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The Blogger Princess

Fashion, Food, Beauty, Home & Travel Digital Magazine

Pinto Art Museum facade , one of the tourist spots in Antipolo City

Why Pinto Art Museum?

One of the places that people recommend to visit in Antipolo is the Pinto Art Museum. I was in a search for places to visit because a Balikbayan friend would like to visit Antipolo in particular. We have removed Hinulugang Taktak in the list because of the negative reviews. I think there is something to look forward to in this place because it quickly became popular with adults and youngsters from different areas, especially those who have an interest in arts. I have visited one popular tourist spots in Antipolo before, which is the Crescent Moon Cafe, and it was a fantastic experience.

The weird thing is that I am from Antipolo City, but I didn’t have the chance to squeeze some time to drop by and see for myself if the place is worth the praises. Luckily, I was able to find time last week, and I would like to share with you some of the creative work of arts that caught my attention.

Registration Information

You have to pay the corresponding fees upon entering the place.

Adult- Php 200 Senior- Php 180 Child and students- P100

(All you have to do is to present your ID for you to avail the discount).

What To See In Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum's relaxing view
the garden at Pinto Art Museum, one of the tourist spots in Antipolo

I asked my companions to stop by the pool in the garden, which was sooooo relaxing. I could’ve stayed longer if not for the senior citizens I’m with that time. This spot makes you temporarily forget all your troubles. There are garden chairs in the area where you can sit and savor the beauty of nature.

Interesting Works of Arts

Because we had minimal time, we decided to get inside the Santorini-inspired white structures and look at the galleries. Unfortunately, videos are not allowed, so that I couldn’t create a vlog about it. Below are photos of the art pieces which are interesting for me.

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I wasn’t able to organize the photos because we were in a hurry and we didn’t visit the galleries according to number. After visiting galleries 1 and 2, we jumped to 5 and I think 4 and there were places that we missed. We were not able to chill at the cafe in between the walks or after. I guess, we just have to come back some other time to try their food and drinks. I suggest that if you will visit the museum, take the time to appreciate everything because you will not enjoy at all if you are in a hurry.

Rizal Cafe at the Pinto Art Museum, one of the tourist spots in Antipolo City

Even if my short visit isn’t perfect, I am glad that I had the chance to feast my eyes on those creative works. Each masterpiece has a story to tell, and I think your half-day in the museum would be enough for you to appreciate the artworks and nature. What I missed to do was to have a short pictorial since there are many instagrammable spots there.

relaxing beauty of nature at the Pinto Art Museum, one of the tourist spots in Antipolo City

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time for you to check out Pinto Art Museum. Head to one of the tourist spots in Antipolo now!

PINTO ART MUSEUM

(Open from Tuesday to Sunday)

1 Sierra Madre St, Grand Heights Subdivision, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal

(02) 8697 1015

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Why Discovery Suites?

I was elated when I had successfully booked a one-bedroom suite at Discovery Suites last week for our Valentine staycation in Ortigas. I felt I won a jackpot prize because I know for a fact that Valentine dinners are quite expensive. 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 Marco Polo that day.

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

Discovery Suites Ortigas , a place for staycation in Ortigas Center

My Impression

I had a memorable experience with Discovery Suites when we celebrated our wedding anniversary in 2017. I was looking forward to discover what they have in store for our Valentine’s staycation.

I thought that this staycation is perfect because we also need to take a break from work.

(The photos below are 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.

970x90 Romantic Collection

The Check-in Process

I registered at around 8 am before going to the office. Their standard check-in time is 3 pm, 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.
After paying the incidental deposit of P2500, we waited because they were still cleaning the room at that time.

check-in during my staycation in Ortigas at Discovery Suites

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 for our Valentine staycation in Ortigas.  (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 made for us previously). 

Our One-bedroom Suite

We were assigned to room 1114 and the suspense is here. (Drum roll, please!)

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 for our Valentine staycation in Ortigas costs P6500 net for an overnight stay. It’s quite deceiving because if you will examine carefully, I wasn’t able to receive my money’s worth. It’s more practical in my recent stay in Marco Polo though the rooms are quite expensive, but it includes the lounge access already. I liked the place except for one thing— its VIEW 🙁

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I like the simple and cozy living room, but we didn’t have a stunning VIEW. Having a beautiful and relaxing view is essential for me because it helps me unwind. A stockroom as our view is unpleasant to our eyes. As a result, it set my negative mood right after we have settled.

The living room in our one-bedroom suite in Discovery suites without a view

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 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.

Our bedroom without the view at Discovery Suites during our valentine staycation in Ortigas

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.

The white bathroom in our one-bedroom suite at Discovery Suites

Hubby liked the bathroom so much because it is simple but clean and classy. One of the things that I like is the bathtub. It’s just too weird that Shane and I didn’t have the time to enjoy it.  

MY RATING: 3/5 STARS

Modern Bathroom

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Freebies

Though I like sweets, I didn’t enjoy the freebies for the day. For me, it was a waste of money. We just conditioned our minds that we had to enjoy the rest of the day, so Shane and I headed to the gym.

MY RATING: 2 STARS

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The Fitness Club

The fitness club is my favorite amenity in the hotel; unfortunately, I wasn’t able to have my workout. My priority that time was to use the female area ALONE. 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 quick swim since I was already shivering at that time. Hubby might also arrive anytime. I was not too fond of the cold water, so we had to go back to our suite.

MY RATING: 3 STARS

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The Pool Area

MY RATING: 3/5 STARS

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Gabriel & Co. fine jewelry

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 7:45 pm for our Valentine Staycation in Ortigas, and he brought chicken and rice for us. They delivered the pizza before 9 pm after I made several phone calls. 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 our Valentine’s Day staycation that I planned. I asked the staff who delivered the pizza about the cause of the delay. He informed me that the restaurant was jam-packed with people and they also have received many orders that night. I think they even forgot that we had a complimentary two glasses of wine and cheese platter. He apologized, and he promised to follow up for us. After a few minutes, I had to follow up again over the phone, and finally, they delivered the pizza at 9:20 pm.

Our cheese platter was delivered at 9:20pm for our Valentine Staycation in Ortigas

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 a limited selection of foods. Fortunately, I liked the meals they served that day. Here’s what I got on my plate (Garlic rice, Chicken with gravy, cheese pizza, chicken misua, ziti pasta in pesto sauce, hashbrown, omelet, yogurt, and banana cupcake. )

MY RATING: 3 STARS

Restaurant 5 - Discovery Suites Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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After breakfast, we were having second thoughts if we would head to the gym and pool area. Finally, we have decided to stay inside the room.

Complimentary 3-in-1 coffee at Discovery Suites during our Valentine staycation in Ortigas

While I was having a cup of coffee, we talked about what we noticed in our room. He told me it smelled like cigarette in the room. I also shared to him about the disturbing noise that I heard that morning. I couldn’t sleep because of that. When I decided to get out of the bed, there was nothing to do. Usually, I open the window in the morning 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. So, instead of going back, I’m having second thoughts now. I don’t want to waste money and time. It was so disgusting– my Valentine staycation in Ortigas turned out to be a total disaster!

We posed while waiting for our luggages in Discovery Suites.

The Check-out Process

Standard check-out time is 12nn, so before we had to pack our things at 11 am and get ready. They didn’t have a late check-out benefit for the guests. In case you did, there will be additional charges. For the room that we got, it’s not worth the money.

The front desk officers while we were waiting for our luggages

While checking out, I shared with the front desk officers about my disappointment regarding the room assigned to us. I inquired if all the one bedroom suites have NO VIEW, because it was the one given to me. I was informed that the rooms with view are assigned to guests with longer stay. (Do not bother to book anymore if you won’t stay long)

Aside from that, they also had a horrible and very poor in-room service. I remember my disappointment with Marco Polo regarding the same issue. They were equally poor as far as service is concerned. I had to call a lot of times to follow up. I didn’t call the manager and complain like what I did to Marco Polo Continental Lounge because I’m already exhausted. (You can read about my horrible experience in Marco POLO here.)

waiting for our luggages in Discovery Suites

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 Discovery Suites Can Improve

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

What I Have Learned

It was also my fault. I didn’t ask if the room has a beautiful view; otherwise, I could have opted to have a Valentine’s dinner with my family at home. I ended up regretting to plan and book this whole thing. 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:

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I based my rating on 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. Do not bother to order for in-room dining if it’s a holiday or you are have scheduled for a special event like Valentine’s Day. Overall, our Valentine staycation in Ortigas was a disaster and I would think twice if I will be back.

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UPDATE:

I also felt guilty because I recommended Discovery Shores to 2 senior citizens who checked in on the last week of February. Unfortunately, I heard lots of complains because they were given a room with NO view, a distracting NOISE of construction and barking of the dog, a dirty area at the back stairs, elevator that is not working and more. Now, what the hell is happening? So, before you book (if you would take the risk), make sure the room has a stunning view and make your requests crystal clear to them.

DISCOVERY SUITES MANILA

25 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City 1600

632 7 719888

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I know this is very late, but I won’t forgive myself if I’m not able to post our breakfast buffet experience at the HEAT when we spent our 17th Wedding Anniversary at the Edsa Shangri-la Hotel last October 2019. My previous dining experience with them in 2018 was so disgusting not because of the food, but because some of the staff did not 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 enjoyed our visit last year, and this time, I will show you the highlights of that incredible breakfast experience in this HEAT Edsa Shangri-la breakfast review.

My Favorites

Luckily, we didn’t experience any problem entering. The staff escorted us 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.

different flavors of doughnuts in our breakfast buffet at the HEAT
One of the Asian favorites- pancit canton in our breakfast buffet at the HEAT

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 .

corned beef to mix with rice in our breakfast buffet at the HEAT
I tested the combination of yogurt, doughnut and cheese in our breakfast buffet at the HEAT
Weird combination of chocolate doughnut, cheese and yougurt
yogurt in our breakfast buffet at the HEAT
I made my own congee in our breakfast buffet at the HEAT
arroz caldo
congee in our breakfast buffet at the HEAT

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

selection of breads in our breakfast buffet at the HEAT

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

hot chocolate for my kiddo in our breakfast buffet at the HEAT (Edsa Shangri-la)
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.

Pandesal at your service in our breakfast buffet at the HEAT (Edsa Shangri-la)

And of course, here’s the sweet ending 🙂

ice cream choices in our buffet breakfast at the HEAT (Edsa Shangri-la)
dessert cravings satisfied in our breakfast buffet at the HEAT (Edsa Shangri-la)

THE VERDICT:

Well, I was delighted with the breakfast buffet at the HEAT. The only missing food was the cake. It’s only in the Linden Suites that I saw slices of cakes 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 selection. Overall, I will give 4.5 stars.

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Heat - Edsa Shangri-La Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thank you for taking the time to read my HEAT Edsa-Shangri-la review. 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:-)

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The Importance of Planning

Yep, it’s almost one week before Valentine’s Day, and I was cramming lately. Do you have any Valentine plans yet? Many of you have already ordered gifts like premium chocolates, expensive flowers, gift baskets, and first-class jewelry sets , but for a practical person like me, I should consider a lot of things.

World Best Chocolates

I think that I might be able to plan nothing at all. It happened to me last year— I had many 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— till it was too late to book and all the places I wanted were not available anymore. 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 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.

Improvements in My Planning

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 made us feel very important. Now, I wanted to spend this romantic celebration with a hotel that makes us feel at home as always. 

a private pool and jacuzzi , my perfect vision of my Valentine plans at the Discovery Suites.

Watch out for my Valentine’s Day celebration with Hubby and Shane @ Discovery Suites! I know you are still thinking carefully about your Valentine plans. You can check out if they still have vacant rooms.

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DISCLOSURE: Some of the links of this website are affiliate links of which THE BLOGGER PRINCESS receives a small commission from sales of certain items, but the price has no additional cost to you.

The Application

Are you a Philippine passport holder or you still have plans in getting your Philippine passport? I had my last passport in 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. I got my authenticated copy of birth certificate in NSO and a copy of our marriage contract with the help of my travel agent. After a few days, I was called for appearance in DFA. During that time, I had to go to Manila for the long queue. I had to do it on my own and patiently stand anon my own though my agent was present.

Now that I have my plans of going outside the country, we need to renew our passports. I was glad to hear that there is no need for us to go to Manila for appearance anymore. Now, theyt can accommodate Antipolo residents 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. 

The Online Application

Preparing the Other Documents

our old passports

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. I suggest to have your documents photocopied inside the DFA office.

What to Expect?

Our appointment was 10 am, and we were there around 9:14 am. All the seats were already occupied in the waiting area at that time. After few a minutes, the guard approached us, and he gave us our number card. He ushered us 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 a few minutes. When I finally heard my number, 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 fixed my hair because the ears should be visible. The eyebrows shouldn’t be covered, so the lady lent me a hairpin so I could clip my bangs.

Application for Minors

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

It was convenient now because we don’t have to tap the travel agency. We requested our BCs on the PSA website. We got ours in less than one week; they delivered our documents to our home. Application for a passport is also as easy as 1-2-3. Now, my problem is where to go this year? I’m worried about that coronavirus; that’s why I’m researching 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! 

DISCLOSURE: Some of the links of this website are affiliate links of which THE BLOGGER PRINCESS receives a small commission from sales of a certain items, but the price has NO additional cost for you.

$1,500 Resort Credit en Le Blanc Los Cabos.

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It;s time for a change since it’s 2020 so I am sharing with you the useful apps for mobile and pc that I use everyday.

FOR BUSINESS:

  1. WAVE
screenshot of my Wave invoices so I can monitor who has paid and whose account is already overdue.

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

Screenshots of the CANVA ads I used in Facebook.

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

My GCash screen for sending money and bank transfers

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

My vlog intro for 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

ZAFUL Promotion

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. We can also take advantage of their promotional discounts. Zaful offers “>standard free shipping on orders $49 above.

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

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NEW START

Yey! It’s my first vlog in 2020, and this is a part of my vlog diaries. 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.

My Vlog Apps

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 a few months. You can visit my YouTube channel here. Til next vlog, friends!

My 2020 Plans

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 perfect, but it’s not that easy, and I need more time to plan about this carefully and funds for this home improvement 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 on the second floor of our house, which is not yet completely finished. The walls are not, however, perfect and painted. It’s not again 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 in December.

What I Have In Mind

The Blogging Studio/Office

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 area 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.

The Areas in My Office/Studio

  • BLOGGING SPACE/AREA

This is my blogging spot– the usual table where I can work and write blogs. I badly need a quiet space. 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
Madeli Bolano 60

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 set there if we have enough space.

  • SPA/MINI GYM

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

Juno 71

I also have a stationary bike, a set of dumbbells, a tummy, and an abs exerciser. Just in case I have excess money, I will purchase a treadmill and rowing machine. This way, 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. I will also put a piece of 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. You can also watch the video here. Good luck for my home improvement project!

My Travel Plans for 2020

I am a bit pressured. Why? I am currently working on my content calendar for 2020. So far, I only have included Boracay for our summer destination. Well, that’s the only sure ball in this game plan, hehehe. We can make it an easy win if I am going to carefully plan about it. Nothing is impossible since I have all the time for myself and the kids now 🙂 Okay, let us start planning and get the ball rollin’! It’s time to have my travel plans for 2020.

Infographic

Where to Go?

For my travel plans in 2020, I have listed some of the places that I would love to visit.

  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

BORACAY is a paradise for me, so, 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 with the whole family. 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 in Boracay - as part of my travel plans for 2020, I want to celebrate it this coming May 1, 2020.
Our renewal of vows on a boat with the help of BPHT Booking Services
pictorial of me wearing my wedding gown - part of my renewal of vows celebration for my travel plans in 2020.

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

While I am in Boracay, 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!

Our first family picture in Boracay

3. PALAWAN ESCAPADE

Well, I haven’t been to Palawan, and that’s hella funny. People keep on asking me why I haven’t been there. They are also encouraging me to visit and discover how beautiful Palawan is. I will see if I will be able to squeeze some time for summer. If ever, I will need my hubby to come with me. That will only be possible during summer when there are no classes. We can also use October for our 18th wedding anniversary. We can start by planning and hoping for this to become a reality 🙂

4. MY FIRST INTERNATIONAL TRIP

Part of my travel plans in 2020 is to have my first international flight.

For my travel plans in 2020, I would like to have my first international trip. Yes, I haven’t experienced to visit other countries. I have spent my precious time at 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. I wish I could turn back the time and make up for the lost time. 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. I can start looking for inexpensive flights and hotels after. You can find Book Now and Pay Later deals here. I will appreciate if you can suggest which country to visit for my first Asian trip. 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. Those are my travel plans for 2020. I will just update you if there will be changes.

Updates:

  1. We already got our passports. Thanks to the hassle-free online application at DFA. You may click here to find out how we got ours.
  2. Due to COVID-19, I have cancelled my plans for international travel. I do not have any specific date or months yet for my travel. My first priority is the health and safety of my family.

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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Wishing everybody an awesome New Year!

Greetings for Everyone!

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 ; as a result, 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. I wish you all an awesome New Year!

Hi everyone, really excited to start posting about my #naturalskincare business !!

Hi everyone, really excited to start posting about my #naturalskincare business !!

Content Planning for 2020

My content calendar for an awesome New Year!
My content calendar for 2020

So how can we achieve an awesome New Year? I started working on my content calendar before Christmas, but 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.

Celebration with the Family

Family Picture

OOTD

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:-)

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New Year Dishes

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
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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.

Please click below for wine suggestions.

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!

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What Happened in 2019?

Hey there!  Before the New Year begins and before I set my goals for 2020, I would like to give you  a review of what happened to me in 2019.

Health Issues

Health Problems.png

I struggled really hard with my health in 2018 because of excessive menstrual bleeding. I’m glad that last summer, it gradually stopped. I think it has something to do with stress, but I still have managed to finish the school year. I thought I would be able to have good health for the rest of the year, but I was even more stressed with the things that happened lately. In addition to that,we still have paperwork and activities in school, so I finally decided to rest for good. I tendered my resignation as a public school teacher before Christmas. (The story about my depression is written here.)

REFLECTION:  I was weak in the sense that I didn’t know how to deal with stress management. 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 a misfortune. Because I was stressed, I failed to help myself in having a balanced diet. 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 a 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! ).

Bonsai Boy Of New York

Financial Problems

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. I still 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. I also noticed that I was able to control my expenses. I only bought 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. In that way, I won’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.

Extra Income

business talk.png

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. 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.

Time Management

family time

One thing that I was guilty of is that I didn’t have the time to bond with my family. Simple things like helping them with their homework, checking how they feel, and making them happy will be a good accomplishment. This year, there was a significant improvement with my youngest child (BRUCE). 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 significant 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. 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 to another school because they offer a homeschool program.

GOALS:  I wanted to spend quality time with my family, most notably my kids. Bruce is interested in the alphabet and numbers, so I am giving him more resources. I also wanted to help Shane with her lessons in her homeschooling. Now, I am planning to spend more time with her so she could enjoy it 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 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). For me to achieve this goal, I will need help from sponsors.

I am looking forward to having quality content in the blog/vlog, FB, 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! It’s legit, folks! Currently, we are experiencing Christmas Rush!

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.
blue and light blue curtains.jpg

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.

christmas tree

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

stockings.jpg

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.

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7.  Complete my fitness routine @ Anytime Fitness Xentro Mall.  I am getting ready for my Boracay trip this coming April 30-May 3, 2020 and this is a BIG help for me.

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

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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.

christmas tree.jpg

 

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!

 

 

 

All Inclusive Vacation at Le Blanc Los Cabos.

One of the perks of being a blogger is that we can check some of the hotel’s best suites and rooms. Boy, I was so lucky because I was given a chance to enter the Presidential Suite, which costs P600,000 per night. Another one is 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, wherein we were given a chance to go to the EDSA SUITE.

One of my favorite in the Horizon Club Lounge- EDDIE

After our dinner at the Horizon Club Lounge, Eddie ushered us in their most expensive suite, which is the EDSA Suite. Hubby and I cannot contain the excitement. Well, I think it’s one of the anniversary treats for us 🙂

Best of Vegas Generic

The Tour at the EDSA Suite

Now, are you excited to see what’s inside their most expensive suite?  Okay, fasten your seatbelts and let us have a tour.

The most expensive suite at the EDSA Shangri-la Hotel- the Edsa Suite

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

The Living Room

The living room at the EDSA Shangri-la Hotel
The Living Room

It has a living room with a breathtaking view of the Manila Skyline. Since we came in after dinner, it was already dark, and we couldn’t show the view in the picture. Eddie had 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.

We have experienced to sit down on the sofa at their exclusive EDSA Suite.
Gabriel & Co. fine jewelry

The Office Space

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

The executive office space at the EDSA Suite
Pose with my hubby at the office of the EDSA Suite

The Dining Area

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 places 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.

dining room.jpg
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The Kitchen

The kitchen is equipped with microwave oven, induction cooker, and minibar. What’s unique 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 also has a Horizon Lounge access. There, 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. At Edsa Shangri-la, 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 place and just be on the bed for the whole day, they have stock in their minibar 🙂

kitchen.jpg

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

tea.jpg
Modern Bathroom

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.

bathtub.jpg

The Bedrooms

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.

bed1
bed2.jpg
Corporate Housing Rentals

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

with EDDIE after the tour at the EDSA Suite

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.

My Hubby with Eddie after the tour at the EDSA Suite

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

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Why Edsa Shangri-la?

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 to have our celebration at Edsa Shangri-la for an overnight staycation. I wanted something special. This time, I had to make sure that we won’t experience a nightmare that we had in our recent stay in Marco Polo Ortigas Manila.

I also had a bad experience in my previous stay at Heat about our buffet breakfast, but I think it’s worth another try. Now, I made sure that everything will be perfect. After I booked with the property directly via online booking, I was always in touch with the reservations and customer service regarding my concerns. As a guest who would like to enjoy 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 celebration at Edsa Shangri-la with our kids, so I wanted to let them enjoy as well. 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 we’re in the lounge.

The Lobby Lounge at the Edsa Shangri-la Hotel

Our Experience 

Bert Alis of Edsa Shangri-la Manila

The moment we stepped into the hotel entrance, we were already greeted by Gilbert. 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 Bert to bring our luggage inside our suite.

Mitch of the Horizon Club Lounge, who assisted us in our check-in
Mitch – the one who assisted us with our check in
Our keycards- The Garden Premier Suite at the Edsa Shangri-la
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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. The Horizon Club Lounge

Hubby at the 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 have 24 hour access for refreshments; so, that’s a plus factor.   It’s either I sleep late or wake up early. This makes the club lounge access 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.

With Ms. Jovyn of EDSA Shangri-l;a Manila

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. Every time I stay in Marco Polo Ortigas, I take advantage of the free conference room use for short meetings and presentation.

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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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The VIP Treatment

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.

Bruce and his boardgame provided by Edsa Shangri-la

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

Delicious treats provided by Edsa Shangri-la

While we had 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. There are office supplies available in the drawer. A fax machine is also there for sending and receiving important files.

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They also prepared a small wedding anniversary cake for us since we were celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary. That was so sweet!

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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 kits, and 4 bottled water in the suite. I didn’t have to call them to remind them 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

The photos below were taken during our celebration at Edsa Shangri-la. We had our pre-dinner in the cocktail hour at Horizon Club Lounge.

