Archives

All posts for the month October, 2010

Me and Manhattan

Published October 31, 2010 by starvillanueva

* Photo of myself with the view of Manhattan Sky Scrapers while inside a ferry tour

Manhattan is a picture-perfect city, with modern movie sceneries (yes, NYC is possibly the most filmed city ever). Who can ever forget classic movies such as Maid in Manhattan & Serendipity both filmed in Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Maid of Honor & Autumn in New York’s Bethesdan Fountain in Central Park, SATC-Day After Tomorrow-Spider Man’s New York Library, Kingkong’s Empire Estate… among others…You can visit most of these must-see tourist sites for free.

* Grand Central Station

You can spend the whole day if you explore Central Park, an oasis amidst busy New York streets. But it’s worth the time. And make sure you go inside the majestic Grand Central Terminal. Most likely, you’ll find yourself gawking in glitzy Times Square, which you have to experience during both day and night time. The great thing about Manhattan is that it’s truly a “walkable” city. It’s best experienced on foot but remember to avoid or shall I say DO NOT repeat the worst thing I ever than in my whole life! ….and that is to walk in Manhattan with my 4inch high-heels shoes! (See The Picture/ Evidence here)

* Grand Central & Chrysler Building

Visit famous skyscrapers and churches such as Rockefeller Center, Chrysler Building, New York Public Library, New York Wall Street Journal, the United Nations headquarters, Radio City Music Hall, Stock Exchange, Yankee Stadium, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Museums, among others. And while it costs about $20, you might as well as go up the observation deck of the Empire State Building to get a bird’s eye view of the city. (haven’t tried going up there yet, still waiting for someone special to accompany me there! Haha!)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you’ve taken the bus tour, it’s time to try the two other popular modes of transportation – the subway and taxis. The MTA New York City Subway is certainly the fastest and cheapest way to go around New York City. One trip costs $3 Get the Fun Pass for unlimited rides for the day for only $8 Of course, a trip to the Big Apple wouldn’t be complete without taking one of the city’s 10,000 yellow cabs.

The other must-eat in New York is steak. There are plenty of high-end steak houses in NYC like TGI-Fridays, Hard Rock and Bubba Gump but if you just want really cheap but really good snack while walking, try Sabrett Hotdogs! It’s all over Manhattan and all kinds of people are buying those! Tourist or not, Ladies in all races, Gents on a necktie or Tshirt, young or old, named it. I even have the guts to encouraged the crew with me on a layover to try it too! And Guess What!? Sabrett is now available in Philippines!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York is also the mecca for shoppers. For high-end and fashion-forward shops, simply walk the entire length of Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue, and Soho. Visit “destination” stores just because their famous or are attractions by themselves such as huge department stores including Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, World’s Largest Macy’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue.For Youngsters, go to Nintendo World or M&M’s World to see the Word’s biggest Wall of Chocolates!

* You may Shop with your Trolley bag if you’re tired of carrying loads of baggage or shop with your Freezing gear outfit, there’s no excuse not to go for shopping in New York! None!

…and last but not the least, if you’re too tired with the buzzing city why not try to hibernate in the Greeneries of Central Park, bring your iPod, favorite book or pair of sneakers and Viola time will just pass without you noticing it, did that already and it’s truly relaxing! I blogged aboutCentral Park Before: Read it at: https://starvillanueva.com/2009/06/28/central-park-new-york-usa/

 

 

Advertisements

QR Pilot died during the flight from Manila!

Published October 14, 2010 by starvillanueva

My colleague on his early 40’s just passed away  after a massive heart attack and later on died. The co-pilot flew the plane and diverted to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A new crew boarded the plane and left Malaysia 2 hours later.

I could have been in that flight. Luckily, I was in New York Flight instead… Indeed, Life is so short, better live life as it was your last day in this world…

More details @ The Peninsula News

Flight Attendants are Well Paid – Philippine Airlines

Published October 4, 2010 by starvillanueva

By EMMIE V. ABADILLA Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines – Answering claims of its cabin crew union, Philippine Airlines (PAL) said its flight attendants are well paid and receive some of the best benefits that are the envy of other Filipino workers. The actual gross monthly pay of a PAL cabin crew ranges from P33,000 to P75,000, inclusive of productivity pay and other allowances.“Officers of the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) have not been forthright in informing the public of the real salaries and benefits that the PAL cabin crew receives,” PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna underscored. "FASAP claims their basic pay is below the government set minimum wage, but this is just a portion of their salary.”

“The truth is they receive much, much more," she added. "A domestic crew earns between P34,619 to P37,619 per month, including productivity pay, transportation allowance and rice allocation. An international cabin attendant receives P50,741 to P60,136, while a flight purser gets P67,880 to P73,570," according to Villaluna. While this salary range may be modest compared to the pay scale of giant carriers abroad, this is no small amount by Philippine standards. Hence, claims that PAL cabin crew are overworked and underpaid are not true.Their total pay is composed of the basic salary plus per diem allowances. When staying overnight at an international destination, they get $45-$70.

When on a technical stop, they get $100. In addition, they get $20 for every regional turnaround flight and P185 for every domestic flight. They receive additional pay for every hour in excess of their tour of duty, ranging from $50 + $20 for international flights to P1,250 per hour for domestic. They are likewise given first-class hotel accommodation at domestic and international stations. They also receive transportation allowance, or free pick-up from/to their residences, free meals in flight and on ground. They are entitled to crew shuttle to/from airport and have a thermal clothing allowance twice a year; shoe allowance of P1,200 for males, P800 for females, twice a year; uniform allowance from P11,022 to P16,376 every 18 months and are each given a suitcase costing from P1,563 to P3,647 which is replaced every 2 years. They have complete medical and dental coverage for cabin crew and their qualified dependents, plus 13th & 14th month pay.

Their unused days off as well as unused sick leave are converted to cash. On top of that, they have a perfect attendance award equivalent to one month pay + per diem and retirement benefits of 1.5 month for every year of service. "“All this time FASAP has been presenting to the public and the government a picture that is totally opposite reality. FASAP is free to show proof if the wages and benefits we have just revealed are not true," Villaluna said. PAL also urged FASAP to be truthful in presenting to the public the significant highlights of the four conciliation meetings brokered by the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB).

"Instead of alarming our passengers with threats of strike, FASAP should at least disclose the exchange of proposals and counter-offers to show who was taking a hardline position during the conciliation meetings," she said. PAL’s offer of P80-million in additional salary plus P25 million in rice allowance (a total of P105 million), change in retirement age to 45 (from 40) and increase in the cabin crew’s maternity benefits were rejected by FASAP who insisted on their original positions before unilaterally declaring a deadlock in the negotiation.