PARIS IN THE FALL
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.