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OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2008

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

SOUTH EAST ASIAN AIRLINES ON-BOARD MAGAZINE

A PLACE IN THE HEART Three families talk about their homes by the sea & how they changed their lives

GREEN MISSION Is Boracay ready for eco-rating? 3 DAYS IN BATANGAS A horse-ride up the rim of Taal Volcano’s crater COHIBA RESORT BORACAY Apartment living, beach style PLUS

SEAIR LAUNCHES BORONGAN, SAMAR FLIGHTS


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i n f l i g h t // o c t o b e r - n ov e m b e r i s s u e // 2 0 0 8

IN PLACES 39 Ins and Outs

A peek at Puerto Princesa

42 COVER STORY: A place in the heart Three families on their homes by the sea

60 Insider’s Guide: Three days in Batangas A horse-ride up the rim of Taal Volcano’s crater

94 InFocus

Isa Lorenzo’s Bukidnon

42 Popototan Island, Coral Bay in Northern Palawan, is home to healthy mangroves supporting the island’s rich marine life

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i n f l i g h t // o c t o b e r - n ov e m b e r i s s u e // 2 0 0 8 IN FRONT 09 Editor’s Note

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31

10 Informed

What not to miss in October and

November

13 In The News

Boracay up for eco-rating; New Busuanga airport opens; Shangri-La

to open in Boracay

16 In my bag

Business woman Divine Lee on medical kits and no-fuss packing

18 In Talk

Revealing the best local buy

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20 In Vogue

Dressing up time: The latest watch and jewelry fashion

26 In Person

Focus on musician Joey Ayala

IN GOOD TIMES 31 InDulge Eat like a local at Kamarikutan, Puerto Princesa

35 In Room Apartment living, beach style at Cohiba

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PLUS: seair • News • People • Guide

Cover & page three photo by Parc Cruz Art direction by Jocas A. See Make-up styling by Rocky Orejola Fashion styling by Monica De Leon Modelling by Nathalia Soliani for Ideal People Clothes by Maldita

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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 e s i gn

Art Director

Jocas A. See Ed i t o r i a l  P r o d u c t i o n In q u i r i e s

editors@flyseair.com inflightinbox@flyseair.com C o n t r i b u t i ng p h o t o gr a p h e r s

Mike Alcid, Ocs Alvarez, Bien Bautista, Parc Cruz, Alan Fontanilla, Wacky Gochoco, Rhonson Ng, Tootoots Leyesa, Oggie Ramos, JP Sarmenta, Jeffrey Sonora, Daniel Soriano, Kerwin Kaiser Yu C o n t r i b u t i ng w r i t e r s

Jose Marte Abueg, Vicki Aldaba, Yasmin D. Arquiza, Catherine A. Calderon, David Dalton, Manny Espinola, K. Grace Fonacier, Yasmine Hidalgo, Ana Kalaw, Jan Lao, Michael Marasigan, Andrea Pasion, Ces Rodriguez, Claude Tayag a d v e r t i s i ng S a l e s  m a r k e t i ng

Group Sales and Marketing Director

Delza Apostol Advertising Executive

Joy Gutierrez Advertising Traffic and Circulation

ARTHUR VALENCIA Ad v e r t i s i ng In q u i r i e s

inflightads@flyseair.com +632 840 280305 e d i t o r i a l b o a rd

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

Bernard Bandonell p h i l i pp i n e C o p y r i g h t © 2 0 0 8

South East Asian Airlines, Inc.

SEAIR InFlight Magazine: 2/F, Doña Concepcion Building, 1020 Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City 1227 Tel.: +632 840 2803 Fax: +632 840 2805 URL: www.seair-inflight.com

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EDITOR’S NOTE PEOPLE. PLACES. ADVENTURES.

A HOME BY THE SEA

Island homes by the sea:

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t’s most people’s holy grail – a desert island home of your own. Imagine a deserted, white-sand beach where you can lie undisturbed, the sun on your face, and crystal clear waters for swimming. For many people it remains a dream. But in the Philippines, where there are more islands and beaches than you can shake a stick at, the lucky few are living the dream.

From top, Kalipayan house with its amazing view; Boayan Island where Yellow House is located; and Helena Mander in Mangenguey Island, overseeing the construction of her house

We sent our writers in search of people who have turned their backs on the rat race and made their homes in an island paradise (See cover story, pages 42 to 59). We zeroed in our search on northern Palawan, specifically the area around the big island of Busuanga, which is near enough to Manila by plane – an hour with SEAIR – but still fantastically wild and pristine, with white-sand fringed islands not many people know about and where island residents still try their best to live in harmony with nature. Perhaps I’m biased, but northern Palawan is as good as it gets. I’d happily return time and time again to this area of the country, with its islets and lagoons, its hidden lakes and massive limestone cliffs. I have my own favorite places in Busuanga and try to get there as often as I can. For the lucky few, this area isn’t just a holiday destination; its home. Our writers met three families who have fallen in love with Palawan and made the decision to buy or lease their own little patch of heaven in the area. It was not easy arranging interviews and visits to the islands. Some of our interviewees live part of the time abroad. Some were understandably too shy to be photographed, while others wanted their secret hideaways to remain just that – secret. But in the end all were willing enough to share their stories. And the good news is that some of the people we spoke to are renting out their idyllic homes by the sea to guests, which means we can all take the opportunity to see how life can be lived close to nature. For reservation details, turn to our ‘Essentials’ guide on page 58. If like me, you’d rather spend holidays in a rented cottage, free from the hassles of big hotels and as close to the sea as you can get, this may just be your perfect holiday paradise found. Happy traveling!

Pa l awa n

Cover Story

“IT was our drE am To lIvE away from THE Crowds ” -- Ditchay Roxas and Philippe Girardeau, Boayan island, san Vicente, Palawan

Pa l awa

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ormer theater actress Ditchay Roxas and her husband, photographer Philippe Girardeau, had been living in Malate in an old Sy-Quia apartment with a view of Manila Bay when they felt the need to change their lifestyle. Their four-year-old daughter Amélie was attending kindergarten at the French School in Parañaque City and this meant her being up at 5:30am to leave the house by 6am in time to get to school by 7:30. Traffic was such in the city’s choked arteries that getting around by car could sometimes take forever. It was too much for a little girl. The Girardeaus knew they had to do something. In the course of getting on with everyday life, attending rehearsals, photo shoots, and managing traffic and powercuts in the city, they decided to pull Amelie out of school and give her private home tuition instead in 1996, and eventually made the brave move of packing up their apartment and studio to start life in what was then the middle of nowhere, the beautiful island paradise of Boayan Island in San Vicente, Palawan. To some, the move to settle on a faraway island may seem quite impulsive. But this was what tory Girardeaus had wanted for the a long over time. “It was our dream to live away from the smog, the crowds and the tension of cities and towns,” said Ditchay. The dream started in 1983 when Ditchay, who had just started going out with Philippe, set sail with him and Girardeaus' daughter his crew to amelie kayaking in travel from Cagayan de Oro to the serene waters of Cebu, Bohol, Negros, Iloilo then Daplac cove. inset, finally on to Palawan mother daughter where they tandem Ditchay and spent months sailing through

C

S

amelie

obably ErE Pr Hy oPlE w ” “THE PE E rEason w E HErE TH To lIv E os wE CH Palawan Busuanga, nguey island, Mander, Mange and Richard -- helena

in “a place US and settle n,” a less wester to leave the ss, natural and Bay, of the ent, valuele that’s more cally on Gutub n. It found “decad she waters, specifi Calamianes, Palawa lifestyle she Helena said in uncaring.” Triangle Philippines g wonderful greedy and of the Coral happy smilin the center ines and is also at “loved the richest marine the Philipp the world’s people” of enguey” rful. in one of gentle “Mang wonde in zones. living Island, of the waves” biodiversity found simple Manders started splashing away the tent dress, stayed In 2006, means “loud an hour’s boat ride her batik Helena in r It’s Java, island. Helena Mande her three dogs local lingo. work on the oversee the The pcion pier. us with nguey to almost waved at d went back from Conce k by her side. in Mange while Richar Helena: “After to the and Panda between to Recalled Sumatra, big, a cross construction continue to work returned to were quite first century I iler. “Don’t first two d comes to a quarter to visit my to New York and Rottwe (in 2005) project. Richar . If they sense that trip, a Doberman Philippines a year. Their finance the r Anika. In you’re scared you. n to four times d by late won’t hurt show them granddaughte to Palawa visit three be finishe I traveled friends, they probably not to be g for a residential you’re my Richard and home will y trained proposed and sea lookin ime are actuall take t me,” but their But they probably to protec through land ent property. Somet this year, y in order d project may to pment very friendl possible retirem that year we chance develo is planning er . ber of The couple said Helena Mangenguey to be a memb in Decem five years. l island called living on inded people knew this magica ising some build a She’s been like-m iately and upon superv woo We immed and invest years now, home and for three Mangenguey. of the society on the island. g on her dream become our rs workin with a dream kubo or 20 builde that it would Manders holiday home could share orey bahay ed project, the a place we , “is design house, a two-st hut that will have The main hopefully .” ed ative of friends ing to Helena remote native thatch chosen a small group where you home, accord ns” and “decor had matter colum they no in, t with Philippine Asked why “renaissance in a way that ines to retire ual contac d by 1950s ly the in contin the Philipp no walls, blocks inspire island in were probab are you are there are re people stairs, to It’s Treasu “The g. cture.” as archite we chose she said, nature. Down also known ws, no nothin when .” reason why no windo Mangenguey, of course number one abited island no doors, an uninh and the islands d wanted an area of t 53 Island, was settle here, d Richar saw it. It has by a whiteI SEAIR InFligh She and husban Helena first bER 2008 fringed estern - novEm hectares, bER southw about 13 the octo and sits in sand beach s our boat approached Mangenguey

GISELLE JAVISON EDITOR editors@flyseair.com

helena in porch

her hut's

the waters of Northern Palawan. They discovered the sheer magnificence of Palawan, moving from deserted island to deserted island, exploring coves and reefs and beaches, observing weeping turtles lay their eggs, and saving a couple of giant green sea turtles from poachers. Ditchay recalled that it was after a full moon night, watching turtles dig up their sandy nests, that she and Philippe decided that one day they will build a home on one of the islands in Palawan. Ditchay and Philippe met in 1983 when Ditchay’s sister, Susan, who was then living in Paris, introduced Philippe and the Roxas family in 1982. Philippe had just arrived in Manila that year, having spent time on his 60ft Ketch, the Barracuda, sailing from the Mediterranean through the Red Sea, to Asia. Tasked by her mom to take care of her sister’s friend in Manila, Ditchay found herself spending time with Philippe. What started as friendship turned into something more special. The two fell in love. It was on their 1983 sailing trip that their love of nature brought them even closer together. Years passed and Philippe and Ditchay got on with their lives. She,


WHAT NOT TO MISS IN

OCTOBER & NOVEMBER REPORT BY MARGIE FRANCISCO

OCTOBER

OCTOBER

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OCTOBER

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50 CENT LIVE IN MANILA

11-12

DISNEY’S MULAN, JR.

Watch out for the Grammynominated 50 Cent, performing live at the Philippine Sports Center Multipurpose Arena (Ultra) in Pasig. Since the release of their album “Get Rich or Die Trying” in 2003 and “The Massacre” in 2005, 50 Cent has earned multiple Grammy nominations, topped the Billboard charts and sold double platinum albums. Tickets are available at Ticketworld. Call: 02/ 891 9999 or visit: www.ticketworld.com.ph

OCTOBER

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LA BOHEME Spend a night at the opera with CCP’s version of Giacomo Puccini’s well-loved opera La Boheme at the Main Theater. Floy Quintos is directing a cast featuring young tenors Juan Alberto Gaerlan, Dondi Ong and Seattle Opera-based Gary del Rosario, sopranos Jennifer Uy and Maribel Miguel, Ana Feleo and Elain Lee. Tickets are available at Ticket World

Take the kids to Repertory Philippines’ (REP) version of Mulan, adapted from the Disney film’s version, at REP’s Children’s Theater. The cast includes Cris Villonco, Carla Barredo and Caisa Borromeo alternating in the role of Mulan and PJ Valerio, Reuben Uy and Felix Rivera alternating in the role of Shang, and Red Concepcion, Robbie Guevarra, Rem Zamora and Chevy Mercado alternating in the role of the dragon wannabe Mushu. Mulan is directed by Joy Virata with choreography by Denisa Reyes and sets and costumes by Niki Torres. The play runs until December 18. Tickets are available at Ticket World

LA FILLE MAL GARDEE (THE NAUGHTY GIRL)

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PAUL POTTS LIVE AT PICC Catch up with Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts who’s coming to perform in Manila at the Philippine International Convention Center. His repertoire includes the hits from his “One Chance” cd such as “Nessun Dorma”, “You Raise Me Up” (Por Ti Sere), “Time to Say Goodbye” (Con Te Partiro), “Amapola” and “My Way” (A Mi Manera), among others. Tickets are available at Ticket World

Ballet Manila presents “La Fille Mal Gardee”, a comic ballet about an ambitious widow Simone and her daughter Lise, who tries to outwit Simone into giving her blessing to marry Colas, the love of her life. This two-act light romantic comedy, led by artistic director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, with music by Herold and choreography by Sergey Vikulov, will be staged at Aliw Theater. For ticket inquiries, call: Ballet Manila at 02/ 400 0292 or 404 3086, or email: info@balletmanila.ph

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HAIRSPRAY, THE MUSICAL OCTOBER

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BAMBOO LIVE…ROCK!

OCTOBER

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BALLET PHILIPPINES Keep an eye out for Ballet Philippines’ 39th anniversary season featuring artistic directors Alan Hineline and Max Luna III who will be presenting an edgy, sexy and sophisticated line-up including “Night Creature” on the first day, “Mga Awit” on the second, and “Thresholds II” on the third day, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. For ticket inquiries, call: Jocel Legaspi at 02/ 551 1003 or 551 0221, or email: jocel. legaspi@balletphilippines.org

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Don’t miss the performance of alternative rock band Bamboo at Metro Bar in Quezon City. You just don’t get rock music, but jokes as well with local comedians participating. Bamboo revived Filipino rock when its first album was released in 2004 with carrier single “Noypi.” The band’s latest album “Tomorrow Becomes Yesterday” is out in stores now. Tickets are available at Ticketnet. Call: 02/ 911 5555 or visit: www.ticketnet.com.ph

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See Atlantis Productions’ Broadway musical hit Hairspray live on stage at the Star Theater, CCP Complex. This eight-time Tony award-winning musical features Tim Espinosa and Madel Ching playing the roles of Link Larkin and Tracy Turnblad respectively. Supporting them are seasoned actors Michael De Mesa, Menchu LauchengcoYulo, Dulce, Leo Rialp and Nyoy Volante. Hairspray is directed by Bobby Garcia; choreography is by Cecile Martinez; sets and costumes are by Gino Gonzales; and lighting design is by Shoko Matsumo. Tickets are on sale via Atlantis Productions. Call: 02/ 892 7078 / 840 1187 and Ticketworld

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FILIPINO ARTISTS SERIES 2008 Get a taste of Filipino classical music at The Filipino Artists Series 2008 featuring countertenor Mark Anthony Carpio, the choirmaster of the Philippine Madrigal Singers who led the ensemble during their win of the European Grand Prix in Choral Singing in July 2006. The series will feature selections from Handel, Bach, Mozart and Filipino composers John August Pamintuan and Jed Balsano. Carpio is the first countertenor to be featured at the CCP’s Filipino Aritst Series. Tickets are available at Ticketworld

MICHAEL LEARNS TO ROCK For more live music, catch the Danish band Michael Learns to Rock, performing at the Araneta Coliseum in Manila. The band was formed in 1988 and has produced six studio and live albums, selling over 9 million records, mainly in Asia. Tickets are available at Ticketnet


t r av e l

H O TEL S A N D RE S O RT S

e n v i r on m e n t

And m o r e !

The famous whitesand Boracay beach will soon see its first fivestar open its doors in the island

What's New

Shangri-La resort to open in Boracay

Shangri-La Boracay Resort and spa is projected to open in Boracay by early next year. The resort, which sits on a 12-hectare property in Barangay Yapak, will offer 219 rooms including 36 villas and suites. Deluxe rooms will have an area of 60sqm while villas will have 108 square meters, all with private plunge pools, whirlpools or pergolas for al fresco dining. Only the presidential villas, apart from the two-bedroom villas, will have two bedrooms. Amenities will include a health club, an entertainment zone, and restaurants and the in-house spa CHI, The Spa will offer signature treatments inspired by Himalayan and Chinese healing philosophies. The resort is located within a nature reserve housing some 75 species of plants living on ravines, cliffs and seashore, and about 36 recorded species of birds and six species of bats in their natural habitat. The resort will offer guided nature walks for guests to take in the local wildlife.

For more information, visit: www.shangri-la.com/en/property/boracay/boracayresort.

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Adventure

Adventure race Carrera Habagat to kick off in November Carrera Habagat, the country’s toughest outdoor adventure race, is now accepting participants for its November event to be held in Albay, Bicol in Northern Luzon. The five-day Albay races to be held from November 12-16 is the ninth Carrera Habagat organized by Habagat Outdoor Equipment. Carrera Habagat events are reputed to be tough, boasting of the largest area of coverage, the lengthiest timeframe, and a wide variety of events from

trekking to biking and kayaking. The races are expected to attract 25 local and international teams, comprised of members from 18 years of age. Each team will be composed of four main racers (three males and one female or vice versa) and two support staff. Registration is open until November 11. The registration fee is P8,000 per team. -- Margie Francisco For inquiries, call: 0917/ 320 9298 or 0922/ 820 0696, e-mail: carrera@habagat.com. Visit: www.habagat.com.

Greenpeace launches Boracay eco-survey Greenpeace may be on the road to starting an eco-rating for resorts in Boracay, following its move to survey 100 resorts on the island on their environmental practices. The survey seeks to assess each of the individual resort’s energy efficiency, water use, and waste management. Separate forms are being sent out to hotels. Results of the survey are expected to be out soon. The speculation is that the results will lead to an eco-rating, although no details have yet been released. The Greenpeace project called “Save the planet, Save Boracay” aims to encourage Boracay resorts and hotels to decrease their carbon footprint, promote awareness of climate change, and hopefully come up with solutions to conserve the island’s resources.

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Resort Rating

The rapid development of Boracay has exerted great pressure on its land and water supply and residents as well as environmental groups know that a quick and drastic action to preserve its environment is greatly needed. This project of Greenpeace is in cooperation with the Municipality of Malay, Department of Tourism, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Boracay Foundation, Boracay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Boracay Association of Resorts, Restaurants and Independent Allies. For inquiries, call: 02/ 434 7034 loc 103 or 0918/ 944 1062, e-mail: beng. ong@greenpeace.org.


2 Nights + 1 Night FREE!

COOL BORACAY PACKAGES Update

new Busuanga airport now open the neW FranciSco reyeS airport, popularly known as Busuanga airport, has opened recently, sporting a new terminal and a runway able to accept 70-80 seater aircraft. The airport replaced the Yulo King Ranch Airport (old Busuanga airport), a feeder airport, which was able to accommodate only 19-seater aircraft and served the general area of Busuanga located north of Palawan. SEAIR is already operating select Dornier 328 flights from the airport, cutting travel time from Manila to Busuanga to only 35 minutes from the usual one hour. The concrete paving of the road from the airport to Coron Town and the construction of the Coron Waterfront are in progress. The airport’s official inauguration is yet to be finalized. Airport planners and builders told InFlight that they completed the construction a few months earlier than the expected December 2008 target completion. The new airport features a check-in counter currently occupied by SEAIR a spacious waiting area with glass enclosed pocket gardens designed by local decorator Lala Daculla who also landscaped the grounds, check-out area, security police office, air-conditioned VIP lounge, toilets, a diaper changing area and a nursing room for breastfeeding mothers. Airport project manager Roy Gamosa said that although there is no airconditioning in the terminal, the high ceiling allows for a healthy air flow. An airline coffee shop is also being planned. Airline ticketing offices are planned in the space fronting the terminal. The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) funded a US $3 million grant for the upgrade of the Busuanga airport through the initiative of Congressman Tony Alvarez. Provincial governor Joel Reyes has been actively supporting the project. SEAIR has been flying to Busuanga for 13 years now.

For as low as

PhP 2,728 ++ • Inclusive of roundtrip airfare • 3 days 2 nights room accomodation & • Daily breakfast Travel period: August to October 31, 2008. Limited seats on all flights. * Exclusive of taxes and surcharges. Terms and conditions apply.

Call us.

+632 843 7308 E-mail: packages@flyseair.com URL: www.flyseair.com

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FUNCTION IN FASHION

Divine M. Lee, a part-time model and vice president-sales and marketing of real estate company Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corporation, tells Jan Lao her secret to fuss-free packing ProDUct PHoto bY ALAN FONTANILLA

01 How do you go about packing? “regular stuff like my medicine kit, I put in one bag. the itouch or camera goes in the big bag and then I pack clothes I don’t need to iron. I just dump them in the bag and that’s it.”

02

1 Burberry tote bag “It fits anything from day wear to evening so it’s practical.” 2 Digital Camera “I’m a camera addict. I usually bring one small camera (Sony cybershot), a high megapixel cam for scenery shots (canon G9), and a Jvc HD video camcorder. And my hobby is also arranging the pictures after the trip. I have tons of albums.” 3 Creed perfume (Spring Flower) “my favorite scent!” 4 Smythson travel organizer “I like keeping things organized from paper tickets, baggage claim stubs to boarding passes. the subdivided compartments in the organizer keep everything neat and easy to see. I used to have a problem finding all those small stubs and papers inside my bag. this organizer really saved me so much time.” 5 Apple iTouch 8GB “Aside from the normal audio playlist, I always have two or three audio books. I am still a traditional book reader. I like flipping the pages. but for traveling, audio books allow me to listen to books without the burden of carrying those heavy hardbounds.” 6 Ray-ban Aviator 24k Limited Edition “this classic will go with any dress

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04 07 08 10

and outfit. It can match 06 all my casual clothes and my business attire. this way, I don’t have to worry about bringing more sunglasses.” 7 Travel notebook “I want to keep a journal of all my travels – keep a list of all the good hotels, small restaurants, sights to see. I have a bad memory for remembering foreign names so this way I can easily go back to restaurants and places that I like.” 8 Parker 3-in-one pen “red, black and pencil. It’s so small and handy! I’ve had it for six years already!” 9 Laura Mercier Body Creme in Creme Brulee “I love the scent so much and it reminds me of my home and bathroom because I use the same scent for my candles.” 10 Mac Cream foundation and cheek tint “this can cover all those dark under-

For store location and contact details, turn to

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eye circles from long traveling making you look refreshed again.” 11 Carmex lip gloss “this is my favorite lip gloss. tried and tested! It kept my lips moisturized at worse winter seasons.” 12 La Mer sunblock “I am always traveling and checking out different construction sites which involve being out in the sun for long periods of time. I need to protect my skin by always applying sunblock. the cream formula is so light that it doesn’t make my face look oily no matter how many times I apply it.” 13 Medicine kit “I have the most extensive medicine kit. I just replenish this everytime I come home from my travel. I always make sure I have this because I always have a hard time looking for medicine in other countries.” on page 72


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What’s your best local buy?

From vintage shades to ivory icons and home-made sweets, there are lots of interesting things to snap up on travels around the country. Jan Lao interviews Illustration by jeffrey navarro

Amina Aranaz-Alunan

Cary Santiago

Bag designer

Haute couture designer

“Carabao’s milk jumbo pastillas (milk-based soft candy) from Nueva Ecija. These are the real deal! I’ve never seen pastillas as huge and as rich! It’s not even from a store. It’s just some locals in Nueva Ecija who make it.”

“I found this 1971 Manansala (Filipino master painter) pen and ink in a local gallery here in Cebu and it’s now displayed in my atelier.”

Norman Crisologo

L.A. Consing Lopez

Art collector

Style editor

“My favorite finds in Manila would have to be the centuries-old ivory body parts used in the various icons made in the Philippines since the Spanish times. The assorted heads, torsos, feet and hands in various positions you can find in the many antique shops along Mabini Street in Manila are a beautiful and collectible reminder of our colonial and religious heritage. Prices vary depending on age and size, and provenance. From P5,000 for newer ones to hundreds of thousands. You have to talk to dealers in a hushed tone to bring out the really good stuff. If you can get a certification from the dealer that the ivory purchased is a genuine antique and not new ivory then it should be okay for transit. Just don’t do it in commercial quantities.”

Rosanna Ocampo

Ton Lao

Fashion designer

Stylist

“Real Coffee, Boracay is easily the best breakfast joint on the island! Go for the killer omelettes (try the Jack-o-lean) and addictive calamansi (local citrus) muffins that can be pre-ordered and taken home. This cozy joint will charm you with its diverse clientele, friendly owners, and savory treats. A must!”

“Vintage shades from Santiago Optical in Quiapo. You can choose what color of lens you want. They’ll add the color by heating the lenses while you wait. They have really nice vintage shades from the past.”

James Ong

Christine Sicangco

Lifestyle journalist

Lighting designer

“Sell Sweets by Angela ‘Gel’ Colet. (Sell Sweets sells various sweet products – pastries, chocolates – online) Gel has always been into baking, and now she makes these beautiful cakes and pastries for her friends and family on a per-order basis. Her designs are so creative and detailed; you know that everything that comes out of her kitchen has been made with love and passion. It’s just a small business and she doesn’t have a shop, but she’s able to ship orders (through LBC) to Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. You can order through 0917/ 5367827 or www.gelcolet.multiply.com.”

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“I’ve really been into scavenging for local vintage furniture, especially hard wood. Recently, I came across this intricate narra art-deco-ish table in Evangelista, Makati (near Pasay City). I can’t remember which exact store I got it from, but it’s at this big flea market just along Evangelista. Best to go first thing in the morning on a weekend; that’s when they all come out of the woodwork. It’s definitely one of my favorite purchases of 2008.”

