Palawan, Philippines

The Royal Treatment at Puerto Princesa: Paradise Regained

With safety protocols firmly enforced, Puerto Princesa is poised to again welcome tourists with open arms. In recent years, the highly urbanized city and tourist haven has been paralyzed by the Covid-19 pandemic, then pummeled by Typhoon Odette. But it is now on the road to recovery—as spectacularly as its scenic, romantic and gastronomic attractions

“The tourism industry is the lifeblood of Puerto Princesa, along with agriculture. Almost 15,000 people directly or indirectly benefit from tourism. In varying degrees, most of the recent construction and development projects are related to tourism: hotel-building, parks, cruise-ship ports, street lights, roads and many more. Unfortunately, some of these have been on hold since the onset of the pandemic,” discloses Demetrio “Toto” Alvior Jr., the city tourism officer.

The Royal Connection

Puerto Princesa, the capital of postcard-perfect Palawan, sprawls across 253,982 hectares of captivating coastlines stretched over 106 kilometers. Due to its strategic geographical location, it has sufficient depth to allow ships of all sizes to anchor, earning a reputation as a “Princess of Ports,” or in Spanish, “Puerto Princesa.”

There’s no contention that Puerto Princesa is one of the country’s greatest pleasures. A holiday destination universally beloved by travelers, beach-combers and trekkers; a bustling business center with a rural allure; a provincial vibe with modern amenities; and a clean and green city recognized for its lush forests, fresh air and frontier character.


Rising Above Covid-19

The city of Puerto Princesa has been struggling to get to its feet since the outbreak of Covid-19 in early 2020. The lack of tourists, which is the main industry, has forced hundreds of tourism-related businesses to close, leaving thousands of tourism workers unemployed.

“The public-health crisis forced them to find alternative sources of income, which was made more difficult because of the restrictions of movement due to several lockdowns,” Mr. Alvior reveals. “One factor of low tourist arrivals is the fluctuating number of Covid cases, which in turn affects the determination of quarantine requirements and national government intervention policies.”

Today, Puerto Princesa is experiencing record lows in terms of economic losses, losing around P5 billion a year for the past two years from potential tourist receipts.

“The City Tourism Department has been strengthening its social media campaigns to encourage local tourists to visit local attractions, in a bid to boost much-needed revenues to the ailing tourism sector,” a cautiously optimistic Mr. Alvior says. “We have one important wish in the City Tourism Department, and that is to prioritize the aids for the Typhoon Odette-affected tourism industry here.”

The goal is to regain the city’s glory as an eco-tourism capital. “Our 2022 goals are full restoration of all the tourist attractions affected by Typhoon Odette such as the completion of the construction of the cruise-ship port and other man-made tourist attractions. There will be wide, extensive and aggressive promotions of Puerto Princesa to the local and international market.”

The Last Frontier

Puerto Princesa has a plethora of tourist spots. But many tourists who visit the city put the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, one of the New7Wonders of Nature, on top of their list. As the jump-off point for exploring the world-famous Tubbataha Reef, the city also hosts a fair share of adventurers.

“Since the Covid-19 outbreak, we have never ceased to hope that the future will be better. This year 2022 is no different. And while what we want is a full recovery, we cannot afford to be careless when taking big steps. As we begin to truly understand the gravity of the situation, we also come to realize that our moves must be consistent with the bigger picture such as the national situation,” Mr. Alvior says.

Since February 10, the city has been happily welcoming more visitors once again, hoping that the arrival numbers will soon be back to pre-pandemic levels. In this initiative, the tourism department shares the privilege on with the private sector.

“While the government is the administrator of the State, the private sector is the bloodline. The government and the private sector are two inseparable factors for Puerto Princesa to prosper, and more importantly, to recover,” Mr. Alvior says. “The key to recovery is to enable and support the private sector to keep or resume their business operations. When it comes to the city’s biggest partners, apart from government agencies, it is the collective impact of small-business operations.”

Puerto Princesa may be “The Last Frontier,” but the City Tourism Department is confident that it will always be the first choice of every traveler.

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Pacific Ocean, Philippines, Spain, Travel

Isabel de Barreto “The Queen of Sheba”: The first female admiral in History

Do you know who was the first woman in history who commanded a ship? Do you know who was the first woman in history who crossed the Pacific Ocean? She was none other than a Spanish woman named Isabel Barreto, whose life story well deserves a movie.

Instituto Cervantes de Manila is organizing a cycle of two webinars on this extraordinary woman in celebration of women’s month this March. The first leg will be held this Thursday, March 31, at 6:00 PM, and will consist of a lecture by the famous Spanish historian Elvira Roca (as famous in Spain as Ambeth Ocampo in the Philippines). This lecture will have English subtitles and can be accessed at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82399004400.

The second leg will be held the following Thursday, April 7 at 6:00 PM, wherein the expert Francisco Mellén will talk about the latest findings in the archives on Isabel Barreto. He will be accompanied in a round table discussion by the prestigious historian from Vermont University Juan Maura. The event will have a simultaneous translation in English and will also be held via Zoom. The link will be available on the Facebook page of Instituto Cervantes de Manila.

Isabel Barreto was the first female Admiral in the world, and Philippine history enthusiasts would find it interesting to note that after traversing the Pacific Ocean from the Viceroyalty of Peru, she ended her trip in the Philippines where she and her crew sailed for their lives. Her husband, Alvaro de Mendaña, who discovered the Solomon and Marquesas Islands in the 16th century, had died in the Santa Cruz Islands in the Pacific Ocean. It was upon his death that Isabel assumed the leadership of the expedition en route to the Philippines. In Manila, she was welcomed with great honors as the “Queen of Sheba”.

This noteworthy woman was born in Galicia (Spain) in 1567. During her childhood, the family moved to Peru where she grew up, and married her first husband Mendaña, who was more than twenty-five years older than her. During her stay in Manila, she married a Spanish military man, Fernando de Castro, with whom she returned to the Americas.

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Announcement

First Steps in Winning

Today betting is a popular activity. Numerous advertisements of bookmakers not only in the media, but also on the Internet attract the attention of many people. The number of fans betting on sports is constantly increasing

In order to make a bet and get your portion of adrenaline, it is not even necessary to leave home. A computer or smartphone with Internet access is enough to register on the bookmaker’s website. Online betting has given thousands of players the opportunity to try their luck, get acquainted with btts tips and test different strategies to achieve winnings.


Basic principles of a betting company

Any bookmaker’s office must obtain a special license to operate legally and have a certain authorized capital. Only under such conditions a company can start its work.


Bookmakers are serious about odds setting. For this purpose they involve analysts or use professional software in which certain probabilities are already built in (they only need to be converted into the appropriate numerical odds)


In each quotation there is a margin, a certain amount which the bookmaker will earn in any case. Some bettors call the margin a commission, which is also true.


Every day bookmakers form lines, providing players with a large selection of events. Bets are made not only in the prematch, but also in the live mode. Players choose a suitable option for themselves. It is worth noting that each office has its own rules and features, so before placing a bet, players should definitely become familiar with them.


Is it possible to make money on bets?

If players can control their emotions and not give in to gambling, they can really achieve certain results. To do so, it is necessary to understand the sport discipline chosen for betting and also to have good analytical skills.

Studying information and forming conclusions about the possible outcome of a sporting event requires a lot of time. Even the smallest details that can affect the outcome of the meeting should be taken into account.


Many bettors use special strategies that can be divided into three categories: sport model, mathematical strategy and financial tactics. The latter is usually used in combination with other schemes to increase their effectiveness.


In order to start playing, funds are needed, which the player can spend on bets without regret. However, a financial investment is not enough. In order to achieve success, it is necessary to allocate time for pre-match analysis. It is recommended to pay attention to certain factors, among which:


– the presence of motivation to win;
– the position of the team in the standings;
– the lineup, which will probably take part in the upcoming game, and the form of sportsmen; – statistical data.


A beginner should first of all get acquainted with basic information about betting, learn how to make a prediction, study the rules of a bookmaker’s office and the principles of its operation. Only then it is best to start betting. Play for money on the sites of trusted institutions, which have a good reputation.


Today, sports betting is a popular and quite interesting hobby. Some users eventually become professionals who steadily win large sums, but they are very few.


Nowadays, bettors have a wide variety of bookmaker companies, so they can choose a suitable game for themselves. It is worth understanding that betting is a pleasant pastime, but not a source of stable income. To get big winnings, it is necessary to make certain efforts and gain experience.

