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A Bicol triad: Albay, Masbate, Sorsogon

AMPHITHEATER at Cagraray Island, Albay. Photo by Amadís Ma. Guerrero

The place to stay in the whole of Albay is the hilltop Oriental Hotel in Legazpi City, the capital. It’s a classy, deluxe establishment in glass and metal, with white as the dominant color. The cuisine is highly recommended—local and international dishes with a distinct Bicolano flavor.

The hotel (theorientalhotel.com) has a grand view of the surrounding mountains and hills, buildings and residences and, of course, iconic Mt. Mayon. The Oriental is surrounded by coconut-palm, malunggay and banana trees.

An hour’s drive from the urban center is the island town of Cagraray and its Eco-Park facing scenic Misibis Bay. Features include a campsite, high ropes, the paintball game, zip line, an amphitheater (for public entertainment, sports and lectures) with a great view of the gulf plus waterfalls (but only when it rains!).

COZY Cottage at a nature beach resort. Photo by Amadís Ma. Guerrero

Except for the much-ballyhooed, upscale Misibis Bay Casino Resort, this part of Albay has not been publicized too much and the seascape is marvelous, with clear waters, greenery all around, beige-white sand, beach coves, and stone cliffs with vegetation.

There are at least two islands that the ecotourist can visit: Namanday and Pinamuntugan. There are no amenities, but you can hire a boat, picnic, swim and snorkel. And even trek. But the inclination of the terrain is just average, observed coordinator Bernard Supetran.

We went there via the “Tabaco Love Boat.”

SAINTS Peter and Paul Cathedral in Sorsogon. Photo by Amadís Ma. Guerrero

Another buried church

In the remote barangay of Budiao in Daraga, Albay, are the ruins of a church buried even before the 1814 eruption of Mt. Mayon which destroyed the church of Cagsawa, leaving only its famous bell tower.

What we saw now are the four walls of stones, rectangular in shape, half-buried in the ground, the windows projecting a catacombs-like atmosphere. The century and date of the eruption has not been ascertained. Calling Ambeth Ocampo and other history buffs.

THIS resort caters to foreigners, but Pinoys are welcome. Photo by Amadís Ma. Guerrero

Local folks expressed the hope that the Salceda administration, through the Provincial Tourism & Cultural Affairs Office (albaytourism@gmail.com), could make the Budiao ruins a tourist destination like Cagsawa.

 

Magnificent seascape

Masbate (masbateprovincialtrourism@yahoo.com) has three big islands—Masbate, Burias and Ticao—and 14 smaller islands. Amidst choppy waters (prepare to get wet) you will come upon a magnificent seascape which rivals those in Northern Palawan, Caramoan, and the coastal waters of Boracay Island.

NAMANDAY Island. Photo by Amadís Ma. Guerrero

We stopped by Halea Nature Park, a beach resort, and then after a wet and wild ride finally reached Ticao Beach Resort early in the evening, its lights a welcoming beacon to the drenched travelers.

It was something of a surprise to find a resort like this in this neck of the woods. There are nine comfortable beachfront cottages, four standard rooms and one attic room; these are built in a classy, native style, because the resort caters to foreigners.

There are horses grazing nearby (there’s a farm somewhere), and you and your children can go horseback riding.

Sales and marketing director is Jessica Wong, while the manager is Rico Calleja, who looks like a Mexican with his sombrero and moustache. “This is community-based tourism,” Jessica said, citing the resort’s policy of integrating with the nearby fishing community and supporting its school.

LEGENDARY Lake Bulusan. Photo by Amadís Ma. Guerrero

“We want tourists to appreciate what the Philippines can offer,” she added. “We give them what they don’t have—warm weather, a beach, tropical fruits.”

The two resort officers complained, however, about the rampant dynamite fishing in the area, and expressed the hope that local authorities would do more to curb this destructive practice. Baywatch, are you listening?

 

Legendary lake

There’s more to green-laden Sorsogon than butanding (whale shark) watching (it’s off-season anyway). The province is bracketed by the Albay Gulf and Sorsogon Bay, and there are mountains for trekking, dive spots, caves for spelunking, and beach resorts galore for swimming, snorkeling and skimboarding.

Above all, there’s Lake Bulusan near the volcano of the same name, with hot and cold nature spring resorts (like Balay Buhay) along the way.

