Zest Air’s maiden flight to Kuala Lumpur takes off from Terminal 4

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INAUGURAL FLIGHT. First international flight from NAIA Terminal 4 with Zest Air marketing manager DEO JOVELLANO and a pretty ground stewardess.

As I am writing this, we are at the departure lounge of the NAIA Terminal 4 (Old Domestic Airport) for the maiden flight of Zest Air to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is actually the first international flight out of this newly renovated Terminal 4 along Domestic Road.

This is familiar territory for me especially when I was still VP Marketing and Sales of Asian Spirit. We spent many holidays here … not to travel, but to make sure that our passengers were being attended to to their satisfaction.

This time though, I am here on the invitation of Zest Air marketing manager, Deo Jovellano. He asked me to invite our country’s top travel bloggers for this maiden flight to Malaysia, Truly Asia.

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TRAVEL BLOGGERS. Lloyd Salac, Angel Juarez, Melo Villareal, Darwin, Gael Hilotin, and Aleah Taboclaon.

Fortunately, for this trip from October 22 to 25, we will be joined by popular travel bloggers with the most number of followers. They are Estan Cabigas (langyaw.com), Melo Villareal (outoftownblog.com), Angel Juarez (lakwatsero.com), Aleah Taboclaon (www.solitarywanderer.com), Lloyd Salac (www.thelostboylloyd.com), Gael Hilotin (www.thepinaysolobackpacker.com), Jonel Uy (letsgosago.net), Marjorie Pineda (www.livingmarjorney.com), and Darwin (trackingtreasure.net).

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Diane Encabo of Zest Air with Gael Hilotin, Melo Villareal, Jonel Uy, Marjorie Pineda, and Lloyd Salac.

We were also supposed to be joined by other celebrity travel bloggers like Ivan Henares, Brian Ong, David Guison, Camille Ong, and Sarah Meier-Albano except that their skeds would not permit them to.

During our briefing last Thursday at the Tourism Malaysia office at the Fort, Global City, Melo suggested that we also sked a familiarization tour for bloggers in Marikina so that they can also feature the Shoe Capital especially now that we have the Sapatos Festival and the DEL Pasko 3 (DIto Exciting Lagi ang Pasko). I’m sure our youthful and sociable Mayor, Del R. De Guzman, together with the head of our Tourism Office, Tet Atanacio-Curry, would gladly host these famous bloggers.

I also told the bloggers that we could also arrange a famtour in Metro Manila with the help of Goddes Oliveros and MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino. The same goes for all the other cities in Metro Manila with the help of my fellow Public Information Officers and members of the Association of Information Officers in Metro Manila (AIMM) which I head as president since 2010.

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LEVY NG, comptroller of Sol Marina Boracay (left)

What do you think, guys? Ahna Mejia, Llody Palconan, Grace Cortes, Jayne Banayad, Jun Paclibar, Rommel Sales, etc … please tell your mayors to host these bloggers so we can promote our respective tourist attractions which we have a lot of in Metro Manila. This would benefit many of our countrymen because it would be inexpensive to visit due to proximity and accessibility.

Going back to Malaysia— the bloggers would travel to the different provinces in Malaysia by themselves one blogger to each province and write about their experience, give some travel tips, share whatever would be helpful to Filipinos back home who would definitely benefit from knowing beforehand the best value for money propositions to try out in Malaysia.

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TOURISM ATTACHE. Very pretty and very gracious Masrina Mohd Bakri of Tourism Malaysia.

If the Philippines had 4 million in visitor arrivals last year, Malaysia had 26 million! They surely know how to do their tourism right. We sure have a lot to learn from the Malaysian tourism officials and travel trade. Hopefully, I can gain some valuable insights from this trip so I can pass it on to tourism officials back home.

THings look good. Especially with the help of our gracious hostsTourism Attache Masrina Mohd Bakri and Zuhaira Abas of Tourism Malaysia, and SVP Butch Rodriguez, Deo Jovellano, AVP Business Development Vanessa Caceres, Kat Quinto, and Diane Encabo of Zest Air.

Tara na, sa Malaysia!

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ASA KA PA, MAMA! My wife, Gemma, with her age-group usherettes from Zest Air.

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