Our August-September issue, which is incidentally our fifth anniversary issue as well, is now on sale and we really hope you get yourself a copy of this real keeper of an issue. It's one of our best ever, and it's certainly our thickest issue to date.
DINNER IN PARIS
For this very special issue, we’ve focused on Paris, one of our favorite cities in the world. Personally, I try to visit Paris as often as I can -- and this is never enough.
The last time I was in Paris was three years ago, and my favorite memory of that visit was cooking dinner for 18 friends who had flown in from all over the world to join me for a few days or a week or two weeks in the City of Lights.
It was early fall, and I had access to an apartment just two blocks from the Elysee Palace and it was really beautiful -- with a dramatic foyer and a massive and wonderfully decorated living room that opened up to a private garden that provided amazing peace and quiet in the midst of one of Paris' busiest districts, and a living room that could easily seat 24 for dinner.
There were four ensuite bedrooms so I sort of ran it like a hotel during my stay, with friends coming and going, staying as short as three nights or as long as two weeks.
One evening, however, almost everyone was in Paris at the same time, so my four bedrooms were full and everyone else who couldn't be accommodated in the apartment had booked rooms nearby.
To welcome everyone, I'd made dinner, shopping for supplies at the open-air food market and basically winging it on inspiration. Fortunately, things turned out pretty well.
Creating this very special Paris issue made me remember this last time I was in Paris -- and it made me realize another visit is long overdue.
EXTRAORDINARY, AS USUAL
For this issue, we’ve looked beyond the usual tourist guides to bring you gems of information that we’re sure you’ll want to keep for an upcoming trip to Paris – whether it’s your first time or your 50th. I'm almost sure no other local or regional magazine has tackled Paris in this extensive way before. But that's Travelife Magazine for you. Always extraordinary, never half-baked.
We're particularly honored this issue with a very special contributor: H.E. Gilles Garachon, the newly-arrived Ambassador of France himself.
Ambassador Garachon was still in the process of settling down to life in Manila, and yet he honored us at Travelife with a wonderful and witty essay on what exactly he loves about Paris.
No one can give you a better insider’s view than Ambassador Garachon.
ALL THAT (AMERICAN) JAZZ
United States Ambassador Harry Thomas also honors Travelife Magazine with a special interview on what he loves best about American culture and about traveling in the United States. Ambassador Thomas, a lover of jazz, gives us his top recommendations for jazz destinations in this issue.
PARIS' TOP FIVE
FOR OUR FIFTH YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Meanwhile, in line with our own milestone, we’ve shortlisted the top five of practically everything concerning Paris: from the most romantic hotels and also the quirkiest places to stay, to the food to buy and tours you should definitely take.
EVEN PARIS FOR KIDS
We even have a section on where to take the kids on a family holiday in the City of Lights. Don't take the family to France without this.
We’ve been able to put together this truly epic special because we know Paris very well, and most of the things we’ve written about are from experience. Paris can be life changing, especially when done the Travelife way.
THE TRAVELIFE TEAM IN PARIS
Travelife associate editor Carlo Velasco, who also heads Travelife TV, led the team that flew to Paris for this feature. Meanwhile, the rest of us on the ground – or more accurately, in the office – put together the articles based on our own memories and those of others.
Managing editor Ceia Ylagan and editorial assistant Jean Mangonon traveled to Paris perhaps a hundred times even in their sleep, to produce this special. By the time they put this issue to bed, they knew the City of Lights by heart.
OUR CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
FOR THIS PARIS SPECIAL
Incidentally, businessman David Lim, who shot our great cover in Sri Lanka for the last issue (Travelife June-July 2012), and Martin Macalintal of the French Embassy provided many of the beautiful photographs for this issue.
David runs his own business but he's also a keen photographer and currently president of Makati's Zone 5 Camera Club.
Meanwhile, Martin, the son of diplomat, grew up in Paris and went to a string of prestigious schools there as well, so he can probably crisscross the city blindfolded. Actually, on his last trip to Paris, he bought a bike and spent most of his free time on wheels. He said: "It was a cool experience to go around one of the world's most beautiful cities with complete freedom on two wheels."
Martin had a one-man photo show of Paris sometime back, and some of the photos we've featured here are from that exhibit.
THE JOYS OF A TREASURE HUNT
In this issue, she gives you the low-down on where to go, what's great to buy, and even where to eat and hear waiters singing at the same time.
TOP 5 TRAVEL EXPERIENCES
So every issue of TRAVELIFE is extraordinary, but especially this one. We asked each of our contributing editors to shortlist their five best memories, and the results make for a most fascinating read.
Our editors are all travelers first before writers, you see, and it certainly shows in the amazing places they’ve visited and the incredible things they’ve done in their own never-ending travel lives. They’re all genuinely passionate travelers who would still be exploring in the world in exactly the same manner, whether they’re connected with a travel magazine or not. Fortunately for us, and for them, they’re writing for the Philippines’ leading travel and lifestyle magazine.
A BIG MAC & NOMA
IN THE SAME CATEGORY
Contributing editor Jerome Velasco has probably eaten in every Michelin three-star restaurant in the world, but in his top five food memories, a Big Mac ranks alongside lunch at Noma, the best restaurant in the world.
He also writes a second article in this issue, about his favorite Paris restaurant, waxing rhapsodic about the chef's deft handling of vegetables. Interestingly, when we asked him whether he would pick street food or gourmet restaurant when in a new city, he replied: "Street food. Unless it'll land me in a hospital."
THE BEST OF THE PHILIPPINES
Contributing editor Gabby Malvar, frenetic and truly passionate traveler, has spent the last few years literally living in a suitcase in a bid to see everything wonderful and fascinating in the Philippines.
Travelife Magazine is really lucky to have him on board, and amidst his hundreds of fascinating experiences -- including spending a night deep inside a cave in pitch darkness, evading danger to photograph Tawi-Tawi's most picturesque places, and spending 24 hours marooned in a hut in the middle of the sea -- he picks his best local experiences.
PARIS, ALWAYS IN THE TOP 5
Contributing editors Rafe Totengco and Dondi Joseph are both frenetic global travelers, but they both include Paris as among their favorite cities – a testament to the eternal and universal attractions of this beautiful city.
DRIVING TO CAR HEAVEN:
THE AUDI MUSEUM AND FACTORY IN GERMANY
THE AUDI MUSEUM AND FACTORY IN GERMANY
Meanwhile, Travelife director Andrew Masigan writes about something close to his heart: the Audi Museum in the sleepy town of Ingolstadt, Germany. He was short on time but he drove -- or rather, raced -- all the way from Prague just to set foot in Audi’s ground central and observe the process from A to Z.
A TRAVELIFE IN FULL COLOR
We also have three very special and colorful photo-articles in this issue.
New York-based IT executive Angelique Faustino, who often catches the red eye from New York to Seattle for business trips, captured the beauty of the Dale Chihuly Museum with her camera one weekend.
Meanwhile, David Lim, Jay Camus and the other members of Makati's Zone 5 Camera Club recently flew to Siem Reap in Cambodia for an on-the-spot photo competition around the Angkor Wat; the winning photographs from this competition appear in this issue.
MYSTERIES OF INDIA
Meanwhile, Travelife Creative Director Bryan Arevalo flew to South India recently to discover the mysteries behind the lovely state of Kerala and the ancient practice of ayurveda.
We all hope you enjoy our unique anniversary issue, written with heart and soul and produced to that personal and yet excellent level of quality that has always set Travelife apart from the rest.
Indeed, no one travels like us. Or writes like us. And that’s why we’re #1.
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