Sunday, May 23, 2010

Seair InFlight Feature: Time Out for Summer

Whether it's flying across a zipline down a mountainside to swimming with the dolphins, to cooking with a celebrity chef, Oggie Ramos has top 10 ideas to impress your teenage kids.

01 SING AND ACT.  Explore the performer in you or just gain some confidence this summer. Enrol at the Philippine Educational Theatre Association's (PETA) children’s theatre, teen theatre or join its basic acting courses. Trumpets Playshop, which counts several celebrities among its alumni, offers a range of classes, from musical theater to modeling. The Trumpets Musicademy offers one-on-one piano, guitar, language and speech classes. Call PETA (tel: +632/ 725 6244, email: • Trumpets Playshop is based in Shangri-La Mall, Mandaluyong (tel: +632/ 636 2842, 635 4478,

02 ROCK CLIMB. It's really wall climbing or indoor rock climbing in a controlled environment so you get security with the thrill and develop your fitness gradually. Patio Pacific (tel: +6336/ 288 3888) along Station 1 in Boracay offers two walls: straight and overhang, both rising to 33ft. It costs P302.50 for walk-in climbers and P154 for in-house guests for a whole day session. D’Mall also offers wall climbing at D’Wall (tel: +63922/ 842 7436, at P50/climb. 

03 HEAD FOR THE BEACH. Laiya in San Juan, Batangas has white-sand beaches and dramatic sunsets just three hours by car from Manila. For die-hard beach fanatics, nothing beats the powdery-white sand and party vibe of Boracay’s White Beach, which is just a 35-minute flight via SEAIR. Boracay has hundreds of resorts from modest to luxurious. Try Zuzuni Boutique Resort and Restaurant at Station 1, White Beach (tel: +63922/ 692 6201, email:, • In Laiya, try La Luz Beach Resort (tel: +632/ 726 6687, mail: or Sabangan Resort (+632/ 667 3997, 914 9640, email: To get to Laiya, take the South Luzon Tollway, and exit at Batangas-Lucena exit. Drive along the National Road until you see a board with “Star Tollway,” then turn right at Star Tollway (Batangas Expressway) until you get to Lipa exit. Head towards Lipa and to Padre Garcia, Rosario and San Juan.

04 PLAY ULTIMATE. We associate ultimate to playing fetch with the dog; but these days it has taken on new meaning with the reinvented ultimate sport. Players from two teams have a go at throwing the disc across a 70-yard field to the opposing team’s end zone without running. Sounds easy until you try it. There are several year-round ultimate local tournaments and a national competition held yearly in Boracay. The Philippine Ultimate Association (PUA) holds beginner nights every Monday, 8pm-10pm, at the Meralco baseball field, Meralco Complex in Ortigas. The fee for field use for the practice games is P70 (email: or

05 COOK UP A STORM. Celebrity chefs seem to have taken the drudgery out of cooking, resulting in teenage culinary fans. Try chef and baker Heny Sison's workshops for teens. Cooking classes include lessons as basic as dimsum-making to making decadent cakes. One-day courses start at P1,500 while multi-day classes start at P5,000. The Center for Asian Culinary Studies (CACS) offers recreational one-day programs including authentic Chinese/Vietnamese/Greek cooking classes to sessions on making sugar-free desserts taught by chef Gene Gonzales. Lessons cost from P1,700. Full time and short program classes are also available. Heny Sison’s classes are held at 33 Bonnie Serrano Avenue cor. Sunrise Drive, Crame, Quezon City (tel: +632/ 726 5316, 412 7792, 413 2428, email: • CACS – Manila is at 455 P. Guevarra Street, San Juan, Metro Manila (tel: +632/ 725 5089, email:

06 PAINTBALL WARFARE. Paintball figures prominently in corporate team building, but there is no reason kids and families can't have a go at it. Gotcha, the first company to promote paintball in the country, calls the game a combination of childhood tag and hide and seek though far more challenging. Players form two groups, each group aiming to capture the opponent's flag, eliminating opposing players by tagging them with paintballs fired from C02 powered paint markers. For safety, players wear full-face goggles and body vests. Gotcha’s field locations include Alpadi Compound and MMLDC, both along Sumulong Hi-way, Antipolo City, Fontana in Clark, Pampanga, and Corregidor. (tel: +632/ 725 5021,, For inquiries on Lazer Maxx, Gotcha's newest game on offer, call +632/ 727 9948

07 ANIMAL THRILLS. Enchanted Kingdom in Santa Rosa, Laguna has the latest thrill rides from the space shuttle max, to a 4D discovery theater and karting traks, and a vast theme park to explore. For tiger watching, go to the Zoobic Safari in Subic, the only tiger safari in the country, covering about 50 hectares of forest ground. Visitors get to feed the tigers. Ocean Adventure, also in Subic, has whales, dolphins, sea lions and other sea creatures. You get to swim with the whales and dolphins (P4,200 including park admission). If you don’t want to leave the city, there’s Manila Ocean Park along Manila Bay. Watch the sharks (P450), marvel at the dancing jellyfishes (P150) or watch mermaid performers dance underwater in huge aquaria spread across the park. Enchanted Kingdom (tel: 6349/ 584 3535, 584 4326 or +632/ 830 3535). The park is open from Thursday to Friday at 12pm-7pm and on weekends from 11am-9pm. The fee is P400 on weekdays and P500, weekends. • Zoobic Safari is open daily from 8am-4pm (tel: +6347/ 252 2272 +632/ 895 7142, email: • Manila Ocean Park (tel: 632/ 567 7777) is open all year round including holidays; Oceanarium and Jellies is open from 10am-7pm (weekdays) and 9am-8pm (weekends and holidays), Mermaid Show are from Tuesday-Sunday at 10am, 3pm and 4pm respectively • Ocean Adventure (+6347/ 252 9000, email:

08 CAMP OUT, MOUNTAIN CLIMB, DIVE. Taal Lake Yacht Club offers camping ($2 or about P100 per day; $3 to pitch a tent overnight) and treks to Taal Volcano (P1,800 for a five-passenger boat for the ride across Taal Lake from Talisay). Clearwater Resort and Country Club in Pampanga offers a really expansive camping ground for up to 500 tents with a view of a freshwater lake and a one hectare forest of acacia trees (P1,000 to pitch a tent). You can kayak, go fishing or boating in the lake. Now, if you’re more into hardcore hiking, consider taking up the Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC). Some of the more reputable groups offering BMC include AMCI Mountaineering Club (, Metropolitan Mountaineering Society (, Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines (, and UP Mountaineers ( In Boracay, New Wave Divers offers kids over 10 years an introductory dive (P3,500), which includes dives in both confined water and open water. In Palawan, Palawan Divers offers Discover Scuba Diving (P3,800), giving you a chance to get started on diving in a marine reserve. To camp in Batangas, call Taal Lake Yacht Club (tel: +632/ 811 3183, 811 3283, • In Pampanga, contact Clearwater Resort and Country Club (tel: +6345/ 599 5949, email:• For diving in Boracay, New Wave Divers is at Station 1, Boracay (tel: +6336/ 288 5265, email: • Or try Palawan Divers in Brgy. Masagana, El Nido (tel: +63921/ 620 5469, email:

09 GET WIRED. Enjoy free WiFi while sipping a smoothie or cold drink with friends. Check out internet hotspots such as Coffee Bean stores (just get a Swirl Card for P195), all SM and Robinsons Malls; Podium and Shangri-La Plaza malls in Ortigas; all Chili’s and TGIF outlets, Bubba Gump in Greenbelt 5, and Blenz Canadian CafĂ© along Dela Rosa in Makati.

10 ZIP OR ROLL AWAY. The zipline is perhaps one of the closest you can get to flying. It's a contraption, consisting of a pulley suspended on a cable mounted on an incline, allowing gravity to propel the rider from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable – a ride that usually takes one down a mountainside using a harness attached to a removable trolley. Davao started the zipline craze with its Xcelerator in 2008, the longest zipline in Asia at 1km and the fastest, taking the rider zipping at 100kph. Beginners can try the Zipcity, also in Davao, popular for its accessibility, scenic views and good-for-all-ages appeal. Corregidor Island, about an hour from Manila, has a 200m zipline that connects Corregidor Inn to South Beach, traversing half of the island’s length. At Tagaytay ridge, four 250m ziplines take guests up to 300ft above ground overlooking the forests (P100/one way).

Tumble down the hills of Yapak inside a zorb, a double sphere 3m plastic ball. You experience the ride cocooned inside the ball's inner sphere, safe from the impact of the ball hitting the ground, but living every rough and tumble. The ride takes only a few seconds but is a total screamfest. Mystery Spot Adventure Park in Boracay offers the Hydro Zorb that allows up to three riders to splash, slide and twist inside a ball containing water; and Harness Zorb, which straps two riders in a harness inside the ball to roll down the hill.

In Davao, book Outland Adventures (tel: +6382/ 224 5855, email:; Zipcity (tel: +6382/271 2626 • In Corregidor, Corregidor Inn (+632/ 834 6857-58, email:, • In Tagaytay, Tagaytay Ridge Zipline (+632/ 510 6115,; In Boracay, Mystery Spot Adventure Park (tel: +6336/ 288 1912) • In Davao, Davao Zorb Park (Crocodile Park, Diversion Road, Ma-a, Davao City)

This feature was published in Seair InFlight Magazine, May 2010 Issue • Photos by Iren Dornier, illustrations by Dan Matutina, art direction by Jocas A. See, words and research by Oggie Ramos


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