THE April showers were almost non-existent, no thanks to El Niño, but there was a pouring of surprises. There was a list of many firsts that I got involved in.

Staycation at the Marco Polo Ortigas

I have stayed in the other Marco Polo properties in Cebu and Davao, and finally on a recent visit to Manila I was able to try the Manila property’s hospitality.

The four-day staycation was a most welcome substitute to a cancelled trip to Vigan. Except for a short trip to the neighboring mall for lunch with cousins, the rest of the time was spent within the confines of the first sky hotel in the country.

Great food at the Cucina restaurant and at the Lung Hin the Cantonese restaurant, great bar chow and cocktails at the topmost floor where Vu, the rooftop bar, is, where a breathtaking view of the city can be enjoyed. It’s the same view the exclusive Continental Lounge offers.

Art and about

Luck was on my side on this Manila trip. It’s the first time I’ve been to the Art in the Park event. The art fair gathers a diverse group of art providers—galleries, independent art spaces, art schools, etc., and offers affordable artworks to art aficionados and collectors priced at P50,000 and below.

If you’re lucky, the piece you took home may just have been signed by one soon to be a national artist.

It was also my first time to visit the home and studio of one of my favorite ladies in the art world, Betsy Westendorp. She is as gracious as she is talented. I’m in love with her.

I got a chance to see her collection plus a few more works she was commissioned to work.

Dear Betsy, I am eyeing on that vintage piece. I will save up for that.

First dibs on PAL’s newest product.

PAL just made traveling more exciting with its new Mabuhay Miles Travel Card (#MMTravelCard). The card was recently launched in Cebu and I got invited to witness the unveiling.

As one of the guests, I was handed my own travel card loaded with cash and 30,000 miles, “Because PAL wants you to be the first to experience this exciting product.” I’m honored.

The #MMTravelCard is a travel wallet. It collects miles when you fly PAL and these points can purchase room nights in partner hotels.

It’s a debit card as well. It can load up to nine currencies (Euros, US Dollars, Yen, Hong Kong dollars, peso, etc) so you don’t have to carry cash to your destination. Go shop where Union Pay is accepted and swipe your #MMTravelCard.

A peek into Mother’s Day offering of Seda.

Chef-Mom Bang Flores said, “The menu is what every mom would love to prepare for her family.” That she did, but on Mother’s Day, May 8, she will cook for the rest of the moms and their families.

On the spread will be the bestsellers- Angus Roast Beef and lechon, Thai peanut chicken sate, and many more.

Leave room for dessert, there are nine on the list.

May 1, Labor Day.

Yep, it can be laborious to look for good news in Facebook during this election period. I admit I’m an avid contributor to the feed because I feel that I have to share the truth about the man I believe in. I will inject my daily feed of good vibes into the feed. Promise.

*****

Email me at jinggoysalvador@yahoo.com. For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com and http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com.