Me and my Philippines: Victor Consunji

Businessman Victor Consunji, the first Filipino to run and finish a full marathon in the North Pole this year, talks about his Philippine travels and favorite resorts

By Margie Francisco

Victor Consunji and Maggie Wilson Consunji
Your favorite destinations?
Boracay, of course. But I also like El Nido and Bohol. In Boracay, you get the beach and you get to be social. There are lots of places to eat, to shop. You can go sun tanning, swimming. It’s kind of an all-in-one package. El Nido’s more about relaxation and seclusion. It’s the place you go to if want to get away from it all. Bohol is just rich in activities and it’s quite unique. You get to play with the tarsiers, watch the dolphins, and check out the Chocolate Hills. The wildlife there is fantastic!

 

Cross training! #ButIDontThinkThisWillWorkInMyPool #WhyDidntITryThisSooner #DiscoveryShores #Boracay

A photo posted by Victor Consunji (@victorconsunji) on

 

What is the best hotel you’ve stayed in?
The best boutique hotel in Boracay is Zuzuni and the best general hotel there is Discovery Shores. Perfect service is the key. I don’t mind a hotel not having so many amenities; I do mind when a hotel provides lousy service. For me, helpful staff and accessibility and general cleanliness are key.

What is your favorite resort?
There’s a lot. I guess El Nido, Lagen Island Resort is one of the best resorts I’ve stayed in. It’s down to service again. The staff there are so helpful; they’ll almost bend over backwards to meet any request.

What do you always take with you when you travel? Aside from cash?
Not much. Toothbrush, board shorts, shades, flip flops.

 

Trying to explain life to a 4 year old... #Why #WhyAgain #ButWhy #WhyWhyDeLaway #ImGoingToPretendWeAreTalkingAstroPhysics

A photo posted by Victor Consunji (@victorconsunji) on


Are you a beach bum?
Definitely. Mountains tend to have a lot of bugs. For me, the outdoors, somewhere preferably with water, is perfect.

Victor and son, Connor

Your favorite bars and restaurants?
For nightlife, Makati and any of the locations at The Fort or at Greenbelt. I don’t really go out so much anymore so I’m not exactly in tune with the night scene as I used to. Cav has a nice wine bar. My favorite restaurants include Mamou.  

What was your worst traveling experience?
It’s not the worst holiday but my worst trip, courtesy of this budget airline. Coming from Singapore to Manila, the windshield of the plane cracked midflight so we did an emergency landing in Kota Kinabalu, where there was no service staff whatsoever to help us out and we had to stay overnight in the crappiest hotel imaginable. It looked like the residences of hell. After getting half an hour’s worth of sleep, we lined up for approximately four hours to re-check-in to the rescue plane. For me, I’ve blacklisted that airline forever from my list of carriers.

What was your biggest packing mistake?
I guess just the usual; I forget the toiletries and end up buying them in the destination. But that’s hardly a crisis.

What is the worst hotel you’ve stayed in?
It doesn’t exist anymore. It was back in 1998 in Boracay. It was during Holy Week and every hotel was booked. I ended up staying in a hotel called La Villa Rocha, which was right beside Fridays. And as the name implies, it really was “the village of roaches” and with no running water.

What do you avoid on when you go on vacation?
The crowds and hassle. I normally like going to destinations near enough to places where I can have fun; but not too close that it’s banging on my door. For me, there has to be a balance between convenience and accessibility and the option to get away and have some peace.

Victor Consunji at the North Pole Marathon

About Victor Consunji
Victor Consunji is the grandson of DMCI founder David Consunji. He is the chief executive officer of V. Consunji Inc., which he founded in 2001 and the president and chief operating officer of Semirara Mining and Power Corporation. He is married to Maggie Wilson with whom he has a son, Connor. Last April 16, the 38 year old Consunji ran in the North Pole Marathon. He came in 13th among the male participants and became the first Filipino to run and finish a full marathon in the North Pole. He finished the race with a time of 6 hours and 46 minutes.

Follow Victor Consunji on Instagram and Facebook

Photos screengrabbed from Victor Consunji's Facebook page

Originally published in InFlight Traveller April 2010. Updated May 2016