Experience Travel and Living Volume 3 Number 1

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Vol. 3 // No. 1 // 2016 // ISSN 1908-2649



Romantic Philippines

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contents EXPERIENCE Travel & Living // Vol. 3 // No. 1 // 2016

Discover Iloilo 9 13 16 18 22 26 30 33 38 42 44 48 51 55 58

Heritage City A Born Leader Iloilo at a Glance Namit Gid! Where History and Nature are in Harmony A Splendid Past The Unique Charm of Santa Barbara The Land of Fiestas A Fabric of Global Appeal Iloilo City Hotel Directory Sweets for My Sweet A sanctuary of nature lovers Discovering an Idyllic Way of Life Travel Information Map of Iloilo

64 70 74 78 82

That Place Called Sagada The Heart of the Philippines Bohol Bliss Come Again to Camiguin A Padlock for Eternal Love

33 51

Travel Lite

The Good Life 85 86 88 89

Thailand’s World of Flavors APEC CEO Delegates Enjoy Filipino A New Office for Maritime Law Firm Sheraton to Open in Mactan, Cebu

Postings 90 91 92 92

93 93 94 94 95 95 96 96



Charming Five-Star Hotel in Alabang Crowne Plaze Ushers in the Chinese New Year with a New Executive Chef Gardenia Inaugurates P1B Loaf Plant, Increases Production Capacity Vikings Luxury Buffet Now Accommodates Private Events at its New Vikings Venue Agoda.com Lauds Deluxe Sky Hotel Cafe Pronto Favorites On-the-Go at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila Lose Extra Pounds the Healthy Way Finding the Perfect Balance Between Art and Corporate Responsibilities Elegance and Authenticity in SevenFriday’s New Watch Not Your Ordinary Sushi at Nori Aquabest Opens Soup Kitchen B Hotel: A Business Traveler’s Haven

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editor’snote Iloilo and memories of a first plane ride


elieve it or not, but my first airplane ride was on a trip to Iloilo City in 1990. I was a reporter then assigned to the Education beat. Some big education conference was being held there, and we were guests of the country’s private school owners association. That’s all I remember about that trip, other than discovering a local seafood restaurant, and delighting in such favorite dishes as adobadong bulgan and grilled managat. Later on, more restaurants would figure in my must-eat places here, and Iloilo has become a foodie destination for me. My trips to this part of the country have been far and few, and I took advantage of those opportunities to see as much as I could see of the province. Those sightseeing trips included a trip to Maig-ao to see the church, a stopover to visit the bordaderas at Asilo de Molo, as well as discovering as much of the food haunts in the place. I had my taste of authentic La Paz batchoy on one trip, and since then, I’ve been having batchoy all over the country. Nothing beats the original, but one popular noodle brand has come close to it in terms of flavor, so much that it was a comfort food on cold late nights, until I was advised to consume less salt. In this issue of Experiece Travel & Living, we share with you a concise guide of what Iloilo City has to offer: from its food to its destinations, and from its festivals to its specialties. Reading up on all this places and things, as well as discovering the recent developments spearheaded by Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog, has me planning a jaunt to this city one of these days. We also offer a selection of places in the country that many describe as being romantic. Sagada earned a following in 2015 for being the location of the hit movie “That Thing Called Tadhana.” All the others are known for their pristine beaches that attract couples and newlyweds to visit them. A recent discovery is Baclaran Church, surely a required stopover for those wanting to profess undying love. You’ll discover why. I hope you experience all these destinations in the Philippines when you can. And for sure that would be a whole-year affair, since no matter the time of the year, the country serves up beautiful locations that travelers enjoy.

Joseph Cortes Editor-in-chief


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JOSEPH CORTES Editor-in- Chief

MITCH M. ARCEO Associate Editor on Print/Online Editor


ANGELA M. DENILLA Editorial Assistant




JOANNE VERA CRUZ-FELIX Admin and Circulations Manager

JOY M. FLORES Online and Creatives Group Manager


JOHN PECAYO, MBA US Liason Of f icer/Authorized Dealer

Experience Travel and Living is published bi-monthly by

MODE DEVI PUBLISHING, INC. Manila Address: Suite 205 Corinthian Executive Regency Building Sapphire Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City US Address: 535 West 2155th Street, Carson, California 90745 LILIAN SENGIA, Chief Finance Officer DENNIS SIA, Vice President Visit www.experiencetravel.ph Like us at www.facebook.com/ExperienceTravel.Ph Instagram ExperienceTravel.ph Twitter @xptravel.ph Email modedevi.publishing@gmail.com Call us at (632) 584-5360

The magazine and its editors assume no responsibility for all manuscripts and photographs submitted. While every reasonable effort is made to verify information, facts and figures, the magazine and its editors assume no responsibility for errors or misrepresentations that may appear in the publication. Opinions expressed in Experience are solely those of the writers and not necessarily endorsed by the company and its editors. Printed in the Philippines. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED No part of the magazine may be reproduced in full or in part without prior written permission from the editors.


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DHEZA MARIE AGUILAR lives in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, giving her easy access to different parts of Europe. While not busy chasing ships at work or sipping whisky at home, she travels the continent, usually without a map or a plan. But nothing makes her happier than booking a ticket to the Philippines and escaping the comforts of the first world to go back to her simple life in Marinduque where she spent the first 16 years of her life.

MAAN D’ASIS PAMARAN’S mission is to explore the Philippines and show its beauty to the rest of the world through her published travel stories and with her social media accounts. She believes that there is so much that the country and its people can offer by way of experiential tourism.

STEPHANIE TUMAMPOS is a freelance photojournalist based in the Philippines. She has contributed in national publications such as Business Mirror. She is also a physicistengineer and an advocate of science education, especially astronomy in the country. She loves traveling, hiking, free-diving and food tripping.

DOLLY DY-ZULUETA, former editor of Flavors Magazine, runs her own food, travel and lifestyle weblog (www. flavorsoflife.com.ph). She handles the Weekend Chef column on TV5’s www.interaksyon.com/lifestyle and regularly writes for Asian Dragon Magazine, Business Mirror’s Wine & Dine section, and Manila Bulletin’s Style Weekend, among others. She loves to travel and explore the local flavors and attractions of the different places she visits.

MARTINA FUENTES considers writing as his first love. After finishing his degree in journalism, he entered the world of professional journalism as a business and lifestyle writer of a local newspaper in Iloilo City. This 23-year-old writer-blogger loves to write about his adventures, food trips, and sometimes, reaction in certain issues. A firm believer of the power of words, he uses his innate talent to inspire, inform and influence people.

ANTONIO ROJAS works as operations manager for a soft drink distribution company. He is a member and former president of the Photographic Society of Iloilo. He has been into photography for almost 20 years, earning awards from national and international photo contests. His latest winning photo of the Dinagyang Festival made it to the magazine cover of this issue.

TEDDY PELAEZ worked at Business World for 14 years as a photojournalist. He was the photographer of Senator Ping Lacson and Senator Mar Roxas when they ran for president and senator, respectively. He has done voluntary works with some NGOs when calamities hit the country. He loves traveling and nature photography.

As chief photographer of Flavors Magazine for 14 years, RAFAEL R. ZULUETA has mastered the art of food photography. Breathtaking views are also a favorite subject of his. He regularly contributes to a number of publications and online portals, and among his clients are the United States Potato Board, the California Milk Advisory Board, and the Raisin Administrative Committee.

SUZETTE JESSICA is a veteran public relations practitioner.

ANTOINE GREG FLORES is the food blogger at Cafe Ilonggo. A member of the social media group under the Office of the City Mayor, Hon. Jed Patrick Mabilog, his passion is promoting Iloilo City heritage, events and tourism destinations through different social media platforms and sometimes, TV interviews and school lectures.

KATHY KATHERINE VILLALON (Kathy Purr) is a freelance editor and writer who dabbles in SEO and social media management. She has worked with Sun.Star Iloilo, The News Today and Mezzo in the past. If she is not busy with work, you’ll find her playing with her dog Zohan or liking her friend’s Facebook posts. You can visit her at kathyvillalon.blogspot.com.

JORRY PALADA A foodie who likes to travel. He is one of the founding members and now President of Iloilo Bloggers Inc. He is the author of Flavours of Iloilo and iloilo-travel-guide.blogspot.com. He is also involved in the heritage preservation and promotion of his local hometown Sta. Barbara, Iloilo.

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Iloilo at a

glance Words by Mitch M. Arceo Photos from Old Iloilo Facebook Group


ocated at the southeastern part of Panay Island in Western Visayas, Iloilo province is often called as the “Heart of the Philippines.” On its northern border lie Capiz province and Jintolo Channel, while Antique province can be found on its western border. The Ilonggos are known for Hiligaynon, their sweetsounding language. The province got its name from Irong-Irong, the old name of Iloilo City. According to the legend of Maragtas, Datu Puti and other chiefs left Borneo to escape from the oppressive rule of Sultan Makatunao in the 13th century. In their quest for freedom, they landed on the shores of Siwaragan River in Panay Island and decided to begin a new life on this land, now called San Joaquin. In exchange for land, the Bornean datus gave gifts, including their saduk


