Sanctuary

Things I considered to do on my birthday ; going out of the country (too expensive) , going to Boracay or any beach or tourist spots in Visayas or Mindanao (takes time, exhausting, needs to book everything and mega effort) , overwhelm myself by shopping (totally impractical) , and treat myself to an overrated expensive dinner (it will just be flushed in the septic tank afterwards so no thank you) …

And so after a month of planning on where to go and what to do, I ended up revisiting Tagaytay City. Don’t we all love Tagaytay City? Just 2 hours drive from the busy streets of Manila and you’ll be welcomed with the cold breeze and scenic views of Tagaytay City, It’s more fun in the Philippines eh?ūüėČ What made it special was that I found a sanctuary that I immediately fell in love with, Nurture Spa Village.

The staff are very¬†accommodating and¬†courteous¬†and they will always greet you with a smile every time you will bump into one.¬†¬†You will not feel that you are in an expensive villa because their motto is to maintain modesty. You can just hear chirping birds and the wind gushing over the trees, wherever you look, your eyes will be satisfied with the relaxing view of the paradise inspired village, everything they use for the treatments and services are organic and home made, every single detail of the¬†furniture¬†and landscapes will take your breath away. Aaahhhh typing this down makes me wanna go back right this very moment =) It is very¬†Filipino¬†inspired, with all woods and capis and the feel of nature embracing your mind body and soul. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not overacting, I’m just pleased with everything because it exceeded my expectation. No doubt that they are rated as one of the best spa in Asia. They have several services that you can choose from but to be stress free, they have packages that are suitable for couples, family and big groups depending on your needs. =)

The package we took is for P11,500, I didn’t expect much but then I immediately fell in love with the place the moment I stepped into the village..here’s why…

One, an overnight stay in an elegant room with an overlooking view of Tagaytay’s forest nature =)

Nope, it’s not my honeymoon or anniversary or whatever.. hahaha the package we took is called Romantiko Package thus the set up and in all fairness, thumbs up for the romantic feel of the bed and bathroom ornaments. ^^

Two, romantic dinner with candle lights, rose petals and a bottle of wine.

It’s like the one in the romantic movies wherein you’re in a private dinner date with¬†candle lights, you have your own waiter, full course of the meal are served with a bottle wine, rose petals are scattered everywhere, It’s just you and him, then someone is playing your favorite song via violin, then the guy will propose with a diamond ring.. oopppss! Too much imagination, hahahaūüėĄ but yeah, everything I said happened that night, except for the violin and proposal thingy, teehee! ^^

 

Three, relaxing whole body massage with complimentary organic pandan tea ^^ P.S. I love their tea cups and how they serve varieties of organic teas =)

Four, set breakfast

Five, choice of facial or foot spa

BTW, their facial does not include pricking so you don’t have to worry! ^^ They put some organic creams on my face with a very pampering facial massage and only thing I recognized was honey since it really smelled so good! ^^ P.S. ginger tea this time!

Six, sumptuous lunch

Sumptuous indeed wouldn’t you agree? =) Eating in their open Cafe overlooking the whole village with the pool area makes the eating experience superb!

Plus, you can enjoy all other amenities within the village.

There are too many pictures that I decided not to upload so that you can see the place for yourselves. I’m totally gonna get my parents the same package for their anniversary. On my way back to Manila while I was browsing the pictures, all I said to myself, “It’s worth every cent”. ¬†=)

P.S. You can contact them at¬†09209505724/710-9786 and look for Isabel and feel free to ask for other services/package that suits your budget and needs. Also, you might wanna request for Querobee to be your attendant. He’s been there for 9 years so he knows everything about the place, such a good man and very friendly ^^

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Under The Sea

It’s really great how people can do wonder, i.e, take the sea floor to the land, the result? We have Ocean Park . =)

Yeah..it’s been here for a while so the photos will just make you remember the day when you went there, either during a field trip, just a usual Sunday stroll with your family/friends, or a sweet dateūüėČ

But for those who have not yet visited the place, these photos are enough to make you grab your bags and hit the road.

