Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Philippine Airlines is a 4- Star Airline, First and Only One in the Philippines!



Of course, our country’s own flag carrier is soaring up like an eagle as Philippine Airlines received a 4 stars Skytrax rating last February 2018.
Who is Skytrax? Skytrax is a trusted review and rating company that sets global standards for airlines worldwide. They have been awarding its certified airline star ratings since 1999. To date, it has conferred 109 airlines with ratings that range from one to five stars, based on comprehensive audits for staff service standards and product quality.

It is not a surprise for all of us, Filipinos, that our very own, Philippine Airlines is continuously evolving and making its way to give the best service possible to its clients paving its way to earn the 5 stars soon!

 The display of turboprop Q400 NG  at Davao International Airport.


With the President and Chief Operating Officer of Philippine Airlines, Dr. Jaime Bautista having a pose in front of the Q400 NG at Davao International Airport

Yes! It is indeed a pride for each and every Filipino seeing our very own flag making its way to the top competing with other airlines from other countries in giving a first class service to the world.

It was an honor to be part of the media who were invited to our President’s land: Davao City, to be involved in celebrating the display of the new turboprop Q400 NextGen favorably designed for a country composed of thousands of islands.


Q400 NG

Cebu Media Digital Influencers (from Cebu Bloggers Society): Nym Wales Dayday of Flip and Dip, Jeane Louise Mainit of Viajera Cebuana and Glyth Lamprea of Glitterzescapades (from right to left) with the Philippine Airlines' flight attendants.

    Cebu Media Digital Influencers (from Cebu Bloggers Society): Glyth Lamprea of Glitterzescapades, Ms. Paeng Evangelista of PAL, Nym Wales Dayday of Flip and Dip and Jeane Louise Mainit of Viajera Cebuana (from right to left). While enjoying the feels of being inside the Q400 NG

The Cebu Bloggers with the captain of Q400 NG

Glyth of Glitterzescapades inside the Q400 NG
Q400 NextGen will be flying from Davao City to Siargao: the new tourist destination. As what Dr. Jaime Bautista, the president and the COO of Philippine Airlines said, there are a lot of advantages acquiring this Q400 NG, to mention a few:

   1. It is fast. (Expected travel time from Cebu to Davao is an hour and 30 mins, this Q400 NG made it to just an hour.)
    2. It is a fuel-efficient aircraft.

    3. It promises comfort, performance, and operational flexibility.

     As a travel blogger, I am very happy to be the bearer of good news as Philippine Airlines is now expanding its hubs in Davao, Cebu, and Clark with the new arrivals of 15 new aircraft within this year and 6 more in 2019.



"We are no longer just a Manila-centric airline," said PAL President & Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Jaime J. Bautista. "Our new aircraft and our new hubs are a winning combination that will help expand our market reach both domestically and worldwide. This is imperative  for a global airline, and we must sustain and build on our hard-won-4-Star rating."

Quoting an excerpt from Dr. Bautista's speech at the press conference last April 12 at Marco Polo Hotel Davao, he said, 

"That means giving priority to our new PAL hubs: Davao, Cebu, and Clark. New hubs mean new hopes for a growing economy.

We are proud and gratified that Philippine Airlines recently achieved a 4- Star Global Airline Certification by Skytrax, the international rating organization. This 4-Star rating was the fruit of two years of transformation in fleet, cabins, products, and services that demanded millions of dollars in hard investments and the concerted efforts of all members of the PAL organization.

Clark is the newest jewel in our crown. Just 15 months ago, we had no flights out of  Clark at all. Today, we fly to 15 local and international destinations out of Clark, the greatest number of flights and routes operated by any airline. Later this month, we will be adding flights from Clark to Busuanga and Cebu, and we are looking at daily Clark to Cagayan de Oro later on so that we can better serve Mindanao's second tourism growth center.

Our Cebu hub includes direct flights to 16 domestic and seven international points. And from Tagbilaran, we are the only carrier flying non-stop to South Korea, placing Bohol firmly in the global map for leisure tourism.

To compensate for the impending closure of Boracay, we will increase flights to different vacation destinations throughout the country. We expect Visayas, Mindanao, and Palawan to benefit as we re-direct more flights from China, Korea, and Taiwan to Cebu and Puerto Princesa with some traffic flowing on to Siargao, Camiguin, Coron, and Butuan.

