April 30, 2016

How to Redeem Flight Rewards in Mabuhay Miles

My husband went to Cebu; we joined his trip because it is still summer vacation and my son has no summer classes or activity so we are totally free. In order to save money, I told my husband to use our Mabuhay Miles for our ticket so I gave him my Mabuhay Miles number. 

1. Call 

He called the hotline but he was advised that there will be $34 fee each for rush processing. The processing of award ticket is free if you are booking 10 days prior to flight departure. 8 days before departure kami nagbook. 

My husband informed me about the fee and I told him that we will just purchase the Manila to Cebu flight, sayang naman yung miles + $34 + P565 (taxes and terminal fee). So he just reserved a ticket for our Cebu to Manila flight. Click the link for the award redemption chart of


For Cebu 

Economy 4500 
Premium Economy 7500 
Business Class 8500

Unfortunately, there is no available economy so it is either premium economy or business class, so my husband chose the business class for us para maexperience namin. Hehehe! Ubusan ng miles. 

Read: Economy Class vs Business Class Experience: Domestic Flight

Update April 2018: 

We went to Thailand and my husband used his miles to book our flight, since he booked this flight 10 days before our flight, wala na yung pinakamababang miles, ito na lang daw choices. 

For Bangkok Thailand 

Manila to Bangkok 15,000 
Bangkok to Manila 18,000 

Read: Economy Class vs Business Class Experience: International Flight

2. Collect 

After calling the hotline, you have 3 days to collect your award ticket in any Philippine Airlines office. 

3. Go to PAL office 

Fill out the form, show your ID and pay the necessary fee for domestic or international. In our case, we paid P565 each (domestic). 

This was our second time to redeem flight rewards and the process is still the same. Redeeming miles is so easy but it takes time to earn miles especially that we are not a frequent traveler. Hehehe! Most of our miles are from Non-Flight (credit card rewards).

Update April 2018:

When my husband booked our flight, he has the option to pay fees on the phone. He just gave his credit card number and we received the e-ticket via email. So we no longer went to PAL office to pay and collect our ticket. #hasslefree

Read: Philippine Airlines Experience

April 27, 2016

The Original AA BBQ

The Original AA BBQ is one of the go-to restaurants of my husband if he has a business trip in Cebu so during our last visit we had dinner here. The nearest branch from Marriott Hotel is in Salinas Drive, Lahug. We passed the Golden Cowrie on our way to AA BBQ. 

We went there before 6PM so the place was not crowded yet but I asked my husband if we are still in the Philippines. He just laughed because he also noticed na kami lang pinoy dun. (except sa staff). There were a lot of foreigner diners there, as in group of 6-10 pax per table. 

It is an al fresco restaurant so tiis sa init at usok if you want to eat here. My husband said, malaki na daw improvement ng restaurant, plastic tables and chairs lang dati. 

How to order? 

You have to pick your own food at the display counter. There was no price or even name of the food so spicy chorizo pala yung nakuha namin.

The staff will list all the meat or seafood in your tray and just tell them if you want it grill or with soup. My husband ordered tinolang blue marlin and the rest grilled na. 

I was not able to taste the pork bbq but my son finished it. The taste of food is just ok for me but my husband loves the food (fave niya ito). The price of the food is very reasonable, we had tinolang blue marlin, grilled squid, chorizo, pork bbq, liempo, drinks and rice; the bill is P685.

My son likes bbq, third night na itong bbq dinner niya. Hehehe! It was a different dining experience and some people say do not leave Cebu without eating here. The service is good and the staff will even help you to get taxi.

April 26, 2016

Lunch at Cebu’s Best Rico’s Lechon

I always watch Kris TV so that is where I learned about Rico’s Lechon. So every time my hubby will go to Cebu, I always tell him to buy Rico’s Lechon but he always buys different lechon kung ano yung nasa airport because of limited time. 

So when we went to Cebu that’s my chance to try Rico’s Lechon. I faced my fear and took a cab just to go to the restaurant. It was an achievement for me because that was our first time to ride taxi na kaming 2 lang ng anak ko. 

Prior to our trip, I searched for the nearest Rico’s Lechon from Marriott Hotel and there is one near Ayala but the taxi dropped me here. It is not the branch that I’ve seen on the internet but it was fine with me, at least nakarating kami.

Ethan: Mommy, lechon na naman.

Me: Ikaw nga puro pork bbq sa dinner. :)

It was past 11AM so the restaurant was not crowded yet, I browsed the menu and I ordered 1/4 regular lechon P190, rice is P30 each and bottomless iced tea is P65. I was planning to buy dinuguan for my puto (yes dinala ko yung puto ko sa Cebu, lol) but I told myself na tikman ko muna food. 

Read: Puto with Cheese

At the table, you can see the plates and utensils. The server just gave us sili and calamansi for sawsawan but we did not use it because that is the reason why I love Cebu’s lechon, no need for sauces. 

They serve the rice, ang cute noh! One cup of rice is inside the small kaldero. I posted in IG kung makakailan kaldero kaya kami? Yun pala, hindi na. hehehe!

I don’t know why it took them so long to serve the lechon, e non-stop naman sa paghiwa yung staff. When I saw the skin of the lechon, I have the feeling na hindi siya crispy. True enough, makunat siya and my son who loves lechon skin said, ayaw mommy, chewy yan. 

I was so disappointed because the skin was not crispy and it is salty. The meat was dry, tough and walang lasa. So nasa skin lang ang alat? You cannot choose the lechon part and ayaw ko pa naman nitong part na ito. Malamig na rin yung lechon, tira na lang yata naabutan ko na pinagsama-sama para maging 1/4. (di maintindihan na hiwa) 

I just finished our meal because the price is not cheap. Napaisip lang ako kasi super puri si Kris sa lechon but there is nothing special about it. It is not bad but if I will consider the price, dapat mas ok siya sa iba. Mas ok pa rin yung experience ko sa CnT Lechon. And because of that, I did not order dinuguan anymore.

But in fairness, the service of the staff is good naman. Yun lang, I did not appreciate the lechon.

Read: Cebu’s Lechon

           CnT Lechon

Cebu’s Best Rico’s Lechon 

F. Cabahug St, Cebu City, Cebu

April 24, 2016

Dinner at Hukad by Golden Cowrie

If you remember my previous post, during our first night in Cebu we were supposed to eat in CnT Lechon but it was already closed so I told hubby sa Hukad na lang but the restaurant was packed and we were told na pang-6 kami sa waiting list. Waah! 

We don’t want to wait anymore so we went back to food court to eat our dinner. The following day, we went back to Hukad by Golden Cowrie to have our dinner. My husband always eats at Golden Cowrie in Lahug, I don’t know if the two restaurants are sister company.

Thank God, pang-1 lang kami sa waiting list and waiting time was not that long. I noticed that most of the diners were families and friends, as in parang kaming tatlo lang pinakakonti sa table. Hehehe! 

Hukad by Golden Cowrie serves Filipino foods. We ordered tinolang lapu-lapu, baked scallops, calamares and pork bbq for my son. I can’t remember the exact price of each meal but the bill is P900+, mura na because we have 4 viands, 3 unlimited rice and 3 drinks. 

The staff informed us about the buttons, “just say hukad some more for extra rice”. But I did not ask for extra rice anymore, sa laki ng sandok nila parang 2 cups of rice na yata yun. Hehehe! 

The plate is different too. 

The taste of the food is good except for the calamares, ang alat niya. When we asked for the bill, the staff asked us “kung pwede daw ba niya malaman kung bakit di naubos yung calamares”. We said, maalat! Itake-out sana namin kung di maalat. (sayang)

The service is good and fast, the staff will ask you if you need anything or how’s the food. If I live in Cebu, this will be my go-to Filipino restaurant, I just hope napaalat lang talaga calamares that time. Hehehe! 

Hukad by Golden Cowrie 

The Terraces, Ayala Center Cebu

April 23, 2016

CnT Lechon

Cebu is known as the Lechon Capital of the world so every time I visit Cebu, I always eat lechon. If my husband has a business trip in Cebu, he never fails to buy lechon for my pasalubong. After 5 years, I revisited Cebu so after dropping our bag at the hotel off we went to Ayala Mall to eat our dinner. Unfortunately, CnT Lechon is already closed, waah! No more lechon. 

So the following day, my son and I went back to Ayala Center Cebu to have an early lunch. Pag naubusan pa naman ako niyan. Hehehe! I ordered 1/4 lechon P152.50 and puso P8 each (rice).

Ethan: Mommy, ayaw niyang yellow. 
Me: Rice yung loob niyan. Hehehe! 

I don’t know why it is called puso, maybe because of the shape. As always, I'm happy with our lechon, the skin was crispy and meat was tender and flavorful. No need for sauce. 

Read: Cebu's Lechon

April 22, 2016

Bonifacio High Street

Few days ago, my son and I went to Bonifacio High Street to kill time. We’re going to Cebu but my husband needs to attend his business meeting first. At first, I was thinking to spend our time in Kidzania but since the rate is not cheap, sayang naman if we will just stay for few hours since we need to leave at lunchtime to catch our afternoon flight. 

