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EyeCandy: Puerto Rico Open Golf Tournament Pics & Results

Posted on 16 July 2009 by EyeFred

After a week of perfect tropical weather, activities, and some great golf, The Puerto Rico Open has come to an end.  42-year old Michael Bradley took the trophy after an 11-foot birdie putt that placed him in the lead by a single shot over fellow players Jason Day and Brett Quigley.  This is Bradley’s first PGA Tour victory in eleven years and it has earned him a spot in the 2009 PGA Championship.  We’d like to thank all of the players for their participation and everyone in Puerto Rico who made this event possible for the second year in a row.  We hope you enjoy the photo gallery of the event we’ve put together below:

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Taste of Rum: An International Rum & Food Festival

Posted on 12 July 2009 by EyeFred

EyeTour.com is one of the media sponsors for the inaugural edition of the Taste of Rum International Rum & Food Festival to be held next Sunday May 24th, 2009 at El Paseo de la Princesa in Old San Juan.  Join us for a day of Caribbean music, culinary treats, and of course, the best rums in the world!  Prepare for the event by reading our featured article on Puerto Rica rum here.  We’ll be covering the event and will feature it on an EyeCandy Photo Gallery update on our blog soon after, so check back for updates!

Some information from the event website:

Location: Paseo La Princesa, Viejo San Juan
Date: Memorial Day Weekend, May 24th, 2009

Taste of Rum 2009 features a chance to experience a wide variety of Caribbean rums, great food from our neighboring islands, live music, and, last but not least, a feast of Puerto Rican joyful energy, culinary and musical richness, and culture!

The Puerto Rico International Rum Competition
Features the unique experience of rum tasting with international and local rums, to be judged by a panel of rum experts and celebrities. The event will be held May 23rd & 24th at Hotel Casa Herencia.

Day Event: Doors Open 12pm – Closed @ 5pm (Tickets will be available until 4pm)

  • Sampling Cover Charge $10.00 Plus Tax. / Includes 2 Rum Samples & 1 Typical Food Sample Tickets
  • Premium Cover Charge $30.00 Plus Tax. / Includes 14 Rum Sample Tickets & 6 Typical Food Sample Tickets

Night Event: Doors Open 7pm – Closed @ 11pm

  • El Catador Cover Charge $45.00 Plus Tax. / Included Unlimited Rum & Food Sample
  • To benefit SAPIENTIS, a non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of Puerto Rico’s public education system
  • Learn about the organization at www.sapientis.org

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Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Posted on 12 July 2009 by GSV

Puerto Rico is famous for many things but it is probably best known for producing some of the world’s finest rums.  With that in mind, here’s a brief primer about everything you might want to know about rum (but were afraid to ask) including: cocktails, brands, history and culture.

I’m willing to bet most visitors to Puerto Rico come for the beaches, the weather, the historical sites and the natural wonders.  But in the back of their minds they’re probably thinking “Hmm, I’ve heard they make some good rum down there on the island.  I think I’ll try some when I’m there”.  So, even though they don’t come exclusively FOR the spirit, it’s undoubtedly a persuasive attraction.  And, really, who can blame them.  Puerto Ricans do not take it for granted that they live on an island that produces high-quality product, we consume it without prejudice.  It’s not a stretch to consider it an intrinsic part of our culture – and of the Caribbean’s as a whole – as much as wine is part of the French way of life, or vodka in Eastern Europe.  Rum serves as a link to our past, both the mythical and the real; from the decks of pirate ships to the sugarcane fields of the centrales azucareras.

Although antecedents of rum production can be traced back to centuries before the European arrival into the New World, the beginnings of what we now know as rum are a direct effect of the colonization process of the Americas.  The world-wide demand for sugar led to an expansion of the mono-culture of sugarcane all along the Caribbean islands and places like Brazil.  Molasses, the by-product from the refinement of sugar, was so readily available it began to be fermented and distilled; thus, rum was born.  Cheap and intoxicating, the spirit’s appeal was widespread, and what was once boot-legged and illegal became a money-making venture.  By mid-19th century, the Bacardi company and the Serralles family were already producing high-quality rum and continue to do so to this day.  If you find yourself in the southern city of Ponce, be sure to check out Castillo Serralles – a 20th century mansion that was the family home and now serves as a museum and cultural landmark.

Museo Castillo Serrallés

Museo Castillo Serrallés

So, now you know a bit about rum’s origins, it’s history. Now, you want to try some.  The two most popular rums are made on the island:  Bacardi – the world leader in rum sales – has a plant in the city of Cataño, just across the bay from Old San Juan, that gives guests regular tours of the facilities (trust me, it’s a nice day trip if you can squeeze it into your schedule).  In Old San Juan you can find Casa Don Q, a museum dedicated to the Serralles family and its flagship product, Ron Don Q – the island’s top-selling rum.  Also, the Rums of Puerto Rico Tasting Bar, located in the same building, offers visitors a chance to try several cocktails made from the wide variety of products available. Try any combination of drinks from Cuba Libre, Piña Colada, Daiquiris, Mojitos and anything else you can think of, don’t be shy, the first drink is complimentary and it’s a fine way to learn what to order whenever you go to another bar.  Though Bacardi and Don Q are the most popular potent potables, they are by no means the only ones available: Ron Barrilito (in two or three star varieties) is a classic gold rum perfect for sipping on the rocks or with a mixer, Palo Viejo and Ron Llave are also popular options.

Festivals, such as the Taste of Rum inaugural festival and competition, are a perfect way of relishing the pleasures of rum to the maximum.  The Taste of Rum will be held during Memorial Day weekend at Paseo La Princesa in Old San Juan and is a unique chance to experience everything the island has to offer: great food, great crowds, and, of course, great rum.

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Puerto Rican Gay Pride Parade 2009

Posted on 10 July 2009 by EyeFred

The 19th annual Puerto Rican Gay Pride Parade took place this past Sunday June 7, 2009 in Condado’s Ashford Avenue (San Juan, PR).  Hundreds gathered in one of San Juan’s most heavily transited avenues to march in favor of equal rights, sexual freedom, separation of church and state, and life in general in a buoyant celebration of gay culture.  Enjoy some photo and video highlights below – or watch the full parade captured with one of Flip’s excellent pocket-sized Mino cameras by clicking on the links below.

Gay Pride Parade Uncut: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Photo Credits: Débora Reyes using iPhone camera

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Must See Attractions in Puerto Rico’s East Coast

Posted on 09 July 2009 by EyeFred

Puerto Rico’s east coast has developed into an essential vacation spot, beckoning tourists to discover it’s breathtaking natural wonders and numerous world-class accommodations, like El Conquistador Resort and Gran Meliá Puerto Rico.  Several prestigious events – including the Puerto Rico Open golf tournament at Trump International Golf Club – take advantage of the scenic setting provided by the eastern municipalities, while destinations such as Las Croabas highlight the diversity of activities available to visitors.

If you’re staying in the area and want to maximize your enjoyment, don’t miss these spectacular spots:

El Yunque National Forest - Río Grande, PR

Covering over 28,000 acres of land, El Yunque National Forest offers visitors some of the most breathtaking vistas found in the Caribbean.  The forest attracts over a million visitors each year, who come to hike its more than 13 miles of trails while enjoying the lush scenery, rich biodiversity, and fresh mountain air. Guided tours of these trails are available through the USDA Forest Service’s innovative “Forest Adventure Tours” and “Rent-A-Ranger” programs.  A short ten-minute drive through the village of Palmer in Río Grande and up PR Road #191 will lead you to the forest.  On your way up, don’t forget to stop at El Portal Rain Forest Center, an award-wining structure established in 1996 to serve as a gateway into El Yunque National Forest and to provide various recreational and educational opportunities to the general public. VIEW VIDEO


Balneario de Luquillo -  Luquillo, PR

Just a 45 minute ride east from San Juan and a couple of minutes away from the entrance to El Yunque Rainforest lies the Balneario de Luquillo. La Monserrate Beach, as it is also known, is one of the oldest and most visited public beaches on the island. A member of the Blue Flag Program that emphasizes water quality and environmental conservation, the crescent’s tranquil waters are surrounded by spectacular views of the nearby mountains.  Stopping by the strip of kiosks on the road leaving the beach, where you can enjoy a great variety of fritters and other staples of traditional cuisine, should be an essential part of your visit.  VIEW VIDEO


