Category Archives: Travel

STARBUCKS TO PURCHASE ALL ABC STORES IN WAIKIKI

imageHonolulu, Hawaii – Waikiki residents and frequent visitors alike were taken by surprise at the announcement that the International Market Place has permanently closed as of January 1, 2014.  It is considered the last hold-out among open-air, under-the- banyan-tree places that defined this top-rated tourist destination in Hawaii. It featured small businesses in wooden stalls selling wares from t-shirts, to pearl jewelry to ukuleles. It was a “people’s park” in a sense, where ordinary people shop for inexpensive souvenirs and partake of diverse fast-food menus at its food court. In its place, Saks Fifth Avenue will build a new several storey department store.

imageWell, it appears this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Starbucks has just announced that it is purchasing all of the ABC stores in Waikiki – that means two or three in every block or corner of Waikiki’s major thoroughfares like Kuhio and Kalakaua Avenues. Effective February 1, 2014, all ABC Stores will become Starbucks Coffee Shops.  Starbucks has , however, assured everyone that it will add Kona coffee to its regular menu to keep the Aloha spirit in their business. It will also offer spam sushi as part of its breakfast menu, as well as macadamia nuts for its snacks. In place of its iced coffees, Starbucks will offer shaved ice coffees.

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FOR THE PHILIPPINES, IT JUST KEEPS ON GOING AND GOING

imagePutrajaya, Malaysia- Just like the energizer bunny, the Philippines just keeps on going and going and going.

On the last evening of 2013, the Philippines won yet another international beauty pageant, Miss Tourism International held in Malaysia. Miss Philippines Angeli Dione Gomez bested 59 other beauties from around the world to win the title previously held by another Filipina. Miss Gomez joins the list of Filipinas who won major international beauty crowns this year including Miss World, Miss International and Miss Supranational, not to mention the third place finish in this year’s Miss Universe Pageant.

As a result of this latest win, the decision by the Association of Beauty Pageant Franchise Holders (ABPFH) to ban the Philippines from participating in beauty pageants for the next two years has been revised yet again. The ban will now remain in effect for four years.  See previous story about the ban as reported in The Adobo Chronicles.

SPAM SHORTAGE HITS HAWAII

imageHonolulu, Hawaii – A visit to Hawaii is never complete without having a snack or meal of spam sushi. This Japanese cuisine-inspired delicacy is a mainstay in local restaurant menus as well as in the refrigerated sections of every ABC Store.

In the last week, however, spam sushi has all but disappeared in Waikiki and elsewhere in the Hawaiian islands. Even McDonald’s has run out of its spam inventory and scrapped the island breakfast combo of eggs, spam and rice from its menu board.

Investigation conducted by local authorities revealed that there has been some hoarding going on, instigated by a particular group of Hawaii visitors.  Pressed by The Adobo Chronicles to identify the “hoarders,” one local official – on condition of anonymity – said: “secret service agents and journalists” accompaning President Barack Obama who is currently vacationing in Hawaii with the first family and first dog, Bo.

Officials are also investigating reports that the shortage is further aggravated by Filipinos going home for the holidays with balikbayan boxes loaded with cans of spam purchased from Costco and other warehouse stores in the islands.

Local merchants have sent urgent messages to Hormel Foods, makers of spam, to airlift several thousand cases of canned spam from its Minnesota headquarters to Hawaii.