Philippines E-Newsletter - January 2011

Despite the international travel disruptions this year, tourism arrivals to the Philippines looks to be its highest yet. With a constant increase year on year, here at the Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) London, we are optimistic that 2011 will be a better one too!

With articles on the country becoming more frequent in popular UK travel magazines and the big/mainstream tour operators initiating their Philippines programme, the coming year is sure to be a highly exciting one. PDOT London will enthusiastically pursue all our promotional programs while coming up with new innovations to strengthen our Philippine Tourism campaign. We thank you for your unyielding support in all our endeavours.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year!!!

In this issue:

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  Major Programs
  Festival of the Month
  Destination of the Month
  Package of the Month

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Your PDOT London Team

Rosario Afuang - Officer-in-Charge
Lito Mendoza - Administrative Assistant
Richard De Villa - Information Technology Marketing Officer

Major Programs

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Familiarization Trips for Travel Writers


PDOT continues to organize and implement familiarization trips for travel writers seeking to promote the interesting and unique experiences on offer, in the aim of generating increased exposure of Philippine tourist destinations among UK and European travel markets.

21 October - 18 December - John Oates embarked on a 9-week extensive trip to the Philippines to update the Lonely Planet and Rough Guides official guidebooks. His widespread trip started with the attractions of southern Luzon: Marinduque, Lucban and Lucena Quezon, Daet, Naga City, Cam Sur, Caramoan, Albay, Tabaco, Masbate, Sorsogon and Catanduanes. He then embarked northwards visiting places such as Zambales Coast, Lingayen Gulf, Hundred Islands, San Fernando, Vigan, Laoag, Pagudpud, Tuguegarao, Kalinga, Bontoc, Banaue, Sagada, Baguio, then all the way up to Batanes.

Apart from the guidebooks, several articles on the Philippines by John have already been published by ABTA magazine recently. He is also scheduled to write for various travel and luxury magazines soon.

18 January - 8 February - Nigel Hicks will be capturing the various sights of Boracay, Iloilo, the Dinagyang festival, Cebu, Bohol, Camiguin, Puerto Galera, Banaue, El Nido and Manila. These photographs are set to be featured in upcoming travel articles and will also be used by PDOT for its promotional activities.

Festival of the Month

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Ati-Atihan

Celebrated for over 700 years, the Ati-Atihan festival got its name from the indigenous natives of the island before the arrival of the Malays in the 10th century and the Spaniards in the 16th century. It continues to be ranked as one of the wildest and outlandish fiestas in the Philippine calendar.

The festival, held on the third week of January in Aklan, commemorates the gift of the Santo Niño by Magellan to the native Queen of Cebu in 1521.

It is celebrated by wide street dancing competitions from different groups called “tribu” and is the main attraction of the entire celebration. Dancers in their flamboyant costumes, with headdresses made from indigenous materials, paint their bodies in black and dance along the streets of Kalibo. Almost all Philippine festivals of dancing, drum music and elaborate tribal costumes trace their origin back to the Ati Atihan Festival.

Everyone from all walks of life and age groups are invited to join the revelry by playing music, coming in costume or dancing in the middle of the tribal groups.

Destination of the Month

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Boracay


Boracay is a paradise of plenty, providing everything the traveller could possibly want from a holiday. Dazzling beaches, crystal waters and azure skies supply the backdrop for relaxing or partying, solitude or company. It has a seemingly endless list of sports and activities on offer, areas of outstanding beauty to visit and hundreds of places to eat, drink and be merry.

Your visit to this stunning island will be one to remember forever.
For more info click here

Package of the Month

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Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa

One of the first deluxe Boracay resorts to open on the island, Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa brings new levels of luxury to this fabulous tropical destination, with 219 rooms, suites and villas in a classic-yet-contemporary style infused with local cultural influences. Located in the northern part of the island, the resort's secluded setting includes 350 metres of pristine beachfront and 12 hectares of grounds that are home to a number of interesting and rare species of wildlife. The resort, with its fun-filled Entertainment Centre and child-friendly Adventure Zone, is an ideal vacation spot for families, while Shangri-La's signature CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La is a sanctuary for those desiring to be pampered and indulged. An impressive selection of restaurants and bars also make the resort the island's foremost dining destination. Boracay is most accessible flying through Caticlan, a 45-minute domestic flight from Manila, with a further 15-minute combined land and sea transfer time between the Caticlan airport and the resort.

Considered as one of the premier Boracay beach resorts, Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa consists of 219 rooms, suites and villas designed with modern sensibilities expressed through indigenous materials, from the Abaca weave rugs to the accent lighting created with local capiz shells. All rooms have a spacious balcony with day-bed. All villas are butler-serviced retreats with a minimum 108-square-metre floor area. The villas represent the height of luxury and comfort on Boracay Island, and feature private pools or Jacuzzis, breathtaking views of the ocean, exclusive amenities and Shangri-La's legendary service.

Book Now click here

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