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)

+++++

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/

Malaysia selected as host of the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in 2027

In case you missed the news, the nation of Malaysia (population: over 32 million) will be hosting the 34th edition of the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in the year 2027, according to a Channel News Asia (CNA) report.

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

Malaysia has been selected to host the 34th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in 2027, the Olympic Council of Malaysia said on Thursday (May 12).

In a post on its verified Facebook page, the council said the Southeast Asian Games Federation has “unanimously awarded” the hosting of the 2027 Games to Malaysia.

It will be the first time in a decade that the country is hosting the Games – it last did so in Kuala Lumpur in 2017.

Last year, it was reported that Brunei pulled out of hosting the SEA Games in 2027, with Malaysia expressing an interest to take over.

The 31st SEA Games is currently underway in Hanoi after it was delayed from 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 32nd edition will be in Cambodia and the 33rd Games will be in Thailand.

In the history of the SEA Games, Malaysia hosted the games in 1965, 1971, 1977, 1989, 2001 and 2017. Each of those editions had Kuala Lumpur as the host city in Malaysia. The nation is a strong tourist destination in Southeast Asia, attracting more than 26 million foreigners in 2019. Months ago, Malaysia’s borders were reopened to visitors. To discover more about Malaysia, watch the videos below…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to the selection of Malaysia as the host of the SEA Games in 2027? Have you visited Malaysia before?

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

+++++

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/

NLEX toll rates hike in effect today (May 12, 2022)

If you are planning to travel along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) very soon, you better adjust your travel-related budget as toll rates on the said highway have been raised effective today – May 12, 2022 – according to the details of a recent report published by GMA Network news based on the recent statement issued by the NLEX Corp.

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

NLEX Corp., the operator of North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), on Tuesday announced it will increase its toll rates starting Thursday, May 12, 2022.

In a statement, NLEX Corp. said the Toll Regulatory Board gave the company the green light to hike its toll by P2.00 in the open system and P0.34 per kilometer in the closed system.

Under the adjusted toll rates, motorists traveling anywhere within the open system will pay an additional P2.00 for Class 1 vehicles (regular cars and SUVs), P6.00 for Class 2 vehicles (buses and small trucks), and P8.00 for Class 3 vehicles.

NLEX Corp. said the open system is from Balintawak, Caloocan City to Marilao, Bulacan while the closed system covers the portion between Bocaue, Bulacan and Sta. Ines, Mabalacat City, Pampanga including Subic-Tipo.

Meanwhile, those traveling the NLEX end-to-end between Metro Manila and Mabalacat City will pay an additional P27.00 for Class 1, P69.00 for Class 2 and P82.00 for Class 3 vehicles.

“To help cushion the impact of the toll increase, public utility jeepneys (PUJs) under the NLEX Passada and Tsuper Card discount and rebate program will continue to enjoy the old rates,” the company said.

“Provincial buses will also be covered by a graduated rebate scheme for a period of three months,” it added.

NLEX Corp. said the adjustments followed regulatory procedures and underwent thorough review.

The toll adjustment is also part of the approved periodic adjustments of NLEX due in 2016 and the completion of the new Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX) in 2021.

Motorists have been enjoying safer and more comfortable journeys brought about by the new SFEX since it was partially opened in December 2020 and fully completed in February 2021. A total of 16.4 new lane kilometers, two new bridges in Jadjad and Argonaut, and a new tunnel were constructed for this infrastructure project,” the company said.

The tollway company said it spent P6.9 billion to complete several major projects and enhancements at NLEX-SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) since 2015 that “improved the region’s landscape, increased accessibility, enhanced safety and provided travel convenience to motorists.”

“To name a few, these include the expansion of San Fernando Interchange; the new toll lanes in Marilao, Bocaue, Tipo, Balintawak, Meycauayan, and Mindanao; the pavement upgrade at NLEX; the new exits in Meycauayan and Valenzuela and entry in Balagtas; the rehabilitation of bridges in Bigaa, Bocaue, and Meycauayan; and the improvement of drainages in Balintawak, Valenzuela, and Meycauayan; retrofitting of San Simon and Sta. Rita bridges,” it said.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you often travel along the NLEX? When was the last time you experienced a heavily congested trip along the NLEX?

