To: Balesin Members and Friends
The month of February has not been particularly kind to the island of Balesin although we suffered no damage at all except for the inclement weather. But when one thinks about it, what happened to Mindanao (3 typhoons in 3 months) has been indescribably worse. In my lifetime I can remember only one typhoon ever hitting Mindanao and now we get a series of three which have caused enormous damage.
Clearly, global warming is now beginning to take its toll and the weather patterns over all the world have been changing and taking huge tolls in terms of people’s lives and properties.
We had one particularly bad day last February 22 when we had about a hundred people going to Balesin. Unfortunately, the weather both in Manila and Balesin took a turn for the worse and all flights were cancelled by the Airport Tower, except for one which was able to actually fly off at the last minute.
Understandably, this caused quite a commotion and confusion at the Alphaland Hangar. Our personnel tried their best to comfort and calm people down, but I guess those of us who fly all the time and have been caught in this situation even in international or domestic airports know that there is no way to assuage one’s feeling of frustration, anger and discomfort as one waits for hours and sometimes days to find out what the real score is. But there simply is no solution to this problem as we must obey what the airport control tower tells us. At the end of the day, the safety of the passengers need to be the greatest consideration and surely, there is no way to satisfy everyone.
Regrettably, no one can predict nor control the weather and we ask your indulgence because we are helpless when it comes to this situation. There is simply nothing we can do about it.
In another week, our second British Aerospace Jetstream 32 (19 passengers), will arrive and be in service before the Holy Week. In addition, we have chartered a Dornier 328 turbo-prop which carries 32 passengers, in order to fully accommodate the heavy Holy Week traffic.
Additionally, on the island itself, we have now completed the Departure Lounge which can accommodate more than 60 people, to facilitate the check-ins and check-outs and to optimize the turn-around schedules of our aircraft.
Welcome Center (left) and Departure Area (Right)
Departure Area Lounge
Even now, and certainly through the Holy Week, we have a total of 175 villas fully operational. In another two or three months, we shall be completing Costa del Sol, Toscana, and the Mykonos beach villas which will add another 130 rooms and villas. Thus, by the middle of this year, we will have more than 300 rooms and villas operational on the island.
Toscana Under Construction
Costa Del Sol Under Construction
Aerial View of Costa Del Sol
Mykonos Beach Villas
Mykonos Beach Villas Under Construction with Mykonos Taverna and Deck in the Foreground
Rico Sison, our Creative Designer, together with Monica Olbes, our Interior Designer, are leaving for Spain and Europe this week to start the process of acquiring the decorative pieces for these various new projects.
Other new projects will also be operational by Holy Week. The organic farms and fisheries projects, and the Ifugao Village will be our new added attractions. I have no doubt that you will be delighted in seeing the Igorot workers showing off their wood carving skills at the Ifugao Village. Members can either commission their own carvings or otherwise, simply purchase what is in stock. Although I must warn you that they are almost always running out since their carvings are so inexpensive and so popular with our guests.
Greenhouses and Vermiculture Sheds
Fresh Water Fish Ponds
I regret to have to tell our members and guests though that we had a most unpleasant incident within the last couple of weeks at Balesin. One of our guests got uncontrollably intoxicated and went on a rampage and practically destroyed one villa before he was subdued. As this behavior is utterly intolerable, this guest has been barred from the island and the member who sponsored him is being charged for the damage that he caused.
We ask our members to please be judicious in choosing whom they bring to the island. Balesin is such a beautiful paradise and it is simply intolerable for these types of incidents to happen.
We have also noticed that on occasion (but only on very limited occasions), some of our passengers whether they be members or guests, are inebriated when they board the aircraft and are engaged in loud and boisterous behavior. We have therefore instructed our pilots to offload them.
We regret to have to relay these incidents to you, but we simply will not allow anyone, whether a member or a guest, to misbehave at Balesin.
We are coming to this time of the year with the school holidays and we have noted the rapid increase of the members and guests that visit the island, even on weekdays. We believe that we have been keeping our service levels and the quality of our food at the usually excellent standards and I personally would welcome to hear from our members any problems about the total Balesin experience.
I am presently in Europe and will certainly be back on the island by Holy Week. Hope to see you then.