Palawan News

From Portal to The Philippines
Jump to: navigation, search

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Regions | Philippine Provinces | Philippine Cities | Municipalities | Barangays | High School Reunions

Province of Palawan - Archived News

Seal of Palawan
Please upload
Interactive Google Satellite Map of Palawan Province, Philippines
Palawan philippines map locator.png
Map locator of Palawan
Palawan map.jpg
Map of Palawan Island
Map of Palawan
Palawan provincial capitol 01.jpg
Provincial Capitol of Palawan
Give the gift of Smile.gif
In as few as 45 minutes a child or anyone can be saved from a lifetime of pain, shame and isolation. You can give them a chance to go to school, make friends and have a bright future. For as little as 100 pesos you can help provide a surgery for a child suffering from a cleft palate or cleft lip(harelip).

One act of random kindness at a time.

Visit our website: B.O.S.S.
Palawan underground river.gif
Undergroud River in Palawan
Palawan underground river.jpg
Underground river in Pureto Princesa, Palawan
Palawan baracuda lake.jpg
Baracuda Lake, Coron, Palawan
Palawan 001.jpg
U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie A. Kenney and USAID/Philippines Environment Office Chief Daniel Moore witness the safe and sustainable collection of ornamental fish by certified Marine Aquarium Council collectors in Palawan


Tubbataha management in Palawan seeks int’l maritime org protection vs growing shipping activities

By Keith Anthony S. Fabro [(PNA), JMC/CARF/KASF/EDS]

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Nov. 25 (PNA) -- The management of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (TRNP) is mulling on seeking the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) special protection against the growing shipping activities that threaten the marine park.

Angelique Songco, chief of the Tubbataha Management Office (TMO) in Palawan, said protecting the marine park from increasing shipping activities is attainable once the London-based IMO is able to identify and designate Tubbataha as a particularly sensitive sea area (PSSA) in the Philippines.

She said the PSSA is a “special protection” accorded to places with global significance in terms of marine ecology.

The IMO is important in the purpose, she explained, as it is a distinct agency of the United Nation’s (UN) that holds a role in the “shipping safety and security, and the marine pollution caused by ships and other sea transports.”

Since 1992, the worldwide shipping traffic reportedly went up by 300 percent.

The IMO established the PSSA program to preserve sensitive marine areas to be able to conserve resources living therein to sustain food for the planet.

This mechanism could save a lot of things that are at stake, such as fragile ecosystems, local tourism, fisheries and sites of historical importance, IMO noted further.

The TRNP was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. It is a 97,030-hectare Marine Protected Area (MPA) located 150 km southeast of Puerto Princesa City, lying at the heart of the Coral Triangle, the global centre of marine biodiversity.

The park sits at the junction of the two shipping routes that traverse the Sulu Sea – the north-south and the east-west routes – connecting the West Philippine Sea to the Celebes Sea in the south and to the Pacific Ocean on the eastern border of the Philippines, according to TMO.

Recto wants to tap P170-B Malampaya fund for SALt lamps mass production

By Ernie Reyes (

MANILA – Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Tuesday urged the government to bankroll the development and mass production of the Sustainable Alternative Light or SALt lamps with the P168.8-B Malampaya funds sitting idle at the National Treasury.

“If you look at government finances, there should be no problem in finding money for these saltwater lamps,” Recto said of the lanterns pitched by a Filipino engineer whom US President Barack Obama put on the world stage, in a conversation with Chinese Internet billionaire Jack Ma, at the recent APEC CEO Summit.

Recto pointed out there is even no need “to seek a budget from Congress because some of these funds are off-budget, meaning they can be tapped without having to go through the annual appropriations route, like the Malampaya royalty remittances.”

Recto was referring to the government share in revenue from the Malampaya natural gas field off the coast of Northern Palawan. Under the law creating the fund, it was primarily meant to bankroll energy-related projects, especially renewables that require bigger funding before they reach economies of scale and cost efficiencies.

The fund posted an outstanding balance of P168.9 billion as of May 31, 2015.

Since 2002, the government has received a total of P210.9 billion from the consortium operating the production well. Releases from this fund reached P42 billion, Recto said, citing an official Bureau of Treasury report.

Next year, Malampaya remittances are projected to hit P34.7 billion. “This means on a daily basis, Malampaya is pumping P91.7 million into the government coffers,” Recto said.

Government’s “daily windfall alone is more than enough” to finance the development of SALt’s full potential, Recto said.

“If reports are true that P20 million is what the developers initially need to jumpstart the lamp’s production, then just six hours’ worth of Malampaya would be enough,” Recto said.

One saline solution-powered lamp, which can produce up to 90 lumens of light, is said to cost $20, plus $3 every six months for the replacement anode.

Its developer, engineer Aisa Mijeno, said her group would welcome financial grants so they can mass produce it.

Recto said the government should approach Mijeno and offer her joint-venture engagements. “Lack of funds cannot be invoked as a reason because clearly they’re available.”

Aside from Malampaya proceeds, Recto said the Department of Science and Technlogy’s (DOST) P19.1-billion budget for 2016 features “grants to technology startups, assistance to inventors.”

He said the Senate has called the attention of the DOST “to immediately reach out to Mijeno for the possibility of her project being given support.”

The Department of Energy (DOE) will also receive P2.84 billion to bring electricity to 3,150 hard-to-reach households, according to a Department of Budget Management (DBM) briefer.

On top of this, the DOE would also energize 5,400 households in off-grid sitios.

“Baka dito pwede nila maimbita si Engineer Mijeno para makatulong. Yung off-grid areas usually mga isla iyon. So kung napapaligiran ng dagat, nandoon na mismo ang power source,” Recto said.

Recto said the SALt project would qualify for Malampaya funding under Presidential Decree No. 910, which states that government share from the exploitation of energy resources can be used to finance energy programs.

City Fire Dep’t advises public to buy quality Christmas lights

By Archie Barone

The City Fire Department advises residents of Puerto Princesa City to buy quality Christmas lights now that everybody is busy buying different kinds of decors for the Yuletide season.

Fire Officer Rud Mark Anticano warns public on the proliferation of sub-standard Christmas lights as it did not pass the safety standard of the government. He said that consumers should always look for ICC sticker and seal of DTI approval.

Based on the record of the Bureau of Fire, most of the fire in the previous Christmas seasons were caused by fire crackers and Christmas lights.

“Tiyakin natin na hindi mga sub-standard na mga Christmas lights ang ating mga binibili at ikinakabit sa ating mga bahay para maiwasan na pagmulan ito ng sunog,” Anticano said.

He also advises to always unplug all the appliances and gadgets when not in use or if the power is already full, in the case of gadgets. These equipment he said, easily heat up which may cause fire. He also discourages “octopus connection” in houses because this is very dangerous.

Octopus wiring is pacing a lot of extensions to a wall socket. This is dangerous because if the total current that passes through the wires exceeds the indicated rating, it could create too much heat and start a fire (The maximum current rating is usually at 10 Amperes for household units).

DAR, DTI partners for farmers

By Ellalyn De Vera

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in its efforts to help farmers produce quality products that would meet the safety standard of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The DAR and DTI has conducted a three-day synchronization planning workshop in Palawan where participants from both agencies presented the current status of food safety and discussed issues and concerns of each agency.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Conrado Guevarra, said “the department deals with a lot of food products that are processed and produced by our agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).”

He added that since these products are sold in the market, it is a must that they are guaranteed for consumption.

“The quality of the products of our ARBs must cope-up with the highest standard in preparation for the ASEAN integration. That’s why the DAR and the DTI are joining hands to assist farmers’ organizations and eventually win the nod of the FDA for product licensing and accreditation,” Guevarra added.

“As development partners, we will facilitate trainer’s training for DAR and DTI technical staff so that they will be accredited as deputized food safety inspectors. Sooner or later, we can also include some staff of our local government units,” DTI Regional Director Joel Valera said.

DAR Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer Ferdinand De Gala emphasized the importance of the activity to further strengthen convergence efforts among stakeholders.

“We should see to it that all our efforts complement with each other in order to provide the needed support for our beneficiaries,” he said.

The planning-workshop was done with the DTI-CARP partners.

The DAR and the DTI agreed for the conduct of planning and threshing out issues and concerns every semester.

Palawan board member seeks landmark bridge restoration in historical town

By Keith Anthony S. Fabro [(PNA), RMA/CARF/KASF/RSM]

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Nov. 20 (PNA) -- A member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Palawan is seeking the restoration and rehabilitation of a dilapidated bridge in the northern town of Taytay as a significant landmark of its centuries-old cultural and historical past.

Palawan 1st District Board Member Roseller Pineda, in a resolution, asked Governor Jose Alvarez to appropriate funds for the restoration of the Langayan (also known as Taytay) Bridge as part of the town’s historic development into a first class municipality.

“It is the sublime aspiration of the people of Taytay who value their history and perpetuate the essence and existential symbol of their town to initiate the restoration of this bridge not only for the utilitarian purpose but most especially for the transcendent sense of history,” Pineda said Friday after filing his resolution to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

The resolution was approved in the first and final reading on Nov. 17.

Taytay, as the Palawan’s first capital, has rich cultural and historical treasures rooted from the Spanish colonial era, the American regime, and Japanese wartime occupation and liberation.

“Some of the most significant historical relics and landmarks (in Taytay) are in need of restoration for posterity and as legacy of the past for the succeeding generations of Taytayanons,” Pineda said.

Aside from the old Spanish fort of Sta. Isabel, other remaining symbols of colonial antiquity in the town are the limestone water wells (pasuelos) and brick walls of the site of Spanish officials’ residence, he added.

It is said that before Spain colonized the Philippines, Taytay was ruled by a monarch noted as followed everywhere at any given time by 10 scribes.

The crew of Ferdinand Magellan held the Taytay king and queen for ransom after escaping the Battle of Mactan, where he was slain. They intended to secure more supplies as they plan to cross into the Moluccas, where the Portuguese could sought help.

The native king and his subjects complied with the demands and even added more food supplies than what they asked for. This was reportedly recorded by Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan's chronicler, who was on board in one of the ships when these events took place.

Provincial gov’t to strengthen corn production in Palawan

By Celeste Anna R. Formoso [(PNA), CTB/CARF/RSM]

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Nov. 20 (PNA) -- The provincial government of Palawan’s Livelihood Project Management Unit (LPMU) will focus on strengthening the farming of corn on the belief that it has the potential to develop the local agriculture.

Dr. Myrna Ordinario-Lacanilao, program manager of the Livelihood Cluster of the IHELP (Infrastructure, Health, Education, Livelihood and Protection of the Environment), said increasing the farming and production of corn in Palawan is among the major sources of revenue that the administration of Governor Jose Alvarez is supporting in order to help indigent families.

“It is not a secret to us that the traditionally harvested products by our farmers are rice, banana, vegetable crops, and occasionally, corn,” Lacanilao said.

This fact, she explained, was what compelled the IHELP Livelihood Cluster to re-introduce corn again to farmers in Palawan as a “high-value crop” that they can try.

Lacanilao said corn is the second most abundant cereal grown for human consumption aside from the fact that it is a versatile crop because what are in its plant are utilizable.

“Just like the coconut, all parts of the corn are useful like its stalks that become food for the animals,” she said, stating additionally that it is the basic ingredient in the production of feeds.

The provincial government, she furthered, will be introducing the Bt-corn variety to achieve the target production of seven tons per hectare of land in the demonstration farm that can be found in Barangay Iraan, Rizal town in southern Palawan.

The demo farm is under the management of Len Valera, program coordinator of the LPMU Corn Program.

Lacanilao added that in the feasibility study that Valera made, one hectare of land for the planting of corn will need a capital of PHP40,000 for a possible corn harvest that could earn PHP84,000.

If the cost for fertilizer, seedlings, and others will be deducted, a corn farmer could earn around PHP44,000.

Cloudy Friday for Palawan, E. Visayas, Mindanao


An intertropical convergence zone is affecting Mindanao

MANILA, Philippines – It will be a cloudy Friday, November 20, for Palawan, Eastern Visayas, and Mindanao, according to state weather bureau PAGASA.

In its 5 pm bulletin Thursday, November 19, PAGASA said these 3 areas will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms in the tnext 24 hours.

An intertropical convergence zone is affecting Mindanao.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.

Moderate to strong winds will blow from the northeast over the extreme Northern Luzon, causing moderate to rough seas. Elsewhere, coastal seas will be slight to moderate as light to moderate winds blow from the northeast.

3 Palaweño senior citizens qualify as nominees in ‘7th Regional Nakatatanda Awards’

By Celeste Anna R. Formoso [(PNA), RMA/CARF/RSM]

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Nov. 18 (PNA) -- Three senior citizens from Palawan are nominated in the 7th Regional Ulirang Nakatatanda Awards of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

This was confirmed Wednesday by Helen Bundal of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO).

According to Bundal, nominated under the Individual Category of the search are senior citizens Virginia J. Agpao and Benida O. Paala of Aborlan town, and Antonio T. Gorecho, Sr. of the municipality of Bataraza – all in southern Palawan.

The three finalists, she explained, underwent meticulous examination and verification by the Regional Inter-Agency Committee led by the DSWD.

The PSWDO official in Palawan said there was a big chance that any of the three would win the award because of their admirable achievements.

Bundal said the annual award intends to salute and appreciate the contributions of the elderly citizens to the development of Palawan, and the Philippines as a whole.

More importantly, the award is to inspire the Filipino people to continue to value the elderly citizens and the contributions they can still deliver to their communities despite their old age.

It also strengthens the Filipinos’ respect and care for the senior citizens, who are an important part of what the Philippines is today.

The awarding ceremony for the 7th Regional Ulirang Nakatatanda Awards will be on Nov. 26 in Metro Manila. The winner will receive a plaque and a Php 8,000 cash prize.

It is being supported by the DSWD in partnership with the Coalition of Services for the Elderly, Inc. (COSEI) that aims to give recognition and honor to the elderly people of the society, who still have the capacity, capability and interest to help in bringing solutions to issues that happen in communities, and to contribute to the society’s general welfare.

The first award was given in 2009 in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro under the initiative of the Regional Inter-Agency Committee –Philippine Plan of Action for Senior Citizens (RIAC-PPASC).

In 2012, Anastacio Villapa, a resident of Bataraza, won the top award in the said search.

Power coop to provide electricity to 7 villages in town in Southern Palawan


PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Nov. 17 (PNA) -- Seven villages in Sofronio Española in southern Palawan will finally find their homes illuminated this Christmas following the Palawan Electric Cooperative’s (PALECO) announcement Monday that they will have electricity before end of November.

The villages (sitios) are located in Barangay Labog, Sofronio Española, according to PALECO spokesperson Vicky Basilio.

Speaking to the local media, Basilio said however, that the realization and speed of providing electricity to the seven villages depends on how many residents will apply for connection in their municipal office.

“We encourage residents of the seven sitios to apply for electric lines, prepare the documents you need to present so, that when it’s already there, all of them will have power,” Basilio said.

The seven villages are Calatunan, Tumagas, Gimba, Silangan, Naltep, Agis-Agis, and Kiyatan.

Sofronio Española, a second class municipality in the southern part of the province that has a population of 29,997 according to a 2010 census, is actually a new municipality in Palawan.

It was officially established only on June 5, 1995 after Republic Act 7679 divided the town of Brooke’s Point, also in southern Palawan.

Since its declaration as a new municipality, its population grew to over 29,997 but the census has not come out with a fresh count.

Basilio said that in 2014, the PALECO set up power lines in Sofronio Española under the Barangay Electrification Program (BEF) of the National Electrification Administration (NEA).

However, the provision of electricity did not push through allegedly because of problems in the lines which she did not elaborate.

The BEP of the NEA has benefited residents in 47 enclaves (sitios) in Puerto Princesa City, the town of Roxas in northern Palawan, and Barangay Punta Baja, Rizal in the southern part.

Aside from the seven, more than 70 villages are being prepared under the BEP for electrification, Basilio added.

President Benigno Aquino III’s administration is giving priority to the BEP in compliance with his “social Filipino contract with the Filipino people.”

This is on the belief that when more communities are energized, jobs will be created and investments will be generated to improve the lives of particularly those who live in far-flung locations in the country.

Double protection at last for Palawan’s protected areas

By Roger Pe (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Semirara’s photos taken from space look bizarre. Defaced, the island looks like a geological Frankenstein, grotesquely scarred by coal mining pits.

How would you feel if the same thing happens to the Last Frontier? Indignation, outrage, fury, anger, unless you can’t see.

Would you just sit there and watch the unabated environmental plunder?

At the foot of Mt. Mantalinggahan, Palawan’s highest peak, are hectares and hectares of forest trees, breathing life to one of the most diverse flora and fauna species in the world. Imagine if they are burnt to ashes to give way to palm oil plantations?

Picture endemic animals fleeing from wildfires as their habitats are razed to the ground. Imagine if the already endangered “Pilandok”(Mouse Deer), “Tandikan” (Pheasant Peacock), “Balintong” (Armadillo), “Kiyaw” (Mynah), “Pikoy” (Blue-Naped Parrot), “Katala” (Cockatoo), “Binturong” (Bear Cat) and many more continue to diminish in number. Can we all withstand the horrific sight?

Indonesia’s recent forest inferno can also happen in Palawan. We all know the catastrophic effect: the health-damaging haze can blanket an entire town and spread across the country. Can the impending environmental apocalypse happen? No, if we are doubly vigilant. No, if we are wide-awake and say yes to doubly protecting Palawan’s protected areas from further damage.

Case-in-point: West Papua. Last October, the Indonesian paradise with stunning rainforests and the world’s epicenter of marine biodiversity, boasting more species than anywhere else on the planet, became the world’s first conservation province by declaring it as a “conservation area.”

Symbolically important, it sealed the future of the province’s irreplaceable ecosystems.

“The honor could have been owned by the province of Palawan, but sadly, people who profess love for the province just pay lip service to it. They are busy milking our natural resources not knowing that someday they will all be depleted,” says Art Ventura, an environmentalist by heart and former director of Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD).

Coral Triangle, the environmental bible says of the West Papua move: “It created a legal framework for conservation efforts in one of Indonesia’s most beautiful regions, a role model for more effective conservation efforts.” The bold vision was initiated upon consultation with the provincial governor, Abraham Atururi.

Conserve Palawan now

Concerns about Palawan’s natural resources continue to surface. On social media, the sentiment is becoming more pronounced.

The deletion of five important Palawan protected areas (El Nido Managed Resource Protected Area, Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape, Mt. Mantalinggahan Protected Landscape, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River Park and Rasa Island Wild Sanctuary) from the expanded Nipas (National Integrated Protected Areas System) house bill sparked a heated debate, prompting many concerned citizens and environmentalists to question the motives of those responsible for the act.

El Nido was recently voted as World’s Best Island by Conde Nast Travel Magazine for the second consecutive year. Malampaya Sound is the Philippines’ richest fishing ground.

Mount Mantalinggahan is a vast mountain range that covers four towns. It is home to indigenous Palaw’ans and one of 11 important bird areas in the province, as well as one of only 10 sites of the Alliance for Zero Extinction sites where various species are in imminent danger of disappearing in the Philippines.

Puerto Princesa’s Subterranean Park, a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the world’s seven wonders of nature, is where the Underground River flows.

Rasa Island is home to the Philippine cockatoo, now facing extinction with only around 1,000 remain. The island, of all places, has been chosen for a coal-fired power plant.

Expanded Nipas Law

For the benefit of the uninitiated, the reinforced Nipas is a congressional bill under Republic Act 7586, which aims to replace, expand and strengthen the 23-year-old Nipas Law. Once enacted into law by Congress, it will provide greater protection for the environment, especially protected areas in the Philippines.

In Congress’ executive committee meeting held last November 11, Rep. Douglas Hagedorn of Palawan disputed the exclusion of five Palawan protected areas from the bill saying the deletion was anomalous as it did not have the committee’s approval.

