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6 May 2020

Extra special Mother’s Day at home with The Manila Hotel

Mother’s Day is a yearly reminder to cherish our relationship with our moms. Given this year’s unique circumstances, many of us will be celebrating this special day at home or even away from the special women in our lives—mom, grandmas, and aunts. Still, even when fancy dinners are impossible, Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be canceled. With some creativity and preparation, you can still give the most special woman in your life the Mother’s Day she deserves.

The Manila Hotel pulls all the stops for you to still be able to give her a memorable Mother’s Day. This home celebration will have a five-star hotel feel and The Manila Hotel will make sure it gets close to a real feast.

The Manila Hotel’s Mother’s Day Surprise gives you discounts when you choose to order the food-and-cake bundle and pay online on or before May 8, 2020 (Friday). You may choose items from the A La Carte Menu or Home Buffet sets (Filipino, Italian, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese favorites, as well as Certified Halal items) and get a 20% discount on your food bill, and a 10% discount on the cake of your choice.

Because mothers deserve the only the best, you can choose from our awesome selection: our decadent Opera Cake; Ohaina Chocolate Gateau, a Lifestyle Inquirer Best Dessert Winner; the mouthwatering Trio of Chocolate Mousse, and our amazing Mango Cheesecake.

To order or for more information, please call 8527 0011 or message 0998-9501912.

12 January 2020

My first travelogue: Pundakit, San Antonio, Zambales

Pundaquit Beach, San Antonio, Zambales

Traveling to Pundaquit was just one of the highlights of my month of January 2020, it was one of my goals this year and to reward myself for the sacrifices I made since becoming a single parent and to celebrate mine milestones.

The beach from the Grundlehner's Garden Resort & Restaurant.

It was my first time in a very long time to step out of my comfort zone. When I saw the place at Airbnb, with a green arrow pointing to the beach, it was that breathtaking view that caught my attention that motivated me all the more to book for accommodation and use up my two days off in San Antonio, Zambales. Even when my son attempted to dissuade me because it's far from Masinloc where I originally suppose to visit, I still took the risk. It's my mini-holiday after all.

Truth be told and ironically, as a kid, I was scolded for being "lakwatsera" (a wanderlust), when I'd come along with friends or classmates elsewhere that isn't school or home. This means, I've never really gone far or traveled to any other place than home and school. Or when I'd go to my aunt's to spend my vacation. From this, you can tell that I am eager to break that restraint I've been having to deal with for years. That, and budget reasons.

Beef Sinigang. Don't let the picture fool you, this is a huge serving.

Apple-Cinnamon Ring for dessert.

It took me five hours to get to the Grundlehner's Garden Resort & Restaurant, but it was just the beginning of rewarding travel experience. Liza is a very warm and accommodating host. She disarmed my anxiety for being a first-time solo traveler and she introduced me with the other houseguests. And because Beat, her husband, is also a chef, I didn't have to go too far just to dine. They have a set of menu for both international and Filipino cuisine, and they serve the food freshly cooked.

On the first night immediately after my arrival, I tagged along with the lodgers to the local bars to have a few drinks. It was only Thursday so business was slow and it was only us who were customers. I sang a little bit at the videoke and tried not to sing off-key, which I did.  We came back to the resort at around 11pm to send me to bed early because I was really tired from my shift and the five-hour travel.

On Friday, which was my first day, I had a cup of coffee before we went to the car wash and was also introduced to the owner, Chris. I had the most wonderful brunch and it was a good serving too; I was still full before we went to the flea market so I can buy a pair of swimsuit because they were teasing me for attempting to dive into the water in my shorts. I got two pairs of bikinis and then we went back to Garden Resort to get towels before heading to the beach. I swear, it was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. The water was clear and blue, the waves were just right, and the water is almost calm actually. It was just a gorgeous, perfect day.

Car Wash

Car Wash Bar & Restaurant

My favourite Eggs Benedict.

Being that I only have two days to enjoy the place, I didn't have the time to take a nap. We were everywhere in Pundaquit. Another place we went to was Sunset Beach. There I met more people, and we had some more beer or two and we watched the spectacular sunset. By nightfall, we went back to the car wash for dinner and some more socializing. The women were playing pool, and having no skill with billiards, I contented myself in a corner and watched the ladies have fun.
Then it was back to the resort again. This time, I had a good night's rest.

Our view at the Sunset Bar.

My dinner.

Our dinner.
On Saturday, and my last day which was a bitter-sweet goodbye. We again went to the car wash for brunch before another splash at the beach. I check out at 12PM, so I really had to make the most of my time before I go back to the grind. I came home around night time and I was pleasantly exhausted from this adventure. I came home with fresh memories and it gave me something to look forward to: I am now defining the phrase "Life begins at forty." because that's when my kids started exploring their own independence which left me more time for myself.

My first initiation to becoming a transient-er was when I started practically becoming a permanent fixture at my employment's sleeping quarters. I would bring a huge backpack with all my accruments in it and spend five days at work, then come home for my rest days. This experience had me acquiring ideas about backpacking.
  • Toiletries (toilet tissue, wet wipes, personal hygiene stuff)
  • Change of clothes
  • Versatile bath towel
  • Pair of foldable slippers
  • Inflatable pillow
  • Pairs of versatile shoes
Drawing from this experience, it added to my confidence that if I carefully plan my steps, I can survive the challenges of traveling on a shoestring. My trip to Pundaquit is just the beginning, and I'm looking forward to more to come.

2 January 2020

Yakikai Japanese-Korean fusion Buffet Restaurant

Tucked away from the busy flow of Quezon City urban hustle, you can find the newly opened Japanese-Korean fusion restaurant, Yakikai Buffet Restaurant located at Scout Lascano St., a former dwelling that was renovated to seat 150 people dining, there’s also parking space for patrons with vehicles and a stone away from Starbucks if you’re up for palate wash or find a relaxed ambiance & intimate conversation since Yakikai is a busy restaurant.

You can choose and mix your own serving from their eat-all-you-can or ala carte menu, and you’ll definitely enjoy the food because you can fill your plate as much as you can eat, take trips back to the buffet section as you want. You can also cook your food right on your table!

The buffet section is frequently supplied, so even though the place looks small, the food doesn’t immediately run out. Yakikai also offers a birthday promo, perfect for people who are too busy to prepare and for those surprise birthday parties. You don’t have to go too far, Yakikai got you covered.

The service wasn’t as exceptional if you’re one demanding customer like me, because we had to ask to be served with soup, you will never be missed by the friendly attendants and they will always serve you with a smile. The ambiance was decent, it’s not at all quite as spacious but it is well lighted and clean. They have a good variety of food, and if you’re looking for authentic Japanese and Korean cuisine, you can add this to your list of places to dine. Yakikai is a very good place to spend time with friends and family.

I just have to warn you though, since the seats are good for only 150 people, you need to be early to get in line, otherwise, at their peak time, the place is packed with people and you will have to wait in line for the next available table. They have a list they follow, so be sure to look for the lady that carries a notebook and pen. I guess I am only peeved about braving the Manila traffic to get to the restaurant, only to be greeted by a sea of people and the wait time is my worst enemy.

Overall, I truly enjoyed my food and I almost had indigestion with all the food I ate, then again, it was a good way to end 2019. Good food, great time with the people I like and the memories I keep and bring into the new year.