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14 May

Question: Can I be a greener hotel guest?

Answer: You can and you should. But, as Kermit the Frog noted, it’s not easy being green.

The May 6 “On the Spot” column focused on behaviors of hotel guests that are wasteful and harmful to the environment. But, we should note, it’s also up to the hotel to practice what the green gods preach. The question for those of us who are environmental novices — and I am one — is what is a best practice? I’d love to know if housekeeping is using environmentally sound products, but I don’t have the expertise to assess that. Instead, experts made these suggestions:

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Eastern Samar bridge now passable

11 May

THE Quinapondan Bridge in Eastern Samar is now open to traffic, but for light vehicles only, after its approaches collapsed Tuesday, the public works department reported.

Department of Public Works and Highways Eastern Samar district engineer Rocardo Odita said the contractor placed six-meter coconut logs in the bridge approach just to allow light vehicles to pass the bridge.

“The load limit is strictly 10 tons. For trucks, they have to unload cargoes before they will be allowed to cross the bridge. We expect the contractor to complete repair works before the end of June this year as agreed in the contract,” Odita said.

An approach of Quinapondan Bridge collapsed due to scouring of shoring materials that was triggered by heavy rainfall in the area Monday night.

The P18-million bridge repair project kicked off early this year. The contract was awarded to Ormoc-based MAC Builders.

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Pintados-Kasadyaan Foundation gets ready for the Sto. Niño fiesta celebration

8 May

TACLOBAN CITY, May 7 (PIA) — Preparations are underway for the forthcoming Leyte fiesta celebration on June 30, highlighting the festival of festivals in honor of Sr. Sto. Niño, the Patron Saint.

During the meeting attended by heads and representatives from government and socio-civic organizations, held recently at the SMED Center this city, list of different activities together with the corresponding month-long daily schedule were presented as the working guide for the different committees organized.

Among the group’s plans for this year’s activities is the street dancing and playground exhibition depicting the different festivals, which will be participated in by contingents from the municipalities of Leyte such as Abuyog, Tanauan, Alang-alang, Dulag, Palo, Sta. Fe, and Carigara, among others.

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Underwater hotel plans take shape.

7 May

Drydocks World signed an MoU with BIG InvestConsult, the representative of Deep Ocean Technology the Polish owner behind the unique technology and concept of Water Discus Hotel that envisages an ultimate leisure facility with a structure that is partly above water and the rest underneath – a residential Underwater Discus with an Above Water Discus.

The MoU was signed during the Annual Investment Meeting held at the Dubai International Convention Center under the aegis of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade.

Deep Ocean Technology holds special exclusivity rights for the customers and facilities located in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

According to the MoU, Drydocks and Maritime World is appointed as the exclusive main contractor for construction of the new concept hotels and cities floating in the Middle East.

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Hottest day: Residents in Manila swelter in 36.6C heat

2 May

Metro Manila and most of Luzon might be wilting under an unforgiving summer sun, but Eastern Visayas is finding sweet relief in occasional rainshowers that have tempered the heat of recent days.

As Manila sweltered at 36.6 degrees Celsius Monday-the highest this year so far-Tacloban City experienced intermittent rains the whole day Monday.

The rains were a welcome respite for residents of Tacloban whose hottest day was recorded at 32.5 degrees Celsius on April 15, with average humidity level at 31.8 degrees Celsius.

The local Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) office said that for the next three to four days, Tacloban could experience more rains due to the low pressure area spotted north northwest of General Santos City.

Other areas in Eastern Visayas also experienced scattered rainshowers, said a staff member of the local Pagasa office who did not want to be named.

The highest temperature reading in Metro Manila this year was taken around 2 p.m. Monday at Pagasa Science Garden in Quezon City, prompting the weather bureau to warn residents against heat stroke and exhaustion.

The previous maximum temperature reading in Metro Manila for 2012 was 36.4 degrees Celsius, which was recorded last Friday.

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What the hotel rankings really mean

30 Apr

Ever wonder why the same hotel gets four stars from one website and three stars from another? What’s the difference between a bed-and-breakfast and an inn? What exactly is a boutique hotel, and what do you get when you stay at a resort?

Here’s a primer on hotel rating systems, categories and definitions.

Bed-and-breakfast: An owner-occupied property with no more than 10 or 15 guest rooms, plus common areas. Breakfast is included in room rates.

Inn: Usually an independently owned property with more than 10 rooms but fewer than 50; often the owner lives on-site. Some inns include dinner and breakfast in room rates; some have full-service restaurants open to the public.

Boutique hotel: Characterized by unique, stylish or even quirky décor and interior design, offering a stark alternative in appearance and experience to chain brands where furnishings may be identical in every location. Boutique hotels were originally independently owned, but today there are boutique hotel chains, such as Kimpton hotels and Starwood’s Ws. Marriott is launching a boutique brand called Edition.

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Earth Day: IHG expands hotel-soap recycling program

23 Apr

Since it’s Earth Day today, Holiday Inn-parent IHG’s announcing that it’s significantly expanding its hotel toiletry recycling program, the company tells USA TODAY’s Hotel Check-In.

Today, 62 IHG-brand hotels participate in the program run by Clean the World. But soon, IHG officials expect most of its 3,274 hotels in the USA and Canada to join in recycling hotel guests’ leftover bars of soap and bottles of shampoo and conditioner.

Clean the World recycles and distributes used hotel soaps, lotions and shampoos to needy families in U.S. shelters and around the world.

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“Each property is encouraged to join the Clean the World program immediately upon announcement of the corporate partnership,” says Paul Snyder, IHG’s vice president of corporate responsibility tells USA TODAY.

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