Reigniting the Joys of Travel for the Philippines with Megaworld Hotels and Resorts
Rediscover travel, rediscover the Philippines! Megaworld Hotels and Resorts (MHR), the country’s largest 100% homegrown hospitality chain makes the comeback of leisure and business trips for both local and international travelers even more heartfelt and exciting in partnership with the Department of Tourism UK through its MEGA European Familiarization Tour 2022 held at Savoy Hotel Manila in Newport City Pasay.
With all systems go for revenge travelers and a market that’s high and thirsty for their return, MHR with its 4,000 room keys, 11 properties and 6 unique brands, sets the stage for a mid-day business-to-business (B2B) networking event that gathered major destination management companies to network with some of the biggest travel tour operators from Spain, Italy and United Kingdom on the 21st of April. An attendance of about a hundred people all representing the different facets and sectors of the tourism industry from government and private sectors participated in an on-site event at the Connect Lounge of the hotel.
After a long pause brought by the pandemic “Meeting everyone face to face is in itself a huge step towards embracing the return of better business and tourism for the Philippines” enthused Lynette Ermac, Group Director of Sales and Marketing for Megaworld Hotels and Resorts. “Seeing partners present like Baron Travel, Intas Destination Management, Travelexperts, Shroff International Travel Care Inc., Travelite Travel and Tours Co., Blue Horizons Travel and Tours, Uni-Orient Travel and Tours, Annset Holidays, Ark Travel Express, Marsman Drysdale along with other European based tour operators similar to Social Trinity, Anywhere We Roam, Flight Centre, Dial-A-Flight, Tru Travel, Bamboo Travel, and Moresand is a confident representation that the industry needs right now for it to get back on its feet” details Ermac.
Due to MHR’s growing portfolio of properties, guests exploring the country motivated by different goals will find it much easier to move with ease and convenience. Travelers may opt to stay in Belmont Hotel Manila or Savoy Hotel Manila within Newport City in Pasay across NAIA terminal 3, Kingsford Hotel Manila located in the Entertainment City of Paranaque, Hotel Lucky Chinatown in Binondo, Twin Lakes Hotel near Tagaytay, Eastwood Richmonde Hotel in Quezon City, Richmonde Hotel Ortigas in Pasig, Richmonde Hotel Iloilo of Iloilo City, Belmont Hotel Boracay or Savoy Hotel Boracay located at the Newcoast Boracay or even in Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown in Cebu.
SHOWCASING FILIPINO HOSPITALITY
Carrying the pride for quintessential Filipino Hospitality, the event showcased what makes any trip always more fun in the Philippines. “Allowing our partners to rediscover our nation in the new normal and all that it has to offer will work wonders for larger traveling groups to keep us part of their itinerary” suggests Ermac.
Upon arrival at the hotel’s lobby, festive drumbeaters and ushers dawned in their classic Filipiniana assisted guests to the main hall foyer. Making it a sweet encounter, a “harana” or a live serenade of original Filipino ballads filled the air with subtle romance while guests enjoyed an art exhibit featuring the paintings of local artists like Ojing Señara, Doy Kastilyo, Christian Regis, and Fidel Sarmiento curated by Nami Art Gallery. For a touch of local flavor, sweet-tooth street food favorites were also served such as sorbetes (local ice cream), and taho (soybean curd with molasses and tapioca pearls). All that and more filled everyone’s fancy while guests attended to the B2B event arranged in the privacy of the function room.
Moving further into the event, everyone was led to the poolside via a parade of drumbeaters marking the end of the B2B event while setting the vibe for a festive pool party. Without fail, Dinagyang Festival Street Dancers from the City of Love, Iloilo, surprised everyone with a rhythmic presentation that totally livened up everyone’s mood and energy. Diane Querrer, TV Host, News Anchor and former beauty queen smoothly maneuvered the proceedings of the entire event. Querrer then called to the stage Ms. Cleofe Albiso, Managing Director of Megaworld Hotels and Resorts, to officially welcome everyone. Words of welcome were also shared by Mr. Glen Augustin, Department of Tourism Chief for Market Development. A toast was also raised by Nerissa Del Fierro-Juan, Head of Europe Division International Promotions Department in the hopes of a more progressive future for the entire industry and the country in general.
What makes a noon time party even more memorable, you ask? Turn it to an iconic Fiesta Filipinas where good food, amazing entertainment, and awesome stories come into play in one perfect venue. To keep things flowing and everyone mingling, heavy cocktails was the way to go. Filling and flavorful local options could not be missed much like the 360° grazing table that displayed artisan cheese and local charcuterie, dried fruits, whole salmon tinapa, and even a market style local fruit stand featuring endemic produce from around the Philippines. Guests also fell in love with decadent champorado cakes and Bulacan’s best chicharron brittle, macapuno balls, and the must try espasol pralines. The spread also included a carving station that paid tribute to the country’s rich seafood offers like tuna sashimi and Aklan’s oyster shacklings that were best paired with sinamak vinegar, sago small, guso seaweeds, pomelo, and pako. The Lechon Batangas was also a crowd getter especially when dipped in bringhe, pinakurat vinegar,or coffee sauce. Of course, just like a true fiesta, Lechon Baka or US Prime Rib served with mangosteen jam made it all a cultural gustatory delight that everyone enjoyed.
To everyone’s surprise, nostalgic street food bites continued with fish ball, mani (legumes), Halo-Halo, other pinoy desserts and kakanin (glutenous rice cakes) sa Bilao (native tray) and coconut moringa coolers gave everyone that quick escape away from the city and into the joys of provincial must-eats. Food innovation also gave everyone a different taste and experience like the laing sushi, braised pulpo ala plancha, scallop & shrimp tostanes, fried crab basket, calderobo birria taco, and prawn & pumpkin arancinni. Spiking up the event Emperador Distillers Inc. spruced up the afternoon with a heart raising flairtending exhibition and gave attendees a mixology 101 how they concocted new cocktail mixes like the Palamig which makes use of anise, honey, calamansi, and soda; Presko with mango, basil, calamansi and sprite; Guava Empire mixing guava, mango, lime and sprite, and Canadian Screw prepared with whisky and orange.
Complimentary to every bite was ambient beats brought only by DJ Ace Ramos that created the perfect pace for a lively noontime soiree. Bringing it to a higher level was no less than award-winning show violinist Jake Juleous Gacang that left everyone drop-jawed by his epic performance.
Rekindle the joys of traveling with no less than the biggest homegrown hotel chain operator in the Philippines, Megaworld Hotels and Resorts. For more information about its properties simply visit www.megaworldhotels.com or connect with them through any of its hotels’ official social media pages.