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Discovering the ‘Land of Contrasts’, Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture

Below are a few places travelers can dream of visiting when travel restrictions are lifted.

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Known as the “Land of Contrasts,” Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture is home to a variety of outdoor activities for travelers to enjoy. From cycling to surfing and even paragliding, Miyagi’s wide range of landscapes has no shortage of opportunities to try something new.

Below are a few places travelers can dream of visiting when travel restrictions are lifted. 

With a variety of biking trails to choose from, Miyagi is the perfect place to cycle through paths that stop by some of the prefecture’s most famous sights. For coastal views, Oshika Peninsula offers more than 40 miles of rolling hills and coastal panoramas, including a view of Kinkasan Island, a majestic island home to sacred deer that roam about the island freely. In the countryside, Marumori Loop is a popular cycling spot for locals. The low plains offer excellent views of the mountains, charming villages and rice fields. Experienced bikers can cycle through the mountainous wilderness of Mount Zao. These remote passes are grueling but are totally worth it for the beautiful scenery, secluded hot springs and countryside cafes. 

Speaking of Mount Zao, the region is one of Miyagi’s best destinations for outdoor adventures. Skiers and snowboarders can opt to tackle the remote slopes on their own, but a guide is considered essential for anyone not trained in winter mountaineering and acquainted with the terrain of Mount Zao. Luckily, M’s Guide is a winter mountain guide service based at Sumikawa Snow Park and can tailor any outdoor excursion for guests. 

For watersports, three-time paragliding national champion Takeshige Yamaya offers tandem paragliding experiences in Matsushima Bay, perfect for travelers to experience one of the Three Most Scenic Spots in Japan. Sendai and even Mount Zao can also be seen from the sky. In Sendai, Barefoot Surf offers a variety of SUP (stand-up paddle boarding) and surfing excursions for any skill level. 

Travelers looking to spend the night outdoors can stay at the Fukiage Kogen Campground in Northern Miyagi. The grounds are surrounded by scenic views of mountains and quiet forests. The campground even has its own hot spring, walking trails, pub and plenty of cute goats. While travelers can bring their own equipment, guests can be supplied with all the gear they need with advanced reservations.

For more information on Miyagi, visit http://www.visitmiyagi.com.

Destinations

6 Rising destinations of Palawan

When you ask a tourist or a local why they think the island deserves the title, you are likely to lose count. Palawan is primarily known for the world-class beauty of its beaches and other natural wonders like the Underground River, Bacuit Bay Islands, Baracuda Lake, and Ugong Rock, among others.

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The Philippines prides itself as a tropical country that is blessed with islands many of which are still unspoiled. Indeed, these islands are a source of pride for Filipinos to showcase what the country can offer to the world as a tourist destination.  And perhaps chief among these islands is Palawan, named “The Best Island in the World” countless times.

When you ask a tourist or a local why they think the island deserves the title, you are likely to lose count. Palawan is primarily known for the world-class beauty of its beaches and other natural wonders like the Underground River, Bacuit Bay Islands, Baracuda Lake, and Ugong Rock, among others.

However, Palawan still has numerous unappreciated destinations that are waiting to be discovered. If you have been planning to visit the best island in the world, why not include these emerging gems in your itinerary?

Cagayancillo

Known as the “Mecca of Scuba Divers,” Cagayancillo island is only southwest of Puerto Prinsesa. You will find the famous Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, dubbed as the center of the Coral Triangle. If scuba diving is part of your bucket list, this is the perfect place to check it off, as you will get a chance to scuba dive to see its beautiful reefs.

Port Barton

Port Barton is a quiet fishing village just north of Palawan’s capital and only started to gain tourist attraction because of its similar beauty to El Nido –only without the busy nightlife. If you are looking for the perfect escape from the noise of life, this laidback little town is the ideal island getaway for you.

Brooke’s Point

Do you want to know what Palawan’s countryside looks like? Then Brooke’s Point is the best place to visit! In this town, you will see and experience the beauty of living in the province without all the city lights and stressful technology. You can also check out the beauty of nature since you will find the Ecological Park and AgriWorld Farm here.

