Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Driving around Saipan with my Mustang convertible

Driving around Saipan with my Mustang convertible

This morning, living a #Travelife, I spent most of it driving around Saipan with my Mustang convertible.

The others woke up really early to visit some remote island. I decided to make a leisurely morning of it, as it's our last day here, and then to just explore Saipan on my own.

I had my trusty yellow Mustang convertible, after all, and Saipan is easy to navigate and all the roads are concrete, so driving is stress-free and fun.

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HAVE MAP, INTERNATIONAL DRIVING LICENSE 
AND COOL CAR, WILL DRIVE.

I got a map and decided to go to an isolated part of Saipan with wonderful views. 

I don't usually drive myself anywhere, but it's a crime not to get behind the wheels of a cool car here in Saipan. It's almost like therapy.

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I took along with me my trusty Canon camera, an extra bottle of water, my camera phone and my high-tech SPF hat. Then I put the radio on really loud to American radio which was, very nicely, playing retro music.

How lucky was that?

DRIVING TO THE OTHER SIDE
OF SAIPAN



Then I drove all the way to other side of the island. Or rather, I zoomed as much as Saipan's speed limits would let me, at least.

What a wonderful feeling to drive through all this nature with great music and nothing on my mind but my never-ending Travelife. So now I'm thinking of renting a Vespa in Saigon next week... 


But back to Saipan. 

The scenery along the way is really beautiful, especially as there are so few people around. What a nice surprise to find this lovely, relaxing island in the Marianas, for a few days of an enjoyable #Travelife.

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Everyone is in Saipan, enjoying spa treatments and barbecues by the beach

Everyone's in Saipan, enjoying spa treatments and barbecues by the beach
Enjoying a barbecue by the beach in Saipan

Has Saipan become the new IT destination? Everyone seems to be in Saipan, enjoying spa treatments and barbecues by the beach.

It certainly looks like it from the fun time we're having and the fact that we're bumping into a couple of friends from Manila while we're here.

The #Travelife Magazine team flew in the other night for a working trip that's also become a fun beach and water sports holiday. Yes, we're doing lots of work and getting to tick a lot of things off our bucket lists at the same time. 

Today, for instance, some of us motored to an island to go para-sailing. It's been great fun to discover more about Saipan. And to discover some friends on the island as well.

BUMPING INTO FRIENDS IN SAIPAN.
AND ABOUT A SPA AFTERNOON 
AT THE HYATT REGENCY SAIPAN


Enjoying a barbecue by the beach in Saipan

Tonight, I arrived late for a barbecue dinner at the beach because my spa afternoon ran late. I'd booked a four-hour session and it was amazing. I had the works at the spa of the Hyatt Regency Saipan since I had a free afternoon, and this kind of long spa session is something I really never get to do.

The i Sagua Spa of the Hyatt Regency Saipan is lovely and the treatment rooms are really relaxing. I just came from a facial in the photo above, and was under strict instructions to not do anything at all to my face until tomorrow morning for supposedly optimum results.

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DRIVING ALONG BEACH ROAD
IN SAIPAN


Anyhow, after the spa session, I jumped into my Mustang convertible and drove along the beach road to the other end of the island to join the #Travelife Magazine team, on this particular trip headed by Managing Editor Ceia Ylagan and we're joined by great travel photographer Tracey Heppner, for dinner. 

And, what do you know? I bumped into television host Edric Mendoza who I know quite well as I've guested on his TV show on ANC called "On The Money" several times and we've talked about  that all essential combination of money and travel on his show

He was having dinner with his wife Joy, and after the niceties, we got caught up discussing the best things to do in Saipan.

A cultural show by the beach in Saipan

Meanwhile, Travelife Magazine columnist and cover girl Michelle Barrera, who is also part of this Travelife Magazine team to Saipan, and who is so game for anything adventurous, by the way, discovered a new talent the other night in the form of traditional Chamorro dancing.

She was a natural at this and a great hit, and I can confirm that Michelle can quit her day job now (she's an equestrienne and a model) to become a traditional Chamorro dancer if she wishes. As long as she doesn't quit being a Travelife Magazine columnist, that is

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THE TRAVELIFE MAGAZINE TEAM
IN SAIPAN

And here's a photo of our Travelife Magazine team for Saipan. It's a really fun and extremely hardworking group and when they're not laughing, they're working.

