January 18, 2018

Discover the Wonder of Blue Lagoon in Iceland

They say that your trip to Iceland won’t be complete without visiting the famous Blue Lagoon. Blue Lagoon was formed in the year 1976 during the operation of Svartsengi Geothermal Power Plant. People began to bathe in the lagoon and apply silica mud on their skin. Those people notice that it has great effects on their skin and even people with psoriasis notice an improvement in their skin condition too.

And because of that, public bathing facilities where opened, followed by a special clinic for psoriasis patient and now they are also offering skin care products. Blue Lagoon is one of the 25 wonders of the world so there is no doubt that this is a popular tourist destination in Iceland.

Since it would be my first time in Iceland, I also wanted to visit this place but after reading a lot of reviews and blog, I did not include this anymore. I’ve read about the “Shower without Bathing Suit” and wala daw cubicle or curtain so open bathroom. I told my mom that I’m not comfortable in taking a bath na walang cubicle and I don’t like wearing a swimsuit because I have psoriasis so she agreed with me, even though I know that she likes to go there.

The rates of Blue Lagoon is not cheap, the cheapest rate is more or less PHP3000 per person. My son (2-13 yrs old) is still free of charge but like his mom, he was not interested.

Standard ISK6100
Comfort ISK8100
Premium ISK10200
Luxury ISK53000

* Free entry for children is limited to general admission. No additional services or products are included. But it's possible to purchase add-ons upon arrival – towels, bathrobes, meals, etc. Blue Lagoon has an age limit of 2 years old. Guests from 2 to16 years old must be escorted by guardians while visiting the Blue Lagoon.

They also offer a guided tour for 40 minutes but it can only be booked by group of 11 a or more. So hindi kami pwede dito. Price is ISK2000 per person.

Day 1 in Iceland

Upon arrival, my aunt (cousin of my mom) told us that we are going to Blue Lagoon but my mom said, that we are not interested anymore since I have psoriasis. But my aunt told us, na mas okay nga daw yun because the unique water of Blue Lagoon is good for psoriasis patient. To be honest, I already knew about that information because they have special rates for psoriasis patient pero maharlika ang presyo. You can choose from Introduction Treatment or Out-Patient Treatment and the price is ISK25000 for one day, so PHP12k+.

And ayaw ko nga maghubad at swimsuit. Hehehe! So day before our trip, my mom and I were contemplating if we will go or not. But prior to our trip, my aunt already informed her contact about us so her contact already reserved for us. Yes, pre-booking is required, you cannot just go there because they also limit the number of people inside their facilities.

Day 2 Blue Lagoon

To make the long story short, we still went to Blue Lagoon. Of course, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see one of the wonders of the world. So after breakfast, off we went to Blue Lagoon. Travel time is more or less 20 minutes from my aunt’s house. It is also near the airport so if you want you can go straight here before going to Reykjavik.

Watch my video here

Distances From Keflavik International Airport to Blue Lagoon: 23 km
From Reykjav√≠k to Blue Lagoon: 47 km

When we got there, they are trying to convince me to try it but I’m stubborn so hindi nila ko napilit. I told my mom na siya na lang magtry ng Blue Lagoon but she was hesitant kasi mag-enjoy siya tapos kami nasa labas. But I told her, that we’re just okay and I knew na bucket list niya yan. Hehehe! So grab the opportunity and enjoy, kukunan na lang namin siya ng pictures. The contact of my aunt works in Blue Lagoon, so the Pinay accompanied my mom inside. She said she reserved four persons, sayang daw.

As I mentioned before, we did not include this in our itinerary so my mom did not bring any swimsuit. But don’t worry because you can rent swimwear, towels, and bathrobes there. I just have no idea about the rates.

According to my mom, she was given a wristband which serves as the key for her locker. The wristband acts as an in-water credit card that you can use to buy drinks and of course pay before check-out. My mom said, there is a separate area for men and women. And sayang daw kasi may cubicle naman yung bathroom so may privacy. Shower gel and hair conditioner are already provided in the shower area. A Silica Mud Mask was included in the package too.

My mom did not stay that long because the Pinay needs to go back to work, she has a meeting that day. My mom was also surprised because she did not pay anything, the Pinay told her na since she is working in Blue Lagoon, meron daw sila mga free passes. Wow! Thanks for the treat, it is really nice to have kababayans abroad noh? Kaya pala sabi ng Pinay, sayang naman when I said, I don't like to go inside, treat pala yung nireserve niya sa amin. But anyway, my mom enjoyed her time in Blue Lagoon.

Before exit, you will pass their souvenir shops where you can buy skin care products like the silica mud mask. Anyway, if you are planning to visit Iceland. Take note of this.

1. Pre-booking is required.
2. Open all year round.
3. Opening hours depend on the season.

Even I was not able to try the unique water, I’m still happy seeing Blue Lagoon up close and personal.

Read: Icelandair Experience
Reykjanes Peninsula Tour

January 17, 2018

What to do if Caterpillar Stings You

One Saturday evening, my son told me that he has an itchy arm. He showed me his arms and I was surprised to see the rashes. He even said “Mommy, may caterpillar na nagcrawl dito kanina”.

Me: Huh! San ka naman nagpunta at may caterpillar? 
Ethan: Kanina sa Landmark. 

I was shocked because we just went to Asian Hospital, Festival Mall and Landmark so I have no idea na madidikitan siya ng caterpillar or higad. So I asked him again kung saan sa Landmark? Doon pala sa Water Garden, nagpicture-picture sila mag-ama while waiting for the mall to open. He did not notice the caterpillar and yun ginapangan na siya sa arms. According to him, inalis lang daw ng daddy niya and that’s it. 

At that moment, nahigh blood ako. Inalis lang and wala ng ginawa after? How I wish, they wash the affected area as soon as possible. Tapos, they did not tell me anything about the caterpillar, we went to optical shop, we ate at Tenya Tempura Tendon and we finished our grocery shopping pero wala ko kamalay-malay. At that time, there are no visible rashes on my son’s arms. I’m sure my two boys have no plans of telling me kung hindi lang kinati anak ko. I just told him to wash his arms with soap and water. 

The following day, my son woke me up as early as 5AM. 

Ethan: Mommy, I could not sleep. 
Me: Just close your eyes, makakatulog ka rin. Zzzzz
Ethan: Mommy, my skin is so itchy, I cannot sleep. 
Me: Turn-on the light so I can check. 

I was surprised because he has rashes on his back, stomach, arms and cheek. I have so many things to do last Sunday but I have no choice but to go to the clinic. I checked the schedule of the clinic and I saw na may 9AM sked ang Pedia. We were there as early as 8:45AM and we waited for almost two hours at wala pa yung doctor. Hayz! Anyway, the pedia prescribed antihistamine medicine and antipruritic cream. 

After check-up, I was not relieved yet because I have no idea what kind of caterpillar crawled on my arms, napaparanoid ako baka poisonous at need ng anti-tetanus vaccine pa. But now, after 4 days, sa arms na lang yung may mark ng rashes. Thank God, that there are no worse symptoms.

So let me share some do’s and don’ts that you need to remember if ever you experience this but I hope you won’t. Huwag balewalain ang higad. 

What to do if Caterpillar Stings You

1. Do not use your bare hand in removing the caterpillar because it can sting you. 
2. If you have adhesive tape, you can use it to remove the spines or hairs from the skin. The tape will get the remaining hairs or spines on your skin. Some use vinegar, urine or melted candle wax in removing the caterpillar spines. 
3. Wash the area with soap and water. 
4. You can apply baking soda + water paste, hydrocortisone cream or antihistamine cream to reduce the discomfort.
5. Apply cold compress. Nakakanumb din ito ng skin so iwas kamot.
6. Monitor other serious symptoms like blisters, difficulty in breathing, nausea, and vomiting 
7. Just to be safe, you can just visit the doctor like we did. 

My son took antihistamine medicine and I applied antipruritic cream on his rashes for 3 days lang, nagstop na ko nung wala ng redness and dry na yung rashes. If I will compute it, we spent P1300+ for check-up and medicine. Nang dahil lang sa higad, nakakaloka!

January 16, 2018

Lunch at Tenya Tempura Tendon

Last week, I’ve been seeing the TempuRamen on my newsfeed so I immediately check if there is a branch near us. Fortunately, there is branch at Festival Mall so I told my husband that I want to try this restaurant and he agreed.

