The Blogger Princess

Fashion, Food, Beauty, Home & Travel Digital Magazine

I was elated when I have successfully booked a one-bedroom suite at Discovery Suites last week. I felt I won a jackpot prize because I know for a fact that Valentine dinners are quite expensive and for a practical person like me, an overnight stay with complimentary two glasses of wine and cheese platter in a suite is already a good deal. I have chosen to book a hotel in Ortigas because I will be coming from work that day.

Discovery Suites is a 4-star hotel located in ADB Avenue in Ortigas Center across the Podium.

IMPRESSION: I was so excited because I know that Discovery Suites/Shores is known for treating their guests like VIPs. I had a memorable experience with them when we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary, that’s why I decided to book again.

(The photos below are taken from our 15th Wedding Anniversary @ Discovery Suites in 2017)

They set up a romantic ambiance for us with this creative towel decor and bath with bubble bath and rose petals. We felt very special because of their efforts.

CHECKING-IN

I registered early (around 8am) because I had to go to the office that morning. After the registration, I left my luggage with them. Their standard check-in time is 3pm but I was hoping to have an early check-in so I called to check since I have done this before in Marco Polo and Edsa Shangri-la. They were able to let me check in early at around 12nn or 1pm. I remembered that the early check-in and late check-out priveleges that we had is because of the lounge club benefits.

We left the office at 2:30pm and after paying the incidental deposit of P2500, we were asked to wait because they were still cleaning the room at that time.

I told myself that it’s okay to wait because I am already excited to see how they set up the one-bedroom suite for us. (The photos above show what they prepared for us before and I was very eager to find out if they will be able to surpass what they had prepared for us before).

OUR SUITE

We were assigned to room 1114.

When we entered our suite, my excitement turned into a big disappointment. (Please click the link to my YT channel for a quick room tour).

The one-bedroom suite costs P6500 for an overnight stay. If you will think about it– it’s quite practical because my last stay in Marco Polo costs P10,000 and P20,000 plus in Edsa Shangri-la. I liked the room except for one thing— its VIEW 😦

I liked the simple and cozy living room, but we didn’t have a stunning VIEW 😦 Having a nice and relaxing view is important for me because it helps me unwind. Seeing a stockroom as our view is unpleasant to my eyes and it set my negative mood right after we have settled in. The place is quite gloomy because the curtains are closed.

I liked the kitchenette (equipped with basic kitchen and dining essentials) like plates, glasses, spoon, forks, knives and pans. They also have a cooker if you would like to cook your own food; a microwave oven and oven toaster if you would like to reheat your leftover food. There is a refrigerator where you can store your food and drinks. There is also a dining area where you can have dinner or breakfast with your family.

I also liked the bedroom because we had enough space for our clothes in the spacious closet. We also have a writing desk, TV and phone in the room.

Hubby liked the bathroom so much because it is simple but clean and classy. Of course, I like it because of the bath tub– it’s just too weird that Shane and I didn’t have the time to soak ourselves there (probably because we’re quite disappointed).

MY RATING: 3/5 STARS

The Surprises/Freebies

Though I like sweets, I didn’t enjoy the freebies for the day. I felt like— it was a waste of money, but then, we had to enjoy the rest of the day so Shane and I headed to the gym.

MY RATING: 4/5 STARS

THE FITNESS CLUB

This is my favorite amenity in the hotel. Too bad, I wasn’t able to have my workout because I forgot to bring my pair of rubber shoes and my priority that time was the use of the female area– I took advantage of the time when nobody was there so I had the jacuzzi all by myself 🙂

I wasn’t able to use their sauna and steam bath because we had to proceed to the pool area for a very quick swim since I was already shivering at that time and Hubby might arrive anytime. I couldn’t stand the cold water so we had to go back our suite.

MY RATING: 4.5 STARS

MY RATING: 4/5 STARS

THE IN-ROOM DINING

When we went back to the suite, I thought the pizza I ordered and the complimentary glasses of wine and cheese platter were already there, but instead, a heart shaped sweet treat was there. Hubby arrived at 7:45pm and he brought chicken and rice for us. The pizza was delivered before 9pm after several phone calls that I made. We were already starving and as much as I would like to get mad, I still managed to control my temper. I didn’t want to ruin the Valentine’s Day staycation that I planned. I asked the staff who delivered the pizza why it was delayed. He informed me that the restaurant was jam-packed with people and they also have received many orders that night. I think they also forgot that we had a complimentary two glasses of wine and cheese platter. He apologized and he promised to follow up for us. After few minutes, I had to follow up again over the phone and finally, it was delivered by 9:20pm.

MY RATING:

1/5 STARS

THE BREAKFAST BUFFET @ RESTAURANT 5

We didn’t expect that much because we knew it wasn’t a five-star hotel so they only have limited selection of foods. Fortunately, I liked the foods they served that day. Here’s what I got in my plate (Garlic rice, Chicken with gravy, cheese pizza, chicken misua, ziti pasta in pesto sauce, hashbrown, omelette, yogurt and banana cupcake. )

MY RATING: 3.5 STARS

After the breakfast, we were having second thoughts if we would head to the gym and pool area but we opted to stay inside the room. We assumed that those areas are crowded already.

While I was having a cup of coffee after packing our things, Hubby noticed that our room smelled like cigarette smoke. It’s not a smoking area so we wonder how the hell did that smell come from?

I also shared to him the noise that I heard in the morning. When I finally decided to get out of the bed, the usual thing that I do when I am in a staycation is to open the window and gaze at the spectacular view. Well, there was no stunning view to brighten up my day. Our thoughts were the same– they have not leveled up with their service; instead, they downgraded.

CHECK OUT

Standard check-out time is 12nn so before we had to pack our things at 11am and get ready.

We had a smooth check out. While checking out, I was able to share with the front desk officers about my disappointment regarding the room assigned to us. Aside from that, they had a poor in-room service.

While we were waiting for our luggage outside, one of the staff approached Hubby and mentioned that it smelled like cigarette smoke in the room. My hubby answered that we do not smoke and he already noticed that smell but we were not able to report it.

HOW CAN THEY IMPROVE THEIR SERVICE

As what I have mentioned, Discovery Suites is known for treating their guests like VIPs; however, they need to be consistent with their service. They need to see to it that all their guests are taken cared of. In this staycation, it’s the in-room service who messed up. On our way to the swimming pool around 6pm, we saw that the staff were delivering glasses of wine already in the rooms that’s why when we came back, I was expecting that the food was already there, but I had to make series of phone calls before they deliver it.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED

It was also my fault. I didn’t ask if the room has a nice view; otherwise, I could have opted to have a Valentine dinner with my family at home. There was nothing special with the staycation and I ended regretting to plan and book this whole thing. For me, it was a waste of money and we could have a better celebration if we have done it at home or have chosen another hotel to spend an overnight stay.

OVERALL RATING:

My rating was based from our latest overnight stay. I think the service will depend on the type of room that you are going to avail. I suggest that before you book, make sure that you have a stunning view and do not bother to order for in-room dining if it’s holiday or you are booked for a special event like Valentine’s Day.

Next week, I’ll take you to La Mesa Ecopark and we’ll take a tour of EDSA Shangri-la Hotel 🙂 Til next post, Barbie dolls!

I know this is very late, but I won’t forgive myself if I won’t be able to post our breakfast buffet experience @ the HEAT when we spent our 17th Wedding Anniversary @ the Edsa Shangri-la Hotel last October 2019. My last dining experience with them in 2018 was so disgusting not because of the food, but because some of the staff did not actually understand what I booked and gave me the wrong information. The disappointment, however, is not with the hotel itself. It was clear in my post before that our stay could’ve been perfect if those incidents did not happen. Anyway, we have enjoyed our stay last year and this time, I will show you the highlights of that incredible breakfast experience.

Luckily, we didn’t experience any problem entering . The staff was polite and we were escorted to our table. As we were seated, I looked around to find my favorites.

I don’t pick too much food in buffet– just a little portion of my favorites. As long as there are sweets and pastries, I’m satisfied, but my satisfaction won’t be complete without finding out if there is ice cream before I select my food. When I saw what I was looking for, I was motivated because at the end of the race, the prize was waiting for me.

There was no pasta during that day (I was looking for spaghetti or carbonara), but luckily there was pancit canton!

