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Travel around the world.

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.

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Megan Young

Megan Young

Megan Young

Megan Young

Megan Young

Megan Young

Megan Young's contract signing

Megan Young’s contract signing

Starstruck II alumna and Miss World 2013 Megan Young returns to her home network as she inked a one-year exclusive contract with GMA Network recently (March 31).

 

Present during the contract signing were GMA Network’s Chairman and CEO Atty. Felipe L. Gozon; President and COO Gilberto R. Duavit, Jr.; Entertainment TV’s Senior Vice President Lilybeth G. Rasonable; Vice President for Entertainment TV Marivin T. Arayata; Vice President for Drama Productions Redgie Acuña-Magno; Senior Assistant Vice President for Alternative Productions Gigi Santiago-Lara; Assistant Vice President for Drama Productions Cheryl Ching-Sy; and Ms. World Philippines Vice Chairman & agent Arnold Vegafria.

 

The beauty queen revealed her delight as she will be active again in showbiz with hosting stints and soap opera roles. “Masaya akong nagbabalik dahil I’ve grown so much as a person, as an artist, and now nandito na ulit ako, I can offer the people a better version of myself,” claims Megan.  [I’m happy to be back because I’ve grown so much as a person, as an artist, and now that I’m back, I can offer the people a better version of myself.]

 

Megan also talked about her relationship with fellow artists and staff, and how she misses most of those who have supported her from the start of her career. She also mentioned that she wants to go back to acting, “Namiss ko rin ang pag-act, kasi sa Miss World, hindi ka naman nag-a-act doon. Isa’t kalahating taon din akong nag-stop, kasi kailangan siyempre yung concentration ko nasa Miss World. Pero ngayong nagbabalik, kailangan ko naman ulit mag-prepare for acting, kasi matagal din akong nawala.” [I missed this because in Miss World, you’re not “acting.” I stopped for one and a half years because my concentration was focused on Miss World. But now that I’ve returned, I have to prepare myself again for acting because I was gone for a long time.]

 

During the contract signing held at the Boardroom of GMA Network, Atty. Gozon expressed his genuine support for Megan, “We are very glad and proud and honoured na tayo ang pinili ni Miss World. Kaya maski saan siya nakarating, ang puso niya nasa Kapuso pa rin. At ang puso natin, nasa kanya rin. So we are lining up many things for Megan to do.” [We are very glad and proud and honoured that Miss World chose GMA. No matter where she goes, her heart is still with the Kapuso Network. And our hearts are with her as well. So we are lining up many things for Megan to do.”]

 

Mr. Duavit, in turn, shared that he is both glad and excited now that Megan is back with the Kapuso Network, “Nakakatuwa kapag ang isang nagsimula bilang Kapuso ay nagbabalik bilang Kapuso. And in Megan’s case, sa mga dumaang panahon, bukod sa Miss World, she also embodies or personifies certain values that are consistent with ours. So we’re very excited. Megan is versatile, she’s very professional at meron ng mga nakahanay na mga proyekto para sa kanya. So, welcome back kapuso, we’re all very proud of you.  And very happy you’re back home.” [It is heartwarming when one starts out as a Kapuso and returns as a Kapuso. And in Megan’s case, in the time that has passed, aside from Miss World, she also embodies or personifies certain values that are consistent with ours. So we’re very excited. Megan is versatile, she’s very professional and we’ve already lined up projects for her. So welcome back, Kapuso, we’re all very proud of you. And very happy you’re back home.”]

 

Rasonable revealed some of Megan’s upcoming projects this year, “She will be co-hosting StarStruck with Dingdong Dantes, so that’s the first big project. And then there’s another one coming up. It’s a big primetime soap, but we’ll announce it when the time comes.”

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.

I have attached the pictures of the wedding of the century and the reception that happened there after!DongYan Wedding Reception (32) DongYan Wedding Reception (31) DongYan Wedding Reception (30) DongYan Wedding Reception (29) DongYan Wedding Reception (28) DongYan Wedding Reception (27) DongYan Wedding Reception (26) DongYan Wedding Reception (25) DongYan Wedding Reception (20) DongYan Wedding Reception (21) DongYan Wedding Reception (22) DongYan Wedding Reception (23) DongYan Wedding Reception (24) DongYan Wedding Reception (19) DongYan Wedding Reception (18) DongYan Wedding Reception (17) DongYan Wedding Reception (16) DongYan Wedding Reception (15) DongYan Wedding Reception (10) DongYan Wedding Reception (11) DongYan Wedding Reception (12) DongYan Wedding Reception (13) DongYan Wedding Reception (14) DongYan Wedding Reception (9) DongYan Wedding Reception (8) DongYan Wedding Reception (7) DongYan Wedding Reception (6) DongYan Wedding Reception (5) DongYan Wedding (5) DongYan Wedding Reception (1) DongYan Wedding Reception (2) DongYan Wedding Reception (4) DongYan Wedding (4) DongYan Wedding (3) DongYan Wedding (2) DongYan Wedding (1)

GMA also participated in the Hong Kong Filmart, the biggest content exhibit in Asia

GMA also participated in the Hong Kong Filmart, the biggest content exhibit in Asia

GMA Worldwide, Inc. (GWI) continues to showcase the best of what the Kapuso Network has to offer by participating in various TV content markets all over the world.

 

Over the years, GWI – being the global content distribution and acquisition arm of GMA Network – has opened doors of new opportunities for Kapuso programs and artists through content development partnerships and international distribution deals.

