Categories
Tech Travel

Smart powers Philippine festival season

Tourists and residents joining the various festivals across the country this year can look forward to an enhanced festival experience as PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) kicks off the 2020 festival season with the biggest festivals in the Visayas—Sinulog in Cebu, Dinagyang in Iloilo and Ati-Atihan in Aklan.

With various on-ground activities, an extensive LTE network and data offers designed for social media apps, Smart supports local and foreign revelers as they explore the sights, sounds and flavors that are unique to the region, enabling them to share their festival stories and experiences with their loved ones and the rest of the world through their smartphones.

Smart powers Philippine festival season

“Smart has always been a staunch supporter of the country’s tourism efforts, and these activities are part of our commitment to ensure that Filipinos and foreign tourists alike have the best experience during these festivities,” said PLDT Chief Revenue Officer and Smart President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio.

As co-presenter of Sinulog 2020, Cebu’s grandest festival, Smart has partnered with the local government of Cebu City in enhancing the experience of the various activities during the festival. Special activities and festival souvenirs await Smart and Sun subscribers at Plaza Independencia from Jan. 17-19, with a special concert featuring popular Filipino music acts on Jan 18. Smart is also sponsoring the Baladhay Music Festival on Jan. 17, featuring top international artists and local talent.

To enable revelers to share more of their festival experiences, Smart customers are encouraged to maximize Smart’s LTE network by upgrading their SIMs and devices to LTE, and registering to Giga Stories, which includes free Instagram and Facebook access.

Smart powers Philippine festival season

Festival season

Residents and tourists going to Kalibo can also join festivities at the TNT Saya Fest in time for Ati-Atihan, which is popular for its colorful parade of streetdancers wearing tribal headdresses. Happening alongside Sinulog festivities, Ati-Atihan is also held in honor of the Sto Nino.

Visitors touring Iloilo toward the end of the month, on the other hand, can look forward to Dinagyang festivities, which open on Jan 18. On-ground activities, including concerts sponsored by Smart and TNT on Jan. 24-25, are among the festival highlights.

Digital tourism and sustainability

Festival attendees can also explore other tourism spots using the Cebu and Iloilo digital guide apps, which include comprehensive travel information that could be downloaded from interactive tourism markers using one’s mobile phone.

Part of Smart’s #TravelSmart Digital Tourism campaign, the apps feature places to visit, food and activities to try out, and key service and emergency numbers. They also include heritage information, local literature, and cultural trivia.

In line with the PLDT group’s sustainability efforts, Smart is also installing environmentally friendly merchandising and promotional materials and has committed to work closely with the local governments overseeing the festivals in Cebu, Iloilo and Kalibo in the proper disposal of these materials.

Smart powers Philippine festival season

Nationwidest network

As of the third quarter 2019, Smart has increased the number of LTE base stations by 34% compared to end-2018 and deploying these in more areas of the country, including Cebu, Kalibo and Iloilo. Underpinning Smart’s network deployment is the continued expansion of PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, which grew by 26% versus end-2018 to more than 307,000 kilometers nationwide. This unmatched fiber infrastructure is a critical advantage for Smart.

For this level of performance, Smart has been cited by independent analytics firms for providing superior network quality. According to Opensignal, Smart provides the country’s Best Video Experience, Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience and Latency Experience, and provides superior 4G/LTE availability across the country.

Smart powers Philippine festival season

Ookla, the global leader in internet testing and analysis, also found that PLDT and Smart delivered the country’s fastest fixed and mobile data speeds for the first half of 2019, as they continued to widen their respective leads over their competitors.

The sustained improvement of the PLDT-Smart network has been supported by a stepped-up capital expenditures program that includes investments in network and IT systems, including investments in increased LTE coverage and capacity, expanded fiber transport and new international cable networks.

Categories
Business Travel

DFA eases requirements for APEC business travel card, goes on roadshow to spread awareness

To encourage more entrepreneurs to secure an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced it is easing the requirements for the privilege.

The ABTC is valid for 5 years and serves as visa waiver for business owners and executives to all 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies except for the US and Canada, said Office of the Undersecretary for International Economic Relations Acting Director Oliver Delfin.

Categories
Travel

China Airlines set to fly Taipei-Cebu in March 2020

China Airlines is set to launch a direct service from Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei, Taiwan to Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) starting on March 29, 2020 with six flights weekly.

China Airlines will fly the Taipei-Cebu route using Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 150 economy-class and 8 business-class seats. The flights will depart every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the following schedule:

Categories
Business Travel

Lite Ferries set to launch brand-new ship for Oslob-Dipolog route

Lite Shipping Corporation will launch on Monday its latest vessel M/V Lite Ferry Five, which was completed just this year, built in China and classed in Italy.

M/V Lite Ferry Five will service the Oslob, Cebu to Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte route. It will complete the trip in four hours, linking Northern Mindanao closer to Southern Cebu.

Categories
Business Feature Properties Travel

Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown opens

With its 547 guest rooms, Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown is the biggest hotel in terms of number of rooms in Mactan Island and the 2nd biggest in the entire Cebu.

The 18-storey hotel officially opened today. The hotel targets mostly business travelers and family vacationers because of its proximity to the beach and resorts around Mactan, as well as the new Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

“Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown is just 15 minutes away from the airport, which makes it a perfect choice for business travelers. Its location also allows one to experience the beach and the township at the same time, where restaurants, cafes, supermarket, spa, and other retail shops are just within easy reach,” said Megaworld Hotel Managing Director Raymundo Melendres.

Categories
Lifestyle Travel

Flight 001: your first stop for travel gear, adventure essentials

Whether buying a gift for a friend afflicted with wanderlust or gearing up for your own adventure, Flight 001 in Ayala Center Cebu should be your first stop.

The store, which is located in the mall’s new wing, has most everything a traveler needs for any journey – from luggages to bags, from passport holders to travel organizers, from neck pillows to an inflatable foot rest.

Categories
Lifestyle Travel

Hydro Flask opens in Cebu

When it comes to keeping your drink hot or cold, nothing beats the performance of Hydro Flask. The insulated stainless steel flasks can keep your drinks cold up to 24 hours and your hot drinks steaming hot up to 6 hours.

The award-winning leader in high-performance insulated flasks is now in Cebu. The brand, which originates from Bend, Oregon, has opened a kiosk in SM Seaside Cebu.

The Hydro Flask kiosk offers high-performance insulated bottles that come in different sizes – ranging from 12 oz to 40 oz – and colors. The bottles feature TempShield technology, a double-wall vacuum insulation to lock in temperature. Hydro Flask bottles are easy to carry and travel-friendly.

Categories
Travel

Oktoberfest, wine and dine, other offerings in Marco Polo Hong Kong hotels

Two things made my Hong Kong trip in early February 2016 unforgettable: the cold surge and ultra plush accommodations in one of the Marco Polo Hong Kong-Hotels.

As a Marco Polo Hong Kong-Hotels team led by General Manager Dalip Singh provided updates on new offerings in the three properties during a recent dinner in Cebu, I remembered our amazing stay at Gateway Hotel as below normal temperatures swept through Hong Kong.

The Prince Hotel lobby.

The Prince Hotel lobby.

Categories
Travel

Cebu Pacific marks start of ‘BER’ months, Christmas season with seat sale

Cebu Pacific greets the start of the Christmas season with a #CEBPACSuperSeatFest to kick off the first of the ‘BER’ months.

Coming soon this September is the Cebu Pacific super sale covering over a million seats to domestic and international destinations.

Get great deals as well on flight-bun-deals, with as much as 30% off on prepaid baggage fees and inflight meals.

The Super Seat Fest also gives you a chance to win a Fly Easy flight + hotel package by simply redeeming raffle entries using your GetGo points.

End 2019 with amazing getaways on a deal. Enjoy the Deepavali Festival of Lights, take the family to a fun adventure in Sentosa Island and Universal Studios in Singapore, or say ‘hello’ to Hallyu in South Korea.

Can’t take time off this year? Start your 2020 instead with a quick escape to a pristine white beach or by basking in the splendor of lights in Macau. While you’re at it, why not plan for a summer break or a long weekend getaway in 2020.

#CEBPACSuperSeatFest. Cebu Pacific greets the start of the Philippine Christmas season with a seat sale to kick off the first of the ‘BER’ months.

#CEBPACSuperSeatFest. Cebu Pacific greets the start of the Philippine Christmas season with a seat sale to kick off the first of the ‘BER’ months.

No need to burn the midnight oil or spend the entire night trying to book those seats on sale! An array of exciting travel deals awaits you over the next few weeks.

Having difficulty getting fare deals? Here are some great hacks to book those flights on sale:

Plan ahead

Seats on sale get booked fast so always have alternative destinations and travel dates ready. Read on the details of any seat sale—including destinations covered and travel period—and prepare your Plan A, B, and even Plan C. Make your travel decisions before the seat sale opens.

Need for speed

Each visitor in the Cebu Pacific website is allotted a limited time to book per session to give time to others.

The faster a transaction is completed, the higher the chance of scoring seats on sale so get your details down. Ready all personal details—including complete name, date of birth, contact information, as well as passport number and expiry date—to complete the booking process faster.

Make sure to also have payment details on-hand. For credit card or debit card, required details include card number, full name of the cardholder, the security code (or the CVV number), expiry date, and billing address.

More importantly, make sure to clear your device’s cache and browsing history before logging on to cebupacificair.com. A fast, reliable internet connection is also a plus.

Get updates

Like or follow the official accounts of Cebu Pacific on Facebook (@cebupacificairphilippines), Twitter (@cebupacificair), and Instagram (@cebupacificair) to get timely updates on the Cebu Pacific Super Seat Fest. September’s just the beginning. Gear up and BEReady for a holiday season to remember with #CEBSuperSeatFest!

Categories
Events Travel

Top deals on tours, experiences, airfare in Cebu leg of Klook Travel Fest 2019

Get ready for out-of-this-world deals on such popular attractions as Universal Studios Japan and Hong Kong Disnyland or activities like the Crazy Rich Asians tour in Singapore at the upcoming Klook Travel Fest 2019 on September 7-8, 2019 at SM City Cebu.

TRAVEL FESTIVAL. Klook market lead for the Philippines Michelle Cruz says the Klook Travel Fest 2019 on September 7-8 at SM City Cebu will be an exceptional two-day community-powered festival of music, food, and travel offers that include airfare promos through event partner Cebu Pacific and bookable activities in over 300 major destinations across the world.

TRAVEL FESTIVAL. Klook market lead for the Philippines Michelle Cruz says the Klook Travel Fest 2019 on September 7-8 at SM City Cebu will be an exceptional two-day community-powered festival of music, food, and travel offers that include airfare promos through event partner Cebu Pacific and bookable activities in over 300 major destinations across the world.

Klook promises an exceptional two-day community-powered festival of music, food, and travel offers that include airfare promos through event partner Cebu Pacific and bookable activities in over 300 major destinations across the world, said Michelle Cruz, the company’s market lead in the Philippines.

Cruz said they strive to bring travel experiences to customers through offline events, and the Klook Travel Fest 2019 will be held simultaneously in Manila and Cebu during the company’s anniversary month in September.

Klook Travel Fest Cebu

Exclusive Cebu Pacific sale

Cebuanos can also enjoy low fares through the Cebu Pacific sale happening exclusively during the Klook Travel Fest.

“We have always been a firm believer in making travel more accessible and affordable to every Juan,” said Cebu Pacific Corporate Communications Specialist Michelle Lim.

Cebu Pacific’s partnership with Klook allows the airline to go not only provide affordable flights to customers but provide them access as well to budget-friendly activities and attractions in their chosen destinations, she added.

EXCLUSIVE SALE. Cebu Pacific Corporate Communications Specialist Michelle Lim says the airline will be holding an exclusive sale during the event.

EXCLUSIVE SALE. Cebu Pacific Corporate Communications Specialist Michelle Lim says the airline will be holding an exclusive sale during the event.

Klook Travel Fest 2019

Klook is able to offer amazing deals on tours, attractions, and activities through its good relationship with its partners.

By making available a range of services, from airport transfers and wifi services to bookable activities, it has allowed tourists to go on hassle-free vacations.

To join the Klook Travel Fest 2019 in Cebu, sign up at https://www.klook.com/en-US/activity/26253-klook-travel-fest-ticket-cebu/ or check out the official FB page @klookph for more details.

PRESSCON . Klook head of partnerships for the Philippines Blessie Cruz opens the press conference to announce the Klook Travel Fest 2019.

KLOOK TRAVEL FEST PRESSCON. Klook head of partnerships for the Philippines Blessie Cruz opens the press conference to announce the Klook Travel Fest 2019.

Categories
Community Travel

MCIA recognized as a breastfeeding friendly airport

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) was recognized as a Breastfeeding Friendly Public Place by the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) during the 7th Breastfeeding Congress and the 1st Asia-Pacific Breastfeeding Conference in EDSA Shangri-La Hotel today, August 7.

The Breastfeeding Friendly Public Place Award recognizes the efforts of MCIA in providing a welcoming and safe space for breastfeeding mothers and their families at the airport, announced the GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA).

FOR MOTHERS. The Baby Care Room in MCIA Terminal 1.

FOR MOTHERS. The Baby Care Room in MCIA Terminal 1.

Resort-themed airport

“The baby care room was one of the significant changes introduced to MCIA after we had our first Airport User’s Forum (AUF) and this award recognizes the result of that successful collaboration. Moreover, this is a testament of our commitment to continue transforming MCIA as the world’s friendliest resort-themed airport,” said GMCAC chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah-Harrison.

Through the feedback and insights gathered from the AUF, the baby care room was redesigned into a welcoming, clean, and friendly facility where mothers can safely and comfortably attend to their children.

The baby care room in MCIA’s Terminal 1 was opened in May 2016 and features 4 breastfeeding cubicles with curtain partitions to provide privacy. It also has lavatories for handwashing and sanitizing breast milk containers; a refrigerator and a microwave oven for storing and reheating breast milk; and nappy changing stations. A FIDS (flight information display system) monitor is also installed inside so mothers can keep track of their flights without having to get out of the baby care room.

AWARD FOR MCIA. (From left) PPS President Dr. Salvacion Gatchalian, GMCAC Safety, Quality Head John Binamira, GMCAC Terminal Operations Head (T1) Nenette Castillion, and Dr. Claire Pascual from the PPS Breastfeeding Committee during the awarding.

AWARD FOR MCIA. (From left) PPS President Dr. Salvacion Gatchalian, GMCAC Safety, Quality Head John Binamira, GMCAC Terminal Operations Head (T1) Nenette Castillion, and Dr. Claire Pascual from the PPS Breastfeeding Committee during the awarding.

Mothers working at MCIA

Aside from traveling mothers, the facility is also available for mothers who are working at the airport. It is open daily and can be found in Terminals 1 and 2.

With the vision of transforming the traveling experience of and providing a friendly service to its passengers, private operator GMCAC invited different airport users to share their feedback and suggestions in a forum dubbed the Airport User’s Forum (AUF).

Launched in August 2015, The AUF forms part of GMCAC’s stakeholder engagement initiatives where it endeavors to seek feedback from airport users to ensure that the airport’s improvements and development meet the needs of passengers with specific traveling needs and requirements.

