A Blast from the Past – Tulabs at Las Casas

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IMG_7131After my son’s graduation, we decided to spend an out of town getaway in Bataan. We wanted to have a unique stay in a good resort so we decided to travel to Bagac, Bataan to visit and spend a night at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. My company had our Team Building in this place last 2018 and I luckily won a overnight stay during our Christmas Party. See full story here:

 

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An Okonomoyaki experience – Dohtonbori Kiddie Kitchen SM Megamall

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I always look for different summer activities for my sons every year. This year I learned that Dohtonbori is hosting a Kiddie Kitchen in most of their branches. Continue reading here:

 

 

A Secluded Breakfast Place – Eggs For Breakfast Antipolo

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IMG_7314Most of the people in the Metro went on an out of town vacation for the Holy Week Celebration. For us we have to stay home since my husband has work on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. See Full Story here:

 

 

What to Prepare for your first Winter Vacation

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IMG_5051 (1)Philippines is tropical country so most of the Pinoys are dreaming of experiencing snow or winter season. It has been my dream to experience a White Christmas since I am a child and finally that dream came true last December 2018 although we weren’t able to spend Christmas time in Korea.

Since winter is not part of our season, we really need to be ready with proper attire, accessories and other necessities for cold weather especially when you are travelling with your kids, of course you do not want to ruin your vacation because your kids or even you got sick due of the change of temperature or climate. So here are some tips on what you need to prepare or bring on your winter trip.

First let’s talk about the things that we need to wear, since we need to do some layering we need to make sure that we are doing it properly and not just wearing all the clothes we have and end up looking bad or not be able to move at all.

  1. HEATTECH – this will be your first layer, these thermals usually looks like leggings or tights that hugs your body to maintain or hold your body heat inside. It shouldn’t be bulky but also comfortable to wear. We purchased our Heattech in UNIQLO, it is a little pricey but it is really effective and will help you a lot in cold weather. You may also opt to buy just a few sets of Heattech before your flight and buy more when you arrive in Korea (if you have spare time) most of the blogs I read before our vacation mentioned that Heattech in Korea is more effective than those bought here in Manila although I haven’t tried it.
  2. FLEECE – this will be the 2nd layer of your outfit. These are also thermals that provides best insulation that are thick, light in weight and soft. We also bought ours in UNIQLO, they have choices of turtle neck style or round neck style with different colors.
  3. SWEATERS – the 3rd layer of your outfit, can be a hoodie, cardigan, or knitted sweaters that we usually use during our Tagaytay or Baguio trip.IMG_4660
  4. JEANS – make sure to bring enough comfortable jeans, wear it on top of your HEATTECH leggings and you are set.IMG_4659
  5. COAT – the outer most layer of your outfit, and since it is the outer most layer it will appear on most of your pictures so you must invest in a good coat. It is really expensive but it will help you a lot in keeping your body warm. We got some good coats in an online Flea Market and also in Surplus stores in SM Malls.IMG_4227
  6. GLOVES – our fingers are prone to frostbite so we need to protect it with good gloves. In choosing the gloves make sure that it is waterproof so when you touch the snow it won’t be wet, touch-screen friendly so you don’t need to remove it when you need to use you phone, and durable.IMG_4658
  7. HATS – for some they thought that wearing hats are just for fashion but Hats are necessity during Winter, it will keep you warm during the cold weather. You may choose a beany, trapper hat Russian with Ear Flaps or knitted hats, anything that works for your fashion and can cover your ears since it is also prone to frostbite so we need to be extra careful. For us we just brought beanies, but it is not enough to keep us warm so we decided to buy Trapper Hat with ear flaps after our 2nd day. IMG_4874
  8. SCARVES – it can be an accessory at the same time is very useful during the cold weather. You can wear it around your neck, your face, your head your around your waist. It can also serve as a small blanket when you are travelling. IMG_4661
  9. SOCKS – you also need to protect your feet since this is your number one weapon in travelling to different places. Make sure to buy winter socks, that is not so thick but can keep your feet warm. You can buy long socks made of wool thru online shopping – Shoppee and Lazada.
  10. SHOES/BOOTS – walking around the snow or even during cold season is slippery and even with your wool socks, your feet can be as cold as ice so you need to invest on Winter Shoes or Boots. For us we only bought our pair of boots in Shoppee it was delivered from Shenzhen and was very cheap. Although its cheap it still serve its purpose, it protects our feet from cold and help us not to slip on any road we walked through.
  11. FACE MASK –  it is very important to bring a face mask during Winter season. We weren’t able to bring ours so we need to buy in the convenience store on our first day. It feels like its harder to breath with the cold wind on your face, nose and mouth. It will also protect your face and lips from drying. img_4213.jpeg
  12. EAR FLAPS –  If your Hats don’t cover your ears well you need to bring ear flaps to make sure your ears are protected from frostbite.
  13. SUNGLASSES – winter season doesn’t mean there is no sunlight that can affect your eyes. So bring your comfortable Sunglasses. IMG_4899

 

 What to Prepare for your first Winter Vacation Part 2. 

 

Blooming with Funtastic Deals – Klook Travel Fest Blossom Deals

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We have been using Klook since 2015 even before they started their office in the Philippines. As a frequent DIY Traveler, Klook has been our go to app/site when we are looking for different activities to different countries we want to visit. They have variety of activities to choose from, from theme parks, tours, dine in experience, transportation up to WIFI connectivity and sim cards with huge discounts.

This weekend (March 9&10, 2019) Klook held their 2nd Travel Fest in Manila at SMX Convention Center at SM Aura in Taguig.The first one was back in September 29 & 30, 2018 which we also attended.Β Since it is Cherry Blossom season the theme and title of Klook’s travel fest is Klook Travel Fest Blossom Deals.

If you follow them in Facebook and Instagram you will see their invites a month or even earlier about this event, the tickets are free, you just need to book yours from their app. If you are one of the early birds in booking the tickets, they are giving away a loot bag, I am not that lucky this time but during the first Travel Fest I am lucky to get 4 loot bags for my whole family which has a universal adaptor, bottled water and other stuffs

The Travel Fest’s gate officially opens at 11:00AM but if your are a BDO card holder or PLDT Fiber subscriber you will have an early access, you may enter as early as 9AM. Based on our experience on the first travel fest you do not need to be that early so we only planned to be there at 11AM, however, Klook posted the itinerary of events for the day and it was announced that the Ocean Park HK tickets Buy1Take1 promo will be released at 10am -11am only and is exclusive for BDO card holders. Luckily my travel buddy – Homer is a BDO card holder and we were able to score this great deal for our upcoming Hongkong trip this June.

Entering the Fest venue is easy, there are a lot of Klook employees who will assist you, just show them your tickets from your app and you are good to go. Upon entering the venue, you will feel the ambiance of the Cherry Blossom, you will see cherry blossom trees, flowers and almost everything is pink.

They have different booths for the 4 countries that were on sale (activities are on sale) these are Hongkong, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. Each booth has games and other activities like travel planning, wearing of national dress and photo op on your favorite tourists spots.

We tried some games in Taiwan area which is a giant pick up sticks, unfortunately we weren’t able to win any prizes. We also played a game which I think is the best game that we had in Klook Travel Fest, it is similar to Eat Bulaga or other noon time show games wherein you need to go inside a glass room, then there are papers that will be blown by a blower and you need to get as much as you can, after that all the papers with Klook written on it will be counted, if you got 10-19 pcs you will get 250 travel voucher and 20 above will be 500 vouchers. Homer scored 18 and I got 10 so we both received a 250 voucher from Klook that we can use on our next booking.

Aside from the booths of 4 countries I mentioned, they also have GetGo where you can apply for the GetGo prepaid card which we did, you only need to pay for 150.00 pesos and 100.00 pesos load for activation. They also have Shopback which is already part of my travel and online shopping app, American Tourister Luggage which is giving huge discounts and Sweet Escape for Photography.

Klook also invited a great host for that day – Joyce Pring and several speakers to give some insights on how to travel one of them is the Agoncillo family, Richard Juan and writers of Where to Next.

They unveil different promo codes. After the the Buy1Take1 code for Ocean Park, they also have 50% off to HK Big Bus Tour, Lotte World and Taipei 101, Buy2Get1 promo for Universal Studios Japan, 50% off for Nami Island Tour, HK Disneyland, N Seoul Tower and 3 Day THSR and a lot more. We scored another deal with HK Disneyland. It was a productive and fun Saturday with Klook.

On the 2nd Day, I visited the Fest once again with my kids and husband. We only plan to take some photos since we are also in the area. We end up playing the game which is similar to the noon time shows and we scored more and were able to take home 2 500 Travel Vouchers.

IMG_6520It’s a Funtastic weekend that we had attending the Klook’s Travel Fest. We surely love Klook and will continue to Book it! Klook it! for all our next travel adventures! Thank you Klook!

 

 

 

Quick Trip to see the City of Pines!

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IMG_6110It’s been years since we last visited Baguio City, most of the comments that we saw in blog posts and heard from our friends is that Baguio City is almost like Manila in terms of traffic which is the reason why we don’t visit this place often.February is peak season for tourists in Baguio City because they are celebrating the Panagbenga Festival or Flower festival. Most of the hotels are fully booked and you will see a lot of tourists everywhere. For our family we wanted a chillax ( chill and relax) vacation. So we skipped most of the tourist destinations in Baguio and just hand picked those that is accessible without being caught in heavy traffic.

We made a stopped at Our Lady of Manaoag Church in Pangasinan to attend a mass, back in 2013 we also stopped by in this Church for the car blessing of my in-laws’ van that they recently bought. The place is still crowded with a lot of cars lined up for car blessing and people who wants to hear the mass although its a Saturday morning. After the mass and lighting of candles, we went on and have a our brunch at a nearby restaurant.

From Manaoag Church it took us about 3 hours to reach Baguio City. We planned to take some photos at the Lion’s Head which is a landmark that you are heading to Baguio City from Kennon Road, however there are a lot of tourists and cars on that area so we just stopped by at the viewing deck.

Our next stopped is Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad. It was almost 12 noon when we reach the farm. They have designated parking area for the tourists. A lot of people are selling different goods like Strawberry Ice Cream, Strawberry Taho, vegetables and other pasalubong.

Our main purpose in visiting this farm is to pick strawberries and buy vegetables like lettuce, Broccoli and cauliflower which is way cheaper compared to Manila prices.

Strawberry Picking will cost 500 pesos for 1 kilo of Strawberry you picked. I think its worth it since we enjoyed the experience and also have fresh strawberries with us to take home. We also picked different types of Lettuce like Ice Berg Lettuce and Red Ice Berg Lettuce which cost us 50 pesos for 3 bundles/pack and Romain Lettuce which cost us 100 for 3 bundles/pack. We were able to picked Broccolis as well which cost us 100 pesos for 2pcs no matter how big it is.

After buying the Veggies we went straight to our hotel since we are already tired from the long drive and we do not have any sleep since we went to this trip straight from our work. We booked our hotel via Traveloka/Shopback, we are staying at Le Monet Hotel inside Camp John Hay. Camp John Hay is once a US Military Base during the Philippine – American War, now it is one of the tourist spots in Baguio. It has various activities in the area and forest watershed reservation.

Le Monet is a 4 star hotel, it is smaller that what I expected from the pictures and quite old already though I am not sure what year it opened. The lobby is nice with huge chandelier. Upon entering the hotel you will directly see the buffet area unlike other hotels where you can see the reception area at the entrance. When you turn to your right you will find the reception area for check in and check out. The staffs are helpful and the check in is very quick, they also assisted us in bring our baggage in our rooms.

The room seems fine although it doesn’t have an aircon, one of our companions asked about the aircon but they said that you need to pay for an additional 500 pesos to used an aircon (bummer!). We already paid for the room why can’t we use the aircon? This is the first time that I encounter this kind of hotel, I’ve been to different hotels in Manila and other countries but this is the only hotel where you cannot use the aircon in your room.

Beside the hotel is a Filling Station, where you can buy foods of your choices. We had our quick lunch in this place before sleeping. While my hubby and I slept, my kids together with their aunt went to the swimming pool to swim and play with their cousins. The pool area is small and covered but according to my kids it is still very cold so they do not last long in the water and just decided to play board games in the room.

At 8PM we went out to have our Family dinner at Vincent’s Place. It was a Cozy Restaurant with an acoustic singer. We waited for about 30 minutes before we got a table, we understand that since we are a big group, but prior to that they already took our orders so when we were seated the food are all ready.

The price in this restaurant is not expensive, more of a mid range in terms of pricing but the serving is huge. The food are all delicious and we are satisfied with the taste.

We had a lot of take away since we did not expect that the serving of each food is big. We also loved the acoustic singer because he has a great voice.

In the morning, we went out at around 6AM to explore Camp John Hay. We walk around and saw the different activities here although the opening time is at 9AM. We saw the Tree Top Adventure, Bell House, Forest Trail, Mini Golf, Go Cart and Bike rentals. We took photos as we explore the area.

We went back after an hour and visited the Le Monet garden. It is a small garden but looks serene and beautiful. It also has a place for bonfire.

IMG_6225After strolling around we went back to the hotel and decided to change our clothes before having our breakfast. The breakfast in the hotel is at the first floor/lobby area. Our booking includes 2 free breakfast for adults and we need to pay 325 pesos for each kid. There aren’t that many choices for the breakfast, they have the usual longganisa, tocino, beef, fried rice and danggit. They have few fruits and vegetable salad too. For the drinks you can ask for coffee or hot chocolate.

Once we filled our bellies, I went to the front desk and ask if we can reserve for the free shuttle tour that the hotel offers for the guests. Luckily, they still have slots for us. The shuttle left at 10am for a quick 30 minute tour within Camp John Hay. It was great to see the whole place.

One more disappointment in our hotel room is that there are no water in shower when we returned and we cannot take a bath to prepare for our check out. We called the front desk, after about 30 minutes the water is back.We were able to check out on time which is at 12noon. The check out is also old school where they still need to check your rooms if you consume anything from the snack bar before they let you go. They do not have a quick check out unlike other modern hotels.

Before going to Manila, we made two more stops in Baguio. First is at Starbucks in Camp John Hay and second is to take photos at “The Mansion”. After that we hit the round and went back to Manila which took us about 5 hours.

Till our next family adventure πŸ™‚

 

 

 

Finding our Soul in Seoul

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IMG_4238Like every other Pinays I am also one of KDrama fanatic. I’ve been watching KDramas since the time of Endless Love and Jewel in the Palace up to this day, I am still hook in watching KDramas.

IMG_4180South Korea is part of my bucket list for the longest time, not just because I love KDramas but also I love the views I am seeing in KDrama, the parks, the malls and the foods are very inviting. So last December 2018, I finally ticked South Korea in my bucket list, I spent this vacation with my family (husband and two kids) and this is also our first Winter Vacation. So I am excited to share to everyone how we prepared for the trip specially that Philippines doesn’t have a Winter season and our first family Visa application πŸ™‚

IMG_4365I wanted to share the places we visited in our 6 nights 7 day DIY tour in South Korea and How we battle against the -19 Degrees Celsius Temperature…Β So watch out as I unveil our first Winter Vacation travel blog soon…

Applying for Family Korean Visa

What To Prepare for your First Winter Vacation Part 1

What To Prepare for your First Winter Vacation Part 2

Winter in Seoul 2018 – 7 days 6 nights for less than 18k