Wake Up, Philippines!

Sabado night at sea

Posted in Resort and Park, Rest and Liesure, Tourism, Travel, Visayas by Erineus on April 26, 2009

KRIPOTKIN By Alfred A. Yuson Updated April 26, 2009 12:00 AM


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Sunset over the Calamianes Islands

MANILA, Philippines – In the past few years, on the evening of a Good Friday, every vacationing party girl and boy would start to drink quietly after dinner in the restos and bars on fabled White Beach in Boracay, observing a tacit arrangement that deferred to traditional Catholic conduct.

Until the clock struck midnight, when a collective whoop would shake the strip, loud music break loose, glasses clink together, voices rise, bodies shimmy — in riotous revelry that incandesced and thumped its way all over a kilometer stretch until the break of dawn.

It wasn’t so this summer. The serious penitents in the town council must have won out, urged on by parish priests, in forging a makeshift ordinance that prohibited partying from 6 p.m. on Good Friday to 6 a.m. the following day.

Well, some of the locals may have minded the ban, at least those who expected to see a spike in income with a full-blown blast of a party from midnight to daybreak. As it was, that celebration — live bands dishing deafening disco or rock or Latino, body shots, beer-quaffing contests, boogie-ing on the beach, fire dancing — had to be deferred to Sabado Night, with a coda of sorts on Sunday, before most everyone left to catch the start of a work week back in Manila, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu and Davao.

For the large assembly we were part of, it didn’t really matter much if any post-dinner revelry on Viernes Santo or Sabado de Gloria ever heightened past midnight. By evening we were back at sea, anchored in the channel a kilometer offshore.

Motorized lifeboats ferried us, some 150 passengers onboard the 7107 Islands cruise ship, to the northern end of White Beach after breakfast, and back by sunset for cocktails and dinner. Small parties returned to the island after dinner on Good Friday, and were ferried back from the closer jetty on the southern end as late as 2 a.m. of Saturday. Thus did the rest of us who stayed onboard receive reports of a tame night that broke with recent Bora partying tradition.

The Holy Week cruise started from Manila’s Pier 6 on Wednesday evening. First stop was Boac, Marinduque, where the ship docked the next morning, Maundy Thursday, allowing for a full-day excursion to watch the Battle of the Morions in a plaza by Boac River.

The costumes have become gloriously outlandish, with some of the usual Roman centurions adding a touch of sci-fi fantasy or whimsy to look more like characters in a graphic novel. Adding to the surfeit of creative imagination was a mutant’s mask that had three faces all morphed up, a lone reveler with a flowing cape made up of colorful woven strips of juice drink “tetrapaks,” and still another who had painstakingly assembled hundreds of nito rings for ersatz chain mail armor. Old ladies sported resplendent headdresses, while young kids joined the “battle” as armies of junior centurions.

Boac’s orderly grid of streets remained admirably bereft of trash, and altogether presented a quaintly charming throwback to colonial times with well-preserved two-story wooden houses, some of whose lower floors were given over to commercial business. Upper floors joined the circus of juxtaposition that’s typically, delightfully Pinoy, with fiesta buntings hanging over the streets in competition with tarpaulin posters advertising all kinds of institutional products, chief of these San Miguel Beer.

Before we knew it, our time was up at the Expo grounds where stalls sold handicrafts, butterfly-themed souvenirs items (since Marinduque prides itself on its butterfly havens) and assorted Moriones masks — ranging from elegant brass to carved wood to papier maché.

Laden with bagfuls of such souvenirs, we were herded back to several large jeepneys for the half-hour ride back to the port, in time for sunset and the magic-hour thumping on the pool deck by a five-man crew billed as the Boracay Drum Beaters.

Dinner at the Coron Lounge that can seat 200 in a theater/night club setting is followed nightly by musical entertainment from a large band and a featured performer, such as Marco Sison on our first night at sea. Everyone’s prodded to join dance lessons with ministering DI’s.

More sedate entertainment can be enjoyed at the smaller Boracay Lounge towards aft, with a pianist backing up the wonderful young chanteuse Princess Velasco, who teaches a marketing course at De La Salle. She’s been recently signed up by Viva Records, and is due for a pilot CD album release this year. Bonus gigs are offered by Armand TJ, a wiz on guitar and piano as he essays his own compositions — haunting island pop ballads such as 21 Days in Boracay, which is included in his first CD. And when he’s urged towards midnight to pitch in with his perfect pitch, former recording star Aris Demavivas, now the cruise ship’s GM after tiring of foreign gigs, also regales the late-nighters with his soothing solos.

Armand TJ is the cruise ship owner Steve Tajanlangit’s youngest son, while Aris is a fellow Ilonggo and lifetime buddy. Such is the nature of the family-type operations (distinct from mom-and-pop) that pervade the entire cruise experience, with passengers enjoined to join the floating family.

While docked at the Marinduque port, we welcomed Governor Bong Carreon onboard for dinner and drinks as a VIP guest, accompanied by family, including his sister, the book creator Bing Carreon-Buck. The ship’s entertainment features (and bars!) enhanced the instant camaraderie. Then it was sailing time close to midnight, for the 11-hour passage to Boracay.

Anchored offshore, Willy Revillame’s pair of yachts was pointed out as we were ferried past the stretch of White Beach by mid-morn of Good Friday. Our cruise party settled at the Boracay Terraces Resort or BTR with its restaurant-on-the-rocks marking the strip’s north end.

Here was where Steve Tajanlangit had started his pioneering tourism exploits, early in the 1980s when he purchased the property from the Tirol clan, well before he set up the underwater pipe system that transported water from the mainland. Since then he’s bought up more properties and figured as a friendly broker in the development of Fairways & Bluewater as well as the recently opened Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa that nestles on eight hectares of forest on the island’s northern headland towards Puka Shell Beach.

The media and video docu contingent is given a tour of the ritzy, classy affair that’s taken over the site of Steve’s modest, ecologically minded Puka Bora Resort. Steve had bought back over 50 hectares from the Ayala Corp., and thanks to Vivian Yuchengco, had passed on a beachfront chunk to the Kuoks. Another parcel has recently been acquired by San Miguel Corp. An inland part of the contoured zone is being developed by Steve himself, inclusive of an Eco Center.

We meet up with Vivian at one of the elegantly designed hilltop roosts that dot Shang Bora, overlooking the main beach strip. She recounts how Steve had taken her on a boat ride to the coves, and how a month later, her friends the Kuoks came knocking on Steve’s door. The fabulous resort opened last month, all of 219 rooms spread out over several layered structures, including condo-style tree houses fronting a second beach, replete with outdoor jacuzzis, as well as 36 pool villas and suites in secluded locations amid a veritable jungle with glimpses of the sea.

The appointments are as impressive as the residency rates, but it helps that the Brangelina couple was rumored to be recent guests. Motorized carts transport us all over the place, from the humongous main pavilion to Chi: The Spa, the swimming pools and main beach, water sports pavilion, an amphitheater that seems perfect for poetry reading, a marine center, and the entertainment center where no sun shines, but where excellent air-conditioning reigns over the billiards and football tables as well as an array of game consoles and Wi-Fi appointments that allow me a last-quarter appreciation of the Blazers’ upset of Kobe Bryant’s Lakers.

Lunch is at BTR, where PGMA has held Cabinet meetings and stayed overnight, in the Tajanlangits’ private quarters above the resto. Late in the afternoon, Steve herds some of us onto a dinghy that brings us to a borrowed yacht for a cruise past Diniwid Beach (fast being lost to erosion), Manny Pacquiao’s reputed resort-in-construction on shoreline rocks exposed to habagat winds (with a decidedly Vegas-type tackiness in the faux-Mediterranean alabaster walls that undulate above the water), Shang Bora’s beachfronts and jetty, and Puka Beach, before we head back to our own mother ship.

Next stop would be Coron on Day 4, where Gov. Joel Reyes joins us onboard on our first night at dockside. There would be the hidden lagoons and Kiangan Lake off Coron Bay to enjoy the next day, Mt. Tapyas’ giant white cross to climb up to, past 700 steps for an exhilarating panorama, and Maquinit Hot Springs for a soothing dip towards sundown. The next two days, the splendid islands of the Calamianes Group beckon, so we spend a full day each at magical Malcapuya and the snorkelling paradise that is Debutunay.

Then we’re off to Calauit to feed the giraffes and marvel at a magnificent Palawan cherry tree in full bloom, before we cross over to Lubang for garlic baskets thence Corregidor for a sunset tour on the eve of our return to Manila Bay.

The images and memories are all of a daze. If it’s Maundy Thurday it must be Boac. Easter Sunday means Coron town and the trek up Mt. Tapyas. If it’s Tuesday it must be Calauit where two stags among the roving herds of Calamian deer engage in lock-horns combat. Wednesday is the sail back to Manila by way of Lubang and Corregidor.

All that the photos can say now is that we’ve been there and done that, through an eight-day Holy Week cruise that certainly cleansed our islanders’ spirits.

* * *

For info and reservations for a 7107 Islands cruise, contact 7107 Islands Management Inc. at Palawan Center, 2/F, 832 Arnaiz Ave. corner Paseo de Roxas, Makati City, with phone numbers 752-8255 to 57, fax 887-4590, or e-mail info7107islands@yahoo.com. You may also visit the website at www. 7107islandstravel.com

View previous articles of this column.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=461170&publicationSubCategoryId=87

Enchanted Kingdom’s newest 4D adventure now showing

Posted in Rest and Liesure, Tourism, Travel by Erineus on April 26, 2009

Updated April 26, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Brace yourself as Brendan Fraser

(The Mummy, George of the Jungle)

stars in “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” an action-packed 4D adventure based on the Jules Verne classic guaranteed to deliver fun for the whole family.

Enchanted Kingdom, the country’s first and only world-class theme park, recently launched this new flick at the 4D Discovery Theater located at the Portabello zone.

In the movie, science professor Trevor Anderson leads his nephew and a hired guide to an expedition in Iceland.

Together they stumble upon a discovery that leads them to an exciting journey deep beneath the Earth’s surface where they travel through never-before-seen worlds and meet unusual creatures along the way.

“Our 4D Discovery Theater is one of the most popular attractions at the park. We are happy to introduce this new movie which will leave teens and families alike on the edge of their seats while watching the film,” said Mario Mamon, Enchanted Kingdom president and chairman.

“Incidentally, the 4D Theater has also been upgraded, resulting in better sound and visual quality with a new sensory special effect that we leave to the viewer to uncover,” Mamon added.

The theater requires a separate admission fee. Prices start at P60 for day pass holders and P100 for Carousel Special holders.

“Journey to the Center of the Earth” is directed by award-winning visual effects artist Eric Brevig from a screenplay by Michael Weiss, Jennifer Flackett and Mark Levin.

Jules Verne’s classic novel was first published in 1864.

Enchanted Kingdom is open Mondays to Fridays from 2 to 9 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with fireworks display at 8 p.m.

For more information, visit www.enchantedkingdom.com.ph or call 830-2111 to 16 or 843-6074 to 76. Enchanted Kingdom is located at Sta. Rosa, Laguna with sales office at the Biltmore Condominium, 102 Aguirre St. Legaspi Village, Makati City.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=461174&publicationSubCategoryId=87

Explore, enjoy and rediscover Taal at Discovery Country Suites

Posted in Luzon, Rest and Liesure, Tourism, Travel by Erineus on April 26, 2009

Updated November 16, 2008 12:00 AM

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From the comfort of seven luxuriously appointed master suites, the beauty and wonder of Taal Volcano and Taal Lake are waiting to be explored, enjoyed and rediscovered. Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay offers the exhilarating wonders of the world’s smallest volcano with the “Taal Trek”— an adventure that is part of its Rediscover Tagaytay Packages.

From the charming bed and breakfast country house, participants will be transported to the Taal Yacht Club to take a 15-minute outrigger boat ride across placid Taal Lake to the town of Talisay at the foot of Taal Volcano. A 30-minute guided horseback trip takes adventurers through winding trails and some of the most scenic paths to the rim of Taal Volcano’s crater. Perched on the mouth of the volcano, visitors will have rare glimpses of spectacular volcanic views and experience the natural beauty of this unique geologic wonder.

The breathtaking half-day Taal Volcano Trek includes accommodations at a Deluxe Room at Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay for P9,999++. This can be upgraded to a Premier Room for P10,999 ++, or the Oxford Suite for P12,999 ++.

At Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay, guests can take time out in the tastefully furnished suites, enjoy the crisp country air, and savor epicurean delights especially prepared by chef David Pardo de Ayala at Restaurant Verbena.

