Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Birthday staycation at the F1 Hotel Manila + Giveaway!!

I had a wonderful staycation during my birthday at F1 Hotel.  It was very memorable because I don't usually celebrate my birthday this way.  All I want on my birthday is a birthday cake and a good meal.  Hahaha!  But this time, my birthday salubong was made extra special because I get to spend it away from my *home*.

The Lobby


We checked in during lunch time and it was a breeze!  The staff was very helpful and friendly.  We were surprised that lunch was offered!  The kids had a lovely time eyesore-ing the candy bar and ice cream!  My yayas enjoyed the buffet - I especially loved their Binagoongan, it was really good that I couldn't help and get more (than seconds!).



The staff is wonderful too as they heeded to our every request - the sofa bed was made and we even had a welcome wine and cheese plate!  Hihi..



After lunch, the kids had to sleep - so my Panget and I decided to walk around the mall nearby.  It was so nice because we walked going to the mall.  HHWWPSSP all the way to the mall, Hahaha!!  Sorry, cheesy - but seriously, it's not often that we get to walk to a mall especially here in Manila where you'd need a car to get around.

Location wise, F1 Hotel is top notch.  I love that you can walk to High Street.  There are supermarkets (Marketplace and S&R), cinemas, a lot of restaurants, pocket gardens, and shopping too!  I think this is an ideal location for tourists - as its very accessible and the area is pretty safe.

A Wedding photoshoot in progress! 


 This is their gym.  Looks nice and clean right?  It smells clean too!!

video

The kids were really intent on swimming and so even though it was late and a bit chilly, 
they still enjoyed the pool area!  


The dinner buffet was pretty much the same food served during lunch.  I was hoping that they would change the menu - and I was looking forward to it, but they didn't.  I honestly expected a different menu because I had the impression that, that was the protocol.  Well, they changed a few dishes, but the rest were pretty much the same.  Good thing though, that my kids are creatures of habit - and me too!  Panget was a bit disappointed.  But the highlight of dinner was this Mongolian Rice made by the chef.  It was sooooo good that I had three, yes 3 servings of this!  I loved it so much and I was raving about it the whole time.  I let Panget try it and the yayas and they agreed that it was really good.  



After dinner - Panget and I were treated to a massage.  We booked it quite early as Jane, Queen of the South (SugarGoSpice) suggested that we do.  This is what welcomed us at the spa:



Very inviting right?  Yes!  We had a wonderful massage too.  The massage therapists were very good and gentle.  I wish though that they had more massage rooms to accommodate more clients!

I was never a breakfast person as I used to sleep in during the morning.  But when I got married, I can't explain it - I became one.  I would invite friends for breakfast meet ups!  Strange noh?  And I so enjoy having breakfast, buffet breakfast is not an exception - I especially love a wide wide spread of breakfast choices.  And since it was my birthday - I splurged on the food!  I didn't get to take so many pictures as I was too excited to eat!  But take note that the spread was good enough to make me excited!


The Noodle Station..



The Omelette Station



Miso Soup & Congee


My simple Congree - green onions & garlic..



The spread will NEVER be complete without BACON!!!


My first *conservative* breakfast plate!

I almost forgot to mention about the rooms!  We stayed at their Fort Suite - it's a one bedroom suite that has a sofa in the living area that transforms into a sofa bed!  The room was spacious the beds were perfection!  It was like a mini apartment of some sort.  We were 4 adults and 2 kids and we were comfortable with the size.

(Insert Picture)

I was told that a cake will be given me once I check out.  I didn't open it as we were rushing out.  But when I got home - I opened the box and this wonderful berry cake was so fragrant and red!


It was really really good!

Thank you Pao, Twinkle and Jane for this wonderful birthday staycation at the F1 Hotel!  Thank you for making my birthday extra special!  This is one for the books because I was with my whole family - Panget, Kids and my wonderful Yayas - Belen and Ga!!  It was such a great way to spend my birthday.

Wait, there's more!!!

The good and generous folks of F1 Hotel Manila is giving away a FREE overnight stay to one of my readers!



Joining is fairly easy just follow these instructions.  Leave the following details on the comment section:
-  Name
-  Valid Email Address
-  Why you deserve to win this staycation
-  URL of your FB Share, or Tweet
ONE (1) entry per person!

I will choose the answer I like best.  For this - I would personally want to hand the hotel voucher to the winner.  So let's just make this valid for Metro Manila residents who are willing to meet me at the F1 Hotel.

This giveaway will run until May 20, 2015.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lysol Wipes: A Healthy Touch

I believe that cleanliness next to godliness.

