batanes batanes - Balikbayan Magazine

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batanes batanes - Balikbayan Magazine
THE FORECAST: LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL, BUT FOR EVERYONE
I s s u e 4 9 , Vo l u m e VI I
JUNE & JULY 2016
ESSENCE OF PLACE
SOUL SEARCHING:
BALAY SAN JOSE
discovery
ISABELA, STA. MARIA:
THE STAR OF THE NORTH
ADVENTURE
CAVE
ESSENCE OFCALLAO
PLACE
SOUL SEARCHING:
WHATSAN
TO JOSE
PACK
BALAY
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
discovery
COVER
ISABELA, GUIDEBOOK
STA. MARIA:
THE
PERFECT
GETAWAY
THE STAR OF THE NORTH
ADVENTURE
CALLAO CAVE
WHAT TO PACK
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
GUIDEBOOK
THE PERFECT GETAWAY
B A T A NEESS
BATAN
PORTFOLIO
BALIKBAYANS+FRANCHISING:
THE BUSINESS OWNER
INSIGHTS & ANALYSIS
retirement, more fun
in the philippines
EXECUTIVE’S
GAME
CHANGERS
DESK
RALPH SANTOS,DISRUPTING
SANTOS AND
THE FINTECH
CASHLESSSPHERE
SOCIETY
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CANYON
WOODS
R E S I D E N T I A L
R E S O R T
- A Haven For Settlement
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SP E C I A L F E ATURE
C
anyon Woods Residential Resort,
one
of
Tagaytay’s
premier
properties has always been the
true definition of luxury living
with a classic touch. Despite the interminable
urbanization flourishing throughout the
country, Canyon Woods preserves the old
Tagaytay living while incorporating new
finishes—creating a sanctuary everyone can
settle into.
The residential resort has shaped the way
people think of modern living. Flaunting an
architectural balance of the old and new,
Canyon Woods is the perfect place to spend
life’s treasured moments. With its iconic
log cabins, and a clubhouse, the homely
experience is never out of reach.
With hundreds of entries around the
world, Canyon Woods was nominated for
the Facility of the Year Award (Independent
Seniors Living) in the recently concluded 4th
Eldercare Innovation Awards 2016 held in
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
Praised for state of the art amenities,
hospitable staff, and the nurturing ambiance
of the place, Canyon Woods is ideal for people
looking for a retirement home that does not
compromise comfort and class. Equipped
with 24/7 roving security, it is one of the very
few private residential resorts in Tagaytay.
The Philippines bagged the 16th spot in
Forbes’ 20 Best Foreign Retirement Havens
with special mention to Subic and Tagaytay.
Foreigners wishing to retire in the Philippines
are particularly attracted to the cool climate
that encapsulates Tagaytay anlong with the
powerful, magnetic energy resonating from
Taal Volcano.
Situated along Diokno Highway, Canyon
Woods boasts direct access to South Luzon
Expressway (SLEX) via Tanuan-Talisay
Highway for stress-free driving in contrast
to the original routes Sta. Rosa Exit and
Emilio Aguinaldo Highway that are often
experiencing heavy traffic. Its proximity
to major thoroughfares means easy access
to Manila where major business and
commercial establishments are located.
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A refined ambience is complemented
with lush, cultivated pine trees while a cozy
clubhouse with a coffee shop designed by
Filipino-American interior designer Rene
Orosa greets guest with a warm aesthetic
welcome.
Rising amidst surrounding greenery of the
resort, Canyon Woods’ midrise building The
Peak stands within the beautiful premises.
This 10-story, twin-tower condotel with 168
fully furnished hotel rooms is tailor-made to
highlight the majestic Taal scenery.
Nestled in a lavish terrain, The Ridge
is another condominium complex and
retirement facility showing a country chaletstyle of architecture. It brings a surrounding
close to nature for an unrivaled living
experience.
Canyon Woods offers an escape away from
the scene of the metro and there’s no perfect
way to relax and unwind than to have a
massage. The Elements Spa combines
all traditional elements for complete
rejuvenation of the body. Earth, water, fire
and air all create a quintessential bond for
one of a kind pampering experience.
OTHER AMENITIES AND FACILITIES
01. Function Rooms - 5 function rooms are named
after the places around Batangas (TanauanTalisay, Taal, Lipa, Lemery and Laurel) and
provide the perfect place for conferences,
seminars, and group activities while overlooking the stellar view of Taal volcano
02. Fitness Gym - guests who live an active
lifestyle can take advantage of Canyon Woods’
own fitness gym for free, making every stay in
the residential resort worthwhile
03. Mini Theater - caters both family and friends
and can seat 49 guests, this theater is up to
date with the latest movies
04. Chapel - the “Chapel of the Most Sacred
Name of the Child Jesus” is the ideal place
to embrace God’s presence. Administering
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05.
06.
07.
08.
09.
10.
11.
a range of ministries and activities, the lush
green setting of the chapel is also ideal for
wedding celebrations
Fun Center - includes different facilities like
a children’s playhouse, bowling area, billiard
room, air hockey, ping-pong table and a
number of board games
Swimming Pools - indulge in the outdoor pool
while bonding with nature or take a relaxing
dip in theJacuzzi
Clinic
Outdoor Pavilion
Basketball court
Tennis court
9-hole mountainous golf course - positioned
within deep ravines and conforms to the USGA
specifications
ARTIST PERSPECTIVE
CANYON WOODS RESIDENCES
Canyon Estates’ latest project, Canyon
Woods Residences is a cultivating
ground for investors especially those
living abroad to own a piece of Tagaytay
without the stress. Conforming to
the standards of Canyon Woods, this
condotel sports several facilities and
amenities for an unmatched comfort.
Set in one of the country’s top
destinations, Canyon Woods Residences
is a perfect investment for retirees to
build their dream house in Tagaytay.
Surrounded
by
a
rich
foliage
harmonized with the cool climate of
Tagaytay, all rooms enjoy a prestige
view of the stunning Taal scenery.
Canyon Woods Residences offers
an impeccable blend of the past and
present that bring a new kind of
convenience to private owners. Settling
in a new place can be risky, but with
the right amenities and benefits, having
a sense of comfort, class, and security
is now possible with Canyon Woods
Residences.
For more information on Canyon Woods, visit www.canyonwoods.com
For more information on Canyon Woods Residences, email [email protected]
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CANYON COV E
H O T E L
&
S P A
- Absolute Leisure in a
Tropical Paradise
T
ucked inside one of Philippines’ premier summer
destinations, Canyon Cove
Hotel and Spa is the perfect
blend of tropical living with a splash of
European majesty. A prime getaway for
those who want to get drenched under
the sun and enjoy the comfort of luxury
living, Canyon Cove is the ideal summer
spot for everyone.
Situated along the shores of Nasugbu,
Batangas, Canyon Cove boasts a
stunning beachfront with white,
powdery sand and crystal clear waters
for the ultimate beach experience.
Canyon Cove’s private beach is also
the longest in Batangas, with its own
breakwater that manages underwater
current for safe swimming.
Canyon Cove’s 217 fully-furnished
Mediterranean-inspired rooms are
clear representations of relaxation with
sophistication. With enough capacity
to accommodate the whole family, all
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rooms exude a balance of earth with its
warm colors for a relaxing vibe while
also providing a pristine view of the
West Philippine Sea. Guests can choose
from Suite Room, Deluxe Room,
Executive Room and Superior Room
that ranges from 40 to 86 square meters.
A PLETHORA OF AMENITIES
Canyon Cove Hotel and Spa helps in
protecting corals from illegal fishing
as it believes that recreation shouldn’t
sacrifice earth preservation. Guests can
take a refreshing bath in the resort’s
pool, which is the largest in Nasugbu.
Water activities come in different forms
to satisfy thrill seekers like jet skiing,
scuba diving, kayaking, cliff diving,
banana boat, pedal boat, and island
hopping.
Highlighted by its captivating ambience, Canyon Cove is the ideal place for
special celebrations like weddings and
other gatherings. A Grand Ballroom
SP E C I A L F E ATURE
ARTIST PERSPECTIVE
ARTIST PERSPECTIVE
that can house 800 people for big events
and an Executive Dining Hall for
sumptuous feasting while enjoying a
panoramic view of the sea. An opulent
meal awaits guests at the resort’s inhouse restaurant, Island Café for a
memorable dining extravaganza.
Canyon Cove’s newest addition,
Beachfront Open Lots is targeted for
potential retirees especially those who
want to live beside the beach. With
24/7 security, privacy tops among all as
Beachfront Open Lots is a private villa
with all unit owners having an exclusive
access to Canyon Cove Hotel and Spa
and Canyon Cove Oceana. Several
amenities include solar-powered lights,
generators, and an elevated terrain
for an astonishing view of the West
Philippine Sea.
CANYON COVE OCEANA
Exemplary living by the beach does
not end at Canyon Cove Hotel and Spa
and Beachfront Open Lots, with its
newest expansion: Canyon Cove Oceana
brings its guests closer to serenity.
Canyon Cove Oceana is set to rise with
three towers of condotel units. It is a
new addition to Batangas’ wide array
of travel spots encapsulating the beauty
of Canyon Cove while adding its own
flavor. Investors can take advantage of
the location because of its proximity to
the beachfront, perfect for those people
looking for a sweet escapade.
Oceana will have world class amenities
that will compete with the Philippines’
top swimming pools. It will aim to be the
biggest swimming pool in the country
with adult section and kids section.
Oceana will also have more restaurants
and the addition of the lighthouse
beach front will surely add the finishing
touches to Canyon Cove Hotel and Spa.
Canyon Cove Hotel and Spa, Canyon
Cove Beachfront Open Lots, and Canyon
Cove Oceana are the new faces of
modern convenience, courtesy of a
tropical comfort.
FACILITIES AND AMENITIES
01. 3 additional swimming pools
– a lounge pool, kiddie pool with
slides and a modern wave pool
ideal for surfing
02. 3 new restaurants
03. Entertainment Complex
04. Spa Complex
05. Beachfront Center - designed to
compete with existing wedding
facilities in Nasugbu, Batangas
to make beach weddings more
memorable
06. Lighthouse - a new addition to
Batangas’ must-see tourist attractions, this is one of the highlights
of Canyon Cove Oceana
For more information on Canyon Cove Hotel & Spa, visit www.canyoncove.com.ph
For more information on Canyon Cove Oceana, email [email protected]
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GILMORE TOWER
– A Sure-Fire Real Estate Investment
I
t is often cumbersome to find
an
affordable
investment
opportunity like a place to
live near school or office.
Thousands of condominiums are
scattered all over Metro Manila but
not all are created equal. Gilmore
Tower in New Manila, Quezon City
offers a prestigious piece of urban
living without sacrificing the budget.
EVERYTHING AT REACH
Gilmore Tower is located near
public transportations like MRT and
LRT Gilmore Station (Purple Line).
Unit owners will have easy access to
schools like St. Paul University Quezon
City, Xavier School and De La Salle
University Greenhills.
Quality health care is within reach
as Gilmore Tower is situated close
to St. Luke’s Medical Center Manila,
The Medical City, and Cardinal Santos
Medical Center. Leisure is in the palm
of everyone’s hands with shopping
malls like Robinson’s Magnolia,
Greenhills Shopping Center and
Araneta Center.
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SP E C I A L F E ATURE
FULL AMENITIES
01. Lap Swimming
Pool
02. Aroma Therapy
Garden
03. Jogging Path
04. Function Rooms
05. Spa
06. Gym
07. Play Area
08. Day Care
SECURITY AND SERVICES
01. Four high-speed, interior finished passenger elevators
02. One interior finished service elevator
03. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) monitoring for selected
areas
04. 24 hour security command center
05. Mail room
06. Water tank at the roof deck
S T.
ARTIST PERSPECTIVE
GO
PROPOSED GILMORE TOWER
DO
MIN
set; together with appliances
ranging from 36-inch television
set, refrigerator, air-condition
unit/s, as well as lights and
curtains. Other features include
pre-fabricated kitchen cabinet
system, stainless steel kitchen
sink, exhaust duct system, solid
surface lavatory countertop,
provision for hot and cold water
supply lines, provision for cable
TV lines and one telephone line
per unit.
A PERFECT PRICE
Considering the ideal location
of Gilmore Tower in the
developing New Manila, it offers
the most competitive price range
in the area.
All units will be fully-furnshed
perfectly for retirees upon turn
over by 3rd quarter of 2016.
N.
STATE OF THE ART BUILDING
What separates Gilmore Tower
among other high-rise condominiums is its space, reducing
congestion for easy living. Fullyfurnished 450 residential units
make up the tower and are strategically constructed to provide
comfort for the owners. An open
landscape awaits unit owners
for a positive and invigorating
vibe.
Gilmore Tower’s residential
units are crafted with sheer style
and sophistication. All units are
bi-level with the bedroom above
the living and dining rooms,
giving a sense of space and
solitude. Each unit comes with
a complete bedroom set with a
built-in closet.
Cozy living brews at the
ground floor with a dining room
GILMORE AVENUE
ORTIGAS AVENUE
For more information on availabilities or reservations, visit us at G2 Global Gilmore Tower located at No. 2 Gilmore Avenue
corner N. Domingo, Quezon City or contact us at (+63) 908-812-3890 / (+63) 917-797-5283 / (+63) 2-531-5670
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did you
know?
Unequal economic development
National GDP per capita was about $2,700 in 2014. Below is a
breakdown of 17 regions’ GDP per capita that year.
more than
$1,000
manila
less than
$1,000
Major sources of remittances in 2015
Cash sent home by Filipino workers around the globe accounts for
about 10% of the economy
Saudi arabia
u.a.e
$2.7 B
$1.8 B
u.k.
$1.4 B
singapore
$1.4 B
top five export countries
As of February 2016, Japan is still the Philippines’ top trading
partner, having surpassed the U.S. in 2010
21.8%
Japan
17.2%
U.S.
Hong kong
9.8%
9.1%
China
singapore
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6.7%
SOURCE: PHILIPPINE STATISTICS AUTHORITY AND BANGKO SENTRAL NG PILIPINAS
$10.1 B
u.s
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FE ATURES
June & July 2016
I. KEEPING A JOURNAL
THE PUBLISHER’S NOTE on page 20.
A
THE FORECAST
“If Mayor Duterte can transform Davao from
being the murderous, drug infested gangster
city it used to be into an orderly, clean
mini-Singapore, then can President Duterte
change the Philippines into Singapore?”
More on page 30...
B
INSIGHTS & ANALYSIS
Balikbayans + Franchising: Business Owner
“For overseas Filipinos who have spent a
good deal of their professional life outside
the Philippines and have the burning desire
to own a business back home, its time to
take the giant leap of faith towards financial
independence and the elusive quality of life.”
More on page 36...
C
RETIREMENT
Retirement, More Fun in the Philippines
“The cost of living in the Philippines is with
no doubt cheaper relative to many places
in the world. This is the perfect place if you
want your money to go a lot further. Most
foreigners live comfortably in the Philippines
for about $800 to $1,200 a month and that
is already a pretty great deal of leisure and
luxury.”
More on page 40...
46
S C OPE
01 GREAT ESCAPES
Wellness Visionary: Cathy Turvill,
Founder & Co-Owner of Nurture
Wellness Village. On page 72.
02 HOTELS & RESORTS
(A) A Woman of Class, Tricia S. Sarabia
On page 74
(B) Hotel Celeste: City Living
Redefined. On page 76.
D
102
03 AROUND THE TOWN
Celebrating Priscilla Hunt.
On page 78.
05 TOURISM
(A) Chamonix Travel & Tours.
On page 86.
(B) The Woman Behind Chamonix.
On page 88.
04 WINE & DINE
Madrid Fusion. On page 96.
06 EVENTS
Fiesta in America. On page 82.
07 AMAZING PLACES
(A) Enchanted Kingdom: Find the
Magic Within. On page 92.
08 FASHION
(A) Summer Essentials. On page 98.
(B) Summer 2016: Manila Fashion
Trends. On page 100.
BUSINESS OUTLOOK
Digital Present: The Power of Open Platform
“The significance of social media in the
country is almost at par with its ability
to draw tourist—let alone investments.
Considering how 87% of its population have
mobile phone ownership2, the market reach
of any mobile publicity reaches more than
half of 101.47 million3 Filipinos; and with
55% of them owning a smart phone2, the
media interest is almost instantaneous as
determining whether a product is effectively
influencing a consumer’s buying decision.”
More on page 42...
E
FROM THE EXECUTIVE’S DESK |
GAME CHANGERS
How Ralph Santos and VMoney are
disrupting the financial tech sphere.
“With VMoney’s digital platform, the
roadmap to weaning the country off physical
cash is systematically being laid out, but
it’s going to take a collective effort from the
government, businesses, and individuals,
Santos emphasizes.”
More on page 46...
S U B S C R I B E T O D A Y 6 I S S U E S / 1 Y E A R F O R O N LY $ 3 0
Available nationwide at all major bookstores / selected restaurants & ca fes / inside hotel rooms and at
Duty Free Philippines. Also available at special events and subscriptions throughout the world.
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TR AV EL
June & July 2016
46
A
ESSENCE OF PLACE
Soul Searching: Balay San Jose
“Situated on undulated hills and facing green
farms and pastures, it is the best place to
gaze upon the might and grandeur of the
Sierra Madre mountain range and wonder
in awe at how lovingly the Lord protects his
people.”
More on page 58...
B
DISCOVERY
Isabela: The Star of the North
“Visualize yourself waking up to a
remarkable view of vast farmland, the sound
of chirping birds, and the sun on your face.
The air is clean and crisp. The scent of grass
and delicious crops occasionally carried
by the breeze bring a whiff of undeniable
freshness.”
More on page 52...
C
ADVENTURE
Callao Cave
“187 steps on the mountainside to the cave
entrance and you will discover a series of
seven exotic and mysterious chambers,
including the Divine Room which has been
transformed into a church.”
More on page 60...
D
EXPLORER
Breathtaking Batanes
“The homeland of the Ivatans is the
Philippines’ most coveted travel destination.
Featuring captivating landscapes and unique
insular culture, Batanes’ phenomenal rarity
will fill your wanderlust to the brim.”
More on page 62...
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E
WHAT TO PACK
The Great Outdoors
“From packing the right essentials to leaving
the proper footprints, we sorted out the
indispensable from the optional to help
you prepare for that quintessential outdoor
adventure.”
More on page 68...
F
58
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GUIDEBOOK
The Perfect Getaway
“In the modern world where we rely on our
smartphones for almost everything, creating
your dream holiday is just one touch away.”
More on page 70...
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PUBLISHER & CEO
PRESIDENT & CO-PUBLISHER
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Vice President for Sales
Vice President for Marketing
and Special Events, Philippines
Roger L. Oriel
Cora M. Oriel
Raphael John C. Oriel
Sharon Ann Bathan-San Pedro
Vince F. Samson
managing editor
MARY MAY PORTEZ
ASSOCIATE editor
CHRISTINA ORIEL
WRITERS
Advertising Executives
CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER
senior Multimedia Developer
Multimedia Developers
LAYOUT & GRAPHIC DESIGNER
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
OFFICE Manager
CHARISSE NICOLE TRINIDAD, IAN KELLY JAMOTILLO,
Yolanda Core Pastrana
Kimberly delos Santos, GREG TRINIDAD,
ROCELLE ANABEZA, KATrina DELA CRUZ,
jazmine laboriante, KARL TANALGO
Issue 49 / volume viI
ON THE COVER
Nandi Hills, Basco, Batanes, The
Northernmost Province in the Philippines.
Photographer: Potpot Pinili
NOEL TY
KENNO SAMULDE
godwin gasacao
EUGENE DE GUZMAN
ALLANA SANTOS
potpot pinili
David Miro Are, potpot pinili,
CARLO Delantar, Joe Cobilla
kristine tan
the asian journal publications, inc
philippines headquarters
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Gemma C. Fabro
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INSTAGRAM.COM/BALIKBAYANMAG
Circulation ManagerS
intern
ASIAN JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS, INCORPORATED
PUBLISHER & CEO
PRESIDENT
VICE PRESIDENT FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Roger L. Oriel
Cora M. Oriel
RAPHAEL JOHN C. ORIEL
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Elizabeth Hilario Sison
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT
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VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING
managing editor
CHRISTINA M. ORIEl
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VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER
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Joseph Peralta
editor-in-chief
northern california
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philippines
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KEEPING A JOURNAL
Publisher’s Note
READ THE
FINE PRINT
L
ike a great many of you, I
have been reading, watching,
listening, and of course, checking
Facebook for the latest news and
opinions about the elections in
the Philippines. This election
m a r k s our great nation’s first election
in the social media era. Universal McCann,
one of the largest advertising agencies,
proclaimed that the Philippines is indeed
the social media capital of the World.
And this is all proven by the country’s 41
million tweets in 24 hours last year. Today,
there are almost 40 million Filipinos on
Facebook—nearly half the population of
the Philippines. And we all know what
this means—that certain information
can instantly go viral through our own
personal and private networks. And in the
Philippines, information on the elections
spread like rapid fire.
But there are consequences.
One of the most unfortunate things with
social media is that an incredible amount
of vitriol and misinformation can float
on the internet and as a result of this, it
can be damaging, influential, and rather
alarming. If I see a status update or wall
post that has over thousands (even just a
few hundred) of comments, likes, and/or
shares, I can’t help but wonder, do people
really believe the information at hand?
Cognitively speaking, it is incredibly
fascinating to say the least. Even I don’t
know what is true or false at times—that
is why it is important to always check the
source—read the fine print.
During the weeks leading up to the
election, I read news articles and wall posts
about friends and family unfriending each
other on Facebook because of differing
political opinions. Us Filipinos, we take our
politics quite seriously and unfortunately
it has lead to political violence—ranked
one of the worst in the World. For many of
us, our thoughts and opinions are shaped
by our environment—our close friends,
family, and our educational attainment.
The months and weeks leading up
to the May 9 election day, many of my
readers, clients, partners, friends, and
family were asking me who I wanted
for President and Vice President and if
the Asian Journal was going to publicly
endorse any candidates—and this is not
just for the Philippine elections, but also
for the upcoming November elections in
America. I believe it is critical for people to
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be bold and take a stance especially if they
staunchly believe in certain viewpoints.
However, with regards to politics, for
news media to endorse a political party or
candidate is irresponsible and misguided.
The role of news media is to report on the
facts—nothing more, nothing less. For each
news article, it is vital for journalists to
provide multiple sources when reporting
the news. Regardless, it can always turn
out to be a game of he said, she said—the
credibility of each source. Providing all
the facts should equip readers with the
ability to formulate sound judgments and
opinions. This is precisely why we take
our role with providing information to the
Filipino-American and Global Balikbayan
community very seriously because frankly
put, a newspaper—the news, in its purest
form is the backbone of democracy—it is
ground zero for spreading awareness and
actionable knowledge.
Because of the influence and role of
social media in the recent Presidential
Elections, I began reading about the
affects of Facebook on mental health and
well-being. According to new research
from the University of Pittsburgh School
of Medicine, one of the top universities in
the World, social media addiction is real
and affecting young adults much more
than previously thought. The more time
young adults use social media, the more
likely they are to be depressed. Social
media sites such as Facebook could be
fueling internet addiction, a proposed
psychiatric condition closely associated
with depression. Lead author of the
study, Lui yi Lin, writes that “Exposure to
highly idealized representations of peers
on social media elicits feelings of envy
and the distorted belief that others lead
happier, more successful lives, and found
that engaging in activities of little meaning
on social media may give a feeling of
‘time wasted’ which negatively influences
mood…Spending more time on social
media may increase the risk of exposure
to cyber-bullying or other similar negative
interactions, which can cause feelings of
depression.”
However, I wonder, isn’t a more
connected society a better society? In
a recent dinner party with family and
friends, there was a point during the
dinner when everyone was on their
smartphones. With this sight, it dawned
on me, do we own our phones or do
our phones own us? We can do almost
everything from the click of a button—
check messages, send money, book flights
and hotels, to even purchasing real estate.
And perhaps one day, we’ll be able to
click vote for our next world leaders.
Regardless of what you may think, like
us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter,
Instagram, and Google+, and subscribe to
our YouTube Channel.
Roger L. Oriel
Chief Executive Officer & Publisher
Asian Journal Media Group
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T HE F O R ECAST
LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL,
BUT FOR EVERYONE
WRITER
Raphael John C. Oriel
Kenno Samulde
& Melissa Reynoso
ILLUSTRATORS
OVER S EA S FILIPINO S ’ C A S H REMITTAN C E S
(in $ million)
2,250
The Philippine economy continues
to appreciate a tremendous period
of incredible growth as the business
process outsourcing (BPO) industry
further expands and the consistent
influx of money from overseas workers
and balikbayans ignite spending
resulting in infrastructure development
nationwide. With sustained economic
growth since 2014, the country is
growing faster and more rapidly than
many of its Southeast Asian neighbors,
including
China—most
recently
surpassing the giant economy in the 1st
Quarter of 2016. The country is expected
to grow at least 6% all the way until the
end of this decade. Despite all of this
growth, the Philippines faces many
challenges in the months and years
ahead, namely ensuring that economic
growth is sustained, inclusive, and
dispersed throughout each province
and to its people—not just for the upper
echelon of the wealthy elite.
Despite those challenges, the short
and long-term outlook for the country
will be sustained as a result of strong
fundamentals—the population’s strong
command of the English language
versus any other country in the World, a
now stable government, jobs generated
by the BPO industry and government
spending, along with the steady influx
of overseas remittance which provides
private consumer consumption for all
industries.
2016 is undoubtedly a very critical
year for the Philippines to sustain
the economic growth seen in the past
few years, especially with the change
in government with newly elected
President Rodrigo Duterte. However,
the change in the nation’s leadership
is expected to bring in new and fresh
solutions for not only continuing, but
fully igniting the economic potential
and might of the Philippines. The
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March
2015
april
may
june
july
2,227
2,253
aug.
sept.
oct.
nov.
dec.
jan.
2016
feb.
2,470
2,390
2,147
2,000
2,234
March
2,425
2,164
2,126
2,022
1,994
2,110
1,871
1,750
1,500
6,558
6,282
4.4%
Contribution by
workers
(January-March 2016)
Land-Based Workers:
$5.1 billion
sea-Based Workers:
2015
2016
january to march
$1.4 billion
Source: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
new president is fortunate to inherit
this current state of the Philippine
economy—a full 360 degrees of what he
had to deal with when he first took office
in Davao. Assuming President Duterte
will steer the country responsibly
with the way he has profoundly
governed Davao, then perhaps all those
projections by global economists that the
Philippines will be a $1 trillion economy
in 2030 or even be the next Singapore
much sooner than anticipated, will be
realized. It is still rather cloudy as to
what can be anticipated with a Duterte
administration and how different it
will be from the Presidency of Benigno
Aquino since only Davao can provide
us a glimpse of what a society governed
by Duterte is like. However, analyzing
those that currently live in it, it is clear
that they fervently adore, trust, believe,
and follow Duterte. Afterall, Duterte
was elected in a landslide.
TIME FOR CHANGE
With the election of Mayor Rodrigo
Duterte as the next President of the
Philippines, it is clear that citizens have
finally reached their boiling point with
the status quo. Imagine constantly seeing
newspaper headlines of international
events and the growing economy.
Imagine how it must feel to commute
3 hours each way to work or home and
only be paid just enough so that you and
your family don’t starve. Or better yet,
as balikbayans, imagine having to move
overseas, leaving your family behind
because you can’t find a job and when
you return, your wife or husband, and
your kids feel like strangers. Or imagine
that you’re walking in Makati and your
bag was snatched or you get in a taxi
and don’t feel safe. Finally, imagine
that no matter how hard you work, you
feel hopeless because there is a clear
economic divide between the haves and
the have-nots, between the connected
and the disconnected. Imagine all of
that, and you can fully understand why
Rodrigo Duterte was elected as the next
President.
During the administration of President
Benigno Aquino, the Philippines, despite
Th e Bu d g e t e m p o w e r s
citizens to decide where
their taxes go
car
Allocations for the Bottom-Up Budgeting
program have been increased to support civil
society groups working with local government
units to address the causes of poverty in their
communities. About P24.7 billion was set aside
to fund 14,324 projects in 1,514 cities and
municipilaties.
region
II
587
P1.15 b
891
P1.40 b
1, 166
P1.9 B
REGION
I
region
III
1,342
P1.95 b
ncr
region
iv-a
182
P331.5 M
1, 086
P1.99 B
REGION
V
1,473
P21.b
region
iv-B
700
P1.1 b
region
VII i
region
VI
nIr
641
P1.1 b
region
VII
776
P1.5 b
844
P1.8 b
region
xi
region
iX
583
P916.5 M
656
P1.16 b
C ARAGA
region
X
800
P1.63 b
region
x II
1, 105
P2.25 b
782
P1.22 b
710
P106 b
T o t a l Nu m b e r o f p r o j e c t s
tota l b u d g e t
Note: Tentatively, ARMM will receive no BUB allocation for 2016
in anticipation of the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
Illustration By
M e l i ss a R e y n o s o
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31
PHI LI PPI N E S GR OWS FA S TER
T H A N CH I N A , A S EA N 5
7.0%
6.8%
6.7 %
*President Rodrigo Duterte’s 8-point
Economic Agenda as disclosed by
incoming Department of Finance
Secretary Carlos Dominguez
VIETNAM
INDONESIA
being largely deemed successful, failed
to alleviate poverty, which remains the
same at 25%—almost ¼ of the country’s
population lives at or below the poverty
line. Despite reaching the landmark
figure of 5 million tourist visitors
in 2015, inclusive economic growth
was not experienced throughout the
country. Prior to President Aquino, for
many years, the Philippines was known
as the “Sick man of Asia,” being a chronic
underachiever mired by rampant
government corruption, enormous lack
of vision, and sound policymaking.
With the Aquino administration, the
Philippines undertook the path of more
successful
economies—encouraging
foreign direct investment, investing on
infrastructure, and boosting domestic
consumption— all the while keeping
national debt down. For the past 6
years, growth has been surprisingly
healthy—persistently the best among
regional, bigger counterparts. Today,
the Philippines leads the world in
handling the world’s complaints—the
country now boasts of almost a million
call center jobs—and the industry keeps
expanding. Yet, this means absolutely
nothing to the rural areas of the
Philippines.
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MALAYSIA
2016 1.8%
2015 1.8%
2016
2015
2016
2015
2016
2015
2016
3.2%
CHINA
2015
2016
2015
2016
2015
PHILIPPINES
2.8%
4.2%
4.5%
5.0%
01. Continue and maintain the current
macroeconomic policies. Reforms
in tax revenue collection efforts
will be complemented by reforms
within the bureaucracy of tax
collecting agencies.
4.9%
5.5%
6.5%
6.9 %
AGENDA
THAILAND SINGAPORE
The nation of more than 100 million
Filipinos rejected the political elite and
said they want change. The millions of
Filipinos who are saying “what economic
growth?” have voiced their selection—
finally saying enough is enough of
government corruption and crime. Ask
anyone in the Philippines what they
think of a Duterte Government and
they will undoubtedly use the words,
change. Yes, President Duterte will
change the country, but he certainly
won’t hinder the positive direction
of the economy, saying that he will
hire the country’s foremost economic
experts and place them in charge. And
if President Duterte stays true to his
word on crime and corruption, then
how can installing discipline, rule,
and order ever be a hindrance to the
economy—if anything, it should boost
foreign and local investment further.
Just think, if the country is considered
safer, cleaner, and orderly, then should
we not anticipate an increase in tourism
as well? If Mayor Duterte can transform
Davao from being the murderous, drug
infested gangster city it used to be
into an orderly, clean mini-Singapore,
then can President Duterte change the
Philippines into Singapore?
02. Accelerate spending on
infrastructure by addressing
major bottlenecks, and maintain
the target of setting aside 5% of the
country’s gross domestic product
(GDP) to infrastructure spending.
03. Ensure attractiveness of the
Philippines to foreign investors,
and enhancing competitiveness
in doing business in the country.