My usual selection are the following : pancit canton, chicken, and egg .

Weird combination of chocolate doughnut, cheese and yougurt
arroz caldo

The buffet breakfast isn’t complete without the congee and the element of excitement in combining the ingredients.

Bruce wasn’t in the mood that morning, but a cup of hot choco made his day.

Bruce and his hot choco

For the kids, the cereals, pancake and champorado are the bestsellers. Too bad, I wasn’t able to try the ube champorado.

One of my favorite part of this eating episode is the arrival of the “Taho and Pandesal Guy.” It’s kinda unusual and cute to find the modern way of yelling “Tahooooooooo!” and “Pandesaaaaaal!.” Take note: the pandesal comes with other fillings, but I picked the chicken-filled pandesal.

And of course, here’s the sweet ending 🙂

THE VERDICT: Well, I was really satisfied with the breakfast, I think what I just looked for that was not there was the slice of cake. Of all the hotels in Ortigas that I’ve been to, it was only in the Linden Suites that slices of cakes were included in the buffet. I hope that there will be a time that all my faves like cake, pizza and ice cream are all included in the buffet. Overall, I will give 4.5 stars .

Til my Next buffet experience @ The Heat! Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I will be posting another blog on the last week of this month because we will be having a tour at the EDSA Shangri-la Manila Hotel on February 23, 2020. I will show you around with the help of Ms. Terylle from the Horizon Club Lounge:-)

Yep, it’s almost one week before Valentine’s Day and I was cramming lately because I am actually thinking that I might be able to plan nothing at all. It happened to me last year— I had a lot of options and because of that, I didn’t stick to what I liked when I happen to stumble upon something that interests me, I had second thoughts— til it was too late to book and all the places I wanted was already filled in. I have learned from my experience that’s why I needed to be wiser and faster this time!

I didn’t have to be impulsive just because I wanted to do this ahead of time. I checked the prices if I will be booking a table for two plus our 12-year-old daughter. Marco Polo and Shangri-la restaurants would cost me around P4k to 6k for just the dinner alone and in a matter of 1 or 2 hours, you’re done with the celebration. I am just being practical, so I looked for other options. A spa at the Hanging Gardens was a good idea also but I wanted something more— after all, I deserved a treat for myself. I’ve been working so hard ever since I resigned as a public school teacher. This love month, it’s about time for Hubby and I to reward ourselves.

So, to make the long story short, I decided to book an overnight stay in Discovery Suites . Since I am working in Ortigas, of course, the target place should be within that area only. I don’t want to get stuck in traffic, so this one is perfect. I was able to get a good deal to book a one-bedroom suite for only P6,500 net. My last experience with them was during our video shoot for our renewal of vows. We have received a VIP treatment because they are already experts in the field of customer service. Ever since, I loved the way they surprised us and make us feel very important. Now, I wanted to spend this romantic celebration with a hotel that makes us feel at home as always.

Watch out for my Valentine’s Day celebration with Hubby and Shane @ Discovery Suites! I know you are still looking for a place to go to this VDay. Check out if they still have vacant rooms.

I had my last passport on 2009 and since it expired, I wasn’t able to renew it. When I got it back then, it was through the help of a travel agency. The travel agent was the one who assisted me in getting the copy of my birth certificate from NSO and the copy of our marriage contract. After few days, I was called for appearance in DFA and I had to go in Manila for the long queue. Though, my agent was there, I still have to do it on my own and patiently stand and wait for my turn.

Now that I have my plans of going outside the country, there is really a need for me to renew my passport, and of course, my travel buddy– my husband 🙂 I was glad when I hear that there is no need for us to go to Manila for appearance because they can already accommodate us in Cherry Antipolo. The first step for me was to get an appointment by visiting the DFA website. After I got my preferred schedule for me, hubby and Shane, I settled the payment via GCash. After I got my payment confirmation, I have received my appointment confirmation via email.

I prepared the the original and photocopies of our birth certificates, scanned copies of our passport bio, and two valid IDs. Unfortunately, they did not accept the scanned copies so it’s better for you to just photoccopy the documents or have it photocopied there inside the DFA office.

Our appointment was 10am in the morning and we were there around 9:14 am but all the seats were already occupied in the waiting area. After few minutes, we were approached by the guard and he gave us our number card. We were then ushered to the 3rd floor where DFA is located. They gave priority to senior citizens and pregnant women. They sent people by fives and everything was in order.

When we got inside, we only waited for few minutes and when my number was called, the lady verified our documents. The only hassle we had was to photocopy out IDs and passport, but the rest was okay. Since our transaction was renewal of passport, we were not asked of the birth certificate and marriage contract anymore. We just presented our original passport. In the picture taking area, I was asked to fix my hair because the ears should be visible and the eyebrows shouldn’t be covered so the lady lent me a hairpin so I could clip my bangs.

After that, I was called to verify the information and sign for Shane. It was her first time to apply for a Philippine passport, so she presented her original birth certificate and a parent/guardian should be present with her so I submitted a photocopy of my ID too and attached it to her documents. We were able to finish the transaction before 11am and we will just pick up our passports on the 20th.

It was really convenient now because we don’t have to tap the travel agency to assist us with PSA authenticated birth certificates. We requested our BCs in the PSA website. We got ours in less than one week and the documents were delivered to our home. Application for passport is also as easy as 1-2-3. Now, my problem is where to go this year? I’m worried of that corona virus that’s why I’m researching of a safe visa-free country to visit this 2020. I will update you guys when I have made up my mind already. Bye for now!

It;s time for a change since it’s 2020 so I have changed some of the desktop and mobile apps that I use.

FOR BUSINESS:

  1. WAVE

I have this in my mobile and lappy so anytime I can bill our clients and send a receipt as well. This has been very useful to me for years. The best thing about this app is that it is 100% free!

2. CANVA

I use CANVA for creating Facebooks ads and announcements. This is very easy to use– they have lots of templates and I can also upload pictures that I can paste in the ads. What I do not like is that they have limited photos and in order for you to use the premium images, you need to upgrade. I tried to upgrade, but still you have to pay more in order for you to get the photos or elements that you want.

3. FACEBOOK PAGE

I use Facebook not just for personal purpose, reaching out with friends, but also to get in touch with customers and tutor applicants. This is where I advertise to get tutor applicants that’s why I can’t live a day without Facebook.

4. WORDPRESS

From Webs.com, I moved my website to WordPress because it’s easier to use though I must admit that I still have to redesign the site and probably upgrade to business plan to get more traffic. I am currently using premium plans for both my personal blog and business blog.

5. GCash

I use Gcash to send the tutors’ salaries just by typing their mobile number and in a matter of seconds, I can send them money. If they don’t have a Gcash account, I can also send them thru bank transfer via the GCash app.

I love this app because I can also pay my credit card bills and other transactions in real time.

6. PAYPAL

Some clients request to send credit card payments so I use PayPal in that case.

FOR PERSONAL USE:

  1. Adobe Spark

I use this to create blog banners and YouTube thumbnails. I also used this to create the intro and outro for my vlog channel. As a newbie in vlogging, this has helped me a lot because I only get to choose templates and there are also lots of free photos and icons that I can use, plus I can brandify my posts and videos 🙂

2. SPLICE

I tried to vlog last summer but I had a hard time finding the best app for me. It’s just recently that I settled to SPLICE, now that I have discovered that it’s not complicated to use it. I just don’t have the time before– now, I vlog almost everyday 🙂 It’s easy to put music and texts in every slide and it’s easy to save the file in my phone and export it to YouTube.

3. YouTube

Now, I can easily vlog! I just have to know some tricks to grow my subscribers. I will be launching my YouTube channel as The Blogger Princess on May 1, 2020 @ Ferra Hotel Boracay. Last year, I was using my old name and I was clueless then what to do.

4. WAZE

We use this because we only learned how to drive in 2018 and we don’t know the places, so this is very useful for us. Without Waze, it would be very difficult for us to find the place that we are going to visit.

5. LAZADA and ZALORA

For shopping convenience, I use these apps to order clothes, shoes, accessories and other things. Though Xentromall is walking distance to our home and SM Masinag is just few minutes drive from our place, there are times that I really don’t want to go out and these apps save my day.

I have a lot more in my phone, but these are my fave and more useful apps for me. If you think there’s another app that I should try, feel free to comment here or send me a message.

Since the New Year started , I still couldn’t believe I actually have resigned from my work as a public school teacher. I still wake up at 4am because that used to be my routine. I go to school not to work and teach students like what I used to do before, but because we drop our son to school by car. After dropping him to school, I have control of my time if I would like to do household chores or work.

Now, I am the boss! That’s what I really enjoyed about my decision. Though it is indeed stressful because I singlehandedly do all the job from marketing, HR to operations on a daily basis (no holidays and weekends), but it’s fine with me because I am the one who manages my time. I can go to the office whenever I want and I decide on my OOTD (Isn’t that awesome?) I can work for overtime as late as 12 midnight or opt to wake up late. In other words, I make the decision and I have the power to do anything I want. And because I am already focused with my business, it means more opportunity.

I am more motivated now because I also get to bond with the kids (mommy duties). We can sneak to the mall and watch movies, stroll or pig out. I was guilty of having no time with them for the past ten years and now, I promise to make up to them.

Aside from that, I have more time in blogging! Before, I just blog in my free time and that is every three months if I am not busy. Now, I have all the time and I have worked on my content calendar until November 2020 (which means more content for my blogs, IG and Facebook page and personal FB account.). It’s not yet final because I still have to put some checklist per page so I know what I have to accomplish per day.

I just posted my first Friday Vlog Day yesterday and I’m kinda excited on posting new vlogs. Before, I almost died because of stress and obviously, I didn’t have the time for myself and the kids– so I am definitely enjoying this benefit.

  • Before the month ends, I made sure that I have accomplished something. Here are some of my accomplishments:I already have talked with the respective banks re my loan and I am currently working on producing the requirements for the first one so I can settle the full amount and close my account and I have informed the other bank that I will settle the payment over the counter instead until it end on December 2021.
  • Since I already resigned, I am working on my requirements for my GSIS benefits. I would also like to find out if i can continue contributing for my Philhealth and register for SSS (self-employed). They have a lot of requirements, but I had no choice but to produce all those because I really need to have my benefits after my resignation.
  • Temporarily, I have improved my workstation at home while I am still in the planning stage of building my office/blogging area in the 3rd floor on January 2021.
  • I also have applied for passport renewal so I can already go outside the country for vacation with my family.

Now, I can say that I am really happy with my decision and I will make sure that everything will be under control in the following months. If you are like the old me who had no time for your family, probably it’s time for you to think it over.

Yey! It’s my first vlog in 2020– actually, I wanted to start last New Year’s Eve, but I was quite hesitant with the apps that I will use and the content. I have realized that it’s not an excuse because I have more time to do it now. Before I did this short vlog, I have searched for apps in creating vlogs. I didn’t want to use a complicated app that’s why I still stick with Splice. Fortunately, I have discovered Adobe Spark and I’m using it now to design my video clips, ads and social media posts.

Yes, I am still in the process of checking apps that would be useful in my vlogs, but I am happy with Adobe Spark at the moment. I was able to do my vlog intro (though it’s quite an amateur’s work), but at least I am learning 🙂 I put the video clips and made it as one in SPLICE. So, this first vlog for the month was just an experiment.

My first vlog for 2020

The vlogs I am going to upload are bits of my life— a medium to tell my story (that’s why I also call it my vlog diaries). Now part of my goal is to vlog at least once a week and I will devote my Friday for that 🙂 So, this is quite an achievement for me and I promise that there will be more vlogs to come! I hope that I will be able to produce quality, entertaining and informative vlog (very soon) in time for my vlog launch on May 1, 2020. i also hope that I will be able to grow my subscribers in few months. Til next vlog, friends!

It’s 2020 and I want to have a fresh and brand NEW start. Since I stay most of my precious time at home, I decided to plan about having my own blogging office/studio of course at the comfort of my own home. It sounds really good, but it’s not that easy and I need more time to plan about this carefully and funds for this special project.

I currently have my small workstation in my bedroom where I spend most of my time blogging and doing office work. The thing is, our bedroom is in the second floor of our house, which is not yet completely finished. The walls are not yet perfect and painted. It’s not yet tiled or carpeted and everything is disorganized. One of my goals this year is to save for this project and I will be able to come up with funds most likely on December.

WHAT I HAVE IN MIND:

  1. THE BLOGGING/VLOGGING STUDIO/OFFICE WILL BE CONSTRUCTED ON THE 3RD FLOOR

I’m planning to divide the space into two: first would be the open space and the other half for my studio/office. So why on the rooftop? Ideally, I need a quiet space to work and to write blogs so it shouldn’t be in the bedroom if I would like to free myself from distractions. Also, I want to have a source of light so definitely, it would be from the windows, so even if I don’t switch on the lights, I still can write or work. I also need the area to be sound-proof (if it’s possible).

The room won’t be that big, but I want all areas to be functional, with chic design and of course, relaxing.

I wanted the office to have an access to my bedroom downstairs, so I need to have a narrow ladder or spiral stairs.

2. WHAT AREAS ARE THERE IN MY OFFICE/STUDIO?

  • BLOGGING SPACE/AREA

This is my blogging spot– the usual table where I can place my lappy and do office works or write blogs. I badly need a quiet space that’s why I’m thinking of making this a sound-proof room because I will be taking and making phone calls if needed.

For this, I need a spacious working desk, printer, laminating machine, small filing cabinet, organizers, bulletin boards, and a comfy office chair

  • VLOGGING AREA

This is where I pose and emote in front of the camera for my vlogs. I need a super nice background, a pink couch, camera tripod in this area.

  • WARDROBE AREA

In this area, I will place selected outfits and pairs of footwear for my vlog shoots. A vanity area equipped with makeup and other beauty supplies will also be placed there if we have enough space.

  • SPA/MINI GYM

I don’t know if this will be possible but a very small space to fit a bathtub so I can soak myself there in a relaxing bubble bath if there is a need for me to destress.

I also have a stationary bike, set of dumbbells, tummy and abs exerciser that I can place there. Just in case I have excess money, I will purchase a treadmill and rowing machine so I can have my workout at home.

  • ENTERTAINMENT AREA w/ MINI PANTRY

I do not intend to receive visitors here because this is my own personal and private space. I will just put TV just in case I am working and there’s a program that I don’t want to miss. A small furniture where I can place my water dispenser and coffee.

This is just a plan, I am hoping to make this a reality since I have to consider my budget 🙂 I will post a blog of my home office decoration on 2021 and vlogs about the home improvement series

UPDATE:

For the meantime, I have improved my temporary workstation at home while I am still saving for funds.

Oh my! I am kinda pressured a bit because I am currently working on my content calendar for 2020, and so far, I only have included Boracay for our summer destination. Uhmm, this is because that’s the only sure ball in this game plan, hehehe. But of course, we can make it an easy win if I am going to carefully plan about my travel since I have all the time for myself and the kids now 🙂 Okay, so let us start planning and get the ball rollin’!

  1. BAGUIO OR TAGAYTAY TRIP for Shane’s birthday celebration on April 2020

Baguio is also one of our favorite summer destinations simply because I can relax and forget all my troubles temporarily whenever I am in Baguio. I haven’t stayed with my family yet in Tagaytay for an overnight or 3d/2n stay and I would really like to give it a try this year. I promised my daughter that she would be spending her 13th birthday in either of the 2 places. If it’s possible to have both, why not?

2. My Blog and YouTube Channel Relaunch week in BORACAY on May 1-3, 2020

Because BORACAY is a paradise for me, I make it a point to visit the island every year.

For 2020, I have two reasons: (1) It will be our first renewal of vows anniversary on the 30th of April and I would like to have more private time with my hubby. Last time, we went there as a family and we had a lot of things to consider because we have a senior citizen and a 5 year old kid with us. Though the ceremony wasn’t perfect, I am still thankful we were able to experience a wedding ceremony done by a pastor because back in 2002, we only had a civil wedding.

Our renewal of vows on a boat with the help of BPHT Booking Services

(2) I will be having my relaunch of this website– I launched My Barbie World in a different website in 2016 but after a year I have changed the name as The Travel Blogger in Pink and it’s just this August 2019 that I have changed the name to The Blogger Princess, so I wanted to make a short program right inside our hotel room in Ferra Hotel. This is to thank everyone including the brands I’ve worked with and to celebrate because this year I’m a full-time blogger/vlogger. Yahoo!

This time also, I will be featuring boutique hotels for budget sensitive travelers and I will give you a comprehensive information (article and vlog about our accommodation and dining experience). There’s a lot to watch out for!

3. PALAWAN ESCAPADE

Well, I haven’t been to Palawan and that’s hella funny. People keep on asking me why and they are also telling me that I should visit Palawan because it is as marvelous as Boracay. I will see if I will be able to squeeze some time for summer because I wanted hubby to come with me if ever. We can also use October for our 18th wedding anniversary if ever. We can start by planning and hoping for this to become a reality 🙂

4. MY FIRST INTERNATIONAL TRIP

Yes, I haven’t experienced to visit other countries simply because I have spent my precious time in work, and I wasn’t able to have QUALITY bonding with my kids as they grow. Now, I regret the fact that I have done this stupid thing, and I wish I could have turned back the time, but I know it’s very impossible now. All I can do is to make the most out of my time and I would really love to explore Asian countries first.

The first step that I will do is to renew our passports and get the kids their own passports as well. Then I can start looking for inexpensive flights and hotels after. I will appreciate if you can suggest which country to visit for my first Asian trip and you can also give me tips for hotels, food and places to visit. You can get in touch with me by commenting here or sending me an email.

I think, this will be all for now, since I have a lot of planning to do. I promise to update this post if I have additional trips in mind. Have a great weekend!

UPDATE:

Thailand is the first on my list. If ever, it will be on May or October 2020. As of now, I am in the process of doing my own research about Thailand and we are kinda excited for this. My plan would be to explore and get lost in Bangkok and Phuket for one week.

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I know this is a little late, but it’s better to share this than never. I didn’t know if I was too excited that I was loaded with too much work that I failed to post here on New Year’s Day but at least I was able to share these in IG and my personal Facebook account and official Facebook page.

My content calendar for 2020

I started working on my content calendar before Christmas and til now, I’m not yet through with it. I only have finished until August 2020. I researched for topics that would be covered for each month and what social media channels am I going to use for my blog and business. It’s a different story now because I have plenty of time to focus in both personal and business aspects. Now that I have resigned from my work as an educator, I need to really maximize my time and think of strategies that would produce money for my family– so this is serious.

Family Picture

Now, let’s talk about our outfit– before the traditional meal at 12 am for the New Year’s Eve dinner (few hours before), I started looking for outfits and I finally decided that I, together with my 12 year old daughter, will wear polka tops and black skirt. The male members like my father, hubby and two sons have red shirts so I thought that we would look great for the family pictorial.

Why polka dots and red? My mother told me that polka dots represent money and red is a lucky color that represents abundance as well. Anyway, there’s no harm if we will follow:-)

OUR DISHES FOR THE SIMPLE NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER

It’s not a grand feast; but instead, a simple dinner for the family to celebrate the New Year, so we didn’t have to splurge.

fruits

We didn’t follow what others say that there should be 12 different round fruits to represent the 12 months in a year, but we put our favorite fruits on the table.

pizza

Pizza is one of our favorites and we see to it that every New Year’s Eve, we have pizzas to serve. We only have 1 medium box because Domino’s didn’t have a promo at that time.

Buttered Shrimps

It’s the kids’ request to have buttered shrimps, so we granted their request.

GRILLED FISH
Carbonara

It’s a tradition to have noodles or pasta during celebration so I requested my father to cook Carbonara for us.

pork barbeque
Buko Salad

We had Buko Salad and Chicken Macaroni Salad. I prefer the latter because we already had too much sweets– what will happen to my diet resolution thing? Hehehe…

Choco Graham with chocolate chips and walnuts

I made this dessert because I bought Hershey’s chocolate chips and we have 1 big plastic of walnuts for Christmas. Those would be wasted if I won’t prepare this for New Year.

Black Forest Cake

I didn’t like plain chocolate cake so we settled for Black Forest and we loved the taste— the combination of cherries and chocolate, which is not that sweet.

Gold chocolate coins
biko and malagkit

According to beliefs, we should have something sticky for New Year for stronger family ties, so hubby bought these in the market.

Red wine and Orange Juice

For drinks, we had red wine and orange juice. I wanted to have pineapple juice but hubby wanted something colorful.

After the dinner, I threw the coins that I collected for one year and the kids patiently picked those coins on the floor. It’s a tradition that we have every year for the kids– we also believe that we will have a prosperous year if we do that. When my mom was still alive, we used to sleep with coins and paper bills on the bed. We also used to hang 12 pieces of grapes in the window— a lot of beliefs, but for me, the thing that matters is the love and care that you get from your family. Even if you have sumptuous food, but you are not happy, the holiday spirit would have no sense at all.

So, after the holiday season, I thought of working on my diet and exercise. For the whole month of December, Anytime Fitness gave me a free 1 month access- and that really helped a lot in burning the calories. This month though, we need to start the year right by eating healthy foods and exercise. I have started in doing my own workout at home since I have a stationary bike, abs and tummy exerciser and set of dumbbells. If I will have my own treadmill, I don’t have to go to the gym 🙂

So, I think I have shared enough how we spent our New Year’s Eve. I am wishing you guys to have a productive and prosperous 2020! Let’s claim the success this year!

Hey there!  Before the New Year begins, I would like to give you  a review of what happened to me in 2019.

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I struggled really hard with my health in 2018 because of my bleeding and I’m glad that in summer, it gradually stopped.  I think it has something to do with stress, but I still managed to finish the schoolyear.  I thought I would be able to have a good health for the rest of the year, but contrary to that, I was stressed with the things that happened lately plus the paperworks and activities in school, so I finally decided to rest for good.  I tendered my resignation as a public school teacher before Christmas.

REFLECTION:  I was weak in a sense that I didn’t know how to deal with stress management so I ended up being helpless– I actually blamed myself for everything that happened.  I even thought that I was the jinx and all I brought the people around me is misfortune.  Because, I was stressed, I failed to help myself in having a balanced diet and my way of dealing with stress is to eat sweets and drink too much coffee.

GOALS:  For 2020,  I would like to have a balanced diet, control my coffee intake into maximum of 3 cups per day, and have a fitness routine ( I actually am starting to achieve my fitness goals as early as this month, thanks to Anytime Fitness! ).

money matters

One of the causes of my stress in 2018 , I should say, is the credit card bills.  In 2019, the achievement I made was to cut those cards from 8 to 4– so I have 3 Citibank Credit cards and 1 from Eastwest Bank.

REFLECTION:    I have realized that it’s not a good idea to have several credit cards; in fact, it would be better to have only one.  If I will be able to clean up those bills, I would only retain my Eastwest Bank credit card.  Also, I noticed that I was able to control my expenses (buying only the things that we need and we only spoil ourselves sometimes).

GOALS:  Well, since I already have filed my resignation in school, I am also going to settle my loans so that I don’t have anything in mind, just the 4 credit card bills and other expenses.  Aside from cleaning up the debts , settling bills on time, I wanted to save money.

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My business is such a blessing for us– I know we were not able to save, but it’s enough for us to buy groceries, food, and settle the bills.  There were times that I have lapses– because I was busy with school that’s why I wasn’t able to focus that much.

REFLECTION:  I have realized that if not for this, we would be in deep trouble, so I guess my decision to rest for good is a brilliant idea because I will be able to focus on making money.

GOALS:  Of course, my goal is to have more customers, that’s why as early as now, I am already creating my content calendar for our business for 2020.

family time

Also, one thing that I was guilty about is that I didn’t have the time to bond with my family.  Simple things like helping them with their homeworks, checking how they feel, and making them happy will be a good accomplishment.  This year, there was a big improvement with my youngest child (BRUCE), and if you watch my vlogs, I think you are already familiar with him.  He has speech problems and currently, he is enrolled in the SPED class.  He started speaking last April and now, he can express himself but we need to teach him how to pronounce the words well.

REFLECTION:  Time was a big factor, and because I wasn’t able to share my time with the kids, I forgot that my second child needed attention.  When she enrolled in the school where I used to teach, she had a culture shock because she wasn’t expecting that the class size would be that big– there are about 70 students in her class.  She also had a hard time focusing on the lessons.  I have decided to transfer her in another school because they offer homeschool program.

GOALS:  I wanted to spend quality time with my family, most specially my kids.  Bruce is interested in alphabet and numbers, so I am giving him more resources.  I also wanted to help Shane with her lessons in her homeschooling and I am planning to spend more time with her so she could enjoy as well.  More family staycations and family dinner and bonding to come!

social media presence

This year, I wasn’t that active in posting for my blog and there is a lot of work to do with the YouTube channel that I have created.

REFLECTION:  I think stress is also a BIG factor and the lack of time because I wasn’t able to have restaurant features like what I used to do in 2018.

GOALS:  I wanted to be super active and the content planning will be  a big help for me since I will be a full time blogger now.  I will be launching The Blogger Princess on May 1, 2020 on Boracay (which will be hosted by Ferra Hotel). In order for me to achieve this goal, I will be needing help from sponsors.  I am looking forward to have quality content in the blog/vlog, IB and FB posts that I will share.

To sum things up, 2019 has been good to me and I believe that with proper planning and in sharing my precious time, I will be able to achieve my goals for 2020.

What do you think, folks?  Comment down regarding your suggestions or thoughts.

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Oh yes, it’s just 2 days before Christmas and still, I haven’t achieved some of my goals.  It’s been more than a week since the last day in school, but I’ve been very busy with a lot of things– and now, we are cramming a bit because tomorrow, it will be Christmas Eve!

So, today, here is what we have to accomplish until tomorrow:

  1.  The Christmas decorations are partially done- we have painted the walls white, bought new dark blue silky and light blue curtains.

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2.   The Christmas tree is overloaded with ornaments, but I wish I could have come up with a “STARLA” theme, but it’s too late.  Probably, by next year I can do the yearly Christmas theme since I have more time to spend with my family at home.

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3.   We bought stuff for stocking fillers.  This time is goodbye to sweet treats– it’s about time to have more practical things inside.

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4  Finalize the list for dishes for  Christmas Eve.  It’s quite weird but I haven’t finalized the dishes yet.  We wanted to prepare something that the kids would enjoy!

5. Achieve the Christmas glow– How the hell am I going to do that?  Before, I was able to achieve it with the help of Soulscape Spa and Nailaholics, thanks to them 🙂  Now, I was able to solve my problem with my cystic acne– I finally got rid of it!  It appeared last March 2018 and I went to Dermcare Clinic last December 11 and I had one week medication.  This morning, I came back and I had the I & D Procedure (Incision & Drainage) .  It just took about 10 minutes or less for the dermatologist to remove the cyst.  At least, I will look better now 🙂

6.  Last minute Christmas Shopping — I think we can’t avoid this.  I’m lucky because we have a mall very near to our place.  I will be heading there tomorrow to buy some groceries and some items for the Christmas stockings and probably some small gifts too and something for our Christmas outfits.

7.  Complete my fitness routine @ Anytime Fitness Xentro Mall.  I am getting ready for my Boracay trip this coming April 30-May 2, 2020 and this is a BIG help for me.

So, we need a lot of planning to do.  Happy holidays!  More updates to come.

 

I know it’s already the second week of December and it’s kinda late to share this post, but it’s better to be late than not to post anything at all.  This month, I’m having mixed emotions– this week, I’m finally saying goodbye as a classroom teacher.  I’m actually thinking that this would end my stressful days for paperworks and other school related activities.  This doesn’t mean though that I will say goodbye to the field of education–NO!  The positive side is that I can focus in my tutoring business at SMART TUTEE.  I could go on and on because this week, I have all the time for myself and my family and this is why I need to set my goals for this month.

1.  STAY FIT

I know it’s hard to achieve this, that’s why I decided to use the free 1 month membership that Anytime Fitness Xentro Mall.  gave me.  December is a month of celebration and party-hopping; therefore, it’s really hard to resist delectable dishes especially sweets.  I am guilty of eating too much when December starts and for me to balance everything, I need a daily use of the cardio machines to help burn calories.  I am desperately in need to be fit before I formally launch my Youtube Channel and relaunch The Blogger Princess, previously known as The Travel Blogger in Pink in Boracay on May 1, 2020, which will be hosted by Ferra Hotel.   The event will be on summer, so I should have a beach-ready body at that time and I am confident that I can achieve my fitness goals with the help of Anytime Fitness Xentro Mall.  You can see my daily fitness diary posts and updates in IG and my personal FB account.

2.  BE HEALTHY

I’m also guilty of eating too much fast food meals and junk foods; so if I would like to attain my fitness goals, I should be eating healthy foods also.  I think this will take time and I would lie if I would say that in just few days, I will be able to achieve this goal.  Probably, I could start by planning a healthy meal for next year, but I can try this month (winks 🙂 )

I am a coffee addict and I have lots of stocks of 3-in-1 coffee sachets at home, but hubby keeps on telling me in horror about the calories per cup that I get daily since I consume minimum of 5 cups of coffee daily.  So, the plan is for me to decrease my coffee intake– I am searching for an alternative.  One thing is certain, though– I need to increase my water intake.

3.  CREATE MORE VLOG POSTS

I was so busy lately that I wasn’t able to create vlog posts for my YouTube channel.   Since I already have the time to do it next week, I am planning to create the following for this month.

  • My typical day at Anytime Fitness Xentro Mall
  • Preparation for our year-end party @ 3B Resthouse
  • Preparation for the Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

 

4.  DECORATE THE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS

We have started decluttering in the bedrooms, but since it’s a busy week for us, I think we will be able to have more time to clean and decorate after Dec 15.

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I still have old Christmas tree decorations and same SANTA CLAUS decorations as well.  I will create a blog post showing our curtains and other home accessories.  We are still deciding on the colors and other designs.  For the wall of our living room, we just painted it white to be simple and neat.  Wait for my update, folks!

5.  THROW A POOL PARTY

I rented 3B Resthouse in Antipolo for two reasons:

(1) Kyle’s 16th birthday celebration with the family

From 8am to 2pm we have all the time for ourselves; so, a simple pool party will be nice.  We will have pasta, lumpiang Shanghai pizza, ice cream and other finger foods.

(2) SMART TUTEE’s Year-end Party

From 3pm to 7pm, we will have the Christnas Party for the tutors.  It will just be a simple dinner (potluck) , exchange gifts and raffle draw for the tutors.

Watch out for my vlog about this!

6.  FINALIZE THE GIFT LIST

I already have started buying Christmas gifts, but I need more time.

7.  PLAN MY CONTENT FOR 2020

Since I will be free next week, I’m planning to use the time to create content calendars for The Blogger Princess and SMART TUTEE.  I promise to be more active in social media and I’m so excited for the result.  It will be tedious on my part, yes, because I will personally plan and I do not intend to buy a ready made content plan for my business.

8.  SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH THE KIDS

This is the last, but of course not the least on my list.  By  next week, we will start submitting Shane’s requirements for her homeschooling and prepare Bruce for his Christmas Party.

I have also set up Bruce’s YouTube channel.  We will try to post content this month.

I am planning how can we celebrate Christmas this year, the malls are too busy.   Wait for my update about our family bonding.

This is it, dear readers!  I will just update you if I miss something.  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

 

 

One of the perks of being a blogger is that we can check some of the hotel’s best suites and rooms and boy, I was so lucky because I was given the chance to enter the Presidential Suite which costs P600,000 per night and the historical MacArthur Suite which costs P400,000 per night at the Manila Hotel last summer.   Another memorable experience was our recent wedding anniversary staycation celebration at the EDSA Shangri-la Hotel last October 30.

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After our dinner at the Horizon Club Lounge, we were informed that Eddie will assist us in their most expensive suite which is the EDSA Suite.  Hubby and I were so excited because their most affordable room, which is the Deluxe Room is already luxurious enough– what more if you stay in their most expensive suite? Well, I think it’s one of the anniversary treats for us 🙂

Now, are you excited as well?  Okay, fasten your seatbelts and let us have a tour.

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The Edsa Suite is located at the Tower Wing of the hotel and it has a total area of 215 sqm.

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The Living Room

It has a living room with a breathtaking view of the Manila Skyline, but since we came in after dinner, it was already dark and we couldn’t show the view in the picture.  Eddie has mentioned to us his funny experience when he served as a butler in this suite.  He didn’t know then that a remote control is needed to open the curtain and sheer. Actually, we saw this during our tour in the Presidential suite and MacArthur Suite of the Manila Hotel, so we were not surprised anymore.

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This area, aside from having a spectacular view, where you can entertain visitors and a comfortable office desk where you can work comfortably while enjoying the luxurious staycation.

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THE DINING ROOM

Unlike the other rooms and suites in Edsa Shangri-la, the EDSA Suite has a dining table where you can dine with your family.  The other rooms don’t have one– it’s just the center table in the living room.  Here, you can have privacy while having your meals and be comfortable as well.

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THE KITCHEN

The kitchen is equipped with microwave oven, induction cooker, and minibar.  What’s special about this minibar is that if you have consumed all the items there, you can request them to refill it for you without any charge.  The overnight stay here in the Edsa Suite has also a Horizon Lounge access, wherein guests are free to have snacks from 2-4pm during afternoon tea time and pre-dinner from 5-7pm during cocktail hour.  In other words, the guests really don’t need anything at all.  If they are thirsty, they can go to the club lounge anytime because it’s open for 24 hours to keep guests hydrated.  Anyway, because they treat guests as VIP, and this room is the most expensive one, they want their guests to be comfortable — so if they feel like they wanted to stay in the room and just be on the bed for the whole day, they have stock in their minibar 🙂

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They also have assorted tea flavors for the guests, teapots and goblets.

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THE BATHROOM

There’s a spacious walk in closet as well where you can place your clothes and shoes.

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The bathroom, just like in the Garden Suite has also a shower area, bathtub, vanity area.  The only difference is the premium toiletries.

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THE BEDROOM

The bedroom is so spacious– it has a bed, LED Tv, working desk and a daybed.  Staying here will make you feel so comfy that you just want to stay in the room and rest.

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It has a connecting room that makes it the second bedroom in the suite.

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What else?  You have everything that you need— but here, you have your personal butler who will take care of all your needs 24/7.

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Thank you, Edsa Shangri-la for this experience.  Next year I will see if I can show more of their rooms and facilities.  Til next post, guys!

EDSA SHANGRI-LA HOTEL

1 Garden Way, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City

02 86338888

I seldom book in hotels, and when I do, I make sure that it’s worth the money and time. Since it’s our 17th wedding anniversary, I chose Edsa Shangri-la for an overnight staycation because I wanted something special. This time, I had to make sure that I won’t be disappointed like a nightmare that we have experienced in our recent stay in Marco Polo Ortigas Manila.

Well, I also had a bad experience in my previous stay before at Heat about our buffet breakfast, but I think it’s worth another try.  Now, I made sure that everything will be perfect.  Prior to our stay, after I booked with them directly via online booking, I was constantly in touch  with the reservations and customer service re my concerns.  As a guest who would like to enjoy in her stay, I had the right to make sure that my stay won’t have any hassle at all.

This time, we wanted to share our special day with our kids so I wanted to let them enjoy the staycation also.  I chose a large room with club lounge access as usual and I was happy to find out that kids are very much welcome in the Horizon Club Lounge!   That was less stress on my part because we didn’t have to leave our 5 year old kid in the playroom while were in the lounge.

Our Experience 

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The moment we stepped into the hotel entrance, we were already greeted by Gilbert, and he escorted us to the 14th floor where the Horizon Club Lounge is. We had a private check-in and after Mitch explained to us everything including the Horizon Club benefits, we opted to stay in the lounge because it was already 2pm– just in time for the afternoon tea and snacks.  We just asked Gilbert to bring our luggage inside our suite.

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Mitch – the one who assisted us with our check in
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The Garden Wing Premier Suite

I booked the Garden wing premier suite because it’s quite large, with its own living room where the extra bed was placed.  The bedroom has a king sized bed and a bathroom with a jacuzzi, shower area and toilet. I prefer a suite than an ordinary room because of some inclusions.  You can watch my room tour vlog here.  Though last time, we already stayed in the same kind of suite, I felt the excitement once again to see and to experience a luxurious staycation with my family.

What made our staycation memorable and what’s so special about Edsa Shangri-la?

1. Class

From the facade, modern interior designs and elegant furnishings, undoubtedly, the hotel is first class. It’s worth every money that you spend.

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2. Horizon Club Lounge

I always book rooms with club lounge access because it already includes afternoon tea time and cocktail hour. At Edsa Shangri-la, they also have 24 hour access for refreshments; so, that’s a plus factor.   Sometimes, I sleep late and sometimes, I wake up early-so the club lounge access is perfect if I would like to drop by to have a cup of coffee or chilled juice.

One of the inclusions that I enjoy in a five-star hotel when I book for one is the free two-hour use of boardroom/meeting room.  I use it in my business whenever I have to conduct tutor-orientation for newly hired tutors.  Too bad, I wasn’t able to use that benefit, though I would really like to schedule one. We had too many activities lined up for our stay and I thought that including business in our stay would consume much time and we won’t be able to enjoy Edsa Shangri-la.

As I was talking to Mitch during the check-in process, a familiar face appeared and as I recall — it was Jovyn, who was in the front desk before when we checked in in our previous booking.  I didn’t know where to go before so we decided to proceed in the front desk.  I remembered her also because she was one of the super nice people who assisted us when we checked in and out.

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Before we had our afternoon snacks and tea, we saw the Santa Claus basket displays with sweet treats.  We were actually excited to find out what snacks were available at that time.

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I was really looking forward for their pastries, but one thing that we enjoyed and liked was the tuna sandwich.

They have a Nespresso machine, soda and chilled juices that the guests can enjoy 24/7.  I liked pulpy chilled juices because they are not concentrated.  Kyle and I had orange juice, Mango for Bruce and Apple juice for hubby.

This is what I have missed in my stay.

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3.  The Welcome Treats and surprise!

After we have fueled our bodies with sweet treats from the club lounge, we headed to the 7th floor where our suite is located.   In the lobby, hubby and Bruce were too excited to look at the pool view.

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AFTER ENTERING THE SUITE

We felt like a VIP not only because of the warm greetings and smiles from the employees, but also because of the welcome treats.  Aside from the plate of fruits on the office table, there were also 2 pieces of banana cakes and banana chips for us.

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I was impressed because they already set up the X-box and placed the monopoly board on the center table.

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While we were having a tour in our suite, I saw the full-sized executive writing desk.  I thought of using it late in the evening after the scheduled spa treatment.  I brought my laptop with me because I planned to transfer files from my mobile phone.  I was also excited because if ever I would be able to squeeze some time for business, there are office supplies available in the drawer.  There is also a fax machine for sending and receiving important files.

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They also prepared a small wedding anniversary cake for us since they know that we were there because we were celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary.  

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Bruce also enjoyed his mini chocolate cake and candies with his edible name 🙂

While the kids were playing the X-box that they set up in the living room and the Monopoly board game, we were having a tour of the bedroom and toilet.  We were also impressed because they knew the total number of guests in the room; therefore, they also prepared 4 pairs of slippers, 4 bathrobes, 4 dental kit and 4 bottled water in the suite.  I didn’t have to call them to remind about those things.

Also, in five-star hotels like Edsa Shangri-la, they have an ironing board and iron in the walk-in closet.  I am not that skilled in folding clothes in my luggage, so my clothes are always crumpled.

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We loved the bedroom–I just noticed that they lack outlets since hubby and I charge our phones most of the time.  Those outlets should be placed near the bed so the guests can be more comfortable.

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So sweet of them to prepare rose petals on the bed.  ‘Twas so romantic, but we didn’t have a private moment together, as it turned out to be a family affair, but it was all worth it.

4.  Celebration

We had the chance to celebrate in the cocktail hour at Horizon Club Lounge.

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5.  Our Own Jacuzzi @ the suite

Aside from the spacious walk-in closet, I also love their bathroom because it has its own jacuzzi and premium toiletries.

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6. Spa

I had the chance to destress @ Chi, the Spa and were relaxed with the Simply Chi Treatment. It was included in the Bonus Choice package that I availed.  We did not avail of the couple massage because I know hubby would disapprove of the additional cost.

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I also love having a spa treatment and I always wanted to try Chi, the Spa.  After the elevator ride to the 4th floor where the reception is, I was ushered to my room.

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Chi Spa has a total of 10 rooms (8 individual and 2 couple rooms)  An individual room is big enough.  As you enter, there is a footwash area.

You have your own bathroom, closet with vault where you can put your belongings, a red robe and a pair of slippers.

There was also a separate toilet and shower area.

restroom.jpgWhat I like also is the inclusion of toiletries for the guests.

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Ms. Tess- the assigned therapist for me asked if I would like to have steambath, but I just had a jacuzzi bath in our suite, so we started with the massage already.

I wanted to take a dip in the outdoor tub, but it is only in the couple’s room.

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After the treatment, i had a good night sleep.  Though I wanted to stay up late to upload more files, i needed that beauty rest also.

On our way to HEAT the following day, I saw this.

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I really wanted to have a manicure and pedicure.  I inquired in the front desk area and saw also that the table for Chi Spa beside Heat was unmanned that time.

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I called the front office and I was glad that the one who answered me offered to have the brochure be delivered in our suite.  Too bad, there was no more time because we had to leave at 4pm.  Next time, I promise myself to book a nail treatment also.

6.  Buffet breakfast @ HEAT

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If before, I had a bad experience with them, this time, we really  enjoyed the breakfast.  They have  variety of food especially the desserts and ice cream!

(There will be a separate post about our breakfast buffet @ HEAT)

7.  The swimming pool

Our staycation won’t be complete without swimming time!  The kids especially Bruce, is really looking forward for this.  Unlike the other hotels, Edsa Shangri-la has an outdoor pool, where you can truly relax and unwind.  It’s like having a break at a private resort in the city.  If only I had more time, I would have spent the whole day lounging and relaxing, but my priority that day is to let the kids enjoy also.

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Hubby and I decided to give the time for Bruce this time since we have the time to bond with each other on summer @ Ferra Hotel Boracay for my blog launch.

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We loved the swimming pool for the kids and adults. They have a clean restroom equipped with toiletries where guests can take a shower and use the toilet.

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8.  The gym

I also love the 24 hour access to the gym. They have different fitness machines and they also have water and tea for refreshments.  The changing rooms have lockers, shower area, toilets, lap pool and jacuzzi.

I was kinda disappointed though because I wasn’t able to take photos in in the jacuzzi and lap pool though I was all ALONE  at that time.  I understand that they do not allow taking of photos because the other guests won’t have the privacy at all, but when you are ALONE and you have the entire space for yourself, it’s a different story.  I should have shown you guys how relaxing it is just to use this amenity.  I didn’t mind it much because we have our own jacuzzi in the suite, but I hope next time I can post photos if I am alone.

I also don’t have photos of the gym because my 15-year old son wasn’t allowed to get in because they only allow 16 year old and above to use the gym.  There was nobody to take photos of me using the gym like what we usually do @ Anytime Fitness.  Oh well, another sad story 😦

Only this gym experience provided me this heartache in our stay.

9.  Exceptional Service

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with jeannie, whom I coordinated with in the Horizon Club Lounge prior to our stay
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with Eddie, who served us cocktails and accompanied us to the EDSA Suite for a tour
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with Terylle, (who assisted us in the Horizon Club Lounge and also guided us in our room tour) and Ferdie, who returned my selfie stick

It’s the people behind Edsa Shangri-La who made them climb to the top. From Gilbert, to the Horizon Club Lounge staff (Mitch , Jeannie, Eddie and Terylle) who treated us very well and attended to all our needs, Ferdie, who returned my selfie stick when i left it when we checked out and to Mr. Claudio Togo, their EAM, who also greeted and welcomed us.

We got a VIP treatment I felt your sincerity in giving your guests the best service and I really salute you for that.  I remember when hubby was filling the jacuzzi with water, he accidentally pressed the alarm, and after few seconds, the phone in the toilet rang and when I picked it up, the guy on the other side of the line asked me if everything was okay.  I told them what happened, but he told me that they will just check the room.  They wanted to make sure that their guests are not really harmed.

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It’s my pleasure to meet the AEM, Mr. Claudio Togo

We were able to avail the late check-out at 4pm so it’s all worth it booking at the Horizon Club.

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What are the improvements since our last stay with Edsa Shangri-la?

  1.  They already have the  bubble bath so the kids really enjoyed.
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2.  They are already consistent with the information that they give.  It seems they have improved with their customer service skills as well.

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Note: There will be a separate post about the Heat, the Edsa Suite Tour, Tower Wing De luxe twin room, Garden Wing Deluxe Suite tour.

What to improve:

  1. Make sure the reception tables have employees who can answer the guests’ queries 24/7.
  2. Orient the guests what they can offer esp. if they have kids with them.  I would have loved to use the playroom but we were not properly informed.  Should we just come and inquire? In our previous trip in another hotel few years ago, we were given schedules of the activities that they have in the playroom and also information is also available in our room, they gave it to us just in case Shane would like to play.
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Overall, we enjoyed the overnight stay. I highly recommend Edsa Shangrila Hotel — it’s worth the money for an extraordinary experience.  We will be back because I recommended the hotel to a friend and already assisted her with the booking for 15 days.  Definitely, there will be part 2 of my tour.  I will be posting more photos soon.  Until next post 🙂

EDSA SHANGRI-LA HOTEL

1 Garden Way, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City

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Hello, dear readers!  I have mentioned to you about the stress that I’ve been dealing with lately and I have shared to you about my plans of signing off to my as a classroom teacher.  I carefully planned about the gradual changes this last quarter of the year as I open the new chapter on 2020 with a bang!

Part of the said changes is my fitness journey.  I wanted to be in shape on my upcoming wedding anniversary on April 30, 2020 and on my blog/vlog relaunch on the 1st of May.  Since I had health issues before, I decided not to be hard on myself in achieving the beach-ready body that I visualize and dream to have.  I can do it gradually— probably few minutes per day of cardio exercises per day before I can allot longer time for the daily workout.

Luckily, there is Anytime Fitness Xentro Mall Antipolo, which is just few minutes walk away from our home.   I checked the place and I was pleased to see that aside from its posh design , it is also well-maintained and they have several machines that the members can use.

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Though some prefer to come in the evening so they can totally rest after the workout, I prefer to have it early in the morning where I can have the club by myself because I love privacy.  I’m not that comfortable to work out during peak hours were the club is jampacked with members.

I am not that much into heavy workout, just few cardio exercises are fine with me as long as I sweat and burn calories.  So what is my goal?  I would like to have firm legs and nice abs in time for summer.

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One of my favorites is the rowing machine where I can already have arm and leg exercise.

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The dumbbells are for my arms because I want them to be firm.  I’m getting more conscious now especially that most of my tops are sleeveless.

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Aside from using the machines, they also have schedule of classes– in fact, I was able to take videos of the Retro Zumba class this weekend but those are already posted in my vlogvlog, IG and FB page.

One thing that I like in their club is that they have private bathrooms that the members can use.  Each bathroom comes with a toilet and shower area with hot and cold water, shampoo and shower gel.  There are also locker rooms wherein members can place their valuables while working out and having a shower.

While they do not have sauna and lounge like the other fitness clubs, their advantage is that they operate for 24 hours.  Members can access the club anytime they want even on holidays.

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As you can see in my photos, I still have fats to burn— this coming December, I will use my free 1 month membership with Anytime Fitness Antipolo  because that is the month when I usually eat more than I do– parties everywhere and a lot of dishes and desserts to feast on.  At least, even if I eat that much, I can burn calories daily and I will be motivated to achieve the body that I used to have before.   I will end the year with having a fitness routine and will start 2020 with my fitness journey with Anytime Fitness.

I am so excited to share with you on my next vlog/blog about their workout machines and equipment that I will try and demonstrate to you.  i will also feature some classes so you can take a peek on what they offer.   I will also update you from time to time and you will witness the transformation til I show you off my summer-ready body on May.

Anytime Fitness Xentromall Antipolo gives free trial pass so you can try and experience it before you sign up.

