places & travels

All posts tagged places & travels

Christmas & New Year Scenes

Published January 7, 2010 by starvillanueva

When I was a kid I used to dream of a white Christmas and as flight attendant, I guess I’ve experienced it all. Be it, green, blue or white christmas but no matter how far the distance I have travelled. I will still returned to a place called Home…  

      

I flew to Manila on the 24th of December through a Boeing 777 aircraft as expected we landed earlier than scheduled arrival around 2:30pm but due to the traffic because of the Filmfest Parade that afternoon we’ve reach Diamond Hotel in Roxas Blvd. very late, passed 5pm already.  

 * These pictures are not yet uploaded in my website because it’s not yet high quality pictures (I just grabbed it from my Mom’s friendster account)  I left my memory card back home, but will soon upload it…  

 I really enjoyed every moment, spent the whole time eating delicious home-cooked meals and sinful desserts! Then we gather around the tree to open our presents, Alma was the one hosting the gift giving while we were simply waiting for our names to be called. Our house is filled with  laughter. Then later on made myself busy singing over the course of the evening  while my cousins are enjoying their wine in the pool area.  

 

The following day, I flew back to Doha with such a nice crew and supervisor. While my family and cousins flew to Hongkong via Philippine Airline to spent my mom’s birthday and New Year there. I guess that’s the main thing my family and I have in common, we all love to travel!

  

   

  

   

   

   

 

 

 The capacity of the aircraft that we’ve used has 42 seats in Business Class and 293 seats in Economy but we only have less that a hundred passengers in economy + 5 person in Business class. Very light load! Who wants to travel during Christmas day anyway? Except for business travelers maybe like Ms. Pinky Aquino (Kris Aquino’s sister) is one of our passenger that time, she even gave a greeting card to all the crew and were very nice. After 9hrs travel time I’ve landed in Doha around 12:05 am of December 26, slept then same day pick to Manila again!   

  

   

   

   

 

 

 

Even if my whole family is in Hongkong (Dec27) my friends didn’t make me feel alone. They pick me up in the hotel as soon as I arrived then went to Mall of Asia, ate in Don Henricos, had an ice cream dessert in White Hat, watch a movie then Starbucks afterwards. Really had a great time! Indeed a Happy day prelude to a New Year!   

* view the rest of the picture…

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Emirates Aviation Training @ Dubai

Published November 27, 2009 by starvillanueva

The long day started at around 6:30 am pick up from our accommodation then went straight to the airport. Who would have thought that we would reach the triennial training knowing how homesick we are when we left NAIA 3 years back!?! But anyway, I had a great time to be with my batchmates again and Camille was also there – My closest friend here in Doha.

 

 
 

After a very quick flight, we arrived in Dubai where we were taken by bus to the Emirates Aviation College. The facilities inside were impressive. The ditching and evacuation training area also had a Boeing 777, Airbus A330 and Airbus A380 full size section mock ups to practice all the evacuation procedures.

 

 

Then we were given many scenarios and act as if we were really on the real situations like Thick Smoke in the Cabin, Emergency Landing on Water, Fire on the overhead bins, Fire inside the lavatory. (All drills can also be monitored in the LCD Screens.)

 

Next stage was to jump down the evacuation slides. All of us just evacuated quickly from one door, go down barefoot or with socks. The slides give off a lot of friction to slow you down at the end.

The final part was to crawl onto the large slide raft with our inflated life jackets on and practice assembling the canopy. Once we had done that, we had to drop into the (very cold) water and form into groups of six people so that we can stay together and stay warm. Although it was very cold in the pool, it would be fair to say that the mid-Atlantic would be a lot colder, so it was a valuable lesson to learn that forming a group in water were the most effective ways to keep warm.

We left the training center learning a lot about how to handle ourselves and the passengers in all of the various emergency situations, Fully qualified to be released into the real world of flying again!

Related Post:

* View the rest of the pictures…

* Training at Emirates Aviation College 2006

* Fire Fighting II

 

Another Eternal Tour in Rome!

