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San Miguel Light Blue Rush Race In Boracay

03/31/03

San Mig Light and the Katipunan Jaycees, in cooperation with the Loyola Volleyball Org and Aklan Kalantiao Jaycees, are launching what is expected to be this summer's hottest race in Aklan - the San Mig Light Blue Rush, the Boracay Race.

The competition is open to two-person teams with individual members between 18 years old and above. The race, set for April 17 & 19, 2003 (Maundy Thursday - Good Friday), is limited to the first 20 teams that will sign up. These teams will compete in a series of physical and mental tasks around the fabled island of Boracay, Aklan. Only the first 10 pairs that will finish the tasks for Day 1 will advance to the final round and vie for the grand title.

Registration will be on April 16, 2003 at the Galaxy Resorts in Boracay from 9:00 am to 9:00 p.m. There will be a registration fee of P500.

Prospective participants are also invited to the San Mig Light Blue Rush Pre-Event Party at National Sports Grill on April 5, 2003 9:00 p.m. wherein early birds will be treated to free drinks. Interested parties may also visit the website www.bluerush.org or send e-mail to macel.legaspi@bluerush.org for further details.


Barefooting in Boracay

Manila Bulletin
03/05/03

BORACAY, Aklan (PNA) — Sink your ankles deep into the softest, finest, whitest sand. Sand so friendly, you can’t find it anywhere else in the world except Boracay.

It’s like burrowing into sifted confectionery sugar, top-cake flour, or baby powder. Gentle, gratifying. Bordering on the unreal. It’s just got to be what the sandman sprinkles at dreamtime.

Every particle that clings to your sun-drenched body is a speckle of white coral and shell worn down by the powerful ocean currents, and the annual typhoon waves. It takes patience to make a beach: each bit of organic building material must be rubbed, tossed and dragged about repeatedly by water movement till it breaks down into fine and still much finer sand.

The beach is a living earthscape. With every wave, sand is deposited and removed everyday. Boracay’s white beach is a delicate tribute to ecological balance. Whiteness is retained by keeping offshore coral communities healthy. It is also white because there is neither quartz, feldspar, nor magnetite to color Boracay sand otherwise.

The island paradise was born in pre-history when a reef platform attached to northwestern Panay Island rose and revealed two islets. Sand accumulated between the twain, wedding them into a Philippine contribution to the world’s natural treasures.

From Manila to Caticlan, it took less than an hour on board the Seair. The entourage is composed of Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon, Louie Pawid of DoT, two journalists from Lakbay TV and this writer.

Gordon was invited by Rep. Gabrielle Calizo to attend the public hearing of the joint Committee on Tourism and Local Government Units regarding tourism-related problems.

Seair is flying three times a day here, making a gateway vacation to this island paradise possible.

Sheltered from the fierce easterly typhoon, Boracay can be found at the northwestern tip of Panay, off the Sibuyan Sea. It has managed to pack its thousand-hectare area with all the elements of a tropical paradise – crystal blue waters, powder white sand, liberal doses of tropical palms and flowering plants, and a healthy marine life underneath the seas.

Boracay is made up of three little communities, Yapak in the north, Balabag in the middle and Manoc-Manoc in the south. Hilly elevations up to 100 meters above sea level characterize Yapak and Manoc-Manoc, intertwining trails link the small villages together.

Boracay would have remained a national secret if not for a few foreign travelers who accidentally stumbled upon the place. Some say it was a movie crew which spread word about Boracay to other sun worshippers. Others swear it was German traveler Jens Peters’ book, which included rave reviews about Boracay, that sent tourists on their way.

The island, roughly shaped like a dumb-bell, is seven kilometers and the narrowest spot is nearly a kilometer wide. Boracay Island is Aklan’s pride aside from the Ati-Atihan Festival.

The best part of the island is its four kilometer “White Beach”, also called Long Beach by the locals. It is situated at the west coast between the villages of Angol and Balabag and barangay Manok-Manok.

There are three boat stations along White Beach. Boats are usually bancas chartering. One of these costs approximately R200 for an hour per person. R500 for three hours and R800 for six hours.

Or one can try the tricycles with sidecars. They are one of the most popular transportation means in the country. The fare is from R5 to R20 per person. Or try renting a bicycle. They cost about R50 per hour.

It is not only home to the famous puka shells but also of corals — green, pink, blue, brown, red and white. These are made into necklaces, bracelets and earrings both for export and local consumption. Precautionary measures have been imposed by the government to prevent destruction of beaches where these precious shells are “mined”.

There are about 350 beach resorts with more than 3,000 rooms to suit virtually everyone’s taste. These include Robinson’s (a private house where the secretary stayed), Jony’s, Lorenzo, Club Panoly, Palomar, Pearl of the Pacific, Red Coconut, Sandcastles, Abram’s, Boracay Terraces, Willy’s, Casa Pilar, Friday’s and Boracay Regency, among others.

Boracay is not lacking in funfare, razzmatazz. There are rock bars, joints, and discos with amazing light and sound equipment open until the late morning hours, superb seafood restaurants and a choice of French, Italian and Philippine cuisine.

The place receives an average of 10,000 tourists during the peak season from November to May and at least 5,000 monthly on lean season from June to October.


US envoy cites Boracay as world’s top destination

By Yul Malicse
01/27/2003

BORACAY ISLAND, Malay, Aklan – United States Ambassador to the Philippines Francis Ricciardone described Boracay Island in Panay as a place visitors must not miss.

The natural beauty of this internationally famous resort island, its crystal-like waters, natural white sand, trees and the community’s innate hospitality are major factors that have obviously attracted Ambassador Ricciardone who, along with wife Dr. Marie Ricciardone and daughters Francesca and Shaira with friends Dan and Paula Smith took a few days of vacation here, recently.

The Ricciarones were first-time guests at the world-class Club Panoly Resort – home of Miss Asia Pacific and Mutya ng Pilipinas contestants. They, along with the Smiths were welcomed by Club Panoly officials led by James C. T. Lau, Club Panoly Resorts and Panoly Group of Companies president and chief executive officer; resort director Al Borromeo; administration manager Ramonito Pacificar and rooms division manager Benjie Banzon.

Boracay Island has been adjudged twice by European travel writers and tourism editors as “the most beautiful resort island in the world”.

Boracay is more than a thousand hectares in land area, with three barangays: Yapak, Balabag and Manok-Manok. It has about 200 resorts and hotels, 80 of which are in the bigger circle. Scuba diving, windsurfing, and sightseeing by bancas and motorized boats are top activities for tourists. Fish, vegetables and fruits are abundant in the island. Aside from fishing, the islanders also make a living from rice and coconut industries.

Peace and order is well-maintained as no less than Malay Mayor Ceciron Cawaling and Malay chief of police and cops, undertake regular coordination with Gov. Florencio Miraflores, Rep. Gabrielle “Billie” Calizo, the provincial board members and PNP provincial director Supt. Ed Mendoza.

The island is now practically complete with facilities for visitors. Along the main beach are markets and stores, both sell food, vegetables, canned goods, souvenirs, ornaments, among others. It also has a lot of bars, videoke houses, billiard camps, disco houses, and sports facilities for tennis and basketball.

Before departing for Manila, the Ricciardones and the Smiths extended warm appreciation to James Lau and his staff for a delightful and memorable stay at Club Panoly, adding that they would be happy to go back to Boracay in the near future.


P.5M at stake in Nestea Beach Volley

01/25/2003

NESTEA BRAND Manager Tina Samaco announced yesterday that the 7th Nestea Beach Volley University Championships, one of the country’s most popular outdoor sports events leading to the summer season, will hold its four elimination legs followed by the semifinals at the Power Plant at Rockwell Center in Makati City, and the national finals on Boracay Island.

She said that the series of competitions will take place from the end of February to early April.

Samaco added that all participating teams will be provided with free travel, food and accommodations for the legs of the competition which they will be joining.

The schedule, she said, is as follows:

Metro Manila leg, Feb. 28; Luzon leg, March 1-2; Visayas leg; March 1314; Mindanao leg, March 15; Semi-Finals, March 16; Finals, April 5-6.

Interested parties are invited to visit the Nestea website at www.nestea.ph or call Ms. Corex Bartilet of Rapp Collins, the event organizer, at tels. 6337429 or visit the 11th floor of the JMT Bldg., ADV Ave,. Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Metro Manila.

A college-based beach volley tournament that brings together the Philippines’ most outstanding beach volley players, the 7th Nestea Beach Volley University Championships promises to be the biggest by far in the history of the event.

A total of half a million pesos in prizes await the winners in the men’s and women’s divisions, with the champion teams in both categories each getting R100,000 and a trophy, while their schools will each receive R50,000 worth of sports equipment and a trophy.

The tournament is open to all college students enrolled for the 2002-2003 school year, and they must be official representatives of their schools. Each school may only field one team each for the men’s and women’s divisions. All applications are screened by the event organizer, and qualified teams are selected on a first-come, firstserved basis given the number of slots which is expected to total 96 nationwide.


Ayala Corp. to sell noncore assets

By JOSE LUIS VILLANUEVA
TODAY Reporter
January 30, 2003

Ayala Corp. disclosed Thursday that it is planning to sell along with unit Ayala Land Inc. some noncore and nonstrategic assets in line with its business restructuring plan.

Among the items Ayala Corp. has set aside for sale is its Burger King franchise, which was not included in its sale of Purefoods Corp. to San Miguel Corp. last year. A disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Thursday said Ayala Corp. was holding talks on the sale of the fast-food franchise, but emphasized that the discussions were “at a very preliminary stage.”

For its part, Ayala Land is planning to sell about 80 hectares worth of undeveloped land on the resort island of Boracay in Southern Philippines, along with other property assets.


TERROR THREATS SPARE BORACAY
Posted: 3:49 AM (Manila Time) | Jan. 01, 2003
By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
Inquirer News Service


ILOILO CITY - Tourists continue to flock to the world-famous island of Boracay, bucking threats of terror attacks and travel advisories that discouraged travel to the Philippines and other Asian countries.

Tourist arrivals as of November this year reached 276,187, according to data from the Department of Tourism-Western Visayas (DOT-6).

The figure is 13.28 percent more than the 243,819 visitors recorded over the same period last year.

Filipino visitors accounted for bulk of the tourists, reaching 205,768 compared to the 69,119 foreign visitors.

Tourists from East Asia comprised more than two-thirds of foreign visitors at 48,920 followed by Europeans with 11,063 and North Americans with 5,519.

Among the countries, Koreans topped the number of visitors, reaching 43,278 followed by a distant 4,415 from the United States and 3,716 from Japan.

The tourists poured in more than 5 billion pesos in 11 months in the economy, higher than the 4.86 billion pesos recorded for the entire 2001.

Gross income from Boracay visitors average nearly 3.5 billion pesos yearly for the past six years.

Visitors in Boracay, known for its pristine-white beaches and crystal clear waters, have been on the upswing since 1996.

While it suffered a slight decline in 1997 and 1998 after the Asian financial crisis, the number of visitors bounced back in 1999 until now.

Gross income from Boracay visitors average nearly 3.5 billion pesos yearly in the past six years but last year, tourists poured in 4.86 billion pesos in the economy.

Dionisio Salme, president of the Boracay Foundation Inc. (BFI), admitted there was a slight decrease of tourists from Europe after the bombing in Bali Indonesia, which killed nearly 300 mostly foreign tourists.

But these had been offset by the significant increase of Korean and Filipino tourists.

"We are hopeful that the tourist arrivals will increase next year as a result of efforts to ensure the safety of visitors on the island," Salme told the Inquirer in a telephone interview.


MACAPAGAL URGED TO STOP PLANNED CASINO IN BORACAY
Posted: 12:02 PM (Manila Time) | Dec. 24, 2002
By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
Inquirer News Service


KALIBO, Aklan - Kalibo Bishop Gabriel Reyes has appealed to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to stop a plan to put up a casino on Boracay Island.

In a letter dated Dec. 10, Reyes asked the President not to allow the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) from operating the casino in the world-famous island resort.

Reyes sent to the President letters of parish priests and members of the parish councils under the Diocese of Aklan opposing the proposed casino.

The letters were signed by hundreds of members of the pastoral council and all but two of the 24 parish priests of the Diocese. The two were not able to submit their letters on time.

"The signatures represent the sentiments of the Aklanons on the proposed casino. We can get more signatures if necessary," Reyes told the Inquirer.

"Our opposition is for the good of Aklan. The casino is harmful not only to tourists and residents of Boracay but also to our people," said Reyes.

This is the second time that the Bishop has sought the President's intervention. In his first letter dated Oct. 22, Reyes sent the President his pastoral letter expressing his opposition to the plan.

In the pastoral letter read during masses in the Diocese last Oct. 20, Reyes exhorted his flock to oppose casinos, which he said are "often the cause of the impoverishment and breaking up of families." "Casinos promote enslavement or addiction to the passion of gambling. They weaken the moral strength of people," he said.

Reyes said he has also written to the municipal council of Malay to convince the town councilors to oppose the proposed casino.

Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores said he has already told Pagcor of the opposition of the provincial government to the proposed casino in Club Panoly, a high-end resort in a secluded area in Barangay Yapak, one of three villages comprising the island.

Bishop Reyes said Boracay is "God's gift to Aklan and the whole world. Until now it is a family resort, frequented and enjoyed by all. It is still wholesome. Let us keep it that way."