I started playing golf at the best golf course in the Philippines – Sherwood Hills. I fell in love with it and I promised myself to play at the best golf course on each continent on the world!
Cypress Point Golf Course (USA)
Cypress Point is a private golf club in California USA that has a single 18-hole course. The course has a series of three dramatic holes that play along the Pacific Ocean, the 16th, 17th, and 18th. See it here:
Created by well-known designer Alister Mackenzie in 1928, this extraordinary and timeless masterpiece is consistently on top of golf courses leading board, created by all major publications. The golf course also offers natural beauty that is incomparable anywhere.
Cypress Point is regarded as the most exclusive course in the world. Why? Because you cannot stroke here the golf ball unless you are invited by a club member. The annual membership fee is equally dividing the total operating expenses amongst all members. Each member is to pay the same amount regardless of how many times they play all year or how many times they visit the club.
Terravista Golf Course (Brazil)
One of the most famous Brazilian courses, located at one of the most glamorous places in Latin America, Terravista Golf Course is an experience like no other. Its 14th hole, the signature hole of the course, lies its green at the edge of a 50m cliff, right beside the see. From the tee box, you can see giant sea turtles swimming in the Atlantic.
Terravista Golf course is an 18-hole course opened in 2004, designed by Dan Blankenship. Arch. Dan writes “Terravista Golf Course has proven to be the most enjoyable project of my career. Working in an area with incredible ocean views from seaside cliffs, native Brazilian rain forest, contours almost ideal for a golf course, and knowing that Brazil was discovered at this exact location 500 years ago, was a wonderful experience.“
The front nine holes are routed through an Atlantic rainforest while the back nine are played closer to the coast, with four holes laid out along the cliff's edges.
Royal County Down Golf Club
Royal County Down is at Newcastle, a little holiday town at the feet of the amazing Mountains of Mourne. Opened on March 23, 1889 (about 127 years ago), Royal County Down is one of the oldest and history-rich golf clubs in Ireland. It has two 18-hole links courses – the Championship Course and the Annesley Links.
The 4th and 9th holes are both universally loved. The 4th is the most scenic long par threes in golf. It is described by a commentator as this "Innumerable gorse bushes, ten bunkers, three mountain peaks, and one spare equals the most magnificent view in British golf". However, the 9th hole, a long par four, is one of the most photographed holes. The line from the elevated tee is directly at the Slieve Donard peak and the sweeping fairway lies eight feet below.
The Cascades at Somabay (Egypt)
The Cascades at Somabay is an 18-hole golf course opened in 1998. It was the first championship course in North Africa or the Middle Ease to be designed by Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.
The 614-yard 2nd hole is a monster to tackle so early in the round. It takes from the pair of lion-shaped sphinxes (where it takes its name "Lions in waiting") that loom over the entrance to the hotel behind the green. On the back nine, the hole of note, called "Dilemma, dilemma" at the par four 12th, can be played in one of two ways due to its split fairway.
The best holes on the course are those lying on the seaside at 5 and 6 on the outward half, 14th and 15th on the inward circuit. "The Pebbles of Soma", which is the short 5th, introduces a continuous narrow bunker on three sides of the green whilst the 186-yard 14th demands a tee shot played across a gully to a wide but shallow green protected by three intimidating bunkers.
Blue Canyon Country Club (Thailand)
The one and only three-time host of Johnnie Walker Classic, The Blue Canyon Country Club, located in Phuket Thailand is ranked by international media as one of the most prestigious and glamorous golfing establishments in the region. It is created in a 720-acre verdant valley against a magnificent background of the amazingly majestic Phang Nga Mountains and the Andaman Sea.
The course was created around existing canyons and woodlands, with almost no interruption to the natural landscape and wildlife. Truly, the golf course is a masterpiece of designed, characterized by spectacular and daunting natural hazards including taunting water features, with towering trees.
Royal Melbourne Golf Club is recognized as the No. 1 golf club in Australia with two of the pre-eminent golf courses in the world. Founded in 1891, the golf course has been hosted numerous national and international event. It is a 36-hole course that is divided into two - 18-hole each course, the West, and the East. It is Australia's oldest extant and continually existing golf club. It has a capacity of 15,000 spectators.
The golf course offers:
Why do they say all roads lead to Davao? Is it because of the upswing of Davao condominiums, and commercial and business establishments? Does it have something to do with its famous tourist spots that always have repeat visitors? Or is it only for the sole reason that this is the official residence of President-Elect Rodrigo R. Duterte?
Let us have a brief History 101 first. The phrase ‘all roads lead to Davao’ is from the proverb ‘all roads lead to Rome.’ Do all roads actually lead to Rome? Indeed. As stated by Buzzle, “the ancient Romans built an amazing network of roads everywhere they went, such that roads from every city eventually led back to Rome.” However, this article will focus in the economic standpoint of the phrase ‘all roads lead to Davao.’
Here are the five economic indicators why all roads lead to Davao:
Davao City is one of the highly urbanized cities in the Philippines with a total population of 1,449,296 as of May 1, 2010, based on Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) record. It got the 4th spot and the only populous city outside NCR.
In order to keep up with the large number of people, the real estate sector is thriving as well. It is important to note that birth rate doesn’t only contribute to the city’s population growth but also the continued local migration. Lea C. Walker, a licensed broker in the city, said in BusinessWorld “the real estate industry in Davao City has boomed in the last six years.” It was also the top investment in the Davao Region during the first three quarters of 2015, according to DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) Region 11.
In an article on BusinessWorld, “major Philippine property firms, including Ayala Land, Inc. Filinvest Land, Inc., Megaworld Corp., Robinsons Land Corp., and Vista Land and Lifescapes, Inc. have existing or on-going projects in the city.” As proof, Megaworld’s Suntrust Properties, Inc. has sales worth P1 billion for its One Lakeshore Drive condominium project in Davao City from January to May 2016.
How are they going to deal with the traffic in a city of 1.4 million people? The local government already thought of ways as told by BusinessWorld. They’re planning to develop a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Highly Prioritized Bus System (HPBS).
Among the three, the most ambitious project is the LRT system. This was proposed by Korean Engineering Construction Co. Ltd. (KEC). It will cover 28.4 kilometers between the southern side of the city and the airport in the north. The estimated cost of the project is more or less P30 billion. Last January 2016, the city council still awaits approval from the next administration. Well, it seems the future of Davao LRT is rosy because of the result of the last elections.
The significant change in the tourism sector was felt after the victory of the Mayor turned President Rodrigo R. Duterte. Tourism Davao Regional Director Roberto P. Alabado III said on BusinessWorld the “tourism stakeholders are now challenged to improve services and products. Tour operators are now exploring new products… more tour packages can be offered in Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, and Compostela Valley.”
Davao City is the home of Eden Nature Park, D’ Bone Collector Museum, People’s Park, Museo Dabawenyo and the tallest peak in the country, the Mount Apo. Each earned a ‘Certificate of Excellence’ in TripAdvisor.
A Prime Outsourcing Hub
The authorities have already spoken. Davao City can compete against Metro Manila of being a Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) destination. Why? It is one of the five New Wave Cities in the country. The New Wave Cities program is thru the initiative of DOST-ICT Office and the IT-Business Process Association of the Philippines (iBPAP). Its aim is to develop globally preferred outsourcing destinations outside Metro Manila. In addition, according to Sun.Star, Davao City went up by 3 notches from 69th to 66th based on Tholon’s Top 100 BPO destinations in the world in a January 29, 2016 report.
In a study entitled “Davao, Philippines: Making Waves as the Next Prime Spot for Outsourcing” by Open Access BPO, the city provides the following services: voice-based processes; animation services; data processing; back office solutions; finance and accounting; application development for IT; and transcription services.
