NOKIA: THE LEGEND GOES ON!

A cell phone nowadays is indispensible, even for us, Seniors! Admit it, for some of us, it is the first device opened when we wake up and the last one closed before bedtime.

As a blogger, my cell phone is very important. I need it to go online, compute conversion rates, take clear pictures and videos, communicate using Facetime/Viber, check the weather, use Waze and other apps, be notified of important reminders, dates, schedules, list my to do/buy things, etc.

Now, Seniors, for sure when I say NOKIA, you will smile and recall your cell phones in the 1990s with that oh-so-familiar ringtone!

Well, what if I told you that NOKIA is back in the Philippines, with a new generation of Android1 smartphones?

HMD Global Oy is the home of Nokia phones, the exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand of phones and tablets, with headquarters in Espoo, Finland. Visit www.hmdglobal.com

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Yes, Seniors, Nokia was media-launched last Friday, April 13, 2018, at the Axon Event Center, Green Sun Hotel, Makati City.

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I attended this special event and was happy to know that there are four models to choose from: the flagship Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 1 (both available on April 2018), Nokia 6 and Original NOKIA 8110 4G (available on May 2018).

91CTu1524233576Each new generation Nokia smartphone has regular software updates to keep one’s phone up-to-date, safe and secure, without UI (user interface) changes or hidden processes eating up battery life or slowing the device down. These phones also have fewer pre-installed and much lighter apps on Android Oreo2 so one can get twice (or more) available storage and battery-maximization for up to two days.

Here are the four new generation Nokia Android smartphones and their features which I like for my travels, food trips and personal use:

NOKIA 7 PLUS (black/copper and white/copper, single or dual SIM):

  1. Its Dual-Sight technology allows the user to take a BOTHIE, the ability for the front and back cameras to simultaneously take pictures. It has a 16 MP front-facing and 12 MP rear camera, with ZEISS3 optics and high-quality lowlight capability. It adapts to low light conditions by increasing light sensitivity which I like because it guarantees picture-perfect moments for my travels and food trips.
  2. It offers a New Pro Camera mode which gives manual control over camera settings and shows the impact of adjustments in real time.
  3. It has a high fidelity sound with Nokia spatial audio capture and playback technology – a great feature for my videos!
  4. It has the latest Android features like:
  5. Picture-in-Picture (PiP, where one program takes full screen with one or more programs displayed in inset windows) for multitasking;
  6. Android Instant apps, so one can discover and run apps with minimal friction; and,
  7. 60 new emojis, just right for Viber messages and PMs.
  8. It allows unlimited photo and video uploads to Google Photos. Now this is definitely appealing to me since I take a lot of videos and pictures, both for my blog and personal use.
  9. It has a large 3800 mAh non-removable battery and has the latest generation and powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon4 660 Mobile Platform and 4 GB RAM. This simply means that this phone has optimized power consumption and a 2-day battery life, definitely a delightful feature for my trips.
  10. It features a vivid 6-inch 18:9 full-HD+ display, a wonderful way to fully enjoy my browsing, games and entertainment moments.
  11. It has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.
  12. It is reasonably-priced at PHP21,990. Pre-selling opened April 13, 2018 through Abenson.com, argomall, Lazada and MemoXpress. It is also available at 0% interest over 9-months installment terms through Home Credit, when applied online through argomall.com.

NOKIA 1 (dark blue or warm red, single or dual SIM):

  1. It is a 4G smartphone with the latest Android Oreo2 (Go edition), a version of Android optimized for devices with 1GB RAM or less, which enables the phone to run faster while consuming less data;
  2. It allows access to a new range of apps from Google like full access to the Google Play Store, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Go, Whatsapp, Google Go web search app, Google Maps Go, and Google Assistant for Android (Go edition) to quickly send messages, make calls, set alarms, etc., by simply using one’s voice;
  3. It has a familiar but refreshing design and features exchangeable Nokia Xpress-on covers (sold separately) with vibrant colors to suit one’s mood and color preference for the day.
  4. It is so reasonably priced at PHP4,290, definitely for every Juan!

The NOKIA 6 will be available in the country come May 2018, in silver or matte black/copper, blue/gold, white/iron, single or dual SIM, 32 or 64 GB.

Do you remember the movie “The Matrix” with Keanu Reeves as Neo in 1999? He used a Nokia banana phone. Well, what if I told you that this phone is back? Yes, dearest seniors, come May 2018, the Original NOKIA 8110 4G, in black or banana yellow, dual SIM, will be available in the country. It has a 2.4-inch curved screen with a curved protective cover to slide open to pick up calls and slide back to end them.

More details about any of these phones can be obtained from www.nokia.com for very techie and interested seniors/viewers.

Which Nokia phone did you have? I had several and gave them away but my husband kept one particular phone, the Nokia 8850. Look at it beside the new generation Nokia 7 Plus …

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How about you? What Nokia phone did you have in the 1990s. dear seniors?

I am now considering the purchase a Nokia 7 Plus to bring along with me in my future travels and food trips. And how about a banana yellow Nokia 8110 4G as a second phone?

It is so convenient to order online from Lazada, the Official Store for Nokia mobile, or avail of the 0% interest-9-month installment term through Home Credit, through argomall.com.

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1Android, Android One, Goggle and Google Photos are trademarks of Google LLC. Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Visit www.android.com

2Android Oreo is a version of Android1 operating system developed by Google. Visit www.android.com

3ZEISS and the Zeiss logo are registered trademarks of Carl Zeiss AG, used under license of Carl Zeiss Vision GmbH. It provides optics for HMD Global. Visit www.zeiss.de

4Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. Snapdragon is a suite of system on a chip (SoC) semiconductor products for mobile devices designed and marketed by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Visit www.qualcomm.com/snapdragon/devices/all

Foreign Seniors Ask: DO I NEED A VISA TO VISIT THE PHILIPPINES? HOW LONG CAN I EXTEND MY STAY AS A TOURIST?

