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september 2012

Top 5 Kiteboarding Sites

From Antique

to Boracay Two Season’s Coron

A sanctuary for everyone, including giant clams

Home Cooking

Chef Claude Tayag’s flavors of Pampanga



In Search of Palau’s Bull Sharks

Inside inflight | september | 2012



04 e ditor’s note 06 in the news Two Seasons Coron Island Resort & Spa Now Open; El Nido to open its first zipline in October; El Nido to set up a house museum 06 Cale ndar What not to miss in September 08 In Room The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences 12 InDULGE Restaurant review: Bale Dutung My Favorite Tables: TV host Karen Pamintuan of Lifestyle TV Network’s lifestyle show Listed reveals where she goes for good food


16 ME AND MY TRAVELS Principal ballerina Mylene Aggabao-Salgado 20 cove r s tory In Search of the Feared Bull Shark Underwater photographer Gutsy Tuason heads for Palau hoping to capture rare images of one of the ocean’s most aggressive and unpredictable predators


32 inside r’s guide Graf’s 5: Philippine kiteboard pioneer Nenette Graf lists five of the best kiteboarding spots in the Philippines 39 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 16

w w w.inf

september 2012

Top 5 Kiteboarding Sites

From Antique

to Boracay Two Season’s Coron

A sanctuary for everyone, including giant clams

Home Cooking

Chef Claude Tayag’s flavors of Pampanga



In Search of Palau’s Bull Sharks


| InFlight | september 2012

Cover credits: Photo by Gunther Deichmann Location: German Channel, Palau •

editor’s note

People. Places. Adventures.


ome days you get lucky, some days you don’t. But the few days our contributor Scott Gutsy Tuason explored the waters of Palau was phenomenal. In his words: “When we get to the German Channel, it is raining Mantas! And for the next sixty-five minutes, it didn’t stop. This was one of those rare occasions when everything went as it should.” The same luck continues on his third day. The coveted prize? Rare images of bull sharks and spawning snappers. This all seems easy, but it took months of preparation and research. The trip, though cut short, gave him some of his best photos of one of the ocean’s most aggressive predators. For the full story and great photos, see pages 20 to 31. On pages 32 to 37, there’s more adventure with Philippine kiteboarding champion Nenette Graf revealing her top five kiteboarding sites in the Philippines. Graf, who lives in Boracay and runs the Hangin Kite Center, is known as Asia’s fastest woman. At the Action Asia Speed Trials windsurfing championship she recorded hit speeds of more than 50 miles per hour. Indulge, on pages 12 to 14, reviews Bale Dutung, a favorite Kapampangan restaurant in Pampanga, run by one of our contributing food writers, the artist Claude Tayag. Oggie Ramos books a table and gives his verdict. On pages 16 to 18, Me and My Travels turns the spotlight on Ballet Manila’s principal ballerina Mylene AggabaoSalgado. And as usual, we’ve got comprehensive city guides and the latest travel and hotel news. Enjoy your flight!

giselle javison Editor, InFlight



| september 2012


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

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Erratum Our apologies to Mr. Randell Tiongson, Director of the Registered Financial Planner Philippines, for publishing a statement attributed to him on page 49 of the June 2012 issue of Bakasyon magazine, a publication of Dornier Media, which may have implied that Mr. Tiongson was recommending any investment and/or real estate company for OFWs. While Mr. Tiongson acknowledges that both Manulife and Sun Life are recognized companies in the industry, it has always been his policy to remain neutral and does not as a matter of policy endorse any single company. He also did not endorse nor recommend Profriends.

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

Two Seasons Coron Island Resort & Spa Now Open

A turtle and giant clam sanctuary, and outstanding private beaches make the new Coron resort a must-book destination, says Monica De Leon Two Seasons Coron Island Resort & Spa, located on Malaroyroy Island, a 60-minute boatride from Coron town in Palawan, is offering guests beach front rooms and a nature reserve like no other — a sanctuary for turtles and giant clams. The resort soft opened in August and is expected to fully operate by the end of the year. Available rooms range from 40sqm to 58sqm, all with easy access to the beach. There’s also a 600sqm freshwater swimming pool. Guests get a promotional 30 per cent discount on rooms until October this year. The resort describes its rooms as “Filipino tropical” in five different categories. All rooms have cable TV. There are 42 bungalows. Once completed by yearend, the resort should have a dive center, watersport facilities, spa, chapel, library and souvenir shop. The resort’s Sulu Restaurant, and Bahura Bar at the pool side, will be operational in October. Two Seasons Coron is also intent

on following an environmentally friendly operation. It used hardwood salvaged from old railroad tracks for the guestroom beds; waterheaters are solar powered; there’s a proper sewage treatment plant allowing for zero waste discharge; and it has installed roof rain catchers. ■ Package rates at Two Seasons Coron start at P125,000 (about US $2,900) for a threenight stay for two in a mountain bungalow. For more info, visit www.twoseasonsresorts. com/coron.

El Nido To Set Up a House Museum El Nido is planning to open a museum featuring the traditional Cuyunon household and way of life by December this year. The Cuyunons are native lowland tribes of Palawan. The museum will be built on a 100sqm property in Sibaltan, east of El Nido mainland. The plan is to start construction in the last quarter of this year. The house will be a replica of a Cuyunon household, featuring its traditional furniture, rooms, and fishing and farming – Cuyunons’ main means of livelihood – gear. The garden beside the house museum will also be planted with medicinal plants the Cuyunons use. Cuyunons are religious, disciplined and followers of folk Christianity. To date, the El Nido area has the highest concentration of Cuyunons in the whole of Palawan. ■



| september 2012

El Nido to Open Its First Zipline in October El Nido is opening its first zipline by October this year. The zipline will be 600m long and will start from CorongCorong mainland and cut across to Dipeldet Island. The El Nido zipline is a project of the Palawan Rancho Zipline Adventure group in Puerto Princesa. ■ Visit www.facebook. com/palawanrancho. zipline.


