Monday, 28 September 2009

Typhoon Ketsana, and a true Philippines Hero

The world has been shocked at the effect of Typhoon Ketsana, which (in the rainy seaon), dumped a month's worth of rain on Manila in just a few hours.

Lots of heartbreaking stories are emerging about lives lost, and how residents are coping - many having become displaced.

An 18-year-old construction worker, Muelmar Magallanes, braved rampaging floods in the Philippines to save more than 30 people, but ended up sacrificing his life in a last trip to rescue a baby girl and her mother who were being swept away on a styrofoam box. Read more.

The bravery and self-sacrifice of Muelmar Magallanes is an inspiration to us all. May he rest in peace, and may his family find comfort in his bravery.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Philippines Flood Donations Appeal

More than a month’s worth of rain fell in just 12 hours yesterday as Tropical Storm Ketsana slammed ashore in the Philippines triggering the worst flooding in decades in the capital Manila and nearby provinces.

Philippines President Gloria Arroyo appealed for donations and called for calm.

July to October is known as the Rainy Season, but no-one in Manila can remember rains like this.

Read the full story on the website of our friends at Philippines Tourism.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Camarines Sur - he Philippines’ newest and fast rising tourism star

Here's a great article from

From the deeply religious Bicol region, Camarines Sur is the Philippines’ newest and fast rising tourism star with coasts and islands that greet the traveler with gorgeous limestone formations, secluded white sand beaches as well as a throbbing adventure sports scene that makes the rest of Asia stand up and take notice.

About 10-12 hours bus ride (or a 45 minute plane ride) away from Manila is the province of Camarines Sur, formerly known as Tierra de Camarines – a Spanish-founded settlement. The name was derived from camaronchones or camarines, Spanish for a warehouse/barn which referred to the small nipa/bamboo huts used by the locals of the area. Spanish Governor General Guideo de Lavezares called Camarines Sur as Los Camarines after finding a great number of camarins or rice granaries all over the area.

Read it in full Here...

Thursday, 10 September 2009

The Brits Once Held Batanes!

Many thanks to our good friend, Ryan Buaron, in Manila, for pointing us towards this bit of trivia:

"In 1687, a crew of English freebooters headed by William Dampier came with a crew of Hollanders and named the islands in honor of their country's monarchs. Itbayat was named "Orange Isle" in honor of William of Orange, and Batan was named "Grafton Isle". Sabtang Isle was named "Monmouth Isle" after the Duke of Monmouth. Capt. Dampier stayed for less than three months, and did not claim the islands for the British crown." Source of info.

This part of the Philippines is so beautiful, and different, we've given it its own page on our website. They say the countryside is very much like Ireland or parts of Scotland. Being at the very far north of the country, the temperatures are a little cooler.

New Boracay Website Launched!

With so much interest in the beautiful island of Boracay, we decided to create a specific website dedicated to this jewel in the Philippines crown.

The website can be found at:
Son, David is charged with running this part of our business. He was quite impressed with the country on our last tour round the islands, and Boracay in particular, despite the fact it was the start of rainy season and we had a couple of tropical storms whipping up while we were there!

It was quite a novel experience. Warm rain is still far preferable to the cold stuff we get in the UK. (If you want to avoid the chances of rain, we'll advise you when to go.)

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Ecotourism in the Philippines

We've now set up a page promoting ecotourism in the Philippines.

Ecotourism is a form of sustainable tourism where economic benefits are fostered and pursued for both the enrichment of local communities, and the satisfaction of visitors.

It could be argued that pretty much all of the Philippines can be considered Ecotourism destinations, such is the diversity of both the country and the activities it has to offer, plus the importance of tourism to local communities.

The province of Batanes is one new area we're promoting. It's a fabled land of stunning landscapes, quite distinct from other Philippine provinces due to the steep cliffs, rolling hills, deep canyons and boulder-lined shores. These natural characteristics make Batanes a very exciting place to visit, and a place to be at one with nature.

More information on the website.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Atlantis Resort Newsletter

Our friends at Atlantis have just issued their latest monthly newsletter, which can be downloaded here...
We offer diving holidays to Atlantis at Puerto Galera, on the island of Mindoro, and also Dumaguete, on Negros Oriental. Even if you don't dive, these are relaxing resorts at which to stay, offering a high standard of accommodation and facilities.

Don't forget, we also offer Liveaboard Dive Cruises with Atlantis. Full information on our website.