Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Mactan-Cebu International Airport named Asia-Pacific Medium Airport of the Year

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) was awarded the Asia-Pacific Medium Airport of the Year in the CAPA 2018 Asia Aviation Awards for Excellence. MCIA emerged top among airports with over…

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) was awarded the Asia-Pacific Medium Airport of the Year in the CAPA 2018 Asia Aviation Awards for Excellence.

MCIA emerged top among airports with over 10 million annual passengers. It was awarded for having been “the biggest standout strategically,” having “established itself as a strategic leader,” and having “done the most to advance the progress of the aviation industry.”

CAPA’s Aviation Awards for Excellence, held in Singapore on November 8, is regarded as the pre-eminent awards for strategic excellence in aviation. It rewards airlines and airports that are not only successful but have also provided industry leadership in adjusting to a new environment.

MCIA Terminal 2

MCIA was selected for the successful opening of Terminal 2, which provides ample capacity to support international growth and offers the best airport passenger experience in the Philippines. Terminal 2 lifts the airport’s capacity from 4.5 million to 12.5 million. The terminal took only three years to build with construction beginning less than a year after the airport was transferred to a new private sector consortium consisting of India’s GMR and the Philippines’ Megawide.

Mactan-Cebu International Airport

Terminal 2 of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

 

Following the successful privatization, MCIA won CAPA’s Asia Pacific small airport of the year category in 2016. Annual traffic reached 10 million passengers in 2017, putting MCIA in the medium airport category. Total passenger traffic at Cebu grew at a consistent 14% clip in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and has accelerated this year, reaching 26% in the first eight months of 2018.

MCIA’s international traffic has more than doubled since 2014, when the airport handled only 1.7 million international passengers. International traffic grew 29% in 2017 to 3.1 million, and is on pace to exceed 5 million this year following 65% growth through the first eight months.

MCIA network

All three main Philippine airline groups have been pursuing rapid expansion at Cebu, which they are now using as an alternative hub for transfer traffic. The airport also has attracted eight new foreign airlines over the last three years, and is currently served by 16 foreign carriers. MCIA’s network has expanded rapidly, and currently consists of 24 international and 16 domestic destinations.

“The opening of the new international terminal follows a highly successful privatization, positioning the airport for rapid growth and making MCIA a model for other airports in the Philippines and throughout Asia as potential PPP (Public Private Partnership) opportunities are evaluated,” said Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority General Manager Steve Dicdican.

At a time of industry upheaval, CAPA Aviation Awards winners are recognized for adopting strategies that offer new directions for others to take up. The CAPA Awards for Excellence are not driven by customer surveys or sponsorship. An independent panel of international judges researches the awards. (Press Release)

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Hong Kong Disneyland offers wicked fun with Disney Halloween Time 2018

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort presents the most wickedly fun celebration during Disney Halloween Time from September 13 to October 31, 2018. Halloween Town, where Jack Skellington and his mischievous friends…

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort presents the most wickedly fun celebration during Disney Halloween Time from September 13 to October 31, 2018. Halloween Town, where Jack Skellington and his mischievous friends from “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” wreaked havoc, will be recreated at the all-new “Journey to Halloween Town” immersive walkthrough experience, challenging brave souls to face down the “Pumpkin King” and his friends.

Disney friends and villains are getting ready for wicked encounters with guests at Mickey’s Halloween Time Street Party and Halloween Time Festival Gardens. Duffy’s newest friend, Cookie, will also show off her first Halloween attire and join the party. At night, the park will be hauntingly fun, when Disney villains come out to join Villains Night Out! Chapter 3 and turn the park upside down.

In true Disney Halloween fashion, an extensive range of themed merchandise and food and beverage items will be available, along with spooky Halloween decor and fun-filled recreation activities across the resort’s three themed hotels, ensuring that all Pinoy guests can enjoy a “play, shop, dine, and stay” getaway at HKDL this autumn.

Reliving “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” at the all-new “Journey to Halloween Town”

“Pumpkin King” Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie from the stop-motion classic “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” will loom large at the Main Gate of the park to herald Disney Halloween Time 2018. Themed decorations will point the way to the brand-new walkthrough experience, “Journey to Halloween Town,” at The Pavilion.

Get ready for an unforgettable journey, filled with iconic music and scenes from “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Venture into Dr. Finklestein’s Lab, where Jack Skellington’s friend Sally is desperate for guests’ help. Beware of the evil Oogie Boogie, out to trap guests in his lair. Brave guests are invited to find out if they have what it takes to tackle blood-curdling Halloween Town! And don’t miss the Jack Skellington and Friends Halloween Time Character Greeting.

Disney friends revel in the Halloween spirit all day long

Guests will experience the brighter side of Disney Halloween Time at Mickey’s Halloween Time Street Party. Every afternoon, Mickey, Minnie and Goofy will appear atop three giant Jack-o’-lantern whirlies with other Disney friends and a host of parade performers to greet guests and share the joy.

Guests should have their cameras ready to capture immersive Disney character greetings from day to night! Mickey, Minnie and the whole gang will be sporting their brand-new Halloween costumes – with a touch of regal purple – to embrace the spirit of the occasion. Duffy’s new friend, Cookie, will appear in her first Halloween outfit, marking her Halloween debut together with Duffy, ShellieMay, Gelatoni and StellaLou.

At Halloween Time Festival Gardens, Winnie the Pooh and other Disney friends, in their Halloween costumes, will greet guests for photos during the day. Young guests can also learn to make Jack Skellington-themed paper masks and then go trick-or-treating. After dark, the gardens will be taken over by Disney’s infamous baddies for some wicked fun for everyone.

Disney villains and spectacular shows add thrills to dark nights

The park atmosphere turns ominous as the sun goes down, when fearsome Disney villains come out in force to join Villains Night Out! Chapter 3. This year, Maleficent leads the malevolent Ursula, the Evil Queen and Jafar in the procession. They will be joined by Jack Skellington, Captain Hook, the Queen of Hearts and Cruella de Vil to cause merry mayhem as they march along Main Street, U.S.A. Do not miss the big finale, as Maleficent ends the show on a fiery high note.

Bringing a celebratory tone to the night time experience, guests can enjoy the vibrant and colorful “We Love Mickey!” Projection Show along Main Street, U.S.A. every evening! This surprise party pays tribute to Mickey Mouse’s major milestones and features his memorable classics, his full-color heyday, and a crazy kaleidoscope of Mickey in modern styles.

We Love Mickey Projection Show.

We Love Mickey Projection Show.

Spoiled for choice with extensive Halloween merchandise and F&B creations

A bumper line-up of close to 100 Halloween themed merchandise items, from apparel to accessories, toys and home décor, will keep guests busy hunting for favorite keepsakes. Limited-edition pins commemorating the 25th anniversary of “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” are definitely collectibles. The Duffy and Friends’ collection highlights their newest Halloween outfits, exclusive to HKDL. The reversible Tsum Tsum plush toys instantly change Disney friends into Halloween looks. The new HKDL-exclusive Boo collection introduces the fun of playing “peek-a-boo” to uncover a Disney character. Guests can also dress up as a family in the new apparel collection from the Mickey and Friends assortment.

More than 20 new Halloween-themed snacks and drinks will be introduced in the park and hotel restaurants. The Halloween Mickey Ring at Main Street Bakery will be sure to put anyone in the mood for Halloween, as will the new Sesame Egg Puff and Jack Marshmallow Vanilla Cookie, available at Outdoor Vending Carts. The Purple Myst and Green Devil Special Drink adds plenty of fizz to the occasion. At Crystal Lotus in the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, Jack’s Party dim sum set, featuring Jack’s Shrimp Dumpling, Crispy Pumpkin Scallop Puff and Mummy Vegetable Bun, looks almost too good to be devoured.

Why not take a breather from all the excitement and settle down for a character-themed Halloween set menu at Main Street Corner Cafe hosted by Coca-Cola? For a change of pace, enjoy a parent-child DIY cookie decoration activity while relaxing over a family buffet at Chef Mickey at Disney’s Hollywood Hotel.

Enjoy a complete Halloween resort vacation

Halloween fun extends to the resort hotels with a host of Halloween activities for hotel guests to enjoy. Young guests may unleash their creativity by making exclusive Disney handcrafts like tricky Jack door tag, learn to make towel Sally and tricky treaty candy bag. Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and Disney Explorers Lodge will immerse young guests in challenging themed games.

All hotels will also be delightfully, frightfully decorated. Taking the magic up a notch, guests can enjoy the Halloween Wicked In-Room Overlay for HK$899 from September 13 onwards. The room decoration package includes amenities box, slippers, door sticker, a pumpkin hamper with candies, wicked hats, cookies, a plush toy plus priority admission pass to “Journey to Halloween Town” and Halloween Playtime exclusively for hotel guests for a complete Halloween resort vacation.

Magical experiences fill Hong Kong Disneyland day and night

Seasonal entertainment will continue at the resort for the rest of year as Mickey and friends will share Christmas carols for a heart-warming celebration of “A Disney Christmas” from November to January 1, 2019. Festive fun will be introduced as Christmas tree lighting and romantic snowfalls create magical experiences for guests.

A rich line-up of one-of-a-kind experiences fill the park with magic day and night. The transformation of Hong Kong Disneyland’s castle is fully underway. The brand-new live atmosphere stage show “Moana: A Homecoming Celebration” in Adventureland marked the celebration of the first exciting entertainment offering under HKDL’s multi-year expansion spanning from 2018 to 2023. Next year, an all-new attraction: “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle!” the second Marvel ride-through experience at the resort – will debut as the park continues to expand its Marvel-themed area.

There is always something new to discover at HKDL, and guests from the Philippines are invited to visit the resort every season to experience Disney magic!

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Cebu Pacific launches direct flights between Cebu and Macau

Cebu Pacific will begin operating direct flights from Cebu to Macau and vice-versa 4 times a week starting December 7. The flights are every Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The…

Cebu Pacific will begin operating direct flights from Cebu to Macau and vice-versa 4 times a week starting December 7.

The flights are every Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. 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.

“Cebu Pacific is very proud to be the first to make this commercial connection available for everyJuan, banking on the opportunity to grow our other hubs outside of Manila. We believe that this new connection is not only an answer to our passengers’ demands, but will also stimulate both the trade and tourism aspects in both destinations as it makes available both passenger and cargo services,” said Atty. JR Mantaring, Cebu Pacific Vice President for Corporate Affairs.

Cebu Pacific Macau

 

Macau, with its prime location, allows it to serve as a gateway to Pearl River Delta, making it a perfect access point for business and leisure travelers alike. This connection gives passengers from the Visayas and Mindanao a more viable option to fly to and from the area.

Cebu Pacific currently owns majority of the connection between Philippines and Macau, holding over 50% of the capacity share as it now flies direct from three hubs—Cebu, Clark, and Manila.

To officially launch the beginning of this new route, CEB is offering an introductory, all-in seat sale of P999 until September 27, 2018, or until seats last. Travel period is from December 07, 2018 to March 30, 2019.

CEB also increased frequency of its flights from Cebu to Narita (Tokyo) from four times a week to daily, effective December 1, 2018. Direct flights to Hong Kong have also been added, from only seven times a week to 10 times weekly, beginning November 26, 2018. CEB, along with its wholly-owned subsidiary Cebgo, now operates direct flights to 21 domestic and five international destinations.

Aside from Cebu, CEB also operates flights out of six other strategically placed hubs in the Philippines: Manila, Clark, Kalibo, Iloilo, Davao and Cagayan de Oro. The airline’s extensive network covers over 100 routes across 26 international and 37 domestic destinations, spanning Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and USA.

For bookings, visit www.cebupacificair.com. The latest seat sales can be found on CEB’s official Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) and Facebook pages. (Press Release)

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A weekend in Huni Sicogon

Rough waters turn gentle and the cerulean deep gives way to aquamarine shallows as a speck in the distant horizon transforms into Sicogon Island. Our destination slowly appears as a…

Rough waters turn gentle and the cerulean deep gives way to aquamarine shallows as a speck in the distant horizon transforms into Sicogon Island.

Our destination slowly appears as a towering mass of green bordered by a strip of white that glistens under the noonday sun.

Nearer still, we can make out a gently sloping mountain with a curious peak that tapers down to an expanse of coastline with creamy sand.

Huni Sicogon

HUNI SICOGON. The spring water swimming pool looks across the seas to Islas de Gigantes.

 

The tide was high enough to allow our motorized outrigger boat to dock on the beach right where the makings of a modern and upscale resort have taken shape.

Huni Sicogon

Huni Sicogon, our home for three activity-filled days, sits right before the coastline and where in the far distance a grouping of islands called Islas de Gigantes forms the shape of a sleeping giant.

From our spot on the beach, we can make out a huge pool with bar, open-air restaurant, and sprawling two-level building with rooms that look out either to the sea or the green foliage of Sicogon’s iconic Mt. Opao. Parched from the journey, we gladly downed the drinks offered by a resort welcoming party led by resident manager Bayon Abescola.

Huni Sicogon

Our room in Huni Sicogon opens to the beach,

 

Huni currently testing out amenities, facilities, and services with half of the total of 52 rooms open in preparation for grand opening day sometime in the last quarter of 2018, according to Abescola. MyCebu.ph was among those invited to the resort’s soft opening.

We were billeted in spacious deluxe rooms that can accommodate a maximum of three and offer varying bed sizes. Family rooms are good for four and come even bigger at 53 square meters.

Huni Sicogon Island

HUNI SICOGON will have 52 rooms when all phases are done. It sits on a beautiful beachfront looking across the Islas de Gigantes.

 

Tourism estate

Named for the humming sound of the sea, Huni is a central figure in the Sicogon Island Tourism Estate in Carles, Iloilo. The tourism estate is a development born out of a partnership between Ayala Land and the Sicogon Development Corp., said Jonah Villena, Marketing and PR supervisor of the Ayala Land subsidiary Ten Knots Development Corporation.

Soon enough, a fully completed airport on the 1,100-hectare Sicogon Island will welcome the first commercial flight from the capital while a jetty port will make it more accessible to seaborne visitors. Bayon said he expects two motorized outrigger boats for island transfers and e-jeeps for travel within Sicogon.

Huni Sicogon Mt. Opao

SCALING MT. OPAO. One of the fun activities you should try when in Sicogon Island is to scale Mt. Opao. Huni Sicogon arranges hikes to Mt. Opao and provides local guides.

 

Ayala Land will also bring in a four-storey Seda hotel as well as a 77-bed hostel called Dayon to be conveniently located right beside the Sicogon airport within the next three years. A resort town center with retail shops surrounding a 4.3-hectare lagoon is also in the pipeline.

For now, though, there is Huni Sicogon with its easy access to warm sea and unspoiled mountain.

Island activities

Imagine afternoon walks by the coast, a cool dip in the freshwater spring pool, cocktails and karaoke. There are also such activities as kayaking, stand up paddle, and snorkeling to satisfy a craving for more energetic sport.

A trek through the dense undergrowth up Mt. Opao is a must-try but be warned that it does require a certain fitness level. The nearby islet of Tumaquin offers the more challenging cliff jumping activity.

Antonia Beach Islas de Gigantes

ISLAND-HOPPING TOUR. Huni Sicogon is the perfect jumpoff point to a tour of Islas de Gigantes, including to Antonia Beach, where you can eat scallops for P1 apiece.

 

Off site, there are the popular islands that make up the Gigantes group: the selfie island Cabugao Gamay, Bantigue Sandbar, and Antonia Island. Sicogon’s location makes it the perfect jump off point for hopping from one island to another.

Whatever you do, don’t miss out on the seafood in the islands. Whether you order it as part of resort fare or from a local community in a Gigantes island, you are always assured it is the freshest it can be.

 

More photos of our Huni Sicogon weekend

 

Huni Sicogon Island

BEACHFRONT. Huni Sicogon has an expansive beachfront that looks across to Islas de Gigantes.

 

Huni Sicogon Island

SOFT OPENING. Our group of writers from Cebu at the Huni Sicogon all-day dining restaurant.

 

Huni Sicogon Island

HUNI SICOGON ROOM. Our room during the weekend stay.

 

Huni Sicogon Cabugao Gamay

SELFIE ISLAND. Rock formations on Cabugao Gamay, more known as the selfie island for its iconic spot for taking selfies.

 

Huni Sicogon Bantigue Sandbar

1-PESO SCALLOPS. Feasting on scallops, sold by the tray at P1 apiece, on the Bantigue sandbar.

 

Huni Sicogon beach

DINNER ON THE BEACH. First night’s dinner on a the beautiful Huni Sicogon beach.

 

Huni Sicogon

FRESH SEAFOOD is always on the menu on Sicogon Island.