I am quite tough on cleanliness.  I think I'm a bit OA when it comes to cleanliness, I'm sorry but I feel that dirt is the root cause of all sickness and disease.  So to keep myself and my family from getting sick - I make it a point to have the house thoroughly cleaned.  Cleanliness is one of the major criteria that I had when I picked a pre-school for Kailee.  The kids have wipes in their bags, I even have diluted Lysol in an atomizer for the yayas to use when we go out.  They also have in their bags alcohol and hand sanitizer.  

When I learned that Lysol was introducing hand wipes, I had to see it for myself.  True enough - this is the product that I have been looking for!  




It's gentle on the skin, it kills bacteria and germs, and it's in the form of wipes!  I mentioned above that I have wipes and tissues and also a diluted Lysol solution in the kids' bag right?  Well, with this product - it saves space since I would need to put one pack in the bag and voila - no more wipes, tissues and diluted Lysol solution!

You can use it for the hands, before and after eating, when you're outdoors, to wipe the toilet seat or any dirty surface, when you travel, whether you're in the office or school!  You can even use it tow wipe your face.  It's so handy that you can bring it everywhere, literally EVERYWHERE!


It comes in two (2) sizes - a 10-pack and a 50-pack.  

It's now available in leading supermarkets.

I'm so happy that Lysol launched this product!  I can now be rest assured that my kids' hands are free of germs and bacteria when we're out.  No more alcohol to dry their very sensitive skins!


Monday, April 20, 2015

Engineering for Kids + Giveaway!



Engineering for kids.

Really?

It got me curious.  I was then told to bring my kids ad they might enjoy this.  I googled it and what I saw was something different.  I was excited to be honest and so I went with an open mind.


What I saw heard and experienced was something out of the ordinary.  It was very interesting.  The materials that they used are those in our household - nothing so out of this world - but the basic stuff.

It's simply making science applicable to daily life, simple enough for the kids to enjoy and at the same time learn from.  I wish we had this during my time.  I am very much fascinated with Chemistry in HS but was discouraged because there was not application involved.  What I learned in school - I only did in school - there was no practical application.  I am so glad for the kids now because they have means to develop their interests early on.  Whats more is that parents support their kids decision now - parents value what their kids like and give them the opportunity to hone those interests and talents.

Here are a couple of videos to pique your interest:






Interesting right?

Very!!

Engineering for Kids make science very interesting and practical.  They don't teach you the theories (well the do of course, but not that intense like reading so many paragraphs etc.) but emphasize on problem based solving via learning and play.  It's very interesting because kids learn through exploration and discovery.  They have practical material found nearly everywhere (especially the house!)

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is what makes up Engineering for Kids.  S.T.E.M. encourages creativity and innovation through play and learning.  Don't you wish you had this?  So, for those who have kids that are science inclined - you have an outlet now!  Engineering for Kids!!


Engineering for kids has ten (10) programs:

Marine Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Electronic Game Design
Civil Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Aerospace Engineering
Robotics Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Industrial Engineering

There are two levels for each category.  They classify it by age - one group is called JUNIOR Engineers - they're aged 4-6, the other group is called APPRENTICE/MATER Engineers - they're aged 7-14.

We got a glimpse of what Engineering for Kids had to offer and we had so much fun!  Kailee was nonstop playing with the slime, courtesy of the Chemical Engineering booth.  Connor was so enjoying Marine Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.  See the videos above.  I honestly never thought they'd enjoy it.  But Engineering for Kids definitely made it interesting!

The good news is - I will be giving away two (2) FREE TRIAL coupons!!

Just leave the following details on the comment section:
a)  Name
b)  Email Address (make sure this is a valid one that you open often!!)
c)  Which of the 10 programs do you think your child will enjoy most and why.
d)  Send out a Tweet with a link back to this giveaway or share this on FB (please leave the URL)

I will be picking the winners so it will be my prerogative and decision.

This is open to Metro Manila residents who are able to pick-up the coupon in Quezon City (please don't force me to *ship*)

This giveaway will end on April 30, 2015!

For more information please visit www.engineeringforkids.com
They are also social media:
Facebook - Engineering for Kids PH
Instagram - efkph

Call or text them at +639175518705
Landline is +6329754867

You may also email them at info@smilegroup.org.in

Monday, March 30, 2015

Yaya Diaries: The Yaya Bully

OMG another domestic help issue.



Almost two months ago, Kailee's Yaya Ga went home.  A week after the new year, she told me that she wanted to go home, and that she won't be coming back.  She says that her back hurts and that she feels that her asthma is recurring.  First of all, I never knew she had asthma - had I known, I would have had her checked and given her medication.  So anyway, I told her that I can let her go it I found a replacement.  )I still had her go to our suking manghihilot of her back - I wanted to help her somehow)  And so we looked.  Luckily more than a month ago, I found a replacement.

Obviously, there is an adjustment stage - where the new yaya will get to know other helpers around.  There's my mom's helpers that she had to interact with, the yayas of my nieces and nephews and also the yayas of my friend's children.  I had to warn this new yaya that she should be careful with the other helpers & yayas because some may become envious of her, I told her to be civil yet diplomatic, not to be very chatty too.  So far, she has followed my instructions and I'm quite happy and satisfied with her.  Well, she's not perfect BUT she's okay.  What I like about her is that she likes to read with Kailee, she also teaches Kailee how to write.  She also indulges Kailee in conversation.  There are times that she doesn't listen to instructions or times that she's *bangag* but overall - I'm satisfied with her.

Remember about the Yaya politics that I wrote here?  Well, now - I'm writing about the Yaya Bully!  Yes, apparently there is a Yaya Bully!  She's usually the longest employed helper in the household.  You see, in my mom's house - we have a helper that has been with us for 17 years, let's call her Yaya Maya.  She came in just as I was about to graduate high school and she is still with my mom.  Well, she's not perfect - but she's okay.  I remember when she started, she was really nice - but as the years passed, you'd notice that she'd get very moody or irritated.  She'd have this frown and will not be shy to show to us that she's irritated.  But in the 17 years, she has been very good to us.  I love her dearly, because she loves Kailee and Connor.  She actually takes care of them when I have a yaya shortage.  So I love her dearly and I am so thankful to her.

But you see, with us - she's okay.  Well, she has her moods and we let her be.  We keep one eye shut and just let go of things.  My mom and I realized that you have been working the same job and doing the same routine for years - it might be *nakakasawa* already.  So we let her be.

One thing I noticed with her though, is that she knows when to stand her ground and when to suck up and make lambing.  Remember Yaya Donna?   Yaya Maya was one of her minions.  Yaya Donna owned Yaya Maya - everything that Yaya Donna wanted, Yaya Maya gave (sharing responsibility caring for Kailee - feeding and putting to sleep).  Whatever Yaya Donna likes - Yaya Maya also liked!  Hahahaha..  It was quite funny because Yaya Donna had Yaya Maya eating out of the palm of her hand.

Then Yaya Donna left.

And my helper who cleaned and cooked took over the yaya job.  It was then that I saw how much of a controller Yaya Maya was.  Since Yaya Maya knew of Kailee's whims - she would always criticize Yaya Ga.  But she never did it infront of me.  Yaya Belen would tell me how Yaya Maya would speak to them with a loud voice and demand they do things they way it was done before.  For Yaya Maya - it was quite baffling that the current yayas wouldn't couldn't adapt right away.  She wasn't the most patient I guess.  So I told my yayas just to not mind her, let her be because she's like that.  She has maintain her place in the household ranking - she needs to exert her position and let the others know who is the boss in the helper ranking.  For years we let her be.

One morning two or three weeks ago - well, my new Yaya comes running to me with tears in her eyes.  She tells me that she wants to go home because she can't take the *pakikisama* anymore with Yaya Maya.  This prompted me to ask her what happened.  Kailee wanted to go down, but the new yaya wanted Kailee to wait a few more minutes.  But then Kailee starts pulling on the lever door knob.  The new yaya had her feet on the stop to stop Kailee from getting out of the room.  Kailee was heavily pulling the lever of the door knob.  We can all guess Yaya Maya heard the commotion and then with a loud voice tells the new yaya to open the door and not to keep Kailee inside the room.  When the new yaya explained to Yaya Maya that she wanted Kailee to wait a few more minutes - Yaya Maya berates her and tells her that if the door knob gets broken, she will be the one to blame and not the yaya.  This new yaya unable to control her emotions, cried and had the courage to tell me.  She says that this isn't the first time that Yaya Maya has been like that to her.  And I wasn't surprised.  A few days ago, this new yaya broke a plug because she tugged on the cord instead of holding and pulling the cord.  So when the new yaya was trying to fix what she broke, Yaya Maya declared that she was doing something worse!  Yaya Maya then brings the plug to my mom to get fixed.  My mom calls my attention on it but I wanted to get the real story.  The new yaya told me what happened that while she was trying to fix what she broke, Yaya Maya snatched the plug away from her and was reprimanding her.

I have always believed that words are powerful, and that the delivery of words is important too.  So I just told the new yaya to extend her patience with Yaya Maya.  That she's very confrontational because she wants to maintain her ranking.  But I guess this incident was the last straw for the new yaya.  So while pacifying the new yaya, Kailee and Yaya Maya comes down.  I look at Yaya Maya and ask her *Ano ba ang nangyari* without batting an eyelash she tells me that the new yaya locked the door of the room and refuses to let Kailee out of the room!  Since Kailee was there, I asked Kailee if her new yaya locked the door Kailee said *No, she was blocking the door lang*  See?  She then tells me with a loud irritated voice that she wasn't doing anything wrong.  That she was just concerned.  I told her that I appreciate her concern but she also needs time to for the new yayas to adjust - plus each person's style is different.  She then tells me *Dapat kung may problema siya sa akin, sa akin siya lumapit at hindi nagsumbong sa iyo kaagad!*  oh my, there are more kids in the household.  She was honestly being immature about it.  She couldn't accept that what she did merited this situation - had she spoken nicely with a calm tone, this could have been avoided.  But it didn't stope there - she was still unhappy.  She kept on saying that people should get used to her having a loud voice and is easily irritated - I countered her with a what if - what if I speak to her in the same manner that she does?  Would she be accepting?  She said no.  Exactly.

After all the talk - things ended on a better note.  But relationships have been strained.  We all have to live with that.

So, do you also have a Yaya Bully??

Thursday, March 26, 2015

That Thing Called Tadhana

I have admitted time and time again that I like Pinoy movies.

But I am choosy in picking which flick to watch.

There are certain actors/actresses that I like and dislike on screen.  So that pretty much sums up what I choose to watch.

For the past weeks and months, I have been seeing posters of the movie *That thing called Tadhana*



I've been wanting to watch it BUT I don't have anyone to watch it with.

Nope, my Panget refuses to watch with me - and I respect that.

So along comes this Facebook thread - an online friend apparently has a copy and is able to *drop* it for me.

I have it in less than an hour.

WONDERFUL!

And so I watched it.

So, where do broken hearts go?

I don't know.

But I remember - the heartbreak that I felt years ago.  I was broken.  I was shocked.  I was hurt.  I was depressed.  I cut my hair.  I made a change.  They said it was the best revenge.  Was it?  Well, I don't know.  I guess, I was able to move on.  I enjoyed my *single-ness*.  I met a few fellows - liked them, but I guess - they weren't really for me.  And then I vowed to myself that I would stop looking for the one.

Then I meet, my Panget.

It was true what they say - that when you stop looking, *he* comes along.

What made me fall in love with him?  I think I wrote about it before - he reads books.  All kinds of books.  But what was the *benta* moment?  Well, he made me read Erich Segal's *Love Story*.  I've never read it but I did.  So that made me think - why, not?!  Hahaha..

And the rest they say is history.

But what made me really want to watch the movie was the reason that the two characters travelled to Sagada.  Well, Sagada has a special place in my heart because - it was where Panget proposed.  Hahaha!!

Back to the movie.

I have to say this - Angelica is not someone I really like to watch on screen but she's very likeable in this movie.  She's not OA but was actually very natural.  JM de Guzman - I have been a fan of - but only in movies, ha.  He's been a supporting role - but he always, always makes me laugh.  He has the talent - kulang lang sa *push* ng network.

So I felt the sincerity of the movie.  It was very simple and realistic.  I really enjoyed their conversations - especially the *hiritan* portion.  It was so natural and so real.  I mean, I know that it's *reel* but they acted very naturally that it shows the *real* scene and emotion that the script wanted to put forth.

My eyes watered when the reached they mountain.  When Mace was screaming out her anger, her pain and frustration.  RAMDAM KO yung sakit niya - I felt the pain and I felt the release, it was intense for me to say the least.  I was crying - I knew what that felt like.  I've so wanted to do that before - but wala eh.  I think I understood what she felt that moment, the heaviness and the burden of the hurt.  And Anthony just stood there - just waiting for her to finish.  Haaaa... here we go again with the *ideal man*.  He just watched her and let her be.

I think most everyone would have wanted to get away after a break-up.  Sort of like to get away and escape the situation, for a moment  No, it's not being afraid and escaping - but is more of re-grouping and figuring out what to do next and healing.  A lot of people think that getting away is a waste of time -but honestly - I believe it helps.  Being away from everything gives you room to think, it gives you space - it frees you from things familiar, it gives you perspective.  It makes you be able to breathe and think without distractions.

The movie gives us a glimpse of how certain people respond to break-ups.

I agree - it's really a HUGOT movie..

But man, I super felt that I was tricked because the ending was open ended.

Hahahahaha!!!

But kudos to the script writer and the director.