Harsh course of natureIs a remote peninsula with great archaeological and environmental importance really a suitable site for a golf course and resort Maio 6, 2008
Universal Studios theme park soon to rise in RP
By Zinnia De La Peña
Monday, April 7, 2008
The arrival of a Universal Studios theme park in the Philippines is creating a huge buzz after the Genting Berhad Group secured the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.(Pagcor)’s nod for its proposed project within the Las Vegas-like Bagong Nayong Pilipino-Manila Bay Integrated Tourism City.
Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Efraim Genuino said the Genting Group has committed to develop 35 hectares of the 90-hectare prime reclaimed land facing Manila Bay into a world-class tourist destination.
Genuino said the Genting Berhad Group is planning to invest $3 billion in the Manila Bay Integrated City, the Philippines’ biggest tourism development project.
The Genting Berhad Group owns the Genting Highlands Resort in Malaysia and holds the exclusive development rights of film giant Universal Studios in Asia. It has teamed up with its subsidiary Star Cruises and Alliance Global Inc., the listed investment holding firm of retail tycoon Andrew Tan, for its proposed project in the $15-20 billion casino resort complex along Manila Bay.
Genuino said the Genting Berhard Group’s proposal includes the development of leisure and entertainment facilities including a theme park, state-of-the-art theaters, amusement and cultural centers, retail and gaming center and hotels.
Universal Studio’s movie-theme Hollywood park has 13 attractions based on movies including Shrek, Jurassic Park and The Terminator. Excluding its restaurants and theaters, the theme park alone draws about four million visitors a year.
Besides Hollywood, Universal Studios has other parks in Orlando, Barcelona and Osaka, Japan.
Another investor group, Aruze Corp. of Japan is planning to put up an integrated resort featuring a hotel with 2,000 standard rooms and 300 VIP suites; a major oceanarium targeted to be the world’s largest; theaters, a sports arena, a Holy museum and a giant ferris wheel similar to the London Eye to be known as the Manila Eye.
The Aruze Group is likewise infusing $3 billion in capital for the development of 40 hectares of land in the Manila Bay Integrated City.
Genuino said Aruze, a leading gaming machine maker known for its ties with the popular Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas and Macau, may start development of its project in the second quarter this year which may take two years to complete.
Other groups whose project concepts have been approved by Pagcor include Bloomburry Investments Ltd. of Australia which will develop 15 hectares of the reclaimed prime land, and the SM Investments Corp. (SMIC).
Bloomburry plans to build a hotel, sports arena and other tourist attractions.
Genuino said SMIC has yet to hatch a plan for the Manila Bay Integrated City but said this would be a unique concept.
Tessie Sy, SMIC vice-chair, said that aside from developments within the Mall of Asia complex along Roxas Boulevard, the company may work on something in the future to further promote the tourism estate.
SMIC, together with international hotel firms Carlson Hotels Asia Pacific and Accor will develop and manage a 350-room hotel in SM Bay City, which will be located near the SMX Convention Center.
Meantime, two administration congressmen supported yesterday the Integrated Tourism City, saying the nation should rake in billions in potential income from the project instead of growing grass on reclaimed land.
“We also need jobs. We have 430,000 new college graduates a year, but not all can be absorbed by existing companies,” Palawan Rep. Antonio Alvarez, House trade and industry committee chairman, said in the midst of reports that Catholic bishops are opposing the plan.
Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing said he would prefer “that we grow money instead of grass on reclaimed land in Manila Bay.”
Alvarez said the Pagcor project would put the country in a position to catch a portion of China’s increasing spending on gambling.
“Due to China’s growing affluence, its 1.3 billion people are spending $70 billion in gambling bets a year, according to one estimate,” he said.
He said the gambling revenues of Macau, a Chinese territory, increased by 47 percent to $10.34 billion last year and have exceeded those of Las Vegas.
He said the Pagcor project could also prevent rich Filipinos from going to Macau or Las Vegas and would allow them to “just spend their money here.”
