The Blogger Princess

Fashion, Food, Beauty, Home & Travel Digital Magazine

I didn’t know this time will finally come– I was expecting that our flights will be rescheduled again because of the pandemic. I was about to reschedule the flight myself but there seem to be a lot of charges, so I patiently waited– until it was announced that Boracay will be opened in October 1. (clap clap!) Oh well, before you and I rejoice, let us find out what preparations do we need before flying to my favorite summer destination.

ADVANTAGES OF TRAVELING DURING THIS TIME

Let us start with the good things first before we dig in to the details on the preparations.

  1. LESS CROWD- Because of the strict implementation of the government about the travel documents and requirements, of course, there will be fewer people in the island. We will be able to explore Boracay without the usual crowd it used to have.
  2. CHEAPER HOTEL RATES– Though, some hotels offered discounts up to 50%, others just used it to get your attention– in other words, they just fooled the people. Advertisements are deceiving, that’s why you need to be extra careful in selecting your hotel. One of the hotels I have chosen is Fairways & Bluewater (They actually have 50% off the usual rates). We will stay in their one-bedroom suite (where we stayed before Boracay was closed years ago.) For 3d/2n we were able to get the room for P12k plus. Before, I paid P23k more or less for 3d/2n– so we got a good deal this time! I am still looking for other hotels as of this writing because my press trip was cancelled last April and still waiting for my sponsors to revise my hotel vouchers. While waiting, I temporarily booked 3d/2n stay with Crimson Boracay for a suite for 3 pax. It can be cancelled before November 26 or 27 though if I change my mind. The suite is around P32k for 3d/2n which is not bad for a five-star hotel so I got another good deal here if ever.
  3. BEST TIME TO RELAX and DESTRESS – It is even more stressful this time from WFH set-up and going to public places. Staying at home is safe, I must agree, but I am just human (sorry naman!) I also need the time to destress and unwind. After all, I already have booked our flights. If not, honestly, I won’t go this November and rather stay at home. Since everything is almost complete (flights, transfers, accommodation), I decided to push through with this and make this “Summer In November” possible.
  4. PRESS TRIP- It’s also a great time to get fresh content for my social media accounts (blog, Facebook and Instagram) since I was inactive for a while. It’s time also to post content in my YouTube channel (which is inactive for quite some time) and I just feel like posting again though I have only a few subscribers in YT. What matters is that I will be able to share useful and informative content to my audience. I will be featuring about “the new normal” in Boracay, where to stay and where to eat in my 5d/4n stay in the island.

WHAT ELSE TO PREPARE?

I mentioned I almost have everything, but since it’s the “new normal”, we have to follow the ravel guidelines strictly. So what else do we need to prepare?

  1. RT-PCR negative result – This is the hardest part for me, finding an inexpensive RT-PCR test provider. Oh well, it ranges from P5,500-13,000 (kaloka!) In order for me to get the result within 24-48 hours, I have to spend P7,000. We will still look for other options because we will be spending P21k just for this test which is even more expensive than our RT flights and hotel accommodations.

GOOD SIDE: For health and safety purposes, I support this testing for travelers like me. You won’t be scared to go out because you know it’s safe. Only Covid-free travelers can enter the island.

NEGATIVE SIDE: Because it’s quite expensive, only a few people can afford this test. They would rather spend their time at home than taking advantage of the cheap flights and hotel accommodations.

2. HOTEL ACCOMODATIONS FOR 3d/2n– We will stay in the island for 5 days. I booked 3d/2n @ Fairways & Bluewater but I’m not yet sure of the remaining days. I am still confirming the status of my booking with my previous sponsors for my press trip. I will update if you if I can feature them in my upcoming trip.

3. FASHION FOR THE NEW NORMAL- It’s gonna be totally different, so we need to prepare face masks, face shields, etc. It’s quite a challenge how to look good and be fashionable in the “new normal”. So since we still have more than one month to prepare, I can still sort the outfits, accessories and decide which items to bring and buy for the trip. (I will post my usual Boracay Checklist a week before we trave).

4. STRICT PROCESS OF GETTING IN– After you have all the requirements like negative RT-PCR test result, hotel voucher, plane tickets, it doesn’t end there! What is you have a negative result but you have the symptoms, you will take another swab test and worse, you can be admitted to the hospital. In case you passed through the airport, temperature check is still needed wherever you go, haha!

I am excited and worried at the same time– I don’t know what’s in store for us in our 5-day vacay in November. Just hopin’ for the best and as always, I’ll keep you guys posted. In my trip, you will see my social media accounts flooded with photos and updates.

  1. HOTEL-

I called Fairways & Bluewater but they told me that they are still not operating this moment because they are still waiting for some approval. If ever they won’t be able to accommodate us, they will notify me before my arrival so I can do a rush booking somewhere else. Of course, as usual, the payment won’t be refunded, but it can be rebooked.

Good news for me because I was informed that Crimson Boracay will open this month so I got a sure booking now 🙂 My only concern is that I would like to modify my booking because I don’t know what’s going to happen. Who knows, at the last minute, I will be able to get a confirmation about my sponsors, then I could still cancel it. There was no choice but to book through a third-party site because the booking can be cancelled 2 days before my arrival. The property requires at least 50% downpayment if I will book directly in their website. I’m having second thoughts though I would really love to experience how it’s like in Station Zero. I would love to check the suite as well ( though I prefer the one with plunge pool). Anyway, I still have more than a month to go and probably weeks before my press trip, I already have my final list of accommodations.

2. RT-PCR TEST-

I got one in my list and if ever we will book for their home service RT-PCR test, I will document while they are doing the procedure. It costs P6,500 per head but their medical team will be going to our home for the test and we can get the result in 24-48 hours.

3. SUMMER ESSENTIALS

I am starting to shop for additional stuff (outfits, luggage set, accessoroes, etc.) for our vacay/press trip.

REALIZATIONS

After experiencing the quarantine, it took me an eternity to figure out what’s in store for us. Of course, a lot has changed and we have to do a lot of adjustments. Though I can say that I have planned for what’s going to happen, but even if we did, the decision is still NOT in our hands. These are the few things I have pondered after a few months of getting lost.

You have to go with the flow

ONLINE Business

I know some of you hate taking chances or risks, but if there’s one thing that I have learned– it’s a matter of trying. Take my business for instance, before I didn’t have to advertise online just to get customers. I used to get a lot of inquiries for the previous years via phone, email and website. Sometimes, I reject or decline clients. What I needed before was manpower, so every week, I screen tutor applicants. Now, it’s the other way around, I have a lot of applicants but I need to work really hard to drive customers. Since Face to Face interaction is now discouraged, I now discovered and made the right decision to shift my business to online.

Though it wasn’t as huge as what I was earning last year for my biz, I can say that I am still earning more than double of my salary as a public school teacher. It just took me months to figure out how to market my business.

Whether I like it or not, I have to wear mask and face shield… That’s why I didn’t have to invest too much in buying makeup. I still have a few lipsticks and eyeshadows, but I rarely use them (only if I join Zoom meetings). Wearing them outside will be useless at all because they will be covered. I also stopped in purchasing clothes since I seldom go out. I invest now in buying skin care products like moisturizer and night skin repair.

Downgrade

During the pandemic, I also learned how to downgrade and I am happy that I have saved and allotted the money to other things. Every month, I have to think of paying my bills and dropping the office in Marco Polo helped me big time. We also have to consider what we need; otherwise, you need to get it off the list or at least downgrade. I spend the money that I have saved in purchasing stuff for our home (for the homeschool area and office space in our bedroom). It will be completed hopefully this December.

Me Time Matters

I try to balance my time for the kids (they are homeschooling) and working at the same time. It was not as stressful as before and I have the time now to do whatever I want. In other words, because I manage my own business, I am the BOSS and I don’t have to worry about my schedule as long as I can perform my tasks– to drive customers and earn money. The thing is, even if I am busy, I should give myself a break that I deserve. Just in time, on Wednesday, it was announced that Boracay will be opened to tourists in the Philippines. Yey! I can finally have the vacay I was dreaming of! See you in November, Boracay!

Now, these are just a few of my realizations. If you have yours, try to make a solution or adjustments if this “new normal” is a struggle for you. We can make things work as long as we are patient enough, flexible, and of course you are welcome to “change.”

Effects of the ECQ

Of course, after the ECQ, it’s understandable that I haven’t achieved some of my beauty goals due to limited access to salons, department stores, spas and so on… Thanks to Pond’s, I have maintained my flawless skin because I’m consistent in using Age Miracle Facial Wash and Day/Night cream. In this blog post, which I will continue to update til end of June, I will feature my JUNE 2020 look, fashion, and style.

Since I am officially back in the office this June, I wanted to show off a corporate look. As for the makeup, I don’t want anything heavy, just a light shade of eyeshadow and a very light blush on. No need to wear lipstick because I wear face mask, so it’s gonna be useless.

FASHION STYLE WEEK 1

I ordered this pink boat neck sheath dress in Zalora for P1,039.00. I super love this dress because it’s something comfy and simple.

