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#68 6th. April 2012 (orig. #78)

Moalboal 2012, April

Mabuhay, friends of Moalboal!!

March now and it's over a month since the earthquake. The epicenter was just across the straights from Moalboal and on clear days you can see where it was. There are big white patches on the mountain side where they had landslides. About 40 people died in Negros.

Visibility on the reef was bad because the small tsunami but it's clearing up now. You can just type "Moalboal Tsunami" on youtube to see what it was like here.

ACTIVITIES:

Pool tournament at Chili bar every Wednesday.

Andy's garage is now the place to go for pugilists, Kalle "the Killer" Epp is rounding up all the willing guys on the beach and beats them up there. Andy "the heavy hitter" is the latest victim. Andreas stayed home sick the last session. It might take over cock fighting in Moalboal one day. There's soccer at least every Friday, sometimes Mondays and Saturdays. Check with Mika at Food Stop or Jochen at Planet Action. For those of you that does not know where FOOD STOP is located. They are kind of midway between the beach and Moalboal. They just introduced a killer "peanut sambal sandwich" and they have other dishes as well that you cannot find on the beach.

BIRTHS, SOCIAL AND GOSSIP:

Wedding; the church bells in Alcantara went wild when Jorgen Sprang and AnAn got married in February. I think Jorgen sat a new Philippine record in the longest kiss in church, the angels blushed and the priest eventually had to stop them.

The big dinner after the wedding was held at Arista and later the party went on at CHILI BAR; check out this YOUTUBE film from the BIG party:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4rW2uzEEtU

The second gas station is now up and running. They use fuel from CALTEX. We have found that if you put your moped away for sometime the fuel from PETRON tends to leave a varnish looking surface inside the carburetor I would recommend CALTEX (and NO, they do not pay me to write this).

A new Pharmacy has opened up close to the Moalboal Market. the pharmacy has aircon and a big selection WITH an ATM. Yup you can now withdraw up to 10 000 p in Moalboal with VISA. It costs 200 p to withdraw.

Something I found out just lately is that Hannah died early this year, she has been battling with cancer a long time. Hannah owned a restaurant on the beach just when you come down to Moalboal. She was well known and liked by everyone, I have fond memories watching her dance barefoot at Chief Mau. Rest in Peace Hannah.

There's a BIG Korean resort being built just south of Coos house and a smaller one just north of Coos house. The big one is kind of where Gabonilas cottages used to be.

PRACTICAL:

At the moment the exchange rate is:
1 $ = 42.92
1 Euro = 57.28
1 Pound = 68.76
1 Swedish crown = 6.35

The Philippine stock market has over the last few weeks had "all time high" a few times.

There is now no European airline that flies direct to the Philippines and Quatar has/will stop to fly to Cebu. It's about taxes and you can read more about it at:

http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Corporate&title=Qatar-Ai...

http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Corporate&title=Air-Fran...

The Philippines is trying to attract tourists and now this. We will see what comes out of it.

If your dive watch is running out of battery, "Timeline" in Cebu can change batteries on Citizen watches, they are RADO official service center located on the left side when driving towards Country mall from the city. 350 Peso with pressure testing.

"Watchworks" in Ayala are official TAG Heuer service center and they charge 100 Pesos for a battery change. That's a bit cheaper than doing it in Europe.

WHALE SHARK SIGHTINGS:

All dive shops now offer Whale Shark diving in Oslob. There are a few whalesharks there close to the beach that are getting fed on a regular basis with shrimp and krill. It is always controversial to feed wild animals and I will leave it at that.

To get the absolute latest whale shark sightings go to Chili Bar and look at the notice board there. Anyone putting up a sighting receives a free Ning-Ning drink.

Once you have taken a picture of your whale shark you should go to http://www.whaleshark.org, they will register the shark.

FOR SALE:

If you have something for sale, just E-mail me and I will add it onto the mail.

GENERAL:

If anyone has any information that they think would be interesting for people on this list, please do let me know and I will add it in. If you know anyone that would like to receive this letter, please tell him or her to send me an E-mail at the address below and I will add him or her. I've found it to hard to do it through
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/moalboalmail

Regards, Lars Starner
starner [at] hotmail.com

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/moalboalmail/post?postID=gVtYRuarzcODiY1AQ...

Moalboal home page:
http://www.moalboal.org.uk

Copyright (c) Lars Starner 2012. All rights reserved

>From Freeman about Quatar:

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu tourism stakeholders expressed dismay over the alleged decision of Qatar Airways to stop operating in Cebu with the stoppage of its direct flight going to Doha.

"I believe it's a combination of factors that pushed Qatar Airways to that decision: the uncertain fuel price developments, the low cargo revenues, the low yield from business-class," said Hotel, Resorts, and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) president Hans
Hauri.

Likewise the CCT (common carrier tax of 2.5 percent and Philippine Billing Tax (PBT) of 1.5 percent also hurt the operation of the airline.

"What appears offensive is that a bilateral air agreement has come to waste and no other carrier can fill this void. It takes long negotiations before such agreements are finalized. Cebu's success of its summer tourist season is now put in doubt," Hauri said.

Hauri said HRRAC appeals Qatar Airways management for a reconsideration "as we need their service for our connection to and from Europe."

He said traffic via Manila is not a desirable option. Hauri further suggested that the Department of Tourism (DOT) must intervene to reach the goal of foreign tourist arrivals for over four million for 2012.

"We appeal to QR not to suspend their flights," Hauri said.

In an advisory sent to the airlines' valued institutional clients in Cebu, it stated that the airline has decided to stop its commercial operation in Cebu through the Cebu-Doha (vice versa) flights starting March 26 this year, due to the routes unprofitability, and higher cost of operations, as well as unpredictable fuel prices.

Qatar Airways started its Cebu-Singapore-Doha direct flights about eight years ago. Later, the Airline implemented a non-stop flight from Cebu to Doha, escaping a two-hour stop-over in Singapore.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) chairperson for Tourism Committee Milagros Espina said that the decision of Qatar Airways to stop operating in Cebu will affect Cebu's tourism base to some European and middle eastern markets especially in business and
investments.

"There is a need to invigorate travel interests in this area to make it profitable," said Espina.

Tourism capitalist and advocate Jay P. Aldeguer also said that this decision is going to be a big blow to tourism in Cebu.

"While I know Cebu is resilient and will be able to cope with the setback, it's really high time we have more integrated tourism plan if we truly want to be a world class destination," said Aldeguer.

Tourism consultant and former DOT-7 regional director Patria Aurora "Dawnie" Roa also said that that suspension of the Qatar Airways' operation to Cebu may bring negative impact to the tourism sector in the province, but the airline has valid reasons for doing it.

"I can't blame them [Qatar Airways]. They are not here for charity. I am saddened by the news because it's our only connection to Europe. Hopefully, there will be another airline to operate the route soon," Roa said adding that the development will surely bring
negative impact to tourism sector in Cebu, as connectivity to the emerging European and Middle Eastern traffic is now impaired.

Travel agency operator, and chairperson of the National Association of Independent Travel Agents (Naitas-Cebu) Jenny Franco also expressed similar sentiment, saying this development will bring in another setback to the industry.

The Freeman tried to reach and contact any representative from Qatar Airways for confirmation, but failed to talk to designated spokesperson.

However, industry stakeholders here confirmed that they have received the advisory from the Qatar Airways' office for the permanent suspension of the Cebu-Doha direct flight after eight years of commercial operation. (THE FREEMAN)