Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year 2008


Guidelines for a Happy New Year:
Dance
as though no one is watching you
Love
as though you have never been hurt before
Sing
as though no one is listening to you
Live
as though Heaven is here on earth.
/Souza
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Friday, December 28, 2007

Top Destinations in 2008

Frommers, The New York Times and Lonely Planet have come out with their list of top destinations in 2008. The NY Times has selected 53 destinations, one too many if you spend a week at each destination. Three places mentioned by both Frommers and The NY Times are Quito in Ecuador, Essaouira in Morocco and St. Lucia in the Caribbean. Colorado is on the radar screens of both Lonely Planet-Region and Frommers. Read why.

http://www.frommers.com/articles/4811.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/travel/09where.html

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/bluelist/

Where do you plan to go in 2008? Let me know by participating in my informal poll (side margin) and please send me a comment why you've chosen a particular destination.

Happy travels in 2008!

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Plane Etiquette

Your narrow seat and small legroom is your personal space for several hours (sometimes up to 12 or 15 excruciating hours). It does not help that your neighbor hogs all the space underneath the seat in front of you with his or her bag, shoes, discarded newspapers, blanket and what not. He/She has also taken the entire luggage compartment for wheeled luggage, laptop, coat, and gift bags with the logo of a famous store which all come down right after take-off and spread out on the seat between you and the fold out trays. But never mind that. That's a small inconvenience compared to the guy behind you who can't seem to decide what movie or video he wants to watch and keeps punching that screen which is right behind your headrest. Or you can be unlucky enough to sit in front of a kid who keeps kicking your seat or that man who has his knees locked to your seatback so you cannot recline your seat. Don't even mention the smell when someone can't wait to go to the lavatory and passes gas in your general vicinity. And you thought all that is over when the plane lands but no! Watch out for the passenger who is super eager to get out of the plane and pulls out his heavy carry-on from the compartment right above your head. Yes, I've been a victim of an assault in an airplane. And the man didn't even apologize though he saw he had hit me on the head with his vicious weapon.

P.S. I forgot to mention the time when I flew from SFO to Seoul and a man with long legs wearing no socks decided to recline across 3 seats with his feet right next to me. His toenails were long and black. Need I say more?

For more laughs and indignation, check out Delta's Planeguage site which features videos on Plane Etiquette. Learn about Planeguage before you fly.

http://blog.delta.com/2007/10/31/planeguage-language-of-traveling-by-plane/

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas in as many languages

"Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say
On a warm Hawaiian Christmas Day"


To my friends and family around the world,

We Visayans say, Maalipayon nga Pascua. Elsewhere in the
the Philippines it's Maligayang Pasko!

To my good friends in Germany - Klara, Sonia, Marico, Trini, a warm Frohes Weihnachtsfest!

Joyeux Nöel to Maryse, my friend of many years.

Mele Kalikimaka to Nancy and Larry in Honolulu.

Feliz Navidad to friends in Mexico, especially Josefina and cousins in Spain.

André, Deborah and family, Rochelle, all in Amsterdam, a big hug and Gelukkig Kerstfeest.

Good Jul to Rahman and family in Sweden.

Veselé Vánoce to my good friend, Noubikko, in Prague.

Bom Natal to Rui in Portugal.

Buon Natale to Sisters Marcellina and Sofia and the
Sisters of St.Bridget in Assisi.

Wishing you the joy of Mary on the birth of her son, Jesus Christ, whose birthday we celebrate on Christmas day. May you be blessed a thousandfold with hope and love, both symbols of His birth

Merry Christmas.

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Image by Rosario Charie Albar


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Travel Nightmares

First there were germs on bedcovers, telephone receivers and of course, the toilet. Then they spread to remote controls, door knobs and light switches. Here's one more to watch out for:

http://www.bestviral.com/video/6629/dont_ever_drink_from_hotel_glasses

Disgusting? How did we ever survive the early days of travel?

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas at the Mall

Glorietta Mall, Makati

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas with temperatures dipping to the low 30's. I'm all bundled up. At this time last year I was in tank tops and pareo walking along Baybay Beach.

In the greater metropolitan area of Manila and Makati with a population of roughly 10 million, the malls are a favorite destination on Christmas day. Why not? They are airconditioned, decorated with Christmas finery, offer lots of entertainment, choice of restaurants or food courts, and shops galore. And in a predominantly Catholic country, you can hear mass at the mall.

Unthinkable, you say, to spend Christmas day at the mall. But that is exactly where I was on Christmas day last year having lunch with my childhood friend and exchanging gifts. We were vastly entertained and distracted by the noise and hoopla around us.

Yes, it was a Maligayang Pasko. May you be blessed with a colorful and lively Christmas day.
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Photo by Rosario Charie Albar