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Philippines

Big fuel discounts to all motorists during weekends with Caltex Biyaheng Pamasko promo

Caltex, marketed by Chevron Philippines Inc. (CPI) is giving Filipino motorists the gift of savings this Christmas season with their latest promo, Biyaheng Pamasko.

Beginning December 10, 2021 until January 2, 2022, motorists who fuel up at participating Caltex stations every Friday to Sunday will automatically get Php3/liter off on Caltex Platinum with Techron and Caltex Silver Techron and P2/liter off on Caltex Diesel with Techron D.

“Christmas is a time when people everywhere are busy making plans to celebrate with their loved ones and friends with gatherings and gift giving. These happy festivities can get challenging cost-wise though. With Biyaheng Pamasko promo, we hope to give back to our loyal customers not only by ensuring they will have an uninterrupted journey with our quality fuels but also have some extra savings to really make it a very merry Christmas,” said CPI Country Chairman Billy Liu.

The promo is available on the following dates:

Dec 10 – 12, 2021

Dec 17 – 19, 2021

Dec 24 – 26, 2021

Dec 31 – Jan 2, 2022

The fuel discount will be applied on the same gas up or purchase and is non-transferrable and non-convertible to cash. This promo is valid with cash, e-wallet, credit card or debit card purchase and cannot be combined with any other discount offers at Caltex.

Caltex has remained dedicated to finding ways to make motorists’ drive an enjoyable journey, providing quality fuels and lubricants as well as rolling out various rewards and promos throughout the year. DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-132807, Series of 2021.

About Chevron

Chevron is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies. We believe affordable, reliable and ever-cleaner energy is essential to achieving a more prosperous and sustainable world. Chevron produces crude oil and natural gas; manufactures transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and additives; and develops technologies that enhance our business and the industry. We are focused on lowering the carbon intensity in our operations and seeking to grow lower carbon businesses along with our traditional business lines

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Palawan, Philippines

Banwa Private Island’s preferred aviation partner, Ascent features more private air options

PRIVATE FLIGHTS TO BANWA PRIVATE ISLAND

Take off and breeze through the skies in a private jet, helicopter or single-engine aircraft by Ascent Flights Global (“Ascent”) to the exclusive and all-villa Banwa Private Island.


Banwa Private Island’s preferred aviation partner, Ascent features more private air options for a truly luxurious and seamless experience, whether flying directly to the island or through any of Palawan domestic airports. Every charter flight is tailored to the guest’s needs, meticulously organized from enquiry until well after arrival.


The most favored and convenient charter flight from Manila to Banwa Private Island is through an 8-seater Cessna Grand Caravan EX seaplane, landing directly on the doorstep of the exclusive sanctuary.


Complementing the seaplane and multiple helicopter options, newly available Ascent aircraft include the Cessna Turbo 206H suitable for small groups of up to 5 passengers and perfect for adventure travels with its versatility and cargo space. While the Cessna 172SP Skyhawk for 3 passengers is considered as the most successful aircraft for its reliability and comfort.


For groups of up to 8 passengers, the Swiss crafted Pilatus PC-12NG offers the ultra-modern cabin experience, equipped with all you need to relax, work or share in-flight moments. For guests wishing to share a private island experience with larger parties of up to 14, the Gulfstream jet is the aircraft of choice.


Roundtrip private flight rates start from US$5,700 from Manila to San Vicente, closest airport to the island, with onward journey in a premium sports utility vehicle followed by a short and scenic speedboat transfer to the island.

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New York, Philippines, USA

Livingsprings Communities Realty bags Best Luxury Real Estate Developer in the Philippines at Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2021

Livingsprings Communities Realty and Development Corporation (LCRDC), an award-winning premium boutique real estate developer, was recently named Best Luxury Real Estate Developer in the Philippines at the prestigious Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2021 based in New York, USA.

Livingsprings’ persistence in continuing quality construction and development of its properties amid the pandemic reflects LLA’s representation of pioneering excellence and innovation as an organization. LCRDC factors in the pandemic in enhancing its properties’ build and design, offering amenities and providing safe common areas such as spacious natural ventilated hallways and open-air sky decks for residents.

Livingsprings’ exceptional performance and established reputation as a developer of communities delivering greater living spaces, privacy, accessibility, security and convenience enabled the company to stand out in the Luxury Real Estate Developer category. Twelve companies from the Philippines were carefully selected and reviewed, six were shortlisted, and one ultimate winner was chosen.

“Winning the Best Luxury Real Estate Developer in this years’ Luxury Lifestyle Awards means so much to us because it shows that if we just focus on working with passion in the spirit of wanting to do our best and giving more our efforts will eventually get noticed.

We believe that providing homes where people and families can thrive and feel the love is what God designed us to do, and we just need to do it as best we can,” – Managing Director Archt. Monique C. Albert-Lopez

Livingsprings received LLA’s certificate, plaque, and the trophy, which is the official symbol of victory, designed with Golden Crown covered in 24-karat gold by a well-known Italian jewelry designer, Faraone Mennella.

“It’s very rewarding to be recognized all the way from across the world. As a company, we are truly grateful and feel appreciated for what we have been doing,” Archt. Albert-Lopez added.

Besides excellence and reputation, the selection criteria for the category included personalization, uniqueness, craftsmanship, location, security, amenities, credibility, sustainability and recommendations from other associated luxury professionals.

Despite being a young company in the Philippine real estate industry, Livingsprings is proving to be an up-and-coming player by winning its third international award in just three years’ time.

“Livingsprings proudly dedicates this award to our hardworking employees and partners who have been giving their best, to our customers for always choosing us in delivering their homes and investment, and most especially to our Chairman and CEO, Ms. Lily Chan. We couldn’t have done this without her continuous trust and believing in our quality of service,” Archt. Albert-Lopez said.

Livingsprings Managing Director Archt. Monique Albert-Lopez holding the award trophy and plaque for Best Luxury Real Estate Developer in the Philippines from Luxury Lifestyle Award 2021 – another testament and milestone of LCRDC making a name in the international luxury real estate scene

A Testament to Excellence

Livingsprings’ award-winning property, the 10 Acacia Place Quezon City reflects the company’s commitment to excellence in developing luxurious projects complemented by outstanding services and customer care, and credibility in keeping customer trust. Another is Tres Palmas residential cluster in Taguig that offers living spaces that promote peace, privacy and sensibility. Both properties enable residents to nourish families and build healthy communities for an overflowing life experience.

In the photo: 10 Acacia Place’s three-bedroom living room with a Pacific-Modern inspired design.

It has floor-to-ceiling glass windows giving you a splendid view of the city’s skyline.

The company’s 10 Acacia Place boasts a Pacific-modern and cosmopolitan design with a sense of exclusivity that meets the craftsmanship, uniqueness, and quality benchmarks of LLA. A low-density residential development in Quezon City, the property has only 182 units, preserving residents’ utmost privacy, comfort, and peace and quiet. Tres Palmas, on the other, hand passes these standards as an eight-story residential building with Mediterranean-modern inspired architecture. It provides tranquility with sound of streaming water from fountains, palm trees and lush verdant garden for a calming landscape for residents.

10 Acacia Place is designed to enable homeowners and residents to personalize their space to truly make them their own. The flexible units and convertible spaces are meticulously planned to maximize floor area. Residents can customize units to their desired layout for a more comfortable and rewarding living space.

In addition to excellent build and personalization, Livingsprings puts a premium on location, amenities and security, which the company believes are world-class standards of modern living. 10 Acacia Place is strategically located at the gateway of Cubao for proximity to major landmarks, top schools, offices and shopping centers. Its concierge services provide assistance in transportation, home maintenance and housekeeping for a hotel-like lifestyle. RFID exclusive access at the lobby and 24-hour security service ensure the residents’ safety and security.

Sharing the spotlight in prime locations, Tres Palmas also preserves personal space of home owners with its low-density towers. It has 60 percent of restful space where the gates are open into a refreshing environment. Tres Palmas gives a taste of the vibrant city living being seven minutes away from Bonifacio Global City and 15 minutes away from the Makati and Ortigas business districts.

Like LLA, Livingsprings advocates sustainability in all its properties. The 10 Acacia Place units are designed for business owners, millennial professionals, families , newlyweds, retirees and the property’s investors who wish to live in a place with convenient location but also yearn for a peaceful residential community. Moreover, Tres Palmas promotes the balance of functionality, built quality and nature aesthetics that creates a true customer-centric experience and value for living. Both properties follow sustainable, green and conscientious design and practices.

The Luxury Lifestyle Awards recognizes excellence across different industries and maintains the highest standards in the property industry worldwide. LLA is an authoritative and respected global award-giving body that connects people with the most trusted and successful premium brands worldwide. For this year’s awards, LLA analyzed and conducted research on more than 10,000 nominees in 400 categories from 60 countries.

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Europe, Italy

Villa Balbiano from the HOUSE OF GUCCI is available to book on Airbnb!

Villa Balbiano, the awe-inspiring Italian jewel featured in the most high-fashion film of the year, House of Gucci, is available to book on Airbnb!

Transporting visitors to the height of ‘90s Italian opulence, Villa Balbiano is the site of Gucci family patriarch Aldo Gucci’s home in the film, which hits theaters on Wednesday, November 24th.

As one of the largest private residences on Lake Como, Villa Balbiano features six lavish suites and extravagant, lush gardens, which was distinguished by the British Society of Garden Designers.

The host is offering a special, one-night stay, available on Airbnb on March 30, 2022, for one guest and a plus one to spend a night in the master suite, with access to Villa Balbiano’s lavish amenities including the first four floors of the home, the outdoor swimming pool, private pier and boathouse. The listing costs 1000 euros for the night. Bookings for this one-night stay open on Monday, December 6th at 12 p.m. EST.

More about the film
MGM’s House of Gucci is inspired by the shocking true story of the family behind the Italian fashion empire. When Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga), an outsider from humble beginnings, marries into the Gucci family, her unbridled ambition begins to unravel the family legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately…murder. Based on the book “The House of Gucci” by Sara Gay Forden, the film is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Jack Huston, Salma Hayek and Al Pacino.

About Airbnb
Airbnb was born in 2007 when two Hosts welcomed three guests to their San Francisco home, and has since grown to 4 million Hosts who have welcomed more than 1 billion guest arrivals in almost every country across the globe. Every day, Hosts offer one-of-a-kind stays and unique Experiences that make it possible for guests to experience the world in a more authentic, connected way.

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Asia, Singapore

Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) Provides Transnational Education Opportunities for Filipino Students Seeking Globally-Recognised Degrees

A transnational education experience in Singapore enables Filipino students to pursue a global education close to home, without the need to travel halfway across the globe.

• SIM provides students the opportunity to attain degrees awarded by over 10 top universities from the US, UK, Australia and Europe with the same academic standing as those awarded onshore.


Transnational Education (TNE) in Singapore is an ideal route for students who wish to pursue a prestigious degree in popular destinations such as the United States (US) or the United Kingdom (UK) without the high costs and risks associated with studying in a foreign country. The COVID-19 pandemic has made health and safety a priority for Filipino students, thus making a TNE experience in neighbouring countries with a good safety track record an attractive option.


Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) is a leading private education institution in Singapore, providing such a transnational education experience for students looking to venture out of the Philippines. SIM offers more than 80 academic courses and programmes, from diplomas to bachelor’s degrees and even master’s programmes delivered by top-ranking university partners from the US, UK, Australia and Europe. Due to its longstanding collaboration with these university partners, SIM has remained the institute of choice for many international students, with about 25% of their full-time students coming to Singapore to pursue a tertiary education away from their home country1. These statistics include students from the Philippines, who have made the move to Singapore due to its proximity to the Philippines as well as the wide range of industry-relevant course offerings at SIM.


A TNE experience with SIM prepares students for careers with a global edge as they gain employable skills through student leadership positions offered by over 70 clubs and student councils. Many students were also able to establish meaningful networks within the diverse student community. The mix of an all-rounded campus life offered by SIM with the international curriculum provided by the university partners is the winning combination that allows students to have the best of both worlds. To celebrate and reward academic excellence, SIM also provides bond-free scholarships2, which is something highly prestigious for Filipino students and has become a much-coveted title for high-achieving students.


On average, SIM GE’s annual enrolment sits at about 16,000 students, comprising of full-time, part-time, and mature students. Apart from providing students with hard skills needed to thrive in their career path of choice, SIM GE also makes it a point to sharpen students’ soft skills through several student life and career development programmes as well as networking activities. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought along with it some reservations about studying abroad as a whole, with some being sceptical on how virtual learning may impact their overall experience of transnational education. However, online learning has proven just as crucial and beneficial to current students at SIM. Neil Macadangdang, a student currently pursuing the Bachelor of Business (Marketing) with SIM-RMIT has found his lecturers to be responsive and accessible even with online classes. Despite only having set foot once in campus in the past year, he was able to participate actively in co-curricular activities (CCAs) and is now the co-chair of the SIM-RMIT Student Staff Consultative Committee.


Benefits of TNE


The main advantage of a transnational education in Singapore for Filipino students is the opportunity to pursue a globally recognised degree without having to travel across the world. Through partnerships with top-ranking universities, SIM gives international students the opportunity to receive quality education and forge strong multi-national networks, with comparatively lower costs in terms of course fees and living expenses versus in the US, UK or Europe. SIM continues to be favoured by students from countries like the Philippines, as students feel closer to home.


Cross-border Transfer of Learning


A key benefit of transnational education includes the knowledge, skills, capabilities and attributes acquired through social interactions with people from differing cultures and backgrounds. Transnational education helps nurture worldly individuals who are more adapted on a social level. This is a win-win for Filipino students who are increasingly choosing to acclimatize themselves to the local culture before proceeding to secure jobs abroad in Singapore.


Lower Chance of Experiencing Culture Shock


Singapore lives and breathes multiculturalism unlike any other city in the world, and this creates a welcoming environment and a sense of belonging that allows students from all backgrounds, including Filipinos to feel at home. The diversity in language and food are also appreciated and respected in Singapore, making it an ideal place for students who are away from their families.


One-Stop Access to Top-Ranking Universities and Courses


Filipino students looking to study abroad will be spoilt for choice as they consider a TNE in Singapore. SIM’s list of distinguished university partners include University at Buffalo, SUNY, which is known as the No. 1 public university in New York State (Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2019), University Of London which is one of the largest, most diverse universities in the UK, RMIT University with 5-Star QS ranking for excellence in higher education, and University Of Wollongong which is globally ranked as one of World’s best modern universities with top-ranking faculty for Computer Science in School of Computer Science and Software Engineering, just to name a few.

Globally Recognised Qualifications

All courses and degrees offered to Filipino students at SIM GE follow the same curriculum structure and have the same academic standards as those offered onshore in Australia, the UK, US, etc. This means that all qualifications attained from SIM GE are recognised globally and will allow students to start a career from anywhere in the world.

About SIM GE


SIM Global Education (SIM GE) is a leading private education institution in Singapore offering more than 80 academic programmes ranging from diploma and graduate diploma courses to Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes with top ranking and reputable universities from Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States. Its current enrolment stands at about 16,000 full and part-time students and adult learners. 25% of SIM GE’s full-time students are international students hailing from over 40 countries.

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Travel Apps

Airbnb introduces 50+ product upgrades and innovations to support Live Anywhere travel revolution

In May, Airbnb introduced the Airbnb 2021 Release, with over 100 upgrades to improve every aspect of the Airbnb service. Today, the company announces an additional 50+ upgrades that make it easier to host and support the changing needs of travelers.

From March 2020 to September 2021, new Airbnb Hosts in the Philippines who started hosting post-pandemic collectively earned over PHP207.5 million from welcoming guests on Airbnb. The world is undergoing a revolution in how we live and work. Technologies like Zoom make it possible to work from home, and Airbnb makes it possible to work from any home. This newfound flexibility is bringing about a revolution in how Filipinos travel. In a new YouGov poll commissioned by Airbnb*, over 70% of Filipinos polled said that staying in home-sharing type accommodation provides them with amenities that make it easier to integrate living with travel, and allows them to experience more unique, one-of-a-kind travel in local communities.

The survey also revealed:

9 out of 10 Filipino respondents would like to work, live or travel differently if they had more flexibility at work.
A third of Filipino respondents see travel as a way of life and want to integrate it into their lifestyle.
77% of Filipino respondents view post-pandemic ‘business travel’ as a way to combine leisure travel and remote work.
45% of Filipino respondents would rent out their homes and travel.

