KL is calling…

SO IS Melaka… Penang…Sarawak…Kota Kinabalu….

2014 is Visit Malaysia year

It’s Visit Malaysia year and the place is packed with events that will thrill everyone. Name it, they conceived it—festivals, adventures, mega sales, motorsport— at any time of the year, there is something to tickle your wanderlust and fill your heart’s desire for adventure, at one go, I might add.

There's always something new to check out in Malaysia. Rhonson Ng, Tourism Malaysia's Deputy Director Trecey Tojuka, Joji Alcantara & CQ Francisco with the Proboscis Monkey mascot.

I can clearly recall my first trip to this country and my immediate immersion in its diverse offering- the mouthwatering gastronomy (I love the curry cuisine); the wonderful mix of its rich, colorful and well-preserved culture (I want to revisit Melaka and stay for a night) with the modern elements (the Petronas Twin Tower is an impressive structure); the beaches and mountains (Kota Kinabalu is beautiful from under the sea to top of the mountains); wildlife to wild rides (memorable was my first encounter with the Proboscis Monkey at the LokKawi Wildlife Park and the ‘get wet’ afternoon at the Sunway Lagoon theme park); shopping for souvenir trinkets at the Central Market to luxury articles in the malls; and the unforgettable, intense and heart-racing events (it was my first time to witness a Formula 1 grand prix and catch an idol perform live, Jamiroquai, after the race).

The first encounter with a real Proboscis Monkey in Kota Kinabalu years back. This is  another first-- with a mascot this time.

Well, what do you know… I won a cuddly version of the mascot.

Meet my new bedmate.

Since then, Malaysia has added more to its adventure menu I have yet to see and experience. On the Malaysian map of must-visit destinations that’ll give anyone the “sugar rush” are Legoland (the fist in Asia) and Hello Kitty, the I-City (the city of digital lights), more shopping at the Johor Premium outlet, Madame Tussauds, and lots more that a weekend visit may not be enough to get the list checked.

Lisette Marques, Zuhairah Abbas & Joji Alcantara

A selfie. Tourism Malaysia with the Davao media.

In the recent gathering hosted by the Tourism Malaysia for its industry partners in the city, we were given more reasons why we should visit or revisit our neighbor’s fast-growing place. Even Mayor Duterte, a fan of bikes and fast cars, expressed his excitement over the F1 race, to which an invitation extended by the tourism board he accepted.

Mayor Duterte is encouraging everyone to travel & visit Malaysia.

Mayor Duterte trying his new jacket on, a present for Tourism Malaysia.

Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre, Consul Genral Abdullah Zawawi Tahir, Mayor Rody Duterte, Tourism Malaysia’s Acting Tourism Attache Mohd Akbal Setia & City Tourism Officer Lisette Marques.

If you wish to add a new hue in your already colorful travelogue, a visit to colorful Malaysia will do the trick. It will be “truly Asia” experience for sure.

Davao’s travel agents with Tourism Malaysia officials.

Happy neighbors- Filipinos & Malaysians.


For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/ and http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 18, 2014.