On a sunny day on March 19, I found myself boarding in to another world, inside the Superstar Virgo of the leading cruise line -- Star Cruises!
As the first every international cruise line to homeport in Manila, a huge celebration was in order to welcome the company at the Manila South Harbor. Music and dancing begun as the Department of Tourism in the Philippines invited our very own Philippine Cultural Dance Performers and the Higantes stilt walkers to the venue, while the mighty world champion team of the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation ushered the honored guests from the Philippine government, media and partner agencies inside the ship.
Guests had the pleasure of having first glimpse of the luxury inside the giant vessel and the day even ended with a concert performance from the Philippines' very own very handsome and sexy Jazz singer Markki Stroem! We even danced to his suave rhythm (in our fancy pajamas!)
Like a bird out of its nest, I felt free as I, along with a few beauty queens and friends from the Always Famous group experienced the voyage to the "Jewels of the South China Sea" for the next 5 days and the first stop in our Star Cruises itinerary was the beautiful city of Laoag, then on to Vigan -- where we walked along the rustic streets of Calle Crisologo and saw the enchanting architecture of the San Agustin church. By nightfall, we headed back to the ship where we fashioned ourselves with good ol' fashioned leather jackets, and a 50s rock-star getup for Grease Night at the Genting Palace!
It was so much fun and the thing I knew was waking up to the magnificent sunrise by the sea line of Kaohsiung, Taiwan! I immediately hopped on a bus with the rest of my 'Famous' friends and saw the sacred temple of Fo Guang Shan, Taiwan's famous Love River and the Pier-2 Art Center in the Yancheng district. At dinnertime, we had ourselves all made up with Chinese-inspired clothing, with our neatly styled updos and cheongsams!
By the fourth day, the Superstar Virgo was still at sea while the whole gang and I had a sumo-tastic lunch in the ship's Samurai restaurant! It was one in the afternoon when the ship finally reached the busy Hong Kong harbor and everyone got out to enjoy a fun-filled day of shopping! Some of us had a few photoshoots done too!
On the fifth day, we were sailing back to the Philippines and had the whole day onboard. So we decided not to waste the perfect sunny day by celebrating our cruise vacay with a Lala Land pool party at the Beatship deck! The fun didn't stop there as later on that evening, my dear friend and renowned fashion designer Rhett Eala had the first debut of his Queen collection at the Grand Piazza, thanks to the brilliant collaboration of Star Cruises and industry movers Keren Pascual, director Robby Carmona and of course Rhett's 11 muses -- beauty queens Ana Sideco, Alaiza Malinao, Franchesca Lagua, Nikita Mc Elroy, Jodilly Pendre, Jo Ann Bitagcol, Lou Muñoz, Michelle Panemanglor, Justine Gabionza, Nicole Cordoves and the muse of the hour (who is also the muse for all of Rhett's gowns in this collection) Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina!
By the morning of March 24, Superstar Virgo was already docking back in Manila South Harbor. We were finally home after a week-long adventure across the Asia Pacific. Thank you so much Star Cruises for this unforgettable voyage! Truly #LoveStarCruises!
|Me and my bff Angelette Calero|
|La-la-lovely pool party at the Beat Ship deck!|
|Zumba time at the Heli-pad area!|
|The gang and I chillin in Vigan for our first stop!|
|I just love this picture of the girls all dressed in their cheongsam!|
|(L-R) Marissa Tambunring, Ana de Ocampo, Angelette Calero, Eds Genuino, Charlene Escaler and yours truly by the Grand Piazza before Rhett's Queen collection debut!|
|Our fabulous hosts for the night Tweetie de Leon- Gonzalez (top picture) and Rajo Laurel (below)|
|Star Cruises ambassadors LA Aguinaldo and Kylie Verzosa|
|The boys Luke Jickain, LA Aguinaldo and director Robbie Carmona|
|The two fashionable Tessas: Tessa Prieto Valdes and Tessa Alindogan|
|Jo Ann Bitagcol|
|Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina|
|Designer Rhett Eala after his successful show!|
|Rhett and his muses with Marx Topacio (farthest right) and Star Cruises officials Lynch Imbat, Joyce Francisco-Ocampo and Andrea Manzano|
|Rhett's gowns in full display!|