El Nido Resorts among top ‘romantic’ ASEAN getaways

050315_nido2MANILA – El Nido Resorts in Palawan has been named by an ASEAN-focused travel initiative as one of the top romantic destinations in the region.

GOASEAN listed nine romantic getaways in Southeast Asia, which included El Nido Resorts, Song Saa Private Island in Cambodia, Amanjiwo in Central Java, Indonesia, Langkawi Archipelago in Malaysia, Tanah Lot Temple in Bali, Indonesia, Movenpick Resort and Spa Karon Beach in Phuket, Thailand, La Residence Phou Vao in Lao PDR, Bagan in Myanmar, and Six Senses Con Dao in Vietnam.

El Nido Resorts is a group of properties on four islands in Palawan. Getting here requires a 55-minute flight and a boat ride that could take between 25 to 50 minutes.

Referring to the Philippine beach destination, GOASEAN said: “This works in your favor, of course, because the crowds simply don’t make it there. This leaves you and just a lucky few to explore the stunning crystal clear waters, caves, idyllic white sandy beaches and forests that surround each resort on the islands.”

Joey Bernardino, group director for sales and marketing of El Nido Resorts, said it is an honor for them to represent the Philippines in GOASEAN’s list.

“The well-preserved location, bountiful marine life and our friendly staff enchant both local and foreign travelers,” he said, adding that these make El Nido Resorts “the most beautiful place in the world.”

Read more: http://www.palawanprogress.com/tourism/el-nido-resorts-among-top-romantic-asean-getaways/

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Budget travel guide to El Nido, Palawan

Untitled-1MANILA, Philippines – When you think about heading off to Palawan, the biggest thing on your mind is how much you’ll need to spend just to get there.

Tickets, a place to stay, activities, and food make up most of what you’ll need to spend for, and there just has to be a way to keep costs to a minimum, right?

Planning a trip on a particular budget is a challenge if you plan on doing it for the first time. It means a lot of research and finding ways to cut back costs. Cutting back is all well and good, but remember that you’re doing this for the actual experience of El Nido, Palawan.

Palawan has a lot to offer to the weekender, there’s the sand and the sun – the breathtaking view of the horizon. The beaches of Palawan are among the most sought after by people who want to go on vacation, hence the booming tourist business in the area.

Here’s a quick infographic to help you plan your next Palawan vacation:

Read more: http://www.palawanprogress.com/economy/budget-travel-guide-to-el-nido-palawan/

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Seda Lio in El Nido

seda-elnido-8Seda Hotels recently launched its first resort at the Lio Tourism Estate in El Nido, Palawan. At the groundbreaking ceremonies are  Ayala Land senior vice president Junie Jalandoni, El Nido Mayor Edna Lim, El Nido Vice Mayor Nieves Rosento, former Representative Tony Alvarez, AyalaLand Hotels and Resorts Corp. chief operating officer Al Legaspi and Seda Group general manager Andrea Mastellone.

MANILA, Philippines – Just over two years since it inaugurated its first city hotel, Seda hotel by AyalaLand Hotels and Resorts Corp. (AHRC), unveiled its flagship resort in the 325-hectare Lio Tourism Estate in Palawan. The 150-room Seda Lio will be the first major facility to cater to global and local tourists in the vast community in El Nido town masterplanned to showcase the biodiversity and natural attractions of surrounding Bacuit Bay. The new hotel-resort project will be distinguished by its location, architecture and facilities for both local and global tourists.

At its joint ground breaking ceremony with Ayala Malls’ The Shops at Lio, Junie Jalandoni, group head of AyalaLand Hotels and Resorts and Ayala Malls, said, “We launched Seda Lio to make the world-famous attractions of El Nido more accessible to both foreign and local travelers.”

To be completed in 2017, the beachfront resort is only a few minutes from the airport and can even be accessed by foot. Guests can take a leisurely stroll along the white sand beach leading up to the resort that offers breathtaking views of the Cadlao lagoon and surrounding mountains.

Seda Lio expands the current accommodation options consisting of luxury resorts on the adjacent islands and bed-and-breakfast types in town. The low-rise resort is on the Palawan mainland and offers numerous facilities catering to various markets.

AHRC chief operating officer Al Legaspi explained that Seda Lio hopes to attract families, corporate clients in need of meeting and event facilities, as well as couples planning destination weddings.

“We have more than 500 square meters of function space with the largest room able to accommodate 150 guests. This is expandable to over 300 guests with our spacious landscaped decks. At the same time, we understand the need of families for kid-friendly activities such like swimming and board and video games,” Legaspi added.

Seda Lio will have a dedicated children’s game room and expansive outdoor play area, and a 1,500-sq.m. swimming pool and deck. Seda Lio covers a four-hectare property that opens out to the Lio Tourism Estate’s main centerpiece, a four-kilometer stretch of beach with fine sand.  Like the four other Seda properties in Bonifacio Global City, Cagayan de Oro, Davao City and Nuvali, Seda Lio will also be distinguished by its location within an Ayala Land community with easy access to restaurants, retail and other amenities.

A short stroll from the resort is Ayala Mall’s Shops at Lio. This low-rise development will offer daily essentials, basic services and home-grown dining concepts fronting the beach to serve both tourists and residents of El Nido. It will be completed towards the end of 2015.

“Seda Lio will serve as a model for sustainable construction and management to other future locators of the Lio township. The sprawling Seda Lio will only have three floors — deliberately designed not to jut above the coconut treeline. It will also maintain over 75 percent of the site as open area that will be landscaped with Palawan’s endemic plants. These features are in keeping with the sustainable masterplan of the entire Lio estate,” Jalandoni added.

Read more: http://www.palawanprogress.com/tourism/seda-lio-in-el-nido/

 

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Ayala Land launches Seda hotel-resort in El Nido

seda-lio_021215 (1)The distinctive, 150-room Seda Lio will make the world-famous attractions of El Nido more accessible to both foreign and local travelers.

MANILA, Philippines – Ayala Land has launched its newest hotel-resort project in El Nido, Palawan.

AyalaLand Hotels and Resorts Corp. (AHRC) recently broke ground for Seda hotel’s flagship resort in the 325-hectare Lio Tourism Estate in Palawan.

“We launched Seda Lio to make the world-famous attractions of El Nido more accessible to both foreign and local travellers,” Junie Jalandoni, group head of AyalaLand Hotels and Resorts and Ayala Malls, said.

The 150-room Seda Lio beachfront resort is expected to be completed in 2017.

The Seda Lio would provide more options for tourists to El Nido, where there are mostly luxury resorts and bed-and-breakfast types.

AHRC’s Chief Operating Officer Al Legaspi said Seda Lio wants to attract families, corporate clients needing meeting and event facilities and couples who want to have destination weddings.

“We have more than 500 square meters of function space with the largest room able to accommodate 150 guests. This is expandable to over 300 guests with our spacious landscaped decks. At the same time, we understand the need of families for kid-friendly activities such as swimming and board and video games,” he said.

Seda Lio will also have a dedicated children’s game room and expansive outdoor play area, and a 1,500 sqm swimming pool and deck.

The hotel-resort covers a four-hectare property that opens out to the Lio Tourism Estate’s main centerpiece, a four-kilometer stretch of beach with fine sand.

Ayala Land is also developing Ayala Mall’s Shops at Lio, just a short stroll from Seda Lio. The low-rise development, which will have shops and restaurants fronting the beach, is expected to be completed towards the end of 2015.

Jalandoni said Seda Lio will serve as a model for sustainable construction and management to other future locators of the Lio township.

Seda Lio will only have three floors, a deliberate move to make sure it does not to jut above the coconut treeline. It will also maintain over 75 percent of the site as open area that will be landscaped with Palawan’s endemic plants.

Seda Lio is fully owned and managed by AyalaLand Hotels and Resorts Corp., which owns the four islands collectively known as El Nido Resorts; and Lio, a tourism estate of 325 hectares in El Nido.

Read more: http://www.palawanprogress.com/economy/ayala-land-launches-seda-hotel-resort-in-el-nido/

Ayala Land to build resort hotel in El Nido.

el_nido_resorts_palawanPROPERTY giant Ayala Land Inc. has broken ground for a 150-room beachfront Seda resort-hotel—the first resort line under this homegrown hospitality brand—alongside a retail strip at master-planned Lio Tourism Estate in El Nido, Palawan.

“We are creating the beginnings of a tourist town destination,” Jose Emmanuel Jalandoni, ALI senior vice president and group head of commercial business, said in a text message.
Seda Lio, which aims to make El Nido more accessible to Filipinos with a target room rate of $175 per night, is expected to open by 2017, but the retail strip may open by the end of this year.  It aims to serve families and the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) wholesale market.

The retail strip will have two buildings with two floors each, opening up 3,170 square meters of gross leasable area.  It will have 36 retail slots offering daily essentials, homegrown dining options and various brands that complement resort living, based on an ALI primer.  Ground-breaking was held on Jan. 29, said Jalandoni, who was present during the ceremonies.

“Retail will be localized and feature Philippine architecture,” Jalandoni said. “It’s quite exciting as it is the first of its kind in the Philippines.”

The upcoming beachfront retail strip is strategically located beside the jetty port and is a walking distance from the El Nido airport.

Both Seda Lio and Shops at Lio have frontage to Lio’s four-kilometer beach stretch and offer a maximum view of the scenic Cadlao lagoon.

Seda Lio is envisioned to be a model for sustainable planning and construction in Lio, with more than 75 percent of its four-hectare site to be retained as open space.  In terms of landscaping, ALI is designing the site to make “conscious” use of Palawan’s endemic plants, based on the primer.

The resort-hotel will have only three floors and strictly follow the restriction of building at least 40 meters away from the coastline.
Seda Lio and Shops at Lio are part of the 325-hectare beachfront tourism estate Lio Resort Town in northern Palawan, master-planned as an ecologically sustainable community. It was earlier reported that ALI is investing P6 billion to develop within the next five years the first phase of the estate.

Lio spans Barangays Villa Libertad and Pasadena in mainland El Nido town and is envisioned to have a mix of hotels and resorts, commercial developments and residential communities that blend with the natural landscape.

ALI gained a foothold in El Nido in 2010 by taking over the parent firm of resort operator Ten Knots Development Corp. All in all, El Nido is expected to have a total of about 1,200 hotel, resort and bed and breakfast (B&B) rooms. The estate is master planned to cater to all market segments, from the backpacker-oriented B&B establishments to branded hotels.

Aside from ALI’s homegrown brand Seda, other midscale to luxury hotels, both international and local, will be invited to locate in large hotel parcels ranging from three to 10 hectares.

Ten Knots operates 192 rooms in four island resorts—Apulit, Lagen, Miniloc and Pangulasian. When ALI took over Ten Knots in 2010, the latter was operating only two resorts—Lagen and Miniloc. Apulit, formerly Club Noah, was separately acquired from another group while Pangulasian was newly built on Ten Knots’ unused landbank.

Read more: http://www.palawanprogress.com/real-estate/ayala-land-to-build-resort-hotel-in-el-nido/

#Daydream: El Nido, Palawan

f5461b81556b633a06461113599bba2de83b26b8We know how it is. You’re stuck at your desk and the day seems to be going on forever. Your mind starts to wander — at first to “anywhere but here,” but then to exotic, faraway lands where your everyday problems and stress melt in the presence of true paradise. You want to go to there, and we want to go with you. Every day at 3 p.m. Eastern, we’ll send you a picture of the place we at Yahoo Travel are daydreaming about so we can all take that mental vacation together. Let’s go to…

El Nido, Palawan!  Paradise in the Philippines. Not only is the beauty of El Nido spectacular, it is protected conservation land. Meaning, you will never see this extraordinary gem turned into a mini mall. Who needs caffeine when you can look at this view?

Read more: http://www.palawanprogress.com/tourism/daydream-el-nido-palawan/

El Nido beach tests positive for coliform

El Nido beach tests positive for coliformPUERTO PRINCESA CITY—Water pollution caused by improper sewage management amid uncontrolled coastal development in the picturesque town of El Nido in Northern Palawan province is threatening to set back its rapidly growing tourism sector, Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection Nereus Acosta warned.

Speaking before the Palawan Chamber of Commerce on the threats of climate change on Saturday, Acosta cited recent results of water sampling tests conducted in El Nidothat showed the popular beach being contaminated with coliform, or organisms forming from human and animal wastes.

Acosta was referring to the popular public beach cove that demarcates the shoreline of the town proper along Bacuit Bay.

“The sewer lines from houses and establishments are directly emptying into the beach of El Nido. I was literally jumping over stench-filled canals,”  Acosta said.

Laboratory examination of water samples from Bacuit Bay exceeded tolerable limits of pollutants, he added.

“BOD or biochemical oxygen demand is at levels 3,000 percent higher than what the Clean Air Act, which I principally authored in Congress, allowed,” said Acosta,

a former representative of Bukidnon province.

The Philippine Water Code provides critical indicators of water quality, including measurements of dissolved oxygen in water important in the process of dissolving biological organisms in it.

The evident cause of beach pollution in El Nido, Acosta observed, is the absence of a proper drainage system in the municipality.

“I had voiced my deep concern with the mayor and the provincial government about this and I hope something can be done,” he said.

El Nido, according to provincial government tourism statistics, is the province’s main tourist draw next to the Underground River in Puerto Princesa City. It is located at the northernmost part of mainland Palawan, some 240 kilometers north of Puerto Princesa City.

The municipality boasts an iconic beach lined with small lodging facilities, restaurants and souvenir shops.

The tourism activities in the town include island hopping, spelunking, diving, snorkeling and other water-based activities. The town also hosts high-end island-resorts, including Soriano Corp.’s El Nido Resorts.

“The main town of El Nido is an ecological disaster waiting to happen,” Marge Araneta, an El Nido resident, told the Inquirer in an e-mail.

She confirmed observations that “the drainage of some hotels, cottages and restaurants are leading directly into the beach.”

“There is no sewage disposal system and all septic tanks are dug underground,” she said.

Read more: http://www.palawanprogress.com/economy/el-nido-beach-tests-positive-for-coliform/

Batalik helps you rediscover the lost art of sailing in The Philippines

212264-acea08d4-9a06-11e4-aac2-c67a55789c3dAs we meander between forest-clad islands concealing ribbons of ivory beach, the outriggers stretch, like insect legs, almost 3m across the South China Sea. In Palawan, the westernmost region of The Philippines, jagged limestone islets stand like stone icebergs and cut diamonds.

My three-day tour takes me deep into Palawan, exploring the karst-studded landscapes. The recently launched Batalik is the only tour boat to explore popular Bacuit Bay and then move onwards to the remote, undiscovered north. If you see another soul at sea here, you’re unlucky.

Batalik is not just a sailboat but a relic. It is the largest traditional paraw in the country. The hull is a 22m-long mass of coffee-brown timber, as sleek as a Viking ship, with cream sails billowing from a 13m-high mast.

212236-b1cd6f76-9a06-11e4-aac2-c67a55789c3d

Padding along the deck, Gener Paduga shouts orders to the crew, his long dreadlocks entwined with decorative shells. A local sailor who first ran expeditions on a small self-built paraw in nearby Honda Bay, Paduga dreamt of constructing a large-scale version of this native double outrigger boat, like the vessels that carried cargo on pre-colonial trade routes more than 1000 years ago.

This art of sailing declined with engine use but a local expedition company, Tao Philippines, shared Paduga’s vision to revive it. Their collaboration brought Batalik to fruition. Drawing on the shared knowledge of historians and sailors, Paduga worked alongside a team of local craftsmen to build Batalik over a period of two years.

Few locals still sail in Palawan; the Bacuit Bay island-hopping vessels rely on motors, while families use small power boats for fishing. Paduga dreams that learning to sail again will help Palawenos escape dependence on fuel, while fostering a deeper understanding of, and respect for, the sea.

Palawan Province is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and one-quarter of the Philippine archipelago’s 7107 islands are in this least-populated region. It is often cited as the country’s “last ecological frontier” because its pristine ecosystem is endowed with habitats of coral reef, mangrove, rare fauna and marine life and half of its original forest cover remains intact.

El Nido sits at mainland Palawan’s northerly edge and is the entry point to Bacuit Bay; we drop anchor by Pinagbuyutan Island, the ocean lit by a full moon. My fellow passengers are a Swedish couple, Rebecca and Mattias, and an Englishman, Alex, now an expat resident. We eat dinner at a bamboo table on deck, feasting on squid and whole white snapper, quenched by beer and rum. Next morning we snorkel amid pastel-shaded coral gardens and spy stunning fish varieties, such as sweetlips, stripy sergeant majors and parrotfish. On Pinasil and Cudugnon islands, we clamber through caves to towering limestone chambers and church-like rock formations.

The journey north, to Cadlao Island, provides time to admire Batalik up close. Intricate tribal patterns embellish the exterior. “I wanted to represent the Pala’wan tribe,” says Paduga. During the build, he invited two of the tribe’s master carvers to engrave the timber. The indigenous Pala’wan were once nomadic and now live predominantly in the southern highlands, making a living as farmers and hunters.

I stand next to the captain, Toto, in his designated cabin, watching him use both the engine and sails to cruise when the wind dictates direction. “I made that,” he tells me, looking down at the ship’s wheel. A master carpenter, Toto was part of the boatbuilding team and is now a permanent member of the crew.

At the shore of Cadlao Island’s wild beach, the shallow water is opal green. I take one of the kayaks tied to Batalik and paddle past flying fish and alongside a sea turtle swimming near the bay.

The interior is luxuriant forest, hiding wooden lodges perched on stilts, where we sleep, at Tao base camp, serenaded by birds and crickets. Back on board, the Habagat wind gathers force; Paduga runs the length of the deck, adjusting the lines. The engine stops and the sails take charge. We all break into a round of We Are Sailing. “That’s the way of The Philippines,” says Toto. “Too much joke.”

Chef-cum-sailor Gerald, alongside sous chefs Aldrin and Gerik, cook us delectable seafood and vegetable dishes and even make fresh pasta and pancakes. “Not homemade pasta, but boat-made pasta,” Aldrin insists.

Our final 24 hours is spent in the northerly reaches of mainland Palawan, sleeping in beach huts at the Tao Organic Farm in San Fernando where I wander through plots of tropical and cold-climate crops, spotting papaya and pumpkin. San Fernando is also the headquarters of the Tao Kalahi Foundation, Tao’s charitable arm.

Out of season, Batalik will become a tool to teach young people nautical skills and reignite a passion for sailing. Tao was founded by Filipino-born Eddie Brock and a Briton, Jack Foottit, who believe sails could eventually replace engines on local fishing boats,

The Tao Foundation also supports communities on nearby islands. We cross the bay by speedboat to meet the residents of Daracotan. Twenty-five families occupy a village of nipa palm huts, the texture of grass skirts; there’s the distant whirr of chainsaws cutting coconut lumber. This crop is central to Palawan life and is used in everything from cooking to furniture making.

I chat to Jane and Rosa Lee who, through a Tao initiative, now have a livelihood making and selling coconut oil to passing guests. In the shallow bay, young children race toy polystyrene boats with playing-card sails. It looks such fun we are compelled to join in and Paduga soon gets hands-on, altering and improving their designs.

My journey ends in El Nido town, where the tourist-tout scene is a strident contrast to the tranquil expedition and a sign of Palawan’s burgeoning popularity.

Sailing, I have discovered, is the perfect pace to explore the prehistoric landscapes and astounding ecology of Palawan. One day perhaps a fleet of full-sized paraw will sail here.

Read more: http://www.palawanprogress.com/news/batalik-helps-you-rediscover-the-lost-art-of-sailing-in-the-philippines/03

Lovi, ‘di inalok ng ‘KASAL’ ni Rocco sa Palawan!

1625d85c98f46dae7ba9a182e22f0cc0_MWalang propo­sal na nangyari kina Rocco Nacino at Lovi Poe sa 1st anniversary celebration sa El Nido, Palawan ng kanilang relasyon.

Itinanggi ni Rocco ang mga haka-haka dahil walang naganap na proposal pero nagplano sila ni Lovi na ulitin ang kanilang Palawan adventure.

“It’s really nice ang ganitong klaseng trip, you have the time to reflect, appreciate nature… mas na-appreciate namin ang ganda ng mundo at ng buhay.”
“Isa ‘yon sa objectives namin, to reflect and recharge ourselves not just physically but spiritually.

“Na-discover ko how appreciative she can be and how much she loves life. Nu’ng nandon kami, parang she was just talking about ‘yung blessings in life. We bonded a lot talking about our lives, each other.

“We have a lot of work after. Gusto namin ma­ging ready kaya masasabi namin na motivated kami sa upcoming project namin. Lovi’s really excited to start,” ang kuwento ni Rocco na muling makakapareha ng kanyang girlfriend sa drama series na Beautiful Stranger.

Read more: http://www.palawanprogress.com/tourism/lovi-di-inalok-ng-kasal-ni-rocco-sa-palawan/

Air Juan Seaplane Offers Flights Between Boracay and Palawan

Air Juan Pilot BlogLast September, Air Juan launched direct flights betweenBoracay and Coron every Tuesday and Saturday using a brand new Cessna Grand Caravan EX Seaplane. On Thursdays and Sundays, Air Juan also operates flights between Coron and Puerto Princesa. 

According to Air Juan’s Chief Marketing Officer, Tina Di Cicco, the airline promises not only a brand new aircraft but a brand new experience as well. “Not only will we have brand new aircraft using the latest in aviation technology, we also make sure that our aircraft is in the best condition every single flight to bring you to your destination in class and style,” said Di Cicco.

boracay to coron flights

The service is now the fastest link between two of the nation’s most popular tourist destinations. There are currently no other scheduled flights between CoronandBoracay. The forty-five minute charter flight operates from Godofredo Ramos International Airport in Caticlan and the Francisco Reyes Airport in Coron. “This new Air Juan route lets you spend your time in your destination, not on the journey there,” said Di Cicco. Air Juan is also offering service from Puerto Princesa to the Cuyo Islands, located in the Sulu Sea, and plans to eventually launch service from Coron to El Nido.

The new service is an ideal fit for these two destinations as many resorts in Boracay will begin sending their guests to their sister resorts in Coron. According to Mayor Fem Reyes of Coron, exit surveys conducted by the Coron Tourism Office revealed that a direct flight between Coronand Boracay has been at the top of the tourist wishlist. “We’re glad Air Juan made this great and bold decision,” added Reyes.

boracay to palawan flights

Prior to the launch of non-stop flights between Boracay and Coron, tourists had to endure a 12-hour ferry ride or fly back to Manila or Cebu for a connecting flight, which could easily take up to 8 hours. The new service cuts travel time to a mere 45 minutes with fares beginning as low as P3,499 each way including 10 kilograms of luggage allowance.

The flight between Coron and Boracay covers a distance of nearly 200 kilometres. Not only does the flight offer the fastest and most direct route between the islands, but it also offers the most scenic flight with the aircraft only cruising at an altitude of up to 9,000 feet depending on weather conditions.

Boracay Island is the most popular tourist destination in the Philippines and the most visited place in the nation after Manila, while Coron is the second most popular destination in Palawan. Flights between the two destinations can be reserved through Air Juan partner agents in Boracay and Palawan.

With countless coves, lagoons, and endless beaches, the Philippines is an ideal place to travel by seaplane. Tourists can enjoy a unique and memorable experience flying directly to their favourite seaside resort or island directly from harbour to beach and without the hassle of airport security.

The Air Juan Cessna Grand Caravan EX Seaplane is equipped with the latest avionics, air conditioning, and 8 comfortable leather seats, which offer stunning views of the beautiful islands of the Philippines.  The passenger windows on board the aircraft are designed specially for adventure and scenic flights. Tourists curious about the experience of flying across the nation’s 7,107 islands on board a sea plane can read first hand stories and reports from Air Juan’s Seaplane Pilot Blog.

boracay to coron flights

Charter flights, scenic tours, and regular service is also provided by Air Juan to select northern Palawan resorts such as Busuanga Bay Lodge,Puerto Del Sol Resort, and even Shangri-La on Boracay. The Manila-based company offers arange of aircraftincluding business jets and helicopters, which are all available for private charter.

Read more: http://www.palawanprogress.com/technology/air-juan-seaplane-offers-flights-between-boracay-and-palawan/