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.



November 9, 2018

Groundbreaking Ceremony of CMSHS 4-Storey Building with Congresswoman Queenie Gonzales

This day is made special for many reasons. We have welcomed our new principal, Sir Erick Mendiola. It is the birthday celebration of our Congresswoman Queenie Gonzales, and most important of all it is the day for Groundbreaking Ceremony of CMSHS 4-Storey Building to cater to the growing number of mga Batang MandSci.

Power couple Congresswoman Queenie Gonzales and Ninong Boyet Gonzales, Dr. Corazon Regino, Dr. Nanette Losaria, Bgy Captain of Hulo Bernardino Maglaque, councilors, green ladies, parents and students were present at the ceremony.

The event was hosted by Sir Vic and Ma'am Winnie.



November 8, 2018

Dreamagination and Christmas Tree Lighting at SM Megamall

It was a delightful sight as unicorns, rainbows and candy-colored dreams unfold at SM Megamall with lots of magical and dreamy moments enjoyed by shoppers, guests and media held at the Mega Fashion Hall.

The event was hosted by Tim Yap and Karla Aguas as the mall unveiled its 45-foot Christmas centerpiece, adorned with candy-colored jewels, rainbows, and iconic unicorn and toy soldier dolls.

SM Megamall welcomed the holidays with whimsical performances by local and international acrobats, such as the Twin Ballerinas Annika and Tisha; Eric Aranas as Toy Soldier and parkour stunts by members of Ninja Academy as Elf Jumpers; the awe-inspiring acts by global Vertical and Trapeze Dancers; and spiral pole and rope dancer Kristel De Catalina of Pilipinas Got Talent season 6.

“Every year we challenge ourselves to come up with a theme that surpasses the grandness of the previous year. We are very excited with this holiday season because we know our customers would love this year’s colorful and magical theme,” said Christian Mathay, SM Supermalls Assistant Vice President for Mall Operations.



More exciting events await shoppers exclusively at SM Megamall this season! Mallgoers are invited to visit the DC Justice League Christmas Capers for a chance to play fun, interactive games. You can grab latest Justice League merchandise at DC pop up stores at The Event Center, Mega A and The SM Store, Mega B at the Event Center from November 16 to January 14, 2019. For more dreamy and magical #ChristmaSMoments, visit SM Megamall with your family and friends for #MegaChristmas2018 holiday spectacle. 

November 7, 2018

Dr. Corazon Ramiro Regino

My family and I were in Hong Kong last week enjoying sem break when I got a lot of messages asking if we are related to CMSHS new principal, Sir Erick Mendiola. I was stupefied not knowing what to reply. Instead of answering the question, I asked them back, "we have a new principal?".

I quickly messaged and asked Dr. Regino. All I got was a seen mode. She didn't reply. It's not typical of Dr. Regino not to reply because she's one of the most accommodating person I met in my entire 45 years on earth. Her silence meant the answer was yes. 

As we walked along the city streets of Hong Kong after that seen mode all I could think of was that time flies really quickly when you're having fun. That thought goes both for our trip and Dr. Regino. It feels like only a few months ago when we everybody welcomed her. GPTA 2017-2018 under Sir Levy Cabeliza worked hand-in-hand with her. We had an easy and wonderful time as we successfully completed our projects. She always find time for every one who needed her advice.

Yesterday may be one of the longest and most touching send-off program I've watched as the whole school participated in showing their love and respect to our beloved mother of City of Mandaluyong Science High School.

I normally take a nap or doodle with my celphone during long speech but never with Dr. Regino. I listen to every word she says because  it is complete in every sense, starting always with a Bible verse, followed by inspirational quotes and jokes, and ending with practical and motherly advice for every child and adult to absorb well.

Quoting Dr. Regino's words, "no one will say goodbye"...Opo Doc, we're not saying goodbye. Maliit lang naman po ang Mandaluyong para hindi tayo magkita kita ulit. We're always just a ride away. Pwedeng car o jeep para mas tipid. Pag sinipag sipag pa po, pwedeng maglakad papunta sa inyong new school.

Salamat po  ng marami, Dr. Dr. Corazon Ramiro Regino!


November 6, 2018

Lazada 11.11 Shopping Fest

Lazada 11.11 is the biggest shopping event in Souteast Asia, happening every Novemver 11. The annual event is aimed at showcasing the convenience and value of online shopping. Enjoy more than 50 million blockbuster deals from LazMall and other Lazada local sellers starting 12 midnight of Nov. 11 up to 11:59pm.



