Sunday, January 31, 2016

Advertise in Travelife Magazine's special section for travel agencies and tourism establishments



Advertise in Travelife Magazine, the leading travel & lifestyle publication.

Travelife Magazine's special page for travel agencies, tour operators and travel industry related establishments. The majority of our readers are upmarket travelers constantly on the lookout for operators who can offer quality services and products.

For advertising inquiries, please contact:

travelife@travelife.biz

Tel +632-8138400/ 8922620 


Driving from Nashville on a Deep South road trip in a vintage Cadillac convertible



So just now, somewhere in the world, living a #Travelife, I got a phone call from someone.

"How about a driving trip from Nashville all around the South in a 1960s Cadillac convertible?"He asked.

I was on email, Viber, Instagram, Facebook and Skype, trying to get work done while on my own trip, so Nashville, Tennessee was the last thing on my mind.



SURPRISE, SURPRISE

"Excuse me?" I said, barely containing my surprise. "Nashville?"

This certainly was not in my travel plans for 2016, although I've heard great things about Nashville.



We'd had dinner with some people last night, you see, and the guys had gotten excited about doing a driving trip around the Deep South including to New Orleans, Mississippi and Alabama. Nashville was proposed as the jump-off point.

One of them had bought some property in Nashville for want of something better to do so he was looking for an excuse to head to that part of the world.

Scroll down to read more about a Deep South road trip in a Cadillac convertible...



GREAT FOOD & GREAT MUSIC
IN AMERICA'S GREAT SOUTH

And now he was working on everyone to try and do a trip together to the South to source out some great food and music while driving his dream vintage car. And this guy who was calling me was almost caving in.

"Aren't you too busy to be talking about Nashville on a Monday morning?" I asked. But I have to admit, this put the idea of Southern fried chicken with all the sidings into my head.



He replied, "Yes, incredibly busy. But with the thought of Nashville at the back of my mind, I can work a hundred times harder."

How's that for another interesting trip in my never-endingly eventful #Travelife? 




12 hours in Hong Kong: A daytrip to CX City, Cathay Pacific's headquarters.

At Cathay Pacific headquarters,
CX City, in Hong Kong

Everyone in Travelife Magazine, the leading travel & lifestyle publication, really gets to live a #Travelife. Recently, Travelife editorial assistant Pat Cendana went on a day trip to Hong Kong for us to visit the headquarters of Cathay Pacific. 


She sent in this report:



My day trip to Hong Kong started with a light breakfast in Cathay Pacific’s new lounge at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.

Renovated last year, the lounge has a minimalist and spacious design and a quiet atmosphere that makes it easy to relax before a flight — which, in this case, was a flight to Hong Kong, the hub of Cathay Pacific Airways.


Scroll down to read more about a day trip to Hong Kong...



THE CATHAY PACIFIC LOUNGES 
AT HONG KONG AIRPORT

The flight from Manila to Hong Kong is only 90 minutes, so before I knew it, we were landing in Hong Kong and I was ready to start my short but sweet adventure.

In Hong Kong, I visited Cathay Pacific Airways’ numerous business class and first class lounges such as The Wing, The Cabin, and The Arrival are scattered throughout the airport. These lounges offer comfort and luxury (as well as the most delicious dim sum and noodles) to weary and jet-lagged travelers.

You can even book a shower room in one of these lounges and refresh yourself with the numerous amenities.


CATHAY PACIFIC:
A WORLD-CLASS AIRLINE.
AND ABOUT VISITING CX CITY.



Aside from seeing firsthand the high standard of service that Cathay Pacific continuously provides for its passengers, I also learned more about the different processes and training that makes Cathay Pacific one of the most competitive airlines in the world.

Cathay Pacific Headquarters, which is also known as CX City, has built mock-ups to simulate an authentic flight experience for training cabin crew members. This realistic simulation makes the Cathay Pacific team better equipped and prepared to handle almost any situation in a real flight. 



