Archives For Holidays

Alden Richards with the PIDC Carson crowd 1

Alden Richards with the PIDC Carson crowd 1

Alden Richards with the PIDC Carson crowd 2

Alden Richards with the PIDC Carson crowd 2

Alden was presented with certificates from the US Congress, State of California Senate, and City of Carson

Alden was presented with certificates from the US Congress, State of California Senate, and City of Carson

Alden with his kababayans at the Pagdiriwang 2015 in Seattle 1

Alden with his kababayans at the Pagdiriwang 2015 in Seattle 1

Alden with his kababayans at the Pagdiriwang 2015 in Seattle 2

Alden with his kababayans at the Pagdiriwang 2015 in Seattle 2

Betong Sumaya Jr. performs onstage

Betong Sumaya Jr. performs onstage

Betong Sumaya Jr. takes selfie with PIDC Dubai crowd

Betong Sumaya Jr. takes selfie with PIDC Dubai crowd

GMA Pinoy TV booth at the Mabuhay Festival 2015

GMA Pinoy TV booth at the Mabuhay Festival 2015

Heart Evangelista was given a warm welcome by Filipino-Canadians at the Pinoy Fiesta and Trade Show sa Toronto

Heart Evangelista was given a warm welcome by Filipino-Canadians at the Pinoy Fiesta and Trade Show sa Toronto

Heart performs a song number for her kababayans

Heart performs a song number for her kababayans

Heart poses with the winners of Miss Teen Philippines Canada

Heart poses with the winners of Miss Teen Philippines Canada

Heart takes a selfie with her kababayans at the Pinoy Fiesta and Trade Show sa Toronto

Heart takes a selfie with her kababayans at the Pinoy Fiesta and Trade Show sa Toronto

Heart together with the hosts of the Pinoy Fiesta and Trade Show sa Toronto

Heart together with the hosts of the Pinoy Fiesta and Trade Show sa Toronto

Lovi Poe at the Philippine Embassy in Hateen

Lovi Poe at the Philippine Embassy in Hateen

Lovi Poe onstage 2

Rochelle Pangilinan performs onstage

Rochelle Pangilinan performs onstage

Rochelle Pangilinan with Rose Garreth

Rochelle Pangilinan with Rose Garreth

Following the success of Kapusong Pinoy concerts in Vancouver and Anaheim recently, GMA International continues to ignite the Filipino spirit around the world through its participation in various events celebrating the Philippines’ 117th Independence Day this June.

 

“It has been ten fruitful years of bringing Filipinos abroad closer to home through our flagship international channel GMA Pinoy TV and we look forward to many more years of serving our kababayans abroad,” expresses GMA Vice President and Head of International Operations Joseph T. Francia. “We will continue to instill and nurture a sense of pride and love for country among our fellow Filipinos abroad through our programs on GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV and GMA News TV-International and on-ground events,” he adds.

 

The series of patriotic events opened with the Philippine Independence Day celebration in Carson City, California on June 6, graced by one of GMA’s top leading men Alden Richards. The event was organized by the Philippine Independence Day Foundation (PIDF, Inc.) of Carson in cooperation with the Cities of Carson and Los Angeles.

 

Alden, who was also one of the featured artists in the recent Kapusong Pinoy events in North America, once again charmed the audience and was presented three certificates of recognition by the Mayor Pro Tem and Grand Marshall Elito Santarino.

 

Simultaneously, Pagdiriwang 2015 spearheaded by the Filipino Cultural Heritage Society of Washington (FCHSW) was held in Seattle, Washington on June 6 and 7. Alden also joined the celebration and interacted with our kababayans during the meet-and-greet session on the second day.

 

Sa lahat po ng mga Kapuso nating nakisaya sa Carson at Seattle, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart, and in line with the celebration of 10thanniversary of GMA Pinoy TV, maraming, maraming salamat po, sana napaligaya namin kayo, and we hope to see all of you again next year! God bless you, mga Kapuso!” says Alden.

 

Meanwhile, Mabuhay Festival 2015 organized by the Mabuhay Foundation was held in San Diego, California on June 13. The event was a family affair and GMA Pinoy TV’s photo booth became a hit among them. Photos from these events can be shared and downloaded at GMA Pinoy TV’s Facebook page,www.facebook.com/GMAPinoyTV.

 

Apart from the celebrations in the US, the Pinoy Fiesta and Trade Show in Toronto held its successful 5th year anniversary celebration last June 27. And just like the past 4 years, thousands of Kapuso in Canada joined the celebration.

 

Kapuso actress Heart Evangelista graced the event, and received a warm welcome from the crowd who came despite heavy rains. “Miss na kayo ng Pinas mga kapuso! Maraming salamat! Sana po nag enjoy kayo. Sa uulitin,” posted Heart on her Instagram account.

 

Organized by the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation (PCCF), the event was attended by thousands of event-goers including dignitaries – ministers, senators and members of Parliament, Philippine Ambassador to Canada Petronila P. Garcia, and Toronto Mayor John Tory.

 

 

From North America to the Middle East

 

Aside from the festivities in North America, GMA International also participated in celebrations in UAE and Kuwait.

 

On June 12, dance diva Rochelle Pangilinan and Survivor Philippines: Celebrity Doubles Showdown Winner Betong Sumaya joined the celebrations in Dubai, UAE organized by the Philippine Independence Day Organizing Committee led by the Office of the Philippine Consulate General. The event was jam-packed with 4,000 of our kababayans, who enjoyed performances by Rochelle, Betong and our very talented Dubai-based Filipino artists. The GMA Pinoy TV booth also stood out as games like Pinoy Henyo, Dice, and GPTV Q&A’s drew in crowds of Kapuso fans.

 

After the show, Rochelle got a chance to meet one of her Dubai-based fans, Mrs. Rose Garreth, who was in tears upon meeting her idol. It was such a heart-warming moment which Rochelle was also able to share with her followers on Instagram. “Maishare ko lang po ang napakasayang karanasan, nung makita ko siya, naiyak siya nung makita ako, natulala ako sa kanya, nung niyakap ko siya, tuwang tuwa siya at ako naman ang naiyak. Ang nasabi ko na lang sa sarili [ko], thank you God sa talentong ibinigay mo, nakakapagpasaya pala ako ng tao katulad ni ate Rose!” she relates.

 

Betong, on the other hand recalls the “amazing” journey he had in Dubai. “Performing and seeing our kababayans in Dubai up close and personal is an experience I’ll never forget,” he says.

 

On the same day, another celebration in the UAE took place as Musika at Tawanan 5, mounted by the Alliance of Filipino Organizations in Kuwait (ALLFILL-OK) in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy, kicked off in Kuwait. Kapuso Premier actress Lovi Poe was present and performed song numbers much to the delight of the audience. She was able to visit the Philippine Consular and Overseas Labor Offices, gamely took pictures with our kababayans and even had impromptu performances. In one particular venue, our kababayans were in tears as Lovi sang “Habang May Buhay.”

