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November 1, 2016

01 November 2016


Dear Members and Friends:
 
The month of October was a hectic one, in more ways than one.  We had two typhoons in quick succession but fortunately, they passed several hundred kilometers to the east of Balesin, and except for the usual few banana trees, we had no damage at all on the island.
  
This past weekend has also been a hectic one, since we had more than 1,500 members and guests during the four-day holiday weekend.  This record attendance was despite the obstacles posed by the aviation operations from NAIA.  As you know, for some time now, we have had only two flights, both in the morning, allowed by CAAP.  Thus, over this last weekend, we had to schedule two to three flights per day to and from Clark.  This worked quite well and despite the inconvenience, we had a record turnout at the island. 
  
The Halloween weekend was quite successful with only one day of intermittent rains.  The rest of the days were beautiful, and the guests enjoyed Balesin’s delights in the usual fashion.  We gave away a total of six memberships (one Diamond and five Gold), and the lucky winners were all guests of members.  The Mojofly band was there to entertain everyone at the Clubhouse Performance Theater, and for the late nighters, the Music Lounge at Costa del Sol was jumping with Halloween revelers until the wee hours.
  
Our great favorite, the Balesin crab, was again sold out, despite the greatly increased production.  Our Balesin balut was also a big best seller.
  
The M/Y Obsessions has been a great hit with the members.  Many of the guests during the weekend toured the yacht, despite the slightly rolling seas.  The bookings are filling up quickly for the holiday season and we urge those who would like to try the super yacht to book early.
  
The main purpose of this update is to inform you, as accurately as we can, about the Aviation operations during the upcoming Christmas holiday season.  As many of you have seen—if you were there this weekend—both sides of the runway have now been completely wired for night lights.  All that remains is the installation of the lights themselves which will take only a couple of days.  The inspection by CAAP is scheduled for this Friday, November 4th and we are planning to have our first night flight beginning Friday, November 18.  The flights from NAIA after 7:00 pm are free from slotting and we can schedule as many flights as are requested by our members and their guests.  Thus, our first flight will take off from NAIA at 7:30 pm on Friday, November 18, and again at 9:00 pm to Balesin, giving our passengers ample time for dinner at Balesin.  The return flights to Manila, which will be 8:00 pm and 9:30 pm out of Balesin, will allow our members and their guests to enjoy the full day of Sunday and even an early dinner before returning to Manila.  This schedule is obviously subject to CAAP approval but we are confident, from their initial indications, that these night time schedules can be achieved.
 
Additionally, since we now have our AOC (Air Operators Certificate), we are allowed one extra round-trip flight in the afternoon.  Thus, during the upcoming holiday season, we expect to have at least five Manila/Balesin – Balesin/Manila flights per day, i.e., two in the morning, one in the afternoon, and two in the evening.  This will total 340 passengers per day and, if the demand is greater, we can schedule additional flights from Clark.
  
Our flights from Clark were a lifesaver during the past few days and quite a few of our members and their guests took Clark/Balesin/Clark flights.  Otherwise, there would have been no way that we could have accommodated all those who wanted to visit the island this past weekend.  The Clark flights will continue as the demand requires and we are taking possession by mid-November of our new lounge there for the comfort of those who live in the northern part of Manila and Central Luzon who would rather take the flight from Clark instead of NAIA.
 
I am aware that many members and guests are now firming up their plans for the holiday season and therefore, this early, I am sending you this welcome news on the flights to and from Balesin that we are scheduling for the holidays, for the convenience of everyone.
 
See you all at Balesin during the holidays!


ROBERTO V. ONGPIN
Chairman