|Posted by Jasmine R. Dedomo on December 18, 2016 at 2:05 AM||comments (5)|
It was my first time to join the educational tour in MNHS (Mambugan National High School) where I currently work as a Grade 8 teacher. I actually thought it was boring, but since most of my students from my advisory class are joining and my son would join as well, I thought of giving it a try-- perfect time to bond with them on a Sunday though I was sleepless the night before the said trip. Well, how can I know if I won't try?
Our first stop was the historical Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit Cavite. This is highly recommended for students who are not familiar yet with our history.
Photographs of President Emilio Aguinaldo
Personal belongings of President Emilio Aguinaldo
Weapons used suring their time
After almost 30 minutes or more of waiting, we finally got inside and all of us were amazed how they were able to preserve this place. The house was actually big- and for you to have many and huge rooms in the house, at that time, you belong to the affluent class.
the comfort rooml
Our next stop was Palace in the Sky in Tagaytay. This is just a great place for sightseeing and enjoying the breathtaking view. I am thinking of the possibility of visiting this place in summer (I will stay either in The Tagaytay Lake View Hotel or Discovery Tagaytay and visit different places including Sky Ranch for the kids if I stil have enough money, hehehe!). It was relaxing there-- too bad, we had to go because we needed to go to Enchanted Kingdom. Unfortunately, when we reached the place, it was already past 3pm :-( I decided to try the Space Shuttle, but it took us more than two hours to fall in line-- the queue was just too looooong, there were times I wanted to leave but then i spent hours waiting already. When i finally got into the seat, I never thought that was too scary until we moved- that was the moment when I thought the possibility that i would never come back--any moment, the ride would stop or something would happent to the engine. It was like something was hitting my head too hard that after the ride, I had a terrible headache and I wasn't able to go to school the following day. I really didn't enjoy the ride-- it was more of a torture. I would never ever try that ride again. I wasn't able to tour the whole place, but my experience was enough-- there will be NO second time.
As an educator, I don't recommend EK to be a part of the itinerary simply because it would consume much of your time. If the purpose of your tour is just to have fun, probably you can just devote all your time there (no other places to visit) so you can make most out of your day. Of course, if our purpose is to educate the kids and let them have fun at the same time, a perfect itinerary should be considered.
|Posted by Jasmine R. Dedomo on November 18, 2016 at 5:55 AM||comments (0)|
I booked this Astoria Plaza in Ortigas Center, Pasig City last month for our 14th wedding anniversary because the rate seemed reasonable and I was curious as well because I've been offered for their club membership twice already when I was in Boracay. Since the membership fee is kinda expensive, I was expecting something grand. I have done my research about this place through reading blogs and reviews. Some people were satisfied-- some were not, but then since we are entitled to our own opinion, I decided to at least try and discover for myself.
When we have arrived there, our jaws literally dropped when the front desk officer asked us to deposit P3,000 in cash. I just brought 1k because my funds in the ATM are still in current and I couldn't withdraw the money. All I have are my credit cards which I can use in case of emergency. I was thankful because my hubby brought cash with him-- if not, we couldn't have stayed there. I have booked through Agoda so I didn't know that I should bring cash. (I think information about this should be crystal clear in both the official website and other booking sites). Of course, everybody prefers a hassle-free staycation and this incident really irritated me, but I have tried to keep calm and just enjoy.
We waited for less than 30 minutes for check-in and while we were waiting, we watched guests come and go. Most of them are wearing shorts. (I thought wearing of shorts is not allowed in all public areas) Prior to our check-in, I have called the customer service hotline to confirm about their dress code. I was informed that only smart casual attire is allowed in their cafe, but we can wear jeans in the public areas. I asked if we can wear shorts, the answer is NO. I didn't know that time if I would burst into laughter or confront the receptionists because of anger and disappointment. I just thought that probably, they have modified their dress code rules-- well, if that's the case, an updated information should be posted in their website.
After more or less 30 minutes of waiting,I was given the keycard and the check-in info sheets .(info about the WIFI password and schedule of shuttle services) we were expecting somebody to assist us- somebody who would accompany us to our room or even help in bring our luggage, but nobody approached us. Hey, was it worth the wait and the deposit if we won't be treated well. (In Fernandina Suites- a 3 star hotel, there was somebody who escorted us to our room and we were given welcome drinks). So there, we had no choice but to head to the elevator and find the room on our own.
We booked for one bedroom suite which was just right for us (2 adults and a nine-year old kid. It was clean and very organized, but if you will examine the wall coverings, you can trace that the hotel is quite old. Though the wall cover needs an upgrade, as well as some of the furnishings, I like the concept about utilizing mirrors (to make the room look spacious).
A clearbook with detailed information about their services and number of items in the room is there in the table found in the bedroom.
I also like the toilet design as well as the good quality of the linens and curtains. Airconditioning is okay :-) We were comfortable during our stay. I just noticed that they don't have a comforter. They have a closet with hangers, ironing board and iron and a hair dryer in their toilet.
The one-bedroom suite comes with a kitchen where you can cook your own food; however, if you bring a lot, you have to pay for a corkage fee. This is good if you intend to have a small party for the family. There are cookwares and kitchen utensils that you can use. The dining room is also spacious and relaxing.
We also like their bathroom. Their design is really cool- such a space saver. With regards to freebies, they just have a small shampoo and lotion, and 2 pcs of dental kits. I have read in a review about the mystery of the missing towels, so I counted the towels when we arrived. It seems I knew that we would have a problem with the check-out process.
I didn't want to spoil everything so have used the amenities such as the pool and the fitness center. We went to the gym after inspecting the assigned room to us.
I tried to lose calories in their treadmill.
The pool is quite okay and the staff are consistent in implementing the rules and regulations. They take the details such as the registered guest and the number of persons in the room. Also, they advise the guests to take a shower first before swimming. Only swimming attires are allowed.
The lap pool
Shane in the Kiddie Pool
Mother and daughter in the lounge chairs
Another thing that made us disappointed is that we were not able to avail of their FREE shuttle service because the time when I have texted them, they claimed, service was already full. We spent P70 or more for the one-way fare from the hotel to Robinson's Galleria. Also, the free WIFI for 2 devices was useless. We used our internet data just to update our FB status and upload photos.
One thing I had to commend them though, is their customer service staff. I called when the television in our room wasn't working and the customer service representative sent a guy to fix our unit. After it was repaired, the customer service representative called to make sure that our television is working.
Our view from our window
Before we went to the cafe for our free breakfast, I called their front desk officer about the 9 year old child we have if she will pay half of the rate. According to them, she has to pay the full amount. Because we had a problem with cash at that time, I asked also if I can use credit card to pay for the bill. I was relieved when they confirmed that they accept credit card as payment. Note:I will make a separate review about Astoria Cafe).
I wasn't surprised when we had encountered a problem when we were about to check out. The front desk officer asked me where could I possibly placed a hand towel that was missing. I insisted that the towels were all in the bathroom. After few minutes of waiting, we were relieved that we were able to get our full refund of our deposit.
Should I recommend Astoria Plaza? Why not, but be guided with my tips.
TIPS: 1. Bring P3,000 for cash deposit in your check-in.
2. Bring a pocket-WIFI because the FREE wifi is useless.
3. Count the towels and if possible, have somebody from their staff to count them.
4. Call their front desk staff in advance to book for their shuttle service in advance.
5. You may bring shorts and jeans. They are not strict in the cafe. 6. Bring your ATM cards, credit cards and as much as possible EXTRA CASH in case of emergency.
My Barbie World's Rating:
Note: I have received a phone call last week (November 14, 2016) from their front office manager apologizing about the experience I had. I appreciate that effort :-)
|Posted by Jasmine R. Dedomo on November 2, 2016 at 4:05 AM||comments (0)|
Last summer, I received an invitation to blog about The Manor and Forest Lodge in Camp John Hay, so when I decided to go to Baguio City to chill before I finally get back to work, I made it a point to visit this attraction. This is a great opportunity to share my experience to the public -- to give them an idea what to expect if ever they will visit the place.
Whenever we go to Baguio, ever since I was a kid, we always visit here, that's why I was too excited to go there and get the chance to dicover and explore so I can share it to the world. The view was still as relaxing as before, but as a traveller, I have considered few, but important things. I do NOT own a car, that's why I use a cab to travel. Expect to have higher fare when going to CJH and worse, you need to have a very long walk in order for you to explore the different attractions there. It is advisable to at least have your own car/service when going there. We waited for eternity and had a loooooong walk before we finally got back to our hotel.
Our first stop was the Bell House. When I was a kid, I've been there and all I knew then was that the had a great significance to the lives of the Americans who lived here, but honestly, i don't know about the details. Since it is open to the public, I think the visitors should be educated about this place. The info written there is not enough-- people won't spare much of their time to read those. As we explore the place, I find it creepy, just like the way I felt when I was in the Teacher's Camp.
We decided to take a walk and looked for a rest room because my daughter wanted to take a pee. At last, we found a restroom in the abandoned building, seemed abandoned, but you have to pay (I forgot if we paid P2 or 5).
While we were walking, hoping that we can go to the new shops where we can buy imported goods, we easily got exhausted and all we wanted that time was to go to the hotel and rest. I saw The Manor , a hotel that I considered when I was looking for a place to stay in Baguio-- the building is already old and creepy. The price per night was also not practical, and I made the right choice of sticking with Microtel because staying in CJH it's too far from the other attractions in the city. You won't be comfortable unless you have your private car/service. I actually didn't enjoy going there-- I was bored to death. Instead of going to SM to dine, I just opted to stay inside the hotel and had room service to feel comfortable.
TIPS FOR THOSE WHO WILL GO THERE:
1. Make sure to have your own service/car so you'd be able to explore the whole place.
2. Try the picnic grounds with your family and friends (this is the only positive
3. Do not expect much--as there is nothing new (except for the few stores), but still boring.
4. Consider booking other hotels (closer to the other attractions).
I personally don't recommend this place especially if you are with senior citizens or kids.
|Posted by Jasmine R. Dedomo on September 12, 2016 at 4:15 AM||comments (0)|
Before the opening of classes this June, I made it a point to book for a 3-day stay in Baguio City- a place where I can unwind and forget all the stress. After days of extensive research, I settled for Microtel Inn & Suites primarily because of its location-- it is very accessible to public transport. I like the modern design though it is not as big as the other hotels. I can say that our whole sleeping nights were peaceful because there was nothing creepy with the place and no disturbing noise either.
What I really love about their 2 queen beds room (though it's kinda small) is that its is airconditioned. Other hotels in Baguio don't have a fan and aircon. Their bedsheets and comforters are not itchy as well. It was very relaxing to watch TV when you were exhausted to stroll the whole day.
Another thing that I LOVE is their UNLIMITED COFFEE, water station and free Wifi in the lobby. They have a water container and glasses inside the room which I find very practical because you don't have to stock drinks anymore. Fortunately, we occupied room 207 which is near the lobby so I have an easy access to the coffee station and wifi as well.
They also provide a lot of clean towels in the restroom. They have hot and cold shower, bidet, hair dryer and basic toiletries. I just hope that next time they will include conditioner. One thing they have to change also is their tiles which are kinda old already.
Overall, I can say that I am pleased with their service. Even the daily breakfast was close to perfection. There were variety of choices and we really enjoyed the food, that's why we decided to have a room service for dinner. Unexpectedly, they messed up and made me wait for less than 3 hours. They have apologized and I saw their effort in making up with that mistake. It was actually their partner restaurant's fault (Te Quiero) , but unfortunately, it also reflects to the hotel's service as well. and I hope that next time they will see to it that they cater to each guest's request before they say yes.
