November 28, 2008

RP Resorts, Hotels Lauded by Readers of An International Travel Magazine

The Philippines has proven once again that it is still one of the best travel destinations in the world. Recently, several resorts and hotels located in the country were included in the Top Resorts, Islands, and Hotels in this year’s Readers’ Choice Award by Condé Nast Traveler, an international New York-published magazine.

Among the winners were Plantation Bay Resort and Spa in Cebu, which ranked 16th out of 25 in the Top Asian Resort Category and Cebu, which ranked 7th for the Top Islands Category. Pan Pacific Manila (44th), Makati Shangri-La (67th), and The Peninsula Manila (98th) were chosen as three of the Top Hotels in Asia.

Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai, Thailand bagged the top spot for Top Asian Resort. Maldives was hailed as Top Island Destination in the Asia – Indian Ocean region and Oberoi Udaivilas, found in Udaipur, India was declared by Condé Nast readers as the Top Hotel in Asia.

According to Condé Nast Traveler Editor in Chief Klara Glowczewska, the Readers’ Choice Award “celebrate[s] the destinations, lodgings, and modes of transportation that manage to exceed our expectations”.

Tracing it roots in 1988, the annual Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards is derived from its Readers' Choice Survey, the largest independent poll of consumers' preferences in the U.S. This year, 32,633 readers participated in the survey. Selected sample of its subscribers were given questionnaires containing a list of candidates. Voters will nominate the resort, island, hotel, city, car rental agencies, and cruise line of their choice. Write-ins were allowed. The candidates that reached a specified minimum number of votes were rated based on a 5-point scale and the results were averaged and tabulated.

The three Philippine hotels were judged based on food/dining, location, overall design, rooms, and service. For the resorts, the criteria used were activities/facilities, food/dining, location, overall design, rooms, and service

Hotels and resorts were sub-categorized based on their location: Europe; Mainland U.S.; Hawaii; Canada; Caribbean; Atlantic Ocean; Mexico, Central and South America; Asia; Middle East; Africa; and Australia and Pacific.
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Costas, Boboi. Cebu Daily News. Condé Nast Magazine's Survey. (Posted November 2, 2008) Retrieved November 16, 2008 from
Re posted in até-Nast-Magazines-Survey

Condé Nast Traveler: Readers' Choice Awards - Top Resorts. Retrieved November 16, 2008 from

Condé Nast Traveler: Readers' Choice Awards - Top Islands (Asia - Indian Ocean). Retrieved November 16, 2008 from

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Condé Nast Traveler: Readers' Choice Awards - Methodology. Retrieved November 16, 2008 from

'Condé Nast' poll rates Plantation Bay as one of the top resorts in Asia. Retrieved November 16, 2008 from

Condé Nast rates Plantation Bay as one of the top resorts in Asia. Retrieved November 16, 2008 fromé-nast-rates-plantation-bay-one-top-resorts-asia

November 21, 2008

Pinoy Resto Hailed in Asian Top 20 Guide

Whether it’s for a romantic dinner date with your loved one or for your wedding reception, choosing the best restaurant is a key factor to making your special day perfect. So, why not hold it in one of the best restaurants in Asia? Luckily, you don’t need to book a flight or reserve a hotel for this. One of them is located here in the Philippines, specifically in Tagaytay City.

Antonio’s Fine Dining was ranked as the 10th best restaurant in Asia out of 320 restaurants selected across 16 countries by the Miele Guide, an independent regional restaurant guide. On the other hand, Iggy’s, a restaurant in Singapore, was hailed as the best in the region.

The Guide described Antonio’s menu as “spoon-worthy as its ambience is swoon-worthy”. It further states that the restaurant “has consistently been considered among the top five restaurants in the Philippines and a favorite for proposals and intimate weddings”. This dining haven is located at Barangay Neogan, Tagaytay City, about two kilometers from the main road.

Managed by Antonio ‘Tonyboy’ Escalante, this 5-year old bistro offers a wide range of salads and grilled dishes, together with its signature dalandan juice. One of the most reviewed dishes here is the Antonio’s Trio. It is a sampler of Tenderloin Medallion with Gratin of Assorted Mushrooms on Lyonnaise Potato, Grilled Chilean Sea Bass with Truffle Clam Sauce, and Lamb Cutlets with Cardamon Buerre Blanc with Gnocchi.

Other Filipino restaurants that were included in the Miele Guide ranking are Sonya’s Garden and Kanin Club in Tagaytay; Le Soufflé in Rockwell; Abe, Aubergine, and Bistro Filipino in Bonifacio Global City; Casa Armas at The Podium; Heat and Shang Palace at the Edsa-Shangri-la, Manila; Elbert’s Steak Room and Apartment 1B in Makati; Prince Albert at the InterContinental Manila ; Old Swiss Inn in Makati; Sugi, People’s Palace, Museum Cafe, Via Mare , Italiannis, Pepato, Sentro 1771, and Chateau 1771 in Greenbelt; The Fireplace and Li Li at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila; Lolo Dad’s Café in Manila; La Cocina de Tita Moning near Malacañang; and El Cirkulo and Tsukiji in Pasay.

Did You Know?

The Miele Guide is a collaborative effort of Miele, a German manufacturer of premium domestic appliances and machines for commercial applications, and Ate Media, Singapore-based media consultancy and publishing company. The German company has helped published several Asian cookbooks such as Foodlore and Flavours: Inside the Southeast Asian Kitchen, a cookbook commissioned by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and published by Filipino company Artpost Asia. Miele’s long passion for fine dining and support for the food and wine industry, especially in Asia, paved the way for the creation of the Miele Guide

The Miele Guide ranking began in the early months of 2008. 84 Asian restaurant critics were invited to create the initial list of Asia’s best restaurants. Online voting began in May and ended on July 31. Voters were also given a chance to add more restaurants to the list. After that, a selected jury composed of food and wine professionals gave their own votes. The fourth phase involved the in-house team of Miele Guide and its contributing editors to anonymously dine at the possible winning restaurants and verify the votes gathered online and from the critics.

The country’s shortlist panel for the 2008/2009 edition of the Miele Guide were Ernest Reynoso Gala, chef-instructor at Sylvia Reynoso Gala Culinary Art Studio and contributor for; Jeffrey Valisno, senior reporter for Business World; Ana Marie ‘Nana’ Ozaeta, F & B World Magazine Editor; and Margaux Salcedo, food writer for Philippine Daily Inquirer (who also served as one of the contributing editors for the 2008/2009 edition).

Please visit Wedding Resources directory for the complete contact list of restaurants.

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Salcedo, Margaux. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Filipino restos voted among Asia’s best (Posted November 12, 2008) Retrieved November 12, 2008 from RP restaurant ranks 10th in Asia's 'top 20' (Posted November 4, 2008) Retrieved November 12, 2008 from

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Salcedo, Margauz. Margauxlicious. Filipino Restaurants That Made The Miele Guidem (Posted November 5, 2008) Retrieved November 12, 2008 from

Diaz, Anton. Our Awesome Planet. Nothing beats an Antonio's Dinner @ Tagaytay! (Posted February 8, 2006) Retrieved November 12, 2008 from

Lone Rider, The. Food Odyssey: Antonio’s Fine Dining. (Posted June 26, 2005) Retrieved November 12, 2008 from

Health Aficionados Assemble for Fitness Convention

Health and fitness conscious participants gathered during the 15th National Fitness Convention held at the Ruby Ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila in Ortigas Avenue, Quezon City last October 3-5, 2008.

Guided by the theme, “Fitness in the Age of Change“, the convention featured group exercise, personal training, and fitness management topics that aim to update fitness professionals with the latest trends and studies on staying healthy

Various seminars gave trainers and instructors new insights on how they conduct their training class, which includes choosing more vibrant exercise music, monitoring heart rate, training ethics, membership retention, nutrition and hydration tips and presentation development for trainers.

These topics were discussed by some of the best names in fitness and health. Among those who shared their knowledge are Lluis Noguer, Director of Sport at Club Q in Barcelona; Randy Huntington, former US Olympic Training Center Coordinator (Track and Field); Anthony Peterson, Vice President of International Sales and Marketing at Keiser; and David Velez, International Fitness Presenter for California Fitness.

This event was presented by Fitness Network Philippines and Keiser in cooperation with Gatorade Sports Science Institute, Cybex (, Sport Fit Inc., Walter Sugar-free Wheat Bread, and Business World.

November 7, 2008

Tourism Heads Focus on Climate, Poverty and Women at International Cebu Forum

Representatives from different countries tackled issues on climate change, poverty alleviation, and role of women in tourism at the 6th International Tourism Forum for Parliamentarians and Local Authorities (ITF-PLA) held last October 22-25, 2008 at the Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort and Spa, Cebu.

Delegates from 157 countries attended the biennial Tourism Forum, made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Department of Tourism (DOT), City Government of Cebu (, the Philippine Congress, and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

President Gloria Macapagal - Arroyo during the opening ceremony stated that the ITF-PLA should not only focus on current issues affecting the tourism industry but to attend to the dilemmas that will continue to influence and have an effect on tourism in the years to come. Furthermore, she emphasized to “keep our faith in tourism as a powerful instrument to alleviate poverty.”

UNWTO Secretary General Francesco Frangialli, DOT Secretary Joseph ‘Ace’ Durano, and House Representative Deputy Speaker Pablo Garcia gave the keynote addresses on Policy and Legislation for Tourism Development.

First held at Cadiz, Spain in 1995, the ITF-PLA assembles tourism heads, representatives and lawmakers from 154 member states and more than 350 affiliate members categorized under Business, Destination, and Education Council.

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UN World Tourism Organization. Affiliate Members Directory. Retrieved on October 24, 2008

Cruz, Irene Sino. Visayas Bureau, International tourism meet seen to boost Cebu, Bohol. Retrieved on October 24, 2008

Office of the President. PGMA's Speech during the Opening Ceremony of the UN-WTO 6th International Tourism for Parliamentarians and Local Authorities (October 22, 2008). Retrieved on October 24, 2008

Gov.Ph News. PGMA to open 6th U.N. tourism forum in Cebu Wednesday. Retrieved on October 24, 2008

GMANews.TV. UN tourism meet in Cebu to tackle global issues. Retrieved on October 24, 2008

Lato, Cris Evert. Cebu Daily News. Posted on Cebu to host global forum on tourism development. Retrieved on October 24, 2008