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The Building of Casinos in the Philippines has Slowed – So Where’s the Best Place to Play Poker?

The Casino Filipino in Angeles is one of the most famous gambling spots in the country. This is more than just a casino, it’s the ultimate combination of unique culture, breathtaking surrounding scenery and exceptional entertainment.

Online casino
The promotion of a new brand and website is extremely difficult.

After Macau and Singapore, the Philippines is the fastest growing casino hub in Asia. Entertainment City in Manila Bay is designed in the style of other major gambling destinations like Las Vegas and Macau, and the government hopes it will draw in millions of visitors each year. In 2017, gross gaming revenue boomed and was up by 27 percent on the previous year. But now some are speculating that the sector is at risk of oversupply, so the building of new gambling houses in the country has slowed. Luckily for poker fans, there are a number of well-established poker rooms across the region. Here we take a look at the best places to get a fix of the amazingly popular card game in the Philippines.

Casino Filipino

The Casino Filipino in Angeles is one of the most famous gambling spots in the country. This is more than just a casino, it’s the ultimate combination of unique culture, breathtaking surrounding scenery and exceptional entertainment. This gambling house in the Town of the Angels aims to provide visitors with the experience of a lifetime. There’s a wide array of table games, slot machines and bingo draws, along with nightly performers serenading the hotel’s guests.

The casino itself is the epitome of lavish luxury, with sprawling gaming rooms and glistening décor. Along with this, there are numerous promotions to keep customers coming back for more. These include the Table Games Promo Card and the Slot Machines Promo Card, which give players access to a number of special privileges such as free food and beverages.

There are various events at the Casino Filipino such as the Friday Madness Bingo draw. But poker players will be most interested in the well-known poker room at the casino. The preferred variant of the world’s favorite card game here is stud poker, and they mainly offer cash games along with the occasional tournament.

The casino itself is the epitome of lavish luxury, with sprawling gaming rooms and glistening décor.
Casino, Pixabay

Pagcor Angeles

Angeles is home to another seriously stunning casino. The Pagcor is open 24 hours a day, which is ideal for players who want to get a game at all hours. There is an incredible selection here as well. The 42,651 square foot gaming area includes 452 gaming and slot machines, along with forty-five tables featuring traditional casino classics like blackjack, roulette, pai gow poker, and stud poker. There are six restaurants on site serving up a delicious array of Filipino and international cuisine, along with a hotel with sixty-six rooms.

Right next door to the buzzing gambling house is a recently developed poker room called the Century Poker Sports Club. The joint has been open for seven years and has gained a reputation for being a hotspot for poker in the city. Some of the past events there include the 300K Guaranteed Hold’em tournament to commemorate the poker room’s 6th anniversary last July, and the 20K Guaranteed No Limit Hold’em Tournament which took place there in November 2017. For some poker players, tournaments are their favorite way to play the game.

There is a certain knack to the tournament game, which requires players to adapt their poker strategy to defeat their opponents. This makes poker rooms like this that host regular Hold’em tournaments such attractive places to play. Skills required include extreme patience and the ability to wait until the right moment to strike. Players must also enter a poker tournament scenario with a clear set of rules and a strategy that they stick by.

Resorts World Manila

Manila is the country’s capital and the location that could one day rival major gambling hubs like Vegas and Macau. For that reason, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that there are a number of truly awesome casinos and poker rooms in the city. One such location is Resorts World Manila in Newport City, directly opposite the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. This convenience aspect makes the casino a hugely popular spot for holidaymakers and weekend gamblers alike. But it also earns a high number of visitors because of the wealth of entertainment options on offer. It is an integrated resort operated by Travellers International Hotel Group, and the huge project features four hotels, a number of casino gambling areas, a shopping mall, cinemas, nightclubs, restaurants and a theatre.

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Resorts World Manila is renowned for its wide range of poker games and has hosted the Asian Poker Tour in the past. There are various poker rooms offering cash games and tournaments, along with different varieties of the classic game on offer in the casino. For instance, players can gamble against the house in Lunar Poker, Pai Gow Poker or Texas Hold’em Bonus Progressive Poker. Overall, this sprawling entertainment hotspot should have everything required to attract poker lovers along with their families and partners.

City of Dreams Manila

The final option on this list of great places to play poker in the Philippines is the City of Dreams Manila, located in the heart of Entertainment City. This is another enormous resort which features three luxury hotels, a large number of premium dining outlets, a massive casino, and the pumping Chaos nightclub. While the casino has a wide range of games to suit any player, it’s the elite poker rooms on offer here which will appeal to poker lovers.

