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Showing posts with label Philippine Tourism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philippine Tourism. Show all posts

Wiki Loves Monuments 2012: The Wikipedia Photo Contest around Cultural Heritage

Wikipedia is launching "Wiki Loves Monuments", an international photo contest around cultural heritage monuments. This is for everyone, does not matter if you are an amateur, professional photographer or you just happen to snap a captivating photo through your mobile phone on your way or while on a trip.

The Philippines is one of the countries participating so don't waste this opportunity to dig out your photos hidden on your Facebook albums or on your phones.

Meet Manila's Tertulia Night for #ThoughtfulTourism

Meet Manila, is the latest online portal promoting the Philippine tourism through social media. Launched just late this April it already has Facebook fans of 12, 000+ and Twitter followers of 16,000+! Meet Manila will be hosting a Tertulia (sounds really exotic to me, wonder what it means really)  night promoting #ThoughtfulTourism.  

Carlos Celdran will host the Tertulia Night. Who else can best mirror Manila if not Philippines' heritage and tourism image other than this RH bill advocate?  Fourteen local heroes will also speak to everyone of what made them really standout because of their advocacy that made our country a better place to live in. I always love listening to people who make positive difference to others. I am inspired and I get a bit strength from them order for me to pursue what I love doing or who knows soon be part of them? Enough Rona, wake up you are dead dreaming!  One lucky winner who previously answered about "What does it take to be an empowered traveler?" will also be chosen and will receive really cool prizes like free accomodation to resorts and stuff.

This event is expected to be joined by the country's known bloggers, travel agencies, local personalities, Department of Tourism officials and many more. And oh, by the way I am crossing my fingers I get listed because I registered a little bit late and I am in a wait list for now :( I hope to be really part of this and will blog about this soon. If you wanna know more about the event on Facebook you may click here 

Yes! Date a Girl Who Travels

I don't wanna be cheesy and feel like as easy as this Sunday morning but I got caught in less than a second about this blog that is spreading like wildfire on Facebook. Already had 12, 000 views within a day it was posted. Mostly shared by travel fanatics and the title is  "Date a Girl Who Travels" which goes like this 

"Date a girl who travels. Date a girl who would rather save up for out of town trips or day trips than buy new shoes or clothes. She may not look like a fashion plate, but behind that tanned and freckled face from all the days out in the sun, lies a mind that can take you places and an open heart that will take you for what you are, not for what you can be. "

Don't even want to sound rrrrrooooomantic but yeah I think every girl who read this would feel like sharing it to the world and would feel like this girl. Recently I got bitten by the travel bug but not promising to do it in full 
blast as I don't have the resources (TIME is number one and it is priceless) but you know the longing of getting to another place for sometime just to be different from the usual routine that is enslaving us for obligatory reasons,  walking like there is no rush, talking to the locals, eating their food, knowing their history and learning something are definitely priceless especially moments like "that bloke she met while watching the sun rise in Angkor Wat". So I learned a new term today "bloke"! It kinda sounded like "Date me! Date me!" stuff but please read the post. Yeah a bit cheesy but forget it it is still very inspiring! 

Reminds me of Cristin, that American girl who has been to 43 countries already! She will be here for 2 months to see Philippines. She and I were hosted by another American guy when I went to cebu a few days ago. The three of us just met for the first time because of a travel website not knowing each other previously, slept in the same room and shared some beers together. Of course I am reminding you readers to be careful as well in dealing with strangers. We don't know who are good and who are not. I told her how lucky she is to have been to these countries, she said she does not feel exactly as I thought about it because she gave up so many things because of this. I will have a separate post about this soon. How I spent my 24 hours in the oldest city in the Philippines just to escape the pressures of my birthday. Wait, why 24 hours?! Because I got work the next day! I was thinking of just to get to Cebu to get on and off the airport then go to Bohol but the whole plan never happened! But I think what happened was actually the best. So stay tuned :)

Ooopps, I guess I've said enough, ladies you may click here the story. Let me know what you think.  [Photo courtesy of]

Ilocos Tour: Laoag, Pagudpud and Vigan

For four nights and four days, I and Lyn a friend took a Laoag, Pagudpud and Vigan tour. We started in Ilocos Norte where we visited Laoag City and Pagudpud. Then we went to Ilocos Sur in Vigan. Our favorites are the Paoay Church - one of the most photographed  and UNESCO protected church in the world,  the  Bangui Wind Mills at Pagudpud. Oh boy! We screamed the very first time we saw it from a distance while we are still inside a bus. Heck the people were looking at us! Oh of course who would not fall in love with Vigan - with those old houses that anyone walking there will feel like they've been transported back to our great-great-grandparents days. 

If you need assistance and complete itinerary where to go and where to stay CONTACT US we offer an Laoag, Vigan and Pagudpud Tour Package ANYTIME we will provide you the options where to stay and where to go. Just tell us WHEN is the date.

Day 1: Laoag Tour
Day 2: Pagudpud Tour
Day 3:  Vigan Tour

Bangui Wind Mills

Kapurpurawan Rocks 

Saud Beach

Paoay Church

Inside Herencia Cafe 

Cape Bojeador Light House

Vigan Cathedral

Along Calle Crisologo Street

Hi there :) My name is Maria Rona Beltran, the Founder of this travel blog and shop - Travel Maria you are reading right now. I want to stay connected to you to a lot of other online ways so I am sharing you my other social media accounts.  See y'all online soon:)

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Philippines is One of Top Holiday Destinations in 2011

Despite the travel advisory issued by Australia against Philippines,, an Australian travel website cited our country as one of the top holiday destinations in 2011 based on travel trends and statistics. Reason is "Philippines becoming increasingly popular due to the political unrest in Thailand and its untapped beaches". Brazil and India are also included in a suggested list of destinations, travel tips and airlines for next year. Brazil’s affordable airfares and its rich cultures, interest in India are cited too. USA and New Zealand are also in which were described as “old favorites”.

Also in the report is summarizing the holiday patterns of Australian travelers such us booking their travel 2-3 months early to save, adventure tours & cruises as popular holiday options and average number of days they spend on holidays which in Asia is seven days. Australia is one of the six countries (others are US, UK, Canada, New Zealand & France) that issued a travel advisory against Philippines few months ago citing “high threat of terrorist attack and high level of serious crime”. Australia and France revised and reissued its travel advisory after a month removing the “terrorist attack threat” but the rest of advisory remained as is.

Aside from the famous Boracay, another one rising is the Pamalican Island or known as Amanpulo is named as one of the world’s most romantic travel spots by Travel and Leisure Magazine. Hollywood celebrities Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, Samuel Jackson, Mariah Carey, model Claudia Schiffer, illusionist David Copperfield and boxer Erik Morales are a few who visited the place. To get to this place is through a scheduled charter flight which will cause not less than $300 for the flight alone. It offers a complete luxury which an average Filipino or even the above - average can't afford yet.

Source: Top holiday hotspots for 2011 by Kate Schneider

Hollywood Stars in Palawan by Cebu Pac's Smile Magazine May 2010

Manila is Ranked 9th Out of 30 Most Dynamic Cities in the World

Remittances from far-flung Filipino workers, healthy tourism and demand for IT products are the reasons cited for putting Manila as the 9th out of 30 Dynamic Cities in the World 2010 by Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. Manila is one out of the thirty metropolises graded by the growth of income and employment produced. Manila was able to get in the top 10 for the first time and it was emphasized that “the Philippines depends so heavily on [OFW] remittances that a 7% boost in mailed cash this year dramatically improved the country's economic projections for 2010.”

While Ex. US Pres. Bill Clinton urges to "get more people to come home" during his November trip to the Philippines this year, it is a sad reality that more Filipinos find abroad still the best resort to improve the quality of their lives. When one speaks of Philippine tourism, it refers to Boracay’s beaches, Palawan’s underground river or Bohol’s Chocolate hills but surprisingly, Manila’s tourism outshone them. The demand for IT products was not explained enough but thinking Manila is the central hub in the Philippines where most of the BPO’s (business processing outsources) are, it is really possible that there really is a demand.

