January 31, 2019

Lunch at The Farm Organics

We accompanied my husband last week at Centro Holistico in Commercenter. This was our second time in Commercenter, few years ago pa yung first visit namin so I was surprised when I saw that there are so many restaurants in Commercenter that we haven’t tried pa. I also discovered a Korean store so if ever I want to have samgyeopsal at home, I know where to buy my ingredients.

As I mentioned, my husband had an appointment at Centro Holistico and only patient is allowed to go inside the room so my son and I had a late lunch at The Farm Organics. Late lunch because my husband was not allowed to eat two hours before the procedure so baka magutom lang siya pag kumain kami na kasama siya. Hehehe!

The nearest restaurant in Centro Holistico is The Farm Organics, you can sit inside or outside the restaurant but I decided to eat outside so kita agad kami ni hubby paglabas niya. This is the third branch of The Farm Organics that we have tried, the first one in Twin Lakes Tagaytay and the second one in Solenad.

My son likes burger steak so whenever he sees burger steak in the menu, eighty percent of the time, yan ang order niya. So I ordered Local All Natural Burger Steak P190 and All Natural Steak Salpicao P300. You can choose bread or rice (garlic rice or plain rice).

I ordered bread with my salpicao and rice for the burger steak. I thought ibang bread yung sa salpicao so I was shocked when I saw pandesal. So my son and I switched because he likes bread daw para burger. Hehehe! We just finished our meal when my husband arrived, buti naman because I was thinking pa nga kung san kami tatambay after kumain.

The Farm Organics
Commerce Center
Commerce Avenue Corner
Filinvest Avenue, Alabang Muntinlupa,
1781, Metro Manila

January 29, 2019

How to Track your Parcel in PHLPost

Two years ago, my mom sent me the documents that I need for my Schengen Visa. She sent the package last January 17, 2017 and it arrived at our Local Post Office on January 27, 2017. I did not receive any notice card so I went to PHLPost on January 31, 2017 and I was happy that my package was already there. Read my February 2, 2017 post here.


This month, I asked my mom to send me the documents again and kung pwede, i-send ng maaga and she did. My mom prepared and sent the documents last January 10, 2019. She was advised that it will take 9 days. Since this is not new to me, I just check the tracking site for Norway and Philipines.

Tracking site of Norway 

January 10, 2019 - The consignment has been submitted to Posten
January 11, 2019 - The consignment is sent from the sending country (Oslo Norway)

Tracking site of Philippines 

January 12, 2019 -  Dispatch to the country of Destination

There was no update since January 12, 2019 so I sent an email to amed.supportservices@phlpost.gov.ph but until now there was no reply.

January 21, 2019 - I sent an email to amed.supportservices@phlpost.gov.ph
January 23, 2019 - Since I was not getting any update, I went to our local post office hoping that my package was already there. I gave my name and tracking number to the staff and she checked her logbook but unfortunately, my package was not there. She even advised me to check it online. Which I have always done every single day since my mom sent me the package.
January 24, 2019 (7:31AM)- I sent an email to customercare@phlpost.gov.ph (no reply) and PHLPost Facebook Messenger.

January 24, 2019 (8:59AM) I got a reply from FB messenger, and guess what? They just gave the status on the tracking site “January 12, 2019 - Dispatch to country of Destination” which I already knew, and advised me to “Please follow up after 3 to 5 working days for further information/update”

After few hours, nagkamilagro bigla nagkaroon ng update sa tracking site nila. Dapat yata after 9 days, nag-inquire na ko baka napabilis ang pag-update. hehehe!

January 24, 2019 (12:23PM) - Received at country of destination
                                                 - Items for Customs examination
                              (7:03PM)  - Returned from Customs (Customs Status: Import authorized, no taxes or duties to be paid)
January 25, 2019 (9:13AM) - Enroute to Delivery Office
January 28, 2019 - I printed my tracking number and went to our local PHLPost around 10:30AM. May nauna sa akin and matagal din ako nakapila sa likod niya so the staff asked me kung ano daw sa akin. I told her na may kukunin ko package and she immediately said, "Mam, kayo po ba si (insert my name)" and I said yes. And she said, Ma'm nandito na po package niyo, kararating lang kanina. Wait po muna kayo.

Natandaan pa pala niya yung last visit ko. Buti na lang daw pumunta ko kasi nakaleave ang mailman nila, nakalimutan daw niya hingin number ko last time navisit ko. Yey, after 18 days, I received my package. I signed her logbook and paid P112 (handling fee).

* The tracking site is different now compared to 2017. Now, they only show the latest update and you have to click the view history for more details. 

P.S. I'm comparing my experience last January 2017 kasi pareho sila na JANUARY 24, nag-arrived sa Manila so I was thinking kung may schedule lang ba sila ng pagpapadala. So kahit maaga pinadala, iniipon muna nila bago i-ship sa Philippines?

January 25, 2019

Where to Eat in Batanes

Food is life so even when we are traveling, it is very important that we have something to eat especially if we are going to a new place. Batanes is a province of the Philippines but information are limited so I was a little bit worried when it comes to food.

