November 13, 2018

5 Days and 4 Nights DIY Hong Kong Trip

The last time John and I went to Hong Kong was in year 2001. That time I booked a package tour  which included the airfare, hotel and an overnight trip to China for a hassle-free trip.

In our experience, joining a group tour is hassle free but is actually more expensive and the time is  compressed that we didn't get to enjoy the places we really liked to see. I felt that we just wasted one day when we went to jewelry stores, herbal medicine shops and other places we could have skipped. When you join a group package tour, it is a must to join these side trips. Otherwise, you will have to pay an additional $$.

I've planned so many Hong Kong trips for our family but we would end up cancelling because of my kids' school activities. As scholars, they cannot easily absent form attending classes. This time booked November 28 to November 1 thinking it's semestral break. Lo and behold, it was not! DepEd declared October 22-26 as the semestral break for government-run schools.

I asked my husband if I'll just cancel this trip, John decided we'll push with the plan. I messaged the school, Dra. Regino and Ma'am Oben for Julia, Rafael and Juan to be excused.

As per my son's, Juan, advice, I did not make a jampacked  itinerary for a more relax pace unlike our trip in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Korea where we were running from one place to another to cover most of the tourist spots.

Day 1

8:05am flight from Manila to HK via Cathay Pacific


Since Disneyland was not yet constructed on our first trip to Hong Kong in 2001, I booked an overnight stay at Disney Explorers Lodge. Malou, my classmate in elementary, met us at Disney Park where we had lunch (KFC courtesy of Malou😊).


After lunch we checked in the hotel where John and the kids spent the whole day inside the room while Malou and I checked all the three Disneyland Hotels, namely Disneyland Hotel, Disney Explorers Lodge and Hollywood Disney Hotel.





Day 2
We checked out at Disney Explorers Lodge early at 9am to enjoy whole day of fun at Disneyland rides. We left all our luggage at Disney Explorers Lodge Luggage area which is free of charge. After the Parade of characters, we went back at Disney Explorers Lodge to pick up our luggage. We traveled via MTR and reached Tsim Sha Tui around 11pm.



Day 3 - Spent the whole day at Ocean Park. Located on the southern coast of Hong Kong Island, the park is easily reached by taking the MTR, Ocean Park Citybus 629 from the Central Ferry Pier or Admiralty Station. Visitors are welcome between 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.



Don't forget to buy sponge cake at Jim Bakery


Day 4. Before checking out at New Reliance Inn ( DO NOT BOOK THIS PLACE!) we had a walking tour of Tsim Sha Tsui promenade, Star Ferry Pier. Near the Star Ferry Pier, the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade is easily reached via MTR's East Tsim Sha Tsui Station. The shops, bars, restaurants and museums that stand along the promenade, including the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong Space Museum and Hong Kong Museum of Art, maintain varied hours of operation. Tsim Sha Tsui promenade gives you unobstructed views of Hong Kong Island's majestic skyline. During the day, you can watch the boats travel in and out of Victoria Harbour, but travelers recommend making an extra visit at night: From 8 to about 8:20 p.m., the Symphony of the Stars (a sound-and-light show) projects dazzling lights onto the Hong Kong skyline. .




Checked out at New Reliance Inn ( DO NOT BOOK THIS PLACE!) and checked in at Stanford Hillview Hotel located at 13-17 Observatory Road on Knutsford Terrace. At 2pm, we met Klook guy at Central Station for our tickets to Peak Tram and headed to The Peak. Victoria Peak, commonly called The Peak, situated atop the highest point on Hong Kong Island, is a must-visit attraction for its incredible views. There are are multiple vantage points atop the mountain, including the Peak Tower and the Peak Galleria, with the latter offering access to its observation deck free of charge.


Day 5


Things to consider before planning your Hong Kong trip:

1. If you hold a Philippine passport, you can stay at Hong Kong for 14 days without needing to apply for a VISA. A total of 170 countries’ nationals can enter Hong Kong without a VISA.

2.  Choose the season you want to experience in Hong Kong. The ideal travel season is from October to around Christmas for autumn, when Hong Kong weather is relatively more pleasant. The four seasons are:   Spring – warm and humid is from March to mid-May
                      Summer –  hot and rainy is from May to mid-September
                      Autumn – pleasant and sunny is late September to November.
                      Winter – cool and dry is from December to February

3. Choose the airline for flights. There are several budget airlines flying from Manila to Hong Kong and vice versa, such as Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. I bought a round trip airfare at Cathay Pacific because they had a sale last August for Elite Visa Credit Card Holders, payable for 3 months at 0% interest. We got round trip ticket at P10,000 per passenger, including terminal tax, 20kg baggage allowance and free snacks.It is our first time to ride a Cathay Pacific plane.

4.  Where to Stay. I usually book our accommodations through Booking.com. I've tried Agoda.com and AirBNB.comonce, and they're both ok.

Tsim Sha Tsui – This place will give you stunning view of Hong Kong’s skyline with its proximity to Victoria Harbour. You can also have access to Avenue of the Stars and a lot of shopping options. Low-budget hostels are also spread along the place and the location is pretty great with access to ferries and MTRs.
Central – Here is where the high-end shopping centers and companies are. Think Makati or BGC. Central is where The Peak is located – one of the top tourist destinations in Hong Kong.

