Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Iloilo Here I Come...

Miagao Church

I'm off to Iloilo tomorrow noon for the long Halloween weekend. For my non-Fiipino readers, Iloilo province is located in the center of the Philippine archipelago, more specifically in the Visayas region. I can't remember how many times I've been to Iloilo but I guess around 30x because it's the province of my dad. There's no year I can think of when I haven't had the chance to visit Iloilo.

For my long weekend trip I'll be going around Western Visayas, hoping to cover Roxas, Capiz for a seafood foodtrip and then to Guimaras for some photo opportunities of its white sand beaches. To go to Bacolod, Negros Occidental would be a bonus if time permits.

Happy Halloween to all!!!

photograph taken from the website of the Philippine Department of Tourism

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Simpsons Soundtrack

I love The Simpsons so much so I want to share its soundtrack here in my blog for everybody to enjoy. I am a Simpsons fan since the early 1990's and I watched The Simpsons Movie for about 6x already both in the theater and DVD. Critics describes the show as dazzlingly intelligent and unapologetically vulgar. Even my passwords for email and here at my office workstation are also Simpsons related. My favorite character is Homer and I want to meet a real life Homer if ever that kind of man exists here on our planet :)

Even if the Simpsons is just an average middle income American family they travel extensively. One episode even boasts that they have been to 49 out of the 50 U.S. states. They also have been to all continents except in Antarctica (I have to confirm yet whether they already have been to the ice continent).

The TIME magazine even named The Simpsons as the 20th century's best television series in a 1998 issue. The magazine even included Bart Simpson in the same issue in the Time 100, the publication's list of the century's 100 most influential people. Bart was the only fictional character on the list.

Enjoy the music...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Best and "Most Hilarious" Travel Video in the World... at least for me

I think this is the best travel video one can find in the Internet. If there's a better video than this please let know, thanks.

Enjoy the video!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

She's so Beautiful!!!... My Encounter With the Airbus A380

History was made last October 11 and 12 when the World's Largest Passenger Aircraft, the Airbus A380 MSN009, first landed on Philippine soil. On October 11, the aircraft touched down at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at about 2:45 pm and remained there overnight to be serviced by airport personnel.

I went to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA), also known as Clark Airport, to see up close the most sophisticated commercial airliner today. The aircraft was expected to touchdown at 11:40 am. Hundreds of airplane spotters, aviation enthusiasts and ordinary people lined-up the field of the Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) headquarters to wait for the arrival of the A380 which will be parked at Bay 9 in fornt of CIAC. At about 11:50 am people shouted that they can already see the aircraft coming. The atmosphere at that time is like watching an airshow as 6 Philippine Air Force fighter planes patrolled the skies and somewhat escorted the flying giant.

The A380 seemed that she will land but just passed the length of the runway with just a hundred feet vertical clearance and treated the eager crowd to acrobatic maneuvers with left and right banks at full throttle. The wait under the heat of the midday sun proved to be worthwhile as spectators were amazed how a "giant" white metal glides through the air. The A380 made a right turn and came back to line up with the runway of DMIA. The two parallel runways at Clark (3,200 meters) is shorter than the main runway of NAIA (3,737 meters) or any other international airport runways in the region but it proved that the aircraft is suitable for Clark as it only used less than 3/4 of the entire length of the runway. Airbus Industrie claims that the A380 is suitable in any runway that currently services the Boeing 747 aircraft.

The A380 has a moniker of "gentle green giant" as it is quieter, economical for operators and more environment-friendly than its main rival the Boeing 747.

The purpose of the visit of the A380 is to conduct tests on airfield maneuvering, docking, ground handling services and fueling to determine its compatibility with various airports around the world.

I don't know when will the A380 will land again here in the Philippines. As of this day no Philippines-based carrier placed an order for the A380 and if ever other legacy carriers will use it in their Manila route our airports still needs some upgrading to accommodate the A380. The launch customer of the giant aircraft is Singapore Airlines which is due for delivery on October 22, 2007.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

3 Best(s) in Palawan... and a "negative" score for Boracay

View of Honda Bay in Palawan


The beaches of the Philippines are truly pieces of several paradise on earth! There's even a silent rule for travel writers when describing the Philippines... I noticed that it is almost compulsory to indicated that our country has "7,107 islands." No travel write-up is complete when you don't mention it.

Palawan deserves a pat on the back for a job well done. The paradise province earned 3 entries in The Great Asian Beach Finder article of the October 2007 issue of Conde Nast Traveler magazine. Palawan was mentioned in the categories of one of the best beaches in Asia, one of the best beach hotels (Amanpulo) and one of the best beaches for sports (Diving at Bacuit Bay).

But on the negative note, Boracay as the country's most popular beach had a negative review. The author noted that Boracay "once routinely ranked among the world's best beaches, I saw more trash than seashells." She is partly correct, being a frequent visitor of Boracay since 1996, I saw in my last 7 trips to Boracay how the island became a victim and succumbed because of too much commercialization. My most beautiful memory of Boracay was in 1996 when the island still has that secluded charm.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Calling All Filipino Plane Spotters Out There... This Is Your Chance

The country’s premiere international airport, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and low-cost carrier hub Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Pampanga are both preparing their facilities for the 3-day visit of the Airbus A380 MSN009 test aircraft. The world’s largest passenger aircraft is expected to touchdown on Philippine soil for the first time before 3:00 pm on October 11 at NAIA and will depart the following morning for DMIA.

The aircraft started its 3-week journey across the Americas, the Middle East and Asia Pacific last week. The test aims to demonstrate that it can be used under normal airline operating conditions and accumulate 150 hours of “typical airline” continuous operation using the new engine. The A380 which will land in Manila will be coming from Melbourne, Australia. After its DMIA stop it will proceed to Dubai and eventually to its home in Toulouse, France.

As of the moment no airport in the country is capable to handle the giant aircraft. Nevertheless, the A380 can support the weight and width of the aircraft. Its launch customer is Singapore Airlines which is intended for the “kangaroo” Australia-Singapore-London route. Given the financial condition of Philippine Airlines and market demand for long haul routes in the country, its is still unconceivable for the A380 to make Manila one of its home. But if given a chance in the future, the fuel efficient airliner will be a perfect touch to the Manila-mainland U.S. or Manila-Europe routes.

According to the official Airbus website, the test aircraft is being powered by Engine Alliance GP7000 engines manufactured by General Electric and Pratt and Whitney. The A380 boasts of a greener, cleaner and quieter alternative than its main competitor, the Boeing 747 jumbo jet.

This is a perfect opportunity for aircraft spotters here in the country to take pictures of the most technologically advanced aircraft today. I can’t wait to brush shoulders with all of you this Friday in Clark, Pampanga.

photograph source:

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Philippine Airlines Commercials circa 1987-1992

Very memorable classic "Beauty of the Philippines" TV commercials of Philippine Airlines (PAL), Asia's 1st airline.The first two videos on top were made in the 1980s and the last one in 1992. I hope PAL will make more commercials like these and showcase various Philippine tourist spots. They should broadcast these type of commercials in CNN or BBC to promote our national flag carrier and our beautiful country. Enjoy the videos...