One of RP’s brightest options to speed up economic development

1/30/09 - Tourism, now one of Southeast Asia’s major dollar earners, is among the Philippines’ brightest options to speed up its economic development and hasten the attainment of the goal to become a First World country in the next two decades.

There are a lot of things positively going for Philippine tourism. For one, Filipinos are natural tourism assets themselves — warm and hospitable and are largely at home with English, the world’s language of business.

Their being largely Christians also gives them instant affinity with Christians from the United States and several European nations, the country’s traditional markets.

The Philippines is never short of natural attractions, which are among the best in the world. Centuries of foreign rule has enriched its history and culture, which are now reflected in a wealth of historical sites and cultural festivals.

Some of the country’s major tourism destinations which annually receive more foreign visitors as well as those that show great potentials have been designated as priority areas by the national government and programmed for more intensive promotion and infrastructure development.

The tourism destinations are mostly found in Clark-Subic areas, Metro Manila-Tagaytay, the Cordilleras, Ilocos region, Cebu-Bohol-Siargao, Northern Palawan, Boracay and Davao.

Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano said the plan to fast-track the promotion and development of these different areas had earlier been identified and included in President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s 10-point “legacy agenda.”

The country’s identified target tourist markets are South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore for the short haul, and North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and France for the long haul.

This year, DOT has targeted three million tourist arrivals. This figure is projected to increase to five million by 2010. The five million tourist arrivals will translate into more revenues for the country.

”Assuming each visitor spends at least US$ 1,000 here, then that’s as much as the $ 6 billion to $ 8 billion in overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) remittances that have been propping up the economy for years,” Durano said.

Tourist arrivals rose by 3.98 percent to 2,607,118 in the 10-month period from January to October this year, from 2,507,738 in the same period last year. North America (comprising of Canada, Mexico and the USA) remain the top sources of visitors to the country, with 559,484 arriving for the first 10 months, followed by Korea (515,394), Japan (305,543), China (140,685) and Taiwan (103,134).

Figures from the United Nations World Trade Organization (UNWTO) indicate that in 2020, tourist arrivals is forecast to rise to 1.6 billion from 843 million in 2006. In the Asia-Pacific region, tourism is forecast to rise to 397 million in 2020 from 167 in 2006. A 7.3 percent annual growth rate in intra-regional traffic is projected by the year 2020.

The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region has also strong growth prospects. Arrivals in the region is forecast to increase to 136 million by 2020, while the growth in intra-regional traffic will rise to about 7.7 percent by the year 2020.

The beaches and the dive sites of Cebu, Bohol, Siargao, Palawan and Boracay are frequented by Koreans and Japanese. Laoag and Vigan are favorite destinations of the Taiwanese because of its proximity to Taipei and the availability of direct flights between Kaoshiung and Taipei and Laoag International Airport, aside from the various natural, cultural and historical attractions.

Mainland Chinese, on the other hand, prefer entertainment centers like casinos and world-class business and investment facilities and opportunities being offered by Manila, Tagaytay, Clark and Subic.

Cebu City, known as the “Queen City of the South” and center of business and trade in Central Philippines, is also the springboard of tourism in the Visayas. One of Cebu’s major attractions is the cross planted by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan on April 14, 1521.

The 1,268 haystack mounds popularly known as the Chocolate Hills are the main attractions of Bohol. Also of special interest is the Tarsier, the smallest primate found only in the province.

Siargao, situated in northeastern Mindanao, is Asia’s “surfers’ paradise.” Located there is the so-called “Cloud Nine” which is the best known surfing break. Siargao enjoys the world reputation of being on the “Top Surfing Waves.”

Metro Manila is the gateway to the “magical islands” of the Philippines. It combines the rhythmic cadence of the horse-drawn calesas with the pulsating beat of dazzling nightlife, high-tension discos, bards, restaurants and 24-hour diners.

Palawan is known as the Philippines’ last frontier. It has perfect spots for swimming, scuba diving and other water sports. El Nido beach is still the loveliest place where to commune with unspoiled nature’s beauty.

Boracay remains the favorite and number one tourist destination in the country. Its seemingly endless stretch of fine white sand beaches, clear blue waters and serenity are alluring characteristics of the island that attract many visitors from all over the world.