I hope this blog catches the attention of foreign seniors/travelers who might be interested to visit my beloved country – the Philippines – and are wondering if they need a visa. Or, dearest Filipino Seniors, you might have new friends who are planning to visit you here in our country. Do they need a visa?

Well, ask no more! A foreign tourist1 (from the 154 countries, enumerated below) with a regular passport can visit the Philippines WITHOUT A VISA IF S/HE WILL STAY FOR 30 DAYS OR LESS, provided s/he has a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the period of stay in the Philippines, and a return ticket or a ticket to another destination outside the Philippines. These countries are:

  1. Andorra
  2. Angola
  3. Antigua and Barbuda
  4. Argentina
  5. Australia
  6. Austria
  7. Bahamas
  8. Bahrain
  9. Barbados
  10. Belgium
  11. Belize
  12. Benin
  13. Bhutan
  14. Bolivia
  15. Botswana
  16. Brunei
  17. Bulgaria
  18. Burkina Faso
  19. Burundi
  20. Cambodia
  21. Cameroon
  22. Canada
  23. Cape Verde
  24. Central African Republic
  25. Chad
  26. Chile
  27. Colombia
  28. Comoros
  29. Congo, Democratic Republic of
  30. Congo, Republic of the
  31. Costa Rica
  32. Cote d’Ivoire
  33. Croatia
  34. Cyprus
  35. Czech Republic
  36. Denmark
  37. Djibouti
  38. Dominica
  39. Dominican Republic
  40. Ecuador
  41. El Salvador
  42. Equatorial Guinea
  43. Eritrea
  44. Estonia
  45. Ethiopia
  46. Fiji
  47. Finland
  48. France
  49. Gabon
  50. Gambia
  51. Germany
  52. Ghana
  53. Greece
  54. Grenada
  55. Guatemala
  56. Guinea
  57. Guinea-Bissau
  58. Guyana
  59. Haiti
  60. Honduras
  61. Hungary
  62. Iceland
  63. Indonesia
  64. Ireland
  65. Italy
  66. Jamaica
  67. Japan
  68. Kazakhstan
  69. Kenya
  70. Kiribati
  71. Kuwait
  72. Kyrgyzstan
  73. Laos
  74. Latvia
  75. Lesotho
  76. Liberia
  77. Liechtenstein
  78. Lithuania
  79. Luxembourg
  80. Madagascar
  81. Malawi
  82. Malaysia
  83. Maldives
  84. Mali
  85. Malta
  86. Marshall Islands
  87. Mauritania
  88. Mauritius
  89. Mexico
  90. Micronesia
  91. Monaco
  92. Mongolia
  93. Morocco
  94. Mozambique
  95. Myanmar
  96. Namibia
  97. Nepal
  98. Netherlands
  99. New Zealand
  100. Nicaragua
  101. Niger
  102. Norway
  103. Oman
  104. Palau
  105. Panama
  106. Papua New Guinea
  107. Paraguay
  108. Peru
  109. Poland
  110. Qatar
  111. Romania
  112. Russia
  113. Rwanda
  114. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  115. Saint Lucia
  116. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  117. Samoa
  118. San Marino
  119. Sao Tome and Principe
  120. Saudi Arabia
  121. Senegal
  122. Seychelles
  123. Singapore
  124. Slovak Republic
  125. Slovenia
  126. Solomon Islands
  127. South Africa
  128. South Korea (Republic of Korea)
  129. Spain
  130. Suriname
  131. Swaziland
  132. Sweden
  133. Switzerland
  134. Tajikistan
  135. Tanzania
  136. Thailand
  137. Togo
  138. Trinidad and Tobago
  139. Tunisia
  140. Turkey
  141. Turkmenistan
  142. Tuvalu
  143. Uganda
  144. United Arab Emirates
  145. United Kingdom
  146. United States
  147. Uruguay
  148. Uzbekistan
  149. Vanuatu
  150. Vatican City
  151. Venezuela
  152. Vietnam
  153. Zambia
  154. Zimbabwe

Citizens of Taiwan may apply for an entry permit through the Electronic System for Travel Authorizationat the website of the Philippine Representative Office in Taiwan, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office: www.meco.org.tw.

Foreigners from Brazil and Israel are given 59 days to stay visa-free in the Philippines, and those from Hong Kong, Macau and Portugal (with passports issued to permanent residents of Macau only) are given 14 days.

Nationals of China traveling as tourists and holding a valid visa issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, United States or a Schengen Area3 state may enter and stay without a visa for up to 7 days.

Nationals of India holding a valid business, resident, or tourist visa issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, United States, or a Schengen Area3 state may enter and stay without a visa for up to 14 days.

Upon arrival, you will receive a free Visa Waiver, given at the immigration desk in airports and ports.

Visit www.immigration.gov.ph for more details.

THE EXTENSION OF THE PHILIPPINE VISA

Assuming that foreign tourists from the countries enumerated above enjoyed their stay in the Philippines and decided to extend their stay beyond 30 days, can they? The answer is YES!

If you want to stay longer than 30 days in the Philippines, you can obtain a Visa Extension from the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in your country, even before your trip. If you are already in the Philippines, you can obtain it from the Bureau of Immigration; just be sure to have it extended more than a week before the expiry date.

The extension of the Visa Waiver for another 29 days costs 3,130 pesos. This can then be extended every two months thereafter for up to 16 months in total. Consult the said website’s “Visa Extension” section.

The Philippine Bureau of Immigration is very strict, so visa violations and overstays often result in penalties, imprisonment, and deportation.

Please note that the information in this post is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information. Visit www.immigration.gov.ph and go to “Procedures for foreigners”.

For holders of diplomatic, official, or service passports, as well as an APEC Business Travel Card, you can stay longer (ranging from 59 days to 3 months). Visit the official website of the Bureau of Immigration: www.immigration.gov.ph

Did you find this post informative? Do you have other travel trivia/information that you would like me to feature? I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll to the upper right part of this post and click “Leave a comment”. Follow me by clicking the “Follow” box on the lower right corner of your device. Thank you!

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1A tourist holds an ordinary/regular passport; s/he is not a holder of a diplomatic, official or service passport or even an APEC Business Travel Card. NOTE: Holders of diplomatic, official or service passports as well as an APEC Business Travel Card can stay longer (ranging from 59 days to 3 months); please visit the official website of the Bureau of Immigration: www.immigration.gov.ph

2The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel.

3The Schengen Area refers to an area comprising 26 European states that have officially abolished passport and all other type of border control at their mutual borders: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. This area acts as a single jurisdiction for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy. Do you want to know where the term Schengen came from? The Schengen Agreement was signed on June 14, 1985 near the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, by 5 countries (Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands and West Germany), effective March 26, 1995. The agreement proposed the gradual abolition of border checks at the signatories’ common borders and common visa policies. A Schengen Convention followed in 1990. All these are according to the Wikipedia page “Schengen Area”.4

4Schengen Area,” accessed December 15, 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area.

Short and Simple: WHAT IS BLUE SPACE?

Dearest Wandering Seniors, have you heard of “blue space”?

Blue space is the term for visible water needed by people to improve their quality of life.1 Examples of blue spaces are beaches, canals, fountains, harbors, islands, islets, lakes, marinas, ponds, ports, rivers, streams, and waterfront parks.

Seeing a beach, appreciating the clarity of its water, witnessing a beautiful sunrise or sunset along the beach, gazing at the waves and the soothing motion and rhythm of water, hearing the waves hit the shore, feeling the cooling effect even by just wading on the beach, the feeling of walking near the shoreline and smelling the ocean, riding a boat along a body of water and feeling the water with your hand, among others, definitely have a positive, relaxing and soothing effect on people. The refreshing clean, cool air, as you breathe in and out, somehow gives you a re-energized feeling from the polluted air in the city.

Environmental health research as well as environmental psychological studies have revealed that living near, or spending time close to lakes, rivers and the sea, has a positive impact on mental health and promotes physical activity. It reduces stress and improves mental health and one’s well-being.

So, what are you waiting for, urban-based Senior Citizens? This Holy Week, or even just a weekend this summer, go find a “blue space” for your mental well-being! Who knows, I will see you around!

Did you find this post informative? Do you have other travel issues/concerns which you would like me to feature? What is your “blue space” escapde this summer? I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll to the upper right part of this post and click “Leave a comment”. Follow me by clicking the “Follow” box on the lower right corner of your gadget. Thank you!

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1www.simplicable.com

Short and Simple: THE ANILAG FESTIVAL

The ANILAG FESTIVAL is an annual week-long event of the province of Laguna, in the island of Luzon, in the Philippines, held every second week of March at the Laguna Provincial Capitol grounds in Sta. Cruz (the capital of the province).

This festival started in 2004 during the time of Governor Teresita “Ningning” S. Lazaro. It was renamed La Laguna Festival (called the “The Festival of Life”) on August 1, 2012, after the colonial name of the province, La Laguna, by then Governor Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito. However, on January 18, 2016, the Anilag Festival was reinstated by Ordinance No. 2, S. 2016 by the incumbent Governor Ramil L. Hernandez to continue the legacy of its origin.1

“Anilag” is the shortened term for “ANI ng LAGuna” (Harvest of Laguna).

This provincial festival serves as: a celebration of the foundation day of Laguna, a thanksgiving for agricultural prosperity, the promotion of tourist attractions, a showcase of the creativity of its people, and a source of community pride.

This event is called the “Mother of All Festivals in the province of Laguna” because it incorporates in its programs and activities parts and facets of the cultural and economic assets of all cities and municipalities of Laguna.2

Days 1-3

Days 4-6

Days 7-8The activities per year have evolved to appeal to all ages, gender and interests. The pictures above show the seven-day calendar for ANILAG 2018.

The La Laguna Festival or “Festival of Life” was awarded back-to-back the Best Tourism Event of 2011 and 2012, Provincial Category, one of the Best Tourism Practices from the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) and then honored as a hall of famer in the Provincial Festival category.3

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll to the upper right part of this post and click “Leave a comment”. Do not forget to follow me by clicking “Follow” on the lower right corner of your gadget.

Visit a related post: ANILAG FESTIVAL 2018: Hali na! Tara na! Masaya sa Laguna! (Come on! Let’s go! It is happy in Laguna!)

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1www.anilagfestival.ph

2Anilag Festival 2018 Facebook account

3http://www.laguna.gov.ph

 

March – December 2018 Long Weekends … “Byahe Na”! (Travel Now!)

Wandering Filipino Senior Citizens (SCs), this year, 2018, is in our favor!

I was not able to post early this year, but it is better late than never …

Just look at my table below and see all the long weekends starting this March! So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trips beginning this Holy Week till the end of this year! Let’s go!

2018 Holiday

Day 1

Day 2 Day 3

Day 4

Holy Week

  March 29   Maundy Thursday

National Regular Holiday

March 30   Good Friday

National Regular Holiday

March 31   Black Saturday

Special Non-Working Day

April 1 (Sunday)

 

Araw ng Kagitingan             or             Day of Valor

 

   April 7      (Saturday)

April 8 (Sunday)

April 9 (Monday) National Regular Holiday

           –

Eidul Fitr (end of Ramadan)

       June 15           (Friday)      National Regular Holiday

 

June 16 (Saturday)

 

June 17 (Sunday)

 

National Heroes’ Day

August 25 (Saturday)

August 26 (Sunday)

August 27 (Monday)

National Regular Holiday

     All Saints’            Day                  and             All Soul’s Day

       November 1         All Saints’ Day (Thursday)

Special Non-Working Day

November 2 All Souls’ Day (Friday)

Special Non-Working Day

 November 3  (Saturday)

November 4 (Sunday)

Bonifacio Day (celebrating the birth of Andres Bonifacio,  “The Father of the Philippine Revolution”)

November 30 (Friday)

National Regular Holiday

December 1 (Saturday)

December 2 (Sunday)

            –

Christmas Day

December 22 (Saturday) December 23 (Sunday) December 24 Christmas Eve (Monday)

Special Non-Working Day

December 25 Christmas Day (Tuesday)

National Regular Holiday

Rizal Day   (to honor the heroic death anniversary of Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines)

&

New Year 2019

December 29 (Saturday) December 30 Rizal Day (Sunday)

National Regular Holiday

December 31 Last day of the year     (Monday)

Special Non-Working Day

    January 1,          2019         New Year (Tuesday)

National Regular Holiday

Other (March-December) 2018 Philippine holidays are:

May 1 (Tuesday) – Labor Day – National Regular Holiday

June 12 (Tuesday) – Independence Day – National Regular Holiday

August 21 (Tuesday) – Ninoy Aquino Day (a Special Non-Working Day to commemorate the assasination of Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., which eventually led to the ouster of Presient Ferdinand Marcos) and Eid al-Adha (a National Regular Holiday to commemorate the end of the Hajj, the required Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca)

December 8 (Saturday) – Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – a Non-Working Day which will be celebrated for the first time as a holiday this year, 2018

We are connected by our love for travel, Wandering Senior Citizens! See you around …

If you haven’t been to El, Nido, Palawan, I suggest go see my previous posts:

EL NIDO: HEAVEN ON EARTH – Part 1

EL NIDO: Blue Lagoons – Part 2

EL NIDO: Islands and Caves – Part 3

Did I miss any March-December 2018 holiday in the Philippines? Did you find this post informative? Do you have suggestions where to go during these holidays? I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll to the upper right part of this post and click “Leave a comment”. Do not forget to follow me by clicking “Follow” on the lower right corner of your gadget.

SOURCE: Dates taken from www.rappler.com (with permission)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short and Simple: ATOLL, SKERRY, CAY and KEY

Seniors and other followers, it would be nice to know the difference among these terms when you visit various destinations …

An atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef1, island2, or a group of closely-spaced small coral islands, enclosing or nearly enclosing a shallow lagoon3. It is sometimes called a coral atoll. Most of the atolls in the world are in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean, according to the Wikipedia page, “Atoll”.4

The largest atoll in the world is the Great Chagos Bank in the Chagos Archipelago, south of the Maldives, with a total area of almost 13,000 km2, and administered by the United Kingdom through the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), according to the Wikipedia page, “Great Chagos Bank”.5

A skerry is a small rocky island2 too small for habitation but may have moss and small grasses, sometimes rested upon by animals liked birds and seals, according to the Wikipedia page, “Skerry”.6

A cay, caye or key, is an islet7 formed by the accumulation of fine sand deposits on top of a coral reef1, found in tropical places (Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans). Examples are the Elbow Cays (Bahamas), Florida Keys (USA) and Rama Cay (Nicaragua), to name a few.

You can check out the following posts: EL NIDO: Heaven on Earth – Part 1 and other related topics: Short and Simple: ISLAND, ISLE or ISLET?  and Short and Simple: EXACTLY HOW MANY ISLANDS ARE THERE IN THE PHILIPPINES?

Did you find this post informative? Do you have other terms or travel trivia which you would like me to feature? I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll to the upper right part of this post and click “Leave a comment”. Follow me by clicking the “Follow” box on the lower right corner of your gadget. Thank you!

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1A coral reef is a ridge of a rock in the sea formed by the growth and deposit of corals (marine invertebrates in the class Anthozoa of phylum Cridaria which secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton), according to the Wikipedia page, “Coral reef”.8

2An island/isle is a large, isolated landmass that is surrounded by water but not as large as a continent9, according to the Wikipedia page, “Island”10

3A lagoon is a shallow, often elongated, body of salt water separated from a larger body of water, like a sea, by barrier islands11, coral reefs1, shoal12 or low sandbanks, according to the Wikipedia page, “Lagoon”.13

4“Atoll,” accessed March 3, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atoll.

5“Great Chagos Bank,” accessed March 3, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Chagos_bank.

6“Skerry,” accessed March 3, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skerry.

7An islet is a very small island2. An example is Capitancillo Islet in Bogo City, Cebu, Philippines.  I hope I can see it someday …

8“Coral reef,” accessed March 3, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coral_reef.

9A continent is a very large landmass of the world, according to the Wikipedia page, “Continent”.14. Recall that there are 7 (largest to smallest): Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe and Australia.

10“Island,” accessed March 3, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island.

11A barrier island is a coastal, flat or lumpy landform made of sand formed by waves and tidal action parallel to a mainland coast, and usually occurs in chains, according to the Wikipedia page, “Barrier island”.15 The longest barrier island in the world is Padre Island in Texas, USA, according to the Wikipedia page, “Padre Island”.16

12A shoal is a naturally submerged bar, bank or ridge, made of, usually covered with sand, and rises from the bed of a body of water to near the surface. It is also called a sandbar, sandbank or gravelbar, according to the Wikipedia page, “Shoal”.17 A beautiful sandbar I have visited last February 2017 was Snake Island Sandbar in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines. See my link below. Another example is Scarborough Shoal, a shoal located between Macclesfield Bank and the Luzon island in the South China Sea; it is disputed by the Philippines, People’s Republic of China, and the Republic of China. I do not think I can be able to see this shoal since it is being disputed and dangerous to go to.

13“Lagoon,” accessed March 3, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagoon.

14“Continent,” accessed March 3, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continent.

15“Barrier island,” accessed March 3, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrier_island.

16“Padre island,” accessed March 3, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Padre_island.

17“Shoal,” accessed March 3, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoal.

 

Short and Simple: ISLAND, ISLE or ISLET?

Hey, Senior Citizens and other wanderers, let’s see if you know the difference …

There is no difference between an island and an isle and they can be used interchangeably. An island/isle is a large, isolated landmass1 that is surrounded by water but not as large as a continent2, according to the Wikipedia page, “Island”.3

A landmass can be called an island3 if it is above sea level, and on high tide, it should remain above water at any given time. It should also be capable of supporting plant and/or animal life through hard substrates4.5

The word “isle” is originally a French term. The term is included in the name of a specific place like the Isle of Wight and the Isle of Sheppey, both small islands of England.

An islet is a very small island. An example is Capitancillo Islet in Bogo City, Cebu, Philippines. Hope I can see it someday …

Did you find this post informative? Do you have other terms or travel trivia which you would like me to feature? I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll to the upper right part of this post and click “Leave a comment”. Follow me by clicking the “Follow” box on the lower right corner of your gadget. Thank you!

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1A landmass is a large area of continuous land (i.e., in one piece), mostly surrounded by water (not broken up by a body of water).

2A continental is a very large landmass1 of the world. Recall, Seniors, that there are 7 (largest to smallest): Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe and Australia, according to the Wikipedia page, “Continent”.6

3“Island,” accessed March 3, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island.

4A substrate is a layer of substance that has something underneath it that goes through a process in which an organism can thrive and live.

5www.philstar.com

6“Continent,” accessed March 3, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continent.

Short and Simple: EXACTLY HOW MANY ISLANDS ARE THERE IN THE PHILIPPINES?

Do you really know exactly the official number of islands1 in the Philippines, whether it is high tide or low tide?

Admit it, dearest Filipino Seniors, we grew up knowing there are 7, 107 islands in our beloved country. Well, as of 2016, not anymore!

There are currently 7,641 islands in the Philippines, according to the Wikipedia page, “List of islands of the Philippines”!2 An additional 534 islands were added, mostly located in the Mindanao region.3

Now, you might ask: who gave the official announcement and why is this so?

Secretary Ramon Paje of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) made the announcement during the Philippine Environment Summit on February 2016.

It seems that the Philippines embarked on a 2013 Philippine Islands Measurements Project headed by the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA)4 which is responsible for the official count of our islands.5

All these additional islands/islets were detected/located by an Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR or IfSAR)6 and will be included in a new map which will be released soon (how soon, it was not specified!). It seems this new equipment is more advanced to detect landmasses than those used in the past using older technology. These new islands can also be attributed to changing land forms.5

So, dear Seniors, the next time someone asks you how many islands our country has, you know the updated answer: The Philippines officially has 7,641 islands! Better still, tell your friends and relatives, especially those abroad, that there are now 534 new reasons to visit our beloved country!

Go see the links below if you want to know more about the different kinds of landmasses6.

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1An island/isle is a large, isolated landmass7 that is surrounded by water but not as large as a continent8, according to the Wikipedia page, “Island”. Source: “Island,” accessed March 3, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island.

2“List of islands of the Philippines,” accessed March 3, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_islands_of_the_Philippines.

3www.philstar.com

 4The National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) is a government agency under the Department of National Resources (DENR) in the Philippines responsible for providing mapping services and collection of pertinent data used in facilitating natural resources required in creating charts, maps and statistics. Visit its website: www.namria.gov.ph

5 www.cnnphilippines.com

6Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) is a new high-resolution radar-mapping technique used to generate maps of landmasses4, using a satellite.

7A landmass is a large area of continuous land (i.e., in one piece), mostly surrounded by water (not broken up by a body of water). A landmass can be called an island1 if it is above sea level, and on high tide, it should remain above water at any given time. It should also be capable of supporting plant and/or animal life through hard substrates9.3

8A continental is a very large landmass4 of the world. Recall, Seniors, that there are 7 (largest to smallest): Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe and Australia, according to the Wikipedia page, “Continent”. Source: “Continent,” accessed March 3, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continent.

9A substrate is a layer of substance that has something underneath it that goes through a process in which an organism can thrive and live. The NAMRIA4 can collect samples of actual sediments from the surface of a landmass6 through shallow digging.

Smart Senior: THE AIR PASSENGER BILL OF RIGHTS OF THE PHILIPPINES

Hello there, Wandering Filipino Senior Citizens (SCs)! I am sure you have been an air passenger but do you really know your rights as such? Read on!

The Department of Transportation and Communication1, with the Department of Trade and Industry2 (DTI), jointly made a Bill of Rights for Air Passengers and Carrier Obligations, implemented since 2012. See www.tourism.gov.ph

It is important to remember that your airline ticket is your contract of carriage with an air carrier so the latter is “obliged to transport you by air safely, efficiently and conveniently along a stipulated route at a given date and time, subject to certain conditions and/or restrictions.”

On the other hand, you, as a passenger, decide to buy that airline ticket and it binds you to “all the conditions and/or restrictions attached to that ticket on an all-or-nothing basis, without any say, whatsoever, with regard to the reasonableness of the individual conditions and restrictions attached to that ticket.”

So, read all texts especially the small, fine prints in your airline ticket and do not be afraid to ask the ticketing office or your travel agent. Do not forget to wear your glasses when reading (admit it, you sometimes forget where you placed it and are always tempted to simply press “I agree” in online options or sign your name just to get over that phase of your booking) … and use a magnifying glass or enlarge text fonts in your screen for online bookings, if need be!

There are 12 rights of air passengers, based on the Philippine Air Passenger Bill of Rights:

A. The Right to be Provided with Accurate Information Before Purchase

  1. The right to full, fair, and clear disclosure of the service offered and all the terms and conditions of the contract of carriage – The disclosure includes: documents to be presented at check-in, provisions on check-in deadlines, refund and rebooking policies, and procedures and responsibility for delayed and/or cancelled flights. The terms and conditions may include claim-filing deadlines as well as liability limitations and other crucial conditions. These must be printed and/or published as well as verbally explained to the air passenger in a language easily understood, especially the ff. terms: baggage allowance, check-in policies, rebooking, and refunding.
  2. The right to clear and non-misleading advertisements of, and important reminders regarding, fares in any medium – The following should be disclosed in not less than 1/3 the size of the advertisement: baggage allowance policies; conditions and restrictions attached to the (regular or promotional) fare type; contact details of the air carrier; government taxes and fuel surcharges; refund and rebooking policies; other information necessary to apprise the passenger of the conditions and the full/total price of the ticket purchased; and, other mandatory fees and charges. Promotional fares must also disclose the aforementioned along with the: CAB3 Approval No. of Fares; duration of the promo; and, the number of seats offered on a per sector basis. A copy of the above must be attached to, or printed on, the airline ticket in English and Filipino.
  3. The right against misleading and fraudulent sales promotion practices – All sales promotion campaigns and activities of air carriers shall be carried out with honesty, transparency and fairness, and in accordance with the requirements of the Consumer Act of the Philippines and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). The air carrier shall provide to DTI2 a copy of its promotional materials for post audit, not later than the publication, release, or launch date, whichever is earlier.

B. The Right to Receive the Full Value of the Service Purchased

4. The right to transportation and baggage conveyance – Every passenger is entitled to transportation, baggage conveyance and ancillary services, in accordance with the terms and conditions of contract of carriage with the air carrier. If the air carrier is negligent, the air passenger shall be compensated or be entitled to alternative arrangements which are acceptable to the passenger as provided by this Bill of Rights.

5. The right to be processed for check-in – An air passenger holding a confirmed ticket, whether promotional or regular, with complete documentary requirements and have complied with the check-in procedures, shall be processed accordingly at the check-in counter within the check-in deadline. The airline shall clearly designate the boundaries of its assigned check-in area/s or counter/s.

A passenger within the air carrier’s cordoned or other designated check-in area, at least one hour before the published ETD4 shall not be considered late or a no-show, and shall not be denied check-in.

A late passenger, who came after the aforementioned period, shall be denied check-in and directed to a standby or rebooking counter for proper processing. Disputes shall be resolved by the air carrier on-site.

  1. The right to sufficient processing time – Passengers shall be given enough time before the published ETD4 within which to go through the check-in and final security processes.

Air carriers operating in international airports and other airports designated by the DOTC1 shall open their check-in counters at least two hours before the ETD. A separate dedicated counter for a flight nearing check-in deadline shall be open to facilitate check-in of passengers at least one hour before the published ETD.

In other airports, they shall open check-in counters at least one hour before the ETD5.

For senior citizens, PWDs5 (who should declare his/her need for special assistance or handling upon booking a flight), and their companions, an air carrier shall: (1) designate at least one check-in counter; and, (2) coordinate with the appropriate authorities for the use of proper airport equipment, entryways and/or aerobridges, when available, to facilitate transactions, movement, boarding and/or disembarkation of such people at the airport, duly informed of additional costs, if applicable.

  1. The right to board the aircraft for the purpose of flight – A passenger checked-in for a particular flight has the right to board the aircraft for the purpose of flight, except when there is legal or other valid cause (e.g., immigration issues, health concerns, safety and security, non-appearance at the boarding gate at the appointed boarding time, CAB3-endorsed government requisition of space6).

Re overbooking, the air carrier shall: (1) determine the number of passengers in excess of the actual seat capacity of the aircraft; (2) announce that the flight is overbooked and are looking for volunteers willing to give up their seats in exchange for air carrier compensation; (3) provide interested passengers or volunteers a list of amenities and offers (e.g., cash incentive; priority booking in the next flight with available space; endorsement to another air carrier upon payment of any fare difference); and, (4) increase the compensation package be certain degrees or by adding more amenities/services, until the required number of volunteers is met.

Bottomline: (1) the settlement of such compensation for passengers shall not be an excuse for the undue delay of the flight’s ETD; (2) the compensation, if accepted by the passenger, shall constitute liquidated damages for all damages incurred by the passenger as a result of the air carrier’s failure to provide the passenger with a confirmed reserved seat.

C. The Right to Compensation and Amenities

8. The right to compensation and amenities in case of cancellation of flight – In case of flight cancellations:

  • attributable to the air carrier, a passenger: (1) shall have the right to be notified beforehand via public announcement, written/published notice and flight status update service (text); (2) when already in the airport at the time of the announcement of the flight cancellation shall be provided sufficient refreshments or meals (e.g., snacks – at least a sandwich and a bottle of water; breakfast, lunch or dinner, or a voucher for the same, as the case may be); hotel accommodation (conveniently accessible from the airport); transportation from the airport to the hotel and v.v.; free phone calls, text or emails; and, first aid, if necessary; and (3) three options: (a) reimbursement of the value of the fare, including taxes and surcharges, of the sector cancelled, or both/all sectors, in case the passenger decides not to fly the ticket or all the routes/sectors; (b) be endorsed to another air carrier without paying any fare difference, at the option of the passenger, and provided that space and other circumstances permit such re-accommodation; or (c) rebook the ticket, without additional charge, to the next flight with available space, or within 30 days, to a future trip within the period of validity of the ticket. For rebooking made in excess of the aforementioned 30 days for a trip likewise within the validity of the ticket, fees, and/or fare difference shall apply.

In case the air carrier cancels a flight at least 24 hours before the ETD4, it shall not be liable for the foregoing amenities, except, it shall be obliged to notify the passenger, and, in accordance with the preceding provisions, to rebook or reimburse the passenger, at the option of the latter.

  • by force majeure, safety and/or security reasons, as certified by the CAB3 of the Philippines, a passenger shall have the right to be reimbursed for the full value of the fare.

The above provisions shall be the minimum entitlement of a passenger in case of cancellation, and shall not prohibit the air carrier from granting more favorable conditions or recourses, as it may deem appropriate.

Remember, a confirmed reservation is necessary to make a passenger eligible for compensation through a written confirmation issued by the air carrier or its authorized agent, even if the air carrier cannot find the reservation in its electronic records. The passenger should not have cancelled the reservation or missed a reconfirmation deadline.

  1. The right to compensation and amenities in case of flight delay and exceptions thereto – In case of flight delay7 and exceptions thereto –
  • For Terminal Delay of at least 3 hours after the ETD4, whether or not such is attributable to the carrier, a passenger shall have the right to: (1) be provided with refreshments or meals (sufficient snacks, breakfast, lunch or dinner), free phone calls, text or emails and first aid (if necessary); (2) rebook or refund his/her ticket in accordance with 8a.
  • For Terminal Delay which extends to at least 6 hours after the ETD4 for causes attributable to the air carrier, it shall be deemed cancelled for the purpose of making available to the passenger the rights and amenities required to be provided in case of actual cancellation, as provided in 8a, and in addition, an affected passenger shall be given the following: (1) additional compensation equivalent to at least the value of the sector delayed or deemed cancelled to be paid in the form of cash or voucher, at the discretion of the air carrier; and, (2) the right to board the flight if it takes place more than 6 hours after the ETD and the affected passenger has not opted to rebook and/or refund; the air carrier is obliged to exert all efforts to contact the passenger for the flight.
  • For Tarmac Delay of at least 2 hours after the ETD4, reckoned from the closing of the aircraft doors, or when the aircraft is at the gate with the doors still open but passengers are not allowed to deplane, a passenger shall likewise have the right to be provided with sufficient food and beverage.
  • The provisions shall be the minimum entitlement of a passenger in case of delay and shall not prohibit the air carrier from granting more favorable conditions or recourses, as it may deem appropriate.
  1. The right to compensation for delayed, lost and damaged baggage – In case of delayed, lost and damaged baggage – A passenger shall have the right to have his/her baggage carried on the same flight that s/he takes, subject to considerations of safety, security, or any other legal and valid cause:
  • in case a checked-in baggage has been off-loaded7 for operational, safety, or security reasons, the air carrier shall inform the passenger at the soonest practicable time, and in such manner that the passenger will readily know of the off-loading (i.e., that his/her baggage has been off-loaded and the reason for such). If the passenger’s baggage has been off-loaded, the air carrier should make the appropriate report and give the passenger a copy thereof, even if it had already announced that the baggage would be on the next flight.

The air carrier shall carry the off-loaded7 baggage in the next flight with available space, and deliver the same to the passenger either personally or at his/her residence. For every 24-hours of delay (commencing one hour from the arrival of the flight of the passenger carrying such baggage) in such delivery, the air carrier shall tender an amount of 2,000 pesos to the passenger, as compensation for the inconvenience the latter experienced. A fraction of a day shall be considered as one day for purposes of calculating the compensation.

  • in case such baggage, whether carried on the same or a later flight, be lost or suffer any damage attributable to the air carrier, the passenger shall be compensated in the following manner: (1) for international flights, the relevant convention8 shall apply; and (2) for domestic flights, upon proof, a maximum amount equivalent to half of the amount in the relevant convention (for international flights) in its peso equivalent.

For compensation purposes, a passenger’s baggage is presumed to have been permanently and totally lost, if within a period of 7 days, counted from the time the passenger or consignee should have received the same, the baggage is not delivered to said passenger or consignee.

  1. The right to compensation in case of death or bodily injury of a passenger – In case of death or bodily injury of a passenger –
  • For international flights, the relevant convention8 and inter-carrier agreement shall apply. However, for an international carriage performed under the 1966 Montreal Inter-Carrier Agreement, which includes a point in the USA as a point of origin, a point of destination or agreed stopping place, the limit of liability for each passenger for death, wounding or other bodily injury, shall be US$75,000, inclusive of legal fees and costs, provided, in the case of a claim brought in a state where a provision is made for a separate award for legal fees and costs, the limit shall be US$58,000, exclusive of legal fees and costs.
  • For domestic flights, the compensation shall be based on the stipulated amount in the relevant convention which governs international flights, the same to be given in peso denominations.

12. The right to immediate payment of compensation – An air carrier liable for any and all compensations shall make the same available to the affected passenger at the air carrier’s counters at the airport on the date when the occasion entitling the passenger to compensation occurred, or at the main office or any branch of the air carrier at the discretion of the passenger. The air carrier shall tender a check for the amount specified, or cash, or the document necessary to claim the compensation or benefits mentioned above, provided that such document shall be convertible to cash within 15 days from the date when the occasion entitling the passenger to such compensation occurred.

D.  Administrative Matters

  1. Air Carrier and CAB3 Complaint and Assistance Desks – Air carriers shall provide Customer Service Representatives who can address common problems (e.g., arranging meals and hotel rooms for stranded passengers, settling denied boarding compensation, arranging luggage resolutions, and settling other routine claims or complaints, on the spot).

