Back in May this year, the Wizard World Comic Convention came into the city of Atlanta and it was a very opportune time for me as I’m in the city for the about ten weeks to visit our client, Elavon. The Wizard World Comic Con events are held in different cities in the US with the grandest happening in the city of San Diego. And this time in Atlanta, event was held for three days in the Georgia World Congress Center, just across the Philips Arena and near the CNN Center.
Though I’m not hard fanatic of comic books, I sure did love reading them specially when I was still living in Singapore where I’ve read multiple comic book series from the Singapore libraries. And among the most famous comic books, I liked reading a lot of Marvel comics specially the X-men series and Spiderman.
So on the second day of the conference, together with my on-site manager and friend, Niko and his wife, Kim, we went on to check out the event. The ticket costs $40 for access into conference, but to get pictures or autographs with the celebrities in the event has additional costs.
After visiting the World of Coca-Cola, my colleague Sally and myself walked for a few minutes into another top attraction in the city of Atlanta. This is to check out the headquarters of I think the most famous news network in the world, the Cable News Network or more famous as CNN.
And just like Coca-Cola, Atlanta is also CNN’s home base. The CNN headquarters is located just across the Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta and just a few meters from the Georgia World Congress Center where I went to for the Atlanta Comic Convention, but I’ll talk about that on a separate blog.
The CNN Center in Atlanta, as I learned during the tour, is located in what was once an indoor amusement park, the first of its kind, The World of Sid and Marty Kroft. The CNN Studio tour takes about 55 minutes and runs about every 30 minutes. Standard rate for the tour costs $15 which can be bought at the main atrium.
During my first weekend in Atlanta, I took a drive down to the downtown area with my colleague Sally. We headed to checkout two of the most famous attractions of Atlanta. This day we visited the World of Coca-Cola and took a studio tour into the CNN Center. On this blog I’ll focus our trip into the World of Coca-Cola.
The World of Coca Cola is located next to the Georgia Aquarium and the Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. The World of Coca-Cola is an indoor exhibition that features all about everyone’s favorite and probably the most famous soda drink in the world. This attraction is also located just a few blocks from where the headquarters of Coca-Cola is located.
The World of Coca-Cola is a modern building that stands right next to a park and the Georgia Aquarium beside it. One interesting feature of the building is that it has this glass tower which contains the image of the iconic Coke bottle.
My family and myself have lived in Singapore for two years. During this time we have always skipped visiting the Universal Studios Singapore theme park located within the Resorts World Integrated Resort in Sentosa island.
But our time to leave Singapore has arrived. Well that is about 6 months ago. And so upon learning that we are to heading back to the Philippines, we decided that it was time for us to visit Universal Studios Singapore. We bought our tickets from a travel agency in Chinatown which is way cheaper than buying online or in their ticket booths.
Well actually it is also very timely as my aunt and 3 cousins where flying over to Singapore for a vacation during that time.
Well traditionally Visita Iglesia is done by visiting seven churches while reciting the stations of the Cross. But this year, after visiting seven churches in Laguna, the day after we thought of visiting another church. Well eventually we ended up into visiting two churches in the province of Batangas. Both churches has miracles related or associated to it.
The first one, we visited the San Pio de Pietrelcina Shrine in the town of Sto. Tomas. Well, this is my second time to visit this church. This parish is relatively new yet this has become quite famous lately due the regular healing mass being done here every 23rd of the month. Also this also made famous the the healing masses performed by Father Fernando Suarez, a famous healing priest.
This parish started from a small chapel located on the same grounds and this was dedicated to St. Pio de Pietrelcina, a priest who experienced a phenomenon called stigmata, wherein he showed wounds and marks that Jesus Christ has suffered form His crucifixion.
About a month back, the Catholics around the world celebrated once more the passion and death of the Christ during the season of Lent. And just as what my wife and myself did in Singapore back last year, we once more go on a Visita Iglesia this year. Again Visita Iglesia is a Filipino Catholic tradition of visiting 7 churches while praying and following the Way of the Cross.
Unlike last year when we did this during Maundy Thursday, this year we did this on Good Friday as I’m working on night shift. And this year, my daughters, my wife’s sisters and nieces are tagging along with us and we have a vehicle to use and we are visiting churches from different towns and cities in Laguna province.
With our starting point in Calamba, Laguna, we started our trip around 9am. And with the itinerary that I have set, we drove first to the furthest in our list. Each of the seven churches we visit, we recited 2 Stations of the Cross.
Last Saturday, my family and I finally got the opportunity to check out one of the latest tourist attractions here in Singapore, the Gardens By The Bay. Well it has actually been open since October of 2011 but still it is a fairly new attraction. Gardens By The Bay is located just behind the Marina Bay Sands and it is somehow a flagship attraction highlighting Singapore as a garden city.
Well, technically we have been to the Gardens By The Bay for a couple or more times but we never ventured inside it but only by its entrance. Anyway, this time we did go in and we have free tickets to go inside its two conservatories. Again just like in our trips to the Singapore Flyer and the Jurong Bird Park, our tickets provided by my wife’s employer, OCBC. She once more won the ticket lottery in their office.
And so, last Saturday we all set off to go to the Gardens but we took a short stop in Orchard to have our lunch in Jollibee Singapore.
Going there, we took the MRT and exited at Bayfront MRT station located below the Marina Bay Sands. And from there we passed through the underpass leading to the Gardens. Too bad that underpass exit did not have any escalator, but at least there was an elevator available.
Like what I’ve posted last week about my trip to Bicol, here I’m going to share about my very first trip on board an airplane. This was a trip back in June of 1999 to my father’s home province in the Visayas region on the island of Leyte.
My father along with his siblings were all born in the small town of Tabontabon in the province of Leyte in Eastern Visayas before they moved to Manila when they were older. And since back in the 90’s, my father together with one of her sisters have been flying back to Tabontabon once every year during the town’s fiesta to check out the parcels of land left by my grandmother. And in June 1999, my father tagged me to join them along with my cousin to fly over Leyte with them.
This was my first time to fly on an airplane. We took a Cebu Pacific Air flight to Tacloban City, the only major airport on the island of Leyte. Back then, Cebu Pacific was fairly new in the market where it only started it airline operations in 1996. There was even a joke then that when you fly on Cebu Pacific, you fly out from Cebu and arrive in the Pacific. The joke came out after some airplane crashes Cebu Pacific had in its early years along with the then Asian Spirit (renamed to Zest Air but now operated as AirAsia Zest under AirAsia) which got the joke of flying as an Asian and arriving as a Spirit.