Published October 20, 2009 by starvillanueva

“Stepping into the St. Peter Square in Vatican is indescribable. I’ve only seen this place in televisions, movies and read about it in books…”
 
 
 My 2nd time in Rome for the month of October! (The last time was Oct 11-13 See the pics here) Only few days gap but the weather changes extremely shocks me! The last time I was wearing sleeveless on a 14-16 degrees Celsius but it was so sunny so it’s still tolerable, but this time I was wearing long-sleeved but I don’t have my jacket with me. I thought it will still be sunny but to my surprise the climate became 9-12 degrees! It was freezing!

 
 

 Ms. Bulgaria, Ms. Philippines, Ms. Nepal, Ms. Algeria and Ms. India (It’s official, I miss speaking in Tagalog! 
 
The last time I’ve flown with fellow Filipina was last September! In my 3 years flying experience, it’s very rare if there’s no pinay mafia on board! hehehe!)The Vatican is the world’s smallest country, independent state, it is an autonomous region despite its close proximity to Rome. It has its own communication network, postal office (stamps), guards and transport system.
 

I usually preffered to join  2-3 crew, but this time we were 5 in the group but I didn’t regret joining them, we’ve had so much fun & laughter! Our tour begins waiting each other in the lobby of the hotel around lunchtime then took a cab, (I love the idea of riding the public transportation and walking on the neighborhood of the hotel. It gives you the real atmosphere of the place) went to

 
 Piazza San Pietro or St. Peter’s Square, Every tourist in Rome comes to St. Peter’s Square and to the Vatican. The church is one of the world’s largest, covering 5.7 acres and able to hold 60,000 people.
 
 

 

 
Aside from being the heart of the Catholicism, it is also equally attractive to other tourists since Vatican is home to one of the world’s most spectacular art collections. St. Peter’s Square is the one of the main destination in Vatican City. Situated right in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, it is the central nerve of the Vatican. Every day, hundreds of Christians, Catholic pilgrims and tourists of all stripes came here to visit this popular tourist attraction. I felt holy being here!

 
 
The exterior of the Roman Colosseum is made entirely of travertine, stretching 527 m around and four stories high. The arches of the second and third stories were originally filled with statues. There were 80 entrances, with the two principal ones reserved for the emperor and his entourage.
 We’re craving for authentic Italian food, fortunately the 2 restaurants that we’ve been for lunch and dinner fulfilled our expectation. The pasta was cooked to perfection and the sauce is compliments the pasta delightfully then had a gellato and cappuccino afterwards.
  

 

 

Walking in ROME… ITALY….

Published October 15, 2009 by starvillanueva

The Eternal City of Rome is famous for its mind-blowing monuments, remarkable churches and magnificent museums but the squares in Rome are the best places to enjoy the vibrant city life and the perfect spot to laze away your day surrounded by people and history.

 

After 3 years of being a Flight Attendant who would believe that it’s my first time to be in Rome! As mentioned on my previous blog post, I was given 3 days Rome flight before but I swapped it for 24hours Manila because it’s Christmas Season. It was actually my fifth month of bidding this flight, at last they gave it to me! 2 Rome Flight in a row – back to back!
 Arrived in our hotel (Sheraton Roma) past 8 in the evening. While in the lobby we all agreed to get ready in 15mins. To have a late dinner in the mall, at first I was hesitant to agree because I don’t have jacket and it’s freezing 9 degrees that night. Then while waiting for the Taxi the concierge told us that the mall is just open till 9pm only, so we’ve just decided to have a snack in the hotel. We ordered for Margherita Pizza, they ordered for their wines and since I don’t drink any alcohol beverage I just tried the Italian Cappuccino but it seems like Machiatto because it has more espresso shot and less froth milk. We all had a great chat that night about funny rants & gossip among our flights…hehe! Just Kidding!
 Next day, it’s 14-16 degrees Celcius but it’s very sunny. We left the hotel around 11am, walk around, walk, and then walk again! Rome is best to explore by walking. Tour Rome walking your way through art and tradition. All other tourists are geared up with their boots, jacket or on a double clothing so they were all looking at me wondering why I’m the only one there without sleeves! Eh anong magagawa ko hindi naman ako nilalamig, so why be bothered to blend with them? But finally had the feeling that I’m cold after few hours and after eating lots of gelatto plus as a defense against the sun so nag long-sleeves na ’ko…
 
I can still recall the imitations of the Roman Colosseum I saw before in my previous travels such as Macau (See the pic here it looks the same but definitely smaller) The Colosseum is a tremendous amphitheater, the embodiment of both the grandeur and cruelty of the great Roman Empire. Construction of the Colosseum began about 72 AD and ended in 80 AD and has a capable of seating 50,000 spectators.
 

 

The Trevi Fountain is perhaps the most loved landmark in Rome after St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City and due to its enduring appeal this baroque fountain is probably the most photographed monument in Rome.   
There’s a saying that when one visits the Fontana di Trevi in Rome, one should throw a coin in the fountain to ensure that one will get to visit again. Luckily, I have other countries coin or else I’ll throw away another 2 Euros! But what’s 2 Euro if you will experience your wishes can come true!



Roman Forum from the Capitoline Hill In this post we started by walking though the Capitonline Hill. Many of the current structures on the Hill are from the Medieval period or designed by Michelangelo during the Renaissance. Along the way, you’ll see people in costumes that will let you have a souvenir photo for an amount of 2 Euro…

After several pictures, we get to enjoy dinner at a very nice restaurant near the Fountain di Trevi. It was along the side of the street, with umbrellas and they were preparing candlelight dinner for evenings. When in Rome, we surely did as the Romans do. We had gelato, as there are shops in every other corner of every piazza. I could not get over the number of delicious flavors of this creamy Italian ice cream.

We Reach through taxi the lively Piazza di Spagna from where you will immerse yourself into beauty, history and mystery where the combination of a monumental staircase, the world renowned Spanish Steps. They said a trip to Rome would also not be complete without a visit to the – Spanish Steps, the most famous square in the city then Climb its 138 steps!

 


 
 

Ways To Enjoy Singapore

Published October 5, 2009 by starvillanueva

Singapore is simply amazing! Our 2 ½ stay in Singapore is not enough. There is much more to see and do. From the famed Chili Crab and Hainanese Chicken Rice to Sentosa Island and the Singapore Zoological Gardens. Experience for yourself the towering skyscrapers in the business district, the hustle and bustle of the Orchard Road shopping belt or the friendly chatter of Singaporeans going about their daily tasks in the heartlands. The number of activities that can be packed into this pulsating island, day and night will astound you. And the best part is that you can visit Singapore at all times of the year as its tropical climate means sunshine all year round.

After 8hrs 20mins travel time from Doha to Singapore, Finally arrived at the Hotel (Holiday Inn Atrium) around 3pm of Sept 28. Jero was then waiting for me in the lobby since 12 noon, he arrived on the same day, from Manila via Philippine Airlines and he just booked his ticket online on the last minute because he just knew that I have a flight to Singapore.

From the hotel we made arrangements for our tour in the Night Safari. Minutes later, a shuttle service came at the hotel to fetch us and all the other tourists from other hotels in downtown, it was $58 Singapore Dollars per person. But next time I rather go to Sentosa, it’s more enjoyable and picture friendly unlike Night Safari where it’s not allowed to take pictures to the animals because they said camera flash may cause blindness to the Nocturnal animals, etc.


The Night Safari (they call it Singapore Zoo during the day), where it has been much acclaimed for its open landscape and spaciousness wherein the animals live in enclosures simulating that of their natural habitat. The zoo is filled with exotic animals like white tigers, polar bears, and Asian elephants etc. It is the world’s first such attraction. We experienced wildlife on a 45-minute tram ride, we refused the Walking Trails to get a feel of the park in eight geographical zones covering forty hectares of forested park. The sight of watching over one hundred different species of nocturnal animals (including leopards, lions and tigers) is simply amazing and something you will always remember.
  

At Underwater World in Sentosa Island, the hidden life of the sea unfolded before our captivated eyes as we plumbed the depths of the underground living museum that houses some 2,500 marine and freshwater animals of 250 species from various parts of the world.

 

Inside the oceanarium, a travelator moved us along a submerged glass-encased tunnel from which we watched at close range a plethora of underwater creatures including stringrays, eels, turtles, jellyfish, sharks, sea cow (also known as dugong) and other fishes.

 

 

Also tried Singapore’s tallest observatory tower, still located in Sentosa offering guests panoramic views high above sea level across Singapore even up to neighboring Malaysia and the Indonesian islands. The Tiger Sky Tower has a capacity of 72 in its enclosed, air-conditioned cabin.