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(golden hat) and manangyad (golden necklace), to King Marikudo and Queen Maniwangtiwang, then rulers of Panay Island. The Atis, who are the natives of the island, retired to the mountains when the Bornean datus took over the land. The island was distributed among the datus, with Datu Paiburong getting Irong-Irong. Life was peaceful for three centuries until the Spanish conquistadors colonized the Philippines. It was in 1855 that Iloilo opened its doors to trade and commerce and was considered the biggest port in the Philippines. Thirty-eight years later, the Municipality of Iloilo was declared a city. According to locals, Iloilo was once called the “Queen’s City of the South,” a moniker given by Queen Regent Maria Cristina of Spain through a royal decree as a reward to the loyalty of the Ilonggos to Spain. However, this was not just a

political title, but successful trade and commerce also buoyed up its status. The Spanish colonization ended when the Americans came in 1898. Iloilo City reverted to its previous status and was made a municipality once again. Later, the towns of La Paz, Jaro, Mandurriao and Arevalo were clustered together to form Iloilo City in 1937 by virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 158. In 1942, the Japanese took control of the country, prompting Panay locals to form a resistance group called Panay Guerilla Movement. Its aim was to fight the Japanese Army. Many of Iloilo’s old buildings and structures have been preserved. Due to its colorful history, it has become a travel destination that boasts historical buildings, churches, flavorful cuisine and colorful festivals.


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William Lee (Exec. VP of RGC Grp. of Comp., Naty Cheng (CEO & Pres. of RGC Grp. of Comp.), Big Boy Cheng (Pres. of Sixinch Phils.), Michel Sels (Sixinch Belgium), Eddie Galor & John Rosagas (VP of Sixinch Phils.)

Dynamism in individual spaces SIXINCH champions creativity and ingenuity in new showroom

Art comes in many forms. When it comes to applying it to spaces, there is often the challenge of combining aesthetics with functionality. Merging ingenuity and purpose is a tricky thing, and often, one is sacrificed for the other during execution. The complex task of marrying design with functionality is exactly the challenge taken by SIXINCH, a furniture brand established in Belgium in 2003. Specializing in the use of foam coating technology, the company has carved a niche in the global furniture landscape by crafting refreshingly creative and efficient furnishings for various spaces. The name SIXINCH is a representation of the 6-inch space between the ears which is believed to be the place where creativity lies. Through the combination of innovative materials and progressive design, the company presents a different flock of architectural products that promise to spice up a space while providing premium functionality and comfort. Using quality, high density foam, all SIXINCH furniture is applied with a unique flexible coating before crafted into pieces that are both creative and comfortable. Anyone who values flexibility, functionality, and exquisite artistry in their individual spaces will be tickled pink with the avante garde but very usable designs of the company. Michel Sels, Founder of SIXINCH Belgium explains, “As much as possible, we make every creation truly spectacular and eye-catching. A true work of art and not just a part of every room.” On July 2015, as part of its commitment to continue inspiring the imagination of many, the company has partnered with Uratex Philippines to share its exquisite artistry in the country. This year, on February 18, the collaboration comes fully realized with the opening of SIXINCH Philippines’ showroom gallery at RONAC Center, Greenhills. SIXINCH Philippines aims to stir a revolution in

Sixinch Showrrom @ Ronac Art Center Greenhills

furniture design through customization. The company focuses in helping customers unleash their creativity by executing high-quality, functional pieces designed according to their imaginations. Mr. Big Boy Cheng, Sixinch Philippines president shares, “Customization is an important highlight of SIXINCH Philippines. This showroom will be the visual and physical proof that furniture can be more than just your ordinary runof-the-mill pieces. You imagine, we provide.” Additionally, SIXINCH champions the talent of Filipino designers by tapping their creativity for their collections. The company hopes to expose Filipino talent to the global stage by providing them global creations and technologies. The brand makes it part of their commitment to help local designers create avant garde and chic furniture that can elevate their talent not only in the country but in the international scene as well.

As Sels puts it, “SIXINCH experts can help inspire the renowned ingenuity and creative minds of these local artists and designers . . . in order to create unique and innovative designs that are truly world class and can be appreciated by customers even in other countries, especially now that the Philippines is becoming a part of this age of globalization.” SIXINCH has already established its presence in Japan, the United States, Russia, and the European Union. The opening of its Philippines store aims to change the game in the local furniture industry. “Furniture is no longer just ‘furniture’ nowadays. It has to keep up with the multipronged needs of its users. The game isn’t just about comfort and functionality. SIXINCH Philippines commit to bringing dynamism to a space,” closes Mr. Cheng. To know more about Sixinch, you may visit its showroom located at RONAC Center, Greenhills.


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Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral

A splendid past

Jaro is rich in history and culture, making it a must-visit when visiting the city Words by Kathy Villalon Photos by Antoine Greg


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The Art of

Skin Rejuvenation

Find confidence to face the world with an image that spells success. At the Zen Institute, we have an array of programs and procedures that will guide you in your journey to success.

