ESTI Staff in Macau, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong
As a late Christmas treat to senior officers of Educational Systems Technological Institute, the Executive Vice President Engr. Erhard J. Larga gave them an all-expense paid trip to Macau, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong.
Those who participated in the said trip were Vice President for Administration Engr. Emmanuel S. Sadiwa, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Engr. Lorela V. Nardo, Vice President for Finance Mrs. Milagros P. Olaño, Officer-in-Charge at ESTI-Romblon Mrs. Rosalina N. Reginio and spouse Mr. Elpidio Reginio Jr. and their son Danielle Jose.
The EVP secured a group visa for them and booked a three-day trip to the said destinations.
Sir Diway and company met the Reginios at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on January 19, 2008 for their 9 oclock flight to Macau. They arrived at the Macau International Airport two hours later on board Air Macau. They were met by Patrick, their tour guide while in Macau.
In Macau, they saw the house of Stanley Ho, the one who brought the casino business in China. He owns around 8 casinos in the country.
They stayed at the Taipa Square Hotel while in Macau, a four-star hotel. In the afternoon, led by their tour guide, the group visited the remains of St. Pauls Church, the A-Ma Temple, and the Maritime Museum.
The remains of St. Pauls Church, whose local name is Sam Ba Sing Tzik, was only the front wall of the original structure. It was said that the church caught fire three times one after the other, and was rebuilt after the fires. The last fire occurred in 1853, and was the most destructive.
The A-Ma Temple, on the other hand, is the oldest temple in Macau, aged over 500 years. It was formerly named Ma Tsou, and located directly across the Maritime Museum.
The Maritime Museum has an oceanic atmosphere. The place where it was built was the same one where the first batch of Portuguese landed in China. As the story goes, the Portuguese asked the villagers about the name of the place where they landed. The villagers misunderstood the foreigners and thought that they were asking about the temple, and their reply was the origin of the name Macau for the place.
Later that afternoon, they traveled by land to Shenzhen where they were met by another tour guide, Amy. Shenzhen was only a three-hour trip from Macau. Along the way, they saw nothing but high-rise buildings on both sides. When Sir Diway asked where the poor Chinese live, their guide told them that they live in those same high rise buildings, when vacant, and were subsidized by the government. It was also said that 70% of China’s earnings come from casinos.
While in Shenzhen, they checked in at the Ambassador Hotel. Here, they have some funny and unforgettable experiences with the hotels amenities.
They occupied three rooms: Maam Lori and Maam Mila stayed together in one room, Maam Ningning and Sir Danny in another, and Sir Diway and Danjo in the third room. They were given key cards for each room. They used the key cards to open the doors of the room.
Inside, Danjo told Sir Diway: Partner, may malaki tayong problema...walang switch! In the other room, Maam Ningning was also complaining that there were no lights in their room. Sir Diway saw another slot inside the room where the key card might also fit, and when they put the key card in that slot, everything were switched on: from the lights to the air conditioning, and the television set can also be turned on. When the key card was removed from its slot, everything will also be switched off. A wise way to ensure that no electrical appliances will be left on while the rooms occupants were away.
In Shenzhen, they were also able to see the Window of the World.
The Window of the World in Shenzhen was called such because one can see the worlds famous landmarks and scenic areas in one place. Some sites were built at exactly the same size while others are in ratios 1:5 or 1:15. Among the sites in the Window of the World include the Eiffel Tower, the Ancient Athens, the Sydney Opera House, the Pyramids of Egypt, a replica of the canals in Venice, Italy where one can ride a gondola, Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon, and a replica of the skyscrapers in Manhattan, New York. Asian scenic sites like the Mahamuni Pagoda in Rangoon and the Angkor Wat in Cambodia can also be seen here.
In Hong Kong, they saw the Avenue of the Stars, where sculptures of some famous personalities, like Jackie Chan, may be seen. It is similar to Hollywood's Walk of Fame. Tablets can be seen along the length of the avenue, featuring handprints and / or autographs of the China's stars.
They stayed in Hong Kong for one night.
They shopped for pasalubong at the markets near the hotel. They also dropped by JC Jewelry Center where they were able to avail of great bargains on jewelries and colorful accessories.
The night of the January 21, back in Macau, they planned to visit the Venetian Resort Hotel but only Sir Diway went on to the said visit. The others refused due the cold weather (it was 14 degrees Fahrenheit then). Along with some Filipino companions, Sir Diway visited the hotel, which has a casino and also a replica of the canals of Venice. It also has a fake blue sky complete with clouds, making them believe that it is still day time when it is actually night time.
They took the 9 o'clock flight back to the Philippines on January 22 via Air Macau. They brought home not only sweets and pasalubong to their families and colleagues, but also fun and unforgettable experiences, not to mention the peculiar feeling of being in a foreign country, as in the case of those who took a trip abroad for the first time.