 

No trip in Singapore is complete without Shopping. Singapore is a Shopping haven for fashionistas around the world. It has the best brands, the best shopping malls, at fantastic bargains and if Saks Avenue or Beverly Hills needs a little competition, Orchard Road it is! There is just way too many great shopping malls not to be missed and our friend can spend hours shop, window shop or just walk around the Orchard Road area to soak in the city’s atmosphere.

* View All The Picture of Singapore Tour

The Truth About Flight Attendant Travel Benefits

Published August 23, 2009 by starvillanueva

First of all, free or reduced rate travel is always based on space available. Whether you are the crew or employee’s family traveling at a discount, you will only be issued a seat after all of the revenue passengers, including standby paying passengers. They are always the priority so if there’s no seat available they will ask you to just try your luck on the next flight which has always been a problem for me because all Qatar Airways employee must be back in Doha 10 hours before the next duty time but still I usually try my luck to go to Manila on my 3-4 days off. (What to do in Doha on 4days off!?! I’ll be crazy!)

What this means is that you must be very aware of the available seats on any given flight. This requires some legwork by using the company computerized reservation system to determine which flights are best for you. In my case, it’s always hard to get a seat because Manila Flight is always full or overbooked! Even if it’s not vacation period or holiday! There’s no off peak seasons in Manila flight because there are lots of Filipinos all over the world! And even if there’s a vacant seat, those seats are for senior ones! It’s better to have a full fare ticket as a back up, or else you’ll end up buying a business class full fare ticket!

* The Picture shows there’s no more passenger on cue but me, sitting near the subload check in counter, the other picture is while waiting for the delayed aircraft. There’s no more seat available on the waiting area so the rest are just standing. I’m sitting on my trolley! This inconvenience were just making me decide to resign sooner!

Last April, I flew to manila on my 4days off, August 17-19, I went to MNL again on my 3 days off and same dilemma happens! Fully booked! There’s one jump seat available but there’s one crew who’s more senior than me got the seat.

 

 

What makes it worst is that the departure should be 17:30 but the aircraft arrived at 19:40 from Doha! Super delayed! I waited in the check in counter for more than 2 hours sitting there like a beggar and 2 hours again in gate 10. I finished eating 4 BreadTalk’s Cheese Floss and Chef Tony’s popcorn because of boredom! There’s no sign of chance whatsoever but still I stayed there. Just a minute before I call someone to pick me up at the airport, I heard 3 people arguing, they sounded dismay about something. I never knew what is it all about until the ground staff told me that they have been offloaded from MNL Flight! Because they have visa problem. I feel sorry for them but at the same time thankful because their situation gives me a vacant seat! Yehey! Then I arrived in Doha around 12:40 am of August 20 – Just in time for my next duty at 10:50 am (Pick up time).

* After all the inconvenience, this view from the aircraft window simply draw a smile in my face for a minute! I’m glad to see my condo unit nonstop construction and The Venetian Mall as my View from the Top! 

 * Related Post: My Condo Unit

* April 4 Days OFF

 

So the Story Goes… (July Vacation Summary)

Published July 31, 2009 by starvillanueva

Living in my mom’s mansion is like living in a holiday resort. It’s a real comfort zone, every corner of the house are elegantly furnished and well decorated. It made me realized what I’m missing. I’m missing the life that I used to have. Few more flights & Travels and I might resign next year! I will resign NOT because I’m getting married, I will resign because I miss my life and I want to focus on managing my business, list goes on…

In Balcony

My leave started dining out in Pepper Lunch at Rockwell, shop 2 Carts of Groceries in Duty Free, Ate in Aristocrat Roxas Blvd. Then Went home in our previous house to get some stuff & check my mails then slept in our new home for the 1st time.

1st Floor Dining

My family & visitors can have an option to have breakfast by the poolside in our backyard, have lunch casually by the Zen type dining table in the kitchen or dine in the contemporary dining table at the other corner of the house with the view of the pool area or in one of the spacious balcony around the house, in façade or better yet eat while standing on the nook located in bar area. If your choice is none of the above then you can be humble to dine with the maid or driver in the mini-kitchen like my mom!