5.  Exchange currency for Hong Kong dollars at Chungking Mansion/Mirador Mansion to get a better rate.

6. I rented a pocket wifi because I needed to be updated on things. If you're on a budget, don't rent a pocket wifi or buy a sim card because Free Wi-Fi is located all over Hong Kong – in major tourist attractions, shopping malls, parks, museums, and even MTR stations.

If you're the type who'd online every second, you can use either of the two options below:

7. Download Useful Apps/Websites like Google Translate to make your travel in Hong Kong easier

8.  Ride MTR instead of taxi. It will save you time and money but it will reguire you to transfer to other train from time to time depending on where you are going.

There are three main ways to reach the city from the airport.

1. Public Buses is the cheapest option but the ride is an hour long, depending on the traffic.

2. Airport Express – The airport express takes passengers to Central in around 24 minutes.

3 Taxis the most expensive

9. Buy an Octopus Card. It is a card use if you prefer to ride buses or trains. You can also use your octopus card at convenience stores, fast food shops, supermarkets, vending machines. Or you could also buy them online where it’s much cheaper.    Octopus card are refundable in 7-Eleven and other places They will refund you HKD50 once you return it.  Present your identification card so they can give you the right color of card for your age - rainbow color for adults, pink for kids 11 and below, and green for senior citizens 60 years old and above.

10.  Shops in Hong Kong charge for shopping bags so be eco friendly, bring you're own shopping bag.

11. Be practical, bring water bottle and drink water instead of sugary drinks.

12. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

Beauty Lounge by Fine Image Salon 1st Year Anniversary

It seems like it just  was yesterday when I met Joy Zaragoza in Travel Fair in SMX. The next thing I knew I headed in Unit 19/21 NRR Bldg, Avenida Rizal St, Bahayang Pag Asa, Molino 5, Bacoor, Cavite to try the services of Beauty Lounge by Fine Image Salon. Life indeed is very fast when your having fun as Beauty Lounge by Fine Image Salon Celebrated its 1st Year Anniversary last November 8, 2018.

The whole day activities was spearheaded by Joy of course. In the morning Ms. Lynn Sy, Area Manager of Calabarzon Robinsons Bank, conducted a Seminar on Self and Employee Enhancement. Lunch  was served then followed by blessing  and thanksgiving with priest. Then snacks and dinner were served.

As if the they has no end, at 8pm onwards celebration of Beauty Lounge by Fine Image Salon 1st Year Anniversary continued at Pocajan Resto Bar and Grill.

Congrats, Tukayo Joy! More salon to open soon!



To give back. Beauty Lounge by Fine Image Salon is giving up to 50% off, starting @ 500 ONLY!! Book your appointment by calling  5020263.  This promo is valid for the month of November only.

November 12, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody

I wanted to watch Bohemian Rhapsody on its first day of showing but it opened in Philippine cinema while I was in Hong Kong vacationing with my family.

When we arrived home Riz told me it's such a great movie but I still could not find time to watch it, I waited for my sis-in-law, Ate Jo, but she's busy with her duties both at work and her grand kids.

Finally today John and I watched Bohemian Rhapsody in Century City Mall in Makati. Being a huge Queen fan, this film made my slow Monday really exciting! 

It's a killer performance by Malek! His lip sync is flawless! He was able to copy Freddie Mercury's movements down to a tee. One thing that annoyed us though is the exaggerated protrusion of his upper teeth. Freddie's teeth wasn't that protruded.


Quotable Qoutes from Bohemian Rhapsody:

"We’re family. We believe in each other. That’s everything." 

"Being human is a condition which requires an anesthetic."

"We’re all legends."

"Good thoughts, good words, good deeds." - Freddie Mercury 

"Fortune favors the bold." - Jim Beach

"You can’t get anywhere by pretending to be someone you’re not!" - Bomi Bulsara [to Freddie] 

Synopsis:

This is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound. They reach unparalleled success, but in an unexpected turn Freddie, surrounded by darker influences, shuns Queen in pursuit of his solo career. Having suffered greatly without the collaboration of Queen, Freddie manages to reunite with his bandmates just in time for Live Aid. While bravely facing a recent AIDS diagnosis, Freddie leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. Queen cements a legacy that continues to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day,

The Casts are Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury / Farrokh Bulsara, lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. Lucy Boynton as Mary Austin, Mercury's girlfriend. Gwilym Lee as Brian May, Queen lead guitarist. Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor, Queen drummer. Joseph Mazzello as John Deacon, Queen bass guitarist.

Director: Bryan Singer
Producers: Bryan Singer, Robert De Niro, Graham King, Jim Beach

November 11, 2018

EDSA Shangri La Hotel Christmas Tree Lighting

John and I were checking the dates for our next overnight staycation in EDSA Shangri La Hotel  when we chanced upon their Christmas Tree Lighting last Saturday. It was great to see Abby, my  former neighbor's sister-in-law working at Shang again.



November 10, 2018

The House of Shang Holiday Collection

Guests, friends, media and shoppers witnessed the spectacle of the House of Shang at the Grand Atrium of Shangri-La Plaza as models strutted Holiday Collection from Boutiques inside the mall.