Avara : A Not-for-everyone Maldivian-themed Resort in Taytay, Palawan

Aside from the villas and casitas, Avara members will also have an exclusive access to a two-bedroom yacht with crew for an overnight stay or for cruising around the island and nearby areas.

Imagine this: The sound of waves crashing on the shore and the sunlight peeking through the window wake you up on a lazy Saturday morning. You slowly open your eyes, afraid that you’re just in the middle of a dream. But you’re not. You stand up as you feel the gentle sea breeze touch your face. You go out of the porch and look at the horizon. You take your time to enjoy the beauty of the blue skies and the deep sea. The yacht will be waiting for you whenever you’re ready, anyway. That’s the promise of Avara Nature & Yacht Club—the easy life of the seaside. 

Established by the Seaside Premier Development Corporation, Avara is the first of its kind nature and yacht club located at Calauag Bay in Taytay, which was Palawan’s first capital.

The plan for the exclusive resort was formally unveiled at the Grand Hyatt Manila led by its President and CEO Ms. Veronica C. Young, Nov. 13, 2018. 

“After many months of sailing and voyaging aboard bangkas and riding waves, we found the perfect island in Taytay, Palawan to be the home of our pioneering project. It is with a great pleasure to present to you tonight, Avara Nature and Yacht Club – the first of its kind in the Philippines, bridging the middle class to the lifestyle of the rich and famous. As Seaside Premier Development Corporation’s flagship project, we aim to redefine seaside living, where nature meets luxury,” she said in her opening remarks. 

Coastal living redefined 

Avara, which means Sunshine Island, is an eco-luxurious resort that use solar panels as a source of renewable energy, utilize a recycled water treatment system, maximize a hydroponic garden, and take advantage of other eco-materials available.

Its accommodation is inspired by the Maldivian architecture. Members can choose to stay in a one-bedroom Water Villa with jacuzzi, two-bedroom Water Villa with private infinity pool, or one- or two-bedroom Beach Casitas. 

1 - Avara's Maldivian-inspired casitas and villas
Enter a caption

Aside from the villas and casitas, Avara members will also have an exclusive access to a two-bedroom yacht with crew for an overnight stay or for cruising around the island and nearby areas. Avara’s yacht features two cabins and a family room in the lower deck; a living room, a kitchen and dining area, and a plunge pool in the main deck; and an open dining space and a sun deck in the fly bridge. 

The Avara Island has nothing but the best facilities for its members. Guests will first experience the Avara service upon their arrival at the dock or the harbor. But the ultra-luxurious resort also has a helipad for those who will be coming in by air. VIPs also have the option to skip the reception and go straight to their accommodation.  

There will also be a boardwalk open for development to the entrepreneurial Avara members. Meaning, Avara members can also be concessionaires to open their own business—it could be a coffee shop, a grocery store, a bakery, a souvenir stop, and similar ventures. As support to the member-concessionaires, Avara will ensure that the business will be the island’s lone supplier for the specific product. 

The island can also accommodate as many as 100 guests at their main dining area and at the grill restaurant. But guests will have more dining options since Avara includes a poolside bar, a seaside bar and lounge, picnic areas, and private dining venues. 

Avara is fully equipped with a gym, a water sports center, a tennis court, and a golf course to those who want to keep up with their fitness routine. 

The island also has a playroom and nursery, spa and massage cabanas, a bonfire area, a clinic with an in-house doctor and nurse, and a gaming area for the enjoyment of the Avara members.  

At any given time, Avara will host up to 300 members to ensure quality service.

As a promised paradise for those who love the beach, Avara offers a myriad of water action such as diving, snorkeling, kayaking, jet-skiing, banana boat riding, stand-up paddle boarding, wind surfing, scuba diving, island hopping, and fishing in coordination with neighbor islands. The resort also provides options for on land activities like trekking, biking, and vegetable picking.

There are also a lot of activities that Avara members can enjoy outside its vicinity. After all, Taytay, Palawan boasts of picturesque sites like the Canique Waterfalls, the Lake Manguao, the Irrawaddy Dolphins in Malampaya Sound, the Fuerza de Santa Isabel, and the Church of Santa Monica. Taytay is also hope to a paradise-like hidden valley that gives tourists a bird’s eye view of the pristine, idyllic coastal areas of the municipality. 

