Boracay Island, Aklan, May 4, 2003 - Here at the world-class resorts and fine beaches of Boracay Island, do you know that it is faster to get connected to the rest of the Philippines and the world via the nautical highway than through cyberspace?

If government does not stray with its plans, then expect the Arroyo Administration to realize its vision of hassle-free direct flights from abroad to Aklan and other destinations in the island province. This is in keeping tune to the creation of a nautical highway to Boracay.

Sometime ago, as part of the unveiling program on the nautical highway blueprint, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo came here to discuss with the local business community how to hasten the development of Boracay. One of the proposals is turning the 800-meter air strip in Caticlan into the Caticlan International Airport.


Reaching Boracay is a breeze if you take the 50minute flight from Manila to Caticlan via South East Asia Airlines (SEAir), for example. From this town, the island paradise of Boracay is a 20-minute boat ride away.

With more people heading for the fine white sand beaches and private resorts in Boracay, SEAir added more flights to Caticlan. The airline has even opened up a route from Clark to Caticlan to cater to tourists coming from northern Philippines.

"With the new routes, the airline now has the opportunity to provide hourly flights to Caticlan on a daily basis," said Nick Gitsis, director, SEAir Philippines, "As such, SEAir is now offering the most flight frequency to Boracay than any other airline." The company has a fleet of 19-seater LET410 aircraft that have proven to be very ideal for local STOL (short take-off and landing) runway conditions. The airline recently procured two more 19-seater LET 410 planes, its seventh and eight.

Iren Dornier, chairman of SEAir Philippines, said during the blessing rites of the two new LET 410s, "The new route is in line with our expansion program since it gives our airline the opportunity to provide hourly flights to Boracay on a daily basis. As such, SEAIR is now offering the most frequency to Boracay than any other airline."


Meanwhile, in the coming days, telecommunications giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company and Internet service provider InterDot Net are reportedly launching Digital Subscriber Line service. Awareness is currently being drummed up via local radio commercials and sales calls to local businesses.

One such establishment keenly studying the proposal is the Paradise Garden Resort Hotel, whose claim to fame among others is the building the first swimming pool on the island and to design an "Internet hotel" building. Unfortunately, due to unreliable Internet connection and information technology illiteracy among most guests, its potential remains untapped.

The problem is not the Internet-readiness of the hotel. The problem is many people e.g. hotel guests do not know how to dial up, noted Thomas Adam, one of three Germans who are partners of Paradise Garden Resort Hotel. The "Internet hotel" he spoke of is The Greenhouse.

What regular Internet service failed at, Adam is crossing his finger broadband service would be a success at.

"We plan to start with two Internet-enabled personal computers," he said. These will be at a section of the new reception area.

"Our guests may use it for free and without limit. In the event of a queue, however, they will be asked however to give way to other users," he said. The idea is to encourage self-learning of Internet usage.


Paradise Garden is an oasis of tranquility. Efficient German management committed to satisfying the needs of the discerning vacationer runs the hotel. It is set in a 10,000 square meter landscaped garden with luxuriant tropical plants and trees.

The Greenhouse at the Paradise Garden Resort Hotel is a three-storey hotel with 12 VIP rooms and a residential unit, each opening to a terrace overlooking the garden and swimming pool. At the roof deck, a Chinese-inspired garden and teahouse offers hotel guests a world of their own. (By Edison D. Ong)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved