Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tacloban City: A Year After

The journey wasn't as smooth as this. San Juanico Bridge. Nov 6, 2014.

The weather en route was sunny and all I could see from the window were just a few patches of white cottony clouds, the green landscape of Luzon , and an endless stretch of blue called sky. I was thankful that the ground crew gave me a window seat. I had an opportunity to have a first glimpse of a place that was once battered by torrential rains on an apocalyptic level, strong winds that toppled even the sturdiest structures, and a two-storey high wall of black water that took several properties and lives regardless of social status, gender, and age. As we started our initial descent, the weather started to change. Looking out, I was only seeing a gray void. It made me think what was really in store for me in the next few months. Eventually the clouds fled and from above, everything became clearer. Tree trunks were scattered like matchsticks as if they were haphazardly scattered by a toddler. Clusters of white tents were placed randomly on a flattened area that used to be a village. 

It was drizzling and the sky was overcast the moment I stepped outside the plane. I will never forget how Tacloban City welcomed me on that gloomy and melancholic second day of March. The airport terminal, albeit still standing from its foundations, was literally torn apart. There were wires strewed randomly at the ceiling. Some hung loosely, while others were taken out for safety reasons.

On the 8th of November 2013, Tacloban City became a city of ruins. Thirteen months later, nothing had really changed, except for some establishments that have reopened for business. But it had somehow changed me on how I view things around me; a paradigm shift.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Glimpse of Guiuan, Eastern Samar

Guiuan, Eastern Samar
Guiuan, Eastern Samar

Last month, I got a message from my senior. She told me that I was one of those people from the tower who will be sent to Guiuan, Eastern Samar for a special assignment: To facilitate the take-off and landing of Kalayaan One (the callsign of PNoy's flight).

With only a limited time, I immediately packed my things and off we went to the easternmost province of Visayas.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Five Misconceptions about Flying

Taxiway Charlie at NAIA

Flying, without a doubt, is the safest and the fastest way of transportation. It makes the economy of the state, and the lives of the people running at a steady pace. I couldn't imagine life without air transportation. Today, more and more people choose to fly due to lower airfare, most especially when airline tickets are on sale.

Working in the aviation field gave me an opportunity to understand on how this industry really works. More so, as a frequent flyer, I always encounter or hear a LOT of scuttlebutts about flying. Here are the five misconceptions and facts about flying.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Surfing the Internet Abroad: Globe Data Roaming

I love to travel; it keeps me sane and it allows me to discover more about myself. Going beyond my comfort zone isn't new to me and no one will stop me from discovering new places, exotic cuisines, and exploring new culture. And since everyone's on social media, I couldn't help but to update not just to humble brag but also to update my family and friends about my adventure. I tell you this, updating them through photos and other forms of media is more engaging than just a 160-character text message.

Through this, I wouldn't get tired of hunting for wi-fi spots just to upload a photo on Instagram, locate my lost luggage at the airport, an immediate access to Maps to make your way through the ancient temples in the city, or looking for hotel and restaurant reviews to make my vacation more worth it. 

Make your trip abroad a worry-free experience with Globe Telecom’s P599/day unlimited data roaming available in over 70 countries worldwide with FREE TravelCare insurance of up to P200,000! Check out this infographic and get educated. Visit bit.ly/globedataroaming for more details!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Seven Things You Should Know about Saigon

Busy motorways.

Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City is not just about sunlights, moons, joined forces from the gods of fortune, midnights, and high noons. It is the center of trade, commerce, and industry, making it as an important hub of Vietnam. It is also the home of 7.5 million people. Like Metro Manila, Saigon is a bustling metropolis sans the ubiquitous Philippine jeepneys, westernized commercial districts, and a mass transportation system (currently on the works as of this writing).

Here are the 10 things that you should know about Saigon and I hope that this post will serve as a guide for those who are planning to visit Saigon.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Best Shopping Cities in Europe

Shopping at Amsterdam, Netherlands

Europe has so much to offer the visitor thanks to its history and shops. Europe is a haven for visitors intent on fashion shopping, and that means a trip to the high streets of some of the leading European cities. 

French designs and fashion are popular worldwide and Paris is a magnet for fashion shoppers. One of the top fashion stores in Paris is L’Eclaireur on the rue de Sévigné, where you will find a host of the top brands on offer. Melinda Gloss, set on rue Madame, is the store to visit for top menswear. Paris, aside from its famous landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, is a haven for quality shopping. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Modern Kingdom of Cambodia

The Angkor Wat sunrise!

"You are all lucky. We still have seats for you to Siem Reap. Tomorrow is a national holiday in Cambodia. Many people are coming home!", the front desk officer told us gleefully.

The early morning rush in Saigon didn't stop me from thinking about the possible scenarios after crossing the borders of Vietnam and Cambodia. I had this irrational fear of getting scammed, mugged, or worse, mulled along the way. With only 4 hours of sleep, we left Saigon at past six in the morning and made our way to a place where an ancient kingdom once flourished.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Taking a Tour in Tunisia

Image by Goran Necin, used under the Creative Commons license.

Tunisia is by no means a large country but the relics of its ancient past, along with the beautiful coast and desert setting, attract plenty tourists each year. Vacation companies like First Choice fly out throughout the year, so- while not all sites can be listed- here are a select few.

Sidi Bou Said

What Bruges is to Belgium, Sidi Bou Said is to Tunisia. This beautiful town atop a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea is a haven for local artists, while tourists come to see the narrow cobbled streets and the white-washed houses with their striking blue accents, all-in-all making a very picturesque scene.

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