November is the month of thanksgiving. An attitude of gratitude will clear the air for positive energies to flow in. Even if we are faced with challenges, we have so much to be grateful for. If we focus on blessings, we will live happily and more purposefully.
Thanks to a special Kundalini yoga session, I was able to focus on those thoughts with renowned legacy American teacher Tarn Taran Singh guiding us at Anam Cara Center of Marisa Harnadh. Urban energy healer Rosan Cruz invited Kundalini yoga couple Tarn Taran Singh and Tarn Taran Kaur to facilitate a workshop on building relationships.
At a special thanksgiving lunch at China Blue Restaurant at Conrad Hotel, I got all the media and special friends of the SM Group of Companies to share their grateful blessings for 2019. Siblings and SM bigwigs Hans Sy and Tessie Sy-Coson shared their delightful comments, Hans about retirement, and Tessie about being far from going down that road and continuing the Sy family legacy.
I loved that when asked what they wanted for Christmas, both wanted more time with the family. Steven Tan, SM Supermalls COO, is looking forward to his Christmas vacation with his mother.
Straight from lunch, I joined hot, stylish mamas Divine Lee-Go and Cristalle Belo-Pitt for the Christmas tree lighting of SM Mall of Asia. The festive #SparklingSMallidays affair really sparked lots of Christmas spirit and holiday cheer!
As I look back on this busy yet enjoyable year, I realize that it’s been marked by so many trips all over the globe. By year-end, I would have visited Japan seven times. Our family is headed to Osaka for the holidays, taking the new Air Asia international flight departing from Naia Terminal 3.
I attended the opening of the new Air Asia headquarters at Naia Terminal 3. Air Asia Philippines owners Mikee and Sheila Romero recently unveiled the sprawling headquarters. Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat was their guest of honor at the successful affair. She stated that tourism is everybody’s business, and I totally agree with her.
Just last month, I traveled to Spain, Turkey, Japan and Thailand, plus Bacolod and Bohol. Good thing my expandable Victorinox suitcase and matching hand-carry are quite sturdy and lightweight for all my shopping and pasalubong.
Speaking of travel and the business of tourism, I had a wonderful chat with Ulla Hefel Böhler, the new Global CEO of Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold. This award-winning luxury travel company offers the best hassle-free travel tours, exceptional dining, VIP experiences and tour guides. Destinations include Europe, Britain, Africa, US, Canada, India, Latin America and Australia.
It was great to meet Ulla as I am a fan of Insight Vacations and have so many #insightmoments memories.
Multilingual Ulla is passionate about languages and speaks English, German, Italian and French. She was born in a small town in Austria and lived in Florence, Venice, London, Sydney and Melbourne before settling in Switzerland in 2016 with her husband and two young boys.
I was introduced to Luxury Gold, another program of Insight Vacations. I am looking forward to experiencing one of their luxury tours in the future. Anthony Lim, managing director-Asia of Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold, shared with me his top destinations and suggested which I should experience first. Anthony is responsible for growing their partnerships with travel trade and agent partners across Asia.
Traveling in Asia
They want to introduce a new way to travel here in Asia: luxury guided holidays for smaller groups with one-of-a-kind experiences that can’t be easily arranged by those traveling independently.
Anthony brings a wealth of marketing and sales management experience to Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold, gained through a long and successful career in senior executive roles. He will lead the Asia and India teams from the Singapore office.
Along with my suitcases, I also travel with some leather bags that I have purchased through the years.
These days, luxury bags are also an investment. I recently discovered Exquisite Manila, a company selling new or pre-loved, high quality bags, timepieces and accessories. Exquisite Manila’s owner Maritess “Tet” Rodriguez handpicks and redistributes high quality leather bags and watches. Exquisite also has a restoration center, Exquisite Care, where customers can have their precious items restored. It’s a reliable way for people to bring in any luxury good that needs TLC.
Exquisite Care has a bag spa and also offers watch repairs, all using its impeccable standard of proprietary care. Exquisite Manila and Exquisite Care are at the second level of Century City Mall, Makati.
Follow @exquisitecareofficial on Instagram
Shifting destinations, I’ve just learned that two more weeks have been added to the Manila run of “Cats,” one of the longest-running shows on the West End in London, and on Broadway.
The musical, presented by David Ian Productions, will now be staged at The Theatre at Solaire until Dec. 1.
Joanna Ampil is set to play Grizabella in the International Tour of “Cats.” She played the role of the “Glamour Cat” in the musical’s UK and European Tour in 2013-14, and the World Tour from 2017-2018.