DOT press release: Spend money here for the long holidays

In view of the long-weekends declared for the year 2010, the Department of Tourism (DOT) urges the public to spend their holidays in the country and help contribute to the local economy.

“Spending your vacation here is a great pledge to love your own and do your part in boosting our country’s growth,” said Ace Durano, Secretary of Tourism.

Aside from country’s eight anchor spots, Boracay, Palawan, Davao, Cebu, Bohol, Vigan, Baguio, and Manila, the department is also actively promoting unexplored sites to benefit the communities in said remote areas.

“We enjoin people to visit tucked-away destinations as well for economic gains to trickle down to the grassroots level,” Durano said.

These alternative spots are readily available and highly accessible for tourists who prefer to immerse themselves with the local life, enjoy the flavor of home-grown leisure, and stay in accommodations such as homestays and inns, added the tourism chief.

In the past year, the DOT has launched some alternative sites like the Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park in Leyte and the Danao Adventure Park in Bohol.

Citing other examples of undiscovered spots, Durano shared, “While beaches of Boracay and Palawan are still top-drawers, Camiguin, Leyte, Mindoro, Occidental and Oriental Negros, Siquijor, Quezon also have pristine waters and stunning coastlines.”

Nature-lovers may head off to Bataan, Batanes, Benguet, Bulacan, Cavite, Marinduque, and Romblon, while heritage hunters may seek the old historical charm of Bacolod and Iloilo, aside from Ilocos.

Tourists who plan to troop to the cities of Manila, Makati, Cebu and Davao have a range of options laid out for them. “On top of shopping, food trips, night-time entertainment and theme park activities, we have huge theater performances and concerts lined up for the year,” said DOT Undersecretary Eduardo Jarque, Jr.

The head of Planning and Promotions also noted the travel trends that the public should look out for. “Extreme outdoor activities are big this year. The range is more expansive now, with tourists who are open-minded and raring to experience something new,” Jarque shared.

The department has been relentlessly supporting adventure activities such as plunges, zipline rides, wakeboarding, skimboarding, kayaking and cylotourism among others.

The young-at-heart on the other hand may try other activities, as the country caters to a broad spectrum of different preferences of travelers.

“A beach lover can enjoy a relaxing spa retreat in Palawan, a festive party in Boracay, or a surfing break in La Union. Our islands offer a unique plethora of things to do for all kinds of tourists,” continued Jarque.

Spiritual pilgrimages, cultural festivities and colorful ethnic celebrations are some other highlights that tourists may also wish to join.

Lastly, the department reminds the public to book early. “It’s ideal to plan ahead, and avail of value-for-money packages offered by hotels, restaurants, malls, theme parks, and entertainment venues,” ended Durano.

The DOT is pleased to share the following long weekends, with the Palace’s declaration of regular and special non-working holidays for 2010 as stated on RA 9492 and Proclamation 1841:

  • February 20 – 22, Saturday to Monday (February 22 – EDSA Anniversary)
  • April 1 – 4, Thursday – Sunday (April 1 – Holy Thursday, April 2 – Good Friday)
  • April 9 – 11 Friday – Sunday (April 9 – Araw ng Kagitingan)
  • May 1 – 3, Saturday – Monday (May 1 – Labor Day moved to May 3)
  • June 12 to 14, Saturday – Monday, (June 14 – Independence Day)
  • August 21 – 23, Saturday – Monday (August 23 – Ninoy Aquino Day)
  • August 28 – 30, Saturday – Monday (August 30 – National Heroes Day)
  • October 30 – November 1, Saturday – Monday, (November 1 – All Saints Day)
  • November 27 to 29, Saturday – Monday, (November 29 – Bonifacio Day)
  • December 24 to 27, Friday – Monday (December 24 – Non-Working Holiday, December 25 – Christmas Day, December 27 – Rizal Day)
  • December 31 – January 2, Friday – Sunday, (December 31 – Non-Working Holiday, January 1 – New Year’s Day)

The observance of Eid’l Fitr and Eid’l Adha will be issued by the government upon the advice of the Office on Muslim Affairs.

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Batanes winter promo by SEAIR

South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) is offering yet another promo. Target destination: Batanes. I’ve been to Batanes just once before together with my wife and some travel friends. Here are some Batenes photos during that trip. What can I say. Batanes is simply breath-taking. If you’re planning to go to this place any time soon, then better check out this SEAIR promo:

SEAIR offers Batanes Winter promo

Ready for cold days up north? South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) offers a special limited online offer for travelers who want to experience a chilly holiday season within the Philippines.

Visit www.FlySeair.com and get a ten percent discount on flights to Batanes when you book anytime from December 1 – 25, 2009. Just type “ilovebataneswinter09” in the promo code field upon booking. Travel period is from December 1, 2009 to January 31, 2010. The promo is available for a limited number of seats only.

Batanes, a visual feast of rolling hills and green pastures, traditionally goes through more seasons than the rest of the country. Its close proximity to Taiwan brings the temperature down to as much as 7°C in December and January.

Visitors will be enthralled by historical stone houses, lighthouses guarding immaculate shorelines, rocky beaches and cold weather. This picturesque destination is also known for the freshness of its cuisine, and the warmth of its people. Long likened to the Scottish Highlands and Ireland, the Batanes islands more than holds its own as a uniquely pleasurable travel destination.