Balneario Seven Seas - Fajardo, PR

The Balneario Seven Seas, located on the northeastern tip of the island, is the municipality of Fajardo’s most popular public beach. Puerto Rico’s Compañía de Parques Nacionales oversees this long stretch of beach, known to draw large crowds on weekends and holidays. Seven Seas features powdery white sands that gently slope towards the shallow, clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Amenities available for visitors include restrooms and showers, lifeguards on duty, security guards, as well as wheelchair access to the beach. Camping is also allowed with proper permit for a fee, or one can rent a gazebo for the night.  VIEW VIDEO


Bahía Bioluminiscente Laguna Grande - Fajardo, PR

Puerto Rico’s eastern coast – host to some of the island’s best known attractions – has been blessed with an extraordinary rare and beautiful natural phenomenon seldom seen anywhere else in the world: the bioluminescent waters of Laguna Grande, where endless amounts of microscopic, single-celled organisms known as dinoflagellates light up like stardust whenever they are activated by movement.  Eco-friendly tours depart regularly from the public dock at the small fishing village of Las Croabas located on route 987. Several private companies are ready to take you on a two-hour night-time kayak adventure through the bay and into the mangrove channels that lead to Laguna Grande.  VIEW VIDEO


Las Cabezas de San Juan - Fajardo, PR

Located on 445 acres of land acquired and maintained by The Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico, Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve is an incredibly diverse and scientifically important tract of land.  The main tour consist of a two-hour trolley ride that guides you along the reserve with three stops of interest. Among those are the boardwalk trail through a mangrove forest, Playa Lirios, and El Faro de Fajardo. Situated on the highest point of Cape San Juan, the stone building was the second lighthouse erected on the island by the Spanish and offers breathtaking views to enjoy as trade winds gently blow by.  VIEW VIDEO

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EyeCandy: Saborea Puerto Rico

Posted on 09 July 2009 by EyeFred

To read up on this year’s Saborea Puerto Rico culinary event, click here.

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EyeCandy: Team Puerto Rico Comes Out Swinging!

Posted on 08 July 2009 by GSV

Carried by Ivan Rodriguez‘s two-home run night and 4 1/3 strong innings from starter Javier Vazquez, the Puerto Rican national team shutout the Panamanians 7-0 in their first game of the 2009 World Baseball Classic.  Carlos Delgado homered off of Bruce Chen in the second inning to ignite the Puerto Rican offense and bring the raucous, sold-out crowd to a frenzy.

Puerto Rico looks to advance to the second round of the tournament with a win Monday versus the surprising Netherlands team (who completed quite a shocker earlier in the day).

For full results click here.

To read more about the World Baseball Classic, click here.

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Puerto Rico Open Official Press Release

Posted on 06 July 2009 by EyeFred

 

Photo by Shayan (USA)

Photo by Shayan (USA)

Let’s Play Two: PGA TOUR and
World Classic Baseball in Puerto Rico

By Nelson Silverio and Mark Stevens-PGA TOUR

March 4, 2009, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico — A sports fan’s dream is taking place in Puerto Rico next week as the world’s top athletes in golf and baseball converge on the Isle of Enchantment.  On March 7-11, Puerto Rico will host four international teams as a first-round site for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan. On Thursday, March 12, the day after the WBC bracket’s championship game, 132 of the world’s finest golfers from 16 countries will begin play in the PGA TOUR’s second annual Puerto Rico Open presented by Banco Popular.

The crack of the bat leads to the ball in the cup as the stars of the PGA TOUR will tackle the Trump International Golf Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico March 12-15. Puerto Rico’s greatest golfer Juan “Chi-Chi” Rodriguez, an eight-time winner on the PGA TOUR, will return as tournament ambassador to hand out the trophy bearing his name.  The economic impact of the Puerto Rico Open on the island is significant. The Puerto Rico Open will be broadcasted in over 589 million households, in 231 countries and translated into 35 languages.  Additionally, the PGA TOUR players and their families, caddies and fans will be traveling to Puerto Rico to experience all the island has to offer, including El Yunque National Forest. Just across the street from Trump International Golf Club, El Yunque is currently in the running to become a New7Wonder of Nature.

The Puerto Rico Open field has combined for more than 100 PGA TOUR victories, including six major championships. U.S Open runner-up Rocco Mediate, Ryder Cup star J.B. Holmes and 18-year-old Tadd Fujikawa will be among those players battling defending champion Greg Kraft.  Mediate was defeated by Tiger Woods at the 2008 U.S. Open in a Monday playoff. Despite the loss, Mediate gained a legion of fans from around the world for his role in what has been described in media circles as one of the great major championships of all time.  Holmes, a two-time PGA TOUR champion, played for the United States at last year’s Ryder Cup, and is considered one of the top young stars on the PGA TOUR.

