Mall of Asia

[Mall of Asia 02] A Virtual Tour of the Grand Opening of the Mall of Asia


This globe is now the official symbol of the Mall of Asia (MOA). If you notice, the Philippines is at the center of the globe and it sits proudly at the center of MOA. It opened yesterday, May 21, 2006 and a lot of people from different walks of life were there to witness its opening — from the tsinelas crowd, to the middle class citizens and to the elite of Society. For those of you who decided to sit back and wait until the maddening crowd have settled down over the opening of MOA, I would say good decision on your part. You have to bring with you a lot of patience just to wait in line in the parking and elevators, or just walking around the mall because of the huge crowd traffic, not to mention the summer heat we are still experiencing. I’ll give you a sneak preview of MOA…

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Mall of Asia

[Mall of Asia 01]The Rising of the Mall of Asia!


What do you have if you combined the SM Mega Mall concept with Greenbelt’s upscale ambiance plus the crowd at Divisoria during Christmas plus Manila Boardwalk’s stunning view of Manila Sunset ? Simple, it is the grand opening of the Henry Sy’s Mall of Asia! This is the much awaited opening for Filipinos since there is no doubt that all of us are a bit mall crazy. One good thing about this is that our mall experience just got better with a stunning view of Manila bay and one of the church that I love — the Church of the Way, the Truth and the Life, nearby.

Here are the facts about mall of Asia:
– a total cost of P7 billion to build a 38.6 hectares mall sitting on a 60 hectare property.
– it has 500 outlets, including 180 restaurants which is the biggest in our country and this is the true One stop shop for all walks of life. Think of a restaurant or store and it will be in the Mall of Asia.
– There is an olympic-size skating rink where you can place hockey (nice — I do hope this sport takes off) – a Music Hall, good for 900 seats
– a 13,000sq. m Super SM hypermarket
– The first Imax in the Philippines with a 560 seater and an eight-story-high theather with a 22m x 33m screen size! (which I will cover in a separate post)
– It has a view of 2-kilometer shoreline of Manila bay and stunning view of Manila’s Sunset

This Mall of Asia series aims to provide an experiential account on the grand opening of MOA and what’s in store for you in this mall. I have both raves and rants about this place and I plan to share this with you.

UPDATE 5/22/06 I wouldn’t say that this is the biggest mall in Asia because the Siam Paragan in Thailand right in the heart of the city! It is a lot bigger because it houses a car showroom and you can buy your cars from here. Also, it was so hi-tech that I saw the first 3d TV in Siam Paragon! I don’t think MOA beats that. But MOA has a great view of Manila Bay and no mall can boast about this in Asia 🙂

Awesome Filipinos

Congratulations Romi Garduce! 3rd Filipino to reach Mt. Everest! First P&G-er to reach Mt. Everest!

Congratulations Romi for reaching the highest peak in the World!! We are all celebrating your success!! So now, the Filipino trio is complete– Leo Oracion, Erwin Pastour Emata, and Romi Garduce — the first three Filipinos who reached Everest! Also, It was funny to see the big boss in our Manila Service Center, Greg Clark on TV congratulating Romi. I’m actually validating with P&G management whether Romi might be the First ever P&G manager worldwide to have reach the summit of Mt. Everest. It would take a while to validate it but knowing the people and the work in P&G, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is indeed the first manager in Procter and Gamble worldwide to summit Everest!! Congrats, pre!! 3 summits down, 4 to go :)!!

7 Highest Summits of the 7 Continents
Mt. Kilimajaro (Africa) 5,895m (1st climb-for-a-cause Sept. 2002)
Mt. Denali (North America) 6,194m
Mt. Everest (Asia) 8,848m (4th climb-for-a-cause May 2006)
Mt. Elbrus (Europe) 5,642m ( Romi attempted to climb this– thanks Francis for the correction)
Mt. Carstensz Pyramid (Australasia) 4,884m
Mt. Aconcagua (South America) 6,960m (2nd climb-for-a-cause Dec/Jan 2004)
Mt. Vinson (Antartica) 4,897m

Mall of Asia

The Mall of Asia (Opening May 21)


The much awaited and controversial Mall of Asia will have its Grand opening on Sunday May 21. There is a mall blessing by invitation only for all suppliers on Saturday May 20 but it is not open to the public. I can’t wait to experience the new IMAX Theater — woohoo! at last may IMAX na tayo… I’m sure not a lot of people know yet that MOA is opening so I’ll be there on the first day. See you and hopefully I can take some pictures…

Anton

Palawan

[ElNido Palawan#3] Entalula Island, Your own private Boracay Island


This is the best beach in the whole Bacuit Bay in El Nido 🙂 This is a private beach where Lagen and Miniloc tourists can reserve this for a private lunch or dinner — El Nido style. Lagen residents are given priority when reserving and since it is private, the people from El Nido town cannot visit here. So you need to take advantage of this and I suggest that you pre-arrange your lunch here because people who have been to El Nido would surely reserve this in advance. This is best if you have your friends or family with you and I’ll guarantee you that you’ll have an awesome experience here. I’ll take you in on a closer look on the island.

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Awesome Filipinos

[First Filipino in Everest] Congratulations Leo Oracion!


“The Philippine Eagle has landed.” www.philippine-everest.com

“Congratulations to the first Filipino in Mt. Everest, Leo Oracion!! Well done, the entire Philippines is celebrating your success and at last a Filipino is on top of Mt. Everest! This is a very symbolic quest for us, Filipinos and you are the official winner for the amazing race for the First Filipino to reach Mt. Everest. Let’s not pretend that this is not a race, it is a race (why do you think there were 4-5 Filipinos suddenly climbing Mt. Everest all at the same time). A race in itself is not bad. It is very healthy because we, Filipinos, thrive in competition and this is where we give our best. We Filipinos love rivalries Globe vs. Smart, GMA7 vs. ABS-CBN2, La Salle vs. Ateneo, Pacquiao vs. Morales, and so on. This should not undermine the achievement of the other Filipino climbers who would also reach the top of Mt. Everest. After all, Mt. Everest is a personal journey and it is every mountain climbers dream to reach this highest point on earth. Lets continue to pray for Leo Oracion, Pastour Emata and Romi Garduce, (and the other 4-5 or so people) that they may be able to go back safely in the Philippines after reaching the highest peak in the world.

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Palawan

[ElNido Palawan#2] Shimizu Island, El Nido

This is what I love most about El Nido. You have your own private get away with no boats in sight and with the white beach all to your self. What is so unique about Shimizu is this is where you would go for snorkeling and a nature perfect photo setup. Make sure that you arrange a private lunch trip or a snorkeling activity in this place. I’ll like to share with you a few more photos of this place and I’m starting to miss this already. After our El nido trip, all of us agreed to start saving up for another El Nido fund to go to this place in 2008 (hopefully)!

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Palawan

[ElNido Palawan#1] El Nido- The Best Beach in the Philippines!


Big Lagoon, Miniloc Island

El Nido is simply the best beach place in the Philippines! The beaches are so pristine and the limestone rocks feel like entering Jurassic Park. After 30 years of my existence, this is the first time that I was able to witness the grand beauty of this place. There are two ways to visit El Nido, either you get sent by your company on an official business, or you save up for it. I took the later route, and after saving for almost two years, we were able to visit last May 1 weekend. I was literally flabbergasted by its magnificent beauty and all of you who have been to El Nido can testify to this.

The place is the most photogenic beach I’ve seen and hopefully, I will be able to share with you the beauty of this place in this El Nido series. I’ve been looking for an experiential account on El nido in the web but found none. This attempt to document our 4 days/ 3 nights experience intends to showcase how to take advantage of the “El Nido escape” and give you the secrets to having a fantastic time in this paradise.

For people who will be visiting El nido soon, here are my top 10 tips for an awesome El Nido experience:

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Balesin

[Balesin Island#3] What to do in Balesin?

UPDATE 11/6/13: Check out the latest blog post on Balesin Island Club developed by Alphaland:
BALESIN ISLAND (ALPHALAND): Food Tripping Around the World in 7 Beach Resort Paradise!

If there is one word to describe Balesin, it would be “relaxing”. The idea is to escape from your busy life, relax and appreciate nature. In that sense, there’s really nothing else to do in this island but bond with nature and with your love ones. There are sports facilities in the resort which you can enjoy which includes: Beach Volleyball, Table Tennis, Tennis and a 6-hole golf course. But for you to fully enjoy Balesin, here are my top 10 recommended things to do when you are in the island.

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Balesin

[Balesin Island#2] Where in the Philippines is Balesin?

UPDATE 11/6/13: Check out the latest blog post on Balesin Island Club developed by Alphaland:
BALESIN ISLAND (ALPHALAND): Food Tripping Around the World in 7 Beach Resort Paradise!



This shot was taken 7 hours away (4 hours by land + 3 hours by boat) from Manila. The travel could be as short as 30 minutes by a chartered plane (imagine how expensive that would be). This was in the remote island of Balesin in Pollilio, Quezon Province and my Balesin series will give you a glimpse of this beach island paradise in the East.

The land trip was a 180kms, 4 hours drive from Manila to the Atimonan port. It sounds easy if you know or have been traveling to Bicol because this is 1/3 of the way to Bicol. You travel via South Super Hi-way –> Sto. Tomas, Batangas –> Alaminos, Laguna –> San Pablo, Laguna –> Tiaong, Quezon –> Candelaria, Quezon –> Sariaya, Quezon –> Lucena, Quezon, –> Pagbilao, Quezon –> then finally arriving at Atimonan, Quezon before Gumaca. (whew! that was long) All I can say is that follow the road signs going to Bicol so that you don’t get lost in one of the fork roads. If you have been to the Viaje del Sol destinations then you are just 1/2 of the way to Atimonan. In the Balesin Brochures, it would say that this is 3 hours away ( they forgot to put “at night” ) but if you leave manila at 6am, I would guarantee you, it would take you 4 hours at least.

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