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.
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:
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?
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
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.
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.
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
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’!
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.
(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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
It’s the kids’ request to have buttered shrimps, so we granted their request.
It’s a tradition to have noodles or pasta during celebration so I requested my father to cook Carbonara for us.
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…
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.
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.
According to beliefs, we should have something sticky for New Year for stronger family ties, so hubby bought these in the market.
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.
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! ).
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
The Christmas decorations are partially done- we have painted the walls white, bought new dark blue silky and light blue curtains.
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.
3. We bought stuff for stocking fillers. This time is goodbye to sweet treats– it’s about time to have more practical things inside.
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.
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!
(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.
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.
The Edsa Suite is located at the Tower Wing of the hotel and it has a total area of 215 sqm.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
They also have assorted tea flavors for the guests, teapots and goblets.
There’s a spacious walk in closet as well where you can place your clothes and shoes.
The bathroom, just like in the Garden Suite has also a shower area, bathtub, vanity area. The only difference is the premium toiletries.
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.
It has a connecting room that makes it the second bedroom in the 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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
From the facade, modern interior designs and elegant furnishings, undoubtedly, the hotel is first class. It’s worth every money that you spend.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I was impressed because they already set up the X-box and placed the monopoly board on the center table.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We had the chance to celebrate in the cocktail hour at Horizon Club Lounge.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What I like also is the inclusion of toiletries for the guests.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
We were able to avail the late check-out at 4pm so it’s all worth it booking at the Horizon Club.
What are the improvements since our last stay with Edsa Shangri-la?
They already have the bubble bath so the kids really enjoyed.
2. They are already consistent with the information that they give. It seems they have improved with their customer service skills as well.
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:
Make sure the reception tables have employees who can answer the guests’ queries 24/7.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
One of my favorites is the rowing machine where I can already have arm and leg exercise.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
3 pairs of tassel earrings at Aksesoriz for P59.00 each.
a unicorn keychain for P149.75.
I got these stuff from Lazada:
I chose blazers that I can use in the office.
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 🙂
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Itwas the third time that I booked a Continental Club room in Marco Polo Ortigas Manila because I wanted our stay to be perfect and hassle-free. Continental club guests have exclusive access to the lounge where they can haveunlimited afternoon refreshments, coffee, tea and juices from 2:30-5:00pm and pre-dinner cocktails and canapes from 5:30pm to 7:00pm.
I decided to book a Continental Club room because I wanted to surprise my husband for his birthday. For me, it’s practical to book a club room because you your 3 meals during your stay are already covered including non-alcoholic drinks/refreshments until 10pm.
I planned to surprise hubby with an overnight staycation in Marco Polo. Supposedly, hubby is only available to come at 7pm after classes and he was scheduled to fetch me in beside Marco Polo at 7pm to pick us up after office hours. I was thinking whether I would inform him at that time or tell him in the morning. I decided to tell him when he woke up because he might have other plans with his colleagues in the afternoon. It was a blessing in disguise when the afternoon classes were suspended so he had the time to be with us on his special day. Hubby disapproves this kind of celebration– knowing him, he would rather celebrate his birthday at home with us with. It is a special occasion so I think he deserves to have a special celebration and de-stress as well– he needed a break from the stressful work at school. I thought that an overnight birthday staycation at Marco Polo would help in a way.
One of the benefits of the Continental Club is the private check-in and check-out. We didn’t have to go to the 24th floor where the queue of the guests are. I have chosen to book a Continental De Luxe Room (51 sq meters) because it’s bigger than the Continental Superior room which is about 38 sq meters. Since Shane is already 12 years old, I was confident that she will be accepted in the lounge. Prior to this booking, I already have inquired in Edsa Shangri-la for our wedding anniversary celebration on October and I was informed that Shane is already counted as an adult because she is 12 years old– that’s why I upgraded to a Garden Wing Premier Suite.
Everything was perfect until the associate asked about Shane’s age. I was surprised when she was telling me that a 12 year old kid won’t be allowed to the lounge especially in cocktail hour. In their letter it clearly says that children UNDER 12 years old (11 and below) are not allowed at the lounge– she is already 12 so she SHOULD BE ALLOWED there. If they really insist that 12 years old isn’t allowed, they should have changed their letter to 13 years old and below are not allowed– so that is applicable to 12 years old.
After few minutes of talking with the associate, she insisted that they should be firm and consistent in implementing the rule. What she can do is to allow Shane to enjoy the afternoon tea time but NOT in cocktail hour. I requested to speak with the manager, and after few minutes, he came. He said that what they can do is to let us get and take out food for her. For me, it wasn’t fair. She should have enjoyed the pre-dinner with us, but she was left in the room 😦
The CONTINENTAL CLUB DE LUXE Room
the welcome fruits
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the iron and ironing board
Nespresso machine and complimentary bottled water for 2
electric kettle and two cups
AFTERNOON TEA TIME (2:30-5:00 pm)
Because we had to go to the room and let Shane wear closed shoes, we didn’t have much time to enjoy the sweet treats and afternoon refreshments.
Another thing why I like booking the club room is because of its free 2 hour boardrrom use. We were able to use the boardroom from 4:30 to 6:30pm
coffee break while in a meeting
PRE-DINNER & COCKTAIL
the Pasta Station
pre-dinner without Shane with us 😦
After the pre-dinner, we went back to the room and gave Shane her take out food from the lounge. Few days before our overnight stay, I was already communicating with the reservations and marketing regarding the birthday surprise. I thought I didn’t have to remind them because they took note of it in our email conversations. I reminded the reception in the Continental Lounge after the afternoon tea, so I thought he would be surprised after the pre-dinner but when we came back to the room, there wasn’t any set up. So, I need to phone the front desk to remind them. After few minutes, somebody knocked- I thought it was already the surprise, but the housekeeping that brought additional toothbrush, toiletries and bottled water. The staff told me he will remind the front desk about it. When we were about to sleep, two ladies came with a mini cake and a balloon.
This is strike number 2 already and honestly, it didn’t turn out the way I expected it. In other five-star hotel like Edsa Shangri-la & even 4-star hotel like Discovery Suites, the cake arrived few minutes before
the swimming pool
vanity area in the female changing room
after the hot tub bath
BREAKFAST AT THE CONTINENTAL LOUNGE
Few days after this staycation, I posted a review in Tripadvisor and the front office manager reached out to me through email. She admitted the mistake they had for saying that my 12 year old kid shouldn’t be allowed in the lounge, which I appreciated. She even offered a complimentary access for 3 people in my next overnight stay valid until December 2019. I think it is NOT a practical decision to book again just to have access to the Continental Club Lounge. They should have given the access without requiring me to book a room if they are really sincere.
To sum it all up, I have made the wrong decision to celebrate hubby’s birthday in Marco Polo. It’s just a waste of money– I should have stayed at home instead because the surprise turned out to be a total disaster.
I like the hotel itself (there’s no question about that)but the staff who make the inconsistencies are the ones responsible for the poor service.
The Continental Club room is spacious enough for the 3 of us. I’m contented with the premium toiletries, furnishings and
I was saddened with this experience. Also, I had to request for additional supplies in the room. In other hotels, they already prepare supplies for 3 pax.
Limited food in the Continental Lounge. They also have limited servings per dish now.
I like the amenities (pool, spa, fitness center, female changing area)
It was a childhood dream for me to stay in a five-star hotel like the Manila Hotel and I never attempted to check the rates because I thought it will cost a fortune for a commoner like me. I didn’t know what urged me to check online– I was surprised when I checked that you can now book a superior de luxe room for as low as P5,000 plus per night. Everybody can experience to be treated as a VIP for a very reasonable price.
An overnight stay at the Manila Hotel isn’t enough to explore and enjoy. — I wish I could’ve extended our staycation, but I needed to go back to work. We were grateful though because we were able to take a tour at their Presidential Suite & MacArthur Suite ( Thanks to the Marketing team for the tour). Another thing that I look forward to aside from the spacious room is the fitness club, health club and the complimentary buffet breakfast.
It was a fabulous morning– while Shane was still sleeping, hubby and I had our morning walk and stopped by the Sun Deck where we got an amazing view of the Manila Bay.
THE FITNESS AREA
We have planned to sweat in the fitness club after the short walk to the pool area and the Sun Deck. I tried to work out because I was dying to have a summer ready body, but because of the abnormal uterine bleeding I had last year, I didn’t have the chance to hit my “balik alindog” goal. The sad news is that I didn’t sweat at all and I didn’t bother to force myself (though I really wanted to be back to action) because I might suffer from bleeding again. I just waited for hubby to finish and we headed to the changing area to take a shower and to soak in the jacuzzi.
THE FEMALE CHANGING AREA
In most of our overnight staycations, day 2 is what I look forward to because this day is devoted to our morning swim in the swimming pool and jacuzzi. Nobody was there at that time so I had the area by myself.
The vanity area
Well, it’s all worth it because I was able to de-stress for a while.
What I love about the changing room is that they have a swimsuit dryer– I didn’t have to hang the clothes in our washroom and we only had limited time to do it.
THE SWIMMING POOL
Another sad story for us that day is that we were not able to have our morning swim as planned. Supposedly, we would head to the pool before or after having breakfast but we were not able to do so because of the heavy rains.
THE BREAKFAST BUFFET @ CAFE ILANG-ILANG
I was looking forward for the breakfast buffet in Ilang-Ilang Cafe where there are variety of foods that you can choose from according to reviews that I have read. Shane was also excited because I told her that she can have different flavors of ice cream for dessert in the cafe. Last time, we tried different flavors in Heat @ Edsa Shangri-la in their breakfast buffet.
Eggs and bacon
One of the must-haves in my plate is the scrambled egg then just few servings of the other dishes.
The big hit for our senorita is the taho.
There were cupcakes and other pastries, but I was looking for pizza, cake and ice cream, but unfortunately, they do not have. That was the reason why I was slightly disappointed because I was expecting they have those like what they have in other five-star hotels.
No ice cream 😦
The hotel has almost everything that you can think of and you don’t need to go out. There’s also an ATM Machine inside just in case you run out of cash.
BEFORE CHECKING OUT
Shane and I just soaked in the hot tub and after being refreshed, we started to pack our things and go to school for the Brigada Eskwela. (sob! sob!)
We left with a heavy heart– not because of the pool , cake and ice cream. It’s because it’s time to say goodbye 😦 Well, goodbyes are not not forever and just like what Gen. Mac Arthur said, “I shall return!” Yes, we will definitely come back and will upgrade to the Executive Club room in my next stay. For those who would like to experience a luxurious stay in Manila for a reasonable price. The Manila Hotel is the perfect place for you.
Here’s my rating:
I like the ambiance of the hotel– old, but still classy.
The Superior De Luxe room is the smallest room in the Manila Hotel but it is already speacious for 2 or 3 pax.
All the staff are polite and professional. You got more than what you paid for.
Complimentary breakfast at Cafe Ilang-Ilang is above average. It would have been perfect if my cravings for chocolate cake, pizza and ice cream was satisfied.
They have well-maintained spa, fitness center, health club, swimming pool, gift shops, museum, etc.
Have you enjoyed your summer vacation? Probably, you have read about my Boracay summer diaries series. Unfortunately, our 6-day summer family vacay in Boracay wasn’t enough for me– as everything didn’t turn out well as planned. I badly needed a break– to condition myself–mentally and physically before I go back to work. I managed to squeeze some time to reward myself for a five-star staycation few weeks before the opening of classes. I knew for a fact that it would be another busy schoolyear and before I engage in those stressful paperworks and school activities; therefore, I should destress.
This time, I wanted to stay in a place where I haven’t been to– somewhere affordable but has a five-star rating. Yes, it is still possible to book for one– I was lucky enough to discover that they still have a promo and you can experience luxury without spending a fortune. Let me share about our overnight staycation in the fabulous and world-class Manila Hotel. I have tried to experience modern five-star hotels like Edsa Shangri-la and Marco Polo Manila, but I would like to experience how it feels to stay in this grand historic place. Despite of the hotel’s age (107 years old), it has maintained its class and elegance.
I already had a terrible experience with Marco Polo Ortigas and Edsa Shangri-la with my previous staycation with them. Five-star hotels aren’t perfect at all– sometimes they fail to satisfy their guests because the staff are incompetent or not well-informed about their services. I always have this in my mind so I didn’t expect that much.
When I saw the Rizal Park, where we often take a stroll when I was a kid, I couldn’t help but to smile and reminisce the old times. My parents used to bring me there once or twice per month and sit by the bay, play in the park, walk and just enjoy then go to Manila Zoo and eat at Ma Mon Luk. ‘Twas a loooooong time ago already. Since I was 3 and in College when I cross-enrolled to Lyceum of the Philippines, I got to take a glimpse at the Manila Hotel when I enjoy walking from school to Intramuros and to Luneta. I never thought that I would be able to experience a five-star staycation here and I was so excited.
Upon reaching the hotel, I instantly approached the guard and inquired about their valet service as well. In just a flash, one of the staff took care of Virgil (our car) and another assisted us with our luggage.
As expected, we entered the classy lobby with a marvelous, relaxing feel/ambiance. Manila Hotel stands out for me because it is not the usual five-star hotel with a lavish, modern touch; instead, it showcases the rich Philippine culture in their interior design, and furnishings. Paintings of Filipino artists are displayed in the hotel premises like the lobby, corridors and suites.
During our stay, there was a display/exhibit of Filipiniana outfits in the lobby that showcases the extraordinary work of Filipino fashion designers.
I would like to thank the Marketing Team of the Manila Hotel for letting us have a tour in their Presidential Suite, the famous Mac Arthur Suite, Executive Club Rooms and their amenities. As soon as we checked in, the front desk staff escorted us to the lounge where Bella (our guide), Mr. Richie Lo and the Marketing Manager Ms. Stephanie Flores, gave us a warm welcome.
Our luggage were sent to our room while we were having our tour in the following:
The Executive Club Lounge
We visited the Executive Club Lounge first located in the 15th floor. This is perfect for business travelers. I should have upgraded to this one instead because with this inclusion, I can have unlimited coffee/tea, mini-cakes, snacks and other treats during my stay.
The guests in the Executive Club can have the following benefits (taken from the Manila Hotel’s website)
Express Check-in and Check-out.
Exclusive Concierge Service.
Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages for two (2) throughout the day (Coffee, Tea, Chilled Juices and Soft drinks).
Complimentary afternoon tea for two (2) from 3 pm to 5 pm.
Unlimited alcoholic beverages for two (2) during Cocktail hour from 6 pm to 8 pm.
Complimentary one (1) suit pressing per day and shoeshine service, non-cumulative.
No surcharge on express laundry, dry cleaning and pressing services.
Charges on local calls are waived.
Complimentary 2-hour use of Club conference room upon availability (first come, first served basis).
Complimentary use of computer booth with internet access.
Complimentary use of Health Club facilities and swimming pool.
20% discount in all of the hotel’s restaurant outlet (dine-in only).
20% discount on Spa treatments and packages, dry cleaning and laundry services.
In the Executive Club Lounge
THE PRESIDENTIAL SUITE
We had the opportunity to take a tour at their most expensive suite (the Presidential Suite) which costs P600,000 per night. We used an exclusive elevator to reach the topmost floor of the Tower Building where the suite is located. The guests who stayed here are mostly presidents and high-ranked government officials. It was indeed a great pleasure to have a tour inside because obviously only those who belong to the aristocrats can afford staying in this suite. Here are the features of the Presidential Suite:
Newly redesigned bathroom with Italian marble and a separate walk-in rain shower room
Senso memory foam mattress
Bvlgari bathroom amenities and toiletries
Mp3 dockable clocks
Ving Card door lock system
Electronic Lighting System
Complimentary Wi-Fi access
Paintings by renowned Filipino artists
24 Hour Butler service
The Executive Club access
The Dining Area
Taken @ the Manila Hotel Presidential Suite
THE MAC ARTHUR SUITE
After that, we proceeded to the famous MacArthur Suite, which was named after General Douglas MacArthur. who managed Manila Hotel for 6 years and later on commissioned Pedro Luna, son of master painter Juan Luna to build a penthouse suite for the General atop the 5th floor of the hotel. Here is what you can have in the suite that costs P400,000 per night.
Master bedroom with a dressing room
Bvlgari bathroom amenities
One guest room with twin beds
Two baths and one powder room
A study room
Formal dining room overlooking the bay
24 Hour Butler service
Balcony with a stunning view of the Manila Bay
The Executive Club access
The Office of General MacArthur
THE GIFT SHOP
THE HERITAGE MUSEUM
Diorama of the Manila Hotel
The replica of Dr. Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo
Painting of former First Lady Imelda Marcos
replica of Gen MacArthur’s cap
This is where big events are held– debut and other parties.
Special thanks to Bella, our tour guide for the day 🙂
With the Marketing Team of the Manila Hotel
We stayed in a Superior De Luxe Room (40 sq m)- not that big, but enough for me, hubby and Shane. We didn’t have any complain with the room; actually, we were completely satisfied with it.
Though Manila Hotel is already 107 years old, we didn’t feel like we were in a haunted hotel where every furniture is unpleasant and dusty; instead, everything is marvelous. I remember my grandparents’ television inside the cabinet when I was a kid, we go there to watch soap operas. The only difference is that this cabinet is open, unlike my grandma’s cabinet wherein you have to open the cabinet door before you can turn it on.
the TV inside the cabinet
Luxury comes with comfort. A must-have for me inside the room is an iron and ironing board for my clothes. Only five-star hotels have this in the closet. I need this because I am not skilled in folding clothes in the luggage, so when I unpack, they are not pleasant-looking at all.
The afternoon won’t be complete without a cup of coffee 🙂
We have a view of the Manila Bay so we felt relaxed while watching the rainfall and the view.
One of my favorite places in a hotel is the bathroom, where I have my usual morning and night beauty rituals. I super loved the spacious bathroom with premium toiletries– they have a television so you can watch your favorite TV program while soaking in the bathtub. The towels were clean and fragrant too.
My mandatory bathroom selfie
THE POOL AREA
The swimming pool at night
We really wanted to take a dip at the pool, but because we were dead tired after the hotel tour, we just opted to have a short stroll at the Luneta Park before we go back to our room.
We have received complimentary chocolates few hours after we have settled in our room. T’was just small servings— those were not enough for a chocolate lover like me, but I appreciate it anyway. As the old saying goes, “It;s the thought that counts.”
Pictorial before we go to the Luneta Park
Hubby was too excited when he saw the piano in the lobby; unfortunately, the guests are not allowed to play.
Because we didn’t stay in the Executive Club Lounge, we had to buy food for dinner, and luckily, we were able to have inexpensive dinner after watching the dancing fountain. We were able to buy our dinner at P50 per head, some chips and candies.
After having dinner, we listened to the musical performance in the lobby and headed back to the hotel room. We didn’t go to the gym as what we have previously planned because we wanted to rest.
Watch out for the Part 2 of my Manila Hotel Staycation and The Blogger Princess’s rating as well 🙂
Because I went to Boracay with the rest of my family to literally forget about everything and unwind, I thought it was a wise decision to stay in a loft suite at Alta Vista. We just came from a 3d/2n stay in Ambassador in Paradise and in just staying for few minutes, I already felt the huge difference in terms of comfort, service and class. Ambassador in Paradise may be a bit antiquated, but our family was comfortable during our stay.
I knew for a fact that it was located in Yapak and there was no shuttle service from there to D’Mall because the main road was under construction at that time. The multicabs and the other vehicles had to take another route. We didn’t have any choice but to commute from Citymall (the pick-up point) to D’Mall.
Being far from the crowd is not an issue for me. In fact, a month before the Boracay closure in 2018, I was there with Hubby and Shane and we stayed in Fairways & Bluewater. It was far from the parties and action in the White Beach, but we have enjoyed our stay. I was thinking that staying there would be the same experience, but my dream turned into a nightmare.
The lobby was clean, modern and very large so I was excited to see our loft suite. I liked the surroundings and the pool as well.