The Sorsogon City Tourism Office (info@gotosorsogoncity.com) recently treated select media members to an exposure trip to the legendary lake. Seeing it again after 13 years, kayaking and boating with colleagues, made me recall the melancholy legend associated with the lake-volcano within a forest.

It is the story of brave Bulusan and beautiful Agingay who were destroyed by the intrigues of the evil Casiguran. And the tears of Agingay and the blood of Bulusan mingled to form the volcano and the lake. And so today, when it rains here, some would like to believe that it is Agingay welcoming visitors to this lake named after her warrior husband.

 

By 

Read more: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/117795/a-bicol-triad-albay-masbate-sorsogon#ixzz2azFTY3LV
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Filed under: Travel & Adventures, Travel Advisory, Travel and Lifestyle

Beautiful seas, ugly basura | ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headlines, Breaking News, Video, Analysis, Features

Beautiful seas, ugly basura | ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headlines, Breaking News, Video, Analysis, Features.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates, Travel Advisory, Travel and Lifestyle, What's Happening Here?

Explore the beauty of Sorsogon

There’s no better time to relax & explore beautiful places in the philippines than today. Specially if you plan goin to the south, Sorsogon has a lot to offer with its amazing place and breathtaking scenery and some of the most hospitable people in the country.

By the way, The Pili festival will be this coming 28-29 of June & it coinsides with the fiesta of Sorsogon City. Celebrations include street dancing by locals donning pili nut costumes, cooking competitions, fireworks displays, and even a nutcracking session along the road by the locals.

Bulusan Natural Park

Swim with the whaleshark@Donsol

Filed under: Pictures for the future, Promote Tourism, Travel & Adventures, Travel Advisory, Travel and Lifestyle, , , , , ,

US visa application goes paperless starting May 24

from: GMANews.TV

Starting May 24, the United States Embassy in Manila will shift to an environment-friendly way of handling non-immigrant visa applications using an electronic online form.

The Embassy said the online form, known as DS-160, replaces three paper forms to make the completion of applications easier and faster.

“With demand for US visas continuing to increase worldwide, the US State Department is committed to using new technologies to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the visa application process. The web-based nonimmigrant visa application uses new technologies and replaces existing forms to better serve our visa applicants,” it said.

“The new form has two key changes. The DS-160 form is submitted electronically, through the Internet, replacing paper forms. Also, the on-line form requires applicants to upload a digital photograph from the computers they use to complete the application,” it added.

It added the new form is a “greener,” user-friendly application.

Applicants may save the data in the form to complete an application later, and saved data may be reused for future applications.

“The form reduces use of paper, making it a greener method to apply for a US visa,” it said.

It added the rest of the application process remains the same.

On the other hand, it said visa applicants, after completing the on-line application, must schedule an interview appointment, either on-line at this link, or by calling 1-909-101-7878.

Applicants must then pay the visa fee at an approved fee collection point. The final step is the appointment at the Embassy.

If using the form for the first time, applicants should read a step-by-step instructional guide, which may be found at US Embassy in Manila online site. — LBG, GMANews.TV

Filed under: Travel Advisory,

The beauty of the BOTONG TWIN FALLS

Botong Twin Falls

Botong Twin Falls

Here’s another recommended attraction for locals and foreign tourists and consider to be one of the best eco-tourism in Sorsogon City today,  the so called  “BOTONG TWIN FALLS” located at Osiao, Bacon District. They called it twin falls because they are closed to each other, but they’re actually  two different falls with two different colours of water. Thats the reason why they called it “BLUE & GREEN FALLS”. Because the water of the first falls is almost green while the the second falls is almost blue. To find out more visit the Botong Twin Falls, with your family and friends and don’t forget to coordinate with the PNOC-BACMAN Geothermal Plant Mgmt.(maintaining the area).

Enjoy your picnic, family bondings and of course your picture-pictures!..

Filed under: Promote Tourism, Sorsogon News Updates, Travel & Adventures, Travel Advisory, Travel and Lifestyle, , ,

Promoting our very own Sorsogon Tourism

To Ms. Christine S. Dayrit of (The Philippines Star).  We would like to thank you for your contribution in promoting our very own Sorsogon Tourism. This will help a lot in inviting locals & foreigners to visit our beautiful places here. We are looking forward for more articles you can share with us.

Sensational Sorsogon

RENDEZVOUS By Christine S. Dayrit (The Philippine Star)

Updated April 11, 2010 12:00 AM


Photo is loading...