Discovery Suites, Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay and Discovery Shores Boracay are developed and owned by the Discovery Leisure Company, Inc. The Discovery Collection of resorts and hotels is managed by HSAI Raintree Hospitality Management.

For reservations, call (02) 683-8383, (046) 413-4567, or e-mail dcsrsvn@discovery.com.ph.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleid=415761

Taal: Where history and shopping come together

Posted in Luzon, Rest and Liesure, Tourism, Travel by Erineus on April 26, 2009

Updated November 02, 2008 12:00 AM

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La Isla Pilipinas Tours’ distinctively innovative, easy-paced day tour of Taal, Batangas, a two-hour drive south of Metro Manila, beckons one to discover its many delightful surprises.

Privately owned 19th century Spanish colonial and early 20th century ancestral homes, exclusively made available only to participants of the tour, present intimate glimpses of the country’s unique past.

The 19th century bahay na bato (stone house) has large wooden doors and a main staircase (escalera principal) which leads into the caida (landing), so called because the women, who lifted their long skirts as they climbed the steps, let these skirts fall (caida) once they reached the top of the stairs.

Large double doors lead to the sala (living room) at the front of the house, while smaller ones on either side of the stairwell open to the comedor (dining room) and to a small bedroom.

The second floor windows use the unique rejas na buntis (iron grills shaped like a pregnant woman’s belly) which, throughout the archipelago, are usually found only on the ground floor windows fronting the street.

Upper windows overlooking the central courtyard have French doors that open into balconies with squash-shaped balusters indigenous to southern Batangas, and a floor of Portuguese azulejo (polished stone) tiles hand-painted with mauve and blue floral designs. These capture the opulence of the Victorian period when the houses were originally built.

The early 20th century ancestral houses also display the vibrancy of the era with their chandeliers of the Edwardian period, the only ones in the country, a tremor (full length dresser) made by the famous Chinese furniture maker of the rich, Ah Tay, the Flemish-styled sala, dining sets by Ortoll and Zaragosa, circa 1930s, and antique santos (images of saints) made of ivory with 22k gold-leaf.

Taal also prides itself with having the largest Catholic basilica in Asia, a reflection of its pre-eminent stature in Philippine economic, political and social history, as an important urban center, next only to Manila, during Spanish times.

Shopping is such a delight at the public market, first constructed during the American period, circa 1925. Since Taal is known for hand-embroidered items, Burdang Taal, one can’t help taking home some of them.

There are also a lot of Taaleño delicacies to take home — suman malagkit (glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaves), empanadang gulay, longganisa and tapang Taal, sinaing na tulingan (small-sized tuna caught in the waters of Balayan Bay that are simmered with pork belly and camias), cassava and rice cakes, panutsa (caramelized peanuts), and cacao tableas.

An interesting stop in the tour is a visit to where the country’s most famous weapon, the balisong, is made.

La Isla Pilipinas’ Heritage and Shopping tour will run on Nov. 29 and Dec. 13, with a 10 percent “early bird” discount.

For more details, call 436-6581, 426-0093 or 0915-9269176.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleid=411999

Taal of old

Posted in Luzon, Rest and Liesure, Tourism, Travel by Erineus on April 26, 2009

TEXT AND PHOTOS By Ayvi Nicolas Updated August 10, 2008 12:00 AM

I spent Independence Day in Taal, Laguna. And I left with many hopes, too many unanswered questions and one lasting image.

For a town with a pedigree like Taal, it isn’t hard for a stranger to see what its residents know. That Taal is a town with a glorious, historical past.

Taal is an Old Rich aristocrat who has suddenly realized that its past, no matter how illustrious and colorful it was, has been all but completely forgotten now and there is no other way but to live in the present no matter how strange the present might be. Genteel Taal couldn’t hide behind iron gates and capiz windows and shun the world for long. With dignified, careful steps, she walked the same old familiar streets and realized the brisk, competitive pace of modern life has fully taken over.

The words may seem a rash and sweeping statement and yet, like many other towns in the country, Taal is now described in whispered, sympathetic tones as a dying town.

Taal’s rich past dates back to early history. Internationally celebrated archaeological finds once put the town in the display cases of the world’s museums.

During the fight for Philippine freedom, Taal was the stage where great men and women plotted and played out their various roles in pursuit of independence and national identity.

