What to watch on YouTube right now – Part 5

Have you been searching for something fun or interesting to watch on YouTube? Do you feel bored right now and you crave for something to see on the world’s most popular online video destination?

I recommend you watch the following videos below…

#1 Elizabeth Holmes’ scandal and punishment – In case you missed the news, the heavily hyped Silicon Valley personality Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to eleven years in prison as a result of the big fraud at her company Theranos. A lot of crookedness and lying happened behind the scenes at Theranos as the years passed by and America’s media highlighted Holmes (who is an idolater of the late Steve Jobs) as an icon. Holmes’ invention of testing blood using only a tiny drop never really worked and Theranos resorted to deception using conventional blood testing machines. To fully understand the background details, what Theranos was and how tremendous the fraud was, watch the videos below. The fourth video below is about the sentencing.

#2 Starfield updates – Starfield is an ambitious science fiction role-playing game being made by Bethesda exclusively for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and Windows PC for release sometime in 2023. You can read my preview about it by clicking here. The video game was originally scheduled for a November 2022 release but a delay into 2023 was made. This only added further to the anticipation of the game (note: it will also debut on Xbox Game Pass for subscribers to enjoy). To learn more about Starfield, watch the videos below. The third video at the bottom has the latest updates.

#3 Worship video of God of the Breakthrough There is another original worship song by New Life Music that I want to share with you all – God of the Breakthrough. Composed by Chynna Cuna, Dem Mokamad, Jed Patricio, Gianna Bautista and Joed Avila, the song emphasizes that the Lord is our Creator, our Provider (Jehovah Jireh), our Ultimate Love, our Miracle Worker, our Guiding light, our Protector, our Redeemer, our Healer and our Ultimate and All-Powerful Authority! The Lord loves the faithful and His care, blessings and guidance still continue! God of the Breakthrough’s lyrics are indeed holy and you can find more by reading my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) article about it. Posted below is the official worship video.

#4 Informative videos about traveling to Israel – If you are planning to visit Israel, you need to do research for your personal safety, to get the best value out of your money, how to travel efficiently, what to do (and what to avoid doing) and more. Israel is where the Holy Land is and Jerusalem is its eternal capital. In recent times, visitors from around the world have traveled to Israel in high numbers. There is no denying that Israel is the land that God designated for the Jewish people (refer to Genesis 12:1-3 and Genesis 35:10-12 in the Holy Bible). Posted below are videos from TravelingIsrael.com and from Ms. Emily (note: Tagalog language).

#5 Looking back at Steven Spielberg’s Jaws – If you are tired of modern day movies or if you have been disappointed with Steven Spielberg’s movies over the past decade, then going back to one of the director’s most acclaimed works in cinema would be a refreshing experience. The classic movie directed by Spielberg I’m talking about is none other than Jaws (1975). Posted below for your enjoyment are a variety of reaction videos plus a trivia-oriented video by Minty Comedic Arts.

#6 Ashleigh Burton crying – Some of you who have seen enough movie reaction videos by YouTube Asheigh Burton should have realized by now that she is a jolly person. Having seen many of her videos myself, there were lots of times when she laughs even though she was reacting to movies that were not comedies at all. There are certain movie reactions videos of hers in which she got to cry as those respective films touched her deeply. Take note that she does not cry all the time but in key scenes. Watch the reaction videos of hers below.

#7 Worship video of Encounter Song The Australia-based church Planetshakers continues to keep leading people to the Lord through their worship services, worship events and, of course, their worship music. Among the many, many original worship songs that I want to share with you today is the Encounter Song (note: read my feature of it by clicking here). The song is indeed holy and it definitely should be heard by Christians who are devoted to the Lord, and even to the many lost souls and unsaved souls around the world. Very clearly, Planetshakers was anointed by the Lord to compose it. Posted below is the official worship video of the Encounter Song.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

Reinvigorating tourism in the Philippines

In what is a clear move to reinvigorate tourism all over the Philippines in line with recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. announced a series of moves to achieve their goals and this includes the new project titled “Philippine Experience”, according to two separate news articles (click here and here) published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA news article about President Marcos’ speech. Some parts in boldface…

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday underscored the need for tourism industry players and stakeholders to come up with “fresh” and “new” ideas to entice more tourists to travel to the Philippines and revive what he described as one of the “key players” in the nation’s progress.

