Thursday, May 31, 2012

Relaxing Retreat at Pineridge Bucari

photo courtesy of Ramon Ramirez
The town of Leon is 28.2 kilometers away southwest from the city. It is rich in history, beauty, and adventure. The crown jewel of Leon's attractions is a 24-kilometer scenic drive to its pine-clad area that attracts many local and foreign tourists each year. The views in Bucari are spectacular. It serves as the focal point of every tour when in Leon.

Bucari was declared as an eco-tourist zone. It has a total land area of 10,432.875 hectares where Leon shares an area of 7,490.625 hectares with the municipality of Alimodian having an area of 2,942.25 hectares. Of the total land area 60% is forested, a combination of secondary growth and reforested area and a sprinkling of old growth forest in the very steep slope at high altitude of 1,200-metre-above sea level. It has subtropical highland climate and because of this, Bucari is dubbed the "Little Baguio of Iloilo."

Vacationers are promised much more than a vacation. It is an experience that can be enjoyed by families, outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers or just those who enjoy beauty in its purest state. And the best-kept secret of the area is the PINERIDGE Bucari in Barangay Bacolod. They do not call it a mountain resort for nothing.

Pineridge Bucari is an exciting attraction and will surely be the most popular vacation and adventure getaway destination of Iloilo. It is along a carefully selected location in an eco-zone area that is known for its hiking routes and breath taking views of the picturesque villages and the mountains of Leon and Alimodian. It is an exclusive Spa Resort that offers health, wellness and mountain climbing/exploration activities. The idea of the resort is to recreate the magic and nostalgia of village life and provide a relaxing sojourn away from the crowds and tension of city life.

It has a restaurant that offers organic and gourmet menus. The resort's vivid combination of natural vegetation, exposed rock and land formations, wildlife, and clean, cool mountain air make it something to see. Its mountain setting makes it a unique site for a weekend getaway or family vacation.

The entire property is set in the midst of mountain ranges and every room has its own special view of this splash of nature. The pine-clad area is also never far from the resort and you can catch a glimpse of the beautiful Agua Colonia foothills from anywhere in the resort and you will find that your accommodation has nothing but the best natural setting.

Visitors also come to Pineridge Bucari for its warm family atmosphere. For visitors, a minimum fee of P150.00 goes with a native coffee and dessert. For those who would want to stay overnight, the room can accommodate six (6) persons for a fee of P1,000.00. Gourmet meals are on a reservation basis to a minimum of five (5) persons with price ranging from P300.00-P500.00. A meal of P500.00 will be of buffet type and includes wine.

And for those travelers who are on a shoestring budget, the Bucari National High School will be opening three (3) nipa cottages with bath that can accommodate six (6) persons per cottage at P150.00 per person.

For garden weddings, the resort accepts a month advanced booking for use of the venue. From your Bridal Shower to post wedding breakfast, the resort can help design and customize what you have always imagined for your perfect wedding day. Their staff will work hand in hand with you to plan every detail to ensure your wedding will be unique and memorable. You and your wedding party will enjoy the serenity of the surroundings which will help you relax and prepare for your special day. By selecting the resort, you will have the opportunity for breath taking photos in various settings. The location provides a beautiful, picturesque setting for guests to relax, enjoy themselves and celebrate your special event.

So if you and your family want to commune with nature and enjoy outdoor activities by day, but enjoy the serenity of the area in the evening, then Pineridge Bucari is for you. Come take a look at all that the resort and the surrounding area have to offer you.

To get to Leon by car is a 40-minute leisurely drive passing through Mandurriao and San Miguel along a concrete and asphalt-paved highway. Jeepneys and air-conditioned vans ply the Leon-Iloilo City route daily at a fixed 8-minute interval. Air conditioned taxis are also available for hire at reasonable and negotiable rates. The upland barangay of Bucari is a 45-minute ride an hour jeepney-ride from the poblacion area with spectacular view of pine-covered mountains from the town proper. You can spend your time relaxing and strolling through its peaceful community to your heart’s content.

The resort can also work out itineraries made specific to visitor requirements and desires. They would be glad to discuss with you details including travel themes, activities wanted, routings and dates required. The resort values your idea and opinion.

When planning to go Pineridge Bucari, a 3-day reservation basis is needed. For more information, please call (033) 320 0977 or mobile at +63-906-399-4319 or you can email them at You can also contact the Office of the Municipal Mayor at (033) 3310033 or the Office of Culture, arts, History and Tourism, Province of Iloilo at (033) 3384910.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Refreshing Luxury at Bearland Paradise Resort

The province of Iloilo is fast-becoming a stomping ground for resort-goers. From hilltop suites to stilted villas above mangrove plantations, there is a wide range of accommodations to satisfy those looking to escape as well as those in search of one-of-a-kind experiences. Most of our resorts nowadays have set the standard for what travelers want. Even if they are visiting a remote destination, tourists expect the accommodations to suit their demands.

photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes

The newest entrant to the luxury-type accommodation in Iloilo is the Bearland Paradise Resort in one of Iloilo’s most historic towns, Tigbauan. The town, 22.5 kilometers from the city is popular for its scenic coastline peppered with resorts and its hip beach culture in the southern side of the province.

Opened in January of 2012, the Bearland Paradise Resort is a two-hectare beachfront resort located within Tigbauan’s resort zone 250-meters away from the main entrance of Barangay Tan Pael along the highway on the way to the poblacion.

photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes

The resort’s beautiful natural location is uniquely set with outstanding facilities and a number of rooms to ensure exclusivity and privacy. It features Bali-inspired luxury accommodations boasting five-star distinctive cabanas with bedrooms good for two and good for four. With inviting comfort in every room, each is equipped with air-conditioning, satellite TV, shower and bath and your very own private balcony awaits you too. It offers full services and amenities to make your holiday a real retreat in an elegant hideaway surrounded by nothing but sandy beach and fringed with tropical greenery. Although the cabanas are behind the sea view, each has a garden view which is surrounded by beautifully-landscaped flowering plants connected by a pebbled pathway.

photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes

photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes

The resort also features sophisticated pools: 2-feet deep for kids and a 4-feet deep adult pool where the sea serves as its scenic backdrop. The pool area is also an ideal spot to beat the heat of the day with a selection of thirst-quenching beverages and light snacks. Stools surround the bar for guests. Order and cool off at the same time.

photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes

Visitors can also enjoy eating barefoot by the beach while enjoying a breath-taking sunset or have elegant dining under the stars fronting the resort’s tranquil sea. It has beach cottages in native woods, rattan and bamboo to reflect the Ilonggo culture. It can accommodate intimate group gatherings for those who would want to commune with the beach.

Step inside Bearland’s exclusive serene residence right across the resort. Experience each spacious room for single and double occupancies and available rooms for a group of four and six. It also has a family suite that can accommodate a group of eight and is packed with four bedrooms and a kitchen. The stay is also complemented with the same personal service and amenities enjoyed at the resort.

And for those who wanted to have more fun under the sun, try their bamboo rafts designed for relaxation and comfort. The resort has two beach rafts that can accommodate a group of ten. It is great for hours of playful fun for kids and adults.

A resort destination on Iloilo’s southern coast, the Bearland Paradise Resort has continued to lure discerning travelers to its luxurious setting. Feel the allure of its glamorous yet classic ambiance. Experience its irresistible charm with amazing range of modern amenities and storied history of this legendary town.

Travelers looking for high-class beachfront accommodations will surely return to Bearland Paradise Resort. Once you will stay, you will understand.

For more information please contact (033) 333-0748 or at 09174698512 and 0918629 7840 or visit their website at,

Friday, May 11, 2012

TINUBKAN: An Indigenous Fashion Show

handkerchief with colorful tubok patterns, photo by JV Vladimir Perez (PALI)

Tubok, the indigenous hand embroidery works of the Panay Bukidnon in Calinog is among beautiful art traditions of Iloilo. Patterned over historical and ethnic styles of embroider, a tubok is not like those done by computerized embroidery machines that can handle any stitch or pattern and design with ease and efficiency. This needlework craft with a variety of stitches is done by hand and mostly by the elderly women in the community.

coin purses with indigenous tubok patterns, photo by JV Vladimir Perez (PALI)

Traditional patterns used in Panay Bukidnon hand embroidery are designs of geometric shapes, but also include designs which were most familiar to them as impressions of their daily surroundings. These patterns attributes of positive beliefs which includes representations of nature.

Currently 25 women hand embroiderers are skilled in this municipal industry of making embroidery: 15 in Barangay Garangan; five in Barangay Masaroy and another five in Barangay Agcalaga. The embroiderer or “Manugtubok” can create many artworks that look very soft, and as lively as an ordinary painting.

To observe a manug-tubok attentively, her skillful hands carefully threading each line while she passionately beams watching the scene unfold to her liking before her eyes, we can understand this is much more than a village craft, but a way of life.

This traditional art continues to be handed down from generation to generation and many of those into the trade are said to belong to families of embroidery makers. It can be accurately stated that the soul of the artisans can be seen through their needle-work, creating fascinating products imbued with the inspiration of the people and their surroundings.

Despite the coming of machine-made embroidery, this handicraft has continued to attract considerable patronage. The original artworks were created by people of indigenous cultures hundreds of years ago. Many do not know who they were, how they lived and what they left behind. But with the art these people left behind, many will appreciate the beauty of tubok.

The traditional embroidery of the Panay Bukidnon of Barangay Garangan in Calinog, Iloilo will be presented through a fashion show entitled TINUBKAN 2 at the Activity Center of SM City Iloilo at 3 p.m. The show will also feature the Anting-Anting Accessories of the Ati Community of Sitio Kati-Kati, San Miguel in Guimaras. In line with this, a dinner for a cause will also be held in celebration of the Heritage Month at The Venue, the Avenue Complex, Smallville, Mandurriao, Iloilo City. Tickets are available thru Jyh-Ming Gonzales at 09173128625 and Renel Sarmiento at 09154920554.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

All Set for Miss Silka Iloilo 2012

Founded in 2009, Cosmetique Asia Corporations’ Miss Silka Philippines has earned a reputation of a professional, top of the line beauty pageant. This nationwide search offers an excellent opportunity for young women to be the best person they can be by actual practice and stage experience.

Every year we see hundreds of young ladies all over the country compete in local Miss Silka beauty pageants where they gain confidence, a new sense of self-worth that they have never had before and inspire others by making a difference in their communities. Cosmetique Asia celebrates their energies and challenges them to set and achieve their goals.

Miss Silka Philippines has evolved to be much more than simple good looks. It takes true talent, education, and beauty to receive the crown. The chance to represent Iloilo in the Miss Silka Philippines 2012 pageant is the dream of this year’s 15 candidates. One of them will succeed Miss Cara Sullano, Miss Silka Panay 2011, an experienced beauty pageant contender placed 5th overall in the national pageant last year.

For the three successive years Miss Silka Iloilo representatives to the national pageant has been proudly represented in the top 10. In 2009, Miss Angelie Golingay, a Mass Communication student from West Visayas State University represented Iloilo and placed 2nd in the overall standing. Miss Gayle Nunez, Miss Silka Iloilo 2010 placed 7th overall.

the official 15 candidates for Miss Silka Iloilo 2012

The 2012 Miss Silka Iloilo coronation night will take place May 18, 7 p.m. at the Plaza Mayor of Plazuela Iloilo. On that night, contestants will compete in two areas of competition: the evening gown and interview. The swimwear competition was already pre-judged last May 4 at the same venue. This year’s Miss Silka Iloilo celebrates the culture, heritage, beauty, creativity of the Ilongga. Special Awards will be given for the Darling of the Crowd; Miss Silka Online Voter’s Choice and Miss Juicy. The winner of the Miss Silka Iloilo will receive an awesome prize at P30,000 and the chance to represent Iloilo in the Miss Silka Philippines pageant in Manila.

Miss Silka Philippines is off to a busy year of public appearances and the chance to be Cosmetique Asia’s product endorser for print and television and for certain gain with the television opportunities and certain future rewards.

Miss Silka Iloilo 2012 is brought to you by Cosmetique Asia Corporation makers of Silka Papaya and organized by TMX Travel and Marketing Experts in cooperation with Nature Spring, Magnolia Ice Cream, John Montinola Studio, Plazuela de Iloilo, Henry’s MJCJ Wines & Liquors, Robinsons Place Iloilo, Steps of Rome, Coke and Island Living Channel. ABE International College is this year’s official tabulator. One of showbiz fastest rising star Martin del Rosario will grace the event.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Advancing Cultural Heritage through the Fiestas in the City Celebration

In the Philippines, the month of May is when summer is at its peak, a time when many visit neighboring provinces to enjoy the different sites and attractions. May is also considered to be the merriest and most colorful month of the year due to the simultaneous holding of festivals and fiestas in almost all parts of the country and many partake in the celebration of their unique local festivities.

Our country is comprised of different regions with a wide array of backgrounds and cultures. One benefit of this rich cultural diversity is the vast amount of varied cultural heritage festivals held across the region each year. This paradise land presents visitors with a rich tapestry of cultural events and festivals that showcase their rich and varied cultural heritage.