“My trip to Kuwait was truly an eye-opening experience. I got to spend time with all of these wonderful people who are unfortunately going through a tough time.Sana lahat tayo ay ipagdasal sila dahil isa lang ang hangad nila ngayon – ang maka uwi na sila sa kanilang mga pamilya,” shares Lovi with her Instagram followers.

 

 

More Pinoy celebrations are underway

 

GMA International’s support of Pinoy fiestas abroad will continue throughout the year.

 

The 6th Annual Tribute to the Philippines will be held the this month from July 17 to 19 at the Music Pier, Moorlyn Terrace, Ocean City, New Jersey, USA. This event will feature a trade fair where Philippine products, foods, services, and tourism information are sold and displayed.

 

Come August 1 and 2, the 10th Annual Adobo Festival will be held at the Kennedy Park in Union City, California. This event is expected to draw in Filipino families at the Bay Area and participate in the much-awaited adobo cook-off contest, various activity booths and live entertainment.

 

Indeed, GMA International does not only bring Filipinos abroad closer to their home country, but also continues to uphold national pride and patriotism across the world.

 

For updates on GMA Network’s artists, programs, international channels and events, visit the website www.gmanetwork.com/international, Facebook pageswww.facebook.com/GMAPinoyTV, www.facebook.com/gmalifetv, and www.facebook.com/gmanewsinternational, Twitter pages @gmapinoytv, @gma_lifetv, and @gmanewstvintl and Instagram account @gmapinoytv.

Aljur Abrenica

Aljur Abrenica

Andrei Paras

Andrei Paras

Ash Ortega

Ash Ortega

Enzo Pineda

Enzo Pineda

Betong Sumaya

Betong Sumaya

Kim Rodriguez

Kim Rodriguez

Juancho Trivino

Juancho Trivino

James Wright

James Wright

Gwen Zamora

Gwen Zamora

Sef Cadayona

Sef Cadayona

Kris Bernal

Kris Bernal

Kristoffer Martin

Kristoffer Martin

Matet de Leon

Matet de Leon

Ruru Madrid

Ruru Madrid

Celebrities work hard making and promoting TV shows and movies. They spend most of the year shooting, but just like many, they too, need time to rest. But where do they fly to take a break from the glaring lights?

 

With summer just around the corner, fans are surely more than curious to know what’s on their favorite artist’s travel itinerary. Here’s looking back at some of the Kapuso stars’ most memorable escapes inside and outside of the country.

 

Kris Bernal (Hiram na Alaala)

Favorite travel destination in the Philippines:

“Cebu—Because aside from being the home of the tastiest lechon, it is also the home of white beaches.  Not to mention the night market, the night life, secret caves, virgin forests, and kayaking sites.  There are just so many random things to do in Cebu.”

Most memorable travel destination outside the country:

“Europe—I spent a month in Europe with my family. We travelled from one country to another.  Everything, every moment, was like being in a fairytale.  We went to famous tourist spots that I had just seen in the movies.”

 

Aljur Abrenica (Sunday All Stars)

Favorite travel destination in the Philippines:

“Davao—I love their lifestyle, the way they eat, and the things they eat.  I love durian. I am also a fan of durian coffee. I feel closest to nature when I’m there.”

Most memorable travel destination outside the country:

“Singapore and Malaysia—‘Yun ang pinuntahan namin ng entire family ko and we got to bond more and we got closer to each other in that trip.” [“Singapore and Malaysia – That’s where I went with my entire family and we got to bond more, and we got closer to each other in that trip.”]

 

Sef Cadayona (Sabado-badoo)

Favorite travel destination in the Philippines:

“Vigan—The vintage scenery in Vigan is so relaxing and it makes you have a glimpse on what the country looks like before.”

Most memorable travel destination outside the country:

“Singapore—It’s all because of the food and a family vacation well spent.”

 

Enzo Pineda (More Than Words)

Favorite travel destination in the Philippines:

“Baguio—I love cold the weather. Running is also so refreshing in Baguio because of the fresh air.”

Most memorable travel destination outside the country:

“San Francisco—It was memorable for me because I left my favorite pillow at the hotel we stayed in. We were about to fly to Philadelphia when I noticed it. So my Tita from San Francisco had to ship my pillow to Philadelphia. I was 7 years old that time and I couldn’t sleep without it.”

 

Gwen Zamora (Bubble Gang)

Favorite travel destination in the Philippines:

“Coron, Palawan—Because of its beauty and all the activities you can do there, from island hopping, hiking, rock-climbing, kayaking, rafting, diving, spelunking, and safari trip. Plus the view, it’s simply breathtaking.”

Most memorable travel destination outside the country:

“Amsterdam—One of the most beautiful cities I’ve had the honor to visit.  The food is simply divine and the shopping experience is insane.  I had a blast going thrift-shopping in all their vintage stores.  And the art galleries there are super cool and chic. Pure love.”

 

Kristoffer Martin (Healing Hearts)

Favorite travel destination in the Philippines:

“Boracay—For the place answers my need for party and chill vibe.”

Most memorable travel destination outside the country:

“Sadly, I have never travelled outside the country. But I look forward to it in the future.”

 

Kim Rodriguez (Strawberry Lane)

Favorite travel destination in the Philippines:

“Bicol—Kasi there are many places to visit in Bicol, pagbaba mo ng plane kita mo agad ‘yung Mayon volcano. Pwede rin mag-visit sa old churches doon and explore the caves. Kung gusto mo mag-beach, meron din saCaramoan.” [“Bicol – Because there are so many places to visit in Bicol; when you get off the plane, you see Mayon volcano immediately. You can also visit old churches there and explore the caves. If you want to go to the beach, you can go to Caramoan.”]

Most memorable travel destination outside the country:

“Never been outside the Philippines.”

 

Ruru Madrid (Let The Love Begin)

Favorite travel destination in the Philippines:

“Mt Pulag—I spent months in Pulag to shoot our film Above the Clouds. I love the feeling of being literally above the clouds.”

Most memorable travel destination outside the country:

“Japan—I love the weather and the people. I was there for the Japan Filmfest and I have experienced their hospitality, their culture and I love their food!”

 

Andre Paras (The Half Sisters)

Favorite travel destination in the Philippines:

“I love going to The Fort because it’s very peaceful there and you can eat a lot there too.”

Most memorable travel destination outside the country:

“Most memorable will be in the US because I was able to train and play basketball there and also because of the weather.”

 

Miguel Tanfelix (Once Upon A Kiss)

Favorite travel destination in the Philippines:

“Palawan—There are many places to visit in Palawan and many activities to enjoy like snorkeling and cliff diving.”

Most memorable travel destination outside the country:

“Los Angeles—It was my first time to go out of the country and I had the chance to meet our Kapuso abroad.”