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

+++++

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/

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)

+++++

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.

+++++

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/

Quang Ninh province to host several events (triathlon included) of the 31st SEA Games

Have you heard about Quang Ninh? It is the province in Vietnam that will host several events of the delayed 31st Southeast Asian Games (AKA the 31st SEA Games, SEA Games 31 and Hanoi 2021), specifically triathlon, beach volleyball, beach handball, triathlon, women’s football, Chinese chess, indoor volleyball and chess. Quang Ninh has a population of over 1.3 million and its capital is the City of Hạ Long.

Recently, VietnamPlus.vn published updates related to Quang Ninh pertaining to the hotels for the SEA Games and the special access to specific tourist sites that the games’ athletes can avail. Quang Ninh will host over 1,400 SEA Games athletes, coaches, referees and other officials.

For more details and to put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the VietnamPlus.vn article about the accommodations plus a related video. Some parts in boldface…

During the Games, Quang Ninh will host the events of beach handball, chess, women’s football, indoor volleyball, Chinese chess, beach volleyball, and triathlon, which are slated from May 6-22 with the participation of over 1,400 athletes.

According to the province’s SEA Games Organising Committee, three of the facilities are in Ha Long and Uong Bi cities, namely the five-star Legacy Yen Tu resort, the five-star FLC Grand Hotel Ha Long and the four-star Tuan Chau Resort Ha Long.

Two others, Hai Yen and Hoang Tam, are in Cam Pha city.

All the five are in city downtown or near competition venues.

The province considers hosting the regional sporting event a great opportunity to promote local tourism to international friends.

Posted below is the excerpt from the VietnamPlus.vn story about the free admission to local tourist sites for the SEA Games athletes. Some parts in boldface…

More than 1,400 athletes, coaches, referees and organising committee members taking part in the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) events in Quang Ninh will be entitled to free admission to popular tourist attractions in the northern province.

Free sightseeing tours and experience activities will be held during the games, alternating between competition days, to allow all athletes and coaching staff to join, according to Nguyen Thanh Tung, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Culture and Sports.

SEA Games 31 is the biggest sports event ever hosted by Quang Ninh. It is deemed as a perfect opportunity for the coastal province to introduce its magnificent natural landscapes to international visitors.

The province has designated five three- to five-star hotels to accommodate sports delegations, referees and organising committee members.

It will host competitions in seven sports, namely beach volleyball, beach handball, triathlon, women’s football, Chinese chess, indoor volleyball and chess, from May 6 – 22.

Posted below is a related video about Quang Ninh and tourism…

Regarding the triathlon events of the SEA Games this year, expect a fierce battle for the gold medal.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about Quang Ninh province in Vietnam? Are you eager to visit Quang Ninh province to watch any of the SEA Games events there?

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

+++++

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/

Japan eyes SUBIT dominance

Japan served notice it is all out to regain her pre-eminence in the NTT Asia Cup SUBIT as she entered a powerhouse squad in the 29th edition of the country’s longest running triathlon event outside of the National Championships set at Subic Bay Freeport Zone this Sunday (May 1).

            Asia’s No. 3 and 56th in the world rankings Ren Sato is installed as the No. 1 seed in the elite men category followed by Tsudoi Miyazaki, ranked 4th in Asia and 59th in the world.      

            In the elite women, inaugural Youth Olympic Games triathlon gold medalist and Rio Olympics 2016 15th placer Yuka Sato (10th– Continental Ranking; 90th– World Ranking) gets the top billing and Tsudoi Miyazaki (14th-CR; 145th– WR) the main supporting role.

            Rounding out the top 5 men favorites are: Rio 2016 veteran Azerbaijan’s Rostislav Pevtsov (47th– CR, 76th-WR), Genta Uchida (8th– CR; 97th– WR) and the last SUBIT (2019) champion Hong Kong’s Oscar Coggins who finished 33rd in the Tokyo 2020 (10th– CR; 120th-WR).

            Completing the pundits’ choices for a podium finish in the distaff side is Australia’s Jessica Ewart-mctigue (16th-CR; 153- WR).

            The last time the Japanese ruled the elite men was in 2017 when they romped off with 1st,3rd and 5th positions with the Koreans inserting themselves in-between; and in the elite women in 2015 when they finished 1-2.

Partnering with organizing Triathlon Association of the Philippines in SUBIT are Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority under newly-installed Chairman and Administrator Rolen C. Paulino, Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee with Standard Insurance, Asian Center for Insulation Phil (ACIP), Pocari Sweat, Aurora Suites & Pavilion, and FINIS as sponsors.

Seeing action in SUBIT where top performers gain points for continental and world ranking are hopefuls from aside Japan, Azerbaijan, Hong Kong, and Australia are Chinese-Taipei, India, Singapore, Slovakia and the Philippines.

Conspicuously absent are the Chinese, particularly Mengying Zhong, the back-to-back women’s champion of the last two editions of SUBIT.

The country’s bets to the 31st Hanoi SEA Games, namely, Kim Mangrobang, Raven Faith Alcoseba, Lauren Plaza, Andrew Kim Remolino, Fernando Casares and John Chicano banner the Team Philippines.

+++++

The above information was sourced from an official press release issued by the Triathlon Association of the Philippines. Some parts were modified for this website.

For related triathlon stories about the Subic Bay International Triathlon and the SEA Games this year, click here, 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 athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

I Love Israel: People of Israel are welcome to visit the Philippines without a visa

As the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines continues to be at low risk (note: low numbers of new COVID-19 cases reported daily), the nation is not only recovering gradually but also growing with regards to the national economy and tourism. More on tourism, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed recently that the Philippines is opening its borders to travelers from Israel without a visa, the Manila Bulletin reported.

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

The Philippines is now opening its doors to Israelis without a visa, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday, April 25.

We are delighted to once again welcome our Israeli friends to our country, just in time for the summer!” Philippine Ambassador to Israel Macairog S. Alberto said.

“Aside from the breathtaking natural beauty, colorful culture, and endless adventures that await Israelis in the Philippines, it is the warm hospitality and genuine friendship of Filipinos that truly make the travel meaningful and unforgettable,” Alberto added.

Since April 1, the country started opening its doors for Israelis without a visa. They only need to be fully vaccinated, undergo RT-PCR test within 48 hours or a laboratory-based antigen test within 24 hours pre-flight, and have a travel insurance with a minimum coverage of USD 35,000 which covers Covid-19 treatment.

The DFA assured visitors that they will feel safe while in the country as almost 100 percent of Philippine tourism workers are fully vaccinated and tourism establishments are complying with local health guidelines.

Aside from islands such as Boracay, El Nido, and Cebu, which are constantly listed as the world’s top beach destinations, the Philippines also boast of destinations that appeal to the adventure-loving Israeli traveler. These include swimming with whale sharks in Oslob and Donsol, snorkeling with sea turtles in Apo Island, scuba diving in Anilao, surfing in Siargao, volcano trekking in Bicol, diving shipwrecks in Coron, and exploring Puerto Princesa’s Underground River.

The above article ended stating that travelers from Israel may check the official website of the Department of Tourism (DOT) (click https://beta.tourism.gov.ph/) and they can get in touch with the Tourism Promotion Section of the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv, or send an e-mail to telaviv.pe@dfa.gov.ph.

It is indeed a blessing from the Lord that the Philippines has gotten safer during this COVID-19 pandemic as over 70 million people have been vaccinated with at least one dose followed by around 70 million people fully vaccinated (2 doses) and more than 10 million patients boosted (3 doses). The Philippines is safe enough for foreigners to visit and the people of Israel are very welcome to come in without needing a visa. It should be recalled that the Philippines learned from Israel’s experts on how to deal with COVID-19 (for references, click here, here, here, here and here). Truly God is good and He is always watching us and we should be thankful to Him as both the Philippines and Israel are progressing and recovering better from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

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 for your viewing pleasure and enlightenment.

+++++

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/

Preparations of the 31st SEA Games reviewed

The 31st Southeast Asian Games (AKA the 31st SEA Games, SEA Games 31 and Hanoi 2021) in Vietnam is just weeks away from formally opening (for references, click here and here). The City of Hanoi is the host city supported by the nearby localities of Bac Ninh, Bac Giang, Nam Dinh, Ha Nam, Hoa Binh, Hai Phong, Phu Tho, Hai Duong, Quang Ninh, Ninh Binh, and Vinh Phuc which will host certain SEA Games events. Hanoi will host 18 sports as well as the opening and closing ceremonies.

As this is the 2nd time the nation is hosting the region’s biggest sports event (which will attract thousands of athletes and officials) while struggling to recover from the 2-year-old COVID-19 crisis, the national authorities recently conducted a review of the preparations of the SEA Games, according to a report by VietnamPlus.vn.

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

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, head of the national steering committee for organising the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31), chaired a meeting with ministries and sectors on April 22 to review preparations for the region’s biggest sport event.

The Deputy PM requested ministries, sectors and localities to continue working closely and effectively with one another to address problems and ensure a successful Games.

Tran Duc Phan, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Sports Administration, reported that preparations for SEA Games 31 have been basically completed, and the country is now ready for the event.

The organising committee has ordered plans to be carried out to guarantee security, health care, pandemic safety, logistics, public services and transport. It has also publicised competition regulations, guidebooks and competition schedules.

So far, it has received registrations from over 7,800 delegates, coaches and athletes from 11 Southeast Asian countries, as well as more than 2,500 domestic and foreign reporters. It has also invited nearly 1,300 international referees, supervisors and technical officials for the Games, Phan noted.

The localities hosting competitions have also been working hard to gear up for the Games.

The official added from now to the opening ceremony, the organising committee will continue examining preparations, training volunteers, and implementing plans to ensure security and order.

The 31st SEA Games is slated for May 12 – 23, featuring 40 sports with 526 categories.

For a quick glimpse at the upcoming SEA Games in Vietnam, watch these videos…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about the combined preparations of the national and local authorities for the 31st SEA Games? How excited are you for the SEA Games right now?

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 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/

Spectators at the 31st SEA Games are not required to take COVID-19 tests

Are you planning to personally visit Vietnam and watch the many sports events of the delayed 31st Southeast Asian Games (also referred to as 31st SEA Games, SEA Games 31 and Hanoi 2021) live as a sports spectator? While it is true that Vietnam has been opened to foreign tourists for over a month now, there are still requirements that need to be fulfilled before enjoying the freedom of touring and discovering the nation.

As it is the Southeast Asian region’s biggest sports event, the SEA Games are indeed highly crucial to the tourism goals of host city Hanoi and the rest of Vietnam. Recently, the Vietnam authorities announced that spectators at the SEA Games are not required to take COVID-19 tests, according to a report by VietnamPlus.vn.

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

Spectators watching competitions in person during the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) will not be required to take COVID-19 tests before enter the stadiums, according to guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health on April 16 regarding COVID-19 control measures during the regional sport event.

According to the guidelines, guests to the event at deputy ministerial level and above, as well as heads and deputy heads of sport delegations neither need to show negative COVID-19 testing results when entering Vietnam nor take testing after arrival. They also do not need to take quarantine.

Meanwhile, 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 required to take quarantine.

Coaches and athletes will need to take COVID-19 rapid tests 24 hours before each competition.

The guidelines also list COVID-19 control measures to be implemented at accommodation facilities for guests and athletes, with the setting up of SARS-CoV-2 testing areas and teams providing medical and food safety services for them. Quarantine and treatment rooms will also be arranged for COVID-19 patients with no or mild symptoms.

Athletes will travel in closed routes between their accommodation, training and competition venues.

The stadium hosting the opening and closing ceremonies will be disinfected before the events, while medical teams will stand by to give emergency aids and COVID-19 tests to persons who are suspected to infected with the disease.

Games will take place with either no spectator or with limited or unlimited number of spectators depending on COVID-19 situation at the host locality.

In case a COVID-19 patient is detected, the patient will take quarantine at their accommodation or treatment at medical centres depending on their health conditions.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: In case you will be visiting Vietnam as a tourist immediately, do you plan to watch a SEA Games event as a spectator at the sports venue? How important are the SEA Games for you personally?

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

+++++

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/