Events Lifestyle Travel

Big discounts on travel activities available in Klook Invasion: Cebu Travel Sale

Klook, the world’s leading booking platform for attractions, tours and activities is headed to the Queen City of the South this weekend for the Klook Invasion: Cebu Travel Sale on April 13 and 14, 2019 at the Activity Center, Ayala Center Cebu.

Klook Invasion: Cebu Travel Sale


Here are five reasons to visit the sale:

Get big discounts on the ‘Big 5’ destinations

Enjoy major destination-wide markdowns to favorite Asian destinations. Get 15% discount on all Japan and Hong Kong activities, and 10% off on all Singapore, Taiwan and Korea activities.

Score hot deals to fun-filled attractions around the world

Get tickets for every member of the barkada or family to popular tourist spots with buy one take one deals on a wide array of must-see attractions such as Ocean Park Hong Kong and Lotte World in Korea. Travelers can also avail of buy two take one deals on tickets to Hong Kong Disneyland, Taipei 101 Observatory, Everland, Gardens by the Bay and Universal Studios Singapore.

Plan your dream holiday

Customize your trip with Klook’s assisted travel itinerary planning and booking service. Go through a checklist of activities per destination and book exciting attractions that suit every traveler’s hobbies and interests such as theme parks, museums and tours.

Join fun games and win exciting prizes

Drop by the different counters at the event and take part in on-site contests for a chance to win exclusive prizes. Cebu Pacific, their airline partner, is set to highlight 22 local connections and six international destinations flying direct from Cebu, including its newest route to Shanghai.

Get ready for a mobile-led and immersive experience

Browse and explore local and international destinations with travel-themed and interactive photo booths. Don’t forget to share your photos from the event online with the hashtag #KlookInvasionCebu. Admission is free when you show the Klook app on your mobile phone or handheld device. Register and get the electronic ticket in advance at

For more information, visit their website at and download the Klook app from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store. For updates, like them on Facebook at @klookph and follow on Instagram at @klooktravel_ph.

Lifestyle Travel

TUMI Spring 2019 collection celebrates art of Expedition

The Tumi Spring 2019 collection celebrates the art of the Expedition. This season, TUMI embarks on a journey that not only inspires the color and print offerings of the new collections, but also speaks to TUMI’s journey as a brand.

“At TUMI, we are constantly elevating the travel experience. Our expedition and exploration are ongoing; we’ll never stop working to improve the lives and journeys of our customers,” said Victor Sanz, TUMI Creative Director.

TUMI remains focused on expanding its women’s category and delving further into the premium world, as well as exploring new techniques from a material standpoint, such as burnishing leather and working with carbon fiber. Additionally, Spring 2019 brings the relaunch of TUMI’s core collection, Alpha, by evolving its most celebrated features and incorporating technology to create the ultimate flexibility for the brand’s global citizens.

TUMI Spring 2019
SPRING COLLECTION. The Tumi Spring 2019 collection celebrates the art of the Expedition. This season, TUMI embarks on a journey that not only inspires the color and print offerings of the new collections, but also speaks to TUMI’s journey as a brand.


The new Alpha 3 collection is a celebration of everything TUMI stands for: design innovation, engineering, functionality, and performance. The relaunch moves the collection forward by elevating the core, adapting to the changing world and incorporating learnings over the past decade. With a cleaner, more refined aesthetic, Alpha 3 updates include an integrated USB Power Port added to each of the carry-on sizes, dual-access entry, modernized front face with protective rails, full access front pocket for increased functionality, a leather rain flap on bags and dual-coil security zippers.

The newest luggage style is the Tall 4 Wheel Duffel Packing Case which offers top and split case access and features four interior shoe panels. New bags include the Slim Backpack, a compact backpack designed for those with a lighter load, the Slim 3-Way Brief, a sleek business offering that can be carried as a backpack or a bag, and the Expandable Tote, a highly functional easy-to-carry men’s tote bag. The collection will be available in Black Ballistic, Black Leather and Anthracite with brown leather trim. Seasonal pattern Graphic Congo will also be available, adding a pop of color to select styles.

