The Blogger Princess

Fashion, Food, Beauty, Home & Travel Digital Magazine

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

1.  STAY FIT

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

2.  BE HEALTHY

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

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

3.  CREATE MORE VLOG POSTS

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

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

 

4.  DECORATE THE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS

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

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

5.  THROW A POOL PARTY

I rented 3B Resthouse in Antipolo for two reasons:

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

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

(2) SMART TUTEE’s Year-end Party

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

Watch out for my vlog about this!

6.  FINALIZE THE GIFT LIST

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

7.  PLAN MY CONTENT FOR 2020

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

8.  SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH THE KIDS

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

All Inclusive Vacation at Le Blanc Los Cabos.

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

One of my favorite in the Horizon Club Lounge- EDDIE

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

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The Tour at the EDSA Suite

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

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

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

The Living Room

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

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

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

The Office Space

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

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

The Dining Area

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

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Introducing Anolon Advanced Home

The Kitchen

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

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

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Modern Bathroom

The Bathroom

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

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

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The Bedrooms

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

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

with EDDIE after the tour at the EDSA Suite

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

My Hubby with Eddie after the tour at the EDSA Suite

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

EDSA SHANGRI-LA HOTEL

1 Garden Way, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City

02 86338888

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Why Edsa Shangri-la?

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

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

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

The Lobby Lounge at the Edsa Shangri-la Hotel

Our Experience 

Bert Alis of Edsa Shangri-la Manila

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

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

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

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

1. Class

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

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2. The Horizon Club Lounge

Hubby at the Horizon Club Lounge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is what I have missed in my stay. Every time I stay in Marco Polo Ortigas, I take advantage of the free conference room use for short meetings and presentation.

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3.  The Welcome Treats and surprise

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

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The VIP Treatment

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

Bruce and his boardgame provided by Edsa Shangri-la

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

Delicious treats provided by Edsa Shangri-la

While we had a tour in our suite, I saw the full-sized executive writing desk. I thought of using it late in the evening after the scheduled spa treatment. I brought my laptop with me because I planned to transfer files from my mobile phone. There are office supplies available in the drawer. A fax machine is also there for sending and receiving important files.

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.  Celebration

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

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

5.  Our Own Jacuzzi @ the suite

Aside from the spacious walk-in closet, I also love their bathroom because it has its own jacuzzi and premium toiletries. This is too perfect for our celebration at Edsa Shangri-la.

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

6. The Spa

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

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

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

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

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

There was also a separate toilet and shower area.

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

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

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

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

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

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I really wanted to have a manicure and pedicure so I headed to  the table for Chi Spa beside Heat, Unfortunately, it was unmanned that time.

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

7.  Buffet breakfast @ HEAT

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

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

8. The swimming pool

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

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

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

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9. The Gym

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

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

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

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

10. Exceptional Service

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

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

We felt the sincerity in giving your guests the best service, and I salute you for that. I remember when hubby was filling the jacuzzi with water, he accidentally pressed the alarm. After a few seconds, the phone in the toilet rang, and when I picked it up, the guy on the other side of the line asked me if everything was okay. I told them what happened, but he said to me that they would check the room. They wanted to make sure that their guests are safe.

With Mr. Claudio Togo, EAM of Edsa Shangri-la
It’s my pleasure to meet the AEM, Mr. Claudio Togo

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

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

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

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

What to improve:

  1. Make sure the reception tables have employees who can answer the guests’ queries 24/7.
  2. Orient the guests what they can offer esp. if they have kids with them. I would have loved to use the playroom, but we were not adequately informed. Should we just come and inquire? In our previous trip to another hotel a few years ago, we were given schedules of the activities that they have in the playroom and also information is also available in our room, they gave it to us just in case Shane would like to play.
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The Verdict

Overall, we enjoyed the overnight stay. I highly recommend Edsa Shangrila Hotel — it’s worth the money for an extraordinary experience.  We will be back because I recommended the hotel to a friend and already assisted her with the booking for 15 days.  Definitely, I will come back. Until next post 🙂

EDSA SHANGRI-LA HOTEL

1 Garden Way, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City

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My Fitness Journey

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

I carefully planned the gradual changes this last quarter of the year. Now, I open the new chapter in 2020 with a bang! Part of the said changes is my fitness journey.

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

Anytime Fitness Xentro Mall

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

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

The Cardio Machines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ANYTIME FITNESS XENTRO MALL ANTIPOLOANYTIME FITNESS XENTRO MALL ANTIPOLO

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

(02) 8243 0703

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

hankies

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.

unicorn notebook

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

pair of earrings

a unicorn keychain for P149.75.

unicorn earrings

I got these stuff from Lazada:

I chose blazers that I can use in the office.

floral blouse.jpg
Pink floral blouse P548 for casual attire

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

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

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

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Celebrating the International Coffee Day

I started the 1st of October by bonding with my friends at UCC Clockwork Xentro Mall in celebration of the International Coffee Day. It was my second time in the coffee shop. The first time we visited was when we screened an applicant a year ago. 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. I heard that they have a Buy-1 take one promo for the International Coffee Day. I convinced two of my friends to celebrate the event with me. UCC Clockwork Xentro Mall is just walking distance from my place, and after the short chitchat over coffee, I can go home and do the laundry 🙂

The menu at UCC Clockwork Xentro Mall

What We Ordered

It took us a while to choose what are we going to order.  I settled for the Kori Kohi (Cold Brew Ice Coffee Cubes, Warm Milk and Syrup. We have availed the Buy 1 take 1 promo for P230.

During that time, we were still full. I just ordered Mango Clairs (Japanese-style Waffle Crepe with ice cream for P268. I liked it because it wasn’t too sweet. Probably it’s because the fruits blended and complimented well to the chocolate syrup and ice cream.

Mango Clairs at UCC Clockwork Xentro Mall
Mango Clairs

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

Carbonara and Cafe Latte at UCC  Clockwork Xentro Mall
Carbonara and Cafe Latte

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

Our coffee bonding at UCC Clockwork Xentro Mall

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 Clockwork Xentro Mall 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!

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my first unboxing vlog

I finally decided to have an Unboxing Vlog!

Hello, everyone! It is the first time that I started to have an unboxing vlog, which turned out to be kinda funny. 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 a few years ago even before I started blogging. 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 four items that I ordered and shown the contents to the viewers. It wasn’t perfect, but the experience was different. I’enjoyed doing it and I am planning my second unboxing vlog. This time, I will talk more about the items and will show to you my honest to goodness reaction. You will find out if I was satisfied or not with the product and will tell the brand and price as well.

unboxing

The advantage of Unboxing Vlogs

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.

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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.

The Receiving Area at Marco Polo Ortigas
the lobby

Why I booked the Continental Club Room

It was 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 have unlimited afternoon refreshments, coffee, tea, and juices from 2:30-5:00 pm and pre-dinner cocktails and canapes from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.

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 your three meals during your stay are already covered, including non-alcoholic drinks/refreshments until 10 pm.

The Special Event

I planned to surprise hubby with an overnight staycation in Marco Polo. Supposedly, hubby is only available to come at 7 pm after classes, and I asked him to fetch me beside Marco Polo at 7 pm to pick us up after office hours. I thought whether I would inform him at that time or tell him in the morning. I decided to say to 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 of this kind of celebration– knowing him, he would instead celebrate his birthday at home with us. 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.

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The Continental Club at Marco Polo Ortigas

One of the benefits of the Continental Club at Marco Polo Ortigas 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 they would accept her in the lounge. Before this booking, I already have inquired in Edsa Shangri-la for our wedding anniversary celebration in October, and they informed me that Shane is already counted as an adult because she is 12 years old. That was the reason why I upgraded to a Garden Wing Premier Suite.

Check in at the Continental Club at Marco Polo Ortigas

.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 permitted at the lounge. She is already 12, so she SHOULD BE ALLOWED there. If they 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 applies to 12 years old

continental club letter

After a 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 a 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 we left her in the room 🙁

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The CONTINENTAL CLUB DE LUXE Room

Our room at the Continental Club at Marco mPolo Ortigas

The Freebies

apples
the welcome fruits

The Space

continental club de luxe room at Marco Polo Ortigas
bedroom at the Continental Club at Marco Polo Ortigas
night view at The Continental Club room at Marco Polo Ortigas
daybed
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working desk and television in our continental club room at Marco Polo Ortigas
ironing board
the iron and ironing board
nespresso machine in our Continental Club Room at Marco Polo Ortigas
Nespresso machine and complimentary bottled water for 2
water kettle.jpg
electric kettle and two cups 
minibar.jpg
minibar 2.jpg
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THE BATHROOM

bathroom 1.jpg
toiletries. in our Continental Club Room at Marco Polo Ortigas
premium toiletries
bathroom 2.jpg
the bathtub.in our Continental Club room at Marco Polo Ortigas
the bathtub

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.

lounge at the Continental Club at Marco Polo Ortigas
lounge 2.jpg
the library at the Continental Club Lounge at Marco Polo Ortigas
the library
sweets at the Continental Club at Marco Polo Ortigas
afternoon snacks
my snacks at the Continental Club at Marco Polo Ortigas

THE BOARDROOM

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

meeting room.jpg
boardroom 1.jpg
coffee.jpg
coffee break while in a meeting
$1,500 Resort Credit en Le Blanc Los Cabos.

PRE-DINNER & COCKTAIL

cocktail

the Pasta Station

sweets1.jpg
sweetie
hubby and me at the Continental Club Lounge at Marco Polo Ortigas
pre-dinner without Shane with us 🙁

The Surprise Turned Into A Disaster

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.

When we came back to the room, there wasn’t any setup. I needed to phone the front desk to remind them. After a few minutes, somebody knocked- I thought it was already the surprise, but the housekeeping that brought a new toothbrush, toiletries, and bottled water. The staff told me he would remind the front desk about it. When we were about to sleep, two ladies came with a mini cake and a balloon.

the staff.jpg
cake.jpg
birthday cake

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

Day 2

The Pool Area & Female’s Locker Room

The indoor pool at Marco Polo Ortigas
the swimming pool
The jacuzzi at the Marco Polo Ortigas
jacuzzi.jpg
sauna.jpg
vanity area.jpg
vanity area in the female changing room
after the hot tub bath.jpg
after the hot tub bath
Anolon Advanced Home Indigo

BREAKFAST AT THE CONTINENTAL LOUNGE

buttered vegetables
chicken adobo
iced coffee.jpg
bacon and hash browns.jpg
champorado.jpg
breakfast.jpg
view.jpg
Gabriel & Co. fine jewelry
after breakfast.jpg

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 complimentary access for three people in my next overnight stay valid until December 2019. I think it is NOT a practical decision to book again to have access to the Continental Club Lounge at Marco Polo Ortigas. They should have given access without requiring me to book a room if they are 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.

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My rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

ROOM ♥♥♥♥♥♥

The Continental Club room is spacious enough for the 3 of us.  I’m contented with the premium toiletries, furnishings and

SERVICE ♥♥

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.

FOOD ♥♥♥

Limited food in the Continental Lounge.  They also have limited servings per dish now.

AMENITIES ♥♥♥♥♥

I like the amenities (pool, spa, fitness center, female changing area)

PRICE:  ♥♥

Overpriced for their kind of service.

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Why Manila Hotel?

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 would 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 deluxe room for as low as P5,000 plus per night. Everybody can experience to be treated as a VIP for a very reasonable price. I was glad because I can now experience to have the Manila Hotel staycation.

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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.

Day 2

Let’s have a quick tour of the hotel in our second Day of our Manila Hotel staycation.