HOW AIRLINE CATERING WORKS

Then I headed to the Cathay Pacific Catering Services, which is a few minutes away from CX City, for a tour on how they produce and deliver the highest quality of products -- literally, everything from meals to blankets. I was most impressed with the way the way their production flow maximized their productivity potential



After lunch, it was time to return to Manila. I was in Hong Kong for less than 12 hours, living a #Travelife.

But the trip certainly made me appreciate Cathay Pacific Airways, from their cabin crew to their in flight services, as I traveled back home for another chapter in my #Travelife.



Famous people born in the year of the monkey, which begins this February 8, 2016, according to the Chinese Lunar New Year calendar



These are some of the famous people born in the Year of the Monkey. According to the Chinese Lunar New Year Calendar, each year in its calendar is associated with an animal, decided in rotation according to the order in which the animals presented themselves before Buddha.

From February 8, 2016, we will be entering the Year of the Monkey.

Artist Leonardo da Vinci
born 1452

Novelist Charles Dickens
born 1812

Artist Paul Gaugin
born 1848

Composer Gustav Mahler
born 1860

Former US President Harry S. Truman
born 1884

Former US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt
born 1884

Artist Amadeo Modigliani
born 1884

Novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald
born 1896

Former US President Lyndon B. Johnson
born 1908

Former US Vice President Nelson Rockefeller
born 1908

Musician Ravi Shankar
born 1920

Pope John Paul II
born 1920

Film Director Federico Fellini
born 1920

Poet Sylvia Plath
born 1932

Actor Omar Sharif
born 1932

Musician Mick Jagger
born 1943

Film Director George Lucas
born 1943

Singer Julio Iglesias
born 1943 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sala Bistro twice in one week. And about new restaurants to try in Manila.

Saturday night dinner at Sala Bistro
in Greenbelt, living a #Travelife...

It'd had been a very long time since I was last at Sala Bistro, but last week I found myself there twice, in Manila, living a #Travelife.

The first visit was last Saturday, as I had an overdue reunion dinner with a group of old friends who all enjoy travel, food and wine. We'd all been in Japan together several times before.

Remembering a delicious meal together
at Steirereck in Vienna last month,
living a #Travelife...

Coincidentally, we'd all been in Europe for part of the Christmas season, and some of them had been with me in Prague and then for a Christmas markets cruise from Nuremberg to Prague. We had a wonderful time exploring this part of Europe in the winter cold.

Meanwhile, the others had been in Venice and in Paris at about the same time.

Scroll down to read more about Manila's new restaurants...




A REUNION OVER A BORDEAUX WINE DINNER
WITH CHAMPAGNE TO START

So we all compared notes on our travels and discoveries, each of us bringing a bottle to drink.

The wine theme of the night was Bordeaux but I thought this would mean we would have way too much red wine on the table, if we were each bringing a bottle, so instead I brought a bottle of Billecart Salmon rose to start off dinner.


UNFRIENDING SOMEONE ON FACEBOOK.
OR UNFOLLOWING SOMEONE ON INSTAGRAM.

What fun we had, laughing about everything in the world -- including a bit of reminiscing about our past trips together, a new car, and a lot of giggling about the acts of unfriending someone on Facebook or unfollowing someone on Instagram.

What gales of laughter those last two topics -- unfriending someone on Facebook or unfollowing someone on Instagram --  certainly brought.

I was really sorry that I don't see them more often, as we are all so terribly busy, myself included.

-------------------------------------------




-------------------------------------------

BACK AT SALA BISTRO

But I did get to see the inside of Sala Bistro again a few days later, as someone very nicely took me to lunch there on Wednesday. 

Interestingly, I could have picked anything I wanted for the meal, but I chose to have exactly the same dishes I had on Saturday.

Yes, I'm a creature of habit.


NEW RESTAURANTS IN MANILA

As for the conversation, it centered on interesting new restaurants in Manila and a bit of the political landscape shaping up for the upcoming Philippine presidential elections in May.

He told me about a very delicious Mexican restaurant at the end of Ayala Avenue, and about a Puerto Rican sandwich shop near Rockwell. And he mentioned a couple of Chinese street food places.

Tomato soup to start
at Sala Bistro in Greenbelt,
living a #Travelife...