This also means reducing crime
to attract investors, and increase
security of businessmen and
consumers.
04. Provide support services to small
farmers to increase productivity
and improve market access.
Provide irrigation and better
support services to farmers.
Promote tourism in the rural
areas.
05. Address bottlenecks in our land
administration and management
system.
06. Strengthen basic education
system, and provide scholarships
for tertiary education, which are
relevant to private employers’
needs.
07. Improve tax system by indexing
tax collection to inflation rate, “to
enable those who earn a little to
have more in their pockets.”
08. Expand and improve
implementation of the conditional
cash transfer (CCT) program.
4.9%
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INSIG H T S & ANALYSIS
BALIKBAYANS
+ FRANCHISING
BUSINESS OWNER
WRITER
Prof. Enrique Soriano
The Philippines emerged as the fastest growing economy among 11
selected Asian economies in Asia in the first quarter of this year,
outperforming China (6.7%). Adding spice to the resilient economy
is the ASEAN Economic Integration where Philippine companies
have taken the big leap to go global. To sustain the optimism, the
presumptive President Rody Duterte will now play a much bigger role
in key areas related to governance and the promise of a better quality
of life for the majority of the Filipinos.
set in motion 30 years earlier, but rather
on their needs and desires this year or
this month. If they need the money or
if they simply want more challenge and
social interaction, they may take a job or
start a business.“
Personally, as an international business consultant, from then on up until
2016, I’m pretty confident that a lot of
the non-traditional retirements we’re
seeing have less to do with a want and
more to do with a need. In other words,
these people need to make money —
even though they don’t necessarily want
to continue working.
BABY BOOMERS ARE STARTING
THEIR OWN BUSINESSES
The Kauffman Foundation, in its report
a few years back titled, “The Coming Entrepreneurship Boom,” stated that the
highest rate of entrepreneurial activity
belonged to the 55-64 age group. The
report goes on to state that the average
age of technology company founders in
the United States is a surprisingly high
39 with twice as many over age 50 as
under age 25.
But, they’re not all starting technology
companies. Some of them are buying
franchises.
THE FRANCHISE WAY
Buying into a proven business concept
(which is what franchising offers) could
be the way to go for those that have
found themselves out of a job and close
to retirement age. And, while franchise
ownership has its risks, it has numerous
advantages, too:
WHY GO FRANCHISING?
While some Filipino entrepreneurs
have decided to expand their businesses
by putting up company-owned stores,
more and more Filipinos have found that
the best way for a business to expand is
by cloning itself -- through franchising
via the local, regional and international
route. And with the success of many
firms in franchising their brands, it is
no surprise that even bigger organizations are jumping into the bandwagon
and now venturing into franchising to
further expand their business.
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WORKING AFTER RETIREMENT:
LONGING FOR QUALITY OF LIFE!
In 2005, CEO and Founder of Small
Business Trends, Anita Campbell, wrote
about the changing face of retirement:
“In the US, it used to be that someone
reached the magic retirement age of
65 and stopped working. Period! Now
many more people ‘retire’ earlier, but
their retirements are not traditional
anymore. Retirees take jobs from time
to time, and they even start and continue their own businesses during their
‘retirements.’ Their state of employment
is based not on some grand career plan
01.
02.
03.
04.
05.
06.
07.
Proven concept
Proprietary business systems
Extensive training
Grand opening assistance
Powerful technology
Buying Power
Branding
And, let’s not forget speed. In an online
report released by smallbiztrends.com,
people that are nearing retirement age
(who want to go into business for themselves) need to be able to open up their
new businesses quickly. In most cases,
new franchise owners can be up and
running quickly.
In the Philippines, even with all the ups
and downs, the last 10 years have made
a big difference in the way Filipinos
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37
handle their businesses.
They’re more open to
trying new things, new
markets. They’re more
willing to take a chance
in dreaming of bigger
and more successful
ventures. And they’re no
longer afraid of taking
on the world head on.
Although
franchises
are not failure-proof,
entrepreneurs favor the
odds of better return on
investment and profit, as
well as tried-and-tested
systematic
business
operations that they provide. While the country’s
franchising sector can
be considered modest
compared to the global
franchising
phenomenon, the time is ripe for
Philippine brands to go
global.
EARLY BEGINNINGS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PROF. SORIANO is an ASEAN Family
Business Advisor, Book Author and
Executive Director of ASEAN-based
Business Consulting group, Wong
+ Bernstein Strategic Advisory.
He is slated to conduct a series of
investment and franchise talks in the
East Coast starting with the Annual
Fiesta in America on August 13 and 14
in New York/New Jersey.
A select group of Philippine franchise
owners will join the event and
showcase their products. The event is
the largest indoor gathering of Asians
in the East Coast as more than 10,000
people are expected to attend.
Franchise companies interested to
join Prof Soriano and promote their
franchise concept can email their
expressions of interest at [email protected]
wongadvisory.com c/o Ms. Aira.
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Franchising
in
the
Philippines
can
be
traced backed to 1910
when Singer, the sewing
machine manufacturer,
sold distribution licenses
to Filipinos. In the ‘60s, A&W Restaurant
came into the country also through
franchising.
But it took decades before Filipinos
caught on to the benefits of franchising.
It was not until the ‘90s when international companies realized the
viability of franchising their brands in
the Philippines. A study commissioned
by the Philippine Franchising Association showed a 97% success rate for
franchises.
Despite its status as a developing
country, Filipinos are known for their
penchant for shopping, especially when
it comes to international name-brand
items.
Today, PFA pegs the success rate of
entrepreneurs who operate a franchise
at a high 90%, compared to the 25%
for traditional retailers or independent
start-up businesses.
“A franchise is for people who are not
entrepreneurs — those who don’t know
how to start their own business,” said
Samie Lim, founder and chairman of
the PFA as well as president of consulting firm Francorp Philippines, Inc. “ A
franchise is for people who will follow
rules because that is the formula. If you
fool around with that formula, you will
not succeed. A creative person will not
be successful as a franchisee because
he will fool around with the formula.”
Mr. Lim noted that franchising has
caught the attention of Filipino entrepreneurs because this type of business
poses less risk than most other businesses.
INDUSTRY GROWTH DURING THE
ASIAN FINANCIAL CONTAGION
In an article, “Philippine brands
set foot on foreign shores” written
by Nuqui and Silva, they cited a US
Department of Commerce’s National
Trade Data Bank study highlighting the
franchising industry in the Philippines
growing by 44% in 1997 and 25% in
1998 despite an unstable economic
situation.
PFA data show that the Philippine
franchise industry grew from only 50
franchises in the early ‘90s to over 500
in the year 2000. Franchise industry
sales grew from PhP30 billion in 1997
to PhP63 billion in 1999.
“Since 1997-’98, people say businesses went down. I think most of the
other businesses were affected...they
stagnated after the Asian crisis. But
franchising continued to grow and it is
still growing,” Mr. Lim noted.
Ironically, he attributed the boom in
franchising in recent years to the Asian
financial crisis and the global economic
slowdown that followed thereafter. He
noted that “franchising is even better
when the economy is bad” because
when factories closed and people were
laid off, they turn to entrepreneurship.
THE TIME IS NOW
For overseas filipinos who have spent
a good deal of their professional life
outside the Philippines and have the
burning desire to own a business back
home, its time to take the giant leap of
faith towards financial independence
and the elusive quality of life. You still
have a good 20 to 30 years of productive
life ahead of you. So stop procrastinating!
Its time to own a business and enjoy
the fruits of your hard earned labor.
[email protected]
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RET IR EMENT
RETIREMENT.
M O R E F U N I N T H E PH I L I PP I N E S
A
n ideal retirement haven
brings to mind warm weather,
powdery beaches, scenic views,
heavenly dishes and friendly people. A
large number of people are retiring in the
Philippines mainly to experience a great
life in a tropical paradise without spending
too much.
World-class and affordable healthcare,
high quality of standard living for a very
low cost, wonderful and hospitable people
and minimal language barrier are factors
that attracts foreigners to retire, reside and
invest in the Philippines.
Healthcare in the Philippines is of good
standard. There are Joint Commission
International (JCI)-accredited hospitals
like St.Luke’s, Medical City, Makati Medical
Centre and Asian Hospital. Practically
speaking, hospital costs and medicines
are cheap in the Philippines. The amount
of co-pay in the US may be practically
equal to the amount of the whole medical
procedure in the Philippines. With this
kind of healthcare system a foreign retiree
will be able to save a lot from their funds.
Also, the doctors and nurses are well
trained, highly skilled and professionally
competent and capable of giving excellent
health services.
The cost of living in the Philippines is
with no doubt cheaper relative to many
places in the world. This is the perfect
place if you want your money to go a lot
further. Most foreigners live comfortably
in the Philippines for about $800 to
$1,200 a month and that is already a
pretty great deal of leisure and luxury.
Food is abundant and pretty affordable.
One would be able to savor international
and local cuisines. A foreigner may also
enjoy affordable, fast and stable access
to the internet which is an absolute
necessity for them, not only to get a hold
of all the important information on visa
requirements, public transportation, local
events, etc., but also to keep in touch with
their relatives abroad. Cable television is
attainable for just $12 a month with the
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option of adding foreign channels for a
minimal cost.
Further, the Philippines is the only
country in Asia that uses English as their
second official language. It is easy to
integrate with Filipinos. English is very
widely spoken even in the provinces.
Signages and instructions are in English,
and daily newspapers are in English.
There are also newspapers in Chinese,
Japanese, Korean etc.
Its tropical climate is nature’s blessing
especially to those who dream to escape
harsh winter seasons. It is very favorable
to the elderly who have ailments that are
triggered by a colder climate. Also, the
society is innately respectful and caring
for the elderly.
For
active
tourists/retirees,
the
Philippines offers many sports adventures/
activities. One can snorkel with the gentle
giants and whale sharks in Cebu or
Sorsogon. Explore the beautiful corals of
the famous and world class diving sites of
Puerto Galera, Batangas, and Cebu. Brave
the waves of Baler, Siargao and La Union.
Join the Philippines’ most popular festivals
like Cebu City’s Sinulog, Aklan’s Ati-Atihan
and Iloilo’s Dinagyang. The serene blue
waters and white sand beaches of breathtaking islands like Coron, Boracay and
Bohol are choices to enjoy and experience
the whole year round.
The attitude of Filipinos towards
foreigners and fellow Filipinos are
exceptional especially when it comes to
hospitality and being friendly. Aside from
the country’s stunning natural assets,
one thing that makes a foreigner’s stay
extraordinary is their interactions with
Filipinos.
Because of these factors, the Philippines
is dubbed as one of the world’s leading
retirement destinations.
Last but not least, the retiree has visa
options depending on his situation: dual
citizenship, 13A (for those married to
Filipinos), and PRA’s Special Resident
Retiree’s Visa (SRRV).
SRRV is a non-immigrant multiple-entry,
indefinite-stay visa. With the SRRV, the
holders may stay in the Philippines for
as long as they want without giving up
their citizenship. Other benefits include:
multiple-entry
privileges,
exemption
privileges, access to greet and assist
programs, discount privileges from
services offered by PRA Merchant Partners,
and assistance in obtaining documents
from other government agencies, among
others.
The Philippine Retirement Authority, a
government agency dedicated to lead the
retirement agenda of the country designed
the retirement visa based on varying
retiree lifestyles and needs. The basic
features of the SRRV are:
01. SRRV SMILE – for active / healthy
principal retirees 35 years old
and above who would just like
to maintain their Visa deposit of
US$20,000.00 in any of the PRA
designated banks;
02. SRRV CLASSIC – for active / healthy
principal retirees who would
opt to use their Visa deposit of
US$10,000.00/US$20,000.00
(50
years old & above) or US$50,000.00
(35 to 49 years old) to purchase
condominium units or use for long
term lease of house and lot;
03. SRRV HUMAN TOUCH – for ailing
principal retirees, 35 years old
and above, who are shown to have
medical/clinical needs and services.
Under this option, the retiree only
needs to have a Visa deposit of
US$10,000.00, a monthly pension
of at least US$1,500.00 and a Health
Insurance Policy; and
04. SRRV COURTESY – for former
Filipinos (35 years old & above),
and foreign nationals (50 years
old & above) who have served
in the Philippines as diplomats,
ambassadors,
officers/staff
of
international organizations. The
visa deposit is US$1,500.00.
There are many reasons to retire. Some
retire to experience utmost comfort and enjoyment after long years of working
while some retire to begin a new life. Whatever it is, retiring in the Philippines is
an experience one will never forget.
Come and retire in the Philippines!
We promise you it will be worth it.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
41
BUSINESS OU T LOO K
DIGITAL PRESENT
THE POWER OF OPEN PLATFORM
“
THE PHILIPPINES IS
OPEN-MINDED WITH
START UP INDUSTRIES.
THERE’S INTEREST IN
START UPS.
In the competitive world of consumerism, the extent of predictive
marketing often stretches beyond what is necessary. With the
inexorable influence of social media, business has gone from
traditional, to unconventional verging toward a more accessible
approach to selling. Given the statistics on the buying power of modern
consumers, there is, as they say, no where to go but up.
WRITER
Mary May Portez
ILLUSTRATOR
- Dex ter Ligot - Gordon
Coo Of Kalibr r
Allana Santos
18%
29%
31%
39%
18%
made an online
purchase via
mobile device
purchased a
product/service
online
visted an
online retail
store
searched online
for a product/
service
made an online
purchase via laptop/
desktop computer
BUSINESS OPPOR TUNI TIES
eCOMMERCE
ECOMMERCE AND
THE RISE OF STARTUPS
In a country where 47.13 million¹ are
active internet users, the Philippines is
fast becoming the fulcrum of business
startups, including a long entourage
of personalities hopeful for fame and
exposure. The significance of social
media in the country is almost at par
with its ability to draw tourist—let alone
investments. Considering how 87%
of its population have mobile phone
ownership², the market reach of any
mobile publicity reaches more than half
of 101.47 million³ Filipinos; and with
55% of them owning a smart phone², the
media interest is almost instantaneous
as determining whether a product is
effectively influencing a consumer’s
buying decision.
52’537’00⁴. That’s the total number
of visitors Zalora has gained in 2015,
23’666’900⁴ coming from mobile visits.
During the recent Slingshot Philippines,
a
government-initiated
platform
for public dialogue and partnership
organized by the Department of Trade
and Industry with support from the
Department of Science and Technology
(DOST) and other industry stakeholders,
it was heavily accentuated that the
Philippines has the potential to be a
forerunner in the global ricochet of how
eCommerce is shaping how the world
do business. US Ambassador to the
Philippines Philip Goldberg has coined
the term “Filipinovation” to describe the
need for a brand or recall to properly
distinguish the Philippines form other
emerging countries in relative fields
and put emphasis on the techpreneurs*,
just as the impending need to sort out
legal policies for startups suggest a
more serious involvement from the
government.
Department of Trade and Industry
(DTI) Secretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. has
mentioned during his keynote address
that the sector is initiating a co-working
space for startups, with its potential
innovation center at Philippine Trade
Training Center. Several important
issues like the role of the education
sectors, foreign trade, and proper
orientation on venture capitalists were
also discussed to properly shed light on
the current status of local startups and
their projected growth in the years to
come.
But what do we know about startups?
If anything, startups are not limited to
tech startups that are often top of mind
when we hear the term. Startups can be
anything from a starting online clothing
store on Instagram to a small group
of tech engineers in a small startup
incubator*.
In
the
Philippines,
there
are
several startup incubators: apart
from the DTI and DOST, there are
private organizations (both local and
international) helping local startups like,
ideaspace, kickstart, and impacthub, to
name a few. These parties, for the most
part, provide the necessary guidance
during the incubation period assisting
with training, mentorship, business
acceleration, and acquiring the right
investors.
*techpreneur - a bespoke term to describe technology entrepreneurs
*startup incubator - usually run by both public and private parties; can be associated with universities and some business schools to allow their students and alumni to develop certain
programs; helps solve problems associated with running a startup by providing work space, seed funding, mentoring, and training.
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CHALLENGES
lack of proper orientation for
investors and venture capitalists
banks don’t often approve
loans to startups without the
substantial collateral
limited mentorship about
disclosure and accessibility
not enough early trainings and
seminars from educational
institutions to orient students
SOLUTION BY VOLUME:
ECOMMORCE ADDRESS
SOLUTIONS FOR THE MASSES
“It takes an entire ecosystem to build and
support startups.”
-DIANE EUSTAQUIO, Ideaspace
Foundation Executive Director
Despite
these
challenges,
the
undeniable reach and effectivity of
eCommerce is proving to be substantial
enough
to
challenge
traditional
businesses. Considering that in 2020,
70% of the workforce will be dominated
by tech savy millenials, eCommerce will
undoubtedly be more sustainable—if
not more effective.
In the fast growing modern trade, if a
business has no online presence, it’s like
saying no to half of the population: of
potential customers.
Innovation must be market driven.
There’s no stopping change. With this
change, comes a chain of adjustments
and innovations that must be enforced
in order to keep up with growth. It
may start from the open-mindedness
to the right perspective of future
entrepreneurs, but with all these, comes
a need for, well, the right opportunity.
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45
FROM T H E
EXECU T I VE’S DES K |
GAM E C H ANGER S
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HOW RALPH SANTOS AND
VMONEY ARE DISRUPTING THE
FINANCIAL TECH SPHERE
– Can the Philippines become a cashless society and one
of the world’s top economies? Ralph Santos believes so.
Christina M. Oriel
PHOTOGRAPHER Noel Ty
WRITER
O
n a scorching summer afternoon, Ralph Santos retreats
to his favorite place in the
Philippines.
No,
it’s not a picturesque beach —
it’s his office.
Within the four walls, Santos has
created an enclave to call his own.
Behind his desk are basketballs,
autographed by some of the greatest
NBA players, individually contained in
glass cases that are meticulously stacked
to form a pyramid. By the window are
cases with signed boxing gloves, while
another side of the room has baseball
trading cards and a box of badges from
various law enforcement agencies in the
United States.
“I’m a collector,” Santos remarks. “If
there was an earthquake, I would only
take one thing: the Michael Jordan ball
with the rookie card…Everything else
I’m leaving behind. If I took that, it
would help rebuild this office.”
But prized possessions aside, this is
the spot where some of his best ideas
emerge for VMoney, an end-to-end
financial technology startup of which
he is the founder and chief executive
officer.
Looking out at the residential and
commercial developments in Bonifacio
Global City that have sprung up in the
past five years, Santos energetically
charts out what he envisions the
Philippines will look like 10 to 20 years
from now. The wish list is concise, yet
comes as a tall order.
For one, improved infrastructure that
entails faster telecommunications and
a more efficient transportation system;
second, an entirely cashless society.
“If we improve those two, the country
would be number one in the world,
really. We’ve got the resources and
talent,” he says, pointing out the
window, “Look at this and see how
we’re thriving.”
With VMoney’s digital platform, the
roadmap to weaning the country off
physical cash is systematically being
laid out, but it’s going to take a collective
effort from the government, businesses,
and individuals, Santos emphasizes.
“If you put this country in a cashless
state, it’s a different game altogether. It
can help with poverty. It can help with
the government, institutions and the
processes. Everything and anything. I
believe that,” he declares. “Educating
people to make sure that it’s seamless
and secure is really key and I think once
people start getting a handle on that and
grasping that going cashless is just as
secure, then that allows for that change
to happen.”
Born in the Philippines, Santos
migrated to Canada with his family
when he was 6 years old. His father was
an architect and engineer, so the family
would move every so often around
North America.
In Canada, Santos built a career
in telecommunications, regulatory,
infrastructure, and anti-fraud. It’s also
where he met Zos, his wife and chief
strategy officer of VMoney.
The couple sold financial technology
for about 10 years and observed a
remittance trend among overseas
Filipinos.
“What happened was, we found out
our caregivers were sending a majority
of their salaries to the Philippines, but
10 percent of it was going to providers
for remittances. What we wanted to
do was provide a solution where they
could actually send their remittances
using a more cost-effective method,”
Santos recalls. “That’s when we started
to pursue an implementation in the
Philippines for a remittance business.”
With the premise of promoting
inclusive growth to the masses,
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47
remittances contribute largely to
the Philippine economy. The act of
transferring funds is embedded within
the culture, too. A relative takes his
or her talents overseas, only to send
a percentage of the earnings back to
family members in the Philippines so
they can go to school and pay for basic
necessities.
As of 2013, the Commission on Filipinos
Overseas estimated that 10.2 million
Filipinos worked or resided abroad.
Remittances have been at record highs
in the past few years as well — in 2014,
Filipinos sent a whopping $26.92 billion
back to the Philippines.
But, how could these overseas Filipinos
transfer funds instantly, securely, and
without exorbitant fees? How could they
know that their hard-earned money is
being used for its intended purpose?
These are some gaps that Santos saw
in the market. From there, VMoney’s
platform was conceived, and formally
launched in 2013.
In order to properly execute the
concept, Santos uprooted his family and
made the move back to the Philippines
— a phenomenon known as reverse
migration. For two years, he had been
traveling every two weeks between
the Philippines and Canada for various
projects, including consulting banks,
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“Coming to the Philippines, living and breathing this
platform technology, implementing it, improving it, sharing
it and putting it to where it is today, where it’s recognized
and confuses the biggest organizations and companies in
the world, that’s my reward.
To me, we’re beyond disruption. We’ve started to shift
markets and eventually, our end goal is to transform
societies,” Santos says.
large corporations, and the government
on anti-fraud solutions.
Making the transition from North
America was “frustrating,” he warns
aspiring entrepreneurs who want
to come and start a business in the
Philippines.
“At the onset, it was building the
foundation of the company — that was
the most challenging part. So when
we opened up the organization just
in terms of the Securities Exchange
Commission (SEC), that was quite a
process. Getting the certifications,
accreditations, and basically all the
permits took the longest,” he details,
adding that a remittance license takes
anywhere from six to nine months to
acquire. “It took a year and a half to get
Philippine Economic Zone Authority
(PEZA) accreditation. The renovations,
permits and Bureau of Internal Revenue
(BIR) stuff [are all part] of a long process,
especially in the type of business we’re
in.”
Hiring talent posed another challenge
because though a candidate may look
attractive on paper, working on the
job is a better gauge to measure the
qualifications. All new hires undergo
a six-month probationary period to
determine whether or not they can fit
the organization.
“You have to be patient because
everyone here says they can do it but
once you put them through the rigor,
that’s when you really see if they’re
qualified or not”, he said.
Currently, VMoney’s Philippine office
has a team of 20 individuals who
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49
handles sales, marketing, and front-end
development. The senior technical team
and engineers are based out of Canada.
BORDERLESS TRANSACTIONS
Differentiating itself from services like
Paypal, Venmo, and Apple Pay, VMoney
enables businesses and consumers to
send and receive funds in real-time
using a browser or the myVMoney
mobile app. The end-to-end structure
allows transactions to be seamless,
whether it’s for transferring money,
paying bills, issuing employee payroll or
buying prepaid load.
The sign-up process is straightforward
and
simple:
potential
customers
generate a user profile online, using an
email address or mobile number, and
upload a valid government ID.
“With us, people can apply online.
They don’t have to leave the house,
travel 30 minutes to two hours through
traffic and wait in line for an hour
to try to register for a bank card that
requires an average daily balance and
a higher cost. Our platform allows them
to sign up online, get verified online
and have the cards (MasterCard, VISA
or ATM) delivered to them at their own
convenience,” Santos explains.
In addition to the mobile app, VMoney
has a line of products (a sticker, bracelet,
keychain and ring) that use Near Field
Communication
(NFC)
technology.
By tapping one of the NFC-powered
devices onto a point-of-sale device (such
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as a smartphone), money is digitally
transferred without ever having to
handle cash.
Even with news reports of scams,
identity theft, and money laundering,
Santos — a certified fraud examiner
and the managing director of anti-fraud
agency NAFA Philippines — ensures
that VMoney deploys the highest level
of security in each transaction.
VMoney
undergoes
third-party
security audits and reviews to make
sure the platform is up to date and that
the database is secure and is not shared
with any outside parties.
“We make sure that there is a thorough
validation process and that we know the
individual, so we know exactly where
they are, where they live and we have
their most recent government ID so
if anything happens, we know where
to go and who to ask. We also have
Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA)
compliance requirements, where if
there is any individual surpassing or
receiving transactions or funds that
go beyond the threshold of the AMLA
requirements we report it accordingly,”
Santos says.
For the NFC-based technology, users
can activate and deactivate it themselves,
then “assign it to someone else without
any compromise to themselves or the
person they’re passing the peripheral
to.”
Despite the unparalleled, revolutionary technology VMoney has introduced,
the platform is not solely for the super
digitally connected and financially
savvy. So far, a lot of the adoption has
come from merchants educating their
employees, customers or through word
of mouth among friends and family.
Having actress/model Solenn Heussaff
on board as the chief brand officer also
helps with getting people to sign up and
educating people about the benefits of
the platform.
“At a consumer level, brand recognition
is the most difficult thing in this country
because Filipinos are more focused
on who they know that represents a
product and how long the product has
been around,” Santos says. “For us,
one of our officers is Solenn Heussaff.
She does well in communicating and
marketing the products we have and
providing the easy knowledge transfer
to the masses. We’re using a brand
officer who is already recognized in
the country, plus we’re using the forced
adoption methodology.”
With the eventual ubiquity of VMoney,
Santos says, it is meant to be more
inclusive and uplift more Filipinos,
including those who are underserved
and underbanked.
Today, VMoney has offices in Bonifacio
Global City, Canada, and Silicon Valley
in the United States. Santos projects that
the company will expand to three more
countries by the end of the year and
another 10 countries in 2017.
“We always go by the motto that we
want to be ubiquitous, borderless,
holistic and agnostic. Once we become
global, we’re in that path for it,” he says.
As the company maps out its plans for
globalization, Santos often has internal
debates of what VMoney’s leadership
will look like down the line. Seeing that
there are a lot of improvements and
features that still need to be introduced,
he says that he can’t let go of the venture
anytime soon.
“Coming to the Philippines, living and
breathing this platform technology,
implementing it, improving it, sharing it
and putting it to where it is today, where
it’s recognized and confuses the biggest
organizations and companies in the
world, that’s my reward. To me, we’re
beyond disruption, we’ve started to shift
markets and eventually, our end goal is
to transform societies,” Santos says.
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T RAV EL | DI S COVE RY
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I
S
A
B
E
L
A
V
isualize yourself waking up to a
remarkable view of vast farmland, the
sound of chirping birds, and the sun on
your face. The air is clean and crisp. The scent of
grass and delicious crops occasionally carried by the
breeze bring a whiff of undeniable freshness.
For those tourists who are after what’s trending,
Charisse Nicole Trinidad discovers that the most
rewarding adventure are found off the beaten path –
may they be for business or for pleasure.
PHOTOGRAPHERS
David Miro Are & Godwin Josef Gasacao
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM 53
Allana Santos & Kenno Samulde
PHOTO COLORISTS
HISTORY
The Province of Isabela or as the
Ilokanos would call it “Probinsya
ti Isabela”, is a province of the
Philippines and the second largest
region in the country next to Palawan.
Located in the Cagayan Valley Region
in Luzon, its capital is Ilagan and
borders clockwise from Nueva Vizcaya,
Ifugao, Mountain Province, and
Kalinga. This primarily agricultural
province is the rice and corn granary
of Luzon due to its plain and rolling
terrain. In 2012, the province was
declared by Agriculture Regional
Executive Director, Lucrecio Alviar
as the country’s top producer in corn
with about 1,209,524 production.
Being one of the top 10 richest
province in the Philippines last 2011,
it is the only province in Northern
Luzon to be included in the list. The
province has four trade centers in the
cities of Ilagan, Cauayan, Santiago, and
the municipality of Roxas.
Before the year 1856, there were
only two provinces in the Cagayan
Valley: Cagayan and Nueva Vizcaya.
The province of Cagayan at that time
consisted of all towns from Tumauini
to the north in Aparri. In order to
help the Catholic missionaries in the
evangelization in the Cagayan Valley,
a royal decree was issued on May
1, 1856, thus creating the Province
of Isabela. It consisted of towns;
Gamu, Old Angadanan (now Alicia),
Bindang (now Roxas) and Camarag
(now Echague), Carig (now Santiago City)
and Palanan. These towns have all been
detached from Nueva Vizcaya; while
Cabagan and Tumauini were taken from
the Cagayan province. The region was put
under the jurisdiction of a governor with
the capital seat at Ilagan City, where it
remains at present. It was initially called
Isabela De Luzon to set it apart from other
places in the Philippines bearing the name
of Isabela. The new province was named in
honor of Queen Isabella II of Spain.
Isabella was reorganized as a province
under the American regime through Act
No. 2vc10, passed August 24, 1901. It’s first
provincial governor was Rafael Maramag,
a former Municipal President (a term back
then for Municipal Mayor) of the capital
town Ilagan.
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TOURIST SPOTS AND ACTIVITIES
Our Lady of Piat
The Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat
is one of 12 minor basilicas in the Philippines. The first thing you will notice would
be how the Basilica of Our Lady of Piat has
a unique entrance arch. It is distinguished
as the home to the venerated Black Virgin
Mary. Located in the town of Piat, it is a 30
minute drive from Tuguegarao City, Cagayan Province. This pilgrimage site attracts
a large number of devotees especially on
the first two days of July during the feast of
Nuestra Señora de Piat.
Back in the day, Dra. Ines Maguillabbun,
who was the first caretaker of the sanctuary had a nephew. The five year old child
suffed from a swollen arm for four days.
There was no cure and neither did anyone
know how to cure the sickness at the time.
He knew and accepted the fact that he
would die any time soon. It was then that
Dra. Ines brought the child with her to the
sanctuary to ask for a cure. The child was
left asleep at the altar steps of Our Lady’s
image, and when he woke up his arm was
cured. The news of the wondrous cure
went like wildfire all around town, and
the parish priest wanted to make sure that
it was Our Lady’s work. Dra. Ines
denied having gone to the sanctuary
for the purpose of asking Our Lady
to cure her nephew, but when the
child was questioned he admitted
having asked Our Lady to cure him
with just this simple words: “Holy
Mary, have mercy on me.”
The cure was so instantaneous
and so efficacious that everybody
believed it was Our Lady who miraculously saved him.
Callao Cave
Consisting of seven chambers,
Callao Cave is one of the limestone
caves situated in the municipality of
Penablanca, Cagayan province.
(More on page 60...)
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PHOTOGRAPHER
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
David Miro Are
PHOTO COLORIST Allana
Santos
GETTING THERE & AROUND
The fastest way to get to Isabela
would be by air travel (1 hour), but if
you were to get there by land it would
take approximately 12 hours. The roads
heading to and back from Isabela are
stress free and quite smooth for anyone
who suffers from motion-sickness.
Whether car or bus this should be a
very stunning drive precisely because
of the stunning mountain ranges of the
Sierra Madre, the Caraballo and the
Cordilleras that surround this province. By Air
Take a plane bound for Tuguegarao
City. Cebu Pacific and PAL Express
have flights from Manila to Tuguegarao
City. From there, take a passenger van
or bus going to Isabela. The trip to
Sta. Maria, Isabela from the airport is
approximately 1 – 2 hours and fare is
about 180 pesos*.
By Car
If you’re coming from the south of
EDSA, going to NLEX, the best route
would be to start at the Trinoma Mall
area. There will be a stretch until you
have arrived at NLEX tollgate where
you will pay toll.
Note that motorists now enjoy the
convenience brought about by the
more modern and fully integrated
operations of NLEX (North Luzon
Expressway) and SCTEX (Subic –
Clark-Tarlac Expressway).
These
road
networks
have
provided
motorists with more convenient and
shorter travel routes.
Now, once you’ve passed through
NLEX, there will be a breathtaking view
of rugged mountains of Nueva Vizcaya.
By Bus
Commuting by bus from Manila, you
have a choice of some premiere bus
terminals plying this route. You may
opt to travel with Florida Bus Company
or Victory Liner. Both bus companies
have terminals in Sampaloc and Cubao
areas where they have daily trips to
Isabela (Cauayan, Ilagan, Roxas). Check
with said bus companies on details
of their trip schedules. Booking your
trip in advance may prove to be most
convenient. Travel time from Manila
to Isabela usually takes between nine
to eleven hours by bus. To experience
Sta. Maria, Isabela; you may opt to get
off at Cauayan, Ilagan or Roxas, Isabela.
Alternatively, you could take a bus
bound for Tuguegarao. From either
one of these points, you may transfer to
a passenger van or bus bound for Sta.
Maria, Isabela. Depending on where
you get off, the ride should add up
to approximately another 3-4 hours.
Travel fare would cost up to 180-250
pesos*.
*Travel timeBALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
and prices mentioned are subject
57
to change without prior notice*
T R AV E L |
ESSENCE OF PLACE
Balay San Jose is
home to the following:
SOUL
SEARCHING
BALAY
SAN JOSE
WRITER
Charisse Trinidad
David Miro Are
& Godwin Josef Gasacao
PHOTOGRAPHER
PHOTO COLORIST
Allana Santos
In its simplest form, “retreat” means to
withdraw or drawback. It is a time to come
away from the busy world and reflect on
your spiritual life in a variety of ways.
Throughout the ages, the Christian tradition
has understood retreat to be an important
part of spiritual formation. Whether you
want to be with a group or to be alone, to
come for an hour, a day, a week or even a
month, with a topic in mind or just a need
to listen to your heart, a retreat can be the
best option for ministering to worshipers.
Some retreats are led by retreat teams with
talks, rituals, liturgies and time for quiet
contemplation.
In the year 2014, a retreat house called
Casa di Spirualita di San Giuseppe was built
in the heart of Balay San Jose. It was built
in memory of Maria Lourdes, the fourth
child of Larry and Sofie Pagauitan who had
passed away due to an accident.
At Balay San Jose, their main objective is
to eliminate all distractions and allow the
Lord to work on a multitude of lives. Their
heart warming staff assure guests that the
rooms are to be clean when upon arrival,
the meals to be hot and delicious, and
meeting rooms to be what every religious
group needs. Each guest is treated with
importance and equally given private time
with the Lord.
Situated on undulated hills and facing
green farms and pastures, it is the best
place to gaze upon the might and grandeur
of the Sierra Madre mountain range and
wonder in awe at how lovingly the Lord
protects his people.
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GALLERY OF
“ST. JOSEPH IN ARTS”
A vast collection of
St. Joseph statues and
paintings.
CASA DI MARELLO
A home by the fish pond
especially built for the priests
and brothers of the Oblates of St.
Joseph. Joseph Marello was their
founder.
SANTUARIO DE SAN JOSE
A beautiful church that houses
the precious ivory image of St.
Joseph and whose stained glass
windows tell the story of the man
who took care of the interests
of Jesus. Its gilded ceiling is
astounding and its majestic
altarpiece is a sight to behold.
LARRY AND SOFIE’S
REST HOUSE
VIA CRUSIS
ST. JOSEPH LIBRARY
Stations of the Way of the Cross
depicted in stained glasses beside
wooden crosses on the top portion
of the hills.
A collection of printed and
digital materials on St.
Joseph.
LOURDES CHAPEL
GALILEE
THE HERMITAGE
A small chapel built in honor of
the Blessed Virgin Mary. Also
in memory of Ma. Lourdes G.
Pagauitan, the daughter of Larry
and Sofie Pagauitan.
A cluster of native but air-conditioned
huts in the middle of a lake that seem
to float amidst the colorful water lilies
and hyacinths. This place is best for
soul searching.
A solitary house in a hidden valley. It
is a special place for those who want to
be alone with the Lord. Nestled beside
a man-made lagoon, it offers no other
view except the hills surrounding it.
ST. JOSEPH HOUSE
OF SPIRITUALITY
CASA DI SPIRITUALITA’
DI SAN GIUSEPPE
CHAPEL OF THE SANCTO
SEPULCHRO AND THE RISEN CHRIST
The first retreat house built
in the center, it caters to class
and group retreats. It has
air conditioned dormitories,
conference halls and
refectory. It is attached to the
Lourdes chapel.
A retreat house with 42 bedrooms
(with private bath), two big
dormitories, two small dormitories,
refectories, conference halls and
chapels (all fully equipped with
air condition) and a breathtaking
landscaped garden.
A small chapel divided into two, the first
half housing the image of the Our Lady
of Sorrows (on papyrus from Egypt)
watching over the laid body of Jesus
after having been taken from the cross,
while the other half is home to the image
of the Risen Christ.
Weekend sanctuary for couples who
wish to renew their marriage vows.
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T RAV EL | ADVENT UR E
CALLAO
CAVE
CALLAO CAVE is one of the
province’s most popular
caves and is only a half hour
drive from Cagayan’s capital
Tuguegarao City. It was named
after the Kallaw bird, once very
common in this area. The cave is
located above the Pinacanauan
River. A stair leads up 187 steps
on the mountainside to the cave
entrance. A series of seven
chambers may be visited.
FIRST
The first huge chamber is called the Aviary Room,
having many openings that let in daylight and
several species of birds that live here. The site of
archaeological excavations right at the entrance is
fenced off. Archaeologists from the University of the
Philippines found Neolithic tools and human remains.
SECOND
The main attraction of the cave is the second chamber
called Divine Room. It was transformed into a church,
because it is spacious and has an opening allowing
the sunlight to enter the huge chamber. According to
some locals, it is possible to have a wedding in this
church, but only if the groom carries the bride all the
way up the 187 steps.
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THIRD
The following chamber has no opening
and is thus dark; logically it is called
Dark Room. From here good torches
would seem appropriate.
FOURTH
The Cream Room was named after
a large formation that looks like
three scoops of ice cream.
FIFTH
The Jungle Area, named after
several animal-shaped rock
formations.
SIXTH
The sixth room has a passage branching
off halfway up the ceiling. It is accessible
on spelunking tours, but the participants
enter the passage on the far end on the
other side of the mountain.
SEVENTH
The final chamber is called Sun Room,
because early in the morning, between 8
and 10, sunrays shine through an opening
in the wall. Later the angle changes and the
sun does not directly hit the cave any more.
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T RAV EL | EX P LOR E R
thtaking
a
e
r
B
B A T A N E S
WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER Potpot
Pinili
The homeland of the Ivatans is the Philippines’ most coveted travel destination.
Featuring captivating landscapes and unique insular culture, Batanes’ phenomenal
rarity will fill your wanderlust to the brim.
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T
here is something about lighthouses that evoke feelings of
serenity and refuge. It stands graceful in solitude, unfazed
amidst the whistling winds of the sea. In the darkness of night,
its warm light whispers you’ve sailed your way home to safety.
And nowhere this scene is more astonishing than in Batanes, the
northernmost frontier of the Philippines.
The Ivatans are the stewards of this paradise whose culture is honed by
the sordid seas, tempest weather and somewhat inhospitable lands.
Its blissful isolation has created the dramatics of a middle earth
enchantment----emerald hills that roll to the sea, deep canyons, stone
dwellings, peculiar language and ancient traditions that are still
practiced to this day.
Because of these beautiful rarities, no wonder why Batanes tops in
anyone’s wanderlust. It is so exceptional that ticking it off on the bucket
list is a sweet triumph.
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SO NEAR YET SO FAR
With its whooping regular of airfare
P18,000, it’s no surprise why desirous
travelers even camp in travel fairs for
promo seats!
Batanes is closer to Taiwan than
anywhere in mainland Philippines.
Touted as the smallest in land area and
population, they are those tiny specks
of isles on the northernmost territory
bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the
east and the West Philippine Sea on the
other side.
Ten islands comprise the province,
of which, only 3 are inhabited---Batan,
where Basco, the capital town is located,
Sabtang and Itbayat. Direct flight service
from Manila is commercially served by
small aircrafts of Philippine Airlines
and Skyjet.
The latest game changer in Batanes
airspace is Wakay Air. In partnership
with AirSwift, the country’s only
boutique airline, Ivatans around the
world get special year-round fare.
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FINEST CULTURAL FESTIVAL
Women wearing those bulky golden
grass headgears are perhaps the most
quintessential image that we know of
the Ivatans.
Those are called vakul, an all-weather
gear used by the farmers in the field.
The men wear vests named kanayi and
paired with talugong, a hat we know in
the mainland as salakot.
Made from the shredded leaves of
voyavoy or Philippine date palm, this
plant is endemic to Batanes and grows
abundantly on the island of Sabtang.
In the hopes of preserving and
promoting this single most defining
image of them as Ivatans, the island
town of Sabtang created a festival that
celebrates the significance of voyavoy in
their daily lives.
Dubbed as Vakul-Kanayi Festival, it
pooled for the 1st time a myriad of
elements that shaped their abilities and
their identity as Ivatans in a complex
cultural milieu, those being resilient
and resourceful from the stresses of its
weather and land conditions.
For 3 days, tourists and locals from
other islands were treated to different
surprises like the agro-trade fair, float
parade, weaving contests and cultural
presentations. A fluvial procession in
honor of its titular San Vicente Ferrer
was also trumpeted around the fringes
of the island.
The street dancing competition, a first
of its kind in the island, was the most
anticipated part of the festival. Clad
in patched skirts and pants, vakul and
kanayi, the children of Sabtang wowed
the audience with curated movements,
music and narratives.
But what make this very young festival
a real standout are its homegrown fun
activities like sheep rodeo, chasing
piglets, chickens and goats that involved
everyone in the crowd including the
tourists. They also staged rowing
competitions where they showed off
their brute skills in paddling through
the unforgiving current of the sea.
The Vakul-Kanayi Festival may just
be the brainchild of a few people but
everyone in the island executed it with
so much joy. And in the true spirit of
cooperation, Ivatan owned companies
rolled in their help even without asking
for grandstanding mileage. It was
also supported by the Department of
Tourism and the Tourism Promotions
Board.
March 25-27 will never be the same
again in the coming years as this festival
vows to put Batanes on the kilometric
list of festivals that we celebrate in the
Philippines.
The island of Sabtang is the showcase
island of the province’s rich and unique
cultural heritage. It is the home of the
finest weavers and the site of the best
preserved vernacular Ivatan houses.
Step into the communities of Savidug
and Chavayan and be transported back
in time with its blocks of traditional
houses made of stone and roofed in
cogon grass. And they’re not even set-up
for tourists like museum tableaus but
real homes with people living on it.
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CHOOSE YOUR PARADISE
Being one of the very few places in the
Philippines that have unique geological
characteristics, the landscapes and
seascapes of Batanes are protected by
environmental laws.
With this, it has kept its province
pristinely pretty that would soon
probably land them in the prestigious
list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.
From its verdant hills to cave-like
outcrops and wave-tempered cliffs
to cerulean waters, there are a lot of
beautiful moments here. It’s truly
a wonderland for filmmakers and
photographers.
Batan Island is the gateway to Batanes.
Lighthouses on hills crouched by freerange cattle and horses; mountains
neatly lain with hedgerows and bucolic
townscapes are just among the many
things that would tickle your fancies.
Take a walk or peddle on old Japanese
bikes around town and experience the
time warp like feeling of being in a
1920s silent movie.
Cruise down south of Batan Island
and be treated to a ride of your life on
narrow, dead-curve roads carved from
mountainsides. Bask on its white sand
beaches or wallow on the blue lagoon.
The main island is also a haven for
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heritage churches like the San Carlos
de Borromeo and the San Jose de Ivana;
both date back to 18th century. Explore
deeper south and you’ll end up in the
quiet town of Uyugan bathed in coastal
panorama and historical gems.
But if extreme outdoor adventure is
your kind of game, head to the northern
island of Itbayat. In fact, getting there on
its traditional boat called the falowa is
already half the fun! Be prepared to be
tossed by huge waves and to experience
its unusual docking style of jumping
from the nose of the boat as it levels off
with the wharf’s concrete platform.
Trekking and spelunking characterize
Itbayat’s kind of adventure. Sunrise in
the rugged Rapang Cliff and exploring
the caves in Torongan and Sarokan are
among the most anticipated activities
reserved not for the faint-hearted.
Sabtang, aside from being its cultural
hotspot, is also a host of Batanes’ iconic
landmarks. The Ahaw rock arch in
Morong Beach and the Wuthering
Heights feel of the peaks in Chamantad
are just among the images that have
landed on many magazines.
From Sabtang, one can easily cross to
an uninhabited island called Vuhus for
quick dip on the beach that is laden with
blinding white sand and crystal clear
water.
ANCIENT TRADITIONS
Without deserting its pagan traditions
even when Christianity was introduced
in the islands, the Ivatans have carried
on some of its rituals to this generation.
Among them is kapayvanuvanua, an ethnic
ritual performed during the season of dorado
fishing between April to May to honor the
supernatural entities of the sea. Arayu to
the locals, it is prized specie of dolphin
fish harvested only by a special breed of
fishermen called matao who thrive on the
craggy eastern bend of Batan Island.
Like most Filipinos, the Ivatans have
a lot of celebrations from birth to death
often characterized by local songs and
dances. During fiestas, the singing of the
laji, inivayvatan, sagala and gosos---a slew of rare lyric folk poetry in both
Spanish and Ivatan are never missed.
But among the age-old traditions that
are still actively done in Batanes is the
spirit
of cooperative work. Especially
during summer, the season when cogon
roofs are changed, the people in the
community gathers in a cooperative
work for free called kapanidungan.
HONESTY AND MODESTY
In a world where honesty has become
a rare virtue,
contrarily in
Batanes, this is a natural way
of life. Here, most houses are
left open even when no one
is at home.
Some stores like the
famous Honesty in Batan
and Conscience in Sabtang
do not have attendants.
Just write what you got and
leave your payments on the
counter.
Because of its survival
challenges where there’s
lack of arable lands, let
alone its extreme weather
changes, the Ivatans have
come to live on what they
have. This led them to value a
modest lifestyle tempered by
contentment and hardwork.
Even to this day, among
the youth, the rich and the
powerful, it’s not surprising
to spot a mayor on a carabao
or a doctor freediving for a
lobster lunch.
Batanes may be one of the most
expensive places to reach in the
Philippines but with its stunning
panorama,
unique
time-honored
traditions and a simple but wonderful
way of life so different from the rest of
the country, everything is all so worth it.
And just like its pretty lighthouses
decked on the hillocks, you’d probably
say you’re in a different world but
you’re safely home.
GUSTATORY SPINS
Fresh seafood is abundant in Batanes.
Feasting on lobsters and exotic fish is a
common thing. They also take pride of
their rare coconut crab called tatu---something you can only eat in Batanes
and can never be taken out from the
island.
Sweet potato locally known as wakay
is the staple food here. They are also
rich in cassava, purple yam and taro.
Must-tries include uvud balls or minced
banana core rolled with fish flakes
and ground pork, humot, a refreshing
seaweed soup and fiddlehead fern salad
commonly known as pako.
But never leave Batanes without
sampling its take on the popular pinoy
adobo called luñis. Choice cuts of salted
pork go on low fire until it deep-fries to
a crispy perfection. Preserved in its own
oil using tight-sealed jars, luñis can last
for a long time even without putting it
on the fridge.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Potpot Pinili is the pen behind the blog, Travel Trilogy. Leaving his corporate job for a life of travel, his
newfound nomadic lifestyle has found home in islands, festivals and bizarre cafes. He also writes for in-flight
magazines and online news networks. Follow his adventures on Facebook and Instagram as @traveltrilogy.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
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T RAV EL | WH AT TO PAC K
THE
GREAT
OUTDOORS
WRITER
Mary May Portez
Melissa Reynoso
ILLUSTRATOR
At the heart of every adventure are the
necessary tools and mindset to overcome
any obstacle. We asked Waves for Water
Country Head and outdoor enthusiasts
Carlo Delantar what it takes to be a
mover of real travel adventures. From
packing the right essentials to leaving
the proper footprints, we sorted out
the indispensable from the optional to
help you prepare for that quintessential
outdoor adventure.
1
Your typical outdoor essentials: What to
wear? What to pack?
Your outdoor essentials will depend on
the kind of trek/distance/adventure you
plan to embark on. The First rule is to
bring ONLY what you need in order to
avoid unnecessary weight.
Make sure to pack:
1. Water – must be sufficient in terms
of distance, duration, and location. If
there’s a water source in the location,
bringing a water filter is essential.
2. Meals and snacks – meals should
be with longer shelf lives and can provide
you with the necessary amount of energy
throughout the day like protein bars,
dried fruit snacks, etc.
3. Clothes - store clean clothes in a
resealable plastic bag to keep it dry and
clean. Depending on the weather, your
clothes should be light and appropriate.
Make sure to pack quick dry and UPF
protection clothes.
4. Hat and sunglasses - to protect
you from the sun
5. Waterproof jacket
6. Headlamp or mini flashlight pack this in one of the main bag pockets
for quick access, and make sure to bring
extra batteries
7. Utility knife - must have a small
scissors, can opener, and a knife to slice
food, etc.
8. Sturdy, well-fitted backpack
4
7
8
2
5
3
6
Tip:
Trekking gloves | Trekking sticks - a must when trekking rocky, mountainous trails, these gloves can help you grip on
rocks more effectively while protecting your hands from splinters and bruises. Trekking sticks are required when you’re
hiking or trekking uneven terrain or mountain slopes. These staves can help you with your balance especially in steep trails.
Tip:
Leave your itinerary with someone
Inform a friend or a family member of your expected activities, where you are going, and estimated time of arrival (ETA) and
departure time in case of emergency.
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Your emergency kit should have:
Basic guidelines and safety tips
1
2
Medicine
your necessary
prescriptions and
some basic meds
like analgesics,
antacids, etc.
First Aid
antiseptics
(alcohol,
Betadine),
adhesive
bandages, gauze
pads, or napkins
(quite useful in
deep wounds
with excessive
bleeding).
1
Research on the community, the
weather, and what to expect.
2
Don’t bring excessive money,
jewelry, and other unnecessary
things. Make sure to stow some
loose change.
3
Have an open mind and remember
to respect the local’s culture and
the environment.
4
3
Space blanket
Multi-purpose
cream
for insect bites
and great as
insect repellant
just in case you
get caught in
any unfavorable
weather
Tip:
In times of distress, use the STAR model for making decisions
Stop. Take a deep breath, sit down and
remain calm
Think. Look around you, listen, and
brainstorm options
Assess. Evaluate the options and their
potential consequences
Respond. Take the best alternative.
Remember: Water, Food, Shelter,
Warmth, and Will to Survive. If in doubt,
keep calm and stay where you are.
4
Practice the LNT (Leave No Trace)
principle.
Carlo Delantar is a serial and social entrepeneur and an advocate of the environment. Country Director of
Waves For Water, non-profit providing access to clean water. A Columbia #testedtough ambassador where
people who go to great lengths and sacrifices to make a difference. When not in the field, you can find him
in a kitchen, a library or under the sea.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
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T RAV EL | GU I DEB O O K
THE PERFECT
GETAWAY 101
WRITER
Ian Kelly Jamotillo
ILLUSTRATOR
Allana Santos
DAYDREAMING IN THE OFFICE is rapidly becoming a habit for most people.
A serene beach landscape with birds
tweeting in the background is picture
perfect rather than being stuck at your
desk for hours. The cool breeze of the
wind feels more refreshing than the
artificial air from your air conditioner
while the noise of crowding tourists
sounds better than that coming from
your nagging boss.
Social Media had played an important
role in shaping one’s views toward
traveling. Browsing through your
Facebook feed lets you immerse into
a virtual vacation courtesy of your
friends’ travel photos. Surfing the
World Wide Web entices you to check
out new summer spots to try this
summer but planning a memorable
vacation could be very complicated.
The best travel adventure often stems
from a meticulous planning and it
takes a lot of measures before you
can even start packing your things
and head to your desired destination.
In this modern world where we rely
on our smartphones for almost everything, creating your dream holiday
is just one touch away. Thanks to
technology, planning your perfect trip
can be a breeze with a plethora of
benefits like booking online and grabbing cheap tickets. Save yourself from
stress and go digital on your next
getaway with the best travel apps you
can download to make the most out of
your adventure.
PLAN
Picking your destination and knowing about it should
be among the top considerations. Going unprepared to
a place you’ve never been to is a big leap of faith, and
could ruin your entire vacation.
Weather these days is very unpredictable. It could
be bright and sunny during an hour and gloomy and
rainy during the next. Yahoo! Weather is the perfect
companion for your travelling needs—informing you
how much sunblock you need or if you have to bring an
umbrella to prevent spoiling yourself while strolling
in a foreign city. It offers a minimalistic design while
giving accurate, hourly weather conditions based on
your location.
Money is your greatest ally wherever you go and
knowing how to spend it carefully is a huge must.
The Expensify app manually tracks your expenses
by allowing you to photolog receipts and even import
purchases from your credit card. Expensify even
has its own currency converter so figuring out the
conversions in a foreign land is no longer a hassle.
You’ll never run out of money again.
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C O M M U N I C AT E
N AV I G AT E
Wandering around a foreign city can be really
tricky, coupled with one’s fear of getting lost.
Being familiar with your destination is one key
to satisfaction—whether you’re commuting or
driving. Blending GPS navigation and social
networking, Waze is the largest community
based traffic and navigation app that will give
you the quickest route to your destination. It
features live traffic updates sourced by Waze
users themselves and even providing cheap gas
stations for you.
Citymapper on the other hand is targeted for
heavy commuters and provides live bus and bike
routes, train timetables, while also providing
ways on how to beat the rush hour. Stray Boots
is a new player in the list that helps users tour
around a foreign city by providing historical
informations & trivias in a fun, gamelike
approach. A cross between tour guiding and
scavenger hunting, people who love exploring
new cities should try checking out the app.
BOOK
Travelling is considered one of life’s best moments
but usually compromises time and money. With
careful planning however, this can be avoided so
you can focus all your attention in snapping your
holiday photos. Skyscanner aggregates fares
from different airlines and travel sites to help you
get the best deal while helping you track flights
in real time. Expedia is another app that offers
more versatility than just finding cheap airline
tickets. It books hotel reservations, car and cruise
rentals, and various vacation packages found in
the internet.
Do you often scratch your head every time you’re
going overseas because you cannot understand
what the locals are saying? Fret no more with
Google Translate. The app offers real time
translation of text, speech, images, or even video
to another language. With over 103 languages
supported around the globe, speaking and
understanding a different tongue can be easy as
1, 2 and 3.
EXPLORE
From pristine beaches to steep mountains to tall
skyscrapers, it can be overwhelming to figure
out which sites to visit first and include in your
itinerary. Looking for the perfect place to satisfy
your desires is one heavy chore but with the right
app, you can effortlessly savor all the moments on
your trip.
Foursquare helps you discover nearby places to
eat, shop and play. It lists down all the best rated
restaurants or shopping hubs based on your
location and remembers it next time for curated
suggestions. TripAdvisor is a diary for millions of
traveler reviews, photos and recommendations.
It allows users to explore new restaurants, check
prices and even book tables. It even lets users
to compare airfares and find cheap deals to help
save money while enjoying every piece of your
vacation.
N
SELECT
S TA R T
W
E
S
DISCLAIMER: This is not a sponsored article. All mobile apps mentioned in the text are collated by the
author based on user ranking and overall reviews and are therefore listed without prior notice.
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71
CATHY TURVILL: I was
going through a personal crisis at the time and
sought a place where I
could relax, rejuvenate
and recover. Tagaytay
was perfect because of
its cool air, natural ambiance and its accessibility to Manila. Nurture
was conceptualized to
be a place where one
can rebalance and find
themselves, at the same
time enjoy therapeutic
and healing massage. I
did not know at the time
that those were the vital
elements in a spa.
SCOP E |
GREAT ES CAP ES
BM: How does Nurture
Spa stand out amongst
other spas and wellness
retreats?
CT: Nurture is not just
a spa – it is a wellness
village which offers a
variety of services, from
spa, detox, natural healing, corporate wellness
programs, restaurant, a
function room, accommodations, a campsite
and an organic farm for
educational tours. We
proudly highlight our
Filipino culture in what
we do, be it the décor,
the names of the treatments, the food and activities. While
other spas try to be Balinese or Thai, we
are proudly Filipino.
WELLNESS VISIONARY
C ATHY TURVILL,
founder and co-owner
Nurture Wellness Village
Searching for a wellness getaway not
too far from Manila? Located just 90
minutes from the city, Nurture Wellness
Village is a Filipino-themed cultural,
wellness and eco-tourism destination in
Tagay tay. With cozy accommodations,
an extensive spa menu (the nilaib and
hilot treatments are among favorites),
organic farm and event space, it’s no
wonder that Nurture has been called
“the Jewel of Tagay tay.”
B
alikbayan Magazine had a conversation with Cathy Turvill, Nurture’s
founder and co-owner, about the
Village’s holistic approach to enhancing
and rejuvenating guests’ mind, body and
spirit.
BALIKBAYAN MAGAZINE: How did the
idea of Nurture Wellness Village come
about? What makes Tagaytay the perfect
location for it? 72
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BM: How are the different components
of the Village all connected to the main
mission — from the spa to the accommodations to the organic farm? CT: All of our services fall under our
wellness model called CHOICES, an
acronym that stands for the different
Pillars of Wellness: C – control stress,
choose to be Positive; H – healthy
eating, hydrate; O – oxygenate; I – immune boost; C – cleanse body, mind &
emotion; E – embrace natural healing
therapies; S – sleep, social and spiritual
connections.
Nurture Wellness Village offers all
aspects of CHOICES. Nurture Farmacy
focuses on healthy eating, while Camp
Nurture offers opportunities for social and
spiritual connections.
BM: “Detox” is a buzzword that is
popularly used these days. From your
perspective, what factors contribute to
an individual’s need to undergo a detox
program?
CT: Detox may be very useful when a
person is overweight, sluggish or has
undergone recent medical or dental
treatments, which involved intensive
medication. In addition, detox may
be helpful when one has high blood
pressure or high blood sugar but we
only do these under the supervision of
our medical doctor/consultant. A light
detox is also very useful when one has
been eating a diet of high sugar, high fat
or high salt, which would be helpful in
rebalancing the body.
BM: Can you talk about the Work Well
Project and how it helps company teams
integrate balance and wellness in the
workplace? CT: According to the 2011 World
Health Organization (WHO) Global
Status Health Report, there is a global
epidemic of the so-called lifestyle
diseases,
including
cardiovascular
disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic
respiratory diseases. We see this in
the Philippines where heart disease
and cancer rank among the top killer
diseases in the Philippines, with more
people dying younger everyday from
these lifestyle diseases. The WHO has
expressed concern over the economic
consequences of this global epidemic:
lower productivity of the workforce
due to sickness and increased poverty
levels in developing countries as money
is spent on medical costs instead of
education. To respond to this urgent
situation, companies can build a culture
of wellness in the organization. Nurture
has the “Work Well Project,” which is
a strategic approach to building that
culture, through educating individuals
on the importance of health and
wellness for themselves and their
families. The project has an educational
and fun-filled teambuilding program
that features exercise activities and
healthy food preparation demos.
BM: What is your vision for Nurture Spa
in the coming years? What direction is
the wellness industry in the Philippines
heading toward? CT: I would love to see Nurture continue
to grow, take the lead in Corporate
Wellness and help people become
healthier, happier, better. The wellness
industry is very promising and we look
forward to helping the industry grow.
When we teach people how to be well,
we contribute to the overall well-being
of individuals, families, companies,
communities and the country.
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SCOP E | H OT EL & R E SO RTS
A WOMAN OF CLASS
TRICIA S. SARABIA, General Manager,
Hotel Celeste & Best Western Boracay Tropics
T
RICIA S. SARABIA is one of
the country’s youngest general
managers. For six years, she
has been running their two,
f a m i l y - owned hotels – Hotel Céleste
and Best Western Boracay Tropics.
PERSONAL CHALLENGE
A Bachelor of Arts in Humanities Major
in Communications graduate, Tricia never
planned on running hotels. She dreamt
of joining the advertising world to apply
what she learned in school. In 2008, she
took the challenge of trying something out
of her comfort zone when she agreed to
become part of the pre-opening team. She
started her stint at their family-owned
hotel as a reservations and management
trainee, and eventually worked her way
up to the Marketing Manager position.
In November of 2010, Tricia took on the
role of managing the whole hotel after
a two-year training program with their
consultants and hotel managers wherein
she learned the ropes in housekeeping,
front office and human resources.
“Slowly but surely, I started to love what
I was doing. It wasn’t a choice between
advertising or running hotels but rather,
it was using what I learned in school and
applying it to the hotels I look after now. I
get the best of both worlds and I continue
to grow every year,” says Tricia about her
major role in the company.
WORK IN PROGRESS
Learning more about the hospitality
industry is one of Tricia’s way to
ultimately achieve her goal: expand the
Hotel Céleste brand and make it known as
the pioneer boutique hotel brand in the
Philippines.
Humility remains despite Tricia’s
success at a young age. “As a General
Manager, my only limitation would be the
amount of experience I have. I am a work
in progress and I am very young so I make
sure to seek for help and advice from
more experienced General Managers I
meet in the industry.”
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75
HOTEL
CÉLESTE
– City Living Redefined
L
iving
in
a
fast-paced
environment shouldn’t sacrifice
convenience and class. At the
h e a r t of the country’s central business
district is a luxurious boutique hotel
catering young professionals who
are always on the go. Hotel Celéste in
Makati City is a haute couture boutique
hotel with 30 luxurious guestrooms
and suites from the business group of
husband and wife team, Bert and Celi
Sarabia.
A European escapade inspired Celi
to create a living experience where
guests are treated not just as clients
but as family. After experiencing first
hand guests receiving personalized
service at hotels that made them feel at
home, Celi decided to build a hotel that
would provide a homey and relaxing
experience.
INTRICATE INTERIORS
An art deco inspired architecture by
Roland Polenday creates a sophisticated
work guests can enjoy. Interior
designer, Andy Galutera brewed a
masterpiece consisting of oversized
classic furnishings and contemporary
decors. Art flows deep in guestrooms
with lobby art pieces and hand-painted
walls by artist Gina Bocar.
A perfect blend of style and comfort
defines every piece of room in Hotel
Celéste. Guests can indulge in 5 opulent
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suites and 25 deluxe rooms; each
with their own unique furnitures and
mirrors.
WORLD CLASS AMENITIES
The best of the world’s amenities are
carefully crafted inside the glamorous
halls of Hotel Celéste, providing an
unrivalled living experience at the
center of the city. Each room comes
with a separate bedchamber complete
with plush beddings, a living room
area, 32” LCD HDTV w/ cable, in-room
safe, a dining area, coffee and tea
making facilities, a kitchen, a “notso” minibar and a large marble tiled
bathroom with freestanding bathtubs.
Each bathroom is stocked with
L’Occitane toiletries.
Business meetings and presentations
are in great shape thanks to the hotel’s
own meeting room. Intimate parties
or medium scale events are welcome,
complemented with a roof deck that
offers a panoramic view of the Makati
business district.
A PRIME BOUTIQUE HOTEL THAT CARES
Hotel Celéste believes that elegance
shouldn’t sacrifice earth conservation. It
is equipped with Solahart, a solar power
system-water heater, which does not
only maximize the hotel’s savings but
helps the environment by preventing
less tonnes of carbon dioxide from
entering the atmosphere. All areas in
the hotel also use a light-emitting diode
(LED) lights to conserve electricity.
Style meets responsibility—that is Hotel
Celéste.
02 San Lorenzo Drive, Corner A. Arnaiz Avenue
San Lorenzo Village, Makati City 1223
+63 2 887-8080/+63 2 887-8088
Email: [email protected] |
[email protected]
Website: www.hotelceleste.ph
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
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S CO PE |
A ROUND TOWN
02
03
01
CELEBRATING
PRISCILLA HUNT!
WRITER
Yolanda Core Pastrana
Joe Cobilla
PHOTOGRAPHER
T
he Manhattan Beach Marriott Hotel in Manhattan
Beach, California was the site of a fabulous event to
honor Priscilla D. Hunt, President and CEO of Hunt
Enterprises, Inc. Family and friends gathered in their finest
Black and White formals to celebrate the Grand Dame’s
85 years of dynamic and generous lifestyle. Priscilla is the
daughter of former Mayor Isidro Dulay of La Union and
Laureana Pajarillo of Aklan. Priscilla and her husband
Donald Hunt, are renowned for their philanthropy and
advocacy for health care. A legacy established at the
Torrance Memorial Medical Center with the unveiling of
the Donald and Priscilla Hunt Nuclear Medicine Center
and the Donald and Priscilla Hunt Cancer Institute in 2014.
She and her husband have contributed to the Torrance
Memorial Medical Center by way of funding the Donald and
Priscilla Hunt Cancer Institute and the Priscilla Hunt Nuclear
Medicine Center. Hunt Enterprises is a privately owned
real estate corporation which acquires, developes and
manages residential, industrial and commercial properties
in California.
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04
01.
02.
03.
04.
Priscilla thanks her well wishers.
Bob and Mara Stone, Priscilla, Donna and Gary Stark
The honoree escorted by son Ralph Moore.
Priscilla with Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Moore (Hilda Koronel)
05
07
06
09
08
05. Pop Opera Prince Jonathan Badon with this writer,
Ralph and Susan Moore.
06. William Simmons, Noelani Soma, Kaikoa Soma, Cynthia
Soma, Sean Simmons and Ralph Simmons
07. Roman Mosqueda Esq, Judge Malcolm Mackey, Core
Pastrana, Judge and Mrs. Mel Recana, Lily Ines, Rachel
Mackey and Marcy Ines
08. Priscilla’s sisters Dory Prestige, Dolly Dyson, Connie
Moore and niece, Linda Dulay
09. Brenda Nowotka, Susan and Ralph Moore, seated
Sharon Almonte and Len Williams
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
79
10
11
12
13
14
10. Balladeer Ryan Gallagher,
Tess David and Brenda and
Saxon Nowotka
11. Priscilla greets Mendrei and
Cecile Leelin and Cora Oriel
12. Grandaughter Noelani Soma
performing for grandma’s
guests.
13. Jonathan Badon serenading
Priscilla.
14. At center Ph Cinema’s Hilda
Koronel.
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Three spectacular days
for pleasure and profit!
2016
®
Trade and Cultural Show
Aug.12 • 7 pm
DoubleTree Hotel,
Newark Airport, NJ
Aug.13 • 12noon
Aug.14 • 10am
Meadowland Expo Center, Secaucus, New Jersey
Trade Exhibitors
International & Local Entertainers
Cultural & Food Festival
Free Workshops
Fun Activities for All Ages
To Sponsor, Exhibit and Attend, Contact (212) 682-6610
email: [email protected]
www.fiestainamerica.com
A Production of Fiesta in America – A 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
81
SCOP E | EVENT S
R
achelle Ocampo, a lissome
30-something born in New
York, recalls the summers
w h e n as a girl, she had to be dragged
by her parents from the TV set to make
the nearly two-hour trip from Long
Island to Secaucus in New Jersey.
“I recall pouting all the way to what
was then called Philippine Fiesta,” she
mused.
“To my immigrant parents, the event
was a really big deal back then. But to
a girl who called Long Island home, it
was a drag. Yup, until the fiesta started
to grow on me.” Rachelle was in upperManhattan that day as a co-host of
Makilala TV, billed as the first FilipinoAmerican TV talk show. “Never could I
have imagined that, many years later,
it will be my turn to haul my parents to
the event, which has turned out to be a
family tradition. Who knew?”
Makilala TV hosts Jen Furer and Crien
Pastor could not resist jumping in: “And
who could have imagined that the same
girl will be taping a talk show with the
ethnic event’s founder?”
Happy accident or not, Rachelle Ocampo was being interviewed that day in
May this year by the Makilala TV hosts
together with Nanding Mendez, President of Fiesta In America (the Philippine
Fiesta of Rachelle’s youth has been rebranded as Fiesta In America in 2012).
On August 13 and 14, Fiesta In America
will mark continuous operations of 18
years, the age usually celebrated in the
Philippines as an individual’s “debut”
into the adult world. Mendez, a native of Manila, quipped as
the talk show was about to start, “Fiestas
are about re-connecting. Thanks to local
festivities, relatives and neighbors who
have not seen each other in years can
re-cross their paths at town holidays.”
That day, Rachelle and Nanding literally closed the circle with what may be
called their own personal fiesta.
Indeed, the open-arms gesature of
Filipinos to all comers is the taproot
of Fiesta In America. Over the past 17
years, it is has been known to more
than 200,000 visitors as the biggest
indoor consumer exposition of its kind
on the east coast, certainly in the ethnic
event-marketing category. Founded as
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A
COME S OF AGE
IN AMERICA
WRITER Len
the U.S.-Philippines Trade Show in 1996
by Nanding Mendez and his late wife,
Mila Beltran Mendez (who passed in
2012), it was renamed as Philippine Fiesta in 1998. Since then, the extravaganza
has carved a niche in American exposition marketing. The last available data
showed that almost 125 million individuals attended all sorts of trade fairs in the
United States. As Mendez sees it, Fiesta In
America’s two-day gate of up to 14,000
visitors may not come close to the attendance at leading trade shows in Las
Vegas, “but it is evidence of what mainstream business has long recognized:
ethnic events can be a powerful tool in
the marketing mix.”
________
The Meadowlands Exposition Center
(MEC), its hulk attached to an indoor
parking lot that fits 5,000 cars, has been
home to Fiesta In America since 2001.
It boasts 61,000 square feet of exhibition and performance space. Near the
main hall’s entrance are four seminar
rooms, each with a seating capacity of
around 50, which is ideal for business
presentations, informative workshops,
and sales seminars. AARP (American
Association of Retired Persons) once
hosted a workshop on financial security
for Filipinos aged 50 and above, and
a seminar on resources for Filipinos
providing care for their elderly parents
Manansala
in the U.S. The workshop on elderly care
was facilitated by General (Ret.) Antonio
Taguba, an AARP spokesperson for the
Asian American community and only
the second Filipino to have reached
the rank of general in the U.S. armed
forces. AARP has been a major sponsor
since 2013. Among blue-chip brands
joining the sponsor roster in 2016 is
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New
Jersey, the state’s leading HMO.
The People’s Ball, the expo’s companion gala, is held at the Hilton
DoubleTree Hotel at Newark Liberty
International Airport the Friday before
the expo. Nanding Mendez said that
the gala will celebrate its 10th year as
a gathering of the “movers and shakers
of the Filipino community.” A sweeping
glimpse of the MEC’s interior casts an
idea of what the expo would be like in
the first morning, usually a Saturday in
August. Sharply at 8 a.m., the first group
of exhibitors arrives in a steady stream
of hand trucks, dollies, and wheeled
suitcase carts bearing cardboard boxes
and overstuffed plastic bags. Everyone
is pumped up for two days of on-thespot selling, hours cajoling consumers
for their email addresses, highlighting
products or services to everyone who
approached the booth.
By 11 a.m., the box office is about
ready to welcome the first ticket buyers.
Vicie Allam, Fiesta In America’s Finance
Manager, is making a final once-over of
her cash box and credit card machine.
Beside her, Coy Apostol, the Sponsor
and Exhibitor Relations Manager, is
going over the list of sponsors and their
requirements, from extra badges to
articles in the official magazine, Fiesta
Talks.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
83
At 12 noon, dignitaries are milling
around the exhibition hall entrance:
Philippine and local American officials,
civic association leaders, as well as
the cultural show’s lead performers from the Philippine film, TV and
music industries. As cameras flash,
the blue-bowed ceremonial ribbon is
cut, and gatekeepers start ushering in
thousands of visitors. Scooting from VIP
to concert host to sponsor is Nanding
Mendez in his bespoke barong – the
epitome of an Hermano Mayor in every
fiesta that has been celebrated for ages
back home.
_______
The swirl of images grabs the observer
with a tapestry of tropical colors and
sensations of unusual textures, the din
of the Taglish patois, indefinable aromas, obscure base materials. Along the
middle aisles, visitors are engulfed with
upright banners and posters of condominium high-rises, residential homes,
and gated communities pushed by real
estate representatives motivated by the
buying clout of Filipinos (in New York
and New Jersey, Filipinos have median
family incomes of more than $92,000).
Alternating with resort and condo
exhibitors are the booths of small
exporters, the Trade Pavilion’s magnet
for consumers eager load up on goods
not found in U.S. stores. Displays are
as varied as their towns of origin:
mother-of-pearl wind chimes, jewelry
boxes, handcrafted décor, accessories
cleverly fashioned from the harvests of
rain forests, farms, lakes and seas of the
Philippine archipelago.
Competing for the consumer’s attention is a bevy of cosmetologists, mobile
phone companies, massage centers, car
dealers, remittance firms, banks, healthcare organizations…touting services
that fit the needs of the deep-pocketed
immigrant (Filipinos’ median household
income is more than $20,000 higher than
the U.S. median). Along the two sides of
the main hall, fun activities are going
on: painting lessons, children’s games,
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Nanding Mendez, President of Fiesta in America with
Laura Garcia (Photo by Boyet Loverita)
c h e s s
matches. As
lunchtime
beckons,
the
Food
Court fills
up with diners eager to
sample provincial dishes that represent
what out-of-towners can expect in a
typical fiesta: a sumptuous, unending
feast.
_______
“Our cultural show has evolved from a
purely Filipino extravaganza to what has
been positioned, in the last five years, as
a multicultural talent showcase,” said
Ogie Afable, Fiesta in America Cultural
Show Director. “Diverse forms of performance art are provided by a cross-cultural artist roster. So far, the audience
has witnessed outstanding numbers by
professional Chinese and Korean dance
troupes; an award-winning singer from
Shanghai; reggaeton song-and-dance
from the Latino enclaves of the Bronx;
and local-area show tune singers and
rock bands.” The organization has given
unknown performers a venue in which
their skills can shine.
Throughout the years, Fiesta in
America
(www.fiestainamerica.com)
has presented a virtual Who’s Who in
Filipino show business: Amalia Fuentes,
Romeo Vasquez, Pork Chop Duo, Gabby
Concepcion, Fe de los Reyes, Cherie Gil,
Eddie Mesa, Rico J. Puno, Ai-Ai de las
Alas, Gary Valenciano, Pilita Corrales,
Hotdog, Mitch Valdez, Nora Aunor, Lirio
Vital, Bernardo Bernardo, Vilma Santos,
Aiza Seguerra, Jon Santos, Nanette
Inventor, Leo Martinez, Faith Cuneta,
Celeste Legaspi, Diether Ocampo, Ryan
Agoncillo, Judy Ann Santos, Pops
Fernandez, Piolo Pascual, Jun Polistico,
Pokwang, Bea Alonzo, Dingdong Dantes,
Marian Rivera, Kim Chiu, Gerald
Anderson, Shery Regis, Bugoy Drillon,
Jake Cuenca, Angelica Panganiban,
Laarni Lozada, Zsa-Zsa Padilla, Ariel,
Melai Cantiveros, Jason Francisco, Ariel
Rivera, Martin Nievera, Jericho Rosales,
Edgar Allan Guzman, Vina Morales,
Maxene Magalona and many others.
Real troopers, they reprise their electrifying opening-day performances for
their fans the following day.
A 10 a.m. Sunday Mass on the concert
stage greets the early comer with hymns
in Tagalog. But the recessional’s somber
notes are soon taken over by an excited tittering. From the workshop-cumdressing rooms emerge participants in
the re-enactment of a fiesta’s crowning
point: the Santacruzan. Reynas in full
regalia, consorts in starched barongs,
the winsome Reyna Elena, pretty girls
in white, and boys dressed up as young
Constantines lead the candlelight
procession. The pageant, a tribute to
the discovery of the true cross, may be
out of place in the Meadowlands Expo
Center. Fitting or not, the venue is a nod
to timeless tradition: it has survived till
the era of selfies-to-Facebook postings.
_______
At Fiesta In America’s office on
East 40th Street near New York’s
Grand Central station, vestiges of
the past are unceremoniously stored
in
boxes:
announcement
flyers,
a citation here and there, brochures
dating back 10 years. Beside Nanding
Mendez is Laura Garcia, a winsome
nurse-educator at New York Langone
Medical Center who has been the lady
in his life and confidante for the past 2
years.
“I am naturally glad that our event
continues to grow after nearly 20 years,”
Mendez stated. “But like any person
who approaches his second decade,
Fiesta In America’s whole life is ahead
of it. As long as it can provide a market
for small exporters and their products,
tourism entrepreneurs and their resorts
or hotels, and a future Broadway star
from Edison in New Jersey, Fiesta In
America will remain as fresh as an
18-year-old.” n
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
85
SCOP E | TO U R I S M
Quality Travel Experience:
CHAMONIX
TRAVEL & TOURS
SERVICES
01. Hotel Accommodation
02. Visa Assistance
03. Ticketing & Tour Packages
· Local
· International
04. Transportation Assistance
· Cruises
· Van and Car rentals
· Bus services
· Ferry
C
hamonix Travel Services of
JLM Travel and Tours Agency
started as a home-based family
business in 2011. With well trained
travel enthusiasts, Chamonix provides
business coverage that specifically
targets commercial areas in Better
Living, Paranaque.
The origin of Chamonix is a place
in France. Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (or
Chamonix) is a resort area near the
junction of France, Switzerland, and
Italy. Renowned for its alpine skiing,
Chamonix is located at the base of Mont
Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps.
Year-round, cable cars take travelers up
to several nearby peaks with impeccable
panoramic views, including Aiguille du
Midi, Pointe Helbronner on the Italian
border, and Le Brévent. “This is where
I got the name for my Travel Agency
Business. It relates to a place that offers
unique activities to the public,” shares
Irene Herrera, CEO of Chamonix Travel
Services.
OBJECTIVES
Dedicated to the pursuit of meeting
client’s total requirements as well as
addressing employee needs, Chamonix
operates on a policy of openness
and honesty throughout its entire
organization. Quality compensation
packages are provided along with
incentives that are rewarded to all their
staff who perform well and exceed
expectations.
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BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
There are two main objectives that
Chamonix Travel Services aims to fulfill.
The creation of more unique travel
packages with different leisure activities
are available to customers at a minimal
expense. Therefore, the company
provides high-quality yet affordable
travel that is possible by giving just one
phone call. Another objective is to strive
for excellence in providing customer
service. Being capable of providing
aspiring home-based entrepreneurs
with proper training will help them
realize and achieve their travel business
objectives.
MISSION & VISION
Chamonix Travel Services’ mission
aims to effect and deliver reliable
and high quality travel
services to all clients
locally
and
globally.
Chamonix
negotiates
with the best terms
and conditions geared
toward travel at low costs
without
compromising
its
value.
Another
mission of the company
is to aim promotion and recognition
from Filipino tourist spots not only
within the Philippine market but in
an international perspective and in a
larger sense help the development of
the Philippine economy. To lead and be
top of mind in the travel industry is a
valuable vision of the company, striving
to expand their presence in both the
local and global markets.
Chamonix TravelPH
chamonixtravel
For more information contact us at (632) 8230957
/ (632) 4046102 or 0916.2937892
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
87
SCOP E | TO U R I S M
THE
WOMAN
BEHIND
CHAMONIX
I
“I will not allow myself to sit
around and do nothing. Sharing
knowledge to those who are
interested in putting up their
own company, especially
housewives and entrepreneurial
mothers, is an inspiration that
will keep me happy with what
I have accomplished with my
company.”
-Irene Herrera
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BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
rene Herrera is the president and
chief executive officer of Chamonix
Travel & Tour, a travel specialist
and a passionate globetrotter. Irene’s
love for travel is what prompted her
into the travel industry where she is
keen on helping people plan a vacation
of a lifetime. She believes in helping
her clients, whether larger or small,
a customized vacation package that
suit their particular interests and
tastes. This includes arranging their
accommodations,
extra
amenities,
special
services,
and
planned
excursions.
Working in a travel agency entails a
lot of rapport, connections, and social
gatherings. Irene Herrera always sees
to it that she is knowledgeable and fit
enough to help her staff to develop and
discover their hidden skills.