Fiestas in the City 2011 with cultural dancers from the Municipality of Badiangan, Iloilo

Folk dance and music is the core of Western Visayas region’s tradition and culture. Some local festivities have gained so much importance that people from all over the world flock to see them. The regional office of the Department of Tourism has enhanced the tradition by holding the annual Fiestas in the City celebration.

The Fiestas in the City, now on its 11th year, is considered to be the longest-standing tourism tradition held in Iloilo. It includes daily cultural performances, destination booth, culinary and pageantry will culminate this year in a week-long festival celebration from May 14-20 with the following schedule of activities: May 14 opens the festivity with a short program following the performances of Camerata of Iloilo rondalla group; the Kinaadman Chorale of John B. Lacson University and Janiuay Dance Troupe at the event center of SM City Iloilo. The destination booth simultaneously opens at the Toy Kingdom area of the same mall.

May 15 features the traditional embroidery of the Panay Bukidnon of Calinog, Iloilo and Anting-Anting Accessories of the Ati Community of Kati-Kati at 3 p.m. at the mall's activity center; May 16 opens with the cultural presentation of the Municipality of Leganes, 5 p.m. at the activity center with their pinaka-valenciana at the destination booth. May 17 highlights the island-province of Guimaras with “Sinulog sang Guimaras” at 5 p.m., SM City activity center alongside Passi City’s pinaka featuring Midway’s famous banana chips at the destination booth area beside Toy Kingdom; May 18 is all set for Anilao with “Dali Kamo Dayon Sa Anilao” alongside Tigbauan’s pinaka- white pansit.

The highlight of the celebration is the annual Sagala of Festival and Fiesta Queens featuring the different festivals and fiesta queens around Iloilo and Guimaras on May 20. This year, 15 queens representing the towns of Janiuay, Badiangan, Miag-ao, Lambunao, Sta. Barbara, Pavia, Oton, Leganes, Leon, Cabatuan, Tigbauan, the City of Passi and Iloilo and the Province of Guimaras will parade wearing their best Filipiniana-inspired gowns.

The Department of Tourism Region VI Office with SM City Iloilo has always provided a gathering place for Ilonggos especially for the youth to learn about their culture. It is also an avenue for elders to rekindle social and cultural vibrancy as they pass on their wisdom and experience to the younger generation.

As a member of the Ilonggo community, you are integral to the preservation of this legacy. Please support by witnessing the daily activities of the 11th Fiestas in the City celebration prepared by the different municipalities and provinces all over the region to ensure the continuation of this Ilonggo community tradition for the next generations.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

In the Lap of Nature at Terra Verde Farm and Forest Park in Ajuy

When on holiday, nothing pleases the eyes and soothes the souls more than a spectacular view. The natural beauty of Ajuy may be the first thing you notice on your visit here. This seaside municipality is surrounded by lush, clean beaches. But this is only the beginning of what you will find here.

Alternating attractions between secluded stretches of sand are its equally-secluded inland resorts. Take the time and do not miss the opportunity to visit plenty of family-style recreation and attractions to discover a completely different aspect of Ajuy.

photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes

The Terra Verde Farm and Forest Park is one of Iloilo’s newest inland resorts. Situated in Barangay San Antonio in Ajuy, Iloilo, the resort’s design is inspired by its surrounding lush, green scenery. The facilities and the amenities blend perfectly with its natural environment surrounded by lush trees, established landscaping, and an ever-so-peaceful environment. The resort’s well-maintained and historic property is owned by the very gracious Mr. and Mrs. Francis and Dulce Blas who are always there to make sure everything runs smoothly.

The serene environment alone makes your two-hour journey to the resort worthwhile. Just a 500-meter walk to the park entrance fronting the Petron Gasoline Station along the highway on your way to the town center, you will find one of most unique and best value adventure in the northern part of Iloilo to suit your budget. Guests will find out that the resort provides more activities for the same price or even cheaper than most other resorts. Entrance fee is at P50.00 per person.

photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes

It promises to its guests a unique and comfortable stay. The calmness of nature and the soothing landscapes of the nearby areas make one’s stay an unforgettable one. The resort offers a wide variety of leisure and recreational facilities to its nature visitors. Fishing, camping, paddling, cycling, nature walks and picnic areas are just a few of the many recreational opportunities to be enjoyed when in the resort.

photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes

To get relief from the modern stressful life, Terra Verde Farm and Forest Park is a superb place to spend a few days in the lap of nature. Take a rest in a hammock or sit on the balcony in front of your room. Visitors will find at the resort very clean rooms for very reasonable prices. The fan rooms with private bathroom in duplex style that can accommodate 8-10 persons are built in with a porch overlooking the lagoon.

photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes

It has a semi open-air area where dining experience at the restaurant is enhanced by the fresh breeze and the sound of birds chirping to entertain its guest. Adjacent to the restaurant are open-air cottages where other visitors converge here to meet other guests and trade stories or experiences over a meal while admiring the view and fresh air of the resort. 

buco pie, photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes

By appointment, the resort serves excellent local food including some specialties like native chicken binakol, tinola, fish sinigang and lumpiang ubod with your choice of purple, red or basmati rice. Not to be missed are its delicious buco pie, cheesy cassava and banana muffin all made from the resort’s farm produce.

