Category Archives: Philippines

Philippine Airlines brings back its Manila to New York route: Witnessing #PALFliesNY inaugural flight send-off

March 15, 2015 marked Philippine Airlines’ (PAL) 74th founding anniversary. This is also the day that PAL resumed its Manila-New York route after an absence of 18 years, making it its longest route to date, covering 14,501 kilometres or approximately 18.5 flying hours. Its route will operate four times weekly on an Airbus 340-300 with stopovers in Vancouver (in both directions).

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(Image courtesy of Fly Away Simulation.)

PAL celebrated its milestone by offering introductory airfares of $610 to New York last November 15, 2014 for travels starting March 15, 2015 onwards. You can read more about this news on their website here.

I haven’t flown long haul with PAL in almost a decade so when my husband booked our flight to Vancouver with PAL for our March 15 flight, I was excited to witness their inaugural flight send-off at NAIA terminal 2.

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Early morning run to Breakfast at Antonio’s in Tagaytay City

Our great national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, was executed by the Spanish army in December 30, 1896 for alleged treason. 2 years later, the first president of the Philippines, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, officially declared Rizal’s death anniversary a national holiday or “a national day of mourning.”

Rizal has written many novels, mostly about nationalism, about the country and has inspired the Philippine government and its people to stand up against the Spanish colony during the 19th century. Which resulted in his execution by the Spaniards.

Lately, though, Filipinos don’t really mourn for the death of Rizal every December 30, instead, they opt to travel out of town or go on short vacations between December 30 and January 1 or 2.

This year is no exception especially with our 2-week long holiday from December 24 to January 4, who wouldn’t pass up vacation opportunities? (This year’s holiday break is particularly long, you can view the list here.) So upon returning from Hong Kong on December 29, Fiancé and I decided to go for an early morning run to Tagaytay the very next day.

Tagaytay is one of the most popular day-trip destinations from Manila. It’s just a mere 2-hour drive or a 3.5-hour commute from the city. One of the reasons people also come here is that the weather is cool all year round even during summer due to its high altitude. Tagaytay is also where people come to see the world’s smallest active volcano — Taal Volcano (shown below).

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Photo credit to Thousand Wonders.

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Why taking the day’s first flight could be one of my happiest accidents yet

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Wishing everyone a very fruitful and prosperous 2015! 🙂

Today, I write about my thoughts about a happy accident that flying the first flight out in the morning could be one of my best decisions ever!

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Quick review of my experience at Philippine Airlines PR313

Just like any other short haul morning flights (first one in the morning at that), our aircraft was small in size — an A320. The crew was warm and friendly at that hour of the day, and I was still pretty groggy and zombie-like from getting only 30 minutes of sleep that night.

I remembered a lot of details though:

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Christmas in the Philippines Part 4: The parties!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!!! I sincerely hope you are having a great time with your family and friends this Christmas season. ❤

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To continue my series of Christmas in the Philippines entries, next up are the parties. Be prepared for the holiday festivities. I say, be prepared for the partiesssssss!

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Christmas in the Philippines Part 3: The decors

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Photo credit: CNN

We have tons of Western decors that we normally put up during Christmas season, such as statues of Santa Claus, reindeers, stockings, Christmas trees, fake snow, wreaths, mistletoes, poinsettias, and shiny Christmas balls.

But we also have our own local Christmas decors like the parol and the Belen.  Parol — a star-shaped Christmas lanterns usually made from paper, plastic and wooden sticks (sometimes they also use shells) —

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Parol photo credit: Gino Manalastas

and Belen — a tableau depicting the birth of Christ (which also comes in many sizes from one that can fit in one hand to one that is as life-sized as Shaquille O’Neil).

😉

belen-pintadaBelen photo credit: mynerja.com

 

Christmas in the Philippines Part 2: Brace yourselves for CAR-MAGEDDON!!

For every upside, there’s almost always a downside. And I have to be honest, being the country with the longest Christmas season in the world — and residing in the Manila — is that it has a really huge trade-off: CHRISTMAS TRAFFIC.

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Christmas in the Philippines Part 1: The -ber months

ONCE THE -BER MONTHS COME A-KNOCKIN’…

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“January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, Sep… CHRISTMAS TIIIIIIIIIME!!!”

Our Christmas starts on the very first month that ends with the syllable -ber. I’m not kidding. The Christmas decors and, sometimes, the carols start as early as September. Walk into our local department store and I swear to you, Christmas songs will be playing in the background while you shop!

It doesn’t stop after December 25 though,

Keep holding your breath…

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Preparing for Christmas in the Philippines: Just how LOOOONG is our holiday?!

Ok, so without consulting your trusty Mr. Google, do you really know the number of days Filipinos celebrate Christmas??

<Insert your answer here. Yep, yours.>

It’s been said that the Philippines has been recognised as the country with the longest Christmas season in the world! Not only that, how Filipinos celebrate the entire season is also one of the most unique in the world in terms of grandeur!

I grew up in this country for almost 30 years now, so I can personally narrate to you what makes celebrating one of the most fun, most anticipated and busiest time of the year uniquely Filipino… and in my case, Filipino-Chinese. 😉

I’m writing a few of my thoughts in separate blog entries. Let me show you in my next few posts in the coming days. 🙂

Gorgeous Christmas decors at The Peninsula Manila!

It is definitely not a good idea to start a blog entry saying that I did not like Christmas, but unfortunately, it’s true. Because of my experiences in the past, I was never a fan of Christmas until my then-boyfriend (now-fiance) slowly opened my eyes to the beauty of the Christmas season. I now anticipate it every year… And in different places!

Sharing you the gorgeous Christmas decors of The Peninsula Manila in Makati City 🙂

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