So we just stroll and checked what’s new in BHS. We saw the replica of the Louvre Pyramid. According to Wikipedia, the Louvre Pyramid (Pyramide du Louvre) is a large glass and metal pyramid designed by Chinese American architect I.M. Pei. It is surrounded by three smaller pyramids, in the main courtyard (Cour Napoléon) of the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre). It was completed in 1989 and has become a landmark of the city of Paris. 

The Leaning Tower of Pisa was also there. The Leaning Tower of Pisa or Tower of Pisa (Torre di Pisa) is the campanile or freestanding bell tower of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa. It is known worldwide for its unintended tilt. Oh di ba parang nagtravel na rin kami. 

We did not see the Merlion, san ba banda yun? 

Then we had breakfast again at Starbucks, “wednesdate”. I ordered white chocolate mocha, french toast and chocolate dipped donut. We did not finish the food, too sweet for my taste. My son practices cursive writing to keep him busy.

After 1 hr and 30minutes we left Starbucks to check the different stores and Timezone, only to find out na late pala sila magbukas. Waah! Ang init tumambay sa labas, nakakahiya naman pumasok sa Krispy Kreme or Starbucks ng di bibili.

Finally, my husband called and we will go airport na. Yey! Finally, makakalabas na rin ng Luzon, it’s been two years. Lol

April 21, 2016

White King Puto

I’ve been cooking puto with cheese using pancake mix for the longest time. It is an easy recipe that I can prepare for our merienda. But for a change, I bought this White King Puto Mix P36 to check kung mas ok ba siya. I was surprised because there is no egg in this recipe. 

200g White King Puto Mix 

1 cup water 
1/2 cup sugar 
5 tbsp of cooking oil 

1. Boil water in a steamer. 

2. Combine the mix and water until well blended. Add sugar and mix for 30 seconds. Gradually add cooking oil and continue mixing until smooth. Pour into puto molders about 3/4 full. 
3. Steam for 15-20 minutes. Puto is cooked when the surface is shiny and bounces back when pressed.

Honestly, I can’t taste the difference between my puto using pancake mix and this White King puto mix. I already ate 4 pieces of puto, trying to find out kung ano pagkakaiba, lol. I was expecting na lasa siyang malagkit but no. So for me, you can use pancake mix or this puto mix and you will have yummy puto in several minutes. 

Read: Puto with Cheese using Maya Pancake Mix 

April 20, 2016

Cool in the Pool

My son doesn’t like to enroll in any summer class or activity so we’re just spending our summer vacation at home. Napakaproductive ng summer namin, lol!

April 11 

My friend told me about their swimming plans and asked me if I wanted to join. Of course, I said yes, parang wala pa nangyayari sa summer namin. Nagsabi agad ko na daanan nila bago nagpaalam. Hehehe! I know my husband will say yes too ng makalabas naman kami. I messaged my husband about the swimming plans and he said yes. 

April 14

We woke up early and I asked my husband to drop us at my friend’s house then off we went to my friend’s condo for our outing. When my friend told me about the P200 fee (visitor), I said ang mahal naman parang resort na. Lol. But I realized, the price is worth it na rin because we don’t have to pay for cottage or corkage fee. 

In addition, the place was not crowded, maybe because it was a weekday and the residents are busy working or sawa na sa pool nila. So if you have a tight budget this summer, makiswimming in your friend’s condo or clubhouse. :)

We let the kids swim for few hours. 

They spent several minutes in the playground and we went to Market Market for our lunch. Then window shopping at SM Aura

My friends wanted to drop by at San Pedro Calungsod Chapel at the 7th flr, nakakahingal umakyat dito tapos may elevator naman pala. Nakakaloka, magkatabi lang yung stairs at elevator hindi namin napansin. 

Then we bought ice cream at Baskin Robbins. I chose Jamocha while my son chose Chocolate Chips. (P85 1 scoop) My son tried my ice cream and said “Mommy switch tayo!” 

As if I have a choice, lol, wala naman kasi lasa yung chocolate chips niya but I like the Jamocha na isang tikim lang nagawa ko. 

April 16, 2016

Hot Wheels Epic Race Experience

Boys love cars or should I say Hot Wheels! My son really likes Hot Wheels, it was his wish list last December 2014 and since then we’ve been collecting cars and race track. 

Hot Wheels

We’ve been buying Hot Wheels toys for the last two years but I hate to admit it was only now that I’ve learned the history of Hot Wheels. For your information, Hot Wheels is a brand of 1:64, 1:43, 1:18 and 1:50 scale die-cast toy cars introduced by American toy maker Mattel in 1968.

In 1950’s, Ruth Elliot Handler, founders of Mattel, brought the now-iconic fashion doll Barbie to life. Elliot was looking to invent another toy. Something that not only would capture kid’s imagination, but ignite as well. As he went to the parking lot of Mattel, he saw a designer’s custom ‘64 El Camino and examined, “Man, those are some hot wheels!” It was the spark of inspiration that led to a line of cars with a distinctive Southern California look, fast-moving wheels and redline tires.

Akalain mo yun, matanda pa sa kin si Hot Wheels. Anyway, last year we were able to attend the Hot Wheels Race to Singapore Grand Prix at SM Southmall, it just so happened that we were in that area and we saw their booth. We bought Hot Wheels so my son can use the race track and he had a blast. 

Read: Hot Wheels Race to Singapore Grand Prix

This month, I got an invite for the Hot Wheels Make it Epic Race 2016 and I was glad that we're available on that date so I said yes. 

“Make it Epic” is rooted in the overall Hot Wheels brand purpose: Exhilaration and Achievement for every kid.

“Make It” is the call-to-action to all boys to show what they can do with Hot Wheels through customization and competition, through imagination and hacks, through cool cars and a daring attitude. This encourages and enables boys to experience a sense of achievement. 

“Epic” is a challenge to boys to make Hot Wheels play bigger, faster, higher, cooler, louder, anywhere, anyway. It is the promise of Exhilaration. 

It’s more than just a tagline, it’s a challenge. “Don’t just make it awesome, make it epic” 

SM BF Parañaque South Qualifying April 16 -17, 2016

The booth is smaller compared to SM Southmall (2015) maybe because there is an event beside their booth. The setup is also different; if last year, there are ready race track that you can use, this time, you are free to build your own race track. 

There is Gravity Platform that you can use to play or try your winning cars. 

A living diorama is also onsite, it will give you an idea how to improve your race track at home. 

My son had fun in building race tracks and playing cars in the gravity platform. So if you have kids from 3-12 years, visit SM BF Parañaque to join the Make it Epic Race. Click here for the video

How to Join:

1. Purchase at least two Hot Wheels Basic Cars from the participating store. 

2. Maximum 2 trials car, the fastest speed will be recorded. 
3. Top 20 (fastest speed record) will be shortlisted to join the Area Qualifying Rounds. 

I suggest you go there before 3PM so you have more time to enjoy the race tracks and practice your Hot Wheels. 

SM San Lazaro North Qualifying April 23 and 24 

May 14 Semi-Finals at SM Mall of Asia 
May 15 - Finals at SM Mall of Asia 

Fun Facts:

1. Since 1968, more than 1,000 models and over 20,000 variations of Hot Wheels cars have been created. 

2. They make 8.9 million cars every week. That’s more than five times the worldwide production of life-size cars. 
3. Worldwide: 10.5 cars sold every second. 
4. 6,000 miles of orange track are produced and sold each year - enough to go from Los Angeles, USA to Rome, Italy. 
5. 1.1MM die-cast sold for 2015 in the Philippines. 
6. #1 selling sku at Toy Kingdom and Toy Kingdom Express for 2015 based on units sold. 
7. #2 brand of Toy Kingdom and Toy R Us for boys last 2015. (#1 Star Wars Movie)

Hot Wheels has Speedtropolis and Track Builder Set. I saw the video of the starter kit, you can build 4 different race tracks, nice noh! 

April 12, 2016

Staycation: Vivere Hotel & Resort

Our family loves staycation, it is our way to celebrate, reward or destress from our busy lives. It is a good way to relax and enjoy without hurting our budget. Traveling is not really cheap, you really need to spend money but “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”

Last February, my siblings and I were planning for a family outing and I suggested Vivere Hotel. We took advantage their Lenten Promo, reserving a room is not easy. I don’t know why but it took us 11 days just to reserve a room which I have never experienced in other hotels. I will share it at the end of my post.  

Vivere Hotel and Resort is a five-star hotel in Southern Metro Manila, offering 200 different rooms in their 31-storey building. I believe this is the first luxury hotel in Alabang. We’ve been to three other luxury hotels in Alabang so I’m happy that I finally crossed this out on my list. 

Read: Staycation in Alabang 

After my husband’s dental appointment, off we went to Vivere Hotel for our Easter Staycation. We parked at the basement and went to reception to check-in. I was surprised with their charges, I thought the P9000 is already my downpayment for the three rooms but my brother told me that he was also charged P9000, so he verified this with the staff and was advised that it is really the charge, P5000 downpayment and P4000 for incidental deposit

It's past 1PM when they ushered us to our room. Every floor is secured because you need the key card just to enter the hallway. They say that there are no two rooms are alike in this hotel but when I checked my siblings room, di naman pansin gaano yung pagkakaiba.

Let me show you our De Luxe Room. The room is not really big but it has a living room and kitchen. The kitchen has a microwave oven, fridge and sink. If you want to save money, you can just bring your food and reheat it.

I was disappointed with the bed. The promo is good for 2 adults and 2 kids so I was expecting a king sized bed or at least two double bed but this bed is good for couple only, pwede three kung slim. I stayed in Vivere Azure and the bed is really huge so I thought Vivere Hotel has the same size of bed. 

The bathroom has a bath tub but the toiletries are not VMV Hypoallergenics

Read: Vivere Azure in Anilao, Batangas 

2PM is check-in time but my sister’s room was not ready so they left their things in our room. We went to the Lama Pool at 3PM so the kids can swim.

For dinner, we went to Yabu at Alabang Town Center, we availed the free shuttle service of the hotel. 

The following day, we ate our breakfast at The Nest “Dining in the Sky”. The restaurant is not that big, you can choose to eat inside or beside the pool. 

I was surprised to see the buffet spread, it is not that big compared to other luxury hotels. The choices were limited but it is enough to satisfy our hungry stomach. The taste of the food is good and I enjoyed my roast pork. Good thing my son is free of charge because he only ate pancake and bread. 

Then we went to Kid’s Club at the 8th flr, the Jacuzzi is located on the same floor but we haven’t tried it. 

We went to lobby to buy the “A Hoppy Easter” ticket but was advised to get the ticket on the 2nd floor. We attended mass at 9AM and went straight to Easter event on the same floor.

Read: Easter Egg Hunt at Vivere Hotel

Watch the video here.

We checked out after the Easter event. 


1. The room is not big but it has kitchen and living room. Two televisions inside the room.

2. The bathroom has a bathtub. 
3. Free wi-fi and shuttle service.
4. Service is good except in reserving room and check-in time. 
5. The hotel has a pool, jacuzzi, game area and kid’s club so you have something to do without leaving the hotel.
6. Complimentary drinks are available in the lobby (coffee, tea and juice). In our room, there are 2 complimentary bottled water and canned juice. 


1. The bed is good for only 2 persons. 

2. Like I said, reserving a room is not easy. 

February 27, my sister-in-law called and reserved 3 rooms. She was advised that our rooms were already confirmed and wait for the email. One week had passed and we did not receive any email. 

March 5, I personally went to the hotel, I asked them about my sister-in-law’s reservation and I was shocked na wala daw reservation. So I reserved three rooms again, I was asked to fill out the form and wait for an email. I find it so weird, I was already there, why do I need to wait for an email.

March 7, still no email, I made a follow-up but I don’t know why they are still asking for the details. I already filled out the form last March 5 and everything was there, so useless ang pagpunta ko dun at pagsulat sa form. Wala na naman sa system nila.

I received the confirmation voucher pero mali yung details, I told them about their promo “free buffet breakfast for 2 adults and 2 kids”. 

March 8, I received the confirmation voucher with the correct details. I signed and sent it back to them. Imagine, it took us 11 days just to reserve a room. Tinawagan, email at pinuntahan ko pa. 

If you remember my post last February, they did not answer my email so we just reserved a room in Vivere Azure

3. Check-in time is 2PM, my brother and I were lucky that our rooms were ready before 2PM but my sister was not happy because they waited till 4:30PM just to get their key. She was not alone, marami din guests ang mainit na ang ulo na nahihintay. 

I don’t think it is a good idea to wait for the guests to vacate the room and let the next guests wait. To compensate, they offered late check-out for my sister but my sister did not stay till 4:30PM, sumabay din siya sa min. 

I don’t think that the hotel is fully booked because sa floor lang namin, may mga vacant rooms. Maybe because it was a promo rate so wait talaga na magkaroon ng Deluxe room. In The Manila Hotel, when our room was not available during our check-in, they upgraded us in Suite Room

Read: The Manila Hotel

4. The staff failed to inform us about the charges during the check-in and I forgot to ask about the details too since I already received a text from my credit card company that P9000 has been charged. I thought the P9000 is already my downpayment for the three rooms.

Despite the dislikes, my family enjoyed our Easter Staycation in Vivere Hotel. I do hope they will improve their reservation process or else maghahanap na lang ng ibang hotel ang guest.