Last Independence Day, the Philippine Flag was raised simultaneously in various symbolic locations in the country like Cavite and Rizal Park in Manila. In Taal, the Philippine Flag was also raised right in front of the monument of the woman who rendered the very first one. Though Marcela Agoncillo sewed the first flag with daughter Lorenza and Josefina Herbosa y Natividad (a niece of Jose Rizal) in exile in Hong Kong and though Emilio Aguinaldo would unfurl it in Kawit, Cavite, the Philippine Flag seemed to have been led home to its mother Lola Marcela, now cast in bronze standing tall and gracious at the very heart of the town she loved. And on that rainy Day of Independence, her townspeople gathered around her and relived the great stories of love and heroism that happened on the same streets where everyone gathered, lined by the very houses that stood there over a century ago.

Old glories are hard to let go, much like love stories wherein we never want the lovers to part or the fairy tale to end. Yet even the fiercest lovers have to let go of each other in mortality. And so no great town is ever truly immortal. That’s why on this day I have heard the question asked, is Taal a dying town?

This sad sentiment is reflected by its slowly disappearing crafts and trades. A long time ago Taal was a site of a bustling port where commodities and cultures were channeled through, an ideal place for artists and artisans, merchants and scholars. In recent time, the place was known for its piña cloth and balisong. Now it is sadly like any other town whose main industry is exporting professional and skilled workers overseas.

What every epic hero knows is that the story can make him immortal. And so our great Filipino heroes’ stories have been told to one generation after another keeping every name Rizal, Bonifacio Aguinaldo… all immortal. As what is true of a story’s protagonist, it may also be with a story’s setting.

Since that one day of restored glory on that Independence Day, Taal now wishes to be given a chance to tell its story to those who would come to visit. Taal yearns to showcase that by opening the heavy old wooden doors of its century-old houses. Yes, this is a town that wants to bring its old, illustrious image back. But it, too, is a town that humbly wishes to remember its identity and unique place in our nation’s fight for freedom.

I hope Taal would be able to hold on long enough to its historical treasures. I hope the Taalenos would remember the stories of heroism and love long enough. I hope the visitors would come to Taal just in time before all those are completely lost and forgotten. I have many questions as to how that will all become reality. Yet Taal today is slowly living, growing into the answer. Characteristic of its Hispanic past, a revolution is brewing right along its quiet, laidback streets.

A group of Taalenos has already formed the Taal Active Alliance League which aims to showcase Taal’s historical and architectural treasures. The league is comprised of committees on tourism, cultural mapping, a citizen watchdog, a technical working group, legal, finance and special projects and secretariat and media relations. With Vigan for an inspiration, the project to restore Taal to its rightful place in Philippine history is underway and the people behind it are aware that the first step must be for Taalenos to know their complete history and identity as a people.

Currently, volunteer teachers are taking a second look at each barangay to identify historical houses and other structures, and conduct research and interviews with the residents. Once notable landmarks and anecdotes have been identified, a group of photographers and writers will contribute their expertise to document the town’s heritage.

The project’s aim is to once again transform Taal into a quaint, interesting town with many touching sites and historical insights to offer to students and local tourists, ultimately giving the Filipinos a glimpse of their own proud history.

On the local government’s side, ordinances have already been implemented to control air and noise pollution caused by tricycles, the town’s main mode of transportation.

Like a few other towns in Batangas, Taal is a phoenix that has risen from volcanic ash. When Taal Volcano erupted in 1754, it wiped out Taal and surrounding towns Lipa and Tanauan. Through fires and floods, revolutions and legacies, Taal never ceased to be the graceful old dame of the South.

I have an image in my mind described to me one breezy afternoon on a balkonahe in one of Taal’s old houses. It’s a crowded street bustling with merchants, artists and artisans trading goods and stories while in the horizon the galleon ships’ sails flutter wildly under a blue sky and a hot sun.

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Taal Active Alliance League (T.A.A.L.) is represented by Ernesto F. Villavicencio. For more information, call 02-9135548, 02-9135791 or 09209318308. To know more about Taal, log on to www.taal.gov.ph.

