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lauSEAIR l a n ch fli unio es gh n ts

south e a st a si a n a i r li n es on - boa rd m aga zi n e

Boracay’s cool sport A guide to six of the best sporting events on the island

Five Days in Cebu Where to go, dine, drink and be merry Celebrity resort Book Tom Cruise’s room in Vigan Taste of OlÉ Find authentic Spain in Boracay

april 2010


to Boracay

Photo by Jay Alonzo

The small guide for the big trip

Our InFlight guide to boracay has a 78-page resort listings, featuring some of the hottest resorts and hippest hang-outs, plus a valuable insider’s guide to where to eat, where to go, and what to do on the island. Packed with intelligent information, it’s not small where it matters. B u y a c o p y n o w ! C a l l + 6 3 2 / 8 4 9 0 2 9 5 t o 9 6 o r o r d e r o n l i n e a t w w w . F l y S e a i r. c o m


i n f l i g h t // a p r i l 2 0 1 0

48

IN PLACES 45 InsandOuts

Boracay: A guide to the party island

48 Cool sport

Star athletes on Boracay’s hip sports taking hold of the island

62 Five days in Cebu Hot fashion designer Kate Torralba on where to go, dine and be merry in this southern city

96 InFocus

Rhonson Ng’s Mt. Apo

Location: Fairways Diving & suit Bluewater; by Aquamundo; Model’s attire: swimsuit Redby surf Pink shirt Belter and kiteboard by Lizle Hilario; equipment Location: from Neil Shangri-La’s Pryde Surf Boracay Boutique Resort (+6336/ & Spa’s 288beach 1805), bikini by Topshop

april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 3


i n f l i g h t // a p r i l 2 0 1 0 IN FRONT 09 Editor’s Note

16

36

10 InFormed

What not to miss in April

13 Inthenews

Travel carbon zero on the latest electric bike; Join Lent’s Visita Iglesia tour on a wilderness expedition

16 InTalk

Six Boracay residents reveal their favorite

hangouts on the island

27 InTune WWF and its local partners are winning the battle to create more marine protected reserves, at least for now

19

30 InPerson

Me and My Holidays: Victor Consunji

IN vogue 19 Intheshops The latest on lounge-y resort clothes

24 Inmybag

Make-up artist and salon owner Victor Ortega’s travel essentials

IN GOOD TIMES 33 InRoom

Villa Angela’s master bedroom is nothing out of the ordinary, except a Hollywood star once called it home

62

36 InDulge Kristine Fonacier finds a perfect place for authentic Spanish paella and tapas at Olé

PLUS: seair News / People / Guide

Concept by SEAIR InFlight Photo by Jay Alonzo Art direction by Jocas A. See Styling by Sheryl Songsong Hair and makeup by Aisa Costo Modeling by Dana Gajtandzievova for Ideal People Location: Fairways & Bluewater Model’s attire: Bikini (shown here, top) from Faith Hope Love, The Ramp Crossings; light pink cover up dress from Topshop

33

april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 5


Editorial

Publishing Director and Executive Editor

Nikos Gitsis Editor

Giselle Javison managing Editor

Monica G. De Leon EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

MARGARITA F. FRANCISCO a r t & d es i g n

Art Director

Jocas A. See Editorial Production Inquiries

editors@flyseair.com

Contributing photographers

Mike Alcid, Jay Alonzo, Mario Babiera, Bien Bautista, Ferdz Decena, Wacky Gochoco, Carlos Legaspi, Oggie Ramos, Jeffrey Sonora, Daniel Soriano, Gutsy Tuason Contributing writers

Jose Marte Abueg, Vicki Aldaba, Yasmin D. Arquiza, Chip Childers, Freida Dario, Kristine Fonacier, Jan Lao, Andrea Pasion, Oggie Ramos, Ces Rodriguez, Claude Tayag, Cris Yabes a d v e r t i s i n g S a l es  m a r k e t i n g

Group Sales and Marketing Director

Delza Apostol Advertising OFFICER

Joy Gutierrez administration and finance officer

ARTHUR VALENCIA

Advertising Traffic assistant

WALDO J. VILLADOS Advertising Inquiries

inf lightads@f lyseair.com editorial board

Publisher

South East Asian Airlines Seair Chairman

Iren Dornier Seair Director

Nikos Gitsis InFlight Editor

Giselle Javison InFlight Group Sales and Marketing Director

Delza Apostol Seair Legal Counsel

Atty. Bernard Bandonell Atty. Celina Cua philippine Copyright©2010

South East Asian Airlines, Inc. SEAIR InFlight Magazine: Units 304 & 306, La’O Center, 1000 Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City 1000 Philippines Tel.: +632 840 2802 (Editorial) • +632 840 2803 (Advertising) Fax: +632 840 2805 URL: www.FlySeair.com

6 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010


8 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010


editor’s note

people. places. a dv entur es.

T

his month, Southeast Asian Airlines is celebrating its 15th year anniversary. It’s a happy time in the history of the airline and one it is marking with its valued passengers in mind, starting with a series of cut-down promotional prices (see SEAIR news on page 88), the opening of new routes, including flights from Manila to La Union with complimentary transfers to Baguio starting April 14. Increased frequencies are scheduled for major routes such as Batanes and El Nido. Improvements in service and technology have also come hand in hand throughout the years. Keeping pace with the virtual revolution, close to 50 per cent of SEAIR’s bookings are now via e-bookings, a percentage that is expected to grow. Substantial investment has been made in making the airline website user friendly and efficient. SEAIR InFlight, started about nine years ago, has also increased its frequency, from six to seven issues a year, starting with a standalone April issue this month. SEAIR founders Iren Dornier, Nikos Gitsis and Tomas Lopez, are as committed today as they were 15 years ago when they started out as young pilots with a dream of starting out their own airline and serving some of the country’s most beautiful destinations. It is their passion and dedication that have fuelled SEAIR’S growth these past years, allowing it to ride the tough times, inspiring the airline staff, and giving impetus to the airline to continue on finding ways to serve you better. Pages 38 to 43 will take you through the airline’s history and its milestones. Have a pleasant flight!

SEAIR founders and longtime friends Iren Dornier (left on both photos) and Nick Gitsis

giselle javison Editor editors@flyseair.com

april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 9


What not to miss in

April

r e p or t b y M a rgi e F. F r a n c i s c o

April

The Basilica of St. Martin de Tours interior

1

Visita Iglesia On Holy Thursday, La Isla Pilipinas Tours will offer Visita Iglesia, bringing participants to seven heritage churches in Batangas, starting with the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Joseph in San Jose, the Church of St. James the Apostle in Ibaan, the Basilica Minore of the Infant Jesus and Immaculate Conception in Batangas City, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Bauan, the Basilica of St. Martin de Tours and the Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay in Taal, and the Church of St. Raphael Archangel in Calaca. Rate is P1,600 per person, inclusive of buffet lunch. To book, call +632/ 426 0093 and 436 6581

Join Marinduque’s Moriones Festival, a week-long celebration in observance of the Lenten season. Festival highlights include street dancing with revelers in colourful Roman costumes and painted masks, the Sinakulo, a street play retelling the passion of Christ, Via Crucis or the Way of the Cross, and Aleluyahan, the celebration of the appearance of the risen Christ. For more information, visit www.marinduque.gov.ph/moriones.html

Photo by Wacky Gochoco

Photo by Joel Garcia

April

1-4

Moriones Festival

April

9-11

Yoga, surf, samba

April

24-25

North Face 100 marathon The North Face 100, the first ultra trail marathon series in the Asia-Pacific region, is now open to accept participants for its 100km endurance running set on various terrains, including the group competitions for the 50km, 20km and 10km run categories. The marathon will be held in Baguio City. For more information, call +63915/ 894 0421

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It’s a mouthful of a title, but “FLOW Surf. Yoga. Samba Weekend Retreat” is a three-day retreat that may just convert the couch potato in you into a new-wave fan. The retreat package includes two vinsaya yoga sessions with Monica Eleazar-Manzano, two surfing lessons with Luke Landrigan, and two samba lessons and Brazilian batuccada samba drumming lessons with Escola de Samba de Manila. The retreat costs P7,500, including roundtrip private transfers, two-night accommodation at San Juan Surf Resort, healthy meals and snacks, and tote bag with freebies from sponsors. For more information, email flowsurfyogasamba@ gmail.com or call +63915/ 294 3441

April

22-24

4th Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival Watch out for one of the island’s highlights, the 4th Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival, a threeday event featuring six races, including 300-meter and 500-meter races in the men’s open race, women’s race and mixed race categories. This year’s event is expected to have more racers compared to last year’s 34 participating teams from Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong. For more information, visit: www.boracaydragonboat.ph


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t r av e l

HOT E L S AND R E S ORT S

a r t s AND f a s h i o n

check it Out

And more!

r e p o r t b y M a r g i e F. F r a n c i s c o

Take electric bike, will travel Filipino-owned company Innovatronix has launched the Tronix Ebike Exceed, the next generation electric bicycle. The Ebike Exceed is a foldable electric bicycle with a 16� wheel diameter. It uses a 300W and 24V battery-operated motor to run efficiently up to 30kph and up to 20km on a full charge. With only three to five hours’ charging time, users can hop on the Ebike Exceed to enjoy biking anytime, anywhere.

For inquiries on the Tronix Ebike Exceed, call +632/ 645 1592 and 645 6124 or visit www.innovatronix.com

april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 13


check it Out

Wilderness Expedition: From Banaue to Cabilao

Visita Iglesia in Pampanga On April 1, Maundy Thursday, Inscribe Tours will take pilgrims to some of the most fascinating yet rarely visited churches in Pampanga. First stop is Sta. Monica Church, located in the town of Mexico. Next is Sta. Ana’s 1157-year-old church, St. Anne Church featuring a four-storey bell tower. In Candaba is St. Andrew Church, one of the oldest churches in the country, built by the Jesuits in 1575. The tour then heads to Arayat for Sta. Catalina de Alexandria Church, where participants will see a statue of St. Catherine of the Wheel standing on a large wheel at the entrance to the town’s church. In Magalang is San Bartolome Church, the seat of the Archdiocese of San Fernando. Lunch will be served by host hotel Hotel Stotsenberg before continuing to The Church of Our Lady inside Clark Field. Last stop is San Rafael Parish Church in Mabalacat. Inscribe Tours will also offer an overnight package for those who are interested to watch the traditional Good Friday Lenten rites in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Wilderness Travel, a US-based company composed of travelers from all walks of life including naturalists, authors, ecologists, teachers and mountaineers, is inviting travelers to join a 12-day expedition from Banaue to Cabilao in Cebu City, Philippines from May 18 to 29. The expedition will be led by marine biologist Lee Goldman, a certified scuba instructor, avid birdwatcher, and a passionate kayaker, rock climber, hiker and conservationist. In Banaue, participants will go on a trek to explore the ancient rice terraces as well as meet the Ifugao hilltribe people. Then, trading the hiking boots for snorkeling gear, travelers will head to Cabilao Island for some diving. The island’s coral reefs are part of the famed Coral Triangle. The tour costs US $3,995 (about P200,000) and includes 11 nights in hotels and beach lodge, transportation, and all meals.

For more information, call +632/ 840 5912 and 575 8370

For more information, visit www.wildernesstravel.com

St. Andrew Church interior

Electronic booking at iTravel iExplore Tours & Services iTravel iExplore Tours & Services, a newly opened company in Cebu, ushers in a new generation of operators focusing on electronic bookings, and tapping business from social networking sites and the web. Owners Juliet Amazone and Venice Juera said their maiden signature tour package was an experiential tour to at the Soil and Water Conservation Foundation Park Training Center at the Bohol Biodiversity Complex in Bilar, Bohol. The tour’s itinerary includes a visit at Corella, Bohol where tourists will see the tarsiers in their real habitat and trekking within the complex. The tour costs P5,300/person for a group of four to seven persons. Other packages include Explore Cebu Tour’s Twin City Package, both in Cebu and in Mactan, taking tourists to the province’s cultural spots like Magellan’s Cross, Basilica Minore Del Sto. Niño in Cebu City, Monument of LapuLapu and the Guitar and Ukelele Factory in Mactan.

iTravel iExplore is at Pacific Square Bldg., F. Cabahug St., Cebu City. For travel packages, email at info@itravelcebu.com

The cool Crocband flip, launched recently, takes its design inspiration from Crocband’s retro sneakers but adds a new twist, a sporty midsole band which distinguishes it from the usual flip flop. It comes in black, bubblegum, lime, navy, red, white and yellow, and features fully-molded croslite material construction for maximum lightweight cushioning and circulation nubs on the footbed to stimulate blood flow.

A tribute to Faro de Malabrigo. This coffee table book features 56 photographs of Faro de Malabrigo, one of the 24 remaining colonial lighthouses in the Philippines. It was built by the Spaniards in Lobo, Batangas in the 1800s. The photographs were taken by seven of the country’s best photographers, including Romeo Gacad, Scott Tuason and Jaime Unson. Published by Ateneo de Manila University Press.

Crocband flip sells at P1,750 a pair at all Crocs concept stores and authorized retailers

For more information or to purchase the book, call +63905/ 354 3634

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Where do you hang out? I n t e r v i e w s b y F r e i d a V. D a r i o I l l u s t r a t i o n b y M a r k D av i d A . s e e

I don’t go out much as the cafe at The Lazy Dog is a great place to just chill and have a cozy meal with friends. But when I go out, I go to Ti Braz for the wonderful crepes or to a tiny local hangout called Exit Bar for sunset drinks and cheap beer. For nights out, I head to Hey! Jude Bar (especially on Wednesday foosball nights), Summer Place and Juice Bar. The vibe at these places is great, and the company, even better. The place to go at full moon is the Full Moon Party at Jungle Bar in Bulabog’s Southern Beach for true local flavor, awesome entertainment and a feel of the old Boracay.

- Cheska Iñigo Winebrenner

Resort owner, The Lazy Dog Bed & Breakfast

Hey! Jude Bar where I can find most of my close friends on the island. It’s always nice to hang out with the locals since we all support each other’s businesses. Next stop is Juice Bar, where my friends and I get really juiced-up and when I’m ready to start dancing. Summer Place would always be our last stop.

- Christine San Diego

Owner, Ti Braz Creperie and French Bistro, Absinth and Flute

White House Beach Resort during the day for tanning while relaxing with my daughter Leona by the pool or in the beach beds. We love The Courtyard Bistro’s food, service, and sunset cocktails. There, I can practice my poi all day without distraction. I also like Exit Bar and Two Seasons (try their mojitos) for sunset drinks. You’ll also find me at Bambooze for sunset fire jams, live drums and percussions with my boys, the Etniko Boracay. For serious ‘gimmick’ nights, I only go to Hey! Jude and Juice Bar!

- Rachel Lobangco

Model, firedancer and paddler 16 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010

Every full moon, Jungle Bar livens up with featured local talents and artists and wild and strong cocktails by Archie Aniel. If I want a peaceful sunset, I go to Red Pirates. It’s like going back in time when I was just getting to know the island. During the day and there’s wind, I kiteboard and spend early evenings with my kite buddies at Hangin Kite Center. On Sundays, after having my favorite Salpicao for dinner at the Courtyard Bistro, I see a movie on a wide screen on the beach!

- Erwin Edralin

Musician, Vibe Wizard and resident dj, Hey! Jude Bar

I go to Hey! Jude when I’m in the mood for true house music – they have great djs and I absolutely enjoy the company of the owners Jude and Louise. For a night of fun with hip hop, R&B, and Reggae, Summer Place. My wife Claire and I get our bucket of Shark Attack (her favorite drink), and dance all night long! Our children also love to go for a Mongolian dinner at Summer Place, followed by a game of billiards with the boys, any night of the week.

- Datu Yap

Owner, Casa Asia, Sandals Inn, Fly boutiques, Music House, Beach Bum Bar

I consider myself lucky because I love hanging out at my place of business! When I’m not at Courtyard Bistro, you’ll find me at Hey! Jude Bar, unwinding with my beer in peace! I feel comfortable with the friendly staff, house music, my local friends who I consider family over here, the best parties – hands-down, and for Wednesday night foosball!

- Mark Santiago

Managing partner, The Courtyard Bistro Boracay


i n t h e sh op s >i n my bag Pansy tube dress, P1,595, from Dorothy Perkins; voodoo necklace, P1,475, from Kathang Kamay available at Souk, The Ramp Crossings; shoot location: Boracay Luxury Homes’ property fronting Lapuz-Lapuz Beach

Lounge-y, breezy resort wear is back, perfect for the summer, says fashion stylist Sheryl Songsong

Blow away Pho t o s b y J ay A l onz o Fa s h ion s t y l i n g b y Sh e ry l SONGSONG H a i r a n d m a k e u p b y A i s a C o s t o Mode l i n g b y Da n i e l a Fac c i n e l l i f or I de a l P e op l e

Photo shoot location arrangement courtesy of Boracay Luxury Homes

april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 19


inTheShops B l o w a w a y

Two-piece bikini, P2,999; black chiffon pants, P3,499, both by Charina Sarte; shoot location: Malibu House, The Cliff, by Boracay Luxury Homes

20 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010


Animal print resort dress, P5,999, by Charina Sarte; threaded bangles, P900/ set, from Accessorize; shoot location: Coco Pier, Fairways & Bluewater

april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 21


Short yellow empire dress, P1,245, from Tango; rose print bangle, P300, from Accessorize; yellow jade necklace, P1,560, from SEPA available at Souk, The Ramp Crossings; shoot location: Coco Pier, Fairways & Bluewater

Mila kaftan blouse, P4,999, by Charina Sarte; oriental bangle, P600, and filigree topped bangle, P600, both from Accessorize; fish hook earrings, P420, from The Ramp Crossings; and mosaic twopiece bikini (stylist’s own); shoot location: Paradise Cove, Fairways & Bluewater

Blue bias cut tube dress, P1,695, from Tango; necklace, price upon request, and Tobogo tube bracelet, P750/pc, both from Accessorize; shoot location: Malibu House, The Cliff, by Boracay Luxury Homes

22 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010


B l o w a w a y inTheShops

Orange and blue maxi dress, P1,592, from Abrace; wooden cuff bangle, P275; and gold studded hoop earrings, all from The Ramp Crossings; shoot location: Paradise Cove, Fairways & Bluewater

F o r s t o r e l o c a t i o n a n d c o n ta c t d e ta i l s , t u r n t o

o n pag e 76 april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 23


inMyBag

My travel list:

Victor Ortega

I n t e rv i e w b y M a rgi e F. F r a n c i s c o

“I’m a very light packer. I don’t really plan ahead. Most of the time, I just get my bag and go”

PRODUCT Pho t o b y C a r l o s L e g a S p i

1 2 3 4

Louis Vuitton travel carry-on Y3 leather flat cap (not available in the Philippines) Nokia N97 (P28,340) “I use this phone for my emails”

Artistry Time Defiance Day Protect Crème (P2,215) “It’s a crème for normal to dry skin, with SPF 15. It’s a great moisturizer for the skin”

5 Artistry Multi Protect SPF 30/PA+++ (P1,295) Victor Ortega is the owner of Emphasis Salon and chief makeup artist of Artistry, which counts among its clients Tessa Prieto-Valdez and Bea Valdez. With more than 25 years of experience in styling, Ortega is also a member of Pantene’s Council of Style, a group of top hair stylists in the country. He has four salons in Boracay and recently opened a salon in Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa

“It’s a great protection for the skin, it suits all skin types”

6 Philip Stein watch (starts at P28,700) 7 Prada sunglasses (P12,500) “Simple yet very stylish design!” 8 Sony Cybershot TX1 (P27,999)

“I love that it’s a user-friendly digicam. It has a touch screen LCD and very clear images, 10 megapixels”

02 01

05

08

03

04

06

07

F o r s t o r e l o c a t i o n a n d c o n ta c t d e ta i l s , t u r n t o 24 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010

o n pag e 76


26 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010


L ov i ng t h e pl a n e t

Saving our coast WWF and its local partners are winning the battle to create more marine protected reserves, at least for now

Hamilo Coast

Photo by Perry Aragon

april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 27


inTune H a m i l o C o a s t

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Philippines has added Hamilo Coast demarcating Batangas and Cavite to its growing list of marine protected areas (MPAs). Hamilo Coast developer SM LAND partnered with WWF to preserve the area’s 13 limestone-ringed coves. They drew up a coastal resource management (CRM) plan to revive the once-rich marine habitats along the coast. The CRM program began with exhaustive assessments of coral reefs, sea grass beds, mangal or mangrove forests and offshore fishing sites. Recalls WWF’s Paolo Pagaduan, “many surveyed reefs bore pockmarks from bomb blasts, scars from 40 years of dynamite fishing. We eventually identified three priority coves needing urgent protection – Santelmo, Etayo and Pico de Loro.” Closure of the sites was the first step to recovery. Says Pagaduan, “at first there was a lot of dissent. Locals relied on each of the 13 coves for food and livelihood so absolute closure would rob them of income. It took over 10 months of negotiations to convince them that, given time to recover, the coves would be more productive than they could imagine. Two years later, we’re ready to finally close off Santelmo for fishing.” Pagaduan says that since 2007, the difference in fish yields has been noticeable. “We catch more fish now than two years ago,” testifies local fisherman Adelito Villaluna. Local fishers reel in from four to 12 kilograms daily – a figure attributed not just to the MPAs, but to increased enforcement efforts against illegal fishers.

Saving the Salad Bowl Arguably the best of the three coves, Santelmo has been dubbed the ‘salad bowl’ – owing to the proliferation of montipora, a curious-looking hard coral, which closely resembles a lettuce head. Santelmo reef will now be declared a ‘no-take zone’, while Etayo and Pico de Loro’s reefs will be declared as ‘marine reserves’ – meaning a limited number of hook-and-line fishermen may

28 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010

continue to fish. “This is a compromise we deemed acceptable,” notes WWF vice chairman and chief executive officer Lory Tan. “Originally, we wanted all three coves declared as no-take zones. However, our top priority is still the welfare of Nasugbu’s people, so until enough spillover from Santelmo cove can accommodate their fishing requirements, we cannot deny them their right to fish.” “MPAs focus on much more than just the conservation of biodiversity: should we succeed in halting climate change, these pockets of marine resilience will provide the building blocks needed to restore natural mechanisms, which provide food and livelihood for millions of people. It’s a natural investment,” Tan said. Today the Philippines hosts about 10% of the world’s MPAs – over 500, a figure far greater than any in Southeast Asia. Established largely through local government initiatives and maintained through the blood, sweat and tears of local coastal communities, these undersea enclaves are scattered throughout the archipelago to provide vital safe havens for Philippine marine life. Sadly, many MPAs are plagued by a lack of funding. Mismanagement is rife; and it is estimated that little over 100 MPAs are properly administered. The rest are dubbed as ‘paper parks’ – areas urgently needing funding and professional management. Two of the country’s best-managed MPAs include Apo and Danjugan Isles in Negros, both of which received best-managed MPA awards in 1996 and 2001, respectively. “Community support is paramount in achieving success,” notes Pagaduan. “By protecting their area’s reefs, coastal communities also safeguard future sources of food and livelihood.” WWF, the local to global conservation organization, has long pioneered the establishment and upkeep of protected areas in the Philippines’

largest coral reef systems. In October of 2007, WWF and the local government of Sablayan in Mindoro spearheaded the total closure of Apo Reef, the country’s largest – for fishing. In its stead followed alternative livelihood programmes and a robust ecotourism drive designed to keep livelihoods afloat while allowing the reef ample time to recover. Dramatic results are already evident in other model sites. From 2004 to 2005, the world-renowned Tubbataha Reefs off Palawan doubled yearly fish biomass from 166 to 318 metric tons per square kilometre – a yield seven times

Hamilo Coast photo by Perry Aragon


Hamilo Coast

more productive than a typical reef. WWF and Hamilo Coast are now working with the local government of Nasugbu and allied organizations to establish three new MPAs off the northernmost tip of Batangas. Back at the Santelmo Salad Bowl, we find ourselves tracking a dozen-strong school of longfin batfish, graceful residents that vaguely resemble the silver-and-black striped freshwater angelfish familiar to aquarists. As they fade off into the blue, I self-consciously check my air pressure gauge. At 300 PSI and low on air, we finish

Clownfish photo by Kurt Domingo

up and ponderously begin our ascent, inflating our BCs to begin our rise to the world above. I take a final glimpse of the ghostly batfish and smirk as I imagine how beautiful Santelmo Reef will be in a decade. Will it be as beautiful as the coralcovered drop-offs of Balicasag Isle? Will it have the thousands-strong schools of fairy basslets in Coron? Only continued protection – and time, will tell.

For more information, contact WWF at +632/ 920 7923/26/31. Visit www.wwf.org.ph.

Clownfish


Victor Consunji, founder of general contracting firm Vconsunji and president of DMC Urban Property Developers, was named by Philippine Tatler in March 2005 as the country’s most eligible bachelor. He has gained a name for himself as a professional fashion photographer, but these days photography has taken a back seat to property development and construction, the core business of his family’s DMCI Holdings, a major player in the industry. His new project is the launch of new residential units in Mahogany Place in Taguig City. For more information, visit www. vconsunji.com.


profile

Me and my holidays:

Victor Consunji I n t e rv i e w b y M a r g i e F. F r a n c i s c o

Which was your best holiday? Every holiday, to a certain degree, is very memorable. I have no regrets spending time with the people I love. Whether it’s a disaster or not, there’s always a good story in it. Your favorite destinations? Boracay, of course. But I also like El Nido and Bohol. In Boracay, you get the beach and you get to be social. There are lots of places to eat, to shop. You can go sun-tanning, swimming. It’s kind of an all-in-one package. El Nido’s more about relaxation and seclusion. It’s the place if you want to get away from it all. Bohol is just rich in activities and it’s quite unique. You get to play with the tarsiers, watch the dolphins, and check out the Chocolate Hills. The wildlife there is fantastic! What is the best hotel you’ve stayed in? The best boutique hotel in Boracay is Zuzuni (www.zuzuni.net) and the best general hotel there is Discovery Shores (www. discoveryshoresboracay.com). 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. What is your favorite resort? There’s a lot. I guess El Nido Lagen 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. What do you always take with you when you travel? Aside from cash? Not much. Toothbrush, board shorts, shades, flip flops.

photo by da n iel sor i a no

Are you a beach bum? Definitely. Mountains tend to have a lot of bugs. And I already live in the city so what’s the point of visiting another city? For me, the outdoors, somewhere preferably with water, is perfect. Where do you want to holiday next? I’ve been hearing a lot about Bellaroca (www. bellaroccaresorts.com) so maybe I’ll try that one. Maybe I’ll check out Amanpulo (www. amanresorts.com). Your favorite bars and restaurants? For night life, Makati and any of the locations in The Fort or at Greenbelt. I don’t really go out so much anymore so I’m not exactly in tune with the night scene as I used to. In The Fort, it’s Encore (+632/ 816 3813, 819 5481). Cav (+632/ 856 1798) has a nice wine bar. My favorite restaurants right now include Mamou (+632/ 856 3569) and The Terrace at the 5th (+632/ 729 6860). What is the most picturesque scene you’ve photographed? I got some interesting shots of Punta Fuego – really dramatic shots of waves crashing against the rocks. I got really nice shots of Boracay as well, and ironically, of the Taal crater. How does photography figure in your life now? Only as a hobby. It started out as a hobby and turned into something professional. For me, I think if I want to keep my passion for photography, then I should keep it just as a hobby. What was your worst holiday experience? It’s not the worst holiday but my worst trip, courtesy of this budget airline. Coming

from Singapore to Manila, the windshield of the plane cracked midflight so we did an emergency landing in Kota Kinabalu, where there was no service staff whatsoever to help us out and we had to stay overnight in the crappiest hotel imaginable. It looked like the residences of hell. After getting half an hour’s worth of sleep, we lined up for approximately four hours to re-check-in to the rescue plane. For me, I’ve blacklisted that airline forever from my list of carriers. What was your biggest packing mistake? I guess just the usual; I forget the toiletries and end up buying them in the destination. But that’s hardly a crisis. What is the worst hotel you’ve stayed in? It doesn’t exist anymore. It was back in 1998 in Boracay. It was during Holy Week and every hotel was booked. I ended up staying in a hotel called La Villa Rocha, which was right beside Fridays. And as the name implies, it really was “the village of roaches” and with no running water. What do you avoid on holidays? The crowds and hassle. During the holidays, if I travel, I normally like going to destinations near enough to places where I can have fun; but not too close that it’s banging on my door. For me, there has to be a balance between convenience and accessibility and the option to get away and have some peace. What do you hate about the holidays? Nothing. Holidays are rare times I spend undivided time with my family. Most of the week, I’m so busy that it’s hard to spend time with my loved ones and holidays give me that moment.

april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 31


inroom > indulge

book Now

Cuarto del SeÑor

It looks dark and foreboding, but this is the master’s bedroom actor Tom Cruise stayed in while in Vigan, says Ces Rodriguez Ph o t o s b y D a n i e l S o r i a n o

april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 33


inRoom V i l l a A n g e l a

Hardwood floor, a Venetian mirror, heavy darkwood furniture, wooden beams, Spanish lamps, and sepia photos are all original to Villa Angela’s heritage home now open to paying guests

Location. Villa Angela, a heritage home built in 1873 and converted into a hotel in 1987, lies near the “center” of the Vigan provincial capitol in Plaza Salcedo. In historic terms, “center” suggested the prominence of one’s domicile, and by extension, one’s stature in the caste-conscious society enabled by the Spanish government. Only the rich and the landed could build their grand stone mansions close to the perimeters of the central plaza, erected by the Spaniards to be the town’s civic and political nerve center. CHARACTER. Loads and loads of it. From the short driveway flanked by greenery and garden huts to the outdoor stone steps leading to the second floor open balcony and the main quarters, the generous anteroom, the spacious rooms with four-poster beds, to the living room containing a piano, a harp and a gramophone, all reminiscent of the gracious days gone by. Villa Angela is a textbook example of how it was to live the life of an ilustrado, a term used for someone educated, in the 19th century. It is also the first Vigan heritage home to open itself up to paying guests. ROOMS. I was booked in the cuarto del señor or the master’s bedroom, the same room where Tom Cruise stayed when he came to Vigan in January 1989 to shoot scenes for the Oliver Stone movie, Born on the Fourth of July. The room has air-con, cable TV, and a large toilet and bath with abel cloth hanging on a rack and typical toilet amenities. But amidst this array of modern comforts, the main draw is the wooden furniture, all intricately carved. fOOd. Villa Angela serves breakfast but only if you make prior arrangements with the caretaker. You can choose from a butterflied milkfish, tapa or tocino

34 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010

(cured beef or pork respectively) and the famous spicy Vigan longganisa or local sausages, served with fried rice, eggs prepared the way you want it, a bowl of dipping vinegar and crushed garlic, diced tomatoes, a banana for dessert and single-serve sachets of threein-one instant coffee. The spread is served family-style with serving spoons sticking out of the platter of rice and the shallow bowls of dip and tomatoes. Meals are presented the way a typical local serves their meals in their home. The food taste simple and satisfying like a home-cooked meal. WE LIKE. The unpretentious service, the homey vibe and the chance to explore the rooms and gawp at the museumgrade knick-knacks and furnishings. Lounging at the foyer or at the dining table also encourages social chit-chat with other guests. And yes, the coffee trolley laden with cups and teaspoons and a container jammed with tinfoils of instant coffee – free to all at any time of the day or night. NOT SO KEEN. No WiFi.

essentials Rates start at P1,200 (about US $24) during off season. There are four rooms on the second floor. For budget travelers or large groups, inquire about dorm facilities located on the ground floor. You can also rent the entire house for extended family vacations, company outings or class reunions. For inquiries, call +6377/ 722 2914 or the Manila booking office at +632/ 374 5184. Email info@villangela. com. Visit www.villangela.com for more information. You can also contact the general manager at +63917/ 891 9711, +63919/ 343 1062, or the front desk officer at +63919/ 315 6122. GETTING THERE. From Manila, take a Partas Bus with terminals in Cubao and Pasay City. Vigan is 405 kilometers from Manila so expect an eight- to 10-hour bus ride from Manila to Vigan. It’s best to take the deluxe buses (P680). From the bus terminal in Vigan, hire a tricycle to take you to Villa Angela at 26 Quirino Boulevard, Vigan City. To book a car or a van, contact Carfield at +632/ 986 7176.


april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 35


Pork belly in rolls with stewed vegetables

Paella mixta, Bistro a house Filipino specialty interior

This photo by Mike Alcid


O l é T a p a s B a r a n d Res t a u r a n t indulge

At night, the restaurant turns into a setting that wouldn’t be out of place in an El Mariachi movie

A taste of OlÉ

Kristine Fonacier finds a perfect place for authentic Spanish paella and tapas Ph o t o s b y j o c a s a . s e e

THE SETTING. With its brightly painted walls and exuberant logo, Olé in the daytime is every bit a nice family place serving good Spanish and Latin food; at night, the place takes on a slightly edgier vibe. While I was at the restaurant, a rambunctious customer created a bit of a fuss, and was ushered out quietly but firmly by the proprietors. In this place, it’s just as easy to imagine Antonio Banderas’ El Mariachi coming in for a drink as it would be to see sun-baked tourists kicking back at the end of the day. THE FOOD. The robust flavors and colors of Spanish, Mexican, and Cuban cuisine make up the extensive menu of Olé. Chef Ronnie Manansala, who has been with the restaurant since it opened, serves wonderfully good food. Restaurant owners Steve Zafir and Ana Sagarino recommend the paellas (from P599). Try the

classic paella Valenciana (P599, serves two) or the paella Bogavante, with lobster and other seafood (P799). The ropa vieja (P459), made of ground beef cooked with plenty of onions and garlic in wine, tomato sauce, and olive oil, is popular with the locals. And if all else fails, a selection of tapas is a good idea. Try the mejillones al horno, baked mussels topped with garlic and Parmesan cheese (P259); almejas al tigre, clams in spicy tomato sauce (P259); gambas al ajillo, shrimp cooked with plenty of garlic (P349); and the jamon Serrano (P429) with a side of Manchego cheese (P479). THE drinks. Zafir claims to offer the biggest selection of beers on the island, and local beers are affordably priced (P45 to P55). Try the margarita, frozen or on ice (P140), or the house specialty, freshly made sangria (P165 a

glass, P799 a pitcher). THE SERVICE. Friendly. The waitresses make you feel right at home and their skimpy, midriff-baring blouses and short, short, short frilly skirts are quite a hit with men. Food and drinks arrive quickly, and even while the waitresses can get chatty, they are surprisingly efficient with order-taking. THE PRICE. Best to dine here in a group; expect to easily spend upwards of P600 per person, including drinks. THE VERDICT. Enjoy a hearty lunch at Olé with your family. After dark, come with a group of friends.

Olé is in D’Mall, White Beach, Boracay. Call +6336/ 288 5940

april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 37


The Airline Dream The History of SEAIR Fifteen years ago in El Nido, Palawan, German pilot Iren Dornier declared that he would start an airline that would bring tourists to all the beautiful islands of the Philippines. The dream was first conceived in a country thousands of miles away, during a cross-country flight to Mexico. “We discovered a breathtaking area near Manzanillo in western Mexico, difficult to get to. And we thought a small air service was necessary,” said Nikos Gitsis, SEAIR director and co-founder, and Dornier’s longtime friend and business partner. A fateful holiday trip to Palawan in December 1994 convinced Dornier that the Philippines was the perfect home for their future airline. “I initially planned to go to Phuket, Thailand but all the flights were booked. I ended up in El Nido instead. “As a child, I used to paint our entire kitchen wall with rainforest landscape, tropical islands and animals; so when I saw Palawan, I fell in love instantly,” said Dornier. “Iren called and told me how Club Noah in Palawan needed a charter service to move their guests from Manila to the resort,” said Gitsis. “Since we had talked about flying somewhere, it seemed only natural that we started it in the Philippines.” In 1995, Iren Dornier, Nikos Gitsis and Tomas Lopez, then president of Club Noah, founded SEAIR with a P2 million and two nine-seater airplane intevestment and set up their headquarters in the Clark Special Economic Zone, the first domestic airline to do so. SEAIR started flying from Manila to Caticlan, to Rodriguez and Busuanga, Palawan, and transported light and humbled cargo to its destinations. “We experienced a honeymoon period and things seemed to go well; but honestly, the first three to four years were very challenging,” said Gitsis. In 1996, SEAIR brought in the LET 410 aircraft, a 19-seater plane ideal for the short runways of Palawan and Caticlan; and it took a while for SEAIR to be certified to fly commercially. “The competition was tough and the Philippine economic climate during the first few years was difficult. We had to encounter crises almost yearly,” added Gitsis. “The failure rate for foreigners starting a business in this country was 38 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010

awfully high; but we made it because my good friend Nick always stayed by my side,” Dornier retorted. After the initial hurdle, SEAIR took to the skies and soared higher. Using the original fleet flying multiple flights daily, SEAIR helped open Northern Palawan and Boracay to mainstream tourism that greatly helped the development of these destinations. In 1998, the airline pioneered missionary routes to far-flung areas like Camiguin, Siargao, Cotabato, Jolo and Tawi-Tawi, and interconnecting flights in Palawan. In 2003, SEAIR was certified ISO 9001:2000 compliant for quality management systems and was awarded “Best Airline of the Year” for the second consecutive year by the Philippines’ largest Consumers Excellence Award. In 2004, SEAIR restored the Dornier 24 amphibian aircraft and Dornier himself flew it around the world to promote Philippine tourism and raise funds for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The event was also Dornier’s tribute to his grandfather, famed aircraft manufacturer Claudius Dornier, who originally built the Do-x, the most powerful aircraft of his time. SEAIR introduced the stateof-the-art Dornier 328 in 2005 and began flying from Manila to Caticlan in 35 minutes. “No other aircraft in the same size and category as the Do 328 could be considered a serious contender,” said Gitsis. When asked of future plans, Dornier replied, “I like the idea of having an aviation school here in the Philippines. We have a lot of great people in this country and an academy would link the Philippines to the rest of the world.” Today, SEAIR has two sophisticated hangars in Clark and offices in Makati and Cebu. From ferrying resort guests to and from Palawan, the airline now flies to 12 destinations all over the country, and SEAIR has since served over three million passengers. Looking back at their humble beginnings, Gitsis said, “the airline business is no easy street and I have no regrets. SEAIR is my ultimate dream realized and I have Iren and the Philippines to thank for that.”


SEAIR co-founders Iren Dornier (right) and Nikos Gitsis with the Dornier Dassault Alpha Jet (right) and SEAIR’s Dornier 328 aircraft in the backdrop. Inset, Dornier and Gitsis in Clark in 1998

Type ‘iloveseair15’ in the promo code field when booking online at www.FlySeair.com and get P1,500 discount per way in all routes. Selling period: April 15-30, 2010; travel period: June 15- October 15, 2010. Limited seats only.

Spread page layout by Aldelm John Ferriols

april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 39


SEAIR’s History and Milestones • SEAIR was founded by Iren Dornier, Nikos Gitsis and Tomas Lopez in 1995 with an investment of P2 million and two nine-seater airplanes. It was the second airline established in the Philippines and the first domestic airline to locate its headquarters in the Clark Special Economic Zone. It started flying from Manila to Caticlan (Boracay), and Rodriguez (Club Noah) and Busuanga, Palawan. • In 1996, SEAIR brought in the LET 410 aircraft, a 19-seater plane that performs Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) – ideal for short runways like Palawan’s. • In 1998, SEAIR opened regional hubs in Cebu and Zamboanga to offer routes in far-flung areas like Camiguin, Siargao, Cotabato, Jolo and Tawi Tawi, and introduced interconnecting Palawan flights: Manila-Busuanga-El Nido-Puerto Princesa and vice versa. • In 2003, SEAIR was certified ISO 9001:2000 compliant for quality management systems. This was granted by TUV Rheiland, an ISO affiliate. SEAIR was also awarded “Best Airline of the Year” the second time by the Philippines’ largest Consumers Excellence Award. • From 1998 to 2003, SEAIR had increased its fleet to nine LET410 aircraft. • In 2005, SEAIR introduced the state-of-the-art Dornier 328 manufactured by Germany-based Dornier. It can fly to Caticlan in 35 minutes, the fastest to be offered by a commercial airline. • In 2006, SEAIR acquired its fourth Do 328 aircraft to boost its operations. The Do 328 later on serviced Basco and Busuanga. • In June 2006, SEAIR introduced its online reservations and e-ticketing system, the first ever online system to offer flights to Caticlan. Online ticket purchase was made available in Manila, Cebu, Clark, Busuanga, and Puerto Princesa. • In 2006, SEAIR increased flights to Boracay and Palawan, and acquired more high-speed jet prop aircraft. Thus, SEAIR experienced a significant sales growth. The airline was able to offer some 29,000 seats per month through its network, summing up an increase of 3,000 seats per month compared to 2005. • In 2007, SEAIR offered up to 28 flights from Manila to Caticlan daily. • In 2008, SEAIR started flights to Basco, Batanes and to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, its first international route. • In 2009, SEAIR was given the People’s Choice Seal of Excellence Award for Most Outstanding Airline. • In 2010, SEAIR was awarded Gold Brand by the Gold Brands Council Philippines for brand image appeal and trust and market acceptance. SEAIR has now flown over three million passengers and is currently offers flights to 12 local destinations all over the country: Clark, Caticlan (Boracay), Cebu, Manila, Basco (Batanes), El Nido,Tablas (Romblon), Marinduque, San Fernando (La Union), Zamboanga, Jolo and Tawi-Tawi. 40 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010

Top, the Sting Ray, the latest series being produced at SEAIR’s maintenance hangar and facilities in Clark. Bottom, SEAIR’s inaugural flight to Club Noah, coinciding with the resort’s and Sandoval Airport’s opening in 1995


Seair Charity Projects

Seair: The Top Choice of the Jet Set Crowd

Over the years, SEAIR has participated in numerous charity projects as part of its mission “to support environmental conservation and community empowerment through educational awareness and direct involvement”. One of the most significant charity projects participated by SEAIR was the world tour that took off in April 2004 initiated by SEAIR chairman and respected aviator Iren Dornier. Dornier refurbished the Dornier 24, an aircraft that could land on and take of from land and water, and started a world tour that eventually landed him to over 90 destinations worldwide. Dornier’s objective was to pay tribute to his grandfather, aviation pioneer Claude Dornier, who first did a world tour via the Do-X. But the bigger and more lucrative effort of Dornier was to raise funds for the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef); and thus was able to raise some P5 million for Unicef Philippines. (Visit www. do-24.com) Among other proactive social responsibility endeavors of SEAIR is being an active member of the Boracay Foundation (BFI), which has always been at the forefront of Boracay’s environment conservation. Some of BFI’s efforts are coral reef restoration project, beach clean-up, and solid waste management. Recently, SEAIR donated life rings to the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) 609th squadron that were distributed strategically to lifeguard stations on White Beach. SEAIR has partnered with Metropolitan Doctors Medical Clinic-Boracay in medical missions for Boracay Island residents, and has always been a supporter of Philippine National Red Cross and GMA Kapuso Foundation in their charity missions in SEAIR destinations. In 2009, the country was shocked to have encountered life-changing calamities and SEAIR had been there to support victims. During the Ondoy calamity in September, SEAIR worked with BFI and the Boracay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) to deliver urgently-needed blankets to flood victims in Manila. When Typhoon Pepeng caused food shortage in Batanes, SEAIR, together with the Batanes Cultural Travel Agency (BCTA), delivered relief goods and basic commodities to this northernmost province. In May this year, SEAIR will launch the “South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) Scholarship Program” that will extend Information Technology (IT) education to deserving high school graduates, who will be given scholarship slots in the Bachelor of Science Program in Business Administration and Marketing at the Informatics Computer Institute. In late last year, SEAIR has committed to a lifelong partnership with WE International Philippines, a non-profit organization aimed at helping improve lives in the country. For more on WE and its recent projects with SEAIR, see next pages.

What do all of these millionaires, artists, rock stars, publishers, socialites and glitterati have in common? They all fly SEAIR! “We offer world-class comfort and service to all our passengers. We’re the only airline operating in Boracay that offers roundtrip complimentary transfers all the way to the world renowned tourist destination Boracay Island,” says Patrick Tan, SEAIR vice president for Commercial Affairs. With the state-of-the-art Dornier 328 aircraft, one of the latest in a long line of technologically-innovative aircraft manufactured by Germany-based Dornier, SEAIR is able to offer the fastest flights from Manila to Boracay at 35 minutes. More so, SEAIR has the shortest queues and airport checkin procedures, the fastest baggage claims, and gives exclusive boarding pass privileges, wherein boarding pass holders get discounts from partner establishments.The airline also has the longest and uninterrupted history of service to Caticlan and offers the most number of flights to Boracay. It was awarded “Best Airline of the Year” in 2002 and 2003 by the Philippines’ largest Consumers Excellence Award, given the People’s Choice Seal of Excellence Award for Most Outstanding Airline in 2009, and awarded Gold Brand by the Gold Brands Council Philippines in 2010 for brand image appeal and trust and market acceptance. No wonder high profile movers and shakers choose to fly with SEAIR.