SEAIR flies to Basco in Batanes daily. SEAIR also offers up to 27 flights per day to Boracay (Caticlan) and just resumed flights every Sunday and Wednesday to El Nido

SEAIR is the nation’s second-oldest airline and has flown almost 3 million passengers to local destinations including Marinduque, Tablas (Romblon), Cebu, Clark, Zamboanga, Jolo, and Tawi-tawi. SEAIR also offers the most routes from Caticlan with flights from Caticlan to Manila v.v., Caticlan to Clark v.v. and Caticlan to Cebu v.v.

Batanes
(Photo from www.flyseair.com website)

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SEAIR extends its anniversary promo

SEAIR Extends 14th Anniversary Promo with Another P70,000,000 in Discounts up for Grabs!

Due to insistent public demand, SEAIR extends its anniversary promo by giving additional discounts of up to P70,000,000. All online ticket purchases from April 1 to May 31, 2009 get P1,400 discount per roundtrip, for all fare classes, for all seats, for all routes, and for all flights from June 15, 2009 to October 15, 2009. Just type iflyseair14 in the promo code field when booking online in www.flyseair.com.

SEAIR adds Flights to Boracay for 2009 Holy Week

SEAIR just added more flights from Manila to Boracay and vice versa from April 6 – 13, 2009. Those who want to spend their holidays in Boracay can still get seats! For bookings please call (02)8490100 or book online at www.flyseair.com.

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Hermanos Tapas and Deli Bar

Hermanos Tapas and Deli Bar in Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas

Hermanos Tapas and Deli Bar is located along Julia Vargas Avenue in Ortigas. It’s inside the Home Depot compound along with other new restaurants and bars people would usually hang out on a typical Friday night. Hermanos opened last February. They invited over some friends and bloggers to try out their food. Gail and I needed to unwind at that time so we decided to check it out.

The place is not too big and yet it’s very classy. Everything you see inside have a Spanish touch to it – from the big entrance door, walls made of bricks, aged picture frames, wooden tables and benches, etc. They adorned the whole place with old yellow-lit lamps which can be very romantic. The second floor seems to be the main dining area. And there’s also tables outside where you can hang out with friends drinking beer while eating one of their Tapas de Kastinoy dishes.

Hermanos Tapas and Deli Bar in Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas

Hermanos offers traditional Spanish food and wine as well Filipino delicacies. During the event, we got to try most of their famous dishes like their famous Tapang Usa de Katipunan (P250) served with wine vinegar – very tasty, and (Vigan) Longganiza de la Revolucion (P280). My favorite was the Boquirones ala Ibarra (P250) which was very similar to the kinilaw. Here are some of the photos I took:

Hermanos Tapas and Deli Bar in Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas

Bola-Bola Paella dela Guerra (Deep fried breaded paella rice with chili tomato sauce) – P150.

Hermanos Tapas and Deli Bar in Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas

Gambas de las Islas (Shrimp sauteed in garlic, chili and olive oil) – P290.

Hermanos Tapas and Deli Bar in Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas

Overall, I find the food very exquisitely pleasing to the taste buds. Or in other words, very flavorsome. In most restaurants I’ve been too, there would always be food that I like and do not like. But over at Hermanos, nothing was boring. All the the dishes I got to “taste test” were delicious. They also serve red and white wine (P100 per glass), and an assortment of cervezas (or beer).

The price may be a bit pricey but not overpriced because the food is excellent. You can check out their menu over here to see for yourself. Hermanos Tapas and Deli Bar is the the kinda of place businessmen and yuppies would love to go to and eat really good food. It can also be a good place to have a romantic dinner for some.

Tapas Filipinas Hermanos Deli and Bar
Unit 104 Bldg C Ortigas Home Depot Complex
Doña Julia Vargas Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig city
Phone: (+632) 706-4978
Website: http://hermanosdelibar.multiply.com/

Hermanos Tapas and Deli Bar in Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas

You can learn more about Hermanos over at the FoodBlog.ph. The event was featured in QTV and here’s a video clip of it:

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SEAIR celebrates 14th anniversary with up to P100,000,000 in discounts

In celebration of SEAIR’s 14th anniversary on March 25, 2009, it is offering a very special treat online. All online ticket purchases from March 25, 2009 to March 28, 2009 get P1400 discount per way, for all fare classes, for all seats, for all routes, and for all flights from June 15, 2009 to September 15, 2009. To avail of the SEAIR 14th anniversary promo, just visit www.flyseair.com and type in the promo code iloveseair14 in the promo code field.

SEAIR offers daily flights to Batanes this summer

SEAIR now flies daily to Batanes to serve tourists to this beautiful northern paradise. Visitors now have full flexibility on their itinerary and have more options on what day they want to go to Batanes and return to Manila. The flights utilize SEAIR’s Dornier 328 planes which take vacationers comfortably to Batanes in just 1 hour and 20 minutes.

For bookings please call SEAIR reservations at (632)8490100 or book online at www.flyseair.com. For packages please call SEAIR Leisure Escape Packages at (632)8437308

Bolero and Fishbar give 10% discount to SEAIR passengers

Two more establishments in Boracay now give special privileges to SEAIR passengers. Bolero, in station 3 area, and Fishbar, in D’mall area, both give 10% discount to all SEAIR passengers upon presentation of their SEAIR boarding pass. These are the most recent additions to SEAIR Hot Deals Boarding Pass Privileges Program.

Together with fastest flights to Boracay, fastest queues and check-in procedures, fastest baggage claim, and VIP transfers to Boracay and back, boarding pass privileges in establishments in Boracay and Manila add to the advantages of SEAIR.

To see the partner establishments check the hot deals boarding pass privileges ad in the Inflight magazine. To book flights to Boracay call (632)8490100 or visit www.flyseair.com.

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