All of them sounded interesting, but I was very glad to be at Sala Bistro for a civilised lunch in the middle of the week. Not as much wine this time, though, as it was the middle of the day.

But I couldn't resist having one very cold glass of white wine to accompany just another delicious lunch in my never-ending, and never-endingly delicious #Travelife.

The best selling chocolate in Japan for Valentine's Day 2016. And about a successful marketing idea.



Valentine's Day in Japan is synonymous with chocolate, and in particular with women giving chocolate to all the men in their lives including husbands, boyfriends, bosses and colleagues.

Actually, you might cut the wives out of the picture as most wives know their husbands actually don't like chocolate that much and this Valentine's Day ritual in Japan was initiated by several chocolate manufacturers who needed to increase their chocolate sales.



In fact, most Valentine's Day chocolate gifts brought home by men from the office, given by their female colleagues as "giri choco" is just eaten by the wives and children.

Scroll down to read more about Japan's bestselling chocolate...




A SUCCESSFUL MARKETING IDEA

But what a great idea that turned out to be.

Many women spend lots of time and money buying Valentine's day chocolate -- really good chocolate for the special ones, and what they call "giri choco"  (courtesy chocolate) for everyone else.

And if you add up the expenses, these purchases constitute a small fortune.

-------------------------------------------




-------------------------------------------

CUBED CHOCOLAT:
THE BEST-SELLING CHOCOLATE IN JAPAN



The best-selling chocolate in Japan these days is called Cubed Chocolat and it's made by a chocolate specialty maker in the Tokyo suburb of Jiyugaoka. It's also available online.

This chocolate costs just under 4,000 yen and it reportedly uses about 1 kilogram of high quality chocolate to create this mix of different flavours.



Everyone who receives this reportedly loves it, and this chocolate has been selling like hotcakes for the past four years.

There's also a long line at the Jiyugaoka store to buy this. So I think I'll just go online to buy chocolate, on just another day in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife.

Chinese New Year 2016: Welcoming the Year of the Money at the Grand Hyatt Macau



The Year of the Monkey falls on February 8, 2016. The monkey is the ninth animal sign of the Chinese zodiac which symbolizes intelligence, energy and versatility.

The Year of The Monkey brings the hope of optimism and adventure – but it is also expected to be a fast ride.



The Grand Hyatt Macau takes an innovative approach to traditional decorations, with colorful festive flowers and ornaments adorning every corner of the hotel to welcome the Year of the Monkey.

Scroll down to read more about Chinese New Year in Macau...





FAI CHUN LUCKY CHARMS
FOR THE YEAR OF THE MONKEY

A calligraphy master will create 'Fai Chun' lucky charms for guests at the Lobby Boutique, and the Fortune God will present gifts filled with blessings and prosperity for the year ahead.

Lion and Dragon dances add excitement throughout the hotel on the first day of the Lunar New Year.



A DONGBEI REGIONAL SPECIALTIES
PIG FEAST AT BEIJING KITCHEN
OF THE GRAND HYATT MACAU

Grand Hyatt Macau has also prepared several unique Spring Festival dining experiences, including an authentic Dongbei Regional Specialties – Pig Feast at Beijing Kitchen to celebrate Spring Festival.



Chef Sun Yinming, Chef de Cuisine of Beijing Kitchen, journeyed to China's northeast regions of Shenyang and Dalian to explore and study the authentic ingredients and flavors of the Whole Pig Feast and these will be offered from February 7 to March 13, 2016 for both lunch and dinner.




Friday, January 29, 2016

How to improve your memory just by being enthusiastic about life. And about the guy with the best memory in the world.

I remember all the things I like,
including so many of my wonderful trips
in my never-ending #Travelife...

Yesterday was a very busy day as I'm headed out again this weekend on the beginning of my never-ending #Travelife for 2016.

But somehow, while sitting in the car in traffic on my way to a party hosted by the Ambassador of India last night, I remembered a dinner hosted by former Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Bar-On and his wife Eti, with a most interesting guest in our midst.

