Citylight Hotel Baguio

A spur of the moment trip had us booking 2 rooms in Citylight Hotel in Baguio. It’s Independence Day Weekend and it fell on a Monday hence the long weekend.  Almost all the cityfolks clamored to get out of the city.  

Good thing we found Citylight Hotel and also at a discounted price!  It was already around 3am of the same day of the trip that we were able to book our rooms.  We were hesitant at first because of the non airconditioning rooms.  But upon checking the weather, it’s a bit cold so we proceeded as we were also left with no choice!  All the travel sites are at least 90% booked in their Baguio Hotels.

Citylight Hotel is a modern hotel in a good location.  The lobby is spacious and there is a coffee shop where you can chill and sip some hot coffee.  

 We can feel the cool breeze at the lobby.

Upon checking in though, the girl at the receptionist told me that we were only confirmed with one room.  I told her it couldn’t be as 2 rooms were confirmed and already paid for before we left Manila.  I don’t think she knew what she was saying.  I insisted for her to check our other booking.  I kept on telling her to check my booking reference and print out but she wouldn’t budge.  Later on, she was finally able to check the other room and gave us all we need.  Got scared for a second there!

You have to make a Refundable Cash Deposit of Php500.00 for each room.  You will be given an acknowledgment slip.  Make sure to keep it properly as you will be needing that piece of paper for your refund.

Everything went smoothly after that mini misunderstanding with the other room and we proceeded to our rooms.  

Since the hotel was fully booked, our rooms were on 2 different floors.  

The room is ok, very spacious.  With 2 double beds, it can fit up to 4 adults.  A little bit hot since there is no A/C.  I opened the ceiling fan and room temp improved a little bit.

There’s a TV and some complimentary coffee and water.  Didn’t use the water thermos, my cousin said theirs had molds inside, didn’t bother looking at ours.

The bathroom is big.  Just not enough heatness on the hot shower.  But that’s okay.

Spacious sink for your what nots.

Rainshower = 2 thumbs up!  

The downside, I opened the window to get some air in.  Once windows are opened, there are no more grills that for safety and security.  The view is that of the back of a building with normal house scatter.

Good thing it was a rainy and cold night because the room was cold with just a ceiling fan on.  We wouldn’t want to risk our windows opened all through the night.  I think someone could get in by jumping across.  Bad thoughts go away!

Hopefully, they could make some safety grills on the windows.  And also add some aesthetic cover.

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for!

By the way, our rooms were also inclusive of Buffet Breakfast for 2 persons per room.  For additional people, they charge Php220.00 for adults and Php145.00 for kids.  

Breakfast buffet consisted of Breads, Pancakes, Plain Rice, Garlic Rice, Scrambled Eggs, Hotdogs, Pork and Beans, Fried Danggit, and Pininyahang Manok (Pineapple Chicken).  There were also Arroz Caldo, and Egg Drop Soup.  Fruits were also available.  Juice and coffee for your drinks.

Satisfying breakfast indeed.  Makes you filled for a whole day adventure.

So there, my little review on our overnight stay at Citylight Hotel.  Hopefully, they make some improvements.  

They have a really good location, walking distance to Session Road and Burnham Park.  So if you are not that particular with my rants, go ahead and book this hotel.

Oh! You may want to check Newtown Plaza Hotel first.  This is where we stayed the first time we had an impromptu trip to Baguio.  Too bad, it was fully booked this time!

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Mesa Filipino Moderne Cuisine

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Love Filipino Cuisine?  You gotta try Mesa.  Been around for a while but they still serve some of the best Filipino dishes here in Manila.  Unique and with a twist.
Let us start with their appetizer.  Tinapa Roll.

Served in Chinese spoons.  The lumpia wrapper is crunchy.  Enough tinapa (smoked fish) meat for real tinapa taste mixed with some veggies.  Add to it the spicy vinegar sauce – yummy!

For the soup, we ordered their famous Chicken Binakol.  Too bad I wasn’t able to take a picture.  You may think it is like your regular tinola, but this soup is so satisfying.  Instead of water, the soup is actually coconut water, then there will be coconut bits mixed with your usual chicken.

A veggie must try in their menu – the 2 way Laing.

The Dry Laing and the Wet Laing.  They are both great.  The Gata Flavor is really coming out.  Tasted so good with my garlic rice.

We wanted to complete everything so we also ordered a fish dish.  One of their must trys is the Crispy Boneless Tilapia.

The Crispy Tilapia came with 4 kinds of sauces.  I tried the Bagoong and I was looking for Mangga after.  The tilapia fish meat was already scraped from the actual fish and was sort of cubed and breaded.  It is crunchy and tasted good.

A meal in a Filipino restaurant wouldn’t be complete without a good old barbeque dish.  So we ordered Chicken BBQ. 

I love this one.  It is grilled but the meat is still juicy.  Just the right marinate, a little sweet to the taste.  Also,  it’s not overly grilled.

The next one is also a dish that is a staple in a Filipino restaurant.  The Crispy Pata.  

It’s boneless by the way so easy to eat.  But I have had more tender, crispier, and tastier patas.

The last on our food table is the Swahe (Shrimp) On The Rocks.  

The shrimps were cooked in a claypot with sizzling rocks inside, hence, on the rocks.  It was amazing to see how the shrimps were instantly cooked and changed colors once put on top of the rocks.  Don’t expect anything fancy on the taste of the shrimp though.  

Overall, we enjoyed our food and for a group of 6 women, we were definitely full after we finished all that we ordered.  Not bad for a total bill of around Php2,800.00. 

Also, we loved the ambience of the place.  Look at our happy faces.  We were just so happy that we got to have a mommies’ day out. 

xoxo

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Ryoko’s Place ← our home away from home

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When travelling to an expensive location like Japan, chances are, hotels could be very expensive too!  That is why, I am so thankful for Airbnb.  Not only do we get to save a lot from booking a hotel, we experience how it is to have a home away from home.

Ryoko is a superhost and a colleague has already booked her apartment several times.  So, being scammed isn’t going to be an issue.  

Our group consisted of 12 people all with 1 medium sized luggage and 1 handcarry luggage.  Do the math and that’s about 24 luggages in all. But Ryoko’s place is massive, so space is not a problem.

Ryoko’s place is in a quiet neighborhood.  It is actually in a high end part of Tokyo where the houses are big and pricey.

Ryoko’s is pricey also with rates going at Php 23,000.00 a night.  That doesn’t include Cleaning Fee.  However, the house can fit 14 people comfortably.  If you are more than 14, you could still fit.

Upon entering the house, there’s a mini sofa where you could sit and remove your shoes.  

Then the sala with a huge sofa set.  The black ones are actually sofa beds which can accommodate 2 to 4 people, or even 6.

There’s also a hammock for some chill time.

Photo from Ryoko’s Airbnb page

A big TV if you want to enjoy lounging at home.

Just in front is the Dining Area which could sit at least 10 people.

And then the Kitchen with complete amenities.  It has a fridge, a dishdryer, a microwave, and a coffee maker.  You could also use the plates, cups, glasses, and spoon and forks.  You can also find the washing machine there.

Then there were the bedrooms.
The only bedroom downstairs has a water bed!  It can fit 2 people.  It has its own walk in closet where you could hang your clothes or stash your luggages.  It also has its own toilet & bath.

There’s also a toilet on the 1st floor.

Up the 2nd floor, you can find 3 more bedrooms.  

The first one can fit at least 2 people.

The next bedroom has 2 single beds.

The third bedroom has a double bed also, could fit minimum 2 people.

One of these bedrooms has its own toilet and bath.

I have researched so much about Japan’s Airbnb and due to limited space of the houses in Tokyo, very seldom that you could find a house as big as this with all the beds and amenities to cater to your needs.

Definitely worth the price we paid for the duration of our stay.  Also, the house has WIFI and Ryoko lends a pocket wifi to bring along.

Her house is walkable from Shibuya, around 10 minutes give or take.  Just on the 1st street, there’s a Denny’s.  On the way, so many convenience stores, so you will never go hungry.

Ryoko is a very gracious host.  She is very accommodating.  Too bad I wasn’t able to meet her face to face.  According to my colleague, she is very beautiful too.

If you want to book her house in your future trip to Japan, just search Ryoko in Airbnb.  

Or leave a message and I will give you her contact number.

Happy Trip!

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makansutra

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A trip to Megamall one Saturday led us to Singapore.  Yes, to Singapore!

Makansutra is a like a food hub with various restos and each of them has its own Singaporean food specialty.

The place is interestingly nice.  I like its artistic interior here and there.  Even the tables and chairs stand out on their own.

They have Real Sugarcane Juice.  They do it on the spot.  This drink is believed to be nutritious and refreshing.

For other refreshments, they have a Central Area where you can order whatever suits you.

Take a look at their restos.

Curry Flurry is where we ordered Prata.  It was a last minute order so we weren’t able to eat it there.  We just took it home.  The prata is not chewy. The filling is hot though.

Donald and Lily is the one serving Laksa.  We weren’t able to order one.  This is for next time.

Geylang Clay Pot is where we ordered their famous Clay Pot Chicken and Mushroom Rice.  Their small size is definitely not small.

The claypot is not only full of rice, it is full of chicken meat and mushrooms and veggies.  Soy based but not all salty.

Next is the Hong Kong Street Old Chun Kee.

More like Chinese style cooking than Singaporean style cooking.  We ordered Seafood Fried Noodles and Sweet & Sour Pork.

Noodle sauce a bit salty though.  

Sweet & Sour Pork delicious.  Still crunchy pork bits despite being stir fried with the sauce.

I forgot to take a shot of the resto that sells Satay.  But this is the best of them all.  Tasty and Tender.

Some of the restos we weren’t able to try.

Very good food experience for us.  And the greater the service we received that day.

Employees are so friendly.  They are attentive to your needs.  No wonder because their boss is as friendly as they are.

I approached him and asked for a picture with my 2 kids.  He happily agreed.

The owner of makansutra is the famous Singaporean KF Seetoh.  He is known to be the Food Guide Maven.  Check out www.makansutra.com for more about him.

In addition, I would also like to thank the manager for encouraging the kids to participate in a game.  Even if she didn’t guess right, they still gave her a prize.  

I would also like to commend the clean and artistic rest room and wash area.

Definitely going back to Makansutra to try the other hawkers!  See you there!

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Caution Hot!

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Check this new ramen house which you could mix with your choice of hotness!
Sounds hot right?  Check out this spicy restaurant.

They opened in Kapitolyo recently and the place is packed.

Don’t expect a full menu of ramen though.  Mixing and matching is their thing.

Our choices:

1) Beef with Egg Noodles in Classic Broth.  Level of spice – none.

2) Pork with Wheat Noodles in Asam Laksa.  Level of spice – super hot.

3) Pork with Egg Noodles in Classic Broth.  Level of spice – none.

Our verdict.  The noodles are served fresh.  But the overall taste is just average.  It’s worth the trip if the waiting time is not that long.

What I love is their Dumplings.  They have 2 kinds.  Pork Dumpling and Kuchay Dumpling.  They are both made fresh.  We had about 2 orders of this and before we knew it, dumplings’ all gone!

Would have tried their Dessert Bao Bing if we haven’t been too full.

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Baguio 2017: Newtown Hotel

An impromptu trip to Baguio left us with no other choice but to find the most comfortable and cleanest hotel we could get at the last minute.

That is why I am so thankful for travel websites like Hotels.com, Traveloka and the others.  You can just go online, find a place and book easily.  Booking with these travel apps / websites comes with its own perks as well.

Like in Hotels.com, most of their hotels are included in the earn and redeem promo.  The more you book rooms with them, the easier you could get a free room.  This free room is redeemable anywhere in the world.

So anyway, we finally booked Newtown Plaza Hotel with the recommendation of a friend.  It’s a newly built hotel and it’s affordable, clean and modern.

We arrived midnight so checking in was a breeze.  

Didn’t get much pictures of the room because it’s midnight and we were all tired from the trip.

The room is big and spacious.  There are 2 double beds.  The TV is huge! Ample space for our things.  We asked for an extra bed the 2nd night.  
For Php1,200.00, this is what you get, a bed that could fit 2 more persons.

As for the bathroom…

The bathroom is spacious as well.  And the shower is the best ever!  I could stay longer than the normal under the hot shower.
The balcony and the view is just breathtaking!  So nice to wake up to a view like this!

Real value for money!  If I am going back to Baguio, I am definitely gonna stay in Newtown Hotel again!
They even have a swimming pool and a playground.

By the way, if you love wandering in a garden, and just be lost in time, the Botanical Garden is just a 5 minute walk from the hotel.  There’s also a coffee shop and some souvenir shops within the vicinity of the garden.  

If you are bringing a car with you, better partner it with Waze.  Helps a lot in navigating through the mountains and hills of Baguio!

Happy Trippin’!

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Food: Tea*Rock Cafe

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Looking for a place to chill in the QC area?  

Love tea, coffee or any drink in between?

Want to taste one of the best chicken chops in town?

If you answered YES YES YES, then Tea*Rock is the place for you!

Tea*Rock

Discovered Tea*Rock just recently and I can’t wait to go back!

Love everything we ordered except for the Squid Sticks and the mixed balls’ sauce.

Prepare to go hungry with these pictures:

JUMBO CHICKEN STEAK Php 99.00 without rice

BABY RIBS Php 70.00

STIR FRIED TAIWAN EGG NOODLES Php 180.00

BABY RIBS BOWL Php 140.00

HUMBA BENTO MEAL Php180.00

SQUID STRIPS Php 70.00

ASSORTED SEAFOOD BALLS Php 69.00

Oh and it’s not just about the food, their drinks are yummy too!

TARO SASA RED BEAN WITH FLOAT  . Php 105.00

COCOA WITH CHOCOLATE PUDDING Php 105.00

TEAROCKMISU Php 125.00

So many drinks to choose from.  Surely, there is one drink that will suit your taste!

See you soon!

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Food: The Goodness of 100% Buffalo Milk

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Photo from Buffy’s Milk FB account

We are always left with no room for dessert after we have a meal.  So we decided to have desserts first!
Braved the drive from Batangas to Sta Rosa just to have a taste.  We don’t regret skipping dinner over pastillas and ice cream!

Buffy’s is a quaint little store that sells Fresh Buffalo Milk, Pastillas de Leche and Ice Cream made from Buffalo Milk!  Their products are all natural.  No preservatives.

Buffalo Milk.  So many flavors to choose from!  Our daughter chose the Chocolate Milk (Php250.00).  Both our daughters give their thumbs up!

Buffy’s Pastillas de Leche also comes in different flavors.  We decided to get the original one.

Pastillas de Leche (Php158.00)

The Ice Cream comes in 5 flavors: Original, Vanilla, Strawberry, Mocha and Ube.  (Php158.00)

Creamy and milky, not too sweet.

My new favorite ice cream.  

Buffy’s Ube Flavored Ice Cream. 

Like them on Facebook, Buffy’s Milk.

Disclaimer:  I am not a super fun of either milk or ube, but Buffy’s made a big difference.  Definitely worth the trip!

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