What not to miss in September


PIGLAS: A Series of Martial Law exhibits

PIGLAS (Struggle) is a series of exhibits highlighting artistic expressions carried out during the historic event that shook the nation 40 years ago — the declaration of martial law. ReCollection 1081: Clear and Present Danger (Visual Dissent Under Martial Rule) is a visual feast that will run until September 30 at the Bulwagan Juan Luna & Pasilyo Guillermo Tolentino of the CCP, while Balikwas: Literature Under the Martial Law presents a selection of protest literature from different sources at the Pasilyo Juan Luna, also at the CCP. Gallery hours is from 10am to 6pm, Tuesdays to Sundays. Visit

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American Idol Live Tour 2012

FilAm American Idol Season 11 finalist Jessica Sanchez, together with other finalists in the TV show, will perform live on September 21 at 8pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. The concert, part of the Idols’ world tour, includes performances by Joshua Ledet, Colton Dixon, Skylar Laine, Hollie Cavanagh, Elsie Testone, Heejun Han, DeAndre Brackensick and Erika Van Pelt. Call Ticketnet at +632/ 911 5555. Visit


Tuloy Ang Byahe

Catch acoustic Filipino singer and environmentalist Noel Cabangon in a concert entitled Tuloy Ang Byahe (On with the Journey) at 8pm at the Music Museum. The concert will feature guest artists Christian Bautista and Gloc 9. Cabangon popularized folk acoustic songs Kanlungan and Tatsulok, the latter, a song by the group he formed called Buklod (a now defunct trio). Cabangon has written songs for mainstream artists Randy Santiago, Dingdong Avanzado and Nikki Gil. Call Music Museum at +632/ 721 6726, 721 0635. Visit

INRoom Hotels and resorts

Master Class

Spa age dawns at The Picasso, says David Dalton


IRST IMPRESSION. This is the first hotel I’ve stayed in for years where I can walk around the room without hitting something after two paces. That’s what strikes you first about rooms at The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences. They’re big. SETTING. Picasso is what the marketing folk call a “serviced residence”, which means the rooms are mini-me condos, with a hob to heat your pot noodles on and a bedside dock for your iPod. There’s a kettle for coffee, a comfortable desk, LCD TV, and free WiFi. The whole Picasso thing — color coordinated floors, an art gallery — is a bit of a stretch, but what does matter is that The Picasso is the kind of ‘residence’ where if you haven’t got a life you don’t need to go out. I made myself coffee, trundled downstairs for free breakfast in the restaurant (delicious eggs Benedict) and then spent the day pretending to work.



| september 2012

Malaga room

LOCATION. The Picasso is tucked away behind Citibank in Makati, but only a short walk or taxi-hop to Greenbelt. There is a scheduled shuttle service for guests going to the Makati Central Business District and Ayala Malls. Next door there’s a spa called QI Wellness. FOOD. The free breakfast is served downstairs at the Brasserie Boheme, which is open to non-guests and also does lunch and dinner. Head chef Dino Guingona has put together a menu that just about covers all bases. There are Danish open-face sandwiches, British meat pies and sausages, and Spanish classics such as paella (Picasso’s favorite, apparently). ROOMS. There are five types of room. Mine is a Madrid Studio, but bigger than most studios I’ve seen before. There’s a small balcony overlooking the street, but because of the double glazing there’s no traffic noise. Cocooned in here I find it easier to get work done than I do at the office. ■

Brasserie Boheme


Rates start at P9,000++ (about US $209) per night, including breakfast at the Malaga & Madrid studio room. The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences 119 L.P. Leviste St., Salcedo Village, Makati City, Philippines 1227 Tel: +632/ 828 4774 Fax: +632/ 828 9141 Email: URL:

El Nido Miniloc

What’s Your Favorite Room?

Celebrated personalities reveal their top choices for hotels and resorts Sam Milby

Fundacion Pacita


“The first time I went to Boracay for vacation, I stayed at the Shangri-La Boracay Resort & Spa ( on the quiet side of Boracay. The villa, which was by the cliffside, was very private. My room had a private pool. Boracay is really a place to have fun with friends. If you want to relax with a family member or girlfriend, go to El Nido.”

Victoria Marin jewelry designer

“My favorite is Abaca Resort (www. in Cebu, a small exclusive resort with only about eight or nine villas and a small beach. Not many people know of it. It’s only about 30 minutes away from Mactan Airport, right next to the Shangri-La Mactan resort. Their food is wonderful; it’s their main draw.”

Alberto Lim former Department of Tourism secretary

“Fundacion Pacita (www.fundacionpacita. ph) belongs to a friend of mine. I like it because it’s up on a mountain. The view is so breathtaking it’s like you’re in Brittany or in Scotland, only more beautiful. And I like the way they fixed the rooms. I prefer cool air to the warm. I prefer nature to city life.”

Jason Hyatt Abaca Boutique + Restaurant chef and owner

“Makati Shangri-La ( manila) is perfectly located; the service is brilliant; and the food and beverage in the hotel is the best in the country.”

Anne Curtis actress

“El Nido Miniloc ( I like the feeling of having the island all to yourself — that’s what I love about it.”

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Shangri-La Boracay

Victor Consunji real estate developer and fashion photographer

“The best boutique hotel in Boracay is Zuzuni ( and the best general hotel there is Discovery Shores (www. Perfect service is the key. I don’t mind a hotel not having so many amenities; I do mind when a hotel provides lousy service. For me, helpful staff and accessibility and general cleanliness are key...I guess El Nido Lagen (www.elnidoresorts. com) is one of the best resorts I’ve stayed in. It’s down to service again. The staff there are so helpful; they’ll almost bend over backwards to meet any request.”

Tetchie Agbayani actress and psychology professor

“First, El Nido (Miniloc and Lagen), Palawan. Second would be — now I only end up going to Batangas for diving — Aquaventure Resort where I stay all the time because I’m at home there; everybody knows my travel arrangements and what I need. I like Fridays ( in Boracay. It has a nice location with a nice beach, spacious area, and excellent food and service.”

Tony Toni Magic 89.9 disc jockey

“Shangri-La Boracay. Food is great. Ambience is great. Plantation Bay (www.plantationbay. com) is perfect — man-made pool; the ocean to your left.” ■

F U N D A C I O N P A C I T A p h oto b y J O C A S A . S E E

INdulge restaur ant review

Home Cooking Chef Claude Tayag’s homecooked flavors of Pampanga. Oggie Ramos booked a table P h otos b y O g g ie R a m os


HE SETTING. Bale Dutung is tucked inside the quiet Villa Gloria Subdivision in Angeles City, over an hour’s drive away from Metro Manila. It feels more like a house than a restaurant since it is in fact, the house of chef-artist-writerentrepreneur Claude Tayag and his wife, Mary Ann. Bale Dutung is Kapampangan for wooden house. The dining area sits around 30-40 persons and is open on three sides, looking like a spruced-up silong (basement of the traditional Filipino house). The place has changed little since my last visit over a year ago. The hammocks are still there to tempt diners to take a break after all that feasting.

THE FOOD. Homemade. We were served the latest offerings from the Anthony Bourdain menu — Bourdain, the bestselling author of Kitchen Confidential — an inside look at the not-so-pretty side of the culinary world — who came for a meal in 2008. For appetizers, we had the ensaladang pako (fiddle head fern salad) and the BBQ Paldeut at Claude 9 Talangka Rice (barbecued chicken tails with lemon grass marinade and crab fat rice). Next, we had the adobong pugo (quail, cooked with soy sauce ala adobo) and the hito at balo-balo sushi (cat fish and crab fat sushi). The menu grows progressively heftier with the memorable lechon tortilla (crispy roast pork flakes on a tortilla served with a special sauce). There’s little respite in between offerings as the Bulanglang Kapampangan na may Tian ng Bangus, Ulang at Tadyang ng Baboy (soup soured with native guava and laden with milkfish belly, spare ribs and prawns) comes next

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Bale Dutung chef Claude at work


before the sisig babi (sizzling pork served with onion and liver sauce). The Bone Collector (bone marrow in XO adobo sauce) is unique with a straw provided for sipping the contents of the marrow. For the finale, the menu gets a tweaking as we were served kare-kareng laman dagat (seafood in peanut sauce) instead of oxtail. For dessert, we had the tibok tibok (native treat made from pure carabao’s milk) with our coffee. The two other menu selections are Kapangpangan and Lechon Menu. I’ve always liked the food here and I wasn’t disappointed on my third visit. A lot of cooks and chefs have experimented with Filipino food but it seems to me that Chef Claude has mastered the art of tweaking traditional recipes so food tastes deliciously different yet familiar. THE SERVICE. Mary Ann is always on hand to explain each dish so diners can have a better appreciation of the flavors as well as the stories behind each dish. The assistants are efficient. Who dines there. Mostly out-of-towners and foreigners/expats, and foodies curious about what made Anthony Bourdain drop by and visit. Price. P1,850 (about US $43) per person for the Kapampangan and Anthony Bourdain Menu; P1,750 for the Lechon Menu. Minimum of 12 persons required for booking a 10-course lunch. Only lunch booking by prior reservation is accepted. VERDICT. A visit here isn’t just about the hearty eating; it’s also a gastronomical journey. Highly recommended. ■

Quail adobo

Aligue sushi

Bale Dutung Villa Gloria Subdivision, Angeles City Mobile: +63917/ 535 9198 Tel: +632/ 668 4038 Email: (for reservations) URL:

september 2012

| InFlight | 13


Brasserie Cicou

Big Bad Wolf

Aracama Filipino Cuisine

My Favorite Tables

Lifestyle TV Network’s host Karen Pamintuan reveals her favorite restaurants I nter v ie w b y J an L ao Brasserie Cicou “One of the best desserts in Manila is served here. It’s the salted caramel + the dough (Kouing Aman, caramelized sweet dough salted caramel ice cream). Definitely a must try, as well as the French food.” Cicou set lunches that change weekly. Highly recommended is the Onglet Poele, a pan-seared US hanging beef tender served with home-made fries and romaine salad. Cicou’s interiors were designed by Veronique Legris of design house Costa del Sul. The simplicity of bleached wood and chairs contrast nicely with chandeliers. A separate wood clad alcove provides space to enjoy wine and tapas. Annapolis, Greenhills, San Juan City; +632/ 661 9200, 661 9643;; Open on Sundays from 10:30am-2pm and Tuesdays to Saturdays from 12pm-10pm Paire Cocktails and Pastries “First time I tried this [place], I was floored. It’s the first time I’ve seen desserts and cocktails paired; it’s a unique concept. And the ambiance is really nice — very cozy and perfect for the girls or on dates.” Try the Class A Paire,

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cream sandwiched by layers of almond slices, topped with a homemade peanut brittle tile and paired with an Amaretto sour cocktail; A Fine Paire of spinach and cheese quiche topped with whipped cream and a lengua cream twill for good measure, paired with wine. Cocoon Hotel, Quezon City; Scout Tobias cor Scout Rallios Streets; +63923/ 741 1800; +63916 593 3991; Facebook: Open from Sunday to Thursday from 10am-12am and Friday to Saturday from 10am to 2am Big Bad Wolf “Great food and a fun place to hang out if you just want to chill out with friends. My favorite things to order with my girlfriends are potato skins, wasabi mayo tuna wraps and grilled cheese with tomato soup. My favorite cocktail? Suenos! (a sweet mix of a mojito and vodka blush made with a refreshing cranberrycurrant mix).” Big Bad Wolf restaurant-cumbar is tucked away in an inconspicuous space behind a residential high-rise in Fort Bonifacio. It has the look of an upmarket loft and an art gallery with its high ceiling and exposed beams.

G/F Fairways Tower, 5th Ave. corner Mckinley Road, Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; +632/ 822 5833; Open from Monday to Saturday from 11am-3am and on Sundays from 11am-10pm

Aracama Filipino Cuisine A new Filipino fusion restaurant, Aracama, just opened on June 21, operated and owned by the Embassy/Republiq group, with Fernando Aracama behind the good food. I like the dulce de leche dessert and the crispy pata (crisp-fried pork thigh), the modern, relaxed ambience and the overall good vibe. And it stays open late on weekends.” Aracama combines traditional Filipino interiors with classy, modern aesthetics — high ceiling, halogen spot lights, wooden chairs, tables and flooring, and lots of accent plants plus stylish white decked chairs in the outdoor smoking veranda, with a full bar and a DJs booth. Also available are three VIP rooms that can accommodate 10-12 people each, and can be joined together to create a big function room for 30-40. Unit C, The Fort Entertainment Center, Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; +632 519 6815. Open daily from 11am-2pm for lunch and 5pm-2am for dinner ■

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

Me and My Travels

Mylene Aggabao-Salgado, Principal Ballerina I nter v ie w b y Monica D e L eon


started dance training at the age three and became a ballet scholar at seven. But it was only in 1998 — I was about 15 then — when I joined Ballet Manila (BM) that I started taking my dancing seriously. Ma’m Lisa Macuja — BM’s artistic director and principal ballerina — spotted me while training under my former teacher and asked if I could join her company. As principal dancer, I arrive at the studio around 12 noon to get ready. We start class at 1:30pm and then it’s rehearsals from 3pm till 6pm. I do about 300-350 performances here and abroad in a year. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday we give a 30-minute show for the people at Star City ( Dancing has taken me to many places. My first time to perform abroad was at the Youth Festival in Scotland in 2004. I’ve been to the US twice, South Korea, Taiwan, Cambodia, Ireland, London, and Singapore. We held an East Meets West Gala Tour in London in 2011 and the people there loved it. We showed people through dance a bit of our

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culture. The show ended with a standing ovation. It was overwhelming. If you are looking at going to a ballet, watch out for young stage artist Candice Adea, a principal dancer at Ballet Manila. She won first prize at the Helsinki International Ballet Competition held in Finland last June. Don’t miss Ballet Manila’s Don Quixote and Swan Lake performances. We sometimes hire the best artists from the Royal Ballet in London or from Mariinsky (Kirov) in Russia. This October, Ballet Manila (www.balletmanila. has invited Mikhail Martynuk of Kremlin Ballet to dance Don Quixote and partner with Ma’m Lisa. And then for Giselle, David Makhateli from the Royal Ballet in London will dance as Albrecht opposite Ma’m Lisa as Giselle. And there’s Carmen. It’s also going to be the last time Ma’m Lisa is performing full length ballet. And then we’ll have Cinderella for Christmas, and Ballet and Ballads by February, marking the end of the season. For cultural shows in the Philippines, go to the Cultural Center of the Philippines

(CCP ( or the Manila Metropolitan Theater (MET (www.metmuseum. org)) for good live performances. I dedicate 90% of my time for ballet and 10% for personal life. We only have one day off a week. I usually spend my day off resting at home. I go to the mall sometimes. During my month-long June holiday, my husband, who is also a dancer at BM, and I went to Hong Kong. We went to Disneyland and coincidentally took a ballet class. It’s weird because it was supposed to be a vacation. When traveling, I pack my ballet stuff first, then my everyday outfit, which is typically pants and shoes, t-shirts, polo shirts or polo. I also take my passport, cellphone and knee support because I have a knee injury. I love Boracay. It’s simply beautiful, like paradise. Whenever I go there, all my problems go away. Ma’m Lisa’s family has a house there where we usually stay. Their house help cooks seafood freshly bought from D’Talipapa market. In Boracay, things that I love are Jonas’


september 2012

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Me and My Travels

milkshake (Boat Station 1, White Beach), scuba diving, parasailing and banana boat riding. I like hanging out at Cocomangas (www.cocomangas. com). I love the Manila Hotel (www.manila-hotel. because of their facilities. I also like Edsa Shangri-La ( edsashangrila). Very beautiful inside and out. We usually perform there. I love Manila’s people and their hospitality. I hate its pollution and the heavy traffic. My quick fix if I need to trim down are going for high-in-protein-food paired with half-cupof-rice-only for lunch, and garden or caesar salad for dinner. No in betweens.

Mylene Aggabao and Alfren Salgado dancing MAZN

Mylene Aggabao and hubby in Hong Kong


We order our dancing gear online (www. because it’s about half the shop price here and they have more designs. Star City artists make our costumes. For dance schools — I am partial — but best to go for Ballet Manila if you are serious about your kid learning professional ballet. Perry Sevidal Ballet School or Steps Ballet School, both in Makati, are both good for leisure ballet. My short term goals is to have a baby. I’m pregnant! I’m expecting to deliver by summer next year. I was expecting to debut Giselle this year — it’s the only A-list classical ballet I haven’t done — but I got pregnant. I’ve done everything I wanted including Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet. In five to 10 years from now I think I’d still be dancing. Or teaching. ■

Mylene Aggabao-Salgado is a principal dancer of Ballet Manila, alternating with renowned Philippine prima ballerina and Ballet Manila founder Lisa Macuja, who is her mentor. Aggabao competed at the semi-finals of the 4th Seoul International Dance Competion; 4th Shanghai International Ballet Competition, both in 2007; and 9th Asian Pacific International Ballet Competition in 2003

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Love Beyond Goodbye

Cover Story

Underwater photographer Gutsy Tuason heads for Palau hoping to capture rare images of one of the ocean’s most aggressive and unpredictable predators

In search of the feared

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stor y and p h otos b y g uts y tuason

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| InFlight | 21

Cover Story

Photo assignments don’t happen out of the blue. It takes months of research

and preparation before a plan is made into action. This journey in search of bull sharks started where my last article for InFlight left off. It was during a diving trip for InFlight in the Visayas, on a boat called the Philippine Siren, that I had first heard of bull sharks in Palau. I had been to Palau many times, but had never seen what is considered to be the most unpredictable and aggressive of all sharks. The boat manager on the Siren said her boyfriend was a marine biologist working in Palau, studying snapper aggregation and spawning. In the process, he and his partner had been encountering bull sharks that feed on the snapper as they spawn. This sounded good. Over the next four months I planned a trip to Palau, but an off-the-beaten-track sort of thing: no holds barred, gonzo diving at its best.

This is what happened. Day 1: April 3, 2012 Manila, Philippines

I had gathered three other divers to share the cost. Our flight is scheduled for 10pm, but this is Easter and the airport is chaos. At the check-in counter it turns out one of us isn’t even listed for the flight. After a twohour Mexican standoff, we finally get the go-ahead and rush through immigration to catch the already delayed flight. We arrive at 2am Palau time in Koror, Palau’s main town. We settle into our humble hotel and get to bed at around 3:30am.

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Day 2: April 4, 2012 Koror, Palau

I get up at 6am and set up my underwater photography equipment. This is the part of any trip I despise the most. One missed O-ring or a grain of dust in a vital seal, and the camera floods and the trip is over. It takes me an hour over several cups of coffee and wads of O-ring grease. We make our way to the dock and board our boat. We are starting at a lesiurely pace with some of Palau’s easier dive sites. Our first dive is New Drop-Off.

Palau’s main town, Koror

koror p h oto b y Her m es S in g son

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Cover Story

“When we get to the German Channel, it is raining mantas! And for the next 65 minutes, it doesn’t stop. This is one of those rare occasions when everything goes as it should” 24 |


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g er m an c h annel p h oto b y Gunt h er D eic h m ann

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Palau marvel. From top left, this spread: Blue Corner; manta ray; and grey reef shark

It has grey and whitetip reef sharks. It’s a good dive but not what we have come for. We head out to Blue Corner for our second dive. This is one of the most consistent dive sites in the world and duly delivers the goods. My photo objective for this dive is to try and get wide-angle pictures of the grey reef shark together with schooling jackfish. The current is mild and makes my job a lot easier. When trying to capture underwater images, it’s always good to have an objective. This gives you focus underwater, so you don’t end up all over the place, shooting whatever comes your way and winding up with a bunch of so-so images. I try for 30 minutes just on the grey reef and jackfish and am pleased with the results. Our last dive of the day is German Channel, known for regular visits of manta rays. But nothing underwater is reliable, so it’s best to have an alternative plan to shoot something else if the mantas don’t show. However, I just love it when a plan comes together. When we get to German Channel, it is raining Mantas! And for the next sixty-five minutes, it doesn’t stop. This is one of those rare occasions when everything goes as it should. I shoot some of my best manta images without really looking for them. It’s been a perfect first day. We head back to the dock and straight into a convenient bar for a few glasses of the local brew, Red Rooster. Then I get the phone call that changes everything. There’s a family emergency and I must get back to Manila.

Day 3: April 5 2012 Koror, Palau

I manage to book a flight to Manila for tomorrow. Which means the plan for today is to do some easy diving at nearby islands. We dive the Blue Hole in the morning, which is a spectacular cavern with the remains of turtles that had been trapped, and some rare critters not found in the open reef.

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We find time for a quick dive at German Channel, which turns into a 70-minute extravaganza of mantas and sharks. Then we get back onto the boat and head straight for Peleliu, which is where the bull sharks have been seen. Our best chance of catching them is early, so we check into a rustic resort — run by a Filipino couple — grab a few beers and then hit the hay. Wake-up call will be 4am. This will be my one and only chance to see bull sharks before I have to leave.

Day 4: April 6, 2012 Peleliu Island, Palau

There is no time for breakfast. We are straight on the boat before the sun is up. The shortcut to the dock takes us through a World War Two airstrip built by the Japanese. When we hit the water it is still dark and the current is ripping, so we fight to get to the right spot along an underwater wall. About 10 minutes into the dive, a faint, dark, ominous ball appears in the distance — a shoal of several hundred red snapper. And no sooner have we seen this massive shoal than I hear the muffled shout of my dive buddy through his regulator. “Bull shark, bull shark!”

Blue C orner p h oto b y Gunt h er D eic h m ann

Cover Story

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Cover Story

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“From the corner of my eye, I see a large bull shark turn her head and make a beeline straight for me. I turn my camera towards her and fire away�

Bull sharks with the school of snapper in Peleliu Island, Palau

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Bull sharks are fast, agile predators, eating fish, dolphins, and sometimes other sharks. Humans are not on the menu, but these giants can get curious. Right, Blue Hole, Palau. “It’s a spectacular cavern containing remains of turtles that had been trapped and home to rare critters not found in the open reef,” says Tuason

The snapper settle down at a cut along the wall. With the current hitting us from behind, we hold on and wait for the spawning to begin. I can see three or four robust bull sharks circling the snapper like hungry patrons at a hotel buffet. I just can’t see how I am going to get close enough for decent photographs. This is where having a knowledgeable guide comes in handy. Two of the divers in our party have been studying the snapper for years and have a keen sense of when the spawning will start. That will be my best chance to get close to the action. After 10 minutes of anxious waiting, I am given a signal to let go and let the current take me off the wall and into the blue. The sun is starting to light up the water and I can clearly see the bull sharks and the snapper. I start shooting while the snapper spawn in groups of 20 to 30, spewing eggs and sperm, causing a milky

cloud in the water. From the corner of my eye, I see a large bull shark turn her head (I know she was a female from my photographs) and make a beeline straight for me. I turn my camera towards her and fire away. The shark — three meters of cartilage and teeth — came within a few feet from me before turning away at the last minute. Sharks don’t have a very good memory, and a few minutes later, she did the exact same thing, giving me a perfect bull shark portrait with spawning snapper in the background. Sometimes things just go perfectly. The spawning ends and as the snapper head down to deeper water, the bull sharks follow them as if attached by a chain. The whole dive is over in 45 minutes and it is time to celebrate back on the boat before a big breakfast at the resort. Later, I pack and head to the airport. It’s all over. Job done. ■

Shark Tales

Gutsy Tuason on shark sightings in the Philippines

Thresher Shark Malapascua Island, Cebu

White Tip Reef Shark Tubbataha Reef, Sulu Sea

“I have lots of photos of thresher sharks from Malapascua but what makes this one stand out is not that it is a great shot but more of the lens I used. Taken with a fisheye lens, this shark was less than two feet from me, making this close encounter quite memorable”

“Reef sharks are the most common sharks in Philippine waters, and also one of the most difficult to approach. Like any smart animal underwater they fear humans. In all my years of diving, I do not get many opportunities to have one swim at me head-on and get to photograph it with a fisheye lens”


Visit Liveaboards/Tubbataha

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Whale Shark Donsol, Sorsogon “I had been going to Donsol for almost 10 years and in 2007, something magical happened. It had not been a particularly busy day, with only one whale shark around. However, the clarity of the water was something I had never seen in all my years of going there. In one day with one whale shark, I took my best images in Donsol. This is just one of them” ■ Visit

Cover Story

Blue h ole p h oto b y Gunt h er D eic h m ann

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Insider’s Guide

Graf’s 5

Philippine kiteboard pioneer Nenette Graf lists five of the best kiteboarding spots in the Philippines Report by Jan Lao

p h o t o s b y g r e e n ya r d f u n b o a r d a n d n e i l p r y d e c e n t e r

About Our insider Asia's fastest lady windsurfer Nenette Graf has been the Philippine windsurfing champion for 18 of her 22 years in windsurfing. She was 11-time champion of the Ladies Slalom at the Boracay International Funboard Cup leg of the Asian Windsurfing Tour; eighttime Action Asia Speed Trials champion in windsurfing with a 52.48 knot speed record; champion in the Ladies Class in Jeju Korea 2001 (course racing); and champion in Ladies Class in Jeju Korea 2002 (Slalom). Graf is recognized as the founder and organizer of the longest running and most successful annual international sporting event in Asia and the Philippines’ biggest, the Boracay International Funboard Cup. Graf's Greenyard Center, together with friends Chris Awe from Guam and Angel Parzhuber from Germany, opened the first kitesurfing school in Boracay in November 2002.

1 Boracay’s Bulabog Beach (east beach of Boracay) November to April is the best time to kiteboard here when the waters are shallow and flat on shore. It's a reef-protected lagoon and one of the best spots in the world for kiteboarding. Category: Safest for learning. Beginner to pro. Getting there: It’s an hour’s flight from either Manila or Clark, or Cebu to Kalibo or Caticlan. From Caticlan, take a 10-minute boat ride to Boracay Island. Where to book: Hangin Kiteboarding Center (www.

Hangin’s Boracay Kiteresort ( has 11 rooms to accommodate kitesurfers and friends. Reiseling Boracay Bach Resort, located right in front of the famous Boracay rock at Greenyard/ Hangin Compound in Bulabog will open in December 2012. On White Beach, there are a number of resorts to choose from (www. An affordable and convenient option is Boracay Beach Resort ( Events: Bulabog has been playing host for seven years now to the annual Boracay Big Air Challenge of the Boracay International Funboard Cup as well as the Kiteboard Tour Asia (KTA) and All Chicks Kite Camp with international kite superstar Susi Mai.

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International kite superstar Susi Mai testing Bulabog Beach's waters

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Insider’s Guide

2 Ilocos Norte’s Kingfisher Beach (Pagudpud) Best from October to April. This is considered one of the world’s best spots for wave riding (side shore, right hander), with flat clear water, consistent wind at minimum 25-35 knots, incredible waves from a friendly 2m to a challenging 5m-6m, and exclusive spot that can accommodate 10 to 15 kiters at a time. Kite downwinders — a rider taking off a kilometer from shore, going full speed — is a must here, done with a buddy and a van to pick you up wherever the wind and waves take you. The Cabrinha team headed by Mike Raper discovered this wave treasure spot when Graf visited in 2010 after hearing stories about it from Fabrice Beaux, a recognized wave finder. Pagudpud is now Asia’s Maui and written about in most kitesurfing magazines, websites and social media. Category: Beginner to advance. Getting there: Take a one-hour flight from Manila to Laoag (www. and a two-hour drive to Greenyard Kite and Windsurf school at Kingfisher Resort. Where to book: Kingfisher Resort ( is the only resort in the area with a kite and windsurf set up run by NeilPryde international pro wave rider Fabrice Beaux. Other resorts for overnight stays are Kapuluan ( and Saud ( resorts, located 30-45 minutes away from Kingfisher. Events: The annual Chicks Kite Camp with the world’s best kitesurfer Susi Mai. Kingfisher had been visited by Cabrinha international team riders Susi Mai, the legendary Pete Cabrinha, third kitesurfer in the world Alby Rondina, Keahi Aboitiz, Reo Stevens, Kitecamp expert Julian Hosp and many other international professional riders.

3 Union Beach in Malay, Aklan Located about 30 minutes away from Boracay Island and 10 minuntes from Caticlan Airport, this kiteboard spot is good for speed, freestyle and small wave riding with its on shore wind and reef protected flat water. Category: Beginner to advance. Safe for learning because it is not crowded and the water is shallow, protected by a reef. Getting there: Take a 10-minute tricycle ride from Caticlan Airport. From Kalibo Airport, it’s a one-hour-and-thirty-minute travel by hired van (contact +6336/ 268 9603). Where to book: Mangoriders ( or Bahari Beach Resort (, actor-host Marc Nelson’s resort. Most kiters stay in Boracay and just go on a day trip or kite across the channel from Bulabog to Union and back.

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This spread: Kitesurfing at Kingfisher Beach in Pagudpud

photos courtesy of kingfisher resort

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Some of the best kiteboard action had been taken on Bangui Beach

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Insider’s Guide

4 Ilocos Norte’s Bangui Beach Some of the best kiteboard action shots have been taken here with the famous Bangui Windmill in the background. The beach has side shore wind — lesser than Kingfisher's but with qualities similar to it — and shore breaks great for wave riding. Category: For level two riders or a rider learning to jump. Level three riders — riders are confident enough to go upwind and start first jumps — can also use this spot as training ground, learning to tackle smaller waves. Getting there: Fly to Laoag City from where you can hire a van to take you to the town of Bangui. From Laoag, take the main road that leads to Pagudpud. For more information, visit


Where to book: Kingfisher Resort (

5 Seco Island, Tibiao, Antique This spot is uninhabited and hard to get to and so it remains a hidden gem. Seco Island is only visited by fishermen to sun dry their fish. It has a 1.5km stretch of sand and shallow clear blue water. For kitesurfers, the island provides strong, consistent wind, shallow and clear water with sand banks perfect for jumping and aerial tricks. Category: Level three to advance. Getting there: Charter a bus from Caticlan to Tibiao Town in Antique and hire a motorboat for a two-hour-and-thirty-minute ride to Seco Island. Chartered boats from Boracay to Seco take four to five hours. Where to book: Only basic camping is available for kiters who wish to spend the night. Kiters also have to take their own kites and equipment including food and other essentials. For a one-stop-shop, book a kite safari through Hangin Kiteboarding Center (Cabrinha and North


Watch out for the All Chicks Kite Camp by end of this year. On January 21-26, 2013, the Boracay International Funboaard cup, in celebration of its 25th year, will organize the kite event "Big Air Challenge Y8"

or Pinas Kiteboarding (www. and Freestyle Academy ( ■

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City Guides

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

Updated Every Issue

p40 Destination guides

p48 Airline guides

Marina de Bay, Puerto Princesa

photo by jocas see

m a p i ll u s t r a t i o n s b y m a rl o n s e e

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InFlight City Guides

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


Where to eat


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

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

• Nena’s Beth at Manokan Country. Known for its grilled chicken known as inasal. Tel: +6334/ 433 8830 • Bascon Café. Quiet, elegant and serves moderately priced but delicious food. Traditional fares like callos, lengua estofado, steaks make up the menu. Tel: +6334/ 433 4096 • Jacopo’s. Serves Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Their dishes are for sharing. Try their pita bread with three dippings: baba ganush, hummus, and chili. Tel: +6334/ 457 3007

Where to stay

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

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

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

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

photo by oggie ramos

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

Where to eat

batan island

sabtang island

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

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

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• Therese Coffee Shop serves Ivatan dishes. Try 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

The cliffs of Viang, just 20 minutes from the airport

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 Road with alleys 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. Where to eat

• For a list of the best Boracay restaurants, read

our InFlight Guide to Boracay at

• Real Coffee is a good place for breakfast

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

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

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. 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



InFlight City Guides

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

bantayan island

cebu island



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 (US $1 = about P43) • 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


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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:


photo by jocas a. see

Golden Cowrie

photo by erick liongoren

Clark Where to eat • Pampanga's capital, San Fernando, just 20 minutes from Clark, is home to Everybody's Cafe serving local dishes. • Angeles City is the birthplace of sisig (chopped grilled pork cheeks) and make sure you taste the original at Aling Lucing's. Call +6345/ 888 2317 or +63918/ 212 6461.