More routes will be open as we take delivery of new airplanes. Our current fleet of 85 aircraft is already the largest in Philippine history. We are aiming for 100 aircraft by 2020, which places us in the league of a major carrier. But we are not merely adding more planes. We are consistently upgrading the cabins, seats, amenities, in-flight entertainment and technology.

Thus, for PAL, our journey continues. Today, we are the Philippines' only 4-star airline, and we serve 76 destinations on four continents. We just turned 77 years old, but our fleet is among the youngest in the industry. Most of all, our spirit is young and we are focused strongly on our future.
Our 4-Star certification is just a stop-over point. Together with our partners in government and the travel industry, we will work even harder to sustain our hard-won gains and make the next big leap to full 5-Star Global Airline status by the year 2020.

We owe this to all Filipinos. Now that the Philippines is a leader in economic growth. the country needs a stable growth-oriented aviation network powered by dynamic flag carrier.


But we will only succeed if we can continue earning the support and satisfaction of our beloved passengers. That is our commitment to the Filipino people."
@Marco Polo Davao

Cebu Media @Marco Polo Davao
Cebu Bloggers Society with Sugbu.ph

(from left to right): Nicky Gozon (PAL SVP-Airline Operations), Cielo Villaluna (PAL's Spokesperson), Debbie Cuyegkeng (Product Research & Development), Louie Ocampo (Composer) Sharon Cuneta (Megastar), Dr. Jaime Bautista (PAL's President & COO),  Ria Domingo (PAL-VP Marketing), Pinky Custodio (PAL Manager-Activations), Josen Perez de Tagle (PAL-VP Corporate Communications), and Harry Inferio (PAL -SAVP: Visayas & Mindanao Sales)

Cebu Bloggers Society with Ms. Paeng Evangelista (PAL's Internal Communication Specialist)

Ms. Sharon Cuneta @ PAL's Gala Night

Ms. Sharon Cuneta @ PAL's Gala night
The press con was followed with a trip to Davao Airport for the display of Q400 NG. Together with all the PAL Executives, we were able to experience what it is like to be inside the Q400 NG. This aircraft is really conducive for the Philippine islands as mentioned above.

The event ended with a loud bang as we were surprised by the Megastar's presence, Ms. Sharon Cuneta, entertained us with her famous songs. The crowd were singing with her and were just enjoying the time left together.

One thing I can say, PAL really understands the heart of the Filipino people! It definitely knows how to give joy to its countrymen! 

Mabuhay!


Nym and I with Ms. Cielo Villaluna- PAL's Spokesperson @Davao airport's Mabuhay Lounge

Monday, April 2, 2018

Olanggo Island, Cebu




Olanggo Island is a fifteen to twenty-five minute boat ride from the port of Punta Engaño beside Movenpick Hotel. With a fare of Php15.00 per person, you will be brought to the majestic and serene abode of migratory waterbirds.

Background:

On May 14, 1992, the Olanggo Island Wildlife Sanctuary was established as a protected area through Presidential Proclamation No., 903 in recognition of the area being a feeding ground and temporary shelter for both migratory and resident wildlife species.

Our Trip:

March 10  to 11 of this year, I and some of my friends went to Olanggo Island for the purpose of being able to get great shots of birds and capture flying migratory birds (if lucky enough! crossing my fingers..) I'm excited to learn about bird photography and I'm grabbing this opportunity as my friend is really into birds. 

Olanggo Island Wildlife Sanctuary:

When we arrived on the island, we went straight to Olanggo Island Wildlife Sanctuary. From the port to OIWS may take 15 minutes via tricycle with a fare of Php30/head.

Entrance in OIWS is Php 100/person if not taking professional shots with DSLR camera and Php 500/person for those who wish to take shots of the birds.

Yes, quite expensive but since it was really my goal to learn bird photography, I paid the Php 500.00 but I did not have any regrets as I achieved my plan.

Let me give you some sample shots I got from our trip.

















SUNSET at Sagastrand Resort

We stayed overnight at the Sagastrand Resort where my friend booked a whole villa which is very luxurious. It has 3 rooms with 2 bathrooms and a living room where we spent almost the whole night editing our pictures for posting.

We had a great time and sumptuous dinner together trying spider shells (saang in bisaya) which is very prominent in Olanggo Island. But the most surprising thing was the SUNSET at the beach..

Here are my favorite shots of the sunset: the different shades of the sunset.









Baguio City 2018


Having visited  Baguio City every year since the late 80's, has made me familiar with all the tourist spots. This year, I want it to be different and share with you the new "go-to" places of Baguio City.