It’s¬†accessible since it’s just along Roxas Blvd and situated at the back of¬†¬†Rizal Park. You can either ride a cab straight to the place or take any jeepney going to Baclaran and alight anywhere near Kalaw or Rizal Park and walk your way to the biggest aquarium in the city.

Starting with the Marine Life Habitat with the super witty Sea Lions! ^^

It’s like a 2o minute show of two sea lions that will surely entertain the viewers, from all ages, with their stunts, charm and wit. They are really cute, though slimey, hahaūüėĄ The show is also full of Nat-geo-ish info regarding the specie and reminders to keep mother nature healthy to avoid these wonderful creatures from extinction. =)

And a lucky audience gets to meet and greet Vincent! (Sea Lion on the left). =) Admission is P300 per head and show schedule at 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM & 4:30 PM.

Then we enter the main feature of the place, the biggest aquarium in town, the Oceanarium.

Trivia #1: The crocodile in the park are the baby ones. The Crocodile Farm is just lending them the baby crocs and once they grow up, they will be replaced by new baby crocs. =)

Trivia #2. Star fish are safe to touch, you won’t feel itchy after touching them and just make sure to put them back carefully =) So yeah, this is how Patrick Star looks like in ¬†real life.ūüėĄ

Trivia #3: Only Nemo/Clown fish is the only fish with a real coral reef in its tank because this fish can’t live without one. It’s called sea anemone and they live in a mutualism¬†relationship¬† (grab your biology book, go figure. haha) ¬†All tanks are filled with¬†artificial¬†reefs but are sure safe for our sea creatures. The water filling each tank is directly from Manila bay (it’s already filtered so don’t worryūüėĄ ).

Cool aren’t they? =) For just P400 for the entrance fee you can see them up close! *I should get paid for promoting these haha XD*

I have limited pictures from the biggest aquarium since the sea animals can move freely and the lighting is not cooperativeūüėĄ . The main part of the park where you can feel that you’re actually in the ocean floor..

If you noticed a guy wearing a diving suit on top, he’s not there to clean the tank or feed the fish. It’s called Aquanaut wherein you can have a view from the inside of the big aquarium and interact with the sea creatures for P995 for 20-30minutes (haven’t tried it though). =)

Super cute eh? This type of shark is like smiling so I took a photo with him =) *I assumed that it’s a he, hahahaūüėĄ

Trivia #4 : Although in the big tank, all sorts of fish even sting rays and eels etc. are all in one place, they do not prey on each other because they are “trained” or more like “used” of not eating their own kind. Why? Because they already have a food supply twice a day so they don’t need to look for a prey. =) Even the big sharks do not act like the ones in the Jaw movie because again, they are being well fed so no need to go berserk and color their tanks redūüėČ

Wonder where I got all these trivia? hahaha.. I did not research on them, I just had a chat with Kuya, the tour guide in our little glass bottom boat ride..

Nope, that’s not Kuya haha that’s my boyfriend. For P150 per head, you will get a top view of the big tank. =)

Since the tour is a bit exhausting (tip: ladies, wear flats) , last stop is a relaxing foot spa , of course, by the sea creatures as well =) *P150/head

Ready, set.. nibble! haha it felt so funny cause it’s a mixture of ¬†feeling ticklish and super small pinches.

And a little souvenir shot for an amazing experience.ūüėČ

 

=)

 

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Untitled.

Super late post and I don’t know what to put as a title! hahaha Back in July, me and my friends decided to have a postscript¬†summer escapade. We went to Casa Corazon¬†in Lemery Batangas. It was a 30 minutes drive from the outskirts of Tagaytay.¬†¬†

My friend is the grand daughter of the owner of the place. It’s not your usual resort in Batangas. It’s like a precious paradise for the place is far from the busy streets of the city, full of plants, trees and greeneries, ¬†really spacious and more.

The main pool is almost the size of an¬†Olympic¬†pool surrounded by cottages and rooms which are apartment like. Take note, we were the only ones using the place so it really felt like heavenūüėČ

Our place, the picture on the left, has it’s own receiving area, dinning table, kitchen and restroom in the first floor. The second floor serves as the bedroom with two beds and really spacious so we just added 5¬†mattresses to¬†accommodate¬†our whole group. The place we occupied is just for P5,500.00 per day. The place serves more like a private resort for the whole family and is only open for those who knows any family member.

Two kiddie pools are also available just next to the main pool. They also have a mini park, 1st photo from the right, where kids can freely play and roam around. ^^

A big function hall for debut or wedding is also available. Of course, billiards and videoke houses are ready to entertain the guests. =)

FUN. =)

It’s like a precious paradise for the place is far from the busy streets of the city, full of plants, trees and greeneries, ¬†really spacious and more. And more¬†means that you will wake up with the melody of the birds singing because they have an aviary at the back of the resort. ¬†This is my favorite part of the place, too bad we were not able to take photos because it was breeding season and we can’t afford to disturb the birds. But let me describe how beautiful they are, first I thought they were not real because the size of the birds are incredibly big and colorful! I really can’t believe what I’m seeing because they looked like the birds from the animated film Rio came to life right in front of me! Seriously, the birds are not the usual ones you can see in zoos, they are exotic ones. You must visit the place and see for yourselves! ^^

The next¬†more¬†is for cars and motor bike enthusiasts. This is the highlight of the trip. They have, I think, one of the biggest collection/museum of SWAG cars and motor bikes.ūüėČ I don’t need to get a pass to an exclusive car/motorbike show for I was lucky enough to see these vintage babies for free.. =)

To be honest, I don’t even know what these cars and bikes are called but one thing is definite, these vintage automobiles are worth a fortune. I was lucky enough not to leave a scratch on these babies when I took the opportunity to touch and ride them (more like, sit on them) ¬†;P

Serene place to swim, relaxing exotic birds singing and must-see classic rides..well, it’s a crystal clear 10 for Casa Corazon if I were to rate it. ^^

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New Found Love, J.Co Donuts

A newly opened store in Mall of Asia caught my attention, ¬†J.Co Dounts¬†.There was a long line outside the shop, and yes, I also fell in line to know what the commotion was all aboutūüėČ .

They have frappe, coffee, frozen yogurt, and the star of the night, doughnuts! Everything is sooooo affordable! As you can see, each doughnut is for P42, one dozen is just for P350 instead of P504 so you saved P154!!! =) I took advantage of it and bought a dozen and had each flavor! ^^

The flavors are oh-so-yummy and distinct that it doesn’t seem like your just eating regular doughnuts. Must try! ^^

They have branches in Mega Mall, Green Belt3 and Trinoma. For the one I visited in MOA, it’s located near the SupermarketūüėČ . Hope to be back there soon!!!

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A not so ordinary rainy day..

I think God’s words can’t be only heard from the church..sometimes.. random people you meet everyday can be a medium for His greatness..

It was a gloomy Saturday night and I’m all dressed up from Cinemalaya and my friend’s birthday celebration when the rain started to pour like there’s no tomorrow. I was up for my next destination and instead of my original plan of saving money/being cheap and utilizing the affordable public means of¬†transportation, I ended up taking a cab. Once inside, I told the driver where to go and started calling people and ended up staring outside the barely visible streets of Manila.

Kuya, the manong driver started a little chat,

Nakakatamad ang byahe pag maulan, sana nagsabong nalang ako“.

And just to be a little nice, I responded

Oo nga ho eh,”.

But seriously, I hate talking to drivers specially if I’m alone inside a cab. He started to notice the other private cars passing by and giving comments about its pros and cons. And I was like, “duh? I don’t talk driver-car?can’t comprehend..”. Then he saw a guy sleeping or more like trying to sleep along the side walk.

Pag ako naging presidente, di ako papayag na may natutulog sa kalsada! napagdaanan ko na yan eh!

Now this is interesting, I asked him..