Balabac Island

Dubbed as the “Maldives of the Philippines,” not many tourists reach the island since it is one of the most challenging islands to travel to. However, its beauty speaks for itself since people sought their piece of paradise here, and you will get a chance to hike and live in nature like a “castaway” at some of its islets. These sets of islands on the Southern part of Palawan are certainly paradise on Earth. 

Balayong Park

An upcoming and significant infrastructure development in Puerto Prinsesa, The Balayong Park, is expected to host sports-related activities. The park is a part of the city government’s reboot of the tourism-related infrastructure programs as it prepares to “recover in the next two to three years.”

Balayong Park is one of the island’s developments that will help sustain its disrupted tourism industry. Recently, three new ports in El Nido, Bataraza, and Coron also started operations last March, which are expected to significantly enhance the mobility and connectivity of people and goods in the province and facilitate movements to significant trading and tourism centers.

Besides improving the lives of the locals on the island, Palawan’s infrastructure developments will allow tourists to experience all of the island’s beauty. Once the local tourism industry has fully healed, businesses and other sectors like real estate will soon follow its lead.

Diamond Beach Resorts

The sixth emerging gem on the island that you might want to check out is the Diamond Beach Resorts (DBR) of CitiGlobal Realty and Development Inc., which offers affordable and income-generating properties. It is being developed to help Filipinos, especially Overseas Filipino Workers, live the good life on the island.

Located in unspoiled, emerging vacation hotspots in Palawan, DBR is a world-class beachfront development dedicated to breaking the norm that leisure properties are offered only to a privileged few. And that ordinary hardworking Filipinos also deserve a piece of their own paradise.

DBR is only one of CitiGlobal’s real estate developments to revolutionizing the Filipino mindset on leisure properties while giving new investment opportunities for ordinary working-class Filipinos.

Diamond Beach Resorts (DBR) in Palawan of CitiGlobal Realty and Development Inc., (Artist perspective)

To learn more about CitiGlobal, visit its website at https://citiglobal.com.ph/ or send them an email at info@citiglobal.com.ph for inquiries. If you have properties to offer, you may reach them via Viber (0949-889-3252).

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Swimming safety tips for summer

Protect your family’s safety around water this summer with these tips.

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Photo by Briggs Boyd from Unsplash.com

Playing in or around water is one of the joys of summer, but this treasured seasonal pastime comes with some serious risks. Drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 14 in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As COVID-19 restrictions ease, many families will have more informal gatherings and take trips to the beach, increasing the potential for children to have unsupervised access to water sources. Because of this, it’s important for children to take swimming lessons to learn water safety skills and create safer habits in and around water. As swimming lessons begin across the country, many are being conducted safely with COVID-19 precautions in place.

Protect your family’s safety around water this summer with these tips from the Make a Splash Tour, presented by Phillips 66 and the USA Swimming Foundation.

Designate a Water Watcher and Closely Monitor Children

Designate a water watcher when you are in, on or around water. Watch all children and adolescents swimming or playing in or around water, even if they know how to swim. Keeping young children or inexperienced swimmers within arm’s length at all times can help ensure you’re able to provide assistance if and when it’s needed.

Wear a Life Jacket

Anyone participating in any boating, paddling or towed water sports, regardless of swimming ability in pool or open water situations, should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Preschool-aged children (5 years old and younger), who are not protected by touch supervision, in particular, should always wear a life jacket. Swimming aids and water toys – such as water wings, inflatable water wings and rings – are not intended to be life-saving devices. They may provide some buoyancy in the water but do not prevent drowning.

Swim with a Buddy

When possible, choose swimming locations where a trained lifeguard is watching for dangerous conditions and helping keep an eye on swimmers. Also make it a practice to always have at least two people swimming together. That way, if someone has a problem, the other can get help.

Learn to Swim

Research has shown formal swimming lessons reduce the risk of childhood drowning by 88%. Through the annual Make a Splash Tour, the USA Swimming Foundation, with the support of Phillips 66, encourages children’s swim lessons. By equipping your child with the skill of swimming, you’ll open doors to a lifetime of safety, fun, fitness and even employment opportunities.

While lessons progressively teach a variety of swimming strokes, some of the most important things swimmers learn – even in beginner classes – are breath control and how to float. These basic skills are essential for staying above water should someone find himself or herself unable to touch or too tired to swim to safety. Children can participate in swimming lessons before they can walk, and parent-child swim lessons provide bonding opportunities along with water safety education.

Enter Water Feet First

Diving in a pool that is too shallow or into water where you’re not certain what’s below the surface, like a lake, can have dire consequences. Teach children to dive only in designated diving areas and to always enter water of unknown or non-visible depth feet first.

Swim in Designated Areas and Obey Posted Signs and Flags

Ropes, buoys and flags in larger bodies of water like lakes or oceans are commonly used to mark off safe swimming areas and provide visual cues about changes in depth, underwater surfaces and currents. Teach children what these signs and markers mean and that they’re in place as safety tools, not toys to play with or float on.

Learn CPR

If the unthinkable does happen, knowing how to perform CPR allows you to take immediate action, which has been shown to significantly better the outcome for children with submersion injuries. In the time it takes for paramedics to arrive, you could save someone’s life. Seconds count; the more quickly lifesaving CPR is started, the better the chances of recovery. There are many places that offer CPR training, including community organizations and nonprofit groups. Remember to keep your certification current once you have completed the initial requirements.

Make safety a priority for your summer water fun. Find more information, including swim lesson providers in your area, by visiting usaswimming.org/makeasplash.

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Why a vacation seems like it will end as soon as it begins

Researchers found that people judge future positive events as being both farther away as well as shorter in duration than negative or neutral events.

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Photo by Ethan Robertson from Unsplash.com

Time not only flies when you’re having fun – sometimes anticipating a fun event makes it feel like it will be over as soon as it begins, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that people judge future positive events as being both farther away as well as shorter in duration than negative or neutral events.

Combining those two elements has a strange effect when people look forward to a positive event like a vacation, said Selin Malkoc, co-author of the study and associate professor of marketing at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.

“The seemingly endless wait for the vacation to start combined with the feeling that the vacation will fly by leads people to feel like the beginning and the end of their time off as similarly far from the present,” Malkoc said. “In other words, in their mind’s eye, the vacation is over as soon as it begins. It has no duration.”

The study was published online recently in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

This phenomenon has another interesting effect: It makes people feel like the endpoints of positive and negative events are similarly distant from the present.

That’s because anticipating a negative event – like a dreaded work trip – reverses the effects of a positive event: People feel like the negative event is right around the corner and will last a long time.

“Thinking about future positive and negative events leads people to take two different paths to the same conclusion, with the ends of both events seeming similarly far away,” said study co-author Gabriela Tonietto, assistant professor of marketing at Rutgers Business School – Newark and New Brunswick.

The Journal of Consumer Psychology paper included four related studies that came to similar conclusions. In one study, 451 online participants considered the upcoming weekend, which was either expected to be fun, terrible, or just OK.

They then indicated how far away the beginning and then the end of the weekend felt on a 0-100 slider scale (0=very near, 100=very far.)

Findings showed that a good weekend seemed farther away and shorter, while a terrible weekend seemed closer to the present day and longer in duration. An OK weekend fell in between.

On the slider scale, people rated a bad weekend as ending significantly farther away than its beginning. But for people who expected a good weekend, the slider scale ratings for how far away the beginning and the end seemed to them were nearly identical.

In fact, 46% of participants evaluated the positive weekend as feeling like it had no duration at all as they thought about both the event and the time leading up to it.

Thinking about how far the beginning and the end of the event is from the present is key to this phenomenon, Malkoc said. Another study showed that when people were asked to directly indicate how long they expected a positive event to last, they thought it would go quickly, but they did indicate it would take up some time.

It was only when people also considered the time leading up to the fun event – which they expected to crawl – that they thought a future positive experience would feel like it had no duration.

These findings have some interesting implications as people start planning vacations and other fun events as the COVID-19 pandemic ends, Malkoc said.

“If a vacation seems like it is going to end as soon as it begins, it may make people less likely to plan specific events during their time off,” she said. “It may also lead people to spend more on hotels and other luxuries, since it seems like the vacation is such a short time anyway.”

Other co-authors were Eric VanEpps of the University of Utah and Sam Maglio of the University of Toronto.

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