SEAIR frequent flyers, from left: Jinno Rufino, Stephen Ku,Tito Herboso, Marc Nelson, Rovinson Fernandez,Tisha Silang and Geoff Rodriguez

Spread page layout by Aldelm John Ferriols

april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 41


WE flies SEAIR SEAIR flies exceptional high school and university sponsored students from Smokey Mountain dumpsite in Manila to Boracay Island. Humanitarian organization WE International Philippines (WE) co-founder Abee Sy explains: “We celebrate over lunch at Aristocrat Restaurant two students chosen for academic excellence, leadership and exhibiting the drive to achieve. The Student of the Month (S.O.M) program is one way of communicating to the youth of Tondo that they can and must dream - that there is a very real future for them outside Smokey Mountain if they study and work hard. WE recognizes and celebrates their dedication to their studies.” The joy and excitement of the 12 students, accompanied by coordinators from Young Focus, completely overtook any fear first-time flyers may have: they gloried in the 35-minute flight from Manila, eyes glued to the windows enjoying city, land, forest, islands and the sea viewed from above. One of the boys exclaimed, “It’s amazing from up here! I want to stay in the sky and fly forever!” But we landed in Caticlan in no time and the 10-minute banca ride was an adventure in itself. 42 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010


“We whizzed through the island and went straight to O’ Apartments at D’Mall, our home on the island. Next stop was Nothing But H2O for swimwear shopping. A hearty Zuzuni breakfast completed the morning. “Then finally we were barefoot on unparalleled white sands and into the clear, blue and crisp waters! We played and laughed like children under the clear sky, blessed by a glorious but gentle morning sun. For lunch we went to Island Chicken Inasal and spent the rest of the day sailing on paraws (native outriggers), taking in the beautiful sights of Boracay. From D’Mall, we hiked to Bulabog Beach, the island’s playground for watersports enthusiasts, and enjoyed a feast at The Lazy Dog Bed and Breakfast. It was a cool and breezy night and the kids enjoyed playing fetch with Whiskey, staying long after dinner was done. “The next day, we started with breakfast at Real Coffee, an island favorite, before heading off for paddle-surfing lessons. For lunch we walked further north to the more secluded Diniwid cove, for a breathtaking view of the island in Nami Villas. We spent the afternoon with the Boracay Dragons who volunteered to hold a frisbee clinic. We had a little celebration at Obama Grill and devoured melt-in-your-mouth ribs. We headed back, stopping to watch fire dancers and take photos of sandcastles made magical by candlelight. We arranged beach beds in circle on a sandbar and took in the hint of island life and the peace and quiet, and an unexpected fireworks display that grazed the island’s sky.” Shares Abee, “It was a trip of firsts, for all of us but especially for the students. Each day was designed with activities to encourage growth of character from team building exercises to journal writing. They spoke out, opened up, laughed out loud, and back at the dumpsite, they shared their amazing adventure with their peers, motivating them. We truly believe that they will succeed, and they’re beginning to believe it too.” In collaboration with corporations, individuals and other non-government organizations,WE motivates the youth to complete their studies and develops programs to ensure that they have every opportunity to break out of the cycle of poverty that they are currently in. SEAIR, apart from sponsoring round-trip tickets to S.O.M., an on-going program, has also pledged a monthly support to WE. WE and SEAIR would like to thank Dimples LaO’, Mark, Aileen and Karen Cabrera, Boracay Dragons, Bustamante family, Djila Winebrenner and Ian Bautista, Lee and Nadine Rosaia, Chese Ledesma-Ong, Manoy Llige, Andree Abriam and Sandy Javier. - Trina Santos

Countless efforts In September 2009, typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng ripped the face of certain areas in the country. Ondoy brought about the worst flood Manila had experienced for the past 40 years, while Pepeng ravaged the mountains of Northern Luzon, leaving fatal landslides in its wake. In response, SEAIR, in collaboration with WE International Philippines, bridged aid efforts, flying in donated goods from Boracay to distribute to survivors in Manila free-of-charge and embarked on SEAIR Mission Flights, sending urgently-needed food and supplies to Batanes, another northern province affected by the calamities. On October 16, 2009, SEAIR and WE delivered the supplies like blankets, water, water purification tablets, clothes, cooking items, flashlights, medicines and food to some 240 families who were devastated in the landslides in Pasdong, Benguet. The Dornier Technology’s Maintenance Team took out the main cabin’s seats to fit in more relief boxes. At midnight, with the help of SEAIR’s Cargo Team, WE volunteers began loading the plane for the early morning mission flight to Baguio. From Baguio, a team of 40, composed of WE volunteers, Brent Baguio, Youth With A Mission (YWAM), and local government, took a six-hour drive through landslides and down through remote mountain passes with very sketchy dirt roads along cliffs in the fog.  The goods were transferred from one able vehicle to another to another due to the severed roads. At instances, the team had to carry the goods and walk long stretches to get it to certain areas. Luckily, the team reached a small mountain town, and with the help of some grateful locals, were able to camp the night. WE and SEAIR are sincerely grateful to the numerous people who extended help to the victims of the calamities.

WE Vision: Working together to create a better future for every Filipino. Together WE can make a difference. For more information and to donate online (via PayPal), visit www.weinternational.org.ph. For more information about SEAIR, visit www.FlySeair.com

Clockwise, from bottom left, this spread: With the Dornier 328 in the backdrop are the 12 students who are sponsored a trip to Boracay together with WE Philippines’ volunteers and SEAIR pilots; the students flashing a jumping shot on White Beach, Boracay

Spread page layout by Aldelm John Ferriols

Relief goods flown to Baguio via SEAIR’s LET 410 aircraft

april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 43


ins & outs

c ov e r s t ory

insider’s gu ide

in focus

White Beach

ins&outs

Boracay: Island in a capsule R esea rch by K r ist ine Fonacier

Stay. For a unique take of Boracay Island, book a beach house by the cliff off Diniwid Beach. SPR Real Estate rents out the lovely Casa Mika Villa that offers two rooms, a kitchenette, a living area that has a 180-degree view of the sea, and a personal maid that can shop and cook for you. At night, the branches of trees that creep in the balcony gets lit with fireflies. Diniwid Beach; +63920/ 901 9629.

• Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa has 210 rooms, suites and villas, and a White Beach photo by Wacky Gochoco

m a p illustr at ion by r a n dy r . r ey

spa village built on a 12-hectare complex perched on a secluded hillside on Boracay’s Yapak Beach area. Barangay Yapak, Boracay;

+6336/ 288 4988; www.shangri-la.com. Discovery Shores is an 88-room

complex that offers a panoramic view of the island’s White Beach and beautiful sunsets. Each suite has a shower that overlooks its own mini garden. Station 1, Barangay

Balabag, Boracay; +6336/ 288 4500, in Manila, +632/ 720 8888; dsbrsvn@discovery. com.ph; www.discoveryshoresboracay.com.

• Zuzuni Boutique Hotel & Restaurant is a cozy four-room boutique hotel situated on the quieter part of the beach but relatively close enough to the island’s popular bars and shops. It also has a restaurant that serves authentic Greek dishes like lamb keftedes, kalamarakia and tzatziki. Station 1, White

Beach, Boracay; +6336/ 288 4477; www. zuzuni.net.

Dine. Boracay Island is known for its variety of international cuisine. Kasbah, at the end april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 45


insAndOuts B o r a c a y

Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa

of White Beach, brings the colors and flavors of Morocco to these shores. The open-air setup, low tables and floor cushions contribute to a laid-back vibe. The place is also a popular night spot, with its hip bar and North African tunes.

Station 1, Barangay Balabag, Boracay; +6336/ 288 4790; www.kasbahboracay.com. True Food serves Indian food. It has a

genuine tandoor oven, which allows the kitchen to cook chicken tikka, tandoori chicken, roti and naan in the authentic Indian tradition. Last November, True Food reopened its restaurant showcasing a new two-floor structure. Station 2,

south of D’Mall; +6336/ 288 3142.

• Mañana is a casual dining favorite on White Beach, offering a wide selection of Mexican food. The staff recommend the tortillas de patata (potato frittatas), but don’t miss their chicken and beef burritos and chimichangas, washed down with cold, refreshing margaritas. If the well-known branch on White Beach is still undergoing renovations when you go, visit instead their other hole-in-the-wall on Main Road. Station 2, Boracay; +6336/ 288 5435. Cyma serves saganaki (a flaming dish made from sheep or goat cheese), moussaka (layers of eggplant and ground lamb with tomato sauce, topped with béchamel), and paidakia (grilled rack of lamb). D’Mall, Station 2, Boracay.

Zorb!

SEE AND DO. Perhaps the most popular activity in Boracay is still to sit by the beach and do little else but soak up the sun; but visitors who prefer an active vacation have plenty of sporty options. Kiteboarding is a fast-growing sport on the island, as international kiteboarders discover the ideal conditions at Bulabog Beach. There are seven kiteboarding schools to choose from. For kiteboarding lessons, call Habagat Kite Village, +6336/ 288 5787; Hangin Kiteboarding Center, +6336/ 288 3663. Or visit www. kiteboardingboracay.com. Trek or ride an Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) up Mt. Luho, the highest point

of the island, 100 meters above sea level. Ask your hotel to recommend a guide for the walk, or rent an ATV through G1 Island ATV Rental,

RELAX. Beachside massages can be had cheaply anywhere on White Beach, but for true relaxation and pampering, go to Boracay’s top spas. Shangri-La Boracay’s CHI, The Spa, is a 5,714sqm haven that has smaller suites that can be had for hourly treatments, but clients may also book deluxe villas in the detached spa village complex. CHI’s signature therapies are based on the Oriental tradition of harmonizing the five elements of nature within the body. An online questionnaire allows clients to learn their element sign, which in turn will assist CHI’s therapists in customizing their treatments. Shangri-La Boracay, Barangay Yapak, Boracay; +6336/ 288 4988; www. shangri-la.com. Try Mandala Spa & Villas for holistic

If you’re not much for noise or carbon emissions but don’t want to do everything on foot, explore the island trails on horseback instead. Boracay Stables, +6336/ 288 3311. If wet and wild is your thing, get inside a Zorb!, a giant inflatable ball rolled downhill for a somewhat silly thrill. Zorb Park, Barangay

treatments, original award-winning therapies executed by exceptional therapists, and luxurious accommodation. Last year, Mandala has launched the Treetment Project, an exercise aimed at “inspiring people to care for the planet as much as they do to themselves”. Mandala Spa staff will plant a tree in Boracay or Aklan mainland for every treatment availed from the spa. Main Road, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Boracay;

Yapak, Boracay, +63927/ 908 5191.

+6336/ 288 5858; www.mandalaspa.com.

+6336/ 288 4235.

• •

46 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010

Kasbah

Kasbah photo by Mike Alcid


Boracay’s cool sport A guide to six of the best sporting events on the island I n t erv iews by Ja n L a o'

open ing photo by Jay A lonzo

Styling by Sheryl Songsong Hair and makeup by Aisa Costo Modeling by Dana Gajtandzievova for Ideal People Location: Fairways & Bluewater Model’s attire: Orange and yellow two-piece bikini from Charina Sarte

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Cover Story

Frisbee on Paradise Cove, Fairways & Bluewater, Boracay Island


"The kids of Boracay are some of the most talented ultimate (Frisbee) players I've ever seen"


01 Ultimate (Frisbee)

Cover Story B o r a c a y ’ s c o o l s p o r t

Photos by Daniel Soriano

Derek Ramsay Actor and professional ultimate player

Asian Championships beach ultimate 2009 on White Beach

WHY? I am an active guy and I love sports! And the reason why I love ultimate is it's a combination of different sports. There's a little of basketball, soccer, football. And even though there is no referee, the system works. A lot of cardiovascular training is involved. I don't specifically diet; but playing ultimate requires a lot of energy. We do a lot of plyometric exercises and a lot of throwing exercises. A lot of women are into this sport and they are actually very good. WHY BORACAY? Ultimate in Boracay is fun. The people are really nice and the parties are crazy! I believe that the kids of Boracay are some of the most talented ultimate players I've ever seen. BEST TIME TO GO The Annual Boracay International Tournament (Boracay Open) is held every summer, sometime from March to April. It's usually on a weekend and players from other countries come. Every Boracay open has been won by Boracay Dragons. Hands-down, they are the best beach ultimate players. Tournaments are usually held in front of Hey! Jude. BIG EVENT The annual Boracay Open in April and May participated by ultimate players from all over the country, even from abroad like Singapore and Hongkong.

SPORT TECH SPECS

Venue: White Beach, Boracay Sport website: www.philippineultimate.org/pua Sport contact details: puaboard@gmail.com (PUA president Paul John Regancia) Shop to visit: Gaiaultimate (www.gaiaultimate.com) or any Toby’s outlet. For grass (field), any football cleats will do

WHERE TO STAY During tournament season, I believe that ultimate players get a special rate from Casa Pilar Resort, Hey! Jude Hotel, Casa Asia and Lea's Resort. WHERE TO PARTY Usual hangout of Boracay Dragons and ultimate players are Hey! Jude, Pat's Creek, and Summer Place.

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02 Kitesurfing Cover Story B o r a c a y ’ s c o o l s p o r t

Jeena Llamas Lopez Environmental activist and extreme sports enthusiast WHY? When you're out kiting for two to three hours, you don't hear any sound, just the wind and water splashing on your board. It’s extreme and serene. It took me months of going back and forth to Boracay and practicing to get the hang of it and I loved it. The lessons take five days, but that's only because there’s only a two- to three-hour window a day when you can kite in Bulabog, Boracay. Wind speed and tide are considerations. Another reason I love the sport is there are very few women who do it. And you don’t have to diet. I ate like a teenage boy and got abs like a body builder. WHY BORACAY? Boracay has a natural lagoon and has consistent wind. Bulabog Beach at the back of the main White Beach is an ideal place for learning the sport. There are other areas to kite nearby. There's a place called Seco Island where they hold Kite Safaris, an overnight kite trip. People from all over the world come to Boracay for the whole season (six months) to kite. Many do it every year and have already taken up residence on the island. BEST TIME TO GO November to March on Bulabog Beach, but June to October there is kiting on main White Beach; but winds are not as consistent. BIG EVENT The January Fun Board Cup (International Windsurf Competition) has kite tournaments that offer freestyle, highest jump and fastest run categories. WHERE TO STAY All shops offer Fly, Sail and Play packages that start at P20,000 for a week’s stay. Apart from Hangin Kite 52 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010

Photo by Alvin Gumba

Center Backpackers Room, the Habagat Kite Village and Habagat Banana Saging, both in Bulabog, have rates ranging from US $75-$150 or about P3,750-P7,500 (tel: +6336/ 288 5757, email: kite@kiteboaracay.com, URL: www.kiteboaracay.com). Ocean Republic in Bulabog have rates ranging from $45-$55 (email: info@coean-republic. com, URL: www.ocean-republic.com). And Boracay Kite Resort, also in Bulabog, will set you back some P850 to as much as P5,300 (tel: +6336/ 288 6043, URL: www. boracay-kiteresort.com). WHERE TO PARTY Bulabog Beach at daytime. At sunset though late evening, Cafe Del Mar, Hey Jude!, Summer Place, Juice Bar, Bom Bom, and Aria. SPORT TECH SPECS

Venue: Bulabog Beach, Boracay Sport website: www.kiteboardingboracay.com Sport contact details: nenettewindsurf@gmail.com or mobile: +63920/ 951 6321 Shop to visit: Hangin Kite Center in Bulabog and White Beach (tel: +6336/ 288 3766, mobile: +63917/ 717 1870, email: english@kite-asia.com, URL: www.kite-asia.com). Or Freestyle Boracay in Bulabog (email: info@freestyleboracay.com, URL: www.freestyle-boracay.com)


On this page, doing impressive stunts, is three-time world champion Susi Mai, also known as the "queen of air". Opposite, another kitesurfer in action

Susi Mai photos by Damien Francis


Windsurfers riding the wind and sea of Buabog

"I am one with the elements once I am out there windsurfing"


03 Windsurfing

Cover Story B o r a c a y ’ s c o o l s p o r t

Photos by David Cheung

Nenette Graf Boracay Beach Resort managing director and Asia’s fastest female windsurfer WHY? I am one with the elements once I am out there windsurfing. It's an individual sport and I really like it because I have full control of my schedule, plan my own training regimen and strategy in racing. Most of all, I don't have to deal with other people’s attitudes and emotions, a problem you face in team training for other sports. The sport is dominated by men because of the notion that one must be strong to windsurf; but it is wrong. Women can sail like men once they learn and develop the technique. I can use the same size of sail or outdo many men in slalom race or speed trials despite my size. It's just practice, good physical condition; and most of all you've got to have that killer instinct. WHY BORACAY? One of the best spots in the world — best tropical beach, with a shallow lagoon protected by a reef with winds blowing on shore. BEST TIME TO GO November until March during the northeast moonsoon season or Amihan. BIG EVENT The Boracay International Funboard Cup, the event organized 21-years ago that placed Boracay in the world map for windsurfing. There’s also the NielPryde Boracay International Funboard Cup this 2010. Recently, Boracay’s International Funboard Cup has been named by CNN as one of the top recommended weekend destinations in the world for 2010 (www.cnngo.com). Other prestigious world cups involving Boracay are the Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA) World Cup and International Speed Windsurfing Class (ISWC) Speed World Cup. Participants usually come from 15 to 18 different countries, including the Philippines. High-level windsurfers, some olympians and weekenders. WHERE TO STAY The Boracay Beach Resort, located on the beachfront, Boat Station 1, offers basic and clean accommodation, with rates starting from P2,500. It also offers Fly, Sail and Stay package, which starts from P20,000 for oneweek accommodation and windsurfing sessions. (tel:

+6336/ 288 5565, email: info@boracaybeachresort. com, URL: www.boracaybeachresort.com). Hangin Kite Center Backpackers Room, located in Bulabog, offers budget accommodation, with rates ranging from P700-P1,500 per night. (tel: +6336/ 288 1805, URL: www. kiteboardingboracay.com). WHERE TO PARTY Cafe Del Mar, Hey Jude!, Summer Place, Juice Bar, Bom Bom, and Aria. SPORT TECH SPECS

Venue: Bulabog Beach, Boracay Sport website: www.boracaywindsurfing.com Sport contact details: nenettewindsurf@gmail.com or mobile: +63920/ 951 6321 School and shop to visit: Green Yard Funboard and Hangin Kite Center in Bulabog to train, and NielPryde Test Center on White Beach for top-of-the-line windsurfing gear, the NielPryde sails and JP-Australia boards. Call +6336/ 288 3663 or +63920/ 951 6321, email hangin_greenyard@yahoo.com

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04 Skimboarding Cover Story B o r a c a y ’ s c o o l s p o r t

Photo by Butch Bandolon

TJ Guinto-Maigue SlickSurf proprietor and one of the pioneers of skimboarding in the country WHY? It's about the rush you get while gliding on water and the freedom it gives you to explore new things with your board. Skimboarding is just like skateboarding on water. It requires great balance. The best training for skimboarding is longboarding (skate) or skateboarding since the sport relies heavily on balance and body coordination to perform one fluid motion. Skimboarding became a real sport in the late 70's on Laguna Beach, California where it originated. However, it did not reach the Philippine shores until 2000. WHY BORACAY? The best thing about skimboarding in Boracay is that the structure of the beach makes it ideal for beginners from various age groups. The long stretch of generally flat, fine white sand requires newbies' minimal effort in maneuvering the board. BEST TIME TO GO You can go to Boracay all year round to skim barring any typhoons or strong gusts of wind. Although the structure of the whole of White Beach is perfect for skimboarding, the beachfront Station 1 is flatter, making it easier to run, drop and ride.

A skimboarder doing rounds on waters of White Beach

WHERE TO STAY Skimboarders usually stay in resorts in Station 1 all the way to the boundaries of D’Mall because these resorts are closer to the patch of White Beach that’s flatter, thus ideal for running, riding and dropping. Among these resorts are Zuzuni (www.zuzuni.net) and True Home Hotel Boracay (www.truehomehotel.com) in Station 1, and Boracay Sandcastles Resort (www.boracaysandcastles. com) and The Sun Village Central Beachfront Resort (www.boracaysunresorts.com.ph) in Station 2. WHERE TO PARTY There are no specific hang outs for skimmers in Boracay; but they can usually be found in Station 2 where most of the bars are located. SPORT TECH SPECS

BIG EVENT Since Boracay is most suited to beginners and flatland skimboarding, skim competitions aren't usually held there. What they do have there is the promotion of skimboarding as part of the fun in the sun entertainment rather than an extreme sport. The biggest skim competition, which is a national competition, is held in Tanauan, Leyte every last week of December. There’s Attack Skim Competition on March 5-6 this year in Iba, Zambales; and Korookz Skim Competition held every November that also happens in Iba. 56 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010

Venue: White Beach Sport website: www.alonskimboarding.com Sport contact details: +63917/ 626 6206 (PSA president’s personal number) Shop to visit: slicksurf.multiply.com; slicksurf skimboard pilipinas at Facebook for locally made, all original handpainted, fiberglass-coated and customized skimboards. By next year SlickSurf will be consigning skimboards in most of the shops and resorts in Boracay


05 Dragon boat rowing

Paddlers in action at sunset

Photo by Josh Cruz

Rachel Lobangco Model, fire dancer and dragon boat rower WHY? What's great about it is the team spirit and friendships formed. The discipline I learned as an athlete is unbelievable. We train for three months starting January or February and start from 7am, jogging from Station 1 to Station 2 back and forth, then doing cardio for an hour after. Then we start pushing the boat to the sea and rowing until 11am. Our break time is only a water break for five minutes; then we row again until we lose our breath. We do that everyday except Sundays. We train twice a day when the competition is nearing. We have a diet to follow; we can't drink alcohol; and we try to sleep early.

WHERE TO STAY Boracay Regency Resort and Convention Center on White Beach, Boat Station 2. Rates range from P6,048 to P24,080. Call +6336/ 288 6111, email main@ boracayregency.com, visit www.boracayregency.com.

WHY BORACAY? It's fun and you are rowing on crystal clear and clean water and meet different nationalities doing the sport and sharing the same passion.

WHERE TO PARTY Bom Bom, Jungle Bar. Summer Place is always the choice for dancing and drinking after the award ceremonies at the Regency.

BEST TIME TO GO Second week of January when training starts. BIG EVENT The International Dragon Boat Festival, organized on White Beach in front of Boracay Regency in Station 2, is usually held in April and May. But the fourth Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival happening this year will be on April 22-24 and supported by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Municipality of Malay together with other local government units and business establishments, and officiated by the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF), and organized by Boracay Island

Paddlers Association (BIPA). There will be participants from all over the globe. Registration fee is P1,500 person; and closing date for entries and list of team members is March 31, 2010. Contact BIPA for more info.

SPORT TECH SPECS

Venue: White Beach, Boracay Sport website: www.pdbf.com for Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF), and www.boracaydragonboat. com for Boracay Island Paddlers Association (BIPA) Sport contact details: Email PDBF president Marcia Cristobal at info@pdbf.com or call PDBF vice president for internal affairs Tootsie Ronnholm at +6336/ 288 5565 or +63922/ 388 6101 School and shop to visit: Boats and equipment are mostly from Hongkong. Visit www.dragonboatcalendar. com/builders.htm

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06 Beach volleyball Photo by Bert Canopen

Hans Montenegro Nielsen Philippines human resource head and volleyball enthusiast WHY? I love volleyball, period. Whether indoor or on the beach, I just enjoy the sport. I also love the beach so being able to play beach volleyball gives me another activity to engage in aside from the usual partying and drinking (although I love that too!). As far as the proper diet or regimen is concerned, obviously, the lighter and fitter you are, the better for you because playing on sand is way harder than playing on wood or cement. If you are accustomed to jogging on the beach, this will be to your advantage because of the natural resistance that sand provides, which builds your leg muscles. WHY BORACAY? Playing on Boracay’s sand, which does not get as hot as the sand in any of the other beaches I've played on, is so much fun. When you dive for the ball, the landing is soft and there are no rocks or stones that can hurt you. Some of the best beach volleyball games I've played were in Boracay against many of the locals. The locals on the other hand kick butt. I prefer playing with them. BEST TIME TO GO I'd still have to say summer is the best time. If you're lucky, you can get a good pick-up game together and even get some eye candy to watch! During the rainy season the wind kicks up and makes playing a little more challenging. BIG EVENT Aside from the Nestea Beach Volleyball tournament, 58 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010

Last year's volleyball tournament in Boracay organized by SEAIR and partners

which happens every April to May, there’s also the Petron Beach Volley Invitational. Mostly people from the island join this but there is also a number of frequent Boracay visitors who join. I believe most if not all of the back volleyball tournaments are played on White Beach. WHERE TO STAY Le Soleil de Boracay located on White Beach, Boat Station 2. Rates range from P5,200 to P13,750. Call +6336/ 288 6209-12, email lesoleil@pjluillier.com, visit www.lesoleil@pjluillier.com. Also at Villa De Oro in Sration 2, with rates ranging from P1,800 to P7,000. Call +632/ 928 2101 or +63919/ 536 0636, visit www.villadeoro. boracaystation.com. WHERE TO PARTY The awarding ceremony and victory party are usually held at Hey! Jude. SPORT TECH SPECS

Venue: White Beach, Boracay, specifically the beach fronting Hey! Jude and Willy’s Rock all the way to Fridays Sport website: www.spikeithard.com, www.olympic.ph/nsas/volleyball.html, www.fivb.com Sport contact details: www.spikeithard.com/contact Shop to visit: Sonia Trading (tel: +632/ 776 1234, email: info@soniatrading.com.ph, URL: www.soniatrading.com. ph) and Sonak Center on KM 18 West Service Road, South Luzon Expressway, Paranaque City


Cover Story B o r a c a y ’ s c o o l s p o r t

Essentials

The Courtyard Bistro's cream dori fish in lemon butter

Zuzuni's Mati chocolate sin

Aria's capricciosa pizza

Where to eat Aria for authentic Italian food. Serves a variety of antipasti, salad, pasta, and the island famous wood-fired oven-cooked pizza Try the fettuccini marinara, spaghetti puttanesca, Caesar salad, quatro formaggi pizza, capricciosa pizza Price of dishes ranges from about P300-P450 per serving, can be shared Location: D’Mall façade, beachfront, Boat Station 2 Tel: +6336/ 288 5573 Hama for Japanese fusion meals, the only one of its kind in the island. Serves appetizers, main courses and an array of sashimi On the menu are gyoza platter, California maki, sushi and chicken teriyaki Price of dishes ranges starts at about P180 per serving Location: At D’Mall junction, near the ferris wheel Tel: +6336/ 288 5978 or +632/ 506 3188 Olé for Spanish, Mexican and Cuban cuisine On the menu are tacos beef, paella mixta, gambas al ajillo, tabla Olé especial and Palomilla steak Price of dishes ranges from about P240 per dish to about P1,079 for a dish for four Location: Inside D’Mall, Boat Station 2 Tel: +6336/ 288 5940 URL: www.oleinboracay.com

The Courtyard Bistro for really good baked Rockefeller oysters, steaks and the cooked to perfection adobo while dining in a perfect beachfront setting Try the twice-cooked pork and chicken adobo (pork and chicken simmered in soy sauce and vinegar stew with garlic, pepper and herbs, then stir fried), decadent oyster Rockefeller and cream dori fish in lemon butter Price of dishes ranges from about P180-P270 per serving Location: White House Boracay, beachfront, Boat Station 1 (reopened in this new location in November 2009) Mobile: +63915/ 487 412 URL: www.thecourtyardbistro.com Zuzuni for Mediterranean and Greek food, set in an ambient beachfront location Try the garides saganaki pasta or prawns sautéed in tomato pomodoro sauce with feta cheese, tossed in spaghetti pasta, vegetarian moussaka or baked layers of eggplant with potatoes, zucchini, green bell pepper and béchamel, horiatiki or Greek summer salad, and the Mati chocolate sin for dessert Price of dishes ranges from about P165-P450 per serving Location: Zuzuni, beachfront, Boat Station 1 Tel: +6336/ 288 4477 URL: www.zuzuni.net

How to get there SEAIR flies daily from Manila directly to Caticlan, and a few times a week directly from Clark and from Cebu. At Caticlan Airport, there’s a free SEAIR shuttle to take SEAIR passengers to the pier, where SEAIR also gives free boat ride to Boracay. Passengers will just have to pay for the environmental fee and the jetty terminal fee. When in the island’s pier, take a commuter tryke or multicab (fee depends on distance of the resort you’re booked). Most resorts though also offer island transfers for a fee. To book a SEAIR flight, visit www.FlySeair.com call +632/ 849 0100.

Our thanks to Fairways & Bluewater Boracay for housing the InFlight team in their Balaihara units. A private resort with an expansive area land a world class golf course, Fairways & Bluewater is the only one of its kind in the island. Location: New Coast, Balabag, Boracay Island Tel: +6336/ 288 3974, 288 5176, 288 5587 or 89, and +632/ 633 1393-95 URL: www.fairwaysbluewaterboracay.com — Monica De Leon

Aria photo by Mike Alcid; Cream dori fish photo courtesy of The Courtyard Bistro; Mati chocolate sin photo courtesy of Zuzuni

april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 59


insider’sguide

5 d ay s i n C e b u If you love the beach life and the convenience of the city, this island in the south is for you, says Andrea Pasion Ph o t o s b y O g g i e R a m o s

M AP ILLUSTRATION b y mARLON A . SEE

About Our insider Cebu-born Kate Torralba is the creative director of fashion brand Kate Torralba, which she started in Cebu three years ago. The brand is known for its loud colors and big details. She has a flagship store in her name at Greenbelt 5, Makati

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insider’sguide 5 d a y s i n Ce b u

Why go now Cebu city is Manila without the mayhem, offering the conveniences of city living with its upscale shops and restaurants, and the joys of beach life, with many resorts just a few minutes drive away from the city center. April is perhaps the best time as any to go when the summer season is just beginning to peak. You get to avoid the tourists, crowds, and heavy traffic during the frenetic January Sinulog street-dancing festival season and you can still get good deals in resorts and hotels. April is also the season for Philippine mangoes, reputed to be the sweetest in the world. Get your bearings The very hub of the Visayas, Cebu is an economic center second only to Manila. An hour’s flight from Manila, Cebu is the gateway to the islands of Visayas, and the kick-off point to the islands of Bantayan and Malapascua, both diving destinations. On a clear day, it is possible to see Bohol from your hotel room, while Dumaguete and Suiquijor, like most other places in the Visayas, are just ferryboat rides away. Designer Kate Torralba calls this city “the Milan of the south”, a center for international quality furniture design and fashion. The city is home to such designers as Kenneth Cobonpue (www.kennethcobunpue.com), Customwood Fine Furniture (+6332/ 236 8603, wavi@ pldtdsl.net), Butch Carungay of Avatar accessories (www.

64 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010

avatar-style.com, and 2/L Greenbelt 5), fashion designers Jun Escario (www.junescario.com) and Kate Torralba (www. katetorralba.com, 2/L Greenbelt 5). Check in If you’re feeling like the high roller, the 561-room Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino in Lahug, with its two casino floors open for 24 hours, is your kind of place. The hotel’s castle-like architecture stands out in the city’s skyline, and there’s no mistaking the Vegas-like ambiance upon setting foot in its grand lobby. For both locals and tourists, the hotel’s duty free shop is also a draw. All rooms here are fully equipped with cable TV, IDD, mini bar, fridge, broadband Internet access (there’s free WiFi but it’s a bit spotty on some floors). Rates start at about US $100 (about P5,000) a night for a standard room to $950 for the Penthouse suite, once booked by a foreign dignitary for all of 219 nights, at a discounted P40,000/ night. Location: 1 Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City Tel: 1-800-10-WFRONT8 (for PLDT lines), +6332/ 232 9000, +632/ 687 0888 Email: msro@waterfronthotels.net, wcch@waterfronthotels.net URL: www.waterfronthotels.com.ph Seen at Waterfront: Kim Chiu, Coco Martin, Ai-ai Delas Alas

The 329-room Marco Polo Plaza Cebu is built on a hill, with a view second only to Tops, Cebu’s famous Blu Bar and Grill photo courtesy of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu


hilltop lookout site. Check out the hotel’s Blu Bar and Grill, an open-air churrasco bar at the penthouse level, where having a drink a thousand feet above sea level is complemented with a breathtaking view of Lahug. The hotel is a favorite of the city’s affluent families, including Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia and Amparito Lhuillier. It is about a 20-minute drive from the city center. Rooms start at P5,200 per night, including breakfast. Location: Cebu Veterans Drive, Nivel Hills, Apas Cebu Tel: +6332/ 253 1111; Manila toll-free 8888-168 Email: mpplaza@marcopolohotels.com URL: www.marcopolohotels.com

The Plantation Bay Resort is about 30 minutes away from the city center, making it ideal for holidaymakers wanting a weekend or short break. Its 11.4 hectares of seawater lagoons and fresh water pools make it popular for families with kids. It’s also known for its spa, Mogambo Springs. Designed like a Japanese village with its own water falls and a rejuvenating hot spring Mogambo completes the illusion of a complete getaway. Plantation Bay is the only Filipino resort included in the Conde Nast Traveller’s Reader’s Choice Award Gold List for 2009 for one of the best places to stay in Asia. Rooms rates start at $200++ on peak season, $150++ on off-peak, with breakfast for two. Location: Marigondon, Mactan Island Tel: +6332/ 340 5900, +632/ 844 5024 to 25 Mogambo Springs photo courtesy of Plantation Bay Resort

Email: rsvns@plantationbay.com URL: www.plantationbay.com Seen at Plantation Bay: Korina Sanchez, John Lloyd Cruz, Bea Alonzo

From left, this spread: Marco Polo Plaza Cebu's Blu Bar and Grill gives you a breathtaking view of the city; Plantation Bay Resort's Mogambo Springs spa

The resort of choice of honeymooners, celebrities and politicians, like Manny Pacquiao and the ASEAN heads of state, is the 547-room five-star Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort and Spa, which has the longest stretch of beach on the island at 350m, multi-level pools, the famous Chi Spa Village, and service you’ll remember long after your stay. It’s hats off to the concierge here. When we asked for a box to pack a couple dozen packs of Shamrock Otap biscuits, danggit dried fish, and 7D mangorind candies from the 7D factory, the concierge sent three different sized boxes to the room for us to choose from. The concierge also made sure the lechon or roast suckling pig we ordered, which arrived just in time for us to catch the shuttle bus, was appropriately packed and tagged. Rico’s Lechon, reportedly “Cebu’s best,” sells lechon at P2,500-P5,000. It’s on Hiway 77, Talamban, Cebu. Call +63917/ 407 2033 or +6332/ 344 0119 or email ricoslechon@yahoo.com to order. Rates at Shangri-La start at P13,500/night. Location: Punta Engaño Road, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu Tel: +6332/ 231 0288 • Fax: +6332/ 2311688 Email: mac@shangri-la.com URL: www.shangri-la.com

april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 65


5 d a y s i n Ce b u insider’sguide

Historical Cebu A stay in Cebu is not complete without stopping by a few historical landmarks. The Spanish expedition, headed by Ferdinand Magellan, first landed in Cebu in 1521 on its quest to colonize the Philippines. Magellan’s wooden cross still stands on Magallanes St., Downtown, beside the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. Ferdinand Magellan planted the cross to commemorate the baptism of local chief Rajah Humabon and his wife and their people in April 21, 1521. The original cross is safely contained inside the tindalo wood outer casing to protect it from people who chip away at it, believing it to be miraculous. The Basilica Minore del Santo Niño was built on the spot where a statue of the child Jesus – believed to have been brought by the Spaniards during the 1521 expedition – was found by the Spaniards in 1565. The church, ran by the Agustinians, was first built out of wood and nipa in 1566 and later on constructed out of hard stone in 1735. The church’s museum traces the history of Christianity in Cebu. Colon Street in Downtown, Cebu is the country’s oldest street. According to a SunStar Cebu published in November 2007, the Women’s international League funded 25 Heritage sites on Colon to be marked for remembrance. These markers marked significant entrepreneuring establishments of the early days and traditional homes alike. The Lapu-Lapu marker and statue at the Mactan Shrine on Mactan Island commemorate the bravery of local chieftain Lapu-Lapu, who, on April 27, 1521, repulsed Taboan Dried Fish Market photo by Jocas A. See

the Spanish invaders, killing their leader Ferdinand Magellan, thus becoming the first Filipino to repulse European invaders. He is the city’s well loved hero. Fort San Pedro, built by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi in 1565 and finished in around 200 years later in 1738, is the smallest and oldest fort in the country. With walls 20-feet high and 8-feet thick, the Spaniards used it to repel hostile natives and Muslims; the Japanese, during World War II, used it as a hospital; it was an army camp during the years of liberation; and, in more recent years, a garden club’s experiment (1950) and a zoo (1957), before it has evolved to what it is now, a tourist attraction (P10 entrance fee). All cab drivers know where Fort San Pedro is (Brgy. San Roque, Cebu) though it’s best to come right after your visit to Taboan Dried Fish Market (Carbon, Cebu) for danggit or dried fish (P300/kilo) when it’s still not too hot to explore. Driving around the city, there is no escaping the rotunda that is Fuente Osmeña circle, a small park marked by its famous fountain built to commemorate the city’s first waterwork construction (it’s the fountain on the right side of the fifty-peso bill), named to honor the republic’s fourth president. When you see it, you know you’re in Uptown Cebu where many hotels, shops and restaurants are located. One of the four streets Fuente Osmeña opens to is Osmeña Avenue, where the former President Osmeña’s house still stands. The street ends right smack in front of the provincial capital building, a massive colonial-style structure that is the city’s seat of government.

From left, this spread: The historical Basilica Minore del Santo Niño; dried danggit fish at the Taboan dried fish market; and the Fuente Osmeña Circle, a landmark commemorating Cebu's first waterwork construction

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insider’sguide 5 d a y s i n Ce b u

Clockwise from left, this spread: Cafe Georg in Banilad; Shangri-La's Acqua; Formo, a popular hangout of yuppies; and Vudu's signature cocktail AMF

Dining and drinking in Cebu Café Georg (G/F MLD Bldg., Banilad, +6332/ 234 0887, 234 2943, www.cafegeorg.com), or its satellite store Oh Georg! (Level 1 Ayala Center, +6332/ 233 4735) serves pastas (from P175), pork chops with garlic herb butter (P190), continental food, Asian/Mexican dishes, and delicious desserts.

• Formo (Banilad Town Centre, +6332/ 420 7070, 236 7700, FORMO.cebu@gmail.com) is a resto-lounge popular with Cebu’s young professionals. Recommended are its pork steak with creamy mushroom sauce (P195), Vietnamese spring rolls (P150), potato crisps (P99), a bowl-full of thinly sliced, spicy or original flavored homemade potato chips, and mojitos that come in five flavors – lychee, orange, mango, apple and the original lime (P45/glass from 6pm-10pm).

Vudu (Crossroads Mall at Gov. Cuenco St., Banilad, www. vudu.com.ph) is the place to come for after-dinner drinks and dancing. The place starts filling up at around 9pm and winds down as late as 3am or till the sun comes up. It’s the only place open for a New Year’s party, so expect it to be crowded on the night. Vudu-eoke night on Tuesdays is popular with the locals when there is no dress code and no door fee, and almost everyone gets up the nerve to belt out a song, especially after having a swig of Vudu’s deadly drink AMF (P490/pitcher). Torralba says she’s seen many fashion events at Vudu, great New Year's

68 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010

parties, and even Vuduoke (inspired by Manila Mag:Net High Street's famous Rockeoke). “I'm looking forward to another reunion gig of my college band, Hard Candy, at Vudu again,” she says.

When in Mactan, you might want to try the swanky Abaca (Punta Engano Road, Mactan, +6332/ 495 8456, 342 8905, relax@abacaresort.com, www.abacaresort.com), the luxury restaurant and boutique resort owned and managed by Jason Hyatt (who worked with celebrity-chef Wolfgang Puck). Jason is especially proud of his food, particularly his heritage tomatoes grown onsite. These “sexy” tomatoes roughly cut into a salad are so succulent you will understand why it’s a fruit and not a veggie. The paper-thin pizzas are wood-fired, and the mashed potatoes with skins on are melt-in-your mouth buttery and creamy. The place is perfect for honeymooners and couples – and full on almost any given night, so book ahead. Average bill here is P1,600-P2,000/head for a full course meal.

Acqua in Shangri-La, Mactan is known for its Italian chef Gian Luca. Do ask for his mean platter of appetizers with bites of salmon, truffles, figs, mushroom, pistachio and sun dried tomatoes. Complement with chef Gian’s squid ink pasta, perfectly-cooked steaks and finish with a to-die-for tiramisu. Average bill is P1,800-P2,000/head for a full course meal.

Acqua photo courtesy of Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort and Spa; Formo interior photo by Jocas A. See


insider’sguide

5 d a y s i n Ce b u

City delights: Try baked scallops, fresh grouper at the popular sutokil seafood stalls, and the Golden Cowrie's crispy fried pork thigh, and pinakbet, vegetables in shrimp paste

Golden Cowrie's pakbet and crispy pata photos by Jocas A. See

70 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010

Map illustration by Marlon A. See


5 d a y s i n Ce b u insider’sguide

Abaca Resort's luxuriously furnished room, and below, Abaca suite's private pool

Sutokil (sugba, tula, kilaw) eateries at the Mactan Shrine is a favorite place for locals. The first – and most celebrated – of these cook-‘em-while-they’re-fresh places is the 28-year-old No Problem Restaurant (owned by Rose Inihao, +6332/ 495 8101, 495 7894). The shrimps (P375/ kilo), lapu-lapu or grouper fish (P480/kilo) and scallops (P320/kilo) can be cooked any way you like for a fee (From P150-P200). Celebrities and politicians love No Problem resto; just ask the likes of Senator Kiko Pangilinan.

Whether you’re in Mactan or Lahug, there will surely be a Golden Cowrie restaurant near you (Salinas Drive in Lahug, +6332/ 231 4670; SM City, +6332/ 231 8530; Marina Mall, Mactan, +6332/ 238 1206; and Hukad sa Golden Cowrie at The Terraces, Ayala Cebu, +6332/ 417 1301). This well-loved family resto, with their signature bananaleaf covered plates and bottomless rice (P30), is a haven of Pinoy favorites like crispy pata or crisp-fried pork thigh (298), Pinoy style baby back ribs (P289), a pakbet or vegetables in a tomato concasse to write home about (P69), and their baby prawns sinigang or prawns in sour soup (P155).

To go all these places, you either hail a cab or hire a car. A reliable car service is Cebu Trip Rent-A-Car (362 Ben Zubiri St., Labangon, +6332/ 262 0062, www.cebutrip.com). The P2,500 for 10 hours around Cebu with a driver that knows his city is money well spent.


insider’sguide 5 d a y s i n Ce b u

Next time try…

Torralba’s favorite food and nibbles… 1 Lynn Moro's Belgian lace cookies at Don Merto's in SM City. “Lynn Moro makes ‘em just like the Belgians. It's perfect. I like buying the assorted pack.” 2 Fresh mangoes from the stalls along Banilad Road. 3 Chilen chicharon with laman or crisp fried pork skin and fat from Carcar chicharon. These are crispy pork cracklings, a popular local snack. 4 7D Dried Mangoes and Mangorind (D Mango Nectar Sacris Road, Mandaue City, +6332/ 346 122, 346 1769, www.7dmangoes.com). “There are a gazillion brands in the market, but I like the taste of 7D. They were the pioneers in Mangorind, a killer combination of mango and tamarind.” 5 Danggit bought at the Taboan Market. “Dried fish at its salty, tangy finest. Nothing’s like Cebuano danggit!” 6 Shamrock Otap. “This flaky pastry is sold at Shamrock's main outlet just across Fuente Osmeña. It's so good; I recently sent some to friends in London. They loved it!”

Clockwise from top, this page: InFlight contributing writer Andrea Passion in Taboan Market; more of the delectable danggit; and 7D's mangorind or chewy candies made of mixed mango and tamarind

72 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010


chill out AT… 1 The Loft at 2/F CJRS Point Building, Asiatown IT Park, Lahug (+63 32/ 238 0532). Being at the IT park, a lot of yuppies makes this club their high-style watering hole and a place to try out new drinks and hang out with friends. Don’t forget to pass by The Penthouse as well just a couple of floors up, which is more of the Loft’s partying sibling with international djs playing there regularly or events like fashion shows. 2 Z Bar on Crossroads in Banilad is, according to Torralba, someone's dream bar. “It's not a place for dancing; but if you're into high-fashion interiors, this Kenneth Cobonpue-designed masterpiece – which I hear, cost millions and millions to build – is your ultimate chill-out destination.” 3 Maya taqueria and tequila lounge, also on Crossroads (+6332/ 238 9552, 238 9618), is your best bet for authentic Mexican food. Jason Hyatt, owner of Abaca, swears this restaurant of his in the city is what Pinoys are looking for when they crave Mexican, at least Cebuanos think so, and they sure pack the place.

The Loft nterior

4 The Gustavian at The Terraces at Ayala or at the Marina Mall in Mactan is the place to satisfy a major Euro-style meat craving for German sausages, salamis and a dinner buffet that serves steaks and roasts like roast beef château briand, roast leg and lamb, roast pork, in abundance. 5 The Beehive Restaurant on F. Ramos St. has been around since 1954 but Cebuanos, including Torralba, grew up having Sunday lunches at Beehive so it should be worth a try. "I always have their tenderloin steak, served with their precious French bread and butter, and cap it off with the classic Beehive roll, an ice cream roll classic but perfectly executed by the Beehive people."

The Penthouse crowd

The Loft and The Penthouse photos courtesy of Charles Osmeña

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insider’sguide 5 d a y s i n Ce b u

check out…

Cebu is furniture haven, so don’t miss…

1 Kenneth Cobonpue (3-A General Maxilom Avenue, Cebu, +6332/ 233 3056, 233 4045, www.kennethcobonpue. com). Everyone knows he’s the guy who does celebrity ex-couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's homes but not a lot of people know that he’s done the sets of Oceans 13 and CSI Miami, and not to mention the so many upmarket resorts and hotels worldwide. Kenneth, the brand, is in six continents but makes its homebase in Cebu. 2 Customwood (P.C. Suico St., Tingub, Mandaue City, + 6332/ 236 8603, 236 8746, wavi@pldtdsl.net). Torralba swears that Customwood is “by far, is the best custom-furniture manufacturer I've come across in the country: world-class, ISOcertified; their factory is computerized. If you have a dream furniture piece in mind, just give them your ideas, your specs; and they will make it come to life. A tad costlier than your usual custom supplier but they are worth every penny. They specialize in veneering and other wood and iron techniques.” Their other worldfamous company is Wicker & Vine, Inc. 3 Vito Selma (www.vitoselma.com). “This is the next name to watch in furniture design, with his mixing of wood and "sleek and swanky" design concepts. He's young, hip and bursting with promise,” Torralba gushes. You can check out his pieces at Ito Kish in LRI Plaza on Nicanor Garcia St., Makati. 4 Clayton Tugonon (www. classicalgeometry.com) & Debbie Palao (www.debbiepalao.com). “Furniture design veterans who never lose their sense of creative mischief,” says Torralba.

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“Clayton once won international acclaim by designing furniture made out of condoms! Debbie Palao once had a collection inspired by my designs; such an honor.” Both put a contemporary twist on indigenous and natural materials.