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Holy Week Destination in the Philippines Março 15, 2008
Holy week is just around the corner. for some its a season to pray and for forgiveness for all the sin they have committed while for some its a time for a vacation over a hard days of work. well for me i usually celebrate my holy week with family except for last 2006 as i went to Boracay with a friend. but for this year i will just stay at home. and for those of you who are going to visit Philippines for the holy week here are some of the places worth visiting for the Lenten season.
La Union is fast becoming a favorite among local and foreign tourist especially for surfing enthusiast it is dub as the “Surfing Capital of the North” as well as ” The Pilgrimage Capital of the North”. The stretch of white and gray sand beaches along the towns of La Union is the main attraction to tourists. beaches to check out are Buang Beach,San Juan Beach, Agoo –Damortis National Seashore Park,Agoo,Caba and White Sand. while in La union you can also enjoy its historic landmarks, cultural and man made attraction such as Museo de La Union and La Union Botanical and Zoological Garden.
Pampanga– province is located in the Central Plain of Luzon hemmed at all sides by all provinces in the region. Pampanga bound Bulacan on the south and southeast, on the north by Tarlac and Nueva Ecija, and on the northeast and westwise by Zambales. if you want to experience different kind of holyweek like men and women crucified live at your very eyes or men carrying cross and whipping their self to blood then head on to Pampanga. lots of activities going on there during holyweek. you can as well try to sing the pasyon is some places. plus you got to taste Pampangas best cuisine.
Baguio- Situated amidst the mountainous region of Cordillera, 1,500 meters above the sea, 250 kilometers north of Manila. Baguio City is one of the few places in the Philippines blessed with a cool climate. “The Summer Capital of the Philippines” is gifted with majestic mountain view,well preserved cultural and historical attraction. surely a one great destination for the whole family.
Bohol– is one of the most sought after destination in the country. and the province is not about chocolate hills. it also boost majestic white sand beaches. some old churches and one of bohols pride a visit to the tarsier sanctuary. how nice eh?
Cebu- of course not to be outshine it wasnt dub as “The Queen City of The South” for nothing. i consider cebu to be one of the must visit place for the holyweek. you can do almost everything there wether you are feeling relegious or just wanna lay down on cbu’s finest beaches.
Camiguin is a small volcanic island in the Philippines actually its the second smallest province in the country but as they say small things comes with big package cause this tiny town has a lots to offer from its white sand,hot springs and dive spots.
Palawan Coron- doesnt need a further introduction as it is one of the most favorite among the top dive site in the country. but just for those who are clueless about Coron it is famous for its wreck diving not only in the Philippine but in the whole world it has a large amunt of historic sunken ships which can be visited and seen with great clarity. some of these famous wrecks are Irako Wreck,Okikawa Maru Wreck,The Akitsushima Wreck,Kagyu Maru Wreck,Olympia Maru Wreck and more.
Puerto Galera– one of the most visited place in the Philippines during the holyweek. aside from its being near to manila it is also a good destination for a group of friends or family on a budget. good beaches and hard core party.
Boracay. do i need to say more?
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Vote For Tubbataha Reef Março 4, 2008
Please Vote for our very own Tubbataha Reef to make it to the New7Wonders of Nature. along side with the other natural wonders of the south east asian region. Tubbataha’s currently at rank 28. so what are you waiting for? vote now and dont forget to visit Letsgotophilippines.
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10 Things To Do In The Philippines Novembro 2, 2007
I saw an American Express Select Booklet last night at the living room so i check it out. its a selection of establishments that offer savings for American Express Card holder such as accommodation,dining,beauty and spa,car rentals and travel and tours. the booklet is for the cardholders traveling in the Philippines so they have some maps of the top Philippine destination and they also have the 10 thing you Must do in the Philippines. so i would love to share it with you in case your not an American Express Card holder and doest have the Select Booklet.
1. Wander around Manila Bay and experience the most dramatic sunset in the world.
2. Visit the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino in Cebu where the miraculous Santo Nino image, the oldest religous relic in the Philippines is enshrined.