When in Laoag, don’t forget to visit the old churches and the preserved heritage houses in the Ilocos and relive the ambiance of the 18th century. While in Ilocos, visitors may also feel the heat of the sand dunes of Calayab, the “Sahara Desert of the North” and marvel over the beauty of Lake Paoay, visit and see the torture chambers in Sarrat and Bacarra as well as the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Pagudpud.

Davao is the biggest city in the world in terms of size. Its beauty and wealth is partly vested in its vast greenery and mountain ranges and virgin forests, fertile valleys and coastal planes.

While the DOT will spearhead the task of promoting these destinations, other national government departments will complement the effort by providing necessary infrastructures to make the tourist sites more accessible and pleasantly convenient. (PNA)

Idol, Friendster top Pinoy's Yahoo search

1/28/09 - How does one describe a Filipino—the common name for an about 90-million population, a tenth of which are overseas and the remainder spread in 17 regions and 81 provinces, each one as different as the next?

With the newest Yahoo! Philippines Top Searches 2008, which revealed the most-searched items by Filipinos on the Internet, one might start with the word varied.

From celebrities—real or not—to vacation spots and even job opportunities, Filipinos clearly mine the Internet for a wide range of topics.

Overall, at least 20 million registered Internet users in the Philippines unknowingly decided to put US reality TV show American Idol, island getaway Boracay, child singer Charice Pempengco, social media site Friendster, hit movie High School Musical 3, jobs (as in work), SM Mall of Asia, actress Marian Rivera, the capsized MV Princess of the Stars and the Beijing Olympics among the top 10 most-searched items.

Dividing the search terms by category still offered no respite as Filipinos seemed more eclectic by this metric. While entertainment-related items dominated most of the nine categories, which ranged from technology to travel, Filipinos have also shown particular interest to world events like the US presidential elections and job opportunities outside the country.

For news, Filipinos tapped their keyboards for US President-elect Barack Obama, blogger Brian Gorrell, recently kidnapped journalist Ces Drilon, the China milk scandal and ZTE scandal, as well as the seven wonders of nature, among others.

Celebrity hawks favored local actress Angel Locsin, superstar Angelina Jolie, TV show Heroes star Hayden Panettiere, Brunei-born actor Wu Chun and singer Vanessa Hudgens, among others.
Foreign TV shows slightly beat local ones as the most searched for by Filipinos. Amazing Race Asia, American Idol, Gossip Girl, Hannah Montana, Prison Break and Heroes were pitted against local counterparts Dyesebel, Pinoy Big Brother, Pinoy Dream Academy and Marimar.

Singers Arnel Pineda, David Cook, the Jonas Brothers, Rihanna, Sarah Geronimo and Avril Lavigne were among those who dominated in the music category.

Tech-savvy surfers favored the Asus eee PC computer, Apple’s iPhone, online encyclopedia Wikipedia, Pag-asa weather forecast, board-exam results and the ubiquitous YouTube, among others.

Under recreation, people turned to boxing champ Manny Pacquiao, basketball star Chris Tiu, video-game Grand Theft Auto, the Olympics 2008, tennis star Maria Sharapova and, curiously, the Rubik’s Cube, among others.

Recession or not, travel fiends hit the information highway to search for mountain city Baguio, beach-ridden Bohol, Palawan, Siargao and Puerto Galera, as well as the Queen City of the South Cebu, to name a few.

For the “my flavor” category, Filipinos raised TV show Deal or No Deal, YouTube stars Moymoy Palaboy, reality TV shows Pinoy Fear Factor and Survivor Philippines, among others, to the very top.

Meanwhile, Filipino surfers gave new meaning to the category Sari-sari (miscellaneous) when they searched for currency converters, diet recipes, gaming blog “RAN online,” cartoon show Naruto, Philippine newspapers, online games, Philippine holidays, Hollywood movie Transformers and, quite ominously, “work abroad.”

Tough times may be ahead but using the Internet is a relatively low-cost endeavor. Filipinos may be a diverse bunch but if they share something in common, it’s that irresistible notion of getting something at a bargain, a feature the Internet offers in spades. (abs-cbnnews)

Cebu Pacific flies to Catarman, Calbayog, Virac, and Cauayan Offers P500 all-in seat sale and Manila-Osaka Zero promo fare

Cebu Pacific (CEB) is set to take delivery of its seventh brand-new ATR 72-500 aircraft which it will use to fly to Catarman and Calbayog in Samar, Virac in Catanduanes, and Cauayan, Isabela starting next month.CEB will also mount additional flights for Manila-Naga from daily to 10 times weekly starting on February 14 and Manila-Busuanga from daily to 11 times weekly starting on February 15.
The new service to Catarman, Samar and Virac, Catanduanes will start on February 14; flights to Calbayog, Samar and Cauayan, Isabela will start on February 18.
Candice Iyog, CEB VP for marketing and distribution, said “We are expanding our Manila hub operations with the arrival of our brand new ATR and will make more areas accessible through our low fares and new planes.”
To mark the announcement of these additional services, CEB is offering a promotional P500 all-in ‘Go Lite’ seat sale for flights from Manila to Busuanga, Calbayog, Catarman, Cauayan, Naga and Virac. The airline has also included select Cebu hub flights to Cotabato, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Legaspi, Ozamiz, Siargao and Tacloban in the promotion.
CEB also announced a zero ‘Go Lite’ fare seat sale for its Manila-Osaka service. This is exclusive of applicable surcharges and government taxes.
The seat sale will run from January 9 to 14, 2009 and is good for travel from February 1, or the start date of respective flights, to March 31, 2009.
CEB will fly Manila-Catarman and Manila-Virac every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday; Manila-Calbayog and Manila-Cauayan on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
For flight schedules and bookings, passengers may log on to , call the reservations hotline (632) 70-20-888; or visit their nearest travel agent.
Now in its 13th year, CEB has the youngest aircraft fleet in the Philippines. It flies to 15 international cities and 27, soon to be 32 domestic destinations with the addition of Siargao, Catarman, Calbayog, Virac (Catanduanes), and Cauayan (Isabela) in the coming weeks. (Cebu Pacific)

About Siargao

Siargao Island is composed of 48 islands and islets-politically divided into nine municipalities: Burgos, Dapa, Del Carmen, Gen. luna, Pilar, San Benito, San Isidro, Santa Monica, and Socorro.

Siargao Island contains the largest mangrove forest reserves in Mindanao, at Del Carmen. Long stretches of wetlands indicate a potential for commercial seaweed propagation. Siargao Island is greatly influenced by the winds and currents coming uninterrupted from the Pacific Ocean, intensified by the Mindanao current running westward through the Siargao Strait.

Siargao Island is situated at a coordinate of 9°52′N, 126°03′E.

Offshore, a classic tropical island lies protected within its surrounding coral reef with dozens of coconut palms dressed in the center circle of the island. Off to the right, well within the massive coastal reef, lies a shining white sand bar, (Pansukian, or Naked island) some 200 meters long. The tide of Siargao is diurnal with tidal curves typically present, especially on the east coast of the island.

The Island's Pacific-facing reefs are situated on the edge of the Philippine Trench, and the extremely deep offshore waters assure the ocean swells have undiluted power when they encounter the many coral and rock reefs. Siargao has excellent surfing conditions, particularly during the southwest "habagat" monsoon from August to November, when the prevailing wind is offshore.

The best known surfing wave on Siargao with a worldwide reputation for thick, hollow tubes is "Cloud 9". This right-breaking reef wave is the site of the annual Siargao Cup, a domestic and international surfing competition sponsored by the provincial government of Surigao del Norte.

The tide of Siargao is diurnal with tidal curves typically present especially on the east coast of the island.

It is the Surfing Capital of the Philippines.

Siargao Municipalities

> Burgos

> Dapa

> Del Carmen

> Gen. Luna

> Pilar

> San Benito

> San Isidro

> Soccoro

> Sta. Monica


Cloud 9

Sohoton Cave

Pansukian and Magpupungko Pool

Guyam and Del Carmen Mangrove

Bukas Grande and Taktak Falls

Del Carmen Caub Lagoon and Naked Island Siargao

Note: If you have picture that highlight the beautiful places of Siargao Island send now to for posting.

Getting Siargao Island

Siargao Island Map

If it's Manila going to Cebu City >> Surigao City >> Siargao Islands

Manila >> Cebu City
Air -- Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines
Sea -- SuperFerry, Sulpicio

Manila >> Surigao City
Air -- Philippine Airlines
Sea -- SuperFerry, Sulpicio
Land -- Philtranco Bus

Cebu City >> Surigao City
Air -- Asian Spirit, Cebu Pacific
Sea -- Cokaliong, SuperFerry, Sulpicio

Cebu City >> Island of Siargao
Air -- SEAIR, Cebu Pacific

Surigao City >> Island of Siargao
Sea -- Motorbancas, RORO

Then if Manila going to Butuan City >> Surigao City >> Siargao Island

Manila >> Butuan City
Air -- Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines

Manila >> Cebu City
Air -- Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines
Sea -- SuperFerry, Sulpicio

Cebu City >> Butuan City
Sea -- SuperFerry, Sulpicio, Cebu Ferries

Butuan City >> Surigao City
Land -- Private Van, Bus, Jeepney

Surigao City >> Island of Siargao
Sea -- Motorbancas RORO

Siargao Surfing Sites and spots

Tuason Point: This area is located 3 kms. north of General Luna and is the most popular and well-known surfing spot in the Philippines. In this area is where the world famous Cloud 9 is contain. Here are the world class waves at Tuason Point.
> Cloud 9 - This has put the Philippines surf on the world directory. Cloud 9 has a hollow and heavy right hand barrel and extremely powerful reef break. Cloud 9 is for experienced surfers only.
> Tuason Left - a magnificent hollow and powerful left hander When it makes its day. The wave is about 400m south of Cloud 9.This is for experience surfers only.
> Cemetery - Left hander that is suitable for all surfers.

North of Cloud 9: There are some well known and and countless world class waves in the North of Cloud 9. Here are the terrific breaks in the North of Cloud 9.
> Stimpies - It is a great left-hander. The waves can be fat, hollow and can be perfect.
> Rock Island - This is a wave that will test your ability. This is a 300m right hander that is fast, hollow and an extremely long ride. The waves in the Rock Island can be flawless.
> Pacifico - This is the best left hander waves that us long, hollow and powerful.
> Burgos - This is an area with several lefts and rights waves.

GL and South: To the south of GL, all waves must be reached by boat, and are always a highlight of one's holiday. Daku is an island to the east of GL and has a fun right hander that breaks during large swells. The wave breaks on the protected side of the island so it is usually small and great for beginners. Pansukian Reef is a fickle but hollow right hander; another for experienced surfers only. Further south are the islands of La Janoza and Mamon. These islands are beautiful. There are numerous waves in this area with the pick of the bunch being at Mabuntok Reef, which is to the left on Mamon. This wave will cater to all levels and is situated by one of the most pleasant and picturesque beaches in the region.

Travel Tips in Siargao Island

If it is your first time to go and surf in Siargao:
> Buy and wear rubber surfing boots because you will need to walk in some rocky reefs to get to the waves.
> You must bring first aid kit.
> Always bring sunscreen or sunblock.

If this is your first time to travel to Siargao:
> You must have a Smart or Talk and Text mobile phone because it's the only mobile connectivity in this island.
> Internet Conection is rear in Siargao.
> Always bring sunscreen or sunblock.
> You must bring a camera to take photos in this beautiful island.

Note: For any comments and suggestions please contact us


If It's Siargao Island Accomodations 

Palm Paradise Island Resort - " The Island Dream Resort."
Beach front resort in General Luna, Siargao Island
Email: islanddreamresort@yahoo.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Text or Call International Number: 0039 3663853842

(Beach Front)
Dagohoy,East Bucas Grande , Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Beach&Surf site)
Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Beach front)
Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Beach front)
Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Surf Area)
Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Surf site)
Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Beach front)
Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Beach front)
Gen.l Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Beach front)
Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Surf site)
Catangnan,Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Beach front)
Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Surf site)
Catangnan,Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Beach Front)
Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Surf site)
Catangnan,Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Beach Front)
kalinaw resort
Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Beach Front)
Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Beach Front)
Takbo,Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

Pesangan Beach resort
(Beach front)
Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Beach front)
Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

(Beach front)
Malinao,Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

Gen. Luna, Siargao Island,Surigao del Norte

Then if Surigao City Accomodations














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About Siargao

Siargao is composed of 48 islands and islets-politically divided into nine municipalities: Burgos, Dapa, Del Carmen, Gen. luna, Pilar, San Benito, San Isidro, Santa Monica, and Socorro. Read more...

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