 

Huni Sicogon dinner

 

Huni Sicogon restaurant

 

Huni Sicogon dinner

Gising gising

 

Huni Sicogon dinner

 

Huni Sicogon Mt. Opao

TO MT. OPAO. Our group heading to the summit of Mt. Opao.

 

Mt. Opao Sicogon Island

AIRSTRIP. The airstrip and lagoon, which will have retail shops in the future, can be seen from the peak of Mt. Opao.

 

Balay Kogon Sicogon Island

BALAY KOGON. The beachfront of nearby Balay Kogon, which is part of the tourism estate.

 

Balay Kogon Sicogon Island

CHICKEN BINAKOL is chicken soup with coconut meat and water. We had this delicious dish in Balay Kogon.

 

Huni Sicogon

PINA COLADA

 

Huni Sicogon

THE WINNICK. This cocktail is named after Katheryn Winnick, an actress known for her role in Vikings. It’s her favorite drink and she requested the resort to make it during her stay. It has since become part of the drinks menu of Huni Sicogon.

 

Huni Sicogon Mt. Opao

HUNI SICOGON. The beachfront of Huni Sicogon and Mt. Opao on the background.

 

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AirAsia launches daily Cebu-Shanghai flights; Cebu told to be ready for influx of Chinese tourists

Cebu is the “perfect destination” for Chinese tourists because they are into diving and love the water and islands, said AirAsia China, North Asia President Kathleen Tan. AirAsia launched today…

Cebu is the “perfect destination” for Chinese tourists because they are into diving and love the water and islands, said AirAsia China, North Asia President Kathleen Tan.

AirAsia launched today its daily Cebu-Shanghai flights at the new Terminal 2 of Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

“Cebu has so much to offer. You have a rich culture and amazing, beautiful islands,” said Tan during the inaugural ceremonies. “The Chinese love to eat. Food is very important to them, and shopping.”

“Cebu,” Tan told those gathered at the event, “your city will never be the same again with China coming in.”

AirAsia Cebu-Shanghai

DAILY FLIGHTS TO SHANGHAI. AirAsia launches its daily flights to Shanghai with an inaugural at the newly-opened Terminal 2 of Mactan Cebu International Airport. Present during the event are (center stage, from left) AirAsia Philippines Chairperson Maan Hontiveros, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Antonio Chiu, Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, AirAsia China and North Asia President Kathleen Tan, Chinese Embassy Deputy Consul Wu Xiaomin, and AirAsia Philippines CEO Dexter Comendador.

 

Long-term growth

AirAsia Philippines CEO Capt. Dexter Comendador said the new terminal provides the airline “great capacity for long-term growth and expansion in Cebu as AirAsia’s hub.”

He said AirAsia now has 3 planes based in Cebu, which is the most outside Manila, ground equipment to support it, and about 200 employees.

“It’s a huge investment for us but we’re very happy that we did the right thing in connecting with China. It’s the largest market.” Comendador said.

 

AirAsia Shanghai-Cebu

MUCH TO OFFER. Cebu has much to offer to tourists based in China, said AirAsia China, North Asia President Kathleen Tan.

 

Market doing very well

He said they initially only wanted to divert passengers from Boracay, with the closure of the island in April, but “we found out that the market is working very well.”

“It’s a good problem for me,” Comendador said, “because when Boracay opens, I will need to find other planes to fly that route because I cannot, I will not, pull out the routes that we have established as alternate to Boracay.”

Tan described the development as “very exciting” because the airline has been able to connect “Cebu to a very important market. China is now ranked as one of the biggest outbound travel market in the world.”

Encouraging response

She described the initial response as very encouraging, with the inaugural flight from Shanghai to Cebu set to arrive past midnight at 99% of load capacity with 179 passengers.

Tan said forward sales also show good booking rates. She said they are aiming to have at least 80% load factor for the routes.

She said the Chinese “now have a big appetite for travel.” It is a “lifestyle commodity” especially for travelers from Shanghai.

She also said that she learned from Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Antonio Chiu that after they opened their routes to China, there have been Chinese business people who expressed interest in investing in Cebu.

AirAsia Cebu-Shanghai

CEBU IS READY. Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale said Cebu is ready for the influx of tourists from China with the new flights by AirAsia.

 

Young, independent travelers

Tan said many of their customers are those born in the 1980s and 1990s and they see more independent and young Chinese travelers. To engage them, she encouraged those in the industry to go digital, mobile, and social.

Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale welcomed the new routes as opportunities for Cebu to get more exposure to the Chinese market.

Magpale said that with the opening of Terminal 2, Cebu can accommodate more international flights.

AirAsia Shanghai-Cebu

EXPANSION. AirAsia Philippines CEO Capt. Dexter Comendador said the new Terminal 2 of MCIA provides the airline “great capacity for long-term growth and expansion in Cebu as AirAsia’s hub.”

 

Cebu is ready

“Cebu is really, really ready for more Chinese tourists,” she said during the event.

“With these added flights, we know that we will hit our 10 million mark for Cebu. We’ve asked the hotels, the resorts and they are really ready. The Provincial Government as well as the City Government are right behind the business community to make Cebu ready,” she added.

Chinese Embassy Deputy Consul Wu Xiaomin said that last year, the number of tourists from China to the Philippines increased 75%, the fastest growing among foreign markets.

“Tourism brings economic benefits both to the host country and the tourists’ home country,” he said. “I believe that improved relations between the Philippines and China is a key factor in the improved tourism market.”

 

AirAsia Cebu-Shanghai flights

The cake to mark the new flights.

 

Facebook Livestream of event

 

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3-day Grand Travel Bazaar offers top deals on airfare, travel packages

Tick off that elusive dream destination in your bucket list as the Grand Travel Bazaar opens today at The Gallery in Ayala Center Cebu with the best deals on plane…

Tick off that elusive dream destination in your bucket list as the Grand Travel Bazaar opens today at The Gallery in Ayala Center Cebu with the best deals on plane fares and tour packages.

Book flights with such premier airlines as Cathay Pacific, SilkAir, EVA Air, Korean Air, Turkish Airlines, and Philippine Airlines at super discounted rates.

The Grand Travel Bazaar, which brings together Cebu’s top travel agencies and their premier airline partners, is an exclusive sale for BPI Cardholders and allow them to enjoy real zero percent interest rate for 3 months installment payments.

Cebu Grand Travel Bazaar

ZERO PERCENT INTEREST. The Grand Travel Bazaar, which brings together Cebu’s top travel agencies and their premier airline partners, is an exclusive sale for BPI Cardholders and allow them to enjoy real zero percent interest rate for 3 months installment payments.

 

Longer installments are also available with a little add-on interest rate, said BPI Cards Visayas Regional Marketing Head Fe Emlyn Boltron-Aleonar. She said flights booked during the event already include travel insurance.

Cathay Pacific bestsellers

For the 3-day event up to Sunday, July 8, 2018, Cathay Pacific offers travel deals out of Cebu on economy class to Hong Kong for as low as USD185, to Narita, Osaka, Nagoya, Seoul, and Busan for as low as USD335, and to Taipei for as low as USD225.

Cathay Pacific District Sales and Marketing Manager Hazel Tagimacruz urged Cebuanos to take advantage of the really good deals offered up to Sunday.

North America destinations out of Cebu via Hong Kong start from USD695 while Australia flights start from USD460. Cathay Pacific fares to several European cities from Cebu are priced around USD700.

Cebu Grand Travel Bazaar

OPENING. Organizers cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the 3-day Grand Travel Bazaar in Ayala Center Cebu.

 

Extensive SilkAir network

Jake Jeow, SilkAir Country Manager, said they are offering discounted fare rates for economy, premium economy, and business class flights to more than 100 destinations in their network.

SilkAir flights to Singapore go for as low as USD168 for travel in 2018 and USD184 in 2019.

Promo fares to SilkAir’s Southeast Asian destinations like Phuket, Vientiane, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur is at USD237 for travel in 2018 and USD243 in 2019 for return trips.

Return flights to London, Frankfurt, Zurich, Barcelona, Paris, Dusseldorf, Munich, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Milan, Moscow, and Rome are at USD737 all-in for travel within 2018.

Grand Travel Bazaar Cebu

TRAVEL ESSENTIAL. Customers get discount coupons for Delsey products courtesy of the Primer Group.

 

More Europe destinations

Turkish Airlines joins the Grand Travel Bazaar with flights out of Manila to Europe and Asia.

