Solaire and AirAsia, what are they up to?

Have you heard about the awesome news? Solaire Resort and Casino is partnering with AirAsia!

This is really exciting! Two companies that I admire are joining forces. These companies put emphasis on quality and value to their clients. Before I share with you about their partnership and what’s in it for us, let me share with you first my experience with them.

AirAsia
It was a lot of first for me: my first solo travel, my first in Boracay, my first to fly from Clark Airport and my first to fly with AirAsia. I decided to have a stress free 3 day escapade by myself and book just a week before my travel date. No detailed itinerary! I was anxious on how this trip would go and if I would be able to achieve my goal of a stress free travel.

I was really impressed on how straight forward the booking process of AirAsia and the online check-in is a breeze. No more long lines. The staffs are very friendly and accommodating. I like how elegant and professional their flight attendants. Air Asia didn’t disappoint me. I had a stress free flight. They took good care of me and I felt special eventhough I’m just traveling solo.

Air Asia schedule
Early morning flight
Clark Airport
Clark Airport
Air Asia kalibo
Touch down Kalibo

Solaire Resort and Casino
Solaire has been creating a buzz since it opened. I really wanted to go there. Luckily, my friend invited me to attend the Playboy anniversary last Thursday. What a great excuse to visit Solaire, right?

I’ve been to several casinos in Macau. Solaire’s grand design is what you would expect to see in Macau with an added touch of Filipino hospitality. The warm smiles and welcoming atmosphere won’t make you feel intimidated whether you are there to try your luck, attend an event or just look around.

It’s great to see that we have this amazing place in the Philippines. I would definitely be back to hang around longer, try out some of the restaurants and see the new developments which I think would be finished this year.

Now, let’s go back to see Solaire and Air Asia is up to:

SOLAIRE RESORT AND CASINO UNVEILS ITS NEW PLANE LIVERY

Sky Solaire
#SkySolaire

Solaire Resort and Casino, the Philippines’ premier integrated resort, in partnership with Air Asia unveils a breakthrough branding project in the Philippines.

Solaire again raises the bar as it wraps its brightly colored livery on Air Asia’s popular Airbus A320, which is scheduled to embark on its maiden flight this July. Solaire is the first-ever consumer brand in the country to fully wrap and brand a commercial airline, with an underlying thrust of further promoting tourism in the Philippines and in greater Asia.

This dynamic collaboration between Solaire and Air Asia represents another step forward in an on-going journey towards providing modern travel and leisure experiences for its customers, with a fresh new approach to their target market. This partnership will facilitate more passenger and cargo traffic in both regional and domestic flights, and foster stronger trade, cultural and tourism ties within Asia.

Solaire owner Enrique Razon Jr. and Air Asia Global CEO Tony Fernandes
Solaire owner Enrique Razon Jr. and Air Asia Global CEO Tony Fernandes

“This milestone is a key undertaking between two passionate brands with entrepreneurial and dynamic mindsets. This unprecedented branding project in the Philippines may be taken as a “leadership statement,” which attests to Solaire’s strong growth momentum in the industry. Yes we are again raising the bar; this time we’re taking it to the skies.” says Donato Almeda, Board Director of Solaire Resort and Casino.

 

 

Currently, Solaire’s brand colors are donned by just one airplane, but nothing is stopping them from further rolling out this innovative wrap on additional aircrafts in the future with broader partnership arrangements. The campaign will continue until 2016 and it is envisioned that this high-impact ad in the sky will generate more hype and publicity as the partnership progresses.

Jasper Evangelista, Vice President of Brand & Marketing, Solaire Resort and Casino said, “This aircraft-branding campaign is a strategic branding initiative which would allow us to literally take our brand to greater heights. We have created amazing moments for our customers since Solaire launched last year, and now we’re aiming to further connect with our local & foreign guests and travellers by reinforcing our brand presence in the country’s airports. Sky Solaire will enable us to get immediate traction on this effort and even take it to a level all its own.”

SkySolaire
Solaire Resort and Casino and AirAsia Philippines bring you Philippines’ first corporate-branded commercial aircraft.

In-line with Solaire’s “Create Your Moments” campaign, which highlights Solaire as the perfect place to create unforgettable memories, this fitting partnership with AirAsia, one of Asia’s leading and multi-awarded airlines in their category, harmoniously evokes the key thrusts of customer service, hospitality, and excitement for both their industries. This marketing initiative is also primed to open up new revenue streams for both the integrated resort and the airline carrier.

AirAsia Philippines Chairman Maan Hontiveros said, “AirAsia Philippines is a sociable and innovative brand. We also take pride on our collaborative nature. This new livery demonstrates our creative approach to partnerships and marketing opportunities especially with companies that support our vision to grow tourism. We are thrilled to carry Solaire’s brand in the sky and on the grounds at the airports here and abroad extending to as far as our destinations in Malaysia, China and Korea.”

The Solaire experience is stamped with an unparalleled brand of service style, world-renowned Philippine hospitality, top-of-class luxurious accommodations, diverse dining options and impressive gaming facilities, which have all contributed to the way people people view resort casinos in Manila. Many have opted to extend their stay at the resort, to have simply grown to embrace the aspirational and stress-free lifestyle offered to them at Solaire. Solaire Resort and Casino clearly offers the utmost experience of comfort, elegance and luxury in the Philippines right now.

About Solaire Resort and Casino:

Solaire Resort & Casino, the primary property of Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, is a USD $1.2 Billion integrated destination resort on an 8.3-hectare site in Manila, Philippines opened March 2013. Solaire, a luxury destination casino resort, is the first property to open in the Entertainment City, a government sponsored (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) economic development zone.

Solaire’s Phase 1 features 500 luxurious rooms, suites and bayside villas, 18,500 square meters of gaming space, a wide range of award-winning dining experience and signature restaurants, sophisticated bars and lounges, and an ample multi-level car park. The property has additional 258,721 square meter expansion project under development which is expected to open 3rd quarter of 2014. For more information and reservations, please contact a travel professional or access the website at www.solaireresort.com

I told you it’s an exciting partnership. I’m always excited to see more tourists coming in to visit Manila and have a good time in our capital. I hope this partnership would attract more and more people to discover the Philippines.

See you in Sky Solaire!!!

Transportation in the Philippines – by Air

The major gateway to the Philippines is the Ninoy Aquino International Airport which is located in the capital – Manila. With the increasing number of tourist, the airports are being upgraded to handle more passengers and bigger planes. Here are some of the growing list of International Airports in the country which may be your ports of entry:

City/Municipality Province Airport Code Airport name
Silay Negros Occidental BCD Bacolod-Silay International Airport
Angeles Pampanga CRK Clark International Airport
Davao City Davao del Sur DVO Francisco Bangoy (Davao) International Airport
General Santos South Cotabato GES General Santos International (Tambler) Airport
Cabatuan Iloilo ILO Iloilo International Airport
Kalibo Aklan KLO Kalibo International Airport
Laoag Ilocos Norte LAO Laoag International Airport
Lapu-Lapu Cebu CEB Mactan-Cebu International Airport
Parañaque/Pasay Metro Manila MNL Ninoy Aquino (Manila) International Airport
Puerto Princesa Palawan PPS Puerto Princesa International Airport
Morong Bataan SFS Subic Bay International Airport
Zamboanga City Zamboanga del Sur ZAM Zamboanga International Airport

Aside from the international airports, there are also a number of domestic airports scattered all over the archipelago. You need to check-out which airport that you would use to a particular province and which airlines are servicing that route.

Most of the airlines operating in the Philippines are budget airlines. I think Philippine Airlines, the flag carrier, is the only full service airline.  Thanks to these budget airlines traveling across the different islands is now much more convenient. Here are 5 major airlines operating in the country:

 

Major Airlines in the Philippines Website URL:
Philippine Airlines http://www1.philippineairlines.com/
PAL Express http://www.flypalexpress.com/
Cebu Pacific http://www.cebupacificair.com
Air Asia http://www.airasia.com/ph/
Tiger Air http://www.tigerairways.com/ph/en/
Sky Jet Air http://www.skyjetair.com/

To make it easier to plan out your flights to the Philippines, you can use http://www.skyscanner.com.ph/

[box type=”info”]Guidelines[/box]

      • Do not make bomb jokes. Even just mere mention of bomb would get you in trouble. By trouble, I mean Prison!
      • Liquid, aerosol and gels in more than 100ml containers are not allowed in your hand carry luggage.
      • Arrive in the airport 3 hours in advance for international flights and 2 hours in advance for domestic flights.
      • Terminal fees are collected from passengers departing a particular airport. The fund is used for acquiring security equipments for the airport. The fee varies depending on the airport:
        • International departure: P200-750
        • Domestic departure on International airport: P200
        • Other Local Domestic Airports: P20-40

What’s your favorite airline in the Philippines? Tell me about your experience below.

Facts about the Philippines

Where in the world is the Philippines?

Ok.. ok.. After watching the It’s More Fun in the Philippines and WOW Philippines videos, probably your next question is: where in the world is the Philippines?

Ok, let me help you.

The Philippines is an archipelago located at 13º00´ N, 122º00´ E. Just kidding! Who understands that?

It is in the Southeast Asia region. It is located just below China/Taiwan, above Indonesia/Borneo and on the right of Vietnam. Or you could just use the map below as your reference.


