January 2016 musings: A very good start

And just like that, the first month of year is over. Time warp?

It was a good start for 2016 nonetheless, filled with positive vibes. What best way to kick off the year but with good deeds—great deeds, like taking steps to save a national treasure?

The Philippine eagles are flapping its wings with glee with the donations that started pouring on the first month of 2016.

Marco Polo Hotels raised three quarters of a million from the simultaneous in-house promotions of its hotels in Hong Kong, Manila, Cebu and Davao for the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF).

PEF Executive Director, Dennis Salvador, receives the proceeds raised by the Marco Polo Hotels for the Philippine Eagle Foundation.

In all these properties’ lobbies, the plush Philippine eagle toy dolls were on display. In doing so, not only did it excite guests to own one, it also raised awareness in the plight of our National Bird. 

The Philippine eagle display  at the Marco Polo Davao 

And at the lobby of the Marco Polo Cebu

With an added fashionable feature—an auction of the Philippine eagles dolls dressed in tribal costumes designed by Renee Salud— during the turnover ceremonies, Marco Polo raised an added amount to total its donation to P 1-million.

Another million was handed to PEF days later when the foundation inked a deal with Philippine Airlines (PAL). 

The second million in 2016 for the Philippine eagles. Philippine Airlines donates a million miles to PEF as it became the adopted father to "Sinag", the newest member of Philippine eagle family.

The flag carrier adopted the newest member of the center, chick #26, and named it “Sinag.” As “father” to the baby eagle, PAL donated a million miles, a grant that will not only sustain the growth of a single eaglet but will also give way to the survival of more, according to the PEF Chairman.

For the region, expect it to be busy this summer with the second serving of the Visit Davao Fun Sale. This year the fun tours have been expanded from Davao City and Samal Island to include Davao Oriental and Davao del Norte’s must-experience destinations, this was bared by the region’s tourism stakeholders in a recent presentation.

Exciting times for the region. More fun in Davao means more visitors in the region. The region's tourism stakeholders at the presentation of the Visit Davao Fun Sale 2016.

Mark the dates—March 15 to May 31, and take advantage of the low packaged rates of the VDFS 2016 themed as Adventure and Sports, Culture and Arts and the Party, Fun and Leisure. 

More fun in Davao with these great deals

Speaking of leisure, the Abreeza Cinemas gives us another reason why it’s the best to watch what’s new on the silver screen. Aside from the very comfortable seats with attachable food holders for snacks and reserved seating, there’s now The Movie SnackBar, the first snack concession of Ayala Malls Cinemas in the Visayas-Mindanao regions and the 7th in the country. (But you can buy snacks from anywhere and STILL be able to bring it inside the cinema. No exclusivity clause of only cinema snack bar items may be taken inside the movie house).

Abreeza Cinema’s newest attraction- the Movie SnackBar. At the unveiling, Abreeza Mall Operations Manager, Janice Parreño; Davao Councilor, April Dayap; Anflocor President, Alex Valoria; Abreeza Mall GM, LuigiEscaño; & Abreeza Cinema Associate Manager, Joseph Pastrana.

From its wide-range selection of affordable movie house staple snacks, my favorite is the nachos (minus the meat by special request) because of the jalapeño slices to top it. 

No meat on my nachos, please.

But the best topping this month is another Philippine Airlines offering—a great travel sale, organized by BDO for its credit and debit cardholders.

 Have BDO credit card & travel the world with the best travel deals from Philippine Airlines. Ma. Nanette Regala, SVP & Consumer Lending Group Marketing Head with Vic Suarez, PAL OIC & Area Head Manager for Mindanao Sales & Services at the opening of the The Great BDO Travel Sale at the SM Lanang Premier.

The PAL booth raked in the biggest chunk of the event’s patrons who wanted to grab the best deals on domestic and international tickets that were offered at super low prices. Only into the few hours after of the opening, there was an SRO scene at the airline’s section plus a line as snaking at the number assignment table.

A large crowd gathered at the opening hour of the travel sale at the Philippine Airline section.

Expecting a long wait for one’s turn to be served, BDO conceived a “almost your turn to be served” service via text messaging. This gave the clients a chance to go around the mall to shop or dine while waiting for their turn.

Today is the last day of the travel sale at the SM Lanang Premier. You still have a chance to see the world, the Universe, rather, via Philippine Airlines.

Contrary to the belief that if one started the New Year quietly in bed, it will be the same throughout the year, I was out most days and night this January and basking in good vibes of the Universe. Care to join me?

Email me at jinggoysalvador@yahoo.com. For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com and http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com.

Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on January 31, 2016.