January 2017 musings: Of flapping wings & taking flight

It wasn’t a few days ago when the torotots blared to welcome 2017. Two nights back, the Rooster came crowing on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year, and the dragons and the lions danced to its cock-a-doodle-do sound.


Marco Polo Davao Chinese New Year 2017

Kung hei fat choi. Dotting the lion’s eye. Guest of honor, Johhny Yap, at the annual CNY celebration at Marco Polo Davao


According to Chinese culture, the Rooster symbolizes punctuality and fidelity. It’s the year when people will be more polite and less stubborn, but may have the tendency to complicate things.

Those born to the sign are said to be kind-hearted, hardworking, courageous, independent, humorous and honest. They make great home keepers for they like to keep home neat and organized. Nice.

Where was I on the Kung Hei Fat Choi moment? At the house of buchi, of course.

After the traditional dotting of the lion’s eye and the dragon dance to usher in good fortune at the Marco Polo Davao, the feast happened at the Lotus Court. It was jam packed with revelers.


Guests at Lotus Court of Marco Polo Davao during Chinese New Year 2017

Seen at the Lotus Court of Elizabeth Zimmerman with Mans Carpio & Stingray


But before the rooster flapped its wings, I spread mine and flew to 2017’s first travel destination, Coron in Palawan. Checked one off the bucket list.

Coron is a paradise! It was made more exciting in the company of good friends who adore the saltwater as much as I do. It’s been a while since I was lulled to sleep by the music of the ocean.


One of Coron's famous views

One off the bucket list. Coron can leave you breathless.


Another tune that played in Davao was that of the classics. Davao Museum’s fund-raising concert, Sonata, had soprano Stefanie Quintin and classical guitarist Anton Luis Avila playing beautiful music together at partners on stage, and officially as a couple at the end of the night when the guitarist proposed to the soprano. Sweet.


Classical concert to raise funds for Davao Museum

Sonata, a benefit concert for the Davao Museum


More wings will be soaring in the coming months when Philippine Airlines sends off their planes to new routes from the Queen City. Guess which destination made me gasp? Coron! It was a sign for me to return to the islands via this new, convenient and more economical route.


PAL launches new Cebu flights

Harry Inoferio of PAL showing the new domestic routes of PAL from Cebu


But fate had other plans for me, like trying a new city in Palawan- Puerto Princesa, which I won a round-trip ticket to. Underground River here I come!

Puerto Princesa is on the roster of PAL’s new destinations from Cebu along with General Santos and Surigao.


Winning a round trip ticket from Cebu to Palawan in a PAL raffle

Winning a Cebu-Puerto Princesa ticket at the presscon of PAL announcing new doemstic routes from Cebu. With Harry Inoferio, PAL SAVP Sales PH; Reyani Romero, PAL Area Head Visayas Sales; Ken Ong of Edge Davao & Cebu blogger Doyzkie Buenaviaje


PAL is listing my domestic travel goals on the Cebu hub list. This is good news for everyone in Davao and Mindanao, as we don’t have to fly all the way to Manila to get a connection. Isn’t this another reason to love Cebu?

And I love the Cebuanos as well especially those at the Marco Polo Plaza. They take hospitality to a whole new level.

Noticing that I was under the weather Manna Alcaraz, the communications manager, offered to send to my room ginger tea to make me feel better—after a traditional hilot therapy at the hotel’s Spa-Wellness Zone.


Marco Polo Plaza is like home in this part of Cebu. Extending the hospitality of home was Manna Alcaraz


That one-hour of bliss did the trick (that and the box of their popular confection, the Malicious cookies, was a big part of the get well treatment, too). I was feeling better on my way back home the next day to have a few buchis at their sister hotel, the Marco Polo Davao.


Spa Wellness Zone of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Nursing me back to health with the traditional hilot at the Spa-Wellness Zone of Marco Polo Plaza


Moving on to the love month…

Of Apples & Lemons.

Press conference so chic. The new setup alternative of Marco Polo Davao for press conferences is quite stylish. It can pass off as a tea party complete with perfectly sized nibbles, flavorful drinks and flowers adorning the round tables for four. The living room-like feel for the speakers make the whole scene relaxing. 3/5 apples.

Email me at jinggoysalvador@yahoo.com. For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit www.ofapplesandlemons.com & www.jeepneyjinggoy.com

Also published in the SunStar Davao newspaper.