Manila is home to 10 million people, plus one million for those living in the streets, under bridges or vagabonds at all. Manila Galleons during the Manila – Acapulco Trade are the largest ships ever built at that time during 1800’s – 1900’s earning the title “Pearl of the Orient”. The first airline in Asia, the oldest existing university in Asia even older than Harvard – University of Sto Tomas and  the only all steel church in Asia - Basilica Minore de San Sebastian ... these are all in Manila. Seen in The Atlantic, is the picture of the latter

Source:  30 Most Dynamic Cities in the World by Derek Thompson

Philippine Portraits from a Canadian Photojournalist's Lenses

"Its welcoming, friendly, creative, forgiving, kind and resilient people." says Canadian photojournalist Liza Linklater when asked what she finds so special about the Philippines. Her photo exhibit entitled Philippine Portraits displayed at The Alcove photo gallery of the Filipinas Heritage Library, presented fifteen (15) photographs taken in Tagaytay, Intramuros, Roxas Boulevard and Makati . Shot from 2008 until 2010, Philippine Portraits is mostly about ordinary Filipinos who dwell in the streets all day long to make a living or continue living.

Liza Linklater describes these people are hard-working that get up and work everyday to support their families. She adds "it is these daily occupations and the dignity and pride that they attach to even the humblest of tasks that I have tried to capture in my photographs". She is convinced that the country is really about the people though she thinks that the landscape is magnificent too. Her photographs were exhibited in Canada, Thailand and the Philippines. Her articles and photographs were published in North American and Asian magazines and newspapers. She has lived in Asia for eleven (11)  years and Philippine Portraits is the fruit of her three (3) - year stay in Manila.

Philippine Portraits is a hodge-podge of the country's identities. A touch of tourism can be seen in "Intramuros Guards" and "Three Nuns." Love for sports is shown in "Baseball Players", "Tennis Coach & Ball Boy", "Skateboarders" and of course the "Boxing Trainers".  Filipinos in the streets: "Pedicab  Driver", "Street Sweepers",  "DPC & Construction Workers", "Crossing Guards" and the "Guadalupe Girls". "Domestic Helpers" which used to be the flagship of overseas filipino workers before and education as the hope of the future "Manila Students".

Check the Photos:  

The Alcove Photo Gallery of the Filipinas Heritage Library

Intramuros Guards - Manila 2009

Pedicab Driver - Intramuros 2010

Guadalupe Girls - Makati 2010

Pedicab Driver - Intramuros 2010

Three Nuns - Tagaytay 2008

Boxing Trainers - Punch Out Club Makati 2010

To view the rest of the photos, click here

Information and Photographs taken from Filipinas Heritage Library dated Nov. 27, 2010

Philippines is now the 4th Biggest Shipbuilder in the World

“This year, the Philippines will become the fourth largest shipbuilder in the world, next only to China, South Korea and Japan. We are now already No. 1 in seamen, with 260,000 Filipino seafarers who sail the seven seas. We’re a superpower at sea. We have over 11,000 direct and indirect workers, and we plan to hire 2,000 - 3,000 additional workers in the next three years.” says Tsuneishi CEO & President Jon Ramon Aboitiz during the launching of M/V Tenshu Maru which is the biggest ship ever built in the Philippines. There are two world-class shipbuilding facilities that produce high-value exports in the Philippines:  Tsuneishi in Cebu and Hanjin in Subic.

M/V Tenshu Maru was launched last Nov. 10 at Tsuneishi shipyard in Balamban town of western Cebu province. Pres. Noynoy C. Aquino, the Japanese ambassador, Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia and other local politicians, leaders of the Aboitiz family who owns 20 percent of the shipyard, Japanese executives and workers joined the event. The M/V Tenshu Maru stretches 286.9 meter long, 45 meter wide and weighs around 92,000 tons. It only took 10 months to build the M/V Tenshu Maru with the help of 50 engineers and is now manned by 22 crews. To date, it is the 120th vessel constructed in Cebu.

The 147-hectare shipyard where M/V Tenshu Maru, was built 16 years ago with only 2,000 workers but now it surged to 11,000 workers and 70% of these workers are Balamban residents. Aboitiz added with the combined output of the Balamban shipyard and Hanjin in Subic, we’re surely be the fourth largest in shipbuilding. Balamban Mayor Ace Binghay in an interview said he is very proud that his hometown is the site of one of the world’s biggest shipyards though the place doesn’t have a track record of shipbuilding before. Pres. Noynoy in his speech thanked Tsuneishi “for achieving so much in short time and for the jobs provided to the people.”

Source: Aquino hails shipbuilders for jobs from Sunstar Cebu and Let's aim to be the Manny Pacquiao of shipbuilding, tourism and entertainment
Picture from

National Geographic's Thirty Rare Images of the Philippines (1898-1966))

Scroll down to see the images


Currently displayed in Trinoma are thirty (30) rare images of the Philippines captured by the National Geographic camera lenses from 1898-1966. Images are mostly about the everyday life of different tribes and their culture, untouched by a Facebook-driven world of today and what the Philippines is, as the second richest country in Asia around 1950’s.


National Geographic Society or the National  Geographic  is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. It started as a club for an elite group of academics and wealthy patrons interested in travel, 122 years ago. Gardiner Greene Hubbard became its first president and his son-in-law, Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone succeeded him in 1897 following his death.


National Geographic, has given grants for scientific researches and has recently awarded its 9,000th grant for scientific research conducted worldwide. Two of its most popular aided researches are Robert Ballad’s Titanic wreck findings and Jane Goodal’s Chimpanzee studies. Its trademark logo is a yellow portrait frame which is usually seen around the edge of the flagship National Geographic Magazine cover. This magazine is translated to 32 languages and has 50 million readers worldwide. National Geographic is located in Washington, D.C. where they maintain a museum free for the public.

National Geographic has ventured many endeavors such as book publishing, television, film, music, radio, museum exhibits, digital media and an annual International Geography contest for middle-school students.  Known as supporter of scientific projects, National Geographic is one of the international partners and consultants of the well-anticipated and first ever world class museum in the Philippines, The Mind Museum in Taguig which is scheduled to open last quarter of next year. This museum is also launching campaigns in search of volunteers, assistance particularly financial, hope we have inspired someone to be.

Here are a few photos taken from the exhibit:

Bogobo Man

Caption will be added soon

Dead Ifugao girl

Sultan of Sulu has Many Wives


Caption be added soon

This exhibition is presented to you by The Mind Museum, a science museum project of the Bonifacio Art Foundation, Inc. and its institutional partner, The National Geographic Channel.

Exhibition dates and venues (2010):

October 3-4 Greenbelt 5
October 7-10 Glorietta
October 21-24 TriNoma
November 12-14 Bonifacio High Street

Palawan Underground River No. 1 in New Seven Wonders of Nature

Puerto Princesa's Palawan Underground River is now in the top spot among the other 27 international finalists in an online search for New Seven Wonders of the Nature. Palawan’s underground river is a unique and magnificent river located at the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO and one of the most biodiverse conservation areas in the world. As described in the New7Wonders website, this place features a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2km navigable underground river, reputedly the longest subterranean river in the world with major formations of stalactites and stalagmites inside. At the mouth of the cave, a clear lagoon is framed by ancient trees growing right on the water’s edge.

Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn is calling more Filipinos here and abroad to support voting our very own Palawan underground river through Helping him are Tourism Secretary Ace Durano and mall heir Henry Sy Jr.  who launched a campaign in Mall of Asia last Aug. 13st. Globe, Smart and Sun cellular companies are also helping out for taking in votes for PPUR through text messaging. Subscribers can text PPUR, PPUR7 or PPUR15 to 2861. Palawan Underground River was in 13th slot two weeks ago and it needs more vote to stay on top of the list since the voting time is not over yet. The online contest will end officially on Nov. 11, 2011.

Joining Palawan Underground River in the list are:  Dead Sea, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Maldives, Grand Canyon, Jeju Island, Bay of Fundy, Black Forest, Iguazu Falls, Angel Falls, Yushan, Uluru, Galapagos, Milford Sound, Bu Tinah Island, Great Barrier Reef, Halong Bay, Komodo, Amazon, Mt. Vesuvius, Table Mountain, Masurian Lake District and Mud Volcano. Most of these finalists are found in Europe and Latin America. The latest ranking result was chosen by 58.38 percent of females who joined the online poll, with 41.62 percent of the voters comprised of males. Voting won’t cause Filipinos a single drop of sweat as there are two ways: either online or text messaging so please vote for the Palawan underground river!