Hagedorn had earlier discovered the deletion and argued that groups with ulterior motives or otherwise, can go around PCSD and open these areas to environmentally damaging activities like “regulated mining” in protected areas, an activity banned by the Enipas. Rep. Franz Alvarez and groups identified with Governor Jose Alvarez, however, asserted that Palawan does not need to be in the Nipas, as the province already has its own Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) under Republic Act (RA) 7611. Governor Alvarez is currently pushing for construction of a coal-fired power plant in the province, a move being heavily opposed by environmentalist groups.

Pro-environment advocates Tony Oposa, Gina Lopez of ABS-CBN, Sonia Mendoza of Mother Earth, GerthieAnda of Environment Legal Assistance Center, Gerry Arances of Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, Dante Lagman of Sanlakas, Isagani Serrano of Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement, Voltaire Alferez of Philippines Earth Day Network, Cynthia Sumagaysay of Palawan Alliance for Clean Energy, Jhunette Buenviaje of Greenpeace, Anne Larracas of Global Alliance of Incinerator Alternatives, Thony Dizon of Ecowaste Coalition, who were all present at the meeting disagreed.

They said inclusion of five Palawan protected areas to the expanded Nipas Law would give double protection for the province’s ecologically critical sites.

“If the Alvarezes are really interested in environmental protection and preservation as they claim to be, why object to Palawan’s double-barreled protection?” Hagedorn asserted.

Puerto Princesa environmentalist groups also put up a united front to oppose business groups out to exploit the country’s “protected areas,” especially in Palawan.

Former Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn, led the environmentalists and declared their “united and unequivocal support.”

Pro-environment Senator Loren Legarda, vowed no exclusion of 5 Palawan protected areas from the rest and has also urged the committee to fast track the approval of the new Nipas.

Earlier, Puerto Princesa City Council passed an ordinance in July, declaring two coral reef sites, the Tangdol Reef in Barangay Bancao-Bancao and the Tagkuti Reef in Barangay Simpokan as “marine sanctuaries”, where any human activity, except approved scientific research, is prohibited.

Without the vigilance of Rep. Hagedorn, the House Committee on Natural Resources would have passed a bill favoring coal and non-renewable energy, mining and other business interests.

At the end of the session, five Palawan Protected Areas were restored in the original list and R. A. 7611 (Strategic Environmental Palawan) was made consistent with the new Enipas.

Social media gives El Nido Resorts an unexpected boost

Philippine Daily Inquirer

LOOKS count a lot when marketing a destination in the age of social media, according to El Nido Resorts operations manager Marc Cerqueda.

Owing to its location in one of the most biologically diverse regions in the globe, the four resorts named after the islands that host them is a photographer’s dream. Even with a point and shoot, the images of Bacuit Bay (where Miniloc, Lagen and Pangulasian are located) and the Sulu Sea (where Apulit is located) are distinct and highly shareable. Thus, the resorts are exponentially winning a global following with little effort.

Take the posts by Los Angeles-based style icon and fashion blogger Aimee Song about her two-day stay in Pangulasian. They achieved results similar to what an ad in a top global fashion magazine could have done. She named the Philippines “one of my favorite places I’ve ever travelled to so far.” She also encouraged her 2.2 million Instagram followers and close to 500,000 Facebook followers to try Palawan in the Philippines “if you’re looking to go on vacation with a limited budget.”

The awareness song created for El Nido dubbed one of the most “outrageously photogenic places in the world” was remarkable. Another travel blogger, Bianca@itsallbee based in London, commented: “Absolutely stunning pictures. This has me wanderlusting about heading to the Philippines.” Danika Maia shared a similar view: “Wow it looks gorgeous there! Never really thought about going to the Philippines but it is very tempting now.”

Facebook posts of El Nido from influential fashion blogger Alexcloset who is based in Paris and Montreal have also made a similar impact on her 30,000 followers. “No big deal,” she wrote with irony below an El Nido photo. “Just chilling in one of the best places I have seen in my little life.” In another top shot of Pangulasian, she writes: “Can’t wait for vacay to begin. That’s not just a photo. I booked this place for real.”

