“Sick man of Asia” is healing quite well. Fix the airport please!


We’ve heard nothing but positive things about the Philippines since the New Year began.  Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Regions listed Palawan, Philippines as number eight best travel destinations in 2013:

Palawan, on Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Regions, is another secluded locale to visit before crowds of tourists arrive.

“Palawan incorporates thousands of sparkling, rugged islands and is fringed by [more than 1,200 miles] of pristine coastline. So far Palawan’s natural marvels have only been sampled by plucky backpackers. Not for much longer,” says Lonely Planet. “The trail these pioneers have blazed is set to explode, with regional airlines waking up to Palawan’s potential and clambering to schedule direct flights to the capital.”

Travel and Leisure listed the Philippines as number seven on their best destinations for 2013 which includes Boracay and Palawan as well.


Boracay hogs the spotlight, but there are thousands of other islands to lure beach lovers. At Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa ($$$$), on Panglao, thatched-roof villas face the sea. Palawan, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, now has El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island ($$$$). Groups can reserve Ariara ($$$), a 125-acre private isle.

Condé Nast Traveller ranked Philippines second among its top 2013 destinations.

The archipelago of Palawan ticks all the boxes: palm-fringed white-powder beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, natural lagoons for wild swimming on Miniloc Island – all of it protected by UNESCO. Its Bacuit Bay is something like Halong Bay in Vietnam, only without all the tourists – for the time being, at least. There are just a handful of resorts, which are tasteful and deliberately low-key. Two of the newest are Ariara Island and El Nido Pangulasian Island, a private-island resort with palm-thatched villas, a spa, its own dive centre, and sea views to melt the heart.

Another super-stylish new opening is Dedon Island, on Siargao; it’s owned and designed by contemporary furniture brand Dedon. And a perennial favourite is Amanpulo, yet another high-design private-island hotel on Pamalican Island. Or sail around them all in style on Alila’s new boat, the Phinsi.

As the gateway to these private-island retreats, the Philippines capital of Manila is also having a moment. Among its new openings – another one in December 2012 – is the Fairmont Makati City.

Sorry, Maldives… We love you, but we’ve got a new flame.

With a booming economy, and giving India a run for its money when it comes to call centers, Philippines is poised to come out as one of Asia’s strongest performer in 2013.  With Deutche Bank already providing encouraging words about how Philippines will perform well in 2013, the country have had predictions as early as July 2012 that it will perform strongly economically in 2013 and it surely is coming to pass.

All that said, I am simply going to ask one question.  When are we going to fix our NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) problems.  Are we going to use Terminal 3 as our international airport?  P-Noy said back in 2010 that he will aim to make NAIA Terminal 3 to be fully operational by December of 2010.  Has that happened?

I have been blogging about our airport since 2008.  Have our pleas fallen on deaf ears?

Ano ba?




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