Sunday, July 23, 2017

Curious about the Philippines

After watching an awesome Battle Trip show episode from the Korean channel KBS, I'm considering visiting the Philippines as a 2018 destination.

The Philippines has a tropical climate with a wet season (southwest monsoon) from May - October and a dry season from November till April. The best time to visit the Philippines :during the dry season, although it doesn’t always rain.

On the show they focused on a visit to Palawan Island.
 The one island they showed in the show was Palawan. I must go there. It's the Philippines’ largely unexplored province of wonderful scenery and  tropical beauty. Beyond the centres of Coron, El Nido and Puerto Princesa, it is still not too touristy, and it's full of coves, lagoons, lakes, beaches and breathtaking limestone cliffs that rise from the water. Pictures don't even do justice to their beauty.

Another awesome place in Palawan, the underground river. It flows directly underneath the St Paul Mountain Range,  on the mid-western coast of Palawan. There's a series of chambers and caverns that go back over millions of years ago. How beautiful does that sound?

I found this link :
It has a lot of information to get acquainted with, introduce you to the magic of this country of numerous islands.

I'm SOLD. 2018? Perhaps so.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Pick up the phone Millenials!

Why Millenials don't pick up the phone as much? Why has texting replaced calling?

Millennials, more so than older generations, have mastered the countless capabilities of their smartphones – taking photos and videos, editing those photos and videos, booking flights, setting DVRs, posting to Facebook, snapchatting, tweeting, gaming, and so forth. Unfortunately, what I’ve found during my years in the professional world is that members of my generation, through lack of skill and utilization, overwhelmingly lack proficiency in the most basic function of these devices: holding a phone conversation.

Why Are They So Bad?
The evolution of communication technology over the past couple decades has played a key role in developing this dubious trend. Millennials in the work force have considerably more communication options available during their high school and college years than the older generations once had, creating far less reliance on voice calls while impeding their telephone proficiency as a result. Things were much different for Gen X. Before email went mainstream in the mid to late 90s, phone calls were most often the best mode of instant contact. After email came instant messaging, texting, blogging, social networking and the myriad of options available today.
Older Gen Y and Gen X have an advantage over younger Millennials because at least a portion of our adolescence came before the great exodus from voice calls. I chuckle thinking back to the period of my teenage years, prior to my first cell phone, when I would carry around a master list of phone numbers scribbled on a sheet of notebook paper. That same pocket that lodged my phone list typically carried some loose change in case I needed to use a payphone, of course. If I wanted to get anything done - get a ride home from practice, make plans for the weekend, discuss a homework assignment – I had to pick up the phone. Communication technology now provides young people with several avenues to bypass that once crucial step.

Phone Skills in the Digital Age?
Text communication (social media, text messaging, email) cannot possibly replace the interpersonal value of a voice call, so entry-level employees who are in any way timid on the phone need to prioritize improving that skill. They often bring many advantages to a team: new ideas and perspectives, social media prowess, and an ability to quickly adapt to new technology. The problem is, for any client-facing employee, that those positives can be easily negated by an inability or unwillingness to effectively communicate over the phone.
In the early stages of building my financial PR agency, Flackable, I hired a young freelancer who was recommended to me for a small project. We started with a quick (and less than impressive) call to go over the project, and that conversation ended up being the only time we spoke over the phone. I sent a request for a quick chat to discuss her progress, and in return I got a lengthy email update. She sent me a text message with a rather detailed question, and I replied, “Call me. I’ll explain.” Instead of a call (because that would make too much sense) I received a series of excuses as to why this person could not talk. What should have been a simple project ended up chewing up too much of my time, largely because of this young person’s phone inhibitions. The final product was actually very impressive, but there is no chance that she’ll ever get my business again – at least until she learns to pick up the phone.

My generation as a whole has no choice but to improve their phone skills in order to be competitive in the professional realm, but it’s hard to say when trend will develop. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve talked to many impressive young professionals who are masters on the phone, particularly those in media and communications fields. On the other hand, many still lack the confidence and skill of rapport over the phone.
Phone skills, like any skill, can be developed over time with training and repetition. Millennials shouldn’t count on employers to provide that training, as most managers will expect any educated hire to already possess a basic ability to conduct business over the phone. Young people need to build these skills on their own. Avoidance is the worst thing they can do. Instead, they should go out of their way to use the telephone until they start building comfort and confidence.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Vieques island

A magical island
Have you heard of Vieques? It's a small peace of paradise in the east of the island of Puerto Rico.

This island is about 10 kilometers or so and you can take a ferry to go there from the big island at Fajardo. You'll find gorgeous primitive beaches with white sand and even some hidden beaches with volcanic black sand. If you are a nature lover and a beach person, you'll enjoy your time there. If you do go to Puerto Rico, no matter where you end up visiting, make sure your visit to spend some time in the ocean.

On this little gem of an island there was formerly a US Marine military practice base. You can still see Navy buildings that have been left vacant since 2003.

Once you are there, you can rent a motor vehicle like a jeep or a bike to move around since there is no public transportation there. There are several renters in the island. Just ask as soon as you get there on the ferry or the plane. There are just two gas stations in town, near the jeep rental office which is practical.

Many tourists go there to see its beautiful beaches.Vieques still stays pretty primitive. Do not expect a lot of services around. At times you are pretty much on your own in order to find the good beaches and places to eat. No traffic lights, and you'll see kilometers of Natural Reserves. You may also see the wild horses that live there as well. Although there is plenty too see, half of the island still remains inaccessible to the public because of government regulations.

Transport to Vieques
Ferry from Fajardo -Vieques: will cost you around 3 US dollars/trip. The trip last around two hours or so and you better get there early in the morning because the ferry books fast. Here is the telephone number to call for more info. (787) 494-0934. Office of Vieques (787) 494-0931
Planes from San Juan-Vieques:another option is flying with small companies like CAPE AIR who leave form the Int. Airport Luis Muñoz Marin in the city of Carolina in Puerto Rico. It'll cost around 100 US dollars and the breathtaking views are worth the ride. It will take around 30 minutes to fly to Vieques Airport.
If you can afford it, take the plane. It is so much easier but you won't be able to take much things with you like on the ferry.

TRAVEL TIPMake sure you bring cash, ATMs are scarce.

Sleep there or stay just for the day

Many people go spend a day and return back home. I still think it is worth it to stay a night or two because there are very cool sport to see and one day will not be enough to move around and enjoy.
For sleeping it is up to you. You can either camp, rent an apartment or choose to stay in a hotel. If you can afford it, stay at the luxury hotel like the W or others you'll see in hospitality sites like tripadvisor or

Dining out

If you are into beach bars or fine dining, you'll find something for everyone. Go enjoy a nice dinner in the south of the island. The town of Esperanza has several restaurants who offer great food at different price points.

Snorkeling, scuba or Bioluminescent Mosquito Bay tour

Several areas remain restricted but you'll still enjoy nature to another level. Scuba diving, snorkeling and paddle boarding are also available through companies in town. The water is beautiful. You can easily find a beach without anyone else on it. If you didn't bring equipment to paddle, scuba or snorkle you can arrange this when you get there.
The bio-bay trip is worth it if you want to experience the bioluminescent organisms that make the water flash into a blueish tone. Visibility is not guaranteed though. Usually you have more chances to enjoy the light show if there is no moon. It will depend on several other factors.  The tour is done on kayaks and it's fun.
Different price points are offered depending on the tour operator. They are running trips to the bioluminescent bay, scuba dive and snorkeling companies and paddle boards line the narrow streets of Vieques or you can organise it before your arrival.

So if you have two days or so and want to do something different in Puerto Rico, trust me, going to Vieques island is worth it!