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Lifestyle, Travel

Hassle free travel in Banwa Private Island and be amaze with it

Eliminate the trouble of traveling!

Sunlight Air has been adding flights to its schedule steadily lately, and they are getting closer to their pre-pandemic frequency of almost daily flights from Manila to San Vincente airport in Palawan.

Enjoy our VIP meet-and-greet and fast track service at the Manila International Airport, a quick transfer to Sunlight Air’s private lounge, and a thrilling one-hour flight on an ATR 72 aircraft to the center of Palawan.

From there, take pleasure in a one-hour scenic ride through Palawan’s breathtaking tropical interior to the quaint coastal town of Roxas while being pampered in luxury. For a relaxing 25-minute trip to Banwa Private Island, you will board our amphibious Iguana Commuter Yacht here.

Contact the reservation team by phone or WhatsApp at +639178882864, send an email to [email protected], or visit their website for additional details.

Lifestyle, Travel

Getting Ready for the First Historic Victory Day Bike Ride in Baguio Honoring WWII Veterans is the Philippine Veterans Bank

A historic occasion that combines sporting and history will take place in Baguio City. On September 3, 2023, the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) will host the first-ever Victory Day Ride, which will take cycling enthusiasts and history buffs on a tour to remember the sacrifices made by World War II veterans and spread awareness of Baguio Victory Day.

Mike Villa-Real, PVB first vice president for marketing and communications, said “the enactment of R.A. 11216 in 2018, marks September 3rd of each year as a special working holiday, marking Yamashita’s surrender and Victory Day in the Philippines. This day in 1945 is clearly a significant historical event marking the success and along with it, the toil and sacrifices, of the soldiers of both the United States and the Philippines. However, it is not as well-known as the “Araw ng Kagitingan” (Day of Valor) commemorated April 9 each year.”  

Organized in partnership with the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), City Government of Baguio, Wartime Heritage Guild Philippines (WHG), Without Limits, Salgado PR, this ride aims to foster a deeper understanding of the city’s significant role during WWII while encouraging active participation in the sport of cyclists of all ages and backgrounds.

Inspired by the annual Ride for Valor that retraces the infamous Death March, the Victory Day Bike Ride takes a different route, focusing on the historical sites and landmarks associated with Baguio City’s role in World War II. Cyclists and participants will embark on a 44.5 kilometer route that meanders through the city’s picturesque landscapes and historical spots, providing a unique opportunity to relive the past and honor the heroes who fought valiantly for freedom.

While the Ride for Valor primarily focuses on the Death March, the Victory Day Bike Ride aims to balance the narrative by shedding light on the broader scope of World War II history in the Philippines. The Victory Day Bike Ride seeks to increase awareness about Baguio City’s role during the war. The event intends to give due recognition to the countless Filipino and American soldiers who fought for the country’s liberation

The Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) invites sports and cycling enthusiasts to join the Ride for Victory Day, a bike-for-a-cause event that aims to raise funds for the maintenance of the country’s historical markers and other World War 2 heritage sites.

The ride is open to fully vaccinated cyclists and all types of bikes with brakes. Villa-Real said participants may ride at their own pace, and will also implement a “No Helmet, No Ride” policy to ensure the safety of the participants.

Villa-Real also said a mechanic will be available to help those who encounter mechanical difficulties, while roving marshals will be present to keep track of the riders’ progress. Support vehicles are allowed, but riders should only ride in the vehicle if they choose to drop out of the event.

The non-competitive bike ride will have 5 pitstops: Start at Baguio City Hall, First Stop, Camp Allen, Second Stop, USAFIP-NL Marker, Third Stop, Sablan View Deck, Fourth Stop, Fort Del Pilr (Philippine Military Academy), Fifth and Final Stop, US Embassy in Camp John Hay.

The Ride for Victory Day registration price is P600 and includes a commemorative medal, an official event jersey, a race bib and passport, a loot bag, and a post-ride feast.

Before September 1, interested parties may register online at, while groups may send an email to [email protected]. Participants may also register on-site at the Baguio City branch of INSERT BIKE SHOP PARTNERS.

Veterans and their families from World War 2 own PVB, a private commercial bank. After the Bank’s new Charter was enacted into law, Post War Veterans and AFP Retirees became part owners.

Follow Victory Day Ride on Facebook to learn more about the occasion.

Lifestyle, Travel

BANWATER, is not just your ordinary water

Experience the symbiotic relationship between the pristine essence of nature and the lush vegetation of Banwa Private Island.

Wherever you are on our island, Banwater, our delicious, organically sourced bottled water from our 200-meter-deep island artesian well, will be an essential part of your tropical vacation. With every sip, you’ll feel revitalized thanks to its flawless taste and total absence of any traces of saltiness. A taste of absolute purity, in fact.

Whether you’re in the coziness of your villa, enjoying it with VitaJuwel magic at Latitude Restaurant & Terrace Bar, or just adding sparkles to compliment your destination dining experience, drink from the depth of nature as you hydrate throughout the day. Recharge and refuel while playing tennis on the Meridien’s court, relaxing with a massage, between dives, or on a mangrove river cruise adventure.

Our artesian spring water is there to improve your island experience the moment you enter your little hideaway. Enjoy the comfort of knowing that Banwater also powers the rain showers, faucets, jacuzzi, and swimming pools of your villa, keeping you hydrated, clean, and energetic.

Banwater embodies nature’s original symphonic flow in all its fullness.

For more information and enquiries, please contact the Reservations team through mobile/WhatsApp: +639178882864, send an email to  [email protected],, or visit

Lifestyle, Travel

Award given to Banwa Private Island “The Philippines’ Best Beach, Island, or Upcountry Resort” in the 2023 Asia Pacific Travel & Leisure Luxury Awards

Banwa Private Island is proud to announce that it has won the esteemed prize for “The Philippines’ Best Beach, Island or Upcountry Resort” in the first Travel + Leisure Luxury Awards Asia Pacific 2023.

Peter Nilsson of Banwa Private Island accepting “The Philippines’ Best Beach, Island or Upcountry Resort” award in Bangkok.

Peter Nilsson of Banwa Private Island expressed his appreciation for the help and the accolades received from Travel + Leisure readers. “We are incredibly honored to earn this prestigious award,” he said. This recognition highlights the commitment and enthusiasm of our island staff members, who we amiably refer to as “Banwaites,” in delivering sustainable luxury and intuitive, seamless service, generating moving and unique experiences that win the hearts of affluent, seasoned guests.

Banwa Private Island, located in the center of Palawan, is a haven of peace and tranquillity surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. Modern beachfront residences on the garden island guarantee seclusion and tranquility for discerning visitors. Banwa Private Island raises the bar for opulent hospitality in the area with its dedication to sustainable practices and experiential travel.

The Travel + Leisure Luxury Awards Asia Pacific 2023 are a distinguished forum for honoring and celebrating the absolute best in the region’s hospitality sector. The awards program, which is an outgrowth of the Travel & Leisure Asia’s Best Awards 2022, now recognizes excellence in 16 more nations and prize categories. Without the use of paid advertisements, a group of editors and knowledgeable contributors from across Asia Pacific chose the nominees.

Björn Rettig, CEO of BurdaLuxury with Jeninne Lee-St. John, Editor-in-Chief of Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Macau flanked Peter Nilsson.

The Park Hyatt Bangkok in Thailand is where the award was revealed on June 5.

For more information and enquiries, please contact the Reservations team through mobile/WhatsApp: +639178882864, send an email to [email protected], or visit     

Lifestyle, Travel

The History of Our Banwater

One of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations is access to adequate water and sanitation, which is a fundamental human need for health and well-being.

Here on Banwa Private Island, a remote but not totally cut off sanctuary, we are all too familiar with this problem.

Our initial search for a reliable source of clean drinking water proved difficult.

We could not, and would not, import water in plastic bottles from the mainland because of the Aquos Foundation’s core goal of preserving the island’s biodiversity.

The history is given by Dionisio Lora, Jr., Head of Engineering and Facilities:

“In the early days, we hired geologists to locate where water deposits (aquifers) would most likely be found. They did a great job. The first aquifer was above water level; relatively shallow and consequently brackish. Ideally suited to irrigate the salt-loving grasses of the (future) short-game golf course.

When we discovered the second and third aquifers, the geologist was so confident, he drank the water straight from the well. He knew the water would be safe because the aquifers are extremely deep.