This love for independent travel has
enabled Irene become the expert she is
today at helping others plan their own
FIT packages. When it comes to her
staff she teaches them to attend to each
customer with specialized itineraries
that are based on their specific interests
in order to plan a vacation that they will
truly enjoy. Irene wants each employee
to be customer oriented since she
believes that this is the most important
attitude for a travel agency company.
Irene envisions Chamonix as the
leader in the Travel agency industry. In
order to make this vision happen she
plans to expand the presence of Filipinos
in both the local and global travel
markets. Another vision of hers would
be recognized as the market leader in
the travel industry as a contribution to
the Philippine Department of Tourism.
Lastly, she aims to train others who are
highly interested in putting up travel
agencies.
“A daring, in depth approach to storytelling is the show’s hallmark style.”
PHILIPPINES
THE TELEVISION SERIES SHOWCASING THE MODERNIZATION,
DEVELOPMENT, AND PROGRESSION OF THE PHILIPPINES.
01 Business I 02 Real Estate & Infrastructure Developments I 03 Travel Destinations
04 Arts, Design, Music, & Culture I 05 Restaurants & Bars I 06 The Nightlife I 07 People I 08 Events
THE PREMIER S EASON AIRING THIS SUMMER ON
USA
PHILIPPINES
PHILIPPINES
WORLDWIDE
WORLDWIDE
PROUDLY PRODUCED BY THE ASIAN JOURNAL MEDIA GROUP & 20 PLUS PRODUCTIONS, INC. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT [email protected]
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM 89
SCO PE | TOU RISM
SOUTHWEST
TOURS
(BO R AC AY ) I NC.
–“Book, board & relax”
P
lanning to go to the beach
capital of the Philippines? The
recognized
pioneer
tourist
transport service in the province of
Aklan, Southwest Tours (Boracay) Inc.
(STBI) makes it more accessible to the
tropical paradise of Boracay. The Aklanbased corporation started its operations
way back in 1991; and eventually
became a corporation in 1993. With
more than 20 years in transport
operations, STBI has rendered services
to both local and foreign tourists and
continutes to provide safe and hasslefree travel experience.
Among its devoted clienteles are top
government o­fficials, beauty pageant
participants, medical mission teams,
corporate event attendees and local
& international tourists. STBI assures
all its clients with quality and friendly
services. At present, STBI serves 90%
of hotels and resorts in Boracay Island
as well as approximately 200 travel
agencies all over the Philippines. It has
partnered with different airlines to
ensure a seamless transport service.
SERVICES
STBI has various packages to suit the
diverse needs of its clients varying
from land & sea transport to resort
reservation.
BORACAY ISLAND SERVICES
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
Airport Transfer
Land and Sea Transfer
Hotel Reservation
Island Activities
Tour Packages
Cruise Ship Ground Handler
24/7 Customer Service Assistance
24/7 Metered Taxi
It provides full transfer assistance
to passengers from their first step out
of Kalibo International Airport and/
or Caticlan Airport to their respective
destinations in any point of Panay and
the island of Boracay. STBI has exclusive
buses, coasters, vans, motorized boats,
multicabs and tricycles to take guests
to their destinations. Coordinators
and well trained staff are always
ready to assist guests and facilitate all
transportation requirements to any
point in the island. Special transfer
requests can be accommodated through
STBI’s charter services.
Use this code to avail our special discount!
CODE: S W B a l i k b a y a n 2 0 1 6
SOUTHWEST TOURS (BORACAY), INC. is located at Jaime Cardinal Sin Ave., Andagao, Kalibo, Aklan
For Inquiries and reservations, email [email protected] or call Kalibo Reservations Office
SMART: (STBI-ONLINE) (+63) 947 8911 658 | GLOBE: (STBI-ONLINE) (+63) 917 5682 441 | HOTLINE: (036) 268 5100
90
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91
SCOP E | AMAZ I NG P L ACE S
FLYING FIESTA
Experience an exhilarating swing ride on the Flying Fiesta.
Guests get the feel of flying as the rotation speed of the 52
swing seats that increase while a wave motion is created
by gradual lifts, drops, and tilts. Parent and child will have a
thrilling and memorable ride on the tandem seats.
SPACE SHUTTLE
A thrilling rollar coaster that turns guests upside-down 6
times forward and 3 times backward all in two minutes.
The Space Shuttle consists of 28 seats in 7 coaches to
choose from, guests will surely experience the exhilirating
encounter with gravity.
FIND THE MAGIC WITHIN
T
here are many things in our world that can
make us happy, such as going to the movies
with friends, a sale at your favorite store, or
winning a game of monopoly. However, in the tropical
country of the Philippines, and approximately 36.5
kilometers from the busy streets of Metro Manila,
lies a place that can make us happier than ever. This
magical place goes by the name of “Enchanted
Kingdom”. EK’s top-tier placement in the hierarchy
of happiness is simply due to it being an amusement
park. Who wouldn’t love and enjoy hurtling down
roller coasters, eating candy floss, and watching
amazing performances all in one day?
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AIR RACE
Air Race boasts of six acrobatic planes that can fly four
passengers each. It is famous for its simulation of acrobatic
exhibition flights, this thriller ride banks, loops, dives, and
mimics weightlessness as each plane rotates either 180o or
360o while revolving around a central tower.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
93
THE GRAND CAROUSEL
The Grand Carousel is Enchanted Kingdom’s elegant
and dashing centerpiece that
greets guests upon their entry to the theme park. This attraction features 60 Victorian
horses and 2 Chariots inlaid
with goddesses and cherubs,
the ride takes guests back to
the Victorian era.
SWAN LAKE
Pedal through a slow paced boat ride at the
Swan Lake on a swan-shaped boat around
the large pond for a relaxing chat, away
from the bustling excitement of the park.
This is perfect for sweet little escapes from
the kids.
RIALTO 4D
This real-life attraction re- opened its
doors on October 17th as part of EK’s 20th
Anniversary offerings, the Rialto motion
simulator theater has been upgraded with
the latest in 4D technology for an enhanced
and ultimate theater experience.
EKSTREME TOWER
This thrill ride offers guests a breathtaking
yet terrifying view of the expanse circling
Enchanted Kingdom. The EKstreme Tower
takes the rider a minute to get to the top
almost 40 meters high before the sudden
drop at 76 kph. This attraction will leave
you screaming your lungs out for more.
1995 in the City of Santa Rosa, Laguna,
boasting of rides and attractions never
before seen in the country in terms of
variety, size, and magnitude.
ATTRACTIONS
BEHIND THE NAME
“Enchanted
Kingdom”
was
the
success of a focus group discussion
and survey that was conducted by the
proponents among the target market
when the project was still in its infancy.
The establishment chose “Enchanted
Kingdom” as the desired title that would
connote something that was whimsical
and magical, a similar feeling to being
in another dimension. EK’s objective
is to transport guests into a land or
environment that is very divergent from
their everyday way of life.
BRIEF HISTORY
The concept of the magical world of
EK started with a simple dream brought
to life by Cesar Mario O. Mamon and
Rafaelito E. Minguez in 1992. These two
men dreamt and perceived a kingdom
where people can feel the fun and magic
to escape from everyday’s formidable
and challenging world of reality. “Out of
the blue, suntok sa buwan (punch to the
moon), the first thing that came to our
mind was our kids who were growing
up and how theme parks were limited
in the country. Glicos Entertainment
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BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
Center in Makati was just starting out
that time, and we realized there was
an opportunity for a fixed amusement
facility that is more in the mold of
Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm. A
destination which would not just be a
consolidation of rides, but a park with
a story, characters and zones, which
people will enjoy as an escape from
reality,” recalled Mr. Mamon.
In
1993, the business partners Mario and
Rafaelito purchased 17 hectares of land,
for their magical kingdom which will be
the first of its kind in the Philippines.
It can be seen along the highway and
is just a half hour drive from Metro
Manila. They sought advices from both
local and international experts and
consultants to administer world-class
construction and execution. Landmark
Entertainment is a global entertainment
design firm that creates theme parks,
attractions, and virtual reality that
modeled the theme park after the
Knott’s Berry Farm in California. The
goal was to create a fantasy land yet
feel the warmth and comfort of a home.
The Philippines’ iconic theme park first
opened to the public on October 19,
EK has become one of the most sought
after venues for personal, corporate and
school events, and field trips. The theme
park boasts themed entertainment that
are divided in several park zones that
can accommodate up to 25,000 visitors
a day.
The best reason for Balikbayans to
come and visit Enchanted Kingdom is to
be able to have a unique venue where
they can bring family and friends to
celebrate homecomings and reunions
or any other memorable occasions.
“Enchanted
Kingdom
welcomes
“balikbayans” (returning to country)
and “kababayans” (fellow countrymen),
home to their native Philippines. Be sure
to include them in your itinerary when
visiting the Philippines as they can offer
you and your loved ones a unique and
entertaining venue for homecomings
and reunions. Best of all, we have
special packages for Balikbayans just
like you!”
For more information, contact us at
(632) 584 3535, (632) 584 4326 to 29
or visit our site at
www.enchantedkingdom.ph
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WINE & DINE
TASTE
OF HOME
UNDOUBTEDLY INGENIOUS, the food scene in the Philippines is
a constantly evolving art. The tasteful play on foreign flavors and
unusual ingredients pushes traditional, Filipino cuisine to global
heights in places—plates, rather—we’ve never seen before. And
because the recent the Madrid Fusión Manila was nothing short
of inspiring, we’ve rundown a few of some of the most nostalgic
comfort food prepared with the most unexpected twists.
AT A GLANCE:
Under the theme, Manila Galleon: East Meets West, the 2nd year
of Madrid Fusión paid homage to the exchange of ingredients
influence as much as the influence of cooking techniques unique
to varying cultures.
ry:
T
UST
M
BRULEED CARABAO’S MILK SOAKED
HONEY CAKE WITH SALTED BUTTER
By Chef Nikki Misa
& Chef Kristine Lotilla
Highlighting the distinctive taste of honey
produced from the nectar of flowers
growing in the lush lands of Palawan
and Pangasinan, this stunning plate of
delectable goodness is a sophisticated
take on a best-loved dessert.
TAPSILOG
By Via Mare
Deceitfully resembling a typical
spring roll, this playful way of serving
the Filipino favorite tapsilog (tapa,
sinangag, itlog) is a practical way
of eating this breakfast staple. Best
enjoyed with a dip of vinegar.
PATA NEGROS, MACARON,
SMOKED KESONG PUTI MOUSSE
By Chef Margarita Forést
Asia’s Best Female Chef 2016
Grace Pork, Lusso, Cibo and Alta Tasting as fancy as it looks, you taste the
individual flavor melding together in a perfect mix of culinary revelation:
from the distinct texture of the sweet macaron, the slice of meat melts with
the tang of the cheese mousse in a perfect symphony.
CHAMPORADO
By Chef Jayme
Natividad Terraza
LA PAZ BATCHOY
ICE CREAM
Yes. Who would’ve thought of creating
this Iloilo delicacy into a dessert? Oddly
tasting like an actual batchoy, this ice
cream is like a serving of both dessert
and main course.
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Served on a wooden
bowl, this classic,
chocolate porridge is a
serving of nostalgia.
While the richness of
cacao satisfies your
sweet cravings, the
saltiness for the fried
tuyo (sardines) gives a
bite of character from
the chocolate-and-milk
pairing.
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SUMMER
M A N I L A
F A S H I O N
2016
T R E ND S :
Your guide to this season’s
hottest pieces inspired by
Fashion Week 2016 trends
seen on the runways of Paris,
Milan, Tokyo, and New York
WRITER
Charisse Trinidad
PHOTOGRAPHER
Noel Ty
BRA-LIKE TOPS
AND BANDEAUS
We’ve been seeing a whole
lot of the ‘90s style bra
tops, except with a
flatter, more sporty
style. Often worn
on their own,
other
times
with
sweaters
or long sleeved sheer tops
underneath, as was the case
at Dries Van Noten. In cities
that hold the best fashion
shows, wearing sleepwear as
outerwear was the common
trend, in Paris it was all about
the bras worn on top. The sheer
cover-up is sexy, elegant and
utterly ladylike. Gucci came
in with some transparent but
beautifully colored looks while the
bandeaus appear time and again on
the sportier designs of Moschino.
MAXI DRESSES AND SKIRTS
There’s a plethora of maxi dresses on the runway for
the Spring Summer collection. Mark Jacobs falls into this
category with his diver with amethyst hued side slit skirts,
though earth certainly comes into play at BCBG Max Azria.
We see the maxi dresses and skirts everywhere, from the
pleated Stella McCartney to the
interesting prints
on the Valentino collection,
especially those
that have a distinctive old Roman
look to them.
It is one of the biggest Summer
2016 fashion trends seen on the
runway and is the newest hot
item in the Manila Fashion scene
this summer. Showing off with
those off-the-shoulder styles is a
great way to flaunt some feminine
flair without being too revealing.
PEEKABOO BLACK PIECES
Black pieces allow us to see a whole lot more. The
black is featured in nearly every collection, with
sheer paneling, cutouts, lace aspects, spider web
details and other ideals. It is sexy, it is playful and
is100
anything
but ordinary.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
MODELS: JANELS MOLINA & CHESTER MANZANO
BARED SHOULDERS
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101
Image sources: http://cdn.fashionisers.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/spring_summer_2016_fashion_trends_bra_like_crop_tops_
bandeaus.jpg | http://thebestfashionblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Bohemian-Fashion-Trends-2015-10.jpg
SIDE SLITS
Most girls this summer have been going crazy over showing some thigh, especially
on those long skirts and dresses as they begin to wrap around the legs. There is
something infinitely gorgeous about the side slit, something that has continued on
from the past seasons and looks to want to keep its place on the runway. It appears
in some rather strange layers as per Marc Jacobs, the skirts in a shiny purple and
blue coloring, while Anthony Vaccarello seems to revel in showing off a lot of leg
with those shimmering red slip dresses that seem to be slashed from the side.
GYPSET FOR SUMMER
GORGEOUS LACE
Bohemian touches, Moroccan glamour
and
floating
silhouettes
make
gypsetting one rather interesting trend
for this summer. Free spirits appear
on the Rachel Zoe runway, alongside
the prairie dresses from Coach, the
gorgeous designs from Tommy Hilfiger,
and the intriguing combinations of white
and aubergine at Anna Sui. Long legs are
shown at Naeem Khan and the dresses float
about at the Rebecca Taylor show, while it gets a
bit modern Hawaiian with the Reem Acra collection. Add
Rodarte, Tory Burch, and Diane von Furstenberg to the mix
and you have quite the trendsetters.
MODEL: MK VICTORINO
It might be in line with the more
romantic fashion trends for 2016, be it
Victorian or modern, Prairie or not, but
the lace looks are huge on the runways.
It appears on gorgeous romantic floral
printed and side layered dresses, as
well as full pieces made of lace at
Rodarte, that show off sleepwear as
outerwear with positive delight, lace
appearing in both black and white. The
lace was very much in our faces and
we would not have had it any other
way from the floral appliques added at
Topshop to the added volumes at Preen.
A WHOLE LOT OF
TRANSPARENT
We’ve been seeing transparent looks
for quite a while now so it comes as no
surprise that we should be faced with
translucent dresses, skirts and tops
for this summer season as well. This
includes floral print skirts from Marc
Jacobs, crochet ensembles from Dolce
& Gabbana, miniskirts from Miu Mui
showing off panties that match the shirt
on top and gorgeous sheer pantyhose
with lovely designs as seen at Rodarte.
THE SPORTY ATMOSPHERE
This summer season is more about comfort and relaxed looks than
anything else we feel, which includes a sportier edge such as the tiedyed army colors on the Valentino pullover or the very bright silver
track sets found on the Lacoste runway. Single piece coveralls come up
on the Balenciaga runway, flailing straps around, while sports are very
much on the mind at Baja East.
SPECIAL THANKS TO James Paul, Designer; Allen Chen, Fashion Associate; Janels Molina, Chester
Manzano and MK Victorino, models; Soenny Lime, hair & make-up, Polarity Physiotherapy Center
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