As part of 11.11 Shopping Festival, Lazada will launch– a first-of-its-kind partnership with UNICEF that allows online shoppers to support the welfare of Filipino children. In time for Christmas, UNICEF will have an online shop at Lazada from November 11 to December 31, 2018 where inspired gifts such as backpacks, hygiene kits, and emergency supplies can be donated to children all over the country. 

These are life-saving and life-changing items which address real needs of children. Southeast Asia’s biggest eCommerce platform Lazada partners with UNICEF in hopes of making giving an integral part of the Filipinos’ Christmas shopping experience. “Lazada is honored to work with UNICEF in helping the underprivileged children of the Philippines. e-Commerce has helped cater to the needs of many underserved Filipinos and our UNICEF partnership allows us to extend this help to those who need it the most. With kids, a little help goes a long way because you're helping build the future, one child at a time. We believe that the Filipino future is bright because of the kids we help today through our platform”, said Ray Alimurung, Lazada Philippines CEO.

Children in the Philippines face various deprivations such as undernutrition, lack of access to education and poor access to WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene).  These challenges are further exacerbated by the natural and man-made disasters that frequent the country. With gifts ranging from P199 to P999, anyone shopping at Lazada can now purchase gifts for these children who need them most. 

“Through innovative partnerships like this, everyone is given the opportunity to improve the lives of so many children. We appreciate this collaboration with Lazada,” said Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Philippines Country Representative. About UNICEFThe UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND (UNICEF) is the world’s leading organization devoted to the rightsand well-being of children. 

Since 1948, UNICEF Philippines has been implementing programs which promote andprotect every child’s right to health and nutrition, safe drinking water and sanitation, basic education and protection against abuse,  violence and exploitation.  

For more information  about UNICEF  and   its work   for   children in  thePhilippines, visit www.unicef.ph For further information please contact Dennis Cruz, Individual Fundraising Officer, UNICEF PhilippinesMobile: +639178616289; dcruz @unicef.org

November 5, 2018

Scary Guy in New Reliance Inn

I have been a happy and satisfied client of Booking.com since I started traveling here and abroad. I also shared my reviews, both in this blog and in booking.com site, to the places we've stayed so other parents who are travelling with kid/kids can read what to see and expect to the places and hopefully benefit from my reviews.

For our recent trip in Hong Kong I booked 3 times at Booking.com - Disney Explorers Lodge in Lantau, New Reliance Inn in Tsim Sha Tsui, and Stanford Hillside Hotel in Conservatory Rd Tsim Sha Tsui.

My family and I had a wonderful time at Disney Explorers Lodge and a relaxing stay at Stanford Hillside Hotel.

Our delightful experience with Disney Explorers Lodge and Stanford Hillside Hotel was way different when we met this Scary Guy in New Reliance Inn. Few days after our trip to Hong Kong, I did a review at Booking.com with the same title, Scary Guy in Reliance Inn. It was published until I could not see it anymore after 2 days it was posted. I emailed booking.com asking why my review of Reliance Inn was deleted in their website. No reply from booking.com.


Things got weird when I received an email from booking.com asking me the reason for my cancellation at New Reliance Inn. I replied, "we pushed with our booking, paid via credit card and were even forced by Samson the Scary Guy in New Reliance Inn to pay an extra 300hkd by  in cash! Booking.com customer service replied that I should coordinate it with Reliance Inn for the extra charge.


Things got weirder when I saw this from my bookings list. How can I cancel it when we were there from October 29, 2018 at 11pm. 



Things got weirdest when Booking.com simply accepted this Samson The Scary Guy in New Reliance Inn lies saying I arrived with 8 guests!...and that I have to show proof within 14 days otherwise they cannot help me with my concern.



Sharing here my review of New Reliance Inn that was deleted at Booking.com:

"Weeks prior to our trip to Hong Kong I emailed New Reliance Inn on how to reach it coming from Disney, Explorer's Lodge. No reply. I emailed again a week before our trip to HK. Still no reply. I meailed again a day befroe our bokking at New Reliance Inn. No reply. 

We arrived at New Reliance Inn on October 29, 2018 at around 11pm. It took us long to reach the floor where Samson the  Scary Guy in New Reliance Inn met us because there was only one elevator that can accommodate only 7 people. This elevator serves the many different units inside Chungking Mansions. When this Samson the  Scary Guy in New Reliance Inn met us and my family (hubby age 44 and 4 kids ages 27, 15, 15 and 12) he shouted at us saying awful words, frightening us about the number of people they can only accommodate. He did not even let me and my husband speak. Samson the Scary Guy in New Reliance Inn kept on talking on a very scary voice. He said he is going to call the manager, gave us a room key and told us to go down to the ground floor, do not go out of the elevator and just press the elevator again to go up to the 13th floor. It took him about 15 minutes to see us in the room. That time we were expecting to see and talk to the manager to tell him our story. But Samson the Scary Guy in New Reliance Inn came back without the manager. He said we must pay an additional 300hkd. I asked why because we are total of 6 people. I was going to explain again our side but he kept on talking loudly and told us to pay 300hkd in cash. I asked if I can pay in credit card but he refused. I gave him 500hkd. He left again and came back after several minutes with the 200hkd change and a receipt. He also gave us 6 paper cups. That's the last time we saw Samson the Scary Guy in New Reliance Inn. We left early the next morning to go at Ocean Park. when we arrived, someone from New Reliance Inn went inside the room even if we did not ask for a clean up."

When I book New Reliance Inn in Booking.com I knew that they have a small space and the bed can accommodate only 4 people. Samson the Scary Guy in New Reliance Inn did not even bother to listen to me and my husband. I booked this because we only needed a place to leave the bags and the kids because we were meeting my friend that night and the following night for a long needed catch up talk. We ended up not leaving because our kids were really afraid of this Samson the Scary Guy in New Reliance Inn.

This is just one of the many scary opening/holes within the area of New Reliance Inn

This is a scary opening/hole inside the room where we stayed in at New Reliance Inn. My husband asked Samson the Scary Guy in New Reliance Inn about it and he answered in loud voice, "Why you sacred, why you scared? Don't worry about it. Safe place here."
This water dispenser is placed outside the rooms of New Reliance Inn.
There are dirty stuff beside and near the water like brooms, dust pans, floor map,
bathroom and floor chemicals.

The bathroom may be small but it is clean. There's a drip coming from the shower which wet our heads while sitting on the toilet bowl. The water heater is hard to manage as it cannot maintain the right temperature. It gives either a very cold water or very hot water

Just one elevator that runs super slow. It can only accommodate 7 people
(less if another person is on a heavy side).
This elevator serves many units inside Chungking Mansions

The receipt given by Samson the Scary Guy in New Reliance Inn for the extra 300hkd cash he forced us to pay. Aside from the 1,300hkd I paid in booking.com via credit card.

The room  with pillows and blankets provided by Samson the Scary Guy in New Reliance Inn
This is the only decent area in New Reliance Inn. It is located near the main door.

Even if Reliance Inn is near MTR and Avenue of Stars, I would not recommend it. There are plenty of other hotels that is way nicer hotels at Tsim Sha Tsui area which offers the same price as Reliance Inn.

Our experience with Samson the Scary Guy in New Reliance Inn is one that we will not forget. I have emailed Booking,com to look deeply into this matter because as a trusted platform by many, it is Booking.com's duty to ensure that the hotels/inns and other places they accredit in their site is professional, respectful and honest in dealing with travelers, most especially when there  are children involved.

Hong Kong is a wonderful place to visit, people like Samson the Scary Guy in New Reliance Inn has no place in it.

I have emailed and still waiting for Booking.com's reply on this matter.

November 4, 2018

Stanford Hillside Hotel Review

My family already splurged on our stay in Disney Explorers Lodge so I needed a room that is within the budget for our Hong Kong City stay. We were out most of the time from 6am to 12 midnight sightseeing so we only needed a room to leave our bags. 

I am satisfied and very happy with Stanford Hillside Hotel! Staying for an overnight is so worth it! We should have stayed here longer because the room is super clean and bigger compared to other hotels that offer the same rate! As soon as you enter the lobby door you will smell fruity scent that is really fantastic. The restroom/toilet is big, they even have a bath tub! I am highly recommending Stanford. We will be back when we travel to Hong Kong again.

Although there's a few meters walk that is uphill, we were not bothered by it. We really like Stanford because the place is located in a quiet area. It is near bus station going to the airport. There's plenty of big and small restaurants, money changers, and clothes shops within the area.



Address: 3-17 Observatory Road, Knutsford Terrace, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 2722 7822

November 3, 2018

Color Purple

Do you like the color purple? My daughter likes it a lot so we had her room painted purple. Her pillows, bed sheets, comforter, curtains have a touch of purple. 

Today FB reminded me of my photo taken at Casa San Pablo 4 years ago while in color purple clothes.


 If you are into purple,  The color purple is often associated with royalty, nobility, luxury, power, and ambition. Purple also represents meanings of wealth, extravagance, creativity, wisdom, dignity, grandeur, devotion, peace, pride, mystery, independence, and magic.

Having either purple or violet as your favorite color means you are sensitive and compassionate, understanding and supportive, thinking of others before yourself - you are the person others come to for help - being needed motivates you but sometimes people take advantage of you. You are a gentle and free spirit.

November 2, 2018

Disney Explorer's Lodge Review

After our trip to Legoland Malaysia last year, I immediately planned our Hongkong Disneyland trip  and knew exactly which hotel to book, Disney Explorer's Lodge. Disney Explorer's Lodge is the newest hotel among the three hotels of Disney so this was my only choice. 

I booked an overnight via Booking.com. Although the rate is way higher than other hotels outside of Disneyland, I would still recommend staying at Disney Explorer's Lodge because the experience is worth every penny. Here's why:

1.  Easy to reach via MTR from the airport
2.  Hassle-free check in.
3.  Clean and spacious room.
4.  There are many activities that both kids and adults will enjoy.
5.  he hotel features almost 700 species of plants around the grounds so you'll be relax while strolling the area.
6. It has a breathtaking sea view
7. Pools are heated
8.  Disney Explorers Lodge is a relaxing way for guests to meet and greet our beloved characters.
9. They have more than a thousand pieces of art and artifacts from around the world on display that is great background for selfies and groufies. 
10. We stayed during the Halloween so there were Trick-or-Treat candies and stickers given.
11. You can join activities like towel making.
12. You can also join and enjoy activities from the other two Disney Hotels during your stay at Disney Explorer's Lodge .
13. Free shuttle going around Disney Resort.
14. Friendly and accommodating hotel staff
15. Hassle-free check out



Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
Lantau Island, Hong Kong
+852 3510-2000

November 1, 2018

Victoria Peak

On our day in HK I made sure to make it a light day so the kids won't feel to tired. The itinerary was just chill and enjoy Victoria Peak from 3pm to 7pm. Just enough time to see the clear sky in the afternoon and the sunset at night.

I bought the tickets at Klook two weeks before our trip to Hong Kong. I am highly recommending you do the same to skip the long line to ride the tram.  I also suggest you buy the round trip ticket if you're going at the Peak during night time.

The recommended route to Victoria Peak is by way of the Peak Tram. The base of the Peak Tram is located within walking distance from the MTR's Central station. The tram opens at 7 a.m. and closes at midnight Monday to Sunday.

Some visitors suggested hiring a taxi or taking the bus to get to the top. Others tourist who are more adventurous, suggested a walking tour and wandering along marked pathways for a different expereince. Check the weather before you go, as Hong Kong can get foggy.

What to expect at Victoria Peak, commonly called The Peak?

1. Peak Tower and the Peak Galleria, with the latter offering access to its observation deck free of charge.
2. 2-mile-long Peak Circle Walk, which takes you along cliffside paths to the scenic Lugard Road lookout point.
3.Dining and shopping options at the Peak Tower and Peak Galleria
4. Lions View Point Pavillion.
5. Lots of tourists and long line to ride the tram😁



October 31, 2018

Maria Sollon of Groovy Sweat

It was a lovely afternoon as we wait for the sunset at The Peak in Hong Kong. The day was made lovelier when we saw Maria Sollon of Groovy Sweat exercising at the far end of Sky Terrace 428.

I knew she's not your average Jane not only because of her great body mostly because her smile was genuine. Although she was busy filming her routine, she didn't mind us talking with her while she was exercising. When she was done, she even gave me time for a quick chit-chat.

Maria is a Fitness Professional based in USA., Blogger, Explorer, Creative Mover and a really nice fellow.

If you want to watch and learn fun exercise, follow Maria at her website https://www.groovysweatstore.com/ - FB https://www.facebook.com/GroovySweat/  Youtube https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=groovy+sweat and IG @groovysweat



"Share your smile with the world. 
It's a symbol of friendship and peace." 
- Christie Brinkley

October 30, 2018

Ocean Park Hong Kong

It took me 17 years before visiting Hong Kong again. I wanted to skip Ocean Park because I've seen it and as a 45 year old woman, my knees are not that strong anymore, but my husband said we have to include it in our itinerary so our kids can experience the thrill we've experienced 17 years ago.