 

Albert “Betong” Sumaya (Sabado-badoo)

Favorite travel destination in the Philippines:

“Boracay—Nothing beats Boracay’s pristine white sand. Marami ring pwedeng gawing activities aside sa pagpunta sa beach at iba ang feeling kapag nandoon ka, turistang-turista ka talaga.” [“Boracay – Nothing beats Boracay’s pristine white sand. There are also a lot of activities aside from going to the beach; and it feels really different there, like you’re a tourist.”]

Most memorable travel destination outside the country:

“Los Angeles—Last year, naging part ako ng Kapusong Pinoy sa LA at ‘yun ang first time kong makapunta roon. First time kong bumiyahe ng 14 hours straight, humalik talaga ako sa lupa pagdating namin sa airportFirst time ko ring makakain sa “In & Out,” isang sikat na burger chain sa US. First time makarating ni Antonietta roon para makapag-performAt ang pinaka-memorable ay nakita ko ang relatives ko sa LA na matagal ko nang hindi nakasama.” [“Los Angeles – Last year, I was part of Kapusong Pinoy sa LA and it was my first time to go there. It was my first time to travel 14 hours straight, and I even kissed the ground when I got to the airport. It was also my first time to eat at “In & Out,” a popular burger chain in the US. It’s Antonietta’s first time to perform there, too (Antonietta is the popular character Betong portrays in Bubble Gang). The most memorable thing for me was that I was able to see my relatives in LA whom I haven’t seen in a long time.]

 

Juancho Trivino (InstaDad)

Favorite travel destination in the Philippines:

“I recently visited Coron, Palawan. Napaka-peaceful doonNagiging emotional ako sa Coron dahil napakaganda ng beach.” [“I recently visited Coron, Palawan. It was really peaceful there. I became emotional after Coron because the beaches are so beautiful.”]

Most memorable travel destination outside the country:

Tumira ako sa States before for one year. It was memorable kasi siyempre, nakaapak na ako sa StatesMalamig at medyo nahasa ako sa pagi-English doon.” [I lived in the States for a year. Being able to visit the country is memorable. It’s cold and I was also able to improve my English.”]

 

Ash Ortega (InstaDad)

Favorite travel destination in the Philippines:

“Bohol—First time kong pumunta doon three years ago noong nag-shoot ako for an indie film. Nalibot ko ‘yung lugar at sobrang ganda talagaSobrang na-amaze ako sa Chocolate Hills and the tarsiers. That’s why kahit magpabalik-balik ako doon, hindi ako magsasawa.” [“Bohol – My first time to visit was three years ago when I shot an indie film. I was able to see the Chocolate Hills and the tarsiers. That’s why I won’t tire of going back.”]

Most memorable travel destination outside the country:

“When I represented the country for an ice skating competition in Malaysia, I won eight medals kaya ‘yun ang pinaka-memorable travel destination ko.” [“When I represented the country for an ice skating competition in Malaysia, I won eight medals which is why that’s my most memorable travel destination.”]

 

James Wright (GMA Records)

Favorite travel destination in the Philippines:

“Baguio—First time I performed out of Manila and first time I was shivering while singing on stage.”

Most memorable travel destination outside the country:

“Hong Kong—It’s my home.”

 

Matet de Leon (InstaDad)

Favorite travel destination in the Philippines:

“Bukidnon—Na-in love ako sa lugar na ‘yun noong nagpunta ako last 2011. Talagang maganda sa Bukidnon,sobraNagustuhan ko rin ‘yung white water rafting sa Cagayan de Oro.” [Bukidnon – I fell in love with the place when I went there in 2011. It’s really beautiful there! I also liked the white water rafting in Cagayan de Oro.”]

Most memorable travel destination outside the country:

“Well, hindi pa ako ulit lumalabas ng bansa pero I’m happy nakapunta na ako sa Japan.” [“Well, I haven’t been out of the country lately but I’m happy that I’ve been able to go to Japan.”]

 

To get the latest updates about various Kapuso personalities and programs, visit www.gmanetwork.com/international.

Kailan Ba Tama Ang Mali stars (L-R) Dion Ignacio Max Collins Empress Schuck and Geoff Eigenmann pose for a selfie with their fans in Iloilo

Kailan Ba Tama Ang Mali stars (L-R) Dion Ignacio Max Collins Empress Schuck and Geoff Eigenmann pose for a selfie with their fans in Iloilo

Once Upon A Kiss stars Betong Sumaya Bianca Umali Miguel Tanfelix and Pekto Nacua (partly hidden) participate in the Dinagyang Festival

Once Upon A Kiss stars Betong Sumaya Bianca Umali Miguel Tanfelix and Pekto Nacua (partly hidden) participate in the Dinagyang Festival

Second Chances lead stars Jennylyn Mercado Raymart Santiago Camille Prats and Rafael Rosell with a Cebu audience for Sinulog Festival

Second Chances lead stars Jennylyn Mercado Raymart Santiago Camille Prats and Rafael Rosell with a Cebu audience for Sinulog Festival

Regine Velasquez-Alcasid in Sinulog Festival

Regine Velasquez-Alcasid in Sinulog Festival

Once Upon a Kiss' Pekto Bianca Miguel and Betong strike a pose with the audience for Sinulog Festival in Cebu

Once Upon a Kiss’ Pekto Bianca Miguel and Betong strike a pose with the audience for Sinulog Festival in Cebu

Philippines – GMA Network was recently at the heart of two of the Philippines’ biggest regional festivals, the Sinulog Festival in Cebu and Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo.

 

Before trooping to the streets of downtown Cebu City to witness the annual Sinulog Festival revelry, thousands of Cebuano Kapuso fans congregated in three of the city’s biggest malls to meet GMA’s premier artists led by Regine Velasquez-Alcasid and lead stars of drama series Healing Hearts, Second Chances and Once Upon a Kiss.

 

Regine was joined by Angelika de la Cruz, Joyce Ching and Kristoffer Martin, stars of the upcoming series Healing Hearts as they delivered outstanding performances before a delighted crowd.

 

Another set of Kapuso artists starred in back-to-back mall shows with the lead stars of the recently launched primetime series Second Chances—Jennylyn Mercado, Raymart Santiago, Camille Prats and Rafael Rosell—sharing the stage with the freshest love team of Miguel Tanfelix and Bianca Umali from the primetime series Once Upon a Kiss. Comedians Albert “Betong” Sumaya and Mike “Pekto” Nacua, who also star in the said series, added more fun to both shows.

 

Meanwhile, a delightful blend of feel-good shows and upbeat performances from GMA stars also spiced up this year’s Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo, the so-called City of Love.

 

This time, Once Upon A Kiss stars Miguel, Bianca, Pekto, and Betong once again ventured outside Manila to personally touch base with fans and went around from one stop to another via the Dinagyang Festival Corporate Parade.

 

Kapuso home-grown talent Ruru Madrid, who was a guest performer at the Iloilo Festival Queen and Hiyas Sang Iloilo beauty pageant served up a musical treat, which was very well received by a large audience.

 

Real-life sweethearts Lovi Poe and Rocco Nacino set the stage on fire as they regaled their supporters with a mesmerizing production number during a Kapuso Mall Show.

 

Moreover, Ang Lihim ni Annasandra’s Mikael Daez delivered a live coverage on the Ati Tribe Competition for GMA TV Western Visayas, to amuse the Ilonggo audience.

 

Furthermore, the lead stars of the newest GMA soap Kailan Ba Tama Ang Mali?—Geoff Eigenmann, Empress Schuck, Dion Ignacio, and Max Collins—drew in their share of huge followers during a Kapuso Mall Show in the region.

 

Geoff, Empress, and Dion, meanwhile, proceeded to the Freedom Grandstand right after the mall show to take part in the Dinagyang Festival Awarding Ceremonies.

 

In endeavoring to be one at heart with its viewers, GMA Network continues to celebrate the many customs and traditions that make up a truly unique Pinoy culture.

 

For more updates on your favorite Kapuso stars and programs, visit the website www.gmanetwork.com/international.

Elemento

Elemento

Every creature has a story of goodness – this is the message behind GMA’s Halloween Special Series ELEMENTO.

Elementos or entities of the dark have long been perceived as evildoers who prey on unwilling human victims. ELEMENTO allows viewers a peek into the other side – perhaps elementals are also victims – and we humans the first to sow fear by destroying their natural world.

In ELEMENTO, the elementals are all fighting for a cause – a manananggal for the protection of children (played by Glaiza de Castro), a kapre and his best friend (played by Kuya Bodjie Pascua)  for the preservation of the forest, a beautiful river fairy (portrayed by Solenn Heussaff) against water pollution, and many more. The program shows the elementals as they fall in love, rear their children and protect the legacy of their own kind.

Watch creatures from Philippine myths and folklore come to life – but with a twist – in the upcoming ELEMENTO.  The show launches on October 13, only on GMA Pinoy TV.

Dingdong Dantes in Bolingbrook, Illinois - Meet and greet

Dingdong Dantes in Bolingbrook, Illinois – Meet and greet

Dingdong Dantes in Bolingbrook, Illinois 2

Dingdong Dantes in Bolingbrook, Illinois 2

Dingdong Dantes in Bolingbrook, Illinois

Dingdong Dantes in Bolingbrook, Illinois

Geoff Eigenmann in Carson City, California - GMA booth

Geoff Eigenmann in Carson City, California – GMA booth

Geoff Eigenmann in Carson City, California - performing onstage

Geoff Eigenmann in Carson City, California – performing onstage

Heart Evangelista and Tom Rodriguez in NY - with fans at the GMA booth

Heart Evangelista and Tom Rodriguez in NY – with fans at the GMA booth

Heart Evangelista and Tom Rodriguez in NY

Heart Evangelista and Tom Rodriguez in NY

Julie Anne San Jose, Kuwait

Julie Anne San Jose, Kuwait

Julie Anne San Jose, Kuwait

Julie Anne San Jose, Kuwait

Lovi Poe in Toronto - Giving out GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV merchandise

Lovi Poe in Toronto – Giving out GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV merchandise

Lovi Poe in Toronto

Lovi Poe in Toronto

Lovi Poe with Ms Philippines Canada winners

Lovi Poe with Ms Philippines Canada winners

Steven Silva and Benjamin Alves, Flores De Mayo

Steven Silva and Benjamin Alves, Flores De Mayo

Steven Silva and Benjamin Alves, Flores De Mayo

Steven Silva and Benjamin Alves, Flores De Mayo

GMA Network, through its international business unit, GMA International, was at the heart of several key celebrations around the world in commemoration of the Philippines’ 116th Independence Day this June.

 

“Through GMA’s participation in the annual celebration of Philippine Independence, we strive to keep the Filipino spirit alive all around the globe and instill a sense of nationalism across all generations,” says GMA Vice-President and Head of International Operations Joseph T. Francia. “GMA hopes to create a sense of home wherever there is a Filipino,” he adds.

 

The festivities began in New York City with Kapuso prime artists Tom Rodriguez and Heart Evangelista gracing the GMA International booth at the Philippine Independence Day celebration on Madison Avenue last June 1. To the delight of their fans, Tom and Heart readily posed for photographs with the stream of people at the GMA booth, which was one of the busiest in the area.

 

On June 7, the city of Carson welcomed Kapuso leading man Geoff Eigenmann in the Philippine Independence Day parade led by Carson City Mayor Pro Tempore Elito Santarina as Grand Marshall. Geoff entertained an enthusiastic crowd during the GMA variety show and ended the day interacting with his fans at the meet and greet activity.  The celebration was a showcase of Filipino culture with local Filipino performers and booths that served Filipino delicacies and products. The event is an annual activity sponsored by the city and the Philippine Independence Day Foundation, with the support of various Filipino-American organizations in Carson, Los Angeles and Long Beach.

 

Meanwhile, Kapuso fans in Kuwait were serenaded by Asia’s Pop Sweetheart and 9-time Platinum Record Award holder Julie Anne San Jose and singer-comedienne Gladys Guevarra at Musika at Tawanan 4 last June 13. The event, which is part of the local Philippine Independence day festivities, gathered more than 3000 overseas workers in the region for a night of fun, entertainment, and Filipino flavor. The large audience was awed by Julie Anne’s powerful performance of hit songs while Gladys captured the crowd with her comedic act.

 

On June 14, GMA International also participated in the Mabuhay Festival in California, an event which drew in over 7000 individuals. The GMA booth showcased the Network’s three international channels- GMA Pinoy TV, its flagship international channel; GMA Life TV, the first international Filipino lifestyle channel; and GMA News TV International, an international news channel powered by the Philippines’ most trusted news and public affairs team.

 

Completing the series of events were visits from two of GMA primetime’s biggest stars, Kapuso Primetime King Dingdong Dantes and Kapuso Premier Actress Lovi Poe, who are currently seen on GMA Pinoy TV via the enthralling drama, Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real.

 

Dingdong joined his kababayans abroad at Bolingbrook in Chicago on June 21 for the Philippine Fest Piyesta Pinoy 2014 which included vibrant cultural performances by Filipino-American artists and native dance numbers by young Filipino-Americans dressed in traditional attire. The audience was not disappointed as their favorite Kapuso leading man entertained them with a song number and mingled with his fans all throughout the event.

 

Lovi, on the other hand, livened up the crowd at the “Pinoy Fiesta and Trade Show sa Toronto” last June 28. With a repertoire of local and foreign songs, she serenaded over 7000 Filipino-Canadians who attended the Independence Day celebration. Lovi proved to be a hit with the audience as fans lined up at the GMA booth to meet and take photos with the actress. Those who visited the booth were also treated to GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV merchandise. During her visit, Lovi was also invited to participate in the Ms. Philippines Canada coronation ceremony.

