Greetings!

Welcome and thank you for your submissions to the 1st Southeast Asian Young Astronomers Meeting. Since the meeting is only several weeks away, will be starting to regularly communicate with you for any updates. We have listed below a brief information that you may need prior to your arrival to the venue site. As this will be the first meeting of its kind in Southeast Asia, please bear with us and feel free to communicate with any of the SOC and LOC members. We look forward to seeing you in Palawan!

 

Best regards,
SEAYAC LOC and SOC

GOOGLE DOCS
We have prepared a Google Docs file where you can see the details of your participation. Please check whether your name, institution and other details are correct. In addition, should you have co-authors who will be attending with you, please write a separate entry for them after the last person. Please inform any LOC member for any major changes/issues. Should you have any questions, contact any LOC or SOC members. Please check your email for Google Docs link.

GETTING TO MANILA
For those of you who have not yet booked your flight, we recommend that you fly from your home country to Manila via Cebu Pacific Air, a budget airline that flies through major SEAsian cities. Cebu Pacific arrives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3, the newest and most convenient airport terminal in Manila. Those who would be flying other airlines will arrive at NAIA Terminal 1. Those who will be flying with Philippine Airlines will arrive at NAIA Terminal 2.

GETTING TO PALAWAN
There are several airline choices to get from Manila (MNL) to Puerto Princesa, Palawan (PPS). It is advised that you arrive at Puerto Princesa by Sunday, November 4, 2012. We have listed the airline options below as well as their websites. Each one flies at least twice a day from Manila to Puerto Princesa.

Cebu Pacific Air NAIA Terminal 3 www.cebupacificair.com
Airphil Express NAIA Terminal 3 www.airphilexpress.com
Philippine Airlines NAIA Terminal 2 www.philippineairlines.com
Zest Airways Domestic Terminal www.zestair.com.ph
Southeast Asian Airlines Domestic Terminal www.flyseair.com

Please note that the terminals are quite far apart from each other and you have to pass through immigrations before you can transfer terminals. There are shuttles that roam between terminals every 30 mins for a minimal price (around 50 pesos or 1.25 USD). There are taxis available also but they are a bit more expensive (around 100-150 pesos of 3-4 USD). Please allot a minimum of three hours for transfer. This is also the reason why we recommend flying in through Cebu Pacific since there would be no need to transfer terminals. Both international and domestic flights of Cebu Pacific are located in Terminal 3. There are currency exchange counters in Terminal 1, 2 and 3.

Flying time to Puerto Princesa is around 1 hour and 15 mins. Upon arrival at the Puerto Princesa Airport, you will be fetched by the hotel vehicle and an LOC member who will take you to the hotel. Please provide your arrival time in the Google Docs file.

REGISTRATION
Upon arrival to the hotel, you will be directed to the registration booth of SEAYAC. As mentioned in the website, the registration fee is 7500 pesos. Please note we can only accept local currency (Philippine Peso), so don’t forget to have your money changed in Manila. Upon registration, you will be given the conference kit, meal stubs, ID and your room assignment/key.

VENUE AND ACCOMMODATIONS
The Meeting will be held at the Legend Hotel Conference Rooms A and B. Presentors will be booked in a twin sharing room at the Pads Legend Hotel, which is located right beside the Legend Hotel. The rooms at the Pads Legend are budget type rooms and costs 1840 pesos per room per night. Should you want to be transferred to the Legend Hotel rooms (which costs 3400 pesos per room per night), please notify the LOC before October 20. The room is inclusive of a set breakfast. Please settle the bill upon checkout with the hotel front desk.

MEETING PROPER
The schedule of the meeting will be sent by next week. Each presentor will be given 20 minutes for their presentation including questions. Discussions are highly encouraged after each presentation, so take this opportunity to interact with your fellow young astronomers. Please prepare your powerpoint presentation in .PPTX, .PPT or ,PDF formats. Have your presentation uploaded in the computer prior to the start of your session to facilitate a smooth meeting. Coffee and water will be provided during the meeting.

MEALS AND SOCIALIZATION
Lunch and dinner are included in the registration fee for the duration of the Meeting. Please note that this does not include dinner on Nov. 4. Should you have any dietary requirements please notify the LOC or place a note at the Google Docs file before October 20. There will also be a welcome dinner for the participants on November 5 at the hotel. Please prepare your singing voice as there are karaoke booths that are available! =)

GETTING AROUND
Puerto Princesa is a fairly small city. The primary means of transportation is a tricycle (similar to a tuktuk in Thailand) which you can hail almost anywhere. Just tell the driver where you would want to go and ask how much. Normally it wouldn’t cost more than 50 pesos for 2-3 people to get anywhere within the city. There are several dining options around the city. Most notable among these are Ka Lui’s (needs prior reservation), Badjao Restaurant (located in a mangrove swamp area) and Kinabuch’s. Although they are a bit pricey, it is a good opportunity to experience local Filipino cuisine (though there are some that will be served at the conference dinner). There is also a newly opened Robinsons Mall within the city. Should you need information, please do not hesitate to ask the hotel front desk or any LOC member. You can also visit other tourist spots such as the Crocodile Farm and the Iwahig Penal Colony (a unique prison where convicts walk around freely and interacts with visitors they meet on the street)

UNDERGROUND RIVER TOUR
The registration fee also includes a tour of the Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature. The tour will be on November 7 and includes a 1.5 hour drive to Sabang Beach where you will ride a boat to the mouth of the Underground River. There is also an option of a 1.5 hour jungle trail hike where you can encounter wildlife (especially monkeys!). From the mouth of the river, visitors will take a guided tour of the 8 kilometer long cave where you can see amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations. There are also a lot of bats and swiftlets that fly around the cave, making it sometimes noisy (in a good way). Please prepare outdoor outfits for this (shirts, jeans, sneakers) and extra clothing in case you get wet. Also, note that the Underground River is a protected area, so please avoid littering. Indicate in the Google Docs file whether you will be joining the tour or not before October 20.

CHECKING OUT
Please indicate in the Google Docs file on your checkout date. The hotel will provide transportation to bring you to the airport. Should you have a connecting flight at Manila, please make sure that you have ample time to make the transfer.

FUNDING
As of this moment, the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand has committed to provide partial funding for student presentors coming from SEA countries. However, due to the limitations in funding, it is only sufficient to cover the registration fee and accommodation from November 4 to 8. In addition, there are currently delays in getting the fund from Thailand to the Philippines. Should everything go well, we will be giving the grant upon registration. The worst case scenario is we would request participants to pay for hotel and registration on site then the cost will be reimbursed via bank transfer to your accounts at a later date.

We ask for everyone’s kind understanding regarding this matter. As this is the first time the SEAYAC Meeting will be held, we’re trying to do our best to provide funding for everyone. Should any other funding sources become available, we will inform you ASAP.

LAST REMARKS
Again, we thank you for your participation in the 1st Southeast Asian Young Astronomers Meeting. Remember that this meeting is made by us, for us in order to get to know each other both professionally and personally. Let’s take this opportunity get acquainted with our future colleagues, gain new friends and establish collaborations within our region. SEAYAC started from a very informal meeting over beer and a card game in Kunming, China way back in 2008. From our humble roots, we’ve already come a long way. Let’s work together to move forward and develop the future of astronomy in Southeast Asia! Thank you and see you in Palawan! =)

 

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