Sunday, 23 October 2011
Friday, 21 October 2011
But there is a twist! Applicants are required to write in details their travel plans, including an explanation what they expect from the trip. Selected applicants are expected to finance their own meals and accommodation. Finally, they are required to blog or post on line a review of their travel experiences. Aspiring applications could begin signing up as early as next April 2012.
For more details, regularly check the official website of Japan Tourism Agency.
UPDATES: (Source - JTA 04 Feb 2012). This program is not approved by the Japanese government. Read more: Visit Japan.
UPDATES: (Source - JTA, 14 October 2011). According to JTA, this initiative still under review of the Japanese government and no definite approval yet. If this iniative is approved, JTA will officially announce on its website and thru the local Japan National Tourism Organization on Facebook (http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/fb/index.html) . It is also reported of some frauds related to this promotional travel.
Sunday, 25 September 2011
Some people are really lucky to have beautiful bodies, and with talents as well. I had the chance to meet the reigning Miss Philippines- Universe 2011, Shamcey Supsup during our alumni homecoming last May 2011. Her mother is one of the alumni of my postgrad university, Asian Institute of Technology. She was invited by her mother to be the guest in our raffle draw promo. Shamcey was also chosen as the 3rd runner-up in the recent Miss Universe 2011 held San Paolo, Brazil last 12 May 2011.
Another beauty is the 2010 Miss World, Ms. Sandra Mills from USA. I was in PICC for the regular Sunday church service when I met this tall, slim beauty holder. She was there in the preparation for this year's Miss World Philippines pageant where she is one of the guests of the show held last weekend (September 18).
These are rare moments with the beautiful people... But remember that being beautiful or gorgeous is not based in our physical appearance alone, our inner personality also counts. We are beautiful people in our very own special way!
Thursday, 1 September 2011
I joined an American firm that provides consulting services in various sectors: mining, construction, real estate, government, etc. For the past three months, I have already involved in different projects that focus on mining exploration, watershed management, water and air quality monitoring, water and waste utilization.
I already toured around Metro Manila and its neighbouring towns and cities. Visiting the Philippine islands is exciting - meeting with interesting people; encountering new culture; exploring stunning landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes; watching live entertainment events/shows; and most importantly reconnecting with relatives and old friends!
My current officework entails travels to other regions in the country and I will feature some of them in my future journals. Expect more images of my local travels!
Monday, 2 May 2011
THIS YEAR IS THE CELEBRATION OF THE 100th anniversary of the liner. Titanic 100 is part of the annual festival launched on 31 March 2011 and will end in 31 May. The main highlight of the festival includes an exhibition showcasing the work of RJ Welch - the official photographer for Harland and Wolff (the company who built the ship), where huge framed photos on display in the ciy hall grounds of Belfast.
Belfast is the only city in the world that celebrates significant centennial anniversaries/events in relation to Titanic. Aside from the launch of RM Titanic on 31 May 1911, the other two anniversaries include: the opening of the Thompson Dry Dock (1 April 1911) and the launch of Nomadic (25 April 1911).
This 2-month festival also features SS Nomadic with a second exhibition at the city hall that focuses on the ship's contruction and the current restoration programme, including rare artefacts from both the tender and the White Star Line.
The Titanic Memorial is also found within the ground of Belfast City Hall which is dedicated to those people (1,517) who died in the disaster on 14 April 1912.
DID YOU KNOW THAT (source: Northern Ireland Tourist Board)... the first class cuisine on Titanic matched the world's finest restaurants and hotels. First class diners enjoyed 11 course meals, with wine served for nearly every course. You can enjoy a recreation of the last first class menu at the Rayanne House guesthouse in Holywood (Northern Ireland) and discover its fascinating link to Titanic. In addition, a state-of-the-art 6-storey building, Titanic Belfast will be opened in April 2012 - the centennary celebration of the ship's maiden voyage!
If you are interested to find more of the forthcoming events, visit GotoBelfast and DiscoverNorthernIreland websites.
Sunday, 1 May 2011
The Catacombs occupies abandoned quarries located 20 metres beneath the ground of the city. It served as an alternative burial location when the city suffered from serious diseases and famine in the years leading up to the French revolution. Between 1785 and 1787, remains from various cemeteries were removed and then skeletons were sorted and neatly stacked according to type. The transfer of human remains from other urban burial sites continued until 1870s and the Catacombs became the final resting place of an estimated 6 million former Partisans.
Paris Catacombs is modelled after the Roman Catacombs covering a surface of 11,000 square metres, the labyrinth of corridors open to the public is 1.7 km long, but the collective reach of the networks of underground tunnels is approximately 300 km. To date, it is a popular tourist attraction which opens from Tuesday to Sunday (10am to 5pm, 4pm is the last admission) with a minimal entrance fee.
I visited Paris in September 2008 and the Catacombs is one of the must-see tourist attractions at the City of Lights!
Friday, 29 April 2011
The first kiss happened at Buckingham Palace Balcony
Finally, the second kiss of the newly-wed couple which brought the crowd to cheers!
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Aside from visiting museums, monuments, heritage sites or places with tourist interest, I do love to attend or watch musicals, festivals and concerts. This is another way of embracing the beauty of travelling thru performing arts which allows tourists, travellers and the like to experience the host's art and culture - showcasing real talents of the locals and to some extent our very own Filipino performers.
Some of these musicals that I watched in the past include: Miss Saigon, Phantom of Opera, Titanic, West Side Story, Footloose, Sound of Music, Les Miserables, Billy Elliot, and live performances include: Enrique Iglesias concert, Blue concert, Michael Learns to Rock, WestLife, BackStreet Boys, U2, Kylie Minogue, etc.
BILLY ELLIOT. One of the best and entertaining musicals ever that Ive watched in West End. The choreography, the cast, the music and of course the talented portrayal of Leon Cooke as Billy. An adaptation from the film of the same title, a story of the young boy who wants to make a difference and making his life meaningful at the end. Determination and support from parents are the key to success, regardless of hardships and trials. Leon Cooke was playing as Billy when I watched in 2007.LES MISERABLES. I had the chance to watch this one of the longest running musicals in West End last September 2007. Unfortunatetly, it was not Lea Salonga playing Eponine. The production was great - from backdraft to stage set-up! There is always a good reason to watch it again in West End or Broadway! The clip is featuring Lea singing, On My Own. Very moving scene.MISS SAIGON. Filipino artists around the world are the priceless possession of my home country, Philippines as my history books says as the Pearl of the Orient Sea! One of them is Lea Salonga. I had the chance to watch her in CCP for her portrayal as Kim for the long running musical, Miss Saigon. And then, I watched the musical again in 2006 when the UK production did their British tour in Northern Ireland. I was really proud because the main cast, including The Engineer, and the dancers were Filipino talents. Brilliant production from Cameron!
Overall, if I will be given another chance to watched these performances, Im looking forward to enjoy the productions of Miss Saigon, Billy Elliot and Phantom of Opera. I'm also looking forward to watching one of the longest running musicals, The Lion King.
Note: For more additional information about these live productions, visit my other blogsite, Play-Musical-Concert which also provide my personal reviews of these performances, including clips/videos courtesy of Youtube.
Friday, 18 March 2011
Monday, 21 February 2011
Featured Travel Blogger: Dutched Pinay unveils her personal discoveries about art, culture and history of our world
Dutched Pinay's traveling is about discovery, her love for art and architecture, consequently her quest in understanding about various cultures and history of the places we live in.
Without further a do, I'm pleased to introduce to you, Dutched Pinay and able to discover her world of traveling as well as her interest in gastronomy!
Q1: How many times you travel a year? I travel for pleasure as well as for work so I don’t really keep track how many times I go out but a quick numbers crunch, I think I have been to 11 countries last year, 2010. This year is promising and I am looking at visiting more places.
Q2: Do you stay in your home country (locally) or do you go abroad/overseas? These days, my travels are mostly international but I never fail to discover my backyard as well—the Netherlands. So, every now and then, usually when the weather is lovely, I do a some local city, village or road trip.
Q3: Do you organize your holidays yourself or do you go to a travel agency? All my personal travels are organized by myself. For work travels, some are organized by the company and sometimes through a travel agency.
Q4: Do you prepare your holidays in advance by reading guide books and online travel sites? Yes, I mainly scour the internet for information. I prefer to read blogs—personal experiences of tourists and travellers who have been there and expatriates living in the country rather than commercial related sites.
Q5: Do you travel alone/with family or friends/with an organized group? I travel alone, with my partner, with friend/s, with family, with colleagues. I don’t do organized group travelling though.
Q6: Do you prefer the beach/islands/countryside/cities as destinations? I like to try everything! From city trip to culinary highlights to beach holiday to culture discovery to off the road adventure.
Q7: Do you mainly relax or are you an active holiday traveler? Travelling is a passion for me, I like to discover what is out there so most of my travels are active but I also incorporate some relaxation time in between.
Q8: If you go abroad do you learn at least some words of the foreign language? Yes, I try to learn the basic words to impress the locals. When you learn to say ‘Thank You’ in someone’s language, people are appreciative and some are open to welcome you into their world, into their culture, which in return gives substance to travelling.
Q9: Are you interested in the cuisine/food of a foreign country? Very—as much as possible I try to only eat local food during the entire travel, and if I love it, I try to bring some of the ingredients home. This is mainly the case when I go to culinary destinations like Italy and Spain for example.
Q10: Which mode/means of transportation do you prefer? Any mode of transportation is fine, whatever is best suitable in the country I am travelling to but for long distance travel I would prefer to fly of course, with a reliable airline and direct flights please.
Q11: What kind of luggage do you take with you? Have you got problems packing? I have a normal Samsonite luggage but for quick weekend trips, I have a smaller luggage that goes easily into the plane's cabin or I use my leather overnight bag. My partner swears on my packing skills, he says I am the best!
Q12: Do you send picture postcards to your family and friends? I only send postcards to my parents and parents-in-law. Other than that, my blog is the main point of communication for everyone so they check my blog regularly as they know I am always on the go and are up to something.
Q13: What kind of souvenirs do you normally keep during your travels? I don’t really buy souvenirs, but I buy random items that I fancy, especially locally made stuff. Last year, I bought a Guinness shirt in Dublin for my partner, apple decors made of capiz shells in Cebu, a sundress in Nerja and a few preserved seafood in Malaga, jam and berry vinegar in the Ardennes mountains, obwarzanki bagels in Krakow that I ate the next morning at home, a Maya calendar tile in Cancun, herbs and dried sausages in Verona and a scarf in Venice. Those are some that I bought last year that I can remember. There were trips last year as well that I didn’t buy anything.
Q14: Does your blogging experience or having a travel blog help you in your travels? Blogging about my travels have made me more aware of the little things that we forget to appreciate while travelling. So I shoot a lot of fotos to capture my experiences, for posterity, as well as to share to others through my blog as a means of information, inspiration and hope. I´d like to be able to read my blog and see the fotos when I am old and cannot travel much.
Q15: Have you met someone or individuals through your travel blog? Yes I have but it was a while back when my blog was then an expat blog. As the years go by, it has grown in itself into a travel blog that it is now.
"On some days, you can find me spinning subjects about economics, affairs of state, daily toil and just about life in general in Holland. So, why am I blogging this? Well, when I am old and cannot do much, I hope I can look back and read all these, with a smile."
AGAIN, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for sharing your traveling experiences and I do hope that with this short interview, Im able to encourage our readers to discover other places - away from home! Good luck and be an inspiration to others in exploring and embracing other's cultures and appreciate the opportunity to discover them and share them through blogging.
Note: For additional information, click the links: Introducing Featured Travel Blogger, Featured Travel Blogger One if you want to take part.
Friday, 18 February 2011
Saturday, 29 January 2011
Friday, 28 January 2011
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Why travel? If you have the necessary resources (time and money), you are physically and mentally fit, and you have proper supporting documents (i.e. passport, insurance, visa, etc.), what is the reason why you can not pack your bag and go?
In my own personal experience during the past 15 years, I have been to several places, not only in my home beautiful country, but also to other fascinating destinations around the world. My travelling escapade is always driven by work and studying. Having involved in various development projects that provide solution to environmental problems, it does requires touring around the country or overseas. Also, my desire to further enhance my expertise in the field of my specialisation through postgraduate studies/trainings elsewhere serve as a stepping stone to visit different places. Thus, my numerous travels are the outcomes of the kind of jobs that I am involved with, as well as the rare opportunity to secure financial grants to study abroad.
Being in that particular situation on the right time and location, I will do my best to tour around the place and the neighbouring towns/cities. Honestly, being single and healthy, it is easy to do this, but if I have my own family and getting older, then travelling (abroad in particular) will not be in my top ‘must do’ list. Maybe some people will argue that anyone could still have a wonderful vacation even you have the family (and children), or during your retirement period. Well yes, however, the frequency and the duration will dramatically decrease. And there will be other issues relating to health condition that somewhat crucial in finalising travel plans which also affects the kind of activities you want to do during the travel.
Moreover, most importantly it will also depend on where you are permanently residing or where your travel (point of origin) begins. For example, if I will live permanently in the Philippines, my travel to UK, Europe and the US will substantially diminish, but much more on local travels instead. Why, because my travel will be dependent on the affordability (i.e. mode of transport) and convenience (visa processing) to visit the place. Finally, however security or safety (because of political instability of the destination) is not a big issue to hinder my travel plan, unless there is a government restriction on that particular destination. I am not generalising it, but for British, American or Australian nationals are fortunate to travel without any stress of not having a visa elsewhere. Unlike us coming from developing countries, it is a must to undergo such strict issuances of a visa. Sometimes, I feel it is unfair for people who have the genuine intention of travelling overseas but denied for a visa for the reason of coming from countries that threaten their security/safety.
So, the kind of travelling that I am looking forward to is absolutely different from where other travellers want to go or what they want to do during their travels.
WHAT MOTIVATES ME TO TRAVEL? How about my choices where to go? What factors to be considered in those choices? What activities that I normally do during my escapades or things that fascinates me? And lastly, what souvenirs that I bring after my visits which will always remind me of my wonderful journey and the learning experience? Please bear with me while I am trying to quickly answer these queries.
Motivation to travel
Watching films, reading travel magazines, and my hobby in photography motivate me to visit other places. Being a regular moviegoer, I am fascinated with the cinematography of the film which leads me to wonder where this location where been shoot. I will make sure that I stay in my seat while waiting for the full credits of the film which provide me the information of the location. Travel magazines are also influential to pack my bag and explore the featured scenic attractions in the publication. And most importantly, because of my interest in photography, I always go out and have my vacation just to improve my photography skills by visiting these places featured in the magazines or in the films. To some extent, I am also motivated by the interesting stories from my close friends who were able to visit these places. Overall, I believe that through my travelling, I could experience and learn other cultures, languages, beliefs, history and to meet interesting people which I could not find in textbooks or not being taught inside the classroom.
**Choices where to go
The main factor that influences where to visit or spend my holiday is ‘relatives and friends’. It is because having them on these places, it will be easier for me to explore and enjoy my short stay – hassle-free and save money. In most cases, my accommodation is ‘free’ and I could do more things considering that my friends are hospitable enough to tour me around at their convenience. Aside from that, if they are not available, they will provide me the best itinerary - where to visit and what to expect from these attractions. Moreover, my choice is also affected by the affordability, accessibility, the mode of transport, and the convenience to get the visa. For example, if I will have to choice between Spain and Italy, I would probably choice Italy. Well both countries offer fascinating attractions, but I would rather choice Italy since it will be easier for me to secure the visa than Spain. Securing a Spanish visa requires a two-stage application: sending a request letter and the personal interview in Manchester. While the Italian visa application is done by posting the required travel documents, including the processing fee which takes 2-3 weeks.
Activities to explore the place
As I said earlier, I want to learn and enjoy from my travel and I can only do this by visiting places that will probably satisfy this desire. Generally, I am interested to visit libraries, museums, castles, shopping malls, churches, historical structures, and of course watch live shows, festivals and musical productions; and visit resorts, casinos and beaches. I do research by visiting universities and check the possibilities of having future research with these institutions. Visiting theme parks that offer adventurous and thrilling rides is also in my list during my travel.
Aside from shopping for clothes and personal accessories, I make sure that I have extra copies of postcards for each location/attractions that I have visited, which some of them will be sent to my family and friends. Also, I am interested to collect pins, key chains, posters and beer mats. Unfortunately, I don’t bring home some antiques and jewelleries which are subject to airport tax and duties. For some people, antiques and art crafts are their interests, but at the moment I don’t have the obsession to have them. This is because I don’t have a permanent place to store or display these pieces of art. The photographs taken during my trips will ultimately serve as mementos and a truly evidence of my escapades. I forgot to mention, I also buy 1-2 books during my travel.
AND FINALLY, I can now finally say that travelling is something that I will always gain invaluable benefits from it not only being a traveller but also a learner. Spending for travels is a personal choice to make, but definitely the opportunity to go places is a ‘priceless’ learning experience that money can’t buy! Enjoy living and have a simple travel plan in life!
Note: This journal was originally posted in October 2007 but I did minor updating and worth re-posting it again to find out more about myself.
Tuesday, 25 January 2011
I HAVE A MIX OF EMOTIONS travelling by air. It is a tiring occasion queuing for all the security gates and inspection (while carrying your allowable hand-carry luggage) as well as an exciting experience to reach the final destination.
After what happened on the 11th September 2001, air travel is becoming a stressful journey which more strict regulations to follow for the security and safety of the passengers. On the other hand, especially for long flights, it is also a rewarding experience to enjoy the amenities offered by the airlines (like UAE Emirates).
The photos shown here were taken from 2006 to 2010. The longest trip I had before is 17 hours which give me the opportunity to admire the airspace, including the time difference between continents when the day and night meet.
Friday, 21 January 2011
In less than 20 months, the 2012 Olympic Games will take place in United Kingdom and it is set on 27 July - 12 August 2012; and Paralympic Games will follow from 29 August - 9 Sept 2010. I'm not sure if I will be able to watch these events but I already signed-up for the tickets two months ago! Early intention/signing to buy tickets allows spectators to receive news and updates from the London Olympic organizer. Few days ago, I received an email that the tickets will go on sale on Tuesday, 15 March 2011 until 26 April 2011. With regards to the Paralympic Games tickets, the application will open on 9 September 2011.
As part of my fascination with this international competition, I will be posting some interesting facts about the game, particularly some facts about record holders, controversies, and of course the participation of my home country, the Philippines. So watch out for this and I might also sponsoring an online competition! In my own little way, I also supported the 2008 Olympic Games held in China... Find out about it HERE.
Please note that the issuance of tickets is first come first serve basis and the tickets will be issued via officially registered or recognised National Olympic Committee (NOC) or their appointed Authorised Ticket Reseller (ATR) in your country of residence. Again, beware of unauthorised websites claiming for discounted tickets. Check it out HERE.
Wednesday, 19 January 2011
Now, here she is, Nelieta will allow us to discover herself as a travel blogger and maybe we can ask her some questions as she embark a new life in Argentina!
Q1: How many times you travel a year? Whenever I get the opportunity.
Q2: Do you stay in your home country (locally) or do you go abroad/overseas? We started a business about 2 years ago which makes travelling abroad a little difficult. With the current economic climate it is also very expensive to travel abroad. I took one overseas trip last year and a couple of trips locally. They are both satisfying but if I could choose I would definitely travel abroad.
Q3: Do you organize your holidays yourself or do you go to a travel agency? I organize everything myself and that includes flight tickets. In the beginning of my travel I did make use of Travel agents.
Q4: Do you prepare your holidays in advance by reading guide books and onlinetravel sites? I do prepare for my holidays in advance by reading guidebooks and reviews. But I also like to experience the moment. I find that by reading reviews you form an opinion in your subconscious and often disappointment sets in. However when I travelled to Russia I used the last method and afterwards I wished that I have read more about the culture, people and the country.
Q5: Do you travel alone/with family or friends/with an organized group? I did use organized groups in the beginning when I just started to travel. As I travelled more I became more daring and moved on to individual tours.Then I started to do things on my own. It is very limiting to travel with family or friends especially if they don't share the same interests. Now I travel with my husband and we have such a good time together because we like the same things.
Q6: Do you prefer the beach/islands/countryside/cities as destinations? I like all holiday destinations.
Q7: Do you mainly relax or are you an active holiday traveller? I am an active holiday traveller. I love to explore places.
Q8: If you go abroad do you learn at least some words of the foreignlanguage? It is always important to learn a couple of basic words. People appreciate it when you try to say something in their own language even if the pronunciation is terrible.
Q9: Are you interested in the cuisine/food of a foreign country? Yes but I am not a cuisine fanatic. I would much rather spend more time taking photos than in a restaurant trying new food.
Q10: Which mode/means of transportation do you prefer? I use all kinds of transport. It is fun and a good way to explore the city.
Q11: What kind of luggage do you take with you? Have you got problems packing? I always have a problem with too much luggage. I don't pack a lot of clothes but I always take my camera bag , laptop and a book or two. This is already too much!
Q12: Do you send picture postcards to your family and friends? No, but I often buy postcards especially where I am not allowed to take pictures, like some museums.
Q13: What kind of souvenirs do you normally keep during your travels? I collect fridge magnets. I always try to find something that will trigger my memory when I look at it.
Q14: Does your blogging experience or having a travel blog help you in yourtravels? My travel blog is a personal recollection of my travel experiences over the years. I have always kept a travel journal and it helped me a lot when I started to write my blog. My travel experiences have given me a lot of self confidence and I am not scared to hop on a plane and explore a new country on my own. I realize that I am capable of doing anything.
Q15: Have you met someone or individuals through your travel blog? No but I would love to meet some of the people who are following my blog.
"People often ask me how I choose my next destination. I don't, I answer them, it chooses me" - Nelieta
NOTE: Nelieta also operates a modest hostel accommodation in Argentina. The hostel has new, modern and spacious rooms, inclusive of ensuite bathrooms and hot water. Bedding and linen are also provided. The hostel has a magnificent view of the mountains, and during the nights the sky when it is crystal clear, you can almost pick the stars from the heaven. To find out more, CLICK HERE.