View previous articles from this author.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleid=78450

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Lipa City discovery tour set

Posted in Luzon, Rest and Liesure, Tourism, Travel by Erineus on April 26, 2009

Updated November 09, 2008 12:00 AM

Mention barako coffee and Batangas, especially Lipa City, comes to mind. Historically, Lipa is considered the birthplace of the local coffee industry as one record shows that the first coffee seeds were brought to the Philippines in 1749 by a Franciscan friar who planted them on local soil, while another mentions 1814 as the year when an Augustinian priest first cultivated the crop and propagated it in other communities. Details notwithstanding, Lipa rose to prominence because of coffee planting and, soon, it became a world center of coffee trade.

Lipa is a commercial hub and home to diverse industries, including coffee, cut-flower and tourism. It is also regarded as a Little Rome of the Philippines, being the seat of the archdiocese and a number of seminaries, convents and monasteries.

The Mt. Carmel Monastery is famous as the site of the Virgin Mary’s apparition to a Carmelite nun, accompanied by a shower of rose petals.

The home of the late nationalist Claro M. Recto is also known for its cool climate with its elevation of 1,025 feet above sea level, the third highest in the Philippines after Baguio and Tagaytay.

On Nov. 22, Inscribe Tours takes participants on a Lipa City Discovery Tour with the following itinerary: Café de Lipa for morning refreshments of kapeng barako and suman Batangas; Museo de Lipa; Doc’s Candles; Hotel la Corona de Lipa for a buffet lunch of Batangas cuisine; Papelipa; Milk Joy plant; Mt. Carmel Monastery; and last, Mt. Malarayat Golf & Country Club for an early dinner.

For reservations and early bird rates, call Karla or Gerry at 840–5912, 575 or 8370.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleid=413761

Ocean Park Hong Kong unveils two new attractions

Posted in Rest and Liesure, Tourism, Travel by Erineus on April 26, 2009
By Eugene Y. Santos
April 25, 2009, 10:42am

Hong Kong has always served as a quick international destination for Filipinos. From deliriously grand shopping jaunts to closing important business transactions, the former British colony cannot deny the presence of Filipinos penetrating its market. Reports even state that in 2008, it has embraced more than 568,000 Filipinos, either for work or pleasure. And 20 percent of them visited Ocean Park Hong Kong. Those people will probably make that journey again as the park launches two new attractions this year that are sure to spice up even the most jaded of cynics: the Amazing Asian Animals Park and the Ocean Express, both of which are firsts on their own.

Animal home redefined

The Amazing Asian Animals Park is the first of its kind to integrate an outdoor and indoor animal exhibit in a secure environment. The Giant Panda Adventure area is its main highlight, with a design philosophy of traditional Chinese architecture fused with modern technology. It boasts of lush greenery, rock walls, and an exterior made with a “large span truss system” coupled with Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) which lets the sun shine through without the inconvenience of sweltering heat. This combination of elements allows the animals to live in an environment almost similar to their natural habitat. The two resident giant pandas are going to be joined in harmony with four red pandas and other rare species such as the Chinese giant salamander, Asian small-clawed otter, and Chinese alligator. They are expected to debut around April 30.

Retro-futurism

One does not need to be a mermaid or a professional diver just to get a glimpse of the sea’s magnificent wonders. Sometimes all it takes is a simple train ride. As incredulous as it may sound, the Ocean Express will try to prove otherwise. The trains aesthetically took inspiration from Jules Verne’s 19th century submarine explorer in terms of appearances. The train stations are a mix of new technology and old-world futuristic retrospective. As the world’s first themed funicular system set to run in a theme park, the three-minute train ride is set to give an underwater experience like no other.
The train’s glass-paned parts allow riders to see various marine life combined with multimedia action happening inside the train cabin. Practicality-wise, Ocean Park Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Tom Mehrmann says that the train will also be useful as a means of transportation in exploring the Lowland and Headland sides of the entire park, especially when rain strikes and the aerial cable cars are not available for use. The Ocean Express is presumed to start operations in the fall of 2009.

These two innovations are just part of the park’s US$750 million redevelopment plan which started in 2006 and will end probably in 2011 or 2012.

In a recent press conference in Manila, Mehrmann and his team told members of the Philippine media and travel trade industry that there are still some projects to be anticipated such as new attractions, rides, and hotels in the following years to come.

http://mb.com.ph/articles/203622/ocean-park-hong-kong-unveils-two-new-attractions