Maruja Wenn Deramas House

One gloomy day, my little sister Kristine and I decided to swim but it was very cold. Since it’s not sunny, I invited Christian to jog with me around the subdivision but to my surprise in the middle of our jog it became sunny! Thank God I have my umbrella with me! The 2 of us just ended up walking around. The neighborhood is very peaceful, the only public transport inside the village is 1 shuttle bus available 24hrs, security guards are patrolling from time to time, other homeowners are just busy gardening during that morning while some are cleaning their cars and polite enough to say Good Morning with a smile!

Few blocks away from our place was Maruja’s house (featured in my previous blog), I really like that house, it was so big and nicely landscaped, their swimming pool even have a bridge and no need to mention it was PINK! Loveeet!

Also saw Director Wenn Deramas’ corner house, they said Gabby Concepcion & Lorna Tolentino started filming new teleserye entitled “Dahil May Isang Ikaw” in that house. Ok enough of those Teleserye stories back to my vacation leave topic! Haha! The following evening was our house blessing & Christian’s sweet 16th birthday celebration but it’s like a debut celebration! He has 16 gifts, 16 wish, etc. It was raining the whole day so the LCD projector was installed late but the party went well, and the menu from the caterer is nice.

Blue Water Day Spa Family  Hall

Next day, went to Baguio with Jero, walk around Burnham Park and SM, stayed in Veniz Hotel in front of Burnham Park then Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto the following day. I want to see lots of places such as mines view, etc but still have business to do for the day so we went back to their Goldland Resort, pick up some documents in pawnshops and visit their Drive-in-Hotel (Also owned by them) to pick up some stuff and to try our Guns in the mini-firing range!

July 21 – Is a long day, I was invited as a guest speaker at NCBA (National College of Business and Arts) for their 3rd-4th year HRM student with Tourism subject. The discussion firmly focuses on my travels to different countries, International Tourism, customer related information and life as a flight attendant. My speech only last 40-50 minutes but the question and answer portion made my stay longer. At first they were hesitant to ask, Later on they started calling Ma’am Star! Ma’am Star!  Ma’am Star from each corner of mini theater room even some professors asked few questions too. It turns out to be a conference! After the speech went to HRM room to have lunch courtesy of the School’s Dean. Then went to Gateway Mall simply because of craving Dairy Queen Ice Cream! Then went Blue Water day spa to have a soothing massage. Later that evening, we’re all in family hall having fun with videoke! (Will upload the pictures later)

July 22 – Jero’s family went over because they want to buy the 750sq. meters Mansion beside our house. It was initially offered to us by then P16Million! But months after my mom bought our house, the P16Million mansion decrease it’s price for only P10Million! Sayang sana yun nalang nabili ni Mama! Same price but much bigger! 6 Cars will fit in the garage! The owner said the reason why the value decreases was because nobody affords it and naremata na lang sa bank! (Foreclosed property) Sayang talaga! But anyway, Jero’s mom are interested to buy it but to my dismay it’s already SOLD the day before Jero’s mom went there to inquire!!! Sayang! Sayang talaga! Kung sila nakabili edi sana neighbor ko lang ang family ko in the future when I got married!

Burnham

We’re eyeing on the other house on sale but it’s not finalized yet dahil busy na ang sched ni Tita no time na to see the interior setting of the house and nagdadalawang isip pa because the garage can only fit 2 cars! Yes, it is a problem! & parang hindi ko masyado gusto ’cause the design was too simple (see here) then color beige pa parang ang dull, gusto ko bright colors! (Like this one) pero bakit ba ako nakikielam hindi naman ako ang bibili! Hehehe!

Before I left, we headed to Antipolo Church, it has always been my ritual to visit Our Lady of Peace & Good Voyage on all my vacation leave.  Later on, went to SoleMare Parksuites near Mall of Asia to see the developments. They said they will turnover the unit on December 2010, While my condo in McKinley Hill-The Fort will be on June 2012.  Maybe by that time I should still have my nightstop kit or suitcase with me so that I can sleep over wherever I preferred!

***See Related Pics:

* Everyday is a Holiday

* Baguio & Pangasinan Tour

* House Blessing & Christian’s Birthday