View Larger Map

The Philippines is composed of 7,107 islands. The 3 main island groups are Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Philippine Map
Philippine Map from www.drdf-uppi.net

What’s the capital?

The capital of the Philippines is Manila which is part of the National Capital Region (simply called Metro Manila) that is composed of 16 cities. It is located in Luzon.

What’s the language?

One of the official language is Filipino which is based on Tagalog, one of the dialects.

The other is English. The Philippines is the 3rd largest English speaking country just after the US and the UK. Most Filipinos speak and understand English. Some Filipinos don’t even speak Tagalog. They speak only their native dialect and guess what? English! So, you can pretty much strike up a conversation with anyone in English.

If you get lost, you can just simply ask for directions in English. I’m sure you’ll find some willing Filipinos to help you. Sometimes, they might not understand your accent or get shy but they can just easily grab someone to help you out.

How do I get around the Philippines?

The most common mode of transportation is the jeepney. There are also tricycles which you would use for shorter trips. Of course, there are also buses, taxis or cabs in urban areas.

You need to ride a plane or a boat to get to the islands.
For long boat trips, you can ride a RORO and for shorter trips like island hopping you can ride a bangka.

There are 6 major airlines in the country which offers great deals if you book ahead of time.

I’ll discuss more about the different modes of transportation here, here and here.

What’s the weather like?

The Philippines is a tropical country so expect it to be hot (Average Temperature: 78 degrees F or 25 degrees C)and humid (Average Humidity: 77%).

There are 2 seasons: dry and rainy. But the dry season can further be divided into two – cool dry and hot dry.

Seasons:

Rainy Season – June to November
Cool Dry Season – December to February
Hot Dry Season – March to May

If you are coming for a visit, you can monitor the weather here in the official website the country’s weather bureau – PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration). I know the website looks ugly! 🙂 You can also get the weather app for Android and IOS.

Will I be able to access the Internet?

I know you wanna know this! Internet cafes are available in urban centers and popular tourist spots. Wifi is also available in malls, coffee shops and hotels. You can also access the internet through 3G and 4G mobile networks. So don’t worry that much, you’ll still be able to update your facebook status, tweet and upload travel photos to the envy of your friends back home.

Will my cellphone work in the Philippines?

The mobile network band used in the Philippines are 900/1800, 3G 850/ 2100, 4G LTE, HSPA+ so you could pretty much use your phone here since most phones now are triband.

If you are planning to stay in the Philippines for a while and you’ll be making a lot of local calls, you should just probably buy a new prepaid SIM card which only costs around 30-40 pesos.

Electricity

Most tourist spots have electricity. There’s still a lot of areas in the Philippines that doesn’t have electricity though but usually these are remote areas like an island and mountainous regions. Some remote communities, resorts and hotels have their own generator to light up their places during the night.

If you are doing the off the beaten track type of traveling, of course, don’t expect the place you are going to have electricity.

Also, the Philippines uses 220 Volts AC, 60 Hz so if you have gadgets and equipments with you that’s only for 110 Volts you need a transformer to use it. Keep this in mind so you won’t end up with a toasted, useless gadget. Although, most hotels already have a socket for 110 volts it’s better to check first.

Some more facts about the Philippines:

Population: 96 Million
Local time: UTC/GMT+8 (No DST)
Currency: Philippine Peso (PHP) locally known as piso
Currency denomination: 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, P1, P5, P10, P20, P50, P100, P200, P500, P1,000
Government: Democratic Republic
Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Muslim and Buddhist
Country code: +63
Most popular dish: Adobo
Most popular beer: San Miguel Pale Pilsen and Red Horse

WOW Philippines: More than the Usual!

Before the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” slogan, the Philippine Department of Tourism used the slogan “WOW Philippines: More than the Usual”. It is still worth sharing so here it is:

I really like these videos. They are so well-made but I believe the Department of Tourism wasn’t able to thoroughly promote these because of budget constraints. These videos were made during the time that the only way to promote tourism in country is through traditional media like advertising in international cable channels which we all know are too expensive. Those were the days that ‘viral’ was caused by a virus. That’s why the new tagline “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” is anchored on the fact that it is very shareable and you could play around with it just like what they did here.

It’s More Fun in the Philippines

The Department of Tourism is doing a terrific job with the new tourism slogan “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”. It rapidly became viral after its launch and inspired others to create their own meme.

They’ve also made an awesome AVP about the Philippines. I always try to show this to my foreign friends and even to some of my clients. The feedback is incredible! I have literally watched it hundreds of times and I still can’t get over it. If you still haven’t seen it yet, here it is:


These are some of the materials that the Philippine Department of Tourism used to kick-off the campaign.

more fun in the Philippines

more fun in the Philippines

"more

And netizens eagerly shared their own version of it.

Awesome isn’t it? It would be more awesome if you could visit us and experience it for yourself!