October 30, 2015

Cafe Ilang Ilang

When I booked a room in The Manila Hotel, I immediately checked for different reviews including their restaurant which is Cafe Ilang Ilang. I’ve only seen few reviews but I did not see any bad reviews. Our reservation includes two free buffet breakfast in Cafe Ilang Ilang so I was excited to try their food.

We usually go to restaurant at the start of the buffet para konti pa tao but we woke up late so when we went to the restaurant there were lot of diners. Hence, I was not able to take more pictures and check the different stations.




Cafe Ilang Ilang interiors are very different from other restaurant, the tables and chairs are not all the same and it varies in size and style. It shows elegance, pangmayaman ang peg. Since the restaurant was almost packed, we were not able to choose a good spot but at least there is already available table for us. 




For the very first time, I have to pay for my son’s buffet breakfast. Kids rate is P724.99. Waah! It is very expensive for someone who only ate cereal and bread. We have an option for a la carte but checking the menu, the price is close to buffet so we chose buffet and hoping that he will eat more food para sulit. 



After eating my bread and butter. I checked the other station and I realized that Cafe Ilang Ilang has a good variety of food when it comes to heavy meal. Maybe that is why the buffet rate is P1450, I’ve seen a lot of choices that I have not seen in my previous hotel staycations. They even have turkey, canadian bacon, bacon, different sausages and many more. My favorite is tinapang bangus.



I don’t know if it is only me pero sobrang nilalamig ako sa restaurant nila and bilis lumamig ng food. So it is really better to eat one meal at a time. I usually get a lot pa naman para di na tumayo pa. Lol 




For dessert station, the choices were few and there were Filipino delicacies like sapin-sapin, maja blanca and many more. 





Overall, we had a great buffet breakfast at Cafe Ilang Ilanng. The service is good too. If I have budget I would love to try their lunch or dinner buffet.


Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Breakfast Rate


Adult P1450

Kids  P724.99

Cafe Ilang Ilang of The Manila Hotel

One Rizal Park, 0913,
Manila, Philippines,
Telephone: 632 527 0011
Fax: 632 527 5348

October 27, 2015

Staycation: The Manila Hotel

A month before my son’s birthday, I’ve been searching and inquiring in different hotels and resort where we could celebrate his 7th birthday. We even went to Philippine Travel Mart just to check for promos and discounts. Fortunately, we found a good deal in The Manila Hotel and we booked Superior Deluxe room. Finally, the search is over. 

The Manila Hotel is not just an ordinary hotel, because it is rich in history, considered a Philippine landmark and home to high society. It was year 1898 when Judge William Howard Taft ordered to create urban plan for Manila. Daniel Hudson Burnham drafted the plan and William Parsons continue the work of Burnham in year 1908. After four years, The Manila hotel was opened in 1912.




I’ve been to Manila Hotel when I attended my ex boyfriend now husband oath taking after passing his board exam. It’s been a decade so I was really excited for our staycation. We packed our things and went to the hotel. 

While walking to the entrance door, we were immediately welcomed by their staff, picked up our luggage and placed it in the scanner. Amazing, parang airport lang ang hotel. The lobby was so grand and even the uniform of the staff was so elegant, it seems that we were transported in Spanish era. 



We went to the reception and showed our confirmation letter. We thought there was a problem with our reservation but we were surprised that they upgraded us to Luneta Suite. We paid P4000 for incidental deposit.



My husband informed them that it was my son’s birthday and complimentary cake was delivered to our room. Not just a slice but a whole cake. I love Manila Hotel. 



When we entered the room, my son immediately asked, “where’s the bed?” because it was his first time to stay in a suite room so he did not see the bed when we opened the door. 

Let’s have a tour.


With welcome fruits, complimentary water, coffee and tea.
With office supplies such as ballpen, pencil, ruler, eraser, marker, stapler, staple, tape and stationary
There is flat tv and mini fridge inside the cabinet (in front of the sofa)
Vanity table with blower, flat tv is inside the cabinet
Beside the bed is an Iphone dock charger/speaker
The bathroom is divided into three section, sink and bathtub, dressing room and toilet.

At 4PM, we went to the swimming pool, it was not big compared to other hotels but it was good enough because there is a mini bar in the pool, just like in Acuatico



They immediately served 3 glasses of water, gave us menu if we want to order and towels were delivered in our nook. My son and husband were in the pool so I ordered Puto Bumbong P221.40 while waiting for them. Yummy!



We went back to our room and we saw two small boxes of chocolate. We decided to order food because we don’t want to go out anymore. Checking the room service menu was not easy because everything is expensive. Hehehe! Good thing my husband was not hungry since we had late lunch at Harbor View. We ordered Spaghetti Carbonara and Robot (Children’s All Day Dining Menu) 



We were surprised when they delivered the food because everything was set up in a table. Unlike in other hotels, meals were place in a food tray. 



Spaghetti Carbonara P520 + SC - egg, parmesan, pecorino, pancetta, olive oil pepper. 

Robot P320 + SC - Six inches size pizza with tomato sauce, cheese, bacon and ham. 

The pasta and pizza were delicious so sulit na kahit mahal.

Cafe Ilang Ilang 

Of course the most exciting part of staycation is free buffet breakfast and I was so excited because I’ve read a lot of good reviews in Cafe Ilang Ilang and it did not disappointment me. The saddest part is my son is no longer free, waah! P724.99 is the kid’s rate and P1450 for adult rate.



There were a lot of food choices, forgive me for not having a lot of photos because I was busy eating. The rate is expensive but you will understand because they are not just serving ordinary breakfast meal. They even have turkey for breakfast. 

Since we have a “Little Chef” party theme, my husband request for photo with the chef. 



Like

1. I love the service from the entrance, swimming pool, room service and restaurant. You will really feel that you are in a luxury hotel. 

2. They upgraded us to Suite and we really enjoyed our stay in Luneta Suite room. The room and bathroom is big. 

3. When we informed them that it was my son’s birthday, they said that they will try to give a complimentary cake. So we were surprised that the cake was delivered several minutes after we entered our room. It was not just a slice of cake but whole cake. 

4. I love the facilities and amenities of the hotel. 

5. My son loves their bidet. He called it toilet machine. 



6. Free Wifi

Dislike 

1. They need to improve the bed, old bed may spring pa yata sa ilalim. :)

2. I don’t know if I’m wrong but I did not see any playhouse so aside from pool, there is no more activity for my son. 

Overall, we really had a memorable birthday experience at The Manila Hotel. We don’t have any regrets in choosing this hotel for my son’s 7th birtday celebration

The Manila Hotel 
One Rizal Park, 0913, 
Manila, Philippines, 
Telephone: 632 527 0011
Fax: 632 527 5348

October 23, 2015

Best Islands in the World: Reader’s Choice Awards 2015

Few days ago Conde Nast Traveler, an international traveler magazine released the Top 20 Best Islands in the World and I’m very happy and proud to say that 3 of our islands are included in the list. Drum roll....Palawan is the best island in the world. 

This only proves that Philippines is really worth visiting because we really have one of the best beaches and islands in the world. I’m blessed to have visited the three islands. 

Palawan

Palawan is in the first place.



Coron, Palawan 

I visited this place with my friend and ex-boyfriend now husband. Four days is not enough to visit the beautiful places of Coron and I’m still wishing to revisit the place and take more pictures. When we first visited the place, we’re still using a camera with a film so pictures were very limited. Hehehe!  

Read: 4 Days Adventure in Coron, Palawan



Puerto Princesa, Palawan- I visited this place with the whole family and of course trip won’t be complete without visiting the Underground River which is now part of the 7 Wonders of the World


Read: 3 Days in Puerto Princesa Palawan




El Nido, Palawan is still in my bucket list. 

Boracay 



Boracay is in top 15 and it is known for fine white sand and azure water so it is not surprising that it would be included in top 20 best islands in the world. The island is really beautiful so it is really packed with people whole year round. We celebrated our wedding anniversary here.

Cebu 



Cebu is in 19th place of the top 20 best islands in the world. It is my first domestic trip with my sister and friends. I revisited the place with my family to celebrate my birthday. We had one Day in Paradise at Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Spa. We haven’t visited the Camotes Islands since this is far from the City but I do hope on our next visit, we can visit the island. 



How about you, which islands have you already or planning to visit? 


Here is the complete list of the Top 20 Best Islands in the World

1. Palawan, Philippines
2. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
3. Moorea, French Polynesia
4. Waiheke Island, New Zealand
5. Bermuda
6. Great Barrier Reef & Whitsunday Islands, Australia
7. Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
8. Bali, Indonesia
9. Santorini, Greece
10. Tasmania, Australia
11. Cook Islands
12. British Virgin Islands
13. St. John, USVI14. Mykonos, Greece
15. Boracay, Philippines
16. Maldives
17. Orkney Islands, Scotland
18. St. Lucia
19. Cebu, Philippines
20. Hvar & Dalmatian Islands, Croatia

October 20, 2015

Little Chef Party

Even though our family is not into big party celebrations, we still have mini celebrations. We also have party theme every year, it started when my son was 4 years old. He is the one who decides for his theme, for the last three years, we had Lightning McQueen, Mickey Mouse and Mario party theme. 



My son loves riding an airplane and two years ago, my son wanted to become a chef so when I joined a contest last year "Artique x Happy Thoughts", I put chef or airplane party theme and fortunately I won the contest. Fast forward to September, my son did not have a theme yet for his 7th birthday. He couldn’t decide so I persuaded him to have Little Chef Party theme and I was glad that he agreed. 


Joyce of Happy Thoughts contacted me last September regarding my prize, I won 1 set themed banner, 15pcs invitation, 15pcs cupcake topper, 15pcs party tags and 10 pcs food labels. I received the party kit few days before my son’s birthday. Sharing to you the party kit.

Invitation



Cupcake Topper



Food Labels

Party Favor Tags



Banner



 My husband bought piñata and I covered it to match our Litte Chef Party theme. 



I was supposed to sew an apron for my party favor, I already bought the fabric cloth but I was not feeling well before the party so these yummy leCHEFlans were my giveaways. 





We love our party kit and thanks to Artique Graphic Design and Happy Thoughts, click here and here for their Facebook Page. 

October 15, 2015

Super Duper Birthday Party Book

I’ve been checking Look It’s About Me site for the last two years because I wanted to order a personalized book for my son. But my son is not a bookworm so I’m not really sure if he will like this book. The price is expensive for my budget so I want to make sure that it is worth it. 



Finally, last month I saw their 15% off promo so I decided to order a “Super Duper Birthday Party” book for his 7th birthday. I placed the order last September 19, 2015 and I’m hoping that it will be delivered before his birthday. I inquired last Oct 1, 2015 regarding the status and they informed me that it was already delivered last September 30, 2015. But unfortunately, it was delivered after my son’s birthday. I don’t know why it took them (Xend) 5 days to deliver the book, Makati to Cavite, ang tagal lang. 



Anyway, my son was surprised to see the package after he arrived from school. He liked the book and it is also a great souvenir for his 7th birthday. It is a personalized book so you can see his name “Ethan” in every page of the book.




This is also a nice gift this coming Christmas, if you want to order you can click the picture. You can order personalized clock, placemat, card, coloring book, and many more. They have on going Halloween promo from October 13 to 31, 2015.



October 13, 2015

7 Things for 7th Birthday

Here in the Philippines, celebrating the 7th birthday is like having a debut, whether you have a son or a daughter. I’ve attended different 7th birthday parties in the past but I know that when my son hit 7 years old, we would not have a grand celebration. 



My son just celebrated his 7th birthday two weeks ago and we celebrated it in a non-traditional way. No big parties or celebration, no clowns, magicians or mascots and no party games. No 7 wishes, 7 roses, 7 gifts, 7 blue bills and many to mention. 

I asked my son what he wanted for his birthday so I decided to fulfill 7 things on his 7th birthday. We followed the gift giving philosophy, something you want and need and something to wear and read. I added 3 things that he wants to experience or have on his birthday. 



1. Something you Want 



My son wanted a Lego for his birthday so we went to the toy store to look for his gift. He just wanted the mini figure (mga tao lang na Lego) but I told him to choose another gift. (insert balloon, wag sana mahal mapili, lol) 

2. Something you Need 



I’ve been looking for rubber shoes for the past few months but the shoes that I’ve wanted to buy is expensive for my budget. Thank God for my mother who gifted the shoes. 

3. Something to Wear 



A lounge that I know that he will wear. 

4. Something to Read 



I ordered a personalized book but it was not delivered before his birthday. I bought an additional book so that he has something to open on the day of his birthday.

5. Piñata 



He doesn’t like any party games but he likes to have piñata. My husband bought it but I have to cover the Mickey Mouse Design because our theme is “Little Chef” 

6. Staycation at Manila Hotel 

Our family loves staycation and if budget and time permit we celebrate our special day in a hotel. My son enjoyed his birthday at The Manila Hotel

7. Mini Party at Home 



If you remember my post before that my son couldn’t make up his mind what theme he wants for his birthday. I persuaded him to have Little Chef Party. He wanted to become a chef before and last year I joined a contest and fortunately, I won a party theme package "Chef" so we used it for his 7th birthday. I invited my in-laws to celebrate with us, 10 persons to be exact.

It was a simple celebration but when I asked my son if he is happy, he said, “Yes, awesome birthday”. I’m blessed to have a son who appreciates simple birthday celebrations, birthday greeting and even gifts. I hope he will stay like that, learn to be content with what we have.