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My Thursday last week became more memorable than I hoped for. I started the day by booking round-trip AirAsia tickets to Puerto Princesa. This island, voted as the best in the world has eluded me for quite some time now. Six times to be exact.
Since 2011, I’ve booked flights to Palawan yearly (except in 2013) hoping to get a glimpse of one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. But luck was never on my side. So when an opportunity to travel to Palawan or see Bukidnon’s annual Kaamulan Festival presented itself during our merrymaking at the Inaul Festival in Maguindanao mid-February, I had to weigh things through. I wanted to go to both. Palawan won over so I booked roundtrip airfares from Cebu to Palawan via AirAsia. I’m hoping that this 7th attempt to step foot in this island won’t get jinxed again.
The day went by in a flash. By sundown, I hurriedly hailed a cab to get to Bai Hotel. I got invited to attend the second season of AirAsia’s RedTalks with Daphne Oseña-Paez, a multi-awarded TV host, producer, entrepreneur, blogger, and UNICEF Special Advocate. This brand new hotel in Cebu City is less than 2 kilometres away from where I live so I wasn’t too worried about traffic and such. But before I knew it, I was running late. When AirAsia Philippines Chairperson Maan Hontiveros stepped inside our elevator to get to the Twilight Roofdeck Lounge + Bar, I immediately knew that the program hasn’t started yet. Whew!
Bai Hotel’s Twilight Roofdeck Lounge + Bar is a breath of fresh air from the usual bar scenes in Cebu as it provides a panoramic view of the city and the harbour. When a friend asked me during the event where he can bring his friends to chill at night, all I could think of was Bai Hotel’s Twilight bar. The awesome view is it’s main selling point and I’d love to keep coming back here.
Red Talks is a series of travel web episodes that premiered last year in AirAsia’s Facebook page where Daphne Oseña-Paez took viewers to different places and talked about travelling, flying, helping and inspiring communities.
The season two of AirAsia’s RedTalks with Daphne was officially launched at a press gathering at the Twilight Roof Deck of Bai Hotel in Cebu with AirAsia Philippines Chairperson Maan Hontiveros, AirAsia Philippines CEO Captain Dexter Comendador and AirAsia Foundation’s Executive Director Mun Ching Yap.
AirAsia Philippines CEO Captain Dexter Comendador said, “AirAsia is a sociable and innovative brand and we embrace social media not only to engage our fans but also to inspire and connect with our guests. With RedTalks, we are bringing back the era of talk TV and magazine shows to online audience with a refreshing approach using a platform that has become so effective and popular.”
“The quality of stories and the online engagement we got last year when RedTalks was launched have been overwhelming. For this new season, we aim to raise the level of discussion and cover a wide range of topics to engage our audience and inspire them to have meaningful connections,” said Daphne Oseña-Paez.
On this #AirAsiaRedTalks pilot episode, Daphne travels to Davao with Chef JP Anglo who has been regarded as one of the new generation “rock star chefs” because of his flair for creating edgy dishes with strong local Filipino identity. They talk about creating something fresh and new using the award-winning Malagos chocolates and include it in AirAsia’s in-flight menu called Santan in April.
I’ve booked AirAsia flights to Kuala Lumpur this April and if my travel plans push through, I’ll look forward to tasting what Chef JP has created. Will definitely set a reminder to place my order for my in-flight meal before I fly out.
Meanwhile, the second episode of RedTalks will be all about empowering women, a subject matter that AirAsia has been championing through the airline’s former CEO and now serving as chairperson, Maan Hontiveros. Before Maan assumed the responsibility of establishing AirAsia operation in the Philippines in 2011, she was a staunch advocate of performing arts and the environment, a broadcast journalist, and a civic leader who has been hailed by the Filipina Women’s Network as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World (Global FWN100)™ – Builder award category in 2014. At the press launch hosted by radio DJ Tracy Abad-Prado, Ms. Maan’s story of disrupting the ordinary to create value in the lives of women and marginalized groups was discussed.
RedTalk’s third episode features David Foster and AirAsia’s collaboration to find the best and tap into a diverse pool of talented, skilled, and creative individuals in the Asean region.
Human Trafficking being a serious global issue has reached the Asean shores at an alarming rate. In episode four of RedTalks, AirAsia Foundation tackles the issue head on in raising awareness and training airline personnel across the region and beyond to combat trafficking.
In the fifth episode, Daphne goes to Bali, Indonesia to take part in the much celebrated food festival in Ubud and interacts with farmpreneurs to learn about upscaling farmers through innovation.
For the sixth and final episode of RedTalks, Cambodian Living Arts’ (CLA) success story takes the center stage. CLA is a non-profit organisation based in Phnom Penh and has been facilitating the transformation of Cambodia through the arts by providing arts education, capacity building of arts leaders, and opportunities for emerging artists to generate income and create a sustainable environment for the arts. Daphne delves into the partnership between the AirAsia Foundation and CLA and how their collaboration brings life and breath to a dying art form.
Media and bloggers from Cebu, Davao and Manila were present for an exclusive peek of AirAsia’s pilot episode titled “Sweet Connections” at the press launch. This pilot episode’s title was perfect all throughout the night for I got the chance to reconnect with old friends and met new ones too.
In fact, I looked forward to this launch when I learned that some of my buddies from our Pinoy Travel Bloggers group have flown to Cebu to attend the event. It made the night more fun and memorable.
I’ve been following Daphne’s hosting shows since her F days and I was excited that I’d get to finally see her in person. 🙂
Sometimes, beautiful unexpected things happen when you least expect it. I almost forgot how great it was to meet like-minded souls. It was a joy to be able to talk non-stop about common passions. Winning 1 roundtrip airfare ticket to any local destination was just the icing I needed to seal this wonderful night. It makes me wanna kick myself though for that impulse booking I made that morning. Oh, but I was after the BIGPOINTS. 😆
Here’s the pilot episode of #AirAsiaRedTalks:
Watch out for the next episodes of RedTalks on AirAsia’s Facebook page.
AirAsia’s RedTalks is brought to you by AirAsia Foundation, AirAsia Big Loyalty, and Rokki.
You can also follow Daphne’s journey using #AirAsiaRedTalks. Follow AirAsia on Twitter @AirAsiaFilipino, Facebook facebook.com/AirAsiaPH and on Instagram @AirAsiaFilipino for the latest updates on promotions and activities.