Tag Archives: tourism

DOT Philippines Invades London’s Waterloo Station

Do you ever wonder how people as far back as those from the United Kingdom find their way to the Philippines for a holiday? Of course, there is the ever reliable Google that most tech savvy people turn to when looking up for specific information. But what of the ordinary people who are far too busy to hit the Internet? How do they find out that the Philippines is even a worthy travel destination?

Philippine Tourism Invades Waterloo Station

 

Well, spreading information and disseminating to the rest of the world the beauty that is the Philippines is the job of our Department of Tourism (DOT). Our DOT is responsible for creating Audio Visual Presentations (AVPs) to market Philippine Tourism to the world. This year, our DOT Philippines mounted one of the biggest campaigns and introduced(or reintroduced) our beautiful island destinations to people in London. They mounted a month-long campaign called Visit Philippines Again 2016 at London’s Waterloo Station – the busiest train station in England’s capital. DOT Philippines has truly outdone themselves in creating this marvelous tourism campaign. The campaign at London’s Waterloo Station featured a special immersion zone. Here, commuters are made to taste and feel the country’s beauty and shown many things to have “more fun” overall experience when they visit the Philippines. To encourage participation from Londoners and visitors alike, commuters were given instant prizes and a chance to win a holiday to the Philippines. In order to win, Waterloo Station commuters took part in any one of the activities such as taking “foot selfies” using floor stickers mapped around the station course, taking part in the 3D selfie stand, and experiencing the Philippine islands in the virtual reality pods that features the 360 images of Philippine scenery taken by our very own Rommel C. Bundalian.

In addition to the experiential zone, the campaign also featured a month-long Philippine branding presence at the station including London Waterloo’s large motion digital screen, which is Europe’s largest digital motion display, floor media, large banners and showcase offers from Secret Escapes, Hayes and Jarvis, Explore, Dive Worldwide, Netflights and Philippine Airlines.

Can’t quite picture how DOT Philippines did the campaign? Well, check out this video from the YouTube channel of PDOT London.
Enjoy and be amazed at how awesome this Philippine Tourism campaign at London’s Waterloo Station is!

Now folks, you now know how Philippine Tourism is marketed to the people in the United Kingdom. What do you think of the campaign?

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Gone fishing in Tibiao River, Antique

Tibiao town, Antique is about a two-hour drive away from Boracay Island jump off point, Caticlan. Tourism in this sleepy town is starting to pick up with Malalison / Mararison Island drawing droves of tourists.  The development of the Tibiao Eco-Adventure park has also complemented tourism efforts.

The attractions in Tibiao Eco-Adventure Park hinge on the beauty of the Tibiao River with its infinite flow of clear waters gushing along its rocky channel. White water rafting, ziplines, waterfalls trekking, and the Kawa hot bath are among the activities one can avail here.

While observing Tibiao River for our hazard mapping  project, I spotted some kids scouring for fishes, shrimps, and shells in Tibiao River, Antique. This barkada spent hours diving, spearfishing with their home-made pana / arrows, and turning rocks for a catch good for lunch and/or dinner.

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One of the beautiful sights of Tibiao River in Antique. The mini-falls is formed from a small dam near the Kawa Hot Bath.

Continue reading Gone fishing in Tibiao River, Antique

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Northern Negros Occidental

Northern Negros Occidental is a happy mix of rural and city life. A halo-halo of the old and new. Happy to frequent this quaint place.

The Ruins is mistaken as a Bacolod tourist spot. However, it is actually located in Talisay City and perhaps the most popular tourist itinerary for people who visit Negros via Bacolod or Silay (Related post: A quick visit to The Ruins).

The Ruins
The restoration efforts around The Ruins has transformed an abandoned, rundown mansion into Negros Occidental’s most famous tourist spot.

Continue reading Northern Negros Occidental

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Trained govt workers on ICT and discovered Pinamungajan’s beauty

The UP Cebu Department of Computer Science, a CHED Center of Excellence grantee, went to Pinamungajan, Cebu last April 24-26 to conduct an ICT skills enhancement training for government workers and teachers of the 3rd congressional district.

The ICT training covered topics in office productivity applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, slide presentations, and basic computer operations and troubleshooting.

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I was designated to discuss effective slide presentations. To provide a “local feel” to my talk, I made a quick research on Pinamungajan and Toledo City since most of our audience came from the two places.

While scouring the net, I got amazed that Pinamungajan actually has a lot of destinations to please different types of tourists. From their local government website, http://www.pinamungajan.gov.ph, here are the town’s top attractions:

1. Hidden Valley Mountain Resort

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Hidden Valley Mountain Resort – a rather secluded mountain resort which offer cold spring pools, photo friendly dinosaur fixtures, and overnight accommodations. (Photo taken from Pinamungajan local government website.)

We were fortunately given a free tour by the staff of the local government after our Friday session and got to experience what the town website says as: “an adventure in itself as the road winds its way up over scenic rice fields and mountains.” The night time ride allowed us to view the field of stars usually hidden by Cebu City’s lights.

We skipped swimming in their cold pools and instead sang a videoke song or two.

2. Twin falls: Udlom and Sinungkulan Falls

Udlom and Sinungkulan Falls (Photo taken from Pinamungajan local government website.)
Udlom and Sinungkulan Falls (Photo taken from Pinamungajan local government website.)

Would have wanted to take a view and a dip into these beauty but we didn’t have time to spare. Sinungkulan is said to be visible when you’re at Hidden Valley Mountain Resort, as both are located in Barangay Lamac, but the night’s darkness also prevented us a view.

3. Tajao Public Beach

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We were billeted at Park Place Resort and had Tajao’s public beach as our backyard. The beach has black sand and sports very clean waters. Morning strolls give you a glimpse of the fishing community.


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Cottages of Park Place Resort. The resort is one of the few resorts lining the Tajao public beach.
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Trying out a selfeet featuring the sands of Tajao.

4. Sunsets

Pinamungajan, being a midwest town, has a spectacular view of the sunset. Their local website describes the sunset experience as: Whether from a bench in the municipal plaza or from the beaches in Tajao, the spectacular view never fails to refresh a weary soul.”

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Sunset as seen from our room terrace.

5. Mangroves

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Photo taken from the Pinamungajan local website.

On our way to the training venue from our accommodation, we get to pass by the ever growing mangroves of Pinamungajan. Would have wanted to ride a banca to cruise along the river which is lined by a mangrove forest quite similar to Bojo River of Aloguinsan town.

Felt fulfilled by the three-day ICT skills training as I can clearly see the participants’ keen interest to our discussions. Hopefully, the training would help them in delivering better public service and that they will be able to pass on the knowledge to others.

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Religious art in some of Cebu’s churches

Attempted to head north of Cebu for a Visita Iglesia but the heavy traffic starting at Liloan made me U-turn to go south instead.

The Catholic church throughout history has been lavish in depicting the different houses of God on earth.

In Cebu, centuries-old churches abound while some are just about 50 years old or younger.

The Pedro Calungsod Chapel. Built upon the initiative by SM Development Corporation to draw Cebuanos prior to the launch of their upcoming giant mall - SM Seaside City.
The Pedro Calungsod Chapel. Built upon the initiative by SM Development Corporation to draw Cebuanos prior to the launch of their upcoming giant mall – SM Seaside City.

The new Pedro Calungsod Chapel located at the upcoming SM City Seaside Complex at the Cebu South Road Properties (SRP) projects a modern feel with its wall upon wall architecture –far different from the usual churches we have.

The Walls of Pedro Calungsod Chapel
The Walls of Pedro Calungsod Chapel

Quite apart from the classical churches, the altar is subdued and without the gold glitters.

Boxed, minimalist interior of the Pedro Calungsod Chapel
Boxed, minimalist interior of the Pedro Calungsod Chapel

The church in Minglanilla, Cebu has had renovations to give its present look.

The Minglanilla Church stands out with its pink exterior.
The Minglanilla Church stands out with its pink exterior.

Gilded metals and fixtures dominate the interior of the Minglanilla Church.

Gilded and ornate
Gilded and ornate

The side altar of the chalice is guarded by angels cast from plaster.

Unmoving angels
Unmoving angels


Art of flower arrangement preserved by the annual Holy week procession.
Art of flower arrangement preserved by the annual Holy week procession.
Church workers show the art of flower arrangement as they prepare for the procession in the afternoon.
Church workers show the art of flower arrangement as they prepare for the procession in the afternoon.

The church in Sibonga, Nuestra Señora del Pilar, meanwhile, is well-preserved despite the passage of years. The construction of the present structure was commissioned starting 1866. The paintings on the ceiling were said to be done in the 1920s by Raymundo Francia of Cebu.

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To add to the old feel of the architecture and paintings of the Sibonga church, the chirping of birds resonate freely inside the church as if the structure has become the birds’ home. The cool, breezy temperature is also a wonder as the design of the church keeps the early afternoon heat from eating away the cold.

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This falls adventure is true in Samboan (Part 1: Dao / Dau Falls)

The toxic last few weeks of the semester called for some unwinding and a road trip turned pathfinding to the southernmost part of Cebu –Samboan.

Scouring through different travel blogs, the waterfalls of Samboan seem the best place for de-stressing. Texted some ten or so friends but, we ended to be just a party of three (3) for this southern trip.