Discover the hidden jewel of Matnog, Sorsogon

In his recent award-winning film Up in the Air, George Clooney attempts to accumulate 10 million frequent flyer miles for his many trips taken. He advocates, “To know me is to travel with me.” Personally, I am far from hitting the 10-million mileage mark but am passionately working at it.

I decided it was time to embark on a very exciting local sojourn. This time, to sensational Sorsogon, in the stunningly beautiful province of Bicol.

It dawned on me that there is no better way to kick off the summer than to go swimming with the gentle submarine-sized whale sharks that shyly feed on tiny krill fish; explore lovely world-class boutique hotels, experience a multitude of  fireflies that illumine the ebony night like Tinkerbell fairies bathing in the moonlight; stroll in the charming courtyards of old churches and antique homes.

Here, every epicurean’s wish to savor mouth-savoring delicacies is satisfied and one is privileged to enjoy Mother Nature’s finest treasures — luscious lakes and rivers, glorious waterfalls, steaming hot springs, refreshing cold springs, medicinal salt springs, indigenous flora and faunas, fertile emerald fields where pili, coconuts, abaca and more produce grow abundantly.

From Manila, a brief and comfortable flight on Cebu Pacific took us to Legazpi City. We had a quick snack at Small Talk Café where my dear friends who hail from Bicol — DOT regional director Nini Ravanilla and TOYM awardee for agriculture Lyndon Tan — vowed that the pinangat pasta, a delightful combination of gabi leaves, coco cream and fiery chili, is a must-have.

My dear sister Michelle Dayrit-Soliven was invited by her Divine Healing Servants Foundation Group — headed by gracious Fr. Gerard Deveza, president Gerard Reonisto, treasurer Lucy Lee, assistant treasurer Joy Sy, Tonton and Tasha Sy, Benny Soliven, Edwin Tang, Ding Mercado, Nino and Arlene Mabanta — to be the inspirational speaker at the first-ever elementary graduation of the Divine Healer Learning Center in El Retiro Compound, Cabid-an, Sorsogon.

“Follow your dreams,” Michelle enthused in this very special ceremony that took our gregarious traveling group to a land blessed by providence, where life, love, laughter and prayer emanate from the heart and souls of its residents. The Divine Healer Learning Center is a school founded by Fr. Gerard Deveza and is a dream come true for this kindhearted healing priest who wanted to help the underprivileged children of Sorsogon by providing them a quality education.

After the graduation, we discovered more the sights and sounds of this lovely sanctuary. After an hour-and-a-half drive from Cabid-an, we entered the quaint town of Donsol, Sorsogon, the famous whale shark capital of the world. Disembarking from our van, we were given the standard briefing complete with a video — on the whale shark interaction.

Whale sharks (Rhicodon typus) are known locally as butanding or balilan, and grow up to 45 feet. The biggest fish of the world, the whale shark resembles a slow-moving underwater island because of its size. It is sometimes found near the surface while feeding. October to May is the official season of whale shark sightings but the peak season is in April.

It was Michelle’s very first encounter with the whale sharks and she was rather frightened at first. We were able to convince my beautiful alabaster-skinned sister to embark on the activity by making her realize how blessed she was to have the opportunity to see the whale sharks. She finally took the plunge and was ecstatic to have six encounters with the whale sharks in just 10-minute intervals of each other.

After our glorious encounter with the whale sharks, we proceeded to Sta. Clara Ridge Inn, our home away from home in Sorsogon City. It is owned by Tony Maligaso, an advocate of peace and serenity. His inn-timate lodging is creatively built on a hill slope where the cool shade of narra trees and serene view of rice fields and mountain range greet you every morning. The staff is most cordial and accommodating, while the bedrooms, decorated by Tony himself, feature Ethan Allen-country style furnishings. 

In the duration of our stay in Sorsogon, we were pampered to no end by gracious Gov. Sally Lee and her charming husband Tito Raul Lee. They prepared our every meal showcasing the best local cuisine ever. Aside from pinangat, topping our list also included tinoktok (meat of freshwater shrimp and young, tender coconut au gratin, wrapped in gabi leaves and simmered in thick gata), tinagoktok (fresh water fish, preferably dalag or mudfish cooked on a bed of petchay, plus various other ingredients in a more diluted solution of gata), and bayway (pork marinated in vinegar and various spices and herbs for at least two days before being fried).

