Latest Stories

Tours let travelers enjoy–and give back to the Philippines


TRAVELERS dancing with the locals at Tam-An Cultural Village MUNGUNKHISHIG BATBAATAR

There is more to the Philippines than meets the eye, and Route +63, a travel company named after the country’s area code, aims to prove it.

Cherryl Si, president and CEO of Route +63, called the travel agency a “social enterprise.”

It arose from the desire of her business partners to promote Philippine tourism, while allowing travelers to contribute to the communities they visit.

WALKING along the Ifugao rice terraces, a Unesco World Heritage site. FREDRICK JASON MARGES

She said the trips are “multi-layered”—giving tourists the opportunity not only to integrate themselves in the culture of the communities but also contribute to sustainable development by patronizing local products and livelihood programs.

Route +63 has organized trips to Banaue, Bataan, Batangas, Catanduanes, Sagada, Tarlac, La Union and Palawan.

The travel firm also arranges “customized trips” for family vacations, company outings and corporate team-building.

Route +63 employs local guides to provide authenticity to the tours. It is also the travel firm’s way of supporting local livelihood.

Itineraries allow participants to see how local products are made. From cacao and pili plantations in Bicol to coffee farms in Sagada and organic farms in Tarlac, travelers get a chance to try out local products and crafts.

According to Florence Adviento, Route +63’s chief operating officer, apart from knowing more about the Philippines, this also allows travelers to check out business opportunities.

Route +63’s trips also allow participants to contribute to a particular advocacy. In last year’s International Coastal Clean-up (ICC) Day, volunteers witnessed the rich marine life of Batangas and  helped maintain it by picking up trash along the beach. Done with the provincial environment and natural resources office of Batangas, the clean-up collected 85 kilos of trash.

On trips to  Ifugao rice terraces, Route +63 provides travelers a chance to participate in the rehabilitation of damaged and abandoned terraces.

MEC Aguinaldo, an educator who joined a tour, said the trip made an impact on him. “It has since been clear to me the importance of conserving our agricultural heritage systems as they relate to food security of the indigenous community, the strengthening of our cultural identity, and the protection of the natural environment,” he said.

RESTORATION of native Ifugao houses in Tam-An Village. GEOFREY NAWE

Conservation trips

Route +63 also organizes pawikan (sea turtle) conservation trips to Morong, Bataan. Every year during the nesting season of the turtles, volunteers patrol the beach. One trip last November managed to save 213 pawikan eggs.

Erlyn Macarayan, a member of the Presidential Management Staff, said she saw how one pawikan labored hard to lay its eggs because of its broken shell and cut flippers.

“Route +63 is unique since they not only provide leisure and adventure but also impart lessons you’ll never forget,” she said.

The tours also project Filipino warmth and hospitality.

“I felt like I was travelling with family,” said Gabe Pollentes. “Everyone was looking out for one another. Each activity fosters teamwork, friendship, Filipino spirit and appreciation of our country’s majestic views!”

Sumin Jeong, an exchange student from Korea, had a similar experience. “[The trip to Bataan] was my first time to travel with local people so this made me know more about the Philippines,” he said. “The staff from Route +63 were so friendly and kind so I was able to feel more comfortable.”

route63travels.com and facebook.com/route63travels.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Cherryl Si , Route +63 , Tours , Travel

  • gringoloco

    I love Philippines.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  4. This is not just a farm
  5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  6. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  6. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  7. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  8. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  9. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • 14 killed in car bombing in Homs
  • Sports

  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions