Philippines E-Newsletter - July 2010

The summer season sees multiple Barrio Fiestas celebrating Philippine culture across different cities in the UK. These fun-filled social events also serve as an introduction to Filipino culture, and an open invitation to Britons of all ethnicities, as well as other Europeans, to travel and see more of the Philippines.

We also announce that Honourable Alberto Lim was recently appointed by President Benigno Aquino III as new Secretary for the Department of Tourism.

Finally, watch out for our new Shopping Philippines page that will showcase the different shopping centres and products in the country.

In this issue:

  Major Programs
  Festival to Plan For
  Destination of the Month
  DOT News

Major Programs


Internet Promotions

With a huge collection of malls, bazaars, markets, fashion emporiums and trade fairs all densely populating major cities in the country, shopping continues to be one of the activities of visitors to the Philippines.

As part of our activities portfolio on the website, we are developing the Shopping Philippines page. The upcoming page will showcase the numerous shopping centres from different parts of the country and their respective products. Users will be able to search from numerous shopping centres by category and location and even be updated on events such as sales, shopping festivals and bazaars.

The Shopping Page will also feature the loyalty cards from various establishments for tourists. Tourists will then be able to use these cards upon their arrival in the country netting them various discounts and freebies from participating establishments.

See You at the Philippines Barrio Fiesta in Hounslow

17-18 July 2010

Every year, the Filipino community in the United Kingdom takes part in the Philippines Barrio Fiesta in London. Now on its 26th year, the event is still the biggest Philippine fiesta in Europe drawing over 80,000 visitors over the weekend.

Visitors can expect to find stalls selling various Philippine cuisines and dry goods. This is also an opportunity to find the best travel deals to the Philippines with discounted airline tickets and tours offered by numerous travel agents and operators. Visitors can even find real-estate properties to invest in.

Furthermore, there will be celebrities from the Philippines who will provide family-friendly entertainment to guests.

Date: 17-18 July 2010
Venue: Lampton Park, Hounslow, Middlesex TW3 4DN
Nearest Station: Hounslow Central Station
Event Opening Times: 09:00 - 18:30

Festival to Plan For


Masskara Festival - 3rd Week of October

MassKara Festival is Bacolod's version of Mardi Gras celebrated in October. The week-long celebration kicks off with mask-making contests, food fairs, brass band competitions, beauty and talent pageants, a windsurfing regatta, drinking and eating contests, trade fairs and exhibits. The highlight of the festivities is a parade with street dancers in vibrant masks and colourful costumes.

The symbol of the festival - a smiling mask - was adopted to signify the happy spirit of the region, in spite of periodic economic downturns in the sugar industry in 1980.

The word "masskara" was coined by the late Ely Santiago from two words: "mass" meaning multitude of people, and the Spanish word "kara" meaning "face", thus denoting a multitude of smiling faces.

Destination of the Month


Bacolod, Negros Occidental

Bacolod, bearing the nickname, "City of Smiles" is the capital of Negros Occidental province in Western Visayas. The thriving city whose wealth came from a booming sugar trade is now one of the leading major cities in the technological sector.

Bacolod is rich in cultural and architectural heritage with many of the marvellous landmarks constructed during the Spanish regime still standing. Notable landmarks include the Bacolod Public Plaza built in 1927 in the heart of the city; San Sebastian Cathedral built in 1876 upon the initiative of Fr. Mauricio Ferrero; and Fort San Juan which served as a jail during the Spanish era among others.

The city also utilizes the new Bacolod-Silay Airport with runways capable of handling aircraft as large as the Airbus A330. There are also development plans to accommodate even larger aircraft.

DOT News


Philippines Gets New Tourism Secretary

NEWLY sworn-in Philippine President Benigno Aquino lll has picked Alberto Lim as the Department of Tourism (DOT) secretary, replacing lawyer and former congressman Joseph Durano who held the post since 2005.

Sixty-year-old Lim brings with him 20 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry. He was the executive director of the 29-year-old Makati Business Club (MBC), an elite set of 800 chief executive officers and senior executives representing the country’s 450 most dynamic and high-yield business companies.

“Tourism is a key avenue for increasing jobs in the country. We need someone who has proven competence in this field,” said Aquino.

A development frontrunner of famed destinations El Nido and Amanpulo, Lim was also the top honcho of many travel and tourism outfits such as Tour Specialist, STATS Travel, Ten Knots, Nayong Pilipino and Civil Aeronautics Board.

Bohol's Chocolate Hills Feature on MSN UK's article: Rock stars: world's most amazing geological sites

article by: David Wilson, MSN Travel contributor

Situated in the heart of the Philippines, the Chocolate Hills of Bohol are grassy limestone mounds that turn a sensual range of browns in the dry season, explaining their confectionery-inspired name. Adding to their unusual appearance are their distinctive cone or dome shapes.

According to one legend, the hills are the remnants of an epic clash between two giants, hurling titanic rocks at each other. Another story has the Chocolate Hills springing from the tears of a lovelorn giant called Arogo.

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