Sun Deck and Pool Area

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 a fantastic view of the Manila Bay.

the Sun Deck at the Manila Hotel
the Sun Deck at the Manila Hotel
the Manila Hotel  pool area
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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 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 Fitness Center at the Manila Hotel
the cardio machines at the Manila Hotel Fitness Center
The Fitness Center at the Manila Hotel

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 Female Changing Area at the Manila Hotel
jacuzzi at the Manila Hotel
the jacuzzi

Well, it’s all worth it because I was able to de-stress for a while.

jacuzzi time at the Manila Hotel

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.

swimsuit dryer in the female changing room at the Manila Hotel

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 swimming pool at the Manila Hotel

THE BREAKFAST BUFFET @ CAFE ILANG-ILANG 

.I was looking forward to the breakfast buffet in Ilang-Ilang Cafe, where there are a 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 could 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

Cafe Ilang-Ilang
Cafe Ilang-ilang at the Manila Hotel
breakfast buffet at Cafe Ilang-Ilang Manila Hotel
breakfast at Ilang-Ilang Cafe at the Manila Hotel
breakfast at Ilang-Ilang Cafe at the Manila Hotel
Eggs and bacon

One of the must-haves in my plate is the scrambled egg then just few servings of the other dishes.

breakfast at Cafe Ilang-Ilang at the Manila Hotel
breakfast at Cafe Ilang-Ilang at the Manila Hotel
Macaroni Salad
native delicacies at Cafe Ilang-Ilang at the Manila Hotel
native delicacies
taho station at Cafe Ilang-Ilang at the Manila Hotel
taho station
taho experience at Cafe Ilang-Ilang at the Manila Hotel

The big hit for our senorita is the taho.

breakfast at Cafe Ilang-Ilang at the Manila Hotel
pastries at Cafe Ilang-Ilang at the Manila Hotel

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 at Cafe Ilang-Ilang at the Manila Hotel
No ice cream 🙁
juices at Cafe Ilang-Ilang at the Manila Hotel
juices
Café Ilang Ilang - Manila Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
atm machine at the Manila Hotel
ATM Machine

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.

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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!)

before checking out at the Manila Hotel
about to check out at the Manila Hotel
waiting for check out at the Manila Hotel
check out at the Manila Hotel
Manila Hotel

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:

AMBIANCE: ♥♥♥♥♥

I like the ambiance of the hotel– old, but still classy.

ROOM- ♥♥♥♥♥

The Superior De Luxe room is the smallest room in the Manila Hotel but it is already speacious for 2 or 3 pax.

SERVICE:  ♥♥♥♥♥

All the staff are polite and professional.  You got more than what you paid for.

FOOD:  ♥♥♥♥  

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.

AMENITIES: ♥♥♥♥♥

They have well-maintained spa, fitness center, health club, swimming pool, gift shops, museum, etc.

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OVERALL RATING: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Rating: 5 out of 5.

THE MANILA HOTEL

1 Rizal Park, Ermita, Manila

(02) 8527 0011

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Why Choose the Manila Hotel?

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 a few weeks before the opening of classes. I knew for a fact that it would be another busy school year, and before I engage in that stressful paperwork and school activities; therefore, I should destress. So why did I choose Manila Hotel?

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 magnificent historic place. Despite the hotel’s age (107 years old), it has maintained its class and elegance.

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FIRST IMPRESSION of the Manila Hotel

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 is 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 Rizal Park, where we often take a stroll when I was a kid, I couldn’t help but to smile and reminisce about 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 enjoy then go to Manila Zoo and eat at Ma Mon Luk. ‘Twas a loooooong time ago already. Since I was three 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 Luneta. I never thought that I would be able to experience a five-star Manila Hotel staycation, 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.

valet service at the Manila Hotel
car pass at the Manila Hotel

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. They display paintings of Filipino artists in the hotel premises like the lobby, corridors, and suites.

the lobby at the Manila Hotel
the lobby
reception
Filipino painting at the Manila Hotel

During our stay, there was a display/exhibit of Filipiniana outfits in the lobby that showcases the extraordinary work of Filipino fashion designers.