Marcos made this remark as he lauded the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) ongoing efforts to consult with regional tourism offices about ways to support the tourism industry’s recovery dubbed as “listening tours.”

“Following the pandemic, we need fresh and innovative ideas to bring back the imagination and the confidence of our people—from here and abroad—so they will be encouraged to explore the best destinations that the country can offer,” he said in his speech during the Philippine Tourism Industry Convergence Reception (PTICR) at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

He described the DOT’s listening tours as an “imaginative tool” that helps the government see the perspective of those who are on the ground and understand their experiences and situations.

“The avenues you have opened for all regions will be instrumental not only in formulating the best policies, but also in determining better practices and the best projects for the industry,” he added.

Marcos said the government will remain committed to ensuring that the inputs acquired from the DOT’s listening tours will be “optimized” for the benefit of the tourism sector.

“We want one of the key players in our nation’s progress to be buzzing once again with life again—stronger than ever—so that they will be able to keep up with these fast moving times,” he added.

He also praised DOT Secretary Christina Frasco for keeping his administration on their toes by having a clear vision of her plans for the tourism sector.

“She keeps us on our toes. She has always kept a very very clear idea in her mind of what we are trying to achieve. She has brought passion and energy that certainly that we’re going to need. But it is passion and energy that gives us confidence that we will succeed,” Marcos said.

He said Frasco’s strategy of empowering local government units (LGUs) was a no-brainer given her experience as a former mayor of Liloan municipality in Cebu.

As part of efforts to boost the tourism sector, Marcos reiterated the importance of further developing existing travel destinations and developing new ones.

He also underscored the need to ensure that these destinations are accessible through improved tourism infrastructure.

Marcos said the PTICR provides the perfect opportunity to pursue initiatives for greater tourism connectivity and convenience.

“It is my hope that this reception will foster meaningful discourse and yield concrete plans that we can immediately put into action,” he said.

Greatest asset

Meanwhile, Marcos expressed confidence in using the country’s “greatest asset” to revive the tourism sector to what it was prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“…The greatest asset that we have in the PH are the 107 million Filipinos who are a young, well-trained workforce who are as kind of people, who are as hospitable of people, as gracious of people as you will find anywhere in the world,” he said.

He said he believed that Filipinos will be crucial in “reintroducing” the Philippines to the world.

“I am confident because I have said this many many times that there is no warmer, more poignant sight than the smile of a Filipino and that is something that we can introduce to the world,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Frasco emphasized the “Philippine Experience” during the same event President Marcos attended. Posted below is an excerpt with some parts in boldface…

The program called the Philippine Experience would involve the development of caravans featuring culture, heritage, and arts unique to each region.

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said it would draw inspiration from Suroy-Suroy Sugbo, a Cebuano initiative that sought to promote Cebu towns and cities’ products and give tourists a chance to discover underrated destinations.

Giving industry stakeholders a glimpse of the program, Tourism directors from the Cordilleras down to Mindanao showcased the colors, festivals and “living traditions” that could be experienced in their regions.

“Our goal is to equalize opportunities across the regions and support the preservation of the country’s cultural heritage and artistic resources,” Frasco said during the Philippine Tourism Industry Convergence Reception at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on Monday.

“Through these experiential travel modules, we hope to introduce the very essence of our nation more deeply to our tourists and instill a sense of pride and patriotism among the Filipino people through greater appreciation of our country’s inheritance and legacy,” she added.

The Philippine Experience is part of the list of programs that DOT is implementing in the coming months to help the sector recover from the effects of the pandemic and position the Philippines as a primary tourism destination in Asia.

As seen in the above content from two of PNA’s news articles, the national government just made clear its focus on reinvigorating Philippine tourism which has the potential to create new job opportunities, open up channels between tourism business players and other businesses, and generate the much-needed economic activities around the nation. Having worked and lived in Cebu province myself, I am not surprised that the DOT took inspiration from the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo tourism program which was very active during my Cebu years.

Apart from the collective efforts of the tourism business players, the event organizers, the national government and other local government units, we Filipinos can also take part in promoting the nation as a tourist destination that can be enjoyed. I personally am fond of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone as a vacation destination and to those of you planning to go there, make sure you visit Gourmet Garage Subic and Xtremely Xpresso Café for your meals. Subic Bay also has lots of nice hotels to stay in as well as shopping places. If you are looking for a sports event to join in at Subic Bay, then you should register online for the 2023 National Age Group Triathlon event there set for January 2023.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Do you feel encouraged to travel around the country and enjoy the tourist destinations?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

I Love Israel: Philippines sends off initial batch of hotel workers to Israel

Over sixty Filipino hotel workers have departed for Israel in relation to the opening of its hospitality sector to foreign workers, according to a report by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) dated May 31, 2022. That’s not all. There will be hundreds more who will be deployed there in accordance to the agreements between Israel and the Philippines.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from report of the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippine government is set to send off 61 Filipino hotel workers to Israel, the first deployment of its kind since the latter opened its hospitality sector to foreign workers.

Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss said a total of 500 are set to depart Manila, with the first 61 leaving on June 1, 2022.

Until now the hotel industry was closed, this is the first time that the hotel industry was able to invite foreign labor so for Israel this is very important For the Philippines, I believe it’s also important because until now the only Filipinos who were allowed to work in Israel are caregivers,” Fluss said during a send-off ceremony at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in Mandaluyong City on Tuesday.

“We’re just exiting the pandemic, I believe there is room for growth for the tourism industry so we’re starting with the 61 tomorrow up to 500,” he added.

Fluss assured that overseas Filipino workers would enjoy the same treatment as domestic employees in Israel.

The rights of the employees are very clear and there is no difference in this aspect between foreign workers and Israeli workers,” he said.

Asked if there are other industries interested in hiring Filipinos, Fluss said none yet at this point.

Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Abdullah D. Mama-o, meanwhile, described the latest deployment as proof that Filipinos are “quality workers”.

I’m glad that Israel recognized the competence of our Filipino workers. The first batch that we are sending will serve also as an example of the workers that we have in the hotel industry,” he said.

To make things clear, both Israel and the Philippines are gradually emerging from the economic and social damages of the COVID-19 crisis. Businesses that are connected to tourism or travel such as hotels, restaurants and retailers require quality workers who have proven to be dedicated and hard working. As such, the news about sending off hundreds of Filipino hotel workers to Israel to help them revive their industry is very pleasing and encouraging. So far, 2022 is looking like the year of big revival of international tourism and the ties between the Philippines and Israel continue to prosper! Truly this is something we should be thankful to the Lord for.

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel!

In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos plus Philippine news videos for your viewing pleasure and enlightenment.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Over 500,000 foreign tourists counted since the borders were reopened

If you are looking for encouraging news about our country and its struggle to rise up from the COVID-19 crisis, be aware that more than half a million foreign visitors have been counted since the Philippines reopened its borders months ago, according to a recent news report by BusinessWorld.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the BusinessWorld article. Some parts in boldface…

FOREIGN VISITORS have totaled 517,516 as of May 25, since the reopening of borders with minimal quarantine requirements in February, according to the Department of Tourism (DoT).

The DoT said in a statement that the US was the top source of arrivals between Feb. 10 and May 25 with 104,589, followed by South Korea with 28,474 arrivals, and Canada 24,337.

Australian nationals, British, and Japanese were next on the list with 23,286; 20,846; and 13,373 respectively,” the DoT said. 

“Other foreign visitors during the early months of the year include Vietnamese, Singaporeans, Malaysians, Italians, Irish and French,” it added.

On Feb. 10, the Philippines started accepting nationals that do not require visas to enter the country. Since April 1, borders have been opened to all nationals

“The DoT is looking forward to an uptick in tourist arrivals in the coming weeks following the further easing of entry requirements,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

Starting May 30, the DoT said fully vaccinated and boostered inbound foreign visitors will no longer be required to have a pre-departure test for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The looser entry rules are authorized by Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Resolution No. 168.

However, the DoT said arriving passengers are still encouraged to obtain travel insurance. All types of vaccination certificates, regardless of country of origin, will also be accepted.

“Based on the resolution, the visitor must be at least 18 years old and must have received the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and at least one booster shot,” the DoT said.

For the newcomers reading this, more tourists from overseas means better opportunities for local businesses to make more money and recover whatever losses they had as a result of lockdowns and quarantine-related business restrictions. Tourism-related businesses like hotels, resorts and connected transportation and food-and-beverage services badly need the spending of foreign visitors.

In relation to this tourism industry development, be aware that there were foreign participants in the recent Subic Bay International Triathlon (SUBIT) which was a big sports even that attracted hundreds of participants on May 1 at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Speaking of the said location, I personally saw lots of hotels, restaurants (note: read my feature articles about Gourmet Garage Subic and Xtremely Xpresso), stores and other leisure facilities that operated as if the country is back in the pre-pandemic days. The more foreign tourists coming in plus the more local tourists engage in holidays, special events and travel in the country, the better it will be for local businesses to recover (plus pay their fees, taxes and keeping their hard-working employees longer) and the nation as a whole. I believe that the Philippines will continue to rise socially and economically from the pandemic.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction about this tourism-related development? Do you believe the Philippines will be able to attract 2 million foreign tourists by the end of 2022? Do you run a business that catered to foreign tourists?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

SCTEX toll rates increase

If you are planning to visit Subic Bay, Tarlac Province or Clark via the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), you will have to set aside more money for traveling as the toll rates will be raised tomorrow already, according to details in a recent GMA Network news report. This is the result of the Toll Regulatory Board’s (TRB) approval of the toll rate adjustment for SCTEX.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the GMA news report. Some parts in boldface…

Motorists plying the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) may need to brace themselves against higher fees after the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) approved the toll rate adjustment, operator North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Corporation said Saturday.

In a statement, NLEX Corp. said the TRB authorized the implementation of an additional P0.78 per kilometer for motorists using the SCTEX.

The adjusted toll rates will take effect starting June 1, 2022.

Under the new toll matrix, motorists with Class 1 vehicles traveling between Mabalacat City to Tarlac will be charged an additional P31.00.

Those with Class 2 vehicles traveling on the same route will pay an additional P61.00 while motorists with Class 3 vehicles will pay an additional P92.00.

Meanwhile, an additional P49.00, P98.00, and P147.00 will be charged on motorists using Class 1, 2, and 3 vehicles, respectively, traveling between Mabalacat City and Tipo, Hermosa, Bataan which is near the Subic Freeport.

NLEX Corp. said the toll hike followed regulatory procedures and underwent thorough review. The increase also confirmed the periodic rate adjustments due in 2017.

To support the public utility buses (PUBs) cope with the adjustment, they will be provided toll subsidies and allow them to continue to enjoy the old rates for the next three months,” the company said.

The state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority is the builder and owner of the four-lane 93.7 kilometer SCTEX. The construction was partly funded by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

SCTEX opened to the public in 2008 and the management, operations and maintenance was privatized and awarded to NLEX Corp. in 2015.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction about the approved toll rate adjustment for SCTEX? Does this discourage you from using the SCTEX to visit Subic Bay or Clark or other places connected to the said expressway?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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For Subic Bay related articles, read my Gourmet Garage Subic feature, my Xtremely Xpresso feature and articles about the 2022 Subic Bay International Triathlon (SUBIT) here, here and here.

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Over 730,000 local and foreign tourists welcomed in Hanoi in connection to the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games)

Whenever a country hosts a major event that emphasizes international sports competition which involve the participation of athletes from many nations who joined in, the tourism aspect of it arguably becomes one metric of the event’s impact in relation to the host country’s tourism appeal. Case in point, the concluded 31st Southeast Asian Games (AKA the 31st SEA GamesSEA Games 31 and Hanoi 2021) hosted by Vietnam’s capital city Hanoi proved to be a magnet of both local and foreign tourists who were attracted to the games. Over 730,000 local and foreign tourists were counted specifically in Hanoi in connection to the SEA Games hosting, according to a report by VietnamPlus.vn.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from VietnamPlus.vn report. Some parts in boldface…

Hanoi welcomed 700,000 domestic tourists and 31,448 foreigners who visited or participated in events of the recently concluded SEA Games 31, the municipal Department of Tourism announced on May 24.

As of May 23, 18 hotels in Hanoi had accommodated more than 5,600 Vietnamese and foreign delegates, referees, athletes and reporters. In addition, other accommodation facilities stood ready to welcome tourists travelling to Hanoi during the Games.

The Department of Tourism asked relevant agencies to roll out new tourism products at the capital city’s famous attractions such as the Hoan Kiem Lake pedestrian zone, Thang Long Imperial Citadel and Bat Trang pottery village.

Images of Hanoi and preparations for SEA Games 31 were promoted on the department’s portal and websites on Hanoi tourism as well as TV channels and social media.

Director of the department Dang Huong Giang said it has organised numerous events and festivals for SEA Games 31, namely Hanoi gift festival and Son Tay – Xu Doai Tourism Year.

She affirmed that the capital’s tourism sector has fulfilled assigned tasks for hosting the regional sporting event, which contributed to attracting foreign tourists and investors to Vietnam and Hanoi in particular.

Vietnam, the host city and other localities worked hard in preparing for the SEA Games complete with implementing health protocols. It should be noted that foreign delegations to the SEA Games were not required to make COVID-19 health declarations upon arrival. It is encouraging to learn about the 700,000 local tourists and 31,448 foreign visitors welcomed in Hanoi and the only thing lacking from the local authorities are the economic estimates in the form of revenues and tourist-related spending that happened before and during the SEA Games. For the newcomers reading this, Vietnam reopened its borders to foreigners months ago and the nation recently recovered for very high counts of COVID-19 infections. In the weeks leading to the start of the 31st SEA Games, the daily count of new COVID-19 infections went way down. For more on the games and the tourism aspect of it, watch the videos below…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about Vietnam’s hosting of the SEA Games? Are you interested to visit Vietnam someday? Would the city of Hanoi be your primary of place for vacation in Vietnam? Do you think that Vietnam will become a major tourist attraction internationally as COVID-19 becomes less problematic in the months ahead? Are you looking forward to the SEA Games next year in Cambodia?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

My return to Xtremely Xpresso Café in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone

During my most recent visit at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, I took the opportunity to revisit key places around as it has been more than two years since my previous visit. On the afternoon of April 30 (just a day before the 2022 Subic Bay International Triathlon happened), I took time out to revisit Xtremely Xpresso Café (social media here, here and here) located at Dewey Street corner Sta. Rita Road.

Xtremely Xpresso Café is more than just a place to enjoy good coffee. It is also a restaurant that sells to its customers a good variety of tasty meals from pizza to pasta, rice meals and others. The very first time I visited the food joint was in the early 2000s. Through the years I had coffee there during my solo visits and there were also times that I was with the family enjoying pizza and their meals. Xtremely Xpresso’s pizzas were always delicious and filling to enjoy with friends or family.

Xtremely Xpresso Subic Bay Freeport branch on the day I returned.

Going back to my April 30 afternoon visit, I easily recognized Xtremely Xpresso upon arrival. What I found interesting was that the place was bustling with customers both indoors (where it is air conditioned) and outdoors as if life was back to normal (note: Alert Level 1 status was in effect on the Subic Bay Freeport Zone back then). I saw some groups of people, couples and individual customers enjoying their meals and drinks on the outdoor area (note: lots of seats and tables with shade) and the simmering heat of the day did not seem to bother them at all.

Then I entered and saw the ever familiar-looking interior. Almost all the seats and tables were filled up by customers who mostly came in groups or pairs. Everywhere I looked, I saw people really enjoying their food and drinks, and having quality time together. As such, I decided to order a drink and dessert and have the waiter serve them to me at a seat outdoors.

I took sat at a place where there was enough shade to protect me from the sun. While the heat was obvious, there were moments I felt some relief in the form of coolness from the occasional wind coming from the sea water several meters away. After about ten minutes waiting, the waiter served to me the cheesecake slice and the Shockwave Xtreme Frappe’ that I ordered.

The cheesecake I ordered at Xtremely Xpresso.
A close look at a portion of the cheesecake.

As I was seated outdoors, I did not want to let the sun and the summer heat ruin the cheesecake so I started consuming it portion by portion. Each bite of it was smooth and in terms of taste, it had a mild sweetness to it. More notably, it tasted like any cheesecake. In terms of content, it is thick and long enough for me. As such, Xtremely Xpresso’s cheesecake slice is good enough.

Xtremely Xpresso’s Shockwave frappe was cold coffee with some chocolate to its taste with a creamy aesthetic. In my experience sipping it moderately, the Shockwave had a moderate sweetness to it and I felt a creamy coffee and chocolate taste. It was during the remaining small amount I sipped when I suddenly felt a sweetened taste. Then the drink ran out. Xtremely Xpresso’s Shockwave is a frappe that is completely different from what other coffee shops here in the Philippines offered. I can say it is a good drink to have at Xtremely Xpresso.

The Shockwave frappe was mildly sweet and had a coffee and chocolate taste.

So my recent visit at Xtremely Xpresso in Subic Bay was good one. I would not hesitate to return there and next time, I would definitely order a meal, a different drink and something else. In my previous dining experiences there with my family, I enjoyed the taste of their Big Ben pizza, the Seafood Pesto pizza, the Creamy Cheese Penne and their Spinach Omelette. All of those and a lot more are still being offered to customers.

While securing an indoor seat and table is challenging, be assured that there are a lot more tables and seats outside. In fact, having breakfast and coffee outdoors is a fresh and comfortable experience as the sun is not too intense in the morning.

For those of you reading this, if you are planning to visit Subic Bay and you want good food and drinks to enjoy, I encourage you to visit Xtremely Xpresso.

Let me end this piece with the following holy scripture…

So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (AMPC)

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Electric transport system inside the SBMA could happen

If initial talks progress a lot, then electric vehicles as well as charging stations could be established at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in the future as the Manila Bulletin recently reported that the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and a private entity formally started discussing a key proposal that emphasized renewable energy.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin article. Some parts in boldface…

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), holding true to its commitment to promote the use of renewable energy, has welcomed its partner Indigo Distribution Corporation in putting into the boardroom a proposal to set up an Electric Transport System inside SBMA as part of a new initiative for renewable energy projects inside the facility.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Rolen C. Paulino and Indigo Distribution Corporation General Manager Gerard S. Galang have started serious discussion on a proposal that also includes setting up solar and electric charging stations inside SBMA to support and promote electric vehicle adoption for private and public transportation.

This is also in line with the ’Renewable Energy Act of 2008′ that affirms the government’s commitment to accelerate the utilization of renewable energy (RE) resources in the country. This is to effectively reduce harmful emissions and achieve economic development while protecting health and environment.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) have started to gain popularity, globally, as many countries decide to pursue the use of alternative technologies that reduce harmful emissions, climate-related effects and reliance on the use of fossil fuels.

Electric vehicles are cars and other vehicles with motors that source power from electricity and not liquid or liquefied fuels.

EVs count among its technological benefits: few moving parts, charging done overnight when electricity demand is low and cheaper fuel cost, running cost and maintenance cost.

The above report ended stating that the SBMA believes that the initiative would bring down the cost of electricity by harnessing the free energy from the sun.

As I mentioned before, Subic Bay is a great place to visit for holidays, shopping, organizing special events, doing business and discovering new things. I was there when the Subic Bay International Triathlon (SUBIT) happened on May 1 (for references, click here and here) and I saw SBMA chairman Paulino who took part during the awarding ceremony of the Elite Men category. I also managed to revisit my favorite restaurant there and had a great lunch. To learn about SBMA moving forward with renewable energy and potentially use electric vehicles (e-vehicles) for both public and private transportation is indeed interesting. It would be nice to see electric vehicles in the form of buses, jeepneys and vans be established for commuters to ride and move around the freeport. Think about the tourists, the shoppers and employees who need to move to their respective destinations around the freeport but don’t have their own private vehicles.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you excited to see the SBMA establish an electric transport system in the near future?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

A wonderful lunch at Gourmet Garage Subic

When I arrived in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone just a day before the 2022 Subic Bay International Triathlon (SUBIT) took place, I was very hungry as I left home very early without any breakfast and I was not able to stop at any of the gas stations (and their respective food joints) along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) as we took the counter-flow going north.

After settling at a hotel in close proximity to the triathlon venue, I drove to the one restaurant located at the Argonaut Highway-Rizal Highway corner that I’ve been eager to revisit…Gourmet Garage Subic (social media here and here).

The front of Gourmet Garage Subic!

Coming from the parking area of the business establishment, I entered Gourmet Garage Subic through the rear door and immediately I felt this atmosphere of class with classical music being played as I walked on and recognized their fine interior. It was a very welcoming experience and already there were people enjoying their lunch.

As I was pretty hungry and somewhat worn down by the long drive from Metro Manila, I ordered myself a Caesar (their version of Caesar’s salad) to enjoy something fresh. From the restaurant’s Main Event section of the menu, I chose the Lamb Madras Curry.

While waiting for my orders to be served, I took the time relaxing, enjoying the aircon and the continuous music, looked at the products displayed and browsed the web with my smartphone via Wifi. And then just like that, the waitress served me the Caesar which was faster than I expected. Upon seeing the salad placed in front of me, I was impressed with the way it was presented. There was some food art to it visually.

The Caesar of Gourmet Garage.
A closer look.

The Caesar was prepared with really fresh romaine lettuce topped (on a key portion) with Gourmet Garage Subic’s very own dressing mixed with parmesan shavings and bits of bacon. Right from the first bite of the salad (note: I used the fork and knife to cut myself a portion) that had the lettuce and dressing together, I experienced this very flavorful and pleasing taste! It was very delicious, I went on to cut portions of the Caesar and slowly consumed it along with the bits. I really enjoyed the salad as it was prepared by the cook to be flavorful, fresh and very satisfying! Gourmet Garage Subic’s Caesar is easily the best fresh salad I’ve had in a long time!

Just a few minutes after I was done with the salad, the Lamb Madras Curry was served to me. Right from the start, I noticed it was very well presented and the subtle heat I felt from it showed the lamb was newly cooked. I also liked the pleasing smell of the meal.

The Lamb Madras Curry was so nicely prepared and it tasted great!

The Lamb Madras Curry came with basmati rice on the bottom topped with the finely cooked lamb (itself topped with yogurt plus onion pieces and vegetables). On one side was a small tomato with a roasted onion and other onion pieces. The other side had more leaves. The meal was served with two sauces – garlic and chili.

As a first-timer of this particular meal – noted as a Chef’s Recommendation on Gourmet Garage’s menu – I decided to try out a small piece of the lamb without any yogurt on it and I found to be tasty on its own. There is no doubt that the lamb pieces were very finely cooked and the way it was prepared showed that special attention to details was done by the cook.