The first time John and I went in Ocean Park was completely different from our recent trip. First because we were on a group tour before so we were picked up in the hotel by our tour guide and traveled via bus. We were on our own when we reached Ocean Park and was picked up the bus again after 4 hours of stay.

This time I did a DIY tour with my family. We traveled via MTR  from Tsim Sha Tsui and went down Admiralty station. A short 5 minute walk from MTR and we reached Ocean Park.

We arrived at Ocean Park around 12nn. We first rode Express Train going up to the rides. It was already very hot and we were hungry so we ate lunch first at one of the restaurants.

By the time we finished our lunch, Rafael felt exhausted and feverish so we brought him at the clinic and was given a paracetamol. John stayed with him while I went back to see the pandas with Julia, Juan and Jomes.

After seeing the panda, we lined up for cable car. The line was super long because most tourist came in around 3pm. John called me up to go back and see Rafael's condition so we can decide if we will cut our Ocean Park adventure to go back to the hotel. Good thing Rafael felt better when I came back.
I was not able to ride the cable anymore. The most important thing is that my son felt better after seeing his beautiful mom😁.



Tips before planning your trip to Ocean Park:

1. Buy your tickets online to avoid long queue.
2. Ocean Park opens at 1030am so be there as early as 930 am and enjoy the view.
3. Start your adventure by riding the cable car first so you won't be waiting for a long time.
4. If you're a thrill junkie, finish all the important rides before visiting pandas, penguins and other attractions.
5. Food is not allowed inside Ocean Park.
6. You don't need to bring water because Ocean Park has drinking fountains spread evenly throughout the place.
7.  Bring cash as some kiosks only accepts cash.
8. Whatever unexpected events happen, just relax and enjoy the view. That's what John and I did when our son got exhausted from the heat.

October 29, 2018

Hong Kong Disneyland

When we went in Hong Kong in 2001, Hong Kong Disneyland was not yet constructed so I vowed to one day enjoy this largest theme park in Hong Kong located on reclaimed land in Penny's Bay, Lantau Island. It is located inside the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and it is owned and managed by Hong Kong International Theme Parks.

After spending an overnight at Disney Explorers Lodge, we checked out early and left our luggage at the hotel for safe keeping then we headed at Hong Kong Disneyland for a full day of fun and excitement.

I bought our tickets at Klook which saved us a lot of time. Plus we get a priority entrance because we were guests of Disney Explorers Lodge. All we did was show a proof receipt of the hotel.



Tips to fully enjoy Hong Kong Disneyland:

1. If you have extra money, book in any of the three Disney Hotels. Disneyland Hotel is the most grand and the most expensive. The newest one and nearest to to the sea is Disney Explorers Lodge. The most affordable if you're on a budget is Hollywood Disney Hotel.

2. Avoid going to Hong Kong Disneyland on a weekend to avoid over crowding.

3. No need to bring water but brig a water bottle because they have water refilling stations inside the park.

4. Buy your tickets online. It's more economical.

5. Better yet, wait for sale announcements to get a better deal.

6. Don't forget your sunblock as it tends to be super hot in the afternoon.

7. Enjoy!

October 28, 2018

Holistic Integrative Care Center

Holistic Integrative Care Center (HICC) celebrated their Third Year Anniversary last October 26, 2018 with free services rendered for whole body such as body scan, vessel scan and zyto scan

They've been bringing health empowerment from conventional and alternative modalities on its three years of Holistic Integrative Care Center (HICC) with a tagline; “Healing that cares”.HICC categorized as medical facilities in the country with services offered from the revolutionary and multi-dimensional treatment to those who has acute illnesses to chronic degenerative diseases. Compassionately, reaching out to patients with cancer, arthritis, chronic pain, alzheimer’s, diabetes, stroke, hypertension and more.On its 3rd salvo, recently conducted .  

The body scan works as indicators to check body deficiencies, while blood vessel scan identifies the blood vessel with risk of heart failure and stroke and the zyto scan has recommended essential oil suitable with the toxicities level of an individual.Dr. Imelda S. Edodollon, Medical Director of HICC fondly called Doc Meddie is the ONLY Filipino member of American Academy of Ozone therapy and internationally certified to do ozone therapy and advanced prolozone therapy.

Directly trained by Dr. Frank Shallenger, the discoverer of Prolozone therapy. Prolozone therapy finally end the chronic pain a safe, natural and often permanent treatment for low back pain, degenerated or herniated discs, sciatica and neck pain.Holistic Chef Arlene Clemente from other wellness approach the Nutriment in charge on the food the patient will eat also for a for comprehensive nutrional coaching and nutriment workshop.

Present during the anniversary its HICC Ambassador Ronnie Liang the hit maker of song “ngiti’ give true smile relieve the patients, guest, friends and clientele.



Holistic Integrative Care Center is a medical facility in the Philippines that offers revolutionary and multi-dimensional approach to patients; taking account of the whole person; addressing mind, body, spirit and all other aspects involved. HICC makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative to provide patients with the best treatment possible. Their Therapy Services includes Beauty and Wellness, Glutathione Therapy, Infrared Hyperthermia, Coffee Enema, Chelation Therapy, Immune Booster, Mineral Repletion, Photon Therapy and Ozone Therapy

For inquiries related to the Holistic Integrative Care Center Due to public demands one of the pipeline is the upcoming opening branch of HICC in Quezon City according to Doc Meddie. HICC opens Monday to Saturday 10:00 A.M. to 6:00P.M. or contact number with landline (02) 744- 5355 with Globe number (0917)622-4565 and Sun number (0923)146-8686 and  its  clinic is  located at UG-11 Cityland Pasong Tamo Condominium, 6264 Calle Estacion, Bgy. Pio del Pilar, Makati City, Philippines .  You can reach HICC at their website :  www.hiccph.com   and  social networking site : facebook/twitter/instagram of hiccph. . Interview done  by  : MJ Olvina- Balaguer, 09053611058, maryjaneolvina@gmail.com  and photo by Michael  Balaguer.

October 27, 2018

Fine Image Salon

John and my kids kept saying I look old on ash blonde color so I decided to change the color from ash blond to red in preparation for our trip to Hong Kong.

Fine Image Salon is located at 3551 M. Roxas Street, Sta. Ana, Manila. It is owned by my Tukayo Joy. Joy has been in the salon business for years so I am confident my hair will be taken cared of by her staff. She has 2 other Salons located in Bacoor, Cavite.

The whole treatment, color and repair treatment cost only P3,000 considering I have a very long hair. So if you're on a budget like me, visit Fine Image Salon.

Thanks to Yuna for making my hair looking happy and me looking young. Thanks also for Akira and Cecille for taking care of John and me.


October 26, 2018

Katre Leather Backpack

In preparation for my family trip in Hong Kong, I went at Styled Pop Store in Shangri-La Plaza Mall to check out bags. I needed a bag big enough to carry important stuff including water bottles that will hydrate our bodies because I know how hot it is in Disneyland Amusement Park.

May suggested Katre Leather Backpack, Strand Softie. This bag comes in three colors and is worth P8,400.



Katre Leather Bags Branches:

2/3F EAST WING, SHANGRI-LA PLAZA MALL

Cove, Greenbelt 3, Makati City

Contact nos: (63) 916 6052207 | (02) 7918727

You may order online at http://shopkatre.com/

October 25, 2018

TAG Heuer Boutique in Trinoma

Renowned for its elegant and sports Swiss timepieces for men and women, TAG HEUER re-launched earlier its TAG Heuer Boutique in Trinoma. They also introduced PBA Superstars as tFriends of the Brand (FOB), namely June Mar Fajardo, Scottie Thompson, Chris Newsome, Jio Jalalon, Asi Taulava and Sean Anthony. 

Tag Heuer's official campaign, #DontCrackUnderPressure,  fit perfectly with the  TAG Heuer Brand.

Be seduced by a precision luxury watch. Choose the watch that suits you most with the help of specialized adviser who will answer your questions and help you in your choice.


Address: Trinoma Mall, North Ave Cor Mindanao Ave, Quezon City, 1105 Metro Manila
Phone: (02) 943 2479

October 24, 2018

Jim Bakery

As we walk the street of Carnarvon on our way back to the hotel after long hour stay at the Peak I smelled something really good! The freshly smelling sponge cake was coming from Jim Bakery. There was a long line but I didn't hesitate to wait because I like sponge cake a lot!

Juancho was so happy to see Jim Bakery because he said it is famous in Youtube as jiggly cake.

They offer original Egg Sponge Cake at 50HKD and Cheese Sponge Cake at 60HKD per box. Though I prefer the latter, both sponge cakes are a must to try when in Hong Kong.

Watching the bakers was fun and relaxing. Eating the sponge cakes, heaven! We were supposed to eat it for breakfast but it was gone in 60 seconds as soon as we opened the box!


