Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Intercontinental Singapore Robertson Quay

Currently staying at Intercon SG Robertson Quay to attend the formal launching of the ASEAN Prosperity Initiative (API) organized by the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), a KL-based free market think tank.

Staying here two days, yesterday and today. Will be flying back to Manila after lunch.

I have stayed in Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur twice, September 2017 and April 2018, for EFN SE Asia and IDEAS events, respectively. Intercon is cool.

4th floor outside the reception. Nice.

Also on the 4th floor, the other side.

I stayed at the 5th floor, nice corridor.

My room, ahhh, big comfy bed.

Breakfast area, restaurant at the ground floor. Not much food choices but the place is really cool.

Finally, there was a knock in my room last night, when I opened, a staff gave me a card with a small package -- cool power bank. It's from Ms. Namira Adam, Business Development Executive of ISRQ, also the account manager handling the IDEAS event. Thank you Ms. Adam.

I enjoyed my stay here. Thank you, ISRQ.

See also:

Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur, September 2017, March 23, 2018

Intercon Kuala Lumpur, lobby and pool, April 19, 2018

Dona Nena resort, San Juan, Batangas with the Millora family

Last Nov. 1-2, I brought my family to join the Millora family reunion at Dona Nena resort in Laiya, San Juan, Batangas.

Not good for swimming, well you can't swim actually because of the shallow waters even at high tide, which is from evening to early morning. There are also many regenerating mangrove trees.

But its beauty is in its wide white sand play area. People can chase each other, run with their dogs, play volleyball, etc.

My family with our dog. Photo from Monette Millora, thanks net.

The big, extended Millora family -- which includes me as an "adopted son" of Daddy Vic and Mommy Lil.

Around Makati

These photos I took last October from the Tower Club, 31st or 33rd floor, PhilamLife Building, Ayala-Paseo road, Makati City.

Then these photos I took last April from the 32nd floor resto of City Garden Hotel, Makati Avenue. First photo on the left, white building, Makati City Hall. Among the biggest local bureaucracies in the country.

Bel-Air village in the middle.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Trip around North Luzon, some observations

Last Sunday October 07, I travelled Manila to Bugallon, Pangasinan, 200 kms. I transferred some personal stuff to my little hut in Bugallon.

Then Monday October 08, I took this 620+ kms trip. Left Bugallon, Pangasinan around 6:30am Monday, arrived Gonzaga, Cagayan 2am Tuesday. Multiple rides, 5 bus rides, 19 hours. Tiring but good sights of northern Luzon.

1. Bugallon to Dagupan, I forgot the name of the bus, ordinary, no air-con bus Mangatarem-Dagupan.

2. Dagupan-Pozorubio, Victory bus, ordinary. I made a mistake in taking this bus, I was in a hurry and did not check properly the signboard and just boarded the departing bus. I should have taken the bus to Agoo.

3. Pozorubio to Vigan, Partas (first bus that came), air-con but no CR.

4. Vigan to Laoag, Viron bus, air-con but no CR. Slow bus.

5. Laoag to Gonzaga, Florida bus, air-con with CR. Left Laoag 8+pm.

I went to Gonzaga to visit a good friend, Dr. Florante Vic Balatico, professor at Cagayan State Univ. (CSU) Gonzaga campus. His only child is my godson. Two nights of drinks with exotic pulutan that Vic and wife Au prepared. Blue marlin sashimi, crabs, shrimps, eel, other fishes, vegetables, awww. No chicken or pork, big change from my regular food in Manila.

We did not go to Sta Ana anymore, I've been there before, have photos with Coast guard and Navy men there, about 15 years ago. I also gave a lecture on TRAIN law, inflation, etc. at CSU Gonzaga campus' faculty and non-academic staff last October 10.

Last Thursday, October 11, I took this 615 kms. trip, left Gonzaga, Cagayan 8am Thursday, arrived Cubao/Manila 1:30am Friday.

1. Gonzaga to Tuguegarao, aircon van or UV Express.

2. Tuguegarao to Cubao/Manila, 5 Star aircon bus with CR. 

I also strolled briefly around the newly-opened Robinson's Mall Tuguegarao, nice place, lunch.

Among my observations on those trips:

First and foremost, too many motorcycles and tricycles now in the highway except tollways. The poor no longer ride cows or bicycles. The poor also use cell phones and FB, email to communicate, not slow mails or smoke signals. GDP growth is real and broad-base.

But these slow tricycles drive in the inner lane instead of the outer lane, they can cause vehicle congestion if the roads are going up, or in curves.

Second, many provincial buses now have CR, deluxe bus and fare difference with regular aircon bus is small. One can drink beer or lots of water inside and not worry about the next bus stop with CR.

Third, very few mini bus or jeepney in between provincial cities. Aircon vans or UV express are now the dominant transpo services. So if the poor don't ride motorcycles to travel 30, 100 kms, they ride aircon vans, the fare is not big because of competition among many vans.

Gonzaga to Tuguegarao is 133 kms and fare is only P200. But the vans travel fast, a bit uncomfortable at first if one is used to driving slow like me. Then they stop in some areas to wait for passengers then drive fast again.

Four, lots of palay or corn drying on the highway. It's good that many national and provincial roads are now 4-lanes, sometimes 6-lanes. 

Five, a disease by some LGUs or DPWH itself, they destroy not-so-ugly roads, replace them with new roads, causing slow traffic and vehicle congestion. They do this mainly to spend excess budget before the year ends and ask another big budget the next year. There are still many barangay roads that need concreting, public money should be spent there instead....

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Intercon Kuala Lumpur, lobby and pool

This is my second stay in this hotel, I like it. The lobby, seen from the 2nd floor facing the main entrance.

Side view, the four pillars and big chandelier.

Artificial waterfalls outside the main restaurant, ground floor.

 Small park with koi pond.


The swimming pool, 5th floor. Only 4 ft deep with two smaller kiddie pools beside it.


Some of the buildings near the hotel.

 My two girls enjoying the pool.



I did not stay long in the pool, we were there around 4-5pm, it was cold for me. The girls stayed for an hour.

See also: Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur, March 23, 2018

Monday, April 09, 2018

Most-liked photos in my fb wall

I just got an alert from facebook labelled "your most loved posts". Eight of them stood out.

#1 with 240 likes, my hotel and room at Taj Tashi Hotel, Thimphu, Bhutan, during the Economic Freedom Network (EFN) Asia conference, November 2015. I felt like a Prince when I entered the lobby, then felt like a King when I saw my room :-)

#2 with 234 likes, my 2nd daughter Bien Mary.
I posted this on her 6th birthday, October 2016.

#3 with 227 likes. Moving up/Recognition awards of the two girls, April 2016.

#4 with 225 likes, my pick up when I drove my family from Makati to Iloilo City via RORO, December 2016.

#5 with 187 likes, invitation cards of Elle and Bien to their classmates for their joint birthday celebration near their school, October 2016.

#6 with 147 likes, book donation by my neighbor in Makati, I gave the books away to some kids in Brgy. Laguit Padilla, Bugallon, Pangasinan. March 2017.

Tied in #7 with 98 likes are #7a, my hotel in Thailand airport when our Bkk-Bhutan flight that day was cancelled, Druk Air brought us here with 3 buffet meals (lunch-dinner-bfast) before we flew the next day. November 2015. 

I soooper liked the food, the hugeness of the lobby, other parts of the hotel.

#7b also with 98 likes, rock barriers of a mini-creek in the farm, Pangasinan, posted in January 2017. Big rocks in the front, smaller rocks and soil at the back. It's thick, now about 4 feet thick at the base, 2 1/2 feet at the top.