TUMI Spring 2019 Arrivé
REDESIGNED. Inspired by automotive design, the Arrivé collection has been completely redesigned, crafted with ultra-modern functionality and luxe details such as magnetic zippers.


Inspired by automotive design, the Arrivé collection has been completely redesigned, crafted with ultra-modern functionality and luxe details such as magnetic zippers. The redesign features even more streamlined silhouettes, from carry-ons and packing cases to briefs, backpacks and more. Style meets technology with a new integrated, USB Power Port on each of the carry-on sizes. Dual-access entry with expansion is an elegant add, while integrated TSA lock allows for ultimate security for both front and main openings.

Additional updates include elevated hardware design with shiny nickel finish, subtle leather trim, front leather panel with embossed detail, new proprietary details including shock-absorbing backpack straps, side pockets with organic expansion, and integrated logo design. Key styles include International Dual Access 4 Wheeled Carry On, Barker Backpack, Larson Backpack, Beacon Brief, Hannover Slim Brief, Sadler Brief and Martin Sling. The collection will be available in Black, Pewter and Black Leather.

TUMI Spring 2019 Voyageur
FOR WOMEN. Purposeful, practical design that doesn’t compromise on style, the updated Voyageur collection brings you versatile and lightweight nylon backpacks, bags, and accessories for women.


Purposeful, practical design that doesn’t compromise on style, the updated Voyageur collection brings you versatile and lightweight nylon backpacks, bags, and accessories for women. New on-trend smaller backpacks include the Sofia & the Witney, adding a fun element to the signature assortment. The Rivas Backpack comes back for spring, featuring an updated design and new customization with the innovative Personalization Kits.

Seasonal colors include Ultramarine with silver hardware and Sunset with gold hardware. Seasonal prints include African Floral Print, a design that recalls the continent’s abundant flora, and Congo Bright (bags) and Congo Multi (accessories) prints which feature bold, saturated colors bringing a fun pop of color and interest to the season.

Business Feature Travel

Cebu Pacific starts Cebu-Shanghai route by April 15, offers 1 peso promo base fare

CEBU Pacific Air has opened a new international route to Shanghai from Cebu, offering promo base fare of 1 peso until the end of the company’s anniversary month of March.

Cebu Pacific’s Cebu-Shanghai and return flights will be six times weekly starting April 15, 2019.

Charo Logarta Lagamon said the new route will make Cebu a bigger international hub, as it also connects other Visayas areas like Dumaguete and Iloilo as well as Mindanao cities like Davao and Cagayan de Oro with Shanghai via Cebu. Logamon is Director for Corporate Communications Corporate Affairs of Cebu Pacific.

Logamon and Director for Marketing Blessie Cruz led today’s announcement in Hai Shin Lou in Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

The new Cebu-Shanghai route increases the airline’s international destinations out of Cebu to six.

Cebu Pacific Cebu-Shanghai
TO SHANGHAI. Charo Logarta Lagamon, Cebu Pacific Director for Corporate Communications Corporate Affairs, announces the start of the Cebu-Shanghai route.


Cebu-Shanghai flight schedules

Cebu Pacific will fly the Cebu-Shanghai route six times weekly, departing Cebu every Monday and Friday at 6:45 p.m., every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:05 p.m., and every Wednesday and Saturday at 11:55 p.m. Flight arrives in Shanghai at 10:45 every Monday and Friday, 11 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, and 11:10 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday.

Flights to Cebu leave Shanghai at 11:45 p.m. every Monday and Friday and 11:55 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Arrival times in Cebu are: 4 a.m. every Monday and Friday and 4:10 a.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Cebu Pacific currently has a network of 37 domestic and 26 international destinations with 2,100 weekly flights.

Cebu Pacific Cebu-Shanghai
ANNOUNCEMENT. Cebu Pacific Director for Corporate Communications Corporate Affairs Charo Logarta Lagamon and Director for Marketing Blessie Cruz led the announcement of new routes.


What to do in Shanghai

Shanghai is a major industrial and commercial hub in China with quite a colorful colonial history.

That ancient network of trade routes called the Silk Route which connected East and West started out of Shanghai, and visitors can check out such attractions as The Bund, Yuyuan Gardens, and Shanghai Tower, added Lagamon.

Cebu Pacific said it is committed to growing the Cebu hub, by continually increasing flight frequencies and adding more domestic and international routes.

Business Feature Travel

Lite Ferries launches bigger ship for Cebu City-Ormoc City route

A new and faster roll-on roll-off or RORO passenger ship will service the Cebu City to Ormoc City route starting Monday, March 25.

M/v Lite Ferry 19 will be launched tomorrow as the twin sister ship of m/v Lite Ferry 18. It was built in 2002 and is the youngest vessel to ply the Cebu-Ormoc route. It is also the fastest ship on the route, with a travel time of 4 and 1/2 hours.

The vessel is equipped with 2 new Ningbo diesel engines built in 2017, with a total power of 7,800 HP. It has a maximum speed of 16.8 knots and service speed of 15 knots.

m/v Lite Ferry 19 Cebu Ormoc
CEBU-ORMOC. M/v Lite Ferry 19 will be the fastest ship to service the Cebu City-Ormoc City route, covering the distance in 4 and 1/2 hours.

Lite Ferries President and Chief Executive Officer Lucio E. Lim, Jr. said the ship is intended to improve their servicing of the existing Cebu to Ormoc route. The acquisition of the new ship is also part of Lite Ferries’ efforts to contribute to the modernization of the country’s shipping industry.

“This is in answer to the call of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to modernize the Philippine domestic fleet. By the end of the year, 50 percent of our fleet will be either brand new or 20 years below upon acquisition,” Lim said.

A ceremonial ribbon cutting is scheduled during tomorrow’s launch aboard m/v Lite Ferry 19. Guests scheduled to join the ceremony are Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Labor Undersecretary Renato Ebarle, and Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez.

Lim will lead the launching together with COO Fernando A. Inting, VP for Ship Management Jonathan Lim-Imboy, Assistant Manager for Operations Jethro Lim-Imboy, and other members of the Lite Ferries management.

M/v Lite Ferry 19
ACCOMMODATIONS. M/v Lite Ferry 19 can accommodate a total of 856 passengers.

When it starts servicing the route, m/v Lite Ferry will leave Cebu City for Ormoc City at 11 a.m. daily and from Ormoc City to Cebu City at 11 p.m.

The company said in a press release that m/v Lite Ferry 19 has interior-designed accommodations with hotel like features and amenities including an air conditioned 40-seater restaurant, a fully stocked canteen that will open overnight, an information desk, and multi-purpose kiosk.

It has two economy passenger decks, tourist class, business class, and four executive cabin rooms that can accommodate a total of 856 passengers. Its deck pathways have bigger spaces than Marina standards and its facilities are compliant with international maritime standards.

M/v Lite Ferry 19 Cebu Ormoc

Lite Ferries continues to improve its existing fleet by acquiring more vessels, with deliveries expected later in the year.

Lite Ferries’ main ticketing office is located at the Lite Ferries Corporate Building, Lite Port Center, M.J. Cuenco Ave., Barangay Tejero, Cebu City. For booking and inquiries, you may visit our website at

Feature News Travel

MCIA to build Airport Village ‘to improve travel experience’

It takes a village to welcome home or send off a Filipino traveler and authorities at the Mactan Cebu International Airport want to create the space and ambience for that by building an Airport Village.

“We all know in the Philippines one person arrives, half the barangay comes to meet them. So we are creating the space that will allow all of these people to be there, to meet them and welcome them home,” said GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation Chief Executive Advisor Andrew Harrison.

“Our culture has always been for people to meet and greet our visitors as many of us as possible. No airport has that kind of facility – this is the first airport that will allow that,” said Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority General Manager Steve Dicdican.

Mactan Cebu Airport Village
PEDESTRIAN ZONE. The old MCIA arrivals road will be permanently closed and designated a pedestrian zone as part of the Airport Village.


Better experience

Harrison said, “the Airport Village is designed to provide a much better arrival experience for passengers and significantly expanded waiting areas for meeters and greeters.”

The Airport Village is scheduled to be completed by September 2019.

Escalators and high-capacity elevators will link arrivals and departures in the Airport Village.

The Airport Village is part of the renovation of MCIA Terminal 1 based on designs by Architects Budji + Royal Design. The terminal “will have its own unique identity further building on resort-airport themed concept seen with the newly-opened Terminal 2,” GMR Megawide said in a press statement.

Harrison said the Airport Village will have a range of services, tourist counters, transport counters, and various concessionaires.

Mactan Cebu International Airport arrivals pick-up zone
PWD-FRIENDLY. GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation Chief Executive Advisor Andrew Harrison demonstrates the ramp that people on wheelchairs can use to get on the bus that takes people from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 with stops on the car park. With Harrison is Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority General Manager Steve Dicdican.


Pedestrian zone

Dicdican said the increased space will allow the airport to have more local stores and products. He said it “is important for this resort-themed terminal to feature local products.”

Harrison said the Airport Village will be located at the arrivals area. The whole arrivals road will be closed to vehicles and “become a pedestrian zone.”

The increased space will also allow the airport to double the capacity for reclaim bags. Previously, 3 belts were set aside for domestic baggage and 3 for international. After the renovation, all 6 will be for domestic baggage.

Harrison said passengers might encounter “minor inconveniences” with work on the terminal and asked them to be understanding. He said the challenge with the project is that they are working with a “live terminal.”

MCIA Pick-Up Zone
NEW PICK-UP ZONE. Airport authorities recently opened this new Pick-Up Zone for passengers at Terminal 1.


New arrivals pick-up zone

Harrison and Dicdican led the inauguration on March 14 of the new Arrivals Pick-Up Zone in Terminal 1. The zone has several bays where passengers can be fetched by private vehicles. Waiting time in the bays is limited to 2 minutes.

With the opening of the new Pick-Up Zone, the old Arrivals Pick-Up Road in Terminal 1 will be permanently closed. Vehicles fetching passengers have the option of using the main car park between Terminals 1 and 2 or the new Pick-Up Zone.


Events Travel

Marco Polo Plaza joins Cebu Travel Catalogue International 2019

Thinking of your 2019 travel goals? Shop ahead as Marco Polo Plaza Cebu joins Cebu Travel Catalogue International 2019 at the Ayala Center Cebu from today until Sunday, February 17. Don’t miss this chance to enjoy great discounts on Room Accommodations, Café Marco Buffet, and Spa Packages.

Spend a staycation in the comforts of our Deluxe Room with a starting rate of P4,300 with a sumptuous breakfast buffet for two waiting for you at Café Marco. Experience the superb Café Marco international buffet spread at a discounted rate of P750 net for breakfast, P980 net for lunch and P1,180 net for dinner.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu
DELUXE ROOM. Spend a staycation in the comforts of our Deluxe Room with a starting rate of P4,300 with a sumptuous breakfast buffet for two waiting for you at Café Marco.


Unwind and relax in the hands of our spa specialists at our Wellness Zone. Discounted spa vouchers start at P600 and choose from Foot Reflexology, Foot Spa, Hilot Massage, Facial and Dead Salt Sea Scrub & Massage.

