Wednesday, April 16, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Visiting a gem in southeast Asia, the Philippines

More than 1 million Filipinos call California home. We’ve been influenced by their culture, cuisine and recipients of myriad products and services.

But in the past decade, very few of my American-born clients have considered a vacation in the Philippines. Asking myself why, and doing a bit of research, I concluded a lack of promotion to this jewel may be the problem. So, here’s my contribution to putting this locale on your vacation map.

Known as “the pearl of the orient,” the Philippines are made up of more than 7,000 islands. The gateway capital, Manila metropolitan area, consists of 16 cities and serves as the business hub and education center for this nation.

Europeans, Aussies and Asians frequent these islands to enjoy its beauty, activities and many festivals.

If you haven’t, consider this destination for the following reasons:

The islands are tropical and exotic. Experience the unexpected at its eight UNESCO World Heritage sites – Historic Town of Vigan, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, four Baroque Churches of the Philippines and Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park – and 29 proposed additions to the list. (Go to: www.worldheritagesite.org/countries/philippines.html).

Friendly and happy people are everywhere. Having been colonized by the Spaniards, Americans and settled by a variety of immigrants, Filipinos welcome visitors with open arms. A plus is that English is widely spoken.

Consume the cuisine. We are fortunate to have access to popular Filipino dishes such as pancit, adobe and lumpia, but you must be in-country to experience the more exotic dishes – or be as lucky as I was when sailing with a group of Filipino clients: one arranged for a countryman chef to prepare a native dinner each night.

There’s always something for the people to celebrate, which leads to endless entertainment, festivals and parties. Every municipality and town has a festival in addition to the many religious, indigenous, flower, film and music ones all over the country. Families love to party and night life is abundant.

It’s affordable. Accommodations, food and shopping can be a small fraction of the cost in other countries. Accommodation ranges from one to five stars, lobster dinners for $12; score a shopping bargain for one-tenth U.S. cost.

Countless outdoor activities include hiking, biking, golfing, rafting, diving and enjoying one of many sandy white beaches. Romantic settings and great prices makes it a leading wedding and honeymoon destination.

Now you have some reasons to visit the Philippines, so possibly you’re wondering how to get there and what to do.

There are more than a dozen airlines with service to Manila from the west coast, including the national carrier, Philippines Airline. I highly recommend first-time visitors start their journey with a tour package, until they’re comfortable in going on their own. Pacific Holidays Tours has a nice selection of packages ranging from seven to 11 days and starting at $2,795, including airfare. These packages are customizable to allow for extension of your time in-country, upgrades and add-ons to other destinations in the Southeast Asia region. Isramworld offers an eight-night Island Hopping package starting at $1,639 (without air), taking you to Manila and Cebu Borocay. Also they have mini-packages to five destinations, which are combinable to suit your needs.

With so many possibilities and choices in this country, I suggest you visit www.philippinesboard.com to begin your exploration of this destination.

For a visual tour, you can go to www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=32sbF72kJN8&feature=endscreen.

Once you’ve determined it’s for you, begin planning with your professional travel consultant and don’t forget to ask a Filipino friend or neighbor about visiting their country of origin.

Happy travels!

Rose Alston is a certified travel counselor and master cruise counselor. She can be reached at rose@rosealston.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
 
Supervisor candidates file conflict-of-interest forms

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Trial begins for teacher accused of abusing children

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

Suisun police ID shooting victim

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
Solano Jews gather for start of Passover

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
 
County discusses consolidated dispatch

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Miner Slough Bridge to see repairs

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
‘Heaven is for Real’ opens Wednesday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B5

 
Fiesta Days pageant organizers seek contestants

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
Easter hunt set for Mare Island

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Crews make quick work of vehicle fire

By Glen Faison | From Page: A6, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
Paper Clover Campaign supports Solano County 4-H

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

Coakley joins Solano fair board

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Hundreds flock to Krispy Kreme as it opens doors

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
County to honor Solano educators

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

.

US / World

Officials: Huge San Francisco blaze was accidental

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
‘Shrimp Boy’ pleads not guilty in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Immigration activists urge Obama to act boldly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Supremacist faces murder charges in Kansas deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Ukraine: Military secures airport from attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Democrats have outside money advantage – for now

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
First women move into Army platoon artillery jobs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Final deadline arrives for health exchange sign-up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
New LA newspaper embraces print in digital world

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Congress is giving states the transportation blues

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Police: Suspects in killings wore GPS devices

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

DNA alternative to Pap smear sparks medical debate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Robot sub returns to water after 1st try cut short

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Hamas praises deadly West Bank shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
2 dead after ferry sinks off SKorean coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

.

Opinion

 
Oh, for the days of Dr. Welby

By Dan K. Thomasson | From Page: A13, 12 Comments

Poor Judgement in Flight 370 column

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

 
Senseless babble that hurts

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13

 
Expand Red Top Road

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

Editorial cartoons for April 16, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A13

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
What love gives you

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

Today in History for April 16, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
A matzo ball soup fit for a weeknight dinner

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Saving carrots from their usual sugary Easter fate

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B6

 
Sweet pairings for grown-up Easter treats

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

My husband still pays his 45-year-old unemployed son’s bills

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes for April 16, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Boston Globe wins Pulitzer for bombing coverage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Lindsay Lohan’s mom pleads guilty to DWI in NY

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Strahan’s ‘GMA’ side job confirmed with his visit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Cal hires Tennessee’s Cuonzo Martin as coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors trying to move on without Andrew Bogut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Sharks’ Torres uncertain for playoff opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Indians shut out Mustangs

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Ex-Minnesota State, Mankato coach returning to job

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Panthers jump Sabres to win NHL draft lottery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

More former players sue NHL regarding concussions

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers sign WR Brandon Lloyd to 1-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

MLB marks 67th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Twitter buys data analytics partner Gnip

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Yellen signals more aggressive stance toward banks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Obituaries

Carolyn McClelland

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Evonne Medina

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

.

Comics

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7