Travel Log: International brand hotel opens in Angeles CityBy Rick Alberto
MANILA, Philippines—The Best Western hotel brand is now in Angeles City with the opening of The Mint Hotel, the first internationally branded hotel in the city proper.
With the nearby Clark International Airport becoming a key international hub, the hotel hopes to attract a growing number of both international and domestic visitors.
Located on Fields Avenue, in the Balibago tourist district, the eight-story Mint Hotel has 52 rooms with flat-screen HD TVs with cable channels, minibars, work desks and complimentary Wi-Fi. The café-restaurant offers complimentary buffet breakfast. Other hotel facilities include a laundry and car rental services.
“We are very excited about bringing our world famous brand to Angeles, the Philippines’ most up-and-coming entertainment capital,” said Glenn de Souza, Best Western International’s vice president international operations –Asia & the Middle East.
“The potential for Angeles as a destination is enormous and the recent arrival of AirAsia Philippines, as well as the presence of Cebu Pacific, SEAIR, AirPhil Express and other international carriers at Clark airport is testament to the growth of the area. As the first international hotel chain in the city, we are delighted to be at the forefront of this development,” Mr. de Souza added.
Best Western currently operates five hotels in the Philippines, but this portfolio is expected to more than double to 12 properties by the beginning of 2014.
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In a “celebration of peace” this October, the world-renowned, multi-awarded University of the Philippines Concert Chorus performs in Malaysia, according to the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. The UP-based singers will perform in by-invitations events at the Panggung Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur Cultural Center) on October 23 in partnership with the Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (Office of the Kuala Lumpur City Mayor) and at the Universiti Malaya’s Experimental Theatre on October 24, in partnership with the University’s Cultural Center.
The group will then proceed to Kuching, Sarawak for a performance on October 25, in cooperation with the Rotary Club of Kuching and the Filipino community there.
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The Philippine Airlines offers its frequent flyer program to customers of Airphil Express, its budget airline. PAL announced that effective October 28, Philippine Airlines will enter into a commercial arrangement with Airphil Express. With this partnership, Airphil Express passengers can earn miles and redeem flight award tickets on an expanded network of 81 international and domestic routes on both Philippine Airlines and Airphil Express.
You can join the Mabuhay Miles and get a 500 mile sign-up bonus during the promo period from October 13 to November 13, 2012. Log on to https://www.mabuhaymiles.com and click “Enroll Now.”
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Mok Oliveros comments on Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr.’ statement that the Philippines’ problem in attracting international tourists lies is their ignorance about the country as they “just haven’t heard of the Philippines.”
Oliveros thinks our country “has that ‘unfortunate’ lot of BEARING A NON-EXOTIC SOUNDING NAME. In a world where English and other Western languages hold sway in world affairs, ‘the Philippines’ is just another English word that’s easily forgettable or ‘dismiss-able’ denoting a place that’s got not much new to offer in terms of culture, etc.”
He says “it’s not like ‘India’ or ‘Malaysia’ or ‘Indonesia’ or ‘China’ or ‘Japan’—the mere mention of these names evokes a definite image of exoticism in one’s mind, whereas ‘the Philippines’ evokes ‘just one of those small group of islands occupied by the US or England during the war.’”
Oliveros offers a solution: Change the name of the country “if we really want to boost our positioning in tourists’ minds.”
“If you want precedents, there are Myanmar and Thailand (formerly Burma and Siam, respectively). But then if you don’t want to, it’s fine by me. I love the Philppines either way,” he says.
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