The teenager Fujikawa, a native of Hawaii, received a sponsor’s exemption to play in the Puerto Rico Open. Earlier this year, Fujikawa thrilled his hometown fans at the Sony Open in Hawaii with a third-round 8-under 62 to jump into contention at the event.  Fujikawa’s achievements on the course are all the more impressive considering he was born three months premature and doctors gave him a 50-50 chance of survival. He weighed 1 pound, 15 ounces and was so small that he could fit in his grandfather’s palm.  Fujikawa, along with Rodriguez, will be hosting a Junior Clinic on Tuesday for local youth.

Hispanic Presence in the Field

Four golfers from Puerto Rico who played in the 2008 Puerto Rico Open are scheduled to participate: Max Alverio, Rafael Campos (amateur), Wilfredo Morales and Miguel Suárez.  Additionally, in an effort to showcase up-and-coming Latin American players, the tournament is extending exemptions to the winners of select Tour de Las Américas events. The four players receiving these exemptions are Manual Villegas, Antti Ahokas, Estanislao Goya and Felipe Aguilar Schuler.

Villegas won the 2008 Colombian and Argentinean Open, and is the brother of PGA TOUR professional Camilo Villegas, both from Colombia. Manuel who followed in Camilo’s footsteps by playing golf at the University of Florida will make his first start on the PGA TOUR.  Ahokas, a member of the PGA European Tour, won the 103° Abierto VISA de la República presentado por Peugeot in Argentina as well as the ECCO Tour Championship in Denmark in 2008.

Goya, a native of Argentina, won the 2008 Tour de las Americas Order of Merit. He posted a course record 61 at Bonaventure Country Club in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., besting Johnny Miller’s 32 year record score by one. He won twice more in 2008, at the 77 Abierto VISA del Centro Presentado por Personel, and the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final on the PGA European Tour’s Challenge Tour.  Schuler, a native Chilean, won the 2008 Chilean Open and the 2008 Abierto del Golf Club de los Leones on the Tour de Las Américas before winning his first PGA European Tour event at the 2008 Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open.

Proceeds from the Puerto Rico Open presented by Banco Popular will support Fondos Unidos de Puerto Rico, a charity that allows for the development of initiatives that are benefiting children and young adults who reside in the local community.  Following last year’s inaugural event, the tournament donated more than $200,000 to the local Rio Grande chapter. The Puerto Rico Open is also taking the opportunity to raise awareness about environmental protection and responsibility.  For more information or to buy tickets you may contact:  787-728-8500 or visit www.ticketpop.com.

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EyeCandy: EyeTour.com runners at the WB10K

Posted on 03 July 2009 by EyeFred

Puerto Rico is host to many sporting events each year, but most are not as high profile as the World’s Best 10K marathon, which has become in recent years a cultural phenomenon.  EyeTour decided to let its presence known in 2009′s event (you can see our EyeCandy photo gallery of the WB10K here) and sent our editorial team to follow two local runners ready to cross the WB10K finish line.  Our EyeTour.com ‘sponsored’ runners, Alexis Gómez (25 – Trujillo Alto, PR) and Daniel Blanco (27 – San Juan, PR), gave it their all – but in the end could not out-pace this year’s winner, Sammy Kitawara from Kenya who ran an astounding 27:26 official time for the race.  Both however, were able to compete the race admirably, with Danny coming in at 1056 with 52:54 total time and Alexis placing 1919 with 59:42.  We’d like to congratulate them both for reaching their individual goals and thank them for wearing our (super cool and ultra-limited edition) EyeTour.com logo shirts.  Don’t worry guys, we’ll get ‘em next year!

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EyeCandy: El Gran Combo y su salsa gorda!

Posted on 03 July 2009 by EyeFred

This year the Festival Claridad celebrated its XXXV anniversary with the salsa sounds of El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico.   The celebration took place at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium’s parking lot area and lasted from Thursday February 26, 2009 through the whole weekend.  El Gran Combo took the stage on the first night and wowed the crowd with their best known hits.  For more information about the Festival Claridad, click here.

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