 

Apart from the Independence Day events, GMA International also celebrated the traditional Flores de Mayo festival in Hawaii last May. Kapuso stars Steven Silva and Benjamin Alves participated in the festivities which highlighted the colorful Filipino culture.

 

Through its continued presence overseas, GMA International remains instrumental in cultivating the Filipino spirit wherever a Filipino may be, keeping our kababayans both here and abroad “proudly Pinoy, proudly Kapuso.”

 

For more information on GMA International’s events, artists and programs, visit the website,www.gmanetwork.com/international.

Kapuso stars Heart Evangelista and Tom Rodriguez

Kapuso stars Heart Evangelista and Tom Rodriguez

Filipinos in the United States proved that the Kapuso spirit is alive miles away from home with the warm reception received by two of GMA’s top stars Tom Rodriguez and Heart Evangelista during thePhilippine Independence Day Celebration in New York last June 1.

 

As a crowd gathered on Madison Avenue for the Philippine Independence Day event, enthusiastic fans lined up outside the GMA booth for a chance to share an intimate moment with their Kapuso idols. Tom and Heart were all smiles as they gamely posed with their fans abroad. Heart won the people over with her bubbly personality, while Tom proved that he has skills other than singing or acting by demonstrating his talent in sketching.

 

The overwhelming turnout and long lines made the GMA booth one of the busiest in the area. Aside from the chance to meet and greet their favorite Kapuso artists, GMA also set up a photo booth which was a big hit among those who dropped by. In addition, GMA gave away GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TVitems to the event-goers who proudly displayed the merchandise online using the hashtag#P2BPINOY2014, which stands for “Proud to be Pinoy.”

 

GMA International expresses its gratitude for the longstanding support that it continues to receive from its loyal audience overseas. With GMA International bringing Filipinos closer to home through GMA’s international channels, there is no denying that many will always be “proud to be Pinoy, proud to be Kapuso!”

Musika at Tawanan 4

Musika at Tawanan 4

The Alliance of Filipino Organizations in Kuwait (ALLFIL-OK), together with GMA International and My-HD, presents Musika at Tawanan 4 featuring Asia’s Pop Sweetheart Julie Anne San Jose and singer-comedienne Gladys Guevarra.

 

As part of the local Philippine Independence Day festivities, Musika at Tawanan is the biggest and most-anticipated annual event in Kuwait, with over 5 000 Filipinos gathering each year in a celebration of music and laughter. The event will be held on June 13, 2014 at the Al Arabi Sports Gym, Mansouriya, Kuwait.

 

GMA International, the business unit that manages the operation and distribution of GMA Network’s international channels– GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV, and GMA News TV International– is looking forward to bringing the Kapuso experience to the Filipino community in Kuwait.

 

“GMA International recognizes that Kuwait has been an underserved region in the past years,” says Joseph T. Francia, GMA Vice-President and Head of International Operations. “This event is a great opportunity for us to reach out to our fellow Filipinos in Kuwait and, together with My-HD, we look forward to providing quality programming and services to more of our kababayans in the years to come.”

 

The event is spearheaded by ALLFIL-OK, which is composed of the Filipino Badminton Committee, the Filipino Cultural Club, Makulay, The Sandigan in Kuwait, the Filipino Association of Secretaries Employment Agencies in Kuwait, the Philippine Society of Marketing Specialists in Kuwait (PHILSOCMSK), Filipinos in Kuwait, Pilipino sa Kuwait, and the Filipino Zumba Association in Kuwait.

 

“We are very pleased and honored to partner with GMA International and My-HD in bringing world-class Filipino talents to Kuwait. We promise to give our kababayans in Kuwait a fun-filled show,” stated ALLFIL-OK Over-all Coordinator Dr. Chie Umandap.

 

ALL-FIL OK Finance Director and President of PHILSOCMSK Ana Del Mundo adds, “With Musika at Tawanan, we want to bring Filipinos in Kuwait closer to home, fostering camaraderie as we all celebrate the Philippine Independence Day and pay tribute to all OFWs across the globe.”

 

Aside from performing at the event, Julie Anne and Gladys will also visit distressed OFWs at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Kuwait.

 

This will be Julie Anne’s second visit to the Middle East, the first being her concert in Dubai presented by GMA International and My-HD where she was warmly welcomed by the Filipino community. Owing to the success of her concert in Dubai, Filipinos in Kuwait are also eager to see the Kapuso singer and actress perform in the country. Julie Anne, whose self-titled album recently won a 9-time Platinum Record Award, is a regular cast member on GMA Network’s Sunday noontime variety show Sunday All-Stars and is currently working on her second solo studio album to be released this June.

 

On the other hand, this event marks the first time that Gladys will perform on stage for Kapuso fans in the Middle East. She is a frequent guest on GMA’s highest-rating comedy game show Celebrity Bluff and has co-hosted many GMA programs in the past, such as Manny Many Prizes and the longest-running noontime show, Eat Bulaga.

 

The organizers will also be bringing in the dynamic comic duo Iya and Tekla, along with guest host Rey Pumaloy. The show is directed by GMA’s Kuwait correspondent Ricky Laxa.

 

Gates will open at 1:00 PM and the event proper will run from 4:00 – 9:30 PM.

 

Tickets are available at Jollibee branches in Kuwait, Manyaman Restaurant in the Salmiya area, Mario’s Restaurant-Fahaheel, or contact Ms. Mildred Lacson at 66915361 or Dr. Chie Umandap at 97197268.

 

To subscribe to My-GMA on My-HD, call 04-4354845 or visit http://www.my-hd.tv/my-gma. For more information on GMA International channels, visit www.gmanetwork.com/international.

It's More Fun in the Philippines!

It’s More Fun in the Philippines!

Me and my family spent the recent Holy Week in Boracay.  We all had a terrific time, trying all sorts of adventures.  We have also tried the restaurants littered all along the beach.

Our Boracay adventure started last April 17, 2014.  We were at NAIA 3 at 9:30 am to check in for our flight to Caticlan via Philippine Airlines.  Our flight was scheduled at 11:55 am, but was delayed by a few minutes.  While waiting for our flight we strolled around, looking at shops selling souvenirs, coffee shops, and restaurants that littered the airport terminal.  Some of us decided to have some coffee, while the others decided to look around the shops.  We also decided to have lunch, before our flight, as the children in our group might be hungry before we reach our destination.  We had lunch at Kenny Roger’s Roasters as the kids prefer this over the other restaurants.  Our flight was overbooked and we were able to fly by around 12:30 pm.  We arrive at Caticlan Airport at around 1:30 pm.