Or is it the other way around?

Enjoying a barbecue by the beach in Saipan

One never really knows which is work and which is the holiday, in a never-ending #Travelife.

As for me, I'm going to take my Mustang convertible all around the island tomorrow morning, as it's our last day in Saipan before heading home and then jumping on another plane for another #Travelife sooner than later.

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How Eye Level promotes critical thinking and creative thinking



How does Eye Level promote critical thinking and creative thinking?

It is important that any attempt to improve thinking abilities and to pay attention to both critical and creative aspects of thinking. This can be seen in Eye Level's Critical Thinking Math.

Although Eye Level tests children on critical thinking, the generation of solutions also tests their creativity. Plus interesting comics with attractive pictures, when presented to children, also trigger their creative thinking abilities.

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How can Eye Level’s critical thinking be applied in other school subjects? 

Critical thinking provides tools of mind that children need to think through anything and everything. All reading, writing, speaking and listening can be done critically.

Critical thinking is essential for children to be better thinkers and better performers at school.

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• Critical thinking is an important skill that children need to navigate and interact with people of all ages and walks of life.

 • The lessons that children learn on critical thinking at Eye Level are applicable in their studies and other areas of life. This application and generalization comes after repeated exposure and practice to Eye Level’s methods for critical thinking.

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How can critical thinking be applied to daily life? 

Critical thinking is important wherever the quality of human thinking significantly impacts the quality of life.

For example, success in human life is tied to success in learning. At the same time, every phase in the learning process is tied to critical thinking. Thus, reading, writing, speaking, and listening can all be done critically or uncritically.




IMPORTANCE OF CRITICAL THINKING

Critical thinking is crucial to becoming a close reader and a substantive writer. Expressed most generally, critical thinking is “a way of taking up the problems of life.

The traits of a well cultivated critical thinker":

Raises vital questions and problems 
Formulates these clearly and precisely
Gathers and assesses relevant information 
Uses abstract ideas to interpret things effectively 
Comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions
Tests these against relevant criteria and standards


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Monday, August 29, 2016

Driving a Mustang convertible around Saipan. And about a Mercedes Benz vintage convertible from the 1960s.


Landing in Saipan early this morning for four days of a #Travelife in Saipan, we hit the ground running, with a drive around the island and even a couple of hikes -- and basically no sleep since last night.

My companions were way more active than I was. They even found their way to a golf course and a couple of shorelines to see some scenic spots. Meanwhile, I booked myself a spa treatment at the i Sagua Spa of the Hyatt Regency Saipan in the late afternoon, before arranging to meet up with them for dinner.

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RENTING A CONVERTIBLE
IN SAIPAN


Until my spa treatment and dinner, I then decided to borrow this lemon yellow brand-new Mustang convertible for the duration of my holiday in Saipan so that I could go anywhere I wanted whenever I wanted.

How appropriate this was as well. 


ABOUT THE MERCEDES BENZ 
VINTAGE CONVERTIBLE

Because just the previous night in Manila, living a #Travelife, I'd hosted an informal dinner at home for Mr. X who was visiting Manila just for one night on his way to somewhere else, and for an ambassador of a very important country, who is also a good friend.

The talk somehow centered on convertibles, but the vintage Mercedes Benz convertible kinds in impeccable condition

Both guys got so enthusiastic about this conversation concerning a vintage Mercedes Benz convertible that Mr. X actually and very suddenly proposed very gallantly to buy me one to use in Tokyo, as I am currently driving a very large sedan there which he thinks is too large for Tokyo's roads. I've never had an accident or scraped my car so I don't know why he thinks this.

Hokkaido wagyu flown in chilled a few days ago
for dinner at my home last Saturday
A VINTAGE CONVERTIBLE
FROM THE 1960s

But regardless of his opinion on my driving skills and my current cars, I was certainly happy to have a vintage Mercedes Benz convertible from the 1960s, if he was proposing to buy me one. And the ambassador, quite amused at the very concrete turn in the discussion, from exchanging opinions to an actual purchase, was a very helpful partner in crime, in this respect.

The ambassador said at dinner to me: "Just imagine driving down Omotesando on your way home in that convertible."

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I couldn't resist it. I added: "I'd better start thinking about my wardrobe too. Do you think my Issey Miyake clothes will suit a vintage convertible?"

We were just having a laugh, of course. But the ambassador replied: "Think more Romy Schneider or Audrey Hepburn than Issey Miyake."

Then Mr. X backtracked, knowing my distaste for the sun and any exposure to it. He said: "But you'll never drive a convertible. You hate the sun."

DRIVING A CONVERTIBLE IN SAIPAN
WITH THE RADIO MUSIC BLARING


I didn't disagree on that point. But how ironic then that I find myself the happy owner of a lovely Mustang convertible in Saipan, even just for a few days. So far I've driven the convertible around the island with the radio blaring rock and hiphop music I usually never listen to.

I had such a good time, especially as I drove by the shore from one end of Saipan to the other.

Interestingly, the music and the convertible go so well together, here in Saipan, where I'm so happily living a #Travelife.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Travelife columnist Michelle Barrera conquers her fears and learns to dive at the Acacia Resort in Anilao, Batangas



TRAVELIFE’S Wanderlist columnist MICHELLE BARRERA left her horses in her stables and drove to Batangas to dive deep into the sea in Batangas to get to the top of her bucket list for this latest issue.

This is her year for adventure, and as I write this, she's getting ready to drive a vintage Mustang around Saipan in real-time.

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For this issue, Michelle answered some of our questions.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT TRAVELING? 

I love seeing new places and learning about the history and culture of a place.

WHERE’S YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION WITH FAMILY?

Probably Canada because our trips with family there have always been quite epic for memorable stories and crazy fun adventures.

WHERE DO YOU USUALLY GO FOR A QUICK GETAWAY WITH FRIENDS? 

Locally, our most recent popular getaway has been Acacia Resort in Anilao. It’s our no-brainer go-to place for a relaxing quick getaway. The food and accomodation is always top notch; and it is great because if we want to dive also, its right there.



WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SIGHTSEEING OUTFIT? 

Anything comfortable with a good pair of walking shoes! It really depends on the weather and season, and sometimes what I’m planning to see.

YOU CAN’T YOU LEAVE FOR A TRIP WITHOUT… 

My travel documents pouch (obviously), my USANA supplements and my hair stuff. Strange but true. My hair has a crazy life of its own, and I think sometimes it would love to do its own Travelife adventure without me!

WHAT’S AT THE TOP OF YOUR TRAVEL BUCKETLIST NOW? 

To see the Northern Lights.


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Subic Bay and its new attractions as featured in Travelife Magazine

Subic Bay and its new attractions as featured in Travelife Magazine


Subic Bay and its new attractions as featured in Travelife Magazine

NEW ATTRACTIONS AT SUBIC


This post is about Subic Bay and its new attractions as featured in Travelife Magazine

This issue’s cover was shot in beautiful Subic Bay, a refreshing weekend destination just two hours away from Manila. It was definitely a work shoot, but the team of Travelife Magazine, one of the best travel magazines in Asia, happily spent several relaxing days amidst nature and animals.

Travelife Editorial Assistant PATRICIA CENDANA, who wrote the cover story, and our #Travelife cover model JOANA ZANDRA CARRASCO even got to swim with dolphins. Elsewhere in this issue, nature was all around us as well.

Subic Bay and its new attractions as featured in Travelife Magazine

This issue's cover model
JOANA ZANDRA CARRASCO

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Click here to read more about
Joana Carrasco

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The Travelife Magazine team behind
Subic Bay and its new attractions:

Photographer
BRYAN AREVALO

Make-up artist and Stylist
ABBY MAGLAYA

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BUCKET LIST DESTINATIONS:HOKKAIDO 


TRAVELIFE Managing Editor Ceia Ylagan waxes rhapsodic about a summer holiday in Hokkaido, currently one of the most popular destinations in Asia. It’s Japan’s last frontier, so many of its attractions center around parks and involve outdoor activities.

Among the highlights of her trip to Hokkaido this time around were a morning walk through the Moerenuma Park designed by the artist Isamu Noguchi followed by an afternoon spent with practically half the population of Sapporo, drinking beer in one big al fresco beer garden in Odori Park right in the heart of the city.

BUCKET LIST DESTINATIONS:ICELAND 




Then we have a story on Iceland, perhaps one of the most dramatic countries on earth and certainly amazing in the summer.

In many places, there is absolutely nothing but nature around, and in such spectacular forms and colors that will literally leave you breathless. I just spent a bit of the summer in Iceland, driving all over the country, with a wonderful group of #Travelife friends and readers, and we had so much fun that we're already planning our next destination.

SWITZERLAND'S MOST FAMOUS HOTELS:THE STORCHEN IN ZURICH



In this issue, I also write about a three-week driving trip through Switzerland with stays in some of the most famous hotels in Switzerland. These included the 650-year-old Storchen Hotel in Zurich, a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts, which is the city's oldest hotel and still very lovely.

It has a wonderful traditional restaurant serving Swiss classics, and I would highly recommend it for an evening of real Swiss food like Zurich-style veal with rosti.

SWITZERLAND'S MOST FAMOUS HOTELS:BEAU RIVAGE PALACE LAUSANNE



We also feature the Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne in this issue, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and one of the grandest palace hotels in the world.

It also has some of the most beautiful suites in Europe, and -- as an added incentive for foodies - it houses the Anne Sophie Pic Beau Rivage restaurant, a Michelin two-star restaurant considered one of the best dining experiences in Switzerland.

OUR NEW TRAVELIFE COLUMNIST:MICHELLE BARRERA 




Breathless, by the way, is the operative word in a story written by our new Wanderlist columnist, equestrienne and all-around athlete Michelle Barrera about overcoming claustrophobia and a handful of other fears to hold her breath, dive in and discover the marvels of the underwater world in Batangas.

She’s now a certified convert to the pleasures of diving – which has long been on her bucket list. With each issue I'm happy to let you know that we’ll be reading more about Michelle Barrera’s adventures all over the world as she ticks off additional boxes on her list.


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OUR NEW TRAVELIFE COLUMNIST:JEROME MARTIN



Meanwhile, our new foodie columnist Jerome Martin has written so seductively and also so enticingly about his upcoming visit to Guernsey, one of the prettiest places in the world that so few people have heard of, that I am so tempted to add this destination to my own bucket list

Jerome, who spends his days managing money and his nights and holidays trying out new or good restaurants around the world, is taking off for Guernsey on a tiny plane from London soon for a weekend of food and drink.

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EATING IN THE BEST RESTAURANTSIN THE WORLD


Jerome has ticked off almost every top restaurant on the planet and he's often asked to don a tuxedo for some fancy dinner somewhere in the world, but he confesses that his favourite kind of foodie adventure is still the more casual kind -- things like, in his own words, "walking through weekend markets sampling goodies with a fun travel companion on his arm."

Again, get set to read more of his foodtrips in our upcoming issues. I’ve already gotten an earful of the next few places Jerome is writing about, and they’re all guaranteed to make your stomach growl and set your heart a-flutter.

This is our ninth wonderful year as the leading travel & lifestyle publication. In this time, we’ve crisscrossed the earth more times than we can count on some truly exhilarating and inspiring adventures. But the bucket list just keeps getting longer as we continue happily living a never-endingly eventful #Travelife.



Thursday, August 25, 2016

12th ITE HCMC at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam this September 8 to 10



Vietnam’s largest & most established travel event ITE HCMC returns for the 12th Year.

The three-day event is expected to host over 30,000 international and local trade buyers, travel professionals, and public visitors, including for the first time, a group of widely popular international bloggers.

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THE ITE HCMC THIS SEPTEMBER 2016

The International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City 2016 (ITE HCMC), the largest and most established travel event in Vietnam, will be back for its 12th edition from September 8 to 10, 2016.

The expo, taking place at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center, is the prime platform for both local and international companies to collaborate and discuss inbound and outbound tourism.

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International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City 2016 (ITE HCMC)
September 8 to 9, 2016 (Trade Visitors) 
10 September 2016 (Trade and Public Visitors) 
9 AM – 5 PM
Saigon Exhibition & Convention Centre (SECC)

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THE VIETNAMESE GOVERNMENT
SUPPORTS ITE HCMC



The ITE HCMC 2016 is endorsed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism, Vietnam, as well as the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City. It's also supported by:

1) The Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia; Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lao PDR
2) The Ministry of Hotels & Tourism, Myanmar
3) The Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Kingdom of Thailand

ORGANIZERS OF ITE HCMC 



ITE HCMC 2016 is organised by:

1) The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism
2) The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism
3) VINEXAD – Vietnam Trade Fair & Advertising Co
4) Informa Exhibitions

ACMECS RESPONSIBLE TOURISM FORUM

Among the highlights of the expo is the ACMECS Responsible Tourism Forum on September 7, organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam in collaboration with the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City.

ACMECS refers to the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy, a political, economic and cultural organisation whose members include Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Forum aims to further promote the development of ACMECS, as well as to confirm the role, status and accountability of the tourism industry to the environment, community, society and the region. 

ASEAN TOURISM MINISTERS



The event is honoured to receive the participation of the Tourism Ministers of the ACMECS countries, as well as other ASEAN countries, and also representatives from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

OTHER EVENT HIGHLIGHTS:
THE MEKONG TOURISM ALLIANCE AWARDS
(MTAA)

Apart from buyer-seller meetings, business matching service, and tourism seminars, the 8th edition of the Mekong Tourism Alliance Awards (MTAA) will also be held on September 7 at GEM Center, Ho Chi Minh City.

Proudly supported by the countries’ respective tourism ministries, the MTAA is a recognition of the excellent services in the tourism and hospitality industry in the Mekong region (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam).



AWARD CATEGORIES AT MTAA

Award categories include: 
The Best Airline of the Year
The Best Outbound Travel Operator of the Year
The Best Inbound Travel Operator of the Year
The Best Five-star Hotel of the Year
The Best Resort of the Year
The Best Tourism Website of the Year
Broadcast Excellence Award for Destination Promotion
The Best Festival of the Year

EXHIBITORS & GUESTS



Exhibitors include airlines, hotels and resorts, tour companies and travel representatives from countries like Brunei, Cambodia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Netherlands, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam, and many more.


PARTICIPANTS FROM THE 
PROVINCES OF VIETNAM


Participating from Vietnam are the provinces: 

An Giang
Ba Ria – Vung Tau
Bac Lieu
Ben Tre
Binh Dinh
Ca Mau
Can Tho
Da Nang
Dong Thap
Hau Giang
Khanh Hoa
Kien Giang
Lam Dong
Long An
Ninh Binh
Quang Nam
Tien Giang
Thua Thien Hue
Tra Vinh
Vinh Long

HOSTED BUYERS FROM OVERSEAS


Among the trade visitors expected are 200 international hosted buyers from the following countries:

Australia
Canada
China
France
Germany
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Italy
Japan
Korea
New Zealand
Philippines
Russia
Singapore
Spain
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom 
United States 

REGIONAL BUYERS AT ITE HCMC

There will also be a total of 100 Regional Buyers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Joining them are the media from prominent international lifestyle and trade print media, digital media, TV broadcast crews, and travel bloggers.



PROMOTING THE ESSENCE OF VIETNAM
AND ITS TIMELESS CHARM

Anh Hoa, Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism, Deputy Head of ITE HCMC Organizing Committee said: “We are expecting 15% more sellers and buyers at ITE HCMC this 2016, so everyone from our hosted buyers to trade and public visitors can anticipate a bumper crop of fascinating destinations, exciting tourism activities, as well as attractive travel packages."

She added: "Hundreds of trade professionals will be descending on our humble city; my colleagues and I, as well as residents of Ho Chi Minh City, welcome you with our warmest hospitality.”



Jack Wei, the General Manager of Informa Exhibitions, added: “This year’s ITE HCMC is particularly special as we are hosting at the expo a group of outstanding and very popular travel bloggers from countries like Denmark, Finland, France, Norway and the UK. They will share their experiences on their social media accounts, allowing more people in the world to understand better the extraordinary beauty of Vietnam, bringing into vivid colour the true essence of Vietnam – Timeless Charm.”

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