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Back to Work #fashion #fashionblogger #ootd #ootdfashion

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I ordered this two-piece office wear set in Lazada for P970.00. Black and white is a classic favorite for me because it gives simplicity and elegance. I paired this with the Leopard Shallow Mouth Casual Shoes for P562.00

I ordered this from Lazada. The peach vintage square neck casual puff sleeve shirt blouse is P373. I cannot find the exact price for my black wide-leg pants but I remember it is only P100 or less. I paired it with one of my favorite shoes– the light pink Korean Ribbon Flat Doll Shoes for only P213.

FASHION STYLE WEEK 2

For this look, I used the light peach blouse given by Hubby. He bought in from HMR in Xentro Mall Antipolo. I don’t know the exact price, but I think it ranges from P100-200. I ordered the black office slack from L

azada for P335.

Now, I really wanted my hair to be pampered so badly. I took advantage of the opening of Mary Pauline Salon last June 10, so I got a new hair color and also got a hair spa treatment for P1799. Honestly, it’s not as perfect, but not as bad as well. For the inexpensive package, I couldn’t complain anymore. In order for me to have a perfect, straight hair without the wavy part at the left side, I guess I have to schedule for a rebond this year. For the meantime, I will use a hair treatment. I ordered Luxe Organix Premium Keratin Treatment Argan Oil to see if there will be any improvement.

This black and white printed pencil office dress is also one of my favorite dresses. I ordered this from Lazada for P490. I often pair it with a black blazer which I also bought for P289.

FASHION STYLE WEEK 3

Skincare

Because of the lockdown, I wasn’t able to go back to Dermcare at SM City Masinag. I still have the same problem with my cystic acne as what I have mentioned in my previous blog. Fortunately, I was able to book a schedule for face to face consultation on June 20 with a dermatologist from The Skin Icon. Hopefully, my problem with the cyst will be resolved.

Work Outfits

The outfit below is a classic white long sleeved office blouse and vertical black and white striped pants from Forever 21.

For this look, I have chosen a black lace top and black slacks with a pink Korean blazer. I prefer simple and plain clothes now because you can easily play mix and match your outfits.

This stripe blue v-neck office dress that I purchased from Lazada is one of my favorites.

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Rainy Friday #tgif #friday #ootd #ootdfashion #fashionista

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Please check from time to time for updates.

It’s almost two months since the government has ordered the enhanced community quarantine. At first, I began to lose hope and I thought that I have already lost my customers. As days go by, I have thought of ways to bounce back after being stuck at home. I know about the present situation, but I need to think of a way to get back to business. We need to make some adjustments because we already expected the opening of classes to be in August.

Because we are still under ECQ in our area, I thought of having the screening, tutor orientation, and simulation online. I will just go to the office for the signing of contracts and picture taking. I signed up with Zoom pro, so we can have the orientation with no interruptions.

Tutor Orientation via Zoom

For online tutorials, I asked the tutors to use LearnCube . They can use the free plan where they can have unlimited one-on-one tutorials. It also has a whiteboard and screen sharing feature where the tutor can upload files.

Now, I have scheduled daily activities in my planner for both The Blogger Princess and Tutor’s Lounge. I created checklists so I can be productive. It’s time to say good-bye to our lazy days!

My only worry is if our money would be enough until the opening of classes. I have a lot of things to consider like the monthly bills (electricity, water, phone bills, car loan, etc.). Now, I will be practical since we have now what we call the “new normal.” I have to think of ways on how we can save. Since we have to ensure the safety of everyone, it means there will be less physical contact. I am thinking of transferring to a less inexpensive office since it will be more of 95% work from home activities. Working at home actually will be fine I create content and ads for our website and other social media channels, screen applicants online and manage my email at home. The office is asking me to settle the bills and even suspended my account for the months I have not used because of the quarantine.

Most likely, I will be working at home in August but I just have to use the last 2 months remaining in our office in Marco Polo Ortigas. The applicants don’t have to go to the office because the whole screening process and even the signing of contract would be done online .The money that I would save from the rental can be added to other expenses.

I know there will be more challenges and life is really testing us how long can we handle all these. The only thing that we can do when we are about to give up is think of the possible solutions and keep on trying. If plan A doesn’t work, go to plan B or C. Positivity is the key in facing the obstacles in life. So there, I will just keep you updated about my work at home diaries. As promised, I will be updating you about the checklist I had after quarantine in my next post. Til next post and I hope you can also be productive doing business at home.

Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, I had to make some modifications. In my previous post, I have mentioned some local places and Thailand in particular for mt first international travel. Now, I am putting the international trip off my list. Our health and safety is my main priority for now. Here is the detailed list for my revised travel plans for 2020.

Shane’s Birthday At Home

Usually, we spend Shane’s birthday in a hotel or resort. This year, I planned to celebrate her birthday to either Tagaytay or Baguio. Now, we just celebrated her birthday at home. I explained to her about the situation, and she understood everything. I just created some birthday coupons that she can use once the pandemic is over.

Tagaytay or Baguio

I am thinking if I could insert Tagaytay or Baguio this year. We can’t go on May because we wanted to make sure it’s virus-free already. June, July and August our problem would be typhoons. August, September would be busy months because of the opening of classes. We only have October since November will be for my Boracay trip and it would be crowded to come on December.

BORACAY Trip

I rebooked my flights from April to November. Instead of 4d/3n, it would be a 5d/4n stay. I will be staying at Ferra Garden and Suites from November 26-28, 2020 and in Kamusta Boutique Hotel from November 28-29. I am still deciding on what hotel to stay for our last overnight stay. Part of me would like to experience the “pool-hopping” activity at Fairways & Bluewater again. I have booked myself a suite with plunge pool at Crimson Boracay under Worry Free Booking. It means I can cancel 2 days before the said trip.

Actually, I just added one night to our original 4/d3/n press trip wherein i will feature affordable accommodations and food in Boracay. I added one day because I would like to splurge in our last day. I originally wanted the villa with plunge pool, but it’s quite expensive. I would like to have a bigger space and a dedicated villa host, but I need to be more practical.

There will also be a possibility that I will replace Crimson Boracay once there is another hotel who would host our last 2 days in the island. I will just keep you updated before we fly in November.

I haven’t organized my stuff yet- I need a new large suitcase. I need to junk my broken pink suitcase. I have more time to choose the right one. I also have to sort the swimsuits, beach dresses/outfits, and accessories for my Boracay Trip. It’s my first time traveling in Boracay in November. There will be no celebrations except for my birthday month. I was planning to have our flight on the 13th for my birthday, but hubby suggested moving it on the 26th so the number of his absences if ever will be reduced to only two.

November Birthday Celebrations

There will be two birthday celebrations for November: my birthday on the 13th and Bruce’s 7th birthday on the 23rd. To be practical, I am thinking of having only one celebration. Probably we can just have a buffet dinner at the mall and give him the gifts he wanted.

Palawan or Thailand Trip in 2021

The domestic flight tickets are still inexpensive. I was able to book our roundtrip tickets from Manila to Boracay for only P14,700 (3 adults) with 20 kg. baggage allowance, in-flight meals and standard seats. Now I still have remaining credits but I am thinking if I would use them in domestic flights to Palawan on April 2021 or in Thailand.

Find the best deal with HotelsCombined.com

There might be modifications about my travel plans but I promise to keep you posted.

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Present Situation

Hi there! It’s Day 29 of the ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) in Luzon, and indefinite lockdown here in the province of Rizal. We are dead bored! If there is no television and internet, I don’t know how we would deal with boredom. The only challenge for us is how to be productive during this time and think of exciting activities that would make us keep busy. All we can do right now is to pray. I am hoping that the virus would vanish forever and won’t bother the people anymore. Then, we can all go back to our normal lives.

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What To Do After?

1. Plan for our upcoming trips

We are supposed to be in Boracay for our summer trip on April 30, 2020, and will go back to Manila on May 3, 2020. Due to the indefinite lockdown here in Rizal, I have requested AirAsia for a credit account. Unfortunately, there’s something wrong with AVA (their virtual assistant), and I think the wait be longer than what I expected. (sigh!) It seems USELESS at this time. Hello, Airasia! Yohoo!

Once I have credited my account, that’s the only time I can set for our new travel dates. I’m thinking of moving it to June or December (depending on the situation, I guess). For sure, we will hit the beach this year. We BADLY need a vacation. I’m looking forward to our stay at Ferra Hotel and Kamusta Boutique Hotel

For the details about our revised travel plans, watch out for my separate post about it.

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2. Relax at the spa and watch a movie

I missed the spa because the malls are closed. For Shane’s 13th birthday on the 19th, I wanted to give her a spa birthday theme. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, we have very limited resources. We wanted to buy cake, but there is no available store. I wanted to purchase or make our DIY facial masks, scrub or foot wash and decorate the dining room, but I think it’s not the proper time to do so. I just created birthday coupons, and one of those is the FREE foot spa. I also gave her a FREE manicure for Easter Sunday so that we will have our spa bonding and gift or relaxation after the quarantine. My son Kyle got a movie coupon from me yesterday during the Easter celebration, so we have a movie date to look forward to.

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3. Go back to business

Because our operations were on freeze this ECQ, I wanted to bounce back once this is over. Before I go to vacation this June if ever, I wanted to hire tutors for the whole month of May (for online and face to face in-home tutorials).

4. Check up at the derma clinic

Before the ECQ, I went to Dermclinic Masinag because my cystic acne is back. I had it removed before New Year and after the I & D Procedure, it was back . I didn’t come back sooner because I was observing it, but it grows larger and I am getting worried. I had my antibiotics again and was supposed to come back after a week, but due to the lockdown, the dermatologist who is a senior citizen wasn’t at the clinic. Honestly, I don’t know what to do.

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5. Plan for Bruce’s Homeschooling Program

My youngest son Bruce is six years old- he will turn seven in November. The other kids like him with the same age will be enrolled as Grade 2 this coming school year. He won’t be admitted to Kinder yet because he has speech delay- the teacher is suggesting for another year in SPED, which I disapprove. It’s April 2019 that he began to say “Mama,” and now he can express himself better. He is a fast learner, and nobody would help him if I don’t make a move. This school year, I will enroll him in a homeschool program, and I will be the one to teach him. As preparation, I subscribed him to Reading Eggs and Mathseeds. Almost every day, I post pictures and short videos of him on my Facebook account.

I am currently planning on what skills to teach him while on vacation. I am planning to document our lessons. We will be having the homeschool vlog after my launch.

Catch Up with Selected Friends

I want to have a coffee or pizza date with my selected friends for a quick chit chat. It feels good to talk with real friends after being isolated at home for a long time.

Shop in the Mall

Once the mall opens, I need to buy some stuff I need for my upcoming travel trip like luggage, travel essentials, and some school supplies for Bruce’s homeschooling.

Well, I have a lot in mind, but I only listed the most important things for me. I hope that you have also done your own list. Let’s pray for the best!

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Hello, dear readers! In this blog, I am sharing our day-to-day Holy Week activities. Per day, I have photos/videos of what we did. (Please visit this site because this will be updated until Easter Sunday)

April 5, 2020 (Palm Sunday)

After explaining to the kids about the importance of Palm Sunday, I gave them an easy activity which is to color a greeting card with this message:

JOHN 12:13 -  They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the king of Israel!"

April 6, 2020 (Monday)

We were not able to make the Paper Pizza Decorating Activity yesterday that’s why I just asked them to do it today.

activity sheets from Twinkl.co.uk
The Design a Pizza Activity sheets I got from Twinkl.co.uk
Paper Pizza with cutout toppings: pineapple, mushrooms, pepperoni and green bell pepper.
Isaiah 42:1-  1 Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom my soul delights. I have sent my spirit upon him, he will bring fair judgement to the nations.

April 7, 2020 (Tuesday)

April 8, 2020 (Holy Wednesday)

April 9, 2020 (Maundy Thursday)

(Maundy Thursday Vlog) -Foot Wash, Last Supper

April 10, 2020 (Good Friday)

(Good Friday Vlog) Story about Crucifixion

April 11, 2020 (Black Saturday)

Decorating and Stuffing the Easter Eggs

Kate Aspen Enchanted Party - Unicorn Party Decor & Favors

April 12, 2020 (Easter Sunday)

( Easter Egg Vlog) Easter Egg Hunt , Zumba with Tita Ellen

Unique Wedding Favors

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Hello once again! The Blogger Princess will be launched on May 1, 2020 if everything will be back to normal in Boracay Island.

Why The Blogger Princess?

When I started in 2016, I just blog when I like. I’ve changed thrice– My Barbie Girl to The Travel Blogger in Pink last year, but still I’m not that active and on October 2019 I decided to change for the last time. I planned to become a full-time mom and blogger. On January 2020, I resigned as a school teacher and I planned my content for this year. Unfortunately, due to this pandemic situation, I won’t be able to push trough with some of my plans.

MY TOP PRESS TRIPS

THE BESTS SPAS I HAVE FEATURED

1. TIRTA SPA

villa at Tirta Spa Boracay
ginger tea at Tirta Spa Boracay
the foot wash ritual at Tirta Spa

This is the most unforgettable of all the press trips I had. It was a pleasure to feature the number one spa in BORACAY last 2017. I put Tirta Spa in the number 1 spot because it was the most luxurious and the BEST service I have ever had. Also, after posting my blog, other collaboration opportunities opened for me. You can go back to my post here.

Jan Marini Transformation Eye Cream

2. BELFREI SPA

Honestly, in terms of the BEST MASSAGE and other treatments, Bellfrei Spa is the best for me. I just considered the ambiance that’s why they landed in number two spot. Next time I go to Baguio, for sure this will be in my itinerary. If you haven’t been to Belfrei Spa, this is worth a try. They have two branches- in SM Baguio and in Camp John Hay. You can see my post here.

ready for the facial and foot spa at Belfrei Spa
the foot wash at Bellfrei Spa
facial at Bellfrei Spa
one of the best massage I had at Bellfrei Spa
One of the best massages I’ve had

3. CHI, THE SPA

Next to Bellfrei Spa is Chi, The Spa at Edsa Shangri-la Manila. Part of the package I availed in my booking last October 2019 was the FREE spa treatment. It was the least expensive but imagine how satisfied I was with the massage. I can’t imagine what more if we have availed the other services? Next time, I would also go to their nail bar for a manicure and pedicure and also, a relaxing dip in their hot tub with Hubby.

The facade near the Edsa Shangri-la  swimming pool
restroom selfie at Chi, The Spa
hot tub at Chi, The Spa
Passion by Diamonds USA - craftsmanship since

4. Z Spa

I can’t take away Z Spa in my list because I like both the interiors, rooms, sauna, jacuzzi and the spa packages. The VIP rooms can be compared to five-star hotels. You have your own restroom with sauna and bath tub. While having your treatment, you can also watch TV. You can visit my post here.

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5. SOULSCAPE SPA MARCOS HIGHWAY

collagen facial mask at Soulscape Spa Marcos Highway

I love Soulscape Spa though they don’t have a jacuzzi ir bath tub. I like their clean rooms, classy interiors and best of all, affordable spa packages. My favorite treatments are the anti-dandruff treatment, Kojic salt body scrub, Hot Stone massage and their signature Anti-Stress massage. It’s sad that I don’t get to visit them because there is one nearer to our place.

sauna at Soulscape Spa Marcos Highway
Sauna room
Kojic salt body scrun at Soulscape Spa Marcos Highway

The Best Hotels I Have Featured

1. THE MANILA HOTEL

So far, this was the BEST hotel that we have visited. We were able to tour at the Presidential Suite, Mac Arthur Suite and the Executive Suite and different amenities. The hotel was old but it is still elegant and classy. For complete details, you can see my post here. The good news is that YOU can have a taste of LUXURY at a reasonable price. Next time though, I wanted to experience the Executive Club Lounge, the morning swim and the spa. As for the breakfast, it was perfect , but I was looking for ICE CREAM!

with the Marketing Team of the Manila Hotel
with Bella, our tour guide and the Marketing Team of the Manila Hotel
Gabriel & Co. fine jewelry

2. EDSA SHANGRI-LA MANILA

Edsa Shangri-la has become one of my favorite hotels. I gave them another try after the disappointing experience in our first booking with them. When we came back last October to celebrate our wedding anniversary, everything was perfect. I got what I wanted- a Horizon Club room with jacuzzi, I love the Horizon Club Lounge access to teatime and cocktail hour, the swimming pool, spa and breakfast, especially the ICE CREAM 🙂 You can find my recent post here.

Another thing that I like, even if I wasn’t there to check in, familiar faces greet me. I feel so welcome.

with Edsa Shangri-la's EAM, Mr. Claudio Togo
Kate Aspen Enchanted Party - Unicorn Party Decor & Favors

3. FAIRWAYS & BLUEWATER BORACAY

Fairways isn’t categorized as a five-star hotel but we like booking there. You will get MORE THAN you paid for. I like the rooms, restaurants and they have several pools. The grocery is just across the property. They also have a private beach so practically, almost everything that you need is already there. You can find my review here.

the Atlantis pool at Fairways & Bluewater Boracay
at the Ventana , Fairways & Bluewater Boracay

4. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY

With my last visit, I was satisfied (but I was expecting MORE). The booking comes with the roundtrip transfers already from the airport to hotel. They also have their own boat. Their service wasn’t perfect but they did apologize. Please read part 1 & 2 of my reviews. I love their welcome foot wash.

5. MICROTEL BAGUIO

I know this is not a five-star hotel, but we like the location. If you have a car and you have the money, you can go for The Manor Baguio. If you would like to have a hassle-free and comfortable stay, especially if you will commute, book at Microtel Baguio. They have an access to Victory Liner Station. They also serve good breakfast and the staff are attentive, so it’s a great value for your money. You can find my review here.

unlimited coffee at Microtel hotel Baguio

If ever the ECQ will be lifted after April 14, hopefully we can have our vacation in Boracay from April 30-May 3, 2020. I will be featuring two boutique hotels (Ferra Hotel & Garden Suites and Kamusta Boutique Hotel). Watch out for the room tour, amenities, and breakfast review).