I want 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.

Bella of The Manila Hotel
Bella
marketing team of the Manila Hotel

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, located on the 15th floor. It 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

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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.
  • Welcome fruits.
  • 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.
  • Daily newspaper.
  • 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.
Taken at the Executive Club Lounge
In the Executive Club Lounge

THE PRESIDENTIAL SUITE at the Manila Hotel

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 to stay 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
  • LCD TV
  • Senso memory foam mattress
  • Bvlgari bathroom amenities and toiletries
  • Mp3 dockable clocks
  • Ving Card door lock system
  • Full-service kitchen
  • Electronic Lighting System
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Paintings by renowned Filipino artists
  • Safety vault
  • 24 Hour Butler service
  • The Executive Club access
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The Dining Area
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BVLGARI toiletries
The Presidential Suite at the Manila Hotel
Taken @ the Manila Hotel Presidential Suite
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THE MAC ARTHUR SUITE at the Manila Hotel

.After that, we proceeded to the famous MacArthur Suite, which was named after General Douglas MacArthur. He managed the Manila Hotel for six 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
  • Well-equipped kitchen
  • 24 Hour Butler service
  • Balcony with a stunning view of the Manila Bay
  • The Executive Club access

The Bathroom

the bathtub at the Mac Arthur Suite at the Manila Hotel
 the Mac Arthur Suite at the Manila Hotel

CAFE ILANG-ILANG at the Manila Hotel

cafe Ilang-Ilang

THE GIFT SHOP

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THE HERITAGE MUSEUM at the Manila Hotel

the Centennial Hotel at the Manila Hotel
The Heritage Museum at the Manila Hotel
Manila Hotel diorama
Diorama of the Manila Hotel
replica of Noli me Tangere at the Manila Hotel
The replica of Dr. Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo
painting of Imelda Marcos at the Manila Hotel
Painting of former First Lady Imelda Marcos
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REPLICA OF General MAC ARTHURS CAP at the Manila Hotel
replica of Gen MacArthur’s cap
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MAYNILA BALLROOM at the Manila Hotel

Mayniloa Ballroom at the Manila Hotel
events place at the Manila Hotel
This is where big events are held– debut and other parties.

Special thanks to Bella, our tour guide for the day in our Manila Hotel staycation.

Bella, our tour guide at the Manila Hotel
with Bella and The marketing staff of the Manila Hotel
With the Marketing Team of the Manila Hotel
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OUR ROOM

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.

corridor at the Manila Hotel
Our room at the Manila Hotel

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, wherein you have to open the cabinet door before you can turn it on.

the television in our Manila Hotel room
the TV inside the cabinet
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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.

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The afternoon won’t be complete without a cup of coffee 🙂

coffee time in our room at the Manila Hotel

We have a view of the Manila Bay so we felt relaxed while watching the rainfall and the view.

view of the Manila Bay in our room at the Manila Hotel

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.

bathroom selfie in our Manila Hotel staycation
My mandatory bathroom selfie

THE POOL AREA at the Manila Hotel

the pool area at the Manila Hotel
the pool area at night at the Manila Hotel
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.

welcome treat in our Manila Hotel staycation
Sweet treats

We have received complimentary chocolates a few hours after we have settled in our room. To my surprise, those are 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.”

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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.

piano at the Lobby Lounge at the Manila Hotel

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 🙂

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THE MANILA HOTEL

One Rizal Park, Manila, Philippines

(632) 5270011

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My First Impression of Alta Vista de Boracay

I went to Boracay with the rest of my family to forget about everything and unwind. I thought it was a wise decision to stay in a loft suite at Alta Vista de Boracay We just came from a 3d/2n stay in Ambassador in Paradise . In just a matter of minutes. I already felt the huge difference in terms of comfort, service, and class. Ambassador in Paradise may be a bit old-fashioned, 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.