3. Climb Mount Apo, Davao’s unique natural wonder at 3,144 m it is the highest peak in the Philippines.
4. Relive history at the walled city of Intramuros and Luneta.
10. Feel the nightlife and chill out in bars,discos and nightclubs that provide non-stop entertainment.
Philippines Hosts International Medical Tourism Conference Outubro 24, 2007
The country’s top medical and wellness facilities and resort destinations take center stage as the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced that it is organizing the 2nd International Medical Conference (IMTC 2007). The event will be held on November 19-23 at the Hotel Intercontinental Manila in Makati City.
According to Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano, “I am calling on local stakeholders in the medical tourism industry, such as hospitals, wellness resorts, and healthcare financing services, tour operators and transportation companies to participate in this event and take advantage of the opportunity to meet and network with their counterparts around the world.”
The four-day event aims to develop medical value travel and to be the catalyst for industry alliances among medical establishments, health benefits companies, insurance travel partners, government agencies and other related enterprises. IMTC 2007 is expected to draw in more than 250 trade participants from over 23 countries.
“Being part of IMTC 2007 opens boundless opportunities for the participants. It is the global platform for everyone involved in medical tourism to address important issues and to strengthen their trade ties,” explained Elizabeth Nelle, director of the DOT Office of Product Research and Development.
Nelle added that the global medical travel industry is currently worth $40 billion with over 780 million patients are seeking faster, more affordable and world class medical care outside their home country. Insurers are looking for alternatives to contain the escalating costs of healthcare, while providers are developing programs specifically for medical travelers.
IMTC 2007’s keynote address will be delivered by Jonathan Edelheit, president of the Medical Tourism Association, USA. He is set to speak on the next wave of medical travel. Edelheit is also the vice president of the Optimed Health/ United Group Programs, an American organization that specializes in creating and administering tailor-fit company health benefit programs.
Workshops will be programmed to assist participants understand key topics in medical tourism, such as designing the scope of medical travel services, internal and external resources to ensure service delivery, developing holistic packages and providing integrated services that cover transportation, interpretation, logistics, hospitality care and post care options.
Site visits and guided demonstrations will also be scheduled to provide first-hand experience of some of the best practices existing in the country. DOT will be arranging tours to The Medical City, St. Lukes’s Medical Center, World City Medical Center and Asian Hospital and Medical Center.
The DOT will further arrange venues for medical contact exchanges, cross-country panels, business clinics, as well as sponsorships and exhibitions agreements. Forum sessions will cover case studies and best practices in India, Singapore and Thailand, as well as industry prospects in the Gulf Area and updates on the Philippine scenario.
Organizers will provide delegates with post conference trips to some of the country’s top destinations.
A special highlight of the said event is the International Medical Travel Excellence Awards, which will recognize the outstanding medical travel providers.
Durano revealed that the DOT is pushing to make the country one of the top destinations for medical tourism.
“We have some of the best hospitals and stand alone specialty clinics in Southeast Asia. The facilities and services are of top-notch quality and patients and customers can be sure to get the best value for their hard-earned money. Moreover, we have some of the best beaches and spa resorts. Our country is the place where medical travelers and their companions can be cared for with the warm, nurturing and friendly nature of the Filipino,” Durano added.
Why My name is Sharm ?! Outubro 15, 2007
Sharm el-Sheikh (شرم الشيخ, also transliterated as Sharm ash Shaykh), often known simply as “Sharm”, is a city situated on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, in Janub Sina’, Egypt, on the coastal strip between the Red Sea and Mount Sinai.
Sharm el-Sheikh is the administrative hub of Egypt’s Southern Sinai province which includes the smaller coastal towns of Dahab and Nuweiba as well as the mountainous interior, Saint Catherine’s Monastery and Mount Sinai. Sharm el-Sheikh is known as The City of Peace referring to the large number of international peace conferences that have been held there. Sharm el-Sheikh is also known for its glamorous lifestyle, attracting millions of people each year.