Talaga ho? eh pano kayo natutong magdrive?

Probinsyano ho ako galing Tacloban, napadpad sa Maynila, walang pera, nagpakalat kalat at natutulog sa kalsada

Minsan nga ho’ gusto ko na magnakaw nun para may makain, pero inisip ko padin may awa ang Diyos. Hanggang sa isang araw na natutulog ako sa bangketa, may matandang Intsik na gumising sakin at inampon ako. Nag dishwasher ako sa restaurant niya at sa ipon ko dun ko nabili itong taxi ko!

He was extra proud on the last part, haha. It was really weird because one thing he’s talking about cars and now I felt like I’m watching an indie movie. Then he kept going with his Maalaala Mo Kaya-ish story.

“Isang libo’t limang daan lang sweldo ko nun! Tapos na promote ako! Nagtiwala sakin yung Instik naging cashier ako, naging P3,250 sweldo ko, hanggang sa nag janitor ako at minimum na sahod ko.”

“Simula nung nagtrabaho ako nagipon ako, ung isang libo ipon ko, yung P500 pang kaen ko at pang sugal, yun lang libangan ko eh. Hanggang sa nakabuo ako ng P400,000 at nabili ko itong taxi ko!”

He was touching the interior of the taxi while saying those words, like he was referring to it as a precious art work in a gallery. I can’t blame him, he went through a lot and look at him now. I kept quiet while he goes on with his story, I was just nodding and saying “ah”and staring at him with admiration.

“Ngayon ma’am may tatlo na kong taxi, yung pang apat bibilhin ko next year. Nakaplano na yun sa March 2013!”

“Edi mas mayaman na kayo dun sa Intsik kuya? Haha.. bakit nagmamaneho ka pa dapat buhay haciendero ka na.”

“Ay nako hindi ho, anu naman ho ang gagawin ko sa bahay? Ang tao nabuhay para kumilos at magtrabaho. Dapat magsumikap para umunlad. Wag kang titigil hanggat alam mo pang may magagawa ka. “

Seriously, I wanted to give him a standing¬†ovation with his words. Kidding aside, I really liked that man. The ambiance was not the “korni” older guy telling you lectures about life, because he’s not that old and he has this native tone when he speaks.. and he tells the story with a smile on his face so everything is very light like an old friend telling you what happened to his life.

“p400,000? ang mura lang pala ng taxi akala ko ho mga nsa million eh, sige kuya bibili akong taxi bukas hanap mo kong driver ah, haha”

“Ay sus ma’am driver lang ba? Meron ho si Celso napakabait nun”

And we were talking like we’ve known each other for a long time, I felt at ease with him.

“Kaya lang kuya nakakatakot mag negosyo ng taxi, baka itakbo ng driver o baka ibangga gastos pa.”

“Ay hindi ho, sabihin ko sa inyo sikreto sa buhay. Babaan nyo lang ang boundary nyo. Ang sabi ko sa mga driver ko, P1,000 lang ang boundary ko, ituturing ko kayong pamilya ko, ituring nyong sa inyo yang taxi ko, alagaan nyo, ingatan nyo, pati sarili nyo lalo na. Ay tignan mo ngayon ma’am lahat ng taxi ko bagong bago pa. “

“Ang tao ma’am madali naman kausap yan, pakitaan mo ng maganda babalik sayo yun, basta wag ka manlalamang ng kapwa.”

I can’t help but smile with his words. I know it sounds cheesy or we already know these things about life but when ¬†it comes from a person who experienced the ups and downs of life and being able to continue a happy and contented life, it sounded¬†surreal. Take note, it came from a stranger.

I thought we’re just gonna talk about how to be successful and stuff but then he saw plump girl wearing skirt.

“Ang sexy ni ate ma’am”

“Siksik kuya, haha”

¬†“Ay nako ma’am, ako mahilig sa matataba! Yung asawa ko ganun eh. Karamihan sa matataba palatawa at masayahin sa buhay, walang arte chaka maalaga. “

Wow. Well, he has a point, most “healthy” girls I know.. *including myself* has those characteristics.

