IT WASN'T a few days ago when the torotots blared to welcome 2017. Two nights back, the Rooster came crowing on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year, and the dragons and the lions danced to its cock-a-doodle-do sound.

According to Chinese culture, the Rooster symbolizes punctuality and fidelity. It’s the year when people will be more polite and less stubborn, but may have the tendency to complicate things.

Those born to the sign are said to be kind-hearted, hardworking, courageous, independent, humorous and honest. They make great home keepers for they like to keep their homes neat and organized. Nice.

Where was I on the Kung Hei Fat Choi moment? At the house of buchi, of course.

After the traditional dotting of the lion’s eye and the dragon dance to usher in good fortune at the Marco Polo Davao, the feast happened at the Lotus Court. It was jam packed with revelers.

But before the rooster flapped its wings, I spread mine and flew to 2017’s first travel destination, Coron in Palawan. I’ve checked one off the bucket list.

Coron is a paradise! It was made more exciting in the company of good friends who adored the saltwater as much as I do. It’s been a while since I was lulled to sleep by the music of the ocean.

Another tune that played in Davao was that of the classics. Davao Museum’s fund-raising concert, Sonata, had soprano Stefanie Quintin and classical guitarist Anton Luis Avila playing beautiful music together as partners on stage, and officially as a couple at the end of the night when the guitarist proposed to the soprano. Sweet.

More wings will be soaring in the coming months when Philippine Airlines sends off their planes to new routes from the Queen City. Guess which destination made me gasp? Coron! It was a sign for me to return to the islands via this new, convenient and more economical route.

But fate had other plans for me, like trying a new city in Palawan- Puerto Princesa, which I won a round-trip ticket to. Underground River here I come!

Puerto Princesa is on the roster of PAL’s new destinations from Cebu along with General Santos and Surigao.

PAL is listing my domestic travel goals on the Cebu hub list. This is good news for everyone in Davao and Mindanao, as we don’t have to fly all the way to Manila to get a connection. Isn’t this another reason to love Cebu?

And I love the Cebuanos as well especially those at the Marco Polo Plaza. They take hospitality to a whole new level.

Noticing that I was under the weather, Manna Alcaraz, the communications manager, offered to send to my room ginger tea to make me feel better—after a traditional hilot therapy at the hotel’s Spa-Wellness Zone.

That one-hour of bliss did the trick (that and the box of their popular confection, the Malicious cookies, was a big part of the get well treatment, too). I was feeling better on my way back home the next day to have a few buchis at their sister hotel, the Marco Polo Davao.

Moving on to the love month…

Of Apples & Lemons.

Press conference so chic. The new setup alternative of Marco Polo Davao for press conferences is quite stylish. It can pass off as a tea party complete with perfectly sized nibbles, flavorful drinks and flowers adorning the round tables for four. The living room-like feel for the speakers make the whole scene relaxing. 3/5 apples.


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