Picture taken from and News info from Phil. Daily Inquirer's "Underground river now Nov. 1 in new 7 wonders online vote"

A Dare to Everyone: Walk Through the Streets of Intramuros; At leastOnce in Your Lifetime

It all started in the 30th Manila International Book Fair last September 19th held in SMX Mall of Asia in Pasay. I and two other friends having walked for 3 hours non-stop the almost countless book stands of all sorts happen to stop by another booth not known to us before. The name is Instituto Cervantes Manila. Sounds like French to me! Si! I know it is Spanish, it's just that it's something bizarre for me.

This institution offers cursos de espanol! Working in a call center for 4 years now and knowing to speak another worthy language is not an asset for everyone. It’s a treasure. A treasure not just in display but you’re paid. So we submitted our email addresses and since then we’re always included in their mailing lists.

There are film festivals, cultural activities & shows and conferences, symposia and seminars. Do not worry when you watch these films since there is an English subtitle like what I did before. I remember when I watched the 8th Spanish Film Festival in Greenbelt 3 Cinema Makati, I wanted to catch the last full show for that day. A 12 midnight show but I was able to arrive almost less than an hour. To my surprise all the tickets were sold out! I had no choice but to reserve a ticket for the next day. It’s like I am vying for a limited slot from now showing movies of these days. Not bad for just P65 I was able to watch films of high-class and multi-awarded. The usual movie fair is between P140-160, it depends on how ‘bankable’ the place is.

The rest is history… Though at this point I haven’t enrolled to any of their programs because of my murderous work schedule and it’s geographically far from where I am based now, I would definitely join when time permits. Sigh! I wonder when is that! The recent round-table discussion about preservation of our heritage sites I would say pinched my heart. I haven’t been to any symposia about cultural legacy and preservation and in these modern times that everybody is embracing a technology-driven environment but this one really knocked me out. I would and would always get this butt moving for any worthwhile activities that would focus on preserving our highest identities as Filipinos – our historical sites and things of our past.

I dare everyone instead of a usual trip to window-shop, engaging in a flirtatious chat online for hours or just going gaga over the Farmville, Mafia wars and Zynga Poker at Facebook to at least “once” in your lifetime walk-through the streets of Intramuros. Get inside the old houses and museums and take a look at the things of our past. Think of how we ourselves can cultivate and keep running in our blood the sense of ‘Filipinoism’ How the coming generations could still see at their own eyes the legacy of our mighty predecessors. Oh I hear my stomach grumping, might as well grab something to eat…

Pictures shown from top to bottom:

1. Old house in Intramuros
2. Spaniards gentlemen having some chatting with each other in a carpetted garden entrance in Villa Immaculada
reception place in Intramuros. I just loved the long straight thin vines that resemble a long hair.
3. A guardia civil standing through the passage.
4. Another old house in the same place

Philippines as one of the 25 Best Trips For 2010…

Whew! While some of our fellow kababayans are dying to book either an Asian or European tour trips to see the beauty, a known international and famous travel website based in California
that features great spots around the world has acknowledged Philippines, our beloved
country as one of the 25 Best Trips For 2010.

Honestly, first thing I heard about it. I did stopped for a while and think of what?
Where? Really? I admit I only personally know a handful of some world-class spots
in my own country. But then I (crossing fingers) would love to appreciate these spots myself and hopefully from our fellow kababayans who first should learn how to appreciate what we have or should I say what we have alone.

This is the excerpt of their featured trip:

"This May the outfit will lead clients high into the 4,000-foot Cordillera Central, then deep into the world’s most biodiverse marine environment. The trip begins in Banaue, where travelers spend days hiking into terraced mountains and nights back at the town’s namesake hotel (pine cabins, private balconies, killer views). Then it’s down to the island of Cabilao, trading butterflies for fish� species of them. For the next five days, you’ll bob around reefs, scanning the area’s 350 varieties of coral (including table coral that’s a whopping nine feet wide). But don’t forget: The best snorkeling starts at dusk. “It’s like being in a train station during commuting hours,” says Barbara Banks, Wilderness Travel’s director of new trip development. “The day fish are moving out and the night creatures like octopuses and eels are moving in.”

And guess what, it would take at least 12 days and almost $3000 (that's around P160,000+) to get this.

Check out their site: