The vessel which has a GRT of 75, 166, LOA of 219.71M, Draft of 8.0M, owned and operated by Costa Crociere of Italy is the first cruise ship caller at the Port of Puerto Princesa for 2014 and the largest vessel to call at this port, so far (M/S “Legend of the Seas” which called at the port on March 19, 2013 has a GRT of 69, 472).
The maiden call of the M/S “Costa Victoria” was marked by the symbolic key, souvenir and plaque presentation ceremonies aboard the vessel at 3:00 PM between vessel Captain Paolo Viscafe and City Mayor Lucilo Bayron, DoT Regional Director for Region IV Rebecca V. Labit and the PMO represented by Mr. Jemuel B. Apellido and Engr. Marlon N. Sendaydiego, PSD and ESD Manager, respectively.
Inspite of the unexpected afternoon rainshower, guests were feted to a rousing welcome of cultural performances by the Provincial Capitol Dance Troupe, the Dancing Tricycle Drivers of PASTODA and the City Band from the Department of Tourism, Region IV in collaboration with the City Tourism Department. More stirring presentations for the send-off ceremonies for the vessel were provided by the above groups augmented by the Puerto Princesa City Choir and the PSU Children Violin Ensemble.
The visit of M/S “Costa Victoria” which departed at 1930H enroute to its next port of call which is Boracay Island paved another avenue for the Port of Puerto Princesa to showcase its viability as the next cruise hub of the country which is not far-fetched after all.
PPA Puerto Princesa conducted a Mural Painting Contest last December 13, 2013 themed Puerto Gwapo: Tugon Sa Hamon Ng Climate Change which aptly answered the call of the present challenges besetting the country today, especially more meaningful with the recent wrath of super typhoon “Haiyan” (locally named Yolanda) which wreaked havoc to Eastern Visayas and parts of Palawan. PMO Puerto Princesa Port Manager Luis A. Cuison, through the Safety and Environmental Management Staff spearheaded the holding of the 2nd Mural Painting Contest, reviving its pioneering launch back in 2008. After a five-year hiatus, the contest drew the interest of sixty participants, in groups of three from barangays, schools, NGOs, art shop owners, and other entities within Puerto Princesa. Up for grabs was a coveted P12, 000.00 cash prize for the first prize, P8,000.00 and P5,000.00 for the second and third prize winners, respectively. Consolation prizes of P1, 000.00 each for the 4th and 10th placess and P500.00 each for all other participants, all donated by its sponsor, Roosevelt Chemicals, Inc. – Triton Paints.
After a gruelling 8 hours of painting the walls, threatened almost by overcast skies, time to hang the brushes was up. One can only be mesmerized by the participants’ product, each a showcase of conveying a message through every shape, color mix, and size, aware of what the contest theme in mind. Spectators cannot help but be in awe of the talent displayed right before their eyes.
Roosevelt Chemical, Inc. Triton Paints through its Marketing Director Ms. Elisa Claire de la Rosa and Mr. Marvis Mirasol, Project Coordinator, this event’s sponsors, donated long-sleeved shirts to the participants and a hundred thousand peso worth of paints.
The panel of judges is composed of Mr. Mitchell C. Gacott, a noted mural artist, a University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts graduate, a scholar of the National Arts Center, Cultural Center of the Philippines, held four one-man show exhibits, winner of various mural painting contests both local and national in 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984 and 1989 and one-time illustrator of Disney Production, U.S.A.
Mr. Jonathan Benitez is the founder of Collective Artists for the Environment since 2004 to present. His digital art has been exhibited in Brazil and Germany and recently represented the Philippines in Peace and Arts Festival in Uba, Brazil last September 2013. He is currently the resident artist of Dos Palmas Resort & Spa in Puerto Princesa City.
The third judge, Mr. Arnel C. Jovito, is the Head of the Creative and Technical Department of the Roosevelt Chemical, Inc., Triton Paints, an advertising artist for 20 years, environmentalist, nature lover, and a mural artist. He also earned large number of following in facebook for mural to support Palawan to be included in the 7 Wonders of Nature.
To a plain onlooker’s eye, his choice may have appeared outstanding, but it took the judges’ discriminating choice to dispel expectations. Adherence and significance to theme, embodying the message of climate change made all the difference. And the results are:
First Prize was won by the Young Seekers Fellowship Team, who initially had in mind how to give something this Christmas to street urchins. This team of 3 young men are nurses of Ospital ng Palawan.
Second Prize – Palawan Art Tribe winning P8, 000.00 composed of two siblings whose artistic inclinations are not only confined to painting, but all sorts of water colour drawings and the like. Their entry looked like an anime-looking child in the mould of scolding, as if to ask “what have you done to mother earth”?
Third Prize – Western Philippines University called the Artribe team. Taking home P5, 000.00, their painting had the backings of their school head, inspired by the adulation of their peers.
In yet another feather-in-the-cap, PPA PMO Puerto Princesa Mural Painting Contest brings closure to year 2013 in another meaningful and inspiring activity close to the hearts of us all – the challenge to combat the effects of climate change. Engaging its immediate community through mural painting and be a part of an undertaking worthy of its cause, this PMO has spurred action from everyone, pursued unrelenting effort to send the message across of taking care of our environment. The murals would surely become a tourist attraction in time for the arrival of cruise ship MS Costa Victoria on January 07, 2014. Hence, the Puerto Gwapo challenge – greening the port as a way of life, the brainchild of Port Manager Luis A. Cuison, continues to live on.
TMO Coron successfully accommodated cruise ship MV Hanseatic with 143 passengers aboard last October 16, 2013. It was diverted to Port of Coron from its original destination to Tagbilaran, Bohol due to the earthquake.
After a month-long celebration of the Tourism Month 2013, a grand gala night on September 28, 2013 culminated the event which was held at the Skylight Convention Center, Puerto Princesa City. The affair honored its partners in the tourism industry for their exemplary performance and contributions to the goals and objectives of the Tourism Department and the City Government of Puerto Princesa. Read more
PMO Puerto Princesa recently launched its first ever “photography competition” with the theme “Palawan Port System: Show-window of Beauty, Emotions and Opportunities”.
In yet another public-private strategic partnership moves and endevours, PPA PMO Puerto Princesa was the fortunate recipient of eighty-five (85) 16-liter pails of elastomeric waterproofing paints which more or less cost P170,000.00. Such unexpected generous donation courtesy of Roosevelt Chemical, Inc. under Triton Paints was most welcome to Port Manager Luis A. Cuison, whose collaboration with the said entity coincided with the National Maritime Week Celebration, September 23 – 27, 2013 sub-themed as “Going Green in PPA Ports”. Thus, the bio-fresh environment-friendly paint crystal-green color gave the much-needed facelirft to the port perimeter fence, RC curb, retaining and curtain walls of the baseport and TMO Coron without having to spend a cent. Read more
The Department of Justice thru its Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (DOJ- IACAT) had forged a partnership with PPA as signatories to Memorandum of Agreement primarily to wage war against human trafficking. Read more
Port Manager Luis Cuison received ten (10) trash bins from Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) through its representatives as part of PMO’s Image Awareness and Environmental Campaign tie-up last July 12, 2013.
Through this endeavor, Robinsons Mall becomes the PPA’s official mall partner to advertise its environmental campaign. Said trash bins shall be utilized and displayed in conspicuous places at the Baseport Facilities.
The Port of Puerto Princesa successfully hosted the maiden call of the “MS Legend of the Seas” of the Royal Caribbean International on March 19, 2013. This port is the vessel’s first stopover in its seven-night Borneo Explorer Cruise which started in Singapore and includes stops at Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia and Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei.