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Blue Water Cave: Bukidnon’s hidden paradise

Published in Travel
QUEZON, Bukidnon  For adventurous people who like to smell wood blossoms in the cool fresh mountain air while plunging in a gently flowing cool blue waters, or go into caving or spelunking: Blue Water Cave in this landlocked province of Bukidnon is one perfect place to go.
Municipal Mayor Gregorio Gue of Quezon said that the local government and a non-government organization (NGO), Kiokong Climbing Society, oversees town visitors’ activities such as trekking and spelunking especially during weekends.
“Visitors should clean their own mess and keep back the trash with them to preserve the cleanliness of the place,” Gue said.
The “Blue Water Cave” is a natural tourist attraction hidden in the lush valley of a river that flows underground in the connecting caverns of the San Jose village here.
“The color of the river water is blue all year round,” Gue said.
He said that the trail to the blue waters includes a scenic view of white rock cliff walls, where hikers and rock wall climbers pulled themselves up a steep rock face surrounded with amazing rock formations, rolling hills and mountains.
Take hikes, take photos, breath the fresh air deeply, and notice the amazing animals from flying lemurs to species of birds soaring up high, he added.
The entrance of the place is along the national highway with a huge billboard describing at a glance what this municipality offers. Quezon Municipality is said to be Mindanao’s sugar capital located in southern Bukidnon. It is four to five hours away from Cagayan de Oro and three to four hours from Davao City.

P5-B expansion of North Luzon expressway set

Published in Headline
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga (via PhilAmPress) -- More lanes will soon be built on both sides of the North Luzon expressway (NLEx) from Pampanga to Bulacan.
This as the Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC), operator of NLEx, has allotted some P4 to 5 billion for the expansion of the expressway from Malolos City in Bulacan up to the whole stretch of Sta. Ines in Dau, Mabalacat City, Pampanga.
MNTC chairman Manny V. Pangilinan told Pampanga mediamen the widening of NLEX will be made this year to give comfort to motorists plying the expressway.
Aside from widening, he said the MNTC plans to plant more trees on both sides of the lane, and even at the middle of the expressway
The MNTC earlier announced the widening of the 24-kilometer stretch of the NLEX from the City of San Fernando (CSF) exit to Sta. Rita Exit in Guiguinto, Bulacan into six lanes to decongest traffic flow.
MNTC president Rodrigo Franco said that the road widening plan from Sta. Rita and San Fernando exits will help decongest traffic jams especially during Halloween, Christmas, and Easter holidays.
He said based on the MNTC plan, both sides of the road going north and south direction will be added an extra lane, for it to be made three lanes and vice versa.
The 24-kilometer widening plan from Sta. Rita to San Fernando covers the seven-kilometer Candaba Viaduct.
Franco said that the project will start as soon as MNTC gets its notice to proceed from the Toll Regulatory Board.
Earlier, the MNTC  alloted some P500 million for the proposed four lanes or two lanes on both sides of NLEX from Dau to Sta. Ines  to prevent accidents in the area.

April ’14 remittances to PHL up 5.2% at $1.9 B

Published in Business
MANILA -- Strong demand for skilled Filipino workers continue to boost remittances sent to the Philippines, data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Monday showed.
Central bank data show that April 2014 cash remittances posted its highest level for the year at US$1.91 billion, 5.2 percent higher than year-ago’s US$1.82 billion and 1.65 percent higher than month-ago’s US$1.88 billion.
Bulk of the remittances that went through the formal channel or the banks came from the US, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, UK, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong.
Inflows from land-based workers went up five percent year-on-year to US$5.6 billion and those from sea-based workers grew by 8.3 percent to US$1.8 billion.
“Remittance flows remained robust on the back of sustained demand for skilled Filipino workers,” BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a statement.
Citing initial data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the central bank said approved job orders from January to April this year reached 319,888.
It said that 24.9 percent of the job orders are for requirements of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Kuwait, and Qatar for various sectors like service, production, and professional, technical and related fields.
Tetangco said banks and non-bank service providers’ expansion programs along with introduction of more innovative ways to send remittances also serve as keys to continued rise of remittances.

Megaworld to spend P230-B in next 5 years

Published in Business
MANILA -- Property developer Megaworld will be spending a total of P230 billion from 2014-18 in line with its bid to expand its “township” projects.
In a briefing Monday, Megaworld SVP Jericho P. Go said they bid to launch at least 10 residential projects and six office tower annually starting 2015.
He said new commercial spaces are also scheduled to be opened in the next five years in Quezon City, Taguig City, Makati City, and the provinces of Cebu, Iloilo, and Davao.
”We definitely have more unique offerings coming up for our customers – in residential, office, commercial and retail, and even in hotel business. The next five years will be very exciting for Megaworld,” Go said.
To date, bulk of the company’s revenues come from sale of residential spaces at about 70 percent while the balance is accounted for by income from rentals.
The company eyes to increase the share of rentals to the revenues as it bids to increase more commercial spaces vis-à-vis its township-themed project wherein a certain project will have both commercial and residential spaces.
The target for the next five years is to increase the share of rentals income to about 60 percent.
The company targets to sustain its double digit net income growth this year after registering a 22 percent rise in net income in 2013 to P9.03 billion boosted by sales of residential units and rental income.
Its projects are located not just in Metro Manila but also in the provinces of Davao, Cebu and Iloilo.
”We are very much on track on our aim to cement our leadership in the Philippine property industry. The plans for the future of Megaworld remain bright and clear,” Go said.
In the first quarter of the year, the company posted a net income of P2.69 billion, 49 percent higher than year-ago’s P1.81 billion.

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