The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. —William James

Good news for all of us still locked up in our homes and raring to visit our favorite local vacation spots!

The Philippines’ bschs and the Department of Tourism received accolades at the 2020 World Travel Awards Asia Winners Day! The 27th World Travel Awards recognized the Philippines as “Asia's leading beach destination” and “Asia’s leading dive destination” in 2020.

More significantly, the award-giving body also recognized Manila’s own Intramuros as “Asia’s Leading Tourist Attraction” and the Philippine Department of Tourism as this year’s leading tourist board in Asia, besting 11 nominated countries. Tourism secretary Berna Romulo Puyat can’t be happier. 

“We are truly honored and thankful for the accolades given to the Philippines at the 2020 World Travel Awards Asia. These recognitions are certainly an inspiration to the industry as we safely and gradually reopen our destinations for tourism,” she said. “These would not be possible without the combined efforts from our tourism stakeholders, local government units, partner agencies, and our fellow Filipinos who have tirelessly promoted our country’s attractions, products, and culture.” 

This is the country’s fourth time to win Asia’s Leading Beach Destination and the second time to win Asia’s Leading Dive Destination, following a number of nominations for categories since 2006. On the other hand, this is the second time for Intramuros to win Asia’s Leading Tourist Attraction. Intramuros, our Walled City, first won the award in 2016. It is also the second win for the Department of Tourism (DOT) as Asia’s Leading Tourist Board.

The DOT also reiterated its support for the gradual reopening of various tourism destinations in the country, putting health and safety as the top priority. Among the opened destinations for local tourists now are Baguio, Boracay, El Nido, Ilocos Norte, and several diving sites in Batangas province. Stringent safety protocols, however, are still in place.

Dive tourism is identified by the DOT as one of the key areas in the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2016-2022 that can positively affect industry growth in terms of increased visitor count, extended length of stay, and higher tourism revenue. Meanwhile, both the Philippines and the DOT have the following remaining nominations under the World category; World’s Leading Beach Destination 2020: Philippines, World’s Leading Dive Destination 2020: Philippines, World’s Leading Island Destination 2020: Siargao, World’s Leading Tourist Board 2020: the Philippines, Department of Tourism, and World’s Leading Tourist Attraction 2020: Intramuros.


Since 1993, the World Travel Awards has contributed to rising global tourism standards by recognizing brands and best practices from the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries in an annual series of gala ceremonies held per continent. Each year is capped off with a Grand Final Gala So, bouquets to Sec. Berna and congratulations to Manila Mayor Isko Moreno for helping beautify and making Intramuros relevant and more interesting to local and foreign tourists!

Truly, it’s so much more fun in the Philippines!

Speaking of awards, the 33rd Annual Aliw Awards will be held on Dec. 8 at the Fiesta Pavilion of the Manila Hotel, according to AAFI founder and president Alice H. Reyes.                 

“We are upholding the tradition of honoring our live entertainers, despite Covid-19. Rest assured we will strictly observe the safety protocols set by the IATF,” promised Alice.

Meanwhile, the 2020 executive committee headed by Rebecca Chuaunsu, actress and producer, is working hard to ensure the success of the event, which will have the distressed live entertainers as beneficiaries, through the Aliw Welfare Fund.

Awards for over 50 categories covering the entire gamut of live entertainment will be presented at ceremonies, which will start at 4 p.m. Directing the stage presentation is multi-awarded Aliw Hall of Famer, lawyer Vince Tanada

Top awards are the Entertainer of the Year award and the People’s Choice Award, which will be chosen by a committee headed by Aliw board member and PRO Njel de Mesa, director and producer.

What I like about Aliw is that it has opened the awards to cultural events from all over the country, such as best chorale group, festivals such as the Pampanga Christmas lantern makers, regional dance troupes, even fashion competitions. This brings provincial entertainers, directors, choreographers, and producers to the national stage to show off their mettle.   

limited number of tickets is available this month through the Aliw Awards Foundation Inc. page. Or call 0908-316-4574.