Airbnb is constantly improving its service to meet these new travel trends, and the new waves of guests they will bring. Today, Airbnb is introducing:

I’m (even more) Flexible – Search for more unique homes up to 12 months in advance.
Verified Wifi – Our new speed test tool verifies the speed of the wifi in a listing.
Translation Engine – The most advanced translation technology ever offered to our community.
Accessibility Review – Every accessibility feature is reviewed for 100% accuracy.
Smarter Trips Tab – A redesigned Trips tab with all your must-have travel details.
AirCover – Top-to-bottom protection. Free for every Host. Only on Airbnb.
Ask a Superhost Expansion – Connects new Hosts to a Superhost in their area for 1:1 help.
…and 46 more upgrades.

“For Airbnb, 2021 has been a year of relentless innovation to refine our core service,” said Brian Chesky, CEO and Co-Founder of Airbnb. “This year, we’ve delivered more than 150 upgrades and innovations. Our design-driven approach means that we’re constantly improving our service to adapt to this changing world. For the first time ever, millions of people can now travel anytime, anywhere, for any length, and even live anywhere on Airbnb. This is a travel revolution.”

Making Travel even more Flexible

Flexibility is one of the most important considerations for Filipinos when it comes to travel planning. Based on Airbnb’s YouGov polling, over a third of all Filipinos polled want to have flexibility in when, how and where they go as travel rebounds.

More are opting to go on flexible trips, including long weekend trips, off-peak travel and vacations closer to home. Notably, the most appealing destinations for respondents’ first trips are 1) a local beach destination within the Philippines, followed by 2) a destination within Asia and 3) a local city destination.

Earlier this year, Airbnb introduced I’m Flexible, a whole new way to search on Airbnb when guests are flexible about where or when they are traveling. Since then, guests have used I’m Flexible more than 500 million times. Due to the popularity of this feature, today Airbnb is making it even more flexible by expanding the date range guests can search to 12 months out (from six).

With workations on the rise, fast and reliable wifi has also been more critical than ever before. In fact, this year guests on Airbnb have used the wifi filter more than 288 million times. Hosts can now test their listing’s internet connection from the Airbnb app and have their wifi speed verified. With this upgrade, guests can be confident that they won’t miss a Zoom or a favorite streaming show from their Airbnbs.

Improved Translations across 60 Languages

Globally, Airbnb has seen cross-border travel increasing steadily through the year, from 20% of gross nights booked in the first quarter to 27% in the second and 33% in the third***. As cross-border travel returns, Airbnb’s new Translation Engine will provide a seamless experience for Hosts and guests in over 60 languages. Translation Engine removes the need for click-to-translate buttons by automatically translating listing descriptions and reviews. Based on results from a study across our top ten languages we commissioned by a top machine translation evaluation company, Translation Engine improves the quality of more than 99% of Airbnb listings.

Supporting more Accessible and Organised Travel

With Accessibility Review, Airbnb has developed an industry-leading approach to review the accuracy of features that make Airbnb homes more accessible for the disability community. Hosts simply submit photos of their accessibility features, which are then manually reviewed by a specialized team of Airbnb agents. To date, Airbnb agents have reviewed and confirmed the accuracy of 100,000 accessibility features in 25,000 homes around the world.

We’ve also redesigned the Trips tab to house all your must-have travel info in one convenient place. The smarter, more intuitive tab now features a handy countdown to your arrival, check-in details, current and upcoming reservations, and personalized Experiences suggestions.

Empowering Hosts more than Ever

More guests than ever before are choosing to stay in an Airbnb, which is leading to more people wanting to host to take advantage of this growing opportunity. To offer even more reassurance to our existing four million Hosts, and make it even easier for new Hosts to take that first big step, today we are introducing AirCover. Only Airbnb gives you AirCover, which provides top-to-bottom protection for every Airbnb Host with US$1 million in damage protection and US$1 million in liability coverage. AirCover also includes income loss protection, pet damage protection, deep cleaning protection, and more.

For prospective Hosts, Airbnb’s Ask a Superhost matches anyone interested in hosting with one of our most experienced Hosts for one-on-one helpSince launch, more than 60,000 prospective Hosts have used Ask a Superhost. Today, we’re expanding Ask a Superhost to over 30 languages in 196 countries, including the Philippines. Prospective Hosts can now be paired with Superhosts based on their location, language, and listing. As an added benefit, Superhosts can provide tips for completing a listing page and are there for you through your first booking.

