Wednesday, January 30, 2008

10 Largest Malls in the world

For a mall rat like myself, this was an interesting read! Click on the link to look up the stats, but here they are listed:

(they are based on gross leasable area)
1. South China Mall - Dongguan, China
2. Golden Resources Shopping Mall - Beijing, China
3. SM Mall of Asia - Pasay City, Philippines
4. Cevahir Istanbul - Istanbul, Turkey
5. West Edmonton Mall - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
6. SM Megamall - Mandaluyong City, Philippines
7. Berjaya Times Square - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
8. Beijing Mall - Beijing, China
9. Zhengjia Plaza - Guangzhou, China
10. SM North Edsa - Quezon City, Philippines

To some, the mall is just a place one goes to when one 'needs' to buy something. But really, to some others, it is a sanctuary. The answer to everything (At least the best malls)... Need a doctor? go to the mall. Need to visit the dentist? The mall is the place...Want to go splash some water on? The mall's got a water theme park...Feel like watching a movie in the Big Screen? The IMAX at the mall is the place to go.. Need some retail therapy? ..Visit MfG, Kenneth Cole, Target, KMart, D&G, Cue, or some other shop.. Cooking Emergency, ran out of tomatoes? Head to the mall's Woolworths or Coles. Feel like fine dining or fast food? McDonalds, or Kenny's or CPK or Guido's. Feel like a massage? Head to the Spa.

I guess at the end of the day, the Mall is there as an option. It makes life more interesting. You don't need the money, you can hang around the mall's shady trees or fountain. Or, you can have a million moolahs to spend then the mall is your playground.

But really, the mall is a lot better place if you are with good company.. Hey, sometimes I love the company of 'Me, Myself and I'. A few quality times I can remember was spent in the confines of those gigantic rubbles of cement and plaster. But that's just me, and my thoughts. What's yours?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Late Post on 2007 - Alphabetical Review

Just random words that made 2007 for me, using the Alphabet. At least most letters :)

A - American Express, Airbus A380
B - Beach
C - Canberra, Christmas Holiday, Canon 40D
D - Darwin
E - Emails
F - Fraser Island, Family, Floriade
G - Goulburn Street
H - Hardwork
I - Indonesian friend, Ice cream
J - Jars of clay (or ice cream)
K - Kitten dreams
L - Lonely nights
M - Manila, Movie Marathon
N - New department
O - Overtime
P - Prayer, Palm Beach
Q - Qantas
R - Residency
S - Super long annual leave (5weeks), Singapore
T - Tootache, The Lake House
U - Umbrella
V - Vacation
W - Winter chill
X - Xtra kilos!
Y - Yellow light
Z - Zzzspecial year!

The Marquis jet card

No, this isn't my house.. It's the interior of own of my private jet! Haha! I wish! Well, Haven't you always wanted your very own private jet? Go to any city you please, at the snap of your fingers. Have a Pilot take you to your dream world, and take a few friends with you even!

All this possible by having just one plastic card. You Marquis Jet Card can move you to your mountain of choice. With exclusive access to a fleet of over 690 aircrafts, am sure one will tickle your fancy. It will be available for you, at any time of the day (or night), all the days of the year. How cool is that? I cannot put enough emphasis on this luxurious delight. If travelling business or first class does not satisfy you, I am positive the Marquis Jet will. If they don't, then nothing will.

Top security aviation is what they're known for, and of course just the best in service excellence.

That is the Life! I would absolutely love to taste this bit of heaven... If only I can save a few more million dollars. Or, maybe, I could just apply to be part of their cabin crew!! At least, I will be riding on the Marquis Jet!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Australia Day 2008

Not quite an Australian, yet, this was the first year I actually 'celebrated' OZ day... and it was quite good! I might do it again next year! It started out like any other weekend. Just at home doing my thing, and then at about 1PM heard some loud 'noise' from outside. There was an airshow of some sort, by the Royal Australian Air Force or something. But I was still in my lazy mood so decided to go on with my business (couch potatoing), and then at about 2PM, another air show lasted about 15minutes. This time, the sunshine was calling me out. My boyfriend and I decided to head to Hyde Park to grab some foodie. After all there were stalls and what nots at the park. So inviting!!
So we headed out and first stop was Hyde Park fountain area. There was a huge number of crowd, who had a head start. They were all lazing on the grass munching and enjoying barbie and wine, chattering away. So we ate under the tree, enjoying the cool breeze and wishing we started our day earlier.

After late lunch, we headed to Circular Quay hoping to get a glimpse of the Tall Ships Show, it was scorching hot, while we waiting on a bench. But the live bands kept us entertained. We did people watch as well! It was very amusing to find how the Aussies celebrate their day. There was this young highschool teen I saw geared from head to toe, in Aussie flags and colours. Down from the slipper, skirt, shirt, cap, tatoos on the cheek and arm, PLUS she was carrying a flag! Talk about patriotism. There were quite a number of people wearing the flag as a cape. And another girl, wearing the flag as a bandeau! name it, and am sure someone was wearing it that way! In some ways I guess it can be a bit rude, but hey for as long as you're not stepping on the flag, all is just done in the name of OZ day cheer.

After watching the Elegant ships pass through the Opera House/Harbour Bridge, we headed off to Darling Harbour for dinner at the Pancakes on the Rocks resto. And afterwards, we took our spot by the breakwater, together with the thousands of people who claimed their spots to watch tonight's show. The Fireworks rendition at about 9pm. It was a long long wait, but it was worth it. The hype that was built, and the camaraderie that the crowd was enjoying during the wait. Across from us, there was this uber cute baby who had a flag tatoo on her cheek. The wait was more amusing watching her play and enjoy. After the long long wait. The Aussie National anthem played. Everyone stood up, and it was just something. I have never really felt the meaning of it. Standing up to their anthem made me feel part Aussie in a way. Officially that won't happen until maybe early next year, but part of me feels that I am slowly accepting it.

It's the first time I celebrated OZ day in the four years that I've been here. But, it was something. I live in a sweet beautiful city that had a lot to offer. Great sights and nice bunch of surfer dudes and dudettes that can just be a bunch of down to earth laidback people. Next year, I may not be one of them yet, officially. But I have embraced Sydney to be part of my life. Thus, the value of OZ day for me.


Once I saw my friend playing this Rice Game. It's quite intriguing whether this was actually true for a fact, or just one of those online games, quizzes, etc that one can play, and doesnt mean anything. But, either way, it keeps you busy and it is very entertaining, if you're into those sort of things.

Well, if you're not busy and are game, why not try it! You won't lose anything, and if it was true, then better. You would be helping those hungry people somewhere in the world.

Enjoy playing!

Some foodie tripping .. Kornet Pizza ..

Kornet Pizza's claiming to have done a third dimension to Pizza eating! This must really interest those pizza eaters to try this craze. It's introduced in the US, Middle East, and it is now in Australia! (Well at least in Tasmania for a period of time)

All the ingredients of a pizza, stuffed in an ice cream cone-like 'kornet', this may actually take off. I have not tried it yet, but it sure looks edible and definitely yummy. I am really hoping that from the first to the last bite, it is not as crunchy but rather quite soft. (We all know what too crunchy traditional pizza can do to your mouth ceiling-painful)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A review of Baguio: Holidays...

A lot of my holidays spent in Baguio… It is about 7 hours or so drive from Manila, with all the toilet and meal breaks… Can get traffic going up or down from the mountain province, especially during Easter and Christmas time…but really worth it! The cool weather is really something that would draw you the Pine City. It has got everything that Manila can offer, from cool hangout spots, yummy restos, parks, malls…including traffic jams!

Must try : Cafe by the Ruins, Camp John Hay Manor, Ukayukay shopping, the SM Mall, horseback riding, strawberry picking, roller skating/blading, some tucked cafe, Rosebowl, Don Henricos, Good Shepherd’s ube jam, peanut brittle, Walk along Session Road….

Must see: Camp John Hay, Mines View, The Mansion, Pink Sisters, the central market, panagbenga flower festival, Ibay’s silver shop, Baguio Country Club, Baguio Cathedral, Grotto, Kennon Road’s Lion, Botanical Garden….

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Set up your own travel agency

I've always been thinking of starting my own travel agency. It's probably been trickling in and out of my mind eversince I started in the Travel industry 8 years ago ( I never stopped and thought to myself but it's been THAT long now!!) . . But, I've only really been starting to think about it seriously just the past couple of years. Since I've stopped working in a Boutique travel agency.

I know it's not at all a glamourous job, as some people may think of it as. But really, it is a dirty business that requires a whole LOT of effort, patience and 200% love for the industry. Because, it does not pay well. At all. When done right, it may bring in a few freebies here and there, but really to get to that point one would cross a thousand bridges and swim through the Pacific Ocean, maybe at least one hundred times over. But for a travel friek like me, it all is worth it. I breathe, I eat, I sleep with travel on my mind. Conciously and even subconciously. It's a lifestyle. (At least for me).

It's always been a passion. The first time I remember showing signs of being one, I can still recall clearly... I was on a trip with families and friends (about 20 plus of us), and we got stranded on this island. One of our hosts brought us to a beach resort, and it had this huge map of the island hanging on the wall. A bunch of friends were looking at the map trying to decipher were we were, and I sounded like a teacher pointing at the wall, where we were at that time, pointing at where we came from and where we were going. It came oh so naturally that I found myself talking to the "audience" from the heart. Cheesy as it is, but that's my clearest and fondest memory about being a know it all travel person. That, and well, in elementary I would find joy in memorising capital cities of countries, locating them on the map/atlas, and just really enjoying my Geography classes. Seems like I may have been born into it after all.

Anyway, recently I have been having these bursts of email again from previous clients looking for me, wanting me to set up my own travel agency. It has crossed my mind again, and I am currently studying it to see whether it is worth my while to actually set up a home based travel agency, or whether I should just stick to being employed.

I have been researching a bit on IATA, because although I have got an IATA card, it's different to actually have an IATA accredited travel agency. Being a woman, I can see how/why women want to start their own travel agency business. But, hey having said that, I am not just any other woman who would like to start her own Travel business. I'm here to start my empire! Haha! So many great finds and interesting read while researching this. I should probably do this again tomorrow!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Just how long?

Just how long should one wait for the right time? That is the question. In life, everything is about the perfect timing. But then, how do you not run out of time? Only God knows.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Why are we ... where we are now?

When we are young, our parents choose where we are to live.

But as we move along in life, we get to choose for ourselves.

Do we really choose where we want to be? At that particular moment in time?

At the end of the day, we are where we are because of a purpose.

A purpose that only one can tell, but only in time.

For sometimes what will be

We only realise, once we've accomplished and learned what we have to.

And until then, we think we've chosen where we live,

Where we live, makes us who we are.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Pororoca Wave Phenomenon

Pororoca - Undoubtedly the longest wave on earth!

Whether or not you are a Surf enthusiast, this amazing view will surely leave you breathless. I have come across this Wave just last October when I was in Canberra, watching Discovery Channel. It was a sight to behold, and til then I never knew something of its kind existed. Call me ignorant!

I have tried to search for photos to show, but none would justify it's grandeur. Let me just tell you a few amazing facts about this, and you do your own photo research!

It is an Amazonian wave (or a tidal bore, when it happens elsewhere)

The incoming tide forms a wave that travels against the direction of the current.

Can go as high as 4 metres, travelling up to 13 kilometres upstream the Amazon River.

It comes from the indigenous Tupi Language, which translates to 'great destructive noise', but for some they just refer to it as 'the monster'.

It is very popular with Surfers, and there even is a world competition to ride this amazing wave! Picuruta Salazar, holds this record as of the moment...(click link to see photo of Pocoroca)

This phenomenon happens once a day, once a night, for three days in February/March, when the rain and full moon raises high tide where the Amazon river empties onto the Atlantic.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Home is where you find that you are true to yourself

Happy 2008!!

May this year bring us ...

Good Health! Wealth! and most importantly Peace of mind, heart and spirit!

2007 has brought so much struggles, and for sure 2008 will do so as well. But really, this new year should bring us hope, that things will get better. Whatever mistakes or avoidable misfortunes that we have encountered, this new year allows us to be hopeful that we have the capacity to strive to be better. As a person, as a child, as a sibling, as a friend, as a worker, as a lover. As anything and everything that we are.

I am back home now. Although I have gone back to my homeland this holiday, I feel I have changed and realised that where I really am now is where I belong. I may have changed over the years for me to be able to say this. But I am just being true to myself.

I have come to appreciate my roots, no doubt, I will be constantly shuttling back and forth. Regularly. If not as often. But at the end of my journey, I know that I live far away now. I live here. And, I am building my home in this city. This city's been cruel to me in the beginning, but perhaps it was just preparing me and sifting that sand in me for me to realise something for myself. Maybe, this feeling is a passing thing. But only time will tell. Perhaps, it is time to say that I have committed myself to not just one home in my lifetime. But, two. I am at home in Sydney, as I have called Manila home.

Raising bilingual kids

I am pretty proud about our eldest being able to speak my mother tongue (Filipino). As young as one year old we taught her to speak Tagalo...