Town & Country (Philippines) - - EDITOR’S LETTER - @SUM­MIT­MEDIA.coM.PH YVETTE.FER­NAN­DEZ

Paris is al­ways a good idea.

My best friend Lisa quoted Au­drey Hep­burn early last year when we de­cided to cel­e­brate my big 5-0 birth­day in the City of Light.

I didn’t want a big party in Manila, I just wanted to get away. I’d orig­i­nally thought about head­ing some­where we’d never been be­fore. Cuba, per­haps, or Morocco. But when Lisa men­tioned Paris, I fig­ured, why not? A ma­jor milestone in my past life had al­ready been marked in the French cap­i­tal, why not an­other?

And so we booked our tick­ets in Jan­uary for Paris in the fall (months af­ter my ac­tual birth­day to avoid the sum­mer crowds and weather), to­tally un­aware that the months in be­tween would bring other un­ex­pected mile­stones that al­most caused our plans to go awry. We in­vited other friends to join us, friends from dif­fer­ent stages of my life.

At one point our travel group bal­looned to 36, in­clud­ing un­cles, aunts, and cousins, but they even­tu­ally fell away one by one till there were 16. Two had last-minute visa prob­lems (one was a frus­trat­ing en­counter at the air­port), and then there were 14— from Hong Kong, Sin­ga­pore, the U.S., the U.K., Spain, Ger­many, within France, and of course, Manila.

We all flew in and out at dif­fer­ent times and planned our days ac­cord­ing to our dif­fer­ent in­ter­ests, every­one do­ing what we felt like do­ing, see­ing each other when we felt like it. In the end we all had a blast, mak­ing new friends and happy mem­o­ries, celebrating life at its best.

Wel­come to our Sum­mer and Travel is­sue. On our cover, Candice Gotianuy, princess of the eter­nally sunny city of Cebu, and a con­sul of win­try Nor­way. We spent time with her at her home on a hill and at the ul­tra-mod­ern Univer­sity of Cebu Med­i­cal Cen­ter.

In­side, Gabriel Mal­var shares sto­ries and pho­to­graphs of a soli­tary camp­ing trip out­doors in un­tamed Patag­o­nia, while Carmina Mapa del Rosario writes about the sen­sory de­lights of a lux­u­ri­ous trip to Morocco with col­lege friends.

Where are you off to this year?

GoLDEn yEArS clock­wise from above: Giverny in the fall; yvette celebrating her 50th birth­day around paris with friends.

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