Tenya Tempura Tendon started in 1989 at Tokyo Japan and it is the most successful tendon restaurant chain in Japan. Tendon is short for Tempura Donburi (rice) bowl. They aimed to serve high-quality tendon and tempura at an affordable price. Aside from Japan, Tenya operates in Indonesia, Thailand and of course Philippines. We’ve been to Tokyo, Japan but I cannot recall if I’ve seen Tenya restaurant there. 

Anyway, last Saturday, after my Psorclub meeting at Asian, we had early lunch at Tenya Tempura Tendon, it is located in the Water Garden of Festival Mall. The restaurant is not that big, good thing we had early lunch so it is not yet crowded. 

Upon arrival, the staff immediately ushered us to our table and gave us the menu. We took our time browsing the menu and we could not find the TempuRamen so we asked the staff and she gave us a flyer. 

My husband loves Japanese foods while my son and I only eat some of the Japanese foods, so we like katsu and tempura, basta cooked meals. I tried eating ramen before but it is not really my favorite kasi feel ko lang siya kainin if the weather is cold or if I’m not feeling well. 

My husband ordered TempuRamen for P295, It is a combination of tempura and ramen. It served mixed tempura, you can taste black tiger prawn, eggplant, and green beans. For ramen, you can have wheat flour noodles in tonkotsu broth with corn, ground pork and soft boiled egg. 

At first, I ordered Classic Tendon for P225, it has black tiger prawn, squid, kisu, green beans and sweet potato. But the staff suggested the Classic Tempura Soba/Udon Teishoku for P315. Nasalestalk naman ako, Lol! This meal has high-quality soba and udon imported from Japan. It comes with Japanese rice, mixed tempura, tempura sauce, radish, leeks, and ginger. You can choose either hot or cold soup, of course, I chose hot. 

When they served the meal, I was #shookt because the serving is too big for me. I tried my noodle soup and I did not enjoy it because ang hirap lunukin ng soba/udon noodles. Hehehe! Mas type ko yung ramen ni hubby. So if ever I’ll go back, I will stick to Tendon Sets, mas mura pa. 

If you have kids, don’t worry they offer Kid’s meal too, you have two option and my son chose the Kids Meal 1 for P245. The only difference between two meals is the tiger prawn, Kids Meal 1 has one prawn and Kids meal 2 has two pieces of prawn for additional of P20. You can also choose the serving plate, for boys you can choose train, boat, and car. 

The meal includes 1 black tiger prawn, chicken fillet, onigiri, ningyo-yaki and yakult. The kid’s meal is already a complete meal, you have the main course, drinks and dessert. My son enjoyed and finished his meal, he just removed the nori because he doesn’t like that.

The price is not affordable but overall we liked it. The food is good, I enjoyed the light and crisp battered mixed of seafood and vegetables. My son likes the ningyo-yaki, it’s the baked Japanese cake with nutella. Service is good too. 

Tenya Festival Supermall 
(02) 512-4862 GF 
Water Garden, Extension Site, Civic Drive, 
Festival Supermall Alabang, Muntinlupa

January 15, 2018

Starbucks Planner 2018

I’m not fond of drinking coffee or tea so I don't frequent Starbucks. Unless there are FREE Starbucks Beverage Promo, mapapadalas ang caffeine overload. Their drinks and foods are not cheap too so we seldom go here but I still visit this cafe from time to time. What I like in Starbucks, halos lahat yata ng puntahan namin na lugar meron siya. So sometimes we eat our breakfast here kasi siya lang ang open ng maaga. It is cheaper than eating in the hotel, we did this when we went to Japan and Cebu.   

And because of that, I don’t collect stickers for the planner. I stopped using big planner in the year 2015. I only used printed calendar, blog planner, and family planner. This year, aside from my monthly calendar and blog planner, I now use bullet journal for my things to do na hindi kasya sa monthly calendar. Before I only use scratch paper or post it, pero para mas organized and I can also look back at my notes, bullet journal is the answer. 

But a few days ago, I received this Starbucks Planner. I had my first Starbucks Planner last 2013 and it was a gift too. I like the Starbucks Planner 2018 because it has cover, stencils, calendar, Starbucks card and the planner is not that heavy. I remember the SB Planner 2013, ang bigat niya dalhin kaya hindi ko talaga siya dinadala.

I just learned that for every redeemed planner comes a donation to partner NGO’s (Teach for the Philippines and PETA) so worth it din pala yung caffeine intake para sa stickers. 

So now, ang dami ko ng sinusulatan. Hehehe! What planner are you using?

** This post contains affiliate link/s. If you decide to make a purchase, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

January 12, 2018

How to Apply for Mercury Drug Suki Card

Whenever you buy medicines or vitamins at Mercury Drug, they always ask for your Suki Card. If you say I don’t have, they do not inform you how to get one unless you ask for it. So if you always buy medicines or vitamins, it is better to get your own Suki Card. Why?

1. It is FREE. Yes, you don’t have to pay for the membership card.
2. You get instant savings or surprises in all Mercury Drug Stores where Suki Card program is available.
3. Earn points that you can use for your next purchase. 1 Point = P1

I had my first Mercury Drug Suki Card when I was still in college, I was diagnosed with psoriasis so every month I always buy medicine. Sayang ang points so I asked the staff on how I can avail one. Getting Suki Card is so easy and you can claim your card immediately. But on my first application, for approval pa daw so I have to return to the store to claim my card.

I think it’s been more than a year already since I haven’t used my Mercury Drug Suki card because we could not find it. My husband is the one who always buys my medicine and he can’t remember where he placed my Suki Card so I gave up na. It is already a lost card. Sayang ang points.

The Mercury Drug where we buy medicine has Drive- Thru so when we bought medicine, I told the staff that I want to apply for Mercury Drug Suki Card, but he said, I need to go inside the store to apply. There is no parking slot at that time so I did not apply.

Last month, we went back to Mercury Drug to buy my medicine and I told my husband to park the car because I will go inside. So I bought my medicine and after that, I informed the staff that I want to apply for Suki Card. He just asked me to fill out the form, gave my card, encoded my information, and stamped my receipt. Normally, they also get your receipt but I told him that I need my receipt.

Read: How to Earn Cash from Your Receipts 

How to Apply for Mercury Drug Suki Card 

1. Customers must be 18 years old.
2. He or she must present single or accumulated purchases worth P1000 made in any Mercury Drug Stores with no time limit from August 2000.
3. Fill-out the form
4. Claim your card.

I did not know that I can replace my lost Suki Card, I just learned it when I was reading the Suki Card Program Guidelines. Anyway, expired points na rin naman yun so no use na.

1. Benefits of members will be discounts on participating products and all purchases made through the card will earn points. Every purchase of P200 worth is equivalent to 1 point.
2. Mercury Drug Suki earned points is redeemable up to the last point starting at one point in any Mercury Drug Suki Program is available.
3. There will be a replacement fee of P50 for damaged or lost card, and earned points from damaged/lost card will be transferred to the new Suki Card.
4. Purchase of Senior Citizen Suki Card members with 20% discount are not entitled to Suki discount and points.
5. Unredeemed points will be reverted to ZERO if the Suki card is not continuously used for 180 days (6 months).
6. Always present your Suki Card before making any purchase. No Suki Card, No points, No Suki Priviledges.
7. Mercury Drug reserves the right to modify or restrict the usage of card without prior notice.

How I wish I applied sooner because I was not able to get the Mercury Suki Day Planner. Ang ganda ng planner nila ngayon and marami pa choices. Malayo sa first Suki Day Book ko last 2013.

Read: How to Save Money by Using Your Loyalty Card

January 11, 2018

Althea Korea Haul: Discovering New Korean Beauty Products

I hate to admit but I’m starting to get addicted in Korean Beauty products. I kept on checking and browsing Althea Korea site, parang lahat gusto ko i-try. This was the first time that I ordered several times in one online shop in a span of two months. Yes, I ordered four boxes last year, ever since I registered last September 2017. Nakakaubos ng budget! Waah!

Read: My First Shopping Experience at Althea Korea

I just received my fifth box yesterday or should I say my first Althea Korea order this year. But before that, let me share my new skincare haul from South Korea. This was my third box and fourth box, but I will review the Lazy Sunday Box on a separate post. I’ve been replacing my kikay kit with more KBeauty products, so slowly, I’m adding new products.

Sharing what I ordered last year.

2 Boomdeahdah Facial Mask Aloe Moisture - Aloe vera leaf extract rich in moisture fills skin with moisture to keep it moisturized and soft.
2 Boomdeahdah Facial Mask Olive Nourishing - nutrients of olive extract fully nourish dry, rough-textured skin so it can stay smooth and soft.
50 Boomdeaddah Facial Mask Aloe, Green Tea, Pomegranate, Berry and Honey. 
Rire Luxe Slim Eyebrow (grey brown) 
Boomdeadah Rose Body Lotion 

When the delivery guy delivered my fourth box, he immediately asked me.

DG: Ma’m ano ba laman nitong box. Ang bigat e. 

I just smiled. It weighed 2.5 kg so mabigat talaga siya. And what's inside the box? 50 pcs of facial masks and Body Lotion. Hehehe! I know, I only have one face but I ordered a lot because this was my gift to my son’s teachers. Actually, naintriga din ang mga teachers. Some of my son’s teachers asked him kung ano laman kasi it is soft but heavy. Well, I hope they enjoyed the facial masks during their Christmas break.

I’ve already tried all the 8 variants of Boomdeahdah Facial Mask and it makes my skin soft and smooth. I’m happy that there is no side effect and it is affordable. My personal favorite variants are Lemon, Green Tea, Rice, and Olive. Check the other variants that I've tried in this post Althea Korea Haul

Boomdeahdah Rose Body Lotion 

To be honest, I’m not fond of scented lotion lalo na yung mga flower scent but I bought Boomdeahdah Rose Body Lotion because it is affordable, P230 lang for 500ml. Boomdeahdah Rose Body Lotion contains Rosa Damascena Flower Extract which makes the skin texture smooth by providing rich nutrition.

I like the lotion because it is not sticky or greasy. It is easily absorbed by the skin. Yes, it is fragrant! One evening, my husband asked me “Bakit ang bango mo pa rin, gabi na”. I laughed and I told him na may bago ko lotion. Hahaha!

Rire Luxe Slim Eyebrow 

I’m blessed with thick eyebrows so I don’t need to put any eyebrow make-up anymore. But I still bought the Rire Luze Slim Eyebrow because of the 1.5mm thin brush and built-in screw brush. Though I have thick eyebrows, magulo naman so gusto ko suklayin. Hehehe! I like this slim eyebrow because it is so easy to apply but I know that I need more practice. I got this at P140 from P831, 83% discount.

How to Use 

1. Brush along your eyebrows using the built-in screw brush.
2. Have an overall sketch of the eyebrows and fill them up along the eyebrows.
3. Brush carefully with the screw brush so that your drawn eyebrows and actual eyebrows naturally blend well.

If you want to order at Althea Korea, use this link. Get P200 off on your first purchase, minimum of P1500.

This post contains affiliate link/s. If you decide to make a purchase, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Read: Althea Korea Head to Toe Box Review 

January 10, 2018

Highlights of 2017

I am pushing myself to start and finish this year-end post, bago pa man mag Chinese New Year. Hehehe! Well, if you are a subscriber to my mailing list, you already knew that 2017 was like a rollercoaster ride, we started it high and finished it low. 

I’m such a planner person so before 2017 ends, I’m already planning for 2018. I’m listing our goals that we want to achieve for the coming year. But no matter how you plan, there are things that you cannot really control. Two weeks before Christmas, we received a not so good news and we did not see it coming. Matatapos na lang ang taon and magholiday, tapos may humabol pa. 

And because of that, our world suddenly stop because we have no idea what will happen next. My dreams and goals this 2018 were shattered and to be honest, I started to worry. Until now, I still don’t know what will happen this 2018 and I know worrying won’t help me so I just put my faith and trust in God. I want to hold on to His promise, “I know what I’m doing, I have it all planned out. Plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for”. Jeremiah 29;11.

I want to stop thinking and worrying of what could go wrong and start being excited about what could go right. I’m thinking positive na lang, maybe the best is yet to come. Well, life is really like a rollercoaster ride, there is high and there is low so we just need to enjoy the ride. Even there are challenges this 2017, it was still a good year for our family. 
“Whatever happened over this past year, BE THANKFUL for where it brought you. Where you are, is where you’re meant to be.” 
2017 is a year of achievement for us, there are so many things that I finally crossed-out on my list such as… 

1. We finished some home project and we replaced old appliances and furniture. 
2. We went to Europe and my two boys experience snow for the very first time. 
3. I started my fitness journey. Oh yes! Believe it or not!
4. I attended WAHM seminar because I’m planning to be a work at home mom this year. 
5. My son and I got insurance, we availed Sunlife Maxiprime. 
6. I started to invest on my blog. Aside from my blog domain, I spent on my blog themes and social media templates. Well, there are so many things that I need to improve on this blog so just wait and see this 2018.
 7. Finally, after two years na hindi pag-aasikaso, I now have PWD ID.

So let me reflect my 2017… 


We started our New Year in Sagada, it was a long day because it took us almost 12 hours on the road, from North to South. January is also the time when I began preparing for our Norway trip, I checked and collected all the papers that we needed for our Schengen Visa. We started our year decluttering so we bought new furniture to organize my stuff.


February is our anniversary month but there is no grand celebration because my husband went to Austin, Texas for two weeks and he went back night before our wedding anniversary. We had lunch at Melo’s, it was a simple celebration but at least we had a happy tummy. During this month, we applied for Schengen Visa and we were glad because it was visa approved so we bought our plane ticket two days after. 


We got FREE egift credits worth P10,000 from Citibank so we redeemed it immediately. There is a due date on when to redeem it and when I checked the dates, nakabakasyon na kami so we went to Southmall to shop, eat and watch movie for FREE.  


My mom was back in the Philippines for a vacation so we spent one weekend in Zambales. We enjoyed our overnight stay at Macampao Beach and Leisure Farm. We attended my son’s Recognition Day and got the school card. We went to Caleruega day before our flight. And lastly, our much-awaited trip, we went Norway for our summer vacation. 


We’re still enjoying our vacation in Norway but it was the longest time that we’re away from my husband. We end our vacation with a blast because we went to Iceland. Honestly, it was an unplanned trip, I have no idea that we will go to Iceland during our vacation in Norway. 


We’re back to the Philippines and I was fighting jet lag and at the same time, preparing for my son’s school. We watched Wonderwoman, revisited Abe’s Farm, and my two boys attended Manila Mini Maker Faire. We celebrated Father’s Day at Texas Roadhouse and Mind Museum


We revisited Enchanted Kingdom and we started our new home project.  


August is quite busy because of our fourth home project, my father-in-law went home from USA, and of course, it is my birthday month. I celebrated my birthday at Discovery Suites in Ortigas and we had a quick stay at Hop Inn Hotel in Makati.  


This is the month that we started investing in life insurance + investment. I will share that on a separate post. I discovered Althea Korea and I’m starting to get addicted, as of this writing I already ordered 5 times.  


We celebrated my son’s birthday at Makati Shangri-la Hotel. This reminds me that I haven’t blogged about our experience yet. I started buying Christmas gifts and I’m planning to do it again next holiday season to avoid stress. My son went back to ophtha so new eyeglasses again. 


We had a day trip at Masamirey Cove in Sual Pangasinan. I attended “Introduction to The Basic of Freelancing” seminar so at least I have an idea on how to start working at home. I still have a lot of things to do and learn and I hope I can finish everything this first quarter of 2018. 


Another busy month because we had a lot of get-together and Christmas parties. It was also my son’s first communion. We had a quick trip at National Shrine of Padre Pio too. You can check here our Holiday 2017 activities. After two years, I went back to ophtha and I have to change eyeglasses again. 

Read: Highlights of 2016

"I don't know the future, but I know who holds it" - Ralph Abernathy

January 09, 2018

Lunch at Tong Yang Shabu-Shabu and BBQ Restaurant

“It’s been said that everlasting friends go long periods of time without speaking and never question the friendship. These friends pick up like they just spoke yesterday regardless of how long it has been or how far away they live and they don’t hold grudges. They understand life is busy and love is there”.
 After graduation, I always have get together with my college friends to celebrate birthdays, special events or we just want to hang-out because we have so many stories to share. There are times that we also travel within or outside the Philippines. But things change when we got married and have our own family. I moved to the Southern Luzon and I resigned from my work in Makati so I have no time to meet with my friends in Metro Manila. 