“This initiative is designed to go beyond the traditional approach of the airport operator carrying out improvements without consultation and feedback from community users,” Harrison said. (Press Release)

Categories
Food Travel

Huge discounts for rooms, buffet, and more at Quest Hotel Cebu Super Sale 2019

Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu will offer discounts of up to 60% on accommodation, dining, and banquet events at the upcoming Quest Hotel Super Sale 2019. In celebration of Quest Hotel’s upcoming 7th anniversary, the hotel will offer vouchers to guests and patrons at special rates exclusively at the hotel’s pop-up in Ayala Center Cebu from August 16 to 18, 2019.

Quest Hotel accommodation vouchers start at P2,750 net for an overnight stay in a Deluxe Room. Vouchers for Premier Deluxe, Junior Suite, and Executive Suite are available as well. Premier Deluxe vouchers start at P2,950 net; Junior Suite vouchers at P4,450 net, and Executive Suite vouchers at P5,450 net.

Huge discounts for the spacious Quest Serviced Residences are also up for grabs. Vouchers for the 1-Bedroom Serviced Residence start at P3,700 net while those for 2-Bedroom Serviced Residence is at P5,000 net. The Quest Serviced Residences boasts of higher floors and are equipped with living area, dining, and kitchen facilities.

Quest Hotel Super Sale 2019

Be it for business or leisure, guests seeking the ultimate hotel experience will revel in the room’s delightful amenities and scenic sky-high views of the metropolis. Guests enjoy complimentary access to the Fitness Center and the swimming pool, where they may also have bar chow and beverages at the Pool Bar.

Guests craving for delicious bites will have a blast at the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant, Pusô Bistro & Bar. Recently awarded by TripAdvisor with the Certificate of Excellence 2019, the award-wining restaurant presents an array of flavors both international and local from morning till evening. Discounted vouchers for the buffet and a la carte are available at the sale.

Pusô Bistro & Bar

Pusô Bistro & Bar was recently awarded by TripAdvisor with the Certificate of Excellence 2019.

Pusô Bistro & Bar’s highly acclaimed Breakfast Buffet is offered at only P450 net per person from the regular rate of P600 net per person. Lunch Buffet vouchers are available at P560 net per person and Dinner Buffet vouchers are available at P680 net per person. A La Carte Value vouchers are available at P2,650 net for a consumable value of P3,500; and at P1,600 net for a consumable value of P2,000.

Parties, whether for birthdays, reunions, or wedding receptions take center stage at Quest Hotel. The three-star hotel is renowned for its 10 state-of-the-art function spaces that can accommodate either intimate gatherings or grand soirees of up to 200 persons. Banquet Value vouchers are available at the Quest Hotel Super Sale at discounted rates of P15,000 net for a consumable value of P20,000; and at P10,000 net for a consumable value of P15,000. Banquet Value vouchers are applicable for social events only.

Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu

It surely is a grand, super sale at the Quest Hotel Super Sale 2019. Guests and patrons are in for an array of exciting options to choose from. To know more about the discounted offers, interested guests may visit bit.ly/QuestSuperSale2019 or call Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu at (+6332) 402 5999.

The Quest Hotel Super Sale 2019 vouchers are valid for use from September 1 to November 30, 2019. Hotel terms and conditions apply. (Press Release)

Categories
Travel

MCIA Terminal 2’s The Cabin Bar wins Asia Pacific Airport Bar of the Year

MCIA Terminal 2’s airport bar, The Cabin by London-based travel F&B operator SSP, was named as Asia Pacific Airport Bar of the Year in the Airport Food and Beverage (FAB) Awards held in Dallas, Texas on June 27, 2019. The Cabin Bar is the first full bar operating inside a Philippine airport.

The Cabin Bar exudes a resort feel with its open, flowing concept and wide, spacious countertops. The open bar allows customers to see the creativity and technique of the staff while preparing the drinks. Situated in a very central and visible location in the airport, the Cabin Bar surely stands out with its bright, blue chairs and towering canopy.

The FAB Awards recognizes the best in travel food and beverage worldwide.

Categories
Events Travel

MCIA raffles off plane tickets, Mercedes-Benz

Travelers who shop and dine at the Mactan Cebu International Airport will get the chance to win a Mercedes-Benz A Class A180 2019 model and round trip tickets via Royal Air to various destinations throughout the country.

MCIA and its partners launched the Shop and Win raffle promo on Monday in MCIA Terminal 2. The promo will run from July 1, 2019 to October 15, 2019.

“This is our way of giving back and thanking all the travelers, passengers, and stakeholders for MCIA’s successful operations and the continued support the past years, especially since the opening of Terminal 2 a year ago,” said Ravishankar Saravu, Chief Commercial Advisor of GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation.

Mactan airport retail

Saravu said the promo is also a way to encourage people to explore the retail areas of the airport. He said currently the shops are in Terminal 2, which hosts international flights, but more will open when work on Terminal 1 is done before the end of the year.

“What you see here are not just international and branded items but also Filipino products. If you explore a bit more, you will see the best of food options and the best of souvenir products from the Philippines,” Saravu said in an interview. “We want the travelers to explore a bit more.”

MCIA PROMO. Unveiling the grand prize for the Shop and Win raffle promo in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport are (from left) Royal Air Marketing Manager Joanna Marie Garcia, Royal Air VP Commercial Margarita Obejas, Standard Insurance Marketing Manager Anna Lisa Opay, Standard Insurance Vice President Joy Alampay, GMCAC Chief Commercial Advisor Ravishankar Saravu, Global Star Owner and President Edward Onglatco, Global Star General Manager Ritchell Selma, Global Star Sales & Marketing Manager Aimee Ting, and GMCAC Deputy Chief Commercial Officer Ma. Cristina Angan.

MCIA PROMO. Unveiling the grand prize for the Shop and Win raffle promo in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport are (from left) Royal Air Marketing Manager Joanna Marie Garcia, Royal Air VP Commercial Margarita Obejas, Standard Insurance Marketing Manager Anna Lisa Opay, Standard Insurance Vice President Joy Alampay, GMCAC Chief Commercial Advisor Ravishankar Saravu, Global Star Owner and President Edward Onglatco, Global Star General Manager Ritchell Selma, Global Star Sales & Marketing Manager Aimee Ting, and GMCAC Deputy Chief Commercial Officer Ma. Cristina Angan.

Ritchell Selma, General Manager of Global Star, exclusive distributor of Mercedes-Benz, said they partnered with MCIA because travelers comprise a wide new market they want to reach out to.

Under the mechanics of the promo, travelers must have a single receipt purchase as follows:

  • P500 from T1 Food and Beverage shops, T1 retail shops, T1 or T2 WH Smith, T2 K2 Pharmacy, and T2 PArk & Fly
  • P1,000 from T2 F&B shops, T2 The Spa at Cebu, T2 Plaza Premium Lounge, and T2 Aerotel
  • US$50 from T2 Mactan Travel Retail, T1 or T2 Duty Free Philippines shops

Raffle Draws

  • 1st Raffle Draw – July 31, 2019 (Wednesday)
    3 winners of 2 round trip tickets to and from Cebu to Puerto Princesa
  • 2nd Raffle Draw – August 30, 2019 (Friday)
    3 winners of 2 round trip tickets to and from Cebu to Cagayan De Oro
  • 3rd Raffle Draw – September 30, 2019 (Monday)
    3 winners of 2 round trip tickets to from Cebu to Davao
  • Grand Raffle Draw – October 16, 2019 (Wednesday)
    1 winner of Mercedes Bens A Class A180 2019 model and 2 winners of 2 round trip tickets to and from Cebu to Manila
Categories
Travel

Foreign students, travelers have best mobile experience with Smart-Club Cebu alliance

PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications and Club Cebu have teamed up to provide the best mobile connectivity experience to foreign students and travelers.

Club Cebu, a leading travel guide and Directory Company for tourists in the province, is bundling Smart SIM cards in its welcome for ESL (English As Second Language) learners.

Cebu is one of the top destinations in Asia for ESL students because of its highly skilled English teachers and less expensive school rates.

Mobile data

The availability of direct flights to other countries plus Cebu City’s proximity to beaches and other tourist destinations make the province an appealing choice for students seeking to learn the English language.

The bundled Smart Tourist SIMs are alloted 300MB data upon activation, and can get an additional 700MB when topped up with at least P30 load within three days. To further enjoy their mobile experience, Smart subscribers can avail of its data-packed prepaid bundles, including the newly enhanced Giga offers, simply by dialing *121# or *123# or texting the respective keyword to 9999.

PLEASANT EXPERIENCE. Alejandro Caeg, Smart Senior Vice President and Head of consumer business for customer development, talks during the signing of the company’s partnership with Club Cebu. Caeg said PLDT and Smart want foreign tourists studying in Cebu to have a pleasant experience by providing them with stable and fast mobile data connectivity.

PLEASANT EXPERIENCE. Alejandro Caeg, Smart Senior Vice President and Head of Consumer Business for Customer Development, talks during the signing of the company’s partnership with Club Cebu. Caeg said PLDT and Smart want foreign tourists studying in Cebu to have a pleasant experience by providing them with stable and fast mobile data connectivity.

With Giga Video+ 649, for instance, Smart Prepaid users can enjoy 8GB open access data and up to 1GB or one hour of video access to YouTube, iflix, iWant, NBA League Pass, and Cignal TV per day for 30 days, alongside unlimited texts to all networks and unlimited calls to Smart, TNT, and Sun.

Best online experience

“Though this partnership, students coming from Asia and all over the world will find it easier to stay online, as they continue to learn and explore the wonderful destinations in Cebu and other parts of the Philippines,” said PLDT-Smart senior vice president and consumer business market development head Oscar Reyes Jr.

With Smart, mobile users are assured of the best online experience. Ookla, the global leader in Internet testing and analysis, has recognized Smart as the fastest mobile data network in the Philippines for 2018. Smart has also consistently topped the Mobile Experience Awards of mobile industry analyst OpenSignal since 2017.

Canadian mobile data company Tutela, meanwhile, said in a recent study on the State of Mobile Networks in Southeast Asia that Smart users were twice as likely to experience “excellent” data connections, and Germany-based global benchmark leader P3 also cited Smart for offering the country’s best download speeds.

WELCOME KIT, TOURIST SIM. (From left) Patrick Tang, Smart Vice President and Head of Visayas-Mindanao Regional Marketing; Kecerin Hwang, Club Cebu Chief Editor; Alejandro Caeg, Smart Senior Vice President and Head of Consumer Business for Customer Development; and Hoyle Disuanco, Smart VisMin Regional Sales and Distribution Head during the signing of the agreement.

