October 31, 2008

UP Madz Shines Through for Shrine of Jesus Benefit Concert

Encore. UP Madrigal Singers with choirmaster Mark
Carpio takes a bow after rendering two encores during their concert. Photo by Ace Lester Ramos
The University of the Philippines Madrigal Singers (UPMS), the two-time European Grand Prix for Choral Singing winner, shared their angelic voices for the Shrine of Jesus, The Way, The Truth and The Life benefit concert held at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater), Cultural Center of the Philippines last October 25, 2008.

Entitled “Shining Through”, the concert marks the 10th Fiesta Celebration of the Shrine. Furthermore it aims to help the UP-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) Pediatric Cancer Ward patients and the Shrine’s pastoral projects, which include assistance for the elderly and retired priests and inhabitants of Hospicio de San Jose.

Bro. Emmanuel Luis Bayan, head of the Education Ministry of the Shrine of Jesus, prays that this will jump start a series of fund-raising projects for the Shrine to have additional means to share God’s love to the less fortunate.

UPMS choirmaster Mr. Mark A. Carpio, on the other hand, hopes that through the concert, its members were able to share their love for music and help raise funds for the Shrine. Celebrating its 45th year since its establishment in 1963 by National Artist for Music Prof. Andrea Veneracion, the group is still focused in creating good music for other people.

Rev. Msgr. Roberto C. Canlas, rector of the Shrine, thanks the countless people who made the event a success. “It is a noble project in the sense that we are not the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries are people who need our care, who need our love, and who also need our financial assistance. We should be able to see Christ in the presence of others,” he adds.

Furthermore, Msgr. Canlas believes that the Shrine shall serve as an “oasis in the desert of spiritual growth” and will serve as a source of inspiration “where people can come amidst the busy life of the metropolis and the commercial area.”

The Shrine of Jesus, The Way, The Truth and The Life, located in Central Business Park at the Reclamation Area in Pasay City is based on the vision of the late Pope John Paul II in his visit to the Philippines during the World Youth Day in 1995. Due to the overwhelming number of attendees during his mass held at the Luneta Park in Roxas Boulevard, the Pope expressed his dream of establishing a church for the youth. During the mass presided by the Holy Father, then Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, DD handed down a stone, which the Holy Father blessed and stated that the stone shall serve as the cornerstone of the church for the youth.

The construction of the shrine was spearheaded by Cardinal Sin. The land in which the Shrine resides is donated by Felicidad and Henry Sy of SM Prime Holdings. The stone blessed by the Pope was placed at the altar of the Shrine. On July 9, 1999, the Shrine was finished and consecrated by His Eminence with Apostolic Nuncio Arch. Antonio Franco, DD, Cebu Arch. Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, DD and other bishops of the Philippines. In October of the same year, the Shrine celebrated its first fiesta.

Western Samar Dresses Up Locals, Roads for Tourism

Couples who are looking for an adventure-driven honeymoon may want to consider Western Samar as the Regional Director of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Samar governors, have been preparing the whole province to become a new tourist destination.

DOT Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes stated in her interview with Business World, that Samareños have started training as kayak operators, tour guides, cave guides and rescue team members to enhance “community-based tourism” in the region.

Together with the Philippine National Red Cross and the Sohoton Services Association, residents of Basey, Western Samar were given kayaks, protective gears, uniforms, tourism-related seminars and first aid training to ensure safety and enjoyment of tourists.

The Department is primarily promoting the Sohoton National Park. This 840-hectare marvel is a combination of caves, underground rivers, waterfalls and unique limestone formations that would surely fascinate nature-loving couples. With this new project, visitors will be able to see this natural wonder through kayak rides.

Aside from cave viewing, adventurous couples can also engage in nature trekking, bird watching, swimming, boating and other outdoor activities.

Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways have posted advertisements and invitations to local contractors to bid for the 77 kilometer road work project involving the provinces of Northern and Eastern Samar which include the road leading to Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park. This is to make the said tourist destination more accessible.

Also included in the priority project is the development of Guiuan Airport.

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Kasal.com thanks the following sources for this article:

CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art (Vol. V – Philippine Dance) Balitaw Posted by University of the Philippines Alumni and Friends Rondalla (UPA&FR) Retrieved October 18, 2008

Gabieta, Joey B. Leyte Samar Daily Express With Infra, EV is seen as new Tourist Destination Retrieved October 18, 2008

Global Pinoy Travel. Western Samar. Retrieved October 18, 2008

Meniano, Sarwell Q. Business World Weekender Community-based tourism initiatives set in Samar Retrieved October 15, 2008

Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8) DOT turns over kayak, protective gears to Sohoton Services Association Retrieved October 18, 2008

Rebamontan, Lucino Manila Bulletin Online Big road-concreting project in 2 Samar provinces okayed Retrieved October 15, 2008

Victoria, Rodrigo S. (PIA Biliran) SamarNews.com P249-M worth of concrete pavement project to be implemented next year. Retrieved October 18, 2008

Wow Philippines. Things to Do and see in Western Samar Retrieved October 18, 2008

October 27, 2008

Puerto Princesa receives laurel for environment maintenance

Palawan has just given couples more reasons to consider Puerto Princesa as their honeymoon destination.

The city, in its goal in protecting its rich and vast ecological treasure earned the first Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Environmentally Sustainable Cities Award given last October 8, 2008 at Hanoi, Vietnam.

In a press release posted t the ASEAN website, ASEAN Secretary-General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan said that “each city that received the Award tells a compelling story of how it has placed environment and nature at the core of city planning, the challenges it faced, and its resolve to ensure the cities remain environmentally sustainable as it develops and modernizes.”

Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn expresses his gratitude to Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Environment Management Bureau (DENR-EMB), who nominated the city, and the ASEAN for acknowledging their efforts to protect and conserve the natural beauty of the city amidst the high industrialization of other cities in the country. According to him, the cooperation of the Palaweños in all actions to safeguard its environment was the key to the implementation of his projects.

Dubbed as the Philippines’ Last Frontier, Palawan is home to vast hectares of rainforests, natural caves, high mountains, dive sites and breathtaking beaches.

Its line-up of tourist attractions consists of the El Nido Marine Reserve and Beach Resort; Tabon Cave, recognized as the “Cradle of Philippine Civilization”; Honda Bay filled with islets and dive sites; the Tubbataha Reef and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park which were proclaimed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1993 and 1999, respectively. The latter has remained first, while the former, fifth in rank in the candidates for the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Aside from natural wonders, couples can find the island a great venue for their honeymoon.Several resorts offer special honeymoon packages at very affordable prices. Its white sand beaches are also perfect for a sunset beach wedding.

To know more about Palawan wedding packages and suppliers, you may visit Kasal.com Wedding Resources.

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Kasal.com thanks the following sources for this article:

ASEAN Press Release. Ten Cities in ASEAN Receive the ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable City Award. Retrieved October 16, 2008

Manila Times Internet Edition. Puerto Princesa bags first environmental award. Retrieved October 16, 2008

Marinay, Manny B. Manila Bulletin Online. Hagedorn: Peoples’ participation key to protecting environment. Retrieved October 16, 2008

New7Wonders. The top 77 candidates of the New7Wonders of Nature Nominees (Live Ranking) October 18, 2008

Palawan.com. Puerto Princesa bags green award (original story posted at Business Mirror). Retrieved October 18, 2008

Palawan.com. About Palawan. Retrieved October 18, 2008

UNESCO.org UNESCO World Heritage List Retrieved October 18, 2008

Wow Philippines. Explore Philippines – Palawan Retrieved October 18, 2008

October 24, 2008

Quezon Wedding Industry Launched

Soon-to-be married couples and guests visited
the different booths during the event and inquired about the services of the exhibitors.
(Photo courtesy of Mardio Nadera)
Wedding suppliers from all over Quezon Province gathered to showcase their craftsmanship in their chosen fields at the Pacific Mall at Lucena, Quezon last September 16-30, 2008. A total of twenty exhibitors rom Sariaya, Lucena, Tayabas, and San Pablo, Laguna who are involved in wedding catering, photography, hair and make-up, flower set-up and arrangement, invitations offered package deals to to-be wed guests.

During the fair, Revelation Band entertained the crowd with acoustic rendition of popular love songs.

According to Miles Royales, wedding coordinator and events planner for Wave Events Services, the goal is to open up the wedding industry of Quezon, introduce the suppliers to the couples, and offer their services to them. She said that the Quezonians are traditionally ‘hands-on’ on weddings and at times, it is the locals who organize and plan it themselves.

“I’m trying to open up the idea that ‘Hey, someone is here to help you on the day of your wedding’ and they can choose from the wedding suppliers who are here who can give [them] quality service kasi at times because of pagtitipid… kasi sympre probinsya ‘to so all additional expenses parang mahal sa kanila ‘yon… We’re just trying to give them a beautiful wedding.” she adds.
Kasal.com team headed by Ms. Mathel Ong (second from the right) receives a Certificate of Appreciation from Ms. Myles Royales (first from the right) of Wave Event Services (Photo courtesy of Mardio Nadera)

Certificate of participation was given to all those who took part in the said event. The 15-day event was concluded at Graceland Estates and Country Club at Tayabas City where wedding suppliers had the time to mingle, network, and share insights regarding the local wedding business.

List of exhibitors:
Beauty and Fitness
Hair and Make up
Danica Suarez Salon

Skin, Dental Clinics
Dr. Sherwin Llego

Cakes and Deserts
Joel De Los Reyes

Caza Plaza Catering
Red Carpet, The Caterer

Design and Couture
Bridal Fashion
Threadmark by Buddy Reyes
Paganap by Charmaine Maranan

Flowers and Event Styling
1816 Flowers and Concepts by Tony Sasot
Las Flores de Canales by Gerry Canales

Quezon Design Works and Printing

Light and Sound
Big Boy Sounds and Lights

Photo and Video
Mardio Nadera Photography
Vinzon Reyes Studio
Teody Reyes Studio
Exposure Photography (San Pablo, Laguna)

Alternative Venues
Balai Sadyaya (Sariaya)
Graceland Estates and Country Club (Tayabas City)

Ouans Worth Farm and Resort Gazebo Garden (Lucena)

Max's Restaurant Tayabas

Wedding Planning
Wave Events Services

Please visit Kasal.com Wedding Resources directory for the complete contact details of the exhibitors.

Southern Manila staged First Bridal Show

Model brides and grooms walked on the runway to showcase the latest wedding collection of Junjun Cambe. (Make-up by The Body Shop. Hair style by Glenn del Rosario. Photo courtesy of Igi Caluyo of Philtrade Exhibits)
The best photographers, caterers, gown designers and service providers from Southern Manila display their best work during the First Southern Bridal Show –A Wedding Festival held at the Activity Center and Mini Trade Hall of Festival Supermall n Filinvest, Alabang from October 10-12, 2008

Organized by Philtrade Exhibits and presented by Filinvest Land and Festival Supermall, it aims to present the best wedding products and services from Paranaque, Muntinlupa and Las Piñas City, which comprise Southern Manila. Providers from Southern Luzon, such as those from Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas participated in this event as well.

A total of 80 exhibitors from various fields were in attendance to the two venues. Soon-to-be couples were given the chance to ask for advice on legal aspects and requirements for marriage courtesy of the Muntinlupa City government. Guests and couples were greeted with vintage cars; one was an authentic 1947 Jaguar Mark V courtesy of Don Robert’s Bridal Car. Exhibit areas and walkways serves as still runways for gowns made by Ines Juni, Fashion Forward and acclaimed designer, Rene Salud.

Engr. Alex del Rosario, President of Food Caterers Association of the Philippines; Michael Gotianun, Vice President for Filinvest Land Inc.; Roberto de Jesus Commercial Director of Filinvest Corporate City, Mrs. Leah San Pedro, First Lady of Muntinlupa City, Ma. Fe Christi Bernabe, First Lady of Paranaque City and actress Assunta de Rossi-Ledesma, wife of incumbent Cong. Julio ‘Jules’ Ledesma of Negros Occidental graced the opening ceremony.
Guests and VIPs line up for the Opening ceremony of the bridal fair. (Photo courtesy of Igi Caluyo of Philtrade Exhibits)

Mrs. de Rossi-Ledesma lit the Mother Candle to begin the opening prayer. After which a bridal fashion show commenced showcasing the works of local couturier Jun-jun Cambe. The ceremony was concluded with the ribbon cutting and butterfly release courtesy of Acclaim.

According to Igi Caluyo, Events Organizer for Philtrade Exhibits, they decided to focus on the southern area because of the abundance of suppliers and resources present in the area. Moreover, this part of the metro hosts some of the notable venues chosen primarily for weddings. Such venues include Leslies Tagaytay, Bellevue Manila and Fernbrook Gardens.

He added that wedding service providers from the northern part of the region have ventured in establishing branches of their business in this area. Aside from this, real estate companies have invested on lands in these parts of the metro; ideal for couples who are looking for an affordable place of their own.

Caluyo hopes that this bridal fair will allow south-based suppliers to open up to a larger market and expand their business in the coming years.

October 14, 2008

Department of Tourism makes Cebu as Wedding Capital for Japanese

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Ace Durano plans to place Cebu at the frontlines of top wedding destinations here in the country, especially for Japanese couples.

Known as the Queen City of the South, Cebu is home to some of the best white sand beach resorts and hotels such as Shangri-La Mactan Island Resort and Spa, which has built its own wedding chapel called Ocean Pavilion and Plantation Bay Resort and Spa which offers a wedding package set underwater.

The province also has an array of historically draped churches like the Basilica Minor de Santo Niño which was built by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Fr. Andres Urdaneta, who took part in the Spanish expedition back in 1565. The San Jose Parish Church, known as the Chapel of the Last Supper, is the home of the only life-sized carving of the Last Supper scene of Jesus Christ and his 12 Apostles here in the Philippines.

Did You Know?
Philippine Airlines flights for Osaka-Cebu are scheduled twice a week, every Thursday and Sunday departing from Kansai International Airport to arrive at Mactan International Airport. Return flights are also scheduled on the same day.Cebu Pacific meanwhile offers the trip thrice a week, every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
To make this more feasible, DOT has been working close hand with the Japanese Association of Travel Agents even meeting with Recruit Co. Ltd., publisher of Japanese bridal magazine called Zexy to promote Cebu along with other provinces as leisure and wedding destination.

Based on the department’s data, over 400,000 Japanese couples plan to hold their nuptial outside their country. The common wedding getaways are Hawaii and Guam. On the other hand, for the first quarter of 2008 alone, 216,000 Japanese tourists have visited the country. With such statistics plus the colorful ceremonies of Filipino weddings, Durano believes that the country can compete with these countries and offer the Philippines as another option to hold their wedding.

The secretary urges wedding coordinators, travel agencies all over the country and Visayan tour guides to come up with strategies and packages to further promote and offer the country as the new wedding haven for soon-to-be husband and wife.

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Kasal.com thanks the following sources for this article:

Cebu Pacific News. Cebu Pacific Flies Manila – Osaka. Retrieved October 8, 2008

Dagooc, Ehda. Cebu pushed as “Wedding Destination” Retrieved October 4, 2008

Dept. of Tourism. Visitor Arrivals to the Philippines by Country of Residence for the month of July 2008. Retrieved October 8, 2008

Montecillo, Paolo Luis G. PAL to restore Cebu- Osaka flights Retrieved October 8, 2008

Mozo, Malou. Manila Bulletin. DOT promoting Cebu province as ‘wedding capital’ of Asia’. Visayas section, October 8, 2008 issue

Ortiz, Margaux. RP now being pitched as wedding venue to tourists Retrieved October 7, 2008

Reyes, Mary Ann Ll. DOT expects more Japanese tourists this year, Retrieved October 7, 2008