GoPro has done it again and gone beyond the next level with their new action camera, the GoPro Hero 8 Black. 

 PARAÑAQUE, PHILIPPINES (DECEMBER 19, 2019) – Filipino seaplane pioneering operator Airtrav Philippines and Sunlight Eco Tourism Island Resort strengthened their partnership to elevate the travel experience from Manila to Coron and vice-versa, heading into 2020.

Airtrav Philippines and Sunlight Eco Tourism Island Resort sign a contract to fortify their partnership, with an eye to elevate the travel experience from Manila to Coron and Vice Versa heading into 2020.

The partnership between two parties will ensure future patrons of Sunlight Eco Tourism Island Resort guaranteed seats on Airtrav’s Seaplane flying to and from Coron’s luxury resort three times a week.

The contract signing is attended by VP for Sales & Marketing of Airtrav Philippines, Ann Margaret Ngui with Sales Manager, Jema Ng; Sunlight Eco Tourism Island Resort’s Vice President Ryna Brito with Corporate General Manager, Edmund M. Valencia.

Check out my vlog about my experience flying a Seaplane!

Elevate your getaway experience with Airtrav. For more details, you may contact Airtrav Philippines at 0927-382-8883 or visit

Airtrav Philippines is a seaplane company that offers domestic and incentive flights anywhere in the country. With the Cessna Grand Caravan Ex Amphibian, the company is able to deliver convenient flights with lesser travel time and little to no waiting. Airtrav offers flights from Clark to Manila, Coron, and Puerto Galera; charter flight to any destination in the country is also offered. Airtrav is proud to have flown to hard to reach areas like Tubbataha Reef, Apo Reef, and most recently, the Banwa Private Island, which is dubbed as the most expensive private island in the world!

Airtrav Philippines continues to expand the business by offering a scenic aerial tour around the beautiful island of Boracay! Airtrav Philippines will fly passengers on a 15-minute tour above the gorgeous white sand beaches of Boracay. This service will be having a soft launch on July 26 – 28, 2019, and will continue on weekends in August.

Check out my vlog about my experience flying via Seaplane!

For more details, please visit or email Airtrav provides comfort and convenience. Book a flight now and experience a new way to fly.  

 Starting July, Waterside takes tacos and tequilas to a whole new level every Tuesday. Tuck into tacos at a special price and get 50% off on their Mai Tai cocktails. Chef Hylton Le Roux, Chef de Cuisine of Waterside, take your taste buds on a roller-coaster ride of Latin-inspired flavors with every crunch and every bite.

Gather your amigos and comer todos los tacos! Available from 5:30 PM to 11:00 PM.

Check out the pictures below for some mouth watering dishes they have prepared for this treat!

Waterside is a Latin-inspired fine dining restaurant offering an authentic ensemble of fine Latin food staples. It is the perfect backdrop for an intimate get-together with family and friends with its indulgent, sumptuous food selection and luxurious ambiance. Home to the finest Latin-inspired cuisine, its kitchen is packed with an import of fresh and authentic products from Mexico, ready to serve hungry customers.

Among the Waterside’s signature dishes are the star course Paella Valenciana, the must-try Peruvian Chicken, the seafood dish Jalea Mixta and the traditional Spanish stew with a Filipino twist Callos.

Aside from savory meals, Waterside offers a wide selection of alcoholic beverages, including tequila, rums, wines, and beers, as well as some local products to retain the Filipino touch, namely the now-popular craft beers from the Engkanto brewery.


(Lunch) Sat – Sun. 12:00PM – 3:00PM

(Dinner) Mon – Sun. 6:00PM –11:00PM

(Bar Tapas) Mon – Sun. 10:00AM – 01:00AM

Waterside’s mouth-watering menu is carefully curated by the South Africa-born Hylton Le Roux, a seasoned chef with experience in well-known freestanding restaurants in London, including the popular restaurants of Gordon Ramsay such as the one at London’s Savoy Hotel, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and The Fat Duck.


Easing off a busy day with your compañeros is made exciting by Waterside with its happy hour offers. Unlimited margaritas, wine, and beer paired with unlimited nachos are available every day from 5:30PM to 8:30PM.


Spicing up late-night gatherings is no problemo with Waterside’s happy hour offers. Enjoy Latin-inspired bites and drinks from 10:00PM to 1:00AM.

The Weekend Jam, which coincides with the restaurant’s Happy Hour, happens every Friday and Saturday starting at 7:00 PM. The entertainment program allows customers to push weekday stress to the side and usher in the weekend vibe as they dive into unlimited nachos and overflowing margaritas – all of this happening while being serenaded by Solaire’s featured artists.

The Solaire Entertainment Team (SET), headed by their director Audie Gemora, has carefully selected performers for the Weekend Jam — hot musical acts that complement the restaurant’s Latin cuisine. Every Friday this July, heating the stage with Latina fire will be vocalist and keyboardist Emcy Faustino, who is joined by saxophonist Dix Lucero and percussionist Laura Austria. On July 13, Eileen Sison will be taking the stage. In the succeeding Saturdays, July 20 and 27, the crowd shall be enamored with Angela Vera’s music. 

Just on its second week, Weekend Jam is already gaining traction as guests are found to enjoy listening to good music while being served great food. The weekly live musical program is just one of the many progressive entertainment offerings of Solaire. 

Crimson Hotel Celebrates World Chocolate Day FILINVEST CITY, MUNTINLUPA CITY – Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, Manila honors the international celebration of the most delicious day of the year for chocoholics with month-long choco-filled feasts.

A chocolate-coated Café Eight will feature a Sunday Brunch Buffet that is filled with all things cacao. Celebrate World Chocolate Day with a decadent culinary concoction of savory dishes including White Chocolate Baba Ghanoush, Cocoa Rubbed BBQ Pork Ribs, sinful desserts, and more. Executive Pastry Chef Benjamin Bourgeois will also hold a free chocolate clay class for kids. Diners will get to take home free Auro Chocolates. The brunch buffet will be open to diners from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm with a rate of P1,918++ (inclusive of unlimited drinks) per person.

Meanwhile, the Lobby Lounge welcomes all kinds of cookie cravings as they bring guests a collection of 100 cookie creations from July 12-21. Dubbed as the 100 Cookie Project, cookie lovers are expected to give in to temptation with at least 100 cookie favorites such as Dark Choco Chip, Matcha White Choco, Salted Caramel, Tablea, Truffle Honey, Gooey Nutella, Smore, Gluten Free Milk Choco Chip, Coffee Walnut, Peanut Butter, and so much more. If you both love chocolates and afternoon tea – you’re in for a treat. The Lobby Lounge’s dreamy Chocolate Afternoon Tea includes a savory section of Chocolate Salmon Gravlax Sandwich, Mole Poblano Wrap, and Roasted Beef with Chocolate Sauce Pie. Dig into sweet treats such as Dark Chocolate and Tonka Beans Flexi Ganache, White Chocolate Strawberry and Basil Tartelette, and other divine desserts. This succulent afternoon tea is available for the whole month of July from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Just right in time for the rainy season, warm up with hot chocolate or chocolate drink in the Lobby Lounge. Then pair it with the hotel’s best-selling ensaymada.

Crimson Hotel Filinvest City’s sensational chocolate-loaded food and beverage promotions are made with luscious ingredients from Auro Chocolate. Auro Chocolate is a proudly Filipino, bean-to-bar chocolate company that sustainably sources cocoa beans directly from local farming communities in Davao while doing their part to restore the Philippines’ heirloom varieties.

For more information or dining reservations, please call 863-2222 or 998 595 3769 or email

 It is my first time being invited to watch a movie for media coverage and to publish my review about a film.

What better way to critique a movie than to watch one of my all-time favorite childhood movies?

THE LION KING – Featuring the voices of JD McCrary as Young Simba, and James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Disney’s “The Lion King” is directed by Jon Favreau. In theaters July 19, 2019. © 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Yes. I can’t count how many times I rewind the VHS just to watch The Lion King.

Fast forward to 2019 which is twenty-five years since the original Disney animated film came out, we have been introduced to a much more photorealistic version of the film. Having said that, is a CGI remake of this classic movie really needed?

The Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention, better known as TOYCON PH, is celebrating 18 years of serving pop culture enjoyment to its fans both local and international. It is, simply put, the longest-running and premiere pop culture event in Asia.   

Early this year, TOYCON PH presented a fresh visual identity, through a new logo, to cater to the growing millennial crowd, and also attract visitors from all over the world with a global perspective to promote the Philippines as the leading pop culture playground in Asia, that showcases Filipino creativity, innovativeness and talent through toys, games, entertainment and digital content.

The tourism industry’s contribution to the economy reached another milestone in 2018 as it increased to 12.7% of the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 0.5% higher than in 2017, according to the data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) last June 6. This is in spite of the six-month closure of Boracay island, one of the country’s major tourist destinations.

The Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA), an indicator that measures the value added of the tourism industry, amounted to PHP 2.2 trillion, which is an increase of 14.3% from the 2017 TDGVA of PHP 1.9 trillion.

Employment in the tourism industry also rose to an estimated 5.4 million, 1.8% higher than the 5.3 million in the previous year.

The number of domestic tourists reached 110 million, which is an increase of 14.1% from the previous year’s figure of 96.4 million. This exceeds the 89.2 million target in 2022 stated in the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP). Domestic tourism expenditure is also up by 21% at PHP 3.2 trillion, compared to the PHP2.6 trillion in 2017.

Based on the Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts (PTSA) results, it is also estimated that at least two million poor people benefited from the robust growth of tourism compared to original targets from 2016 to 2018.  This is in line with the NTDP’s strategic direction on sustainability and inclusive growth.

“These achievements in the tourism industry are a result of a holistic and convergent government. The Build Build Build program of the administration has greatly improved infrastructure and transport connectivity, while the ease of doing business, coupled with a facilitative environment for investments, has boosted both visitor and investor confidence in Philippine tourism”, remarked Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

“Moreover, these numbers show that the Philippine tourism industry is sustainable; it is an engine for socio-economic growth that provides jobs and income to the country while preserving Filipino culture and tradition as well as conservation of the environment.”, she added.

TOKYO, JAPAN - In a parallel event to the 14th Philippine Business Mission (PBM) for tourism held in Japan, President Rodrigo Duterte met with leaders of the Japanese travel industry and invited them to invest in the Philippines, stating that now is the best time. The tourism and travel sector stand to benefit from the Build, Build, Build program, which has a number of ongoing transportation infrastructure development projects to achieve seamless travel to and around the archipelago.

The Philippine Business Mission delegation led by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (5th seated from left) and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat (6th)

Organized by the Department of Tourism, the travel industry meeting with the President was a historic occasion, signaling the importance held by Japan as the country’s fourth biggest foreign tourist market.

The historic meeting coincides with the annual Philippine Business Mission organized by the Department of Tourism and the Tourism Promotions Board.  This year, the three-city PBM, covering Sapporo, Nagoya and Tokyo from May 27-31, 2019, takes pride in having a 38-company strong Philippine delegation.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat earlier presented an economically viable tourism sector teeming with exciting investment opportunities in the areas of accommodation, transportation, leisure and recreation facilities, food and beverage and even infrastructure.  

The Japanese Association of Travel Agents (JATA) President, Tadashi Shimura, mentioned that under the leadership of Secretary Puyat, there have been focused marketing initiatives in Japan for Philippine tourism. He noted that in 2018, the 8.15% growth rate of Japanese arrivals to the Philippines was higher than the total Japan outbound rate of 6% and thanked the Philippines for supporting efforts to grow the Japanese market further.

Shimura also affirmed that Japan’s travel industry will help the Philippines develop and promote more destinations following Cebu and Manila and support the country’s advocacy on sustainable tourism. JATA will send 20 travel agencies to the Philippines to meet with local travel agents and explore possible areas of collaboration.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arturo Tugade enthused that the development of new airports and expansion of existing gateways serve to attract many investment and business opportunities for airline companies and airport operators in Japan.

International air seats to the Philippines from Japan now total 3,250,264 as of March 2019.  The inbound traffic is expected to rise with Philippine Airlines’ introduction of Chitose-Manila thrice weekly flights last December, Japan Airlines’ daily service linking Haneda with Manila since February and the upcoming flights of Air Asia (Osaka-Manila, July 1), and Cebu Pacific (Narita-Clark, August 9).

Anticipating an upsurge of visitors, President Duterte cautioned, “We are receiving a lot of tourists now and soon, some areas might not be able to accommodate you for lack of facilities.  We suggest for those who are interested to go into business to participate in building resorts for your citizens.”

With the improved airports and seaports, inter-island travel will be easier, more comfortable and with more providers coming in, more affordable, the President added.  

The Philippines played host to 631,801 Japanese travelers in 2018, an 8.15% growth versus 2017.

With no less than the President in attendance, more business and investment leads are expected to yield reciprocal arrangements to further strengthen Japan-Philippine tourism relations.


Deadline of applications is on May 31, 2019 (Friday) at the close of business hours (5:00 PM, Philippine Standard Time). Complete documents must be sent to the Philippine Department of Tourism through with the following subject line “Surname – Research Theme”.Late and/or incomplete submissions will automatically be disqualified. 

The full DOT- Tourism Research Grant Mechanics and forms can be accessed through: For inquiries, you may contact:

Mr. Alex C. Macatuno

Office of Tourism Development Planning, Research and Information Management

Philippine Department of Tourism 

5th Floor, New DOT Building, 351 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City

Trunk line: 4595200, Local: 506 or 512


***For emails, use the subject line: “DOT Tourism Research Grant_Surname – Subject”

Ceremonial exchange of tokens between DOT Secretary Romulo-Puyat and PATA CEO Mario Hardy

CEBU CITY - The Department of Tourism (DOT) joined the rest of the Asia Pacific region’s cause for responsible development of travel and tourism as it hosted the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Annual Summit in Cebu City.

“Together with PATA, we are firm believers of this year’s theme ‘Progress with a Purpose’, same in the belief that the agenda on sustainable development can be turned into a reality,” DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

This big-ticket event gathered close to 400 international and local tourism stakeholders including international thought leaders, tourism board officials, industry shapers, travel and tour operators, and the academe.

DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr: The Philippine Department of Tourism will continue to support the goals and objectives of the PATA particularly with respect to advancing it sustainable development agenda

“The PATA Annual Summit is one of the best places to stay abreast with our peers in tourism, to get on the same page, and to inform ourselves with the latest analyses of this dynamic and multi-faceted industry,” Secretary Romulo-Puyat added.

The summit featured multiple insight presentations, panel discussions, committee meetings, and a youth symposium with discussions on sustainable destination branding, mainstreaming sustainable tourism global economy, current and future state of Asia Pacific tourism, facts and figures of the regional travel industry, BBC World News The Travel Show, data and insights for responsible development, and the sustainability of the Airbnb accommodation industry.

DOT Undersecretary Arturo Boncato Jr. sat down at the “Destination Management in Times of Uncertainty” panel session and shared the story of Boracay - its rehabilitation and journey to becoming the country’s model for sustainable tourism.

DOT Undersecretary Arturo Boncato Jr. sat down at the “Destination Management in Times of Uncertainty” panel session and shared the story of Boracay rehabilitation and its journey to become the sustainable tourism model of the Philippines

Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary Maria Rica Bueno discussed the challenges of advocating barrier-free tourism in the country highlighting DOT’s deaf tour guide training program in the “Accessible Tourism for All” panel session.

“We are extremely delighted to have this event in Cebu, a city with a very rich historical and cultural heritage, some of the most magnificent white sand beaches and among the friendliest and most hospitable people in this side of the world,” DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. remarked.

Delegates experienced Cebu City’s heritage tour with visits to the historical Magellan’s Cross, Basilica Del Santo Nino, Fort San Pedro, and Parian District.

DOT Assistant Secretary Maria Rica Bueno discussed the challenges of advocating barrier-free tourism in the country highlighting DOT’s deaf tour guide training program in the “Accessible Tourism for All” panel session

“PATA would love to come back anytime to the Philippines, the hospitality is wonderful, the places we get to visit are exceptional. We really appreciate the Philippines’ forward action on critical industry issues and the fact that they are moving sustainably and responsible tourism is something to be proud of,” PATA Chairperson Chris Bottrill said.

A silent auction, foundation charity dinner, Arnis demonstration, and insights lounge completed the four-day summit hosted at the “Queen City of the South”.

DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat: Let us continue to fuel the passion that drives sustainable tourism. Let us be catalysts that would ignite the fire among our peers, that there may come a time that we all glow brightly as heroes for sustainability


Photo by Jerome Kim

Puerto Galera’s unique marine life merited the intensive survey and exploration made by divers from France and Switzerland who participated in the recent 2nd Objectif Atlantide Underwater Investigation.

Mounted by the Department of Tourism - Dive Philippines in partnership with the French association Objectif Atlantide, two multiple record holder free divers went head-to-head against scuba divers to solve a mystery by exploring the unique marine life of Puerto Galera.

“In the Underwater Investigation, the participants followed clues that brought them underwater to take photos of species found around Puerto Galera. This experience teaches them that not only are there a lot of different species here, but also which kind they are,” said Objectif Atlantide founder Daniel Meouchy.

Winners of the DOT’s Objectif Atlantide Underwater Investigation

Team Scubaland’s Pauline Thomas and Aurelie Pineau emerged as this year’s winners, successfully defending their title from the competition’s first edition held in Cabilao, Bohol last year. The scuba-diving tandem bested 10 pairs of divers, including five-time world champion and four-time world record holder Arthur Guérin-Boëri and French national record holder Alice Modolo.

“Diving in the Philippines is very interesting because there are many species here. Every time we go into the water and come back to check our pictures, we learn a lot. It’s our second time to win the underwater investigation, so we’ll absolutely do it again! We need to keep our title,” shared Thomas.

Karine Cheurfa and Sophie Comminges of Team Esprit de la Plongée from Switzerland bagged the second spot while Hervé Pages and Martine Bonnevay-Aillaud of Team Têtes Bullées finished third.

The 20-strong scuba diving tandems of the competition

The Philippines lies at the heart of the so-called Coral Triangle, home to more than three-fourths of the world’s corals, and more than half of the world’s coral reef fish. With 2,248,400 hectares of coral reefs, 500 species of corals and 2,000 species of fish, the country is part of the most fertile part of the triangle.

At the heart of the Coral Triangle and at the skirts of the Verde Island Passage is Puerto Galera and its rich biological treasures, stunning seascapes, and scores of marine species. The island thus makes for a perfect environment to host 2nd Objectif Atlantide Underwater Investigation underwater exploration.

In support of the DoT’s efforts to promote sustainability in dive tourism and raise awareness for reef protection and conservation, the participants spent the week to observe, survey, and photograph the “underwater rainforest” of Puerto Galera.

Photo by Jerome Kim

“Puerto Galera is a feast for the most adventurous spirit; with this event, we hope the French diving community has discovered the wonders of the Philippines’ waters. We will take this great opportunity to showcase the unparalleled beauty of our reefs and call to protect the vibrant biodiversity of our waters to the international community,” said DOT Tourism Development Undersecretary Benito C. Bengzon, Jr.

The 2nd Objectif Atlantide Underwater Investigation was mounted in partnership with Objectif Atlantide, El Galleon Dive Resort and Asia Divers, and sponsored by Atlantis Dive Resorts and Liveaboards, Pier Uno Dive Resort, Resorts World Manila, and Belmont Hotels and Resorts.

The event was also supported by, Subaqua Magazine, Chercheurs d'eau,, Plongee Infos, Plongez Magazine,

Record-high international tourist arrivals posted in the first quarter of the year present an encouraging sign that Philippine tourism is on the right track, the Department of Tourism (DOT) says.

The country welcomed 2,204,564 foreign visitors in the first three months of 2019, reflecting a 7.59 percent rise from last year’s 2,049,094 over the same period.

DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said, “The DOT is working on enhancing our tourism products and tourism infrastructure to entice tourists to choose the Philippines as their next destination.”

South Korea remains the top source market with 519,584 tourist arrivals compared to last year’s 477,087.

The period also saw the Chinese market ranking second, posting a 463,804 total, 24.87 percent higher than the previous year’s tally of 371,429.

Meanwhile, Taiwanese visitors grew to 77,908 from 59,877 in 2018, posting the highest percentage increase of 30.11 percent for the period in review.

In third spot is USA, registering 293,780 visitors, up by 3.10 percent from last year.

Completing the top 12 markets for the three-month period are: Japan, 177,769; Taiwan, 77,908; Australia, 73,147; Canada, 72,352; United Kingdom, 53,402; Singapore, 39,484; Malaysia, 37,651; India, 36,275; and Germany, 33,725.


March Figures

For March numbers alone, the DOT reports a visitor arrival of 714,309 or an 11.13 percent growth versus the same month last year. Notably, France entered the top 12 for the month of March, posting 10,715 visitors, a 26.21 percent growth from last year’s March tally of 8,489 while Germany rose to 11th place with 11,075 visitors, sporting a 9 percent increase. It nudged India to 13th place, with a total of 10,086, up slightly with a 1.52 percent increase vis-a-vis 9,935 of last year.

Visiting Philippine passport-holders permanently residing abroad (not including overseas Filipino workers), otherwise known as “balikbayans,” totaled 14,610 as of March.

Sec. Puyat noted that the rehabilitated Boracay Island, touted as a model of sustainable tourism development, has attracted a growing number of visitors since reopening in October last year.

The DOT chief also credited improved connectivity for the upward trend in tourist arrivals to the country.