In a call on the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C., Samantha Sotto said that while her novel “Before Ever After” is set in Europe, Boracay figured very prominently in the story.
“Ms.Sotto informed Philippine ambassador to the U.S., Jose Cuisia Jr. that while the setting of her novel is Europe, the famous island resort of Boracay in the Philippines is an important location in the story,” the Philippine Embassy to Washington D.C. said in a news release.
“My being Filipino was definitely a plus. My living overseas was not an issue at all with my publisher,” added Sotto, who lives in the Philippines.
Also, she said there are no barriers to Filipino talent and one of her goals in being an author is to raise awareness about the Philippines.
Ambassador Cuisia expressed pride at the achievement of Ms. Sotto, who wrote her book at a coffee shop while waiting for her son to get off school. The Ambassador urged Ms. Sotto to continue with her good work to showcase Filipino talent not just in the US but in many parts of the world.
"Before Ever After"
An international best-selling novel by Filipino author Samantha Sotto is turning out to be a strong tourism pitch for
"God, she decided as she waded away from the outrigger
that had ferried them to the island,
was selfish and this was where God hoarded
beauty like a secret stash of chocolates."
Excerpt from "Before Ever After " novel by Samantha Sotto
No. 1 Palawan, Philippines
This lightly populated archipelago of 1,780 islands makes a splashy debut on the World’s Best Islands list by nabbing the No. 1 title thanks to its unspoiled beauty, abundant wildlife, and seascapes, which T+L readers deemed second to none. Seek out the serenity of the beaches of El Nido, where Bacuit Bay’s coral reefs teem with tropical fish, or, for bragging rights, the world’s longest underground navigable river.
No. 2 Boracay, Philippines
Boracay, which ranked No. 1 last year, has made room for up-and-coming Palawan, yet the island continues to exert its own powerful appeal on travelers. Boracay is smaller and more accessible, with more nightlife. White Beach boasts of the world’s softest sand, while Puka Beach offers beautiful seashells and the romance of seclusion.
This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.
>> morning on today's travel, best places to go in 20 $12.they have rated hotelses, food lines and more, world's best awards. these are fun. here with results, good morning.
>> good morning, willie.
>> let's point out off the top, some of these over the top expenses, pie in the sky , there are affordable ones.
>> there's a mix. what's important is what we feel, all the properties and places our readers chose really represent value. so they might be expensive but what you're getting is a great value for money .
>>> let's start with the best hotel and best safari rolled into one.
>> this is in tanzania. this is a magical place. a reserve in the middle of the national park . have you the incredible dinners under african skies , rides with incredible guides. all this to say you're going to be taken care of and pampered and see all the animals you can imagine.
>> beautiful. my type of safari. second, right here in the u.s., triple creek.
>> this is another experience, montana bitterroot mountains . what i love about this and what our readers love. they will cater to you and make it whatever you want to be. they have cattle drives , fly-fishing, hiking, et cetera . this is a place you're going to get ready active and get a lot of rocky mountain bravado. a lot of exercise for sure.
>> get that cowboy experience.
>> now for the top resort in the continental u.s. , we talked about affordability, osprey at beaver creek , colorado.
>> osprey, $143 in the summertime. right in the heart of beaver creek . it's 43-room boutique hotel . what you get here is more of that kind of charming, chic luxury of being in a chalet. you get -- what is that called, fireplaces, beautiful fireplaces everywhere. you can ski if you go in the winter, summertime lots of activity.
>> 143, more like it.
>>> top in the u.s., number two, if we could. chicago . chicago is hot right now.
>>> world's best island i confess to never having heard of it in the Philippines.
>>> crystal cruises .
>> one of two companies that held onto its number one spot for 17 years we've been running the survey. readers love it for the incredible service. good reason. one to one crew to guest ratio.
>> one to one.
>> for every single person there, there's a person taking care of you. incredible state rooms , great interiors. fantastic deals to the mediterranean for about $256 a night. can you do a couple different cruises i love.
>> seventeen years in a row. best domestic airline goes to virgin america . branson knows how to do it.
>> they have held onto number one spot on the survey since they opened. people love it because you get whatever you want when you want. jetblue second. they do similar things but virgin's value, great service and fun, which everyone loves.
>> great list again this year. thanks so much. just ahead
The Philippines’ Boracay Island made world-famous for its pristine and white sand placed 1st (no 1) best overall in Asia according to Travel+ Leisure’s World’s Best Awards.
The magazine’s editor, Nilou Motamed, made the announcement Friday on the “Today” daily American morning television show that airs on NBC.
“The world’s best island, I confess to never having heard of it in the Philippines,” “Today” host Willie Geist.
“This is important, Boracay. It beat out Bali, number 2. It’s one of those islands you should know about if you’re interested in culture and value,” Motamed told Geist.
“Our readers love this, it’s not been on anyone’s radar. It’s in the Philippines. This is the place that you’re gonna get Hotels that you can stay for $50 a night.
From Travel+ Leisure
Now that even tiny islands such as Koh Samui are becoming mainstream, Boracay, in the Philippines, may be one of the last undiscovered Asian beach getaways. The sandy-shored speck is accessible via a frequent hour-long flight from Manila to Caticlan, followed by a 10-minute ferry ride. Once you arrive, head to the talcum-soft White Beach, which is divided into three stations. Settle into a chaise longue at Station One’s Discovery Shores, where butlers will keep you supplied with ice-cold San Miguel Pilsen. Station Three is the departure spot for Red Pirates, a group of ragamuffin sailors who offer around-the-island tours on Philippine paraws, then grill up prawns and chicken skewers for a barbecue on the sand. More intent on relaxation? Hail a tuk-tuk for a short ride to the Mandala Spa & Villas, a jungle retreat where you can have a traditional hilot treatment—a massage incorporating virgin coconut oil—in a private hut; eco-friendly villas host overnight guests. The best sunset perch, with a mango cocktail in hand, is on the island’s northwestern tip: a cliff-top daybed at Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa. For dinner it’s back to the barefoot scene at White Beach, where Kasbah restaurant offers up dishes with distinctly Moroccan flavors.
Boracay Affordable Tip: Boracay is known as an affordable destination, but if you travel from June to mid-October (when rain showers are more frequent but usually short in duration), average hotel rates are lower than usual—and package deals can get you up to 30 percent off standard peak rates.