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“There’s this really cool restaurant/bar in my hometown (Bacolod City) called KGB - Korean Grill Bar, which has mean offerings running from a scrumptious Mongolian smorgasbord to eight funky-named (Yellow Jacket, Purple Dinosaur, Green Swamp...) shots for only a hundred bucks! It also has an art gallery — a haven for artists and iconoclastic personalities. But the real highlight and notto-miss is meeting one of the city’s best finds, the groovy owner herself, Jane Benedicto. A must!” KGB is located at #23 Lacson Street, Bacolod City. Tel: 034/ 433 7896


Luis Espiritu Creative director and columnist “Shell coin purses from Puerto Princesa city proper in Palawan are beautiful and quite affordable. These finds look like miniature replicas of the world-renowned Celestina minaudiere.”

Rissa Mananquil Fashion and beauty columnist “I love the cheek tint ‘Pretty When Pinched’ by local fashion retail giant Bench (Tel: 02/ 894 1005).  One tube costs just around P120. It comes in gel form so it’s almost a no-brainer to apply. Although it comes in one simple shade, it gives a natural healthy-looking glow and flatters every kind of girl – from morena to mestiza and chinita. It stays on all day and it feels like you don’t have anything on at all! It’s a great cheek color that won’t melt in the Manila heat and certainly won’t melt your wallet!

“centuries-old ivory body parts used in religious icons can be found in the many antique shops along Mabini Street in Manila. they are a beautiful reminder of our colonial past”

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Fashion

DRessing up time The latest watch and jewelry fashion

Photos by alan fontanilla product Styling by guada reyes Shoot location at Galileo Enoteca

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shoppi ng gu i de

Ball bracelet with large red heart pendant, P3,500, and red and black clutch bag, P5,500, both by Atelier Avatar Speedy auto reserve men’s watch, P343,000, by Louis Vuitton

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inVogue

c o s t u m e j e w e l r y a n d wa t c h e s

Texturized matte gold journal, P3,940, and lizard journal, P2,680, both by Pinetti large circular cuff links, P8,980, and gold-plated Carnelian cuff links, P6,800, both by Joseph Bernabe Jeweled jeep cuff links, P8,280, by Gemma Suzara, all at Firma

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Texturized red leather cuff, P1,008, and black braided leather cuff bracelet, P1,008, both by Victoria Marin “Tambour Forever” ladies’ watch with red strap, P280,000, and Speedy auto reserve men’s watch, P343,000, both by Louis Vuitton

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inVogue

c o s t u m e j e w e l r y a n d wa t c h e s

Dream catcher necklace with silver crystals and motherof-pearl, P30,000, by Atelier Avatar “Sunset Boulevard� Amarante bag, P41,900, by Louis Vuitton

For store location and contact details, turn to

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on page 72


Life in music

Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and singer Joey Ayala talks to Monica De Leon about Filipino music and the hauntingly beautiful sounds of native instruments Photos by Daniel Soriano

What set you on the path to making music? In my childhood there was always music. My early memories are of my father playing the guitar. My mother would always play different kinds of music – classical songs, American songs, and a lot more. Music enthusiasm has been a natural thing for me. So, has your family, in a way, influenced you? Ay, oo! (Oh yes!) Did your parents teach you music? I think there was a conscious effort on their part not to show me music. According to my mom, my dad was good at singing and playing the violin, but he never showed me the violin. I never heard him sing. I heard him play the guitar only once. But he loved to listen to music. Maybe he didn’t want me to be a musician. That’s only a conjecture. My parents didn’t interfere. Who inspired you or inspires you to write your songs? My favorite musicians Carlos Santana, the guitar god, and James Taylor. I heard James Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James” and decided I wanted to be a songwriter.

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What are your favorite native instruments? The kubing (bamboo jaw harp) and the hegalong (a native two-stringed instrument from Mindanao). The kubing is easy to carry and can fit in your pocket. It’s such a natural human instrument, with breath and mouth shape and tongue movement and fingering all contributing to sound production. Very intimate. I like the hegalong because it is such a liberating instrument. The drone string allows you to do anything on the melody string with no regard for harmony.  How did you learn to play the native instruments? By observation and experimentation. I first heard the gong and its marvelous vibration and the kubing while working as part of a collegebased group presenting a rock opera based on a Bagobo myth and legend. I woke up from my stupor and realized this was “the” music and asked myself why this was not being played on the radio. Many years after

using the sounds and instruments I started asking whether I was doing something good. My music’s source – the minority tribal groups – are still marginalized. I often wonder whether popularizing indigenous music is creating the impression that all is well with our local tribes. What five of your songs should one listen to to get a glimpse of our culture? “Magkaugnay” (Connected), “Walang Hanggang Paalam” (Never ending goodbye) which people like because it is romantic, “Wala Nang Tao sa Santa Filomena” (There’s no one living in Santa Filomena), “Pasasalamat” (Giving thanks), and “Awit ng Mortal” (A mortal’s song). These are contemplative songs. “Magkaugnay” has lots of indigenous sounds in it. The arrangement uses hegalong, kubing, T’boli bells, seedshakers, gongs, etc. The theme and melody of “Walang Hanggang Paalam” are very Pinoy – attachment to relationship, melody line with lots of peaks and valleys. Very sweet and


prof i l e

j o e y Aya l a

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“I enjoy playing to smaller

audiences at places such as Conspiracy Garden Cafe where I could be more relaxed and natural, to the point

of even admitting sadness�


j o e y aya l a

sentimental. The lyrics of “Wala Nang Tao sa Santa Filomena” describes the aftermath of a violent encounter between armed groups. The music comes close to the “traditional kundiman”. A foreigner hearing it without a translator will hear sadness. “Pasasalamat” is an expression of exactly that: gratitude. What we are thankful for multiplies in value and presence. The foreigner might be interested in how God-centric Filipinos are, for better or for worse. “Awit ng Mortal” exemplifies the other end of the existential spectrum with a message of self-determinism and principled action for its own sake. The foreign ear, again, without a translation, might hear strains of European classical music in this song. Have you ever felt you’ve finally arrived? Yes there’s such a feeling. In my earlier appearances on TV, I thought, “sikat na ko!” (I’m popular!) But that feeling lasted only for a short while. Am I comfortable with fame? Yes and no. Which do you prefer as a medium, TV or theater? I enjoy playing to smaller audiences at places such as Conspiracy Garden Cafe where I could be more relaxed and natural, to the point of even admitting sadness – a luxury that spectacle-oriented shallow media such as TV do not allow. Who are the all time great Filipino musicians? My sister Cynthia Alexander, a band I heard play four nights ago called syalaM (plays reggae, blues, funk, world music and jazz), Cebubased reggae band Jr. Kidlat, the Rico Blanco edition of rock band Rivermaya, rock band Eraserheads for great songwriting and attitude, and pop rock band Imago. In terms of singing, it’s still Rey Valera and George Canseco. How different are the talents of today to those in the 60s, the 70s? Let’s just say talents in the old days had more time to mature away from the public eye. Before you get a chance to go on TV or on camera,

you’ve sung to crowds and done the usual singing rounds; so your voice has matured; your face has taken on a distinct character and persona. These days of youtubes, it is so easy to air the talent-less as well as the talented. What’s keeping you busy? Cynthia and I just put out an album entitled “Pasasalamat” but it’s for a client (COPYLANDIA) that’s using the album as a “Thank You” gift for their friends and clients. And I’m finishing the music for Lisa Macuja’s dance in November for the performance “Ang Mga Kwento Ni Lola Basyang” (Stories of Grandma Basyang). I’m doing some committee work for the International Commission for Culture and the Arts. And I’m working with other people and trying to set up some sort of system using arts for education. How would you describe a day in your life as a singer and composer? There’s no routine. I can’t manage my day the way a lot of people do, like those in corporations where there are systems. I stay up late, rest, work nonstop for two days, travel, workshop for three days, perform, come back home. The past few days, I had to write five proposals. My advantage is I can organize my schedule because I don’t sing regularly on TV. I’m not on radio. Frustrations? None really. Perhaps, the fact that I’m not as disciplined as I want to be.

inPerson

Me and my holidays My idea of paradise is being with my mother and my wife and the people I love in a nice clean beach. I’ve seen a lot of beaches and the best is Times Beach in Davao. It’s great because it was near our house, accessible. It has greysand and used to be very quiet. Unfortunately, a typhoon hit it and ate up a good portion of the shoreline. My favorite destination is my home because my wife’s there, my two sons are there. I have my musical instruments. My favorite restaurant has to be Conspiracy. It’s practically the only restaurant I go to. They serve good tofu, pasta and crispy pata. (Conspiracy tel: 02/ 920 6517, web: www.conspi.net). The term vacation is boring to me because I’m seldom out of town for a vacation. Usually it’s because of work. So when I’m away and there’s a chance to take a break, I’d go for any beach or seaside. Or perhaps a secondhand bookstore in a mall. My hobby is to sleep because there’s always so much to do.

Where can people catch you? At Conspiracy Garden Cafe. You may visit www.joeyayala.com for updates.

Joey Ayala’s cds entitled “Joey Ayala: RAW”, “Basta May Saging”, “Awit ng Mandaragat”, “16 Love Songs”, “Mga Awit ng Tanod-Lupa” and “Magkabilaan” are available at Music One (Greenbelt 3 branch tel: 02/ 757 4425).

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w h er e to di n e

k a m a r i k u ta n k a pe at ga l e r i Cafe hut’s entrance

A Must Try

food haven

If you hanker after home cooking, there’s no place like Kamarikutan, says Ces Rodriguez Photos by mike alcid

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k a m a r i k u ta n k a pe at ga l e r i

INDULGE

This page: artful interior of the Gallery hut Left page, clockwise from top: adobong manok sa gata, Gitana’s vegetarian toast and spicy tuyo (dried fish) in olive oil

o what kind of food do they serve?” I ask our guide as we approach Kamarikutan, an art gallery and café that’s the final stop of a Puerto Princesa city tour. “Oh, it’s lutong bahay (home-cooked food),” he says, then rushes on to say that the chicken adobo cooked in coconut milk is one of their specialties. You can’t be any more local than eating adobo, perhaps the one dish in the Filipino cuisine that’s most recognized yet done in a variety of ways. Much like chilli con carne, the dish has various reincarnations with most Filipino families claiming to have their own “best recipe”. Kamarikutan’s adobo is done the Macasaet way, a wacky twist on an old Filipino favorite. Dayang Macasaet and her daughter Dinggot Prieto own and run the cafe. Their adobong manok sa gata (P110) or chicken stewed in garlic and vinegar mixed in coconut milk is a mix of adobo and spicy curry. It’s best eaten ladled on a bowl of steaming plain rice, a winning combination of the unctuous and the tart.

Another winning dish is the spicy tuyo (P130) or dried fish, fried in olive oil before it’s simmered in paprika, garlic, chili and vinegar. Tuyo sauce combined with the sauce from adobong manok makes an unlikely but delicious combination. Most of the dishes on the menu are close to the family’s heart. Gitana’s vegetarian toast (P60), named after Dinggot’s niece, is simple but flavorful tomatoes and garlic in extra virgin olive oil served on sliced French bread. Fettuccine Anito (P110) – named after Dinggot’s 14-year-old son – is a new version carbonara with garlic, onions and mushrooms swirling in a cream sauce. Both the toast and pasta did not disappoint. Another curious addition is the tinapa or native smoked fish with mayonnaise and lettuce (P45) in crusty bread. “Why use canned tuna when the smoked fish is plentiful in Palawan?” Dinggot asks. She also says that the bread is baked by a Vietnamese lady who decided to stay in Palawan after the last of the refugees housed in Puerto Princesa’s Vietnamese village were flown to the US a few years ago. It’s not just the food that is

comforting here. Kamarikutan Kape at Galeri, which sits on a portion of a 1.2hectare property, is also a relaxing place. “This was an empty piece of property my mom owned and when I got here it looked wild and abandoned,” said Dinggot. It took a year to clear the area and plant it with flora endemic to Palawan like the neem, the mararango, fishtail palms from the mountains and the aromatic ilang-ilang. It also took a long time to find the right timber to build the sprawling gallery area behind the café. The gallery now has lofts, multiple seating and conversation areas, and an Ifugao-style dining hut with a vaulted thatched roof to bring in the breeze. The result is chill central. The best ending for the city tour, I think, as I sip my pandan-infused green tea and stare mesmerized at the undulating mass of orange koi flashing in the shallow moat surrounding the dining hut.

KAMARIKUTAN is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s located on rizal Avenue extension, bancao-bancao, Puerto Princesa, Palawan. reservations required for a party of 15 or more. Call: 048/ 433 5182.

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w h e r e t o S T Ay

C o h i b a B o r acay The master’s bedroom

Book Now

Modern chic

If you like clean, white, beach-style apartment living, Cohiba is it, says Jan Lao Photos courtesy of Cohiba Boracay

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inRoom

C o h i b a B o r acay

S

FIRST IMPRESSIONS itting on a cliff covered by foliage, Cohiba Boracay’s three-storey white concrete villas command an enviable 180-degree view of the beach. There are 39 apartment-villas, each with either two- or three-bedroom units. As I enter the resort premises, I see more flash amenities – a 25-meter infinity pool, glass sliding doors leading to huge verandahs that look out to the sea, spacious rooms and bathrooms. The owners did not scrimp here to offer modern convenience. Location The resort is on a lush 7,500-squaremeter property perched on a cliff in Sunshine Cove at the northern side of Bulabog Beach, just at the back of Boracay Island’s famous White Beach.

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Further up the road from Cohiba is Mt. Luho, the highest point on the island, with a lookout tower that gives you a 360-degree view of the island paradise, and the Fairways and Bluewater golf course on the adjacent lot. From Cohiba you have a panoramic view of the vast Sibuyan Sea, of nearby Carabao Island all the way to the tip of Tulubhan Cove, with the mountain range of Panay serving as backdrop; and you can just make out Boracay’s main beach in Station 2 and the Sulu Sea. From the island’s jetty port, you can either arrange in advance to be picked up by one of the three shuttle services provided by the resort or take one of the rickety tricycles racing recklessly on pot-holed filled unpaved side streets. The trip takes about 15-minutes. You’ll know you’re near the resort when the road goes uphill and your tricycle starts to act like it’s about to give up, and you see neat stark-white modern-minimalist

buildings through thick foliage and coconut trees on your right. ROOMS There are five different white villa building clusters with either three-, sixor nine-apartment units ranging from about 130 to about 220 square meters each, all of them with either two to three bedrooms and two bathrooms. I was booked in a three-bedroom unit. Its master’s bedroom is huge, outfitted with a king-size bed topped with ultracomfy white cotton sheets, comforters and goose-down pillows, huge glass and screen sliding doors leading to the wide balcony, and underlined double sheet curtains to block out the sun. There’s a ceiling fan and air-conditioner. Most days all you need is to keep the glass doors wide open. The other bedrooms are smaller in comparison but are still a decent 40sqm, furnished with two single beds or a


Above: View of Bulabog Beach from the lounge

Left: Connected to queen or king-size bed. The master’s bath has a fixed rainshower head, a shower handset and hose, a jet tub, his and hers sink, lots of cabinet and shelf storage and windows looking out to the sea. The second bathroom on the hallway has a basic shower, toilet and a sink. All of the rooms are equipped with a huge flat plasma screen TV with cable, DVD player, mp3 player dock and surround-sound speakers plus an excellent wi-fi access to boot. All these modern technology are fitted out in the living room, which has comfy sofas and furniture from Cebu, a ceiling fan and air-conditioner. It’s a perfect place to just sink in and relax. And it doesn’t stop there. You get a more-than-fully-equipped kitchen with a marble top center island, a heavy-duty five-range stovetop, an oven, a huge fridge freezer, microwave, toaster and a really nifty kitchen faucet. There’s a

dining area good for six beside huge windows. All top and ground floor apartments have a barbeque pit. There’s a clothes washer/dryer. THE FOOD A poolside snack bar serves English, Continental, American and Filipino breakfast sets for P200-P320. Also on offer are basics like sandwiches, fruit shakes, beer and other drinks. Guests can also choose to cook meals in their own kitchen. Groceries can be bought at the nearby Budget Mart. ACTIVITIES The place is only five-minutes away from White Beach and even nearer Bulabog coast, the playground of kite boarders and windsurfers. Aside from windsurfing and kite boarding, Cohiba also offers diving, jet-skiing, parasailing, sailing, island hopping, RV-ing, horseback riding or golfing. If you wish to stay put, there’s

the 25-meter infinity pool complete with chaise lounges on deck. And don’t worry, they didn’t forget about the kids. The pool has a shallow and barred section for children. And they have their own small patch of beach, but this submerges as the tide rises.

the kitchen is the living area with a view of the sea

THE VERDICT For a group of six to eight, Cohiba’s apartment-style beach living is perfect. And it’s reasonably priced at about US $300 (about P13,500) per night – not bad at all if it can house a group of six to eight. Best of all, the clean, modern interiors make full use of its spectacular sea view.

Cohiba is also a time-share property so you can own a unit. To inquire or to book a stay in one of the villas, call: 036/ 288 4792 or e-mail: sales@ cohibaboracay.com or info@cohibavillas.com. Visit: www.cohibaboracay.com.

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i ns & ou ts

c ov e r s t ory

insAndOuts

i nsi de r’s gu i de

i n focus

Close encounters with the reptilian kind at the park

Puerto Princesa at a glance Reporting by Ces Rodriguez Photos by JOCAS A. SEE

P Location

uerto Princesa, the capital city of Palawan, lies at the middle section of that long strip of Palawan Island. It is about 60 minutes by air from Manila, bounded on the north by San Vicente and Roxas, and on the south by Aborlan. Its western side is a coastline of the South China Sea while to the east is the Sulu Sea. The city covers some 253,982 hectares of land stretched over 106 kilometers. There are lots to do in the city than you can possibly have time for.

Must VISIT: PUERTO PRINCESA SUBTERRANEAN RIVER NATIONAL PARK A must visit is the Subterranean River National Park, commonly called the Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the longest navigable river in the world, stretching for 8.2km and emptying into the South China Sea. At the mouth of the cave, a clear lagoon is framed by ancient trees growing right to the water’s edge. Monkeys, large monitor lizards, and squirrels have been sighted on the beach near the cave. Tour the river on board a paddle boat and cut across the water through the underground lagoon featuring stalactites and rock formations. The park is located in Bahile, Puerto Princesa, 81km from the city proper.

HONDA BAY A favorite for swimming, snorkeling and diving. The Legend Palawan’s package tour (P1,300 per person) gets you to small whitesand islands that dot the bay and promise sightings of giant turtles as you sail from the reptilian shaped Snake Island to Pandan Islands, said to have good reefs for diving. Other islands include the Cannon Island, Señorita Island, where the lapu-lapu (grouper) breeds and Bat Island, home to the nocturnal critters who swoop out at sunset to look for food in the mainland. There’s also Meara Marina, Starfish Island and Lu-li Islands that’s visible only during low tide. Honda Bay is located in Sta. Lourdes Tagbanua, Puerto Princesa City. If you plan to go on your own, you can hire pumpboats in Sta. Lourdes Wharf, 12km east of the city proper. Sailing from island to island lasts from 15 minutes to under an hour.

Inquire at The Legend Palawan or the City Tourism Office of Puerto Princesa, Airport Compound, Rizal Avenue Ext., Puerto Princesa. Call: 048/ 434 4211 or fax: 048/ 433 2983.

BABUYAN RIVER You can kayak through this river, reputed to be the longest river in the province. It meanders across 64km, through the upper valleys and mountainous region of Tagbinet, Cabayugan and Marufinas and extends eastward to the low-lying barangays of Mauyon and Babuyan before finally emptying into Honda Bay. Alternatively, you can also explore local Tribal Ancestral Domain Claims of Cabayugan and Kayasan. The trek traverses from the eastern side of Puerto Princesa to the west and takes two days. The traditional way in which the Tagbanua and Batak tribes use forest products provide visitors valuable insight into their way of life.

PALAWAN WILDLIFE RESCUE AND CONSERVATION CENTER Formerly called the Crocodile and Nature Park, the center does conservation work and research on reptiles. A guided tour includes a visit to a small museum, breeding tanks for crocodiles and a series of outdoor pens where full-grown crocodiles can be viewed from an overhead catwalk. The center will allow you to take your photo with baby crocodiles, their jaws held together by duct tape, and visitors

Contact: the City Tourism Office of Puerto Princesa for tour details.

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insAndOuts

Pu e r t o Pr i nc e sa

Stop by the late senator Mitra’s house for a view of Honda Bay

are free to roam the grounds where ostriches and other wildlife are kept. Visiting hours are from 1 :30pm to 5pm, Mondays to Fridays, and 9am to 12pm, and 1pm to 5pm, Saturdays. The center is located on National Road, Barangay Irawan, Puerto Princesa City.

ALSO, TRY: SILK WEAVING STOP A pineapple silk weaving area established for women by the Rurungan sa Tubod Foundation. The foundation, apart from acting on ecologically, also acts to preserve the vanishing traditional processes of collecting the pineapple leaves and then extracting the materials to spin into gossamer fabric first used in the 18th century. The Rurungan Compound is located on Abanico Road, Puerto Princesa.

VIEW HONDA BAY Located in a subdivision known as the Millionaire’s Village, the home of the late Senator Ramon Mitra has become a favorite pitstop for tourists; thanks to the spectacular view of the lush plains and the mountains and a keyhole glimpse of Honda Bay. To preserve their privacy, the Mitras transformed a gently sloping area off the drive into a picnic and viewing area for guests. DINE AT KAMARIKUTAN KAPE AT GALERI A gallery cum café, Kamarikutan café is a rustic and relaxing place that serves home cooked meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner and makes for a perfect midday ending for the city tour. There’s P25 entrance fee for non-diners, but if you’re part of the city tour group the fee is waived. See page 31 for more information on Kamarikutan.

ESTRELLA FALLS Located in Narra, an hour-and-a-half away from the city proper, Estrella Falls offers a great view of the rainforest. The waters are cool and clean. In fact, it’s been judged to have one of the cleanest inland bodies of water in the Philippines.

Nagtabon, located on the west coast of Puerto Princesa. The beaches have white sand and are tranquil, great for a day-out with rustic beachside cottages and picnic huts. Tours to the beaches cost P1,400 per person. Contact: The Legend Palawan.

Check in: DALUYON BEACH AND MOUNTAIN RESORT Near the Underground River, stay at the newly opened Daluyon, a resort fronting Sabang Beach which flows into the South China Sea. Posh but homey, the resort has 16 rooms in eight two-story villas with private verandas. It’s the only resort in Sabang with 24-hour electricity. Hot showers provided by solar panels are built onto the thatched roofs with an infinity pool beside a dining pavilion that serves gourmet fare and Lavazza coffee. For more information on the resort features and room and package rates, call: 048/ 433 6379, fax: 048/ 434-1174. Or reach them via cellphone: 0927/ 316 5513. E-mail: inquire@daluyonresort. com or visit: www.daluyonresort.com.

For tour details, contact: The Legend Palawan or the City Tourism Office.

THE LEGEND PALAWAN Located in the city proper, The Legend Palawan is central to many of the tour activities on offer. Standard hotel amenities include wi-fi in the atrium, cable TV and a whole range of accommodation, starting with the roomy standard lodgings (P4,500 per person or P5,100 for twin sharing) to the Executive Suite (P8,600 twin sharing).

TALAUDYONG and NAGTABON These are beach coves between two mountains in Sitio Talaudyong and

The Legend Palawan on Malvar Street, Puerto Princesa. For reservations, call: 048/ 434 4270 or 02/ 702 2700 to 04. Visit: www. legendpalawan.com.ph.

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PADS BY LEGEND HOTELS Newly opened to accommodate budget business travelers and short-stay tourists, PADS offers air-conditioned room with private toilet and bath, wi-fi, phone, mini-bar and airport transfers. It has solo rooms (P800), twin sharing (P1,100) and premium rooms (P1.200). PADS is located on Malvar Street, Puerto Princesa. Call: 048/ 434 1241 or 02/ 702 2700, or visit: www. pads.com.ph.

DOS PALMAS ISLAND RESORT AND SPA Dos Palmas lies among a group of islands and sandbars in Honda Bay, northeast of Puerto Princesa. From the Sta. Lourdes Wharf, an outrigger banca ferries guests on a 50minute boat ride to the resort. Choose from beach villas (from P10,000) or bay cottages perched above the sea (from P11,000) with rates inclusive of full board meals, transfers, a picnic lunch and complimentary massage or a scuba diving lesson inclusive of equipment rental. Handicapped-friendly rooms are also available upon request. Dos Palmas offers its own packaged day tours at P2,500 for adult and P1,200 for each child. To book or inquire, call: 02/ 637 4226 or 048/ 434 3118, or e-mail: info@dospalmas.com.ph. For a range of other attractions, visit: www. visitpuertoprincesa.com. For tour assistance and inquiries, contact the City Tourism Office of Puerto Princesa. Contact the Association of Travel & Tour Operators of Puerto Princesa (ATTOPP) at tel.: 048/ 433 3520 or 433 4878. ATTOPP is located at 2nd Floor, Basaya Bldg., Junction 1, National Highway, Puerto Princesa or the Association of Travel & Tour Accommodation of Puerto Princesa (ATTAPP), call: 048/ 433 6079.


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Reds and oranges cover the sky and sea at sunset at Coral Bay, viewed from the McGeochs' Kalipayan house

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Pa l awa n

Cover Story

A PLACE IN THE

he a r t

Three families talk about their homes by the sea and how they changed their lives Fashion styling by Monica De Leon Clothes by Itsie-Bitsie & Maldita Hair & makeup styling by Rocky Orejola Modeling by nathalia SOLIANI for Ideal People photos by parc cruz map illustration by marlon a. see

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photoS couRtESy oF MCGeoCh faMiLy

“wE lEarnEd To work and Play To THE rHyTHm of moTHEr naTurE” -- the McGeoch family, Popototan island, Busuanga, Palawan

he McGeoch family from Australia were holidaying in Palawan when the chance to build a holiday home on the pristine island of Popototan, Busuanga presented itself. "We immediately fell in love with Popotatan,” said Sally McGeoch, the middle daughter of landscape engineer James McGeoch and horticultural expert Barbara McGeoch. “The breathtaking views over coral reefs and nearby islands, lush forest, and spectacular sunsets have a special place in our hearts. These are not unique to the Philippines – we’ve been around – but everywhere else takes so much energy and resources. But not in Palawan. The whole family was able to relax on our first trip to the island and

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felt that it was a place we felt at home and wanted to keep coming back to year after year.” The search for a home by the sea was unintentional. Back in 1998, James, a landscape engineer in his mid-60s, was in Manila on a business trip, when he called his wife and three daughters to come and join him for a Christmas holiday. Eldest daughter Kirsty was in New York, Sally was in Paris, and Rosie was on a tour of India. “Why not,” they said, welcoming the idea of a holiday in the Philippines, a change from their usual Costa Rica, Thailand, and Peru. James spends most of his time in southern China providing landscape services to large commercial developments in China, Hong Kong and Macau. His wife Barbara is a horticulturist who runs a tree farm that

grows native Australian trees for local landscaping as well as for international orders for unique Australian flora. Holidays bring the family together and give them a much welcome break from city life. James’ business acquaintance recommended an obscure, exotic island hideaway somewhere in Palawan, called Popototan. The idea appealed to them and off they went to stay at Coral Bay, a resort in Popototan owned by Cris Matta and the late Noel Matta. While holidaying on the island and striking up a friendship with the Mattas, the idea to buy a piece of Popototan was presented to them. James said, “The Mattas suggested we build a holiday home on their land, which we lease on a long-term basis. It was an amazing opportunity


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This page, clockwise from top: Kalipayan's lounge opens out to a huge veranda with a spectacular view of the sea; the spacious toilet and bath; and one of the main bedrooms

Opposite page: Kalipayan ablaze with lights at night. Inset, the McGeochs during the house blessing. From left, Sally, Rosie, Barbara, James, a local priest and Kirsty

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Above: Dining with a view of sea and sky

Bottom: The InFlight team kayaking in the waters of Popototan Island

Right: Kalipayan's lounge in the left wing of the house

to build a dream home on an island of unsurpassed beauty and somewhere we could call our second home.” They made a swift decision and wasted no time constructing their holiday home. Barbara said: “It was important to us that the house blend with the landscape and be made from local materials from sustainable sources. We referred to books on traditional Filipino architecture and inspected various indigenous buildings before finalizing the design for the house. The original concept was drawn up by an Australian architect with considerable input from us and was then handed over to a well known Filipino architect---Milo Vazquez & Associates---for further input, final drawings and supervision.” The result was Kalipayan, a threestorey thatched roof lodge with wrap around verandahs, allowing a spectacular view of the bay and the surrounding islands. Boats passing by the island can’t fail to spot the huge lodge because of its thatched roof likened by locals to a huge sombrero. It took three and a half years to build. “There were times when we had to wait


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for local materials to become available. It would have been quicker had the materials all been sourced from Manila, which was all a matter of shipping. But it was important to us to source locally, for the benefit of the community, and to give our home a local flavour. And we were not in a hurry. More importantly, we had to contend with the odd typhoon, which slowed the process. We practically learned to work and play to the rhythm of mother nature in constructing Kalipayan,” James said. Kalipayan has six large bedrooms – four air-conditioned and two open mezzanine rooms in the symmetrically divided main section of the house. These two identical wings of the house are joined by a breezeway to offer guests both private and common living areas. This means Kalipayan can accommodate two groups of six at any given time. The house has three bathrooms, two spacious open living areas, a spacious deck for entertaining, lounging and sunbathing, a large kitchen and dining area, and a standard skeleton staff of three­— a chef, boatman, and a tour guide cum masseuse and local cultural historian.

Then Rosie said: “Popototan and the Busuanga area are special for their unique beauty, peacefulness and of course the friendliness of the local people. The most tangible and most immediate benefit for me though is that, once I set foot on the docking platform, I am completely removed from the stresses of everyday life out there in the world of buildings and cars and factories.” Barbara: “The Calamian island group is an incredibly biodiverse area and we love the local plant life. We have been working for some time with leading botanists in the Philippines to survey the plant life on the island and compile a field guide which we hope the local village of Maglalambay can use to conduct botanical tours for tourists as part of a livelihood project.” The whole of Coral Bay and the verandah faces southeast so you can see the sunrise every morning. And mornings in Popototan are all about bird calls and a morning sky brushed with the oranges, reds, pinks and yellows of a Tintoretto. Popototan is home to a marine reserve and vibrant coral reefs and is

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fringed by 14 hectares of mangroves. The shades of green that run the gamut from salt-water plants upward to the hill shrubs is amazing, and the changes in the hues of these greens and the deep blues of the sea as the sun changes height and direction is fascinating. Night time in Kalipayan is filled with the sounds of cicadas, the lapping waves, and the calls of geckos. At midnight, in a clear sky, you see a blanket of stars. Do they plan to sell Kalipayan? Perhaps. “We intend to enjoy it while it’s there and we’re still around,” said James. As the McGeoch couple approaches retirement, the prospect of living on the island is becoming more appealing. -- Interview by MARGIE FRANCISCO Research by Manny Espinola

For more information on Kalipayan, visit: www. kalipayan.com. For bookings, call Beatriz Fina A. Cañedo at tel.: 02/ 387 2019, mobile: 0921/ 296 2898 or 0918/ 926 1547, fax: 371 9928, or e-mail: bea.canedo@yahoo.com.

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“IT was our drEam To lIvE away from THE Crowds” -- Ditchay Roxas and Philippe Girardeau, Boayan island, san Vicente, Palawan

Girardeaus' daughter amelie kayaking in the serene waters of Daplac cove. inset, Ditchay and amelie

ormer theater actress Ditchay Roxas and her husband, photographer Philippe Girardeau, had been living in Malate in an old Sy-Quia apartment with a view of Manila Bay when they felt the need to change their lifestyle. Their four-year-old daughter Amélie was attending kindergarten at the French School in Parañaque City and this meant her being up at 5:30am to leave the house by 6am in time to get to school by 7:30. Traffic was such in the city’s choked arteries that getting around by car could sometimes take forever. It was too much for a little girl. The Girardeaus knew they had to do something. In the course of getting on with everyday life, attending rehearsals, photo shoots, and managing traffic and powercuts in the city, they decided to pull Amelie out of school and give her private home tuition instead in 1996, and eventually made the brave move of packing up their apartment and studio to start life in what was then the middle of nowhere, the beautiful island paradise of Boayan Island in San Vicente, Palawan. To some, the move to settle on a faraway island may seem quite impulsive. But this was what the Girardeaus had wanted for a long time. “It was our dream to live away from the smog, the crowds and the tension of cities and towns,” said Ditchay. The dream started in 1983 when Ditchay, who had just started going out with Philippe, set sail with him and his crew to travel from Cagayan de Oro to Cebu, Bohol, Negros, Iloilo then finally on to Palawan where they spent months sailing through

the waters of Northern Palawan. They discovered the sheer magnificence of Palawan, moving from deserted island to deserted island, exploring coves and reefs and beaches, observing weeping turtles lay their eggs, and saving a couple of giant green sea turtles from poachers. Ditchay recalled that it was after a full moon night, watching turtles dig up their sandy nests, that she and Philippe decided that one day they will build a home on one of the islands in Palawan. Ditchay and Philippe met in 1983 when Ditchay’s sister, Susan, who was then living in Paris, introduced Philippe and the Roxas family in 1982. Philippe had just arrived in Manila that year, having spent time on his 60ft Ketch, the Barracuda, sailing from the Mediterranean through the Red Sea, to Asia. Tasked by her mom to take care of her sister’s friend in Manila, Ditchay found herself spending time with Philippe. What started as friendship turned into something more special. The two fell in love. It was on their 1983 sailing trip that their love of nature brought them even closer together. Years passed and Philippe and Ditchay got on with their lives. She,


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returning to theater, and he to life as a photographer, returning to the Philippines several times. In 1986, Philippe and Susan – Ditchay was away on a theater tour – met then mayor Tony Alvarez of San Vicente and his wife Melanie. The mayor led them to Boayan, a cove of white sand gently sloping into the bay, a huge overhanging Talisay almost touching the water. Philippe knew this was what they had always wanted, so Susan, in 1987 proceeded to sign the lease on the first parcel where the house stands. It was only a year later when Ditchay finally saw the island. By 1989, the Girardeaus house was up – a simple wooden structure with two bedrooms, one bathroom, a separate kitchen and an immense terrace. Simple but elegant in a rustic sort of way, blending with the landscape behind a curtain of giant pandanus. It was painted yellow to blend in with the environment and locals started to call it Yellow House. The name stuck. Ditchay talks about living close to nature in Boayan: “We live with the animals in their natural element – the kingfishers, eagles, hawks, hornbills,

orioles, parrots, the scrub fowl who bury their eggs in the sand, the geckos, giant monitor lizards and frogs, and monkeys who visit the gardens from time to time. We have tried to preserve the eleven hectares that surround the house. We are proud to say that we have been able to save some patches of virgin forest.” Island life is something most people dream of and the Girardeaus are living the island dream every day. They bake their own bread and pastries, catch fish or buy them direct from local fisherfolk. They grow their own vegetables and herbs so there’s always fresh greens on the table. To help with the maintenance of the area and the house and give jobs to local people, the Girardeaus have opened their doors to guests recommended by friends, family and former guests on the island. Their two bedroom house can be rented on a weekly basis and comes with full service, a staff of four and Ditchay as chief cook and hostess, Philippe as host and all around utility man, taking care of all electricals, plumbing, maintenance and repairs. The third room in the house is their private room where they stay when they have guests in residence.

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Electricity for the house comes from four solar panels and one wind generator. These provide power for all the lights, the radio and stereo, and the fixed cellphone which allows communication to the rest of the world. San Vicente has been well equipped with cellular phone towers and repeaters. For internet, one still has to go to San Vicente. There is a back-up generator which is run once a day to pump up water from the well into a tank situated on the hillside, well hidden behind an age old bread tree. Gravity provides ample pressure for the showers. They make their own compost with the kitchen and garden waste, and garbage is segregated accordingly. "It is those little decisions we make in every day life that help the environment, not just big governmental policies," said Ditchay.

Top: The beach fronting the Girardeaus' home

Opposite page: The Girardeaus' Yellow House in Daplac cove: the entrance to the house's verandah surrounded by pandanus foliage, and Amelie's visiting friend Turquoise

-- photos COURTESY OF Ditchay Roxas

For more information, visit: www.chinaseaisland. com.

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Helena in her hut's porch


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“The people were probably the reason why we chose to live here” -- Helena and Richard Mander, Mangenguey Island, Busuanga, Palawan

s our boat approached Mangenguey Island, Helena Carratala-Mander in her batik tent dress, waved at us with her three dogs Java, Sumatra, and Pandak by her side. The first two were quite big, a cross between a Doberman and Rottweiler. “Don’t show them you’re scared. If they sense you’re my friends, they won’t hurt you. But they are actually trained not to be very friendly in order to protect me,” said Helena. She’s been living on Mangenguey for three years now, supervising some 20 builders working on her dream house, a two-storey bahay kubo or native thatched hut that will have “renaissance columns” and “decorative blocks inspired by 1950s Philippine architecture.” Mangenguey, also known as Treasure Island, was an uninhabited island when Helena first saw it. It has an area of about 13 hectares, fringed by a whitesand beach and sits in the southwestern

waters, specifically on Gutub Bay, of the Philippines in Calamianes, Palawan. It is also at the center of the Coral Triangle in one of the world’s richest marine biodiversity zones. “Mangenguey” means “loud splashing of the waves” in local lingo. It’s an hour’s boat ride away from Concepcion pier. Recalled Helena: “After almost a quarter century I returned to the Philippines (in 2005) to visit my first granddaughter Anika. In that trip, Richard and I traveled to Palawan through land and sea looking for a possible retirement property. Sometime in December of that year we chanced upon this magical island called Mangenguey. We immediately knew that it would become our home and hopefully a place we could share with a small group of friends.” Asked why they had chosen a remote island in the Philippines to retire in, she said, “The people were probably the number one reason why we chose to settle here, and the islands of course.” She and husband Richard wanted

to leave the US and settle in “a place that’s more natural and less western,” a lifestyle she found “decadent, valueless, greedy and uncaring.” Helena said she “loved the happy smiling wonderful gentle people” of the Philippines and found simple living wonderful. In 2006, the Manders started work on the island. Helena stayed in Mangenguey to oversee the construction while Richard went back to New York to continue to work to finance the project. Richard comes to visit three to four times a year. Their home will probably be finished by late this year, but their proposed residential development project may probably take five years. The couple is planning to woo like-minded people to be a member of the society and invest and build a holiday home on the island. The main project, the Manders dream home, according to Helena, “is designed in a way that no matter where you are you are in continual contact with nature. Downstairs, there are no walls, no doors, no windows, no nothing. It’s

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This page: Helena's makeshift kitchen, and the interior of her temporary hut in Mangenguey

Opposite page: Helena with one of her beloved dogs

all open.” The only enclosed structures are the pantry and utility room at the back and an extra bathroom. The first floor will have a living area, game room, kitchen and dining area. The second floor will have two air-conditioned suites. Ceiling fans will be installed in most rooms to cut back on air-con use. There will be a “common space” for reading and studying and two big murals inspired by pre-Hispanic Philippine mythology. On the bigger project, she said in a published letter dated Decembr 2007: “A few private residences will be tucked in the forest preserve through the northern peak, some in the saddle facing the beach in the south and some on the western peak facing the cliffs and the South China Sea. All will have incredible scenic views of the sea and surrounding islands. The village of Mangenguey as we call it will be located in the Southern peak. Carved into the mountain, a cluster of magnificent buildings both residential and communal will be

erected. Surrounding a courtyard a series of pavilions will house a grand library, a multidisciplinary studio with work spaces, a clubhouse with a game room, a salon with a small theater, a great kitchen with indoor and outdoor dining, a spa for relaxation and a series of guest cottages. Crowning the peak, we will also build a classic amphitheater with a retractable awning just like in ancient times. The architecture will borrow from a rich tapestry of styles: from Asian vernacular, to the European Renaissance and Modernist movements, as well as the French Baroque-Rococo style.” There are also ambitious plans to bring about an island lifestyle that not only encourages eco-warriors but also art lovers to buy into the residential project. Helena’s temporary lodging on the island is a native thatched hut at the western end of Main beach. At the other end is a magnificent brown and orange-y rock formation. Helena’s hut has one room, huge screened doors and windows, furniture mostly made from

repurposed wood, and a porch. It’s a simple affair but the sea view from the verandah is priceless. Outdoors, there’s a makeshift kitchen with basic appliances including a microwave oven, and a toilet and bath. A similar native hut sits right next to Helena’s and is reserved for visiting family and friends. Aside from liking the people, was there another reason why Helena felt the need to settle in this far-flung island in the Philippines? She said the Philippines felt so much like home. Her great grandfather was a Spanish military doctor in the Philippines during the Spanish era. Her grandmother was born in the Philippines. When the Americans won the war against the Spaniards, Helena’s family, including her grandmother who was then three years old, were forced to leave the country. She remembers stories her grandmother would tell her about the Philippines and the Filipino dishes her grandmother would cook such as arroz caldo (rice

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Home comforts: A favorite book and soda water

Opposite page: Helena on Mangenguey's main beach with her bodyguards Java and Sumatra

broth) and sinigang (meat or fish in sour soup). In a sense, her grandmother never really left the Philippines which she considered as home. It is this connection with the country that led Helena to leave her birthplace, Barcelona, Spain in 1969 to go to the Philippines. At 18 years of age, she met and married Filipino photographer Wahoo Guerrero, and had two daughters by him. In 1982 her marriage failed and she had to leave everything behind to start life over in New York where she had been staying for the past 25 years. It was in New York where she met Richard and bore him a son, Theodore. After all the years spent in New York, Helena said she felt like she was finally home in a country she, like her grandmother, felt very connected to. -- Interview & Research by Monica De Leon

For more information about the island residential development, e-mail owner and developer Helena Carratala-Mander at: carratala@ mangenguey.com. Visit: www.mangenguey.com.

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eSSentialS hOW TO GET ThERE SeAir hAS flightS to BuSuAngA DAily. Visit: www.flyseair.com or call: 02/ 849 0100 to book. Flight time is approximately 45 minutes to one hour. From Busuanga airport, trips to Kalipayan (Popototan Island) and Mangenguey Island (Treasure Island) begin by land from Busuanga airport to Concepcion town, where you hop on a boat at the town pier to get to the islands. to get to kAliPAyAn, hire an air-con van (about P5,000) from Buasuanga airport to Concepcion town, about one-and-a-half hours travel. Then hop on a boat to Popototan Island (P5,000 for roundtrip, five to eight persons). For complete information, visit www.kalipayan. com. Divelink also handles Kalipayan bookings. Call: 02/ 371 9928. for BoAt hire, call Paul Fernandez at 0929/ 421 2983; for VAn hire, call Rainier Lim at 0919/ 6583774 or Randy Yong at 0929/ 338 2860. MAngenguey iS A PriVAtely owneD iSlAnD AnD to get there iS By inVitAtion. Visit: www.mangenguey.com for more information for DitChAy’S PlACe (BoAyAn iSlAnD, SAn ViCente), SEAIR flies four times weekly

to Puerto Princesa from Manila. Arrangements with Ditchay are inclusive of transfers from Puerto Princesa to San Vicente on the China Sea coast by land then by boat to Boayan Island. Best to get a local recommendation before getting in touch with Ditchay to request for a booking . Visit: www.chinaseaisland.com.

(grouper) at a bargain P300 is also on offer (sells up to P2,000 in a Manila hotel). Steamed or deep fried, nothing beats fresh pitek, lapulapu, and other produce from the sea, on an island patio, al fresco. Freshly caught prawns also fetch P120 to P200 per kilo. Fruit in season tops off the healthy island dinner.

WhERE TO STAy kAliPAyAn iS within the CAlAMiAneS grouP which includes Busuanga and Coron. Besides Kalipayan (www.kalipayan.com), you can choose to have your visit homebase elsewhere along the Coron tour corridor, such as Dive link on uson island (www. divelink.com.ph) across Coron Town, or in Sangat island resort (www.sangat.com .ph) or Club Paradise (www.clubparadisepalawan. com) both in Coron as well. If you get stuck in Puerto Princesa pending your approval to visit Ditchay’s Place in San Vicente, stay at D’lucky garden inn and Suites along Peo Road, Rizal Avenue Extension, Puerto Princesa City. Call: 048/ 433 2719 and your luck might change. D’ Lucky Garden room rates starts at $17.

WhAT TO EAT PAlAwAn’S gAStronoMiC AttrACtionS inCluDe ABunDAnt CAShew AnD SeAfooD. Live “pitek” (boxer shrimp, lobster family) is offered by passing fishermen at P300 a kilo. A two-kilo lapu-lapu

pACKAGED TOURS For complete information on tour promos and packages of the Calamianes area, get in touch with Coron Tours & Travel. Call: 0928/ 503 9622 or the Manila office at 02/ 838 4992, e-mail: reservations@corontours.com or corontours@yahoo.com.ph. Staff Sharmaine Verano can also assist you (sharmaine@yahoo. com). Visit: www.corontours.com. Our thanks go to Cristina Matta for her generosity in helping us organize our editorial coverage, to Coron Tours president Juergen Warnke for helping us with logistics, and to the McGeochs, the Manders, and Girardeaus for sharing to us their stories. Our thanks also to Sharmaine Verano and Mila Gamboa for attending to the trip’s details, to Paul Fernandez for providing boat transfers, to Rainier Lim and Randy Yong for providing van transfers, and to Kuya Rick and Kuya Andrew for taking care of the team.


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Check in:

Keeping it simple On his first visit to Busuanga, Manny Espinola finds Dive Link resort, a perfect base for scuba diving and some barracuda spotting LOCATION Dive Link is on Uson Island, north of Busuanga, the main island of the Calamianes group. Dive Link Resorts sits on 6.5-hectares in Uson Island, 10 minutes by boat from Coron town, on the coast of Busuanga. SEAIR’s flights from Manila to Busuanga take 35 minutes via the Dornier 328 and one hour via the LET 410. ATTRACTIONS This is scuba diving country. There are half a dozen scuba diving operators offering diving trips on 10 Japanese wrecks sunk during World War ++. Half an hour by banca to the east of Coron are the limestone cliffs of Coron Island. Nearby are Makinit hot springs and a volcanic lake. Dive Link makes the perfect base. It offers a three-day tour package for P7,000 per person (minimum of 2 persons) including a day of island hopping in Coron Bay, roundtrip land and boat transfers to and from the resort, two-night accommodation with meals, use of resort facilities, and activities like snorkeling, swimming, trekking and mangroves expedition. With the same tour inclusions is a five-day package for P21,000 per person (minimum of 4) but with two-night full board stay at Dive Link Resort and two nights at Kalipayan in Popototan Island. And there's standard massage-wellness services. ROOMS Rooms are in a detached thatched roof native hut furnished with air-con (option

Dive Link pool area view opening out to the sea

to use only ceiling fans), foam mattress beds, clean ensuite toilet and shower, a verandah looking out to the channel that is part of Coron Bay, bamboo chair and table, a big hot-water flask, cups and saucers, coffee, teaspoons, and sugar sachets. Being able to make your own coffee first thing in the morning at the privacy of your room is a luxury. There is cellphone signal here and internet is available. Spartan and immaculate. FOOD Vegans are guaranteed a field day, but even devout carnivores won’t be disappointed by the resort’s fresh and affordable sea food. Steamed, deep fried, or kilawin (marinated in vinegar), fresh seafood fare at Dive Link range from P300 to P500 per meal, complete with fruit in season for dessert. ACTIVITIES Divers can enjoy wreck dives in various sites. A wreck dive includes passing an underwater caldera which is the breeding ground of barracudas. For experienced divers, try the group of seven rocky outcrops Siete Pecados. It shelters narrow coral reef corridors between them where coral seems to be thriving. For non-divers, off-the-beaten-path island hops are offered. The first is Twin Lagoons on Coron Island, a pair of exotic, roughly symmetrical coves accessible through several entrances at high tide and features a rock pedestal which, at a certain

time in the afternoon, allows a single beam of sunlight to fall on it. Behind this rock pedestal is a narrow passage – that submerges at high tide – leading to yet another hidden lake. Still on Coron Island is Kayangan Lake, a fresh water jewel of a pond that, through a crack on its side, allows at high tide salt water to seep in and mix with the freshwater, giving it a sweet, brackish taste that nurtures a unique ecology. Coron Island all the way to Calice Point is a tiny paradise island blessed with five white-sand beaches. VERDICT Book now. Dive Link is a must visit in Busuanga for divers and their family. Non diving activities including a day at the resort pool and massage treatments are available. The no-frills resort is also a good first stop-over point for a night or two for those who want to explore Coron and its surroundings and later on move on to other more remote island resorts. The head of Dive Link’s scuba instruction and exploration arm, John Hardcastle, is certified by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) and has a qualification and experience rating higher than a dive master.

Dive Link, call: 02/ 376 2048, 387 2019, 0918/ 907 2577 or 0918/ 926 1546, e-mail: divecoron_link@yahoo.com or info@divelink.com.ph. Visit: www.divelink.com.ph. For complete information on Dive Link’s Scuba Diving program, visit: www.divecalamianes.com.

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The best way to see Taal Volcano’s grandeur is to stand on the rim of its crater, says Yasmin D. Arquiza photoS by WaCKy GoChoCo

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Taal volcano’s crater

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“The volcano’s previous eruptions have created a lake within its crater, which is what most tourists come to see on the island”


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This page: a garden fronting the spa rooms of Balai isabel Opposite page: early morning at taal Lake

Why GO NOW?

ovember 11 is the feast day of Taal’s patron saint, Saint Martin de Tours, and a good time to visit if you want to observe the town’s old traditions. On the feast day the locals hold the Luwa, a religious ritual that sees four young boys reciting a eulogy in verse as an offering to the patron saint. But if you don’t make it to the Luwa, don’t despair. Taal is just a few hours from Manila. Time your visit on a clear day and start your trip with a trek up Taal Volcano.

