DOT-11 pushes campaign for “Visit Davao again” in 2016

It is time to “Visit Davao Again” is a call for those who have visited the region and the first timers with several destinations being readied for visitors to explore.  More so that summer is coming, the time is right to plan the visit.  Come and visit the island, the sea and the mountain. Walk to the malls and grab the best items when in summer the biggest Fun Sale unfolds. We will wait for you guys and experience again Davao’s best. The Tourism Department here is pushing this campaign as explained in this story …

DAVAO CITY, Jan. 6 (PNA) — The regional office of the Department of Tourism (DOT) is kicking off an aggressive campaign to entice tourists to visit Davao again in line with Visit Philippines 2016.

DOT 11 director Roberto Alabado III said the essence of the campaign is to encourage tourists who have visited the city to come back and explore more of Davvao’s tourism products.

“They still have a lot to do and the three days two nights stay in Davao City is not enough for one who is enjoying what is best in Davao,” he said.

The campaign commenced last year when it launched the “Summer In December”, a photo exhibit featuring the tourism sites of Davao in coordination with Park Inn.

He said the campaign also includes “where to go” of the best places in Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur and Compostela Valley Province.

Alabado said it has been their continuing advocacy for the tourists to come.

Meanwhile, Alabado disclosed a continuing increase in tourist arrivals because of the strong domestic market especially that Davao has become a MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) destination.

The foreign market is there to complement our tourist arrivals, he said.

He said the new direct air connection of Davao-Singapore will add up to the number of foreign tourists and ‘balikbayans’. (PNA)BNB/LCM/PRIX DIGNA D. BANZON/LDP


Leading child development program in the US opens center in Davao City

Sharing an interesting program that parents may consider in rearing their children and also for those adults wanting to remain fit ….

Leading child development program in the US opens in Davao City
By PrixDigna D. Banzon
DAVAO CITY, Dec. 19 (PNA) — A leading early childhood development program in the USA will open its Davao City center on Monday, December 22, at SM Lanang Premier.

Musikgarten under its local brand name Musikgarten Manila sets up its 6th branch in Davao City and the first in Mindanao.

Two of its branches are located in Quezon City, Laguna, Baguio City and the other one in Tacloban City. The Tacloban branch was put up immediately after the city was hit by Yolanda to help victims especially the children as the company’s way of reaching out to people needing assistance immediately after disaster. With the good reception of the community, Musikgarten then formally opened branches several months after.

Musikgarten, that was brought in the Philippines by operator Michelle Nikki Junia, was the preferred early childhood development program in over 20 countries.


Junia, who is the only licensed operator of Musikgarten in the country, was a music scholar and honor graduate of the UST Conservatory of Music, Bachelor of Music Education, major in voice under the tutelage of Professor Irna Ponce Enrile-Potenciano.

Junia was also trained in the USA on the use of music in early childhood development. She is also the only Filipino trained by Seth riggs, the vocal coach of top vocal performers like Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand, Josh Groban, Natalie Cole and Kelly Clarkston.

She said at Musikgarten, it makes music as the anchor in the child development and also as a venue for family bonding because early development must be both between the parent and the child.

There is a module that both (parent and child) will follow even at home as learning involves both, she said.

She said Musikgarten offers regular group classes for infants to seven years old, individual music lessons on voice to instruments, musical playhouse, band rehearsal studio with recording facilities. There is also a one on one session for the adult, she added.

Junia said exposing children to music at an early age will have better developing skills even as she said that the listening skills of the child must be developed first and must start at an early age. The activities must be fun and light rather than they be exposed to rigorous activities.

“The listening skills of the child are being developed early or ages below 7 y.o that is why music is the best medium and children can learn at very young age,” she said.

Citing early child development in foreign countries she said children are taught reading at age 7 years old.

We must remember that interest of children will only be about 30 minutes and that they must be allowed to listen to sounds and play instruments and be able to express themselves through music, she said.

The eagerness of children to learn is when they look at learning as fun and interesting, she said.

Music also helps in the development of character and attitude of the child.

Meanwhile, Junia said at the Musikgarten, they also accept senior citizens because music is also a therapy.

It helps people relax especially those diagnosed with hypertension and cardio problem and those suffering from loneliness. This will also help address people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

On the other hand, Junia said Davao is the right place for Musikgarten.

