Now You Know! – BORACAY’S SOFT OPENING: 68 ACCREDITED ACCOMMODATION ESTABLISHMENTS

After 6 months, BORACAY will finally reopen for both local and foreign tourists on October 26, 2018!

But first, a dry run is scheduled from October 15 – October 25, 2018. It will be open to local tourists, with priority given to Aklanons, in order to assess what else needs to be done before the island is reopened to all tourists.1

I finally found the official list of the 68 accredited accommodation establishments allowed to operate as of October 12, 2018, representing a total of 3,519 rooms3. Expect environmentally-friendly changes in these rooms, like the use of bulk dispensers (instead of shampoo sachets), and the use of refillable glass bottles in bedrooms since single-use plastics water bottles are discouraged.2

So, excited visitors planning their return or first time to Boracay, deal only with these establishments that have complied with the requirements of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF).

Remember, the Department of Tourism (DoT) announced that only accredited establishments are allowed to accept bookings for the reopening of the island. All online promotions and other related collaterals of non-compliant hotels and resorts are to be deleted or put on hold until complete compliance with government regulations have been accomplished. DoT authorities warned that violators will face the full force of the law.2

Here is the list of compliant establishments as of 12 October 2018, plus their respective locations and number of rooms3:

  1. 357 Boracay Resort – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 10;
  2. 7 Stones Boracay Suites – Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag – 31;
  3. Alice in Wonderland Beach Hotel – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 21;
  4. Astoria Current Resort – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 205;
  5. Azalea Hotels & Residences – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 284;
  6. Best Western Boracay Tropics – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 64;
  7. Blue Coral Resort – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 5;
  8. Boracay Haven Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 63;
  9. Boracay Haven Suites – Main Road, Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 82;
  10. Boracay Holiday Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 69;
  11. Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 52;
  12. Boracay Travelodge Beach Resort – Sitio Manggayad,Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 40;
  13. Boracay White Coral – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 5;
  14. Calypso Resort Hotel – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 22;
  15. Canyon de Boracay – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 31;
  16. Casa Pilar Beach Resort – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 84;
  17. Dave’s Straw Hut Inn – Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 11;
  18. Discovery Shores Boracay – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 99;
  19. El Centro Beach Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 39;
  20. Ernest’s Place Resort – Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag – 21;
  21. Fairways & Bluewater Resort – Brgy. Yapak, Station 1 – 700;
  22. Frendz Boracay Hostel – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 8;
  23. Frendz Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 19;
  24. Greenyard Inn – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 5;
  25. Hampstead Boutique Hotel – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 8;
  26. Hannah Hotel – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 15;
  27. Hey Jude Resort Hotel – D’Mall, Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 24;
  28. Hey Jude South Beach – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 19;
  29. Hue Hotel (Luana Hotel) – Main Road, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc – 127;
  30. Hotel Soffia – Brgy. Yapak – 58;
  31. Isla Azul Boracay Hotel – Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag – 14;
  32. Isla Gecko Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 16;
  33. Island Inn – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 26;
  34. Jeffrey S Hotel – Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag – 15;
  35. Jony’s Beach Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 21;
  36. Jony’s Boutique Hotel – Main Road3, Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 22;
  37. Lady Jean Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 7 ;
  38. Lanterna Hotel – Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag – 6;
  39. Lugar Bonito – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 6;
  40. Luxx Boutique Hotel Boracay – Sitio Manggayad,Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 11;
  41. Milflores de Boracay (Jinjiang Inn) – Main Road, Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 10;
  42. Moreno’s Cottages – Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 6;
  43. Nigi-Nigi Nu Noos’E NuNuNoos – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 37;
  44. Nirvana Beach Resort – Main Road, Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 32;
  45. Ocean Breeze – Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 –7;
  46. Paradise Garden Resort Hotel & Convention Center – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 463;
  47. Pinjalo Resort (Jade Hill Project Property) – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 24;
  48. Red Coconut Beach Hotel – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 50;
  49. Reef Retreat Beach Resort – Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag– 12;
  50. Roy’s Rendevous Resort & Bungalow – Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 10;
  51. Shangri-la Resort – Brgy. Yapak – 219;
  52. Shore Time Hotel-Annex – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 12;
  53. Sol Y Sombra – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 5;
  54. Vincent Cottages (Vicente Aguirre Rooms) – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 27;
  55. Sulu Plaza Lodge – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 12;
  56. Sunshine Place – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 9;
  57. Tan’s Guesthouse Main – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 14;
  58. Tan’s Guesthouse Annex – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 14;
  59. Taj Resort and Spa Main – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 11;
  60. Taj Resort and Spa Annex – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 18;
  61. The Club Ten Beach Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 20;
  62. The Ferra Premier by JG Hotel – Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag – 36;
  63. The Lazy Dog Cottages – Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag – 26;
  64. The Strand Boutique Hotel – Sitio Sinagpa, Brgy. Balabag – 13;
  65. Villa Simprosa – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 24;
  66. Villa Sunset Boracay – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 8;
  67. White Beach de Boracay – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 5; and,
  68. White House Beach Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 –30;

The “no compliance, no operation” policy for establishments will be enforced not only during the dry run period, but beyond Boracay’s formal reopening. Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, head of the BIATF, said that “We will not hesitate to close hotels and other establishments that would operate without clearance from the BIATF.” He also warned tourists who are planning to visit the island to make sure that they book their accommodations only with compliant hotels and establishments.2

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat assured tourists that more hotels will be added to this list as soon as they comply with all government-required policies. She recommended that tourists should check on DoT’s Facebook page to confirm if the establishment they are booked in is accredited.3

So, book ahead of time and only with the right establishments because, according to Undersecretary Sherwin Rigor of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), only a daily tourist entrance of 6,405 (who are presumed to stay for only 3 days and 2 nights) is allowed.See my other related blogs: Say, Say, Say: WHAT CAN WE EXPECT DURING THE REOPENING OF BORACAY ON OCTOBER 26, 2018? and Short and Simple: WHAT IS THE TOURIST CARRYING CAPACITY FOR BORACAY’S 2018 RE-OPENING?

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you regarding your comments about the reopening of Boracay. Simply scroll and click “Leave a comment”. Do share this post with your Facebook friends, follow me by clicking on the bottom right corner of your device, and do not forget to like this post.  Thank you!

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1www.denr.gov.ph

2www.philstar.com

3www.news.abs-cbn.com

Featured Image credits: Top (l-r): http://www.boracaytropics.com/photo-gallery.php; https://www.fairwaysandbluewater.com.ph/gallery/; Bottom (l-r): http://www.casapilarboracay.com/gallery/; http://www.redcoconut.com.ph/gallery/

 

Say, Say, Say: WHAT CAN WE EXPECT DURING THE REOPENING OF BORACAY ON OCTOBER 26, 2018?

I am so sure a lot of Filipino and foreign tourists are eager to return to Boracay, starting on its reopening date – October 26, 2018, to see and appreciate the changes in the island. First timers must likewise be looking forward to finally seeing Boracay.

Here are some relevant details which I researched to-date and my comments:

1.The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) recently announced that Boracay should have 19,000 tourist carrying capacity per day, based on the number of workers and the local population. The island can only accommodate a total of 55,000 people (local population, workers and tourists, combined).

So, better book ahead of time! See a related post: Short and Simple: WHAT IS THE TOURIST CARRYING CAPACITY FOR BORACAY’S 2018 RE-OPENING?

2. A dry run is scheduled from October 15 – October 25, 2018. It will be open to local tourists, with priority given to Aklanons, in order to assess what else needs to be done before the island is reopened to all tourists, both domestic and foreign, on October 26.3

Great idea! Aklanons, the residents of the province of Aklan where the town of Malay is located, should indeed be given priority and their inputs, as stakeholders, would surely be valuable prior to Boracay’s formal opening date.

3. The government will publish a list of establishments that are compliant with environmental laws to make sure that only these businesses can accept tourists.1

The public must, therefore, wait for that list and book rooms only from such newly accredited establishments. Government authorities, please release the list asap so those eager to visit the island can make the necessary bookings since only a limited number of lodging establishments have been accredited to-date. I am calling on the website administrators of the local government unit and Department of Tourism (DoT)-Region VI and Malay offices to feature the accredited list for interested Boracay visitors, and to update it regularly to be tourist-friendly.

4. Only about 3,000-5,000 of the total 15,000 hotel rooms can be made available to tourists during the reopening date. The rest still need to comply with the new permits and accreditation requirements set by the multi-agency task force.1An estimated 50% (7,500 rooms) of the actual room capacity of the island is expected to be available by the end of 2018, according to DoT Regional Director Helen Catalbas.

Dear tourists, be sure to book with newly accredited establishments only.

5. Big and noisy parties, like the summer festivity marking Labor Day, “LaBoracay” will no longer be allowed since the latter recorded 40,000-50,000 tourist arrivals, and resulted in over 100,000 people in the island at a time, nearly double Boracay’s total carrying capacity. Only smaller parties will be allowed so the rest of the island visitors will enjoy peace and quiet!

Let’s reinvent “fun” in the island! There’s more fun in rehabilitated Boracay!

6. Smoking and drinking along theWhite Beach4 of Boracay will no longer be allowed. These activities will be allowed only in designated areas in hotels, resorts or similar forms of accommodation, and other hospitality establishments.1The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced that White Beach is already clean.

I can’t wait to walk on this clean powdery white sand beach!

7. The municipality of Malay, to where Boracay belongs, passed Municipal Ordinance No. 386, Series of 2018, which prohibits the use of single-use, or disposable, plastic items by hotels, resorts, restaurants, and other related establishments.2

Welcome news, indeed! This leads to crucial questions like:should plastic be totally banned from the island? how about biodegradable plastics? The local government should provide segregated-style garbage cansin various areas, so tourists can properly dispose of their garbage in designated containers/areas only. Stiff fines for littering, especially on the beach, should also be set. How about bringing personal water bottles while going around the island? Dear tourists, do you have other suggestions on how we can help in this regard?

8. By the end of July 2018, road clearing and demotion of structures for the road widening project was about 85% complete, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). The PHP490 million rehabilitation of the 4.12-km main road from Cagban Jetty Port, 5 minutes away from the Caticlan Airport (where boats leave for Boracay island), to the Elizalde property was 15% complete.2

So, early tourists, some roads will still be unfinished during reopening date; please be patient. But no worries, the 4-km White Beach4 will be open just for you! Your required daily 10,000 steps, when taken along this white sand beach, will surely not only be healthful for you, but memorable as well, with lots of selfies and group pictures, from sunrise to sunset!

9. Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III announced that rehabilitation will continue in the island and this includes the improvement in the quality of the water around the island. By the end of June 2018, the formerly brown and stinking water of Bulabog Beach5 was already “bluish” and with no unpleasant smell.3

Wonderful news indeed, especially for budget tourists, kiteboarders, windsurfers and scuba divers who go to Bulabog Beach.

10. The Environmental Management Bureau-Western Visayas (EMB-6) conducted daily and weekly statistics lab laboratory tests of the island’s water quality. The level of coliform concentration of the water in the front beach was already at the safe level of 400 MPN (most probable number) per 100 ml (milliliters).2

Thank you, EMB-6! Please continue to regularly monitor the water quality of the island!

11. Demolition activities, for the widening of roads, were about 65% complete as of end of June 2018.3 These involved removal of establishments which illegally encroached: on the 25+5 meter easement on the shore, on the water, forestlands, and wetlands.

This is great for Boracay’s sustainable tourism9!

12. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) ordered all hotels, from Stations 16, 27 and 38 with 50 rooms and above, to have their own sewage treatment plants (STPs). Accommodations with less than 50 rooms were instructed to have a clustered STP, or opt to have their own STPs. Other sewage lines are still being laid out.

The two water suppliers, Boracay Island Water Co. and Boracay Tubi Systems Inc., were ordered to expand the capacity of their respective STPs, and were encouraged to explore the best approaches and solutions to their sewage and wastewater problems. The sewage pipeline of Boracay Island Water Co., which serviced 4 large establishments and 76 smaller ones, was decommissioned since it violated the 25+5-meter easement rule and the no-build zone along the shoreline.

The total STP capacity of Boracay is only 12 million liters per day (MLD) but the wastewater to be treated is 15 MLD, and more than 200 big establishments are still not connected to the sewer lines.10 

Hurry up, big and small establishments! To the two water suppliers, please comply with set STP rules and regulations. To DENR, please closely, and regularly, monitor their lines and adherence to rules/regulations.

13.  About 8 international cruise ships have already scheduled stops in Boracay from when it reopens till 2019, according to Department of Tourism-Western Visayas (DoT-6) Regional Director Helen J. Catalbas (e.g., Royal Caribbean Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Star Cruises). They have been cleared by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regarding potential damage to underwater reefs. DENR explained that corals thrive in shallow waters, while cruise ships drop anchor in deeper parts of the sea. Thus, the anchorage of cruise ships will not cause damage to the corals.10

I am calling on the authorities to monitor these ships on our waters come the reopening period and beyond!Please provide the appropriate water transportation and trained personnel to access such waters, monitor these cruise ships, and ensure that they will not dump any waste/garbage in our seas while they are anchored in our waters!

14. Only electric tricycles (e-trikes) will be allowed in Boracay when it reopens. In this regard, the Department of Energy (DOE) initially donated 50 new e-trikes with long-lasting batteries, during the 2nd week of September 2018. to augment the 50 existing e-trikes on the island. This move aimed for an efficient and environment-friendly mode of transportation in Boracay. Each unit can carry 6-8 passengers. An extra battery was also given per unit to spare current tricycle drivers downtime when they start using them.The DOE will also deploy some electric passenger jeepneys on the island within September. Old tricycles will be phased out on the island in compliance with Executive Order No. 007-2018 issued by Malay Major Ceciron Cawaling. About a thousand tricycles in Boracay will be taken out of the island and changed to e-trikes, and brought to mainland Malay, particularly to

Great news for our lungs! Less air pollution!

15. The Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force will formulate policies that will ensure that the rehabilitation efforts of the island can be sustained.2  

Hurray for sustainable tourism9!

16. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Presidential Proclamation No. 1064 in 2006 which classified Boracay Island as a “forestland and agricultural land”.1President Rodrigo Duterte said that the island has never been open to any “commercial exploitation” and remains as a “forestland and agricultural land”. No president has declared the island as a commercial area. Thus, a committee to facilitate the land distribution in Boracay, after the rehabilitation of the island, will be created. Definitely, ownership issues will arise once the government is done with its clean-up of the island.10 But President Duterte vowed to bring Boracay back to its original inhabitants.

The rights of the original ethnic inhabitants must be respected!

17. President Duterte ordered the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to study how land could be redistributed to the locals through land reform. He said only the beach front can be used for commercial purposes but the rest of the island would be subjected to land reform. Some 400 hectares of forestland will be restored by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), according to DAR Secretary John Castriciones.1 The latter said that about 20-25 hectares are ready for redistribution but that the other agricultural lots will take time because there are structures built on this government land.

Just give what is due the original inhabitants!

Bottomline, the DILG and DOT want Boracay to be clean and become a peaceful and enjoyable island get-away.1 DOT Regional Director Helen Catalbas said Boracay is envisioned to have “a very clean beach, wider streets and less potholes.” The reopening will be “low key” because “rehabilitation is a work in progress.”2

So, what can we expect when Boracay reopens come October 26, 2018? Well, based on the above, we will be looking forward to:

  1. A cleaner and more peaceful white sand beach with the correct easement of 25+5 meters for all to enjoy without any obstruction — good for walks from sunrise till sunset;
  2. Clean water to swim in, without fear of coliform or illegal sewage disposal;
  3. The strict implementation of the tourist carrying capacity, i.e., only 19,000 tourists per day in the island;
  4. Wider paved streets with sidewalks for pedestrians;
  5. A better drainage system and preservation of wetlands that are well-maintained so that the streets will not be easily flooded;
  6. E-jeepneys and E-trikes as public transportation so there will be less air pollution;
  7. The two water suppliers, Boracay Island Water Co. and Boracay Tubi Systems Inc., will get their act together to ensure a proper and safe sewerage system;
  8. A more conscious and responsible community (tourists, businesses, employees and local residents) united to protect the environment and follow rules and regulations for sustainable tourism9;
  9. Eventually, all commercial establishments, owners and employees, will comply with the government requirements to operate;
  10. No casino in the island! President Duterte said “There will never be one!” and that gambling has “deleterious effects” and should be reduced to the “barest minimum”;11
  11. A more responsible local government which will be strict in enforcing rules and regulations set by the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force;
  12. A more understanding, cooperative and responsible domestic or foreign tourist who appreciates the efforts of the national/local government so s/he will not mind stricter rules/regulations as well as on-going rehabilitation projects in the island for the rest of 2018, or until all rehabilitation plans have been implemented;
  13. An island which is still being rehabilitated and starting to recover, or “heal”, from mass tourism and environmental problems;
  14. A successful sustainable tourism9 and sustainable transportation12 program for the island, and for the next generations to enjoy as well; and,
  15. An island for the aborigines who may have been displaced due to mass tourism. The government, once and for all, should clear all land title issues and give the aborigines what is rightfully theirs, extend all possible assistance for their decent livelihood, and a better future for their next generations!

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you regarding your comments regarding the reopening of Boracay. Simply scroll and click “Leave a comment”. Do share this post with your Facebook friends, follow me by clicking on the bottom right corner of your device, and do not forget to like this post.  Thank you!

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1www.news.abs-cbn.com

2www.pna.gov.ph

3www.denr.gov.ph

4The White Beach of Boracay refers to the main, biggest, and most popular beach area of island. It is divided into Stations 1, 2 and 3.6, 7, 8

5Bulabog Beach is the second most popular beach in Boracay since it is the main windsurfing and kiteboarding area, particularly from October till May, with just the right strength of the wind and waves. Scuba diving is also offered in this beach, located at the eastern part of Boracay. It is located at the opposite end of White Beach4, about 5 minutes walking distance from D’Mall in Station 27.

6Station 1 is the north end of White Beach4 of Boracay which is where the luxurious resorts are located. This station’s beach front is wider, the sand seems whiter, and the water is shallower, compared to the two other stations. It is a quiet station at night, although it has clubs within walking distance. Willy’s Rock, a natural rock formation and an iconic Boracay landmark, is located in this station. The sand castle designed with “Boracay” and the current date, where one can pose for a picture, for a fee, is also found in this station. City Mall Boracay, which opened on February 25, 20171, is likewise located here.

7Station 2 is the central part of White Beach4 in the island of Boracay. The water is less shallow than Station1. It offers an active night life (bars and clubs that may offer live music), mid-range priced accommodations, and is known as the shopping area of the island, what with D’Mall (the original shopping area in Boracay), and D’Talipapa (an area which offers local souvenir items, plusa seafood wet market with nearby restaurants to cook your picks).

8Station 3 is located at the opposite end of Station 16 of Boracay’s White Beach4, known to offer budget accommodations, but also features boutique and other secluded/high-end accommodations. The water becomes suddenly deep. It is a quiet station, compared to the first 2 stations, although it offers some bars and clubs too.

9Sustainable tourism is the concept of visiting a destination as a tourist and trying to make a positive impact on the environment13, society, and economy. Tourism development should always be sustainable but how to achieve this is debatable, according to Wikipedia page “Sustainable tourism”.14

10www.philstar.com

11www.bworldonline.com

12Sustainable transportation, or sustainable mobility, refers to transportation that is sustainable in terms of social, environmental and climate impacts, and the ability to, in the global scope, supply the source energy indefinitely, according to the Wikipedia page “Sustainable transport”.15

13The impact on the environment, or environmental issues, refers to the harmful effects of human activity on the biophysical environment16, according to the Wikipedia page “Environmental issue.”17

14“Sustainable tourism,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_tourism.

15“Sustainable transport,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_transport.

16The human impact on the environment includes the changes to biophysical environments18 and ecosystems19, biodiversity20, and natural resources, caused directly or indirectly by humans, including global warming21, environmental degradation22, mass extinction and biodiversity loss, ecological crises, and ecological collapse, according to the Wikipedia page “Human impact on the environment”.23

17“Environmental issue,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_issue.

18A biophysical environment of a population refers to the (living and non-living) surroundings of a population, and consequently includes the factors that have an influence in its survival, development and evolution, according to the Wikipedia page “Biophysical environment”.24

19An ecosystem is a community made up of living organisms and non-living components (air, mineral soil and water), according to the Wikipedia page “Ecosystem”.25

20Biodiversity refers to the variety and variability of life on Earth, according to the Wikipedia page “Biodiversity”.26

21Global warming, or climate change, is the observed century-scale rise in the average temperature of the Earth’s climate system and its related effects, according to the Wikipedia page “Global warming”.27

22Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment through the depletion of resources such as air, soil and water; the destruction of ecosystems20; habitat destruction; the extinction of wildlife; and pollution, according to the Wikipedia page “Environmental degradation”.28

23“Human impact on the environment,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_impact_on_the_environment.

24“Biophysical environment,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biophysical_environment.

25“Ecosystem,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecosystem.

26“Biodiversity,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiversity.

27“Global warming,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming.

28“Environmental degradation,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_degradation.

Metro Manila’s Newest and Most Delectable Museum: THE DESSERT MUSEUM

Location: Units 124, 126 and 127a, Coral Way, S. Maison Mall (located below Conrad Hotel Manila, near Starbucks S Maison), Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines

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Hello, dearest Filipino Seniors! Admit it, you miss your grandchildren, right? Are you thinking of a new place to bond with them? A place that they will surely enjoy — complete with unlimited Instagram-able picture-taking opportunities — and, one that will satisfy their sweet tooth too? Well, I have a suggestion for you and it is in the Mall of Asia1 (MoA) Complex: THE DESSERT MUSEUM!

0-map-cite source-pk                 Location Map. The Dessert Museum (from http://www.dessertmuseum.com)

The Dessert Museum is a 12,000 sq. ft. venue of different desserts, consisting of 8 mouthwatering and colorful rooms of sugar-filled happiness (in order of entry): the Raining Donuts Room, the Room of Ten Thousand Marshmallows, the Candy Cane Groves, the Ice Cream Room, the Room of Never-Ending Bubbles (or Bubblegum Room), the Gummy Bear Room, the Cotton Candy Forest, and the Cake Pops Carnival. This is the only museum you’ll ever (literally) slide into!2 I wish I used the slide, but I was the designated photo- and video-grapher!

This museum opened on February 10, 2018.2 The tour takes about two hours, depending on how long the kids want to enjoy each room, sample the goodies, and pose non-stop for pictures to be posted in various social media apps. However, you are advised to stay in each room for a maximum of 15 minutes and to go through the museum once, and only move forward.2

This museum is open from 10 am till 10 pm. Take note, last tickets are sold by 8 pm.2 It is recommended for all ages who enjoy taking selfies and group photos. It is for kids and the kids-at-heart, and is a great family-bonding venue, especially for those with young kids and IG-savvy teenagers! If you have a PWD in your group, good news! The venue is wheelchair-accessible! Sorry, though, no pets are allowed.

For Seniors who are pre-diabetics or diabetics, you can still go as long as you do not partake of the complimentary sweets – just pose with your grandchildren, claim your share of the sweets, and give them to your grandchildren! What the heck! This is a new and exciting venue for solo, group, and whole family picture-taking! Just think of the smiles and laughter of your grandchildren – so precious!

This museum is located within the MoA1 complex so you can easily opt to eat before, or after, your tour.0-facade

There are more than 200 restaurants in the said complex to choose from!2

The (walk-in) entrance fee is PHP799 (for ages 2-yo onwards), which some might consider pricey, so do not forget your Senior Citizen/PWD cards.

For a hassle-free and cheaper option, I recommend you go online, at least one day before your intended visit, to either:

(1) www.thedessertmuseum.com, and pay only PHP699 per person – you can pay via (a) PayPal or credit card (using PayPal, even if you do not have a PayPal account and you do not need to sign up) or, (b) Dragonpay, which allows BPI, BDO (online banking and over the counter), LBC, and Cebuana; or,

(2) Metrodeal or Klook, and avail of a 25% discount (then pay only PHP599).

Kids below 2-yo are free to enter but are not entitled to a wristband (see 6 paragraphs below), ergo, they will not be given complimentary sweets.

If your group consists of 10 or more members, email: events@thedessertmuseum.com

What’s that I hear that you do not know the location of MoA2? No worries, use WAZE/UBER: and look for “Starbucks Reserve, Conrad Hotel Manila”.2

If possible, go on weekdays since weekends and holidays could be crowded. We went early on a Saturday and there were only a few people with us on the second batch of the day. More groups arrived thereafter.

0-entrance-okThe view upon entry (the registration desk is to the left); stools to sit on to wait for your group to enter; a fairy gives a brief welcome; the fairy leaves and your group goes up the same stairs where she stood, all pass through the large pink doughnut; and, a difficult choice comes next: will you slide your way to the Doughnut Room or do you use the yellow steps? Your choice … regardless, your sweet adventure begins! Enjoy!

It is not so cold in the rooms so be sure to wear light cottony, sporty clothes and comfortable footwear. Go to the rest room before the two-hour tour to be sure you will not be inconvenienced therein (remember, you cannot re-enter). Just to be on the safe side, people with allergic rhinitis, should take an antihistamine tablet beforehand.

Do not make kids wear any expensive jewelry or other accessories that might hinder their enjoyment of each room. I suggest non-slippery footwear for kids to avoid accidents, but these should be easily removable to enjoy the ball pit in the Ice Cream Room, for example, and worn again to proceed to the next rooms.

Fully charge your cellphones and power banks for lots of photos and videos! The use of photoshoot equipment like tripods, lighting materials and props are strictly prohibited unless your group will avail of the museum’s photo shoot package (see end of this post).2

Do not forget to bring water since you will definitely need it after tasting each complimentary sweet. Water is for sale but is a bit pricey at PHP50 per regular-sized bottle.

Visitors are asked to sign a waiver form (sorry, I cannot say anything about this since a niece of mine registered for us). Do inform the staff if any person in your group has an allergy to eggs, fruits, milk, peanuts, soy, tree-nuts, wheat, etc.

Assign a person in your group to keep an eye on gadgets and other valuables while the kids are playing in each room.

Bring Wet Ones to clean the hands of the kids before and after they eat the sweets in each room, after touching the different parts of, or decorations in, each room, and to wipe away bits of sweets on their faces. Instruct the older kids to dispose of garbage in designated trash cans.

The museum provides lockers for rent to secure your large bags and keep baby carriages/strollers safe during your 2-hour tour. I paid PHP150 to secure a backpack and a stroller.0-lockers-ok

There are tours every 10 to 15 minutes, starting at 10:15 am. I suggest you come early so your group will have more time to pose for as many photos, and for as long, as you want, and need not wait too long for your turn to pose in front of certain backgrounds – there are just so many to choose from!

For those who booked online, be there about 15 minutes before your reserved time slot. If you arrive late, you could be subjected to a rebooking fee per person (PHP50 per person, 3 days prior to arrival; PHP200, 4 days prior to arrival), or lose your slot for the day. For unused tickets, email tickets@thedessertmuseum.com to change dates, depending on availability, subject to PHP200 rebooking fee. However, slots or tickets that remain unused after 7 days from the booked date will be forfeited. All tickets are non-refundable.2

Each visitor is given a pink rubber wristband which you will need to present for electronic scanning to avail of a complimentary sweet in 5 to 7, out of the 8, rooms.0-wristband

I would like to caution you, dear visitors, be sure to secure the wristbands of the kids since it easily gets loose and might get lost during the tour. The wristbands need to be surrendered to a security guard at the end of the tour and each lost wristband will cost you PHP300.0-exit

In our group, my husband collected the wristbands of all the kids and the yayas3 and presented these to the staff per room for scanning to claim the complimentary sweets. The kids, attended by the yayas3, freely enjoyed the swing, slide, seesaw, giant gumball machine, trampoline, plastic ball pit, etc., without worrying about the wristbands.

The tour starts with a female staff, dressed like a fairy, who orients the visitors about the museum and briefly gives reminders regarding safety.0-fairy

All rooms are appropriately decorated and painted based on the theme, generally clean, attractive to all millennials, and definitely Instagram-able! Do not forget to add: #TheDessertMuseum in your pictures.2

The staff are generally accommodating and polite, and wear colorful costumes.

Read the amazing fun facts about each dessert on the wall with your grandchildren, especially those who have just started reading. This will make the tour more meaningful and unforgettable, and certainly a memorable learning experience for the kids!

An official in-house photographer can take your pictures so everyone in your group will be included in your pictures. I was in a hurry to leave the room so I just took this candid picture of a pair being photographed at the Candy Cane Groves Room.Z-photographer-ok

Then, you can have these pictures printed at the end of the tour while you go over the sweets and souvenir items sold at the dessert shop. Sorry, I did not check the prices of items for sale in the shop.0-store-collage-ok

Here are the photo packages:0-photo-packages

Before you leave each room, proceed to the dessert counter therein, have your pink wristband scanned, and enjoy the complimentary sweet!

Most of the time you have no choice as to the complimentary item but in a couple of rooms, you could be asked to choose: like in the Room of Ten Thousand Marshmallows, you will be given a giant white marshmallow on a stick, and asked to choose the flavor of the coating; and in the Ice Cream Room, my favorite, you will be asked to choose the flavor of your popsicle.

Take more pictures while savoring the sweets! I told you, non-stop picture-taking!

Here is a brief description per room:

The first room is called the Raining Donuts Room. Its walls are painted pale yellow, and decorated with small doughnuts in different colors and designs. The main feature of this room is the part with lots of huge pink doughnuts hanging from the ceiling. However, be aware that these hanging doughnuts are made from a hard material so be sure to protect the heads of the smaller kids. But I assure you, the pictures are very IG-able in this room, along with the 7 other rooms. Sorry, but we did not like the give-away in this room.

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The Room of Ten Thousand Marshmallows is the next room. The walls are painted blue, and the room is filled with white marshmallows strung from the ceiling. Take wonderful photos again in this room! Visitors, upon scanning their wristbands, are given a giant white marshmallow on a stick, in a small white paper cup, and asked if they want Snowy Vanilla or Choco Loco coating with it, straight from the chocolate fondue fountains. Most of the kids chose, and enjoyed, the Choco Loco coating. I gave away my share.

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The room called Candy Cane Groves comes next. It is very colorful and offers a seesaw and swing, along with lots of multi-colored candy cane decorations and IG-spots! Get lots of photos and videos here too! The kids enjoyed the complimentary candy canes, resulting in them getting colored tongues! I gave away my share in this room too.

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The Ice Cream Room is a favorite of mine. Photos and videos are very picturesque, what with the combination of the multi-colored ball pit and the colorful air balloons. Personally, this room offers the best complimentary dessert: a choice of Frozen Avocado Cream or Mango Madness popsicles. I enjoyed the first one, but the latter is also good, according to my other group members.

0-4-ice cram room

The kids, and kids-at-heart, will enjoy the Room of Never-Ending Bubbles, or Bubblegum Room, which features a giant gumball machine with balloons of different colors being blown all over the inflated structure while about 8 people are allowed inside. Do not hesitate to take pictures and videos of the members of your family/group enjoying their two-minute stay inside that “machine”. I cannot recall any giveaway in this room.

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The Gummy Bear Room is also very colorful. It offers a wall with 4 giant blue inflated gummy bears where your family/group can take beautiful and wacky pictures. I also enjoyed posing in one (of the three) colored bathtubs full of gummy bears and balls, surrounded by balloons in different colors. Sorry, I did not like the giveaway in this room because it had nothing to do with gummy bears!

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The next room is the very attractive and picture-perfect Cotton Candy Forest, with predominantly pink cotton candy-like decorations. Everyone will surely enjoy the giveaway cotton candy!

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The Cake Pops Carnival Room is the last room of the museum, leading to the last stop, the Souvenir Shop. Your family/group can stand or sit on the giant cake pops and create beautiful pictures and videos with different poses per member. The room also offers basketball, with 3 hoops, using soft-rag balls. Two sides of the room have arches of various colors for one last time of picture-taking!

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Contact details -Website: http://www.thedessertmuseum.com; Telephone Numbers: (02) 838-7927; Cellphone Numbers: 0917-3005966 and 0999-2245687; Email – events@thedessertmuseum.com

Interested groups should inquire about their birthday promo, party package, teambuilding promo, private event package, and photo shoot package.

0-party packages                                        party packages, The Dessert Museum

 

This is not a sponsored post. All comments are personal and based on my only experience.

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you regarding your experience in this museum. Simply scroll and click “Leave a comment”. Do share this post with your Facebook friends, follow me by clicking on the bottom right corner of your device, and do not forget to like this post.  Thank you!

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For the benefit of foreign readers:

1The SM Mall of Asia (MoA) is a shopping mall in Bay City, Pasay, in Metro Manila, Philippines, currently the largest shopping mall in the Philippines and the 12th largest in the world. It opened on May 21, 2006, and is located near the Manila Bay, SM Central Business Park, and the southern end of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA). It is owned and developed by SM Prime Holdings, the largest mall owner and developer in the Philippines. The complex covers 42 hectares of land area, a gross floor area of about 406,962 sq.m., with more than 600 shops, including 217 dining establishments which attract about 200,000 people daily, according to the Wikipedia page “SM Mall of Asia”.4

2www.thedessertmuseum.com

3A “yaya” is the Tagalog term for nursemaid, wet nurse, or a female household staff who takes care of a kid, usually one per kid.

4”SM Mall of Asia,” accessed September 3, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SM_Mall_of_Asia.

Short and Simple: WHAT IS THE TOURIST CARRYING CAPACITY FOR BORACAY’S 2018 RE-OPENING?

We, Filipinos, have only seriously considered the carrying capacity of our tourist destinations when the very popular island of Boracay was closed on April 26, 2018. The truth hurts, dearest Seniors, and yes, tourism inevitably impacts on tourist destinations!

So, tell me, do we really know what tourist carrying capacity is? Well, just to be sure, and before the October 26 re-opening of Boracay, read on.

The Tourist Carrying Capacity, according to the World Tourism Organization, is the process of determining the maximum number of people that may visit a tourist destination at the same time, without causing the destruction of the physical, economic, socio-cultural environment and an unacceptable decrease in the quality of visitors’ satisfaction.1

Former Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo stated that the carrying capacity of Boracay was set at 25,000 tourists, but, in recent years, it went as high as 75,000!2 Wow, that was triple the set capacity, no wonder the island had problems!

But what is an acceptable carrying capacity for a particular destination? It seems that acceptable conditions are a matter of human judgment and not an inherent quality of a particular site. It is difficult to calculate the maximum number of visitors since this is also dependent on other factors, amidst an unstable and unpredictable world.

So, tourism, environmental, local government, public works and transportation officials, the local community, and other stakeholders must get their act together to objectively implement the carrying capacity not only of Boracay but of other tourism destinations as well, so the latter will not suffer the same fate as the former.

Anyway, these stakeholders must take into consideration the 4 different forms of carrying capacity: physical3, economic4, socio-cultural5, and biophysical6. A framework for the limits for acceptable change7, developed by The US Forest Service in the 1980s, should also be considered, along with sustainable tourism8 and sustainable transport9.

The international tourism industry has generally accepted guidelines or formulas in determining carrying capacity. Alas, there is no one-size-fits-all checklist. Nonetheless, the bottomline, in all cases, is that the natural features of the tourist area, or the things/places that attract visitors to it, should be preserved for the benefit of its residents and the people who may, in the future, want to visit and enjoy them as well.2

The implementation, or enforcement, of the carrying capacity also takes a lot of political will on the part of the tourist area’s local government executives and stakeholders.3 Let this challenge all local government units in the country!

I pray that the 6-month long Boracay closure be the wake-up-call for national, regional, and other local leaders to redo their tourism development plans for all tourist sites, using all the aforementioned factors and setting stiffer penalties for non-compliance of rules/regulations, especially during peak season, and/or when local officials, or their kin, are also owners of tourist facilities.

So, anyway, after waiting so long from authorities, how many tourists will be allowed to go to Boracay, for example, on a daily basis, taking into consideration its current infrastructure, residents, workforce, and state of natural resources? What are the guidelines for ensuring the tourist carrying capacity? Will there be a maximum number of days to stay in the island? Let us wait for such guidelines/policies.

As of end of August 2018, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) set the tourist carrying capacity of Boracay to 19,000, taking the number of workers and the local population into account. And based on a study done by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau11 and the University of the Philippines at Los Baños, Laguna,12 the island can only accommodate a total of 55,000 people (local population, workers and tourists, combined).10

Alas, only 3,000-5,000, out of the 15,000 hotel rooms, can be made available to tourists during the reopening date. The remaining accommodation entities still need to comply with the new permits and accreditation set by the multi-agency task force.10

There will be on-going roadwork/sewage rehabilitation and limited accredited accommodations, among others, when Boracay opens on October 26, but I am sure that the first batches of tourists will be excited to see the changes in the island. Instagram and Facebook will surely be filled with such pictures!

Most of the information was taken from the Wikipedia page “Tourism carrying capacity”.1

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you regarding your concerns about tourist carrying capacity and sustainable tourism, not only in Boracay but other tourist destinations in the Philippines. Simply scroll and click “Leave a comment”. Do share this post with your Facebook friends, follow me by clicking on the bottom right corner of your device, and do not forget to like this post.  Thank you!

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1”Tourism carrying capacity,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_carrying_capacity.

2www.business.inquirer.net

3The physical carrying capacity (PCC) is the maximum number of tourists that an area is actually able to support. It is the maximum number that can fit on the site at any given time and still allow people to be able to move, i.e., one meter per person. The formula used is: PCC per day = area (in meters squared) x visitors per meter x daily duration. Information is from the Wikipedia page “Tourism carrying capacity”.1

4The economic carrying capacity (ECC) is the level of acceptable change within the local economy of a tourist destination. It is the extent to which a tourist destination is able to accommodate tourist functions without the loss of local activities. It is also used to describe the point at which the increased revenue brought by tourism development is overtaken by the inflation caused by tourism. Information is from the Wikipedia page “Tourism carrying capacity”.1

5The social carrying capacity (SCC) refers to the negative effects of tourism development to the socio-cultural state of a destination. Reduced visitor enjoyment and local tolerance as well as increase in crime rate are indicators that the SCC has been exceeded. Information is from the Wikipedia page “Tourism carrying capacity”.1

6The biophysical carrying capacity (BCC) is the extent to which the natural environment is able to tolerate interference from tourists. This is made more complicated by the fact that because it deals with ecology which is able to regenerate to some extent, so the carrying capacity is when the damage exceeds the habitat’s ability to regenerate. Environmental carrying capacity is also used with reference to ecological and physical parameters, capacity of resources, ecosystems19 and infrastructure. Wildlife sanctuaries, for example, would be better off when there is a set of guidelines for regulating tourism without much disturbance of the wildlife. Information is from the Wikipedia page “Tourism carrying capacity”.1

7The limits of acceptable change (LAC) is based on the idea that any tourist activity has an impact, and therefore visitor management should be based on constant monitoring of the site as well as the objectives established for it. Information is from the Wikipedia page “Tourism carrying capacity”.1

8Sustainable tourism is the concept of visiting a destination as a tourist and trying to make a positive impact on the environment13, society, and economy. Tourism development should always be sustainable but how to achieve this is debatable, according to Wikipedia page “Sustainable tourism”.14

9Sustainable transport, or sustainable mobility, refers to transportation that is sustainable in terms of social, environmental and climate impacts, and the ability to, in the global scope, supply the source energy indefinitely, according to the Wikipedia page “Sustainable transport”.15

10www.news.abs-cbn.com

11The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) is the principal research and development unit of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) focused on 5 major ecosystems20 of the Philippines: coastal zones and freshwater, forests, grassland and degraded areas, upland farms, and urban areas, created on June 1987.16

12www.denr.gov.ph

13The impact on the environment, or environmental issues, refers to the harmful effects of human activity on the biophysical environment17, according to the Wikipedia page “Environmental issue.”18

14“Sustainable tourism,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_tourism.

15“Sustainable transport,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_transport.

16www.erdb.denr.gov.ph

17The human impact on the environment includes the changes to biophysical environments19 and ecosystems20, biodiversity21, and natural resources, caused directly or indirectly by humans, including global warming22, environmental degradation23, mass extinction and biodiversity loss, ecological crises, and ecological collapse, according to the Wikipedia page “Human impact on the environment”.24

18“Environmental issue,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_issue.

19A biophysical environment of a population refers to the (living and non-living) surroundings of a population, and consequently includes the factors that have an influence in its survival, development and evolution, according to the Wikipedia page “Biophysical environment”.25

20An ecosystem is a community made up of living organisms and non-living components (air, mineral soil and water), according to the Wikipedia page “Ecosystem”.26

21Biodiversity refers to the variety and variability of life on Earth, according to the Wikipedia page “Biodiversity”.27

22Global warming, or climate change, is the observed century-scale rise in the average temperature of the Earth’s climate system and its related effects, according to the Wikipedia page “Global warming”.28

23Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment through the depletion of resources such as air, soil and water; the destruction of ecosystems20; habitat destruction; the extinction of wildlife; and pollution, according to the Wikipedia page “Environmental degradation”.29

24“Human impact on the environment,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_impact_on_the_environment.

25“Biophysical environment,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biophysical_environment.

26“Ecosystem,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecosystem.

27“Biodiversity,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiversity.

28“Global warming,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming.

29“Environmental degradation,” accessed August 16, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_degradation.

Short and Simple: WHAT IS A NATIONAL CULTURAL TREASURE IN THE PHILIPPINES?

A National Cultural Treasure (NCT) of the Philippines is a tangible (movable and immovable) or intangible heritage property declared by the National Commission for Culture and Arts1 and other cultural agencies such as the National Museum of the Philippines2, National Library of the Philippines3, and National Archives of the Philippines4. Such declarations are authorized under the National Cultural Heritage Act of 20095 and recognized within the Cultural Properties of the Philippines6 by the Philippine government.

l-r: Jose Rizal National Monument (Rizal Park, Ermita, Manila), Las Piñas Bamboo Organ (St. Joseph Parish Church, Las Piñas, Metro Manila), Parish Church of San Gregorio Magno (Majayjay, Laguna), Basilica Menor de San Sebastian or San Sebastian Church (Plaza del Carmen, Quiapo, Manila)

The title of NCT is the highest designation given to a “unique cultural property found locally, possessing outstanding historical, cultural, artistic and/or scientific value which is highly significant and important to the country and nation.”7?

2 out of the 4 components of the University of Santo Tomas NCT: The Main Building and the Arch of the Century (no pictures available for the Central Seminary and the Open Spaces for the 4 papal visits); location: España, Manila

As of May 2018, 85 NCTs are immovable heritage, classified into 7 categories:

  1. Church complexes and colonial fortifications;
  2. Mosque complexes and temple complexes;
  3. Indigenous place of worship or dambana8 complexes;
  4. Modern and historical residences;
  5. Structures related to industry, transportation and public works;
  6. Archeological sites; and,
  7. Miscellaneous structures and sites.

3 out of the 4 murals, or Sacred Art, of the Parish Church of Saint James the Apostle, Paete, Laguna, by Luciano Dans, a Paeteño, using natural color pigments mixed with volcanic ash and brushes made from cat’s hair (l-r: Saint Christopher wall painting; Heaven, Earth and Hell; another Saint Christopher wall painting being restored due to termite infestation); no picture for the Last Judgment, or Juicio Final (1720), the oldest painted wooden panel-mural located near the church altar)

As of May 2018, there are 18 NCTs classified as movable heritage, although one contains more than 20 heritage objects under “artifacts and ecofacts in the National Museum in Manila”. Movable heritage is further divided into 7 categories:

  1. Ancient documents or artifacts with pre-colonial writings;
  2. Archeological materials;
  3. Ethnic crafts;
  4. Historical materials owned by historical persons, families, or organizations;
  5. Paintings;
  6. Sculptures; and,
  7. Writings and other literary works.

As of May 2018, there are 3 NCTs classified as intangible heritage, inscribed in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity: the Darangen epic of the Maranao people of Lake Lanao, Hudhud chants of the Ifugao, and Punnuk tugging rituals and games, according to the Wikipedia page “Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Philippines”.9 Intangible heritage is divided into 5 categories:

  1. Oral traditions and expressions including language;
  2. Performing arts;
  3. Social practices, rituals and festive events;
  4. Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; and,
  5. Traditional craftsmanship or the tradition of making crafts, not the craft itself.

There is a total of 106 NCTs, 3 of which are intangible: 75 are housed in Luzon, 6 are in Mimaropa, 19 are in the Visayas, and 6 in Mindanao. The Sulu Archipelago does not have any such treasures.

Different NCTs originally from the Mimaropa Region, Visayas and Mindanao are now housed in the National Museum in Manila (Luzon), such as the Qu’ran of Bayang11.10

Any Filipino institution or person can nominate a cultural property for a National Cultural Treasure declaration, whether the property is private or public. If the property is private, the ownership of the property is retained by the private owner and shall not be transferred to the government.

Are you now curious to see the complete list of the National Cultural Treasures of the Philippines? Simply visit the Wikipedia page “List of National Cultural Treasures in the Philippines”.10

Include these awesome 106 NCTs in your domestic travel bucket list, and tick them off one by one. Be proud of our heritage, Filipinos!

Almost all information were accessed from the Wikipedia page “List of National Cultural Treasures in the Philippines”.10

Did you find this post informative? How many NCTs have you visited? What are your favorites? I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll and click “Leave a comment”.  Do share this post with your Facebook friends, follow me by clicking on the bottom right corner of your device, and do not forget to like this post.  Thank you!

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1The National Commission for Culture and Arts is the official government agency for culture in the Philippines, formed in 1987, with headquarters in General Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila. It is the overall policy making body, coordinating, and grants-giving agency for the preservation, development and promotion of Philippine arts and culture. Its parent department is the Office of the President of the Philippines and its sub-agencies are the: National Archives of the Philippines4, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, National Library of the Philippines3, National Museum of the Philippines2, Commission on the Filipino Language, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Information is from the Wikipedia page “National Commission for Culture and Arts”.12 Visit its website: www.ncca.gov.ph

2The National Museum of the Philippines is a government institution in the Philippines which serves as the educational, scientific and cultural institution in preserving the various permanent national collections featuring the ethnographic, anthropological, archaeological and visual artistry of the Philippines. It was formed on October 29, 1901, with headquarters in Padre Burgos Avenue, in Rizal Park, Ermita, Manila. Since 1998, it has been the regulatory and enforcement agency of the national government in restoring and safeguarding important cultural properties, sites and reservations throughout the Philippines. It is under the Department of Education and the National Commission for Culture and Arts1. Information is from the Wikipedia page “National Museum of the Philippines”.13 Visit its website: www.nationalmuseum.gov.ph

3The National Library of the Philippinesis the official national library of the Philippines, with over 1.6 million pieces in its collections. It is notably called the home of the original copies of the defining works of Jose Rizal (Noli Me Tangere, El Filibusterismo and Mi Ultimo Adios). It was established in 1901 and located in Rizal Park, at T. M. Kalaw Avenue, Ermita, Manila. Information is from the Wikipedia page “National Library of the Philippines”.14 Visit its website: www.web.nlp.gov.ph

4The National Archives of the Philippinesis an agency of the Philippines which is mandated to collect, store, preserve and make available, archival records of the government and other primary sources pertaining to the history and development of the country, as a result of the passage of Republic Act 9470 on May 21, 2007. It is the primary records management agency, tasked to formulate and implement the records schedule and vital records protection programs for the government. Its headquarters is in the National Library of the Philippines, in Rizal Park, at T. M. Kalaw Avenue, Ermita, Manila. Information is from the Wikipedia page “National Archives of the Philippines”.15 Visit its website: www.nationalarchives.gov.ph

5The National Cultural Heritage Act is a law of the Republic of the Philippines which created the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property and took other steps to preserve historic buildings that are over 50 years old, signed into law on March 25, 2009, according to the Wikipedia page “National Cultural Heritage Act”.16

6The Cultural Properties of the Philippines refers to the cultural properties listed by the National Commission for Culture and Arts, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and the National Museum of the Philippines through the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property (PRECUP), the official cultural property list of the country. Now, where did they get the names of such properties? Listen up, dearest Seniors! This raised my eyebrows to the max! All local government units (LGUs) are mandated to submit a partial/full list of their cultural properties, however, only 39 out of the 1,934 cities/municipalities in the country have submitted such as list as of November 2017! Information is from Wikipedia page “Cultural properties of the Philippines”.17 Talk about being proud of these properties – only 2% of LGUs complied!

7www.primer.com.ph

8Dambana, in modern times, refers to a shrine of indigenous religions in the Philippines (mainly in the Tagalog areas), altar of Philippine churches, or monuments erected to remember Philippine history, according to the Wikipedia page “Dambana”.18

 9“Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Philippines,”

10”List of National Cultural Treasures in the Philippines,” accessed January 11, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_National_Cultural_Treasures_in_the_Philippines.

11The Qu’ran of Bayang, according to oral history, is Lanao’s oldest Koran which belonged to the Sultan of Bayang in Lanao del Sur and was copied by Saidna, one of the earliest hajji (one who successfully completed the pilgrimage to Mecca during Islam’s early days in the Philippines). It is one of the few copies translated into a non-Arabic language, i.e., using a language in the Malay family and handwritten in Arabic calligraphy.19

12“National Commission for Culture and Arts,” accessed January 11, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_National_Commission_for_Culture_and_Arts.

13“National Museum of the Philippines,” accessed January 11, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_National_Museum_of_the_Philippines.

14“National Library of the Philippines,” accessed January 11, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_National_Library_of_the_Philippines.

15“National Archives of the Philippines,” accessed January 11, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_National_Archives_of_the_Philippines.

16“National Cultural Heritage Act,” accessed January 11, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Cultural_Heritage_Act.

17“List of Cultural properties of the Philippines,” accessed January 11, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Cultural_properties_of_the_Philippines.

18“Dambana,” accessed January 11, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dambana.

19www.gmanetwork.com

AMBON-AMBON FALLS: The Sweet Reward of Trekking

Location: Panguil River Eco-Park, Barangay Natividad, Town of Pangil, Province of Laguna, Region IV-A, Philippines

1-entrance-name

Dear Seniors, let me ask you these questions first:

  1. Do you reside in Metro Manila, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, or nearby areas, and just want to spend the whole day with your family far away from work, school, the traffic and pollution of the city?
  2. Do you love nature-tripping but do not want to go too far from your home?

 

1-nature-collage-ok

3. Are you fond of picnicking? Do you love to bring your signature adobo, steamed rice, vegetables with sweet/spicy bagoong, marinated chicken/pork to be barbecued on-site, fresh fruits, junk food, and whatever else you fancy? Or, are you the type who does not cook at all and who is willing to try native “lutong bahay”, i.e., home-cooked dishes; not gourmet but decent enough dishes, and pay accordingly? If you belong to the latter, no worries, there is a small kitchen in this destination with a local cook. Just tell them when you arrive so they can do the marketing. Seniors, do not forget to inform them of your dietary restrictions (like low salt, low fat, etc.).13-food-collage      some dishes you can order in-house (Adobong Baboy, Fried Tilapia and Pinakbet)

  1. Are you willing to trek 15 minutes for a River Tubing adventure? Or are you game to trek all the way to Ambon-Ambon Falls, i.e., 30 minutes one way, then 15 minutes going back for the River Tubing? Are you out of shape or not sure if you can make it all the way but would like to see and be near the falls? No worries, you can stop and rest anytime/anywhere along the path; trek/walk at your own pace; the guides are very helpful. Seeing the falls is worth the trek!
  1. Is it okay for you to walk and get wet along the side of the river, climb a couple of rocks (sometimes with flowing water), cross the river about 3 times through a bamboo bridge, and ride 3 bamboo rafts along the way?
  2. Do you want to personally witness an awesome falls and have a “back-massage” from its thundering water? Or do you just want to soak in the sun, swim/wade in shallow waters with your “apos” (grandchildren) and loved ones?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, then I have a suggested place for you – the AMBON-AMBON FALLS in the Panguil1 River Eco-Park, in Pangil1, Laguna. It would only take about 2 – 2 1/2 hours once you exit Calamba from the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), depending on the traffic in Calamba and Los Baños.

Interested families or groups can go to the Eco-Park any month of the year but, personally, the best months to enjoy this adventure is from October till February, when the water is right for River Tubing, except when there is a typhoon.

Use the Waze app in your cell phone to tell you where to pass. Less techie? No problem, I always advise my visitors going to this destination to just follow the national road and look for directional and feeder signs. Your destination: Pangil1, Laguna!

I suggest you all wear your swimming/trekking attire before you ride your vehicle so it would be easy to start your adventure once you reach the place. Fully charge your cell phones and power banks but designate just one or two cell phones to be brought to the River Tubing/Ambon Ambon Falls. Make sure to place each cell phone in a water-proof container that you can then bring during your trek and waterfall moment/s. You can ask your guide to take pictures while you/your group are under the falls. Do not worry, they are used to doing this, and know the right places to take the shots, as well as how to take care of your device/s. I also recommend applying sun block 30 minutes beforehand to take effect. A pair of reliable, non-slippery footwear that can get wet and still be good for trekking along the set path, walking along the river, and crossing bamboo bridges is recommended. Eat breakfast and finish your morning “ceremonies/rituals”. You can actually stop along SLEX for breakfast and/or clean public rest rooms. Bring bottled water for trekking, if necessary.

Tell your designated driver to just follow the slotted/solid white lines or solid yellow lines (solid lines for no overtaking; better observe traffic rules to be safe) painted at the middle of the road –that’s an indication that you are cruising along the national highway. You will pass through the following towns from SLEX (Calamba exit coming from Makati/Paranaque): Calamba, Los Baños, Bay, Calauan, Victoria, Pila, Sta. Cruz, Pagsanjan, Lumban, Kalayaan, Paete and Pakil. “Marami ba?” (Do you find it too many?) Do not be turned off; you will only be passing through these towns and not going inside any town proper. And, once you exit Los Baños, it’s the end of traffic.

Along the way, just enjoy the view that includes lots of rice fields (stare at the greenery – that is good for your eyes), coconut trees, and even some stands offering local and seasonal fruits. You can stop, bargain some, and maybe buy the fresh fruits you want to munch on the road. You can also buy native delicacies (puto, kuchinta, buko pie, espasol, etc.) in Los Baños. (Note: remember your doctor’s advice, if any, regarding your restricted dietary intake.) Moderation always; nothing in excess, ok?

The road leading to Panguil River Eco-Park — from where you can access Ambon Ambon Falls — does not have a sign ever since the national highway of the said town was widened. But the General Manager told me that a directional sign will be installed soon. In the meantime, just remember that when you reach the town of Pangil (there are directional signs for this along the way), watch out for a short bridge followed by the barangay hall of Brgy. Natividad to your right. Turn right on that small road and just drive straight till you hit the end of the road – that’s it! You have reached your destination!

1-entrance-1                                Entrance – Panguil River Eco-Park, Pangil, Laguna

If you have a big group, or are the type of traveler who is “sigurista” (a person who wants to be sure that all aspects of his/her trip are well organized) like me, I suggest you reserve a cottage or even an air-conditioned room (contact information at the end of this post) to ensure you have the kind of accommodation you and your family could enjoy for the whole day or even overnight (although I have not tried doing the latter).

For smaller groups, you can rent a native hut for eating/resting for day use only. I suggest you designate one person in your group to watch over your belongings in the hut while the others swim/wade, go to the falls, or experience the River Tubing.

There are separate structures for public shower-cum-rest rooms for males and females. Bring plastic bags for your wet clothes/toiletries for easy packing if you will use the public shower rooms. Unfortunately, dearest Seniors, there is no hot water for showers, neither in the public shower rooms nor in the rented rooms. (For me, these are just minor details that will not spoil your adventure of the refreshing and awesome Ambon-Ambon Falls.)

Are you still interested? Then, read on.

You have now parked your vehicle in the designated paid parking space. It is safe, I assure you, just lock your vehicle/s and keep your valuables safe with a designated person/watcher. Better still, do not bring any jewelry.3-enter-parking-2

One person from your group must go inside the Admin. office to pay the required fees. Beforehand, you need to count how many you are in your group (separate the count for adults and children, 5-10 years old).1-register-1                                       Entrance, Admin Office, Panguil River Eco-Park

2-admin-office-inside-1                                      Interior of Admin Office, Panguil River Eco-Park

2-staff                              The hospitable staff, Amin Office, Panguil River Eco-Park

The breakdown of fees is shown below. Once payments are made, guides will be assigned to you, depending on how many you are in your group and your desired activity/activities.

1-Rates-2

You must now carry your things to your rented cottage/room (for overnight) or native hut (for day use). I am sure the guide/s will help to transport your stuff.

3-enter-walk-1                                       Turn right and proceed to the Hanging Bridge

3-enter-walk-2-stalls                                          Mini-stores for snacks and basic necessities

4-hanging bridgeYou then cross a Hanging Bridge. You can start your selfie/group poses here. For those with vertigo, those who easily get dizzy, or those who are afraid of heights, go slow on this bridge and just look straight ahead; do not look down or sideways.

4-hanging bridge-2

4-hanging bridge-3-huts                                          Left view from the hanging bridge

9-huts                                       Huts, viewed from the hanging bridge

4-hanging bridge-3                                                    The end of the hanging bridge

At the end of the bridge is a round cemented area with the name of the eco-park – another group shot here, for sure! All persons who will go to the falls are required to wear the safety vests. Ask assistance from the guide/s if you have difficulty attaching all clasps, especially the one that goes around the bottom.

5-oval-2-pasalubong center                       The Pasalubong Center to the left of the central round cemented area

5-oval-3-rt side                                 More huts to the right of the round cemented area

4-hanging bridge-3-huts-2                        More huts for rent at the right side of the end of the hanging bridge

5-oval-3-other huts              Another hut overlooking the cool stream from the Ambon-Ambon Falls

For the not-so-adventurous Seniors, you may opt to just wade in the shallow waters near the rented native huts. Enjoy your “blue space”2 with your “apos” (grandchildren) and other companions. Breathe in the clean air. Savor the cooling effect of the running water, coming all the way from the falls.

2-steps                               Trekking? Gear up! This is how the trail surface looks like

For the more adventuresome Seniors, you’re now geared up to start your trek. Just relax, breathe normally, do not hold your breath. The path goes up and down along the side of the river and you can rest whenever you need to, dear Seniors. The guides will adjust to your pace. Do not forget to take pictures along the way. The guides are more than willing to patiently take as many pictures as you want. Just do not forget to give them a tip later, ok?

You may opt to just walk for about 15 minutes and ask for the River Tubing adventure. It is about a 5-minute thrill of riding on connected inflated rubber tubes.

You can ask your guide to take pictures of your group as you glide downstream to the lower part of this park, near the rented native huts for the day.

Or, you may opt to ask a member of your group to stay on the hanging bridge and to click away as you glide towards the end point of the ride. Then, you can just join the wading people of your group, grab a snack, and share your brief ride downstream. Why don’t you convince them to experience River Tubing too?

For the more fit and “game” Seniors, bring water (to quench your thirst) and a towel (to be used after your “falls experience” just in case “ginawin ka” (you easily feel cold). Well then, brave Seniors, trek onwards, for a total of about 30 minutes towards the Ambon-Ambon Falls.

At certain points, you will cross the river three times over a bamboo bridge, climb a couple of rocks (with or without flowing water, depending on the season), and ride a total of three bamboo rafts till you reach the falls. Ask the tour guide to take pictures of each interesting point of your trek.

12-bamboo raft                                        You will ride a bamboo raft three times

What’s this, you tell me you can’t swim? Or are you not confident in your swimming skills for the slightly deep part, right before the falls? No worries! Just float facing the sky and your guide will pull you towards the falls through your safety vest. Do not forget to leave your cell phone with the guide so he can take pictures in strategic locations. This way, your group will have memorable shots near/under the falls.

When your group is now complete near/under the falls, pose in unison and tell the designated guide-photographer to wait for your wacky poses, and then some! Keep smiling! Achieve!

13-falls-1-ok

You have all reached your final destination – the Ambon Ambon Falls!

You are allowed to stay as long as you want near/under the falls. I dare you to try a hard back massage under the falls (depending on the pressure of the water). This “blue space2” experience will surely be a big hit when you talk about it with your “amigos/amigas” (male/female friends) the next time you see each other back home.

Once you signal your guide that you want to return, he will again pull the safety vests of floating persons who do not want to swim the deep water till they reach the first raft going back. You will go back the same way until you reach the River Tubing spot, after about 15 minutes of trekking. Refer to the same guidelines I gave earlier.

The River Tubing is the last time you will see your guides so I am sure you want to thank them. Please do not forget to give a tip to your guides when you land, ok?

After the River Tubing experience, you can then go back and join the rest of your group in your rented private room (for those staying overnight) or native hut (for day use only). Some may decide to snack, have brunch, or opt to shower/take a bath and change clothes.

9-rooms                                                           Cottages for rent

8-restrooms-1                                      Separate male and female shower/rest rooms

8-restrooms-2                                             Interior of female shower/rest room

9-camping site                                           Camping Site – tents are available for rent

12-swimming pool-ok                                                                Swimming Pool

10-pavilion                                                 the Pavilion for large get-togethers

I have been entertaining family members and friends through the years in this destination but have not experienced staying overnight. Who knows, I might do it next time so I can share the experience with you as well.

By the way, I always pay for my visits and all comments are based on my repeated experience in this Eco-Park.

I was also told by General Manager (GM) Raymund Diaz about the following additional offerings of the Eco-Park:

1. Massage-Therapy, i.e., Hilot-Wellness Full Body Massage at PHP300 per hour, starting April. This is good news for interested seniors! They have five massage beds and about 20 trained massage-therapists on call. I need to try this!9-Massage-3

2. A 200-meter trail leading to a point where one can have a panoramic view of the town of Pangil and Laguna de Bay, along with a bambusetum, a garden with a collection of bamboo plants. This, I’ve got to see during my next visit!9-new walk

3. An extension of the River Tubing to double the length of the ride so that means double the fun, fun, fun for all to enjoy going downstream! Watch out for it; it is coming soon!

Special thanks to the following for the information shared: GM Diaz, Assistant GM Richmond Samson and Cashiers: Mafeh, Rose Ann and Dhang!

Bottomline, this is an exciting and reasonably-priced day trip for you and your family/friends. This “blue space2” is just about 3 hours (or less, depending on the traffic) from the Calamba exit of SLEX. The air is fresh, so you can declog your urban-polluted lungs. Only basic facilities are offered, thus, do not expect five-star facilities/services. You will definitely feel a bit tired, but fulfilled, from this experience.

Did you find this post informative? Have you also experienced going to the Panguil River Eco-Park, either just for the day or overnight? I would like to hear from you. Do post your comment/s below. Do not forget to follow me by clicking “Follow” on the lower right corner of your device. Thank you!

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1Panguil is the original spelling of Pangil, the town in Laguna, where the Ambon Ambon Falls is located.

2Blue space is the term for visible water needed to improve the quality of life.1 Examples of blue spaces are beaches, canals, fountains, harbors, islands, islets, lakes, marinas, ponds, ports, rivers, streams, and waterfront parks.  To know more about blue space, see my post: Short and Simple: WHAT IS BLUE SPACE?

Pinoy Delight: SAVORING SALTED EGGS OF ITLOG NI KUYA

It is rainy season in the Philippines so lunch or dinner with hot soup, smoked or fried fish, and a side dish of chopped tomatoes and salted egg is a welcome treat, to be enjoyed with the whole family. Such a simple pleasure yet so satisfying!

2-collage-2      take your pick of fried fish (tinapa, galunggong or tulingan) with salted egg salad

And talking about salted eggs, I recall with fondness Ang Tindahan ng Itlog ni Kuya at Iba Pa, located at Barangay Banca-Banca, along the National Highway of Victoria, Laguna. I buy salted eggs as “pasalubong1” for family and friends in Metro Manila during my visits.1-Antipolo-San Pedro-6             from the Facebook account, ItlogniKuya – Antipolo and San Pedro Laguna

Now, when those who are not familiar with the store ask me where I bought the eggs, they smile at my answer, and ask me again because they thought I was joking, knowing my sense of humor!

2-collage-1

Anyway, for those who are not familiar with this store and have not seen its feature in various television/radio shows (Agribusiness Talk Show, Everybody Happy, GoNegosyo, Kusina Master, My Puhunan, PinasSarap News TV, Radio Negosyo, Rated K, Something to Chew On, Umagang Kay Ganda, and Unang Hirit), read on. It was even awarded the Golden Globe Annual Award for Business Excellence on September 19, 2015.2

There is indeed a store called Itlog ni Kuya, for short, and the salted egg they sell is so delightful!

interior of Victoria, Laguna Store

2-orderboard                                        Items offered by the Victoria, Laguna Store

2-pasalubongOther goodies offered by the Victoria, Laguna store, open from 8:00 am till 8:00 pm daily

Personally, there are four reasons why I like its salted egg. First, the egg is processed more hygienically in a common traditional method and the egg shell is not colored (unlike what has been the widespread practice in early times using a dark pink or red dye). I appreciate this feature as my hands will not be stained when I cut the egg in half.

1-Lucena branch-1                     from the Facebook account, Tindahan ng ItlogniKuyaLucena branch

The resulting salted egg has a plain white shell with a small sticker printed with the Itlog ni Kuya logo. Do not be misled by its simple exterior marking; the egg inside has a high quality which will definitely satisfy you.

Second, this salted egg is organic. The ducks are fed with rice bran, fishes, sweet potatoes, and fresh water shells (called “tulya”).2 Natural products like probiotics are used; no antibiotics are used.

Third, the egg yolk has a very desirable dark orange color with a pleasing grainy texture and the much sought after characteristic, the oily portion.

Fourth, the flavor is just right, it is agreeably salty and the yolk’s grainy texture and oiliness are so enjoyable.

Personally, I mix chopped salted eggs with chopped ripe tomatoes but when I find pako3 in the wet market, I see to it that I make Pako Salad (blanched pako, chopped salted eggs, tomatoes and onions, served with a vinegar dressing or one made from calamansi, honey and fish sauce).2-Pako Salad

At this point, allow me to tell you how this store started. Victoria, Laguna, is the town between Calauan and Pila (when you are cruising southward along the National Highway, coming from SLEX-Calamba exit), about 90 km south of Manila. It is known as the Duck Raising Capital of the Philippines, according to the Wikipedia page “Victoria, Laguna”.4 Thus, it is no surprise that Itlog ni Kuya started in this town.2-location

The duck products of Itlog ni Kuya come from the Leo Dator Duck Farm of Victoria, Laguna, owned by Napoleon “Leo” Dator, Jr. and Josephine Dator. The farm started in 1983 with 1,000 birds, and, in 2006, the Peking Duck Farm was added. Together, these two farms comprise what is considered as one of the largest leading duck raisers in the Philippines.2

In the mid-2003, Leo began to use cassava as his sole basal feed. Today, his dry feed ratio is made of 70% cassava, 15% fish meal, and 15% rice bran (which serves as a binder), mixed and consumed daily. He also adds amino acids as well as vitamin-and-mineral premixes. The ducks are dry fed three times a day.2 Supplementing the cassava-based dry feed, Leo mixes fish meal with pond snails (suso) to produce wet feeds that are given to the ducks four times a day.2

Itlog ni Kuya also sells fresh and dressed US-breed, locally grown, Peking ducks.2-live peking

Breeds include: Cherry Valley of London, Long Island, Philippine Mallard, Dumalaga, and native duck.2

The ducks are not grown free-range; since 1984, they are sheltered in elevated buildings, called “houses,” that have slatted plastic flooring, in order to keep their feeding consistent and eventual production consistent as well, even during the rainy season.2

Each “house” has about 2,000 birds, or a density of five birds per square meter. The floor is covered with rice hull.2

The female-male ratio is 10:1 and the females remain productive for two years, with selective culling as the practice to keep only productive ducks. Unlike in layer chickens, duck eggs should be fertilized because they are used primarily for balut5 and salted egg processing.2

Leo has ready-to-lay birds in different areas, including the provinces of Bulacan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Quezon, Quirino and Tarlac.2

So here some of the duck products offered by Itlog ni Kuya2, depending on the outlet/branch:

  1. Organic salted egg – different sizes1-Antipolo-San Pedro-7-ok

2. Balut5 and penoy61-Tarlac Branch-2                            from the Facebook account, Tindahan ng ItlogniKuya –Tarlac branch

3. Dressed duck

4. Fresh and Dressed Peking Duck – the duck is grown within 50-60 days for meat, with an average live weight of 3.3 kilos

5. Crispy Fried Kinulob Peking Duck – the duck is cooked in ten herbs and spices for three hours until tender, roasted then deep-fried1-Antipolo-San Pedro-5                      from the Facebook account, ItlogniKuya – Antipolo and San Pedro Laguna

6. One-day old duckling, ordered in advance

7. Duck Ham (November till the Christmas season)

8. Organic Salted Egg Potato Chips

Have I convinced you to try its salted egg? Are you craving for it now? Here are some of its outlets:

  1. Purok 3, Barangay Banca Banca, Victoria, Laguna – 09173701158, 09156468134 (orders), 09172424547 (for dealership)
  2. Barangay Bacnotan, Calamba City, Laguna – 09362044767, 09062011823
  3. National Highway, Real, Calamba City, Laguna – 09998354711, 09556888354
  4. By Pass Road, Barangay Lamesa, Calamba City, Laguna – 09953141747
  5. Pansol, Calamba, Laguna
  6. Maharlika Highway, San Pablo City – 09175640714
  7. White Plains, along (former) Katipunan Avenue (beside Libalib’s Garden), Quezon City
  8. ADB Triangle, Sta. Rosa Road, Barangay Francisco, Tagaytay City – 09276092758
  9. Francis Square, Doña Julia Vargas Avenue corner Bank Drive, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City – 09168763028
  10. Block 1, Villa Carolina 1 National Highway (beside St. Pedro across Petron Gas Station), Tunasan, Muntinlupa City
  11. Daleon Street corner Merchan Street, Barangay XI, Lucena City
  12. Unit 3, Ground Floor, Citadel Building, Fairlane Subdivision corner By Pass Road, San Vicente, Tarlac City, Tarlac, Tarlac – 09664668854
  13. Lipa, Batangas (in front of Flowers and Greens and Jake’s BBQ)
  14. Unit 3, Citadel Building, Bypass Road corner Fairlane Subdivision, San Vicente, Tarlac City

1-Tarlac Branch                       from the Facebook account, Tindahan ng ItlogniKuya –Tarlac branch

I have only visited the main outlet, the one located in Victoria, Laguna. It also offers other goodies and even pasalubong1 items. Just zoom the pictures below to see them.

The restaurant, adjacent to the store, is being renovated. I will update this information when I have time to go back. Otherwise, just contact them through the information mentioned.

Visit its official website: www.itlognikuya.com; Facebook: Ang Tindahan ng Itlog ni Kuya

This is not a sponsored post. I paid for all my purchases in this store.

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you. Do leave a comment, either by clicking “Leave a comment” on the upper right corner of this post, or type/enter your comment on the “Leave a Reply” box. Please scroll below and click the “Like” tab, and “Facebook” to share this post. Do not forget to follow me by clicking “Follow” on the lower right corner of your device.

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1Pasalubong is the Filipino tradition of travelers bringing gifts/souvenirs from a destination they visited to people back home. The term is also used to refer to the gift/s purchased as such. Information is from the Wikipedia page “Pasalubong”.7

 2www.itlognikuya.com

3Fiddlehead fern (Athyrium Esculentum)8, called pako in the Philippines, is grown along the banks of streams or rivers. This vegetable fern is commonly sold in bundles at a very affordable price, about 3 bundles for a hundred Philippine pesos. It is abundant during the rainy season and can be eaten raw (but it is best to blanch it before using it as a fresh salad ingredient) or cooked.

4“Victoria, Laguna,” accessed June 27, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria,_Laguna.

5Balut, or balot, is a popular Filipino delicacy, often sold as street food through vendors during nightfall, typically repeated shouting on a low-high tone: “Baluuuut, Penoy, Baluuuut”. It is a boiled or steamed (14-21 day-old, ideally 17 day-old) fertilized duck egg with a developing embryo inside. The contents are eaten directly from the shell, with salt, or a chili-garlic-vinegar mixture. The rounded end of the balut is opened just enough for the person to place a pinch of salt and sip the precious broth surrounding the embryo. The shell is then peeled to enjoy the yolk and young chick. The partially-developed embryo bones are soft enough to chew and swallow as a whole. The white albumen may be consumed, depending on the incubating period, but when it is tough and rubbery in texture, it is not eaten. Information is from Wikipedia page “Balut”.9

6Penoy is another Filipino street delicacy, like balut5, but the duck’s egg is unfertilized or not properly developed after 9-12 days, even after undergoing the incubation period, according to the Wikipedia page “Balut (food)”.9 Penoy is only semi-developed and is sold, along with balut, through vendors at night. Bottomline, penoy is an unfertilized balut. There are two kinds of penoy: a soupy kind called “masabaw” and the other is dry, called “tuyo”. The latter looks, smells and tastes like a regular hard-boiled egg. Both can be eaten just like balut, with salt or vinegar mix. Vendors use a pencil to place a mark on the shell of the two kinds of penoy, like a horizontal dark line and a vertical line for the other.

7“Pasalubong,” accessed June 27, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasalubong.

8www.atbp.com

9“Balut (food),” accessed June 27, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balut_(food).

Schatz, these are the labelsfor the pictures. Pls ignore; do not delete:

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign Seniors Ask: HOW MANY CITIES ARE THERE IN THE PHILIPPINES?

Dear Senior Citizen (SC), did you know that there are 145 cities1 in the Philippines? Do you know what they are and their locations? Here’s a table which alphabetically presents the cities, along with their years of ratification, legal class*, province2 and region3.

This post is also for foreigners who would like to know more about the Philippines.

  CITY

Year of Ratifi-cation as a City

 LEGAL  CLASS*   PROVINCE   REGION
Alaminos 2001 CC Pangasinan I – Ilocos
Angeles 1964 HUC Pampanga III – Central Luzon
Antipolo 1998 CC Rizal 4-A – CALABARZON
Bacolod 1938 HUC Negros Occidental VI – Western Visayas
Bacoor 2012 CC Cavite 4-A – CALABARZON
Bago 1966 CC Negros Occidental VI – Western Visayas
Baguio 1909 HUC Benguet CAR – Cordillera Administrative Region
Bais 1968 CC Negros Oriental VII – Central Visayas
Balanga 2000 CC Bataan III – Central Luzon
Batac 2007 CC Ilocos Norte I – Ilocos
Batangas City 1969 CC Batangas 4-A – CALABARZON
Bayawan 2000 CC Negros Oriental VII – Central Visayas
Baybay 2007 CC Leyte VIII – Eastern Visayas
Bayugan 2007 CC Agusan del Sur XIII – Caraga
Biñan 2010 CC Laguna 4-A – CALABARZON
Bislig 2000 CC Surigao del Sur XIII – Caraga
Bogo 2007 CC Cebu VII – Central Visayas
Borongan 2007 CC Eastern Samar VIII – Eastern Visayas
Butuan 1950 HUC Agusan del Norte XIII – Caraga
Cabadbaran 2007 CC Agusan del Norte XIII – Caraga
Cabanatuan 1950 CC Nueva Ecija III – Central Luzon
Cabuyao 2012 CC Laguna 4-A – CALABARZON
Cadiz 1967 CC Negros Occidental VI – Western Visayas
Cagayan de Oro 1950 HUC Misamis Oriental X – Northern Mindanao
Calamba 2001 CC Laguna 4-A – CALABARZON
Calapan 1998 CC Oriental Mindoro XVII – Southwestern Tagalog
Calbayog 1948 CC Samar VIII – Eastern Visayas
Caloocan 1962 HUC NCR – National Capital Region
Candon 2001 CC Ilocos Sur I – Ilocos
Canlaon 1961 CC Negros Oriental VII – Central Visayas
Carcar 2007 CC Cebu VII – Central Visayas
Catbalogan 2007 CC Samar VIII – Eastern Visayas
Cauayan 2001 CC Isabela II – Cagayan Valley
Cavite City 1940 CC Cavite 4-A – CALABARZON
Cebu City 1937 HUC Cebu VII – Central Visayas
Cotabato City 1959 ICC Maguindanao XII – SOCCSKSARGEN
Dagupan 1947 ICC Pangasinan I – Ilocos
Danao 1961 CC Cebu VII – Central Visayas
Dapitan 1963 CC Zamboanga

del Norte

IX – Zamboanga Peninsula
Dasmariñas 2009 CC Cavite 4-A – CALABARZON
Davao City 1937 HUC Davao Del Sur XI – Davao
Digos 2000 CC Davao Del Sur XI – Davao
Dipolog 1970 CC Zamboanga

del Norte

IX – Zamboanga Peninsula
Dumaguete 1948 CC Negros Oriental VII – Central Visayas
El Salvador 2007 CC Misamis Oriental X – Northern Mindanao
Escalante 2001 CC Negros Occidental VI – Western Visayas
Gapan 2001 CC Nueva Ecija III – Central Luzon
General Santos 1968 HUC South Cotabato XII – SOCCSKSARGEN
General Trias 2015 CC Cavite 4-A – CALABARZON
Ginggog 1960 CC Misamis Oriental X – Northern Mindanao
Guihulngan 2007 CC Negros Oriental VII – Central Visayas
Himamaylan 2001 CC Negros Occidental VI – Western Visayas
Ilagan 2012 CC Isabela II – Cagayan Valley
Iligan 1950 HUC Lanao del Norte X – Northern Mindanao
Iloilo City 1937 HUC Iloilo VI – Western Visayas
Imus 2012 CC Cavite 4-A – CALABARZON
Iriga 1968 CC Camarines Sur V – Bicol
Isabela 2001 CC Basilan IX – Zamboanga Peninsula
Kabankalan 1997 CC Negros Occidental VI – Western Visayas
Kidapawan 1998 CC (North) Cotabato XII – SOCCSKSARGEN
Koronadal 2000 CC South Cotabato XII – SOCCSKSARGEN
La Carlota 1966 CC Negros Occidental VI – Western Visayas
Lamitan 2007 CC Basilan ARMM
Laoag 1966 CC Ilocos Norte I – Ilocos
Lapu-Lapu 1961 HUC Cebu VII – Central Visayas
Las Piñas 1997 HUC NCR – National Capital Region
Legazpi 1959 CC Albay V – Bicol
Ligao 2001 CC Albay V – Bicol
Lipa 1947 CC Batangas 4-A – CALABARZON
Lucena 1962 HUC Quezon 4-A – CALABARZON
Maasin 2000 CC Southern Leyte VIII – Eastern Visayas
Mabalacat 2012 CC Pampanga III – Central Luzon
Makati 1995 HUC NCR – National Capital Region
Malabon 2001 HUC NCR – National Capital Region
Malaybalay 1998 CC Bukidnon X – Northern Mindanao
Malolos 1999 CC Bulacan III – Central Luzon
Mandaluyong 1994 HUC NCR – National Capital Region
Mandaue 1969 HUC Cebu VII – Central Visayas
Manila 1901 HUC NCR – National Capital Region
Marawi 1950 CC Lanao del Sur ARMM
Marikina 1996 HUC NCR – National Capital Region
Masbate City 2000 CC Masbate V – Bicol
Mati 2007 CC Davao Oriental XI – Davao
Meycauayan 2006 CC Bulacan III – Central Luzon
Muñoz 2000 CC Nueva Ecija III – Central Luzon
Muntinlupa 1995 HUC NCR – National Capital Region
Naga 1948 ICC Camarines Sur V – Bicol
Naga 2007 CC Cebu VII – Central Visayas
Navotas 2007 HUC NCR
Olongapo 1966 HUC Zambales III – Central Luzon
Ormoc 1947 ICC Leyte VIII – Eastern Visayas
Oroquieta 1970 CC Misamis Occidental X – Northern Mindanao
Ozamiz 1948 CC Misamis Occidental X – Northern Mindanao
Pagadian 1969 CC Zamboanga del Sur IX – Zamboanga Peninsula
Palayan 1965 CC Nueva Ecija III – Central Luzon
Panabo 2001 CC Davao del Norte XI – Davao
Parañaque 1998 HUC NCR – National Capital Region
Pasay 1947 HUC NCR – National Capital Region
Pasig 1995 HUC NCR – National Capital Region
Passi 1998 CC Iloilo VI – Western Visayas
Puerto Princesa 1970 HUC Palawan XVII – Southwestern Tagalog
Quezon City 1939 HUC NCR – National Capital Region
Roxas 1951 CC Capiz VI – Western Visayas
Sagay 1996 CC Negros Occidental VI – Western Visayas
Samal 1998 CC Davao del Norte XI – Davao
San Carlos 1960 CC Negros Occidental VI – Western Visayas
San Carlos 1966 CC Pangasinan I – Ilocos
San Fernando 1998 CC La Union I – Ilocos
San Fernando 2001 CC Pampanga III – Central Luzon
San Jose 1969 CC Nueva Ecija III – Central Luzon
San Jose del Monte 2000 CC Bulacan III – Central Luzon
San Juan 2007 HUC NCR – National Capital Region
San Pablo 1941 CC Laguna 4-A – CALABARZON
San Pedro 2013 CC Laguna 4-A – CALABARZON
Santa Rosa 2004 CC Laguna 4-A – CALABARZON
Santiago 1994 ICC Isabela II – Cagayan Valley
Silay 1957 CC Negros Occidental VI – Western Visayas
Sipalay 2001 CC  Negros Occidental VI – Western Visayas
Sorsogon City 2000 CC Sorsogon V – Bicol
Surigao City 1970 CC Surigao del Norte XIII – Caraga
Tabaco 2001 CC Albay V – Bicol
Tabuk 2007 CC Kalinga CAR – Cordillera Administrative Region
Tacloban 1953 HUC Leyte VIII – Eastern Visayas
Tacurong 2000 CC Sultan Kudarat XII – SOCCSKSARGEN
Tagaytay 1938 CC Cavite 4-A – CALABARZON
Tagbilaran 1966 CC Bohol VII – Central Visayas
Taguig 2004 HUC NCR – National Capital Region
Tagum 1998 CC Davao del Norte XI – Davao
Talisay 2000 CC Cebu VII – Central Visayas
Talisay 1998 CC Negros Occidental VI – Western Visayas
Tanauan 2001 CC Batangas 4-A – CALABARZON
Tandag 2007 CC Surigao del Sur XIII – Caraga
Tangub 1968 CC Misamis Occidental X – Northern Mindanao
Tanjay 2001 CC Negros Oriental VII – Central Visayas
Tarlac City 1998 CC Tarlac III – Central Luzon
Tayabas 2007 CC Quezon 4-A – CALABARZON
Toledo 1960 CC Cebu VII – Central Visayas
Trece Martires 1956 CC Cavite 4-A – CALABARZON
Tuguegarao 1999 CC Cagayan II – Cagayan Valley
Urdaneta 1998 CC Pangasinan I – Ilocos
Valencia 2000 CC Bukidnon X – Northern Mindanao
Valenzuela 1998 HUC NCR – National Capital Region
Victorias 1998 CC Negros Occidental VI – Western Visayas
Vigan 2001 CC Ilocos Sur I – Ilocos
Zamboanga City 1937 HUC Zamboanga del Sur IX – Zamboanga Peninsula

Legend: Legal Classes – CC –Component City4; ICC – Independent Component City5;HUC – Highly Urbanized City6

See my related posts – simply click the links below, so you will know more about the regions3 and provinces2 of the Philippines.

Well, dear Senior Citizens (SCs), how many of these cities have you visited? I have computed that if we visit one city per week, it would take us 3 years and 1 week to visit all our cities. Let’s start soon, ok?

Do visit related posts: Foreign Seniors Ask: WHAT ARE THE REGIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES? and Foreign Seniors Ask: WHAT ARE PROVINCES IN THE PHILIPPINES?

Did you find this post informative? Filipino SC, from what city do you come from? Please share the wonderful destinations, sites, or events that you recommend for SCs like us to enjoy when we visit your city. I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll and click “Leave a comment”. Do share this post with your Facebook friends, follow me by clicking on the bottom right corner of your device, and do not forget to like this post.  Thank you!

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1A city is the local government unit in the Philippines headed by a mayor elected by popular vote. A vice mayor serves as the presiding officer of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (city council), which serves as the city’s legislative body. Congress is the only legislative entity that can incorporate a city in the country. All Philippine cities are chartered cities7,generally are more autonomous and are given a bigger share of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) compared to regular municipalities8. Upon receiving its charter, a city also receives a full complement of executive departments to best serve its constituents. A city is governed by both the Local Government Code of 1991 and its own municipal charter9, under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines. There are 145 cities, as of 2016, in the country: 33 are highly urbanized6; 5 areindependent component5 and 107 are component cities4 of the provinces2 in which they are geographically located. NOTE: If the population of a city reaches 250,000, a city is entitled to at least one representative in the Philippine House of Representatives. The income classes for cities, based on average annual income for a 4-year period, are: first class city (400 million pesos or more); second class city (320 million but less than 400 million pesos); third class city (240 million but less than 320 million pesos); fourth class city (160 million but less than 240 million pesos); fifth class city (80 million but less than 160 million pesos); and, sixth class city (below 80 million pesos). All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Cities of the Philippines.”10

2A province is the primary administrative and political division in the Philippines. It is the second-level administrative sub-division of a region3. There are 81 provinces (called “lalawigan”) in the Philippines. Each province is governed by an elected legislature called the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and by an elected governor. NOTE: A province in thePhilippines is divided into cities and municipalities8 (or towns), which in turn, are divided into barangays11, formerly called barrios. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Provinces of the Philippines.”12

3A region is the first-order administrative division in the Philippines. There are 18 regions in the Philippines, based on geographical, cultural and ethnological characteristics. NOTE: It is further subdivided in provinces2, composed of cities and municipalities8 (or towns), which in turn, are divided into barangays11, formerly called barrios. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Regions of the Philippines.”13

4A component city (CC) is a type of city1 in the Philippines which does not meet the requirements of a highly urbanized city6. It is under the jurisdiction of a province2. If such a city is located along the boundaries of 2 or more provinces, it shall be considered part of the province of which it used to be a municipality8. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Cities of the Philippines.”10

5An independent component city (ICC) is a type of city1 in the Philippines which is autonomous from the province in which it is geographically located and has a charter that explicitly prohibits its residents to vote for provincial officials (unless allowed to do so). It does not meet the requirements of a highly urbanized city6. There are 5 such cities in the country: Cotabato, Dagupan, Naga, Ormoc, and Santiago. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Cities of the Philippines.”10

6A highly urbanized city (HUC) is a type of city1 in the Philippines with a minimum population of 200,000 as certified by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and with the latest annual income of at least 50 million pesos. There are currently 33 such cities in the Philippines (see table). All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Cities of the Philippines.”10

7A chartered city is a type of city1 in the Philippines which exists as an administrative and a corporate entity governed by its own specific municipal charter9, along with the Local Government Code of 1991 which specifies its administrative structure and powers. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Cities of the Philippines.”10

8A municipality is a small, single urban administrative division, or local government unit (LGU), in the Philippines which has corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by law. It is a unit under a province2, subdivided into barangays11, and is locally called “bayan”. In the Philippines, a municipality is headed by a mayor, a vice mayor and members of the Sangguniang Bayan (legislative branch). It can enact local policies and laws, enforce them, and govern its jurisdictions. It can enter into contracts and other transactions through its elected and appointed officials and can tax as well. It enforces all local and national laws. There are almost 1,500 municipalities in the Philippines and there are 6 income classes of municipalities in the country, based on annual income: first class municipality (with at least 400 million pesos); second class municipality (between 320 million -less than 400 million); third class municipality (between 240 million -less than 320 million pesos); fourth class municipality (between 160 million -less than 240 million pesos); fifth class municipality (between 80 million -less than 160 million pesos); and, sixth class municipality (below 80 million). All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Municipalities of the Philippines.”14

9A municipal charter is a legal document (charter) establishing a city1 in the Philippines. The Philippine Congress has established cities since 1946 with majority holding a plebiscite among the city’s voting population to ratify city charters.

10“Cities of the Philippines,” accessed July 17, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cities_of_the_Philippines.

11A barangay is the smallest administrative division in the Philippines, headed by a barangay captain, aided by a Sangguniang Barangay (Barangay Council). It is the native Filipino term for a district or village. It was formerly called a barrio. In a metropolitan area, a barangay is an inner city neighborhood, a suburb or a suburban neighborhood. NOTE: The word barangay originated from the term “balangay”, a kind of boat used by a group of Austronesian people who migrated to the Philippines. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Barangay.”15

12“Provinces of the Philippines,” accessed July 17, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provinces_of_the_Philippines.

13“Regions of the Philippines,” accessed July 17, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regions_of_the_Phjilippines.

14“Municipalities of the Philippines,” accessed July 17, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Municipalities_of_the_Philippines.

15“Barangay,” accessed July 17, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barangay.

I will provide links for my posts: 17 Regions of the Philippines

and 81 Provinces of the Philippines

 

Foreign Seniors Ask: WHAT ARE PROVINCES IN THE PHILIPPINES?

A province1 is a primary administrative and political division in the Philippines and is called “lalawigan” in Filipino2.

Now, you might ask again, dear Senior Citizens (SCs), why does Tita S need to list the 81 provinces of the Philippines? Well, I just want to suggest that you include the provinces1 you want to visit in your domestic travel bucket list (perhaps a short list per region3, depending on your interest, health and budget) and hopefully, tick them off one by one.

For the remaining half of 2018, why not enjoy a road trip with your high school or college/former work buddies or organize a long weekend with your family? Better yet, get away from your regular routine and just leave for a new province1 with your partner/loved one. See our beautiful country first before going overseas. Read my related posts: 2018 LONG WEEKENDS … “Byahe Na”! (Travel Now!) to guide you to plan your domestic trips and Foreign Seniors Ask: WHAT ARE THE REGIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES? to see the regions and provinces therein.

There are 81 provinces1 in the Philippines to choose from, and I have listed them alphabetically below, along with their capitals, and the region3 where they belong, according to Wikipedia page “Provinces of the Philippines”.4

PROVINCE CAPITAL REGION
1.      Abra Bangued Cordillera Administration Region
2.      Agusan del Norte Cabadbaran Region XIII – Caraga Region
3.      Agusan del Sur Prosperidad Region XIII – Caraga Region
4.      Aklan Kalibo Region VI – Western Visayas
5.      Albay Legazpi Region V – Bicol Region
6.      Antique San Jose Region VI – Western Visayas
7.      Apayao Kabugao Cordillera Administration Region
8.      Aurora Baler Region III – Central Luzon
9.      Basilan Lamitan Autonomous Region in

Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)

10.  Bataan Balanga Region III – Central Luzon
11.  Batanes Basco Region II –Cagayan Valley
12.  Batangas Batangas City Region IV-A – CALABARZON
13.  Benguet La Trinidad Cordillera Administration Region
14.  Biliran Naval Region VIII – Eastern Visayas
15.  Bohol Tagbilaran Region VII – Central Visayas
16.  Bukidnon Malaybalay Region X – Northern Mindanao
17.  Bulacan Malolos Region III – Central Luzon
18.  Cagayan Tuguegarao Region II –Cagayan Valley
19.  Camarines Norte Daet Region V – Bicol Region
20.  Camarines Sur Pili Region V – Bicol Region
21.  Camiguin Manbajao Region X – Northern Mindanao
22.  Capiz Roxas Region VI – Western Visayas
23.  Catanduanes Virac Region V – Bicol Region
24.  Cavite Imus City Region IV-A – CALABARZON
25.  Cebu Cebu City Region VII – Central Visayas
26.  Compostela Valley Nabunturan Region XI – Davao Region
27.  Cotabato (North Cotabato) Kidapawan Region XII – SOCCSKSARGEN
28.  Davao del Norte Tagum Region XI – Davao Region
29.  Davao del Sur Digos Region XI – Davao Region
30.  Davao Occidental Malita Region XI – Davao Region
31.  Davao Oriental Mati Region XI – Davao Region
32.  Dinagat Islands San Jose Region XIII – Caraga Region
33.  Eastern Samar Borongan Region VIII – Eastern Visayas
34.  Guimaras Jordan Region VI – Western Visayas
35.  Ifugao Lagawe Cordillera Administration Region
36.  Ilocos Norte Laoag Region I – Ilocos Region
37.  Ilocos Sur Vigan Region I – Ilocos Region
38.  Iloilo Iloilo City Region VI – Western Visayas
39.  Isabela Ilagan Region II –Cagayan Valley
40.  Kalinga Tabuk Cordillera Administration Region
41.  Laguna Santa Cruz Region IV-A – CALABARZON
42.  Lanao del Norte Tubod Region X – Northern Mindanao
43.  Lanao del Sur Marawi Autonomous Region in

Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)

44.  La Union San Fernando Region I – Ilocos Region
45.  Leyte Tacloban Region VIII – Eastern Visayas
46.  Maguindanao Shariff Aguak Autonomous Region in

Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)

47.  Marinduque Boac MIMAROPA
48.  Masbate Masbate City Region V – Bicol Region
49.  Misamis Occidental Oroquieta Region X – Northern Mindanao
50.  Misamis Oriental Cagayan de Oro Region X – Northern Mindanao
51.  Mountain Province Bontoc Cordillera Administration Region
52.  Negros Occidental Bacolod Region VI – Western Visayas
53.  Negros Oriental Dumaguete Region VII – Central Visayas
54.  Northern Samar Catarman Region VIII – Eastern Visayas
55.  Nueva Ecija Palayan Region III – Central Luzon
56.  Nueva Viscaya Bayombong Region II –Cagayan Valley
57.  Occidental Mindoro Mamburao MIMAROPA
58.  Oriental Mindoro Calapan MIMAROPA
59.  Palawan Puerto Princesa MIMAROPA
60.  Pampanga San Fernando Region III – Central Luzon
61.  Pangasinan Lingayen Region I –Ilocos Region
62.  Quezon Lucena Region IV-A – CALABARZON
63.  Quirino Cabarroguis Region II –Cagayan Valley
64.  Rizal Antipolo Region IV-A – CALABARZON
65.  Romblon Romblon MIMAROPA
66.  Samar (Western Samar) Catbalogan Region VIII – Eastern Visayas
67.  Sarangani Alabel Region XII – SOCCSKSARGEN
68.  Siquijor Siquijor Region VII – Central Visayas
69.  Sorsogon Sorsogon City Region V – Bicol Region
70.  South Cotabato Koronadal Region XII – SOCCSKSARGEN
71.  Southern Leyte Maasin Region VIII – Eastern Visayas
72.  Sultan Kudarat Isulan Region XII – SOCCSKSARGEN
73.  Sulu Jolo Autonomous Region in

Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)

74.  Surigao del Norte Surigao City Region XIII – Caraga Region
75.  Surigao del Sur Tandag Region XIII – Caraga Region
76.  Tarlac Tarlac City Region III – Central Luzon
77.  Tawi-Tawi Bongao Autonomous Region in

Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)

78.  Zambales Iba Region III – Central Luzon
79.  Zamboanga del Norte Dipolog Region IX- Zamboanga Peninsula
80.  Zamboanga del Sur Pagadian Region IX- Zamboanga Peninsula
81.  Zamboanga Sibugay Ipil Region IX- Zamboanga Peninsula

Visit www.nap.psa.gov.ph for the official list of provinces1 in the Philippines. You can also click on a province in the list of the website for more details.

Well, how many provinces have you visited to-date? It’s never too late, dear SCs. Just plan your trips ahead of time with your partner, family, or friends.

I personally computed that if I visit one province per week, it would take me: 1 year, 8 months and 1 week. If I visit one province per month, it would take me: 6 years, 2 months and 1 week.

Rates are way cheaper when you book way ahead of time. So, can you tell me where your next domestic trip will be?

Do visit related posts: Foreign Seniors Ask: HOW MANY CITIES ARE THERE IN THE PHILIPPINES? and Foreign Seniors Ask: WHAT ARE THE REGIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES?

Did you find this post informative? Filipino SC, from what province do you come from? Please share the wonderful destinations, sites, or events that you recommend for SCs like us to enjoy when we visit your province. I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll and click “Leave a comment”. Do share this post with your Facebook friends, follow me by clicking on the bottom right corner of your device, and do not forget to like this post.  Thank you!

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1A province is the primary administrative and political division in the Philippines. It is the second-level administrative sub-division of a region3. There are 81 provinces (called “lalawigan”) in the Philippines. Each province is governed by an elected legislature called the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and by an elected governor. Remember, a province in the Philippines is divided into cities5 and municipalities6 (or towns), which in turn, are divided into barangays6, formerly called barrios. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Provinces of the Philippines.”4

2Filipino is the national language (or “pambansang wika”) and one of the official languages of the Philippines. The Filipino language is largely the Tagalog dialect with additional words and letters from other existing Philippine languages, according to the Wikipedia page “Filipino language”.8

3A region is the first-order administrative division in the Philippines. There are 18 regions in the Philippines, based on geographical, cultural and ethnological characteristics. A region is further subdivided in provinces1, composed of cities and municipalities6 (or towns), which in turn, are divided into barangays7, formerly called barrios. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Regions of the Philippines.”9

4“Provinces of the Philippines,” accessed July 17, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provinces_of_the_Philippines.

5A city is the local government unit in the Philippines headed by a mayor elected by popular vote. A vice mayor serves as the presiding officer of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (city council), which serves as the city’s legislative body. Congress is the only legislative entity that can incorporate a city in the country. Upon receiving its charter, a city also receives a full complement of executive departments to best serve its constituents. There are 145 cities, as of 2016, in the country. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Cities of the Philippines.”10

6A municipality is a small, single urban administrative division, or local government unit (LGU), in the Philippines which has corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by law. It is a unit under a province1, subdivided into barangays3, and is locally called “bayan”. In the Philippines, a municipality is headed by a mayor, a vice mayor and members of the Sangguniang Bayan (legislative branch). It can enact local policies and laws, enforce them, and govern its jurisdictions. It can enter into contracts and other transactions through its elected and appointed officials and can tax as well. It enforces all local and national laws. There are almost 1,500 municipalities in the Philippines. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Municipalities of the Philippines.”11

7A barangay is the smallest administrative division in the Philippines, headed by a barangay captain, aided by a Sangguniang Barangay (Barangay Council). It is the native Filipino term for a district or village. It was formerly called a barrio. In a metropolitan area, a barangay is an inner city neighborhood, a suburb or a suburban neighborhood. NOTE: The word barangay originated from the term “balangay”, a kind of boat used by a group of Austronesian people who migrated to the Philippines. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Barangay.”12

8“Filipino language,” accessed July 17, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filipino_language.

9“Regions of the Philippines,” accessed July 17, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regions_of_the_Phjilippines.

10“Cities of the Philippines,” accessed July 17, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cities_of_the_Philippines.

11“Municipalities of the Philippines,” accessed July 17, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Municipalities_of_the_Philippines.

12“Barangay,” accessed July 17, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barangay.

I will provide a link to my post:  The 145 Cities of the Philippines

Foreign Seniors Ask: WHAT ARE THE REGIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES?

The Philippines is an archipelago1 and is divided into regions2 since 1972.A region is an administrative division based on geographical, cultural and ethnological characteristics. Each region is further subdivided in provinces3, composed of cities4 and municipalities5 (or towns), which in turn, are divided into barangays6, formerly called barrios, according to Wikipedia page “Regions of the Philippines”.7

Filipino Senior Citizens (SCs), you might ask: “Tita S, why write about this?” I’ll answer you with a question too, “Well, do you know all 17 regions of our beloved country and how many have you visited?” Besides, this post is also for the SCs and non-SCs from other countries who are curious to know more about our country, and as a Filipino, I am proud to share this information. Recall as well that I plan to travel as much as I can and explore the various regions of our beautiful country, ok? Besides, we can all be tourism ambassadors of our beloved country so we need to know this information if a foreigner asks.

This post can also help us make our SC bucket list. We can tick off our trips by region2. Or, if you like, you can also make your Philippine bucket list by province3 or by city4/town, depending on your state of health, interest and budget. Be wowed by our country before going abroad! I just wish that it will less expensive and more SC-friendly to travel domestically.

There are 17 regions in the Philippines, 16 are administrative regions8, and one is an autonomous region9, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) – see Region XV below. Allow me to briefly describe each region2, based on Wikipedia page “Regions of the Philippines”:

Region I, called the Ilocos Region, is a Philippine region located in the island group of Luzon10, with San Fernando (La Union) as its regional center. It has 5 local government units11 (LGUs): Dagupan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan.

Region II, called the Cagayan Valley Region, is a Philippine region located in the island groupof Luzon10, with Tuguegarao as its regional center. It has 6 local government units11 (LGUs): Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Viscaya, Quirino, and Santiago.

Region III, called the Central Luzon Region, is a Philippine region located in the island group of Luzon10, with San Fernando (Pampanga) as its regional center. It has 9 local government units11 (LGUs): Angeles, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Olongapo, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales.

Region IV-A, called the CALABARZON Region, is a Philippine region located in the island group of Luzon10, with Calamba as its regional center. It has 6 local government units11 (LGUs): Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Lucena, Quezon, and Rizal. NOTE: CALABARZON is an acronym for this region’s provinces: CAvite, LAguna, BAtangas, Rizal, QueZON.

Region V, called the Bicol Region, is a Philippine region located in the island group of Visayas12, with Legazpi as its regional center. It has 7 local government units11 (LGUs): Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, Naga, and Sorsogon.

Region VI, called the Western Visayas Region, is a Philippine region located in the island group of Visayas12, with Iloilo City as its regional center. It has 8 local government units11 (LGUs): Aklan, Antique, Bacolod, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Iloilo City, and Negros Occidental.

Region VII, called the Central Visayas Region, is a Philippine region located in the island group of Visayas12, with Cebu City as its regional center. It has 7 local government units11 (LGUs): Bohol, Cebu, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor.

Region VIII, called the Eastern Visayas Region, is a Philippine region located in the island group of Visayas12, with Tacloban as its regional center. It has 8 local government units11 (LGUs): Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Ormoc, Samar, Southern Leyte, and Tacloban.

Region IX, or the Zamboanga Peninsula Region, is a Philippine region located in the island group of Mindanao13, with Pagadian as its regional center. It has 5 local government units11 (LGUs): Isabela City, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga de Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay.

Region X, or the Northern Mindanao Region, is a Philippine region located in the island group of Mindanao13, with Cagayan de Oro as its regional center. It has 7 local government units11 (LGUs): Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro, Camiguin, Iligan, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, and Misamis Oriental.

Region XI, or the Davao Region, is a Philippine region located in the island group of Mindanao13, with Davao City as its regional center. It has 6 local government units11 (LGUs): Compostela Valley, Davao City, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, and Davao Occidental.

Region XII,or the SOCCSKSARGEN Region, is a Philippine region located in the island group of Mindanao13, with Koronadal as its regional center. It has 6 local government units11 (LGUs): Cotabato, Cotabato City, General Santos, Sarangani, South Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat. NOTE: SOCCSKSARGEN is an acronym for this region’s provinces: SOuthCotabato, Cotabato, Cotabato City, Sultan Kudarat, SARangani, GENeral Santos.

Region XIII, or the Caraga Region, is a Philippine region located in the island group of Mindanao13, with Butuan as its regional center. It has 6 local government units11 (LGUs):  Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Butuan, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur.

Region XIV, or the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), is a Philippine region located in the island group of Luzon10, with Baguio as its regional center. It has 7 local government units11 (LGUs): Abra, Apayao, Baguio, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province.

Region XV, or theAutonomous Region9 in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), isa Philippine region located in the island group of Mindanao13, with Cotabato City as its regional center. It has 5 local government units11 (LGUs): Basilan (excluding Isabela City), Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.

The latest news regarding Region XV was on July 17, 2018 when the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, or the Bangsamoro Organic Law, was approved by the 28-member bicameral conference committee (House of Representatives and Senate of the Philippines combined). It was ratified by both the Senate and House of Representatives on July 23 and 24, respectively, and was signed into law by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on July 26, 2018, according to the Wikipedia page “Bangsamoro Organic Law”.29 The law will then be ratified through a plebiscite in November 2018. If it is ratified, the ARMM will be replaced by this new region. If not, ARMM will stay.30 Let us wait and see if there will be changes regarding this region, which might affect the composition of the other existing Mindanao regions.

The National Capital Region (NCR) is a Philippine region located in the island group of Luzon10,with Manila as its regional center. It is the official and administrative urban area in the southwestern portion of Luzon surrounding Manila, established in 1975 through Presidential Decree No. 824. It is the capital region of the Philippines, the seat of government, and is officially called Metro Manila, composed of 16 cities4 (Caloocan, Las Piñas, Malabon, Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Novotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon City, San Juan, Taguig, Valenzuela) and the municipality5 of Pateros. It is the center of culture, economy, education and government of the Philippines.

MIMAROPA, or the Southwestern Tagalog Region (as of 2016), is a Philippine region located in the island group of Luzon10, with Calapan as its regional center. MIMAROPA is an acronym for this region’s provinces: MIndoro (Occidental and Oriental), MArinduque, ROmblon, PAlawan. It has 6 local government units11 (LGUs): Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Puerto Princesa (a city in Palawan), and Romblon. This region was formerly called Region IV-B (2002-2016).

Now, Senior Citizens, can you add one milestone to your travel list? Why don’t you visit even just one province3 per region2? Then, you can say that you visited all the regions of our country, right? Achieve!

Visit other related posts: Foreign Seniors Ask: WHAT ARE PROVINCES IN THE PHILIPPINES? and Foreign Seniors Ask: HOW MANY CITIES ARE THERE IN THE PHILIPPINES?

Did you find this post informative? Dear Filipino SC, from what Philippine region do you come from? Please tell me and my followers the wonderful destinations, sites, or events that you recommend for SCs like us to enjoy when we visit your region. I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll and click “Leave a comment”. Do share this post with your Facebook friends, follow me by clicking on the bottom right corner of your device, and do not forget to like this post.  Thank you!

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1An archipelago is a chain or cluster of islands or an island group. It is isolated, surrounded by bodies of water, and often volcanic, according to Wikipedia page “Archipelago”.14 Examples are the Philippines, Greece, Hawaii, Indonesia, Japan and New Zealand, to name a few.

2A region is the first-order administrative division inthe Philippines. There are 17 regions in the Philippines, based on geographical, cultural and ethnological characteristics. It is further subdivided in provinces3, composed of cities and municipalities5 (or towns), which in turn, are divided into barangays6. The aforementioned Philippine regions were initially identified in 1972, through Presidential Decree No. 1 of President Ferdinand Marcos. Since then, other regions have been created and some provinces have been “transferred” to another region. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Regions of the Philippines.”7

3A provinceis the primary administrative and political division in the Philippines. It is the second-level administrative sub-division of a region2. There are 81 provinces (called “lalawigan”) in the Philippines. Each province is governed by an elected legislature called the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and by an elected governor. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Provinces of the Philippines.”15

4A city is the local government unit in the Philippines headed by a mayor elected by popular vote. A vice mayor serves as the presiding officer of the Sangguniang Panlungsod16 (city council), which acts as the city’s legislative body. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Cities of the Philippines.”17

5A municipality is a small, single urban administrative division, or local government unit (LGU), in the Philippines which has corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by law. It is a unit under a province3, subdivided into barangays6, and is called town, or “bayan”. In the Philippines, a municipality is headed by a mayor, a vice mayor and members of the Sangguniang Bayan (legislative branch). It can enact local policies and laws, enforce them, and govern its jurisdictions. It can enter into contracts and other transactions through its elected and appointed officials, and can tax as well. It enforces all local and national laws. There are almost 1,500 municipalities in the Philippines and there are 6 income classes of municipalities in the country (based on annual income): first class municipality (with at least 400 million pesos); second class municipality (between 320,000,000-less than 400 million pesos); third class municipality (between 240 million-less than 320 million pesos); fourth class municipality (between 160 million-less than 240 million pesos); fifth class municipality (between 80 million-less than 160 million pesos); and, sixth class municipality (below 80 million). All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Municipalities of the Philippines.”18

6A barangay is the smallest administrative division in the Philippines, headed by a barangay captain, aided by a Sangguniang Barangay (Barangay Council). It is the native Filipino term for a district or village. It was formerly called a barrio. In a metropolitan area, a barangay is an inner city neighborhood, a suburb, or a suburban neighborhood. The word barangay originated from the term “balangay”, a kind of boat used by a group of Austronesian people who migrated to the Philippines.A number of barangays grouped together is called a district. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Barangay.”19

7“Regions of the Philippines,” accessed August 2, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regions_of_the_Philippines.

8An administrative region in the Philippines is an administrative grouping of provinces in the Philippines, except the National Capital Region which is composed of cities4 and municipalities5, according to Wikipedia page “Administrative divisions of the Philippines”.20

9An autonomous region in the Philippines is an administrative grouping of provinces3 in the Philippines which has the authority to control the region’s culture and economy. This region2 is a minority entity that has a higher population of a particular minority ethnic group, according to Wikipedia page “Administrative divisions of the Philippines”.20

10Luzon is one of the 3 major geographical divisions of the Philippines. It is the country’s largest (ranked 15th largest in the world) and most populated island, as well as its economical and political center. Luzon is composed of 8 regions2: Bicol, Cagayan Valley, CALABARZON, Central Luzon, Cordillera, Ilocos, MIMAROPA and the National Capital Region. The 2 other geographical divisions of the Philippines are Visayas12 and Mindanao13.

11A local government unit (LGU) in the Philippines is divided into 3 levels: provinces3 and independent cities21; component cities22 and municipalities5; and, barangays6, according to Wikipedia page “Local government in the Philippines”.23

12Visayas is one of the 3 major geographical divisions of the Philippines. It covers 3 administrative regions: Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas and Western Visayas. It consists of 6 major islands (Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Panay and Samar) mostly surrounded by the Visayan Sea, and is composed of 16 provinces, according to Wikipedia page “Visayas”.24 See the 2 other geographical divisions of the Philippines: Luzon10 and Mindanao13.

13Mindanao is one of the 3 major geographical divisions of the Philippines. It is the second largest island of the country and covers 6 administrative regions: CARAGA Region, Davao Region, Northern Mindanao, SOCCSKSARGEN, Zamboanga Peninsula, and ARMM.It is composed of 22 provinces and 33 cities. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Mindanao.”25 See the 2 other geographical divisions of the Philippines: Luzon10 and Visayas12.

14“Archipelago,” accessed August 2, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archipelago.

15“Provinces of the Philippines,” accessed August 2, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provinces_of_the_Philippines.

16Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council) is the legislature of cities in the Philippines, with legislative and quasi-judicial powers and functions. The vice mayor of the municipality, or city, serves as the presiding officer, with councilors as members. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Sangguniang Panlungsod”26

 17“Cities of the Philippines,” accessed August 2, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cities_of_the_Philippines.

18“Municipalities of the Philippines,” accessed August 2, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Municipalities_of_the_Philippines.

19“Barangay,” accessed August 2, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barangay.

20“Administrative Divisions of the Philippines,” accessed August 2, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Administrative_Divisions_of_the_Philippines.

21An independent city is a type of city4 in the Philippines which is administratively and legally not subject to a province3 so it does not share its tax revenues with any province. The national government and its agencies serve such a city through sub-offices of the region2 it belongs to. It is subdivided into 2: highly urbanized city27 or independent component city28. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Cities of the Philippines”17

22A component city is a type of city4 in the Philippines which does not meet the requirements of a highly urbanized city27. It is under the jurisdiction of a province3. If such a city is located along the boundaries of 2 or more provinces, it shall be considered part of the province of which it used to be a municipality5.

23“Local government in the Philippines,” accessed August 2, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_government_in_the_Philippines.

24“Visayas,” accessed August 2, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visayas.

25“Mindanao,” accessed August 2, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindanao.

26“Sangguniang Panlungsod,” accessed August 2, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sangguniang_Panlungsod.

27A highly urbanized city (HUC) is a type of city4 in the Philippines with a minimum population of 200,000 as certified by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and with the latest annual income of at least 50 million pesos, according to Wikipedia page “Cities of the Philippines”.17 There are currently 33 such cities in the Philippines (see link below).

28An independent component city (ICC) is a type of city4 in the Philippines which is autonomous from the province in which it is geographically located and has a charter that explicitly prohibits its residents to vote for provincial officials (unless allowed to do so). It does not meet the requirements of a highly urbanized city27. There are 5 such cities in the country: Cotabato, Dagupan, Naga, Ormoc, and Santiago. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Cities of the Philippines”17

29“Bangsamoro Organic Law.” accessed August 8, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangsamoro_Organic_Law

30www.newsinfo.inquirer.net