Happiness: Naples “The Happiest Place in America”

Naples, Florida is a special place. The Smithsonian Magazine reported that the city has been dubbed as the happiest place in America for two consecutive years based on the holistic concept of “American well-being” as an indicator of happiness instead of simply basing it on median income.

A Gallup-Healthways poll measured the American well-being index which includes multiple factors that lead to personal and social happiness. These include rates of healthy eating, community-well-being, daily stress, and lifetimes diagnosed for depression. It basically gives a grade on how residents feel about their own physical, emotional and fiscal health, as well as the community’s social health.

According to Time, some 350,000 respondents participated in the polls. They rated 189 communities based on financial, physical, social, and emotional health. The city of Naples, along with neighboring Immokalee and Marco Island, ranked first in the index for both 2015 and 2016.

Other communities which have high well-being indices are temperate or semi-tropical climates near the ocean such as Florida and California with two each, and another in Hawaii.

One of the key factors measured in the State of American Well-Being: 2016 Community Well-Being Rankings survey is the level of individual stress within the community. Naples has been described as the ideal location because of a laid-back lifestyle, higher median income, community spirit, and easy access to medical and dental facilities.

“It isn’t just about physical health or income — there is a larger need to feel connected”

Gallup-Healthways President Karissa Price said the level of satisfaction was the same for both beachside and inland communities. She noted that residents spoke of a having a “strong sense of purpose often rooted in a shared culture and a feeling of belonging”. She further said: “It isn’t just about physical health or income — there is a larger need to feel connected.”

Additionally, the survey revealed that health is now a non-negotiable among Americans. Cities which ranked low in the polls were in the Southern U.S. and industrial Midwest. They scored dismally in the well-being category because of higher incidences of obesity, smoking, and other health problems.

The results tell us that people want to belong to a community where there is an emphasis on being healthy – on all aspects of living. A place that offers this equips its residents to better handle the stresses of daily life. A community that has happier, healthier, more affluent and socially active members makes a bold impact on society in general because these are people who simply want the best out of life.

Originally Published at: http://www.boldbusiness.com/health-longevity/happiness-naples-florida-named-happiest-place-america/


Making it Solo to Penang? Here’s Your Best Guide

Traveling by yourself can be a thrilling and enriching experience. There’s freedom when traveling solo because you don’t have to be restricted by your group’s itinerary or schedule. You can stay in one place for as long as you please, or come back the next day for more.

Here are three things to do on your solo adventure in Penang:

1. See the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion


Also called the Blue Mansion or Blue House, this is a boutique hotel that offers guided tours twice a day. There’s a sign up sheet outside the house that groups people together and gives them a tour scheduled. Guests won’t be allowed in unless they have reserved prior to the scheduled tour. This mansion was built by Cheong Fatt Tze and has 38 rooms and five large courtyards. Its most striking feature is its indigo-blue outer wall. There is a small entrance fee to see the mansion. It is open daily from 9:30 am to 5 pm.

2. Visit the Temples

Source: https://cache-graphicslib.viator.com/graphicslib/thumbs674x446/3705/SITours/penang-hill-and-kek-lok-si-buddhist-temple-afternoon-tour-in-penang-185977.jpg
Source: https://cache-graphicslib.viator.com/graphicslib/thumbs674x446/3705/SITours/penang-hill-and-kek-lok-si-buddhist-temple-afternoon-tour-in-penang-185977.jpg

Most people embark on a solo adventure to find themselves or search for their purpose. In Penang, specifically, on Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling you will find different houses of worship. This area is in fact called the “Street of Harmony” because different religions are able to co-exist peacefully. You will find the Kwan Yin temple, the Sri Mariamman Hindu temple as well as the Kapitan Keling Indian Muslim Mosque. If you have the time, travel to Air Itam to pay your respects at the Kek Lok Si Temple, which is one of the biggest Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia.

