ANYtime, aNYwhere, aNYthing is possible in NY
PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - March 24, 2015 - 12:00am

Taipan Lucio Tan finds the shopping in NY interesting. Jackie O liked the anonymity it cloaked her with. Mar Roxas is thinking of retiring in NY and Imelda Marcos likes its real estate.

Fil-Am tycoon lawyer Loida Nicolas Lewis believes NY “is the new Rome of Pax Americana.”

“Instead of the Colosseum, New York has Broadway, Off-Broadway shows, the Metropolitan Opera, museums galore. I love the multicultural, multinational atmosphere of New York. You walk down the major avenues and you hear not only English but the different languages of the world. That alone is worth the price of admission,” says Lewis, who was one of the many high-brow guests at the inaugural dinner at the New York Hilton marking Philippine Airlines’ (PAL’s) return to the Big Apple last week.

Pastry chef Victor Hall, one of the 500,000 Filipino-Americans living in the US East Coast, says NY gives him “the feeling that I am in the center of the universe where anything is possible.”

The anonymity Jackie O craved for after the fishbowl life she had in Washington DC is something New York offers on a silver platter.

People from around the world gather at Times Square during the city’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration. AP

Victor recalls, “I met Cyndi Lauper one time on my way to work while on the train heading downtown. I used to see Woody Allen walking and holding hands with Soon-Yi on Park Avenue right outside my office.”

My uncle Edward Reyes used to see JFK Jr. unselfconsciously skateboarding on the streets of Manhattan.

Edward, who knows the city like the back of his hand, loves NY for its “diversity and animation.”

“On the train you can see passengers reading newspapers of their own respective home countries. The city is full of life, sometimes to the point of being loud!”

The city pulsates, and yes, it doesn’t sleep if you don’t want it to.

Broadway glitters with its well-loved shows. AP

* * *

My Assumption Convent classmate AlexandraSandyLamb Moran, a well-travelled wife and mom who worked in the Republic Bank of New York for seven years in the ‘80s, declares, bar none, that NY is her favorite city in the world.

“I love New York, always have, from the first day I set foot there in 1984 to look for a job. It’s just that unique, vibrant, full-of-life-and-energy kind of city that magnetized me. The city that never sleeps, bursting at the seams with endless experiences to be had. When I lived and worked there from 1984 to 1991, I just felt a sense of freedom and creative energy, and the people were a cornucopia of characters from all over the world! Some of my best friendships were made in NYC!

The author with Philippine Airlines chairman Lucio Tan and board member Carmen Tan.

“I love NY because there are endless things to do no matter what time of day. From the arts and cultural scene, to the best restaurants of all kinds of cuisines and for all kinds of budgets, to the Broadway shows, Off-Broadway shows and Off-off Broadway shows, the Ballet, the Opera and the Philharmonic, to the quaint villages and beautiful parks, the nightlife and after-nightlife scene! The list goes on and on. 

“I love NY because it’s so easy to get around. I love to walk, and you can walk endlessly in this city because every block and every street corner is so interesting — lined with shops, restaurants, offices, interesting little quaint neighborhoods, street fairs, street performers, vendors, you name it! I would just love to explore different neighborhoods with a friend, look for a quaint little outdoor neighborhood cafe, sit back, relax, and watch life go by. I love visiting the Chelsea Market and walking on the High Line. Every Sunday I would be in search for the best Eggs Benedict for brunch! I love the NY Bagels with lox and cream cheese, and a slice of the huge NY Pizzas, so large that you have to fold it in half lengthwise so you could take a bite out of it. I loved walking through Grand Central every day on my way to work to grab a delicious muffin, bagel or fresh croissant for my breakfast, and bumping into the craziest kinds of characters along the way.

“I loved grabbing a Sabrett hotdog or a gyro from one of the many street carts vendors around the city and sitting on the side of the street or a little square to eat it. Every summer I looked forward to the free outdoor concerts in the park, be it in Central Park or Bryant Park (again, right across my office), laying down our picnic mat, opening that bottle of wine, and just gaze at the stars!” concludes Sandy.

Now what do I love most about NY? Frankly, I can’t put a finger to it just yet. The answer calls for another visit, and so return to NY I shall.


(PR 126 to New York departs Manila every Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. In November last year, PAL offered introductory round trip fares for as low as $610 exclusive of taxes and surcharges and as low as $3,560 for Business. For flight reservations to be made in the Philippines: call reservations hotline at (623) 855-8888. For flight reservations to be made in the USA and Canada: call reservations hotline 1-800-4359725.) (You may e-mail me at


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