From top, this page: World class furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue's croissant seating sofa; and Customwood's showroom

Croissant seating sofa photo is courtesy of Kenneth Cobonpue


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december - january 2009

FeelGood Holidays

Mountains, fireflies & a headhunting past

www.seair-inflight.com • www.flyseair.com

www.seair-inflight.com • www.flyseair.com

3302, C. Matanzas Street, Palanan, Makati City Tel: +632/ 556 6440 *Also available at MIX, Greenbelt 5 and Rustan’s Department Stores

• The Ramp Crossings (Abrace; Faith Hope Love; Running Bare) Level 2, Glorietta 3, Ayala Center, Makati City Tel: +632/ 819 1466 to 67

• Topshop Level 2, Robinsons Galleria Mall, EDSA cor. Ortigas Ave., Quezon City Tel: +632/ 635 2853

• Dorothy Perkins

Lounge-y, breezy resort wear is back, perfect for the summer, says fashion stylist Sheryl Songsong

Blow away P ho t o s b y J ay a l onz o Fa s h ion s t y l i n g b y s h e ry l s on g s on g h a i r a n d m a k e u P b y a i s a C o s t o mode l i n g b y da n i e l a FaC C i n e l l i F or i de a l P e oP l e

Photo shoot location arrangement courtesy of Boracay Luxury Homes

Level 2, Robinsons Galleria Mall, EDSA cor. Ortigas Ave., Quezon City Tel: +632/ 635 2853

aPRiL 2010 i SEaiR inFlight 19

• Accessorize GF, Greenbelt 5, Makati City Tel: +632/ 703 6007

• Tango Glorietta 3, Ayala Center, Makati City Tel: +632/ 892 4178

• Schu 5F, Shangri-La Mall, EDSA, Mandaluyong City Tel: +632/ 634 9596

In My Bag page 24

Where to Go for live music A hot list from cool people

NEWS FLASH

PLUS

i n t h e sh op s >i n my bag Pansy tube dress, P1,595, from Dorothy Perkins; voodoo necklace, P1,475, from Kathang Kamay available at Souk, The Ramp Crossings; shoot location: Boracay Luxury Homes’ property fronting Lapuz-Lapuz Beach

february - march 2009

Give your kids a break Top 10 days-out for the moppets

island life Fruit bats, turtle hatchlings, and a luxury stay in Club Paradise

• Charina Sarte

Kota Kinabalu

Sun, sea, & spa in Boracay

Plus a G u i d e t o w e l l n e s s c e n t e r s

4 days in boronGan Hiking, caving, and surfing in Eastern Samar’s capital town

In the shops pages 19-23

SEAIR STARTS FIRST INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS TO KOTA KINABALU

seair noW flies direct to boronGan, samar

december - january issue ‘09

inMyBag

My travel list:

Victor Ortega

• Louis Vuitton

art spark A guide to the Philippine artworld

I n t e rv I e w b y M a rgI e F. F r a n c I s c o

1/L, Greenbelt 4, Ayala Center, Makati City Tel: +632/ 756 0637

shangri-La’s rasa ria Luxury amidst nature’s reserve restaurants for two A hot list for Valentines

• Prada

february - march issue ‘09

june - july issue ‘09

1/L, Greenbelt 4, Ayala Center, Makati City Tel: +632/ 757 6298

“I’m a very light packer. I don’t really plan ahead. Most of the time, I just get my bag and go”

ProD U c t P ho t o b y c a r l o s l e g a s P I

1 Louis Vuitton travel carry-on 2 Y3 leather flat cap (not available in the Philippines) 3 Nokia N97 (P28,340) “I use this phone for my emails”

4 Artistry Time Defiance Day Protect Crème (P2,215) “It’s a crème for normal to dry skin, with SPF 15. It’s a great moisturizer for the skin”

5 Artistry Multi Protect SPF 30/PA+++ (P1,295) Victor ortega is the owner of Emphasis Salon and chief makeup artist of Artistry, which counts among its clients Tessa Prieto-Valdez and Bea Valdez. With more than 25 years of experience in styling, Ortega is also a member of Pantene’s Council of Style, a group of top hair stylists in the country. He has four salons in Boracay and recently opened a salon in Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa

“It’s a great protection for the skin, it suits all skin types”

6 Philip Stein watch (starts at P28,700) 7 Prada sunglasses (P12,500) “Simple yet very stylish design!”

8 Sony Cybershot TX1 (P27,999) “I love that it’s a user-friendly digicam. It has a touch screen LCD and very clear images, 10 megapixels”

02

• Nokia

01

Abenson Avant Greenbelt 2/L, Greenbelt 4, Ayala Center, Makati City Tel: +632/ 758 2315

• Sony south e ast asian airlines on - board maga zine

october - november 2009

the supernatural 10 eerie places from Aklan to Siquijor visitinG an olD Dame A stay at the 100-year-old Baguio Country Club to dive for

real bite Enjoy genuine burritos and top tequila at Bolero

to dive for

www.seair-inflight.com • www.flyseair.com

october - november 2009

august - september issue ‘09

• Artistry

baGuio Still cool after all these years

ta k i n G

t h e

p lu n G e

i n

b o r ac ay

th e D o r n i e r m u s e u m o p e n s i n F r i e D r i c h s c h a F e n , G e r m a n y

october - november issue ‘09

december - january issue ‘10

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I december - january 2009

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06

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F o r s t o r e l o c a t i o n a n d c o n ta c t d e ta i l s , t u r n t o 24 SEAIR InFlight I APRIL 2010

Amway Philippines G/F, Feliza Building, 108 V.A. Rufino corner Dela Rosa Streets, Legaspi Village, Makati City Tel: +632/ 853 1053

o n pag e 76


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i oCtobeR - novembeR 2008


seair

Vision To provide world-renowned domestic and international airline and aviationrelated services following the highest safety standards. Mission To satisfy customer needs and surpass their expectations and requirements. • To fulfill the requirements of shareholders, business partners, employees and suppliers, following ethical business practices • To foster an atmosphere of team building through commitment and dedication to employees’ welfare and to achieve the highest sense of company identity • To be a benchmark model in the application of Quality Management System in the aviation industry • Our philosophical outlook is to support environmental conservation and community empowerment through educational awareness and direct involvement Quality Policy To provide excellent, safe, and reliable air transport that exceeds customer requirements through continual improvement of the established Quality Management System. Basic Facts and Figures South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) is a pioneer in Philippine aviation. Since 1995, we have been flying passengers to some of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Consistency, quality and reliability characterize SEAIR’s operations. • Awarded “Best Airline of the Year for two consecutive years (2002 and 2003) by the Philippines’’ Consumers Excellence Award • Serves a total of 15 destinations nationwide. We fly the most number of flights to Palawan and offer the fastest and most number of connections to Boracay • Employs over 200 people ready to provide excellent service to our passengers • Our fleet is made up of four Dornier 328s and six LET 410 UVP-E aircraft for use in scheduled and chartered flights. 82 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010

Competitive Advantage EXPERIENCE. SEAIR has been a pioneer in aviation, flying foreign and local tourists to the most remote tourist destinations in the Philippines since 1995. MODERN FLEET. SEAIR operates one of the youngest fleet of aircraft in its segment in the industry. FASTEST FLIGHTS. Our state-of-the-art aircraft allow us to offer you the fastest flights in selected routes, including Caticlan (Boracay) in 35 minutes. HIGH LEVEL OF ENGINEERING AND MAINTENANCE SUPPORT. SEAIR is an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) authorized third-party repair station. Its services include maintenance service for airframes, power plants, avionics and aircraft interiors. INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS. We continue to innovate in customercentric products that will make traveling more fun and convenient. Other Services Leisure Escape Packages (LEP) We offer one-stop shopping for your next vacation. Hassle-free and competitively priced, our fully packaged vacations include accommodation and air fare. Call us and book now at: Tel. +632 843.7308 E-mail: packages@flyseair.com Charters Our aircraft may be chartered for special corporate and group travel. Our charter specialists will assist you in planning and arranging your special travel. For inquiries call us at: Tel. +632 849.0200 E-mail: charters@flyseair.com Cargo We ensure a safe, secure and reliable delivery of your freight and parcel. For inquiries call us at: Tel. +632 851.5555 E-mail: cargo@flyseair.com.

milestones 1995 Iren Dornier, Nikos Gitsis and Tomas Lopez founded South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) with two nineseater DO-28 airplanes flying from Manila to Caticlan, and Taytay and Busuanga in Palawan. 1996 SEAIR took delivery of its first LET410 aircraft, a 19seater Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) aircraft, ideal for the small runways of Palawan and other destinations where bigger commercial aircraft could not land. 1996 to 2003 With the success of the first LET410 aircraft operation and the commitment of SEAIR to fly on a regular basis, SEAIR gradually increased its fleet from one LET410 to nine. 1999 SEAIR embarked on a nationwide expansion program. It opened regional hubs in Cebu and


Zamboanga and became the only airline to interconnect the premier destinations in Palawan with its ManilaBusuanga-El Nido-Puerto Princesa service. 2001 to Present SEAIR established a base in Zamboanga in Mindanao. It continues to operate flights to remote Cotabato, Tawi-Tawi and Jolo. 2002 and 2003 SEAIR was awarded “Best Airline of the Year” consecutively by the Philippines largest ‘Consumers Excellence Award.’ 2003 SEAIR’s Quality Management System was certified ISO 9001:2000 compliant by the TÜV Rheinland Group. 2004 SEAIR reached the 1 million passenger mark. SEAIR also acquired its first Dornier 328, launching the “Fastest Flights to Boracay” campaign. 2006 SEAIR acquired its fourth Dornier 328. Its fleet size

allowed it to operate up to 30 flights to Caticlan daily. • SEAIR introduced its online reservations and e-ticketing system the first and only on-line system to offer e-tickets from Manila to Boracay and Busuanga. E-ticketing services later expanded to include Cebu, Clark, El Nido, and Puerto Princesa. • By December 2006, SEAIR’S transactions through its online reservations system reached a record high in Philippine e-commerce. 2007 SEAIR celebrated its 12th year in aviation, the longest running airline, next to Philippine Airlines. SEAIR now offers up to 41,000 seats a month throughout its network and flies up to 20,000 passengers to Boracay a month. 2008 SEAIR launched its first regional flight to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia in November. SEAIR also started flights to Tablas in Romblon, Daet in Camarines Norte, Baler in Aurora, Batanes in northern Luzon and Borongan in Eastern Samar.

april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 83


fleet

Dornier 328 The Dornier 328 is a German built, new generation aircraft with 32 passenger seats. It is one of the fastest and most advanced jetprop in the world. specifications Make: Dornier Powerplant: PW 119B Length: 21.28 m (69 ft 10 in) Wing Span: 20.98 m (68 ft 10 in) Height: 7.23 m (23 ft 9 in) Seating Capacity: 32 + 3 crew Number of planes: 4 Max Take-off Weight: 13,990 kgs (30,843 lbs) Speed: 325 knots

LET410 UVP-E The LET410 UVP-E provides first class comfort, while simultaneously servicing both paved and unpaved airstrips. In the 19-seater class, no plane is better suited for short-haul transport than this aircraft. specifications Make: LET a.s. Powerplant: WALTER M601-E Length: 14.42 m (47 ft 4 in) Wing Span: 19.98 m (65 ft 5 in) Height: 5.83 m (19 ft 2 in) Seating Capacity: 19 + 2 crew Number of planes: 6 Max Take-off Weight: 6,600 kgs (14,520 lbs) Speed: 175 knots

Do-24 ATT No airport required! Let our unique amphibian aircraft bring you and your 15 closest friends to your choice of 7,107 islands in real style. For the latest update on this spectacular aircraft and its progress around the world, visit www.do-24.com.

84 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010


FALCON 10 Make: Dornier specifications Make: FALCON 10 Powerplant: 2x Garett TFE 731-1-2-1c on engine, 14.65 kN (3,230lbf) thrust each Length: 13.86 m (45 ft 5.75 in) Wing Span: 13.08 m (42 ft 11 in) Height: 4.61m (15ft 1.5 in) Seating Capacity: 7 + 2 crew Max Take-off Weight: 18,740 kgs Speed: MACH + .85 Max Range: 1700 Nautical Miles Ceiling: 45,000 ft Inflight Entertainment: VCR Video; Flight Watch; Satellite Phone

Falcon 10 photos by Cyrene Leicht

april 2010 I SEAIR InFlight 85


r o ute map Basco, Batanes

reservations Laoag

makati Ticketing Office Tel. +632 849.0100 San Fernando La Union

Sales Office Tel. +6302 849.0201 to 18 +6302 849.0219

Philippine Sea

Baguio

Luzon

Metro Manila Domestic Terminal Tel. +6302 851.5555 Fax +6302 891.8711

Baler CLARK, ANGELES MANILA

Clark, Angeles City Headquarters DMIA, Hangar 7224 Tel. +6345 599.2384 Fax +6345 599.2383

Philippines

Marinduque MINDORO

Angeles Sales Office Tel. +6302 851.5555 Fax +6345 323.6713

Tablas, Romblon

Busuanga Boracay

Cebu Ticketing Office Tel. +6332 341.4879

South China Sea

Daet

Caticlan

Borongan

PANAY

El Nido

Visayas

Iloilo

Taytay

Sales Office Tel. +6332 254.9337 +6332 255.0801

SAMAR Masbate

CEBU

PALAWAN

Boracay Caticlan Airport Tel. +6336 288.7360 +6336 288.7272 Fax +6336 288.7163

Puerto Princesa

Camiguin

Mindanao

Zamboanga Tel. +6362 991.2225 Mobile +63919 333.8520

Sulu Sea

Malaysia SARAWAK

Borneo

86 SEAIR InFlight I april 2010

Cotabato

Jolo SABAH

Davao

Zamboanga

Kota Kinabalu

BRUNEI

Cagayan de Oro

Pagadian

Balabac

Puerto Princesa 399 Rizal Avenue Extension Tel. +6348 434.5272 +6348 433.2540

Siargao

NEGROS

Tawi-Tawi

Celebes Sea

General Santos


pe o ple

Delza APOSTOL-GOCHOCO InFlight group sales and marketing director; TripleStar president

Friendship and performance Interview by Margie f. Francisco Photo by Carlos Legaspi

I started working with SEAIR even before I was with them. I met Iren (Dornier) in El Nido; I introduced him to Tommy Lopez. They invested in Club Noah and that's what made them think of coming up with an airline company for Club Noah until such time that they started operating to other destinations. The second destination after Palawan was Boracay. I initially worked with SEAIR in my capacity as a friend. I took charge of advertising of the InFlight magazine eight years ago. In 2006, Nick (Gitsis) asked me to do the Leisure Escape Packages (LEP), which started about three to four years before I came in. In January 2009, we spun off to TripleStar Travel and Tours. And our target now is P100 million per year minimum. I was in the travel business before I joined SEAIR. I worked with Intas Travel. During my time at Intas, we were Kalakbay awardee for Incentive Travel and awardee for Best Tour Itinerary. I also had a stint working for Club Noah’s sales and marketing. Typically, I just oversee the day to day operations of LEP and InFlight. Somehow, I do the financials for InFlight. I'm like a jack of all trades. I basically guide and help strategize to improve our revenue. I used to travel six times a year internationally, countless domestically. But the only place I haven't seen is the Bicol region. I've been to as far as TawiTawi. I'm a result-oriented person. I expect people to work at my pace. I work fast. And if things don't go my way, I become so irritated.

I am very blessed with good staff. They can read me; they know what I want, which I think is very good because I see that the effort is there. Vacation for me is when I do spring cleaning. I take out my bags and clean them, discard old stuff. I spend time with my family just staying at home or eating out. People perceive me as mataray (snob). But I'm only mataray because people don't do what they're supposed to do. They see me as a very tough person but actually I'm not. Palawan's my favorite destination. There's something about the scenery. It's so clean. They make sure the environment is intact unlike other destinations that I saw deteriorated. I want to go to Batanes. People talk about it and I've seen the pictures. I want to see it for myself. At the rate LEP and InFlight are going, they'll go far. For InFlight, we were just doing the magazine bi-monthly, but we have already published a guidebook. My dream for InFlight is for it to do a coffeetable book and more publishing jobs. For LEP, for it to continue to grow. The fact that it has spun off as a separate company, I think the incorporators believe in it's future. Maybe LEP can, in the future, become a full-fledged travel agency. Five years from now I'll be retired; perhaps I'll grow herbs for my pasta. Although Nick says not until I'm 75! But really, wherever God will bring me, I'll be there. I am not really a planner of my future. I accept whatever comes.

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SEAIR announces 15th anniversary lean season promos Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAIR), the Philippines' premiere leisure airline, is celebrating its 15th year anniversary with lean season promos starting June this year. Boracay tickets are at P1,235++ per way, and Batanes tickets, at P2,835++ per way, for flights covering the period June 16-October 15, 2010. The selling period is ongoing until May 15, 2010. The promo is on while seats are available. (Visit www.FlySeair.com for best deals.) SEAIR has been serving key tourist destinations since 1995, most notably Boracay, and has the longest history of uninterrupted service to Boracay direct via Caticlan. SEAIR also offers the most routes to and from Caticlan with flights from Caticlan to Manila , Clark and Cebu. On June 16, SEAIR is starting daily flights to the northernmost province of Batanes. The province, often likened to the European countryside, has four seasons and experiences summer from June to August. Batanes is known for its pastoral landscape featuring rolling hills, windmills, and lighthouses guarding immaculate shorelines.

