Saturday, August 25, 2012

2012 Aug: Taguig, Philippines: The Mind Museum

Opened last March, I was able to visit this week the first world class Science museum in the Philippines – and true, it did not fail me.  Located in Bonifacio Global City, The Mind Museum is open at 600php for 3 hours on a set schedule or 750php for an all day pass.

The museum briefing will be discussed by Aedi, the robot.

Then you are allowed to learn on your own what each exhibit conveys - there are five galleries in this two-level building.

The Story of the Universe: Its Beginning and Majesty

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Smile Magazine on CNNGo

I've read another milestone for the Philippines in the travel world, Smile Magazine's June-July 2012 issue says:

More good news: Smile has been acknowledged by CNNGo as one of the 12 best airline magazines in the world. After six years of delivering the goods on travel, I'd say we've come a long way, and can go even further. We're looking forward to a longer journey with you! - Lance Gokongwei

Yes, you read it right - Smile Magazine made it to 7th spot, even higher than Lufthansa (Germany) and Qantas (Australia) magazines.

Snip from CNNGo:

Basics: What? Who? We didn’t see this chipper little underdog coming either, but Smile’s youthful (and authentically Filipino) charm won us over.

Perfect reader: A fresh-faced backpacker as excited about checking out Kalibo by tricycle as s/he is about navigating the markets of Saigon.

Words: No great prose, but zest for adventure prevails. In a recent issue, a phrase-based Vietnam guide, a two-woman Southeast Asia travelogue and an alluring snapshot of Cebuano cuisine all had us reaching for our passports.

Look: Nothing special, but frequent portraits of ordinary people having a good time echo the magazine’s spontaneous, low-key voice.

Gold star: Capsule guides to every city on the airline’s network include slang and breakfast tips from locals.

Black mark: The layout smacks of a U.S. teen magazine.

Final verdict: Smile proves in-flights don’t need to pretend to be Esquire or The Economist -- just to capture the spirit of the places they serve.

Personally, I love Smile because I’m an avid flyer of Cebu Pacific.  I love the articles to be short and sweet which always include wonderful pictures or funny cartoons.  The reformat that happened on the paper last October 2010, made it younger and more adventurous.  

The same as their review above, the “Trip Journal” section is lovely as it represents the voice of the travelers and not just the paid writers of the magazine.

Also, it is not always that I finished reading while still on-board, so it is a plus on me that this magazine can be carried outside the plane.  (Unlike Air Asia which has a note of “stop stealing”, since it is also available online:

En Route of Air Canada made it to the top spot.  Read the rest of the magazines worth the read on .

Congratulations to all the editors, directors and managers behind the Smile Magazine!  You are the one who made one of my dreams come true, to be printed on paper!  Happy to read your future releases, SMILE!

If you are interested to read online copies of Smile Magazine, visit this site

Saturday, August 11, 2012

2012 August: 23rd Philippine Travel Mart

One after the other, three weeks ago I went to Travel Madness Expo.  Yesterday, I was in 
23rd Philippine Travel Mart.  Don’t expect anything international, because this exposition is exclusive for the Philippines! (

It’s more fun in the Philippines” (, the campaign ad of the Department of Tourism is all over the exhibit hall.  Go now to SMX Convention Center and visit this 3 day sale of Philippine tour packages (August 10-12, 2012 10am-8pm).

If you don’t want to line-up on the airline booths and you own a credit card, then just visit their website.  Most of the fares offered on the expo are just the same as what they have online. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Itinerary: HCMC & Hanoi, Vietnam

Route: Manila to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) to Hanoi back to HCMC to Manila

Just take note that Cebu Pacific launched Manila-Hanoi last March 2012.

Itinerary (Travel Date - February 2011): Places to go, Things to see, What to do in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh?

Day 01: Saturday
Flight: Manila (MNL) to Ho Chi Minh (SGN)
Arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport Terminal 2
Cebu Pacific Flight No.: Flight 5J -7511 -

Day 02: Sunday
Flight: Vietnam Airlines, VN 0900  -
To: Hanoi, Vietnam (HAN) Arrival: 08:00

To & From Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)
- located in the Soc Son District, about 40-45 kms from the city center.
- cost of transport to a city center hotel running about 200,000VND (US$14 = 630php) for the 45 minute trip

Accommodation/Hotel: Where to stay in Hanoi?

Thaison Hotel II, HanoiLocation: No 7- 9  Hang Mam Str, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi, Vietnam
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