 

Kapuso programs received enthusiastic response from foreign buyers at the MipTV market exhibit in Cannes, France

Kapuso programs received enthusiastic response from foreign buyers at the MipTV market exhibit in Cannes, France

In April, GWI participated in the biggest gathering of entertainment industry professionals, the MipTV Market Exhibit in Cannes, France. Here, top television execs and creative talents from 100 countries had the chance to preview some of the Network’s latest programs for international licensing; among them Carmela, The Borrowed Wife, Rhodora X, Innamorata, Kambal Sirena, Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw and Magkano Ba Ang Pag-ibig.

 

Jocelyn Go, GWI Assistant Vice President for Sales and Marketing, noted on the positive response for Kapuso programs, “Buyers and other TV groups predominantly radiate positive and enthusiastic reactions when presented with GMA programs. This is an acknowledgment of the high standard and improving quality of our products.”

 

“Equally significant are the great relationships we have built with the other companies who attend these markets with us because their positive opinions are a reflection of GWI’s reputation and standing with our international partners,” she added.

 

Aside from MipTV, GWI also hosted a booth at the NATPE conference in Miami, Florida. Titles that were highlighted include Katipunan, Titser, The Politician (Bayan Ko), and Love Sonata.

 

GMA Worldwide's booth at Discop West Asia in Istanbul, Turkey

GMA Worldwide’s booth at Discop West Asia in Istanbul, Turkey

GWI likewise established a strong presence at DISCOP West Asia in Istanbul, Turkey, and at Hong Kong Filmart, the largest content exhibit in Asia. My Husband’s Lover, Rhodora X, Carmela, The Borrowed Wife, among others, were warmly received by buyers in both conferences.

 

In the first quarter alone, GWI sold over 1,000 hours of programs and movies for airing in Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, South Korea and the US.

 

With GMA’s proven ability to create globally competitive content, GWI is gearing up to explore new territories and expand GMA’s growing international audience in the months to come.

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!”

Carla and Tom US tour MHL

Carla and Tom US tour MHL

Dennis and Glaiza PIDC Vallejo

Dennis and Glaiza PIDC Vallejo

GMAI PIDC parade Vallejo

GMAI PIDC parade Vallejo

Kapusong Pinoy sa Dubai Meet and Greet

Kapusong Pinoy sa Dubai Meet and Greet

Kuh and Jonalyn US tour MHL

Kuh and Jonalyn US tour MHL

Rachelle Ann and Christian Kapusong Pinoy sa Dubai

Rachelle Ann and Christian Kapusong Pinoy sa Dubai

GMA International, the business unit that manages the operation and distribution of GMA Network’s international channels, marks another year of success as it continues to strengthen its presence abroad.

 

The year 2013 saw GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV and GMA News TV International reaching more Filipino households abroad with Palau and Malaysia being the latest addition to over a hundred countries and territories where the channels are available.

In an effort to provide its viewers with better services, the channels were also launched on new carriers in Singapore, Canada, and, most notably, in the Middle East which has the second largest Filipino population next to North America.

 

Consistent with the Network’s purpose of providing superior news and entertainment, GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV presented its subscribers with new original shows such as The Balikbayan Project, the first original series produced by GMA Pinoy TV, which follows the Basco family as they rediscover their roots in the Philippines, and Home Away From Home, a docu-series that features the homes of noteworthy Filipinos from all over the world. Furthermore, GMA News TV International has included regional newscasts in its programming lineup, in order to connect ourkababayans overseas with their home provinces.

 

As a testament to its successful endeavors throughout the year, GMA International has also been recognized by various award-giving bodies for their business practices and original programs. GMA won a record of eight NAMIC Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Awards (EMMA), a prestigious global marketing competition, which is the most the Network has received in its history of inclusion in the said competition.

 

GMA Pinoy TV’s longest running program on immigration law, Pusong Pinoy sa Amerika, garnered a bronze Telly Award in the Information Category and won for Best TV Show in the Migration Advocacy and Media Awards. Moreover, the program was cited for its Outstanding Reporting on Civil Liberties Ethnic Communities in the NAM Ethnic Media Awards.

 

Furthermore, Power ng Pinoy, a program that showcases success stories of Filipinos abroad, also accumulated major wins in three prestigious competitions, receiving two gold Hermes Awards, two bronze Tellys, and an Honorable Mention in the Plaridel Awards.

 

Continuously upholding its promise of bringing Filipinos closer to home, the Network’s international operations unit goes beyond developing original and relevant programming for its Filipino subscribers by also initiating on-ground events for the Filipino community abroad.

 

To celebrate its eighth year, GMA International, with My-HD, its new partner in the Middle East, brought Christian Bautista, Rachelle Ann Go, Julie Ann San Jose and Marian Rivera to Dubai for a concert entitled Kapusong Pinoy sa Dubai which attracted scores of supporters from the Middle East.

 

Likewise, Kapuso artists were on hand to join their fellow Pinoys in the different celebrations of Philippine Independence Day outside the country. Apart from these festivities, GMA International also took part in the OPM Festival and Pista sa Nayon event in Canada, which highlighted the best of Filipino Music; Battle of the Barrios, a talent competition for the Fil-Am youth in New York; and the eagerly anticipated My Husband’s Lover US Tour that solidified the show’s status as a groundbreaking success.

 

Owing to recent events, some carriers of GMA International broadcast the channels free of charge, effectively keeping our overseas countrymen updated on the developments since the Yolanda tragedy. GMA International also showed solidarity with the Filipino community abroad in the fundraising initiatives for the victims of the typhoon.

 

“GMA International remains one at heart with Filipinos abroad,” expressed GMA VP and Head of International Operations, Joseph Francia. “We look forward to continuing our efforts of sharing the Kapuso experience to our kababayans in the years to come.”