For inquiries and reservations, call +632/ 849 0100 or book online at www. FlySeair.com. For packages call SEAIR Leisure Escape Packages at +632/ 843 7308. Join SEAIR Facebook Fan Page for updates on promos

SEAIR weekend packages to Bellarocca SEAIR now flies every Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday to Marinduque and offers exciting weekend vacation packages to premium island resort Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa. The three-night vacation package includes roundtrip airfare, land and sea transfers, accommodation, three breakfasts and dinners, and complimentary access to the resort’s premium facilities, among others. Bellarocca, tagged the Santorini of the Philippines, comes with five-star amenities and luxurious accommodation. The package starts at P26,345 per person.

For more info about the package and Bellaroca's facilities and amenities, call SEAIR Leisure Escape Packages at +632/ 843 7308

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SEAIR flies to San Fernando, La Union/Baguio Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAIR), the Philippines’ premiere leisure airline, started flights to San Fernando, La Union on April 14, 2010. Flights are scheduled every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. San Fernando, La Union is home to the finest and only five-star hotel in the Northern Philippine Region, Thunderbird Resorts – Poro Point. Incorporating Mediterranean architecture influenced by the Santorini Islands of Greece, the 65-hectare resort boasts of stylish, luxury suites perched on a 100ft cliff overlooking the whitesand beach and the South China Sea, and a full set of world class services and amenities. SEAIR also offers 45-minute complimentary land transfers from San Fernando, La Union to Baguio City. Baguio is the economic and tourism center of the Cordilleras and is popular for its vibrant city, beautiful mountain sceneries and cool weather all year round.

Visit www.FlySeair.com or call +632/ 849 0100 to book a flight to San Fernando. For packages with Thunderbird Resorts – Poro Point and Baguio City hotels, call SEAIR Leisure Escape Packages at +632/ 843 7308. Join SEAIR Facebook Fan Page for updates on new routes

SEAIR increases El Nido flights SEAIR El Nido flights, which are currently twice a week every Wednesday and Sunday, will be increased to three times a week every Wednesday, Sunday and Monday effective April 14 to June 30, 2010. El Nido, a top-end tourist destination, is located on the northern tip of Palawan and is part of the El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area, the largest marine sanctuary in the entire Philippines. This group of islands is a perfect destination for divers and snorkelers as well as beach and island-hoppers with over 30 dive sites and more than 50 beaches and hidden lagoons. Aside from its diverse fauna, El Nido also showcases a striking geological wonder: limestone cliffs that were carved extensively from thick layers of coralline deposits.

To purchase tickets to El Nido, visit www.FlySeair.com or call +632/ 849 0100. For packages, call SEAIR Leisure Escape Packages at +632/ 843 7308


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Travel directory BORACAY BLUEWAVES BEACH HOUSE Boat Station 1, Balabag Beach T (6336) 288 6544 C (+63917) 629 0189; (+63917) 819 1897; (+63922) 539 6036 www.bluwavesboracay.com BORACAY BEACH RESORT Boat Station 1 & D’Mall T (6336) 288 3208; 288 3130 F (6336) 288 5565 E nenettewindsurf@hotmail.com www.windsurfingboracay.com BORACAY REGENCY Boat Station 2, Balabag T (6336) 288-6111 to 17

Unit 5-B 5th F, W.DEEPZ Bldg., 1033 M.H del Pilar St., Ermita, Manila T (632) 523 8707 / 08 E rsvn@boracayregency.com www.boracayregency.com ESCONDIDO BEACH RESORT Balabag Beach C (+63922) 850 1161

G/F, Torre de Salcedo Bldg., 184 Salcedo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City, Philippines T (632) 489 8907; 812 4221 E namiresorts@yahoo.com.ph www.namiboracay.com PEARL OF THE PACIFIC RESORT & SPA Boat Station 1, Balabag Beach T (6336) 288 3220

R&G Tirol Bldg., 831 EDSA cor. E. Lopez Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines T (632) 926 0162; 924 4483 E info@pearlofthepacific.com www.pearlofthepacific.ph PINJALO RESORT Boracay Island T (6336) 288 3206 F (6336) 288 3478 E info@pinjalo.com; info@calypso-asia.com www.pinjalo.com SANDCASTLES THE APARTMENTS Boracay Island T (6336) 288 3207 / 3449 C (+63917) 819 3049 E info@boracaysandcastles.com www.boracaysandcastles.com www.tribaladventures.com

35 Scout Lozano St. Brgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City, Philippines T (632) 376 4535 E escondidoboracay@yahoo.com www.escondidoboracay.net

SEA WIND RESORT Boat Station 1, Balabag Beach T (6336) 288-3091 F (6336) 288-3425

LA CARMELA DE BORACAY Boat Station 2, Balabag Beach T (6336) 288 5423 / 5921 / 4376

RM. 305 R&G Tirol Bldg., 831 EDSA cor. E. Lopez Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines T (632) 416 4010; 920 7490 E seawind@prime.net.ph www.seawindresort.net

Teka cor. Kamagong Sts., San Antonio Village, Makati City, Philippines T (632) 895 8048 to 49 E info@lacarmeladeboracay.com www.lacarmeladeboracay.com LA RESERVE RESORT & RESTAURANT Balabag Beach T (6336) 288 3020 F (6336) 288 3017 E info@lareserveboracay.com www.lareserveboracay.com LE SOLEIL DE BORACAY Boat Station 2, Balabag Beach T (6336) 288 6209 to 12

G/F, PJL Corporate Center, 1782 N. Garcia cor. Candelaria Sts., Makati City T (632) 895 1777 loc. 1712, 1714, 1715 E lesoleil@pjlhullier.ph www.lesoleil.com.ph MANDALA SPA & villas Boracay Island T (6336) 288 5858 F (6336) 288 3531 www.mandalaspa.com

SPR REAL ESTATE, INC. T (6336) 288 3631 (Sales) T (6336) 288 5798 (Rental) F (6336) 288 5797 www.sprboracay.com SURFSIDE BORACAY RESORT & SPA Angol Beach T (6336) 288 5006 / 5049

17/F, Metropolitan Bldg., Mabini St., Malate, Manila, Philippines T (632) 338 6899 / 8659 E mail@boracaysurfside.com www.boracaysurfside.com TWO SEASONS BORACAY Boat Station 1 T (6336) 288 4384 to 85

Nena Bldg., 132-A. Bayani St., cor. Araneta Ave., Quezon City, Philippines T (632) 415 4652; 413 5903 E rsvn@twoseasonsboracay.com www.twoseasonsboracay.com

MICROTEL INN & SUITES Diniwid Beach T (6336) 288 4311

WALING-WALING BEACH HOTEL BORACAY Boat Station 1, Balabag Beach T (6336) 288 5555

106 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave. (C-5), Brgy. Ugong, Pasig City, Philippines T (632) 671 7171 E sales@microtelphilippines.com www.microtelphilippines.com

395, Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City, Philippines T (632) 896 9456 to 58 F (632) 896 9451 E sales@waling.com www.waling.com

NAMI PRIVATE VILLAS Diniwid Beach T (6336) 288 6753 to 55

ZUZUNI BORACAY Resort & Restaurant Boat Station 1, Balabag Beach T (6336) 288 4477 E info@zuzuni.net www.zuzuni.net

RESTAURANT AND DELI ARIA D’Mall, Boracay Island T (6336) 288 5573 FISH BAR D’Mall, Boracay Island T (6336) 288 4026 HEIDILAND DELI D’Mall, Phase IV T (6336) 288 5939 OLE SPANISH TAPAS Y RESTAURANTE D’Mall, Boracay Island T (6336) 288 5573

PALAWAN CLUB PARADISE Regent Bldg., Malunggay Road, FTI Complex, Taguig City, Philippines T (632) 838 4956 to 60 F (632) 838 4465 / 4762 www.clubparadisepalawan.com EL NIDO MANILOC / LAGEN Minilioc Island & Lagen Island

Ten Knots Development Corporation 2/F Builders centre, 170 Salcedo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City, Philippines T (632) 894 5644 www.elnidoresorts.com EL RIO Y MAR Island Resort Regent Bldg., Malunggay Road, FTI Complex, Taguig City, Philippines T (632) 838 4964 www.elrioymar.com EL NIDO COVE 73 Real Street, El Nido T (632) 838 4956 to 60 F (632) 838 4465 / 4762 C (+63918) 908 1204 www.clubparadisepalawan.com LEGEND HOTEL PALAWAN Malvar St., Puerto Princesa T (6348) 433 9076 F (6348) 434 4276

60, Pioneer cor., Madison Sts., Mandaluyong City, Philippines T (632) 633 1501 www.experiencepalawan.com.ph

CAMIGUIN JOHNNY’S DIVE ‘N’ FUN Yumbing, Mambajao T (6388) 387 9588 www.johnnysdive.com SECRET COVE DIVE RESORT Mambajao T (6388) 387 9084 E info@secretcovecamiguin.net www.secretcovecamiguin.net

CEBU ALEGRE Calumboyan, Sogod Pathfinder Holdings Philippines, Inc. T (6332) 231 1198; 254 9880 (Cebu) T (632) 634 7505 to 08 (Manila) www.alegrebeachresort.com BADIAN ISLAND RESORT & SPA Cebu Capital Commercial Complex-A, N. Escario St. T (6332) 253 6452; 475 1103 F (6332) 253 3385; 475 1101 www.badianhotel.com

MARIBAGO BLUWATER BEACH RESORT Maribago, Mactan Island T (6332) 232 5411 to 14 F (6332) 492 0128 to 29

1120 Cityland-Herrera Towers, 98 Herrera cor. Valero Sts., Salcedo Village, Makati City, Philippines T (632) 817 5751 F (632) 845 0680 MICROTEL INN & SUITES Punta Engaño Road, Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan Island T (6382) 233 2333

106 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave., Brgy. Ugong, Pasig City, Philippines T (632) 671 7171 www.microtelphilippines.com PLANTATION BAY RESORT & SPA Marigondon, Mactan Island

Suite 906, National Life Insurance Bldg., Ayala Ave., Makati City, Philippines T (632) 844 5024 to 25 F (632) 844 5030 www.plantationbay.com SHANGRI-LA MACTAN Punta Engaño Road, P.O. Box 86, Lapu-Lapu City T (6332) 231 0288 F (6332) 231 1688

2/F, Makati Ave., Shopping Arcade, Shangri-la, Makati City, Philippines T (632) 818 0952 F (632) 893 8503 www.shangri-la.com WATERFRONT MACTAN 1 Salinas Drive, Lahug T (6332) 232 6888 F (6332) 232 6880

27/F, Wynsum Corporate Plaza, 22 Emerald Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines T (632) 687 0888 F (632) 687 5970 www.waterfronthotels.net

DAVAO MICROTEL INN & SUITES Mamay Road, Lanang, Davao City

106 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave., Brgy. Ugong, Pasig City T (632) 671 7171 www.microtelphilippines.com PEARL FARM BEACH RESORT Kaputian Island, Garden City of Samal T (6382) 221 9970 to 78 F (6382) 221 9979

1504 Corporate Center, 139 Valero St., Salcedo Village, Makati City T (632) 750 1896 / 98 F (632) 750 1894 THE MARCO POLO DAVAO CM Recro St., Davao City T (6382) 221 0888 F (6382) 225 0111

3/F, Adamson center, 121 Leviste St., Salcedo Village, Makati City T (632) 893 0888 / 5719 F (632) 840 5111 www.marcopolohotels.com/davao


R e s o R t f e at u R e

Ambassador in Paradise’s casita

Luxury of space and a jacuzzi

Kristine Fonacier finds an outwardly nondescript resort with quality rooms and service P h o t o b y wac k y g o c h o c o Location. Ambassador in Paradise is on Barangay Balabag end of White Beach, a few doors down from Fridays Boracay and Discovery Shores. This is the quieter, somewhat tonier end of Station 1; and so you may expect to shell out a little extra for the privilege. FiRSt iMPRESSion. From the time you are met at the Caticlan jetty port, you know that the primary edge of Ambassador in Paradise over its competitors is its service. The hotel itself is a modest complex. A short walk from the front desk and reception area leads you through to the hotel’s two- and three-story buildings, each with a partial sea view. Rooms have large glass sliding doors that open into a verandah with a sea view. RooMS. The list of amenities and facilities for the 50-room hotel complex may read like that of every other deluxe hotel in town – king-size bed, bathroom with hot and cold running water, minibar, TV – but expect everything, from the down-filled comforters to the plasma

TV – to be of superior quality. As a bonus, every room is spacious, whether it’s the deluxe room for two, or the two-floor grand deluxe family suite with beds for up to six people. The presidential suite was still under construction as of this writing. It will have its own private floor, a private elevator, dedicated maid and butler service, and unimpeded view of the sunset and the sea. The sleek, modern continental design of the interiors is tempered by stone tiles, wood and wicker furniture. Some rooms are fitted with a jacuzzi. Bathrooms in the resort are generally spacious and well-appointed. Hot water is generated by solar power and nearly all of the resort’s supplies are locally sourced.

wood-fired pizzas, Italian pastas to Filipino classics. The Chef’s Creation prix fixe menu is a steal at P550 (about US $11) for three courses, P750 for four. A bottle of wine costs from about P850, comparable to other establishments on the beach. The hotel does not serve buffet, and everything, including the complimentary breakfast, are a la carte.

Food. The resort’s beachside restaurant is a good place to try seafood. In particular, try the squid and shrimp dishes. Chef Fortune Fulgar, the man in charge of the kitchen, has carved out a reputation on the island for serving good food using the freshest ingredients. The menu offers a range of dishes, from prime steak,

How to gEt tHERE. SEAIR flies daily to Caticlan from Manila and from Clark. (Visit www. FlySeair.com or call +632/ 8490100 to book a flight) SEAIR also offers convenient island transfers from the airport to Caticlan pier all the way to Cagban pier, from where are hotel transport will take you to Ambassador in Paradise.)

ESSEntiaLS. Visit www.ambassadorinparadise. com; email: reservations@ambassadorinparadise. com; call +6336/ 288 1540. Prices for a deluxe room start at P10,500, while the grand deluxe is at P12,000. Also available are a two-floor family suite for up to six people and two honeymoon casitas, both at P18,000.


Rhonson’s Mt. Apo Veteran mountain climber and photographer Rhonson Ng took this photo of mountain climber Dong Estapia while on a climb of Mt. Apo with Action Asia’s editor Steve White. They took on the two-day climb using the Kapatagan trail in six hours. Ng started as a mountaineer, backpacking all over the country, with an eye to scaling the top 10 highest mountains in the Philippines. Mt. Apo at 2,954m above sea level is the highest peak in the Philippines. Ng holds one-on-one basic and advanced photography workshops in his studio at Matina Town Square, Davao City. He won first place in the 2007 Canon National Photo Contest portrait category, 2008 PLDT MyDSL Photo Contest, and Canon’s Kadayawan Photo Competition. -- Margie F. Francisco For more of Rhonson’s works, visit rhonson.multiply.com and www.pbase.com/rhonson_ng

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Lens: Canon 24-70mm L f2.8 Aperture: F/2.8 Shutter speed: 1/320sec ISO Speed: 500

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Va c a t i o n s a r e A l w a y s i n S e a s o n !

Marinduque

Batanes

El Nido

Boracay For holidays made convenient, call:

+632 843 7308

E - m a i l : p a c k a g e s @ f l y s e a i r. c o m U R L : w w w. f l y s e a i r. c o m

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