The CAB3 may provide Complaints and Assistance Desks in all airports, manned by CAB or CAB-deputized personnel, who shall assist passengers whose rights to the service have not been fully satisfied by the air carrier. The said personnel shall assist in the filing and prosecution of the complaints of passengers whose rights have been violated and who wish to go after the concerned air carriers.

  1. Refund of Other Fees – Every air carrier must refund checked baggage fees and other optional service fees (e.g., insurance, donation to WWF9, seat selector fee), if the passenger did not use his/her ticket, provided that the said ticket is refundable and that the passenger is not at fault. The refund of checked baggage fees will also apply, if the baggage was not delivered to the passenger within 24 hours from the arrival of the flight, on top of the compensation fee as mentioned in air passenger right number 10.
  2. Written Reports – Air carriers shall submit a monthly report to the CAB3 on the following:
  • The number of regular and promotional fare passengers who have been denied boarding, or whose flights were delayed or cancelled;
  • The number of regular and promotional fare passengers whose baggage was lost, damaged, or off-loaded7; and,
  • The number of regular and promotional fare passengers who died or sustained an injury during the course of the flight or performance of the contract of carriage, as well as the reasons and other circumstances of such occurrences.

Air carriers shall maintain a database containing the names, addresses, and/or other particulars of such passengers, their flights, concerns or complaints, as well as records of the air carrier’s personnel regarding the same, if any, and other pertinent information, available to the CAB upon request.

 

That’s it! So, Senior Citizens, by now you know your rights when it comes to air travel …

Did you find this post informative? Do you have your own inputs re the bill of rights of air passengers? I would love to hear from you. Simply scroll upward towards the right and click “Leave a comment”. Follow me by clicking on the bottom right corner of your gadget. Thank you.

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1The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) was primary the policy, planning, programming, coordinating, implementing and administrative government agency in the Philippines responsible for the promotion, development, and regulation of a dependable and coordinated network of transportation and communications systems, as well as the fast, safe, efficient and reliable transportation and communications services. It was dissolved in 2016 with the creation of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). Visit its website: www.dotr.gov.ph

2The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is the executive department of the Philippine government which is responsible for an innovative and competitive business environment, job generation, and consumer empowerment. It accelerates and sustains economic growth through comprehensive industrial growth strategies, progressive and socially responsible trade liberalization and deregulation programs, and policymaking designed for the expansion and diversification of (domestic and foreign) Philippine trade. Visit its website: www.dti.gov.ph

3The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) is the agency of the Philippine government mandated to regulate the economic aspect of air transportation, and shall have the general supervision, control and jurisdiction over air carriers, general sales agents, cargo sales agents, and air freight forwarders, as well as their property, property rights, equipment, facilities, and franchise. It is under the Department of Transportation and Communications1. See its website: www.cab.gov.ph

4ETD stands for Estimated Time of Departure, the date and time which an aircraft is expected to depart from an airport.

5PWD is the abbreviation for Persons With Disability and includes people who have long term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

6Government requisition of space refers to a formal request by the government or its agencies to an air carrier company for the use of an aircraft, or any part thereof, for regulatory, safety, security, and/or emergency purposes.

7Off-loading is the solution of an air carrier which overbooks and more passengers appear than the number of airline seats for a particular flight. Airline passengers are asked to volunteer not to join the flight and join the next flight in exchange for certain monetary compensation and the appropriate arrangement for their accommodation in between flights. This term can also apply to a baggage of a passenger which was not with him/her in his/her flight, for operational, safety or security reasons. See Air Passenger Right # 10.

8Convention refers to the applicable international agreement, convention, or treaty on carriage of persons or goods by air, signed and/or ratified by the Philippines.

9WWF stands for the World Wide Fund for Nature, formerly called World Wildlife Fund (but still used in North America), and considered the world’s largest conservation organization. It is an international non-governmental organization which is focused on wilderness preservation and the reduction of human impact on the environment, and founded in 1961. Visit its website: www.worldwildlife.org

DR. KONG PHILIPPINES: COMFORT & HEALTHY SHOES

Location: 3rd floor, Uptown Mall, Bonifacio Gobal City, Eaguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines

I needed to buy comfortable footwear so my niece and I went to the 3rd floor of the Uptown Mall at Bonifacio Global City (BGC) for Dr. Kong shoes. I bought a pair about a year ago and was very satisfied with it so with all the SCapades* I will make, I need reliable and comfortable footwear for long walks and “kikay” (stylishly feminine) pairs for shorter walks and casual dining out.

Dr. Kong Healthy Shoes Shop is a shoe stop which was established in 1999. It has stores in Hong Kong, China, Australia, Malaysia and (more than 20 stores in) the Philippines. It believes in foot and spine health and develops functional foot and spine health products for people of all ages as well as foot care products, school bags and laptop bags.

Z-DK-2

Dr. Kong innovated a “Check & Fit” foot examination and insole fitting service and professional foot assessment for all ages. It offers shoes and foot care products for infants, children, and adults.

Z-DK-3

There are lots of styles to choose from and the staff was competent and patient in letting me try different styles.

 

Z-DK-4

I finally ended up with 3 purchases: a black sneakers with glitters for my long walks; a black, covered and wedge-heeled shoes; and, a white step-in with 2-inch heels. Happy feet! Perfect fit!

Dr. Kong has 21 outlets so you have lots to choose from! Visit their FB account: Dr. Kong Philippines (Comfort and Healthy Shoes).

Did you find this post informative? Have you acquired footwear at Dr. Kong? Any feedback? Do you recommend other brands of footwear, especially for wandering/traveling seniors?

I would like to hear from you. Please scroll below and click the “Like” tab and “Facebook” to share this post. I would like to hear from you too. Simply scroll to the upper right corner of this post and click “Leave a comment”. Do not forget to follow me by clicking “Follow” on the lower right corner of your gadget. Thank you!

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*SCapades is my term for Senior Citizen escapades.