The resort hosts a number of major poker tournaments throughout the year, along with smaller games on a day-to-day basis. This will suit both newcomers to the game and high rollers, and the amazing atmosphere will have them coming back for more.

With locations like these, it’s really no wonder that the Philippines is making a name for itself as one of the hottest up and coming gambling hubs in the world. Poker and casino fans alike are spoiledfa for choice, and wherever the cards are being played you can be sure to encounter some other awesome entertainment to help you maintain that high.

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This Bamboo Entrepreneur from Philippines Aims at Tackling Poverty and Climate Change

Philippines Bamboo Entrepreneur Digs In on Poverty and Climate Threats

Bambuhay, a company in Philippines has sold nearly 400,000 reuseable bamboo straws. Lifetime Stock

Mark Sultan Gersava grew up in poverty, one of 12 children of a slash-and-burn subsistence farmer in the Philippines province of Sultan Kudarat.

Today he is the “chief executive farmer” of a company aimed at tackling that same poverty, and combating climate change at the same time.

His firm Bambuhay helps farmers shift from slash-and-burn agriculture – which accounts for about a third of deforestation in the Philippines – to growing bamboo, now in demand as an alternative material to throw-away plastic.

The company, now in its second year of operation, makes popular bamboo straws, toothbrushes, tumblers, and bamboo-based charcoal briquettes, to replace those made from wood.

So far Bambuhay has sold nearly 400,000 reuseable bamboo straws, Gersava said.

In late October, wearing a bamboo salakót, a traditional farmers hat, he told delegates to the One Young World conference of youth leaders in London what drove him to launch his company.

“In the span of one year, I experienced two super typhoons (and) the hottest measured temperature in Philippines history,” Gersava said.

Bamboo forest
A bamboo forest is pictured behind Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto. VOA

“This was the first time I had faced the direct consequences of climate change,” he said.

Less Poverty, Fewer Emissions

Gersava settled on bamboo – a fast-growing plant that absorbs large amounts of climate-changing carbon dioxide and can help prevent soil erosion – as a way of taking action on both climate change and poverty.

The Philippines climate, he said, is perfect for growing the giant grass and has helped poor farmers “become agri-preneurs.”

The effort has helped cut extreme poverty for thousands of farmers so far, he says.

“Bamboo is a symbol of poverty in the Philippines. If you live in a bamboo house, you’re very poor – that’s basically how it was before,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“But bamboo now has gained a lot of good attention since I started the company,” he said.

Bambuhay has partnered with the Philippines government and farmers to replant 540 hectares (1,340 acres) of deforested land through the company’s Bamboo AgroForestry Program, Gersava said.

Just how versatile bamboo fibre can be was evident in the entrepreneur’s own attire at the conference, including a sleek bamboo wallet and his cone-shaped hat, a golden salakót.

Such hats are usually made from reeds, but his was produced by farmers from bamboo – a gift in gratitude for his help in pulling them out of poverty, he said.

“When I wear this hat, I feel connected to the farmers. They are the one who are left behind,” Gersava said.

“They are the most important people that we that we need to protect. … We need to value these people more.”

Bamboo Business

Plastic bamboo
Bamboo straws stored in a jar on a table at the Copacabana restaurant on Yoff Virage beach in Dakar. VOA

Last year, Gersava sold his condominium, quit his job and with no formal business training and just $2,000 in start-up funds launched Bambuhay, his social enterprise.

“It’s very hard to start a business in the Philippines,” he said.

“There’s no support from the government, you have very limited funding. … I started with only one person.”

Now Gersava employs 17 full-time staff. He says as CEO his aim is not to become rich but to ensure much of what the company earns passes to its farmers.

Still, in addition to helping farmers, he’s been able to help pay college fees for his two nieces and support his siblings and parents, he said.

He says his work is far from done. By 2030, he aims for his company to have helped establish 1 billion bamboo plants and to have lifted 100,000 farmers out of poverty, especially in extremely poor areas such as his hometown and the province of Sulu.

Growing up in an impoverished family in Sultan Kudarat, he said, has given him a deep understanding of who pays the highest price as climate change impacts, from floods and droughts to heatwaves and storms, intensify.

“The wealthy CEOs and politicians are not the ones suffering the most from the consequences of climate change. It is the rural villager,” he said.

“It is the struggling farmers who are suffering from severe water shortages and droughts that will be the worst hit by food insecurity,” he predicted.

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To battle both poverty and climate change, “we cannot continue with business as usual,” he said.

“We must continue to innovate, to protest and to hold government and companies’ feet to the fire,” he said in a speech at the conference. (VOA)