A weekend in Hong Kong
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Freeman) - May 27, 2013 - 12:00am

This week the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) will once again play host to the 7th edition of the now famous Gabii sa Kabilin or the Night of the Museums. Yes, there are many more museums joining this year including those from Talisay City and Lapu-Lapu City. The United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) will also celebrate their 100th year in Cebu come October so they will officially launch the Gabii sa Kabilin.

Our long line of guests is led by Dr. Jocelyn Gerra, Executive Director of the RAFI for Culture and Heritage, Rev. Haniel Taganas, Administrative Pastor of UCCP, the Venerable You Lin OIC of Fo Guan Shan Chu Un Temple, Ms. Myrna Rosario, Curator of the Museo de Talisay and finally for security arrangements, there’s Police Senior Inspector Leoncio Baligwat, Jr., Chief Operations and Plans Branch of Cebu City Police Office who will bring us up to speed on what’s new with the Gabii sa Kabilin.

We’ve timed this show this week because the Gabii sa Kabilin will come this Friday May 31st. So watch this very interesting talk about Cebu’s Night at the Museums, which I would like to believe, would someday be as big as the Sinulog Festival is big. See it on SkyCable’s channel 61 at 8:00pm tonight and replays on MyTV’s channel 30 M-W-F.

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Hong Kong: We’ve been in this former Crown Colony since Friday to celebrate my birthday with my children and my grandchildren… which means that when you’re in Hong Kong, you’ve gotta go to Disneyland. Time really has moved so fast… that I already forgot that the last time I brought my children to Disneyland was in Disneyworld in Florida way back in 1997. Now it was time for me to bring my four grandchildren to Disneyland, and Hong Kong just happens to be so near to Cebu, it was just a perfect weekend for us.

First of all, allow me to give my personal thanks to my dear friend, Mr. Hans Hauri of Marco Polo Plaza Hotel for helping me in making arrangements to stay at the Marco Polo Gateway right along Canton Rd where you can shop as you please until your credit card conks out. No, we didn’t ask a travel agent to handle our trip as we already got a promo rate from AirPhil Express. Since Mr. Hauri is one of the top executives of the Marco Polo group, he was the right person to ask for my hotel bookings. Again, Mr. Hauri, thanks a lot. The Marco Polo Gateway is the right hotel for shopping.

Without any doubt, the Marco Polo Hotel’s mark of excellence can be defined by its excellent and personalized service… and the food was really to die for… especially their Dimsum dishes… after all this is Hong Kong. But something caught my eye that I have never ever seen even in a five-star hotel before. The Marco Polo Gateway had a “Pillow Menu!” You could actually ask from the housekeeping anyone of the 12 pillows that are available for your use. Someday, this will be the norm for five-star hotels.

Incidentally, upon our arrival in Chep Lap Kok International Airport, none of my two smartphones worked even if they are supposedly automatic roaming.  But rather than risk having a bloated-out-of-proportion bill that could trigger a heart attack… I decided on not just taking a weekend vacation… but also a cellular vacation. My only means of communication was via email or via Facebook because most of the areas in Hong Kong are already wired… and they have fast Internet here.

But while we were on our way to the Hong Kong Disneyland, it began to rain and it poured like cats and dogs. The driver even suggested that we cancel our visit. But we were already there and so we decided to just push through despite the heavy rains. Thankfully, the downpour stopped after three hours. Call it a blessing that most of the local people planning to visit Disneyland may have decided to forgo with their plans… there were fewer people last Saturday than the usual. For us that meant there were fewer lines or queues for the different shows and rides and we really had fun.

This was my first trip to Disneyland in Hong Kong and most of the rides and entertainment shows are similar to what they have in the two Disney attractions in the USA. There’s Space Mountain, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Toy Story Land, Adventureland and Main Street USA. But honestly, even if I’ve not been to Disney in decades, it was still lots of fun!

So okay, if you want to know the major differences? Well, when we saw the Golden Mickey show… the show was in Chinese with English characters on a TV screen. Except for major star attractions like Tinker Belle, Snow White or Cinderella, they were mostly Caucasian. But the rest were Chinese and yes, Filipino entertainers. Be proud of the fact that the Filipino can sing and dance and act… and you’ll see them in Disneyland. Incidentally, they don’t have any wi-fi in Disneyland and I suspect that Disney wants the kids to focus and concentrate on the rides and shows not on their iPads!

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Email: vsbobita@gmail.com


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