I am on my way to Cebu where I meet up with my friend Kim to head for some dives to Malapascua. After packing my stuff I headed to the Dumaguete Airport and after 100 plus one promises to my girls that I will take care and to be a “good boy” I went to the check in to find out that my luggage doubled my ticket-price. I wonder if it’s possible to buy 2 tickets and fly alone, but having 30 Kilogram free luggage. They charge 100 peso per Kilo, so with a ticket-price of 700 Peso and 1200 Peso for exceeding by 12 Kilo it would make sense and safe a lot to buy 2 tickets for one person.
The rebuild terminal of the Dumaguete Airport has at least a working Aircon. And after sweating my ass of while falling in line and checking in I was freezing in the waiting area. The flight with a brand-new propeller machine of Cebu Pacific left the Dumaguete Airport at 7:20 in the morning and was actually very convenient and about 20 minutes in the air … only.
Kim booked for us “Eddies Hotel” and the taxi from Mactan to the Hotel in Cebu City was 150 Peso (Taximeter).
Mission of the day was do get to the immigration in Cebu and to run to Asia Divers to get some Spare-parts for my regulators. About 9:30 I got into a Taxi and headed towards Mandaue, where the immigration office is located. Even there were many people there it worked pretty fast and with less costs I was expecting. After only 1.5 hours I was done and on the way to Asia Divers.
A quick lunch at a Thai place at the SM Mall I went back to Eddies Place where I needed a rest. Now it’s about 7 :pm and my friend Km is soon to arrive. I am pretty hungry and I am sure we gonna have one or two cold ones later.
Just while typing that Kim txt me that his Cebu Pacific flight is delayed… new departure now 21:30. He won’t be here before 11:30. I guess he isn’t in a good mod, like always when he gotta fly with Cebu Pathetic.
So I will have my dinner alone now in the Hotel Restaurant and have a cold one afterwards…
So business is done and tomorrow the fun hopefully starts with our trip to Malapascua.
The small Island of Diwaran next to Coron, Palawan, is supposed to be transformed in a new Luxury-Beach-Resort until 2012. As this would support the local-tourism industry it’s still a question how that will end.. The whole Island should compete or stand aside Phuket in Thailand.
I don’t know if that is the way the Philippines want to go in the future. On the other hand 12.000 jobs is a lot. Below the article I found in a local newspaper. Lets see how all will develop…
CORON, PALAWAN—Stand aside, Phuket. Here comes Diwaran.
By 2012, the 55-hectare Diwaran Island, part of Coron Reefs in northern Palawan, will be transformed into the “single largest integrated island resort in all Asia.”
This is the hope of Ho Kwon Ping, the Singaporean executive chair of Banyan Tree Holdings, a big developer of resorts, hotels, spas and residential homes in the Asia Pacific.
He spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony of the planned resort on the largely uninhabited island Wednesday attended by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Dressed in casual attire, Ms Arroyo came with Tourism Secretary Ace Durano and Trade Secretary Peter Favila.
Challenge to Phuket
Ms Arroyo said that the project, which is estimated to cost $240 million, would be the next Phuket, the popular resort in Thailand. Ho’s company pioneered the development in that area.
“What he had been able to do there, he can certainly do here,” she said.
Ho showed the master plan of the Isla Diwaran project to Ms Arroyo under the shade of tents.
The island’s map shows that the beach with only fine white sand and few indigenous trees will have three hotels with villas, a marina with facilities for arrival by boat or by seaplane, and a town center where there will be recreational facilities and retail outlets.
“All together, if fully developed, these (hotels) will have 600 rooms … At its full occupancy, we will have more than 1,500 tourists on this island alone,” Ho said.
About 20 minutes by speedboat from Coron, the island will be a sure attraction for tourists. On the way, overhanging limestone cliffs are seen. Coron Reefs, a favorite site for divers, is also known for its diverse marine life.
As soon as the resort is completed, 3,000 people will be hired to work on the island, Ho said.
“We are expecting at least 12,000 people to acquire jobs directly and indirectly from this project,” he said.
Ms Arroyo told a fisherman in the crowd, Joel Saclet, that on nearby Amanpulo, residents no longer fished but worked in the high-end resort.
“Is that what you are also expecting?” she asked.
Saclet replied “yes, ma’am.”
“It’s not only in the operation but as well as in the construction and a lot of the people around … are expecting that as this island resort is being built, roads will be constructed from the airport to the Marcella port,” Ms Arroyo said.
Ho said the resort would open probably by 2012.
Based on Banyan’s statistics, Palawan will benefit from the total tourists’ spending of $200 million per year.
“This is generally a big help for Coron,” he said.
The company already has hotels in some of the world’s most exclusive and popular holiday spots such as the Seychelles and Maldives.
It will develop the project, its first in the Philippines, together with Filipino businessman Salvador Zamora of Tranzen Group.
Banyan Tree was founded by Ho, a former journalist, and his wife in 1994 and was one of the first resort chains to offer guests the seclusion of their own villa equipped with a private pool and a tropical spa.
Lets see how all will develop…
The demand for a nice hotel when coming to Dumaguete is getting bigger almost each month here. During high season it’s hard to find something up to date and most places are fully booked. Since a couple of weeks is a new Hotel quite central in Dumageute City.
Obdulias Business Inn is located next to BDO-bank and the Cathedral. It has a modern design and rooms starting around 700 peso. The rooms are spacious and well designed and with the elevator also accessible for elder guests without any problems. A restaurant in the same building offers international dishes including Thai and Indian cuisine.
Another edition to the Dumaguete Hotel scene is soon to open. Hotel Nicanor will open for guests in a few weeks and is about 2 minutes walking distance to Lee Plaza and the Boulevard. With 44 rooms Hotel Nicanor is one of the biggest Hotels in Dumaguete and can accommodate more than 100 guests. Hotel Nicanor is related somehow to the same Family which runs Hotel Palwa and that puts quite some weights on the shoulders of Katrina, the manager of Nicanor. Why?
Hotel Palwa is top of my “favorite-hotel-list” in Dumaguete because of the friendly staff and the lovely Frontdeskangels. Some of Nicanor’s future FD-staff is at the moment in training there and I must admit the staff-recruiter has a good taste… hehe
My Friend Kim has always a pleasant stay at Palwa and it will be hard to convince him to try something else… But as he puts me in charge for his booking he also might have no chance. The only problem would be if he is not happy he will drown me in SMB.
I am pretty sure the future will bring some more Hotels to Dumaguete, I’ll keep you informed … and there is always www.dumagueteinfo.com
I get many questions what is the best Dumaguete Hotel. That’s always hard to say as there is a wide range of Hotels in Dumaguete and the surrounding Beaches. A backpacker wants something different than a family, some need a beach Resort in Dauin, others need WIFI.
On our site www.dumagueteinfo .com we have some recommendations. So you can find out what is the best Hotel in Dumaguete for you. One which is always very high in the customer reviews is Hotel Palwa. The Hotel is central in Dumaguete and most is in walking distance. Also central located is Obdulias Business Inn. Just opened recently everything is new. Both Hotels offer WIFI for free to their guests.
When you arrive with your Kids you may consider Florentina Homes. Florentina Homes is a beutiful designed Appartelle. Each Appartment has 2 Bedrooms a kitchenette and a living area. Gabbys Bistro is the restaurant of Florentina and benefits from the long experience of chef Gabby in leading european restaurants.
More on the Budget Side is Casa Demonteverde. Casa Demonreverde is a homstay for Budget-traveler in Daro close to the Airport. The rooms have all a own shower and TV. At the moment Casa Demonteverde is about to install allso a wireless Internet System for their guests.
For more information how to find the right Hotel in Dumaguete you wanna have a look at our Dumaguete Hotel Site.
Mike an UPS-pilot from the States gave me a short notice call and asked about diving. He is a friend of my partner on Dumagueteinfo and visited Dumaguete to get certified as an Open Water Diver. He explained me his phobia with a near-drowning experience and that he has a phobia. Each time he has water around his nose he freaks out and panics. Being warned I could prepare myself.
Mike arrived on the Cebu-Pacific flight on Wednesday afternoon. After he checked in at Coco-Grande Hotel he gave me a call and we met at Mikes Diveshop, the facility I use when teaching classes. At 5 pm he came with Lyka, his lovely girlfriend. I tried to convince her to try a Discover Scuba Program, but she didn’t wanna do it. He came with filled in knowledge-reviews and well prepared. I gave him the typical forms and paperwork and we made the schedule for the next 3 days.
Thursday morning I packed the gear and picked him and Lyka up at the Hotel. Knowing about his Problem I decided not to go to the ocean for his Open Water dives. Instead of that we went to WellBeach-Resort near to Malatapay where I wanted to finish all confined water dives in one go. After a cup of coffee we started to assemble our gear and I briefed Mike what we gonna do under water. All skills went completely fine and I saved the “partial flooded mask clearing” skill until the end of the confined water dive one. Mike did a great job on that and had no problem on the second try. While he was doing that I watched him very closely, being prepared to pull him to the surface (from 4 feet depth) if any problems occur. His self-discipline was amazing as I could see his eyes very focused and listen to his concentrated breathing. After clearing the mask a couple of times we finished some more skills and confined water dives 1, 2 and 3 were done. I was not less happy than him after surfacing and we both laughed and smiled in our lunch break.
After lunch we finished confined water dive 4 and 5 with some minor hick-ups. This dives included mask clearing and no mask swimming. At the end of the dives I took away his mask and let him swim alone in the pool without any physical control. I threw the mask in the pool and he searched for it at the deep end, replaced it and cleared it. That was the sign that he is ready for the “big pool” the next day where our plan was to have Open Water Dive 1 and 2.
The story continues tomorrow. Than you can read about “teaching Scuba diving in a Typhoon”
Thanks for now and cheers