In 1975 the greatest fighter of all times, Mohammad Ali met heavy weight boxing champion Joe Frazier in Manila, Philippines.  

The game was named ‘The Thrilla in Manila’ and it was the third and final boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Smokin’ Joe Frazier. Ali won on technical knock-out. 

The contest’s name is derived from the frequent rhyming boast made by Ali that the fight would be a “killa and a thrilla and a chilla, when I get that gorilla in Manila”. 

By many people and experts it is called the best fight of all times. 

This week I participate in the World Customs Organizations (WCO) annual Academic conference PICARD in Manila, Philippines. 

The 2016 PICARD conference is an international event where the Academia, Government and Private Sector meet to discuss Academic Research & Development around Customs, borders, trade and security of the international supply chain and safety of our world. 

I was involved in initiating the WCO PICARD programme in 2006-2007 as Director of Capacity Building of the WCO, and chaired the conference 2007-2010.

The aim of the programme is to increase the professionalism of Customs and Border Agencies – and to support the development of worldwide security and safety. 

It is always very interesting to meet academic colleagues from all around the world to discuss the latest research in various areas of our profession, how to protect the world and at the same time develop our societies. 


Over the years we have had all the most acknowldeged scientists and researches involved in the programme and the congerences, including several Nobel Prize winners. 

It is always a pleasure to participate in this very important conference, this year hosted in a very impressive way by Philippines. 

What are your favourite cities? Ibhabe visited 164 countries andvthese are my personal favourite cities:

1. Sydney

2. Rio de Janeiro

3. Singapore

4. San Francisco

5. Cape Town

I also like Bangkok, New York, Istanbul and Stockholm.

Every year MasterCard do a ranking of the most popular cities from a travel destination point-of-view. Here is the recently published list for 2016:

Most popular big cities in 2016:

1) Bangkok, Thailand (21.47 million visitors)

2) London, UK (19.88)

3) Paris, France (18.03)

4) Dubai, United Arab Emirates (15.27)

5) New York, United States (12.75)

6) Singapore (12.11)

7) Kuala Lumpur (12.02)

8) Istanbul (11.95)

9) Tokyo (11.7)

10) Seoul (10.2)

56) Stockholm (2.08)

65) Copenhagen (1.63)

Source: 2016 MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index