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Volunteering abroad: 3 Reasons why it will change your life

There’s no doubt that heading off into the wide blue yonder to a completely different culture and pace of life; perhaps to live in less comfort than you’re used to; and to navigate language barriers, can be a very daunting prospect for people at any age. However, the rewards are more than worth the effort, as you will find out.

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Volunteering in far-flung destinations has become increasingly popular in recent years – and it’s not hard to see why. People who return from these experiences have described their time away as life-changing and life-affirming. There’s no doubt that heading off into the wide blue yonder to a completely different culture and pace of life; perhaps to live in less comfort than you’re used to; and to navigate language barriers, can be a very daunting prospect for people at any age. However, the rewards are more than worth the effort, as you will find out…

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A FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITY TO USE YOUR SKILLS IN A MEANINGFUL WAY

There are opportunities for you to use your skills so that you can be of real help to people who really need it. If you are a keen linguist, you can volunteer in Ghana to teach English to children in schools and orphanages. If you have medical skills or qualifications, you’ll be able to find volunteer roles that involve helping to heal people who might otherwise struggle to find medical assistance. If you are struggling to find meaning in your life, as we all do at times, using your skills and academic knowledge for the benefit of disadvantaged people will give you an entirely new perspective and sense of satisfaction.

DEVELOP IMPRESSIVE INDEPENDENCE AND SELF-CONFIDENCE

Being away on your own as a volunteer means that you are forced to learn to cope with a variety of difficulties, stresses and strains as you progress. Without the support of a partner, your family, or your friends, you learn to deal with situations as they arise, and to resolve them on your own. This will help you to gain control over your life and your emotions, and can help you to achieve great success within your career and personal life.

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LEARN

Volunteering abroad is rich in learning experiences of all kinds that are hard to acquire if you never leave your home town. Someone who has travelled to Thailand will know how to avoid the rainy season, and where to pick up the best lunch at the best prices. Because you learn by experiences rather than academic study, you will never forget the education you get during your travels.

Learning a language is considerably easier when you are immersed in it every single day, and it becomes a pleasure to develop your skills with the locals – rather than the chore of poring over old text books.

You will also learn a lot about yourself during your volunteering experiences abroad. The result of this will be that you will become much more self-aware and better at making the right choices when it comes to every aspect of your life; because you will have a new understanding of your own flaws and frailties.

Volunteering in places like Ghana, Thailand and Costa Rica could be the key to a more fulfilled, happier and resilient and self-confident you – and it could help you to secure your dream place at university or even the career you’ve always wanted. Find out how to travel here. Where will your journey take you?

Travel

15 Facts you may not know about Emirates A380

To celebrate 15 years of the Emirates A380, below are 15 fun facts about the remarkable aircraft that you may not know.

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This year sees Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, celebrating 15 years of operating the Airbus A380. Operating to 50 destinations* worldwide, Emirates is the largest carrier of this iconic aircraft, with a total of 116 of the aircraft in its fleet.

To celebrate 15 years of the Emirates A380, below are 15 fun facts about the remarkable aircraft that you may not know:

  1. Making History: When the A380 first began flying in 2008 many airports had to overhaul their runways and air bridge to accommodate, as the aircraft can weigh up to 575 tonnes – equivalent to two and a half times the weight of New York’s Statue of Liberty.
  2. Largest Ever Capacity: With space for as many as 615 passengers in a two-class configuration, the A380 is the largest passenger aircraft ever made, with over 550 square meters of usable floor space across two full-length decks. There up to 24 Emirates crew on every A380 flight
  3. Widebody Wings: The A380’s wingspan is a whopping 79.8 metres – which is as wide as 32 double-decker buses or an Olympic size swimming pool.
  4. First Class Luxury: The A380 also offers some of the world’s best in-flight experiences, with signature amenities in First Class such as the Shower Spa, which features Emirates Private Collection Bvlgari amenity kits.
  5. Suite Deal: There are 14 fully-enclosed Private Suites available in the A380’s First Class, where guests can enjoy an experience that gets as close as it comes to having their own private jet. You can select your own meal and bedtimes, with fine dining at any time. A short walk away is the on-board Shower Spa, as well as the ultimate Onboard Lounge.
  6. High-End Gastronomy: 1,800 chefs create more than 12,000 recipes a year to cater for Emirates’ fleet including the A380, catering for more than 43 million dine-in guests travelling on flights every year.
  7. Tasting the Stars: Emirates is the only commercial airline in the world officially serving Moët & ChandonVeuve Clicquot and Dom Pérignon onboard, with exclusive agreements in place until 2024. Moët Hennessy Champagnes have been available for Emirates passengers onboard for over 30 years, with First Class guests enjoying unlimited champagne and caviar during their flight.
  8. Shortest and Longest: With a flight duration of under 2 hours 50 mins each way, the shortest route on the Emirates A380 is Dubai to Jeddah. The longest Emirates A380 route meanwhile is Dubai-Auckland, with an estimated flight time of over 17 hours.
  9. A Whole Lot of Luggage: The Emirates A380 can carry up to 20,000 kilograms in baggage allowance. The A380’s vast cargo capacity also means the aircraft carry a host of items for export including flowers, fresh meat and fish, luxury goods, and pharmaceuticals.
  10. Entertainment for Hours: Emirates’ award-winning ice inflight entertainment system allows passengers to choose from 6,500 channels of movies, TV shows, live sports and breaking news, alongside in-flight Wi-Fi. Films available on ice that were released when Emirates first launched the A380 in 2008 include The Dark Knight, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and Mamma Mia!.
  11. In It For The Long Haul: The A380 is one of the longest-range aircraft in the world, capable of flying distances of up to 15,000 kilometres between take-off and landing.
  12. With a cruising altitude of 43,100 feet, the A380 flies at over 15 times the height of the world’s tallest freestanding building, the Burj Khalifa and over 42,000ft above The Shard. The vertical tail fin stands at an impressive 24m tall, capturing attention wherever it goes. 
  13. The Emirates A380 is typically powered by four Engine Alliance GP72000 engines, with the over 290,000 lb of take-off thrust across the wing providing the horsepower equivalent of around 2,600 cars at 110hp each.
  14. Each wheel from the 22 that make up the A380’s full landing gear supports around 26 tonnes of weight, equivalent to just over one and a half fully loaded articulated trucks. These allow it to complete a 180-degree turn within a width of 56.6m.
  15. Overhauling: Emirates is in the process of carrying out a US$2 billion retrofit program, fully refreshing cabins across 67 A380s to include the latest products and interiors across all cabins, including new Premium Economy seats. There is also a new livery, which was unveiled on the first A380 in March 2023. It takes over 4,000 litres of paint to cover the entire 38,000sq ft surface of the aircraft.

Filipino customers flying through Emirates’ global hub in Dubai and beyond* can experience all that the iconic Emirates A380 has to offer, from the world-class customer service to in-flight features that continue to redefine luxury air travel as we know it.

To book a flight, visit http://www.emirates.com/ph/english/.

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Travel

Synchronizing your internal clocks may help mitigate jet lag, effects of aging

Having a larger meal in the early morning of the new time zone can help overcome jet lag. Constantly shifting meal schedules or having a meal at night is discouraged, as it can lead to misalignment between internal clocks.

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Traveling to faraway places is a great way to seek out new experiences, but jet lag can be an unpleasant side effect. Adjusting to a new time zone is often accompanied by fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and a host of other problems that can turn an otherwise exciting adventure into a miserable trip.

Jet lag is caused by a difference between the circadian system — the body’s internal clock — and the surrounding environment. Around the turn of the century, scientists began to recognize that the body has multiple internal clocks, calibrated in different ways, and that jet lag-like symptoms can result when these clocks drift out of sync with each other. This can happen in several ways and grows more prevalent with age.

In Chaos, from AIP Publishing, a team of scientists from Northwestern University and the Santa Fe Institute developed a theoretical model to study the interactions between multiple internal clocks under the effects of aging and disruptions like jet lag.

Modern research has shown that circadian clocks are present in almost every cell and tissue in the body. Each relies on its own set of cues to calibrate; the brain’s clock depends on sunlight, for instance, while the peripheral organs calibrate at mealtime.

“Conflicting signals, such as warm weather during a short photoperiod or nighttime eating — eating when your brain is about to rest — can confuse internal clocks and cause desynchrony,” said author Yitong Huang.

At this point, little is known about how the body’s various internal clocks affect each other. The added complexity of accounting for multiple clocks means researchers tend to use simplified models.

“Most studies primarily focus on one particular time cue or a single clock,” said Huang. “Important gaps remain in our understanding of the synchronization of multiple clocks under conflicting time cues.”

Huang and her colleagues took a different approach, building a mathematical framework that accounts for this complex interplay between systems. Their model features two populations of coupled oscillators that mimic the natural rhythms of circadian cycles. Each oscillator influences the others while simultaneously adjusting based on unique external cues.

Using this model, the team was able to explore how such a coupled system could be disrupted and what makes the effect worse. They found that common symptoms of aging, such as weaker signals between circadian clocks and a lower sensitivity to light, result in a system that is more vulnerable to disruptions and slower to recover.

They also landed on a new method to speed up recovery from jet lag and similar disruptions. According to their results, the way to better sleep is through the stomach.

“Having a larger meal in the early morning of the new time zone can help overcome jet lag,” says Huang. “Constantly shifting meal schedules or having a meal at night is discouraged, as it can lead to misalignment between internal clocks.”

The article, “A minimal model of peripheral clocks reveals differential circadian re-entrainment in aging,” is authored by Yitong Huang, Yuanzhao Zhang, and Rosemary Braun. It appeared in Chaos.

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Destinations

PH’s Hot Air Balloon Festival to stage comeback in New Clark City in 2024

The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF), the country’s only airshow experience, will officially be back in the skies from February 16-18, 2024 (Friday-Sunday). The three-day event will be held at a new venue: New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.

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The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF), the country’s only airshow experience, will officially be back in the skies from February 16-18, 2024 (Friday-Sunday). The three-day event will be held at a new venue: New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.

After a three-year hiatus, “A Weekend of Everything that Flies” will once again give families, friends, and aviation enthusiasts a chance to witness non-stop flying exhibitions from regular and special-shaped hot air balloons, helicopters, skydivers, paragliders, radio-controlled aircraft, kites, and drones, all in one venue.

Attendees can also look forward to different enjoyable and educational activities through aviation career seminars, fly markets, food booths and family entertainment. Evenings will be capped off by a magical hot air balloon night glow and concerts. According to Capt. Joy Roa, Event Director of the PIHABF, “Since restrictions have been lifted, we now have a chance to gather families and friends for a meaningful event. By inviting aviators from all over the world to participate in the flying exhibitions, we continue to share with everyone a real airshow experience, just as we have done for over two decades.”

The 24th rendition of the PIHABF will take place in New Clark City, a sports hub founded by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), which features a 20,000-seater Athletics Stadium, aquatics center and various open grounds. The PIHABF has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with BCDA for New Clark City to host the airshow event for 2024. The MOA was signed by Capt. Joy Roa, Event Director of the PIHABF, and Engr. Joshua Bingcang, President and Chief Executive Officer of BCDA.  “We are thrilled to welcome the PIHABF to New Clark City, their new home. This modern-day festival, which brings joy to the young and old, deserves to be celebrated at the world-class facilities of New Clark City that are comfortable, spacious, and convenient for eventgoers,” says BCDA PCEO Engr. Joshua Bingcang. “We hope this partnership is just the start of many more events in the coming years.”

The event is in partnership with Clark Development Corporation, and the Provincial Government of Tarlac. Governor Susan Yap shares the same enthusiasm for the event, “The province of Tarlac welcomes the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, which, for more than 20 years, has consistently staged a highly entertaining and educational aviation event, bringing a lot of tourism and business opportunities in this part of Central Luzon.”

For more than two decades, the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, known as “A Weekend of Everything that Flies,” has been the most highly anticipated and longest-running sports aviation event in Asia. Over the years, it has stayed true to its longtime objectives: to spark interest in aviation; to instill discipline in young pilots; and to impart a spirit of volunteerism to the whole community.

For tickets and up-to-date information about the event, follow PIHABF’s official social media channels: Facebook – www.facebook.com/pihabf, Instagram – @philballoonfest, TikTok – @philballoonfiesta. Watch the teaser video here: https://fb.watch/mBo_XAOdbP/.

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