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NEWS BRIEFS... Philippines
as of November 4, 1996

Plans for the first hotel in the town of Kalibo, Aklan, have been announced by the Legacy Hotel Corporation. The hotel will accommodate visitors to the famous "Ati-Atihan" festival, a Mardi Gras style week long celebration that takes place every third week of January. Visitors heading for the balmy beaches, including the island of Boracay can connect through Kalibo, which has daily flights from Manila and 4 weekly flights from Cebu on Philippines Airlines.

Air Philippines Corporation (APC) has recently opened new routes to the Mindanao cities of General Santos, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga. The airline has received the first of five Boeing 737s it purchased from United Airlines.

Fresh from a $7M make-over, Club Intramuros is now an 18-hole par 66 golf course. Club Intramuros is located outside the walls of historic Intramuros in Manila and has a tie-up with Metro Manila hotels to accommodate foreign visitors.

Starcraft Corporation will staff to operate its first 50 river jeepneys along Metro Manila's Pasig River. The Pasig River project is envisioned to be a multi-pronged integrated transport system. The 80-seater boats are all air-conditioned.

President Fidel V. Ramos recently proclaimed the Philippine pearl, known as the South Sea Pearl as the country's national gem. The South Sea Pearl, priceless because of its captivating spectrum of colors, played a major historical role in pre-Hispanic trading between the Philippines and its Asian neighbors. The Philippine Association of Pearl Producers and Exporters report that the country is now one of the largest producers of South Sea pearls.

Baguio City has awarded a $65M contract to Uniwide Corporation for the modernization of the city market, which calls for the construction of a four-story building to house stall holders.

Makers of the movie Free Willy plan to establish a dolphinarium in the Philippines. The producers have selected Subic as the site of the project due to its strategic geographic location and the residents' high level of environmental awareness.

The World Bank has committed much-needed tourism infrastructure assistance to the Philippines. WB has shown keen interest in using the country as its model in Asia in the provision of funds to tourism projects that generate sustainable economic growth.

( © 1996) Produced by Filweb for the Department of Tourism, San Francisco

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