THE CHECK-IN PROCESS
Check in was a breeze and the front desk staff were courteous and patient in explaining about the rules and regulations. I had lots of queries because I didn’t want to have any hassle with our stay and we will be leaving a day before the check out because we will be transferring to Estacio Uno in our last day.
We were assigned to the Hymettus Building in the 3rd floor. I thought each building has a pool just like in Fairways.
The corridor wasn’t inviting at all. Based from what we saw, we already had a sneak peek on what to expect inside.
I was disappointed when I saw the loft suite. It wasn’t as elegant and classy as what I have in my mind.
There was a small living area with an old and dusty-looking sofa and a veranda with no breathtaking view.
Our suite can accommodate 4-6 pax but the supplies were only good for two. There were two sets of plates, spoon and fork, and glasses, Even the free bottled waters, sachets of coffee and tea are also good for 2 pax. I had to call the Housekeeping Department to request for additional slippers.
One of my favorite place in the hotel room is the bathroom where I can soak in the bathtub and relax. Unfortunately, there is NO bathtub in our suite and I didn’t like the toiletries either. There was a separate small shower area and toilet with no lock so there is no privacy at all. There was a small vanity area where you can blow dry your hair and check how you look.
The veranda has no breathtaking view and we just used the table there once when we ate our dinner and we just used the area for drying our clothes.
THE LOFT BEDROOM
We moved the other bed because it wasn’t safe for our 5 year old kid as he is fond of jumping and he might fall. There is just a small space where we can move and I was bored to death because there was no television in the loft room. The television is in the living area and it was used by my father who was watching sports all the time. Though we were given a wifi password, it was useless because there was very weak signal in the resort, so I ended up using my mobile data as usual.
I’m a very picky eater and I’m very particular with what I eat.
As long as there is egg, chicken, pasta and congee, I’m okay with the breakfast buffet. It’s just that I didn’t like the taste.
Food was just average and they had limited choices. Our tummies were filled but we didn’t enjoy the tasteless food and whole buffet breakfast experience.
THE PUKA BEACH EXPERIENCE
If there’s one thing that I like about Alta Vista is that they give their guests exclusive access to the Puka Beach. The shuttle service brings the guests from the pick up area in the resort to the beach and vice versa.
We waited for eternity for the shuttle service. It was the guard’s fault– he asked us to be seated and he said he will just inform us if we can already go to the vehicle. If we hadn’t taken any initiative to check, we would have missed the trip again.
They provide the guests with towels and a space with tables and chairs where they can put their things and eat.
They have a shuttle service that takes the guests to the City Mall and Puka Beach. If you would like to go to the White Beach, you had to go on your own and rent a multicab.
THE INFINITY POOL
There is only one swimming pool– the infinity pool near the lobby. The view was amazing but it wasn’t like Fairways wherein you can have pool-hopping just like what we did before the Boracay closure in 2018.
WHAT THEY CAN IMPROVE
1. Add more room supplies like slippers, coffee, tea, toiletries. The family suite is for 4 to 6 pax so the supplies should fit the number of people in the room.
2. They should also do something about the WIFI connection because most of the guests are hooked to social media.
3. Add delectable and variety of food in the breakfast buffet. The guests will come back if their tummies were also satisfied.
4. Add more amenities like gym and kiddie area so the guests can enjoy and won’t be bored.
5. Add a television in the loft room.
If there’s one lesson that I have learned, that is not to get deceived by photos in the website. Definitely, I won’t go back anymore– it’s just a waste of time and money.
Boracay is one of my favorite summer destinations and every year I am really looking forward to an escape in this island where I can have peace of mind and temporarily forget EVERYTHING. Just this summer, I brought my family with us for a 6-day stay in paradise, where hubby and I were scheduled to have our renewal of vows. If it will just be the two of us, it would be easy for me to find nice and affordable place– but since it would be four adults and two kids, I had a lot of things to consider. I ended up booking a Family Suite directly in Ambassador in Paradise Resort’s website for the early bird promo where I got a deal of 3/d 2/n stay for just P28,000 for all of us.