“Ikaw ma’am may asawa ka na?”

“Ay nako kuya bata pa ko noh. haha”¬†

¬†“Naku ma’am dapat ang kukunin mo wag basta gwapo. Kadalasan ngayon gwapo nga mahina naman tuhod. Paano makakabuhay ng pamilya? Ako kahit hindi gwapo pinatulan ng asawa ko eh.”

“Ay kuya tatlo ba naman taxi mo eh? haha”

“Hahahaha.. hindi naman ma’am, naranasan ko na ang hirap ng buhay. Ayoko ng bumalik doon. Saludo ako sa mga lalaking masisipag, kaya yang mga construction worker, wag mong minamata yan ay kasisipag nyan magtaguyod ng pamilya. Masarap mabuhay kapag yung mga bagay sa paligid mo alam mong pinag hirapan mo at pinagpawisan”

Then he went on again stroking the leather cover of the passenger seat beside him, referring to it as his championship cup from life’s challenges.

I did nothing but smile and absorb all his words the whole time he was talking. When I alighted, I gave him a genuine smile and said “Kuya, Salamatūüôā ” and I meant it.

I was busy with my job for the past few weeks that I skipped going to church. I was earning more than enough but it seemed insufficient for my wants. I was having a hard time balancing my sleep, social/family responsibilities, even filling up my own clothes doesn’t seem to have room with my schedule. But hearing Kuya’s stories gave me peace. It’s like, I realized once more how important life is, real life, our mere existence. How thankful I should be with the things I have rather than complaining of what I don’t have. ¬†His story is really inspiring that it made me smile and tell myself, “Kung si Kuya nga bumongga ng ganun ako pa? XD”.¬†

It was still raining when I’m internalizing what happened inside the four corners of Kuya’s taxi. Then I looked up and smiled. Thank God it was raining, for if it did not rain, I would not have taken a cab and had a chance to hear Kuya’s stories and be enlightened with my life.

I wonder who will be the next stranger I’ll bump into and lift up my day. God really moves in mysterious ways. =)

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Love your own – Filipino superheroes!

“Love your own – Filipino superheroes!¬† – Not really superheroes but any local fictional characters. That was our theme last June for my friend’s birthday party in Foggy Heights, Tagaytay. Just to set your expectation, this is a¬†NON PRO COSTUME PARTY¬†*wink* . If you can remember, we also had one last April which was for foreign superheroes¬†. We enjoyed dressing up and taking pictures of ourselves back then so we decided to do another one, and that’s the reason why I’m writing this =) .

Let us start with myself… *drum roll*

No, I’m not a fan of Jennylin Mercado (but she’s a good a actress and already a mom but still as hot as hell for being number 9 in FHM’s sexiest woman of 2012, again, I’m not a fan, I juts knew these facts.) ¬†Going back to me, I just wore a purple dress and¬†accessories¬†to look like Lira from Encantadia. I need not to explain, I know you are familiar with that series, Pashnea.ūüėĄ

He didn’t really prepare that day but we still managed to think of someone he looked like. Well, this guy is really handsome so we decided that he’ll just be¬†Palos . It’s just all about the projection and posing. =D

Say hello to¬†Pepeng Agimat¬†*insert laugh here* . Sorry, I just can’t absorb why he chose that character hahaha. But anyway, two thumbs up for the effort because he bought the necklace however he was complaining for the price. Well, he won the best costume from our previous party so he really has to be consistent.

Don’t be confused, my¬†friend is the one on the last picture hahahahaūüėĄ . Outfit-check , posing-check, facial expression -check, curly hair-check, long wooden stick -check (he went outside the house and randomly pulled out a branch of a tree, which he said was already broken, just to be competitive), and there you go.. Pedro Penduko! Kutis lang ang pinagkaiba, charot!¬†*evil grin*

The birthday girl chose to be none other than¬†Dyosa. It’s your birthday, why would you settle for less huh? A maxi floral dress, full blown make (done by me, yey!) , and some cute floral head band can do the trick. Don’t forget the hand gestures to feel that you really are a goddess.

Make way for the new Best in Costume title holder!!!! *applause* hahahahaūüėĄ. We really did not expect her costume. She was not Lia,¬†human form of Angel Locsin in¬†Lobo. In fact, she was already the wolf form.. amazing eh? haha Four thumbs up for you!

And last but not the least..

Snow¬†White.¬†She could’ve won the best costume IF our theme was Disney characters LOL. She said she thought it was a costume party, but failed to understand that it’s supposed to be for local fictional characters only. I swear, we spent like 15-30 minutes laughing at her.ūüėĄ She was disappointed because she can’t win the title for that night. Well, there’s still next time. =)

And so our costume party took place with a bang and we went back to the busy streets of Manila with smiles on our faces. We sure had a great time and I’m looking forward for more “crazy” birthday celebrations with my dear friends. =)

Here are some shots from the rest of the party. ^^,

 

 

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The waves of San Narciso Zambales..

Me and my high school friends went to San Narciso Zambales to have a relaxing weekend. We stayed at my friend’s beach house which is for rent for just P1,ooo per day. We stayed there for two days, of course we had a discount.ūüėĄ So I guess this blog is more of an advertisement, beach house for rent! ^^

To go there, ride a Victory Liner bus in Monumento going to Zambales. The fair to San Narciso is P277.00 per head and the ride is about 4 hours with two 15 minutes stop overs in Pampang and Olanggapo. From the town of San Narciso, you just have to ride a tricycle going to the beach house which is P15.00 per head. To go back to Manila, same thing, ride a tricycle to San Narciso, and wait for a bus headed to Caloocan/Monumento. Easy right?=)

Here are the photos of the beach house. =)

The beach house from the outside.

This is the front yard, I think 3 vans can fit on it. Since I don’t know the exact dimension of the place, I’ll just use vans for reference so that you can imagine how spacious it is. =)

This is the Veranda. We stayed there the whole night until we felt sleepy. For the dimension, well you can hold a children’s birthday party there for around 10-20pax. =)

See the window from the veranda? This is where the bedroom is. There are three beds, each bed is ideally good for two. The two other beds can actually¬†accommodate¬†three persons. Oh well, you’re not going to a vacation just to sleep right? Why not camp outside and make a bonfire like we did the first time we went there. But this time, we utilized the room since it’s a bit raining. =) It has no¬†air condition, it is a beach house, not a resort hotel. Though there are available electric fans, the weather there is cold enough to give you a goodnight sleep.

The other side of the place is where we usually hangout, the receiving area. This serves as the dinning area and kitchen as well. The place is mostly made out of bamboo and it’s like a big nippa hut. The ambiance is so relaxing, peaceful and it is a perfect scene for an ideal vacation in the province. To add up to the native aura of the place, they don’t have faucets. We used a “poso” to get water for bathing and washing the dishes. For drinking, there is an available water dispenser. =) This part is really big, seriously, 50 people can fit and you can host a feast here. =) There is even a backyard which is as big as the front yard.

This is my friend, sitting at my favorite spot, the “duyan”. This is in the backyard, obviously because of the sand. There is also one “duyan” in the receiving area.

From the beach house, you just have to step out and walk a few meters straight ahead and voila, the sea is waiting for you. =)

The best thing that I like in this place is that it’s not commercialized therefore it is not¬†crowded. When we went there, the only people swimming in the beach are my group of friends and another group which is so far away from us. My friend said that they are also visitors of one of the beach house owners there. In short, we owned the place. =)

My favorite part of the day, sun set. =)

The sea here is not calm, I heard that it is a good place for starters to go surfing. =)

Everytime I feel stressed out with the busy city life, this is the perfect place to stay. Again, my friend’s place is for rent for only P1,000.00 per day. (I should get paid for doing this, hahaha) So if you want to have a peaceful and inexpensive vacation, San Narciso Zambales is the place to be. ^^

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