Terra Verde Farm and Forest Park also is an excellent venue for meetings, seminars and events. It has a spacious hall-ballroom that can easily accommodate 200 persons per event. Guest can also hold lavish banquet dinners.

So if you want to get away from the normality of having a beachside, resort, or shopping holiday, this is your best bet in terms of going home with some extraordinarily fond memories. Discover Terra Verde Farm and Forest Park in Ajuy.

To get to Ajuy, one can take an air-conditioned van or bus at Tagbak terminal in Jaro, Iloilo City. For more information, please contact Mrs. Dulce Blas at 09177233324 or at (033) 392-0210.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Elevate Your Mood in Igbaras Mountain View Resort

During the summer, the province of Iloilo offers an array of invigorating outdoor activities and adventure, from zip-lining to hiking; swimming and biking down the mountains. But for something a bit more relaxed, there is no better place to leave the stresses of everyday life behind lazing in a spectacular outdoor setting.

People love traveling to mountain locations on vacation due to their vast range of fascinating tourist attraction sites. Plan a getaway with families and friends high up in the mountains. The scenic municipality of Igbaras is not your average part in the province of Iloilo when it comes to it.

photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes

The Igbaras Mountain View Resort is one of Iloilo’s newest and finest mountain resorts for that therapeutic retreat and where breathing is a bit easier. The resort location lures people into vacation activities associated with the tourism industry for which the province of Iloilo is known.

photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes

With an uninterrupted carpet of trees that rise to the top, the Igbaras Mountain View Resort is a two-hectare resort hidden in a fertile area of Sitio Pasong. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. Eliseo (Pudoy) and Emily Javelosa, the resort was originally planned as a vacation house for the couple. It was established in November of 2011. With its mountain resort-style lodge, it offers stunning views overlooking the green mountain ranges of Igbaras and Tubungan; the Tangyan River; the scenic seascape of Guimbal and the island of Guimaras.

photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes

Just beyond the sloping lawn from the entrance approximately 30 meters from the municipal road, one can take advantage of this beauty strip that offer swimming withpools for adults and children. Even more desirable than its enviable location, the resort has another outdoor adult swimming pool with an amazing view of the mountains for the enjoyment of their guests. Swimming fee is P60.00 for Igbarasnons and P80.00 for non-residents of Igbaras.

photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes

photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes

A mountain wall hems the rest-houses for those who would want to stay overnight. Tucked away quietly amid scenic views awaits finely appointed guest rooms sitting on the point of a private mountain ridge. This gives you a panoramic mountain view from every room. Surrounded by extraordinary mountain backdrops and picturesque views, the rooms were designed by the owner himself to provide the ideal setting for rest and relaxation. It has two (2) casually elegant bedroom cottages for two or for a group of four persons with individual porches to enjoy while watching the fireflies play among the many trees.

The municipality of Igbaras is 40 kilometers away from Iloilo City. Politically subdivided into 46 barangays, the municipality is brimming with arts, culture and outdoor adventure, along with a rich history. It is home to popular attractions such as caves, cascades and the rare Rafflesia Garden in Barangay Igcabugao, and recreational activities sure to delight visitors of all ages and interests.

Entrance fees cost P50.00 for non-residents of Igbaras and P40.00 for Igbarasnons. Feel free to ask the owners for advice on how best to enjoy your Igbaras vacation. No matter what you want to do, They will be happy to arrange site tours to the area’s attractions. You can get in touch with Igbaras Mountain View Resort through Mrs. Emily Javelosa at 09189795040 or 09189795030.

When looking for a mountain resort Igbaras will not disappoint. Relax in a seclude mountain resort and just enjoy the mountain views. Experience Igbaras’ tradition of warm, gracious hospitality as an honored guest. Pat yourself on the back for experiencing Igbaras Mountain View Resort.

Empowering Bitas Through Burihan Festival

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