Staycation @ Okada Manila

Omg! Had a chance to stay at one of Okada Manila’s luxurious rooms and boy was that a dream!

Pink hues everywhere! I love it!

The grand lobby starts off with decadent chandeliers in pink with colorful gems!

Hallways are as pink as well!

Once up in the hotel tower, the elegant chandeliers adorn the elevator lobby.

Same goes with the pathway to our hotel room!

Once you’re inside the room, you just don’t want to leave anymore! A room, more like a unit as big as this, costs so much. I checked the website and it’s about Php 18,000 plus plus for a night. So I am very thankful for my cousin and her friends for the chance to experience Okada Manila’s Junior Suite even for a night.

Are you ready?

A mini office greets you upon entering.

Then the receiving area.

There is actually a door going into the bedroom.

The luxurious bedroom with its own sofa by the foot of the bed.

The mini bar

The walk in closet

And of course, the spacious bath room with your very own jacuzzi bathtub and a wonderful view of The Fountain!

And although I am not the person who really likes IG worthy pictures of myself, I just couldn’t let the chance pass, so forgive me if I’ll indulge myself for a few pictures in the bathtub.

Thanks to my hubby for my pictures!

Another reason why I didn’t want to leave the room, everything is fully automated! There are 2 ipads you can use to turn on / off the lights, draw the curtains, change the channels of the television, choose from a list of movies or series, watch vloggers review Okada Manila, etc, etc… so much to do with the touch of a finger!

Of course, the kids wouldn’t let the bathtub gone unexplored as well!

After enjoying the tub, they moved to a bigger space and went down to the pool area.

Enjoyed the sunset while having some lemon water and chilling at the cabana.

Check out www.okadamanila.com for more details!

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All 4 U Unlimited Grill & Shabu Shabu

Celebrated my loved ones’ birthdays at All 4 U Unlimited Grill and Shabu Shabu and it’s so good! Everyone enjoyed!

They have a promo now at Php 599 per person. But if it’s your birthday, or you are a Senior, a PWD or a kid aged 8, you will only be charged Php 350.00! Ain’t that a good deal? Also, kids below 8 years are free!

They don’t have much choices for the meat unlike other Samgyupsal restaurants, but they do offer shrimps, lots of them!

And they have both shabu shabu for soup lovers and grill for bbq lovers.

Chose bulgogi flavored soup as our soup base. They also have organic shabu shabu or kimchi soup. This soup base has actual bulgogi beef marinated mixed in this bowl of veggies. It makes the soup very tasty.

They have these for your side dish. Your usual sesame oil, soy sauce and kimchi sauce. Of course, the actual kimchi won’t be missed, then they have corn and fruit cocktail.

They also offer Kimchi Ramen for each table. These ramen’s so good. The texture’s different from local instant ramens.

If you want some more, they have more! You just need to pay extra.

All 4 U also has unlimited Iced Tea and the usual cold water!

Their lettuce – big and really crunchy!

For first serving, they will give you a set of beef brisket, chicken, some fish cakes and shrimps

Staring off with this!

Our Kuya server also suggested this Bulgogi Beef. Not on the menu! But be clear to say Bulgogi Beef – Marinated Beef, they might think you are asking for the Bulgogi Soup!

This is to die for, so tasty and so yummy!

Here in All 4 U, you have a choice, eat as is, cooked from the pot or wrapped in lettuce from the grill.

And of course, the main event and star of the night, the different stages of our shrimps! Our family so loves them!

What’s great about All 4 U, even if we already ordered so much, they still gave our orders promptly and with a smile. Unlike some that will delay the orders coming out!

They even have a small birthday cake for my handsome hubby and they sang and played a happy birthday song too!

We also have free melona ice cream! So refreshing!

Hats off to all the Kuyas who served us! Thank you for your outstanding service!

Here’s our family so happy and contented with All 4 U SM Sta Mesa! Here at All 4 U, it’s really all for you! 😍

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Medley Buffet @ Okada Manila

Buffet Lovers like me, be sure to find your way to the Medley Buffet of Okada Manila.

Before you get to the restaurant, you will first be amazed with the Grand Lobby that is Okada Manila. Pink hues will welcome your arrival. Colorful gems adorn these gigantic shell shaped curtains dropping from the ceiling!

Medley Buffet is fast becoming the star of all buffets. With its very classy interior and its vast selection of international cuisine, people are really flocking to see what’s in store for them!

We managed to reserve the private room. Look how dainty it is. Even the chair is intricately carved.

