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Robert Harland

In praise of George Gershwin

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It has been said that while American composer George Gershwin was a musical genius, he wasn’t so hot at composing long works.

After hearing renowned Filipino concert pianist Cristine Coyiuto play Gershwin’s Concerto in F Major last week in Bacolod City, I beg to disagree.

It’s a spectacular work and was brilliantly played by Coyiuto accompanied by the Metro Manila Concert Orchestra (MMCO), under the baton of distinguished conductor Josefino "Chino" Toledo.

Tacloban still struggling

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A year after Typhoon Yolanda struck, the mayor of the worst affected city said they are still struggling to get back to normal.

With winds of over 315 kph, Yolanda was the deadliest typhoon ever to hit the Philippines and was one of the strongest ever recorded. It killed thousands and made millions homeless.

The typhoon struck on November 8, 2013, and wiped out everything in its path. Seven-meter storm surges destroyed some 90 percent of the city. Over 8,000 inhabitants perished.

In search of spinach

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It’s only when you shop in supermarkets in the US and the UK and see the vast selection of products and the stiff price competition among stores, that you realize just how short-changed Filipino shoppers are.

For the past month I’ve been on holiday in England and shopping in English supermarkets. Unlike the Philippines, where the constitution forbids foreign ownership of retail outlets, competition in England among both local and foreign stores is fierce.

The result? Lower prices and a much greater selection for shoppers.

Taking the stress out of air travel

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Will we get to the airport on time? Will our luggage be overweight? Will we get a good seat?

Yes, air travel can be very stressful.

Last weekend my family and I flew from England to Manila on the PAL direct flight.

We had a long drive to London’s Heathrow Airport, but to lessen the stress, I decided to put into practice some commonsense tips I’d read about how to minimize airport stress.

First, allow plenty of time. Aim to arrive at the airport at least two hours before your plane leaves.

Worries of the Wealthy

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I know this paper has some fabulously wealthy readers. You know who you are.

So what keeps the super rich awake at night? Is it worry about investments failing or the inability to provide for the family?

While many of us lie awake worrying about how to keep the wolf from the door, a worldwide study has revealed the wealthy lose sleep over their money causing lack of ambition in their children.

The richer the individual the greater those fears, and only health concerns rank higher in the minds of the wealthy elite.

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