AirCover, Accessibility Review, Verified Wifi, I’m (even more) Flexible, and Ask a Superhost Expansion are all available to everyone today. Translation Engine and Smarter Trips Tab will launch before the end of this year.

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Negros, Philippines

Cinco de Noviembre: Homes of the Generals

This was the time, and this was the scene. Philippine independence had earlier been declared on June 12, 1898. It hoped to send ripples down the archipelago.

And it did. On the 5th of November that year, Negrenses took to the streets to claim their inalienable right to self-determination. No other story in the archives of Negros wields greater sway in the evolution of Negrense heritage than this historic fight for independence from Spanish rule, and the consequent establishment of the Cantonal Republic of Negros.

A hundred twenty three years later, Cinco de Noviembre is an annual, province-wide holiday commemorating the brave spirit of Negrenses. And?

Sadly, much of this may be lost in today’s generation. But then again, the young is not entirely to blame for not knowing about events in 1898, when their knowledge of history doesn’t even stretch back to as recently as Martial Law in the 1970s and 1980s. It is up to the older generation to continue the noble mission of educating the young about this single most defining event in the narrative of Negros, Cinco de Noviembre.

For this reason, Negros Season of Culture marks the occasion each time it rolls around. NSC was launched on this day in 2020, and this year 2021, NSC returns to deliver a fresh view of the memoirs. Doing so confirms, Cinco de Noviembre is not just a day in history, but a constant wellspring of good vibes for all freedom-loving Filipinos, now and for all time.

Negros Season of Culture’s journey back in time begins with the two main characters of the saga, Gen. Aniceto Lacson of Talisay who led katipuneros from the north, and Gen. Juan Araneta of Bago who organized farm workers in the south. The two converged in Bacolod to secure the surrender of the Spanish governor. The production team of Negros Season of Culture sat down at length with descendants of the two generals to derive insight about them at the time that they lived, straight from inside their homes.

For Gen. Aniceto Lacson, the NSC team visited the actual set of the planning of the revolt. Casa Grande, as it has been called, is a bahay-na-bato structure that sits in the middle of Gen. Lacson’s sugarcane plantation in Talisay City. In this hacienda, katipuneros, or members of the Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK), were disguised as farm laborers awaiting the appointed day to start the revolution.

When the smoke settled, the Spanish forces in Negros surrendered and Gen. Lacson was elected President of the Cantonal Republic of Negros. Casa Grande served as the country’s first presidential palace. At that time, Malacañang was being passed on from Spanish rulers to the Americans who, by virtue of the Treaty of Paris at the end of the Spanish-American War, subjugated the Spanish territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.

The General Aniceto Lacson Ancestral Home was declared a National Historic Landmark by the National Historic Institute in 2002.

For Gen. Araneta, the NSC crew was welcomed into General Juan Araneta Residence and Landmark Museum in Bago City. The house was given to the general by a relative shortly after the revolution. It is fondly called by locals as Balay ni Tan Juan, since the general was previously a Capitan Municipal, hence the nickname Tan Juan.

The museum celebrates the role of Gen. Araneta as commander of the southern forces. Here one discovers the ingenuity of the general through stories of makeshift cannons, made out of rolled bamboo mats and painted black, and improvised rifles fashioned from nipa fronds. The silhouette of farm workers marching with artillery was enough to convince Spanish authorities to surrender.

The museum also includes testaments about illustrious children of Bago City, including a Senator and a Chief Justice, who offered sterling service in all branches of the national government through the years.

In 1978 the descendants of Gen. Juan Araneta donated the property to Bago City. It was promptly declared a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission.

On eve of another election year, Negros Season of Culture inspires you to reflect on what enables the Filipino to hope and move forward from crises, year after year. Negrenses have been spared by moments of integrity, industry, and innovation punctuating the lives of their courageous forefathers. Their stories, archaic if not forgotten, have the unenviable job of pleading with today’s young minds to pause, listen, and learn.

Negros Season of Culture offers to bridge the generational divide. Like us on Facebook and Instagram, and visit negrosseasonofculture.com.

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