The likes as well as shares and reposts do not immediately translate to bookings for El Nido Resorts, but it does effectively create buzz about the extraordinary biophysical features of the islands. Social media experts have pointed out that most, including Filipinos, generally affiliate themselves with a brand to “associate themselves with something cool,” or “to feel part of a like-minded community,” among other reasons.

These reasons are likely explanations for the popularity on Facebook of El Nido Resorts which is highly recognized as “the last ecological frontier” of the world by today’s highly environment-conscious media audiences. Moreover, those engaged with brands are more likely to recommend it to others, to feel loyal to the brand, and of course, to purchase its products and services.

“Without the benefit of digital advertising, visitors to El Nido Resort’s highly visual Facebook page have been growing organically,” according to Cerqueda. In 2012, when FB was still a channel associated mostly with those below 30 years or younger, its followers registered at 12,000.

Now that Facebook has gone mainstream with close to 90 percent of Philippine Internet users indulging in social media as of 2014, ENR’s followers doubled, then tripled to over 83,000 visitors today. The number is expected to reach the 100,000 mark by year end.

Better yet, of those 83,000 followers, a significant number re-posted, shared, commented or liked the post—activities that make up a brand’s “engagement rate.”

Engagement is viewed as a more superior measure of a social media platform’s effectivity versus just having a following.

Among all Filipino brands, El Nido Resorts got the highest engagement rate in the first quarter of 2014, according to website Socialbakers, a global social media analytics and publishing company that counts half of the Fortune 500 as its clients. El Nido Resorts competed for that distinction against other media brands without the benefit of a hefty digital advertising and promotions budget.

Cerqueda relates that 10 years ago, Filipinos and Japanese made up the majority of the resorts’ visitors.

“Now the whole world has come including Russians, Israelis, Australians, Americans other Asians—who can’t help but post photos of themselves in this part of Paradise and getting the response: “Where is that place,” he says. With the continued popularity of social media, El Nido Resort’s visitors from around the globe are predicted to increase.

“Our goal is to make El Nido a part of everyone’s bucket list of things to do in their lifetime,” Cerqueda says.

He admits that most guests need to save up for an El Nido vacation. It does, after all, take a lot of planning and logistics to fly in guests to this remote part of Palawan still to be serviced by the commercial airlines. Moreover, it takes even more vigilance, manpower and resources to keep these Paradise islands sustainable while meeting El Nido’s room, food and service quality standards.

“We hope to continue offering our brand of eco-luxury—a combination of luxurious amenities and eco-friendly practices,” he said.

Three major events feature Mimaropa Festival 2015


MANILA, Nov. 14 (PNA) -- Three major events make up the Mimaropa Festival, a festival being held in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro which meant to encourage more tourist to visit the region and celebrate the festivity.

The three events are the Mimaropa Agriculture Tourism and Trade Fair which began last Nov. 9 and will run until Nov 15; the Dance Parade Competition, and Festival Queen Pageant Night, both events held on Nov. 14.

The Mimaropa Festival will be a regional level invitational event with stand-in programs showcasing the festivals of Mindoro Oriental, Mindoro Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan in one grand setting.

The event is being supported by the Department of Tourism (DOT) Mimaropa (Region IV-B), with a strong commitment and vision to promote the five provinces of Mimaropa into one destination.

It also coincides with Oriental Mindoro’s 65th founding anniversary week-long celebration.

According to Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso Umali Jr., the Mimaropa Festival also intends to boost the tourism industry and provide promotional scheme to advertise tourism-related events and destinations in the region.

Umali further said that the goal was to make Mimaropa “The Next Big Thing in the Philippines”.

DOT IV-B director Atty. Minerva Morada earlier said that Mimaropa was expecting an increase in tourist arrivals of five percent by year-end to approximately 1.3-million visitors compared to the 1.2-million visitors last year.

Currently, Palawan generates the biggest bulk of tourist arrivals as recent data showed that an estimate of 900 thousand tourists visited Palawan in 2014, which is 75 percent of the total arrivals in Mimaropa.

DOTC rolls out port expansion projects


The Department of Transport and Communications (DOTC) has rolled out ports widening, expansion, and construction projects valued at P862 million.

DOTC called out for interested bidders for the development of four ports under the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), namely, Manila South Harbor, Port of Javier in Leyte, Port of Bataraza in Palawan, and Iloilo Commercial Port Complex in Iloilo.

The DOTC is allocating P49.769 million million for the widening of wharf in the South Harbor in Manila. The widening project entails the construction of 768-square-meter reinforced concrete wharf.

Bid documents for the Manila South Harbor project is priced at P25,000. Issuance of bid documents is from November 1 to December 8, 2015. Bidding opens on December 8.

Approved budget for the construction of 990-square-meter rock causeway and stair landings at the Port of Javier in Leyte is P51.92 million.

Bid documents for the said project cost P50,000, while issuance of bid documents is from November 10 to December 9, 2015. Opening of bids is on December 9, 2015.

For the construction of wharf in Port of Bataraza, some P125.26 million have been allotted for the port expansion project.

Bid documents will be issued on November 10 to December 8, 2015 and sold at P50,000. Opening of bids will be on December 8, 2015.

The construction of a 4,200 square-meter wharf in the Iloilo Commercial Port Complex is valued at P635.51 million.

Bid documents priced at P75,000 will be distributed on November 10 to December 9, 2015. Bidding opens on December 9, 2015.

Palawan’s most wanted falls

By Alfred P. Dalizon

THE 10th most wanted person in Palawan is now in jail after being captured by the local police during an operation in Taytay town last week, officials announced yesterday.

Norlann Acebuche, a 26-year old resident of Sitio Arado in Barangay Poblacion, Taytay municipality was tracked down in his residence by members of the Palawan Police Provincial Office’s Intelligence Office headed by Superintendent Vicente Cabatingan past 6 a.m. last Friday.

Cabatingan said Acebuche did not resist arrest after being shown a copy of the warrant for his arrest issued by Judge Ambrosio de Luna of the Puerto Princesa City Regional Trial Court Branch 51.

No bail has been recommended for the temporary liberty of the suspect who was accused of raping his cousin in 2009, said Cabatingan.

Palawan joins 1st MIMAROPA Festival in Oriental Mindoro

By Celeste Anna R. Formoso [(PNA), JMC/CARF/EBP]

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Nov. 11 (PNA) -- A delegation from the Palawan provincial government is currently in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro to actively participate in the 1st MIMAROPA Festival to actively promote the province’s tourism and agriculture.

In a local radio interview, Caesar Samuel Magbanua, the provincial government’s chief of staff who is currently in Oriental Mindoro, said Palawan’s participation in the event is an opportunity to showcase and promote exciting tourism destinations to other residents of the MIMAROPA Region, and agricultural products that are truly Palaweños.

Tourism promotion will be taken care of by the Provincial Tourism Office (PTO) led by tourism officer Maribel Buñi.

“This is event is truly one of the most exciting developments in the MIMAROPA because of the cooperation of the governors of the provinces and the two highly-urbanized cities that compose the region,” Magbanua said Wednesday.

The four governors of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan reportedly agreed that it is time to strengthen the connection of tourism, agriculture, and trade in their provinces and mutually support their progresses.

“The potentials here are big when combined, and to do that, they came up with this festival which is the first-ever in any other region,” Magbanua said.

The holding of the festival coincides with the 65th Founding Anniversary of Oriental Mindoro this month. It was formally opened Monday by Governor Alfonso Umali.

Palawan and Puerto Princesa set up booths in the festival, where tourism packages are being offered, as well as agricultural by-products like cashew, dried fish, and others.

“Governor (Jose) Alvarez ordered full support to the first festival in the MIMAROPA because it will also be to the advantage of Palaweños,” he stated.

Aside from the agri-trade fair, there will also be a dance festival featuring the street dancers from each province.

The dance festival, one of the event's highlights, aims to showcase how the people of the four provinces celebrate life and good fortune through street dancing.

The festival would be a regional display of talents that residents of the provinces possess.

The performers will come from the historical town of Quezon in Palawan that won in the Baragatan sa Palawan’s street dancing competition last June.

Palawan Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

Personal tools

Philippine Provinces
Philippine Cities