Board of advisors

To ensure nothing but the best of services and facilities at Avara, Seaside Premier Development Corporation tapped some of the industry’s most respected personalities for the resort.

6 - Avara executives and board of advisors

Its board of advisors include the following: 

• National Coast Watch Center Executive Director Rear Admiral Joel S. Garcia for Coastal and Marine Management

• Philippine Army’s 7CMO Battalion Commanding Officer Col. Eugene Osias for Security Affairs

• Cebu Port Authority Commissioner for the Shipping Sector Ms. Regina Barleta for Port Management and Shipping

• Incoming Manila Board of Realtors, Inc. President Ma. Teresa R. Bigornia for Marketing

• Motivational speaker John Anthony Calub for Sales

• The Manor’s Le Chef Executive Chef William “Billy” King for Culinary Arts

“We thank these distinguished personalities for believing in our idea. We can’t wait to show you the beauty of Avara,” Ms. Young said. 

Avara Nature & Yacht Club will formally open its shores in the summer of 2020. # 


About Avara Nature & Yacht Club 

Avara Nature and Yacht Club redefines seaside lifestyle by combining beach living and seafaring. It is the first harbor-front town in Palawan as launched by the Seaside Premier Development Corporation. It offers access to a world-class resort with customized yachts. 

Visit the Avara website (http://avaraisland.com/) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/avaraisland), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/avaraisland/), and Twitter (https://twitter.com/avaraisland/) to learn more. 

About Seaside Premier Development Corporation 

Luxury seaside community developer Seaside Premier Development Corporation was established in 2018. It kickstarted its year by launching its flagship project, the Avara Nature & Yacht Club in Taytay, Palawan. It plans to develop harbor-front townships in the different seaside areas in the Philippines to bring the best beaches and coastal living to every Filipino’s doorstep.

HOBO CODES | GLAN, More than just the SarBay Fest

Glan would just keep on glistening. 

Two scenarios. First, you are one of the Sarangani Bay Festival goers. After the 2-night beach party, the 360-degree view of the beach venue, Gumasa, had teased you so intensely which triggered you to give in and discover what is more in Glan. What is one sunset to extend the trip that culminates your summer?

image

Second, you did not make it for this year’s biggest beach party in the Philippines. But the itch still persists – You have heard your office mates talking about Glan. Your friends have uploaded marvelous photos geo-tagged to Glan or yet, you just finished reading this travel post all about Glan.

Discover the glistens of Glan!

imageThe southernmost municipality of the Sarangani Province, Glan owns the Earth’s deepest cove with the horizon featuring the Celebes sea, heritage structures and that grilled chicken the locals love to eat with a homemade condiment. It is forty-five minutes via van away from General Santos City (the nearest airport).

Apart from the scenic cove after cove view, there is that unique charm when you are able to feel the spatial stimuli of exactly where a historical event took place.


CONDIMENT

The Chicken-Ala-Bukid is marinated from the inside out by injecting a special sauce made from the cooked spices and herbs. These ingredients are those which are just typically found in a townsman’s backyard.

image

imageIt is your choice. The chicken could be fried or grilled. Then, it is eaten with “Dabo”. It is the locals’ favorite condiment when eating the Chicken Ala Bukid. It is a sweet and spicy dried fish with tomatoes, garlic and onions. One of the locals told that it is an Indonesian recipe. It resembles the Escabeche. You will love the succulence especially of the grilled version of the Chicken-Ala-Bukid, as you partake it with freshly steamed rice slathered with the chili oil from the Dabo.

Head over to “Freddos Chicken Ala Bukid” at the town’s Poblacion to try this. This is 20 minutes from Gumasa Beach where the Sarangani Bay Fest is held.

CONQUISTADOR

image

Antonio Pigafetta is actually Ferdinand Magellan’s on-board travel blogger. I would recommend reading some of his historical accounts especially the part where they have reached the Sarangani and Balut (Candigar) Islands in 1521. Read it before your Glan trip.  If not because of his epic diaries, Philippine history is not as vivid as it seems written in our grade school textbooks.