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Our Arrival

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.

sunset

THE CHECK-IN PROCESS

the front desk staff at Alta Vista de Boracay
check in at Alta Vista de Boracay

Check-in was a breeze, and the front desk staff were courteous and patient in explaining 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 on our last day.

stubs and wifi password  during our stay at Alta Vista de Boracay
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THE ROOM

Our room assignment was the Hymettus Building in the 3rd floor.  I thought each building has a pool just like in Fairways.

The Hymettus Building at the Alta Vista de Boracay

The corridor wasn’t inviting at all.  Based from what we saw, we already had a sneak peek on what to expect inside.

the corridor at the Alta Vista de Boracay

I was disappointed when I saw the loft suite. It wasn’t as elegant and classy as what I have in my mind.

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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 two 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.

toiletries at Alta Vista de Boracay

The veranda has no breathtaking view, and we just used the table there once when we ate our dinner, and we only used the area for drying our clothes.

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THE LOFT BEDROOM

the loft room at Alta Vista de Boracay

We moved to the other bed because it wasn’t safe for our five-year-old kid as he is fond of jumping, and he might fall. There is just a small space where we can move. Honestly, I was bored to death because there was no television in the loft room. The tv is in the living area, and my father used it to watch sports all the time. Though the hotel gave us a wifi password, it was useless because there was s very weak signal in the resort. I ended up using my mobile data as usual.

BREAKFAST

I’m a very picky eater and I’m very particular with what I eat.

breakfast at Alta Vista de Boracay

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 full, but we didn’t enjoy the tasteless food and the 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 pickup area in the resort to the beach and vice versa.

waiting for the shuttle to the puka beach
thumbs down for Alta Vista de Boracay

We waited for an eternity for the shuttle service. It was the guard’s fault– he urged us to be seated, and he said he would 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.

towel area puka
family pic at the Puka Beach

They provide the guests with towels and a space with tables and chairs where they can put their things and eat.

SHUTTLE SERVICE

They have a shuttle service that takes the guests to the City Mall and Puka Beach. If you would like to go to White Beach, you had to go on your own and rent a multi-cab.

at the waiting area waiting for the shuttle service
minimart at Alta Vista de Boracay

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.

jacuzzi at night Alta Vista de Boracay
selfie pool view Alta Vista de Boracay

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.

MY RATING:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

There’s one lesson that I have learned. Do not be deceived by photos in the website.  Definitely, I won’t go back to Alta Vista de Boracay anymore– it’s just a waste of time and money.

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Why Ambassador in Paradise Boracay?

Boracay is one of my favorite summer destinations, and every year I am really looking forward to an escape on 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 a beautiful 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 Boracay 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

with the gorilla at Ambassador in Paradise Boracay

When I first set foot on this island last 2011, one of the first pics 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 work? How can I share it with the public if I have not experienced it?

Every time I see the old hotel, I couldn’t help but wonder, and there you go– after 8 years, I finally gave Ambassador in Paradise Boracay a try. Because of curiosity, I think it’s all worth it; after all, I found a great deal.

THE CHECK IN PROCESS

Welcome Treats

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, Ambassador in Paradise Boracay won’t be listed as one of the 5-star hotels in Boracay.

Greetings

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 checked everything, 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.

Keycards and Towel Cards

For the towel cards, it was our first time to experience it in a hotel. I like the idea because most guests would need a towel either in the pool area or at the beach. It would be an easy way for them to track if the guests have returned their towels or not.

our keycards and towel cards at Ambassador In Paradise Boracay

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 place located near the floor– so convenient for us since we have a 5-year-old kid with a senior citizen and us.

Our assigned room at Ambassador in Paradise Boracay

THE ROOM

They have 2 bedrooms in our assigned room. 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.

restroom selfie at Ambassador in Paradise Boracay

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!