And Davao has oversupply of good talents, she added. (PNA) 


Mt. Hamiguitan is Mindanao’s first in the list of World Heritage as declared by UNESCO …. the local govenrment vows to take their responsibility of sustaining environmental protection in the are …. here’s my story ….


DavOr crafts stronger policies to protect World Heritage Mt. Hamiguitan 
By Prix Digna D. Banzon

DAVAO CITY, June 27 (PNA) — The province of Davao Oriental will be crafting more policies to ensure that the World Heritage Mt. Hamiguitan area is well protected.

Davao Oriental governor Corazon Malanyaon said there is a need to determine the carrying capacity of the place to assure that the flora and fauna and other organisms and their habitats are preserved.

“I will rally with the members of the provincial board to come up with policies to ensure that the mountain range is protected,” she said.

Malanyaon in her speech during the 38th Session of the World Heritage Committee last week in Doha, Qatar, said they will take seriously in protecting the site.

“We take seriously our responsibility to protect the site’s high endemic species of flora and fauna, some of which are critically endangered like the Philippine Eagle and the carnivorous pitcher plants. Mount Hamiguitan is home to an expansive centuries-old tropical pygmy forest,” she said.

While the inscription is a celebration of the global partnership in their shared vision and desire to conserve these natural gifts for future generation she said there is a need to strictly monitor and preserve it.

“It is a step forward towards the continuation of monitoring and preserving the fragile ecosystems in the mountain amidst changing climate and typhoon patters,” Malanyaon said.

The governor vowed to protect the mountain range saying “I affirm our resolve as local stakeholders to protect and conserve the site’s inscribed outstanding universal value and integrity”.

Malanyaon in an earlier report said that they were successful in convincing indigenous communities living near the mountain range not to include in their claim for ancestral domain, the area which has become famous for the century-old bonsai farm.

Mt. Hamiguitan was declared as protected area in 2004 through Republic Act 9303

It has five vegetation types: the agroecosystem, dipterocarp, montane and typical mossy and the mossy-pygmy forest and that it is found to possess high and varied ecosystem with many endangered, endemic and rare species of flora and fauna of 1,380 species including the endangered Pithecophage jefferyi or the Philippine Eagle.

The range covers the towns of San Isidro, Governor Generoso and Mati City of about 31,879 hectares and the mountain range is 1,620 meters above sea level.

The mountain range is the first area in Mindanao that made into the World Heritage list. (PNA)


Nutritious drink … Ang Buko, Bow !

Pinoy love this … freshly picked from the tree these are sold anywhere be it on the street, the supermarket, the wet market … it is sold as cold drink still in the husk … it is chilled or frozen that vendors sell near offices, schools, parks and other places where people converge. They say it is medicinal …  yes it is rich in electrolytes … and when one drinks this after too much sweating because of hard work like jogging running it brings back energy as one research that I read said. The business side of this is that a multi-national company operating right here in our region will bring this thirst quenching drink to the international market … an expansion of its operation here will not only bring the by-product of our Miracle Tree, the coconut, internationally but also more jobs for our fellow Pinoys … bring it on … !  Here’s my story … 


Davao Sur coconut firm to produce coco water for int’l market 

By Prix Digna D. Banzon

DAVAO CITY, April 10 (PNA) — With the high demand for coco water in the international market, Franklin Baker is expanding the operation of its plant in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur to producing a new product out of coconut.

Sta. Cruz Mayor Joel Ray Lopez disclosed on Thursday at the Davao Business Forum organized by DermPath, SM City Davao and San Miguel PureFoods that Franklin Baker is expanding its operation in their town for production of coco water.

Mayor Lopez said the company is finalizing negotiations with the Ayala’s for the acquisition of the property that was earlier leased to CJ Toyota Tsusho Philippines, Inc.

He said Franklin Baker is negotiating for the property that was earlier occupied by the CJ Toyota Tsusho Philippines, Inc. which company produces coconut sugar D-xylose out of coconut shell.

The Korean company however closed down due to technology problem that caused them tremendous losses.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Davao del Sur provincial head Eulogio Orevillo said the negotiation is ongoing and the parties are already finalizing details.

“We see positive results with the negotiation undertaken by two parties,” he said.

Provincial Agri-Industrial Center (PAIC) administrator of Sta. Cruz town Camila Infuesto said Franklin Banwas first agri-industrial processing plant that located in their municipality.

The Sta. Cruz processing plant produces desiccated coconut which produce is exported to international market like the US.