A piece of lamb by the fork.

I tried another piece of lamb and dipped it on the garlic sauce. The flavor of the said piece was enhanced by the said sauce as I chewed. I can say also say the same about the lamb pieces with yogurt on them. As for the spice level, I can say it is tolerable (pretty mild to be precise) and I never had a problem moving from one bite to another, also consuming the rice (really fragrant) and the vegetables. Along the way, I managed to cut some pieces of lamb placed on the fork along with the vegetable for that meat-and-veggies taste.

The Lamb Madras Curry from the side.

Every bite I had with the Lamb Madras Curry really had great flavor and big satisfaction. It is so great, this is easily the best lamb meal I had in years! Whoever designed the Lamb Madras Curry knew exactly how to ensure great taste, solid satisfaction and freshness (in terms of vegetables prepared and the cooking of the meat)!

Gourmet Garage Subic’s Caesar and Lamb Madras Curry are both highly recommended to all of you who love food! Make sure you try either of them once you visit the restaurant.

Apart from serving meals, drinks and desserts for diners, Gourmet Garage Subic also has a nice selection of imported products for your home consumption. On display for sale were lots of bottles of fine wine, fruit juices, frozen meat, condiments, snacks, pastry and other good products to take home! They also sell fresh bread products.

Looking for a new bottle of wine to buy? So many to choose here!
Bread and pastry offered.
Drinks, snacks, condiments and other nice products on display.

As mentioned in my past article, Gourmet Garage Subic also caters. Through their website, customers can also order Gourmet-in-a-Box (meals by the tray) and Party Trays (varied types of food with parties in mind). There is something that will surely interest you when it comes to good food! That being said, I urge you to check out Gourmet Garage’s website as well as their presence on Instagram and Facebook.

This is a great place to have your picture taken inside Gourmet Garage Subic!

The next time you visit Funtastic Subic Bay, I highly recommend you visit Gourmet Garage Subic at 1143 Argonaut Street (very near the Starbucks Coffee shop there) for very good food with your family, friends or business associates. On my next visit to Subic Bay, I’ll definitely come back to try their other meals.

Let me end this piece with the following holy scripture…

Whether you eat or drink, live your life in a way that glorifies and honors God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (TPT)

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Foreign sports delegations at 31st SEA Games are not required to make COVID-19 health declarations upon arrival

The 31st Southeast Asian Games (AKA the 31st SEA Games, SEA Games 31 and Hanoi 2021) in Vietnam is just eight days from formally opening and here are the good news for the foreign sports delegates coming for the said games – they are not required to make COVID-19 health declarations upon arrival, according to a VietnamPlus.vn news report. To be clear, an urgent notice by the national authority was issued.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the VietnamPlus.vn report. Some parts in boldface…

The Vietnam Sports Administration (VSA) has been asked to inform all foreign sports delegations to the upcoming SEA Games 31 about the suspension of the COVID-19 health declaration requirement at Vietnamese border gates, according to an urgent notice.

The notice was sent by the Ministry of Health’s General Department of Preventive Medicine, requesting the VSA to report to the SEA Games 31’s organising committee and inform other regional delegations about the new policy.

All arrivals in Vietnam no longer have to submit health declarations, starting from April 27, the Ministry of Health has announced.

Previously, the ministry has issued a guideline for COVID-19 control measures during the region’s biggest sport event, saying that any guest who holds a position of the deputy ministerial level or above, as well as heads and deputy heads of sport delegations will neither need to show negative COVID-19 testing results when entering Vietnam nor take tests after arrival. Also, they do not need to go into mandatory quarantine.

Sport officials, referees and athletes are required to have certified negative RT-PCR/RT-LAMP testing results taken within 72 hours or rapid antigen testing within 24 hours before entering Vietnam, but not to quarantine.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this latest move by Vietnam in relation to its hosting of the 31st SEA Games? Do the words “all arrivals” make the declaration confusing to you?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

For other SEA Games-related articles, click here, here, here, here, here and here.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/