Value Vouchers for rooms, spa and restaurant use are also available at increments of P1,000. These are ideal for gift giving. For every P4,000 net purchase of the Value Vouchers, get a complimentary P1,000 voucher.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu


Visit our booth at the lower ground floor of Ayala Center Cebu across Pull & Bear. For real time updates, like the Facebook page at or follow on Twitter at @5StarInCebu. For more information, you can call (032) 253-1111 or visit

Events Travel

Great travel deals on offer at Cebu Travel Catalogue from Feb 15 to 17

Japan, Korea, and Taiwan continue to be popular travel destinations for Filipinos and those who come to the Cebu Travel Catalogue International (CTCI) 2019 can expect great deals on airfare and tour packages to these places.

But the three countries just make up a few of the international destinations on sale during the annual travel event, now on its fifth year, that will be held from Feb. 15-17, 2019 at Ayala Center Cebu, said Cebu Travel and Tours Association (CTTA) president Baby Dy.

Cebu’s top tour agencies will be offering big discounts and exciting incentives as well for travel packages to such places as Scandinavia and Russia, the Lapland, New Zealand, Eastern Europe, Spain and Morocco, Portugal and Spain for a Marian Pilgrimage, India, and South Africa.

Cebu Travel Catalogue International
TRAVEL CATALOGUE. Organizers of the Cebu Travel Catalogue International after their press conferences announcing the event.


International destinations

Dy added that many Filipinos travel to Israel as part of a Holy Land pilgrimage but the Israel Tourism Ministry is joining CTCI to promote its country for other activities as well. The three-day event is jointly organized by CTTA and CATOS.

According to Cebu Alliance of Tour Operations Specialists (CATOS) Vice President Marget Villarica, a lot of tour packages to China will also be on offer particularly with several Chinese airlines opening new routes to Cebu from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

Taiwan has also become a top travel choice after it waived the visa requirement for Filipinos, said Dy. The no visa policy for Philippine passport holders has been extended by the Taiwanese government to July 2019.

Eco-tourism products

For inbound travel, CATOS President Alice Queblatin said focus will be on eco-tourism products involving areas that are beyond the usual tourist attractions.

She added that the Cebu Provincial Government, one of CTCI 2019 exhibitors, has come up with and will heavily promote tour packages to northern and southern destinations beyond the usual go-to spots like Oslob or Moalboal.

It was also heartening to see that more destinations are joining travel events to promote themselves, Queblatin also said. The Cebu Safari and Adventure Park in Carmen and Danasan Eco Adventure Park, for example, have joined this year’s Cebu Travel Catalogue International.

Cebu Travel Catalogue
PRESS CONFERENCE. Organizers of Cebu Travel Catalogue International answer questions from the media during their press conference.


Travel Catalogue participants

A new resort in Romblon that is set for soft opening in March will also be at CTCI 2019 to offer half off on published room rates. The Oceans Edge Resort in Carabao Island can cater to a variety of holiday goals, from relaxation and wellness to adventure, said PR and Communications Manager Jonice Pangilinan.

The resort, which has Caticlan as jumpoff point, will start with 51 villas. Oceans Edge is one of over a hundred participants and exhibitors to this year’s CTCI.

Czech Tourism joins the event for the first time while the Korean Tourism Organization, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Hong Kong Tourism Board, and Singapore Tourism Board will return to promote their respective destinations.

Airline partners

CTCI 2019 will have nine local and international airline partners, including Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, EVA Air, Korean Air, Silk Air, Tiger Air, and Turkish Air. Guests can expect promo airfares when booking through the different travel and tour agencies.

There will be daily activities throughout CTCI, with Lapu-Lapu City bringing in 200 cultural performers for the opening ceremony, said Queblatin.

Other activities include a fashion show by Rustan’s and travel auction. The Korean tourism group will reportedly bring in a surprise celebrity on the second day.

Events Travel

China Southern Airlines starts direct Cebu-Guangzhou flights

China Southern Airlines opened a direct route between Guangzhou and Cebu believing it was time for greater people, business, and cultural exchanges between the two places.

“Cebu’s strategic location, cultural heritage, and beautiful beaches make it an attractive destination that serves to complement Guangzhou’s cosmopolitan character,” said Mr. Pan Feng, the general manager of China Southern Airlines Manila.

Feng welcomed the inaugural flight of China Southern from Guangzhou when it arrived at Terminal 2 of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport on Jan. 22, 2019. The plane from Guangzhou arrived way ahead of schedule at a quarter past 3 p.m.

China Southern Airlines Cebu-Guangzhou
NEW CEBU-GUANGZHOU CONNECTION. Launching the China Southern Airlines flight connecting Cebu and Guangzhou are (from left) Department of Tourism Central Visayas Director Shalimar Tamano, China Southern Airlines Manila General Manager Pan Feng, Consul General Jia Li of the People’s Republic of China in Cebu, Janette Cordero of the Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions, Inc., and GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. Chief Commercial Adviser Ravishankar Saravu.


Cebu-Guangzhou route

China Southern Airlines will serve the Cebu-Guangzhou route with thrice weekly flights scheduled every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

It will depart Cebu at 17:15 and arrive in Guangzhou at 20:25. The Guangzhou-Cebu flight is from 12:25 to 16:05. To mark the opening of the new route, China Southern offers Cebu-Guangzhou return tickets starting from USD49.

Guangzhou, China’s third biggest city after Beijing and Shanghai, combines colonial-era and avant-garde architecture. The numerous traditional dim-sum eateries that can be found throughout the city have contributed to its reputation as one of China’s tastiest cities.

China Southern Airlines Cebu-Guangzhou route
CELEBRATING NEW CONNECTION. Officials led by Consul General Jia Li of the People’s Republic of China in Cebu and key leaders of the Cebu business community and tourism sector make a toast to celebrate the launch of the China Southern Airlines Cebu-Guangzhou route.


Strategic development

Consul General Jia Li of the People’s Republic of China in Cebu described the Guangzhou-Cebu direct flights as comprehensive, strategic, and a welcome development. Consul Li attended the short ceremony at the airport and the dinner event in Radisson Blu to celebrate the launch of the new flights.

Improved relations between the Philippines and China have resulted in the steady growth of Chinese tourists in Cebu and this will increase even more with China Southern’s new route, Consul Li cited.

He added that other than contributing to Cebu’s economic development, this will also pave the way for a better understanding of one another’s culture. Consul Li said he looks forward to the opening of direct flights to more cities in China from Cebu.

China Southern Airlines Cebu
CEREMONIAL CAKE. DOT 7 Director Shalimar Tamano, China Southern Airlines Manila General Manager Pan Feng, Consul General Jia Li of the People’s Republic of China in Cebu, and GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. Chief Commercial Adviser Ravishankar Saravu slice the traditional ceremonial cake to mark a new route.


Business opportunities

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Antonio Chu in his message talked about the wealth of opportunities in Cebu in such key sectors of tourism, business process outsourcing, transport and logistics, manufacturing, and retail.

He added that the presence of more international airlines like China Southern goes a long way towards beefing up investor confidence.

This newest route will serve to bring in Chinese tourists from one of China’s biggest metropolis and cater as well to the growing number of Filipinos who are flying to various destinations in China. Foreign and domestic guests visiting Cebu to swim with the whale sharks can now put Guangzhou as part of their travel itineraries.

China Southern Airlines Cebu
IN CEBU. The China Southern Airlines plane that flew from Guangzhou. The airline will serve the Cebu-Guangzhou route with thrice weekly flights scheduled every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.


About China Southern Airlines

China Southern Airlines Co., Ltd. is a direct affiliate of China Southern Air Holding Company Ltd., which specializes in air transportation services.

It has built an extensive network that covers all of China, radiating throughout Asia and linking Europe, America, Oceania, and Africa. It operates more than 3,000 daily flights to 224 destinations in 40 countries and regions across the world.