Local folklore has it that Sorsogon got its name when a group of Spaniards got lost somewhere around the bay. Fortunately, they chanced upon a local fisherman whom they asked for the name of the place. The fisherman, thinking that the strangers were asking for directions, simply said “Sorsogon,” (which meant “Follow or trace the path”) while pointing to the river upstream. The name stuck, evolving from Sosogon to Solsogon, to Sorsogon.

In Sorsogon, a must-see place is Lake Bulusan, dubbed the “Switzerland of the Orient.” It lies at the heart of the National Park, which covers a land area of 3,672 hectares. On our way to Lake Bulusan, we were escorted by gentle rain showers over the emerald green rice fields and the wildly growing lavender orchids blooming profusely on full-grown trees along the way.

Fr. Gerard described the moment as a scene straight out of the movie Lost Horizon. My brother-in-law Benny and my nephew Vincent kayaked while the rest of us did the trek around the lake, discovering Avatar-like scenes, ancient trees and insects and Tarzan-like vines and humongous rocks which we climbed. Those who didn’t engage in outdoor activities opted for a relaxing massage.

Another truly precious find in this haven is the Sirangan Beach Resort, one of the illustrious properties under the Fork & Pillow Group, which includes the Hotel Trias in Palamos, La Malcontenta Hotel in Palamos, Market Hotel in Barcelona, Spain. Sirangan Beach Resort in the Philippines, located in Bacon Beach, Sorsogon, has a long stretch of caramel and white sand cooled by clear-blue waters. It is owned and run by Vicky Duran, a passionate, well-traveled and proud-to-be Sorsoganon whose tasteful style is reflected in every corner of the resort. I remembered another wonderful lady who hails from Sorsogon, my dear friend Loida Nicholas Lewis who intimated that I ought to stay in Fernando’s Hotel, a cozy boutique hotel of old-world charm situated in the heart of Sorsogon City. I vow to check it out on my next visit.

It is also a must to see Matnog Islands where guests are instantaneously transported to a pristine paradise with white fine-sand beaches and gardens of reef corals. The Manta Bowl, a 60-minute drive from Sorsogon Beach Resort, is also a paradise for those who want a close encounter with dolphins and manta rays.

Trekking Mount Pulog at the end of the Sierra Madre Mountain range, which extends from the north of Luzon to the south and ends in Bacon, Sorsogon, also gives an exhilarating high. Here, you will find geothermal steam wells and other small steaming geysers that extend to the Pacific Ocean.

The sunset at Donsol Beach was made more unforgettable with a Mass celebrated by Fr. Gerard for our group. We all prayed with reverence to the Almighty for all the blessings experienced in Sorsogon.

On our last night, we cruised the river on a bamboo houseboat that had tables and benches. Trees by the bank of the river were aglow like Christmas trees as colonies of fireflies twinkled in the dark. Some friendly fireflies darted playfully around us and gently landed on our outstretched hands.

This memorable sojourn to Sorsogon further reinforced my personal belief that I really was a Bicolana in my past life. No matter how many times I visit here, I am always mesmerized by its beauty and grace. Besides, I believe there is always something peculiarly steaming in Bicol and it isn’t just from the smoldering lava of the active volcano. Here, I feel connected to the land, the cuisine, the culture, the people. There exists a deep sense of appreciation and belonging. To have a sensational summer, believe me, Sorsogon is the place to be.

* * *

For more information on whale shark interaction, call Omar Nepomuceno at 0927-9989289 or e-mail him at omarnepomuceno@yahoo.com. Santa Clara Ridge Inn can be reached at telefax (056) 211- 5413 or 0910-7166535.) Cebu Pacific flies two times daily to Legazpi, for reservation please call 702-0888.

E-mail the author at miladay.star@gmail.com.


Sensational Sorsogon
RENDEZVOUS By Christine S. Dayrit(The Philippine Star) Updated April 11, 2010 12:00 AM


Photo is loading...

Discover the hidden jewel of Matnog, Sorsogon
| Zoom

In his recent award-winning film Up in the Air, George Clooney attempts to accumulate 10 million frequent flyer miles for his many trips taken. He advocates, “To know me is to travel

with me.” Personally, I am far from hitting the 10-million mileage mark but am passionately working at it.

I decided it was time to embark on a very exciting local sojourn. This time, to sensational Sorsogon, in the stunningly beautiful province of Bicol.