Address: 6D Carnarvon Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
Opens 10AM
Phone: 6545 4665

October 23, 2018

Crush

Crush means a brief but intense infatuation for someone. It's synonyms are infatuation or puppy love. I guess all young kids experience having a crush. When I was in high school I had 2 crush. One in First year (Grade 7 equivalent now) and one in third year. 

Both boys did not know I had a crush on them back then. After college, my batchmates in St. Francis requested for a reunion so I organized it in year 2000. 

At the final meeting for the said reunion my former crush in third year attended. He sat beside me and talked like it was the first time he saw me, he said "kamusta ka na Alberto, san ka ba naglalagi at di kita nakikita?".  Di ko na natiis and replied, "Ikaw talaga Noie, kahit naman noon di mo ako nakikita. Naalala mo lang ako pag kokopya ka ng homeworks at projects". To which he replied with a laugh, "ganun ba?".  No holds barred na ito  so I said, "hindi mo naman talaga ako nakikita noon, malamang nga hindi mo alam na crush kita". Shocked sya, "Talaga, crush mo nga ako noon?".  

That was in year 2000, the last time I saw him alive. I did get to see him again in year 2014 in Facebook via a common friend when his comment popped in one of my FB friends. We connected and briefly chatted. I was happy to see him happily married with 3 kids, a son and twin girls. Eulette  seemed nice and bubbly. I instantly liked her. To make things light at the wake, I told  her about my 'crush' story. We both laughed and that's the start of this beautiful almost nightly chat.

I don't sleep at night  and I'm thankful that Eulette has been very kind reading and listening to me when everyone are already in cloud nine sleeping. Our almost daily and nightly conversations made me feel like we have been friends since high school.

We've finally had our first date at Lea Salonga's 40th Anniversary Concert. I'm really happy she made it to the concert despite the traffic. 

Sabi ko sa kanya before she went home, "hindi pala talaga meant na maging boyfriend ko ni Noie. Daan lang pala sya para kami tayo maging girlfriends. Tayong dalawa pala talaga para sa isa't isa." We both laughed and ended the night with joy in our hearts.

Actually crush ko na si Eulette. Crush, meaning I admire her for being tough in many ways.



October 22, 2018

Joyride

I'm not feeling so well for the past two weeks. I'm probably stressed and sad at the same time because two of my co-parents from my kids' previous school have recently passed away. They were in their 40s just like me.

I knew I needed to do something to keep my mind away from worrying too much so John and I took time off for a joyride, Manila-Bulacan-Subic-Tarlac-Baguio.



"The truth is you don't know what is going to happen tomorrow.
 Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed."
- Eminem


October 21, 2018

Liam Joy's 12th Birthday

Due to hectic schedule, it's been quite awhile since the last time I went at Nen's place in Bulacan. When Nen invited us for Liam Joy's 12th Birthday, I immediately replied yes because it was the perfect time to visit my bff and her family.

It was an afternoon of simple lunch, pure joy and love as I get to reunite with Mama (Nen's mom), JD, LJ and my inaanak Jad. 

LJ's friends and classmates added fun when they participated in my vlog's final words...


October 20, 2018

Savoy Hotel Manila

I'm one the privilege few vloggers who was invited to attend the Grand Opening of Savoy Hotel Manila. As a token for covering their event, press people were given 2 overnight accommodation gift certificates to be used at our pleasure.

Coming from a very hectic July to September schedule, my husband asked me to book an overnight with Savoy.

What can I say about this hotel? I like that they have a pool that is partly covered so that you can swim anytime in the afternoon without having a sunburn. I like that their gym is equipped with  enough fitness machine.s to cater to their guests. John and I even got to chat with singer-actor Mig Ayesa at the gym! The food is great! There's even an acoustic night from 9pm to 11pm.

To top it all, my husband is very hard to please so when he says, this is a nice place, I take his word for it. He liked Savoy Hotel Manila and he couldn't wait for our next stay there.



Savoy Hotel Manila
101 Andrews Avenue, Newport City Complex, Pasay City.
 Website:  https://www.thesavoyhotelmanila.com/  

Official hashtags:
#SavoyHotelManila #WelcomeToYourSpace #SpaceToExperience

October 19, 2018

Lea Salonga's 40th Anniversary Concert

Lea Salonga's 40th Anniversary Concert was sold out just 3 days after they announced in the media. The two-night concert at the PICC Plenary Hall scheduled on October 19 and 20! I am very fortunate to be given the chance to watch the first night. Thanks, Gwen, for making Riz, Eulette and yours truly very happy!