Upon finishing with the arrival procedures we were greeted by our transfer service from South West Transport.  They were courteous and guided us to our coaster, which would take us to the Jetty Port for our boat/bangka transfer to Boracay.  The trip from the airport to the Jetty Port took only about 15 minutes.  Upon arrival at the Jetty Port, we saw that it was packed with tourist, buying tickets for the boat/bangka transfer.  The good thing was that our transfer service had their own counter for the payment of the P100 terminal fee and P75 environmental fee.  We all paid the terminal fee and environmental fee, and was whisked into the waiting/holding area.  While at the waiting/holding area, they gave us the tickets for our boat/bangka transfer, which incidentally was their own boat/bangka.  We waited for a short while, before the boat/bangka was reeady, and were told to board it.

Sunning Boracay Sunset

Sunning Boracay Sunset

The travel time from the Caticlan Jetty Port to Boracay Jetty Port took around 20-25 minutes.  When we arrived there, we were greeted by the driver of the van that would bring us to Astoria Boracay, the hotel where we will be staying for 4 days and 3 nights.  The ride took around 10-15 minutes.  When we arrived at our hotel we were welcomed by the hotel staff.  We finished with the booking formalities, we were escorted to our room, and given complimentary welcome drinks.  The welcome drinks was okay, not great but it was able to do its task of quenching our thirst from the heat.

Our resort rooms was quite big, able to sleep 3-4 people.  It was well appointed.  We booked 4 individual rooms for each family.  There was a big screen TV, an inverter type airconditioner, microwave oven, in room safe, utensils, plates, and other amenities.  The bathroom was also quite big, has a bath tub, wash basin, and was well stocked with amenities from dental hygiene kits, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, combs, cotton buds, etc.  It was also sound proofed to keep the outside noise at a tolerable level.  The key was an RFID key that you need to insert for the lights, electronics, and electricity to work.

The resort has an acceptable adult and children pool.  The had wooden floors on the pool area so as not to slippery and hot if you decide to walk barefooted.  It also has a restaurant called, White Cafe, where we will be having our buffet breakfast for the past 4 days.  The restaurant also has outside seating for those who want to eat with the beach view.  And just beyond the restaurant is the pristine white sand beach.

We decided to roam around and look for convenience stores, where we would be able to buy bottled water, and bread.  We were able to find Budget Mart, and Julie’s Bakeshop just besides it at D’ Mall area.

Since we arrived there in the afternoon, we decided to rest in our rooms, before embarking on our adventure during the coming days.  We decided to have buffet dinner at the Astoria Boracay restaurant, but opted for outside seating so we would be by the beach.  There was a nightly performance, such as fire dancers, and a band after every session.  This continued on until late in the evening.  The buffet selection was okay.  There were roasting/barbecue corner located outside the restaurant, and the rest of the food was located indoors.  They also have a second floor, for those who want a little personal time.

Astoria Boracay Resort Frontage Facing the Beach

Astoria Boracay Resort Frontage Facing the Beach

The next day, we had a hearty buffet breakfast.  Then waited for the guys from Fun Philippines/JALS, for our Helmet Diving and Parasailing Adventure.  The guide informed me that he would meet up with us just outside the resort.  While waiting there were a lot of people passing and going, some selling items/food/drinks, while others were giving away free trial.  I got a sample of the Pepsi Slush, which comes in either Orange (Mirinda), and Green (Mountain Dew), and also got some for my nieces, and my son.  My son liked the Orange sample, that he asked me to buy the 12 oz. cup for him.  This would entail my nieces to follow suit.  At least this took their minds of the heat, and the waiting.

Finally the guide arrived, and escorted us to the registration counter.  He informed me that me and Mark, would be trying the Helmet Diving adventure first, then the Parasailing adventure later.  A motorized boat/bangka brought us out to further to the seas to a floating hut, which is where we would be given instructions about Helmet Diving, also known as Helmet Diving 101.  We were informed that the helmet would weight at around 25-35 kilograms on land, and would become lighter, about 1-2 kilograms, when we go down.  We were told to climb down to a ladder until shoulder deep, then the helmet was lowered down on us.  We went down the ladder.  The current was a bit strong, moving us back and forth.  They took pictures and videos of us, while helmet diving, and feeding the fishes with bread.  We were under the water for around 20-30 minutes.  We went up the ladder again to ascend.  We were told to wait for a motorized boat/bangka which would bring us to our next adventure.

Helmet Diving Adventure

Helmet Diving Adventure

The motorized boat/bangka finally arrived after 10-15 minutes.  We waited until the passengers were able to disembark first. Then we embarked into the boat/bangka.  There were around 4 of us, who would be taken to another area of the sea, for our parasailing adventure.  Upon arriving another floating hut, we disembarked, and were told to wait for the speed boat that would be our ride, for the parasailing adventure.  Me and Mark were the first pair to be suited with safety harness, and other safety gears.  We were told to seat down, and relax.  When the speed boat sped up, we were slowly being lifted up the air.  As the speed boat sped up, we went higher up in the air.  I assume that we reached the height of around 100-150 feet in the air.  It was a thrilling yet refreshing experience.  We saw the sea, the shore, and the other islands while we were up in the air.  We were up there for around 20-30 minutes as well.  After us a Mainland Chinese couple followed soon.  The man was able to speak a little English, and the woman mostly in Mandarin.  They did the same thing we did.  As soon as they were slowly being lifted into the air, the woman kept shouting/panicking.  The man, after about 1 minute up in the air, signaled the operator that they wanted to be reeled in, as the woman kept shouting/panicking.

Parasailing Adventure

Parasailing Adventure

We came back at around lunch time, and we all decided to roam around and look for some place to eat.  We chanced upon Paradiso Grill, which served “Grilled” seafood, chicken, and other non grilled food.  We had a hearty lunch, and decided to rest a bit, before swimming in the sea.  On our way back to the resort, my son Mark saw Crazy Crepes, and he decided that he wanted to try it out.

After swimming in the sea for a while, we showered and had change of clothes for Dinner.  We roamed again, but this time took to the opposite side.  We chanced upon Obama Grill Bar & Restaurant.  AS the name implies it served “Grilled” food, but also served pasta, chicken, Bistek Tagalog (Beef Steak Filipino Style), soups, etc.  We discussed about our activities for the next day, which would have been Zip Line, Glass Bottom Boat, and Banana Boat Ride.  We walked back to our resort, and called it a day.

The next morning, we met up with the same guide at the same place.  We were led to the registration booth for formalities, of which after we were escorted to our Banana Boat Ride.  Me, Mark, Vivian, and Vicky were the only ones who wanted to try the Boracay version of the Banana Boat Ride.  Initially it rained, which delayed our adventure, as the visibility would be poor.  After the rained stopped, the speed boat slowly sped up.  We held on tightly, even though we wore life jackets.  The speed boat sped up faster and faster.  Some of us barely was able to hold on.  Some of us lost their balance, such as me and Vicky.  But we were able to finish the ride, without anyone of us being thrown off the Banana Boat Ride.

Banana Boat Ride Adventure

Banana Boat Ride Adventure

After the Banana Boat Ride, I took a shower by the beach, while Mark dipped into the pool.  Me and Mark again waited for our next adventure, the Superman Zip Line.  Our guide informed us that the Zip Line would be at the other side of the island, and that a van would be picking and driving us to the location.  We were picked up and driven to the mountainous area of the island.  It took us about 20 minutes to get there from the resort.  We were told to go up one floor, and register/sign a waiver, before we would be allowed up to the Zip Line platform.  They suited us up, and tied us up for safety.  The initial few meters was a bit exciting, but the further you go, and the faster you go, the feeling changed to that of being like a free bird, able to fly.  We saw golf courses below us, and ATV’s.  We were told to take the Cable Car back to the platform four our ride back to our resort.  We took the van back, and met up with the rest of the family for lunch.

Superman Zip Line Adventure

Superman Zip Line Adventure

Since we liked the food of Obama Grill so much, the night before.  We decided to have lunch there as well.  Bad idea! During dinner, there were not too many people, and the servers were able to serve the food immediately.  While during lunch time, there were more people, and the servers had a difficult time serving all of the orders.  We finished at almost 2 pm.  We proceeded back to the resort, and rest, while waiting for our 3 pm Glass Bottom Boat adventure.  The guide texted/SMS me that the Glass Bottom Boat was out of order, and that it was the only one on the island.  So we decided to have an Island Hopping adventure instead.  The guide told me that the Island Hopping adventure would last for about 3 hours.  We were promptly picked up at around 3 pm.  And we were off! We stopped by after a few minutes to go see some fishes, and snorkeling.  We spent around 15 minutes there, after we went to the other side of the island.  The sand there was a bit rough, the waves/tides were a bit strong, and the water was more than waist deep after a few meters, unlike the beach in Station 1, were in a few meters, and the water is still below the knee.  We spent a few minutes there, and then proceeded to see the Shangrila Boracay Resort, which the guide told us commanded a P25,000 a night price.  And also we were shown the famous Boracay West Cove, which was the news item for a few weeks, and according to the guide, was co owned by Congressman Manny Pacquiao.   Almost 3 hours had past, and we were back to the starting point.

Island Hopping Adventure

Island Hopping Adventure

The Expensive and Luxurious Shangrila Boracay Resort

The Expensive and Luxurious Shangrila Boracay Resort

The Infamous Boracay West Cove

The Infamous Boracay West Cove

We took a shower, and some rest.  Me and my family decided to eat in, as they were very tired from the days activities.  So I went out, and bought Four Cheese Pizza from Yellow Cab Pizza for Emily and Mark, which was just besides our resort.  I decided to buy from The Original Hawaiian Barbecue.  I ordered their half chicken, which was juicy, sweet, and big.  We also prepared everything as tomorrow, we would be picked up by the transfer from South West Transport, at 8 am.  Then we called it a night.

Early the next day, we ate breakfast at around 7 am, and after we finished, did a final sweep of our resort rooms, to check if we might have left something in the room.  As usual, the transfer was punctual, even early.  The trip lasted for about 15 minutes.  We arrived the Boracay Jetty Port at around 8:25 am, and was escorted to the terminal fee counter of South West Transport, which we politely paid.  After payment we were escorted into the waiting/holding area, to wait for our ferry service to Caticlan.  Arriving in Caticlan we were asked to follow the guide, who led us to a coaster, which bought us to the Caticlan Airport in 15 minutes.  We checked in at around 9 am.  After finishing with all the check in formalities, we waited to go into the boarding area.  We saw, Mr. Kim Atienza, a famous news casters/weatherman, with his family.  We paid our terminal fee and went into the boarding area.  Our flight was a bit delayed.

While Waiting For Our Flight Back To Manila

While Waiting For Our Flight Back To Manila

Allan K, Gladys Reyes and Julia Clarete in Ilaw ng Kahapon

Allan K, Gladys Reyes and Julia Clarete in Ilaw ng Kahapon

Marian Rivera in Panalangin

Marian Rivera in Panalangin

Maricel Soriano in Kulungang Kanlungan

Maricel Soriano in Kulungang Kanlungan

Pauleen Luna in Anyo ng Pag-ibig

Pauleen Luna in Anyo ng Pag-ibig

GMA International, through its flagship international channel, GMA Pinoy TV, commemorates Lent with a series of special drama features and movies that capture the essence of the season.

 

Beginning Holy Monday (April 14), the EB Dabarkads draw inspiration from true to life stories in Eat Bulaga’s Lenten Drama specials starting with Karugtong ng Puso featuring Tito Sotto, Paolo Ballesteros, Susan Roces and Ehra Madrigal, followed by Ilaw ng Kahapon starring Julia Clarete, Dennis Trillo, Gladys Reyes, Allan K, Perla Bautista, Sandy Talag and Rez Cortez.

 

On Holy Tuesday (April 15), Joey De Leon, Michael V., Wally Bayola, Joyce Pring, Assunta de Rossi, and Bea Binene are featured in Hakbang sa Pangarap, while Diamond Star Maricel Soriano is joined by Pia Guanio, Isabelle Daza, Keempee de Leon and BJ Forbes as they display their acting prowess in Kulungang Kanlungan.

 

The heartwarming stories continue on Holy Wednesday (April 16) with Pauleen Luna, Ryan Agoncillo, Ruby Rodriguez, Jimmy Santos, and Valerie Weigmann topbilling Anyo ng Pag-ibig, and Vic Sotto, Anjo Yllana, Jose Manalo, Erika Padilla and Ryzza Mae Dizon delivering heart-wrenching performances in Pangalawang Bukas.

 

From Maundy Thursday (April 17) to Black Saturday (April 19), GMA Pinoy TV will showcase some of the best Filipino film titles on GMA Pinoy Blockbuster.

 

On Maundy Thursday, witness a modern-day Magdalene story with Santa Santita, whose lead characters struggle with their faith in light of their promiscuous occupations.

 

In Mourning Girls, featuring Glydel Mercado, Ricky Davao and Chin-chin Guttierez, the life of Lupita (Mercado) takes an unexpected turn upon the death of her husband (Davao) as three other women show up to his funeral claiming inheritance rights.

 

The third movie offering for Maundy Thursday is a tale of true love that transcends different lifetimes as shown in Eternity, starring Dingdong Dantes, Iza Calzado, Jennylyn Mercado and Mark Herras.

 

Meanwhile, the classic films Mga Mata ni Anghelita, starring the late Julie Vega with an all-star cast, and God’s Little Children, featuring Sunshine Dizon, Strawberry, and Daria Ramirez will be shown on Good Friday (April 18).