It dawned on me that there is no better way to kick off the summer than to go swimming with the gentle submarine-sized whale sharks that shyly feed on tiny krill fish; explore lovely world-class boutique hotels, experience a multitude of  fireflies that illumine the ebony night like Tinkerbell fairies bathing in the moonlight; stroll in the charming courtyards of old churches and antique homes.

Here, every epicurean’s wish to savor mouth-savoring delicacies is satisfied and one is privileged to enjoy Mother Nature’s finest treasures — luscious lakes and rivers, glorious waterfalls, steaming hot springs, refreshing cold springs, medicinal salt springs, indigenous flora and faunas, fertile emerald fields where pili, coconuts, abaca and more produce grow abundantly.

From Manila, a brief and comfortable flight on Cebu Pacific took us to Legazpi City. We had a quick snack at Small Talk Café where my dear friends who hail from Bicol — DOT regional director Nini Ravanilla and TOYM awardee for agriculture Lyndon Tan — vowed that the pinangat pasta, a delightful combination of gabi leaves, coco cream and fiery chili, is a must-have.

My dear sister Michelle Dayrit-Soliven was invited by her Divine Healing Servants Foundation Group — headed by gracious Fr. Gerard Deveza, president Gerard Reonisto, treasurer Lucy Lee, assistant treasurer Joy Sy, Tonton and Tasha Sy, Benny Soliven, Edwin Tang, Ding Mercado, Nino and Arlene Mabanta — to be the inspirational speaker at the first-ever elementary graduation of the Divine Healer Learning Center in El Retiro Compound, Cabid-an, Sorsogon.

“Follow your dreams,” Michelle enthused in this very special ceremony that took our gregarious traveling group to a land blessed by providence, where life, love, laughter and prayer emanate from the heart and souls of its residents. The Divine Healer Learning Center is a school founded by Fr. Gerard Deveza and is a dream come true for this kindhearted healing priest who wanted to help the underprivileged children of Sorsogon by providing them a quality education.

After the graduation, we discovered more the sights and sounds of this lovely sanctuary. After an hour-and-a-half drive from Cabid-an, we entered the quaint town of Donsol, Sorsogon, the famous whale shark capital of the world. Disembarking from our van, we were given the standard briefing complete with a video — on the whale shark interaction.

Whale sharks (Rhicodon typus) are known locally as butanding or balilan, and grow up to 45 feet. The biggest fish of the world, the whale shark resembles a slow-moving underwater island because of its size. It is sometimes found near the surface while feeding. October to May is the official season of whale shark sightings but the peak season is in April.

It was Michelle’s very first encounter with the whale sharks and she was rather frightened at first. We were able to convince my beautiful alabaster-skinned sister to embark on the activity by making her realize how blessed she was to have the opportunity to see the whale sharks. She finally took the plunge and was ecstatic to have six encounters with the whale sharks in just 10-minute intervals of each other.

After our glorious encounter with the whale sharks, we proceeded to Sta. Clara Ridge Inn, our home away from home in Sorsogon City. It is owned by Tony Maligaso, an advocate of peace and serenity. His inn-timate lodging is creatively built on a hill slope where the cool shade of narra trees and serene view of rice fields and mountain range greet you every morning. The staff is most cordial and accommodating, while the bedrooms, decorated by Tony himself, feature Ethan Allen-country style furnishings.

In the duration of our stay in Sorsogon, we were pampered to no end by gracious Gov. Sally Lee and her charming husband Tito Raul Lee. They prepared our every meal showcasing the best local cuisine ever. Aside from pinangat, topping our list also included tinoktok (meat of freshwater shrimp and young, tender coconut au gratin, wrapped in gabi leaves and simmered in thick gata), tinagoktok (fresh water fish, preferably dalag or mudfish cooked on a bed of petchay, plus various other ingredients in a more diluted solution of gata), and bayway (pork marinated in vinegar and various spices and herbs for at least two days before being fried).

Local folklore has it that Sorsogon got its name when a group of Spaniards got lost somewhere around the bay. Fortunately, they chanced upon a local fisherman whom they asked for the name of the place. The fisherman, thinking that the strangers were asking for directions, simply said “Sorsogon,” (which meant “Follow or trace the path”) while pointing to the river upstream. The name stuck, evolving from Sosogon to Solsogon, to Sorsogon.

In Sorsogon, a must-see place is Lake Bulusan, dubbed the “Switzerland of the Orient.” It lies at the heart of the National Park, which covers a land area of 3,672 hectares. On our way to Lake Bulusan, we were escorted by gentle rain showers over the emerald green rice fields and the wildly growing lavender orchids blooming profusely on full-grown trees along the way.

Fr. Gerard described the moment as a scene straight out of the movie Lost Horizon. My brother-in-law Benny and my nephew Vincent kayaked while the rest of us did the trek around the lake, discovering Avatar-like scenes, ancient trees and insects and Tarzan-like vines and humongous rocks which we climbed. Those who didn’t engage in outdoor activities opted for a relaxing massage.

Another truly precious find in this haven is the Sirangan Beach Resort, one of the illustrious properties under the Fork & Pillow Group, which includes the Hotel Trias in Palamos, La Malcontenta Hotel in Palamos, Market Hotel in Barcelona, Spain. Sirangan Beach Resort in the Philippines, located in Bacon Beach, Sorsogon, has a long stretch of caramel and white sand cooled by clear-blue waters. It is owned and run by Vicky Duran, a passionate, well-traveled and proud-to-be Sorsoganon whose tasteful style is reflected in every corner of the resort. I remembered another wonderful lady who hails from Sorsogon, my dear friend Loida Nicholas Lewis who intimated that I ought to stay in Fernando’s Hotel, a cozy boutique hotel of old-world charm situated in the heart of Sorsogon City. I vow to check it out on my next visit.

It is also a must to see Matnog Islands where guests are instantaneously transported to a pristine paradise with white fine-sand beaches and gardens of reef corals. The Manta Bowl, a 60-minute drive from Sorsogon Beach Resort, is also a paradise for those who want a close encounter with dolphins and manta rays.

Trekking Mount Pulog at the end of the Sierra Madre Mountain range, which extends from the north of Luzon to the south and ends in Bacon, Sorsogon, also gives an exhilarating high. Here, you will find geothermal steam wells and other small steaming geysers that extend to the Pacific Ocean.

The sunset at Donsol Beach was made more unforgettable with a Mass celebrated by Fr. Gerard for our group. We all prayed with reverence to the Almighty for all the blessings experienced in Sorsogon.

On our last night, we cruised the river on a bamboo houseboat that had tables and benches. Trees by the bank of the river were aglow like Christmas trees as colonies of fireflies twinkled in the dark. Some friendly fireflies darted playfully around us and gently landed on our outstretched hands.

This memorable sojourn to Sorsogon further reinforced my personal belief that I really was a Bicolana in my past life. No matter how many times I visit here, I am always mesmerized by its beauty and grace. Besides, I believe there is always something peculiarly steaming in Bicol and it isn’t just from the smoldering lava of the active volcano. Here, I feel connected to the land, the cuisine, the culture, the people. There exists a deep sense of appreciation and belonging. To have a sensational summer, believe me, Sorsogon is the place to be.

* * *

For more information on whale shark interaction, call Omar Nepomuceno at 0927-9989289 or e-mail him at omarnepomuceno@yahoo.com. Santa Clara Ridge Inn can be reached at telefax (056) 211- 5413 or 0910-7166535.) Cebu Pacific flies two times daily to Legazpi, for reservation please call 702-0888.

E-mail the author at miladay.star@gmail.com.


Filed under: Family, Friends and Society, Food and Drinks, Hobbies and Recreation, Invest in Sorsogon, Lutong Bikolnon, Promote Tourism, Show your pride, Sorsogon News Updates, Travel & Adventures, Travel Advisory, What's Happening Here?, , , , ,

Visa Exemption for Filipinos Transiting Through New Zealand

 
Visa Exemption for Filipinos Transiting Through New ZealandPosted: 19 Nov 2009 10:30 PM PST

20 November 2009 – The Embassy of New Zealand in Santiago has informed the Philippine Embassy in Santiago that, effective 30 November 2009, Filipino nationals transiting through New Zealand en route to other destinations will be exempt from securing transit visas.

Up until now, Filipinos transiting New Zealand (for instance changing planes) needed to hold a transit visa. This requirement will not apply from 30 November.

From that date, Filipinos won’t need a visa to transit New Zealand, provided they remain in the airport and their travel bookings show a stopover of no more than 24 hours. If they plan to stop over for more than 24 hours, or plan to leave the airport, they must apply for a visitor visa. END

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