Patricia Villagracia, airline sales executive, said they fly to more destinations in Europe and their extensive network even includes Belarus, Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, and other key European cities. Return fares on economy class range from USD600 to USD800. From Manila, flights to the Turkish Airlines hub in Istanbul is only about 12 hours with layover of 2-3 hours before proceeding to the final destinations.

 

Facebook Livestream of opening

 

International, local flights

EVA Air offers the lowest return flights to Taipei at USD200. Other airline destinations on sale include the US cities of Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Houston, and Chicago.

Direct return flights from Cebu to Narita, Osaka, Nagoya, and Incheon via Philippine Airlines go for as low as USD209. PAL’s Cebu-Bangkok round-trip fare is at USD149.

PAL is also offering discounted rates to 14 local destinations from Cebu, with one way-fares starting from P699.

Korean Air also joins the bazaar for the second year with flights to the West and East coasts going for as low as USD697 and USD789.

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Millican roll pack: the backpack for travelers, digital nomads

With enough room for a laptop, tablet, phones, portable drives, voice recorder, tripod, selfie stick, pocket WiFi, power cord extension, numerous data cables and several paper notebooks, the Millican roll…

With enough room for a laptop, tablet, phones, portable drives, voice recorder, tripod, selfie stick, pocket WiFi, power cord extension, numerous data cables and several paper notebooks, the Millican roll pack is the backpack for travelers and digital nomads.

I got a 25-liter Maverick roll pack during a sale by the Primer Group, the exclusive distributor of the brand in the country, and it is one of the best purchases I’ve ever had. I’ve used the Millican bag exclusively for weeks and can say that it is the best backpack that I’ve had in the decades of carrying one.

I’ve gone through all the usual brands – Hawk (my go-to brand for years), The North Face, Jansport, and Case Logic – but nothing comes close to Millican in utility, durability, and style.

For one, I finally have a bag that can fit all the stuff I carry around for work or leisure.

Millican MAvericks rollpack

TRAVEL, WORK FROM ANYWHERE. The Millican 25-liter Maverick roll pack has room enough to carry all the things I need to work from anywhere.

 

Hidden laptop sleeve

The Millican has a hidden laptop sleeve at the back panel that’s perfect for my 13-inch Macbook Air. With its padded protection, I don’t need a separate laptop sleeve like I did with the other bags. The hidden pocket can hold a notebook of up to 15 inches. It is also lined with “100% waterproof recycled polyester,” according to the company.

There’s a separate hidden key pocket that can fit an iPad mini or a smaller Android tablet. It’s also perfect for phones and other gadgets.

The Maverick has a large front external pocket that can hold notebooks, phones, pocket WiFi, business cards, and even the 20,000mAh that powers my devices throughout the day. Behind this is an open pocket that is perfect for maps, brochures, or notebooks for easy access and inserts.

Millican rollpack

LAPTOP SLEEVE. The Maverick backpack has a hidden laptop sleeve at the back lined waterproof recycled polyester.

 

Holder for tripod, walking stick

It has 2 large side pockets that can hold a flask, more notebooks or other knickknacks. One side pocket has a holder for tripods or walking stick.

Inside the bag are several more pockets to fit even more things that you need to carry around. These pockets can fit clipboards, notebooks, and other important documents.

The roll top lid opening makes access to the stuff that you need easy. It also makes the backpack adjust to the amount of stuff you carry around. With the Maverick, I finally feel I have more room than things to stuff into it. With previous backpacks, I’d often have to carry a separate messenger bag to carry things that wouldn’t fit for longer trips or coverages that require use of more equipment.

Millican backpack

TO THE BEACH. Millican bags are “made to last” and provide “a protective barrier to keep the wet weather out,” the company said.

 

Made to last

Millican bags, the company said in its website, “are made to last.” Its outer fabric is made of Bionic Cotton Canvas, a company exclusive that is 38% cotton, 57% recycled polyester, 5% HT polyester and impregnated with a paraffin wax and a C6 DWR or durable water resistant coating.

“This creates a protective barrier to keep the wet weather out. Your bag will continue to repel water droplets as long as the fabric is kept clean and nourished every few years with a protective treatment,” the company said.

All Maverick bags use aluminum buckles “tough enough to withstand an average force of around 122 kgf (kilogram force). The aluminium is anodized, which provides a weather resistant surface without tarnishing, and the anodized trims we use are non-toxic and contain no nickel.”

Kindred spirits

If the backpack feels it was made for traveling it is because it was made by hardcore travelers.

Millican was started by Jorrit and Nicky, who met while traveling in the early 90s on the border of Ecuador and Peru. They traveled together for 2 years before returning to regular life in the UK.

“It wasn’t long before we slipped into regular life. Jobs, family, a house and a routine out in the suburbs. But there was always a flicker of light, an ember that never quite went out,” they said on their website.

Millican Maverick backpack

LARGE POCKETS. Millican’s Maverick backpack has large external pockets, including 2 in both sides large enough to carry a 600ml flask. One side pocket has an attachment to carry around a tripod and walking stick.

 

“Then one story changed our lives for good. The true story of Millican Dalton, a maverick from the 1900s who swapped his existence in London for an extraordinary life of adventure in the mountains of the Lake District.”

The co-founders said Dalton inspired them to take a leap of faith and follow their own path.

“In homage to Millican Dalton, who was known to make his own clothing and rucksacks, we decided to name our company after him. His teachings still influence our decisions today,” they said.

In Cebu, Millican bags are available in GRIND and Bratpack.

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Cathay to fly Hong Kong-Davao City route 4 times weekly

The Cathay Pacific Group today announced that its regional airline, Cathay Dragon, will launch a four-times-weekly service to Davao City from October 28. The new route, the only non-stop flight…

The Cathay Pacific Group today announced that its regional airline, Cathay Dragon, will launch a four-times-weekly service to Davao City from October 28. The new route, the only non-stop flight between Hong Kong and Davao City, will be operated by an Airbus A320 aircraft.

The Cathay Pacific Group has served the Philippines since 1946, Cathay Pacific’s inaugural year of operations. Davao City will be its fourth destination in the country, complementing existing services to Manila, Cebu and Clark.

Cathay Pacific Country Manager Philippines Rob Bradshaw said the new services reflect the group’s commitment to growing its reach, providing customers with more choice and options when connecting through the airlines’ hub to over 200 destinations in its network.

Cathay Davao-Hong Kong

PREMIUM EXPERIENCE. Cathay Pacific Country Manager Philippines Rob Bradshaw, in announcing the new services in Davao, said that “with our renowned signature service and convenient schedule, customers will be assured of a premium experience when they travel with us.” The photo shows Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the country that is located in Davao.

“We have a rich and robust history of serving the Philippines and we are thrilled today to grow our presence to Davao, our fourth destination in the country,” he said. “With our renowned signature service and convenient schedule, customers will be assured of a premium experience when they travel with us. Through the efficient and passenger friendly Hong Kong hub, the world is now one step closer to our customers in Mindanao.”

The flight schedule for the Hong Kong – Davao City (DVO) service starting October 28, 2018 is as follows:

Flight No. KA347 / HKG – DVO / Departure 1235, Arrival 1550 / Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays
Flight No. KA348 / DVO – HKG / Departure 1650, Arrival 2000 / Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays

Already this year, the Cathay Pacific Group has launched services to Nanning, Jinan and Brussels. Other new routes to take-off in 2018 include Dublin (June) and Washington (September), as well as seasonal services to Copenhagen (May) and Cape Town (November). (Press Release)

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AirAsia opens 3 Cebu-China routes; starts Clark flights from Cebu

To meet the demand of a fast growing Chinese travel market, Philippines AirAsia will start new routes to Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Shanghai in China from Cebu in May and July….

To meet the demand of a fast growing Chinese travel market, Philippines AirAsia will start new routes to Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Shanghai in China from Cebu in May and July.

The Cebu-Shenzhen daily flights will start on May 9, 2018 with promo fares from as low as P888 for bookings until April 22, 2018 and for travel from May 9, 2018 to October 27, 2018.

“Cebuano travelers will be delighted to experience Shenzhen’s modern metropolis and marvel at how the southern city that links Hong Kong to mainland China built the world’s largest electric bus fleet, massive malls, contemporary buildings, and amusement parks,” said Philippines AirAsia Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dexter Comendador.

AirAsia’s first China route from Cebu will further strengthen the company’s network outside Metro Manila and open up new and exciting places to visit this summer, he added.

AirAsia new routes

NEW AIRASIA ROUTES. (From left) Allenie Caccam, AirAsia Senior Marketing Manager for International Routes; AirAsia CEO Dexter Comendador; Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Antonio Chiu; and Domestic Marketing Manager Cathy Cabahug.

“AirAsia feels strongly about developing tourism and trade outside of Metro Manila,” Comendador also said. In Cebu, he was grateful for the support of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).

New domestic, international routes

One more route, Cebu-Hangzhou, will be opened in May and a third, Cebu-Shanghai, will start in July. Comendador said they’re still getting the necessary permits and will announce the inaugural dates for these flights soon.

Allenie Caccam, AirAsia Senior Marketing Manager for International Routes, said the new Cebu-China routes would invite more Chinese tourists and businessmen to visit Cebu and experience how wonderful it is as a destination. At the same time, more tourists in the Visayas and Mindanao would get connected to AirAsia’s international routes.

AirAsia new routes

NEW CEBU-CHINA ROUTES. Philippines AirAsia will start new routes to Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Shanghai in China from Cebu in May and July.

Philippines AirAsia will also start Cebu-Clark flights on May 11, 2018. Seats for this route are being offered from as low as P17 only for bookings up to April 22, 2018 and travel between May 11, 2018 to October 26, 2018.

“AirAsia is here to support the government’s flagship projects to boost tourism and trade. We aim to better connect Clark to secondary cities within the Philippines like Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Tacloban followed by inter-Asean connectivity where the AirAsia Group has massive network covering over 120 destinations in the whole of ASEAN, in greater Asia, Australia, United States, and beyond,” Comendador added.

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Eggciting Easter at Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu

Families are in for magical fun and delectable delights at Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu on Easter Sunday, April 1, as the hotel sets a fairytale-themed celebration called Eggciting…

Families are in for magical fun and delectable delights at Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu on Easter Sunday, April 1, as the hotel sets a fairytale-themed celebration called Eggciting Easter.

Eggciting Easter will feature a variety of children’s activities including face-painting, a magic show, balloon twisting, DIY cupcake art and film showing inside Pusô Bistro & Bar. It will culminate with an egg hunt at the breezy and open-air 7th-floor poolside. Children’s activities will be from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and is at P500 net per child inclusive of lunch buffet.

Everyone in the family will likewise enjoy indulging in Pusô Bistro & Bar’s Easterrific Feast, a holiday spread featuring hearty mains, Easter-inspired pastries and desserts, homemade pasta, fresh salads, sumptuous barbecues and more. Easterrific Feast is available for lunch at P700 net per person and for dinner at P850 net per person.

On top of the spread, guests may also raise a toast to the day’s celebration with Cheers to Easter. On the day there will be a Wine & Beer Buffet available at P500++ per person and Free-Flowing Sparkling Wine and Mimosa at P450++ per person.

It is an extremely ‘eggciting’ celebration at Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu on Easter Sunday. For inquiries or reservations, guests may call +6332 402 5999 or follow Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu and Pusô Bistro & Bar on Facebook and Instagram. (Press Release)

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Traveling in Cebu? Here are important phone contacts

Whether you are headed to any of its white sand beaches, majestic waterfalls, or historic places, Cebu has a lot to offer. It is an exciting and safe place to…

Whether you are headed to any of its white sand beaches, majestic waterfalls, or historic places, Cebu has a lot to offer. It is an exciting and safe place to visit.

In case you encounter problems and need to contact a tourism officer or the police, here are important phone numbers for your reference. These numbers will be included in the next update of Cebu Guide, which is part of the Digital Tourism collaboration among SMART Communications, InnoPub Media, and various local government agencies. The numbers were provided by the Cebu Provincial Tourism Office.

Tourism Destinations / Tourism Police / Other Offices

Provincial Tourism Office
0932 194 4363 or 253 5642

Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Headquarters
0928 832 3434 or 0928 832 3162

Bantayan
0915 873 8042 or 460 9078

Canyoneering
0929 808 2954

Nalusuan Island
0929 844 6124

Oslob Whale Watching
0998 405 9923

Kawasan Falls
0949 622 9838

Moalboal
0999 506 0454 or 0939 345 1349

Santander
0999 450 5419 or 0919 363 1394

Daanbantayan
0916 423 3121 or 437 7271

Santa Fe
0927 983 2497 or 438 9054

Malapascua Island
0995 609 2279

Camotes Island
0949 939 8830 or 0909 316 4069

Cebu Province Hospitals

Cebu Provincial Hospital-Balamban
260 0543 or 333 2273

Cebu Provincial Hospital-Bogo City
434 9080 or 251 2760

Cebu Provincial Hospital-Carcar City
487 8120 or 487 8334 or 487 8952

Cebu Provincial Hospital-Danao City
262 0816 or 200 3323

Badian District Hospital
475 9046 or 475 5592

Bantayan District Hospital
460 9031 or 460 9034 or 352 5231 or 460 9330

Barili District Hospital
470 9026

Isidro C. Kintanar Memorial Hospital-Argao
485 6507 or 506 508

Ricardo L. Maningo Memorial Hospital-Camotes
497 0243 or 497 0243 or 514 3327

Daanbantayan District Hospital
437 5525 or 437 8143 or 437 8061

Mariano J. Cuenco Memorial Hospital-Malabuyoc
477 8883 or 478 2018

Minglanilla District Hospital
490 0900 or 490 0979

Oslob District Hospital
481 9986 or 481 9985

Jose Ma. Borromeo Memorial Hospital-Pinamungajan
468 9264 or 468 9239

Juan B. Dosado Memorial Hospital-Sogod
431 9080

Tuburan District Hospital
463 9515 or 463 9515

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Hello Summer 2018 offers exclusive room promos, raffle prizes

With summer just around the corner, Crimson Resort & Spa, Mactan together with Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu greet the season with an exciting kick-off event for the Hello…

With summer just around the corner, Crimson Resort & Spa, Mactan together with Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu greet the season with an exciting kick-off event for the Hello Summer campaign launch on February 28 at the Garden Bloc of Cebu I.T. Park. A countrywide initiative of Chroma Hospitality Inc., Hello Summer presents jaw-dropping room offers exclusive for the season topped off with amazing raffle prizes.

The Hello Summer launch in Cebu is a celebration of the best that the metro has to offer. It begins with a motorcade at 4 p.m. and going through the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Talisay, with a stopover at the new Il Corso Mall at the South Road Properties.

Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu

Crimzone Pirate Show, booth displays

The event’s highlights include a preview of the well-loved Crimzone Pirate Show with a jam-packed play area for young ones to take part in; a selection of homegrown food stalls; dance performances; and raffle games. It culminates with an exhilarating set by DJ Neil Retro of Oqtagon starting 9 p.m. until midnight.

From afternoon until evening, there are spectacular booth displays, giveaways and event support by the following sponsors: One Oasis Cebu, San Remo Oasis, Air Asia, Island Souvenirs, iShow Cebu, Il Corso, Supernova Summer Collection, Cebu Holdings Inc., and Park Social. The motorcade will also have the special participation of Mercedes-Benz, Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Club Philippines and V-Max Owners Group Inc.

Open to the public

As the event is open to the public, all summer aficionados, travel adventurers and food lovers are invited to join in the fun and revelry. Interested guests may directly visit the official event page Hello Summer on Facebook to know more details about the activity. Pre-registration is not required and everyone is invited to freely join and party the afternoon and evening away.

Crimson Resort & Spa, Mactan

HELLO SUMMER. The Hello Summer campaign will be launched on February 28 at the Garden Bloc of Cebu I.T. Park. A countrywide initiative of Chroma Hospitality Inc., Hello Summer presents jaw-dropping room offers exclusive for the season topped off with amazing raffle prizes.

It is truly a summer to remember with Crimson Resort & Spa, Mactan and Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu as the season is greeted with an exciting celebration filled with goodies, games and more for everyone to enjoy. For inquiries on the event launch, guests may get in touch with Crimson Resort & Spa, Mactan at (63 32) 401 999 or Quest Hotel & Conference Center – Cebu at (63 32) 402 5999.

Chroma Hospitality, Inc. is owned by Filinvest Hospitality Corporation. It is the management company behind Crimson Hotel Filinvest, Manila, Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan in Cebu, Quest Hotel and Conference Center in Cebu City and Quest Hotel and Conference Center in Clark, Pampanga and the highly anticipated Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay set to open in 2017. (Press Release)

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New Mactan Cebu airport terminal set to open by middle of 2018

Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is on track to open as scheduled by July 1 this year, but GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) is working to…

Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is on track to open as scheduled by July 1 this year, but GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) is working to have it ready to operate by the first of June.

In the lead-up to opening day, GMR-Megawide will invite stakeholders to check out and test the facility through a series of activities that will be held from April to June, said chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah Harrison.

To be invited are representatives from the academe especially engineering students, media, and tourism industry such as those in the hotel, travel, and transport sectors.

There will also be open days when GMCAC, the consortium managing the terminal operations and other related areas of MCIA, will invite members of the general public to register for a tour of the facility, according to branding head JR Torres.

MCIA Terminal 2

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE. Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 is on track to open as scheduled by July 1 this year.

Terminal 2 features

Harrison added that the new terminal will have three levels with total space of 65,000 square meters and increase the Cebu airport’s passenger capacity to 12.5 million.

It pays tribute to Cebu as a resort island and Cebuano heritage of furniture making in the terminal roof that uses glulam, first ever use of the material in an airport, and mimics ocean waves. Glulam, also called glued laminated timber, is made up of layers of wood bonded together with structural adhesives.

The new terminal will have a spacious and airy atmosphere, featuring ceilings that are 26 meters high and full glass walls. The polished concrete floor will have mother of pearls mixed in so it would sparkle like sand in the sunlight.

Mactan airport Terminal 2

SPARKLING FLOOR. The polished concrete floor will have mother of pearls mixed in so it would sparkle like sand in the sunlight.

Located on a separate floor from the arrival area, the departure level will only have two check-in islands but with several counters.

Increasing passenger traffic

MCIA eyes passenger traffic of 11.2 million in 2018, an increase of 12 percent from last year, with the opening of Terminal 2 and the launch of new flights out of Cebu.

The airport welcomed six additional airlines in 2017, including Air Juan, Juneyao Air, OK Air, Lucky Air, Sichuan Airlines, and Pan Pacific Airlines.

GMCAC credits the positive growth in MCIA’s passenger traffic to its destination marketing initiatives and its positioning of Cebu as gateway to the rest of the Philippines and major transfer hub to international destinations. Harrison said they will continue with their efforts in this direction.

Once the new terminal is operational, Torres said they will start a major renovation of Terminal 1. GMCAC had started initial rehabilitation of the old terminal when it took over management of MCIA and put up a rooftop solar power system that resulted in monthly savings of P1.2 million in electric consumption.

Mactan airport Terminal 2

INCREASED CAPACITY. GMR-Megawide chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah Harrison says the new terminal will have three levels with total space of 65,000 square meters and increase the Cebu airport’s passenger capacity to 12.5 million.

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Singapore Tourism Board lines up exciting prizes for travellers in Cebu travel fair

Catch special rates and incredible packages to Singapore when the Cebu Travel Catalogue International 2018 opens tomorrow, January 26, at Ayala Center Cebu. At Cebu’s three-day travel bazaar, the Singapore…

Catch special rates and incredible packages to Singapore when the Cebu Travel Catalogue International 2018 opens tomorrow, January 26, at Ayala Center Cebu.

At Cebu’s three-day travel bazaar, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will reward customers who have booked trips to the city-state with exciting prizes, including free roundtrip tickets, hotel stays, shopping vouchers, attraction tickets, and more.

Visit STB at Booths 49-50 and 51-52 for a chance at a perfect Singapore getaway.

Tourism brand

As a destination that constantly evolves, reinvents, and reimagines itself, Singapore always has something new to offer visitors.

Head on to Singapore for a recharge, as the Lion City provides fresh possibilities to deepen passions or explore new ones.

Its new tourism brand is “Passion Made Possible” and it encapsulates the spirit that permeates Singapore, from its hard-working people and amazing experiences to the delicious food and stunning architecture.

Singapore

LION CITY. As a destination that constantly evolves, reinvents, and reimagines itself, Singapore always has something new to offer visitors.

New places

Here are some of the new things in store for you in Singapore.

Reinforcing its title as “Garden City,” Singapore has added the Ethnobotany Garden to the Botanical Gardens. Split into four zones according to whether the plants are for construction, domestic, medicinal, and spiritual uses. Visitors can join hands-on activities offered at the garden.

It also now offers an exhilarating adventure for adrenaline-rush junkies among nets, giant Zorb balls, slides and mazes at Airzone. Located at the City Square Mall, this massive attraction encompasses six floors of exciting mazes, slides between levels, and a ball pit with 10,000 balls.

Sentosa’s newest attraction, AJ Hackett, provides another adrenaline-charged experience. On the shores of Siloso Beach, the colossal 50-meter structure offers risk-takers such experiences as an exciting dive atop its Bungy Tower, whooshing and swooping in on a high-speed giant swing, taking a death-defying walk on a 44-meter Vertical Walkway, and enjoying the feeling of walking on air in the glass booths at the open-air SkyBridge.

Revamped attractions

For the newly-renovated Maritime Experiential Museum in Resorts World Sentosa, it’s all about taking visitors on a voyage of epic proportions.

The experiential journey includes exhibits of intricate ship models, fun workshops on navigation, nautical charts and knot tying, and exciting simulations that will transport you along the Maritime Silk Route, get you in an adventure with pirates, and take you on a terrifying voyage into stormy seas.

Meet your favorite superheroes at Madame Tussauds Singapore with its new Marvel 4D experience. Watch a fun, action-packed 4D movie, localized to feature some of the country’s top attractions in the film’s background, with high-impact special effects. Strike a pose with Captain America and Iron Man, the newest additions to their wax figure family, and even try out Iron Man’s armour to channel the hero in you.

Fun-filled activities

Soak up some culture at Singapore’s biggest Lunar New Year celebration, the Chingay Parade. The word Chingay means “the art of costume and masquerade” so it’s no surprise that the vibrant parade includes spectacular floats, dancing dragons, stilt walkers, and so much more.

Another annual event that everyone looks forward to is i Light Marina Bay, Asia’s leading sustainable light art festival. On its 6th edition, visitors can expect 20 sustainable light art installations at the festival’s three fun zones – The Fantastical World of Eco.me, Art-Zoo and Gastrobeats.

At the Promontory, people can check out the first hub which is complete with an eco-friendly market that sells organic clothing, upcycled furniture, accessories and more.

The Art-Zoo installation at The Float is perfect for kids and kids-at-heart with a playground that resembles a zoological garden with huge inflatable animals.

Gastrobeats, at the Bayfront Event Space, is for foodies and music enthusiasts who can grab some mouth-watering goodies from different food stalls and enjoy live musical performances from different local artists.

Singapore Tourism Brand

TOURISM BRAND. Its new tourism brand is “Passion Made Possible” and it encapsulates the spirit that permeates Singapore, from its hard-working people and amazing experiences to the delicious food and stunning architecture.

Music events

It’s also an exciting year in the entertainment scene as Singapore brings back the St. Jerome Laneway Festival, the country’s leading music event that brings fresh sound to the coolest locations and is often visited by enthusiasts from all over the world.

This year’s diverse line-up includes a Filipino indie band, The Ransom Collective, alongside global acts like American indie alternative artist Billie Eilish and four-piece alternative rock band Wolf Alice.

There’s also Ultra Singapore, the world’s premiere electronic music festival, which takes place across three stages that feature blockbuster artists and the freshest DJs. There’s more to look forward to as the biggest names in music, including artists like Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, The Script, Super Junior, and many more, are coming to the country to perform one-of-a-kind concerts.

So pack your bags, book that ticket, and fly on over to explore the Lion City and infuse some of the country’s fiery spirit into your year.

About the Singapore Tourism Board

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is the lead development agency for tourism, one of Singapore’s key economic sectors. Together with industry partners and the community, it shapes a dynamic Singapore tourism landscape. For more information on STB, visit www.stb.gov.sg or www.visitsingapore.com or follow them on Twitter @STB_sg. (Press Release)

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Air Juan to start flights soon from seaplane terminal in SRP, Cebu City

Top Philippine beach and island destinations like El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Gigantes in Iloilo, Panglao in Bohol, and Kalanggaman in Leyte will soon be minutes away with the…

Top Philippine beach and island destinations like El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Gigantes in Iloilo, Panglao in Bohol, and Kalanggaman in Leyte will soon be minutes away with the opening of Air Juan seaplane flights from Cebu.

Air Juan President John Gutierrez led the unveiling of the company’s seaplane terminal located at Filinvest’s South Road Properties on January 20, 2018. Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña was the guest of honor during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

He said they plan to start flight services from the seaplane terminal to the country’s most beautiful destinations within the first quarter of the year. These also include such places as Sumilon in Oslob, Malapascua, Candijay in Anda, and Lakawon.

Air Juan Cebu

The Air Juan seaplane terminal at the SRP.

Air Juan flights

Air Juan seaplane services from Cebu will supplement landplane services started last June 2017. Beginning in the middle of last year, Air Juan opened scheduled flights from Mactan International Airport to Bantayan, Biliran, Maasin, Sipalay, Siquijor, and Tagbilaran.

Gutierrez said they will soon fly to Catbalogan as well. The Air Juan fleet consists of six Cessna Grand Caravans, four of which are amphibious.

He added that the landplane can carry a maximum of 12 passengers while the seaplane can have as many as nine.

Air Juan Cebu

LAUNCH. Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña (center) was the guest of honor during yesterday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the Air Juan seaplane terminal at the SRP. (Photo from Air Juan Facebook page)

Competitive rates

Air Juan does not compete with other airline companies but with the country’s ferry service.

“Biliran is a five-hour boat ride but Air Juan reduces the travel time to 45 minutes,” according to Gutierrez.

He added that their landplane rates are competitive with ferry fares but seaplane flights are slightly more expensive. The average one-way fare from the Mactan, Cebu airport to Tagbilaran, for example, is from P1,500 to P2,500, while ferries charge around P800.

“We’re not a budget airline but the most convenient. You can’t put a price on a person’s time,” Gutierrez said, citing that they can do in around 20 minutes the four to five hours land travel to Kandaya Resort in Daanbantayan.

Air Juan Cebu

JUST MINUTES AWAY. Top beach and island destinations will soon be just minutes away from Cebu with the opening of Air Juan seaplane flights.

SRP seaplane terminal

Air Juan already has hubs in Manila, Cebu, and Puerto Princesa in Palawan. While Cebu services were started last year, Air Juan operated flights out of Palawan starting four years ago.

Gutierrez said they are targeting not just foreign guests but also locals for Air Juan land and sea flights.

The seaplane terminal in SRP will provide travellers with the most convenient way to island hop, he pointed. He promised that Air Juan scheduled flights will take off even with only one passenger.

Air Juan President John Gutierrez

CONVENIENT. “We’re not a budget airline but the most convenient. You can’t put a price on a person’s time,” Air Juan President John Gutierrez tells reporters and bloggers during yesterday’s event.

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Cebu Travel Catalogue International 2018: One-stop-shop for travel

Whether you’re planning a local trip or going to any country in the world, get great deals in airfare and tour packages to your chosen destination during the Cebu Travel…

Whether you’re planning a local trip or going to any country in the world, get great deals in airfare and tour packages to your chosen destination during the Cebu Travel Catalogue International (CTCI) 2018 from Jan. 26-28 at Ayala Center Cebu.

The Cebu Alliance of Tour Operation Specialists (CATOS) and Cebu Travel and Tours Association (CTTA) strengthened their alliance to bring about an exceptional three-day travel show that will serve as a one-stop-shop for travellers.

CATOS President Alice Queblatin said the cooperation between the two organizations have resulted in member agencies coming up with tour packages for inbound and outbound that are varied and affordable for the Cebu Travel Catalogue International.

“The expansion of the airport and opening of more routes by domestic and international airlines will make Cebu a top travel hub. With all these, we see the need to strengthen not just tourism products but also the collaboration among industry stakeholders. We want to make travel to and from Cebu a dynamic experience,” she added.

Cebu Travel Catalogue

TRAVEL DEALS. Organizers of the Cebu Travel Catalogue International old a press conference on the three-day travel show that will serve as a one-stop-shop for travellers.

Tour, airfare, cruise deals

Tour packages to any point in the globe, promo airfares for local and international destinations, and luxury cruise deals are among the products on offer during the travel fair, according to CTTA Auditor Aida Uy.

The different travel and tour agencies will also offer discounted supplemental services for visa and other travel needs.

Uy said that those who show up during the three-day event will get freebies and have a chance to win raffle prizes.

CATOS Vice President Marget Villarica said the Cebu Travel Catalogue International 2018 encourages Cebuanos to visit local places not just international destinations. The tourism offices of Central Luzon, Eastern Visayas, Cordillera Administrative Region, Central Visaya, Bohol, and Davao will also be present to provide information on travel to their respective areas.

With more domestic carriers opening new routes, it has become easier and more convenient to go from Cebu to such places as Batanes, El Nido, and Catanduanes, added CTTA Secretary Cookie Chan.

Popular destinations

For international destinations, Chan added, places with cool temperatures are popular with Philippine travellers during the Holy Week and summer break.

Travellers can expect fantastic deals on springtime travel to South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan when they book during the three-day travel fair. Jeju, which doesn’t require a visa from Filipinos, is also popular and tour packages to this South Korean destination on chartered flights will also be on offer.

CTTA Public Relations Officer Sheila Colmenares, who gave a rundown on the different activities during CTCI 2018, said there will be stage activities and entertainment shows. The travel fair will formally open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the first day, January 26.

BPI cardholders get the added advantage of booking airfare and tour packages under a zero percent interest three-month installment plan, according to CTTA Vice President Baby Dy.

CTTA President Alan Carvajal urged Cebuanos to take advantage of the exceptional offers by planning their 2018 trips during the Cebu Travel Catalogue International 2018 from January 26-28 at Ayala Center Cebu.

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AirAsia wins 2 awards at 2017 World Travel Awards

AirAsia has been named the World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline for the 5th year in a row at the 2017 World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Final in Phu Quoc, Vietnam. AirAsia…

AirAsia has been named the World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline for the 5th year in a row at the 2017 World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Final in Phu Quoc, Vietnam.

AirAsia topped the category, having received the highest votes from travel professionals and industry players from around the world, beating Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, Ryanair, easyJet, Jetstar Airways, Norwegian Air, West Air, flydubai, Air Arabia, flynas, kulula, Mango and fastjet.

Asia’s largest low-cost carrier by passengers also won the inaugural World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline Cabin Crew award, ahead of the same 13 budget airlines.

The win builds on AirAsia’s success earlier this year when it secured WTA’s first-ever Asia’s Leading Low-Cost Airline Cabin Crew award and in 2015, when it became the first ever low-cost carrier to win Asia’s Leading Cabin Crew, ahead of full-service carriers like Singapore Airlines, Korean Air and Cathay Pacific.

Digitalization journey

AirAsia Group Chief Commercial Officer Siegtraund Teh and AirAsia senior cabin crew Rosita Sulaiman accepted the awards at a gala ceremony held at the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay in Vietnam.

Also present were AirAsia Berhad Executive Chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Berhad independent non-executive director Dato’ Fam Lee Ee and AirAsia’s Vietnam joint venture partner Tran Trong Kien.

AirAsia World Travel Awards

AIRASIA AWARDS. AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes (center, left) and AirAsia Berhad Executive Chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun with the company’s awards.

“I am very proud to stand here today to receive our fifth WTA World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline award in as many years. I’ve always said we are the world’s true low-cost champion, and I’m thrilled to see I’m not the only one and the industry agrees with me. And we will only get better as we continue on our digitalization journey to better understand what our guests want and to make flying a richer, more enjoyable experience, as we continue to strive to provide world-class service at the lowest fares,” Fernandes said.

Best experience

“An airline is only as good as its people, and we have some of the best. Two years ago, we were named Asia’s Leading Cabin Crew by WTA, beating a field of full-service carriers. Since then, we’ve gone from strength to strength, winning the World’s Leading Inflight Service award in 2016, Asia’s Leading Low-Cost Airline Cabin Crew earlier this year and now, the first ever World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline Cabin Crew award by WTA. This shows our unwavering commitment to excellence and, as the world’s best low-cost carrier, we promise to continue delivering to our guests on board the best experience money can’t buy,” said AirAsia Group Cabin Crew Head Suhaila Hassan said.

The World Travel Awards is one of the most prestigious, comprehensive and sought-after awards program in the global and tourism industry.

Established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across key sectors of travel, tourism and hospitality industries, the World Travel Awards brand is now recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence. (Press Release)

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Marco Polo Hotels-Hong Kong 2017 highlights: Awards, big events, upgrades

From winning awards and hosting big events to undertaking upgrades, it has been a busy and memorable 2017 for the Marco Polo Hotels-Hong Kong, which include the iconic Kowloon landmark…

From winning awards and hosting big events to undertaking upgrades, it has been a busy and memorable 2017 for the Marco Polo Hotels-Hong Kong, which include the iconic Kowloon landmark Marco Polo Hongkong as well as newer facilities Gateway and Prince.

The three hotels were given the Merit Award at the 2017 HKMA Quality Award ceremony held on July 21, 2017, while the yearly event Marco Polo German Bierfest garnered the Gold Award for “Best Outdoor Events: Arts, Leisure and Entertainment” at the Marketing Events Awards 2017 organized by Marketing Magazine.

Marco Polo German Bierfest Award

ANOTHER AWARD. The Marco Polo German Bierfest was given the Gold Award for “Best Outdoor Events: Arts, Leisure and Entertainment” at the Marketing Events Awards 2017.

Samantha Poon, Director of Communications for Marco Polo Hotels – Hong Kong, said this demonstrates the commitment and dedication to quality at Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, Gateway Hotel, and Prince Hotel. She provided updates during a dinner hosted by Marco Polo Hotels – Hong Kong for Cebu and Davao media and bloggers at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

The annual Quality Award by the Hong Kong Management Association (HKMA) recognizes organizations from various fields of industry and business that have achieved outstanding performance and quality standards.

Marco Polo Hong Kong

MERIT AWARD. Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, Gateway Hotel, and Prince Hotel were given the Merit Award at the 2017 HKMA Quality Award ceremony last July 21, 2017.

Marco Polo Bierfest

Now on its 26th year, the award-winning Marco Polo Bierfest kicked off last October 20 and will run until November 11. Celebrated in the outdoor area of Marco Polo Hongkong, against the breathtaking backdrop of Victoria Harbour, the event features partygoers dressed in traditional lederhosen and dirndl while a German band plays folk and oompah tunes and hosts interactive and drinking games.

Marco Polo Bierfest

Marco Polo Bierfest

Guests get to enjoy authentic Bavarian dishes, including the best crispy pork knuckles in Hong Kong, and the finest German beers. Those who book a stay with any of the Marco Polo hotels via marcopolohotels.com within the Bierfest season get two complimentary tickets to the event through the Bed and Bierfest package.

To further extend the Bierfest spirit, hotel guests also receive in-room amenities Marco Polo German Bierfest 2017 special edition beer mugs (maximum two per room) and Erdinger beer (maximum two 500ml bottles per room).

Marco Polo Bierfest

BREATHTAKING VIEW. The Marco Polo Bierfest is celebrated in the outdoor area of Marco Polo Hongkong, against the breathtaking backdrop of Victoria Harbour.

 

Marco Polo Bierfest

Pretzel

 

Marco Polo Bierfest

MARCO POLO BIERFEST. Roast pork knuckle served with braised red cabbage and gratinated potato.

Hotel upgrades

As part of continued quality improvements, the Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel also recently completed an extensive upgrade to its building facade.

Gateway Hotel, meanwhile, is set to unveil an entirely new Continental Club floor in the uppermost level. It will feature 21 well appointed guestrooms and suites that offer stunning views of Hong Kong’s dramatic skyline.

Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel_Harbour View Room

Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel_Harbour View Room.

The new Continental Club rooms will continue to reflect a sophisticated, stylish design and layout, enhanced with the latest technology for today’s modern travellers.

Continental Club guests enjoy a host of exclusive privileges, from daily complimentary breakfast to all-day coffee to tea service.

Marco Polo Hotels – Hong Kong Cebu dinner for Cebu, Davao media

Marco Polo Hong Kong

CEBU, DAVAO journalists and bloggers during the dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

 

Marco Polo Hongkong

COMMITMENT TO QUALITY. Samantha Poon, Director of Communications for Marco Polo Hotels – Hong Kong, said the recent awards demonstrate the commitment and dedication to quality at Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, Gateway Hotel, and Prince Hotel.

 

Marco Polo Hong Kong

HOTEL UPDATES. Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, Gateway Hotel, and Prince Hotel provided updates during a dinner hosted for Cebu and Davao media and bloggers at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

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AirAsia’s Red Hot Sale is back; fly from as low as P17

Up to 5 million promotional seats are up for grabs in AirAsia Group’s Red Hot Seat Sale campaign. Book seats via airasia.com or the AirAsia mobile app from September 11…

Up to 5 million promotional seats are up for grabs in AirAsia Group’s Red Hot Seat Sale campaign.

Book seats via airasia.com or the AirAsia mobile app from September 11 to September 17, 2017 for travel between March 1 to November 21, 2018 to get fares from as low as P17 for flights from/to Manila, Clark, Cebu, Davao, Palawan, Bohol, Kalibo, Caticlan/Boracay, Tacloban and Iloilo.

Also up for grabs from as low as P1,290 are promotional flights to international destinations from the Philippines to Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Incheon/Seoul, Canton/Guangzhou, Shanghai, Macau, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Add routes, increase frequencies

AirAsia Philippines CEO Captain Dexter Comendador said, “Now is the perfect opportunity for our loyal guests and Filipino travelers to connect from many places conveniently as we continuously add new routes and increase frequencies into our network. Exciting red hot deals await those who would like to travel overseas to over 120 destinations across all Asean countries, Asia, Australia and beyond.”

AirAsia is set to fly between Manila and Iloilo starting October 1 while direct flights between Davao and Kuala Lumpur will commence on December 21.

Promotional flights from the AirAsia group’s hub in Kuala Lumpur to Australia, Japan, Maldives and other destinations are also available.

AirAsia BIG loyalty program

BIG Members get to enjoy priority access and will be able to make bookings on airasia.com and redeem flights starting from 0 BIG Points, exclusively via the BIG Loyalty mobile app from September 10, 2017. It’s free to sign up as a BIG Member via airasia.com, airasiabig.com or BIG Loyalty mobile app to redeem promo flights during this promotion.

AirAsia Group Chief Commercial Officer Siegtraund Teh said, “AirAsia continues to grow with more flights to even more destinations, making travel easier. We want our valued guests to be able to take full advantage of our unparalleled frequency to new, exciting places, so it is our great pleasure to offer up to five million promo seats in our biggest campaign ever to help them on their way.”

For latest updates on promotions and activities, please follow AirAsia on Twitter and Facebook (Facebook.com/AirAsia).

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AirAsia launches MyCorporate, a suite of products for the business traveler

AirAsia has unveiled a bundle of products aimed at servicing the needs of the business traveler. The 3 bundles take into account the requirement of the traveler and the company…

AirAsia has unveiled a bundle of products aimed at servicing the needs of the business traveler. The 3 bundles take into account the requirement of the traveler and the company budget: Fare Only, Corporate Lite and Corporate Full Flex.

The Fare Only bundle only includes the air fare, with add-ons available for a fee.

The Corporate Lite bundle includes air fare, a complimentary meal, standard seat assignment and dedicated check-in counter. Guests can also change their flight once up to 24 hours before departure with no flight change fee.

Corporate bundles

The Corporate Full Flex bundle includes air fare, a complimentary meal, Hot Seat assignment, 20kg baggage allowance, dedicated check-in counter, XPress immigration, Xpress Baggage, Premium Red Lounge access (only for those departing from KLIA2 in Kuala Lumpur), priority boarding, travel insurance (only applicable to flights departing from Malaysia and Thailand) and full flexibility with unlimited flight changes up to two hours before departure with no flight change fee.

AirAsia My Corporate

Corporate Full Flex guests will also be able to enjoy GoShow, an exclusive product allowing them to stand by on an earlier flight on the same day, to the same destination, with no added fees or fare charges.

Companies signed up to MyCorporate will have access to a convenient, easy-to-use online booking system and comprehensive reporting to keep track of corporate traveling expenses.

Needs of traveler, company

AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said, “With our extensive network and frequency across the group, we have seen a rise in the number of those traveling for business on AirAsia. With the launch of MyCorporate, we believe we have a program that serves the needs of both the traveler and the company to further capture our share of this important segment.”

AirAsia Group Corporate Sales Head Barry Klipp said, “This is the next evolution for AirAsia corporate products. With MyCorporate, we are better able to offer the right product to our corporate client’s needs and budgets. Whether they require just a seat with no add-ons, a Lite product with basic benefits or if they wish to take advantage of our fully loaded product designed to make business travel more convenient and flexible, including our latest offering GoShow.” (Press Release)

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