1. Stobosa Hillside Homes Artwork - Twenty to thirty minutes away from Session Road passing through La Trinidad on your way to the Strawberry Farm is the Stobosa Homes with 150 painted houses with the floral mural like that of Brazil's Favela paintings. It enhances the creativity of Baguio's local artists from Tam-Awan Village. This project is under the REV-BLOOM campaign of Department of Tourism (DOT) Cordillera which aims to promote the region as what it's known for - FLOWERS!







2. Mount Costa - is one of Baguio's hidden garden. It's a six hectare (15 acres), composed of 23 gardens. Situated at ME 33 Lamtang Puguis La Trinidad, Benguet. Approximately 45- 1 hr travel from the heart of Baguio City.
Note: For more Information you may check their website: (www.mountcosta.com)
Located outside the hustle & bustle of central Baguio along Pico-Lamtang Road.
How to get there:
***By Private Vehicle or Taxi:
Via Naguilian Road:  
Go passed Puregold Irisan and travel 6km along Naguilian and make a right at Pico-
Lamtang Road
From Tam Awan Village/Long Long Road:  
Follow Long Long Road for 2.7 km then make a left at Pico-Lamtang Road and travel 2 km.  Mount Costa should appear on your right.

TIP: Type Mount Costa The Green Living Room in Waze.

***By Jeep:
From Baguio City to Mount Costa:
Go to Shagem St. (across Rose Garden, Burnham Park) and ride a 'Long trip' jeep that will take you all the way to Lamtang. Get off at Lamtang Irisan Cockpit. Ride a jeep with a sign 'Puguis Junction' then get off at Mount Costa.
From La Trinidad:
Take a jeep to Pico, Puguis Buyagan.  
TICKET PRICE
1-Day admission gives you access to all of our gardens.

PEAK SEASON RATES
Adults P 350.00 ($7.00)
Students (with Valid ID) P 250.00 ($5.00)
Senior Citizens & PWDs P 250.00 ($5.00)
Children below 3 Free (Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times)
Green Living Room Rental P 1,000.00 ($20.00)

OFF SEASON RATES
Adults P 280.00 ($5.60)
Students (with Valid ID) P 200.00 ($4.00)
Senior Citizens & PWDs P 200.00 ($4.00)
Children below 3 Free (Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times)
Green Living Room Rental P 1,000.00 ($20.00)

NOTE: With the exception of baby food items, outside food and/or beverages are not allowed inside the gardens.

OPERATING SCHEDULES
1-Day admission gives you access to all of our gardens.
Park Hours          9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Days                     7 days a week
                                                           
FOOD KIOSKS
They have 2 concessionaires operating inside the gardens:

Note: Info taken from Mount Costa's website. You may also email them at mountcosta@gmail.com or call them at 09774097004.

Let me give you a quick tour of the gardens:

A view of one of the rooms of Mount Costa

The view from the ticket booth area

The Alfresco of Mount Costa 

Inca Garden

The Bud Garden

The Bud Garden

The Concentric Garden
Add caption



The Bud Garden


The Grid Garden



 
The Twig Garden


The Spectrum Garden



3. Saint Patrick Village (Upper House Village Baguio) - A luxurious Village found along Paterno St. South Drive (between Baguio Country Club and Camp John Hay). It may take 20 -25 minutes from Session Road. Upper House Village Baguio offers a lifestyle retreat with the highest level of privacy, comfort, safety and a meticulous attention to detail plus an unsurpassed sense of style and space. For reservations, you may check their website: www.upperhousevillage.com








4. Baguio Craft Brewery - Staying true to its name, Baguio Craft Brewery is a premium casual restaurant/pub with a passion for fresh local ingredients of the Cordillera whenever possible. All menu items are handcrafted in-house to provide the freshest food possible. With over a 50 plus brews and with 21 craft beers on tap, Baguio Craft Brewery is proud to offer Philippines’ largest selection of draft beer. It’s not uncommon to find unique brews on the menu alongside more well known-style such as lagers and pilsners. (from www.baguiocraftbrewery.com)
Baguio Craft Brewery is situated at 120 RKC Building, Marcos Highway, Km4, Baguio City. 

For inquiries, you may reach them through:
Email:                    info@baguiocraftbrewery.com

Phone number:    (074) 620 2278












Baguio City has always surprised us with its evolving and dynamic industrialization. It unfailingly keeps the best level it can give to the tourists and to the locals. Known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio City has always kept its name as one of the most visited places in the North.

And Baguio will forever be my second home.





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