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CONVENIENCE

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 I can 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.

WIFI ♥♥

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.

BREAKFAST ♥♥

Al Fresco Restaurant menu at Ambassador in Paradise Boracay
breakfast at Ambassador in Paradise Boracay

I loved the breakfast @ Al Fresco and the foods were all delectable.  The staff were very attentive as well 🙂

SWIMMING POOL ♥♥

jas and shane twinning at Ambassador in Paradise Boracay
relaxing at Ambassador in Paradise Boracay

The swimming pool is not that big, but it’s quite okay for me. The hotel has provided beach beds in the pool area and beachfront. They have colorful floaters for the kids to use, and some lifeguards are looking after the kids.

THINGS TO IMPROVE:

What I like about booking a luxury hotel like Edsa Shangri-la, Discovery Shores, and Marco Polo Ortigas Manila is the VIP treatment from the staff. From the welcome freebies and excellent service, the front desk staff to the utility staff. Though I like the professionalism of the team, 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 on special occasions. Those simple gestures from them make you feel exceptional. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that way when we spent our 3/d 2/n stay with them with my family.

MY RATING:  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I give Ambassador 4 out of 5 stars because of the super nice location and good service.

AMBASSADOR IN PARADISE 

Station 1, Boracay Island, Malay Aklan 5608 Philippines

info@ambassadorinparadise.com

+63 977 337 0583

First Time to Experience LABoracay

It was my first time to visit Boracay on a labor day, and I was really clueless at that time what to experience.  It was also my first time to visit Lemoni Cafe Boracay. Before, when it’s LABORACAY week, you can see parties everywhere– dinning music and people getting wild and drunk.  Since I am not much into partying, I was contented to watch the fire dancers while walking from Station 1 to 3.  Ever since Boracay has closed due to its rehabilitation, there has been a lot of changes.  When the island opened in October  2018, the tourists and the locals love and embraced the NEW Boracay, and I must say that though many have sacrificed, it was indeed worth waiting for.

Vlog Launch at Lemoni Cafe Boracay

I never thought that I would have my instant vlog launch at Lemoni Cafe & Restaurant on May 1, 2019, because it was unplanned.  Supposedly, it will be done in the island hopping activity after our renewal of vows on April 30, 2019. 

Unfortunately, our boat was caught by the Boracay policemen, and the boat provider was fined P11,000. It was put on hold, so they dropped us to Station 1 right after we docked in Ilig-Iligan Beach.  The boatmen were not aware that docking there was prohibited. In other words, there was NO activity right after the renewal of vows 🙁  I formally introduced my YouTube channel to the people, I decided to go live on Facebook and do it.

Surprisingly, the people were very disciplined, and they do have parties, but those were done inside the establishment. There are no more people dancing on the beachfront.  It was then that I used #loveboracay for my hashtags instead of #laboracay. 

The Location

One of the highlights of my Boracay trip is to feature a cafe/restaurant that serves fresh, delectable, and healthy food and beverages for a reasonable price. That is Lemoni Cafe Boracay, located in the heart of D’ Mall.  Whether you are just exploring for pasalubong shopping, just walking around, or searching for the perfect place to dine for breakfast, siesta, or dinner, you can’t miss this one.  You will see their bright lime and the yellow-colored sign outside (It’s just that we came at dinner; that’s why it looked like this, hehehe!)

lemon cafe logo
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Though we came at dinnertime, we still felt the vibrant energy of the cafe.   Upon entering, you will be relaxed with a welcoming ambiance.  You can opt to be seated outdoors or inside the cafe.  At that time, ’twas humid, that’s why we have considered sitting outside, but we wanted more privacy, so we settled inside instead.

While we were waiting for the food, they gave us glasses of lemon water.  This is precisely what I need- a drink with Vitamin C that would also help in the blood circulation and suitable for those who have UTI.  In one of the articles I’ve read in Medical News Today, it states that according to human studies, lemon can help treat kidney stones.