Darwin to Cebu? We’ll see

Once more they are claiming flights from Darwin to Cebu. This is not the first time these flights have been mooted. I hope they go ahead and are hugely successful. Meanwhile, I can fly to Singapore on Scoot for $138, then on the Cebu for P3000, say $75. So for $430 return I can get from Sydney to Cebu and back via Singapore. Add a few bucks for luggage and better seating and you still are spending just $500 or so. The catch with the new deal will be the cheap flight into and out of Darwin for those who don’t live in in the NT.

New route to boost tourism, Direct Darwin-Cebu flights begin December
By Ehda M. Daggoc (The Freeman) Updated September 21, 2012 12:00 AMComments (0)View comments

CEBU, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT-7) announced the entry of Australian Northern Territory company Wild Orchid Airlines that will offer a regular direct peak demand charter flights between Darwin, Australia and Cebu on December 15.
In a statement, DOT-7 regional director Rowena Montecillo revealed that this move will boost the tourism sector, specifically in Cebu saying “Darwin’s proximity to Asia allows great opportunities for people from the Northern Territory looking for a new, affordable, safe and exciting holiday destinations for singles, couples, families and groups.
Wild Orchid Airlines has chartered a fully serviced and crewed Qantas Boeing 737 that has been booked to fly from Darwin during peak travel periods which include Christmas and the midyearschool holidays, Easter and the mid semester beak.
The direct flights will depart Darwin at 1:00PM every Saturday afternoon, during these dates, arriving back from Cebu at around 9:30PM that night. With only 3 1/2 hours flying time, Cebu will now be available for Darwin people.
Utilizing a Qantas Boeing 737 and crew, Wild Orchid offers a full service Economy and Business Class cabin with a worldwide recognized level of service. One can soon travel directly between Darwin and Cebu in a short 3.5 hour hop.
In the past, to get to the central Philippines hub airport, passengers need to take connections in Manila and/or Singapore – making this an arduous two-day journey with the cost and inconvenience of overnight stopovers.
With the entry of Wild Orchid Airlines, getting to Cebu from Darwin is as simple as a short 3.5 hour flight. It’s quicker than getting to any Australian capital city or any other international destination excluding Bali or Dili.
Record from the DOT revealed that Australian national arrivals to the Philippines only grew by 2.2 percent as of April this year, compared to the same period in 2011.
In the first three months of this year Australian arrivals to the Philippines totalled to 16,615 a 2.2 percent improvement from 16,263 in 2011.
Ealier, Australian government executives underscored the potential of the Philippines to attract the huge family tourists from Australia. This is one of the markets that Philippines should target in the Australia traveling market.
Cebu, for instance, has greater edge in attracting this particular market because of its good location, diverse attractions, and position as a convenient gateway to other destinations in southern Philippines like Boracay and Bohol.
Family Tourism in Australia is a significantly growing market because Australian families travel more frequently now. The Philippines, if it were to offer good packages, could be a new and fresh destination for this huge Australian tourism market. (FREEMAN)

Now You’re Cooking With Gas!

The price of a tank of cooking gas (Shellane, Gasul, Catgas and other brand names for LPG 11kg bottles) varies widely across the country. From a low of P690 around Manila to P1,000 delivered to your home in some of the farther provinces with an average price of P800. (US$20 approx) If you don’t use lpg then maybe you burn charcoal or rice husks, coconut husks or corn husks, depending on what is grown where you live. This is why most Filipino homes include a ‘dirty kitchen’, one situated outdoors where the smelly stuff is cooked.

Despite the fact the Philippines produces plenty of LPG itself, the price has shot up in recent years. Petrol (gasoline) has also increased beyond the reach of many as wages simply haven’t kept pace with inflation. Yet still there is a huge ‘middle class’ of over 20 million Filipinos who seem to be able to not only keep the existing malls open and in business, but also patronise the many new malls forever springing up all over the islands. Anyone care to comment?