For more than 25 years, Costabella Tropical Beach Hotel in Mactan Island has been gathering not tourist statistics but stories, which are more long lasting, more intimate, and more unforgettable.
So if you’re staying in Costabella, these can be your possible tales:
Costabella helps you believe in the good times, in the blessing of family and friends, in a beautiful life. Most of all, the tropical paradise within the city enriches your life with more beautiful stories.
Come now and make your own.
Costabella Tropical Beach Hotel is located at Buyong, Mactan Island, 30 minutes away from Cebu City.
Hotel Number: 24/7 (+6332) 238-2700 / 495-1000
Reservations Number: Mon-Sat (8am-6pm) (+6332) 231-4244 / 416-2440
It may be hard for others to call a tour in the Mactan Newtown as an adventure, but that’s what it is to me. I’ve been living in the island for more than 20 years, and I’ve seen huge developments, but I’ve never really been this excited.
Looking at the master plan (below) makes me truly happy because it would mean plenty of opportunities not only for Lapu-Lapu residents but for the entire province as well. We are generally a residential area (as evident by the sprouting subdivisions), yet a grand complex such as this is truly a welcome and refreshing addition.
So what can we expect from the Mactan Newton? A lot! And we can begin with the debut of the biggest McDonald’s in Cebu Island this September 2012. Composed of 2 levels, the fast food may feature WIFI connection and, of course, the chance to visit the luxurious new township.
In the coming years, we’re going to see towers of homes and BPO offices, al fresco restaurants and cafes, bars, a terminal hub for commuters, a wellness center, a huge shopping mall with a Newport-style cinema, and an amazing view of the Hilutungan Channel and the Magellan Bay.
While on the third floor overlooking the wide Megaworld property, I asked Mr. Ronald Tiongson (senior assistant VP for business development and leasing division), “Why Mactan? This is a residential area.” He said, “We love to build something out of nothing.” With that, I smiled and thought, “Times are a-changin’, Mactan. Prepare for something REALLY good.”
Do you ever dream of staying here?
Nope, this isn’t Bora-Bora or Maldives. It’s found right here in the Philippines–in Apulit Island.
I know you’re daydreaming about frolicking on the beach, dining on scrumptious seafood, or simply immersing yourself in the picture-perfect island.
So what if I tell you, you–and your chosen companion–can be there FOR FREE?
I’m not kidding! Check out how you can do that:
It’s as easy as that!
Start writing your blog post pronto. Don’t forget the submission deadlines: JULY 15.
Extend your summer in one of the best beach retreats in the country: El Nido Resorts-Apulit Island.
Bernard and I have been truly blessed to visit Vigan, Ilocos Sur. It took us three years, and Bernard was so ready to give up. It turns out all we needed was the right time–and it finally came.
To say Vigan is beautiful is an understatement. Until now, it still leaves me in awe–their LGU must be doing something right to be able to preserve the city as it is for SO MANY years. Moreover, there are many things you can do around the city FOR FREE:
1. Walk the decent stretch of Calle Crisologo.
It may sound cliche, but traversing Calle Crisologo is definitely a journey to hundreds of years ago. What makes it even more magical are the several furniture shops selling antique items, from windows made of capiz to even old bathtubs!
2. Climb the Bantay Bell Tower.
Perhaps one of the highlights of our trip is the Bell Tower located at Bantay. It is only a few meters away from the Heritage City. If you don’t want to walk, you can ride a trike for only 10 pesos or go premium with a calesa ride for 150 pesos (it will take you to more spots, by the way).
The Bell Tower I’m talking about is near St. Augustine Church. It’s a magnificent massive structure that has definitely stood the test of time (evident by the huge stones used to build it and the creaking wooden narrow and winding stairs. On top, you can get a glimpse of the rest of Vigan.
If there’s one thing you have to keep in mind, it’s to watch your steps. If you’re not used to heights, you may find the climb and the top quite dizzying for a few minutes.
3. Immerse yourself in Flores Hidden Garden.
Well, obviously, it’s no longer “hidden.” By the time we arrived there at 9:00 a.m., busloads of tourists were already gushing on the wide varieties of plants, which are sold at very affordable prices too! (I can’t take one, however, since we didn’t have any checked-in luggage.) And, yup, the garden doesn’t charge you with anything, though they’re open for any donation (boxes are found in different places). We didn’t try their restaurant or empanada (we already ate one the night before), but as far as their menu is concerned, they’re meant to showcase everything Vigan delicacy is known for.
And their restroom? Trust me, you don’t want to leave immediately. One of their walls is made of glass, using a portion of their garden as a backdrop. To make sure you’ll feel clean and fresh by the time you step out, the restroom also comes with cologne, alcohol, and even lotion. Take note, however, you have to pay 10 pesos before you can use it.
4. Catch the ponies and ostriches in Baluarte.
Honestly, we wanted to leave out Baluarte. We found it overrated–it could have been a huge mistake. Fortunately, our gracious trike driver offered to take us there for “free,” and we couldn’t pass up on the offer.
The grand land brought me back to my childhood. I felt so giddy seeing those ponies, camels, and tigers (they remind me of Chuck). Most of all, I was so happy to see ostriches! I’ve never met one in my life!
5. Enjoy Heritage City.
The truth is you don’t have to ride a calesa to go around plenty of Vigan’s attractions or landmarks. Almost everything is just withing walking distance: Plaza Burgos and Salcedo, Burgos Museum, St. Paul Cathedral, St. Augustine Parish Church, empanadahan, Calle Crisologo, Syquia Mansion, Cafe Leona, and their provincial jail and Capitol.
Vigan is definitely a city that is all about experience, which you can definitely have without the hefty price tag.
One of the best gifts I received when I was young was a round-trip PAL ticket from my uncle. It was such a huge blessing since a few months after, my school sent me to a summit in Tagaytay. I was able to bring my mom and spend more time with my father, who had been staying for a while there. PAL was just great. The seats were comfortable, the food A-okay, and the flight so smooth and steady.
The next time I traveled with PAL, we’re going home from a one-month stay in Manila, and the experience hardly changed.
So when I came across this PAL promo, I could not help but wish I’d have the chance to fly again with the airlines. If only their fares were more affordable.
Anyway, going back to the promo, I am just salivating at the chance of going to NY. Seriously, there are only two places I want to see in America: Boston and New York. There’s something so magical and spellbinding about the latter, especially during the winter. Rockefeller just comes alive!
I’d love to spend a good time in Central Park, head anywhere in Manhattan, try out their hole-in-the-wall restaurants, or shop at Fifth Avenue. Of course, I’ll spend my evenings in Time Square and watch plays.
PAL’s promo brings you to NY and to everything lovely about the city. You get to stay in Peninsula New York and watch Phantom of the Opera and Wicked. How’s that? And since this is labeled as NY Love Tour, it’s expected you get to bring a date while you tour around the enthralling city.
I know you’re eager now to know how to fall in love many times over with NY, so you better read more info in PAL’s website.
During her opening remarks, Atty. Maria Jane Paredes, Smart Communication’s senior manager for Public Affairs-VisMin, stressed that the partnership aims to provide everyone, especially tourists, easy access on information on the culture, history, and attractions of the province.
Data Tagging with QR Codes
A new technological process called data tagging was then presented to the press through a short heritage walk within Parian. Mrs. Marlen Limpag, one of the founders of MyCebu.Ph, demonstrated how QR codes attached on key landmarks such as the Heritage of Cebu Monument, Jesuit House of 1730, and Colon Obelisk can immediately connect smart phone and tablet users to a link that provides more data about them. To make the experience more dynamic, users may view not only text but also videos and photos. Landmark visitors can also share the link in their preferred social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as check in via Foursquare.
To properly view the webpage, the user simply needs to connect through WIFI or 3G and install a QR code reader.
The organizers plan, though, to expand data tagging to also include nature parks and other attractions all over the province, like Bugasok Falls in Argao and Moalboal’s beaches.
2 Guidebooks for Cebu
Besides data tagging, MyCebu.Ph also shared 2 new guidebooks that showcase Cebu in its finest.
A Guide to Sinulog 2012—which was first launched last December 19, 2011—provides in-depth information about Cebu’s most-awaited festival as well as a host of tips on what to do, where to go, and other activities everyone can look forward to during the festivity. The guide is absolutely for free and available for download in two versions: .epub and .mobi for Kindle users.
Its corresponding QR code that directs visitors to the main download page will also be displayed in public places such as shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, and Mactan Cebu International Airport.
Another Cebu guide is on the way and will be launched in early January 2012, in time for Sinulog. It will be available in Amazon for a nominal fee but will also be free to download in MyCebu.Ph’s website.
Sinulog is Cebu’s biggest festival, attracting droves of local and foreign tourists every year. Last 2011, more than 120,000 visitors came to watch the grand parade and participate in a long list of activities. To know what’s in store in Sinulog 2012, visit Sinulog Foundation.
The year 2013 will be a grand year for the Cebuanos.
Think politics and election. Before the end of May, we’ll hopefully have new leaders sitting in both provincial and city government seats.
Think of South Reclamation Project and SM Seaside City.
Yup, guys, if everything else goes as planned, we’ll be able to see one of the first shopping malls in the reclaimed area. In fact, it is bent to be the biggest SM in Visayas and Mindanao.
According to RJ Leduna, PR manager for SM Visayas-Mindanao, in an interview, the soon-to-rise shopping mall will be like a metro within a city. In its more than 300,000 square meter SRP lot, Cebu residents can look forward to an all-white well-designed church known to be Shrine of Mary Church (it’s slated to open by 2012). There will also be convention centers, residential complexes, hotels, and even health care facilities.
The mall is meant to be a sight to behold. Designed by Arquitectonica, a company based in Miami, Florida, SM Seaside City Cebu will stay true to its name: nautilus inspired with growing foliage, a lot of open spaces, and arc-centric shape. Rumor has it BRTs will take passengers from the mega complex to the city and beyond, then vice versa. Elevated walkways will be constructed, linking a variety of structures for convenience and speed.
For the past months, a lot of stories about SM Seaside City Cebu have already circulated in the media. Whether all of them ar true or not, one thing is for sure: it’s something worth waiting for.