Besides the Sarangani Bay being a witness of several voyages, Sumbang Point, which is about 45 minutes from the SarBay Fest venue, is reportedly the forced landing site of the fourth expedition in 1543 lead by Spanish conquistador, Miguel Lopez de Villalobos. His team failed to sail on to Mazaua to look for food because of the low-winds.

 

Apart from the scenic cove after cove view, there is that unique charm when you are able to feel the spatial stimuli of exactly where a historical event took place. Not just then for the beach lovers, Glan, with the Sarangani Bay and the Sumbang point, is also an ideal destination for educational trips for History and Anthropology.

Stay at the villas of Belimac. It is exactly along the shores of Sumbang point.

image

 

 

 

COMMONWEALTH

You could choose either or both the heritage houses at the town’s Poblacion or the 80-year-old ancestral house of Don Juan at the Hacienda Don Juan Resort.

image

Carved window frames and ceiling moldings as old as the Commonwealth era are still so defined among the neighboring heritage houses. These details make Glan’s heritage houses unique from those found in Vigan. Indeed, a living architectural museum.

image

The ancestral house at the Hacienda Don Juan offers a distinct kind of antiquity from those found at the Poblacion. The vintage spirit of the interiors and the sea breeze through its wide windows make you feel like basking your vacation days at your own grandparent’s home. You will love to stay for a while here.  Explore the whole resort with their uniquely designed cottages too. The resort is 30 minutes away from the heritage houses which are at the town center.

image

 

 

 

COVE AFTER COVE HORIZONS

image

 

 

 

Glam is one of those quaint places where picturesque views of the horizon are omnipresent throughout your trip – from the dawn of your day 1 until the dusk of your departing day.

The enchanting blues of the beaches. The flavors of the townsmen’s food. The juxtaposition of the heritage and recent structures. The dissociative charm of modern existence in an unsophisticated daily dealings. – All a tourist would wander for. I am happy for you if you can make it for SarBay Fest this year, But if unfortunately you can not, Glan would just keep on glistening.


DATES TO VISIT

image

OCTOBER : Lubi-Lubi sa Glan Festival I APRIL : Mahin Festival I MAY: Sarangani Bay Festival

 

2 New Fun-Courses for the 25th Batch: Mcdonald’s is looking for Kiddie Crew!

As this year marks the silver batch of McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop, your little ones will surely enjoy the daily sessions through new courses, “Make-Your-Own-Dessert” and the McDelivery Game which reinforce the teaching of McDonald’s time-tested values of team work and discipline.

imageChem volunteered to take this pic while we were walking through on “make your own cheeseburger” activity. It’s obvious I’m elated preparing one of my favorite offerings from McDonald’s. Just after the take, she then asked “How’s your burger? I said, “Almost done!” Then she said in a sweet yet smart tone, “Ang service time ha.”

What a jab! Chem leaving me with that reminder startled my memory while at the same time shifted my euphoria to a surging sense of efficiency. It refreshed me of one of the books by New York Times bestselling author, John Maxwell. “I knew I have already known about McDonald’s Speed Service System!” I deciphered.

On the first part of the book – Leadership  101, Maxwell narrated the infant years of McDonald’s to strengthen his discourse about the context of that chapter.

“By 1948, They also created what they called the Speedy Service System. Their kitchen became like an assembly line, where each person focused on service with speed. Their goal was to fill each customer’s order in thirty seconds or less. And they succeeded. By the mid-1950s, annual revenue hit $350,000, and by then, Dick and Maurice split net profits of about $100,000 each year”

“Theirs was one of the most profitable restaurant enterprises in the country and their genius was in customer service and kitchen organization, which led to a new system of food and beverage service. In fact, their talent was so widely known in food service circles that people from all over the country wanted to learn more about their methods. At one point, they received as many as three hundred calls and letters every month. That led them to the idea of marketing the McDonald’s concept”


For any adult who has 6-12 year old loved-one, knowing such snippet from McDonald’s history is a smack-dab reason why to enroll the family’s kids. Activities during the 5-day course of McDo Kiddie Crew is basically leaning about McDonald’s time-tested values of teamwork, hard work, discipline, responsibility, and sharing with the sprinklings of fun and friendship.