Where to stay

• Mimosa Resort. Situated in a 175-hectare


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

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


landscaped property, Mimosa offers both standard hotel rooms and villas. Rates start at 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

Aling Lucing's sisig

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

HONG KONG davao del norte

0445 or 234 1360 or 235 1784

davao city

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.


south cotabato davao del sur

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

• Mictrotel Inns & Suites Davao has fully fitted

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

Garden City of Samal. Tel: +6382/ 221 9970 • Eden Nature Park & Resort is a mountain resort surrounded by lush forests and overlooks the city and the gulf. Great for camping, nature hiking, bird watching, and horseback riding. Matina Town Square McArthur Highway, Matina, Davao City. Tel: +6382/ 299 1020 or 296 0791 Things to do • Visit the Davao Crocodile Park, a breeding center for saltwater and freshwater crocodiles. Visit for schedules of crocodile shows • People's Park along Legazpi Street showcases a mini forest, interactive fountains, ponds and waterfalls, a durian dome, a shady and open plaza, a statue of a gigantic Philippine eagle and a fantasy-themed park with large sculptures made by Mindanaon artist Kublai Millan. • Davao Wildwater Adventure across Davao River. The three-and-a-half-hour wild water rafting starts from Barrio Tamugan in Calinan, and ends at the lowlands. Tel: +6382/ 221 7823 • The Xcelerator is the third longest zipline in Asia at 720m long, with the zipline suspended 200ft above ground. Choose to slide along the zipline either sitting down, superman style or the extreme inverted position. Tel: +6382/ 221 7823

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InFlight City Guides

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

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

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

Where to eat • 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

Iloilo Where to eat

• Tatoy’s Manokan & Seafood is the most

iloilo city

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

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

From the airport

• Car hire: Bench Transport offers a wide

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

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• Eon Centennial Plaza Hotel has 46 rooms that are fully air-conditioned and have private toilet and bath with shower and tub, cable television, and mini-bar. They’re also furnished with a coffee/ tea maker, hair dryer, and daily newspaper. Tel:+6333/ 337 2277 • Sarabia Manor Hotel is 40 minutes away from the Iloilo Airport and 15 minutes away from the seaports. It has 187 fully air-conditioned spacious rooms equipped with high-speed internet access, satellite and cable television, a working desk, personal refrigerator and complete bathroom amenities. Tel: +6333/ 335 1021

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

Things to do

• Hunt for authentic antiques at the different

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

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

Puerto Princesa • Multicabs: Multicabs and tricycles have standard routes. The fare around the city starts at P8 per person.

Where to eat

puerto princesa city


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

From the airport • Car Hire: Ellen’s Travel and Tours offers van rentals in Puerto Princesa City. A three-hour city tour costs P1,500 plus P300 per succeeding hour. Call +6348/ 434 7052 • Jeep: Available 24 hours and covers most of the city. The usual cost for a jeepney ride is P8 for the first three kilometers.

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

Where to stay

• Marina de Bay, located 20 minutes from

Puerto Princesa Airport, has 12 air-conditioned villas surrounded by mangroves and landscaped gardens. Each room has a balcony with a view of the Puerto Princesa Bay. Tel: +6348/ 723 1754 • Sheridan Beach Resort and Spa has 96 spacious guest rooms and suites; all are tastefully furnished and decorated in a contemporary Asian

style with local touches. Tel: +6348/ 434 1449 • Balay Inato Pension, a three-year old guesthouse near the airport with 14 fully airconditioned rooms, equipped with cable TV, intercom, hot and cold shower, and private lanai. Also offers free Wi-Fi. Tel: +6348/ 433 8595 Things to do

• Underground river tour. Book at least two

weeks in advance to be assured of a place in the tour. Tel: +6348/ 723 0904 or 434 1509 • Visit The Gypsy’s Lair. Apart from being home to local artists and musicians, the lively café features an eclectic menu consisting of Filipino, Asian, Spanish and Western cooking. Located at Mercado de San Miguel • Honda Bay island tour. The tour offers white sand and blue seas on any number of small islands in the bay. Average cost P1,100 per person, inclusive of transfers, lunch, and entrance fees to some of the islands

Tacloban tacloban city


Filipino lunch and dinner buffets (five different selections, rice, iced tea and desserts) or their budget meals. Live music is every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tel: +6353/ 325 8808 • M’la Kin Tian Restaurant. Serves Japanese food at a very low price. They also cook Filipino style. Tel: +6353/ 325 1821 • San Pedro Bay Seafood Restaurant. Located at the marina, this specialty restaurant serves available seafood as caught from the San Pedro Bay fronting the resort property. Tel: +6353/ 325 5587 Where to stay

• Hotel Alejandro is a five-storey structure having

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

From the airport • Car Hire: Duptours Shuttle Service offers vans for rent per day starting at P3,000. Tel: +6353/ 523 8107 • Jeepney: Jeepneys can be found outside the arrivals terminal in Tacloban City. Fares start at P8. Where to eat

• Julio’s Buffet and Jazz Point. Enjoy their

a total of four executive suites, 25 standard rooms and 36 deluxe rooms. The fifth level is the roof deck where parties are mostly held as it can accommodate up to 200 persons. Tel: +6353/ 321 7033 • Welcome Home Pensione has 30 guest rooms that can accommodate from one to seven persons per room. It offers a range of affordable budget, standard and suite rooms when staying in Tacloban. Free internet access is available at their cottage and lounge areas. Tel: 6353/ 321 2739 • Leyte Park Resort Hotel was built by former First Lady Imelda Marcos in 1979 and is now a

major tourism and convention complex with its six-hectare parkland nestled on a hill overlooking beautiful San Pedro Bay. Tel: +6353/ 325 6000 Things to do

• Sto. Niño Church. Considered the main church

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

september 2012

| InFlight | 45

InFlight City Guides

Bangkok Where to eat

• Bed Supperclub is Bangkok's trendiest address

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

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

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

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

thailand bangkok



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

• Chatuchak Weekend Market is where to go

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

Hong Kong china

hong kong

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

46 |


MACAU | september 2012

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

mt. kinabalu

• Kampong Nelayan Seafood Restaurant macau

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

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

balconies with views of the Pantai Dalit Beach. Room rates start at RM 640 per night. Call +6088/ 792 888 • Novotel Borneo is a four-star hotel with 263 rooms and suites, each with LCD satellite TV, internet access, in-room safe, coffee and tea making facilities and a flexible workplace. Rates start at RM 195 per night. Call +6088/ 529 888 Kinabalu Heritage Tours For a wide range of travel and tour packages, call +6088/ 318 311

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

• The Jesselton Hotel is a 32-room hotel with

a colonial house feel. It has a cozy lounge, and a restaurant that serves international and Asian cuisine. Room rates start at RM 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:

september 2012

| InFlight | 47

AirlineGuide Airbus 319

Dornier 228

South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR)

Island Transvoyager (ITI)

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

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

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

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

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

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


| InFlight | september 2012

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 International Route Map










Kalibo AKLAN









SEAIR low cost flights from Manila ITI flights











El Nido



PALAWAN Puerto Princesa






september 2012

| InFlight | 49

All That Buzz Dornier Media Launches Indulge Food & Travel Magazine Dornier Media, publisher of InFlight magazine ( and InFlight Guide to Boracay (, recently launched Indulge Food & Travel magazine at Epic Boracay on Boat Station 2, Boracay Island. Some 100 event sponsors and advertisers attended the launch party including Ambassador in Paradise, Aria Cucina Italiana, Aria Gelato, Bite Club, Café del Sol, Epic Boracay, Hama Japanese Cuisine, Kasbah Flavors of Morocco, Ka-on, Lemoni Café, Loco Frio, Patio Pacific Garden Café, Real Coffee and Tea Café, and Zuzuni Hotel and Restaurant. Other food and drink sponsors were WorldTrev Travel and Events, Happy Dream Land, Trio Pasta House, Cork and Loco Frio. Two of the event’s highlights were the live performance by Lamayag Tantra and raffle. Tirta Spa, Footzy Rolls, WorldTrev Travel and Events, Boracay PubCrawl, Islands Souvenirs, Zuzuni and Loco Frio contributed raffle prizes. Our thanks to Patio Pacific (, the official home of the Indulge team during their stay on the Island, and Islands Souvenirs (www. for the team’s attire during the event.

WorldTrev staff with CEO Ryan Alba (second from left)

This third Indulge party of Dornier Media was epic! The night’s highlight was the launch of the standalone Indulge magazine

Ambassador in Paradise, one of the food sponsors

Drink sponsor Loco Frio

Boracay English’s Meikz Bradford

50 |


| september 2012

Lamayag Tantra Dancer (leftmost) trying out Cork Wine House’s food

P h o t o s c o u r t e s y o f w o rl d t r e v

Kasbah staff, Indulge sales and marketing director Margie Defensor, Indulge account executive Joyce Moros, Kasbah’s former manager Stephen Lu

Moros, Indulge host Jasper Tiongson, Cork Wine House staff

Ambassador in Paradise staff and Tiongson

Defensor, Zuzuni staff, Boracay Wildlife’s Jun Calub

Boracay Coco Huts GM Emily Soria, Trio Pasta House manager Ronny Barth, Epic Boracay events manager Anj Valencerina

Defensor, Lu and Tiongson

Soria, and Epic Boracay’s Shamie Narayana and Anj Valencerina

Ronny Barth (rightmost) with friends

Soria, and Epic Boracay’s Shamie Narayana and Anj Valencerina

Ambassador in Paradise staff

Indulge magazine’s advertising traffic circulation assistant Manard Pama

Cork Wine House owner Toney Ellis and friend, and Defensor

september 2012

| InFlight | 51

inflight promotions

Discovery Shores Boracay is T+L’s Number 1 Hotel Spa in Asia Boracay Island based luxury resort Discovery Shores Boracay is Travel + Leisure’s (T+L) Number 1 Hotel Spa in Asia in its 17th annual World’s Best Awards. The resort also ranked 5 on the list of Top 100 Hotels in the World and second among the Top resorts in Asia. Boracay Island is this year’s World’s Best Island. Discovery Shores has been consistently in the T+L World’s Best Awards list of Top Resorts in Asia for three years now. Visit www.

TripAdvisor Awards Certificate of Excellence to Microtel Philippines

The connection gets stronger. Prudential Guarantee and Assurance (PGAI) continues to uphold its commitment in serving the community and the country by signing an agreement to be the official accident insurer of all the local members of the Philippine Red Cross through Gotuaco del Rosario Insurance Brokers (GRA). PGAI president and COO Phillip K. Rico and PRC secretary General Gwendolyn T. Pang sealed the deal in the presence of (front row) GRA president and COO Arthur Panganiban, PGAI SVP Samuel G. Coyiuto, (back row) PGAI Director Prudencio G. Coyiuto, PGAI SVP Atty. Celestino Ang, PRC OIC Anacletz Bandril, GRA AVP Rowena R. Nicolas, PGAI SVP James G. Coyiuto, PRC director for administrator Paul Pagaran, and PGAI SVP Johnny Hernandez.

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| september 2012

Mictrotel Inns & Suites (Pilipinas) received a Certificate of Excellence Award from TripAdvisor last June. This award is given to resorts that "excel in the hospitality service, and establishments that consistently get outstanding reviews from travellers blogging on TripAdvisor." Some 10 percent of hotels and resorts on TripAdvisor’s listing received this award. To be a Certificate of Excellence awardee of TripAvisor, business establishments are required to have an overall rating of four or higher out of five in reviews of online travellers of TripAdvisor. The volume of reviews received within the last 12 months is also a factor. Microtel is an international chain of hotels under the Wyndham Hotel Group with nine branches in the Philippines. All Microtels in the Philippines are managed by Microtel Development, the hospitality arm of the Phinma Group. Visit

InFlight September 2012  

Good Times in the Philippines

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