Year-ender thoughts

TRAVEL UPDATES - Marlinda Angbetic Tan () - December 29, 2011 - 12:00am

In two days’ time, 2012 would have come about and so will we start anew the accounting of a New Year. Will it hold bright possibilities? Can the wrongs in this past year be righted? Will wrongdoings ever become right after all? Will the New Year mean beginnings of better things?

2011 began with the whole family in Singapore for the New Year. Universal Studios, Night Safari, Wet & Wild Park and the famous Singapore Zoo filled up the days of the little ones…more so for the parents! We were back on the 4th and back to the usual deadlines, until January 19th, when we were off to Penang, Malaysia, at the invitation of Singapore Airlines (Ajish Morris’ last official trip before his end of duties as Station Manager in Cebu.). We were amazed at the variety of culinary offerings in this part of Malaysia…quite a distinctive mix of Hookien Chinese, Malay and Indian traditional cooking. Interesting! (I got some rare Chinese food items for my brothers-in-law.) By coach, we went to Kuala Lumpur for a visit to the famous Genting Highlands Resort and for some shopping. Through Singapore we passed on the way home, with more shopping opportunities.

In mid-February, I was in Manila and was able to touch-base with my travel mate (Kenya, some years ago) Ditosd Alcain of Interlink Travel. We attended the PTAA Tourism Expo in SMX, Mall of Asia Complex and had a great time meeting up friends in the travel trade industry. Friendship is a blessing I do not take for granted.

By March 15, I was off on my annual leave for New York City and the long-awaited former Cebu Plaza Hotel employees’ US-side reunion, coinciding with the Cebu reunion. Had my fill of Broadway while awaiting the reunion date, which fell on my birthday! My former hotel colleagues were singing “happy birthday” to me from both sides of the world – through Skype. I was on my way home through Hong Kong from JFK, by March 28, bringing with me warm memories of time spent with ex-CPH friends from all over the US.

On to Bangkok April 10, through Manila, at the invitation of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. (Dave de Jesus, TAT Philippines) We were part of an international group of media visitors for the Songkran Festival – Thai New Year. There were numerous festivities we attended, all glittery, colorful and filled with food! Back in Cebu on April 14.

It was a Boracay weekend get-away with the whole family on May 4 – the hottest day registered by Pag-asa. We stayed at Shangri-La Boracay where we got discounted rates for rooms in a Shang local residents offer at Ayala Mall in December 2010.

In June, I joined my son Allen’s family for the 3rd birthday celebration of my grandson Noah Inigo in Hong Kong Disneyland where his fave characters in “Cars” are on focus. It was a sleepless week-end for me, so that I eventually got sick when we returned to Cebu.

Joined my Angbetic cousins in Tampa, Florida, towards the end of July for a short Caribbean cruise for the golden wedding celebration of Tito Pros & Tita Sylvia (Dr. & Mrs. Prospero Gogo Sr.). Was back by August 7, in time to resume rehearsals for my role as the Wicked Fairy in the full-length production of “Sleeping Beauty” by Balletcenter.

Back to the U.S. in early November for the media/travel agents official trip, sponsored by Cathay Pacific for their new direct route to Chicago. It was a very short trip for a long-haul flight, and in wintertime. Still, it was fun being with my game friends in the travel trade.

Last trip was on Dec 8 – 10 to Hong Kong, for the Hong Kong Christmas display. As it was a solo trip, I was able to finalize my poem for my Christmas message this year.

Yes, my 2011 was a hectic trip-filled year. My most traveled year ever, so far! It also meant spending time with friends in the travel trade and meeting new ones along the way. These are the most significant aspects for me.

Happy New Year! Travel safely!

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