Should I recommend Microtel? Yes, because the room rates are very affordable, yet you are comfortable. I just hope that the management will do something about their guests' requests.
|Posted by Jasmine R. Dedomo on August 26, 2016 at 6:40 PM||comments (0)|
Who says you can't enjoy despite of daily challenges (dealing with financial issues, work-related things and non-stop household chores)? Like what I have said in my recent blog post, it's just a matter of time management and excellent planning skills. You don't have to stress myself focusing on those negative things because it will just end up to ruin your day. What I do is to make a point to squeeze some time to plan about my upcoming summer vacation. Yes, everytime I feel disappointed and weary, the thought of a relaxing beach removes all the stress.
I know that this will be a hectic year for me (both in my career as a public school teacher and as a manager of my own in-home tutoring services). I deserve to have a perfect summer escapade and that will be possible by carefully planning it.
MY FIRST ACCOMPLISHMENT: AIRLINE
This month (August 2016), I have booked for our our roundtrip flight (2 adults and 1 kid) via PAL (Manila to Caticlan on April 22 & Caticlan to Manila on April 25, 2017). I have chosen PAL for a change and after the flight I can compare if it's better than AirAsia.
The only thing I regret was my impulse decision. Because of practicality, I have booked economy class amounting to almost P15,000 (for the three of us). I should have booked for business class or premium economy instead to experience their superb service and I would really like to experience staying in their Mabuhay lounge. I found out that economy class ticket holders aren't allowed to stay in the lounge. Oh, well! So we have to stay in the common waiting area in the airport. (Sigh!) Anyway, there's always next time. I hope that my Mabuhay Miles card points are enough to be an elite card holder by that time.
MY SECOND ACCOMPLISHMENT: ACCOMMODATIONS
I have searched for accommodations in Station 1 &2 and since I am in a tight budget. I came up with these options:
1. Estacio Uno
I have considered Estacio Uno because of my great experience last summer. I really enjoyed staying in their seaside suite, but of course, I have to be practical this time and I would also like to explore other hotels.
2. The District
This hotel is not as big as other hotels, butI fell in love with the modern structure when we tried the pizza in Carusso last summer. Based from the reviews that I have read, their basic room is good enough and the rate includes rountrip transfers from Caticlan to the hotel. Practicality-wise, this is a perfect choice.
We have been here for the free dinner buffet last summer and we were impressed with their facilities. I just thougt this won't be practical for us because it's quite expensive as well.
I have checked their rates before and even if they were affordable, I didn't book because of their location. I always prefer a beachfront hotel, and since it didn't meet my requirement, I settled for another hotel. I was really surprised when I was searching for a hotel this month via Agoda, the rate per night is a whopping P40,000 per night. I felt curious that I have checked some reviews, but I was NOT satisfied at all.
UPDATE: I have finally selected Discovery Shores Boracay (I have booked through Agoda in their Pay Later scheme). Though this is a luxury hotel, I think the rate is reasonable considering this is a beachfront hotel and it includes roundtrip transfers from Caticlan so I don't have to co ntact BHPT. I have sent an inquiry via email to confirm if it really includes the FREE roundtrip transfers and they have excellent customer service- they respond to the They told me that the additional kid will have to pay P3700 per night (with free breakfast and roundtrip transfers)-- definitely not bad at all :-)
WHAT TO COLLECT: SUMMER OUTFITS/ACCESSORIES
I will have a separate post that will feature my summer outfit collections. Basically, here's what I need for our 4d/3n stay in Boracay:
1. a lot of swimwears and summer dresses/outfits (I am ordering online via Lazada and Zalora and also spotting for swimwear sale in Robinson's Metro East and SM Masinag).
2. lotions/sunblock to protect my skin
5. travel bags/suitcase
By: Travel Basic distributed by The SM Store
|Posted by Jasmine R. Dedomo on May 14, 2016 at 7:15 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Jasmine R. Dedomo on May 10, 2016 at 7:55 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Jasmine R. Dedomo on May 6, 2016 at 11:10 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Jasmine R. Dedomo on May 6, 2016 at 6:55 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Jasmine R. Dedomo on May 6, 2016 at 4:10 AM||comments (0)|