Skin Revitalizing Scrub/Skin Whitening Scrub/Healthy Glow Scrub

Ultra Hydrating Gel Therapy for Face & Body

A relaxing skin exfoliation treatment that rids you of dead skin cells responsible for making your skin appear lacklustre at the same time brings back that youthful glow.

Finally, a medical innovation for both men and women! Introducing, Ultra Hydrating Gel Therapy for Face & Body. It uses carbon dioxide gel applied to the skin surface. sBetter skin elasticity sImproved blood circulation sEncourages collagen repair sDestroys localized fatty deposits sImproves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles sImproves the appearance of cellulite

Alpha Hydroxy Acid Peel

A quick treatment that involves the application of a mild solution to aid in the shedding of the old layer of skin in order to bring out the newer younger looking layer.

Skin Buffing/Epi Scrub/Ebi Buff

Also known as Micro Dermabrasion, this procedure involves the introduction of rough particles to the surface of the skin in order to buff away the dead layers.

Dermapoint Treatment

Using the skin needling technique, this treatment infuses skin with collagen to firm up the skin and make it look younger and feel smoother.

Deep Collagen Treatment

A non-invasive skin rejuvenating treatment that is administered via intra dermal infusion (injected under the skin) of non-crossed linked Hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C. This beauty mixture, both having the same molecular structures as substances produced in the body, induce the increase of collagen production- aiding in maintaining the skin’s firmness and strength.

Anti-Oxidant Mix/Anti-Oxidant Elixir

A total body treatment that allows the infusion of anti-oxidants such as glutathione, vitamin C and placenta intravenously which helps whiten skin and boost the immune system while delivering anti-ageing benefits.

Carbon Laser Treatment (N-DYAG Laser)

A safe and effective way of removing the damaged, deeper layers of skin to allow younger looking skin to regenerate. It also stimulates collagen to improve skin elasticity and decrease pore size. It is also used to lighten skin and remove tattoos.

The 4 Rs sSkin Benefits sReduces fine lines and wrinkles sReverses the effects of skin aging sRestores the natural volume of youthful skin sRemoves facial wrinkles Recommendations: sIt is recommended that Deep Collagen treatments be taken in combination with Resonax for ideal results. sMaintenance treatments of once per month is recommended.

O2 Skin

Give your skin room to breathe with a facial that infuses oxygen into your skin restoring the balance it needs to look and feel young.

Dra. Mary Jane “MJ” Torres Aesthetic Medicine Italian Society of Aesthetic and Surgery International Society of Mesotherapy French Society of Mesotherapy

Discover how the art of beauty, perfected from within can also be yours. For inquiries, call or visit The Zen Institute, 69 Scout Rallos St., Tomas Morato, Quezon City (441-1712; 412-2528), with branches at Ground Floor, Bonifacio Technology Center, 31st Street corner 2nd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City (856-2027), and at the St. Frances Cabrini Medical Center, Maharlika Highway, Barangay 2, Sto. Tomas, Batangas (+43) 778-4811 For more information about The Zen Institute, visit http://www.thezeninstitute.com. EXPER IENCE TR AV EL A ND LI V ING // Vol. 3 No. 1 // 2016 Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ZenMedicalSpa



SINAMAK THE ILONGGO SPICED VINEGAR Words by Dolly Dy-Zulueta Photos by Rafael R. Zulueta


INAMAK is Iloilo’s version of spiced vinegar. It is the favorite sawsawan or dipping sauce of Ilonggos for fried and grilled meat, fish and seafood, because it has a wellrounded flavor that not only brings out the natural flavors of the spices and condiments used in making it, but it also enhances the melding of flavors as well. Perfect for Chicken Inasal, which is one of the iconic dishes of the Western Visayan province of Iloilo, sinamak opens up the palate with its enticing aroma and appetizing taste. The spiced vinegar is made from basically sukang tuba (coconut vinegar), siling labuyo (bird’s eye chili), garlic, ginger, onion, whole peppercorns, and langkawas or galangal. These ingredients are combined in a bottle and soaked for at least three days to allow it to ferment before being used. Other types of vinegar, such as cane vinegar, can also be used, but what really gives it a unique local


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character and flavor profile is sukang tuba, and what sets it apart from other spiced vinegars is the langkawas, which most other Asian countries refer to as galangal, a type of ginger. Langkawas can be found easily in Iloilo, and therefore figures heavily in Ilonggo cooking. Different households have their own versions of sinamak, and restaurants in Iloilo that serve local dishes make their own sinamak for diners to enjoy. The ratio of vinegar and spices differs according to taste. But the siling labuyo is usually scored, the garlic peeled and crushed or roughly chopped, the onion sliced or diced, and the langkawas sliced; then these are soaked in the vinegar with peppercorns. Three to five days should be enough for the vinegar to absorb the flavors of the spices, but the longer you keep it, the more flavorful it becomes. It does not spoil easily, so it should keep for a long time. The spices also serve as natural preservative.

Due to the popularity of sinamak as a dipping sauce, not only among Ilonggos but among Filipinos in general, several manufacturers of sauces and dips have made sinamak readily available in supermarkets in recent years. Mama Sita’s has its own Sinamak in a bottle, Datu Puti calls its own product Sukang Sinamak, and Mother’s Best makes its Sinamak with cane vinegar. Which of these commercially available sinamak spiced vinegar is the best is a matter of taste or preference.

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World-class comfort and service aWait you at your neW stylish haven in iloilo city.

Prime location for Business and leisure travel Richmonde’s prestigious address in the mixed-used development of Megaworld Corporation’s Iloilo Business Park provides easy access to important corporate establishments, posh shopping centers and the grand Iloilo Convention Center.

indulgent accommodations The modern interiors of Richmonde’s guest rooms showcase an understated elegance complemented by well-thought-out conveniences to ensure stays that are thoroughly enjoyable.

distinctly delightful exPeriences Richmonde’s signature gracious and efficient service plus the famed warm and jovial nature of Ilonggos create the perfect formula for 100% guest satisfaction. 149 guest rooms • The Granary (all-day dining restaurant) • BizBar (entertainment bar and lounge) • Banquet rooms • Fitness Center • Swimming pool • Pool Bar (alfresco pool deck bar)

To reserve or inquire, call (6333) 328-7888, e-mail rhireservations@richmondehotel.com.ph or visit www.richmondehotels.com.ph.




Megaworld Boulevard corner Enterprise Road, Iloilo Business Park, Mandurriao, Iloilo City 5000

rhi@richmondehotel.com.ph • Tel.: (6333) 328-7888 • Fax: (6333) 328-7866



RICHMONDE HOTEL ILOILO Tel. No.: (033) 328-7888 Fax No.: (033) 328-7866 E-mail: rhi@richmondehotel.com.ph Website: www.richmondehotels.com.ph/ richmonde-hotel.iloilo SEDA ATRIA Pison Avenue, Atria Park District, Barangay San Rafael Mandurriao, Iloilo City Tel. No: (033) 506-8888 E-mail: ilo@sedahotels.com Website: www.sedahotels.com/atria INJAP TOWER HOTEL Benigno Aquino Avenue, Mandurriao, Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 330-7111 / 0922-382-1635 Website: www.injaptowerhotel.com.ph Email: stay-injaptowerhotel@hotel101.com.ph AMIGO TERRACE HOTEL Iznart Street corner Delgado Street Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 335-0908 Fax No.: (033) 335-0610 E-mail: amigoterrace@yahoo.com Website: www.amigoterracehotel-iloilo.com DAYS HOTEL 4th Level, The Atrium Corner Gen. Luna and Bonifacio Drive Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 337-3297 / (033) 336-8001 to 05 Fax No.: (033) 336-8000 E-mail: reservations@dayshotel.com Website: www.dayshotel.com HOTEL. DEL RIO M.H. Del Pilar Street Molo, Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 335-1171 Fax No.: (033) 337-0736 E-mail: stay@hoteldelrio.net Website: www.hoteldelrio.com SARABIA MANOR HOTEL & CONVENTTON CENTER General Luna Street Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 335-1021 Fax No.: (033) 337-9127 E-mail: reservation@sarabiamanorhotel.com Website: www.sarabiamanorhotel.com


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ILOILO BUSINESS HOTEL Benigno Aquino Avenue, Diversion Road Mandurriao, Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 320-7972 Fax No.: (033) 508-2150 E-mail: ilobusinesshotel@yahoo.com.ph Website: www.iloilobusinesshotel.com DIVERSION 21 HOTEL Sen. Benigno Aquino Avenue Mandurriao, Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 321-7721 Fax No.: (033) 320-56-56 E-mail: diversion21iloilo@gmail.com ILOILO GRAND HOTEL Iznart Street Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 335-1801 to 04 Fax No.: (033) 335-0456 E-mail: ilgrandhotel@globelines.ph Website: www.iloilograndhotel.com ILOILO MIDTOWN HOTEL Iznart Street Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 336-6888 E-mail: ilgrandhotel@globelines.ph Website: www.iloilograndhotel.com CENTENNIAL RESORT AND CONVENTION CENTER Marikudo Street Alta Tierra Village, Phase IV Jaro, Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 320-2277 / (033) 508-3364 Fax No: (033) 329-2288 E-mail: sales@thecentennialhotels.com.ph SMALLVILLE21 HOTEL Smallville Complex Mandurriao Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 501-6821 PEOPLE’S HOTEL Corner Fuentes and Delgado Streets Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 336-1070 E-mail: peopleshotelph@gmail.com Website: www.peopleshotel.com.ph EON CENTENNIAL PLAZA HOTEL Jalandoni Street near corner Ledesma Street Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 337-2277 Fax No.: (033) 337-2299 E-mail: centennialplaza@gmail.com

REGATTA RESIDENCE HOTEL 44 General Luna Street Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 509-0228 WESTOWN HOTEL Glicerio T. Pison Avenue Mandurriao, Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 509-0202 Fax No.: (033) 320-2225 E-mail: mo2westown@yahoo.com HARBOR TOWN HOTEL Corner JM Basa and Aldeguer Streets Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 337-2384 CHITO’S HOTEL Corner Jalandoni de Leon Street Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 337-6135 / 0999-585-5408 LA FIESTA HOTEL M.H. Del Pilar Street Molo, Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 338-0044 Fax No.: 337-95-08 E-mail: lafiesta@mozcom.com Website: SKINETICS BOUTIQUE HOTEL YGQ Building, Smallville Complex Boardwalk Avenue Mandurriao, Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 320-8726 PUNTA VILLA RESORT Sto. Niño Street Arevalo, Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 337-7253 E-mail: info@puntavilla.com Website: www.puntavillailoilo.com VILLA ROSA BY THE SEA BEACH RESORT Calaparan Villa Iloilo City Tel. No.: (033) 337-6953


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travellite White Island in Camiguin (Photo by Stephanie Tumampos)

An island

of passion


any equate romance with exotic destinations. Surveys often talk of tropical islands in the Pacific as ideal destinations for honeymoons: think Hawaii, Bora-Bora and Bali. And then there is Paris, the epitome of l’Amour, definitely on the bucket list of every romantic couple. The mention of that two-syllable place name evokes the history of love—the Eiffel Tower, one of the most photographed landmarks in the world; Notre Dame with memories of Quasimodo’s love for Esmeralda; the Wall of Love in Montmartre that lists down 311 ways of saying “I love you”; and Pont des Arts with its now unfastened railings of love locks. The Philippines with its 7,100-plus islands have just as many locations that can inspire love. Here is our selection of some of the most romantic destinations in the country.

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PLAN YOUR STAY IN BAGUIO CITY, VISIT MINES VIEW PARK HOTEL! In celebration of the Panagbenga (read as Panag-ba-nga), the country’s annual flower festival, tourists are now starting to prepare for their annual sojourn to the Summer Capital of the Philippines that is Baguio City, the site of this popular festival. Add to this the fact that tourists also look forward to the cold weather, especially in the month of February, which is the coldest time of the year in the city. In time for this upcoming festival that’s nothing short of spectacular because of the pomp and pageantry commonly associated with it, an unbelievably high number of tourists are now looking at possible options on where to stay in Baguio City for the weekend. And in choosing your hotel, consider the one with budget-friendly rates, yet comes with a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere like Mines View Park Hotel. Mines View Park Hotel is situated near the Mines View Park in Baguio and is also a few minutes’ walk from the Good Shepherd store where tourists usually go to for their sweet pasalubong like their uber-popular ube jam. The hotel is just a few minutes away from Session Road where the Panagbenga will be held. The Mines View Park Hotel is one of the best places where you can book your stay during the Panagbenga season. Most people, after experiencing and enjoying the crowd in Session Road, would want to relax and feel the cold and tranquil atmosphere in Baguio City. The hotel’s location is definitely not too far from the event venue but keeps you distant enough from the stress and loud surroundings associated with the festival. Mines View Park Hotel offers a perfect overlooking view of the Cordillera mountain range and the tranquility that guests usually look for in a hotel in Baguio City.

And of course, one of the reasons why Mines View Park Hotel remains a top choice is its budget-friendly rates and a wide array of rooms to choose from, whether for a couple, a family or even a barkada. With a total of 27 rooms, from the standard single up to their prime rooms, tourists will find their room perfect for their budget. If you are coming together with your friends or family, their penthouse, Family and Attic rooms, are perfect for group accommodations since it can accommodate around 6 to 10 persons. And if you are just by yourself or with someone, a double deluxe or an executive suite is already good. Aside from the rooms, delight in Mines View Park Hotel’s gastronomic offerings like their very unique version of the popular sinigang, the Strawberry Sinigang, which is the first in the city, or perhaps the whole country for that matter. This dish is made special because of its unique taste, with an extraordinary tangy and limey taste to it because of the strawberry, which practically replaced the sampalok that is commonly used to make this dish as spectacular as it is. The Strawberry Sinigang is just one of the many dishes that is offered at the hotel's Zen Bar and Restaurant. And there is a sweet treat also available at Mines View Park Hotel guests always look forward to. The “Bibingcrepe” is a signature dish at the hotel’s Halfmoon Café, a reengineered version of the local “bibingka” but

stuffed with different fillings, either chocolate or cheese, and made to look like a crepe. You can choose between a regular Bibingcrepe or the crispy one, while their bestseller is the Choco-Cheese Bibingcrepe that’s best served with coffee. After a long day of touring, you would always want to relax and just enjoy the cool ambience and the majestic view of the Cordillera mountain range. By night, the hotel has a movie night activity for guests who are already tired to go out. At the hotel’s veranda, a bonfire is set, with blankets and pillows provided so you can fully relax and enjoy your movie night with friends or family and still experience what it’s like to be in Baguio City. “We would like our guests to feel that they are home,” says John Paul Arnaiz, General Manager of Mines View Park Hotel. He said that what is important for them is for their guests to feel comfortable, relaxed and be at peace even if they are away from their homes. Even after a long day, they would like their guests to experience a perfect bed-andbreakfast destination in Baguio City in a way that they will forget all the stress and, at the same time, have fun and enjoy an awesome Baguio City experience only Mines View Park Hotel can deliver. To truly experience the hotel’s outstanding offerings, visit Mines View Park Hotel at #1 Apostol St. corner Outlook Drive, Mines View Park, Baguio City, or contact them at (6374) 424-1088 for booking inquiries.

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Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s director of food and beverage Mirko de Giorgi, Samuel Po, Thai Ambassador Thanatip Upatising, and Marco Polo Ortigas Manila GM Frank Reichenbach

Thailand’s world of flavors By Suzette Jessica

Thai cooking remains one of the unique cuisines of the world with its strong aromaticflavors. It was the star during the recent “Flavors of Thailand” food festival at the Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Cucina. Marco Polo Ortigas general manager Frank Reichenbach, food and beverage director Mirko de Giorgi, and marketing communications director Judith Los Baños welcomed guests, including Thai Ambassador Thanatip Upatising and representatives from Thai Airways. Diners gave in to their craving for Thai food with the special menu prepared by special guest chefs Sunisa Nualthongkaew and Watcharavee Rujechotiphat who were flown in from Bangkok courtesy of Thai Airways for the week-long event.

Tourism Authority of Thailand Philippine representatives Milky Evangelista and Len Rivera with Narissa Poosit and Royal Thai Embassy Defense Attaché Group Captain Washirasak Poosit

Rachakorn Saksri and Royal Thai Embassy MinisterCounsellor Chaiyathorn Suvanampa

Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s executive chef Lluis Cantons Pesarrodona with guest chefs Watcharavee Rujechotiphat and Sunisa Nualthongkaew

Sirimon Antipatya, Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s director of marketing communications Judith Los Baños, Pujavadee Senalaksna, Vetproducts Philippines Corporation country manager Dr. Charoen Pusri, and Royal Thai Embassy naval attaché Capt. Tanyakorn Senalaksna

Vetproducts Philippines Corporation country manager Dr. Charoen Pusri, Thai Ambassador Thanatip Upatising with Suzette Jessica

Wilcon SEVP and chief operating officer Rosemarie Ong, Sharon Tan, Johnny Litton, and Wilcon executive financial audit manager Careen Belo

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thegoodlife Johnny Litton, AmCham Philippines president and CB Richard Ellis Philippines chairman/CEO/founder Rick Santos, Philippine Ambassador to Washington Jose Cuisia, Jr., US Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman, US Ambassador Philip Goldberg, US Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews, and AmCham Philippines executive director Ebb Hinchliffe

APEC CEO delegates enjoy Filipino hospitality By Suzette Jessica

The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham Philippines) gathered high-level trade and commerce officials and representatives from the United States and the Philippines as it hosted the recent APEC 2015 CEO Cocktails at the Rigodon Ballroom of the Peninsula Hotel Manila. Emcee par excellence Johnny Litton led the evening’s program. AmCham president (CB Richard Ellis Philippines chairman/CEO/founder) Rick Santos and executive director Ebb Hinchliffe welcomed the APEC delegates, AmCham board of directors and members, and guests to the gathering. US Ambassador Philip Goldberg, US Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman, and US Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews each delivered a short speech.

Wall Street Journal’s Trefor Moss, AmCham Philippines executive director Ebb Hinchliffe, Ramos Peace and Development Foundation Inc. chairman and former President Fidel V. Ramos, Belo Medical Group founder and medical director Vicki Belo, and The E-Hotels and Resorts Group chairman/president/CEO Dr. Elton See Tan


EXPER IENCE TR AV EL A ND LI V ING // Vol. 3 No. 1 // 2016

GHD Philippines country manager Carl Willis with Development Finance International Inc. Asia director Krishna Venugopal and vice president Christine Albee Purka

San Juan & Associates’ Erick San Juan, Caelestis Productions president Sally Jo Bellosillo, Sharon Tan, and Eastern Petroleum Group of Companies chairman and CEO Fernando Martinez

