WHAT a way to go! Being in Guam just when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatens to fire missiles towards the western Pacific US territory.
Even as I worried, it was a trip too good to pass up.
The itinerary proposed by the Guam Visitors Bureau (GBV) devoted as much time for shopping as sightseeing. And with good reason.
I can hardly wait. Let others don their bikinis and head for the beach, lug their knapsack up a mountain trail — the kind of exercise that appeals to me is a bracing “treadmall” workout.
Guam is three-and-a-half hours away by air from Manila. Every year, according to GBV close to a million visitors arrive on the island from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong,China, the Philippines, and beyond.
Because of its status as a US territory and position across the international dateline, Guam is aptly billed “Where America’s Day Begins.”
But when I set foot on the island, I thought to myself: Can this really be America?
At once, there’s Guam’s tropical air, coconut trees, even cadena de amor growing wild among thickets, and the folks who look a lot like us. Then again, the main highway is paved and wide with dedicated pavements.
One couldn’t help but notice the number of big cars, particularly pickup trucks and crossovers.
Charming as it is, the biggest attraction of Guam to me is not so much the scenery.
Guam has emerged as something of a high-fashion destination. It has several shopping centers, high-end boutiques, American brand name stores and an outlet mall. Easily, there are a hundred shops to choose from, and with a motley of offerings every day, one is never short of options.
Luxury products are sold at very reasonable prices, and you can be sure they’re authentic because selling counterfeit products is illegal in the US.
Tumon Sands Plaza (TSP) and T Galleria by DFS, both along the hotel row of Tumon Bay, offers a one-shot duty-free shopping experience. Louis Vuitton, Bally, Bulgari, Gucci, Givenchy, Calvin Klein—you’ll find ’em.
There’s the Guam Premiere Outlets (GPO) in Tamuning area with some of the most popular American brands like Nine West, Naturalizer, Tommy Hilfiger, Famous Footwear, and Ross Dress For Less, which I visited twice in one day.
Who wouldn’t be blown away by the display and sale prices? Kenneth Cole Reaction wheeled suitcase for $49.99. Calvin Klein leather satchel for $39.99. Steve Madden lace-up sandals for $4.99!!!
Still in Tamuning, K-Mart sells practically everything. Apparel, cosmetics, foodstuff, medicine, toys, tools, furniture, etc. Whatever you need and want. Open 24/7.
That’s not all. Just as popular are department store Macy’s in Micronesia Mall and clothing store SM Island in Agana Shopping Center.
“Believe it, there is always a sale in Guam. It’s best to travel light and shop away here,” says Carmel Carpio, GBV’s Market Account Director-Philippines.
What’s more, shopping is made easier with trolleys that make regular stops at most hotels and resorts and the major shopping centers.
Truly Guam is possessed by the fiery spirit of shoppers. Whether you’re a new or returning visitor, bargain hunter or luxury brand lover, the one great unifier is the relentless pursuit of goods. Actually, make that tax-free shopping.
Catch this: The 2017 Shop Guam e-Festival happens from Nov. 10, 2017 to Feb. 28, 2018. Download the Shop Guam e-Festival mobile APP to learn more about Guam’s shopping, dining, adventure and culture attractions.
Cebu Pacific flies to Guam every every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturdayand Sunday. For bookings and inquiries, go to www.cebu.pacificair.com or call the reservation hotlines (02) 7020-888 or (032) 230-8888.
* Up to Nov. 6, 2017, fly for as low as US$124, inclusive of 20kg baggage allowance. Travel period Dec. 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018.
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