Bucket List: To See Spain!

Friday, February 14, 2014

As you can probably tell by my name, I have Spanish lineage. I've attempted to trace our family tree and the last bit I got is that we hail from Valencia. It's a long story. Valencia is the third largest city after Madrid and Barcelona. A few days ago, we were invited to a dinner party over at Manila Peninsula and see product updates about Spain. I didn't know countries could come like a product but when I listened to their people a couple of nights ago, it all made sense. I've got to go to España!

Arturo Ortiz, Director of Spain Tourism Board side by side with Ms. Vien Cortes, Market Analyst from the Spain Tourism Board.

The National Tourism Office of Spain and Embassy representatives provided information that would highlight the best from their country. It all boils down to our affinity to culture and our historical ties. We could not just throw away what's common between the Philippines and Spain so they are really banking on that. 

Spain's aggressive stance in the tourism industry didn't just come overnight, because as of now their yearly tourist arrivals amount to around 58 million. It definitely provides a chunk of their economic and business activities and since there are untapped Asian cities like Manila plus our other neighbors, we would be something that they have found interest especially in the religious - pilgrimage tour sector since our countries ties involve Catholicism. Their churches and real deal saintly locations doesn't only provide sustenance to the spirit, but even awe struck you with architecture spanning ages you weren't born or thought about yet, that long. Aside from that, they've also got one of the most modern art, architecture and engineering centers in the world! I was pretty close to booking a ticket when they showed Madrid. Then when we were also told about other regions in the country, I envied the lady who spoke about the Andalusian region where she showed some parts of Córdoba, Granada, Jaén, Málaga and Seville. She hasn't even started yet because as she was telling us about the places, she went in and dosed us with Spanish Gastronomy!

This is my kind of Paella! =)

There must be a hundred of these concoctions that are similarly called in Filipino and Spanish cooking but yes, Spain does have their own gustatory pleasures in and around Madrid. Their Paella no matter what way or form it goes just looks so good. Each region much like ours have their own version. Meaning that goes the same with Ensaymada, Adobo, etc. I also envy their wine and olive oil sources especially when they treat EVOO with such regalness since they never would want to put it elsewhere (not even on a pan) but on a plate!

Ms. Lisa Dinh, Business Development Manager for International Marketing & Tourism, 
El Corte Ingles

Then this gorgeous lady right here also told us something husbands would never appreciate. Spain is actually lethal for shopaholics! They've got hundreds of shopping malls and arcades in Spain that would be the perfect venue to swipe your cards. They've got one of the biggest tax exempted shopping venues in the world. They've got a system to get refunds for most retail shops and all you have to do is fill up the appropriate forms for it. If you're looking for original labeled bags, they bet you can even get it cheaper in Spain than in other European countries since it is duty free! Now that's a shopping haven you wouldn't want to miss!

The Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domecq

Ambassador Jorge Domecq proudly says that there are around 54,000 Filipinos who visited Spain last year and they are gunning to increase that this 2014. Spain has it all and all you have to do is take a look at this bright spot in Europe once more. I've always wanted to go and see if there's a Bueno clan in that part of the world, who know's I might just get the chance to do that this year!

 Since we needed to immerse ourselves further with what Spain has to offer, we got our dancing shoes ready for a spirited Flamenco dance!

I did actually get to experience Flamenco when I was a kid (I kid you not!) and it's one of the most exhilarating dances I've ever done. If you wish to see more of Spain, watch this!


Viva España!

P.S. Oh if you're looking for flights, go with Qatar Airways. I've seen their lounges and it's like a five star hotel. You've got to stay there a bit if I were you! LOL 


For more information about their country:
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