Back in Manila for all of 18 hours, living a Travelife, the first thing on my calendar was a cocktail party hosted by H.E. Ma Keqing, Ambassador of China, on the occasion of the 64th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China.
It was a very nice affair, and in one go, I was basically able to say hello to a lot of friends and say "I am back for two weeks!"
DEATH OF A MACBOOK PRO
At the airport lounge in Istanbul two weeks ago, I happened to spill tea on my beloved MacBook Pro and it died on me as I was flying from Istanbul to Madrid, to begin a trip to Spain.
What a disaster that was, as my whole life was on that computer.
THE REVENGE OF THE iPAD MINI
In Madrid, I quickly got an iPad mini to tide me over until I could get my computer some first aid back home.
Having refused to use an iPad before, trying to blog or send emails on an iPad mini constantly left me close to tears as I was completely unused to this operating system.
I managed to pen a few blog entries over two weeks, and now I am actually getting the hang of using an iPad.
But the main result of having my MacBook Pro die on me was that all my data disappeared and I was incommunicado from most of my friends and business associates while I was in Spain.
MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME
So today, seeing a number of them at the cocktail party of the Ambassador of China quickly resulted in plans to meet up for lunches and dinners, and invitations to cocktail parties and events.
I only have two weeks to fill up, after all, and then I am off again to Tanzania, so I have a lot of maximizing to do.
THE JOYS OF SPAIN
At this party, I bumped into the Ambassador of Spain, H.E. Jorges Domecq, and I recalled my wonderful two weeks in Spain, including where we had gone and what we had done.
It had truly been a never–endingly eventful Travelife to Spain.
SMILES FOR THE WORLD
I also caught up with Ambassador Roberto Mayorga of Chile, who spearheaded the Smiles for the World photo contest that ended with an awarding ceremony recently.
Travelife Magazine is a proud partner of this wonderful project.
RESULTS OF THE PHOTO CONTEST
While I was away in Spain, the winner of the photo contest was announced and all was initially well.
Unfortunately, it turned out that the grand prize winner had sent in a photograph that belonged to someone else –– and this incident had quickly become the talk of the town at all levels of society.
I will not go into more details on this, as enough has been written about what happened.
What I will write, however, is that all is now well and the issue has been resolved in a very nice way. The original grand prize winner has acknowledged that the photo he submitted was unoriginal, and he has returned the prize money.
SECOND PLACER GETS THE GRAND PRIZE
The second prize winner will be awarded the grand prize instead in a more private ceremony with the organizers, Travelife Magazine included, at the home of Ambassador Mayorga next week.
Ambassador Mayorga always looks on the bright side of things.
He was radiant tonight, that the issue had been resolved.
ON THE UPSIDE
He also: "One positive aspect is that so many people are now talking about Smiles for the World. If we previously had only thousands aware of this project, now we have millions. I am not an especially religious person, but God works in mysterious ways."
And on that uplifting note, we ended another very interesting evening in our never-ending, and never–endingly eventful Travelife.