Quantcast
Latest Stories

Tessa!

AirAsia gives Filipinos more chances to travel and shop with flights to Malaysia

By

ONSTAGE with INQUIRER gang: Marinel Cruz, Maurice Arcache, Pam Pastor and Sea Princess

Malaysia, Truly Asia. One can’t help but suffer from last song syndrome whenever that line is said. LSS notwithstanding, we can learn a lot from our Asean neighbor on how to promote tourism.

MANILA and Cebu media and bloggers at Shangri-La Putrajaya Hotel with Tourism Malaysia director general Dato’ Mirza Mohammad Taiyab

Early last month, Tourism Malaysia Philippines invited an intimate group of personalities to experience the beauty and culture of their country through a visit to the vibrant capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Along with our traveling group from Manila, a large contingent of media and bloggers from Cebu joined the inaugural flight of AirAsia. That group flew directly to Kuala Lumpur from Cebu.

AirAsia Berhad is a Malaysian low-cost airline headquartered in Kuala Lumpur. It has been named the world’s best low-cost airline, and is a pioneer of low-cost travel in Asia.

CHINESE temple at Kuala Lumpur

Taking off from Terminal 4, which I found out is our new moniker for the old domestic terminal, AirAsia has the benefit of being the only fish in a small pond. My new Piquadro leather carry-on, available at SM Aura, was hardly scuffed as I breezed through the Customs and Immigration counters manned solely for AirAsia.

Pleasant surprise

Onboard, the on-time flight was pleasant and the choices of meals were quite delicious. Flying for the first time on AirAsia was a pleasant surprise.

PUTRAJAYA’S famous pink mosque, the Putra Mosque

After meeting the rest of the Philippine group at the airport, we checked into our hotel and took a day tour to discover KL. The city is a convergence of a rich, colorful past and the bright, promising future of Malaysia. Vestiges of colonial Britain can still be seen in the old structures and traditions, but these blend perfectly with the newer, exotic architecture and modern culture.

This blend is best represented by the iconic Petronas Towers—thoroughly modern, yet architecturally arching back to a pair of Islamic minarets. These towers are the grand gateway to the country.

BOARDING AirAsia with my red Piquadro carry-on leather suitcase

My travel buddies, G Tongi and Tim Yap, both enjoyed the photo and shopping opportunities in the many shops in the area. We all enjoyed the tour, with our guide, Eddie Chok, regaling us with his tidbits about the city.

Our tour took us through Little India, the New King’s Palace, Putrajaya and, of course, Petronas and the surrounding KLCC. The KL City Gallery had incredible graphics and visual presentations of the city, which I am sure we can replicate for our own tourists.

The Red Carpet Wax Museum, Shah Alam, was where we had the most fun. We ended the night in Sky Bar, Level 33, at the Traders Hotel to enjoy drinks and the spectacular city view.

For the culturally inclined, KL will not disappoint. From the quirky and modern to the classic and local, art is an integral part of the Malaysian ethos. One notable focal point that seems to weave all the genres of art is Central Market. Artsy-craftsy new art easily finds its niche with traditional art as well as conceptual and modern art. Add shopping to the mix and you have an art lover’s paradise.

I LOVE KL artwork at KL City Gallery

Year-end sales

During our first Malaysian dinner at the Shangri-La Putrajaya Hotel, Dato’ Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, director general of Tourism Malaysia, welcomed the Filipino group and shared his excitement about having more flights between our countries.

We were very honored that the Big Boss of Tourism Malaysia joined us for dinner on the eve of his birthday. Together with him were tourism officials Syed Yahya Bin Syed Othman and Marhafizman Bin Mohamed Daud.

Fazdila Mansor, director of Tourism Malaysia Philippines, was delighted to host us just in time for KL’s big year-end sales, which immediately caught my attention, of course.

AIRASIA.COM plane bound for Kuala Lumpur

Jenny Bugarin-Tan, AirAsia PR manager, was happy to be part of the inaugural group that flew in from Malaysia. At her table was Adam Kamal of Rakyat Travel.

Visit Malaysia Year 2014 is this country’s biggest and grandest tourism celebration, with dazzling parades and processions, colorful cultural shows and exhibitions, fabulous food festivals, exciting sports and adventure, enchanting music and arts festival, shopping extravaganza, nature thrills and spills and many more. The theme for the year is “Celebrating 1Malaysia Truly Asia.”

The entire tourism campaign is focused on “the diverse cultures and multiracial communities living in peace and harmony in their blessed country.” The campaign aims to conserve, preserve and nurture the rich heritage of Mother Nature, as well as to reflect the uniqueness of Malaysia as an important eco-tourism destination. The official mascot for Visit Malaysia Year 2014 is the Proboscis Monkey.

PETRONAS Twin Towers by night

‘Wicked’ starts Manila run

Today is my eldest daughter Annika’s birthday. We will partly celebrate it by watching “Wicked,” which starts Jan. 22. “Wicked” will play for a strictly limited season at the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The musical is a brilliant reimagining of the stories created by L. Frank Baum in “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

Local producers of the Broadway musical phenomenon have announced they will be having a “Yolanda” benefit show on Jan. 31, at 1:30 p.m. In addition to ticket proceeds, there will also be an auction after curtain call, all for Yolanda relief.

SPECTACULAR view of Putrajaya at night

The auction will include a beautifully packaged “Wicked” prop from the show: Glinda’s training wand. This wand is a focal point of the story and the perfect prop for any aspiring wizards in the audience. The wand is boxed and signed by Suzie Mathers and is a true one-of-a-kind collector’s item.

Another auction item is “A Wicked Experience,” which will be an opportunity to be part of the cast for one day. The winning bidder gets to join the cast members through rehearsal and warm-up, and then be put into hair, makeup and costume for a final transformation.

The bidder then appears onstage, taking on the role of an Ozian wishing Elphaba a safe journey to Oz. And if the bidder’s acting is superb, who knows—perhaps a Broadway invite may be in the offing.

Follow @tessavaldes on Twitter or visit www.tessaprietovaldes.com.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: AirAsia , Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia , Petronas Towers , Tourism , Tourism Malaysia Philippines , Yolanda Aid , “Wicked”

  • txtman

    _____ PAPAANO NAMAN ANG PILIPINAS???? ______
    .
    BAKIT LAHAT NG PROJECTS
    _____ NG MGA AIRLINES
    _____ PARA SA MGA TAGA-IBANG BANSA???
    _____ WHY ARE NOT THEY PROMOTING
    _____ FOREIGNERS TO VISIT THE PHILIPPINES????
    .
    BAKIT PURO NA LANG OTHER COUNTRIES???
    BRAIN WHERE ARE YOU???
    PITIFUL

  • kismaytami

    It scares when their government cracks on travelers. Anyway, there’s no culture in malaysia, just borrowed ones from their neighbors.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  2. Lover’s quarrel linked to hunger – study
  3. Encounter with a ‘Mangkukulam’
  4. ‘Kamias’ for fever, ‘siling labuyo’ for headache–first aid in the kitchen
  5. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  6. Summer treat for your aspiring astronomers
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. ‘Heaven is for Real’: Nonfiction book on life after death reaches screen
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  5. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  6. South Koreans crave Asia’s smelliest fish
  7. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Ex-Givenchy model fights for ‘Yolanda’ survivors

News

  • UN warns banana fungus spreading from Southeast Asia
  • Massive infra spending set
  • ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  • Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  • Our Lady of Piat: Centerpiece of Cagayan’s gifts to Christianity
  • Sports

  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  • PSC sets Blu Girls US training
  • Power Pinoys settle for 7th place
  • Successful coaches to get raise
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • The truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, eggs benedict, chicken leg confit are excellent
  • Entertainment

  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • ‘Community’ star happy with return of show’s creator
  • Jealousy is kid stuff
  • Mommy-daughter adventure continues
  • Business

  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • PH seen to sustain rise in FDIs
  • Gov’t subsidies to state firms fell in first 2 months
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Milpitas, California kids wrap up a successful run of ‘The Wiz’
  • Netizens welcome Japan’s visa-free travel plan
    Marketplace