You know that your kids just love to act like grown ups right? Thus, all-time favorite sessions, “Make-Your-Own Cheeseburger” and on-floor, drive-thru, and front counter trainings are still there to convert their curiousity to learning new valuable life skills.

As this year marks the silver batch of McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop, your little ones will surely enjoy the daily sessions by learning more with fun while satisfying their sweet tooth through “Make-Your-Own-Dessert”. Furthermore, the segment on how to prepare customers’ orders through the McDelivery Game will also reinforce the teaching of McDonald’s classic values in service. “Ronald Dance” will also be introduced to channel their active cells into arts and healthy lifestyle.

Indeed, not everything is learnt inside the classroom. Let your kids learn more inside any of the 500 participating McDonald’s restaurant in the Philippines. Lent just ended. Start then another week of educative summer memories for you kids. Week 4 to Week 10 sections are still open. Register not later than April 30, 2017 for 650PhP.

Kiddie Crew Poster_Final

Let us know about you and your kid’s daily McDo Kiddie Crew memories with the hashtag #McDoKiddieCrew in your social media accounts. Ultimately, see you with Ronald Mcdonald and the Gang in May 20-21 for the Grand Graduation day happening in Metro Manila, Pampanga, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Cebu, Cagayan De Oro, and in Davao City which will be in Philippine Women’s College campus.


Chemaima “Chem” Belleza is McDonald’s Local Store Marketing Coordinator.


*This is John’s McDo Cheeseburger! #McDoKiddieCrew 


*My squad from Padre Pio’s Home for Children during the Media Launch Event. McDonald’s Bajada, Davao City. #McDoKiddieCrew

image

See you!

DAVAO GUIDE: A Smart App to Digitize Tourism Experience in Davao

Talking about revolutionary mechanism, newly-installed site markers containing quick response codes and near-field communications stickers have been deployed in select areas within the city. The markers trigger the download of tourism and historical information via phone scanning.

Technology continues to revolutionize aspects of our life and Tourism isn’t exempted from this.

Launched in celebration of the city’s 80th Charter Day March 15 ,”Davao Guide” – the phone application for everyone who wants to discover the city which bylines the most powerful man now in the Philippines, is now free to download.

Created by InnoPub Media in partnership with the Davao City government and wireless leader – Smart Communications (Smart), the app sets to amp up the trotting experience of the growing 1.7 M tourists (2015) who wont just be enjoying the city’s lauded orderliness and civil calmness but from now on with this app, are “tourism connected” along with the 1.63M Davaoenos, 2,444 sq km wide. Congruently, Smart have already transformed their network in Davao, providing high-speed mobile access to digital services and information via LTE.

SMARTqr
QR codes like this will be installed in Davao City Hall and Francisco Bangoy Int’l Airport.. Tap for Tourism Info! (Photo: Smart.com.ph)

Talking about revolutionary mechanism, newly-installed site markers containing quick response codes and near-field communications stickers have been deployed in select areas within the city. The markers trigger the download of tourism and historical information via phone scanning.

“The project is consistent with two of the City Government’s priority sectors which are tourism and education. We are happy that Smart and InnoPub are helping us create a digital platform to push tourism and education not only to the Davaoenos but also to the local and international tourists. Through the Davao Guide app, the public would know about the people of Davao, our history, culture and what the city can offer in terms of tourism and investment” said Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

imagePaleolithic trots require us both compass and maps. Now, it will be just your smartphone with a TRAVEL SMART App.  Go to the APP STORE of your phone. Search for the app “Davao Guide” Then Tap “INSTALL” for FREE. The app will soon be available for Apple App Store. Keep connected, Travel Smart!

Trending Boracay Spots and How to Mix it with the Island’s Classic Fame

imageCelebrated as TripAdvisor’s 2015 Traveler’s Choice Awardee being the Best Beach In Asia, unarguably White Beach, Boracay Island of the Philippines has really the most severe dissociative effect to someone who would choose the beach life over the stressors of reality.

imageSince ranking of beaches was startled, Boracay had never been lowered from the first ten spots. So what keeps it on the list aside from the expected and praised powdery sand and superb sun-sinking-in-your- horizon views? I think, it is how the Island’s distinct fame are modified.