I randomly took photos of the buffet spread. From Filipino cuinese to Japanese cuisines, to Korean, to Chinese and other international cuisines, you can find it all here.

And more importantly, so much variety of desserts they offer here!

Medley Buffet has weekdays promo now, so better enjoy it while you can.

Bon Appetit!

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Photo Jog inside Malacanang Palace Grounds

I felt like jogging one Saturday morning so I did and it was refreshing.

Jose P Laurel Street is a long stretch. I pass by this street everyday by car and I love how the trees line the street especially near the Malacanang Gates.

While jogging though, I can’t help but stop at the wonderful things I see.

The first thing to see is the National Shrine of St Jude Thaddeus.

The church holds novena service every Thursday to St Jude. St Jude is known to be the patron saint of hopeless cases.

Farther along the stretch, there is a public park known as the Freedom Park. It is located in front of the Administration and Executive Buildings of Malacanang Palace. There is a tower with an Aguila (Eagle) on top, this represents the Liberation of Manila and is erected for the innocent victims of World War II.

Somewhere along the stretch, there is an ancestral house that has been converted into a full blown restaurant, Casa Roces.

One old house has also been turned into the Presidential Complaint Center.

Old houses can still be found along the street.

On the other end of the street is another church, the Regal Parish and National Shrine of Saint Michael and the Archangels, also known as San Miguel Church.

It is a church dedicated to the seven archangels namely Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, Saint Raphael, Saint Uriel, Saint Selatiel, Saint Jhudiel and Saint Barachiel.

Trivia

  • Former President Ferdinand Marcos married former First Lady Imelda Marcos here.
  • The remains of Don Domingo Roxas, patriarch of the Zobel de Ayala-Roxas-Soriano clans, is buried here.

Saint Michael fighting off a dragon in this statue in the front of the church.

Grateful for the sun rises anew, it brings hope and a new beginning.

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What to do and see in Bohol?

One weekend last September, I have the chance to visit Bohol and I enjoyed every inch of our trip!

Took Philippine Airlines’ morning flight and before noontime we have landed at Tagbilaran Airport. I just wish they improve the airport as it was a little cramped for a plane full of passengers getting their luggages. Don’t expect an air conditioned airport.

We were picked up by the service bus of Henann Resort. It was about 30 minutes or so until we reached the beautiful Henann Resort at Alona Beach. While waiting to be checked in, decided to take some photos.

It’s a fine day and just seeing the beach from afar excites me.

Lunch was served at their restaurant and we waited so long before we were checked in. But I must say, it’s worth the wait. We got a villa but it doesn’t have the pool access.

Our colleagues got the villa with direct pool access, it’s basically the same room except the pool is just outside their balcony.

Supposedly, this is rest time. But instead of resting inside the room, I decided to explore the beach. I love how it’s not hot and humid anymore. It’s so breezy and lounging in front of the beach doing nothing is the best!

Nightime came, had dinner again and after resting, we managed to schedule a massage at Nuat Thai Panglao outside the resort. You could ask Nuat Thai to pick you up from your hotel. Then we walked back when we realized it’s just so near.

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The combo massage was oh so good! I had a good sleep and ready for a whole day of tour and activities!

First on our list – The Bohol Bee Farm. We learned a lot here! The bees give you no harm because they are European bees and they are not aggressive. Got to hold the frame that contained hundreds of bees. According to our speaker, whatever happens, don’t panic. The bees will just be aggressive if they think they will be harmed. Even if it stays on your skin, just let it be. These bees give us the high quality honey we enjoy whether for beauty use or for consumption.

They also promote organic farming here. They promote the different uses of these plants as it could really be helpful to our everyday life.

They also provide livelihood activities in the farm, the women weave bags, display scrolls and even hammocks. They use only the best quality.

I tried their Ice Cream and it’s so sweet – the flavor I chose is Peanut Kisses, the famous cookie pastry shaped like the chocolate hills. What I like the most is its Cassava cone. Totally different from the usual sugar cone.

After shopping, we went ahead and drove to our next destination.

Baclayon Church
La Purisima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria Parish Church

The church was founded in the year 1596 by Jesuit priests. Became a parish 1717 and the coral stone structure was completed 1727. It is the oldest coral stone church in the region. It was destroyed when an earthquake struck last 2013. It was fully restored just this 2017. Thankful that we were able to visit the place and say a prayer, it just reopened last February 2018.

Next stop – Tarsier Sanctuary

The Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary aims to protect the natural habitat and the extinctions of tarsiers. They do so by promoting awareness and establishing protected areas in the whole province of Bohol. Little research has been conducted and this should not be the case. This gentle creature should be protected at all cost.

And we must thank people like the ‘Tarsier Man’ who has dedicated his whole life in protecting them. He used to hunt for them when he was little as his father was a taxidermist. They sold each tarsier at Php250.00. At 12, when he realized that the numbers of tarsiers were dwindling down, he decided to care for one and learned about it. He started breeding and was successful. From then on, he has dedicated his life in raising awareness to protect these tiny primates. Good job and thank you Mr Lito Pizarras.

After our cute encounter with the tarsiers, we proceeded to the Loboc River to have lunch while cruising aboard a ferry.

Loboc River Cruise

Don’t expect too much with the buffet spread, but be awed with the beauty surrounding your floating restaurant. The Loboc River Cruise is certainly enjoyable because of its uniqueness. Imagine you are aboard a floating restaurant, with food, a very good singer serenading everyone, a beautiful scenery, and the famous Loboc Children’s Choir singing and dancing as the grand finale of the cruise. Guests could also join them in their “tinikling” (bamboo) dance.

I got teary eyed watching these families perform, they were so happy and grateful with whatever we could give them.

On our way to see the Chocolate Hills, we passed by the Loboc-Bilar Man Made Forest. Beautiful and tall mahogany trees line the road and stretch for about 2 kilometers. Once you enter the forest, you will feel that it’s cooler compared to the hot and humid non forested part. Tourists often stop and risk their lives trying to get a good shot in the middle of the road, because cars won’t stop and let you have your picture on your own sweet time.

And before we finally see the majestic hills, we went on to have an ATV adventure along the foot of the hills. This 30 minute or so drive was exhilarating! I got all muddy during the drive, it’s so hot that I got so sweaty and red, but it was worth it. When we finally reached the highlight of our route, it’s amazing.

It’s my first time riding ATV and it will definitely not be the last.

Finally, we come to the finale of our daytour, the Chocolate Hills.

This is the view when you don’t want to climb the Observation Deck. But I wanted to go up because I want to see the Topview.

One has to climb about 214 steps to get to the Viewdeck which is the highest of all the hills.

Thousands of these hills surround the town of Carmen.

The 214 steps uphill climb left me breathless but it was so worth it. The view was breathtaking.

Went back to the hotel, had dinner and rested before enjoying ourselves in the pool for Happy Hour.

The next day, woke up early so I could enjoy the beach.

That ends our Bohol Trip. So much more to explore. Till next time!

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Sunday Parkday

On an unexpected Sunday, all family members woke up and went out to JOG and EXERCISE!!!

Groggy and hungry, we drove to Makati and found ourselves in the midst of Washington Sycip Park and Legaspi Active Park.

These 2 parks are just across each other. Not that big of a park but definitely a nice place to be.

Washington Sycip Park

There’s an artwork dedicated to Washington Sycip, it’s called “The Mangrove-nature Embrace.” Like these trees, our purpose is to strike balance in our planet.

Another nice thing about the park is that they put labels on the trees so one will know what kind of trees they are and what their uses are.

Tamarind Tree
Tamarind is a leguminous tree in the family Fabaceae indigenous to tropical Africa. The genus Tamarindus is a monotypic taxon. The tamarind tree produces pod-like fruit that contains an edible pulp used in cuisines around the world. Other uses of the pulp include traditional medicine and metal polish.

*Wikipedia

Fire Tree

Delonix regia is a species of flowering plant in the bean family Fabaceae, subfamily Caesalpinioideae. It is noted for its fern-like leaves and flamboyant display of flowers. In many tropical parts of the world it is grown as an ornamental tree and in English it is given the name royal poinciana or flamboyant. It is also one of several trees known as “flame tree“.

*Wikipedia

Palm Tree
The Arecaceae are a botanical family of perennial plants. Their growth form can be climbers, shrubs, trees and stemless plants, all commonly known as palms. Those having a tree form are colloquially called palm trees.

*Wikipedia

Bagras Tree

I love the natural color of the trunk of this tree. It’s Bagras Tree and this is from our very own Mindanao.

Eucalyptus Deglupta is also known as the Mindanao gum tree, named after the island of Mindanao in the Philippines of which the tree is native to. Gum trees are a group of eucalyptus trees that are characterized by their smooth bark that periodically sheds. E. deglupta are commonly planted as ornamental trees in frost-free climates such as Hawaii, Southern California, Texas, and Louisiana.