 

Then, three close friends, who started as DJs in the 60s, realize their dream of visiting the holy land and retracing the steps of Jesus Christ in Banal na Lakbay Sa Yakap ni Hesukristo. Multi-awarded TV and radio anchor and GMA Network Consultant for Radio Operations Mike Enriquez, TV host and actor Joey de Leon and radio DJ and concert promoter Danee Samonte a.k.a Steve O’ Neal take Kapuso viewers along on their journey to Bethlehem, Nazareth, Cana, and Jerusalem as they participate in religious rituals. Alternately, all 3 friends will carry a cross as they retrace Jesus’ journey in the Stations of the Cross. This will be followed by the Siyete Palabras (Seven Last Words).

 

On Black Saturday, distinguished industry veterans will deliver meaningful performances in Ano Ang Kulay ng Mukha ng Diyos, topbilled by veteran actors Gina Alajar, Michael de Mesa and Edu Manzano, and Umiyak Pati Langit starring Helen Gamboa, Janice de Belen and Dante Rivero.

 

And lastly, GMA Pinoy TV presents the GMA Lenten Drama Special Panalangin, starring Kapuso Primetime Queen Marian Rivera on Easter Sunday (April 20). The story is centered on Lauren, whose life is derailed by a typhoon that ends the life of her family and her lover. When all hope is lost, she meets a dying girl with a bucket list who makes her realize that life is worth living.

 

Experience a truly enriching Lenten season this Holy Week only on GMA Pinoy TV.

 

To know more about Kapuso artists, events and programs, visit the website www.gmanetwork.com/international, Facebook pages www.facebook.com/GMAPinoyTVwww.facebook.com/gmalifetv,www.facebook.com/gmanewsinternational, and follow the Twitter accounts @GMAPinoyTV and @GMA_LifeTV.

Last December 26, 2013, me and my family were bound for Hong Kong to spend our week long Christmas vacation there. We perused our American Express Cards issued by BDO, so we can use the Club Manila airport lounge located in Ninoy Aquino International Airport, while waiting for our boarding announcement. The lounge was full as it was Christmas and a a lot of people were taking advantage of the Christmas vacation from school. Since the lounge was full, we were escorted to another airport lounge, which is part of the same company, although on the second floor. We relaxed, ate some light meals, had coffee, a few drinks, and check our e-mails. We had an 11 am flight, which would bring us to Hong Kong at around 1 pm. At around 10:35 am, we heard our boarding announcements and proceeded to the departure gate.

We took Cathay Pacific Airways as we converted our Asiamiles points in exchange for flights. We were five passengers, namely me, my son, my wife, my sister in law, and my mother in law. When we landed in Hong Kong, we proceeded to the immigration counters, afterwards the luggage claim counter. Upon our exit, we saw a man carrying a placard with my name. So I approached him, and he told me that a limousine was arranged to bring us to our hotel. He was surprised that there were 5 people in our group, as he was notified that there were only 2 people. So instead of 1 car takings us to our hotel, we rode in two separate Mercedes Benzes.

We arrived at our hotel in a little over 30 minutes from the airport. We were billeted at the Renaissance Harbour View Hong Kong Hotel, for 6 nights. We also perused my Marriott Rewards to redeem our hotel stay in exchange of my Marriott Rewards Points. Our room was rather spacious. My son’s first instinct was to turn on the TV and check if there were any channels featuring animation, which there was, which pleasantly surprised him. We rest for the duration of the afternoon. My son informed me that he wanted to go to Hong Kong Disneyland the very next day, to which I said yes.

The very next day, me and my son proceeded to the Wanchai MTR Station, to go to Central MTR Station/Hong Kong Station. Upon reaching Central/Hong Kong Station, we proceeded to the interchange, in order for us to take the MTR from Central/Hong Kong Station to Sunny Bay MTR Station. Upon reaching Sunny Bay MTR Station, we disembarked and waited for the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Train, which would ultimately bring us to Hong Kong Disneyland. Since it was the Christmas holidays, there were may people. We visited some of my son’s favorite attractions, such as Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blaster, Philharmagic, Mystic Point, Enchanted Gardens, Toy Story Land, Grizzly Gulch, etc. The Mystic Point Manor was closed when we passed by in the morning, so we decided to proceed to Grizzly Gulch. We had a bite at the Grizzly Gulch Salon. We took some pictures at the Gold Nugget, etc. Afterwards we went pass Toy Story Land, which had long lines, so we opted to go to watch the Philharmagic show. We were treated to a feast in Beast Enchanted Castle, safari trip in Simba’s African Kingdom, flew in a magic carpet in Alladin’s Dessert Palace, and got wet and swam in Ariel’s Underwater Kingdom. Afterwards we proceeded to Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blaster. We had tons of fun blasting Emperor Zurg and his nasty space minions. We came back to Mystic Manor, but the lines then was too long. It stated that we needed to wait in line for an hour. So my son decided to head back to forego the attraction. We proceeded back to our hotel.

Taken near Food Street in Causeway Bay

Taken near Food Street in Causeway Bay


That night we decided to eat at our favorite restaurant, Delicious Kitchen, which was located in Food Street in Causeway Bay. When we arrived there were not too many customers yet, so we were able to get seats immediately. We ordered their specialty Double Pork Rib with Vegetable Rice, plus I ordered an additional deep fried pigs intestine. We had a sumptuous dinner.

The next day me and my wife, ran some personal errands. We jumped from place to place the whole day. We were tired from all day of walking and commuting, that we decided to retire to our hotel early, and rest.

The next day, me and my son went to the Apple IFC Hong Kong Store, to have a cousins iPhone 4S checked and repaired. While in IFC we decided to watch the movie Frozen in 3D at the IFC Cinema. Afterwards we decided to have dinner in Crystal Jade Restaurant. We were stuffed, and decided to take home additional food for my wife, my sister in law, and my mother in law.

My son wanted to visit Windsor House to check out what’s new in Toys R Us. He saw something he liked, but we opted not to buy it as we were carrying a lot of things already. We just decided to buy Pork Coin and Pork Jerky from Bee Cheng Hiang.

Mark, the Christmas Tree, and Central Plaza

Mark, the Christmas Tree, and Central Plaza


We also went to Worldwide Plaza to check on things. On the way there we passed by Central Plaza, and decided to take some pictures.

Disney Character Christmas Tree in Harbour City

Disney Character Christmas Tree in Harbour City


Second to the last night, we decided to go to Tsimshatsui, and do some shopping. We weren’t able to find anything we liked, but my son was able to get 2 Power Rangers Megazords. He was ecstatic with his haul.

Taken at Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui

Taken at Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui

On the day of our flight, after checking out, we waited for our transportation to the airport. We were pleasantly surprised that our service was a Toyota Alphard, which is the luxury version of an MPV/Van. Our flight was at 5:55 pm, so we were supposed to arrive in Manila at approximately 8 pm of December 31, 2013. We also perused the benefits of our credit cards, which was complimentary lounge access at the Traveler’s Hong Kong Airport Lounge. We had some meals, drinks, coffee, read newspaper, browsed the net, etc.

Simply to put our Christmas Family Vacation in Hong Kong, it’s “Spectacular!”