Bati Bleki, September 13th, 2015

THE ROYAL REPORT. Daniela Marlenee Piazzi, 17, TV personality, business woman, and university student, is now also the Grand Prize Beauty World International winner, crowned in the Dominican Republic this weekend. Congratulations, honey, you are a high-achiever, nailing both Best Costume & Best Speech, you made us all very proud. Daniela competed here in the Miss Teen pageant and did not win first place. She came in second, meaning she would still travel and still represent Aruba internationally, which she was best suited for. As an outside observer, I don’t quite know what happened there, but it seems to me that the organization failed to notice that the beauty elected Miss Teen 2015, Hilary Gibbs, dropped out of school, and was about to cross the age barrier, leaving her teen years behind, two very important factors to consider on the road to the coveted crown. So the second place winner got a chance to show what she was made of, putting together an incredible wardrobe and costume, and claiming her much-deserved spot in the limelight. Bati Bleki’s representative in the Dominican Republic reports: She not only won the title, she won the grand prize of the pageant, in all categories, miss, miss petite, teen and teen petite. She blew the judges away with all her languages and telling them about her life, travels and her new TV job. And they will fly her back to Boca Chica, next year to host and emcee the festivities. Now that’s what we call a victory.

KLM AIRLINE TICKETS. We’ve all noticed the KLM airline tickets promotion; the airline has been very visible on social media, almost as visible as Crown. But when you punch in the destination and your travel dates, the resulting rate is always Awg 400 higher than the advertised price of the ticket.

IN THE NAME OF TRANSPARENCY. Every time I drive down the boulevard, past the Boy Ecury Plein, I look at the old park and say to myself this will surely be rebuilt, it must. But the truth is that until it is rebuilt, we can only see destruction of old trees. Why don’t you put up a sign, stating your intentions, and depicting what the place would look like when you finally finish the overhaul? That way you ease our fears and assuage our apprehension about the future of the old park. Many parents who pick up their kids from school and thousands of motorists wonder every day, what will the future bring?! Why don’t you put a billboard up, with the developer’s name and the name of the landscaping design firm, and the image of the final look of the garden? The empty lot, designated as a public recreation area on Wilhelminastraat, developed by Romar Trading, across from the Rietveld Academie, has all that information listed, and from what I understand, plans have been drawn up, and work will commence soon!

CHANCE MEETING. At De Suikertuin, during the most successful Indonesian night, I met a very friendly business & financial consultant, whose qualifications are impressive, but it’s his sunshiny disposition that inspired me the most. So if you are tired of your sour, dour, negative and cranky accountant, here’s a fresh face for you, and this is what Charles Dunnington wrote to me, following our chance meeting: My most popular service is Business Monitoring, as I like to meet with business owners/managers weekly, to look at their cash flow, with the goal of improving it on a weekly basis. From my experience, entrepreneurs find it very reassuring to know how much money they earn any given week and how they can improve that number, and drive a higher turnover at lower costs. We can also talk about a variety of business topics, financial matters, legal, personnel, marketing, purchasing and sales, my modest Business Monitoring retainer, covers all areas, including due diligence research, buying and selling companies, investment, retail and wholesale. The company’s name is Solid Valuation, and I believe they deliver on their promise.

PRESS DAY CELEBRATIONS. Thank you for the special delivery of an extra large milk chocolate bar, on press day, courtesy of the Aruba Tourism Authority. Delivery girl Jonnie Tilma stocked the big cooler in her car, and did the rounds among all press outlets, handing the goodies over. Press members were also invited to Dream Bowl at the Palm Beach Plaza Mall to roll a few balls into the gutter over cocktails and snacks. The fun event featured a photo-booth, and many raffled surprises, with champion bowler Stephanie Camacho, Nelleke Cardenas and Roxanne Kock Croes, who just joined the Bank’s marketing department, under the leadership of Tamara Waldron. We all loved the attention!

PANDORA SHOWCASES A NEW LOOK. The Pandora Boutique at Paseo Herencia now features an evolutionary look, with enhanced elegant displays which make the store more user-friendly. The Boolchand group is renovating all of its thirteen Pandora boutiques in the Caribbean and Miami, and the Aruba store, is the second to receive the modern makeover. Borrowed from popular kitchen designs, the all white and silver store now boasts an island in the center where customers have a 360 degree access to charms and bracelets. They may interact with sales associates in a more intimate and immediate way without the barrier of long display cases, says brand manager Jim Offutt, with sparkling blue eyes, and an air of total enthusiasm. Ravee Boulchand and his team welcomed a mixed crowd of press members and dignitaries, including Sanju Luidens and Ronella Tjin Asjoe Croes. It was apparent, that marketing expert Eslaine Croes followed up on invitations, as we all showed up to admire the new look, and add a few pieces to our Pandora bracelets, given to us at a previous occasion. Ronella cut the ribbon, and Ravee offered a champagne toast. Sorry I had to run out to the Taste of TEDX event, and missed your generous gift, the Aruba charm with the star, in color!

SHOULD HIGH SCHOOL BE FUN. We all struggled this week with the question whether high school should be fun or not. Mine wasn’t. Because at the time, schools believed their sole purpose was education, and in order to raise the bar on academic achievements, you must tighten the disciplinary reigns, and crack down on the fun factor. Don’t you feel we party too much on this island, and that we should be very serious for once, raising excellent, highly educated students, in at least one elitist school?!

A VISIT TO THE LINEAR PARK. We walked for an hour up and down the Linear Park, on Saturday. It was a most-enjoyable workout. By driving by regularly I missed many fine details, such as the little nooks, designed for seating facing the ocean, the attractive landscaping in front of the Coral Pyramid condo, and the picnic tables under the trees at the West Deck. We met no homeless hideaway along the way, just a beautiful sunset. At Tourism Plaza we were confronted with every type of music under the sun, blaring out of the bars, all different, all excessively loud. We also toured Surfside, now showing off endless pavers and concrete walkways. A few things come to mind: Locals still find a way to drive in with their cars and contaminate the white sand. We must find a way to totally shut cars out of the area. Secondly, all that’s left after kiosk, shower, bathroom and walkway construction is a ten meter strip of beach, and an oversize parking lot with an impressive manmade riol, a rainwater drain. I noticed Arashi now features the same exact kiosk, shower, bathroom facility, which means that a lucky F&B operator will soon be cashing in on the bonanza of cruise ship passengers stopping in for a fun day on the beach. [email protected]

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September 13, 2015
Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster