Credit Availability Existing-Home Sales First-Time Homebuyers National Association of Realtors 2014-08-21 Tory Barringer August 21, 2014 550 Views A continued slowdown in home price increases and ongoing improvements in inventory helped boost existing-home sales in July to their highest pace year-to-date.The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported on Thursday that sales of existing homes (including single-family houses, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops) hit a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.15 million last month, up 2.4 percent from a downwardly revised June. The median price among existing homes sold was $222,900, a 4.9 percent yearly gain.Even with the most recent increase—the fourth in as many months—sales activity remains down 4.3 percent from last year’s July rate of 5.38 million units, which was the peak of 2013.Looking only at single-family homes, July sales improved 2.7 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted pace of 4.45 million but still fell 4.2 percent short of last year. The median existing single-family home price was $223,900.Though sales still look weak compared to 2013, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said other indicators point to a pickup in momentum.”The number of houses for sale is higher than a year ago and tamer price increases are giving prospective buyers less hesitation about entering the market,” Yun said. “More people are buying homes compared to earlier in the year and this trend should continue with interest rates remaining low and apartment rents on the rise.”Adding to the good news is a drop in distressed home sales, which accounted for 9 percent in July. It was the first time distressed sales share fell into the single digits since NAR began tracking in 2008.”To put it in perspective, distressed sales represented an average of 36 percent of sales during all of 2009. Fast-forward to today and rising home values are helping owners recover equity and strong job creation [is] assisting those who may have fallen behind on their mortgage due to unemployment or underemployment,” Yun said.First-time homebuyers made up 29 percent of July sales, an improvement over June but still a significant shortfall from the 40 percent NAR says is the historical norm for the market. First-time buyers—young adults, for the most part—remain challenged by debt problems, limited job prospects, and tight credit.While recently announced changes to FICO’s credit model aren’t expected to produce any real change in mortgage loan approval rates, the anticipated boost in borrower credit scores could make a difference in down payments and interest rates, which NAR hopes will have an impact on homeownership.”NAR supports efforts to broaden access to credit for qualified homebuyers, especially those who have been shut out of the housing market or forced to pay higher interest rates because of flawed credit scores,” said Steve Brown, president of the association. “A solid credit score is necessary to keep borrowing costs down.”At the regional level, increases were led by the South, which posted a 3.4 percent monthly improvement to a rate of 2.12 million in July. The region was also the only one to see sales rise annually, reporting a 0.5 percent bump.In the West, existing-home sales climbed 2.6 percent month-over-month to an annual level of 1.17 million, while sales in the Midwest were up 1.7 percent to 1.22 million. Sales in the Northeast were flat at a rate of 640,000. Existing-Home Sales Hit 2014 High Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News
Anthony SelfAuction.com, an online real estate marketplace, has named former VP at Altisource Online Auctions Anthony Self as the new VP of industry relations. Self will focus on strengthening the company’s relationships within the real estate community and developing programs that foster long-term partnerships with agents and brokers.“In addition to making real estate transactions easier and more transparent, the Auction.com platform is intended to be a value-added resource for real estate professionals who want to enhance their business–not something that replaces them,” said Tim Morse, Auction.com’s CEO. “I’m thrilled to welcome Anthony Self to our team as an ambassador to the real estate community and confident that his experience and relationships will prove beneficial as we work toward enhancing the buying and selling experience for everyone.”Among Self’s first initiatives since taking on his new role was the launch of a new agent-centered landing page on Auction.com created specifically for residential brokers, the company noted. There, real estate professionals can find information about how to effectively partner with Auction.com to grow their business and support their clients, easily register to list a property, search the Auction.com site for properties offering a broker co-op, and read testimonials of other fellow agents who have experienced success on the platform.“Real estate professionals play a vital role in the real estate process and are instrumental to every sale,” Self said. “In this role, I hope to encourage increased awareness and improved collaboration between Auction.com and the real estate community, with the understanding that when Auction.com and brokers work together, sellers get the best of all worlds: local market knowledge and a global reach, backed by a powerful online auction engine that achieves optimal results.”Anthony Self is a broker associate with Hunter Mason Realty and serves on the board of directors for Palos Verdes Peninsula Association of REALTORS. Previously, he was director at Altisource as well as VP at Altisource Online Auctions. Self’s prior experience includes leadership positions focused on business development, sales and marketing with RealtyTrac, Inc., RE/MAX of California and Hawaii, Realtor.com, and Real Estate Business Technologies, a for-profit subsidiary of the California Association of Realtors. Auction.com Names New VP of Industry Relations Share in Headlines, News Altisource Online Auctions Auction.com Industry Relations Real Estate Marketplace 2015-07-10 Staff Writer July 10, 2015 479 Views
August 26, 2015 601 Views Employment Freddie Mac Housing Market Mortgages Multi-Indicator Market Index Stable 2015-08-26 Staff Writer Multiple market indicators show solid strong stabilization within housing in June, mostly due to employment and current mortgages, according to Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi).Housing markets are the strongest they have been since 2008, with the national MiMi surpassing 80 in June. Freddie Mac attributes most of this positive growth to a surge in jobs and mortgages that are kept current in nearly all metros.”Nationally, all MiMi indicators are heading in the right direction,” said Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac deputy chief economist. “Robust homebuyer demand has put total home sales on pace for the best year since 2007 and look for that trend to continue as the MiMi purchase applications indicator remains on the upswing.”The national MiMi value reached 80.3 in June, indicating that the housing market is on the outer stable range. The MiMi saw an increase of 1.33 percent from May to June and a three-month improvement of 2.26 percent. Year-over-year, the MiMi rose 5.41 percent. Although the MiMi value has rebounded 35 since its all-time low in October, it remains much lower than its high of 121.7.According to the MiMi, current mortgages and employment are the major contributors pushing the MiMi into the stable range. Current mortgages reached 82.7 points in June, up 0.82 percent from May. Meanwhile, employment landed at 101.7 points, up 0.64 points from May.On the other hand, the purchase applications indicator landed weak for June at 65.2 points, although it improved 1.53 percent from May. In addition, the payment-to-income indicator was weak in June at 71.3 points, rising 2.80 percent from May.Freddie Mac reported, Arkansas and Tennessee, along with four additional metro areas entered their outer range of stable housing activity: Omaha, Nebraska; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Madison, Wisconsin.Of the 50 states, 28 and the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range, with the District of Columbia (101.7), North Dakota (96.2), Montana (93.5), Hawaii (92.9), and California and Utah tied at (89) and ranking in the top five.”While home prices are still 7 percent below peak values nationally, price indices in many markets are at all-time highs and current low-interest rates are helping to support homebuyer affordability,” Kiefer said. “Mortgage delinquencies are coming down rapidly, but are still high in many markets. Those markets hardest hit by the Great Recession, including many in Florida, are rebounding but they still need to improve to get delinquencies back in line with their benchmark historic averages. The key driver of all this recovery has been solid job growth, with 96 out of 100 metros and all states within range of their benchmark historic average unemployment rate.”Source: Freddie Mac Click here to view Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index. Share June Housing Market Indicators Highest Since 2008 in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, Market Studies, News
Home Prices Home Sales Realtor.com 2018-06-28 David Wharton Houses on the Market: Gone in 54 Days Share Houses in June again sold faster than they did the month or the year before, according to Realtor.com. A new report shows the average time a property was listed in June was 54 days before a home sale. That’s six days faster than a year ago and one day faster than in May.Six markets saw inventory move within 30 days, on average. Despite being the most expensive market in the country, San Jose, California, saw properties spend only 23 days on the market. Seattle and San Francisco properties spent 24 and 25 days on the market, respectively. Omaha and Salt Lake City followed swiftly behind, each seeing homes go from listing to contract in 26 days. Colorado Springs saw properties move in 30 days in June.As has been the case with increasingly swift sales, the report credits the competitive environment spurred by shrinking inventory as the reason time on the market keeps going down. U.S. home inventory (547,000) did increase 4 percent from May to June, but according to the report, inventory on an annual basis decreased 4 percent—a slower rate than the 8 percent average decrease during the previous 12 months. This, the report stated, “provided some relief to tight inventory conditions despite new listings dipping 2 percent lower than May 2018.”Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research for Realtor.com, said that the pace of sales in the early days of summer continues to be as fierce and unforgiving as it’s ever been, especially for entry-level buyers. But, he added, there is some hope.”On the bright side, buyers saw more new listings hit the market than they saw last June, causing inventory to drop at a slower rate,” Vivas said. However, much of the new inventory is composed of higher-priced, newer, and larger homes, forcing a hungry pool of buyers to adjust their budgets, he said.They might have to adjust a lot. The median listing price of $299,000 is the highest on record, the report stated. Listing prices increased 9 percent year-over-year and show no signs of slowing down. They increased, on average, 9 percent year-over-year for the last 12 months. June 28, 2018 550 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, journal, News, Origination
November 13 , 2018 Chilean cherry report analyzes 2018/19 campaign, d … Washington cherries from Rainier Fruit – The taste … You might also be interested in NA: Heatwave, thunderstorms to affect grape, berry … NZ: T&G Global’s profits drop despite revenue … “The improvement in quality has stimulated sales in the Chinese market. For now, prices of cherries remain high, and the market remains as good as in recent years.”According to Ou, Chilean cherries have lost between 15 – 20 percent of their yield per tree. However, he expected that new plantings coming online would partially offset the lower yields.He is also expecting large cherry volumes for the second half of the season, “which could bring great challenges to the industry’s ability to deal with them”.But he said that Chile should be better able to manage the large volumes than last year due to improvements in the supply chain. A representative of China-based Shanghai Riverking Import Trade believes that the quality of Chilean cherries is higher this year as a result of lower yields in the country than last year.General manager Owen Ou said that for blueberries, the quality seemed to be similar to last year. A load of 30 metric tons (MT) of Chilean cherries and blueberries arrived on Nov. 8 at Ningbo Airport, which lies to the south of Shanghai.”In general the cherries are better than last year, [and] the size is much better, due to the lower yield per tree that Chile has had this year,” Ou said.
January 15 , 2019 The calm before the storm: Undersupplied U.S. tabl … You might also be interested in With heavy rain continuing in California today, more ponding on the roads might occur. Drive safely out there! pic.twitter.com/GzVrjceQ3R— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) January 15, 2019 U.S.: “Major storms” to strike California, threate … California is facing back-to-back storms this week with torrential rain and heavy snowfall throughout much of the state, resulting in mudslides and flood warnings.The grouping of storms is described as the biggest to hit the drought-ridden state in several years. The rain began on Monday in earnest and is due to continue off and on for the next three days before clearing out Friday.Weathermelon said the most intense location for rain from these storms will be in the areas of Ventura, Oxnard and Santa Paula.”Ventura is a big area for lemons, Oxnard has some winter veg right now and Santa Paula is a big area for avocados. The region is expecting 5-7” of rain between today and Thursday,” it said.It added that this is an “extreme amount of rain for this part of the world”, and more than the state may get during the entire winter rainy season in some years.Santa Maria is expecting another 2” of rain over the next three days, most likely affecting harvests as well. The Coachella Valley is expecting .25” on Thursday. The Sierra Mountains which line the east side of the San Joaquin Valley are expecting over 2 feet of snow from these storms, which is good news for the water supplies needed to produce summer crops up and down the state. Below is a selection of Twitter posts about the weather: A parade of Pacific storms will plow into California over the next week and the result will be heavy rain, mountain snow, gusty winds, high surf and possible flooding, especially near recent wildfire burn scars. Here is a look at precipitation amounts over the next 7 days. #CAwx pic.twitter.com/TJ4mAljZdQ— NWS (@NWS) January 11, 2019 Flooding rain, yards of snow and mudslides are expected in parts of California. https://t.co/nRNOSNFMBz pic.twitter.com/kqUatoYLHU— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) January 15, 2019 U.S.: More rain coming to California … Strawberries in Charts: Expected California shorta …
CrystalJean-Michel Cousteau Jean-Michel Cousteau, the renowned oceanographer and environmentalist, will join Crystal Cruises for the first time, and share his expertise about the world’s oceans through interactive experiences.Aboard three luxury Crystal voyages throughout the wildlife-rich waters of the world, Jean-Michel Cousteau – first son of ocean pioneer Jacques-Yves Cousteau – will join two luxury voyages aboard the award-winning Crystal Serenity this (northern) spring and autumn, as well as an expedition sailing on the boutique yacht, Crystal Esprit. While on board, Cousteau will enlighten guests with expertise gained from decades as a leading explorer and conservationist, working in defence of the planet’s oceans.The voyages set to feature Cousteau’s intriguing presentations are geographically diverse. Crystal Serenity’s 24 May ‘Hawaiian Havens’ sails the warmer regions of the Pacific Ocean; the 27 October ‘Amazon Escape’ explores the Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean and Old Bahama Channel; Crystal Esprit’s 19 November West Indies voyage sails round-trip from Marigot Bay through the deep Caribbean.“As a company, we call the waterways of this planet our home, and as such, are honoured to welcome Mr. Cousteau for the first time aboard our ships to offer a glimpse into his fascinating work,” said Crystal chairman, CEO and president Edie Rodriguez.“The sea is truly his heritage and he has dedicated his life to protecting it. It is an extraordinary opportunity for our inquisitive guests to learn from Mr. Cousteau as they travel the seas together.”In addition to lectures tailored to the region of each sailing, Cousteau will offer interactive and engaging presentations discussing his father’s legend and his own legacy, as well as insights into ocean life that most captivates him, including the delicate balance of the roles of orcas and sharks. Guests will learn from Cousteau the connection between the oceans and everything else on the planet, and enjoy a glimpse of his newest film, which features images captured by Cousteau for the first time in his 60+ years of diving. Cousteau, who is the founder of the Ocean Futures Society, will also enlighten travellers about his extensive environmental and conservation efforts.
Celebrity CruisesCelebrity EdgecruiseEuropespecials Celebrity Cruises is celebrating the upcoming debut of the brand new billion-dollar cruise ship, Celebrity Edge, in Europe, with a host of perks – guests who book an Oceanview Stateroom and above on eligible Celebrity Edge sailings, departing between 12 February and 31 December 2019, will receive the cruise line’s Go Best offer for free, including a Premium Beverage Package, USD$600 Onboard Credit, free wifi and savings of up to USD$300 per stateroom.This modern luxury ship will bring guests closer than ever before to the Mediterranean Sea with her vast verandahs and outward facing pool deck design, visiting more than 25 different European ports in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Malta, Greece, the UK and Monaco over 7-, 10- and 11-nights.Offer ends on 31 January, 2019. Terms and conditions apply.
Helloworld Business Travel network members, Donna & Brian Meads-Barlow of Donna Barlow Travel in Sydney, have once again hosted a fabulous Jelly Bean Ball to raise money for the DANII Foundation, in support of Type 1 Diabetes, of which the two are Founders.Guests were treated to celebrity appearances with Rod Kafer as MC and Vic Lorusso as auctioneer, entertainment from the Australian School Girls’ choir and a large collection of impressive and unique auction items.Helloworld Business Travel was delighted to lend its support again, having been a part of the event since its inception eight years ago, with representatives turning out in their best attire and helping to raise more than $380,000 for the charity. David Padman, General Manager Independent & Corporate Networks at Helloworld Travel, congratulated Donna and Brian on another successful event.“We are thrilled to be a part of this event, in support of not only the foundation but our network members Donna and Brian. Congratulations to the entire DANII Foundation team, who work tirelessly to put on these events, and raise awareness and much needed funding for type 1 diabetes in Australia, it was a fantastic night for all.”IMAGE:FRONT L-R: Brian Meads-Barlow and Donna Meads-Barlow of the DANII Foundation, Justin Melvey – DANII Foundation Ambassador, Amanda Doonan – Helloworld Travel.BACK L-R: Belinda Murphy – Helloworld Travel, Kelly Truan-Smith – Helloworld Travel and partner, David Padman – Helloworld Business Travel and partner, Nicola Nanninga – Helloworld Travel and partner, and Sharon Stanley – Helloworld Business Travel and partner.About The DANII FoundationFounded in 2012, the DANII Foundation is Australia’s pre-eminent foundation for the prevention of life threatening Dead in Bed Syndrome (DIBS). It is the only organisation dedicated solely to improvement of the safety and quality of lives of Type 1 Diabetes sufferers. The Foundation was founded by Donna and Brian Meads-Barlow, of Donna Barlow Corporate Travel, a member of the Helloworld Business Travel network. DANII FoundationDonna Barlow TraveleventsHelloworld Business TravelJelly Bean Ball
Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 0 Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Carlson, who recently signed a two-year deal worth about $5 million, has caught 177 passes for 1,906 yards and 14 touchdowns over five seasons of action, though he battled concussions at the end of his tenure with the Minnesota Vikings. Housler caught 39 passes for 454 yards and a touchdown for the Cardinals last season, though his play often left something to be desired among Cardinals fans. Ballard caught seven passes in an abbreviated stint in Arizona last season. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Every day, we at ArizonaSports.com ask our readers a question. It’s the Sanderson Ford Poll Question of the Day, and it can be found midway down the right side of our home page.Our latest poll question asked readers who they thought would lead the Arizona Cardinals’ tight ends in receptions for the upcoming year, with returners Rob Housler and Jake Ballard in the mix, along with newcomer John Carlson. Carlson was the winner in a landslide, receiving 45 percent of the vote. Housler came in second with 29 percent, while Ballard — generally not known for his pass-catching skills — received 19 percent. Seven percent chose “other.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 0 Comments Share
The Arizona Cardinals made a pair of roster moves Tuesday, signing both defensive tackle Olsen Pierre and offensive lineman John Wetzel to one-year contracts.Both players were exclusive rights free agents.Wetzel played in all 16 games for the Cardinals last season, making five starts at left tackle, two starts at right guard and one start at right tackle. Originally signed by the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2013, the 6-foot-7, 328-pound lineman has also spent time with the Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts. Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling As for Pierre, the 6-foot-5, 293-pound defensive lineman spent the 2016 season on Arizona’s active roster, but was inactive for all 16 games. After entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent from the University of Miami in 2013, he spent time with the Chicago Bears before landing in Arizona. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle John Wetzel (73) during an NFL preseason football game against the Oakland Raiders, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby left with a finger injury in the first quarter of Arizona’s Sunday game against the Los Angeles Rams in London.Paul Calvisi of 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station reported that the starting inside linebacker was questionable to return. He did with his fingers taped up. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Per @PaulCalvisi on the Cardinals sidelines, Karlos Dansby is back on the field with his fingers taped up@NFLUK #AZvsLAR— Craig Grialou (@CraigAZSports) October 22, 2017Dansby hurt himself making a tackle and getting his fingers caught in a Rams player’s jersey. Josh Bynes replaced Dansby and on his first series made a key 3rd-and-goal pass breakup to force Los Angeles into a short field goal, which gave them a 3-0 lead on Arizona with 4:24 to play in the first quarter. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Dansby had 35 tackles on the season heading into Sunday.Bynes signed with the Cardinals on Aug. 5 and in limited time has 13 tackles and two forced fumbles coming into the Week 7 game at Twickenham Stadium.Bynes has 69 games of NFL experience and spent his first five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions prior to landing in Arizona. Arizona Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby pauses on the sidelines during an NFL football training camp Monday, July 24, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) 1 Comments Share Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Speaking of Singapore, is BA seeing a lot of traffic break their journey in the Lion City?It’s a mix. I’ve been living in Singapore for five years. I think a lot of people want to stop there. Either it’s a friend or relative or a business association they have there, so we do get a lot of people saying they are going to break the journey because it’s a great place to do that.Changi Airport is a destination itself – it provides a seamless and enjoyable experience and is an oasis of calm. It’s a phenomenal airport and we’re extremely happy to take our customers through an award-winning facility. BA is comfortable to be able to offer customers that seamless proposition. If you are making an ultra-long haul trip and the middle part of the journey can be taken in a relative amount of tranquillity, then that’s a win.Customer feedback for us is that it is exciting yet calm place to transfer.Concorde Lounge Bar, Changi AirportWe also opened a new lounge at Changi Terminal 1 some 18 months ago. We’ve made sure that it is extra comfortable – more space for people, more room and great shower facilities for freshening up on that ultra-long haul journey. But in addition we’ve also opened a Concorde Bar there. We have a Concorde Room at Terminal 5 at London Heathrow, our home. We wanted to replicate that in some of our overseas markets, and Singapore was the first location. We’ve opened the new lounge off the main facility in Singapore for First customers. It’s absolutely state-of-the-art, very comfortable. it is similar to relaxing in a cosy living room. It’s very private. Why is Australia so important to British Airways?We’re the only European carrier that still flies between Australia and Europe. We have a daily service from Sydney to London, but with the option to connect on two services between Singapore and London, including an Airbus A380. So there are lots of seats.I think if you look at the historical links between our two countries there are very natural links, and always have been. And then when you operate an aircraft like we do with four cabins you look and you think there are big business links between the two countries, and there are a lot of people who want to travel because of work. We also connect a great amount of traffic that is coming from Europe through to Australia. A high number want to come down here because of leisure. Likewise, lots of people from Australia want to go on extended trips through Europe so it’s right that we connect the two places. And each time we expand our network we offer more and more possibilities for consumers here. Can you tell me more about the investment British Airways is making in its fleet?We’re in the process of a big investment across the organisation. In terms of dollars, it’s more than $8 billion Aussie overall. We’ve got 72 aircraft coming just this year – it’s a huge amount of new fleet. That will comprise a mix of long-haul, short-haul and new types of aircraft including the A350 and 787-10 Dreamliner. For our European flying – our short haul operation – we’re bringing in the