THE BEST MEMORY IN THE WORLD

The guest was Eran Katz, a world-renowned mentalist and Guinness Book record holder for his amazing memory. And that night, our small group got a private preview of his pretty impressive memory skills.

That's the former Ambassador of Chile holding up a paper
filled with numbers that we'd just randomly shouted out.
Eran is the guy on the right reciting everything with 100% accuracy.

HOW TO GET INTO 
THE GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS

Eran bagged the Guinness Book world record by hearing 500 random numbers from different people and then repeating these numbers back accurately and in exact order -- which is pretty breathtaking enough -- and at the same time saying these numbers forwards and backwards.

Wow.

And, at that dinner, the good Ambassador introduced Eran to us and then we gave him perhaps 25 numbers on the spot. He did everything perfectly and backwards. I was too impressed to even clap afterwards.

Scroll down to read more about how to improve your memory...




HOW DID HE DO THIS?

Of course we all wanted to know how he did this feat. He asked us: "Do you really want to know?"

I remember nodding like a schoolchild.

Eran does this all over the world for a living -- teaching people how to have better memories -- and he probably charges a fortune for it too. So we were all quite lucky to have seen and heard him tonight, and I was even luckier to have witnessed his performance two nights in a row.

-------------------------------------------



-------------------------------------------

THE EASIEST WAY 
TO REMEMBER A PERSON

Then Eran asked the audience: "Do you want to know what the easiest way is to remember a person?"

Of course we did. So he replied: "Lend him money."

The audience erupted in laughter.

I remember this wonderful trip to Africa,
where we took a ride up in a hot-air balloon
and then tumbled down and had some champagne...

HOW TO GET YOUR PEN BACK


Then the gentleman seated next to me at dinner gave me his two cents' worth on the topic.

He asked me: "Do you want to know how to remember to get your pen back, when you lend it to someone?" Of course we can all identify with this dilemma as we're all always lending our pens to people and about half the time we don't get these back.




He continued: "Lend the person the pen but keep the cap. Either he'll remember to give it back as he won't be able to use it without a cap, or you'll remember to ask it back. Especially if it's a Montblanc."

I then told him jokingly: "If it was a Montblanc, I wouldn't be lending my pen out."

GUYS AND CLOTHES



Eran then continued: "Do you notice how husbands or boyfriends hardly remember what their wives or girlfriends are wearing? If you ask the average guy what his wife or girlfriend was wearing to a party last night, he wouldn't be able to tell you."

I told the gentleman next to me: "That's because men never notice such things as clothes."

And then Eran echoed me: "Men are not too interested in clothes so they're not likely to remember clothes. But they'll remember things like sports facts or stock market information."

-------------------------------------------



-------------------------------------------

The gentleman next to me then said: "But I remember what you wear. You're always wearing these ethnic dresses or these unusual things."

Yes. One time I bumped into him at the Manila Polo Club and I was wearing a very heavy beaded necklace I'd bought from a tribe in Mindanao, and I'd paired this with a black dress. He'd noticed it enough to comment on it on the spot and ask me about it.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
AND SOME REALLY WITTY ONE-LINERS

Eran then regaled us with a couple of teasers although I can't remember all of them -- so much for a lecture on memory. But a couple of them stood out.

Eran said: "If someone writes a book about failure and it sells well -- is it considered a success?" We all laughed.

Eran continued: "Are the employees of Lipton Tea allowed to take a coffee break?" We laughed again.

WHAT HAPPENS 
WHEN YOU RUN OVER YOUR PET

He added: "When I was growing up, we had to learn English, which is basically a foreign language. So I had to devise ways to remember words. For example, the world LICENSE. To remember this I told myself: When lawyers lie, they make sense."

More laughter from us. He then continued: "Then there's the word CARPET. When a car runs over your pet, he becomes a carpet."

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY



But eventually he returned to the topic of improving one's memory and he turned serious. "Everyone has a good memory for things they're interested in. So the key to retaining a good memory is simple."

Here he almost shouted into the mike, and if I'm not mistaken he did a little dance/ jump as well: "Enthusiasm! Be interested in life and in people and you will always have a good memory." Wow, that's our mantra for life as well, as Travelife Magazine.