Happy 50th anniversary in the Philippines, SIA!
THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee (The Philippine Star) - March 7, 2016 - 9:00am

Singapore Airlines (SIA), one of the most respected travel brands in the world, has developed a reputation for being an industry trendsetter with its growing list of innovations that Filipinos also enjoy.

To kick off its 50th anniversary in the country, Singapore Airlines held its much anticipated Showcase and Travel Fair 2016 at the Glorietta Activity Center recently. Unveiled during the event were the airlines’ all-new Premium Economy Class cabin and an introduction of the global network expansion with new destinations.



The momentous occasion was graced by Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya, Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr., Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Minda Cruz and Singaporean Ambassador Kok Li Peng.

Singapore Airlines executive vice president for Commercial Mak Swee Wah said, “We first commenced operations here in 1966 with a thrice-weekly service between Manila and Singapore. Today, Singapore Airlines and our subsidiary, SilkAir, operate 52 weekly flights out of the Philippines via Manila, Cebu, Davao and Kalibo. We have always been committed to bringing Filipinos and the world closer together through our extensive global network. With our own network as well as that of our key partners, we now link the Philippines to some 280 cities in over 70 countries around the world.”



(For more information, call 756-8888 for Manila, 6332-505-7871 for SilkAir Cebu, 6382-227-5301 for SilkAir Davao and 6336-500-7226 for SilkAir Kalibo.)

Keeping Philippine tourism at its best

Filipinos’ growing fondness for travel was witnessed at the 23rd Travel Tour Expo 2016, where thousands trooped to the SMX Convention Center to avail themselves of great travel deals and offers. The travel expo was organized by the Philippine Travel Agencies Association Inc. (PTAA) and supported by Tourism Promotions Board (TPB).

The biggest, most anticipated travel fair in the country showcased various international and local tour packages from 334 exhibitors from different sectors such as airlines, resorts, hotels, domestic tour operators, national tourism organizations, travel agencies and other stakeholders.

Opening the event were PTAA president Maria Michelle Victoria and TPB chief operating officer Domingo Ramon Enerio III.

“We would like to congratulate PTAA for successfully organizing the biggest travel fair in the country. The travel fair is truly commendable as it brings together the various players in the travel and tourism industry. It also helps sustain the remarkable growth of Philippine tourism. For 2015, we have breached the five million international tourist arrivals. This would not have been possible without the continuous help and cooperation from each and every stakeholder,” Enerio said.

The rise of an entertainment landmark

The old New Frontier Theater, built by the Araneta Group, was an iconic landmark at the Araneta Center in Cubao. On its grounds now stands a world-class performing arts venue — the Kia Theatre.

Top executives of Araneta Group and Columbian Autocar Corp. (CAC), together with select guests, gathered recently at the elegant lobby of the Kia Theatre for its grand launch.

Gracing the ribbon-cutting ceremony were Rowell Recinto, management consultant of Araneta Group; Irene Jose, officer-in-charge and chief operating officer of Uniprom Inc.; Aris Batuhan, president and CEO of MVP Kia Araneta Center; and Palawan Gov. Jose Alvarez, honorary chairman of CAC.

Araneta Group CEO Jorge Araneta said, “We are thrilled to present KIA Theatre as another contribution of the Araneta Group to the country’s entertainment scene. Aside from the Big Dome, we now have Kia Theatre as a more intimate venue for performing arts and events, a place where families and friends can have a truly wonderful time.”

Opened since September with its first show, The Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival, Kia Theatre is set to hold more exciting events including the concert of ‘80s singer/songwriter Richard Marx this month and the British girl group Little Mix, who will heat up the venue with their Get Weird Tour in May.

Have champagne — every day!

Makati Diamond Residences welcomed guests and invited them to enjoy the Champagne Everyday buffet.

Serving only the best premium grower champagnes from brands such as Jean Vesselle and Delamotte, Makati Diamond Residences pulled all the stops and treated its guests to a luxurious brunch buffet that is definitely being buzzed about by the metro’s tastemakers and food lovers.

Guests at the intimate event were warmly welcomed by the hotel’s PR and marketing supervisor Karina Leal and guest service manager Aileen Tan.

The buffet menu is very well thought of, offering the hotel’s premium staples that are ready for tasting such as foies gras macaron appetizers, a raclette station, a pasta station with Spaghettini bottarga with garlic and olive oil, a carving area with cochinillo, main courses such as rib-eye steak and Baked sea bass al sale, and homemade ice cream for dessert.

The Makati Diamond Residences Champagne Everyday buffet offers the Tapas and Champagne buffet, the Weekend Champagne Brunch buffet and the Holiday Champagne Brunch buffet — all these guarantee that guests can come in and sample bubbly all days of the week, from Mondays to Sundays and even on special holidays. However, those who avail themselves of the Tapas and Champagne buffet are in for a special treat as the hotel serves special gourmand jamon such as Jamon Iberico Bellota, Jamon Iberico Enrique Tomas; Guijuelo Origen, Jamon Iberico Enrique Tomas; Extramadura Origen and Jamon Serrano Montenevado during the weekday buffets only.

The Champagne Everyday buffet is available daily at the hotel’s iconic Alfred Restaurant. The Tapas and Champagne buffet is available from Monday to Friday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Those who prefer to indulge over the weekend can have the Weekend Champagne Brunch buffet on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. On March 26 and 27, there is also the Holiday Champagne Brunch buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

(For more information, visit www.makatidiamond.com.)

(Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.)

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