ON THE love month, guess what made this old heart flutter with joy? The heart raced on several instances, and with good reason—love for travel, friends, food, and a couple of exciting new things for Davao.

It’s been a while since our clique took off to some destination. We flew to a couple this month, to Bangkok, a new destination for majority of the group, then to Hong Kong to sate the palates for Cantonese cuisine. Food tripping was a good excuse to do a “little” shopping in between meals for the ladies. Why not hit two birds with a single stone?

In Bangkok, the tour of the city was best on board a van where eleven of us can fit in. The downside of road travel in the Big Mango is traffic can be unforgiving, thus, much time will be burned on the road.

Short the episodes may be at the attractions—temples, Chatuchak, etc., excitement and joy made up for the lost time.

In Hong Kong, food took centerstage. At the Peninsula, the high tea nibbles were delectable, the Peking duck at Peking Garden at Star House in Tsim Sha Tsui was delicious and the Cantonese selections at North Garden at Queen Victoria Street in Central were mouthwatering.

At Marco Polo Prince, our official residence, we started each day with a hearty breakfast at the All Day Dining restaurant (where I had a feast of the egg tarts among other offerings), and ended it with red wine compliments of the Marco Polo Hotels Communications team. We had a bottle in each of our rooms.

I don’t know when the next big trip will be. Before this month’s travel, the last one was in 2009.

Back in Davao, making the city’s heart race were two recently launched ventures — the new data center of ePLDT and the fragrance line of Rocky’s Barbershop.

PLDT bigwigs flew in to launch the Davao Vitro Data Center, the eighth operating data center facility in the country and the first in Mindanao.

The latest Vitro Data Center will easily cater to the growing data service requirements of thriving industries in the south.

“The newest Vitro Data Center in Mindanao is a Tier 2 facility designed to meet global data center standards required by industries with heavy data-security requirements like banks and financial institutions. It will serve hosting, collocation, and business continuity services for enterprises in Mindanao, and can serve as a secondary backup location for businesses with data already housed in other data centers across the country,” shared PLDT’s Benedict Patrick Alcoseba.

The local brand of Rocky’s, the trailblazer in men’s grooming convenience with the opening of the first barbershop in a mall in 1996, has recently unveiled another industry first—a new line of exclusive fragrances.

Debuting the fragrance line under the sub-brand Rocky’s 1996 (the finer side of Rocky’s) are 1996 and Adventure, perfume formulated by French company Charabot, the oldest fragrance house in the world.

Exuding classic and traditional, 1996’s scent is woody and musky, while Adventure, targeted for the active, young market is light and citrusy.

Since its introduction to the market, it has garnered sweet-smelling reviews by both men and women.

Laugh a lot, live longer. A couple of hours with the Rakugo artists extended the lives of many after a fabulous comedy performance at the Marco Polo Davao.

Rakugo is a form of Japanese verbal entertainment. It’s a solo comic act with a lone seated performer taking the roles of different characters.

Rakugo is something new to me and I fell in love with it.

Email me at jinggoysalvador@yahoo.com. For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit www.ofapplesandlemons.com &www.jeepneyjinggoy.com