WELCOME KIT, TOURIST SIM. (From left) Patrick Tang, Smart Vice President and Head of Visayas-Mindanao Regional Marketing; Kecerin Hwang, Club Cebu Chief Editor; Alejandro Caeg, Smart Senior Vice President and Head of Consumer Business for Customer Development; and Hoyle Disuanco, Smart VisMin Regional Sales and Distribution Head during the signing of the agreement.

Stay in touch

“Our goal is to provide the essentials to our guests—these include mobile services and strong data connection, which they need not only to stay in touch back home and share their experiences online, but also to aid them in their studies. We know for a fact that PLDT and Smart are more than capable of providing these services to them,” said Kecerin Hwang, vice president of C&C Discovery and chief executive officer and editor of Club Cebu.

Under the partnership, Club Cebu student-members will also have a chance to win a trip to Boracay courtesy of Smart. All they have to do is share on their social media accounts their experiences in Cebu as an ESL student and a Smart subscriber. The mechanics of the contest will be announced soon.

Since 2011, Club Cebu has provided invaluable travel information and discounts to tourists visiting Cebu. The agency has partnered with hotels, resorts, malls, and other establishments to provide an enjoyable and hassle-free experience to travelers. It has also collaborated with top ESL schools to help guide foreign students on their journey to learning in the Philippines.

Categories
Travel

Cebu Pacific offers exclusive Piso Sale for Cebu

Cebu Pacific kicks off its special Independence Day sale by paying homage to its Cebuano roots. Beginning today until June 8, 2019, domestic and international routes coming in and out of the Cebu hub are up for grabs with fares starting at just one peso!

All Cebu Pacific and Cebgo destinations from Cebu are now on sale for as low as P1 up to June 8, 2019, or until seats last. Travel is valid from July 1 to October 31, 2019.

All rates will be sold without fuel surcharge, giving everyJuan the freedom to just go on that long-awaited trip – be it a special romantic getaway, a family vacation, barkada bonding, or a solo sojourn –with more money left to spend at their chosen destination. Payment centers will also be made available especially for this sale, opening more options for a fast and convenient finalization of bookings.

More important, with 21 domestic and six international direct connections from Cebu, there are more options for a getaway.

Cebu is an important hub for Cebu Pacific, as it serves as the gateway for travelers in the Visayas and Mindanao regions. It is a viable alternate to fly to other destinations in the country or to reach some of the most popular destinations abroad like Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Book your seats now at www.cebupacificair.com. (Press Release)

Categories
Feature Travel

Are you #Ready2Go? Travel the Philippines with 2Go Travel, 2Go Supercat

With the Philippines being an archipelago, going around the different destinations by ship is often the best and most scenic way to get anywhere.

In the Philippines, the top shipping company, whether for travel or logistics, is 2Go. It is the biggest cargo mover with close to a quarter of the market share. In passage, it corners 95% of the market coming in and out of Metro Manila.

With 2Go Travel, you can head to Manila, Cagayan and Butuan and vice versa. (Check schedules below). You can get 60 kilos free baggage allowance with free meals when you book your passage.

With 2Go Supercat, you can travel to Ormoc and Tagbilaran and vice versa several times daily. Passengers get 15 kilos free baggage allowance.

To contact 2Go Travel, call Cebu +6332 233 7000 | Tagbilaran +6338 501 9472 | Ormoc +6353 561 9818.

2Go Travel and 2Go Supercat schedules Cebu
Categories
Feature Travel

Macau in 2 days: Gambling, glitz, and old world culture

They strap you to your seats, turn the lights off so the whole theater turns pitch black, and—just as you start to wonder what comes next—your seats begin to rise.

All around you, dark and menacing Gotham City comes to life in the 4D flight simulation ride Batman Dark Flight in Studio City Macau.

You hear Gotham hero Batman telling you things both worrisome and reassuring as he takes you on a hair-raising ride through the streets and above or between buildings—sometimes narrowly missing objects, flying up and plunging down while the city burns and explodes, to battle villains and bring you to safety.

Fontaine de Mers

A replica of this iconic fountain greets guests at the cavernous Parisian lobby. Above it is a dome with classical paintings.

Roller coaster rides scare me so I avoid them at all cost and I went into the Batman Dark Flight ride thinking it would be similar to my previous 4D theater experiences. Boy, was I wrong.

Cebu-Macau flights

My first time in Macau some years back was through a ferry ride out of Hong Kong, but it’s now easier to travel to this special administrative region of China with Cebu Pacific Air direct flights from Cebu.

CEBU-MACAU FLIGHTS. Cebu Pacific flies to Macau every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. The flights leave Cebu at 6:50 pm, and arrive in Macau at 10:00 pm. The return flight leaves Macau at 10:45 pm and arrives in Cebu at 01:45 am the next day.

Since my first visit was just a day trip added to our Hong Kong itinerary, our must-go list consisted only of The Venetian Macau and Senado Square. We had to rush both.

Macau’s many casinos, currently over 40, have earned it the nickname “Las Vegas of Asia.” The biggest ones along the Cotai Strip are equalled only by the fancy hotels and plush clubs.