GET yOUR BEARINGS Batangas is located some 110 kilometers south of Metro Manila, or about two to three hours travel time from the capital city. It’s part of Luzon and bordered to the north by the province of Cavite and Laguna, to the south by Verde Island passage, to the east by the provinces of Quezon, and again, Laguna. Its west faces the South China Sea. Its 316,580hectare land is of rolling terrain while the rest is mountainous and hilly. ChECK IN Book Club Balai Isabel, on the shores of lake Taal in Talisay town, if you’d like a view of Taal lake and volcano. The resort is furnished with Philippine hardwood furniture, colored Moroccanstyle lamps with ornate metal work and stained glass panels, and surrounded by fruit trees and pocket gardens. It has an infinity pool and a spa suite offering reflexology treatment. Published room rates start at P2,800 (about US$62) for the casitas to P16,800 per night for the four-bedroom lakeshore villa. To book Club Balai Isabel, call: 043/ 728 0307 or the Manila office at tel.: 02/ 776

1521 or 776 5508, e-mail: info@balaiisabel. com, or visit: www.balaiisabel.com.ph. If you like it intimate and cozy, there’s the seven-room Casa Cecilia Heritage Hotel with its SpanishMediterranean architecture and a patio overlooking a garden gazebo, a popular place for weddings. A room here costs P2,200 per night with free breakfast for two. For budget travelers there’s Casa Punzalan, an 18th-century ancestral home converted into a lodging house run by the Taal Heritage Foundation. It has four-poster beds, a wide staircase, and expansive views of the Taal Basilica. Each of the lodge’s three fan rooms can take in two guests and costs P500 per night. Two air-con rooms are also available for P800 and P1,000 for double occupancy. Located along the main highway in Brgy. Butong is Little Bridge Resort, a 2.5-hectare property that houses 22 air-conditioned hotel rooms, six air-conditioned cabanas, an apartment with three fan rooms, 20 kiosks and mini open-air cottages. Hotel and cabana units average from

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InFlight writer Yasmin with our insider guide Dindo in his Batangas home

Opposite: The old grandeur of Filipino rebel commander Leon Apacible’s home

“The stately homes evoke the lifestyle of landed gentry during Spanish colonial times” P3,000-P3,500 per night. It has a fivelane swimming pool and a children’s pool. To book Casa Cecilia Hotel, call: 043/ 408 0046 or 0927 626 8447, fax: 043/ 408 0047, or email: casa_cecilia_taal@yahoo. com. To book Casa Punzalan, call: 043/ 408 0084, 408 0911 or 408 1176. To book Little Bridge Resort, call: 0920/ 205 7677. Up a volcanic crater The province’s main attraction, Taal Lake, is a freshwater lake located within a cauldron formed by Taal Volcano’s eruptions. At the lake’s center is Volcano Island, where the active Taal Volcano sits. In the distance is the ghostly outline of Mount Maculot. You can get to Volcano Island from Talisay located in the north central area of Batangas by boat in about 30 minutes. From the island, the only way

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to get to the upper rim of the volcanic crater is by horseback. The ride takes about 30 minutes, accompanied by a guide who rides with you and holds the reins. You can also walk up the crater, but this takes about an hour. The volcano’s previous eruptions have created a lake within its crater, which is what most tourists come to see on the island. Having seen this view from the plane countless times, I found it fascinating to see the crater lake up close for the first time during my Taal tour last August. One of the guides pointed to a wisp of smoke coming out of the slope on the left, the only reminder that we were standing on an active volcano. The horseride back from the crater’s rim to flat land takes 20 minutes. All residents in the island maintain houses in the lakeshore towns, where they scurry for cover whenever

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the alert level is up. From the sleepy town of Talisay on the northern end of the province, a scenic drive going halfway around Taal Lake will take you to the town of Taal on the southern side. The uphill climb towards Tagaytay and downhill cruise in the general direction of Lemery in Batangas show various angles of the volcano. A slice of history If northern Luzon has its Vigan heritage town, southern Luzon has Taal. The town still retains many old Spanish-era homes, some still used as private residences. Most are two-storey structures, made of stone on the ground floor and wood on the second level. Many of these houses can be found clustered around the town hall. Their main features include capiz windows


bata nga s

insider’sguide

From left of this spread: Caysasay Shrine interior, entrance to Caysasay Shrine’s famous well, and Taal Basilica’s exterior

“In the nearby woods, a crumbling stone arch stands above a spring believed to have healing powers” on ledges supported by wooden balusters, wide staircases, and massive indoor posts. The stately homes evoke the lifestyle of landed gentry during Spanish colonial times, and while some are fading into old glory, others have been turned into public landmarks. A must-see is the 18th century house of Marcela Agoncillo, who sewed the first Philippine flag in 1898 assisted by her daughter and a niece of national hero Jose Rizal. An exhibit of flags from the days of the Philippine revolution against Spain adorns the lower half of the house, while family heirlooms donated by Agoncillo’s youngest daughter to the government are preserved in the upper floor and basement. Another interesting house to visit is the house of lawyer and

rebel commander Leon Apacible. Like many houses in Taal, it was one of the meeting places of revolutionaries in the 19th century. The well-preserved architecture and furnishings are classic examples of art deco design; and it is heartening to note that its caretakers have kept the place tidy. One of the objects that caught my eye on my visit was the pakakak or noisemaker that once alerted townsfolk to approaching enemies. Another interesting stop is Caysasay Church in Barrio Labac, where the 400-year-old image of Our Lady of Caysasay is enshrined. The six-inch image, fished out of the Pansipit River in 1603 where the Caysasay birds or kingfishers are frequently spotted, is said to be miraculous and

attracts devotees from many parts of the country. In the nearby woods, a crumbling stone arch stands above a spring that is believed to have healing powers. A replica of Our Lady of Caysasay is found in the Taal Basilica (Tel: 043/ 421 1028) which sits on top of a hill. Inside, steel chandeliers hang delicately from the arched ceiling. An inscription near the front door reveals that the basilica, dedicated to the town’s patron saint St. Martin of Tours, was built in 1755. A century later, the church was renovated after it was destroyed by the 1849 earthquake. From Taal, a 20-minute drive to adjacent San Nicolas municipality will lead you to the original Taal Basilica or lumang simbahan (old

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insider’sguide

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Taal indulgences Clockwise from left: Tabliya or chocolate balls, the famous beef tapa sold in town market and empanadang gulay

Right page: Taal Bistro’s sinigang na maliputo or fish in sour soup

Dindo Montenegro

church) near the lake shore. Only the outer walls, dating back to 1575 and destroyed in the 1754 eruption of Taal volcano, remain of what must have been a grand edifice. Grab a bite Skip the ubiquitous bulalo (beef stock broth) and lomi (noodle soup) joints scattered along the highway leading to Lemery — there is much better food to be had in Taal, and in fact the whole of Batangas, which is regarded as cattle country. Try tapang Taal at Glenda VillanoTenorio’s La Azotea (Tel: 043/ 408 0046 to 47, Mobile: 0906/ 222 5339). Tenorio says tapang Taal is not the usual beef tapa. It’s pork marinated in soy sauce, lots of garlic, and calamansi (local citrus) and fried to perfection. Their version of local bistek (beef steak) is tenderloin slices from Batangas beef, with potatoes on the side. La Azotea’s dinaing na tilapia (dried cichlids) is steeped in vinegar and garlic before it is fried to a crisp.

68 SEAIR InFlight

Hot chocolate is also a must-try. The restaurant serves dishes usually priced from P150 to P300. The priciest item in the menu is the maliputo fish, which costs P550 per order. A trip to Taal is not complete without buying Batangas beef, famous for its tender meat, attributed to the local practice of force-feeding cattle with pounded ipil-ipil leaves mixed with commercial cattle feed. The ritual is done every afternoon. The best sources of beef in Taal are the stalls on the Y junction in Mahabang, Ludlod and the public market. Check out Ka Lita Bernales, Stall Number 184, at the market. For the freshest fish, go to Taal Bayview Bistro (Tel: 043/ 408 0044, mobile: 0917/ 986 7728, e-mail: taalbistro@ yahoo.com.ph). Manager Joseph Razon says the fresh water fish from Taal Lake can only be bought in San Nicolas town at P600 per kilo from reliable suppliers. Try the bistro’s sinigang na maliputo (fish

I october - november 2008

in sour soup base) paired with adobong manok sa dilaw, chicken cooked with turmeric instead of the usual soy sauce and vinegar mixture. Also try deepfried tawilis from the lake and a salad of tomatoes, green mango, and eggplant with bagoong Balayan, fish paste, another Batangas specialty. Dishes are priced from P120 to P350. Any food trip has to end at the public market located right behind the municipal building, where tapang Taal sells for P220 a kilo and longganisang Taal, also a local specialty, a little more at P240 a kilo. A small bag of chocolate balls can be had for P35 while a bigger bag fetches P60. Suman costs P50 per dozen. Scout the shops Taal is known for its quality hand embroideries, a fine art still practiced by a handful of women in town. Before you leave town, you might just want to see the embroiderers at work and perhaps be tempted to buy a few of

Our insider guide to Batangas is the vice president for external affairs of the Provincial Tourism Council for the past two years and head coordinator of D’Events Organizer of the Taal Heritage Preservation. He is also a member of Kulinaryang Taal. Apart from regularly catering to inquiries on tours, Dindo is someone who has the passion and mission to put the historic town of Taal in the map and keep its recognition as one of the top-visited destinations.


insider’sguide

70 SEAIR InFlight

D a et

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insider’sguide

Left page, clockwise from bottom left: The art of delicate hand embroidery still kept alive in the province, an assortment of Batangas balisong, and balisong maker Diosdado Ona

their handiwork. (For embroidered table cloth and similar products visit Noresa Handmade Embroidery on San Jose Street, Taal, Batangas. Call: 043/ 214 2306 or 0917/ 478 3861, or the Manila office at 02/ 872 5837). One of the town’s leading embroiderers is 54-year old Agnes Magsino who started hand embroidery when she was 12. She can be contacted at 043/ 408 1182. Local entrepreneur Elsa Aseron who works from her home in Bagumbayan (Tel: 043/ 2142 306) also employs four embroiderers to work on orders from foreign embassy clients, trade fair patrons and the export market. Round doilies fetch P100 each, table runners, from P200 to P800 and a fully embroidered table cloth for 12, which takes four months to make, P7,000. Some customers order bespoke pieces, but many still prefer traditional motifs drawn on ramie cloth, hand embroidered using calado, a kind of delicate filigree work. Taal’s embroidery can be distinguished by its embossed quality which lends depth and volume to the design and its durability. Hand embroidery in the Philippines, not just Taal, also uses piña or pineapple fabric derived from the finest mature leaves of the red Spanish variety of pineapple. Jusi or raw silk in Chinese, a fine ecru-colored fabric, is also a sought after and perfect fabric for embroidery. And if you have the time, drop by Diosdado Reyes Ona’s blades store (114 Barangay Balisong, Taal, Batangas. Call 043/ 408 0323 or 0927/ 316 6946) to view examples of another Batangas specialty product, the balisong, a knife that takes inspiration from the Chinese fan with its split handle that can be folded back and wrapped around the knife, concealing it completely. Diosdado says the trick in making a good balisong is to use old steel from ball bearings; 100-year old steel is the best material of all.

essentials HOW TO GET THERE

advisable to take the tricycles. Regular fare is P10.

SEAIR has daily flights to Manila from Caticlan and from Palawan. To book, visit: www. flyseair.com or call: 02/ 849 0100. From Manila, passenger vans go to Taal for a fare of P160. Any bus going to Lemery will also pass by Taal town. By car, it takes two hours along the TagaytayLemery road. You may also hire a private van for about P5,000 per day. Book at Carfield at tel.: 02/ 854 8200.

TOURISM CONTACT

GETTING AROUND A walking tour would have been the best way to appreciate the old houses and Taal Basilica in the town center, but in the absence of pedestrian-only streets and sidewalks, it is

For inquiries on tours of Taal, call Dindo A. Montenegro at tel.: 043/ 408 0057 or mobile: 0916/ 552 2074, or e-mail: dindo_montenegro@ yahoo.com. For more information on Batangas province, get in touch with Batangas provincial tourism officer Chona Andal at tel.: 043/ 723 0130 or e-mail: batangastourism@yahoo.com. Our thanks go to Batangas provincial governor Vilma Santos-Recto, Chona and Dindo for their help with information gathering and Batangas tours, and to Balai Isabel and Casa Cecilia for housing the InFlight team.

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IN MY BAG Page 16

DIVINE M. LEE • Ray-ban Aviators 24k Limited Edition P25,000 (about US $556) Available at Sarabia Optical, G/F Powerplant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati City, Tel.: 02/ 898 2501

Function in Fashion

• La Mer sunblock P4,300

Divine M. Lee, a part-time model and vice president-sales and marketing of real estate company Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corporation, tells Jan Lao her secret to fuss-free packing

Available at Rustans Department Store, Makati, Tel.: 02/ 812 2507

• Carmex lip gloss P80

PRODUCT PhOTO by alan fontanilla

Available at Personal Care Exchange (PCX), 2/L Powerplant Mall, Tel.: 02/ 756 5031

01 how do you go about packing? “Regular stuff like my medicine kit, I put in one bag. The iTouch or camera goes in the big bag and then I pack clothes I don’t need to iron. I just dump them in the bag and that’s it.”

