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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Kiddie Bags from Cathay Pacific!

I am not sure if all Cathay Pacific flights give out these cute little kiddie bags.
We didn’t even know they have these!  Grateful for our seatmate on that particular flight because she was the one who asked for them!

It’s Disney and it’s Mickey and Friends!

This yellow and very light backpack contains a mini coloring book, mini color pencils and an activity sheet.  

This will keep the kids entertained while inflight!

I love them! Uhm, the kids love them!

♡♡♡

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When in Japan: Nissin Cup Noodles Museum

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The person who is not a fan of Nissin Cup Noodles can leave now.  This is about Nissin Cup Noodles and how it was invented and everything else about it.

The museum is located in Yokohama, an hour drive from Tokyo.  We decided to go early as it goes crazy and it might take us longer to finish the whole museum because of the queue.

Upon arrival, I snapped our tickets and went straight to the floor where one can design their own cup noodles, My Cup Noodles Factory!

1) Queue and get your Cup at the Vendo Machine.

2) You will be directed to your table to design your cup.  There will be colorful markers to use and a sample to inspire you.

I am not an artist so don’t judge!

When you are satisfied with your design, you can go to the next step.

3)  Give her your cup.  She will turn it upside down and on top of already fried noodles!  You turn the handle around.  She will catch it.

4) Make your own flavor!  You can choose 4 toppings from 12 ingredients.  You can also choose the flavor of the soup, they have Seafood, Curry, Chili Tomato, and the Original.

I chose the cutest topping of course!  Cutie Chicken!

The flavor doesn’t really matter because I don’t intend to eat my cup noodles.  Here is what my cup looked like inside.

5.) Time to seal.  

Sealing with foil cover.

Pass through the ‘clingy’ machine to seal the plastic.

Voila!

6) Bubble Bubble Bag

Put your cup inside the plastic, fill it with air, and hook with a string to make a bubble bag.

Here I am with my creation and the cutie little chicken!

It was an amazing and fun experience!

Oopsie, that was only 1 attraction of the museum.  There’s more.  

There was a room with a display of over 3000 packages of Instant Ramens from all over the world.  They call it Instant Noodles History Cube. 

The very first Chicken Ramen, circa 1958.

Our very own Lucky Me Pancit Canton is included!

After being in the cube and seeing all these instant ramen, we went straight to the Momofuku Ando Theater where we watched and learned about the person responsible for instant ramen.  He struggled at first but he still persevered.

There was also a makeshift house to show Momofuku’s environment when he was inventing the instant ramen!

There’s also a part of the museum where it’s interactive.

A very nice Cup Noodle Art.  Hanging in there.

If you have time and you could make a sidetrip to Yokohama, make sure to pass by the Nissin Cup Noodles Museum.

The trip was so worth the price of Yen 500.00 or about Php 250.00.  And for an additonal Yen 300.00 or Php 150.00, you could design your own cup noodle at My Cup Noodles Factory.  Such a good deal!

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I won a Hotel Stay from Panoramictrip!

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Who would have thought that I am still capable of winning room accommodations?  It has been a while and I am grateful that I won in this raffle!  Destress 101!

I was just browsing through my FB feed when I came across the Facebook Page of Panoramictrip.

I chanced upon their Summer Craze Promo.  I can win a Hotel Room Stay! 

Photo from Panoramictrip Facebook Page

Thinking I have nothing to lose and that the mechanics are so easy, I gladly did everything.
#1 Like their Facebook Page, Panoramictrip

#2 Share the post in my wall

#3 Follow them on Instagram, @panoramictrip

#4 Visit their Website, www.panoramictrip.com and write a review

So easy, right?

Promo ended May 1, 2017 and 10 lucky winners were picked.

When this was tagged to me, I didn’t even look at it.  I thought it was just some random travel photo.  I have no inkling that I already won!  

Indeed lucky!  Can’t wait to receive their confirmation message on how we could claim our hotel stay!

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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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Ichiran in Japan

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In other countries especially Hong Kong and Japan, citizens are usually inclined to fall in line for hours just to get a taste of that famous or newest resto!

Last week, as tourists in Japan, we also waited for more than an hour in line for Ichiran – a famous ramen place.  

Here we are waiting for our turn, amusing ourselves, in more or less 10 degrees.

The place could seat about 24 people at once.  So imagine 12 of us waiting in line plus the others.

Finally, our turn!  Faced with a vendo and a long line behind us, I pressed our choice of ramen and additional 1/2 boiled salted egg as side dish to complete the set.  Not realizing that 1/2 boiled salted egg meant half boiled and taking it as 1/2 of a whole egg.  Hunger overtaking my thinking brain.

After paying and choosing your set in the vendo, continue to line up.  This time though, you could personalize your choice of ramen.  Thankfully, they have English version.

Here’s my choice.

After completing my paper, I turned it in together with the paid meal tickets from the vendo machine.  One for the set of ramen and one for the additional side dish.

Again, wait.  So near yet so far.  A part of our group already went in.

This is it!  Given my booth number.  #14

In this booth, you have your own water faucet and cups.  You can always order additional what nots if you are not satisfied with your order yet.

Served the eggs.  I immediately ate 1 egg due to hunger.  The egg is so yummy.  Best egg ever!

And then my ramen was served!  Took a picture, shoot my other egg in the bowl and devoured the ramen for less than 30minutes.  

The soup’s rich broth, the melt in your mouth chasyu and of course, my other egg.  Not to mention, the right texture of the noodle, what could I ask for more?

