The Tourism Industry in the Philippines, is going on a fast growth gallop in this year of the Horse.

Even if we still need to tackle major problems, setbacks, issues and concerns, yet I am confident that the Tourism Industry will Grow and take that “quantum leap” that I have been advocating since two years ago.

The Department of Tourism Destination Strategy: Move to an Investment-driven strategy seeks to achieve the projected growth in tourist numbers and expenditures over the next decade, the Central Philippines will have to move to an investment-driven strategy.

There are Lucrative Business Opportunities in Tourism Development Projects. A noted area is the shortage of good quality Hotels , and Resorts.

With next years International Events , such as APEC Meet,  ASEAN organization for professional and trade integration,  World Bank Global Meet, and other International Conferences will all contribute to the substantial growth of the Industry .

My Italian business partner with his wife.

My European business partner with his wife.

Some ten (10) years ago, I packaged  a successful sale of a 9 hec. Prime Beach land , rich with vegetation and trees, and an ideal cove that sloped up towards the mountain hills of  paradise island. The island , is situated among the group of islands of Coron, northen Palawan ,  in the vicinity of El Nido, popularly  known as ” Batas” island.

The project was an overwhelming success . Even if we had to face several challenges . These were, the “proponent – investor ” is a European, but has amazing survival talents, having severed the French foreign legion, and a certified sea- rescue cum “para medical” practitioner. He was then in his mid 40’s. His talent is in construction, deep sea diver, medical expert, and how to utilize local indigenous, wood, and other materials for building.

So, to get things started, the first thing I did was to seek legal  help. I had to make a thorough search for a lawyer who has “roots” in  Palawan and an expert on Land laws, and familiar with transferring land ownership from a Tax Declaration to a T.C.T.  Fortunately I found the lawyer, and we agreed that the only legal vehicle to our investors interest , was to form a corporation. So we did, with the required 60% Filipino incorporators and he with his French partner a Medical Doctor, took the 40% interest. However, the Filipino Directors and Shareholders, and Foreign group made a MOA to protect their interest and objectives, which was to secure ownership, use, and enjoyment of the Paradise island with-out any legal or Social impediment.

One of the problems was how to deal with some “informal” dwellers. So the strategy we used was to “integrate”  them with the project. The idea was to build a very private , and personal simple beach home, with all the necessary facilities and utilities .

Fortunately, our European investor had the know how, and expertise, in locating the proper site.  He knew about the water tide, and how his speed boat would “park” safely in the beach, even during low tide.

It was an ideal site, the land has good potable water, a natural spring, and a river near the site. There was enough trees, were he used to build this home. He had amazing talent in working with  building materials found on the site and the mountain near by. This guy, a Mel Gibson look alike , a cross between “Robinson Crusoe” and “Tarzan”, managed to transform raw beauty into a private paradise resort  home.

Batas Island, Palawan

Batas Island, Palawan
source: travelingluck.com

With his medical French partner, they won the trust and confidence of the dwellers , and their  popularity spread all over the Batas island. This was when they initiated to help the people with their medical, nutrition and livelihood needs. They organized Medical missions. Had the population protected against malaria, and even during  the  stormy season, they would dive for fish using only a hand made spear gun. This way they would always have fresh fish to feed those in need.

So we had all the bases covered. Legal, Environmental, Social, Physical , and all other issues that had to be addressed. The entire investor, had to work on Like, permanent residency , BIR registration, Safety and Security, and Acceptability with the Local Barangay.

The secret of the success of the European investor, was that he married a wonderful “guapa  y  morenita” local  lady. The couple are so much in love, and they do care and help each other. its a beautiful love story, on the paradise  islands  of Palawan, were my foreign friends and investors called “Las Islas Bonita’s de Filipinas”

Talisay City, El Nido, Palawan

Talisay City, El Nido, Palawan
photo source: http://www.thepoortraveler.net

They are now a family, and well respected in the community and Barangy.  His Filipina  wife, is helping him in home chores, keeping the resort home clean and orderly.  And they have a cute little boy.. Who like his dad is starting to learn how to swim in the sea, dive  for fish using a spear gun, and do manual work. The boy is doing his basic elementary education at the municipality of Talisay  . So, what was just to be a land investment venture, turned out to be a “fiction love and adventure story”. It’s a dream come true, for love, life, and family. What better investment will give you these “intangible” returns and yield?

In his foreword, Louis-Paul Heusaff, from the book “Into The Green Zone Palawan Islands”, the author stated:

“Much has been said about Palawan’s spectacular beauty and high levels of biodiversity. As a long time resident and traveler in the Philippines I am quite certain that Palawan is the only Philippine paradise of such multiplicity in terms of flora and fauna, local culture and livelihoods, and terrain.”

“The Palawan ecoregion’s three island groups – the Calamian Group of Islands of Busuanga, Culion, Calauit and Coron in the north; the main island Palawan with Puerto Prinsesa, the provincial capital, in the center; and the islands of Balabac in the south – all share lush ecologies not found anywhere else in the Philippines. These wondrous biosystems encompass prehistoric flora and fauna, and olden cultures and life ways that flourish almost undisturbed by the rest of the world’s march into a dangerous brink of overdevelopment.”

“I look back with fondness to windsurfing for the first time in Palawan in 1979, and then as now, I remain enthralled in particular by Balabac Island off the southern tip of Palawan – a place that to this day retains its unhurried and largely undiscovered charm. Recently I came across a thoughtful blog entry by an obviously storyteller type. ‘Our disappearing sense of place makes it difficult to know ourselves…and for others to know us.’ he wrote. This has never been truer than today. when all but a handful of places in the world look identical in their dress of malls and subdivisions, gaming and cyber clubs, and fast-food chains.”

“Hence this book is a tribute to Palawan’s persistent goodness as a place and celebration of its compelling power to put humankind back in perspective – that is, as a member of the planet no lesser or greater than all the other living creatures in the biosphere, with the great responsibility of keeping the balance between giving and taking.”

Final checking of color proofs. From left: Manuel N Roma Jr., Simon Leith, Louis-Paul Heussaff, George Tapan, and Eugene Ong.

Behind the scene, from the book “Into The Green Zone Palawan Islands”
Final checking of color proofs.
From left: Manuel N Roma Jr., Simon Leith, Louis-Paul Heussaff, George Tapan, and Eugene Ong.


Into The Green Zone Palawan Islands

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