The fruits on the table in the Horizon Lounge during our celebration at Edsa Shangri-la
desserts in the Horizon Club Lounge
Cheers!  2 glasses of wine for our celebration at Edsa Shangri-la

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. This is too perfect for our celebration at Edsa Shangri-la.

soaking at the jacuzzi during our celebration at Edsa Shangri-la

6. The 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.

Chi, the Spa, where I had a massage during our celebration at Edsa Shangri-la

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 so I headed to  the table for Chi Spa beside Heat, Unfortunately, it 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.

7.  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)

8. 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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9. 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 quite disappointed because I wasn’t able to take photos in the jacuzzi and lap pool. I understand the rules, but I was all ALONE at that time 🙁 Taking of pictures are not allowed because the other guests won’t have privacy at all. But as what I have mentioned, I had the entire space for myself I should have shown you how relaxing it is in the female area. We have our jacuzzi in the suite, so that wasn’t much of an issue. I am hoping though that next time I can post photos if I am alone.

Another sad part is that I also don’t have photos of the gym. 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.

10. 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 felt the sincerity in giving your guests the best service, and I salute you for that. I remember when hubby was filling the jacuzzi with water, he accidentally pressed the alarm. After a 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 said to me that they would check the room. They wanted to make sure that their guests are safe.

With Mr. Claudio Togo, EAM of Edsa Shangri-la
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 to their guests.  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 adequately informed. Should we just come and inquire? In our previous trip to another hotel a 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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The Verdict

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, I will come back. Until next post 🙂

EDSA SHANGRI-LA HOTEL

1 Garden Way, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City

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My Fitness Journey

Hello, dear readers! I have mentioned about the stress that I’ve been dealing with lately. I have shared with you about my plans for signing off as a classroom teacher.

I carefully planned the gradual changes this last quarter of the year. Now, I open the new chapter in 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 May 1. 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 of having. I can do it gradually— probably a few minutes per day of cardio exercises per day before I can allot longer time for the daily workout.

Anytime Fitness Xentro Mall

Luckily, there is Anytime Fitness Xentro Mall Antipolo, which is just a 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. Now, my fitness journey will become possible

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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 where the club is jampacked with members.

The Cardio Machines

I am not that much into a heavy workout, just a 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 a 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 vlog, 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 a 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. I have chosen December because that is the month when I usually eat more than I do. We have 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 by having a serious fitness routine. I will start 2020 with my fitness journey at 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. 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 until I show you off my summer-ready body in May.

Anytime Fitness Xentromall Antipolo gives free trial pass so you can try and experience it before you sign up. What are you waiting for, sign up with them and start your fitness journey too! If you’re planning to get fit, you may also have your FitTrack for better results. For questions to get it, you may click here.

ANYTIME FITNESS XENTRO MALL ANTIPOLOANYTIME FITNESS XENTRO MALL ANTIPOLO

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

(02) 8243 0703

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World Teachers' Day posing with my former co-teachers at the Ynares Center
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The 2019 WTD Celebration at Ynares Center

We have been celebrating World Teachers’ Day in the Philippines for ten years now. Every year, the city of Antipolo gives minor, major, and cash prizes to the teachers. Ever since DepEd hired me in 2009, I have not won any award 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. The story had a different ending when finally, I won in the World Teachers’ Day Raffle.

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 quite lucky in winning prizes. (I haven’t mentioned that he won as the Well-Loved Teacher in their school).

ME in queue to get the cash prize from World Teachers' Day at the Ynares Center
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While waiting for another hour that seemed like an eternity, I saw my name flashed on the screen. Yey! I just won Php3,000 from Gov. Nini Ynares for the World Teachers’ Day raffle!. Hehehe, thank you so much for this– probably, you have sensed that I am already going to bid farewell this school year; 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.

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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 also. I would go for the hair color and hair spa some other time– this Semidilino is quite expensive. I guess L’oreal hair spa would be excellent for my hair next time. There was nothing magical that happened to my hair– no transformation; therefore, 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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