STATION 2 with the World’s Biggest Pearl

image
image

Tagged as the station for the mid class, ironically Station 2 recently has been a cradle of a private gem. Deep inside the premise of Crown Regency Resort and Convention Center, tourists would deliberate whether or not they are really in a close encounter of the World’s biggest Pearl ever discovered in the waters of the Philippines. 8.9kgs, 8 inches diameter.

STATION 3 with the thrilling Reverse Bungee

imageimage

Admired by those who wanted to be solely intimate with the beach away from the crowd, station 3’s brand has always been for the loner beach lovers. It has been venues for pre nuptial pics and sunbathing while reading your favorite book. Recently, St3’s whispers will be chopped with electrifying screams from the reverse bungee. Imagine a giant swing but it doesn’t sway. It just bounces up and down while coaster is suspended in the air with its elastic cables.

D MALL with the quirky Breathing Statues 

imageimageBeing the only beach mall in the Philippines, D mall itself is an only-in-Boracay spot where aside from shopping and eating out, is a perfect spot for people watching and free fashion runway of beach goers on their beach town outfits. However, there are just 3 to 6 quirky clad humans whom you’ll be confused with being mannequins. They are the phenomenal photo mates found just near the entrance of Tides Hotel Boracay.

EPIC BAR with the Beach-side Bonfire Dance Floor

imageAny beach party goer would agree that thus far, Epic Bar at the junction of stations 1 and 2 is the most respected beach rave authority of the island. Well having that reputation, Epic’s dance floor is jam-packed almost nightly. With such stimulus, other party goers ignited a bonfire fronting the bar where they could still dance with the music from the bar’s mega speakers, still let drunk with the bar’s liquor, still meet the bar’s teasing inter racial guests.

PUKA BEACH with You. Yes You!

imageimageRanked as 5th Best Beach in Asia, Puka Shell Beach in the northern side of the island embraces those who wanted a break from the mainstream of the three stations. The leftmost shore have equally impressive beach views with that of the white beach, only with courser sands, without the hotels, bars and restaurants. The rightmost shore is bizarre, that facing the Carabao Is. Romblon. The waves are mildly wild crushing the colossal stone formations along the shore. Puka beach for me is the best beach in the Island. However, its glory is shaded with the popularity, accessibility and commercialization of the white beach stations. Thus, it takes you to visit there. Take more pics and upload it to your cyber profile.

THE GROTTO with the mermaid

imageimage

The stone islet existing like a mole along the shore of Station 1 has long been famous for picture taking. And So, why not dramatize your photos with you being a mermaid with the trendy mermaid suits!

This so called 24/7 island has always a lot to be marveled for. It is not just its natural morph worth to be titled as the Best. Along the coming years, it could also be appreciated that the Island’s world class features are malleable enough to adjust with what kind of spice the emerging touring populace would love to experience. Making it a tamed but still natural pandemic entry of every traveler’s bucket list. Don’t be left out with the trend. Visit Boracay. Now.

Iligan’s Southern Waterfall Trifecta and How to Get there

imageWith almost 2 dozens of waterfalls splashing around the city, Iligan is no doubt a refuge for travelers from the mainstream of white sands and beaches, mountain ridges and adventures, urban life and party. I am talking about spicing up your trot pics with mist and cascades and getting wettish!

Just if you wanted to pattern the fall hopping with mine, capture these 23 falling water formations by the divide and conquer tactic. For the first target, it will be called, the Southern Waterfall Trifecta – A hidden swash, a resort neighbor fall and the famous queen of them all!

Since we are heading all southern destinations, you could just rent a Habal-habal (Public Motorcycle) for this 4-hour-escapade. Just plan whether you wanted the whole trip ending with a distinctly Iligan spiced lechon baboy lunch in front of the famous Timoga spring pools, 8-12nn or ending with a beef randang dinner in a famous block in the city, Iliganon (Pala-o Branch), 2-6pm. Yes. 4hours for 3 fascinating falls.

TIP- book your Habal-habal the night before at the City's postal building, just left from the St Michael's Cathedral. There's a convenience store "Shoppe24" where a lot of these motorcycles are arrayed for a passenger. You'll see them sprouting by 10pm. You could buy something and sit first inside Shoppe24 on the seats facing the glass wall. This is a perfect view to eat while choosing who is the driver you wanted to hire by looking whoever has the most trustworthy appeal. Hahaha Do your haggle and set the meeting details for the next day. Don't give any peso yet, just exchange phone numbers. Paid Php 400.00 for the whole ride.
A church has always been significant for me, more so in traveling. It lets you feel the temperament of the society your destination has. Churches (in the Philippines) are most of the time situated on a most strategically accessible spot in a city and that I believe churches are best starting point in your itineraries. 
Snapseed (3)
Her hydro power feeds 75% of the Philippine’s largest (among the 3 major) island’s electricity. Almost intimidating especially when you are on the ground deck. There’s a viewing deck on the 3rd level.

From the cathedral to the first fall, that is the queen – Maria Cristina Falls, It would take you 30 mins the most. Just go straight going south with the national highway. When you have across the Agus bridge, that’s the bridge with Iron bars inked with yellow, just turn left just really after the bridge. Then just follow through the entrance. It is a hydroelectric power plant compound. You could avail but have to wait for the free ride around or you could just enter directly with your wheels after the entrance fee. Paid 110p (30/head and 20 for motor).

She is powerful! Her pour is dominating. Massive! When you are nearing her you could hear her splashing. Seem drowning your ear drums. You could see how mighty her drops are since the river where she flows seems on a blitzkrieg towards the bay. The flow is almost reaching the roads you are paving. Really strong and yet as they call it Majestic!

TIP- Be there with Her twin. I mean when it is on its full blast. Ideally be there before lunch. You should see a rock between Maria and Cristina. That also means better photos. 
12168099_10207941949014497_2023821935_n
I told you. The encounter is intimate.

Next is the charming fall beside a resort. Mimbalot Falls! Just reach back the national hi way and go straight just before Linamon bridge. Turn left, always left until you’ll see her. Naturally timid first with the colossal trees and almost unnoticed because of the entrance booth of the resort on her left
.

When you finally see her whole body, she is with oozing charisma. Inviting yet whispering to you that be cautious. Her rocks that makes her curvaceous might be dangerous. The view with her is very intimate. It’s like you’re so near to her but she just lets you be wettish not totally wet. She is the most approachable of them all.

TIP- you could also set her to be the last stop so you can choose to go inside the resort with its facilities with reasonable rates. You could get a cottage and spend time resting near Her. 
12167434_10207941949334505_817313124_n
The shades of green she creates. Hidden. Worth to be sought.

Finally to complete the trio. Tinago falls! As it means in Visayan term, Hidden. Expect the travel to be far, wide and lengthy than the journey from the first two. When you get back to the hi way, turn right. Always remember, you don’t have to cross the Linamon bridge. Then just few minutes you’ll see a street going right narrowed because of seafood vendors and public Sarao jeepney with barkers. Turn right. You could also see signages of “Going to Tinago Falls, Maze Resort or Taytay Pools”. That’s the right way. Just follow through the road. This time, always right.

Just 30 minutes the most, be cautious with the small signage of Tinago falls. Vehicles are left at the accepting grounds. Don’t worry it is guarded by the friendly baranggay dwellers. No specific fees, they just call it donations. That is one for the park guard (20p). One in the entrance shed where there’s a box for donations (30p) and one for your accommodating tour guide whom I gave 100p for being so compassionate with my girlfriend who was panting as we ascend almost 500 steps from Her.

She is really hidden. That’s 20mins more walking from the park to her. I lost my count either when we descended her steep stairs. If the queen roars her splash on your ear drums as you nears her,

She on the other hand, masks her mist on your face as you are approaching. She hugs you with cold cascade breeze and trap you with her enchanting shades of green from the trees and twigs to her spring and moss covered rocks. She is just tempting. I personally even forced myself to leave her. Hidden. Worth sought for.

12166235_10207941949694514_1055283731_n
Her hydro power feeds 75% of the Philippine’s largest (among the 3 major) island’s electricity. Almost intimidating especially when you are on the ground deck. There’s a viewing deck on the 3rd level.

As I end this with enchanting memories and when you finished reading it with hallucinations, prep your gears. Be back to the real. Book your fare to Iligan. Visit them. They are waiting and you refer them as She. Her.