Global Gateway Development Corp. president Michael Russell and Peninsula Manila GM Sonja Vodusek

IBM president and country general manager Luisito Pineda and Honeywell (Philippines) market development leader Christine Ocampo

Resources Global Professionals director Errol Pielago, Fe de Jesus and SGV partner Arnel de Jesus

AmCham Philippines director Robert Sears, AmCham Philippines president and CB Richard Ellis Philippines chairman/CEO/founder Rick Santos, and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima

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thegoodlife A new office for maritime law firm By Suzette Jessica

It has been 38 years since Del Rosario & Del Rosario (DelRosarioLaw)’s humble beginnings. For close to four decades, it has been the leader in shipping and transport practice in the Philippines, which is the largest international supplier of seafarers. Under the leadership of the founder’s two sons, Arturo T. Del Rosario, Jr. and Ruben T. Del Rosario, the firm has expanded into other fields of law, including administration, arbitration, civil, corporate,

commercial, general litigation, immigration, intellectual property, and taxation. Del Rosario & Del Rosario and its paralegal affiliate that handles all seafarer claims, Del Rosario Pandiphil, now have a new home in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. With the inauguration of the DelRosarioLaw Centre, the law firm is now poised to solidify its position as the premier maritime law firm in the industry.

Thorsten Franz and DelRosarioLaw partner-lawyer Joseph Manolo Rebano

Gard Hong Kong managing director Trygve Nokleby, Norwegian Embassy First Secretary and Deputy Head of Mission Kristian Netland, DelRosarioLaw co-managing partner-lawyers Arturo del Rosario, Jr. and Ruben del Rosario, with TT Club Asia Pacific regional director Philip Emmanuel


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Del Rosario Pandiphil senior claims manager Veronica Del RosarioAguinaldo,DelRosarioLaw partnerlawyer Catherine Mangahas, and Norteam Shipping Services managing director Julito Quiban

DelRosarioLaw senior associate lawyer Aldrich Del Rosario, Oddfjell Phils. VP-Crewing Operations Agnes Enesio, Abojeb managing director Carl Martin Kaannessen, Oddfjell’s Vanessa Torres, and Arman Ador Isais

Hilde Sandvik, Norwegian Training Center Manila managing director Erik Blom, Sille Svenkerud Forner, Erlend Grimstand, and Hege Eikeland

Villaraza, Angcangco managing partner, lawyer Bong Somera, lawyer RicoDomingo, Johnny and Leslie Ann Del Rosario, Bucoy Poblador partner Audie Bucoy, and lawyer Kat Doble

Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels and Resorts Regional Vice President, South East Asia Charlie Dang; Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels and Resorts President Stephen Ho, AppleOne Mactan Inc. President Ray Go Manigsaca with wife, Venus

Sheraton to open in Mactan, Cebu By Suzette Jessica

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. recently held the signing of Sheraton Mactan Resort, a new property comprised of hotel and branded residences in Mactan, Cebu. Owned by AppleOne Mactan, Inc., a subsidiary of AppleOne Properties Inc., the signing leverages the Sheraton first mover advantage in the region and meets increasing local demand. The new Sheraton Mactan hotel will open in 2019, followed by the opening of the residences in 2020. The beachfront hotel property will offer 250 guest rooms, of which 20 are expansive suites with breathtaking

AppleOne Mactan Inc’s Atty. Jun Tambago with AppleOne Mactan Inc.President, Ray Go Manigsaca with wife Venus, Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels and Resorts Vice President & Legal Counsel, Karen Eu

views of Magellan Bay. Other property offerings will include Shine Spa for Sheraton, three dining venues, an enhanced lobby lounge, and recreation facilities such as a swimming pool and the state-of-the-art Sheraton Fitness facilities. Sheraton Mactan Resort will also feature function space totaling 1,313 square meters—ideal for meetings, weddings and functions. The Residences at Sheraton Mactan Resort, also scheduled to open before end of 2020, will feature 182 units consisting of one to three partially-furnished bedroom apartments.

Tajara Leisure & Hospitality Group President Cyndy Tan-Jarabata; Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels and Resorts Director-Hotel and Branded Residential Development Asia Pacific, Alexandra Yao and Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels and Resorts Vice President, Development & Strategic Planning, Serena Lim

Tajara Leisure and Hospitality Group VP-Development & Planning, Tyrone Tan;Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels and Resorts Vice President, Design and Technical Services, Chan Weng Leong; Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels and Resorts Regional Vice President, South East Asia, Charlie Dang and Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels and Resorts Director, Design & Technical Services, Lee Beng Kian

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EXPER IENCE TR AV EL A ND LI V ING // Vol. 2 No. 3 // 2015


EXPER IENCE TR AV EL A ND LI V ING // Vol. 2 No. 3 // 2015


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