The growth of the BPO sector in Davao does not only contribute millions of revenues but it also increases employment opportunities as well. Ivan C. Cortez, the OIC of Davao City Investment Promotions Centre (DCIPC), tells Sun.Star that 34,000 jobs were created by the end of 2015 due to the multimillion investments from the BPO industry. Furthermore, because of more creation of jobs across all industries with some 4,880 issued permits to new business establishments in the city, the market for the housing and condominium projects in Davao City also expanded, as explained by Sun.Star.
To sum it up, all roads lead to Davao because of the rise of new condominiums; the influx of job seekers as the BPO sector grows; the soon-to-be improved transportation system and the incessant arrival of tourists. Aside from the peace and order the city takes pride in, the boost on its economy is a clear indication that it would attract more local migrants in the future.
After watching the video above, I have this strong urge to write an article on how we can prevent the spread of mosquitoes in our home and it is not just because the ‘rainy season’ is coming that this topic seems fit. Seriously, those bloodsuckers have to stop. Now. They don’t care if the recently bought for sale house and lot of yours is in Laguna, Manila or Batanes—they are going to follow you and your delectable blood anywhere. Who is the most likely victim? The unprepared, of course!
Here are the safety measures you must apply to free yourself and your family from the clutches of this pesky parasite:
Get rid of stagnant water
Stagnant water is the breeding ground of mosquitoes. According to National Environment Agency of Singapore, the top five main breeding habitats of mosquitoes at home are domestic containers, flower pot/trays, ornamental containers, plants (hardened soil and plant axis), and toilet bowl/cistern. Drain it dry of water daily. For the toilet bowls, make sure the lid is closed after use.
The site also listed their unusual breeding grounds like planter box, discarded receptacle, barbeque pit, canvass sheet, plant axil, and air conditioner tray. If it can be covered, might as well do it. Unused containers or tires must be thrown away. Or better yet, free up your house and lot of trash and put them on sale/discharge them at any junkshops in Laguna, Quezon City, or Novaliches.
Avoid dark-colored clothes
We are not saying you should update your whole wardrobe because this is still a matter of personal preference or style. But did you know mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors? The scientists in University in Wisconsin-Madison found out that “black or dark-hued clothing of any color is often more attractive to many types of nuisance mosquitoes than light clothing. The general order of preference was black (most attractive); red (very attractive); blue (attractive to neutral); green, yellow, and while (less attractive).” Better start collecting pastel colored clothing.
This is not related to color-code clothing but it is advisable to wear long-sleeved tops and pants as a cover up. This type of clothing is also perfect during cold months.
Admit it—the moment the heat of El Niño dissipates and the chilly La Niña enters, some of us might or might not be lazy when it comes to freshening up because of the cold weather. Unfortunately, breathing and sweating are definitive ways of flirting with mosquitoes according to an article in the Examiner, which are equivocally ways of flirting with death as well. In addition, “mosquitoes use exhaled carbon dioxide, body odors and temperature, and movement to home in on their victims,” tells the National Geographic. This is how these pests detect us and if I were you, don’t be lax in the hygiene department.
Go for natural repellents
Stop yourself from stockpiling on bug spray ammo. Insecticide is not only expensive but it harms the environment as well. Try eco-friendly variants such as lemon eucalyptus oil, lavender, cinnamon oil, thyme oil, Greek catnip oil and soybean oil, Healthline recommends.
Rainy season or not, we should not let our guard down because we may never know who might be their next victim. Although mosquitoes love humid temperature, the standing water we take for granted could get them closer to us and to our loved ones. Don’t take mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever lightly. Who wants to fall prey to mosquito’s six-needlelike mouthparts? Do you need more convincing? Just look at the lethal arsenal of a mosquito below. Darn scary, right?
The Baguio condominiums of today could be the cultural heritage of tomorrow. This is what happened to the three old structures in Baguio City, namely, the Colegio del Santisimo Rosario (Diplomat Hotel) Ruins in Dominican Hill; the Laperal House in 14 Leonard Wood Road; and the recently added Peredo’s Lodging House in Saint Joseph Village. The National Museum of the Philippines declared these three as ‘Important Cultural Properties.”
What is an ‘Important Cultural Property’? According to ‘National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009’ or the Republic Act no. 10066, it should have an “exceptional cultural, artistic and historical significance to the Philippines, as shall be determined by the National Museum and/or National Historical Institute.” As an ‘Important Cultural Property,’ the government has an obligation to provide funding for its protection, restoration and conservation. What made these landmarks become worthy of an official heritage marker? Let us have a brief Baguio History 101 regarding these structures below:
According to Mysterious Britain & Ireland website, during the 20th century, this two-story edifice, formerly named ‘Collegio del Santissimo Rosario,’ served as a seminary of the Dominican Order, and then converted into a vacation house due to lack of enrollees.
The building had a dark and bloody past during the World War II. It became a refugee camp for those who want to hide from Japanese soldiers but they were later found out. There was a rumor that several nuns and priests were beheaded there, and babies were said to be massacred near its fountain.
It was restored in 1947 by Tony Agpaoa and he revived it as a hotel, hence the name ‘Diplomat Hotel.’ Its operation shutdown when Agpaoa died in 1987. The government renovated it in 2012 and it is now called “The Baguio Dominican Heritage Hill and Nature Park.”
Laperal White House
DoonPoSaAminPH says this Victorian-styled house was originally owned and built by the Laperal clan in 1920. During the World War II, the Japanese forces claimed it and they used it as a temporary garrison. The house had been a witness to brutal killings of men who were thought to be spies. Women were not spared and were mercilessly sexually assaulted inside.
In 2007, business tycoon Lucio Tan bought it. It was then restored and maintained. The house was later turned into a gallery in 2013 where Filipino artists could showcase their bamboo and wood crafts. This was through the efforts of Tan Yan Kee Foundation and the Philippine Bamboo Association. It is still operates to this day for the entrance fee of Php50.
Peredo’s Lodging House
According to Manila Bulletin, the National Museum declared it as a heritage site last December 28, 2015. Another Victorian-inspired structure, the 101-year old two-story house was built in 1915 and owned by Roque and Rita Peredo. It was able to withstand two world wars, American and Japanese colonial invasions, natural disasters and 14 years of dictatorship. It became a refuge to relatives and friends when the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Baguio City in July 16, 1990.
It is quite admirable that our government was doing its part to preserve these historical sites, even though there were lapses just like the ‘demolition’ of the Army and Navy Club and the ‘national photobomber’ Torre de Manila. In the case of the Army and Navy Club, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) gave Oceanville Hotel and Spa Corp. permission to be converted to a boutique hotel. However, NHCP issued a ‘cease and desist order’ (CDO) because the developer tampered with the main building without the agency’s permission, reported by Rappler. While the Torre de Manila, as pictured below, is indeed an eyesore to the public and is said to be had violated zoning rules.
Army and Navy Club after clearing operations
Torre De Manila behind Rizal Monument
It would be 50 years or so before condominiums in Baguio City or other landmarks in the country could achieve a historical significance. But why do we have to save these historical structures? Try to imagine this: hundreds of years from now, future societies would be the ones excavating and exploring the places where we lived. Discovery after discovery, they will look in awe and say, “So, this was the life of our ancestors.” This is what we felt when archeologists discovered the Parthenon of Greece, the pyramids of Egypt and the Colosseum of Rome. If these structures were not preserved, or worst, destroyed, what would be our legacy to the future generations? Or will we just accept the demise of our cultural identity and let our “footprints” be washed away because of neglect?
I love life and all things about it! How about you?