She said new businesses or expansion of existing business is what our locality needs because this would also mean more jobs for the locals.

She said as indicated in their Investment Code, companies that locate in their municipality must employ residents of the area.

The entry of more businesses in Sta. Cruz gave their municipality a tremendous increase of the local revenue, she said.

She said from the P75.1 million income in 2001 it grew by 426 percent in 2013 as it generated an income of P196.765 million.

As shown in the graph, the town’s income from 2001 to 2007 recorded a very minimal increase but went up in 2008 with the entry of more businesses.

She said they continue to invite investors even as she said that they make sure that they maintain their reputation as a business friendly town. (PNA) CTB/Digna D. Banzon/ldp


Summer is Here !

Starting this summer and onwards … it will now be ‘One Summerfun, One Davao’.  With this people can explore the different destinations of Davao Region and at the same time participate in summer fun activities.  On the beach are varied events from volleyball, swimming, diving, surfing etc. to the mountain climbing, trekking, skycycle, zipline and many more. These events were carefullly planned and organized for visitors because visiting Davao is also bringing home a great experience. Here’s some activities lined up by the tourism industry players for everyone this Summer … !

Tourism stakeholders promote ‘One Summerfun, One Davao’

DAVAO CITY, April 2 (PNA) — The different stakeholders in Davao Region are one in promoting this year’s summer activities dubbed as “One Summerfun, One Davao.”

One Davao Tourism Officers Association (ODTOA) president Noel Daquioag said it has been their goal to support each other as they market the different destinations in their respective areas.

“New destinations continue to be uncovered in the different places of the Davao Region,” he also said.


A unified promotion of these places will entice tourists to visit the different destinations of the region and creating events will also give them a unique experience,” he said.

Acting head of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in Region XI Eden Larano said the different local government units come together to complement each other in the promotion of their destinations.

“Because it is summer, most of the events are sports related activities from beach volleyball, mountain climbing, swimming and others,” she said.

Digos City tourism head Bebot Felera said they have every summer “Mt. Apo Summer Climb” from April 12 to 20, 2014,that is held in time of the Holy Week. Among others, the participants will be issued a Certificate of Climb. The climb carries a registration fee of P720 for local climber, P432 for student and P1,080 for foreigners.


Meanwhile, Davao del Norte for this summer will have the “Lingaw Sa Tag Araw Summer Workshops” that include workshops on visual art, brass band, dancesport, theater arts, hip-hop dance.

The other event is the Grand Sta. Cruzan which is spearheaded by the Tagum City Tourism Council and the Diocese of Tagum. It is a religious-historical celebration held in small Christian communities Gagmayng Kristohanong Katilingban (GKK) in a presentation in the most colorful May-time festivity which depicts Catholic tradition of procession or parade of Biblical characters and the traditional presentation of the sagala (a religion-historical beauty pageant).

The City of Mati in Davao Oriental has organized “Mati SummerFrolic 2014”, an electronic music festival of colors in Barangay Dahican.

Provincial tourism head of Davao Oriental Miguel Troccio said together with this event is the 10th year anniversary celebration of the Amihan sa Dahican surfers which will highlight the Dahican Strip.

Included during the holding of Summerfrolic are beach volleyball, beach frisbee, foam party and the feast on waves of surfing and skim competition.


 In Compostela Valley, tourism officer Christine Dumpar said they are also into promoting their pilgrimage site where for this Summer they are encouraging tourists to help in the actual building of houses in Maragusan town where an area there is also badly hit by typhoon Pablo.

Participants, she said will be ushered to a side trip to the different destinations there from mountain climbing and trekking towards the waterfalls and the chance to see the largest flower in the world, Rafflesia, that can be found in the forests of Maragusan.

She said there are also sports activities in the beaches of Pantukan like beach volleyball, duathlon, frisbee, wake-boarding.

Davao City tourism head Lisette Marquez said there will be lined up sports activities even as she said that they will be inviting professional basketball players for this summer’s sports event in the city.

Marquez said during summer there is always an increase in arrivals, the city being the island’s major destination in the south.


She said fun activities are held and these are done in coordination with the private sector.

Major malls here continue to provide events be it in entertainment or organized activities for the youth and the children, she added. (PNA)FPV/Prix Digna D. Banzon/ldp


The island paradise in the South …

Summer is for fun, for relaxation, for the beach, for tourists to visit destinations. While in Davao, one should never miss this island. Others really plan a trip to this island paradise in the South just like a group of young professionals composed of software engineers working in a multi-national company operating at the Global City in McKinley Hills, Taguig City composed of Jose, Pondey, Erika, Venessa, Camille and Bob who visited the place lately. They said they enjoyed not only the sea but the inland resorts as well, the spring, the waterfalls, the food and all about the island. The experience is what makes every visitor look forward that is why the number of tourists here continues to grow as seen by officials of the island’s city government where increase in arrivals is pegged at 30 percent this year.  Below is my story on what Samal City expects this year …


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Samal City expects 30% increase in number of visitors this year

ISLAND GARDEN CITY OF SAMAL, Davao del Norte, Feb. 18 (PNA) — The Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) expects at least a 30-percent increase in the number of visitors this year compared to last year.

The city’s head of Investments and Tourism office, Jennifer D. Cariaga, told Davao business reporters in an interview that they expect more tourists, both domestic and foreign, to visit the island either for recreation or on business trip.


Cariaga reported that in 2013, the number of visitors was 425,916. Of this number, 267,632 were on day tour while 158,284 stayed overnight. Total visitors in 2012 only totaled 280,000.

Cariaga said this figure was only from those resorts that submitted report to their office.

The number could be more, she said, considering that out of the 79 registered resorts in the island, only 31 provided them with data.

“The figure could be over a million considering that less than half of the resort owners provided them with data,” she said.

Cariaga said they hope to generate more detailed data as they continuously dialogue with the resort owners to find ways on improving the system.

Meanwhile, she said they coordinate closely with other local government units on tourism-related activities especially that Samal City is being positioned as an important tourism destination.

Cariaga said the different resorts are fully booked during summer.

She also observed that tourist arrivals are high during Holy Week with the program they call “Oplan Semana Santa”.

There are religious activities spearheaded by the Catholic Church in the island during this period, she said.

Most visitors stay for two nights and three days, exploring the island through island hopping, diving, or snorkeling, she said.

Cariaga likewise noted that the city government, through other offices like the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army in coordination with resort owners, are intensifying their efforts to maintain peace and order. (PNA)
LAP/ASA/Prix Digna D. Banzon/ldp


This year more and more exciting events are happening in Davao City including this ….

‘Davao Fun Sale’: a ‘must-visit’ event


DAVAO CITY, Jan. 28 (PNA) — Private and government leaders of Davao City join forces as they mount the biggest and longest “Big Davao Fun Sale” that will open in time for the “Araw ng Dabaw” festivities this year.

“Araw ng Dabaw”, which is an attraction to travelers, tourists both foreign and domestic, businessmen including families never miss the opportunity to celebrate with the people of Davao and this time it will be more exciting as major malls in the city is offering biggest fun sale ever in the country.

Department of Tourism (DOT) regional director Art Boncato said the planning and preparation of the fun sale even started last year although he said we wanted our visitors to enjoy the best dining and shopping experience.

He said they wanted Davao City to develop a strong shopping and dining segment among travelers to Davao and to improve the image of the city as a thriving destination for business and investment.

The first-ever four-week long shopping frenzy in the country with the retail industry offers fantastic deals like unique activities, freebies, discounts, awards and prizes, he added.

He said there will also be a food festival spearheaded by the Restaurants Association of Davao, Inc.

Boncato said “the holding of this event is a big support to tourism as we also wanted to increase our tourists arrivals by 15 percent”.

SM assistant vice president for marketing in Mindanao and Ads and Promo Vice Chair for the Big Davao Fun Sale Russel Alaba in a separate interview said the Big Sale will also have several fun events that will take place in the different participating malls.

He also said there will be parties even as he cited that they will have electronic dancing and other first and unique events during the duration of the Fun Sale.

The sale will not only be on dry goods but the first three days on March 14 to 16 will be of General Sale (Mall Wide).

He said the succeeding days where it will be on sale the whole time on March 14 to April 16 on Dining, Crafts, Fruits and Flowers.

Themes will come in starting March 16 to 23 for Health and Beauty; March 23 to 30 will focus on Electronics and Gadgets; March 31 to April 6, Home and Travel; and April 7 to 16, Active Lifestyle/Fashion.

Participating the month long Big Davao Fun Sale are Abreeza Mall, NCCC Mall of Davao, SM Lanang Premier, SM City Davao, Gaisano Mall of Davao, GMall of Toril and Robinsons. (PNA)