3. Go on a Foodie Adventure

Source: http://cdn2.savoredjourneys.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/penang-georgetown.jpg
Source: http://cdn2.savoredjourneys.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/penang-georgetown.jpg

Penang is a hawkers haven, and where they are, the crowds follow. Street food is very affordable and satisfying, you can get full meals for under US$ 3. Among the must tries are: Assam Laksa, a savory soup made of rice noodles, seafood and fresh spices; Ice Kacang, a dessert of shaved ice with beans, corn, jelly and syrup; and Nyonya Kuih , a popular snack of colorful Peranakan cakes. These are native rice cakes flavored with pandan and topped with coconut cream. You can also try other Malaysian food staples such as Beef Rendang, Satay, and Nasi Goreng.

You can find great Penang hotel deals for solo travelers when you book online. Some of them include tours and transfers for a hassle-free vacation. You can plan ahead and go on a solo adventure for a birthday or a significant occasion in your life.

A Guide to Wanderlust-Worthy Travel Photos from Penang

Source: https://cache-graphicslib.viator.com/graphicslib/thumbs674x446/3705/SITours/penang-hill-and-kek-lok-si-buddhist-temple-afternoon-tour-in-penang-185977.jpg
Source: https://cache-graphicslib.viator.com/graphicslib/thumbs674x446/3705/SITours/penang-hill-and-kek-lok-si-buddhist-temple-afternoon-tour-in-penang-185977.jpg

Planning an adventure to Penang, Malaysia is an exciting and thrilling task. There’s plenty of places to see and lots of adventures to try. Of course, all of these will be documented with hundreds of photos and social media posts so you better make sure that you have your cameras and selfie sticks ready before you head out to your next great adventure.

Here are three of the best places to go to in Penang:

1. Adventure Zone Theme Park

Source: http://img.venere.com/img/blog/golden-sands-resort.JPG
Source: http://img.venere.com/img/blog/golden-sands-resort.JPG

This one’s for the adventurous spirit! Adventure Zone Theme Park is roughly 10,300 square feet in total area and is great for kids and the young at heart. It has ball pits, giant slides, ladder climbs and many more activities that will keep kids and young adults occupied. There’s also a section for toddlers which offers them a safe and enjoyable place to expend their energy. This place is located at Jalan Batu Ferringhi and is open every day.

2. Made in Penang Interactive Museum

Source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BKjbfLuEv7Q/UvCJrHIuHhI/AAAAAAAAF2s/buRjsh6yLnE/s1600/140202+Pics+072_mm.JPG
Source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BKjbfLuEv7Q/UvCJrHIuHhI/AAAAAAAAF2s/buRjsh6yLnE/s1600/140202+Pics+072_mm.JPG

This modern and awe-inspiring 3D museum is situated in charming Georgetown. Here, you don’t just stare and appreciate the artwork, you actually become part of it! Guests can walk the whole expanse and do various poses on hundreds of artworks ranging from historical pieces to wacky ones. The works of art are amazing in itself, but when you add human drama and humor to it, each photo will be telling its own unique story.

3. Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

Source: http://connvoyage.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/cftm01.jpg

After the adventure and interactive museum, it’s time to add a cultural touch to your photos. The award-winning Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion at Leith street is known for its stunning indigo blue facade. This palatial home was built by master craftsmen in a span of 7 years. The workers realied heavily on feng shui while maintaining traditional Chinese architecture. It is a boutique hotel and museum with 16 rooms.

4. Hit the Streets

No trip to Penang will be complete without a trip to the markets and side streets. Hot and delicious street food will be waiting for you at every turn. You’ll have your fill of spicy laksa noodles, fluffy oyster cakes, and fall-off-the fork tender beef rendang at these inexpensive food stalls. Best of all, they are open until late at night or the wee hours of the morning.

These four stops in Penang will surely give you more than album’s worth of amazing photos to share to family and friends. More importantly, spending time in Penang is an enriching experience that you will carry with you for many years to come.

This week in Southern MM (Mar 6 – 12, 2016)


(Makati, Taguig, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Pateros)


1.            Weather & Traffic/ Road Construction

  1. Traffic news c/o writer/ road construction c/o writer
  2. Weather c/o Nicole


2.            Hotel Availabilities

  1. Hotel Promo1

i.What: Online Exclusive Booking

ii.When: stays betweenJanuary – March 31, 2016

iii.Where: New World Makati Hotel’s Residence Club

iv.Price: Up to 50% discount

Reference: http://manila.newworldhotels.com/en/promotions/online-exclusives/residence-club-offer/

Photo Source: http://manila.newworldhotels.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/2015/03/Makati.jpg


  1. Hotel Promo 2

i.What: Suite Leisure Promo

ii.When: Until December 2016

iii.Where: Makati Palace Hotel

iv.Price: Php 2799 per night

Reference: http://www.makatipalacehotel.com.ph/packages/

Photo Source: http://www.makatipalacehotel.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/sites/100/2016/01/SUITE_LEISURE_thumb.jpg


3.            1 Popular Cuisine/ 1 Seasonable Fruits/ 1 Seafood/  1 Restaurant Promos

  1. Restaurant (Recommendation Only )

i.What: Single Origin

ii.When: 7 am – 12 am

iii.Where: Single Origin, C3, Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Taguig, Philippines

iv.Price: Php 120 – Php 375


Photo Source : https://fbcdn-photos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xtp1/v/t1.0-0/s480x480/12742330_658498594290058_129290540106124954_n.jpg?oh=5658e557ccae12252441fc969d4262c7&oe=576087AE&__gda__=1462384455_5b4f74c9772ad3d43b6b893e1ebabd7e


4.            Famous Local Crowd Drawers (festivals/ barangay events) c/o writer

  1. What
  2. When
  3. Where
  4. Who
  5. Price


Photo Source (direct photo URL)


5.            Panoramic and view restaurants

  1. Roofdeck restaurant (Recomm only)

i.What: Fat Butchik’s

ii.When: 5 pm – 2 pm

iii.Where: 364 El Grande Street, BF Homes, 1700 Parañaque

iv.Price: Php 50 to Php 280


Photo Source: https://scontent-hkg3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xlf1/t31.0-8/12711100_528552730647659_7234994459534809796_o.jpg


6.            New Places Drawing Crowds/tourists (opening that week)

  1. Newly-opened restaurant

i.What: Books and Borders Tuscany McKinley Hill Branch

ii.When: Opened last January 2016

iii.Where: Unit RC-RCM, RD-RDM, BLDG. 5, Tuscany, Mckinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City

iv.Price: ApproxPhp 300 per pax


Photo Source: https://fbcdn-photos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xtf1/v/t1.0-0/s526x395/12645107_552227758276904_1424942731429142444_n.jpg?oh=674e437d8b1a3563f27214ad39eb7f45&oe=5763A091&__gda__=1462458303_51363ce5daad61e75e9d1c23e2e22e97


7.            Events, conventions and concerts

  1. Events 1

i.What: Book signing tour

ii.When: March 6, 2016

iii.Where: NBS Glorietta 1, Makati City

iv.Who: Victoria Aveyard, author of Red Queen Series


Photo Source: https://www.facebook.com/72546266913/photos/a.76282776913.78745.72546266913/10153367292556914/?type=3&theater


8.            Mall Sales, Bazaars

  1. Bazaar 1

i.What: Sumer Rein Benefit Bazaar 2016

ii.When: March 5 – 6, 2016

iii.Where: SM Aura, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig


Photo Source: https://scontent-hkg3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtp1/v/t1.0-9/12507638_937201463029431_5990571865372825019_n.jpg?oh=2be1e18f683fea204faa3acbc52d1740&oe=576EDCCC


  1. Bazaar 2

i.What: Passion Fly Lifestyle Fair

ii.When: March 12 – 13, 2016

iii.Where:Ronac Lifestyle Center, Paseo de Magallanes, Makati City

Reference: https://www.facebook.com/events/1671668249765282/

Photo Source: https://scontent-hkg3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/12688196_899373483491444_2032455094043094826_n.jpg?oh=dc39280e0064700aa44bfbebbf3d88c0&oe=572E205D