A320NEO/A321.A substantial part of the investment is around the fleet but we’re also looking to invest a lot in the existing aircraft we operate. That will incorporate complete refurbishments of some of our existing fleet to bring everything up to the standard we would want it to be today. What upgrades are planned for BA’s Club World Business Class product?Around $1.1 billion is focused on Club World. We are taking what currently is a really solid sleep proposition and making that outstanding. We’ve signed a partnership with The White Company (which some people in this market are familiar with already) but it is becoming a more and more known brand. The White Company is a very high-end, luxury British lifestyle brand that focuses on bedding, silks, pillows, duvets, blankets etc, usually for the home, but we’ve now taken that into the sky. Our partnership will see great, big new luxury pillows in the cabin. If you go back a few years and you think about airline pillows, they weren’t like the pillows you are experiencing at home, but I think now we can say there are. The offering also includes duvets and mattresses that go with our already comfortable flat bed in Club World, to make sure that on these long trips people are having the rest that they need to arrive fresh.We’ve just brought that on to our Australian route in the past couple of weeks and early feedback is very positive. That’s available up to Singapore from Sydney on our afternoon service, and then on the longer overnight onto London. In the opposite direction it’s the two overnight flights, so our passengers are really able to maximise that rest with us onboard.The White Company product, now available on Sydney flightsCan you tell me more about the arrangement with Do&Co? What does that involve?The partnership with Do&Co covers some of the change in product that we’ve been making on the catering side in Club World. In addition to the sleep proposition, one thing that we are rolling out progressively this year is a new catering proposition throughout the aircraft.For Club World and the Business cabin we’ve really been looking at shaking it up and make the catering onboard our longer flights a more interesting experience for the customer. What we’ve done is introduced a way of presenting entrees, desserts, cheeses etc to the customers before they actually select. So rather than just having a menu and a written description from which Club World passengers can choose to eat, we are taking advantage of the travelling time. Passengers can now view their options and see what they might want to choose, and Do&Co have been a part of that development.In addition we have been changing some of the catering in other cabins on the aircraft and making sure that customers sitting in World Traveller (our Economy cabin), are thoroughly well fed. Additional ice cream, for example, during the mid-flight period when people are just looking for something to snack on. Everybody is different when they fly, but I think generally people enjoy being ‘wined and dined’. What connecting options does British Airways offer through Changi?Passengers can travel on the A380 which operates between London and Singapore everyday. Guests on that flight who are connecting to Sydney have a little bit more time at the lounge. So if a customer preferred a slow transit to enjoy the facilities, then they’ve got the opportunity to do that, and just connect onto the 777-300 to Sydney.Similarly on the way back. Both London flights from Singapore leave at similar times – you’ve got about 90 minutes to go and freshen up, have a drink, stretch your legs.Besides the product, where else is British Airways investing their money?Throughout. One of the key things about a big investment like this is that it’s not actually just about the moment you’ve stepped aboard one of our planes. We need investment in the booking procedure. Customers want a faster app booking mechanisms, faster on the ground and in the airport experiences and one thing that we opened just in the middle of last year was the First Wing at Heathrow Terminal 5. Our home.The First Wing at London HeathrowThat was really a huge investment that allows our First and our Gold Class customers to travel into London Heathrow and directly through security. Customers check-in, pass through security and go straight into our First Class lounge. This has been something that we’ve wanted to have for a long time and it’s a big part of the investment. To be able to bypass the main part of the airport and to go straight into the lounge, and relax, get themselves a drink, etc –it’s great.Go back to the enewsletter Is British Airways making changes to its in-flight wi-fi technology?We’ve really thought long and hard about this and we’re bringing in the latest generation of wi-fi because we want customers to be able to stream. I don’t think it’s a case of people just wanting to have a look at a quick message. People want to be able to enjoy our entertainment and we have to make sure that we’ve still got the latest and greatest options on our own entertainment. But at the same time, if you’re in the middle of binge watching something on a streaming channel, you’ll want to be able to view that in the air tour. That’s all coming out too. It is in the process of being rolled out now and should be completed by the end of this year. What about the hardware in Club World? Is that set to be revolutionised as part of the investment?Yes it is. Our new Club World seat – I can’t say a lot about it –but it will progressively come out next year. It will debut with the launch of the A350 into our fleet. It will have direct aisle access. That’s something that customers have told us that they want, but beyond that, more details can be expected in due course. Beyond Sydney, would BA look at the opportunity to go into Melbourne, or perhaps Perth?We’re always looking at the network. That’s part-in-parcel with what we do. At the moment we’re flying through Singapore between London and Sydney. Go back to the enewsletterBritish Airways is investing $8 billion Australian dollars on a multitude of brand new aircraft, including the carbon-composite Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner, along with upgrades to the airline’s existing fleet, in-flight product, lounges, catering, wi-fi and apps.LATTE‘s Managing Editor Guy Dundas sat down with British Airways’ Head of Sales – Asia Pacific and Middle East, Robert Williams to find out more. Why do you think wi-fi is important on flights?I think the majority of people want to stay connected, but beyond that it’s become an expectation that one is connected. I would say that we are moving into a world where to not be reached still has to be a choice that you make and the choice and that the facility is there if you want to use it.Beyond being reachable, so much of our entertainment world now comes from streaming and that is what we are happy to offer customers. No matter where you are sitting in the aircraft, you want to be able to stream, able to plug in your devices, able to charge your devices, and those are the things we are making sure that we’ve got kitted out across the long- and short-haul fleet.
Go back to the enewsletterThis month LATTE has profiled The Haven by Norwegian, the high-end product offering of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), examining the service, facilities and staterooms.The Haven certainly isn’t a new luxury offering for NCL; next year marks 10 years since its inception after debuting on Norwegian Epic in 2010. But over that time, the product has evolved, expanded and been fine-tuned. The most recent adaption launched on Norwegian Bliss 12 months ago and a revamped version on Norwegian Jewel was revealed last year. Come November, the brand new Norwegian Encore will also offer something to look forward to with The Haven.Norwegian Bliss – The Haven Spa SuiteVice President of Sales for Australia and New Zealand, Nicole Costantin admits that the take-up from the Australian market in the early days was slow as NCL worked on positioning the product.“We had to get our message across to the trade that we now offered a luxury solution for guests and it was completely different from what they would have seen on other ships; it was all-encompassing.”“Particularly with the last few ships, and since NCLH’s [Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’] acquisition of Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises, we wanted to compare how those cruise lines defined luxury and our points of difference.”We asked Costantin what’s the secret to selling The Haven. Here is her response. Nicole Costantin, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Vice President of Sales for Australia and New ZealandAwareness“I don’t think it’s a difficult step for travel advisors to entice clients to the Haven. It’s certainly a price point difference and it’s certainly a different level of luxury. “We’ve found many times that guests on board our ships approach the front desk to say they were never made aware of The Haven. “What is it?” they ask. This comes up at every one of our sales meetings. Our ship concierges tell us the same thing every sailing. Guests often find out about The Haven too late.” Positioning“I think many times agents are afraid to tell their clients that they can have a standard balcony cabin for $5,000 on one of our ships, whereas the entry price to The Haven in a Spa Suite is around $12,000 and that comes with all the bells and whistles.“It is that next step up but it’s still less than most of the luxury ships – that have half of the experiences, restaurants and entertainment than our big ships – offer.”“I believe there are some cases with past cruisers who have traditionally done the big contemporary ships, some find the size of the ship intimidating, going to a smaller ship where they are a lot more visible. Whereas with The Haven you still have the big ship experience if you want it. You still have all the choice if you want it. But you also have that very VIP treatment.”“But I appreciate that there is a difference. I’ve been on Oceania. I’ve been on Regent, so I see this beautiful, exclusive product. Having said that, I’ve also taken Lisa [Pile] and Steve [McLaughlin] from our sister-brands Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises into The Haven to show them what NCL offers and they were wowed and didn’t expect it. And that’s what many people also say: I didn’t expect this.”Quizzed by LATTE if NCLH has seen guests transition from the Regent and Oceania brands to NCL’s The Haven, Constantin says the product appeals to guests of both cruise lines who want to travel with families and with friendship groups that enjoy luxury but want to do it with extended family.“Whether they’ve got kids or not, or whether that’s six or seven people in their 40s and 50s. It’s that age group that wants the entertainment and the dining options, and they don’t want to sit there and listen to somebody play Elton John one night and then Billy Joel the next. It’s having that choice.”“We have many coming from other cruise lines that are looking for The Haven’s level of luxury.”Costantin says her goal at Virtuoso education sessions to raise awareness of The Haven is to leave with some luxury travel sellers saying: ‘I didn’t know that Norwegian did that’.Norwegian Bliss – The Haven 2-Bedroom BathroomHow to upsell clients to The Haven by Norwegian“If you are looking at a price point, our top suite for example for a week on Epic in Europe for two people is around $20,000. But that includes all drinks, all meals, Butler and Concierge service and VIP treatment throughout. Everything is fully inclusive.” “The Haven is for those people that are taking the next step. They’ve done the suites on all the contemporary style of ships and now they are moving up. They’ve got some extra cash, or they’re not taking the kids anymore. It’s just them and they still like to have all that choice but now they’ve got that exclusivity.” “It’s about us getting the message out there and agents not being afraid to realise that their clients probably have the money and they would probably like to be offered The Haven, or for you to at least think they have that money, so you are offering it to them.” “We have a lot of people that would never have ever thought of travelling luxury, that will travel in The Haven.”She says it’s key for travel advisors to avoid bundling Norwegian Cruise Line into the “mass-market cruise ship thing”.“We’ve spent a lot of money on very new ships, refurbishing them. We’ve spent multi-millions of dollars on our 10 top ships. Our President, Frank Del Rio, has a theory that every guest that walks on, he wants them to have that new-ship smell. “The money that has been spent refurbishing perfectly good ships has been quite startling. I’ve been working with the company for 20 years and I’ve never seen such investment in the fleet in my life. It’s gob-smacking. But because of that, it’s not just your average contemporary brand. It really is an upper-level brand,” Costantin concludes.Go back to the enewsletter
5. Dog’s Bay and Gurteen Bay, ConnemaraWith a little imagination, and if you wrap up warm, a sunny day in Dog’s Bay and Gurteen Bay in peaceful Connemara could transport you to the Caribbean. These two white sand crescents look like a mirror image of each other when viewed from above, with just a few hundred metres of flat green headland keeping them apart. The sand here is part of the appeal, consisting of shells from sea creatures or foraminifera, which gives the sand its dazzlingly white colour. The beaches are some of the safest in the area, protected from waves and without any major currents to be cautious about. The only thing you may need to fear is the temperature of the water – in January and February the weather in this part of Ireland can be pretty dreek, with temperatures as low as 2°C. While there are no facilities by the beach, there is a decent supermarket in the village of Roundstone, just three miles away. 2. Coumeenole Beach, Dunquin, Co. KerryBefore visiting you’ll have thought such natural beauty only existed in holiday brochures and filtered Instagram feeds, but Coumeenole Beach in Co. Kerry is the real deal. Rocky outcrops jut into the Atlantic, covered in long grass and surrounded by perfect patches of sandy beach. It’s so stunning that Lonely Planet once described it as “one of the most beautiful places on earth”, and after a few minutes exploring the peninsula, you will surely agree. While swimming here is sadly not recommended due to strong and unpredictable currents, surrounding cliffs make for a nice place to walk and provide an opportunity for some stunning photographs. As this is real, untouched middle-of-nowhere Ireland, you’ll be hard pushed to find any toilet facilities or even shops near by. You may also encounter a small language barrier, with most locals speaking Gaelic as their first language. 3. Brandon Bay, Co. KerryHome to some of the most consistent waves and the most breathtaking sunsets in Ireland, Brandon Bay’s golden strand is a water sports mecca. With great offshore breaks and big swells from the North Atlantic gracing the Kerry coastline, it’s a hot spot for both beginners and big-wave surfers from Ireland and abroad. To try your hand at surfing, book a lesson with Jamie Knox Watersports, and choose between wave surfing, windsurfing or even kitesurfing. Back onshore, join the post-surf crew at nearby O’Connor’s pub where they serve equally large portions of food, drink and mighty craic. 9. Skerries, DublinOur last beach on the list is beautiful Skerries in north Dublin, which is a quintessential Irish seaside town, complete with playgrounds, rock pools and an array of watersports on offer. If you’re looking to get out on the the water – instead of just enjoying the view from the terrace of Blue Bar and Restaurant – check out Outdoor Dublin which offers kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, blo karting and surf lessons from their base in the sheltered harbour. 7. Dunmore East, Co. WaterfordBesides Sandycove, Dunmore East is the only other beach on our list that is not situated along Ireland’s famous West Coast, or the Wild Atlantic Way. Instead, this part of the country is known as the ‘Sunny South East’ as it gets more sunshine and warmer weather than any other part of Ireland – reaching a balmy 26 or 27°C regularly during the summer months. One of the best places in Ireland to go snorkelling, the coastline around Dunmore East consists of sheltered coves and calm waters teeming with interesting sea life. If you’re a good swimmer, head out along the coast from cove to cove, ending up on the warm (sometimes) sun-drenched sands of Councillor’s Strand. Qualified local lifeguards are on duty from June to August. There’s ample parking space and excellent public facilities here, and hungry swimmers can refuel at Bay Café, where you can indulge in delicious open crab sandwiches with views across the harbour. Credit: ©Raymond Fogarty6. Sandycove Beach, Co. DublinOne of the (many) amazing things about Ireland is how many great public beaches and swimming spots there are close to the city centres. Sandycove Beach in south Dublin, for example, can be accessed from the city centre by car, DART (rail) or even by bike. On a quiet day, you can have the place to yourself but any sign of sun in the sky and you’ll be queuing up with hundreds of other brave souls to take the plunge in this natural swimming hole. Sandycove is most famous for the Forty Foot and their Christmas Day swimming events which attract foolhardy swimmers dressed in Santa suits. Not even the Irish winter will deter people here, with cold water swimming clubs meeting many mornings to brave the icy waters. Once you’ve taken a dip, reward yourself with some locally caught seafood and a hot whiskey at nearby Caviston’s Food Emporium. If you’re staying in Dublin for a few days, check out our local’s guide to find out where all the hidden pubs and bars are, so you don’t just end up at Temple! 4. Keem Bay, Achill Island, Co. MayoThe most photographed spot on Achill Island, Keem Bay is in a coastal class of its own. Driving down the steep and narrow roadway along Achill’s coastal route, as wandering sheep overtake you on either side, Keem Bay will emerge ahead of you, inviting you to explore it’s beautiful shores. Here the Atlantic Ocean could be mistaken for a tropical paradise, with the water a magical blue, contrasting with the elevated cliffs and dramatic Slievemore mountain which form a backdrop for this beautiful horseshoe bay. This Blue Flag beach comes complete with friendly lifeguards in the summer and some of the softest white sand to dip your toes in. The area is rich in marine life, with frequent sightings of dolphins, seals and even basking sharks.Feeling peckish? Head on over to what might be the cutest and most retro sweet van in Ireland. The friendly owner sells a variety of soft drinks, chocolate and novelty treats…along with a incongruous collection of DVDs! With green grass covered cliffs, spotlessly clean white sandy beaches, bays with perfectly flat stones for skimming and waves big and small for all water sports fans, Ireland has plenty of pretty coastal spots for you to explore. Sure the weather can be slightly, er, unpredictable, but that only keeps the beaches quieter and somehow keeps the water that little bit warmer – or so it seems!Below is our list of the top ten beaches in Ireland, as chosen by a local in the know. If we’ve left out your favourite hidden bay, be sure to let us know so we can include it in our next post, just like we did with our readers’ tips on the best beaches in Britain.1. Inchydoney Beach, Clonakilty, Co. CorkCork’s most loved beach, Inchydoney, is as popular with those out for a Sunday drive as it is with hard-core surfers (riding waves even in the midst of Irish winter) honeymooners and newlyweds looking for the perfect spot for their wedding photos. The pristine sands of Inchydoney are divided up into two magnificent beaches that stretch out as long as the eye can see. Broken by Virgin Mary’s Point and the end of the main road, you’ll find Inchydoney Surf School on the beach to the right, as they make use of the excellent off shore breaks to teach beginners how to catch their first wave. The area has a lot of nearby facilities including a small shop that opens during the summer, public toilets next to the beach, and the luxurious Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa, which has panoramic view across both beaches and out across the bay. Dunes Pub and Bistro is the perfect place to warm up after a long walk (or surfing session!), serving up local seafood dishes and cold pints of Guinness! The only tricky thing when it comes to this beautiful beach is actually getting there. You can catch a public bus as far as Clonakilty but you’ll need to get a taxi to reach the beach – the easiest method is to rent your own car giving your freedom to stay as long as you like. You might want to stay a bit longer and explore the surrounding countryside with your new set of wheels – check out this article for five of the best scenic driving routes in Ireland. 10. Easkey, Co. SligoHome to the headquarters of the Irish Surfing Association, Easkey Beach in Sligo (Ireland’s newly nicknamed ‘Adventure Capital’) is pounded by consistently good waves and draws big name surfers from the world over. The nearby headland, just past the ruined castle, is the perfect place to watch the action as the surfers glide in or get thrown off their boards in spectacular style. These waves are big and fast, so best to leave them to the professionals unless you really know what you’re doing. As the area is quite remote you’ll not find any public toilets here nearby. Your best option is to drive to the nearby McGowan’s pub, in Easkey village, a great place to grab a pint and a sandwich and listen to the post-surf chat. 8. Glanleam Beach, Valentia Island, Co. KerryWhile Glanleam Beach may well be on the Wild Atlantic Way, it’s more subtropical shoreline than wild and rugged. Situated along the Gulf Stream and at the foot of a sheltered valley, Glanleam is one of the warmest beaches on the west coast and a top spot for sunbathing during the slightly warmer summer months (highs of 18°C in July and August). Had enough of the sand between your toes? Time to get steamy in Glanleam House gardens and greenhouse, founded in 1775 and home to exotic plants from Asia and the southern hemisphere. Open from April to October, with tours available on request. RelatedAlternative beach holidays for summerFancy a beach holiday, but don’t want to battle through the crowds to find a good spot for your towel? We’ve rounded-up some exciting destinations that are a little off the beaten track – some in far-flung countries such as Japan and Malaysia, while others are a little closer to…50 of the world’s most beautiful beaches: in picturesDreaming of summer and longing to park your bum on some sand? Here’s our selection of 50 of the most perfect beaches in the world, including beautiful spots in Bali, hidden coves in Cornwall and spectacular stretches of black sand in Hawaii.9 of the best UK beaches you probably haven’t heard ofJust one day at these paradise bays is never enough, so make your British beach break a staycation to remember with our Fly Stay Save offer. You can unlock exclusive discounts for your hotel, B&B or hostel when you book a flight through Skyscanner, leaving you more money to spend… Fancy more fun day trips or longer staycation inspiration? Read more tips and ideas on what to see and do in the UK and Ireland here:Top 10 historic castles in the UKFrom imposing hilltop fortresses, visible from miles around, to stumpy relics of power hidden throughout the countryside, you’ll find castles here of all varieties from all corners of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Readers’ tips: 10 of Britain’s best beachesYou shared your beaches in Blighty with us, from Bognor to Barafundle, but did your favourite spot make the cut?The 10 best villages in the UKVillage life; bowls on the green, quaint pubs, red phone boxes and Morris dancing in the village hall. It’s the quintessential English stereotype of country living in the UK. But there’s way more going on in this chocolate-box towns.How much does it cost to go to Ireland?A quick look at how much it would cost you to visit Ireland for a week.10 spellbinding places in the UKYou’ll be spellbound by these pictures of Britain’s most mystical spots.Top 10 gorgeous gardens in the UKBloomin’ eck, these gardens are gorgeous, check out the photos!Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map
5. Catch the sunset while cruising Manila BayThe sunset at Manila Bay is one of the most common tourist attractions in Manila throughout the years. Whether or not you are a hopeless romantic, the experience becomes more memorable while enjoying a set dinner on a cruise ship or renting your own yacht. 6. Ride the jeepney (dyipni)You see buses and trains in many places around the globe; but only in the Philippines will you see and experience riding a dyipni. Say “bayad po” to pass your fare until it reaches the driver or his assistant, and “para” when you’re about to alight. 9. Chomp down exotic street food like balut and isawAside from the infamous balut (one-day old chick), different types of street food are available to whet (or challenge) your pallet: ‘isaw’ (pork or chicken intestines), ‘betamax’ (pork blood), ‘adidas’ (chicken feet), ‘helmet’ (chicken head), and the list goes on. You have to be careful where to buy them though. For a great isaw experience, check out Mang Larry’s which is found across the International Center in the UP Diliman Campus. 10. Go under at Manila Ocean Park Wondering what to do in Manila when it’s raining? The Ocean Park is an all-weather activity that’s bound to take you to another world – go on an ‘aquanaut’ voyage with an oxygen supply under the water, become a real mermaid for a few hours or simply pet the sharks and stingrays as you walk around the park. Rather not get wet? Check out the fish spa or jellies exhibit to enjoy the underwater environment without donning a space helmet. Opening Hours: 10am-8pmTickets: Tickets start at 590PHP to visit the jellies, aquarium, sea lions, sharks and rays. Tours and packages are also available for different experiences.Address: 666, Behind Quirino Grandstand, Luneta, Manila, Metro Manila 1000 2. Pay homage to our national hero at Rizal ParkThis iconic park, also known as Luneta, has been the site of many public executions during the Spanish era, including those of the three Filipino priests collectively known as Gomburza—Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora—and the national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Hence, it is where the Rizal Monument was erected. Across historic shrine is the marble marker designated as the country’s Kilometer Zero.Opening Hours: 5am-9pm dailyTickets: Free to enterAddress: Roxas Blvd Ermita, Barangay 666 Zone 72, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila 7. Embark on a Binondo food tripManila has attracted many foreign traders even before the Spanish conquistadors took over the city and later granted an area, called Binondo, to the Chinese merchants. There you will find the oldest Chinatown in the world and an array of restaurants that serve affordable, mouth-watering dishes and dim sum. Walking tours are also available to help you go around the area more conveniently.Address: Claro M. Recto Avenue and Avenida Rizal, Manila, Luzon 3. Master your haggling skills in the street marketsYes, Manila has too many malls to choose from and they’re all air-conditioned; but the real shopping adventure is in haggling in the street markets of Divisoria, Quiapo, and Baclaran. They are crowded and the weather could be extremely humid; but the experience is rewarding once you’ve found (and most likely, you will) very cheap items that match your quirks.Best street markets in Manila Diviroria MarketSan Andres fruit marketBaclaran Market 11. Visit the National Museum of the PhilippinesTake an anthropological and archaeological tour of the Philippines in this beautioful museum. It was originally meant to be a public library, designed by Ralph Harrington Doane in 1918, but it was used for legislature instead until the war. After being reconstructed post-war, the building was turned into the National Museum in 2003. Walk through the carvings, paintings and statues that illustrate the past hundred years in Filipino heritage. Opening Hours: 10am-5pm, closed on MondaysTickets: FreeAddress: 1000 Padre Burgos Ave, Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila12. Explore Fort SantiagoThis fourteenth century fort was built by Spanish conquistador, Miguel López de Legazpi, but in the past 500 years it’s been occupied by Brits, Americans and the Japanese. On the tour you’ll have chance to hear the story of the Filipino hero Dr Jose Rizal and walk round the battlements. Opening Hours: 8am-6pm dailyTickets: FreeAddress: Intramuros, Manila, Metro Manila 8. Appreciate art by visiting old Catholic churchesPhilippines is the fifth largest Catholic country in the world and there are a number of old churches found in Manila. Their architecture, murals, and different ornaments are great displays of different artistic styles. Some of the most popular ones are the Quiapo Church, Baclaran Church, San Sebastian Church and San Agustin. 4. Discover your singing prowess in a ‘videoke’ barTo say that Filipinos love to sing is an understatement. Videoke bars are very much a ‘thing’ in Manila, and you’ll have to try a few if you want to sample the nightlife. Nervous? Many offer group rooms (try out Red Box) so you can try it in the comfort of your group of friends, and a few drinks. 13. Photograph Manila CathedralThis is another key spot for learning about the Spanish inquisition in the Philippines. Whilst the Cathedral has been knocked down by war and earthquakes multiple times, to keeps being restored to it’s former glory, and you’ll usually find a wedding inside too. Opening Hours: 24 hoursTickets: Free to enter – you can request a tour Address: Sto. Tomas, Intramuros, Manila, 1002 Metro Manila 14. Bahay Tsinoy National MuseumWhilst many of the monuments and museums commemorate the Spanish influence in the Philippines, this is one of the few attractions that showcases Chinese heritage – the food, the people and the art (tsino is Filipino for Chinese). Opening Hours: 1pm-5pm, closed on MondaysTickets: 100PHP per adult, 60PH per childAddress: 32 Anda St, Intramuros, Manila, Metro Manila15. Have fun at Star CityThis is where to go with the kids in manila – it’s a theme park full of dungeons, rollercoasters, classic carousels and children’s rides. Snow World is an excellent way to escape Manila’s heat, and they have plenty of food options on site too. Try to visit on a weekday though, as it’s a popular destination for school trips on the weekend. Opening Hours: Monday-Tuesday 4pm-11.30pm, Wednesday-Thursday 3pm-11.30pm, Friday-Sunday 2pm-11.30pmTickets: 70PHP entrance, 390PHP for 3 rides. The ride-all-you-can ticket is 450PHP, and presents good value for the amount of time you’ll spend in there.Address: Vicente Sotto St, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines Search for cheap flights to Manila1. Enlist in a walking tour of IntramurosThis historic walled city was once the core of the Spanish and American governments during their colonial reign in the Philippines. After getting ruined during World War II, efforts to rehabilitate the area began in the 1950s. You may simply walk around the area or ride a horse-drawn kalesa to explore this oldest district of Manila; but enlisting in a walking tour with a professional guide can save you time and give you a better perspective of the history and culture of the city.Where to find a walking tour in Manila: Contact Celdran for a walking tour of candy and carriage rides. How to get to ManilaThere are direct flights to Manila from London, but this is the only airport in the U.K with direct flights. If you’re flying from Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bournemouth or any other major U.K city, you may connect via London or another European city. Search for cheap flights to ManilaWhere to stay on a city break in ManilaIf you’re looking for a hostel:The MNL Boutique Hotel is one of the best hostels we’ve seen in Asia, and it’s in the heart of Makati – the place to stay for nightlife in Manila. If you’re looking for a hotel:The A Venue Hotel has a full-service spa and indoor pool. If you’re looking for luxury:The I’M Hotel has amazing views of Poblacion, beautifully designed suites and 5-star service.Search for hotels in Manila Looking for cheap flights to Manila? Search nowReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Jay-Z, Harry Styles, Kendrick Lamar, U2 and Chris Stapleton were just some of the artists responsible for Barack Obama’s favourite songs of the year.The former president shared an eclectic list of his favourite songs and books of 2017 Sunday on his Facebook page, including Jay-Z’s “Family Feud” and Styles’ “Sign of the Times.” The 22-song list also singled out Lamar’s “Humble,” U2’s “Ordinary Love (Extraordinary Mix)” and Stapleton’s “Millionaire.Obama writes that he wanted to continue the tradition he stared during his presidency of sharing his reading and playlists.His books list includes “Grant,” by Ron Chernow, “Exit West,” by Moshin Hamid, “Anything is Possible,” by Elizabeth Strout and Amy Goldstein’s “Janesville: An American Story.” Obama also gave a bonus shout-out to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s “Coach Wooden and Me.” by The Associated Press Posted Dec 31, 2017 5:39 pm PDT Last Updated Dec 31, 2017 at 6:20 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Songs by Jay-Z, Harry Styles among Obama’s favourites of 2017
NEW YORK, N.Y. – When the filmmaking Duplass brothers sat down to list their top 10 movies of all time, one cinematic masterpiece didn’t make the cut.Jay and Mark Duplass made room for “Dumb and Dumber,” ”Tootsie” and “Raising Arizona.” But “The Godfather,” often topping lists of all-time great films, was left off.Why it was says a lot about these off-beat indie darlings, who rose to fame in 2005 with their $10,000 film, “The Puffy Chair,” and then went on create a mini-empire, with deals at Netflix and HBO. They’ve always led with their gut.“Jay and I don’t approach things in any way intellectually whenever we’re making something because when we do, it tends to be bad,” says Mark Duplass. “We just let whatever comes out of our stomach be the thing.”So their films weren’t the typical best-of candidates like “The Godfather” or “Citizen Kane,” but quirky ones like “Joe Versus the Volcano” and “The Horse Boy.” Like their projects, it was a highly personal decision.“I think the more that you acknowledge that and get out of your head about what you think you like or should like, that’s where the joy comes,” says Jay Duplass, the older by four years.Their final top-10 film list is included in the siblings’ deeply personal memoir, “Like Brothers,” which mixes autobiography, moviemaking advice, observational comedy, old scripts and emails and tips on keeping friendships healthy while also being business partners.They advise budding filmmakers to start making 5-minute shorts on their iPhones, buy cheap cars with good warranties, save money by living with roommates, enter festivals, ask peers to be critics, pay it forward and urge artists to just keep plunging forward in a chapter titled “The Cavalry Isn’t Coming.”“The book is a simple product of survivor’s guilt,” says Mark Duplass. His brother agrees: “We do want to help people avoid a decade of suffering, if at all possible, because it was hard.”The Duplass brothers fell into moviemaking when their father brought home a clunky video camera in 1984. Unsure how to use it, he gave it to his boys, then 8 and 12. One key detail was that it was so big, it needed a second person to carry the tape deck. A brotherly union was born.They’ve written, directed and produced films and TV shows together, including the HBO anthology series “Room 104” and the films “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” and “Cyrus.” They’ve also acted (Jay in HBO’s “Transparent” and Mark in “The League”) and were behind and in front of the camera for the HBO series “Togetherness.”Along the way, they became accidental icons, inspiration for people who like small, deeply felt projects over soulless big Hollywood fare. “We are B-minuses that made it. And that’s really no false modesty,” says Mark.Amid the book’s film advice and life lessons — as well as defence of dicey pop culture items such as “Karate Kid Part II” and Air Supply — are practical lessons for keeping creative friendships alive.“I guess we kind of accidentally discovered that fighting and yelling at each other isn’t necessary because when you fail as long as Jay and I did as artists, your ego is beaten out of you,” says Mark.Their advice, which is just as applicable to marriages, includes listening without interruption to the other’s side, agreeing not to argue after bedtime and, if all else fails, doing “the Porky Pig,” in which both sides take off their pants like the cartoon character and try to reassess the debate with a straight face.“You just make it work. You do whatever it takes to make it work,” says Jay. “We’re never getting divorced. This is never going to end. Even if we don’t work together, we’re still in the same family. We’re tied together forever.”Lately, the brothers are taking a page from their own advice and helping other young filmmakers. They produced the Netflix documentary series “Wild Wild Country” for Maclain and Chapman Way — another filmmaking sibling team — and currently have backed the new docuseries “Evil Genius” on the streaming service. They admit they didn’t know how to direct those projects but still wanted to help.“You know what we know how to do?” asks Mark. “Use our name, influence and money to fund, creatively protect and usher these filmmakers who are better documentary filmmakers than us and give them that thing and share it with them. It’s the greatest thing.”___Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits Jay and Mark Duplass reveal the secret to their success by Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press Posted May 21, 2018 7:02 am PDT Last Updated May 21, 2018 at 7:40 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – In this Jan. 8, 2017 file photo, Indie filmmakers Jay Duplass, left, and Mark Duplass arrive at the HBO Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. The brothers have written a memoir called “Like Brothers.” It mixes autobiography, movie-making advice, observational comedy, old scripts and emails, and tips on keeping friendships in business. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
June 10: Actress Alexandra Stewart (“Under the Cherry Moon”) is 79. Singer Shirley Alston Reeves of The Shirelles is 77. Actor Andrew Stevens is 63. Bassist Kim Deal of The Pixies and The Breeders is 57. Singer Maxi Priest is 57. Actress Gina Gershon is 56. Actress Jeanne Tripplehorn is 55. Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin (Smashing Pumpkins, Zwan) is 54. Actress Kate Flannery (“The Office”) is 54. Model-actress Elizabeth Hurley is 53. Guitarist Joey Santiago of The Pixies is 53. Guitarist Emma Anderson (Lush) is 51. Country guitarist Brian Hofeldt of The Derailers is 51. Singer Mike Doughty (Soul Coughing) is 48. Singer JoJo of K-Ci and JoJo is 47. Singer Faith Evans is 45. Actor Hugh Dancy is 43. Singer Lemisha Grinstead of 702 is 40. Actor DJ Qualls (“Memphis Beat,” ”Hustle and Flow”) is 40. Country singer Lee Brice is 39. Singer Hoku is 37. Actress Leelee Sobieski is 36. Bassist Bridget Kearney of Lake Street Dive is 33. Actor Tristin Mays (2018’s “MacGyver,” ”The Vampire Diaries”) is 28.June 11: Comedian Johnny Brown (“Laugh-In”) is 81. Singer Joey Dee of Joey Dee and the Starliters is 78. Actress Adrienne Barbeau (“Maude”) is 73. Drummer Frank Beard of ZZ Top is 69. Singer Donnie Van Zant of .38 Special and of Van Zant is 66. Actor Hugh Laurie is 59. Talk-show host Dr. Mehmet Oz (“The Dr. Oz Show”) is 58. Singer Gioia Bruno of Expose is 55. Bassist Dan Lavery of Tonic is 52. Country singer Bruce Robison is 52. Actor Peter Dinklage is 49. Bassist Smilin’ Jay McDowell (BR5-49) is 49. Bassist Tai Anderson of Third Day is 42. Actor Joshua Jackson is 40. Actor Shia LaBeouf is 32.June 12: Disney composer Richard Sherman is 90. Jazz musician Chick Corea is 77. Singer Len Barry is 76. Drummer Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick is 67. Country singer-guitarist Junior Brown is 66. Singer-songwriter Rocky Burnette is 65. Actor Timothy Busfield is 61. Singer Meredith Brooks is 60. Accordionist-keyboardist John Linnell of They Might Be Giants is 59. Rapper Grandmaster Dee of Whodini is 56. Actor Paul Schulze (“Nurse Jackie”) is 56. Actor Eamonn Walker (“Chicago Fire,” ”Cadillac Records”) is 56. Actor Rick Hoffman (“Suits”) is 48. Actor-comedian Finesse Mitchell (“Roadies,” ”Saturday Night Live”) is 46. Actor Jason Mewes (“Clerks”) is 44. Blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd is 41. Actor Timothy Simons (“Veep”) is 40. Singer Robyn is 39. Country singer Chris Young is 33. Actor Luke Youngblood (“Galavant”) is 32.June 13: Actor Bob McGrath (“Sesame Street”) is 86. Magician Siegfried of Siegfried and Roy is 79. Actor Malcolm McDowell is 75. Singer Dennis Locorriere of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show is 69. Actor Stellan Skarsgard (“Mamma Mia”) is 67. Actor Richard Thomas is 67. Comedian Tim Allen is 65. Actress Ally Sheedy is 56. TV anchor Hannah Storm is 56. Bassist Paul deLisle of Smash Mouth is 55. Singer David Gray is 50. Singer Deniece Pearson of Five Star is 50. Musician Soren Rasted (Aqua) is 49. Actor-singer Jamie Walters is 49. Singer-guitarist Rivers Cuomo of Weezer is 48. Actor Steve-O (“Jackass”) is 44. Actor Ethan Embry (“Can’t Hardly Wait,” ”That Thing You Do!”) is 40. Actor Chris Evans (“The Fantastic Four”) is 37. Singer Raz B (B2K) is 33. Actress Kat Dennings (“2 Broke Girls”) is 32. Actresses Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen are 32. Actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Kick-Ass” films) is 28.June 14: Actress Marla Gibbs is 87. Singer Rod Argent of The Zombies and Argent is 73. Singer Janet Lennon of The Lennon Sisters is 72. Guitarist Barry Melton of Country Joe and the Fish is 71. Drummer Alan White of Yes is 69. Actor Eddie Mekka (Carmine on “Laverne and Shirley”) is 66. Actor Will Patton is 64. Jazz bassist Marcus Miller is 59. Singer Boy George is 57. Actress Traylor Howard (“Monk,” ”Two Guys and a Girl”) is 52. Actress Yasmine Bleeth is 50. Actor Sullivan Stapleton (“Blindspot”) is 41. Actor Lawrence Saint-Victor (“The Bold and the Beautiful,” ”Guiding Light”) is 36. Actor J.R. Martinez (“All My Children”) is 35. Actor Kevin McHale (“Glee”) is 30. Actress Lucy Hale (“Pretty Little Liars”) is 29. Singer Jesy Nelson of Little Mix is 27. Actor Daryl Sabara (“Spy Kids”) is 26.June 15: Singer Ruby Nash Garnett of Ruby and the Romantics is 84. Guitarist Leo Nocentelli of The Meters is 72. Actor Simon Callow (“Amadeus,” ”Shakespeare in Love”) is 69. Singer Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply is 69. Singer Steve Walsh (Kansas) is 67. Country singer Terri Gibbs is 64. Actor Jim Belushi is 64. Actress Julie Hagerty (“Airplane”) is 63. Actress Polly Draper (“thirtysomething”) is 63. Guitarist Brad Gillis of Night Ranger is 61. Drummer Scott Rockenfield of Queensryche is 55. Actress Helen Hunt is 55. Actress Courteney Cox (“Friends”) is 54. Guitarist Tony Ardoin of River Road is 54. Guitarist Michael Britt of Lonestar is 52. Drummer Rob Mitchell of Sixpence None The Richer is 52. Rapper-actor Ice Cube is 49. Actress Leah Remini is 48. Actor Jake Busey (“Starship Troopers”) is 47. Trombone player T-Bone Willy of Save Ferris is 46. Actor Neil Patrick Harris is 45. Actress Elizabeth Reaser (“Twilight”) is 43. Singer Dryden Mitchell of Alien Ant Farm is 42. Guitarist Billy Martin of Good Charlotte is 37. Guitarist Wayne Sermon of Imagine Dragons is 34. Actor Denzel Whitaker is 28.June 16: Actress Eileen Atkins (“The Crown,” ”Doc Martin”) is 84. Actor Bill Cobbs is 84. Country singer Billy “Crash” Craddock is 80. Songwriter Lamont Dozier of Holland-Dozier-Holland is 77. Singer Eddie Levert of The O’Jays is 76. Actress Joan Van Ark is 75. Singer James Smith of The Stylistics is 68. Actress Laurie Metcalf (“Roseanne,” ”Norm”) is 63. Actor Arnold Vosloo (“The Mummy”) is 56. Actor Danny Burstein (“Boardwalk Empire”) is 54. Model-actress Jenny Shimizu is 51. Actor James Patrick Stuart is 50. Actor Clifton Collins Jr. (“Westworld”) is 48. Actor John Cho (2009’s “Star Trek,” ”Harold and Kumar” movies) is 46. Actor Eddie Cibrian is 45. Actor Daniel Bruhl (“Captain America: Civil War”) is 40. Actress Sibel Kekilli (“Game of Thrones”) is 38. Actress Missy Peregrym is 36. Actress Olivia Hack is 35. “American Idol” runner-up Diana DeGarmo is 31. Bassist Ian Keaggy of Hot Chelle Rae is 31. Celebrity birthdays for the week of June 10-16 by The Associated Press Posted Jun 5, 2018 4:12 am PDT Last Updated Jun 5, 2018 at 5:00 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email