Bologna is not Just Meat…It is Also an Italian City

For some, when they hear Bologna, they think of it as sandwich filling or some kind of a meat. Well, that’s true. But it is also an Italian city where, despite the emergence of modernity, still has that Italian vibe.

Bologna is located in the northern part of Italy and is one favorite shopping areas. Many night markets can be enjoyed by shoppaholics and prices are really low. Imagine, an Italian pair of shoes for just 10 to 20 euros.

Since Italy is the seat of catholicism, it is but natural that church can also be found in Bologna in almost every street you go to. Some of its churches are even considered as museums already. What with those beautiful architecture as well as intricate interiors.

During our stay, we were billeted at the Savioa Hotel Regency which is located near the big highway but the quiet ambience makes this four-star hotel a good venue for events and conferences. Its ballroom was where our fashion show was held.

Strolling around the city, one cannot help but be awed with the way Italians preserve their structures. Branded names are not allowed to change the facade of their stores. They can only put a small brand name within the premises of the building.

Transportation is very easy. Buses ply routes of your choice. Since there are lots of cars already in the city, some opt to travel by bicycle. Discipline is key for the traffic situation not to worsen. Bologna has that discipline with its people riding buses and bicycle instead of using cars.

When in Bologna, you cannot help but be amazed by the structures that you see in the city. Despite the modern times, the atmosphere is still very Italian and European. I envy at how they value posterity as well as heritage. It is also called the red city because most of the structures are made from red bricks with terra cotta roofings.

Given another chance, I still would love to visit Bologna in the future. The five days that we were in the city were not enough to explore more. Many thanks to our sponsors Ms. Dittz Centeno and Ms. Laarni Silva.

Bologna is more than meat. It is an Italian city that has “meat” for culture.


The Most Important Canadian City of Ottawa

Ottawa is a very important city in Canada because it is the country’s capital. It is the seat of government where the Prime Minister resides. It is located in the province of Ontario and just a few hours away from the more popular Toronto.

Despite being a bustling metropolis, it’s environs look fresh and crisp. Well, maybe because we were there nearing winter already. But it is very evident that Ottawa’s people have taken cared of their city very well. It’s clean and odor-free.

Ottawa is a mix of the old and new. Both coexist in today’s generation. As in any other big city, it has its share of malls and shopping centers. Small stores are also doing good business. It has an effective transportation system but walking is the best way to know the city better.

Being in the northern part of North America, it is but natural that Ottawa experience snow even at the onset of winter. I seldom go to places which experience snow and it was a delight for a Far East Asian to see white rain.

Normally, Filipinos would visit Vancouver or Toronto in Canada. I had my first visit to the country via Ottawa since I was part of the group which had fashion shows at the Philippine Embassy in the city. Despite the cold weather, the city was warm to our group and we felt at home instantly.

We arrived in Ottawa on a stormy night via Toronto. But the city can also be accessed via land trip. Buses are available 24/7 and taxi is everywhere. Given another chance to travel to Canada, I would not mind going to Ottawa again.

Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa, Puerto Princesa City

Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa is just one of the resorts of Sheridan located in the central islands of Luzon and Visayas. I had the chance to stay in the Puerto Princesa resort three times – once in 2014 when I did the Mutya ng Pilipinas swimsuit competition. Another one in 2016 and the latest was this year (2018). The last two were courtesy of the gift certificates given to me when I sat down as judge in some of the competitions of Mutya ng Pilipinas 2016 and 2017.Nestled among the lush greens and active seashore of Barangay Sabang, Sheridan is a commune with nature. Its proximity to the Puerto Princesa Underground River makes it a perfect place to stay if visiting one of the world wonders is your main purpose.Its large pool is one of the reasons why people stay at Sheridan. It has a “floating” bar where you can order drinks of your choice. It is strategically situated in between the two original buildings of the resort. Lifeguards are on the look-out 24 hours a day.Since the resort is also a spa, it has services and equipment that cater to the needs of the more physically-active guests. Gym equipment can be used for free while spa services can be availed at affordable prices.It has a stage that makes Sheridan not only a resort & spa but also a venue for special events. Mutya ng Pilipinas and Miss Asia Pacific International have used the said stage for their various pageant activities.The South Sea Restaurant in the resort serves one of the best meals in all the resorts that I have visited all over the Philippines. It caters to all sorts of food requirements but their breakfast is really sumptuous and generous.The architecture of the resort is basically Asian but inspired by Indonesian architecture. Plants in between the room areas are fresh and well-maintained. There is a beautiful feel when you go out of your room since nature is abounty.If you have plans of going to the Puerto Princesa Underground River or just simply go on vacation this side of the Philippines, Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa is a highly recommended place to stay in. Rates are reasonable and services are world-class.

Special THANK YOU to the Tan family for the gift certificates and to Miss Mayenne Vijandre for facilitating the reservations of my last two visits.

Selangor: Malaysia’s Alternative

Selangor is one of Malaysia’s cities which is lesser known especially among Filipinos. It is an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur and, by train, only 45 minutes away. Its land area is almost similar to Kuala Lumpur although Selangor is a little bit bigger. Since all the developments are in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor has vast lands for further development. It is considered a perfect location for exclusive enclaves.

Its vast highways and emerging skyline are proofs that Selangor is an important city in Malaysia. The Kuala Lumpur International Airport is located in its Sepang District. Basically, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur are connected in so many ways.Hotels and resorts have been built to support the tourist influx in the country. Selangor is one destination in Malaysia that can handle tourism very well.Business-wise, Selangor cannot be left behind. It has its own establishments which are typically Malaysian. Malls have also sprung up. The famous Suntec Resort Complex is headquartered in Selangor. Schools, religious venues and others can also be found in the city.Night life is still limited maybe because of the predominance of Islam in the country but one cannot ignore Selangor which is also known as the heart of Malaysia.

Hannah’s Beach Resort and Convention Center, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

Hannah’s Beach Resort and Convention Center is located in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte in the northern most part of the Philippines. The vast resort property is very popular most especially among the locals.

The mountains of the province as well as the sea provide a perfect backdrop to this scenic resort. Though one needs to travel by land from Laoag airport to reach Hannah’s or a long 12-hour trek by land, everything is worth it once you enter its premises.

Opened on January 1, 2007, Hannah’s Beach Resort and Convention Center caters to all types of vacationers. There are hotel rooms available as well as villas scattered around the property. There are also cabanas to cater to those who only stay for the day for picnics or other gatherings. It also has a convention center where seminars and events are held. Their open air theater has a stage that can hold beauty pageants.

The owner, the late Ret. Col. Ricardo Nolasco, named it after her beloved daughter and he once mused to me that he deliberately designed the resort with many cartoon and superhero characters because he wants Hannah’s Beach Resort and Convention Center to have an image of being a family-oriented place.

It boasts of the longest sea zipline in the world to date and the view from the start of the zipline up to its landing point is definitely awesome. Truly, one will be awed by the gift of nature that the Philippines has.

I write this blog to give honor to a man whom I was privileged to have met during his lifetime. Thank you for hosting us during the Mr. and Miss Hannah’s Ecotourism Philippines 2017 search. Rest well in the bosom of our Lord, Col. Ricardo Nolasco. God bless you!!!

The Tower is Still Leaning in Pisa

Pisa in Italy is best known for its leaning tower said to have been standing since the time even before Galileo Galilee was born. It is located in the Tuscany region on the western part of the country. Its long history dates back to years before Christ was born.

Of course, its main attraction is the Leaning Tower of Pisa which is one of the main tourist attractions in the Piazza Dei Miracolli. Surprisingly, most of the tourists who visit the place are Asians. There are other nationalities among the crowd but Asians were the bulk of the visitors (maybe just on the day we were there).

Inside the piazza, there is the huge Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte and a vast garden where tourists rest and take pictures of the famous leaning tower.But the city of Pisa is not all about its tourist spots. There are lush greenery in the other part of the city. It is also where the Arno River is located. It is the city’s main tributary that leads to the Luguiran Sea (part of the Mediterranean Sea).


The other portions of Pisa are typical of any other city in Italy. The architecture, the ambience, the environment and the people make you feel that you are in an Italian set-up full of stories and history.When visiting Italy, going to Pisa is a must. If only to see if the tower is still leaning. Yes, it still is and it was worth the visit.

Thanks to Ms. Delia Gabatin for this trip. Special acknowledgement also goes to Ms. Laarni Silva.