The group originally intended to discover the three waterfalls of Samboan, Cebu but the long drive – 3 hours or more – plus getting lost along the way allowed us to just see two: Dao Falls and Aguinid Falls. (Read: This falls adventure is true in Samboan Part 2: Aguinid Falls)

First stop: Dao Falls

From Fuente Osmeña, we started our drive at 6:50AM and sped through the southern towns of Cebu via Barili. Arrived at almost 10AM at the Samboan town proper to ask around for directions to Dao and Aguinid Waterfalls.

Samboan, Cebu town proper. Not easy to miss with its rotunda.
Samboan, Cebu town proper. Not easy to miss with its rotunda. (Photo grabbed from Wikipedia. This image was originally posted to Flickr by bortescristian at http://flickr.com/photos/79653482@N00/4451139179)

As per advice from locals, we drove back to the Samboan border near Ginatilan. (Habal-habal drivers are also around to get you to the “staging point” of the Dao trek.)

The absence of a signage pointing to Dao Waterfalls, however, cost us a lot of minutes asking locals along the way where to find the corner to Dao Falls.

General instructions would just lead you to hints such as go to the corner near Sunrays Bus, take the road and you’ll find a house where young guides will just approach you. After missing the Dao road many times, we realized that the place where Sunrays Buses park is not necessarily a terminal but just a roadside bus stop. It’s easy to miss especially if a bus is not parked.

Going your way to Dao Falls “staging point”, you have to pass a mix of paved and rough road. The slope is gradual so it’s not difficult to conquer the elevated terrain but NOT advisable to use a car during the rainy season. Car would easily get trapped to the likely muddy path). Just course through the path until young guides SUDDENLY appear and approach your vehicle.

Regie and Helemarie were our guides for the trek –roughly 1 kilometer of hilly terrain. (Better exercise before deciding to go on this trek.)

Helemarie still a few meters from us.
Helemarie still a few meters from us.

After some minutes, our front guide, Helemarie, was far, far from us.

Helemarie, wait!
Helemarie, wait!

We got to pass a creaking hanging bridge made out of bamboo and metal wires. For the adventurous, the bridge can be a makeshift swing.

Photo Op. Bamboo hanging bridge.
Photo Op. Bamboo hanging bridge.
More of hanging bridge.
More of hanging bridge.

After periods of rest to catch our breath, we’re midway!

Sheila posterizes our achievement.
Sheila posterizes our achievement.

Some more minutes and some bamboo ladders, Dao Falls awaits.

Kirby taking a time off for a photo with the ladders.
Kirby taking a time off for a photo with the ladders.

…and here’s Dao Falls!

Taking a dip. A tree branch sticks out of the waters where one can play a game of balance.
Taking a dip. A tree branch sticks out of the waters where one can play a game of balance.
Guides
Our guides, Reggie and Helemarie.
Enjoying the ice cold water on a summer. Our guides tell us that the waters act as a natural refrigerator for sodas and beer!
Enjoying the ice cold water on a summer. Our guides tell us that the waters act as a natural refrigerator for sodas and beer!

Sheila

Water near the falls itself ranges 5-6 feet deep.
Water near the falls itself ranges 5-6 feet deep.
Regie struts his diving skills.
Kirby attempts a dive after Reggie’s Olympic dive.
Photo op
Hello, Regie’s fingers!
Photo op
Me, pondering the meaning of life.

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Making Fun of the “More Fun” Slogan

Here’s a list of funny localized adaptations of the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” slogan that have gone viral.

REPOST: Since we already have the #itsmorefuninthephilippines, maybe we can also have some of these Philippines domestic tourism slogans:

– Boracay, You Sexy Beach!
– Haller, Baler!
– Bohol: Go To Hill!
– Be Cool, Bicol!
– Thank you, Camiguin!
– Maliit Navotas, Lumalaki!
– We Fly High In Capiz!
– Go Gaga In Naga!
– Kaibigan, Punta Na Sa Vigan!
– Virac, You Rock!
– Kamuning Get Me!
– Better Leyte Than Never!
– Whee! Tawi-Tawi!
– Walang Aayaw Sa Apayao!
– Maraming Gig Sa Taguig!
– Bongga Ka Day, Sa Norzagaray!
– I wanna dance with Zambales, I wanna feel the heat with Zambales!
-Magpabongga sa Zamboanga
-Lampake sa paranaque
-Mapapabow ka sa Cubao
-More than a family, we’re Aklan
-Sige pa! Sige pa! Sige! Pasig!
– It’s not new, it’s Antique!
– Not just a Pastor, but also Aparri!

A lot of “It’s More Fun…” photos have also mushroomed over the weekend. Below is my favorite (posted by Nicola Berbano at the It’s More Fun in the Philippines page in Facebook).

Gloria Cosplay

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