MY FIRST IMPRESSION
When I first set foot in this island last 2011, one of the first pic I had was the one taken with the famous gorilla in front of the hotel. I didn’t dare to book the hotel in my previous trips because at first I was looking for inexpensive accommodation, but as years go by, I have realized that I should try mid-range and even five star hotels too. How would I know if I wouldn’t try? How can I share to the public if I myself have not experienced it?
Everytime I see the antiquated hotel I couldn’t help but to wonder and there you go– after 8 years, I finally gave Ambassador in Paradise a try. Because of curiosity, I think it’s all worth it; after all, I found a great deal.
THE CHECK IN PROCESS
Honestly, I was quite disappointed because I was expecting a very spacious and elegant lobby, but it turned out to be a small and average. Instantly, I knew that the overall rating isn’t five star. Oh well, at the back of my mind, there’s a voice telling me that probably, there is something special with this hotel; otherwise, it won’t be listed as one of the 5-star hotels in Boracay.
We were greeted by the staff and were given welcome drinks and seashell necklaces while they were verifying our identities. We had a quick check-in. As soon as they have received the payment and verified our identities, we were given our key cards, towel cards and a regular mobile phone (because they do not have a telephone in the room). It was indeed a bright idea! That way, guests will be able to call them instantly if they have any concerns or requests.
For the towel cards, it was our first time to experience it in a hotel. I like the idea because most guests would be needing a towel either in the pool area or at the beach and it would be an easy way for them to track if the guests have returned their towels or not.
The receptionist carefully explained to us about the rules and regulations in the hotel. We were assisted by a staff to bring our luggage to our room. Luckily, we were assigned to a room located near the floor– so convenient for us since we have a 5 year old kid with us and a senior citizen.
They have 2 bedrooms– the first one is near the door and the veranda where you can see the amazing and relaxing view of the pool and beach. The other one is in the basement with its own toilet, TV and sofa as well.
As soon as I have inspected the rooms, my disappointment turned into contentment. Our room was very close to the restaurant, pool and the beach and I super loved it!
What I look forward in a resort/hotel are the following:
–COFFEE ♥♥♥ (They have 3 free 3-in-1 coffee, tea, bottled water per room – and another set of 3 in the basement). They also have an electric kettle which was a hit for us because all of us drink coffee except for the 5 year old kid.
IRON/IRONING BOARD 😦 As soon as I have unpacked my clothes, I saw the wedding gown that I will wear the following day. I grabbed the phone and inquired if it’s possible for me to borrow an iron and a board so I can press the gown. I was disappointed because they didn’t have one in the room. That confirmed that the hotel isn’t really a five-star hotel because if it is, almost everything that you need will just be one snap for you. To make this long story short, I wasn’t able to wear the wedding gown for our renewal of vows 😦
BATHROOM and TOILETRIES ♥♥
If you have seen in the video, I looked for the bathtub but sad to say, it wasn’t included in our room. I love to soak in hot bath whenever I am in a hotel to destress. The toiletries were just average- not luxurious but not cheap.
They have wifi access but the thing is you have to log in everytime you go back to the resort. There were times also that I used my own data connection just to upload photos and videos.
I loved the breakfast @ Al Fresco and the foods were all delectable. The staff were very attentive as well 🙂
SWIMMING POOL ♥♥
The swimming pool is not that big but it’s quite okay for me. They have provided beachbeds in the pool area and beachfront. They have colorful floaters for the kids to use and there are lifeguards who are looking after the kids.
THINGS TO IMPROVE:
The thing that I like in booking a luxury hotel like Shangri-la, Discovery Shores and Marco Polo is the VIP treatment from the staff- from the welcome freebies and excellent service from the front desk staff to utility staff. Though I like the professionalism of the staff, a five-star hotel makes an effort to satisfy and to make their guests’ stay memorable.
When we had our renewal of vows, I didn’t receive any greeting or complimentary item from them like what we receive in other hotels in special occasions. Those simple gestures from them make you feel very special. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that way when we spent our 3/d 2/n stay with them with my family.
birthday cake for Shane given by Edsa Shangri-la
Anniversary cake given by Discovery Suites on our wedding anniversary
I give Ambassador 4 out of 5 stars because of the super nice location and good service.