The airline is committed to building up the Canton Route, making Guangzhou as an international air hub.

China Southern Airlines
SINULOG. Sandiego dancers perform a Sinulog number during the celebration after the inaugural flight.


SKYTRAX four-star rating

On June 15, 2018, China Southern Airlines was honored with the 2-Star Flight Safety Diamond Award by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), becoming the leading Chinese carrier to maintain the highest safety records in China.

In 2011, China Southern Airlines earned its four-star status from SKYTRAX, the world’s most prestigious airline performance evaluation organization.

China Southern was also recognized as the Top 50 Most Admired Chinese Company by “FORTUNE China Magazine” in 2012 and 2013.


China Southern Airlines
LECHON CEREMONY. Consul General Jia Li of the People’s Republic of China in Cebu and retired Ambassador Frank Benedicto, who was once assigned to China, cut the lechon to mark the start of evening celebrations for the new route.

Events Travel

Mactan Cebu Airport welcomes China Southern Airlines, Juneyao Airlines

GMR-MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), the private company managing the terminal operations and other related areas of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), welcomes China Southern Airlines and Juneyao Airlines with the launch of its direct flights to Guangzhou and Shanghai, respectively.

On January 22, China Southern Airlines started the Cebu-Guangzhou direct route thrice weekly every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. About 147 passengers arrived in MCIA on its inaugural flight from Guangzhou using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

More connections for Cebu

“As the largest airline in China and a SkyTeam Alliance member, China Southern Airlines will open up more connections for Cebu to Europe and North America via Guangzhou,” said Aines Librodo, GMCAC Head of Airline Marketing and Tourism Development.

China Southern Airlines operates two hubs in Guangzhou and Beijing and is a member of SkyTeam alliance since 2007.

China Southern Airlines
CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES crew together with DOT 7 Director Shalimar Tamano, China Southern Airlines General Manager for Philippines Pan Feng, Chinese Consul General Jia Li and GMCAC Chief Commercial Advisor Ravishankar Saravu.


Meanwhile, Juneyao Airlines will launch its Cebu-Shanghai Pudong flight on Thursday, January 24, with thrice weekly flights every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It will utilize an Airbus A320 with a capacity of 158 passengers, with business and economy accommodations.

It is a privately-owned airline and operates two hubs at Shanghai Pudong and Shanghai Hongqiao airports. It is also the launch carrier of the Star Alliance Connecting Partner.

Mainland China destinations

Juneyao Airlines previously operated charter flights in the same route but only for a few weeks in November 2017.

“We are delighted to welcome back Juneyao Airlines to MCIA. With its strong domestic connection, Juneyao Airlines will offer more opportunities for Cebu into the vast Chinese market, specially that it is headquartered in Shanghai,” Librodo said.

Juneyao Airlines
WATER CANNON salute ceremony for Juneyao Airlines inaugural flight Cebu-Shanghai in November 2017. (File Photo)


Currently, scheduled flights connect MCIA to seven destinations in mainland China namely, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Kunming and Shenzhen. Charter flights are also available during the peak season.

In total, MCIA is connected to 32 domestic destinations and 20 international destinations, with 8 Philippine-based airline partners and 18 foreign airline partners. (Press Release)

News Travel

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 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)

Events Lifestyle Travel

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 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!


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 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 The latest seat sales can be found on CEB’s official Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) and Facebook pages. (Press Release)

Feature Places Travel

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 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. 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


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.


Events Feature Travel

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 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


Events Feature Travel

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 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.

DigitalNomad Feature Lifestyle Travel

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 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.


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 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)


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.

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.

Lifestyle Travel

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 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)


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 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

0915 873 8042 or 460 9078

0929 808 2954

Nalusuan Island
0929 844 6124

Oslob Whale Watching
0998 405 9923

Kawasan Falls
0949 622 9838

0999 506 0454 or 0939 345 1349

0999 450 5419 or 0919 363 1394

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