PS: Vlog is not my thing. Ever since I became a full-time blogger, I promised myself to create more interesting vlogs. I am making use of my time at home learning 🙂

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The Best Restaurants That I Have Featured

I did not include the buffet breakfast from the hotels.

1. COMIDA CHINA DE MANILA

How can I forget Comida China de Manila? This is not your average Chinese Restaurant. I put them in the number one spot because they’ve got class and they serve food for the gods. I featured their bestsellers here.

Comida China Chow Mein
Comida China Chow Mein
Comida China Soup at Comida China de Manila
Comida China Soup
shrimp balls at Comida China de Manila
Shrimp Balls
my Birthday Cake from Comida China de Manila
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2. SAGE CAFE BAGUIO

When we first saw the facade, we thought it was just a typical cafe/restaurant. When we entered inside, we were impressed with the interiors and decorations. Of course, we were even more impressed with the food and affordable prices. You can read my review here.

Cucumber Lemonade
Iced Delight: Cucumber Lemonade
Baked Prawns at Sage Cafe Baguio
Baked prawns with Boursin Garlic & Herb Cheese
Nachos Platter
The Apple Cinnamon Tortilla at Sage Cafe Baguio
The Apple Cinnamon Tortilla

3. LEMONI CAFE BORACAY

I launched my vlog there last year so the place is special for me. If you are in Boracay and you would like to have a sumptuous meal that is reasonably priced, Lemoni Cafe Boracay is the perfect place. I also like their heavenly desserts. You can see their bestsellers here.

Grilled Pork Chops at Lemoni Cafe Boracay
Grilled Pork Chops
Salmon Poke Bowl
Salmon Poke Bowl
desserts at Lemoni Cafe

4. YELLOW LANTERN ANTIPOLO

I included Yellow Lantern Cafe because of the cozy ambiance and cool decors, and delectable food. You can read my post here.

tables at Yellow Lantern Antipolo
overlooking in the veranda at Yellow Lantern Antipolo
overlooking view in the veranda
Gambas at yellow Lantern Cafe Antipolo
Gambas
Umaapaw in Paellera at Yellow Lantern Cafe Antipolo
American BBQ Ribs at Yellow Lantern Cafe Antipolo
Chef Carl and the staff of Yellow Lantern Cafe Antipolo
Chef Carl and the staff of Yellow Lantern Cafe Antipolo

5. Cafe Esse Antipolo

For people who love coffee and desserts, Cafe Esse is a must-try for you. In my post you will discover why.

Hazelnut latte at Cafe Esse Antipolo
Hazelnut Latte
frappes at Cafe Esse Antipolo
frappes
Cheesy meat Fries at Cafe Esse Antipolo
Cheesy Meat fries
Spicy Seafarer

When this pandemic ends, The Blogger Princess will be on press trips again to give you quality and informative content. Let’s see if you the list will be updated on April 2021. Thank you for reading and enjoy your stay at home. Be safe!

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Hello there! It’s Day 20 of our ECQ and as I have promised in my previous post, I will be posting more vlogs to keep myself busy and productive. Today is April 3, 2020 and we are going to celebrate “Poet in A Cupcake” .I picked two of my favorite poets (Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost). I printed their pictures and as what I have mentioned in my vlog, I will post the poems here.

BECAUSE I COULD NOT STOPPED FOR DEATH by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death- 
He kindly stopped for me--
The Carriage held just Ourselves--
And Immortality.

We slowly drove--he knew no haste
And I had to put away
my labor and my lesiure too,
For His Civility--

We passed the School, where children strove
At Recess-- in the Ring--
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain--
We passed the Setting Sun--

Or rather--He passed Us--
The Dews drew quivering and Chill-
For only Gossamer, my Gown--
My Tippet-- only Tulle--

We paused before a House that seemed
A swelling of the Ground--
The Roof was scarcely visible--
The Cornice-- in the Ground--

Since then- 'tis Centuries-- and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity--

STOPPING BY WOODS ON A SNOWY EVENING by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
he will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Emily Dickinson’s message is about suffering. Obviously, the speaker in poem wanted to end her suffering. In the second one, Frost’s poem wanted the same but he figured out that he has an unfinished business to do and it will be a long journey.

I hope you have enjoyed my vlog about Poet in A Cupcake Activity. I will look for other activities that we can do for Holy Week. Please don’t forget to subscribe in my YT channel.