Lea Salonga, the award-winning singer and actress, Miss Saigon star, Tony Award Awardee, Olivier Awardee, Theatre World Awards and Outer Critics Circle Awardee, who is also known for giving singing voices to Jasmine from Aladdin (1992) as well as Mulan (1998), is also the Goddess of Love, Erzulie from Once on This Island, and Eponine in the Broadway production of Les Miserables, loving daughter, sister, wife and mother  gave the audience a powerful performance that is truly a concert to remember.

Lea credits her mom, Ligaya, for her longevity in the business, “I wouldn't be here if not for my mom - my mom-nager. She checks everything making sure every thing is in order".


Like her past anniversary concerts, lea wore Rajo Laurel creations, “I made my theater debut with him. We were on the same show, so it’s very fitting that every anniversary, I have to get him.”

The concert, directed by Bobby Garcia and conducted by her brother Gerard Salonga, featured a repertoire of masterpieces that have catapulted Lea's status in the global music industry.


British actor and singer, Simon Bowman, was among the guests performers. He is best known for originating the role of Chris, opposite Lea Salonga's Kim, in the original production of Miss Saigon at Theatre Royal Drury Lane in the West End. Together, Lea and Simon wowed the auduence with their Last Night fo The World performance.



The other guests are Christian Bautista, Esang and Nicole (Lea's daughter).


October 18, 2018

City Pint Leather Bag by Katre

I wasn't feeling well for 2 weeks but I continued to do the things needed to be done. As a reward from my sweet, thoughtful and lovely Fairy Godmother Gwen, I watched Lea Salonga's 40th Anniversary Concert last night with Riz and Eulette.

I opted to wear a white blazer instead of black to brighten my sickly-tired looking eyes. Underneath the blazer is a fuschia cotton dress. Beneath it is Victoria Secret undergarments sponsored by my friend Nora😁 To make my Jolas legs look slimmer and longer, I wore a bejewelled high heeled shoes. To complete the look,  I carried a chic City Pint Leather Bag by Katre. This cute blueberry bag complements all my clothes as it can be carried by hand or as a shoulder bag. Its room is big enough to carry my essentials - wallet, celphone, powerbank, alcogel, facial tissue and pepper spray.


City Pint Leather Bag by Katre is available at Katre Cove Greenbelt 3
and Styled Pop Up in Shangri-La Plaza Mall

#OccasionsofJoy #Katre #whiteblazer #KatreLeatgerBags #whatiwore #momsfashion

October 17, 2018

Shang's Gourmet Fest

Shangri-La Plaza takes you on a gastronomic trip around the world with its GourmetFest happening at the Grand Atrium starting today October 18 until October 21. Whether you’re into Asian, European, or American, GourmetFest will surely satisfy your craving.

Participating restaurants include Akira, Arya, Balboa, Bo’s Coffee Primo Brotzeit, CPK, Epicurious, Figaro, Ganso Shabuway, Kettle, La Creperie, Pages Deli, Papermoon, Pasto, Pepi Cubano, Pepper Lunch, Shi Lin, SumoSam, Tender Bob’s, Thai BBQ, The Red Crab, Wobbly Pan, and Zao.

At GourmetFest foodies can also learn as Metro Channel and Metro.Style unveils the Metro Kitchen Series on October 20 at 3 p.m. Expect the interplay of Filipino and Spanish flavors, featuring Chef Sandy Daza and Chef Robby Goco, and Wobbly Pan’s very own Chef Rolando de Gracia as they showcase how they do the magic of cooking. Shang also prepared exciting prizes from the on-site games and raffles.

Last but certainly the most important, diners can get a chance to win a trip for two to Singapore, inclusive of hotel accommodations and Singapore Explorer Pass Tickets. Simply dine in any restaurant at Shangri-La Plaza starting October 18 to November 18 with a minimum purchase of Php 500 for a one raffle coupon.


For more information, visit Shangri La Plaza’s official Facebook page or follow them on Instagram at @shangrilaplazaofficial. You may also give them a call at 370-2597/98.

October 16, 2018

Spread the World with Joy

The sign on the wall said, "Plant the world with hope". I say, "Spread the world with joy", kasi one time lang tayo mabubuhay so make the most of it.



What I wore for Ocean Park: Hat by Pomod. Shiny red hair by Fine Image Salon. Glasses by Eyesee Fashion. Backpack by Katre. Korean top by Pull & Bear. Shoes by Gola. P100 leggings by manang sa kanto. I asked for discount kaya P90 only.