At 200 metres, by the time rainwater reaches the underground caves, it has passed through many layers of earth. The soil, sediment rock and silicon sand filter out pollutants while adding trace minerals and the sweet taste of spring water.”

According to research, the typical bottle of mineral water travels 1,000 miles before it arrives at your table. There is enough zero-kilometre clean mineral Banwater on Banwa Private Island, thanks to our ancient aquifers and cutting-edge micro-filtration process, to satiate our thirsty visitors and the hard-working team now and in the years to come.

At the Latitude Restaurant & Terrace Bar, we also offer “VitaJuwel” decanters for those who would like a little crystal healing along with their Banwater. Gem-infused water is said to promote health and well-being by infusing the energy of a particular crystal.

Contact the reservations team via WhatsApp at +639178882864, send an email to [email protected], or visit the website at to learn more about the Banwa Private Island’s commitment to providing pure water.


Immerse Yourself in the Underwater Treasures within the Tubbataha Reefs

The time has come to explore the famed Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.

The best time for clear skies, calm seas, and 30-40 meter visibility is from now to mid-June, so hurry up and put on your fins.

What awaits you there once you arrive?

Over huge coral walls that descend more than 100 meters, schools of tropical fish, turtles, and reef sharks swim. They share their underwater playground with more than 600 kinds of fish, 360 varieties of coral, 100 varieties of seabirds, and 13 varieties of dolphins and whales.

How did the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park avoid the Coral Triangle’s other reefs’ fate of being completely bleached out? Two answers for that.

The reef’s distant location in the Sulu Sea, southeast of Banwa Private Island, is the first drawback. Next is a Filipina by the name of Angelique Songco. In her first dive at the reef, 40 years ago, Angelique was an instructor. She saw firsthand people catching turtle and bird eggs while using dynamite and cyanide for fishing, despite the fact that the reef had already been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site by that point. She was so upset that she took over as Director of the Tubbataha National Park Management Board to make things right. The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is one of the top dive locations in the world as a result of her tireless efforts and those of her group of devoted ex-army personnel.

A liveaboard dive boat or a private yacht can take you from Puerto Princesa to the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park. For a genuine Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park dive experience, a minimum of three nights and four days are required due to its remote location.

Now is the time to dive in and embark on an adventure in an astonishing underwater garden that has survived against all odds! After a dive trip, Banwa Private Island makes a wonderful pit stop for some well-deserved R&R.

Contact the bookings team by phone or WhatsApp at +639178882864, send an email to [email protected], or visit their website for additional details.

Lifestyle, Travel

Heroes of Bataan Death March Honored with Ride for Valor on Araw ng Kagitingan

Join today’s Ride for Valor, a bike-for-a-cause to generate money for the upkeep of the Bataan Death March memorials and other World War II heritage sites. Riders and bike enthusiasts from Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Manila, and other parts of the country are invited to participate.

The ride coincides with the commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor), also known as the 81st Anniversary of the Fall of Bataan and the start of the Death March.Mike Villa-Real, first vice president for marketing and communications of the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB), said the event, organized by PVB in partnership with the Department of National Defense, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, Provincial Government of Bataan and Wartime Heritage Guild-Philippines, aims to preserve the legacy of Filipino and American soldiers who fought for freedom and democracy during World War 2.

“The Bataan Death March is a somber reminder of the bravery and selflessness of Filipino veterans during the Second World War. It is an essential part of Philippine history and culture, and the Ride for Valor is an important way of honoring the veterans and preserving their legacy. Plus rider get to learn more about this historic event as they will be be traversing the actual route of the Death March,” he said.

The ride is open only to fully vaccinated cyclists and all types of bikes with brakes. Villa-Real said the event starts at 2:30 a.m. from the Kilometer Zero in Mariveles, Bataan, to Capas National Shrine in Tarlac.The non-competitive bike ride will have four pitstops: Mt. Samat, Balanga Provincial Capitol’s The Bunker, San Fernando Train Station, and Angeles Museum. Giveaways will be given in selected pitstops.

Villa-Real said participants may ride at their own pace, adding there will be a 12-hour cut-off during the event.He noted that the event implements a “No Helmet, No Ride” policy to ensure the safety of the participants. Villa-Real also said a mechanic will be available to help those who encounter mechanical difficulties, while roving marshals will be present to keep track of the riders’ progress. Support vehicles are allowed, but riders should only ride in the vehicle if they choose to drop out of the event.

Over 80,000 Filipino and American soldiers were made to march more than 100 kilometers in arduous conditions by Japanese forces in 1942, and it is one of the darkest chapters in Philippine history. Although many soldiers died from infections, thirst, famine, and the cruelty of their Japanese captors, thousands of men did survive the war. PVB is a privately held commercial bank that is owned by World War II soldiers and their families. The marks serve as a reminder of the sorrow and heroism that took place at that time.

Ride for Valor 2023 is sponsored by Without Limits PH, Traqs Philippines, OneLGC, AIR21, Salgado PR, Panahon.TV, and Integrated Waste Management Inc. Other sponsors include Neo Zigma PH, Hotel Sogo, The Oriental Hotel-Bataan, AFAB, Booster C Energy Shot, and Fitbar. The Bank’s ownership has expanded since its new charter was signed into law.

Visit to follow Ride for Valor on Facebook for additional details about the event.

Lifestyle, Travel

The brand-new Toyota Lite Ace serves as Lakbay-mobility Kuwentuhan’s partner by distributing books to children

Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP), the nation’s leading mobility company, partnered with a nearby children’s bookshop, Basa Bookstore, for its educational campaign and storytelling caravan Lakbay-Kuwentuhan. TMP is a champion of initiatives to improve the quality of life of Filipinos through the power of mobility.

For the first stage of their Lakbay Kuwentuhan caravan, Basa Bookstore traveled to various provinces using the All-New Toyota Lite Ace Panel Van to offer storybooks to kids.

Lakbay-Kuwentuhan is a program that Basa Bookstore started to commemorate International Book Giving Day last month. It aims to promote literacy among Filipino children and increase their awareness of the value of education through the distribution of locally produced books. The campaign’s goals for 2023 alone include giving away 5,000 books to public schools, reaching 10,000 children, and organizing 20 storytelling workshops for 1,000 public school instructors nationwide.

The Lakbay-Kuwentuhan caravan visited South Luzon over the entire month of February, bringing books to kids in the Bicol provinces of Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Masbate, and Albay.

“When we started the book-giving caravan amidst a pandemic and after Typhoon Ulysses, Toyota was eager to support our cause. We at Lakbay-Kuwentuhan aim to bring Filipino stories written by Filipino authors for Filipino children to communities across the country to lessen the effects of the pandemic on children’s reading attitudes and in support of DepEd’s Bawat Bata Bumabasa campaign,” said Rey Bufi, Founder and Chief Storytelling officer of Basa Bookstore.

TMP has assisted the organization in reaching 12 communities in the above provinces to serve more than 3,000 pupils after traveling more than 2,430 kilometers. In its last caravan, Lakbay-Kuwentuhan was able to hold three seminars and hold six storytelling sessions. Rey continued, “For this, we and the nearby communities are extremely appreciative of Toyota’s involvement in changing our world.

The Toyota Lite Ace, known as the “kasosyo sa asenso” of the Filipinos, aids small business owners in their efforts to succeed in raising the standard of living in their neighborhoods. The Lite Ace Panel Van helped organize the Lakbay-Kuwentuhan caravan and quickly handed books to eager kids. It is equipped with the size and ability to carry things and goods with ease and speed.

“Part of promoting better quality of life for Filipinos is nurturing young minds and providing them with the tools for continuous learning. We at TMP believe that all children deserve quality education as this will prepare them for their future and help mold them into the person they hope to become. We support initiatives such as this from Basa Bookstore and we are honored to be part of this caravan. We thank them for trusting Toyota and we look forward to more similar future activities powered by our goal of creating mobility for all,” said Elvin Luciano, Assistant Vice President of Marketing Services Department of Toyota Motor Philippines.

The Toyota Lite Ace is the Filipinos’ partner in accomplishing their goals since it is easy to use and maintain, and it is affordable for MSMEs. The Lite Ace’s excellent efficiency, adaptable load capacity, and low fuel consumption enable drivers and business owners to maximize their journeys and increase savings. These models are also available in Pickup, Cargo, and FX variations. While the Toyota Lite Ace is built with dependability, durability, and lifespan in mind, further savings that can benefit their businesses are guaranteed.

To learn more about the All-New Lite Ace, stop by any Toyota dealership in your area. Visit for more details, or join its Viber community at Toyota PH to receive frequent updates, or follow Toyota Motor Philippines on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Lifestyle, Travel

Toyota provides roadside assistance throughout Holy Week

In the next few days, there will be greater traffic on the roads as Filipinos travel for the Holy Week break. Mobility leader Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) is providing a free pre-Holy Week car safety inspection service to assist drivers in securely reaching their destinations.

Now until April 5th, drivers may receive a free 21-point vehicle safety inspection at any authorized Toyota dealer or service center (excluding body and paint centers). Owners of Toyotas can schedule an appointment by getting in touch with their favorite dealer or service facility. They can visit to locate a dealer or service facility in their area.

Owners of Toyota vehicles who bring them in for inspection will also get a free Caltex Saveplus Card when they use other services. At any Caltex station accepting this card nationwide, you can receive a fuel discount of P2.00 per liter for gasoline (Platinum or Silver) or P1.00 per liter for diesel (except Caltex stations located in Landers Superstores).

Preventative Maintenance check-ups, general service repairs, aircare, engine detailing, and body and paint repairs are among additional services that can be requested.

In addition, TMP will provide Roadside Emergency Help at a limited number of dealers around the nation from April 6 to April 9: 2023 March 15 – April 5, Free Vehicle Safety Inspection Promotion. Visit for additional details.

Fair Trade DTI License Number. 2023 FTEB-163119 series

For current information on goods and services, dealer operations, announcements, and events, follow Toyota Motor Philippines’ official pages on Facebook, Instagram,, Twitter, and Viber.

For all your Toyota needs, from car selection to auto care, maintenance, and upgrades, download the myTOYOTA PH APP for Android and iOS.


Brand Ambassadors are appointed by Banwa Private Island

Rob Chappelhow and Ken Beattie have been chosen as Banwa Private Island’s first-ever Brand Ambassadors, the company is thrilled to announce.

Potential guests and business professionals alike will benefit greatly from Ken and Rob’s in-depth knowledge of Banwa Private Island’s exceptional beauty and vulnerable biodiversity. Given that they were present at the beginning of the tropical island’s transformation from a deserted island into the lush garden paradise it is now, both are in a unique position to share firsthand experiences and information.

London-based, Rob Chappelhow first visited the island in 2009 when it was a seldom seen coconut plantation frequented only by Hawksbill Turtles returning to the pristine white sands to lay their eggs. In 2013, Rob became Project Director, overseeing the island’s sustainable development. He says: “By 2019, we were ready to welcome guests to experience Banwa Private Island’s’ concept of informal luxury in a contemporary setting. I am thrilled to bring my experience of its evolution to the Brand Ambassador role. Having watched the native beach forest grow to provide such privacy and tranquility, and witnessed the rejuvenation of the coral reef and the island’s wildlife, it’s an honour to once more be part of the passionate team.”

Ken Beattie, currently based in Taiwan, was also involved in Banwa Private Island’s inception and over recent years has been integral in establishing Aquos Foundation’s CSR programs, reaching out to the local communities to foster positive and sustainable relationships. ‘’There are so many compelling reasons to visit Banwa Private Island including the exceptional personalised service and the numerous land and water-based leisure activities. Having dived every reef in the surrounding Marine Protected Area, I have an intimate understanding of the region’s incredible marine life and the unique experiences available to our guests”, says Ken of his appointment.

The island sanctuary is located in north-eastern Palawan in the Philippines, one of the last remaining areas of natural biodiversity in the world, and it offers beautiful views, white sand beaches, and turquoise waters. The Aquos Foundation, whose conservation programs maintain, nurture, and safeguard the sensitive ecosystem, marine environment, and local community of Banwa Private Island, will also fly the flag with Rob and Ken. Peter Nilsson, the owner of Banwa Private Island, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Rob Chappelhow and Ken Beattie back to the island team. They have a thorough awareness of our distinctive brand of seamless service and sustainable luxury, making them the ideal brand ambassadors for Banwa Private Island.”