It is particularly pleasing that TA's 2013 Travellers' Choice Awards for Small Hotels in Philippines includes a number of establishments that are on less well known islands many kilometres from Metro Manila and Cebu City.
As the government tourism representative who so kindly attended the recent second annual TA members' dinner at Cafe Juanita, Fort Bonifacio Global City pointed out, the government is trying to ensure that the bneficiaries of tourism spending include residents of what Filipinos love to call 'far flung' islands in the provinces.
Congratulations are therefore due to Padre Burgos Castle Resort on the little frequented by tourists but scenically beautiful largish island of Leyte in the Visayas (ranked number 6 Samm Hotel), along with Atmosphere Resort (ranked 2) and Pura Vida (20) at Dauin on Negros.
Others include Mangueyguey Island (ranked 9), Secret Paradise Resort (14) and El Rio y Mar (17) in increasingly popular Palawan.
The only disappointment is that no hotel in the southern island group of Mindanao has made the list, because like the central Visayan group in which hotels such as Padre Burgos Castle Resort are located, Mindanao has many attractive white sand beaches, such as near Glan out of General Santos. Mindanao's time in a subset of TA awards such as this will come.
Encourage your friends and relatives to visit the Visayas and the safe parts of Mindanao so that more Filipinos benefit from tourism income in these areas.