We seldom meet because of our busy schedule but last month, I planned our get together. To be fair, we always choose Mandaluyong area para gitna, because I live in the South and some of my friends live in Bulacan. Two years ago, we ate at Sambokojin so for a change I checked the different buffet restaurants in SM Megamall and I suggested Tong Yang Shabu-Shabu and BBQ Restaurant. I’ve never tried this resto pa because there is no branch near our place. 

Two weeks before our get together, my husband has been calling Tong Yang to reserve a table but no one is answering. For two consecutive days and different times, wala sumasagot. So after few days, one of my friends went to Tong Yang Megamall to reserve a table and he was informed that there is no reservation, “First come- First serve”.

Fast forward to our get together, I was in SM Megamall before the mall opening time so I can reserve a table. By the time I arrived at the restaurant, one of my friends was already there but he said, wala pa kumukuha ng reservation. Tong Yang staff only went out at 11AM to get the reservation. Make sure you know kung pang-ilan ka kasi medyo magulo at wala naman number. Be aware na lang sa mga dumadating so you will know kung mas nauna ka, hehehe! Good thing pangfirst yung friend ko na dumating sa restaurant. 

When the staff called my friend, she asked kung complete na kami but we said no, she informed us na once na pumasok kami, counted na yung 3 hours. We agreed because we’re all hungry. Hehehe! So just like Hogs & Cattle Steakhouse, may 3 hours limit lang din sila sa buffet.  

Tong Yang means winter sun in the Chinese language. It is the longest night and the shortest day period in a year. They offer Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Filipino foods from appetizer to dessert. The buffet rate includes unlimited food and drink. I noticed that the restaurant was not big compared to other buffet restaurant and the food selection was not that grand too. But one thing I like in Tong Yang is you can enjoy both hotpot and grilled foods

There are enough grilling plates and hotpot stoves on each table so cooking is not a problem. Upon seated, the staff asked us for our soup base. You choose from chicken, sinigang and satay soup. You can choose two soup based, we chose sinigang and satay soup pero walang asim yung sinigang. I remember my friend, she put a lot of calamansi juice in her sinigang soup para magkalasa. 

Here are some of the photos or check my video here

I hope there will be Tong Yang branch in the South na because even the food selection is not that grand, we enjoyed our shabu-shabu and barbeque experience. Service is just okay, I just hope that their staffs are approachable and mas okay kung nakangiti sila. hehehe! We left at 2PM, sinulit talaga namin ang 3 hours. “Time spent with friends is never wasted.” 

Tong Yang SM Megamall Buffet Rates

P545 net - Shabu-Shabu & Grill 
Lunch Buffet Monday to Friday 11AM to 2:30PM

P575 Net - Shabu-Shabu only 
P645 Net - Shabu-Shabu & Grill 
Dinner Buffet 5:30PM to 10PM
Lunch Buffet Saturday, Sunday & Holidays 11AM to 2:30PM 

Tax included. No service charge. 
Dinner rate applies for Lunch Buffet on Holidays. 

Half Price -Children 4.5ft below 
P200 - Children 3ft below 

Tong Yang Shabu-Shabu and BBQ Restaurant 
Level 4, Mega Atrium 
EDSA Mandaluyong City

January 08, 2018

National Shrine of Padre Pio

We did not have any vacation or travel plans last Christmas break because we have a lot of errands to finish. But my grandmother-in-law spent her holiday in my mother-in-law’s house so pinasyal siya ni hubby. After Christmas, off we went to Sto. Tomas Batangas to revisit National Shrine of Padre Pio.

We’ve been here last year so we were really surprised of the big improvement. Sementado na ang parking area and they even have designated parking for PWD. Upon arrival, my husband dropped us off near the shrine. After few minutes, the guard saw us and he said, “Sir, pwede po kayo magpark sa loob, may sinilip po kasi ko kaya di ko kayo napansin”. He noticed na may nakawheel chair kami na kasama so don’t forget na may special parking for PWD. Good thing, hindi pa nakakaalis si hubby or else, malayo ang lalakarin niya pabalik sa shrine. 

The National Shrine of Padre Pio  was established so people will have a place for evangelization and cathechism. Thanks to Ernesto and Adelaida Gonzaga for donating 1.6 hectare land and Dr. Isabel Malvar-Villegas for donating 200sq m of land.  