It’s Day 19 of our ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) in Luzon, and we are still in a state of shock. Due to COVID-19, our lives have been affected. Classes were suspended, and the government has decided to cancel the final examinations and compute the students’ grades based on their performances from first to fourth grading minus the exams. My Grade 10 son is supposed to have his moving up ceremony tomorrow, but because of the situation, it won’t push through anymore. As a parent, I do understand that this is an important event, but it is also essential to prioritize our health. With the lockdown, we just thought of coming up with exciting home quarantine activities.

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Productive ECQ Activities

Work from Home

As a business owner and manager, I know that this is indeed a big loss for us; however, we need to obey the President’s order. This way, we can help in our little way. We need to reschedule and freeze our operations for a while because of this pandemic situation. I also thought that if ever the lockdown will be prolonged or if they would apply the homeschool approach, we have the online tutoring option. I started to train my tutors and we posted a video so the clients will know that we are offering online tutorials.

I also have updated our website and began posting again. I realized that we have to move on and think on how we can attract clients again.

Home Fitness

In my post last December, I was confident that I will be able to achieve a beach-ready body. It is because, during that time, Anytime Fitness Xentro Mall has given me a one-month free use of the club. I must admit that without the cardio machines that I love, it would be a great challenge for me. I can do this with the help of my #HomeBodies. You can do the Zumba and aero at home via Skype or Facetime, without being conscious of how you look and move. The thing is you help each other in achieving your goal, which is to be FIT and healthy.

Hubby and I also thought of changing our eating habits. For breakfast and lunch, we can eat anything we want but with a limit of 1 cup of rice per meal. I encouraged him to cut down on rice and we agreed to have oatmeal as our dinner. I also cut down on coffee intake. The most I am having per day is 3 cups of coffee.

We are also making a point to clean one area of the house per day. It’s hitting two birds with one stone— driving away all the viruses and burning calories by doing household chores.

Fun App

My Hubby is addicted in TikTok probably because of boredom. He spent a lot of time that he wasn’t aware that he has consumed the remaining data in our Wifi.

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Learning at Home

Though we are at home, I don’t want Bruce to get bored. It’s a good thing I subscribed to Reading Eggs, and I also get colorful resources from Twinkl. According to his Developmental Pedia, she’s not sure yet if he has mild autism. Now, he is 6 years old (He will turn 7 on November 23). and little by little, he is learning how to talk. We were not able to get a speech therapist for him yet. The sad thing is that the school won’t allow him to enroll in the Kinder level again, and that would mean another schoolyear in SPED. As a mom, it hurts though I understand that they wanted the child to be a good reader before he is admitted to Kinder. It’s a tough decision, but I have made up my mind already to enroll him in a homeschool program in a private school (Kinder level), and I will be the teacher. I’m doing this because he should be Grade 2 by June. I believe that in one year, there will be a BIG improvement, and he will be able to read by the end of the school year (April 2021).

Bruce's rainbow coloring sheet from Twinkl
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Summer Plans

Because of the current situation, we won’t be able to push through with our out of the country trip this year. I wanted to feature other places and review different restaurants just like what I do before.

Honestly, I don’t know if our April 30-May 3 Boracay trip will be affected. I am still observing and waiting for further announcements. Should there be any changes, I would rebook my Airasia flights and hotels. We are dead bored already, and we wanted to go to the beach. I hope we will be able to push through with this because we badly needed a vacation. On April 30, we will be celebrating our Renewal of vows anniversary and The Blogger Princess Launch in our hotel room. As soon as we have confirmed our summer trip, I will post my 4d/3n Boracay Travel Itinerary and Boracay Packing List.

Vlogs

It’s just this week that I realized I wanted to vlog again and share what we’re into by posting in my IGTV and YouTube Channel. I promise to post something that you love (educational and fun)

We wanted to make the most out of this ECQ and look at the positive side. We still have our families to cling on to in situations like this. Bond with them NOW and think of other ways to deal with BOREDOM. I hope that I have shared some ideas on how you can be more productive at home. Until next post!

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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

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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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

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Pool Area

MY RATING: 3/5 STARS

Rating: 3 out of 5.
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

Rating: 1 out of 5.

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

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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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The Application

Are you a Philippine passport holder or you still have plans in getting your Philippine passport? Well, you are lucky because I will share in this post on what to prepare and what to do in your Philippine Passport application.

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, they 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

preparing our old passports for our Philippine Passport application (renewal)

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! What are you waiting for? Schedule your Philippine Passport application if you don’t have yet.

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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