• Smythson travel organizer P11,000-P32,000

2 Digital camera “I’m a camera addict. I usually bring one small camera (Sony Cybershot), a high megapixel cam for scenery shots (Canon G9), and a JVC hD video camcorder. And my hobby is also arranging the pictures after the trip. I have tons of albums.” 3 creed perfume (spring Flower) “My favorite scent!” 4 smythson travel organizer “I like keeping things organized from paper tickets, baggage claim stubs to boarding passes. The subdivided compartments in the organizer keep everything neat and easy to see. I used to have a problem finding all those small stubs and papers inside my bag. This organizer really saved me so much time.” 5 apple itouch 8GB “Aside from the normal audio playlist, I always have two or three audio books. I am still a traditional book reader. I like flipping the pages. but for traveling, audio books allow me to listen to books without the burden of carrying those heavy hardbounds.” 6 Ray-ban aviator 24k Limited Edition “This classic will go with any dress

Visit: www.smythson.com

02

• Blackberry P7,000-P40,000

1 Burberry tote bag “It fits anything from day wear to evening so it’s practical.”

03

07 08

• Apple iTouch from P14,490 (8gig)

09

05

Available at Power Mac Center, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati, Tel.: 02/ 729 7087

10 and outfit. It can match 06 all my casual clothes and my business attire. This way, I don’t have to worry about bringing more sunglasses.” 7 travel notebook “I want to keep a journal of all my travels – keep a list of all the good hotels, small restaurants, sights to see. I have a bad memory for remembering foreign names so this way I can easily go back to restaurants and places that I like.” 8 Parker 3-in-one pen “Red, black and pencil. It’s so small and handy! I’ve had it for six years already!” 9 Laura Mercier Body creme in creme Brulee “I love the scent so much and it reminds me of my home and bathroom because I use the same scent for my candles.” 10 Mac cream foundation and cheek tint “This can cover all those dark under-

For store location and contact details, turn to

16 SEAIR InFlight

Blackberry has tie-ups with Globe and Smart. Visit: www.blackberry.com

04

11

• Camera P9,999-P30,999 (Sony Cybershot); P31,950 (Canon G9); P17,990-P31,990 (JVC HD video camcorder)

12 13

eye circles from long traveling making you look refreshed again.”

Available at Avant Abenson, Greenbelt Mall, Tel.: 02/ 758 2315-19

11 carmex lip gloss “This is my favorite lip gloss. Tried and tested! It kept my lips moisturized at worse winter seasons.”

• Creed perfume (Spring Flower) P7,700 for 75ml Available at Rustans, Tel.: 02/ 813 3739

12 La Mer sunblock “I am always traveling and checking out different construction sites which involve being out in the sun for long periods of time. I need to protect my skin by always applying sunblock. The cream formula is so light that it doesn’t make my face look oily no matter how many times I apply it.”

• Mac Cream foundation P1,800 Available at Mac, Glorietta 3, Ayala Center, Makati, Tel.: 02/ 812 8265

• Fino leather pocket planner P1,500 Available at Fino Leatherware, Glorietta 3, Tel.: 02/ 892 4807

13 Medicine kit “I have the most extensive medicine kit. I just replenish this everytime I come home from my travel. I always make sure I have this because I always have a hard time looking for medicine in other countries.”

• Parker 3-in-one pen P1,200 Available at Office Warehouse, Power Plant Mall, Tel.: 02/ 898 2558-59

• Laura Mercier Body Creme in Creme Brulee P1,950

on page 72

Available at Rustans

I OCTObER - nOVEMbER 2008

IN VOGUE Pages 20-25 shoppi ng gu i de

ball bracelet with large red heart pendant, P3,500, and red and black clutch bag, P5,500, both by atelier avatar

DRESSING UP TIME • Atelier Avatar Level 2, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City, Tel.: 02/ 729 8969, E-mail: info@atelier-avatar.com. Visit: www.atelier-avatar.com

speedy auto reserve men’s watch, P343,000, by louis Vuitton

Fashion

DRessing up time

• Firma

The latest watch and jewelry fashion

Ground Floor, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City, Tel.: 02/ 757 4009, E-mail: firma2@vasia.com

Photos by alan fontanilla Product styling by guaDa Reyes shoot location at galileo enoteca

• Louis Vuitton Ground Floor, Greenbelt 4, Ayala Center, Makati City, Tel.: 02/ 756 0637. Visit: www.louisvuitton.com

• Victoria Marin Level 2, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City, Tel.: 02/ 729 0173. E-mail: merm@ victoriamarinshops.com. Visit: www.victoriamarinshops.com 20 sEair inFlight

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• Galileo Enoteca Ground Floor, Reyes Gym, Calbayog corner Malinao Streets, Mandaluyong City, Tel.: 02/ 534-4633. Visit: www.galileoenoteca.com

inVogue

c o s t u m e j e w e l r y a n d wa t c h e s

Texturized matte gold journal, P3,940, and lizard journal, P2,680, both by Pinetti large circular cuff links, P8,980, and gold-plated Carnelian cuff links, P6,800, both by Joseph Bernabe Jeweled jeep cuff links, P8,280, by Gemma Suzara, all at Firma

Texturized red leather cuff, P1,008, and black braided leather cuff bracelet, P1,008, both by Victoria Marin “Tambour Forever” ladies’ watch with red strap, P280,000, and Speedy auto reserve men’s watch, P343,000, both by Louis Vuitton

22 SEAIR InFlight

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c o r p o r at e g u i d e

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 350 people ready to provide excellent service to our passengers • Our fleet is made up of four Dornier 328s and seven LET 410 UVP-E aircraft for use in scheduled and chartered flights.

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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 the youngest fleet of aircraft in our segment of 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.

I october - november 2008

milestone 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 passen-ger mark. SEAIR also acquired its first Dornier 328, launching the “Fastest Flights to Boracay” campaign.

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 expanded its horizons by opening new routes. These routes are Tablas in Romblon, Daet in Camarines Norte, Baler in Aurora, Batanes in northern Luzon and Borongan in Eastern Samar.

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

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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 +z 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.

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route map

BATANES

Basco

reservations

Babuyan Islands

makati Ticketing Office Tel. +632 849.0100

Laoag

Philippine Sea

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

San Fernando La Union

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

Baguio

Luzon

Baler CLARK, ANGELES

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

Naga Puerto Galera

Cebu Ticketing Office Tel. +6332 341.4879

MINDORO

ROMBLON Tablas

San Jose

Busuanga

Sales Office Tel. +6332 254.9337 +6332 255.0801

Zamboanga Tel. +6362 991.2225 Mobile +63919 333.8520

CAMARINES Daet

MANILA

Busuanga Island

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

Catanduanes Islands

Subic

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

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

AURORA

Calamian Group Boracay

Taytay

Masbate

Caticlan Borongan PANAY

El Nido

SAMAR

Visayas

Bantayan

Iloilo

Cuyo

CEBU

PALAWAN

Siargao

NEGROS

Puerto Princesa

Camiguin

Mindanao

Cagayan de Oro

Pagadian

Balabac

Sulu Sea

Cotabato

Davao

Zamboanga

General Santos

Jolo

Tawi-Tawi

Regular Route Seasonal Route

Sandakan

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people

Bryan Penuliar Charter and cargo supervisor

Dream job

Interview by Margie Francisco Photo by alan fontanilla

Being a charter and cargo supervisor for SEAIR is kind of a dream job for me. But of course, I always keep dreaming of something bigger. I started as business development officer of SEAIR in 2003. I remember we didn’t have cargo services back then. I have a degree in Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communications Engineering at Polytechnic University of the Philippines so I’m really involved in the right line of work. The up side of my job is seeing the appreciation of the shippers. It’s also gratifying to see a continuous increase in our number of shippers. When I started in the department, monthly sales were only at P12,000, but now it’s in millions! I enjoy going to work. At work, my co-workers are like my siblings. We may see shippers fly via Philippine Airlines or Air Philippines but the cargo is done through us. My routine pretty much starts with checking staff timecards. Then I prepare airway bill charges, manifest cargos for designated flights and assist loadings. My job is to be sure that the cargos get to their destinations at the expected time. It inspires me when I see a satisfied shipper and know that there’s no complaint about my work. We work to the fullest so that shippers come back and do business with us.

My motivation? I want to show that sales are increasing! experiences in this job was when I got the chance to take my family to Boracay for vacation. I stayed at La Reserve with my wife Maryliani, my twins Jeanele and Jeanina, Juliane and Jeamiah Larah. I’ve also been to Club Paradise in Busuanga with my wife. All I really do at home is sleep. If there’s time, I play basketball. We have a big compound. I watch a movie with my family. I play with my girls whenever I can. Every now and then, my wife and I would go out on a date to make up for the lost time. I leave our house at 3am and I come home at 5pm. I compose songs. But I guess my real talent is training people. I’ve been to every off station just to train people. I’ve been to places from north to south! I’ve been to Tawi-Tawi, Jolo, Zamboanga, Cotabato and Davao in Mindanao, to Cebu and Caticlan in the Visayas, down to Clark and various Palawan destinations in Luzon. I’d like to see Basco and Daet. I want to be a pilot. I am currently taking up a commercial pilot course at WCC-Masters Flying School in Plaridel, Bulacan. When I was child, I thought only rich kids could dream to become a pilot or work in airlines. But I realized that if you continue to pursue your goals, even if it takes a very long time, you could reach it.


news

Online booking now made easier

From right: SEAIR president Avelino Zapanta, Borongan City mayor Fidel Anacta, Jr., and Eastern Samar provincial governor Ben Evardone during the ribbon cutting ceremony

SEAIR now flies to Borongan, Eastern Samar South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) has started flights to Borongan in Eastern Samar on September 1. Manila-Borongan-Manila direct flights are scheduled every Mondays and Fridays, with airfare starting at P3,500 one way. Borongan, known as the economic and political center of Eastern Samar, offers tourists virgin white-sand beaches, waterfalls, caves and stunning coral reefs. At night fireflies still light up the trees in this province and crabs are often sighted crossing the road. Some

of the beaches are ideal for surfing and white-water rafting. Historical stops include the monument and ancestral home of local revolutionary hero Major Eugenio S. Daza, the Borongan Cathedral and the Santiago Monument. For flight information and bookings, visit: www.flyseair.com. Call: SEAIR Manila at 02/ 849 0100 or SEAIR Borongan at 0917/ 81SAMAR (72627).

SEAIR launches VIP Boracay transfers SEAIR is now offering complimentary land transfers to all its passengers bound for Boracay. VIP service will be given all SEAIR passengers by SEAIR transfer coordinators from the point of their arrival at Godofredo Ramos Airport (Caticlan airport) to their boat’s docking at the Cagban or Tambisaan Jetty Port in the island of Boracay. SEAIR coordinators will be on hand to smoothen the way for SEAIR passengers as they go through transfers from the airport to Boracay Island. The airline’s fleet of vehicles await passengers, offering a personalized transfer service from the airport to Caticlan Jetty Port. Similar transfer services are available for Manila-bound SEAIR passengers. SEAIR transfer coordinators are stationed at the Boracay jetty port to help passengers. Travelers find SEAIR to be the be the best choice for getting to Boracay. The airline has 28 flights to Caticlan daily in summer departing from Manila in 30-minute intervals. It also has a fleet of four 32-seater Dornier 328s, a state-of-the-art turboprop aircraft which cuts travel time to Boracay to only 35 minutes, the fastest service to the island. For reservations and inquiries on flights and promos, visit: www. flyseair.com or call: 02/ 849 0100.

SEAIR’s 24-hour online booking, launched recently, is now offering two types of fares to passengers: the FlySaver for those who have definite travel dates and FlyFlex for those who require flexibility in travel. The cheapest adult fare for each fare type will be displayed. Fares may change until they’re bought. Payment can now be made using Visa and Mastercard through SEAIR’s secure online payment system. The airline also accepts Visa and Master card payments by phone through its call center. To book and buy tickets online, visit: www.flyseair.com. To book and buy via phone, call: SEAIR reservations at 02/ 849 0100.

SEAIR offers as low as P35++ one way to all SEAIR destinations In celebration of SEAIR’s signature fastest flights to Boracay in just 35 minutes, the airline is offering rates as low as P35++ one way for all flights, for all routes and for all seasons. The travel period is October 11 onwards. For more information, visit: www.flyseair.com or call: 02/ 849 0100.

SEAIR’s check-in time cut down to 35 minutes SEAIR check in time is now only 35 minutes before flight, down from the original 45 minutes. This is so far the shortest check-in time required in the country, giving SEAIR passengers the luxury of a little bit more time. For more airline information, visit: www.flyseair.com.

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Isa’s Bukidnon

Fine art photographer Isa Lorenzo chanced upon this scenery on the border of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental while the sun was going down on one side and the full moon was rising on the other. She took a photo using a Hasselblad CRW film camera, with no digital enhancing. profile Photo by Rachel Rillo taken at the Silverlens Gallery

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rom now until November, Lorenzo will be exhibiting her work and that of her father Luis “Moro” Lorenzo at the Silverlens gallery. The exhibit called “Isa Lorenzo, 003” will feature darkroom collages of photographs from the 1950s taken by the elder Lorenzo to the present taken by the younger. Lorenzo has a master of arts in media science and photography from the New School University-Parsons School of Design in New York, obtained in 2004. She came back to Manila that same year and established Silverlens Gallery, the only gallery in the Philippines dedicated to photography. In January-March 2003, Lorenzo received the Philippine Government Visiting Artist award. Her works had been featured at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, at the UNESCO House in Paris, and at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila. Very much an analog shooter, she has always loved working in the dark room – processing films and printing. Lorenzo has no specialty subject. She says, “I was fortunate enough to meet people who felt the same way...who lived and breathed photography. Those who did their own work, who managed to get hired to do personal work as opposed to having to listen to an art director or stylist.” -- Margie Francisco

For more of Lorenzo’s work, visit: www.isalorenzo.com, or contact Silverlens gallery at Tel.: 02/ 816 0044. Visit: www.silverlensphoto.com.

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Camera: Hasselblad CRW Film Camera Lens: 50mm lens Aperture: F-16


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