The structures in the shrine are all nature and eco-friendly and it was designed to fit our culture and tropical climate. You can see stone, wood, bamboo and sasa. It was conceptualized by Rev. Fr. Jojo Gonda and according to him, the salakot-shaped roof of the church serves as a reminder to people that God protects his people from evil and harm and it protects farmers and fishermen from the rain and heat of the sun. 

We arrived before 8AM and the mass starts at 10AM so it was a long wait. We were not able to tour the whole place because of the rainshowers. You can check my video here.  

They also sell massage oils, cream and other souvenirs.

Rose & Grace 

After mass, we went straight to Rose & Grace Sto. Tomas Batangas branch. It is easy to find the restaurant because it is located along the hi-way. We’re a frequent diner of Rose & Grace in Sta. Rosa Laguna branch, you can check our experience here and here. But it was our first time in Batangas branch.

This restaurant is much bigger compared to the Laguna branch and they have bigger parking space too but there are so many diners so securing a parking slot is not easy. Good thing we were able to park immediately. 

My husband ordered Bulalo, 2 order of Tulingan na isda, Grilled Liempo, Lumpiang Shanghai and Rice. For a group of seven, we paid more or less P1400. If you check the photos, nabawasan na ng ulam, gutom na kasi mga kasama ko. Hehehe!

January 05, 2018

Christmas Breakfast at Restaurant Verbena

Since 2012, we’ve been going to Tagaytay every Christmas day for church service. At first, we just want to feel the cold weather of Tagaytay but it became part of our Christmas tradition. For the first two years, we just simply attended the morning service and went home to eat our Noche Buena leftover because we wanted to avoid the traffic. 

It was the year 2014 when we started to eat breakfast in Tagaytay after the mass, for a change para naman hindi leftover ang food namin sa Pasko. Hehehe! So for the past few years, we ate at 

2014 Breakfast at Antonio’s
2015 Cafe Veranda at Taal Vista Hotel
2016 Restaurant Verbena at Discovery Country Suites

The night before Christmas, we were searching for different restaurants in Tagaytay which is open as early as 8AM. We chose two restaurants but when I was reading online reviews, medyo hindi maganda review nung isa so we chose the restaurant near Crosswinds

After mass, off we went to the restaurant but on our way to Crosswinds, my husband changed his mind. We went straight to Restaurant Verbena of Discovery Country Suites for our breakfast meal. My son even said, “Mommy, we’re going to eat here again”. Natawa na lang ko sa again niya, parang Jollibee kung maka-again, e second-time pa lang namin. Hehehe! 

Read: Staycation at Discovery Suites Hotel

We had a good experience last year so we went back. We liked the food, service, and ambiance of this restaurant. I think is a sign of aging, when tend to look for a quiet place and away from the crowd. We want good food at a reasonable price. 

When we got there, there was only one table occupied so we were able to choose a table with a view. The staff immediately gave the menu and we ordered Verbena Breakfast Steak, Country Corned Beef and Baby Pancake which is similar to the Cottage Breakfast that we ordered last year. 

All breakfast meals include a buffet of bread, cereals, fruits, fresh fruit juice and choice of coffee, tea or hot chocolate for P495 + SC. I forgot the rate for the kid's meal. We liked their hot chocolate because it is not an instant chocolate. 

We ate bread while waiting for our main course. 

My husband ordered Verbena Breakfast Steak, I liked this too but since I tried it last time iba na lang. The meal includes seared US beef on top of onions and pepper, served with egg and roasted potatoes. 

I ordered Country Corned Beef, homemade corned beef with scrambled egg and garlic rice. I learned something new about this dish, I will add big green chili pepper on my corned beef next time, it adds a little kick. 

My son Baby Pancakes Meal, it has 2 small fluffy pancakes with scrambled egg, country sausage, and crispy bacon. Unlike before, my son was able to finish this meal except for the bacon because he prefers soft bacon. 

As expected, we enjoyed our breakfast. Magiging yearly Christmas breakfast na kaya ito? There are still few meals that we haven’t tried on the menu. 

Read: Food Trip in Tagaytay
Holiday 2017

Restaurant Verbena  
Breakfast: 7AM to 9:30AM  
Lunch and Dinner: 11AM to 9:30PM  

Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay  
300 Calamba Road,  
San Jose, Tagaytay, 4120 
Cavite, Philippines  
Telephone: +632 529 8172 /+63 46 413 4567