Saturday, November 25, 2023

Puerto Princesa: Cruising to be a Top MICE Enclave

The after-effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic which crippled the tourism industry can still be felt in the Philippines. However, Puerto Princesa, the “Heart of the Best Island in the World,” harnesses its vast potential not only as a destination of choice but also as a preferred center of MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, and events) to forge ahead and move forward.  

Paradise in Profile 


Puerto Princesa is the center of trade and commerce, education, communications, and public administration of Palawan. Its strategic location is within the growth corridor of the BIMP East ASEAN Growth Area.  


Known for its UNESCO World Heritage site Underground River, it shares 50 percent of the tourist arrivals in Palawan and in the region, making it the biggest contributor to its economic growth. In 2020, Palawan logged a partial number of 157,051 tourist arrivals, 71,889 of which were visits to PPC.  


A tropical paradise with a bustling urban center perfect for business-with-leisure trips, PP is blessed with lush rainforests and white-sand beaches hours away from the city proper, where a banking and commercial boom has made life easier for workaholics and busybodies. 


Puerto Princesa is a relatively young settlement, having been established as a city only in 1970. The first settlers arrived on March 4, 1872; a date celebrated every year as the foundation day of the city. 


As part of the Philippines’ last frontier, the city is rich in natural resources. It is the country’s largest city with a land area of 253,982 hectares. A chain of mountain ranges runs through the entire length of the city, dividing it into two distinct areas – the East Coast and the West Coast.  


A significant portion of the city retains its indigenous vegetation, rainforest, mangroves, and coastal ecosystem, all of which support an amazing array of wildlife. In terms of species biodiversity and its wide range of ecosystems, Puerto Princesa is of national significance.  


The famous and must-visit Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, which was formerly known as Saint Paul’s Subterranean River National Park, covering a protected area of 22,202 hectares is a haven to endemic flora and fauna. UNESCO has inscribed the park as a World’s Heritage Site on December 4, 1999.  


Calendar of Events 


With a tropical climate and the warm welcome of its people, foreign and Filipino tourists can bask in Puerto Princesa’s embrace all-year round. In January is the Chinoy Festival, which celebrates the new year with ground firecrackers at the Chinatown Center, and with dragon dances and lion dances in major malls and hotels. Every February 14 is the Love Affair with Nature, which is marked by a mass wedding as well as letting citizens express their love for Mother Nature through participating in mangrove tree planting activities. 


In March is the Balayong Festival, which commemorates the founding anniversary of Puerto Princesa highlighted by street dancing, float parade and planting of Palawan Cherry Blossoms. In April is the Pangalipay sa Baybay, a summer extravaganza at the baywalk. Activities kick off with parade and fireworks display, dance competition, cheerdancing and boat race.  


In June is the “Pista y ang Cagueban,” a time when citizens celebrate the Feast of the Forest and plant thousands of different tree species.  


September is Tourism Month, which is celebrated with great performances, exotic cuisines and a showcase of various talents and services in the local tourism industry. Every third Sunday of September is Coastal Cleanup Day, an international activity whose objective is to preserve and safeguard Mother Earth’s resources along the shorelines.  


November is the Subaraw Festival, which is a fun-and-activity-filled celebration of Puerto Princesa’s very rich biodiversity. December celebrates Light a Tree, a merry event where a giant Christmas tree is lit up to start the Yuletide Season. This comes with Christmas carols, dances, and music. 


Mighty MICE 


The Department of Tourism sees the huge potential of Puerto Princesa, a city known for its remarkable attributes in MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), as a preferred location for meetings, incentives, conferences, and events (MICE). 


In May, Regional Director Zeny Pallugna of DOT MIMAROPA in a discussion with City Tourism Department (CTD) chief Demetrio Alvior Jr. Said they are pushing for Puerto Princesa as a MICE destination, where tourists can be enticed to stay longer to enjoy the city’s attractions. 


During the “Amos Ta Ren sa Puerto Princesa” radio show, Pallugna said that the city is well on its way into becoming a MICE location because of it is capable of hosting events such as Ironman 70.3 Puerto Princesa and an international dragon boat competition. 


“Aside from that, maybe in the future we can conduct a 101 on MICE. We can do that, and then identify the different function facilities for the MICE market,” Pallugna said, as quoted by Palawan News, so the regional tourism office can start promoting the city at the end of the year, or next year. 


Another goal for Palawan, Pallugna emphasized, is to train more community tour guides, and recalibrate their skills continuously, so they could help promote and showcase the “Filipino brand of service” globally. 


“The second thing is—MIMAROPA is, whether they like it or not, we are the cruise capital of the Philippines. Imagine it, we have 139 cruise calls in the Philippines, 22 of them is in Puerto Princesa; 41 total within the MIMAROPA Region,” Pallugna pointed out. 


The regional director of the DOT also mentioned that they plan to introduce the national program called “Philippine Experience” to the city, which includes the well-received Suroy-Suroy sa Sugbo, which the local tourism body plans to replicate. 


Alvior, meanwhile, said that Puerto Princesa’s main focus is on the MICE industry. As such, City Mayor Lucilo Bayron actively encourages investors and venture capitalists to build convention centers in strategic areas such as Quito and the environmental estate in Barangay Sta. Lucia. 


“Actually, we were discussing tourism activities, and the mayor suggested that we should expand the Quito area. There is a focus on MICE, so we are working on establishing convention centers,” Alvior was quoted by Palawan News


Cruise Capital  


This November, Puerto Princesa City enjoyed a surge in tourist arrivals with the celebration of the Subaraw Biodiversity Festival, which drew international participants, and the scheduled arrivals of more cruise ships as Christmas approaches. 


During the opening ceremny of the Subaraw Biodiversity Festival, Mayor Lucilo Bayron said that the aim of the city to make the event international is once again gaining momentum after being adversely impacted by the pandemic. In recent years. 


“We need to add more international events to attract more tourists from other countries. And this year, we have incorporated international events in the celebration – wild bird photography race, Ironman 70.3 challenge, and international dragon boat race. Our Miss Subaraw is already a national event with the winner coming from Angeles, Pampanga, and this year, we already have 10 foreign candidates,” Mayor Bayron said, as quoted by Palawan News


Meanwhile, a luxury ocean liner called MS Silver Whisper dropped anchor in the city in early November, indicating greater opportunities for the local tourism industry to prosper. 


Touted as a cruise ship for the rich and famous, the MS Silver Whisper brought 382 vacationers and a crew of around 300. Registered in Nassau, Bahamas, the 610-foot, 10-storey vessel is operated by Monaco-headquartered Silversea Cruises. 


The MS Silver Whisper is the first of six cruise ships that will be visiting Puerto Princesa’s shores this November, the City Tourism Department excitedly announced. 


CTD chief Demetrio Alvior, Jr. said that guests aboard the ship will tour several key attractions in Puerto Princesa, with the underground river in Barangay Cabayugan on top of the list. The ship will then sail off to their next port of call in Coron, also in Palawan. 


The city anticipates heightened tourism and overall economic activity with upcoming cruise ship arrivals scheduled on November 4, 8, 16, 18 and 28, Alvior shared. 


Five more massive vessels are scheduled to arrive in November and December will welcome the MV Norwegian Jewel and the MV Aida Bella. The MV Norwegian Jewel will bring in about 2,500 people; the MS Westerdam, 1,964 individuals; and the MS Star Breeze, around 327 passengers. 


Alvior noted that unlike in the past when international tourists arrived mainly by airplane, the city’s expanded tourism program has paved the way for more visitors to arrive by sea. 


The city official said that stakeholders in the tourism sector are being encouraged to provide exemplary service that will showcase the renowned Filipino hospitality to solidify Puerto Princesa’s place as a tourism center and give the local economy a much-needed boost.  


Alvior also encouraged Puerto Princesa’s tourism frontliners to treat all visitors with the highest level of care and to exemplify the unique Filipino standard of service. 


“The influx of tourists will keep us on our toes, but it's a bustling pace we look forward to," Alvior told Palawan News


Monday, November 20, 2023

Panasonic to showcase Smart and Sustainable B2B solutions

Panasonic, a world leader in electronics, is set to showcase solutions for the Business-to-Business (B2B) sector, featuring cutting-edge innovations aimed at advancing the field toward a 'Smart & Sustainable' future.

Renowned for its energy-efficient products, the Japanese brand showcases a suite of state-of-the-art technology including Control Solutions, Safety Solutions, Saving Solutions, Security Solutions, and Comfort Solutions, all seamlessly integrated into Panasonic's innovative offerings, during the launch of Panasonic B2B Integrated Show from November 7 to November 9, 2023 at the The Fifth at Rockwell, Makati.

Control Solutions highlight the future of accessibility, providing easy access through both standard and smart control devices. At the event, attendees find a diverse selection of control systems suitable for various projects, both new and existing. These systems are designed to be user-friendly, cost-effective, easy to operate, and require low maintenance.

Safety Solutions present technologies designed to safeguard families and property. These can also be implemented into different applications and have been expertly selected and endorsed by industry experts for top-notch protection.

Saving Solutions showcase innovations that minimize energy consumption. Driven by Panasonic's commitment to efficiency and power conservation, these user-friendly, software-based technologies guarantee quick returns on investment while efficiently generating and managing electricity for various projects.

Security Solutions feature the latest products and systems, leading in the market to secure properties against unwanted incidents by addressing current security challenges. Panasonic’s new system offers top-notch security with minimal maintenance requirements.

Comfort Solutions offer a range of products, from essential to personal care, aimed at enhancing consumer comfort. Panasonic, with its commitment to providing customers with a comfortable life, is incessantly finding ways to create products that are suited to each and every customer, emphasizing safety features.

The technologies presented at this B2B Show exemplify Panasonic’s tireless dedication to innovation and exceptional client service. As a company that works hard to adapt to the changing ways of the country and its culture, Panasonic innovates with a vision for a smarter, more ready, and more sustainable world for its partners and end-users, striving to create a future that is able to accommodate everyone.

For more information about the event, please contact:

Yosuke Tanaka
Country Head Manager / Group Manager Electric Works Group
B2B Marketing Group

Panasonic Manufacturing Philippines Corporation
14th Flr., 6788 Ayala Avenue, 1226 Makati City Philippines
Tel: +632-886-6291 to 94; Fax: +632-886-6295

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Golden Grains’ Organic Black, Red and Brown Rice: Healthier Alternatives to the Staple Rice Diet

The world of rice offers a diverse array of varieties, each tailored to meet specific culinary and dietary preferences. Whether you're seeking a rice type with a distinct texture, flavor, or cooking characteristic, the extensive selection caters to a wide range of individual needs, including health concerns. From whole grain variety to the healthier alternative colored rice, the versatility of rice ensures that there's a perfect match for every need in changing up healthy eating practices.
For 36 years, Golden Grains has perfected the production of rice. Golden Grains may be out there producing the country’s best white rice since 1987 but it also does not slack in producing organic alternatives in varieties of Organic Brown, Organic Red and Organic Black Rice. Because of its high nutritional value, regular eaters of these rice varieties are essentially guilt-free and healthier.
Why Organic Brown Rice has always been Better
Golden Grains Organic Brown Rice is packed with nutritional value including dietary fibers, essential vitamins and minerals, proteins and fatty acids. This variety of rice helps delay or prevent development of Type2 Diabetes because it has a low glycemic index that causes a slower and lower rise in blood sugar, making it a better choice as a staple food if you want to help prevent diabetes.

Brown rice, likewise, has antioxidants reducing the risk of chronic diseases and providing protection against oxidative stress. Because it is rich in selenium, it enables a good thyroid function and immune health, too.

Behind the Luscious Organic Red Rice
Golden Grains Organic Red Rice is a powerful source both calcium and magnesium making it a perfect staple food to prevent the onset of arthritis, osteoporosis and other bone diseases.

It is known to help achieve weight loss with the red rice variety because it keeps the hunger pangs at bay. And even if you add more portions, because it is low on carbohydrates and fat, the health value does not diminish.

Some may have digestion concerns, so it’s good to know that the red rice’s soluble and insoluble fiber ensures better digestion. These digestive fibers helps enable smooth absorption of nutrients for better bowel movement.
Organic Black Rice is a Heart-y Alternative
Golden Grains Organic Black Rice is packed with 18 varieties of amino acid known for helping keep body functions healthier as it keeps the body’s energy levels up.

Black rice is a great healthy alternative for those who feels they need to regulate triglyceride and cholesterol levels with the aim of reducing risks of heart diseases. With regular consumption of black rice, plaque deposits in the blood vessels that lead to stroke and heart attack may be prevented.

Anniversary Blowout
Watch out for Golden Grains’ Anniversary Activities this November including its stint at The Marketplace’s Fresh Market 2023 at the Grand Atrium, Shangri-La Plaza from November 16-19. Stop, smell, see and sample some of Golden Grains’ well-patronized rice varieties namely, Dinurado Aromatic Rice, Thai Japanese Rice, Whole Grain White Rice, Organic Brown Rice, Organic Red Rice, and Organic Black Rice. Surprises await lucky booth visitors.

Award-winning Trailblazer
Golden Grains PH launched its Organic Brown and Red Rice close to a decade ago. A year later, the Consumer League of the Philippines awarded the product line the Most Outstanding Organic Rice Brand for 2005.

More to Come in 2024
As one of the pioneers in the industry to introduce such product lines into a market in need of a healthy alternative to white rice, Golden Grains PH’s timely and consumer driven decisions have turned into winning milestones definitely worth celebrating on its 36th year. In 2024, Golden Grains PH is gearing up for new products and healthy rice offers.


Packaged rice brand of sealed-in freshness and quality rice products from REJ Commercial Corporation offering everyday consumption Filipino rice varieties, specialty rice, platinum plus rice types and Healthy Alternative organic rice options.

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Established as a wholesaler of agricultural products primarily on milled rice, sugar, and corn. With prudent management and sound business practices, the company steadily grew and has always been able to offer high-quality products at very competitive prices. Soon, the company entered the rice repacking business with the brand name GOLDEN GRAINS.