ANYTIME FITNESS XENTRO MALL ANTIPOLOANYTIME FITNESS XENTRO MALL ANTIPOLO

2nd Floor Xentro Mall, Brgy. Mambugan, Antipolo City

(02) 8243 0703

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We have been celebrating the World Teachers’ Day in the Philippines for 10 years now.  Every year, the city of Antipolo gives minor, major and cash prizes to the teachers.   Ever since I was hired in the service in 2009, I have not won any prize in the raffle draw.  I wasn’t expecting to win a prize at all because there were 5k plus of teachers in Antipolo who attended the event last October 4, 2019 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

Hubby and I headed to the Ynares Center as early as 7am and there were freebies for the teachers- from vitamins, fan, eco bag, to popcorn and French fries.  They gave a treat to teachers for our special day.

After watching the zumba performances of the teachers from the different divisions, I already planned to go home, but hubby asked me to finish the program because we might win in the raffle draw.  I decided to stay since hubby is kinda lucky in winning prizes. (I haven’t mentioned that he won as the Well-Loved Teacher in their school).

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And so, while waiting for another hour that seemed as eternity, I just saw my name flashed on the screen.  I just won Php3,000 from Gov. Nini Ynares.  Hehehe, thank you so much for this– probably, you have sensed that I am already going to bid farewell this schoolyear that’s why you have given me a cash prize that I can use to shop for new stuff.

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Though it’s not too much, I am really thankful for this chance.  I thought carefully how I will spend the money and after few hours of thinking, I finally decided to use it for shopping.

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The first shop that I visited in SM Masinag was BENCH .  I bought a set of 3 hankies for P195 and a hairbrush for P129.

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a pink unicorn notebook for P249.00.  I love pink and purple unicorn designs and I am collecting notebooks for my journal or blog organizers.

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3 pairs of tassel earrings at Aksesoriz for P59.00 each.

pair of earrings

a unicorn keychain for P149.75.

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I got these stuff from Lazada:

I chose blazers that I can use in the office.

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Pink floral blouse P548 for casual attire

Finally, I decided to spend the Semidilino hair treatment at Mary Pauline Salon @ P1,200.  I bought new clothes already so it’s about time to pamper my hair too— after all, it’s the girl’s crowning glory and it’s just lately that I realized that I should spend in my hair too.  I would go for the hair color and hair spa some other time– this Semidilino is kinda expensive.  I guess, L’oreal hair spa would be fine for my hair next time.  There was nothing magical that happened to my hair– no transformation so I won’t waste my money again for this.

I knew that I have spent more than the prize, but I guess it’s all worth it.  I deserve a treat anyway since I have worked so hard these past few months both in school and in my own business.

Watch out for my vlog about this in my YouTube channel.  Til next post 🙂

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I started the 1st of October by bonding with my friends @ UCC Clockwork Xentro Mall in celebration of the International Coffee Day.  It was my second time in UCC Clockwork.  I remember the first time we went there was when we screened an applicant.   Honestly, I find it quite expensive and even my friends don’t like to hang out there either.  They prefer other cozy coffee shops that offer affordable coffee and snacks.  Probably, you’re wondering what brought us there.  When I heard that they have the buy 1 take 1 promo, I convinced two of my friends to celebrate ICD (International Coffee Day) there.  After all, it’s just walking distance from my place and after the short chitchat over coffee, I can go home and do the laundry 🙂

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It took us a while to choose which coffee and food are we going to order.  I settled for the Kori Kohi (Cold Brew Ice Coffee Cubes, Warm Milk and Syrup) that we availed for Buy 1 take 1 for P230.

I didn’t order pasta or sandwiches because at that time, we were still full, so I just ordered Mango Clairs (Japanese -style Waffle Crepe with ice cream for P268.  I liked it because it wasn’t too sweet– probably because the fruits blended and complimented well to the chocolate syrup and ice cream.

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Mango Clairs

Susan ordered Davao Chocolate for P190 and Lorie chose Iced Cafe Latte for P190 and for the food, they just shared 1 order of Carbonara with Garlic Bread for P298.

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Carbonara and Cafe Latte

We enjoyed our coffee, but Susan had a hard time because at UCC Clockwork, they are strawless.  When she asked for a straw, the waitress offered a metal straw for P200.  She did not avail one because she already have purchased one according to her that’s why she just used a spoon.

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Though it was quite expensive, I enjoyed the bonding.  For the bill, I spent P540 for the two of us (Kyle and me)

If ever we would have another coffee bonding, it’s certain that it wont be at UCC anymore.  We might have it at Starbucks SM Masinag , Yellow Lantern or other cafes.  There is nothing negative about the place, the food and coffee– it’s just that people are being practical.  I might come back if there will be promos like this one.

You can watch my vlog about our coffee bonding here.  Please don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel 🙂  Til next coffee bonding, folks!

 

my first unboxing vlog

Hello, everyone!  This is the first time that I started have an unboxing vlog which turned out to be kinda funny because it was actually “unpacking” or revealing the contents of what I ordered via Lazada online shopping.  Well, I was already thinking about it doing it few years ago even before I started blogging, but I didn’t push through with it for unknown reasons, hehe!

When I finally decided that I wanted to do this series of “unboxing vlogs,”  I collected the 4 items that I ordered and shown the contents to the viewers,  It wasn’t perfect, but the experience was different and I’m actually enjoying doing it that I am planning my second unboxing vlog.  This time, I will talk more about the items and will show to you guys my honest to goodness reaction– if I was satisfied or not with the product and will tell the brand and price as well.

unboxing

The good thing about doing this unboxing vlog is the element of surprise that I experience when I get to open the box or package and revealing the contents to the viewers.  It is also very easy to shoot because there is no need for you to compile videos and and compress it to one.  You can have it in one shot.

What about you, have you ever tried to do this?  What kind of unboxing vlog do you share to your viewers?  Probably you can share some tips  by leaving a comment  here and sharing your YouTube link as well.  You may also subscribe to my YouTube channel  and I would gladly appreciate that because I need 1k subscribers before I have my relaunch on May 1, 2020 in Boracay island.

Til my next unboxing vlogs, folks!

Everybody has his own weakness and nobody is perfect. With that in mind, I have somehow managed to accept my human flaws and imperfections.   I know that it is indeed normal to commit mistakes, but there is a certain limitation to everything. No matter how hard you try, there will be no more chances and the only thing that I can do is to accept the reality and that I also need to come up with a major decision.

Just before the schoolyear begins, there were students who already judged me, but I took it as joke.  You can see their reactions here.  I didn’t mind that because I was overwhelmed by the responses of my former students and I felt appreciated by them though I am known to be a strict teacher.  My former advisory class 10-Masikap also made me feel that I am special to them and they accepted me wholeheartedly though I failed to become a perfect adviser to them.  One of my memorable moment is this– I was speechless, but I felt their sincerity and their love.  Though I was experiencing pain at that time, I still felt my worth as an educator, and I was firm to my decision that I will finish the end of the schoolyear.

As time goes by, I feel so empty that I didn’t feel my worth as an educator.  I failed to inspire my students and I didn’t feel the excitement that they have when I enter the class.  I failed to motivate them to dream to become better individuals.  I failed to deliver lessons that captivate their attention and hearts.  I failed as a class adviser– incompetent and ineffective because I wasn’t able to convince my students to go to school.  I failed in so many ways, that I feel so helpless.

As of the moment, I am experiencing depression.   Most of the time I weep just to let out what I have inside.  Only time can tell when I will be able to believe in myself again that I am indeed still worthy of being loved.

Aside from this emotional pain, here comes the never-ending paperworks, lessons and instructional materials that I need to prepare daily, and other issues that I have in mind, and with that, my health is still at stake.  I couldn’t afford to be hospitalized again 😦

At this date, I am currently in my 10 years of teaching in a public school and I could say that I already have experienced enough.  I am just saddened in the realization that I have been ineffective and useless.  I have thought of filing an indefinite leave, but I think my depression won’t end there.  I just realized that teaching and being an adviser isn’t for me– and with this realization, my final decision is to resign this coming December 2019.

I failed as an educator, but it’s not too late to catch up with my shortcomings as a mother to my 3 kids.  While I can still travel, manage our family business and bond with the kids, I am choosing to be a full-time mom, business manager and blogger/vlogger/influencer.   I want to have a brand new start on 2020 that’s why I am starting off with a health and fitness routine with Anytime Fitness and will have my blog and YouTube channel relaunched on May 2020 in Ferra Hotel.

It’s just another story that we have to end and a new chapter to begin with after this nightmare.  So, this is Jasmine Dedomo, signing off as a public school teacher on December 2019.

 

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