowing you to send money from almost anywhere in the world. You can remit money via BDO (even without a BDO account) and have your beneficiary pick this up from a BDO branch or you can arrange to have the money deposited into your beneficiary’s bank account. BDO also has a promo called Kabayan Savings Account, allowing recipients to withdraw remitted money from ATMs in the Philippines free of charge. The recipient must apply for a Kabayan Remit Card, and give the card details to the one sending money via BDO from abroad. You can also avail of a BDO online account. Once this is activated, the account holder can directly transfer fund to an account of choice anytime online, free of charge. BDO is also the only bank in the Philippines that’s open until 7pm and operates even on weekends allowing recipients more flexibility. Speed of cash transfer: One to seven days Rates: From US $5 for $0.01-$500 to $15 for $3,001 and up (Exchange rates are continuously changing. Applicable rates for the day are posted near the teller’s counter.) Url:

MoneyGram Tiongson says MoneyGram has partnered with SMART Money and with MoneyGram Mobile so you can now send money to any SMART Money account in the Philippines. Just give the agent the recipient’s 12-digit mobile number, the filled up send form, and the cash you’re sending. The money will be remitted directly to the recipient’s SMART Money account in 30 minutes and the an SMS message will immediately notify the recipient who can withdraw the cash from any BDO, BancNet, Megalink and Expressnet ATM. Speed of cash transfer: MoneyGram offers two service levels — same-day service, or the economy service that takes one to three business days for funds to be transferred. Rates: Until June 30 this year, $5 is charged if sending cash for up to $500. $200 for $10,000 and up (exchange rates are posted at the MoneyGram branches) Url:

Western Union About Randell Tiongson Randell Tiongson is a personal finance advocate and director of the Registered Financial Planner Institute of the Philippines, a columnist for Philippine Daily Inquirer and Moneysense magazine, and an adviser for the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, where he is in charge of the financial literacy advocacy for Overseas Filipino Workers. He has more than 20 years of experience in the financial service industry from banking to mutual funds to insurance.

According to Tiongson, Western Union is one of the most established and convenient remittance centers locally and around the globe. Transacting via Western Union is a breeze. Once your transaction is done a transaction number is given to you which you will have to give to your cash recipient who will present it to the Western Union branch upon redemption. Recipients can now keep track of the fund transfer by logging on to Speed of cash transfer: Same day to one day Rates: US $.59 for $2.33 to $4.66; $15 for $163 to $233. Western Union converts the local currency into foreign currency, thereby, subjecting the transaction to applicable charges. For instance Singapore dollar remittance converts into Philippine peso upon receipt. Url: ■

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Personal Finance

Wise Home Buying

Bangui Windmills

DMCI marketing officer Cherrie Lyn Cruz gives useful tips on buying your first dream home illustration by mark david see

“The typical Filipino mentality in home buying is that the first home he buys should be his dream home and that is where he is going to stay until the day he dies,” says real estate developer D.M. Consunji’s marketing officer Cherry Lyn Cruz. Cruz adds that the key to wise property investment is to look at the resale value of a house in five to seven years before you decide to buy it. 1 Location, location, location. “Your home’s location within the community will be the most important controller of your resale profit. Good schools, proximity to shopping and transportation, and accessibility to central employment areas are factors that make a location favorable.”

2 Check the reputation of the developer. “Don’t take other people’s word on builder excellence. Check it for yourself. See as many houses a developer has built or projects he has developed. Watch out for sloppy workmanship such as rough edges, unfinished carpentry areas, poor plumbing facilities. If you are buying in a development, talk to other homeowners in that development and ask if they have any problems in their houses and community.”

3 Choose a house with architectural style


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that places it safely within the mainstream of your area and price range. “Highly personalized and dramatic architectural structures may take more time to re-sell later on.”

4 Invest in renovation works that will add value to your property. “Among these may be an additional bathroom, bedrooms, a carport for at least one car.”

5 Avoid the big value losers. “A swimming pool may be a status symbol but for a maintenance-conscious individual, this may become a liability for resale rather than an asset.” 6 Consider how you are going to finance the purchase. Paying for a house in cash is always best. “But for those who intend to finance their purchase, the most important advice is not to borrow more than what you can afford to pay.”

7 Be prudent in buying or investing in projects or developments off plan or during the pre-launch stage. “For me, buying real estate during the pre-selling stage is like investing in an idea. It is intangible, just like anything that cannot be appreciated using the five senses, and may just evaporate into

thin air. I think real estate is still one of the most dependable hedges against inflation in a normal market, and it does a whole lot more in a brisk market.”

8 Keep in mind that determining the right price is better if you hire a licensed real estate broker or appraiser. “You can scout around and find out what the going rate per square meter is in the area, and then determine if the property you are buying is at least within its fair market value range. It is always good to seek professional advice on this matter.”

9 Work with a licensed real estate professional to help find the property for you, handle the legal paperwork and details, get the best financing option possible, and eventually close the transaction. “Commissioning a knowledgeable agent will save you time, provide you a greater selection of properties to choose from, and will make the buying process less stressful for you.”

10 Home is where the heart is. “No matter how well planned your purchase is, if you’re not happy with your choice, all your preparations will be in vain.” ■ -- Margarita Francisco


A davao supplement


Apo View Hotel


Pearl Farm Beach Resort

The iconic Mt. Apo

Davao is one of today’s thriving and most promising cities just like the giants, Manila and Cebu. It’s got an international airport, new malls sprouting, and more and more developments coming its way. But what’s to truly loveable about Davao is in spite of its unstoppable growth, the beaches and the mountains are always there to offer quiet respite when needed mt . apo photo by rhonson ng

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On the spot

The Apo View


here it lies. The Apo View, located in the heart of Davao City and its first hotel, is adjacent to People's Park and is a walk away from the City Hall of Davao, Davao Cathedral and Davao Doctors Hospital. It is situated across J.S. Gaisano Department Store. Ayala Abreeza Mall and SM City Davao are five minutes' ride away, while the airport, a 25-minute drive from the hotel. The resort experience. Apo View's statuesque structure is a distinct aspect of the Davao cityscape. It affords a view of Mt. Apo, the hotel's name sake.

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The lush garden next to the hotel's lobby is a welcome respite for hotel patrons who come for coffee and meetings. The hotel is enveloped by streets that developed over the years, extending its vibrant energy to the hotel. While the hotel pulsates with life, the elegant architecture of Apo View remains faithful to the laid-back vibe of Davao. The hotel also has a café, a restaurant, a bar with live entertainment, two floors occupied by casinos, and a swimming pool. Indulgence. Entrée restaurant serves an illustrious buffet composed of international and Filipino cuisine. On offer are pasta dishes, local tuna and sashimi, meat and fresh seafood, assorted salads and desserts using heirloom recipes.

Entrée is known for its fine breakfast, live music in the evenings, and extraordinary dishes served in an elegant and airy setting. Spending the night. Apo View has 158 rooms including eight suites, deluxe rooms and family rooms. The executive deluxe rooms are plush and offer a modern sensibility of design. Apo View offers full service amenities essential to any business hotel. The rooms have a minibar, WiFi internet access and cable TV, and services on offer include roundthe-clock room service, laundry and dry cleaning. Keep tab. Url: Email: Davao tel: +63(082) 221 6430 to 40 Davao fax: +63(082) 221 0748 Manila tel: +63 (02) 893 1288, 893 9151 Manila fax: +63 (02) 894 1223 ■

On the spot

The Ritz Hotel at Garden Oases


here it lies. The Ritz Hotel at Garden Oases, a green oasis right within Davao City’s business and commercial district, is a walking distance to shopping and recreational centers, and about 15-20 minutes’ ride from the Davao International Airport. The resort experience. Stepping into The Ritz Hotel at Garden Oases' main entrance is like entering paradise inside a bustling city with its serene and tranquil surroundings. Beautiful green landscaping envelope the whole of the hotel’s one-and-a-half

hectare property. This nature-y respite is teamed with the hotel’s elegant modern interiors, putting in business however stylish sensibilities ultimately geared towards providing comfort to the hotel’s guests. Indulgence. A favorite among locals, The Garden Oases Restaurant specializes in seafood meals and authentic Chinese cuisine, but there are other international dishes on offer too. There’s also a convention center that can fit up to about a thousand people at a given time, and function rooms available for private engagements. Guests can enjoy the coffeeshop with WiFi, and recreational amenities such as the

swimming pool with slides, basketball court and outdoor playground for kids. Spending the night. The Ritz Hotel at Garden Oases has 88 rooms designed to cater to business travelers and families alike. All rooms have WiFi internatet access and a safety deposit box, while suites’ added bonus are a bathtub in the toilet and bath. Keep tab. Url: Davao tel: +63 (082) 228 6855; Davao fax: +63 (082) 222 2998 Manila tel: +63 (02) 884 1463 local 132; Manila fax: +63 (02) 856 0400 ■

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On the spot

Pearl Farm Beach Resort


here it lies. Pearl Farm Beach Resort is nestled on the quiet west coast of Samal Island, about a 15-minute ferry ride from Davao City. The resort overlooks the Gulf of Davao, neighboring Talikud and Malipano Islands, and Mt. Apo Volcano. The blue waters surrounding Pearl Farm has been declared a marine sanctuary in 1992. The resort experience. The resort blends modern and comfortable accommodation with nature, and promotes the arts and skills of the native tribes. The resort takes pride of its houses built on stilts (Samal Houses) and the Samal Suites. All waterfront

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bungalows at Malipano Villas, designed by renowned Architect Francisco Bobby MaĂąosa, are built using native materials like bamboo, coconut and yakal. The entrance of each house is adorned by various local crafts such as jars or coconut shell dipper. Indulgence. The Parola Bar is a fine sunset bar that offers a wide variety of drinks served in an al fresco setting. Go to Maranao Restaurant for a taste of fine regional fusion cuisine, and fresh fruits and seafood. Spending the night. Pearl Farm Resort has 14 hilltop rooms with a verandah that overlooks the bay or the lush forest; Samal Houses are built after the seafaring Samal Tribes of the Sulu

archipelago; Samal Suites are two-storey Muslim-inspired suites with a private beach and verandah; Mandaya Houses are duplex-type bungalows nestled among palm trees; and the Malipano Villas are exclusive villas on Malipano Island, located a few hundred meters from Samal Island. Keep tab. Url: Facebook: www.facebook.pearlfarmbeach Davao tel: +63 (082) 285 0601 (sales); 221 9970 to 73 (resort) Email: reservations.davao@pearlfarmresort. com Manila tel: +63 (02) 854 7892, 853 5599 Email: â–

InFlight May 2012  

Good Times in the Philippines