Thursday, February 21, 2013

cheap holidays in Crete

Crete is renowned across the Mediterranean as one of the sea's most attractive holiday destinations but there is more to the island than simply beaches and bars. The island is the largest, most populous and most southerly of the Greek islands and it makes a major contribution to the overall economy of the country. For centuries it was the centre of the Minoan civilization that had a hugely significant hand in steering the development of other Greek societies and ultimately that of modern Europe.

All of which is rather amazing if you take the time to dwell on it but don’t feel bad if you decide to head to Crete simply to kick back for a week or so in the sunshine and to indulge yourself with some hard-earned relaxation. Indeed, these days, relaxing is among the activities that the island is best suited to accommodate. With so many great resorts, pools, beaches and breath-taking vistas, there aren't many more fun places to be in the Mediterranean and perhaps even the world than Crete.

The good news for anyone on the look out for the perfect holiday deal is that there are plenty of cut-price but great value package offers on Crete available online right now. You should always check out Thomas Cook holidays if you're aiming to head to the Greek islands as their deals are usually difficult to beat, whether you're planning a party-filled few weeks in Malia or a family escape somewhere rather more serene. There are added discounts being offered this year to persuade consumers to start booking their holidays online so you can save yourself some extra worthwhile sums by doing so. And while the online holiday search and booking process remains something of a mystery to some, it really is rather straightforward once you get to grips with the basics of the process.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

postcard series | Silliman University amphitheater

The sunken amphitheater (with Silliman Church as backdrop) is probably the second most popular landmark at Silliman University. Silliman Hall being at number one spot.

On its fringes are Hibbard Hall (my favorite building in the campus in terms of design aesthetics; high ceiling, vintage tile flooring, graceful curves, clean lines) and the Science Complex and Oriental Hall on the other side. The acacia-lined drive (with occasional skateboarders and bicyclers) and the frisbee field enfolding the amphitheater nailed the campus' laid back and youthful charm.

The amphitheater is a cultural and religious event venue and twice each year, the university's graduation ceremonies are held there.

Friday, February 15, 2013

postcard series | Dumaguete City

Silliman Hall and the Cathedral Belltower are two of Dumaguete's iconic landmarks.

Silliman Hall. Built in 1909, this building is considered the oldest wooden structure of Eastern Stick Style of American architecture in the Philippines. The ornate ceiling and iron cast posts were salvaged from a Broadway Theatre (New York). Location: Silliman University campus

Santa Catalina de Alexandria Belltower. Built in 1811, the Dumaguete Belfry is the oldest structure of its kind in Negros Oriental. Like any massive Spanish colonial era structure, it is made from coral stones which laborers took from the sea, cut into square blocks and "cemented" using lime and egg white from countless eggs! Location: Perdices Street fronting Quezon Park.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

the most stylish cabin crew in Asia Pacific

I check-in 4 hours before my flight whenever I am in Singapore's Changi Airport or Hongkong International Airport for a delightful and odd reason: to people watch. Nothing short of spectacular in two of the world's most modern (and busiest) airports. I can sit at these airports for the whole day and still enjoy it!

top: cabin crew of Philippine Airlines and Asiana. bottom: Korean Air and Singapore Airlines

By far, the cabin and flight crew of Singapore Airlines top in my list as the most admirable breed. Regal in the way they carry themselves. The prettiest would have to be from Asiana and the best in-flight service I've experienced so far was in Philippine Airlines--from retired flight attendants: there was a super typhoon brewing somewhere that time and flight schedule went crazy. Our plane to Bangkok was already at the tarmac but the assigned crew were stranded somewhere. After waiting for 6 hours, we took off. The women FAs looked rather mature (in their 50s or could be older) but the way they served was fit for royalty! Graceful in the way they moved in the galley, the way they distributed the headseats to the way they bent to pick up something to the way they poured tea to my cup. The smiles were warm and genuine. What about the most stylish?

Friday, February 1, 2013

cheap flights to Batanes beginning this summer!

Batanes is another country. They do things quiet differently there. The locals are kinder. The view is unlike any you've seen in the Philippines!

Chavayan Village is one of the few places that I still fall madly inlove with--rugged cliffs, rolling hills, rows and rows of stone houses with thatched roof. In mainland Batanes, there's Honesty Store, Fundacion Pacita Abad, Marlboro Country, Valugan Beach and the lighthouses of Basco. An expensive love affair! The only way to get there is by airplane. One way Round-trip regular fare to Batanes costs P12,000.00 for the 45-minute Manila to Basco flight. The prohibitive airfare tickets make the island sound more exotic than it already is.