*Wikipedia

Narra Tree
It is somewhat astonishing that the Narra-Tree (Pterocarpus indicus / Red Sandalwood tree), belongs to the national-symbols of the Philippines, especially because in the past the tree could be found in most deeper and middle regions of South East Asia and because nowadays the Philippines have only small, scattered and endangered remainders of the tree.

*Insights Philippines

Mahogany Tree
Mahogany is a kind of woodβ€”the straight-grained, reddish-brown timber of three tropical hardwood species of the genus Swietenia, indigenous to the Americas and part of the pantropical chinaberry family, Meliaceae.

*Wikipedia

Balete Tree
Balete tree are several species of the trees in the Philippines from the genus Ficus that are broadly referred to as balete in the local language. A number of these are known as strangler figs wherein they start upon other trees, later entrapping them entirely and finally killing the host tree.

*Wikipedia

Quiet spots around the park

They have gazebos where you can sit and rest, or do taichi, arnis or zumba.

Legaspi Active Park

They have 2 play area for kids. One under the shade of trees and one under the sun.

It has also a jogging path with start to finish lines. It also has markings of 50m, 100m, 150m, 200m and 240m on the path so you could monitor how much you have jogged.

Kids enjoyed jogging for a while then played in the playground. Nice to bond with the family over something healthy. We might do this regularly and the kids are now planning to bring badminton rackets the next time around.

To add, street parking is free around the area of the parks.

Plenty of sun, greens and fun with family makes my heart healthy and full. ❀

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Aquaria Water Park and Beach Resort

Our last beach outing before we went back to school! Taking this trip with friends who turned into families made it more worth the while.

This was just an overnight beach trip but we really felt the bond with nature. Why wouldn’t we when our houses were located in front of the beach! The beach wasn’t that perfect but the fact that it was just a few steps away from where we stayed took all the stress away. I love how I was woken up by the sound of the waves crashing to the shore.

Aquaria Water Park is located in Calatagan, Batangas. It is just an hour and a half drive from Tagaytay.

Accommodations:

We booked our beachfront villa through one of the hotel sites. One side is all glass (with curtains for privacy) so you could hear and see the beach a few steps away from you!

I could stay on this swing all day! What can beat fresh and windy air.

Sofa Bed is available for use.

You can choose to have a queen bed and a double deck or 2 double decks!

The shower and toilet area’s just the right size.

Amenities:

Beach – a long stretch of fine sandy beach can be enjoyed.

There is a bar by the beach and instead of the usual bar chairs, you have swings!

Kids washing their sandy feet with the ‘banga’ (huge jar filled with water) outside our beachfront villa.

The kids and adults enjoyed the beach!

I personally was at a high just taking these wonderful pictures of the beach. I could just stare and immense myself in the beauty of God’s gift.

Pools:

The whole resort has about 5 pools everyone can enjoy. They also have a lot of cottages / spaces where you can lounge and chill while the kids swim.

Enjoyed this slide pool! It’s just tiring to go up with the inflatables, but so fun to go down!

Restaurants:

Taza Coffee – they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner plus coffee, shakes and liquors

Some of our breakfast…

The Sands – this is the main restaurant.

Some of our food for lunch and dinner.

Service

The service personnel were all very accommodating, nice and friendly. Not even the strong wind and rain at nighttime can hinder them from servicing us and our needs. 2 thumbs up for them!

Best of all, there’s not much people around when we were there. It’s like us and nature only. I would definitely like to be back and just chill.

Our beachfront villas are booked through Crusoe Cabins, you may book directly through their website by clicking the picture below!

You may also check their Facebook page, Crusoe Cabins.

Life’s a beach!πŸ–πŸπŸ–

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Morning Eats at Greenhills!

This is where you could eat when roaming around Greenhills early in the morning on a Saturday.

Fresh from the Promenade, walked towards the strip of restos in front of Shoppesville.

1) Krispy Kreme

2) McDonald’s

3) Max’s

4) Tim Horton’s

5) Army Navy

6) Casa Reyes

7) Bulacan Lugaw Kitchen

8) Dunkin Donuts

9) Subway

And though the idea of eating my favorite donuts ran through my mind, I chose the healthier sub at subway. I am proud of myself. πŸ˜€

Bbq Chicken Sub with Cookie and Drink at Php 155.00

So much for my heavy breakfast. Need to see my Doctor now!

*The mentioned restos have various opening hours, some as early as 6am and some a little later at 7am.

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