Our recent travel to this vibrant city, courtesy of Cebu Pacific Air and Klook, showed there is so much more to Macau than gambling and glitz

Ruins of St. Paul

Another facet of this vibrant city, one that traces back 300 years of Portuguese rule and influence, we discovered through the Macau Sightseeing Day Tour booked through Klook. Discounted down to a little over P3,000, the tour came with transport and buffet lunch and allowed us to cover most of Macau’s top attractions.

Our outing took us through the taste, sounds, and sights of old Macau with its mix of Chinese and Portuguese culture. Our guide regaled us with the idiosyncrasies of its rich and famous, pointed out the best souvenir shops, and enumerated delicacies that had us looking for soup, egg tarts, dim sum, and pork chop buns even late at night.

Ruins of St. Paul in Macau
BEST PHOTO SPOT. On the suggestion of our tour guide, we had our photo taken with the Ruins of St. Paul further down the stairs to where this arch can frame the image.

We didn’t just check out the Ruins of St. Paul, once a 16th century Portuguese church, we learned how the colonizers made it acceptable to the Macanese by building it with steps that summed up to the Chinese lucky number of 68.

Within Senado Square, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as it forms part of the Historic Centre of Macau, our guide led us along ancient cobbled streets with their names inscribed on Portuguese tiles, through buildings with European features, and to the other 16th-century St. Dominic’s Church.

OPULENT. The Venetian Macau is a picture of luxury and opulence and has replicas of various Venetian landmarks.

Macau sights

Through the Macau Sightseeing Day Tour, we had time for The Venetian with its replicas of Venice’s top sights: St. Mark’s Square, the Grand Canal, and ornate Venetian architecture. Of course, The Venetian also hosts Macau’s biggest casino.

A brief stop at the Macau Tower was also included in our itinerary. We had time to go up the tower and even bungee jump if we so wished.

The Macau Sightseeing Day Tour also brought us to the 14th century A-Ma Temple, one of three famous Buddha halls in Macau. It was along a sea promontory near this temple that the Portuguese landed in Macau over 400 years ago.

We took our lunch at a local restaurant that provides a buffet menu of Macanese and Portuguese food. It was there that I had my first taste of the popular Portuguese soup caldo verde.

SPOTLIGHT. Studio City’s premium restaurant serves a delicious buffet of international cuisine and seafood.

Studio City

Day 2 of our short trip was reserved for two top Macau activities: the 4D flight simulation ride Batman Dark Flight and Golden Reel Ferris Wheel.

The ferris wheel is shaped like a figure 8 suspended 130 meters high up Studio City’s facade. Make sure to schedule your ride on a clear day to make the most of the views from the glass cabins.

Flying with Batman was a different kind of experience. They don’t just rush you into the activity, they prep you first by herding you into a holding room where you get a primer from Batman on the situation you’re in. For a moment, you get this crazy idea that whatever was going to happen will take place in that room and that made it even more scary.

Photos of our Macau trip

Klook activities

On our second day in Macau, we had lunch at Studio City’s premium restaurant Spotlight. With a cinema theme and Art Deco style, Spotlight serves a wide range of international cuisine and seafood in the buffet menu. Lunch came with unlimited coffee and drinks.

Availed through Klook, our sumptuous buffet lunch came at a great discount.

Booking our activities through Klook also made things easier. There was no need to line up for tickets; we simply had to present our Klook vouchers at the entrance for scanning.

CEBxKlookTravels Team Macau. Our group of Cebu bloggers and writers in front of the replica of Eiffel Tower in the Parisian in Macau. (From left) Ryan Calle, Deneb Batucan, Sweet Veloso-Selma, Jude Bacalso, me, Max, Sven Macoy Schmid Lysa Amor Diaz -Ota, and Miong Pelimon.
CEBxKlookTravels Team Macau. Our group of Cebu bloggers and writers in front of the replica of Eiffel Tower in the Parisian in Macau. (From left) Ryan Calle, Deneb Batucan, Sweet Veloso-Selma, Jude Bacalso, me, Max, Sven Macoy Schmid Lysa Amor Diaz -Ota, and Miong Pelimon.

More Macau experiences

This gave us time for a quick visit to the Parisian Macao with its replicas of the Eiffel Tower and Champs-Elysees as well as hotel concierge made out like a gallery of the Louvre and a room in Château de Versailles.

A copy of the Fontaine de Mers under a painted domed ceiling decorates the Parisian’s spacious lobby.

We had time to look for pork chop buns at Taipa food street because we heard that one of the stalls there offers the tastiest servings.

Macau is definitely more than a day-trip destination, but we made the most of our two days by flying direct from Cebu via Cebu Pacific Air and booking experiences through Klook.

Egg tart Macau
Egg tart
Pork chop bun Macau
Pork chop bun
Categories
Feature Travel

Long layover, late night or early morning flight? Sleep, freshen up at Mactan Cebu Aerotel

If you need a place to freshen up, take a quick shower, or even a quick nap, head to Aerotel Cebu in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

Aerotel Cebu offers travelers comfortable solo and double rooms to rest or refresh themselves by taking a shower. It is open 24 hours daily and people can check in anytime and stay by the hour.

Aerotel Cebu shower
SHOWER. Each room has a bathroom that has a hot shower.

Coffee, tea and some light snacks are also available in the Aerotel Cebu refreshment counter.

Aerotel Cebu is run by the Plaza Premium Group, the pioneer and industry leader in providing airport hospitality solutions around the world. Aerotel is its international airport transit hotel brand.

Convenience, comfort

Aerotel Cebu is the Plaza Premium Group’s 7th airport hotel opening after Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Rio de Janeiro, Kuala Lumpur and Guangzhou.

“We look forward to enhance the travel experience of the passengers with our service ethos of convenience, comfort, value and love and care when they travel through,” said Plaza Premium Group Founder and CEO Song Hoi-see.

Aerotel Cebu has 9 Solo rooms, which measure 7.2 square meters, and 2 Double Plus rooms, which measure 9.6 square meters.

All 11 rooms come with ensuite bathroom with hot showers and amenities, complimentary drinking water, towels, slippers, hairdryer, big-screen color TV with satellite TV and radio channels, complimentary Wi-Fi, centralized air-conditioning and complimentary coffee/tea making facilities. All rooms also come with a writing table and a USB charging port.

Aerotel Cebu
AEROTEL CEBU. Rest and freshen up in Aerotel Cebu located in Terminal 2 of Mactan Cebu International Airport.

Service Rates

Shower with amenities
1 hour walk-in P500

Solo Room
1 single bed with ensuite bathroom and shower
3 hours P1,500
6 hours P2,200
9 hours P2,800

Double Plus
2 single beds with ensuite bathroom and shower
6 hours P3,500
9 hours P4,500

For inquiries or reservations, contact: [email protected].

More photos of Aerotel Cebu

AEROTEL CEBU is located in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
AEROTEL CEBU is located in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
Aerotel Cebu in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport
AEROTEL CEBU has 11 rooms.
Aerotel Cebu in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport
WRITING TABLE with power outlets for charging all your devices.
Aerotel Cebu in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport
Complimentary snacks.
Aerotel Cebu in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport
Free coffee and tea.
Aerotel Cebu in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport
Freshen up by staying in Aerotel Cebu by the hour or availing yourself of a 1-hour walk-in shower for P500.
Aerotel Cebu in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport
AEROTEL CEBU is the Plaza Premium Group’s 7th airport hotel opening after Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Rio de Janeiro, Kuala Lumpur and Guangzhou.
Categories
Events Lifestyle Travel

Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu offers Easter Family Holiday

Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu offers egg-citing holiday experiences for families to recharge, rejuvenate, and spend precious moments together during Easter. Located right at the heart of Cebu City, the three-star hotel is the perfect locale for a much-needed staycation with its delightful dining offers and impressive facilities.

Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu
EASTER TREAT. Families seeking a quick getaway during the Holy Week can go to Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu and avail themselves of Easter Treat, a room package inclusive of Deluxe Room accommodation good for two adults and two children, access to swimming pool and fitness center, a complimentary beverage at the Pool Bar, and 20% discount on bar chow.

 

For families seeking a quick getaway during the Holy Week, Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu offers the Easter Treat, a room package inclusive of Deluxe Room accommodation good for two adults and two children, access to swimming pool and fitness center, a complimentary beverage at the Pool Bar, and 20% discount on bar chow. The Easter Treat room package is offered at a special rate of P6,699 net for a 3D/2N stay and at P10,000 net for a 4D/3N stay. The package is valid for stays from April 13 to 21.

Seafood Platter Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu
SEAFOOD PLATTER features a scrumptious combo of crabs, stuffed squid, grilled fish and mussels.

 

During their stay, families may dine indulgently with a Holy Week special, the Seafood Platter, available at the Pool Bar. Featuring a scrumptious combo of crabs, stuffed squid, grilled fish and mussels, the set menu is at P1,800 net per order and is good for three persons. The Seafood Platter is available throughout April.

On Easter Sunday, April 21, children can join a fun egg-venture at the Funny Bunny celebration in the hotel’s award-winning all-day dining restaurant Pusô Bistro & Bar. Children will have a soaring grand time as they hop and hunt for Easter eggs at the scenic 7th floor poolside and enjoy an Easterlicious children’s buffet. Activities include Bunny Face Paint, Egg Hunting & Matching, DIY Bunny Pancakes & Easter Waffles, and a storytelling session by The Tutoring Club Cebu.

Easter at Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu
FUNNY BUNNY on Easter Sunday will include Bunny Face Paint, Egg Hunting & Matching, DIY Bunny Pancakes & Easter Waffles, and a storytelling session by The Tutoring Club Cebu.

 

Everyone is invited to wear their most creative bunny-inspired costume to the Funny Bunny program for a chance to win prizes from the hotel and The Tutoring Club Cebu. Registration is at P500 net per child, inclusive of children’s lunch buffet and activities. Registration starts at 10:30 am. Pusô Bistro & Bar’s Easter Lunch Buffet is at P700 net per adult.

It is going to be a fun holiday for the fam bam this Easter at Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu. For inquiries or reservations, guests can call (63 32) 402 5999 or send an email to [email protected]. For real-time updates, guests may follow @questhotelcebu on Instagram and facebook.com/cebuquesthotel on Facebook. (Press Release)