It didn’t fail me.  My expectations were high due to the long line.  Ichiran Tokyo delivered and it’s a memorable dinner altogether.

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Stregato Gelateria

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On our trip to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, we had a lunch stopover at Bataan.  We looked for Stregato Gelateria and we didn’t regret that we looked for it.

It is located in the city plaza.  We are in Balanga, Bataan so it just is right to see a balanga symbol in the plaza.

The facade and the interior of Stregato is so dainty and feminine.  You will get that very homey feel. 

The gelato stand will greet you as you enter the place.

We tried different dishes and everything satisfied our palates.

From the freshly made potato wedges to the super yummy Lasagna.

The Ravioli is excellent too!

They have a variety of chicken dishes.

And of course, beef dishes.

Since this is a gelateria, kids won’t miss out on the gelato.

Make that side trip and enjoy Stregato Gelateria before heading to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar!

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Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar

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I have always wished to go to Las Casas.  One weekend, my wish came true. We went on a road trip!
Taking the NLEX and SCTEX definitely made the drive shorter, around 3 hours.  Yes, it’s a little expensive with the toll fees but if it’s gonna give you more time, why not?  Relax and enjoy the view!

We stopped over at Burger King in NLEX to have some breakfast.  Then at Balanga to have some lunch.  A trip is not a trip without food!  Read about our lunch at Stregato Gelateria here.

After lunch, we proceeded to our destination.  Off the highway and on the main road to Las Casas, the drive’s smooth and easy.

Don’t forget to load Waze as it is super helpful.

Just as we entered, a magnificent sculpture welcomed us.

What a treat!  There’s Casa New Manila where all guests need to register.  Since Las Casas is huge, you’ll be given a map and they will explain where the facilities are.  

When all that is set, you can drop your things at your hotel and go back to the Parking Area to park your car.  They don’t allow guests to use their cars.  They have their own modes of transportation.  

They have the Tram, it’s wooden by the way.  They also have the Jeepney.  Mind you, these 2 are free!  You can also choose to ride a Calesa, for a minimal fee.  You can even rent a bike and roam around.
 

Just before we get too excited to go down the beach, let me tell you about our hotel first.
The facade is so beautiful.  

Since everything’s old school, there’s no elevator.  We got a family room and it’s on the top floor so we need to exercise to go up and down.  Anyway, we were given a massive room!  If not for the wonderful scenery outside, I would have spent our stay inside our room.

The room has 2 Double Beds.  Got a TV and DVD player.  There’s a personal ref with 4 bottles of water.  A table for sipping coffee.  They also gave us 4 pairs of slippers. 

The bathroom is huge also.  It has a bath tub, a separate shower area.  They have complete toiletries.  The most important part – ang lakas ng tubig! (water supply’s strong) 

The only downside of the huge room is that the aircon is only 1 so it can’t make the whole room super cool.

So, bags are put down, we went to check the tour as we don’t have time to join the next day.

These houses were transferred piece by piece, block by block from its original location to Las Casas.  The developer bought these houses so they can be preserved and taken care of.

Some of these houses can be rented as a whole for as low as Php 20,000.00 or as much as Php150,000.00.  Check out this website for the prices.

This is what Escolta looked like before.  They also made it a hotel and it houses some stores like the Fotografia dela Escolta where you could schedule a photoshoot wearing Baro’t Saya.

The kids were getting bored so we went back to the hotel.  They got ready and changed into their swimsuits.  We are just in time for the carabao race and parade, and for the palosebo (racing up a kawayan stick to get a flag).

The sun is setting down and I can’t help but be amazed.  Sometimes, you just have to stop and gaze at your surroundings to realize that the world we live in is really a wonderful place.

Kids enjoyed playing in the fine sand and basking in the cold and clear water.

If not for the lifeguard who told us that swimming is until 6pm only, the kids would have stayed until they couldn’t see the beach anymore.

That whole beach time made our tummy go growling, so we went to dinner.  It was like being transported into a different place.  With all the lights up, the buildings and the houses looked different.

Even the doors and pathways looked great.

With the kids so tired from all their activities during the day, me and hubby had a little us time.  We strolled and took pictures of the night scene at Las Casas.

These pictures don’t really do justice to the breathtaking view of Las Casas.  You really have to be there to appreciate the beauty more.

That night, the weather’s cooperating.  The wind is windy, no more blazing sun, super nice to walk around.

Morning came and the kids were up and about.  We had breakfast, we strolled.  It was a bright and sunny day.

Kids can’t wait any longer they wanted to go to the pool area.  They made it “Batis-Like.”  With various sizes of rocks surrounding the area and separating the adult and kid area.

Like the beach, the water is so cold.  But they didn’t mind.

I didn’t mind lounging by the pool as well.

While we were at the pool area, we saw some characters of Noli Me Tangere.  You could have your picture taken just like that lady in shorts.

There are so many other activities in Las Casas.  You just have to let them know what you are interested in.

Some Sabong maybe? 


Thinking about all the things we could have done, or we could have not done (for the lazy ones), we should have stayed another night.  I would have lounged at the beach longer.  Stayed for Bonfire at night while drinking a can of beer.  Could have rented a bike and roamed the whole place.  Or just sat and chill by the tree beside the lake.

So realizing all these, I would definitely be back.  Maybe sometime on the 2nd half of the year.  

Relax and unwind.  Yeah, definitely.  Take that tram now and be lost in time.

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