Friday, August 3, 2018

When you hear of the name of the city of Tacloban, a few significant things come to mind: it was once, for a short while, the capital city of the Philippines, the host to the longest bridge in the country, and the fifth most competitive city. 

But for a city considered the gateway to the Eastern part of Visayas—often symbolized by the wooden arch—Tacloban is the go-to place of people who venture across the provinces of Samar and Biliran.

Yet, while the autonomous city of Tacloban may seem like it has it all as a fast-developing city of the country, it is also a place of “first,” such as having the first ever Summit Hotel—thusly called Summit Hotel Tacloban—in the area.

Summit Hotel Tacloban

Built and owned by the same conglomerate ran by the business tycoon, John Gokongwei, Summit Hotel Tacloban touts itself as a “prime shopping hotel” for its close proximity to Tacloban City’s Robinsons Mall. 

At just a stone throw away from the nearest shopping area of the city, to stay in the hotel and shop are oftentimes inextricably-linked, it makes customers—such as you and me—leaving the premises a not-so-empty-handed experience. Literally, with a mall as a neighbor from a temporary refuge, the itch to buy can be a rather strong temptation. 

Nestled at the heart of Tacloban’s uptown area, the Summit Hotel Tacloban is at the perfect location for people who are coming into the city, either by air or by seaport. 

Although most hotels which are “Summit” by brand share similarities as if by signature, the Tacloban branch is special in that it is unique from the physical aspect. In paying homage to the people of the city, the Summit Hotel Tacloban features a distinct native flair while bearing a bit of the usual design signature to the Summit brand.

What to Expect?

You might be a passer-by who arbitrarily decides to enter the premise and take a look or a person who chose Summit Hotel’s lobby as a venue for a casual chat with a friend or a wearied client seeking temporary refuge, whatever your purpose for visit, Summit Hotel Tacloban is open for anyone to visit 24/7. 

But, of course, the main benefit of choosing to stay at this luxurious hotel are the customers themselves who are willing to shelve out some cash for a unique pampering experience, given today’s amenities. 

While the basic accommodation is more than enough for the average traveler, those who are deep in the pocket have undeniably more benefit in choosing one of few of Summit Hotel’s suites due to its added amenities.

Yet, while Summit Hotel Tacloban’s 138 unique rooms, including suites, are the main highlights of its hospitality business, the enterprise also brings its commerce to a higher level by catering for people in small or large groups, as in a gathering. 

So, whether you are a group of corporate people who are seeking a fresh venue to conduct meetings from or a larger mass of people—up to 60 unique individuals—Summit Hotel Tacloban has the right enough space to be the perfect place to hold special events and gathering.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Despite its lack of viable surfing spots, there are still plenty of reasons to visit Puerto Galera. What used to be just one of the many island paradises in the gorgeous archipelago that is the Philippines, Puerto Galera is now a burgeoning cultural hub. It’s the perfect beach location for either first-timers or veteran visitors to the country.

Puerto Galera | Photo by: Eugene Alvin Villar / Wikipedia CC


Puerto Galera’s coastal geography might not offer a lot of opportunities for surfing, but there are plenty of beaches where you can windsurf. Along with snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking, windsurfing is one of the most popular water sports on the island of Mindoro where Puerto Galera is located. There are plenty of resorts where you can either rent a board for personal use. You can also pay the local coaches to teach you how to do it for a modest fee.

Windsurfing | Photo by: Kils / Wikipedia CC

Discover Waterfalls

As one of the Philippines less developed islands, Puerto Galera has plenty to offer in terms of natural beauty. This includes several tall waterfalls that are open to tourist visits. There’s Talipayan Falls which is near the Mangyan Village, the lesser known Tukuran Falls, and most famous of all, Tamaraw Falls, which is less than two hours away from White Beach – the most popular beach on the island.

Tamaraw Falls | Photo by: Kok Leng Yeo / Wikipedia CC

Hang Out at White Beach

There are several reasons why White Beach is a popular destination. By day you can try out different water sports and get a tan at the beach, and by night, you can check out what some of the nearby bars and restaurants have to offer. If you’re lucky, you might even catch some of the local fire dancers performing at the beach. 

White Beach | Photo by: Eugene Alvin Villar / Wikipedia CC

Malasimbo Festival

Few events and activities have contributed to Puerto Galera’s global fame in the same way as the Malasimbo Festival. This now annual event began 8 years ago, and it’s turned into an international music and arts festival that regularly brings some of the world’s best artists and musicians together. The most recent international artist that the festival brought to the Philippines is Australian neo-folk and jazz ensemble Hiatus Kaiyote, who wrapped up a stunning show for the visitors to the island. If you’re interested in seeing next year’s Malasimbo, the good news is that it’s fairly easy to get to Puerto Galera. Philippine Airlines has daily international flights into Manila – once you arrive at NAIA you can catch a bus to Batangas Port, where you can then take a ferry to the island of Mindoro. The bus and ferry trips will take a couple hours, but the trip is well worth several days in paradise.

Watch or Learn to Sail

The Puerto Galera Yacht Club holds its annual Easter Regatta every March until the start of April. It’s the longest-running yachting event in the country, and presents the chance to catch some of the best Southeast Asian sailing teams in action. If you’re looking to join in on the fun, Business Mirror suggests that Puerto Galera might be the best place to learn how to sail – thanks to its protected coves which offer relatively stable waters for beginners.

Looking for more Philippine adventures outside of the ordinary? Escape Manila has the scoop on the Sandugo Festival 2018 at Tagbilaran City on the island province of Bohol. The annual festival is a month-long celebration of local Boholano culture and traditions, culminating in street dancing which every first-timer to the Philippines needs to see. There’s no shortage of fun events and activities to catch on these islands.

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Sandugo Festival is an annual celebration in Tagbilaran City, Bohol. It commemorates the Treaty of Friendship between Datu Sikatuna, a chieftain in Bohol, and Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi, which took place in 1565. It's a month-long event that features the tradition, history, and culture of the Boholanos. Below is the schedule of events and activities in the upcoming Sandugo Festival 2018. The highlight of the festival is the Bangga sa Bol-anong Kuradang (Street Dancing/Showdown) happening on July 28, 2018 at the CPG Sports Complex, Tagbilaran City. [Read: Tourist Spots in Bohol]

Manaragat Festival is an annual celebration in Catbalogan City to honor St. Bartholomew as the miraculous Saint who maintained the richness of Maqueda Bay as a major fishing ground of the province of Samar. Manaragat is a local term for fishermen. It's a month-long fiesta celebration which starts on August 1, 2018.

Photo credit: Manaragat Festival FB page

Here's the schedule of events and activities in the upcoming Manaragat Festival of Catbalogan City 2018.

Higalaay Festival is Cagayan de Oro's annual week-long fiesta held in the last week of August. It is filled with a series of colorful and fun-filled activities that culminates on the 28th of August, the feast of St. Augustine.

Photo credit: Higalaay Festival 2018 FB Page

Here's the schedule of events and activities in the upcoming Higalaay Festival 2018. Highlights of the festival include: Higalaay Street Parade and FLoats Civic Military Parade on August 27 and Religious and FLuvial Procession on August 28.