I searched for the Best or Top Restaurant in Batanes, I watched videos, read some blog reviews, forums and among the choices, I added Cafe Du Tukon and Casa Napoli in my “Must-Try Restaurant in Batanes”. That is also the reason why we stayed at Bernardo’s Hotel because it is the home of Casa Napoli. I wish we have the budget for Fundacion Pacita so we can eat at Cafe Du Tukon too.

Anyway, to make our life easier, my husband and I decided to avail the Batanes Tour Package at Bernardo’s Hotel. We are going on a holiday so I’m not sure kung open ba mga restaurant, we experienced that during our Sagada trip, lunch pa lang nagsasara na yung mga restaurant.

The package already includes tours, round trip service, lunch and dinner. But since I have no idea about the restaurant and food, I brought some canned goods, yung ready to eat na so just in case hindi namin type yung food, hindi kami magugutom. But you know what, we enjoyed the food in Batanes so inuwi ko din baon namin na canned goods.

Sharing with you our food trip in Batanes.

Day 1 

Bernardo’s Hotel Breakfast 

We stayed at Bernardo’s Hotel for 4 days and 3 nights so the room includes a complimentary breakfast for three. It is not a buffet breakfast but we have choices. But for the first day, we did not choose our meal, they served canned meatloaf, scrambled egg, rice, and lychee jelly.

Read: Bernardo’s Hotel Review 

Breakfast Choices: One Day Old Fish, Local Longganisa, Chicken Longganisa, Local Tocino, Corned Beef, Beef Tapa, Egg (Sunny-side-up/scrambled), and Bread/Rice

Pension Ivatan Hometel Restaurant

Our tour guide and driver fetched us at 12NN, the tour guide informed us that we will have lunch first and the van stopped at Pension Ivatan Hometel Restaurant. There was already a reserved table for us and we just waited for our food. They served the food one at a time so every time na nagseserved sila, nasusurprise kami. We are expecting that we will just have rice and one viand pero it was a complete meal pala.

We have soup, a platter of grilled beef, chicken, pork, kilawin and veggies, okoy and leche flan for dessert. For a family of three, ang dami nito so take-out na lang yung okoy. We have the energy now for our North Batan Tour.

Casa Napoli 

It was December 31 so the tour guide was not sure kung open din ang mga restaurants sa bayan so he asked us kung san namin gusto magdinner. I thought, nakaset na yung restaurant for dinner namin, may choice pala kami for dinner. After few minutes of contemplating, we said Casa Napoli. Well, that is one of the reasons why I stayed in Bernardo’s Hotel, I want to try the best pizza in Basco, Batanes.

Since it is located at Bernardo’s Hotel, hindi na nila kami need sunduin pa. The tour guide informed us that we have PHP900 budget for our dinner, we can order what we want and we just need to pay for the excess. We ordered in advance because they will be closed as early as 7PM so they can prepare for New Year’s Eve too.

Casa Napoli offers pizza, pasta, chicken, dessert and drinks. We ordered Pepperoni Pizza P350, Bucket Chicken P695 and Iced Tea P50. We ordered cheesecake but it was not available. Pepperoni pizza is my son’s favorite kasi so most of the time yan ang pizza namin but they have 11 pizza flavors such as Italiana, Supreme, Con Carne, Mattaw, Primavera, Magherita, Hawaiian, Pepperoni, Ham and Cheese, Garlic and Cheese and Mexicana.

We love the pizza and there is no doubt that they consider it na best pizza in Basco kasi masarap naman talaga. Mas masarap pa nga siya kaysa sa ibnag pizza dito sa Manila. The chicken and mojos are good too, hindi rin namin naubos sa dami. At least we have food before New Year’s Eve. If we stayed for one week in Batanes, for sure we will eat at Casa Napoli again. But because of limited time, we want to try other restaurants too.

Day 2 

Bernardo’s Hotel Breakfast

As early as 5:40AM we were eating our breakfast, we ordered longganisa and one-day-old fish. One day old fish kasi one day nila pinaarawan. So yes, it is a dried fish and we like this. After our breakfast, off we went to Ivana Port for our Sabtang Tour.

Pananayan Canteen & Catering Services

For our lunch, we ate at Pananayan Canteen & Catering Services. It is located at Morong Beach and Mayahaw Natural Arc, so after taking pictures we just went there for our lunch. They served a complete meal too, we have chicken tinola, vegetables, fried pork, fish fillet, rice and bukayo for dessert. We have two kinds of rice, turmeric rice, and white rice. I tried the turmeric rice pero hindi overpowering yung turmeric so my son ate this rice. The food presentation is simple but we’re satisfied naman, basta may fried pork, okay na kami ng anak ko.

Amboy Hometel 

The day before our Sabtang Tour, I suggested to my husband that we will eat merienda at Cafe Du Tukon. Maaga kasi matatapos yung tour namin so we have time before dinner time. But after what happened on our way back to Basco, we decided to rest na lang sa hotel, I will share that next time.

Most of the restaurants are closed on January 1, even Casa Napoli is closed so we are thankful that Amboy Hometel accommodated us. Before going back to Bernardo’s Hotel, our tour guide dropped us here to reserve table and order food. I did not go down anymore, my husband ordered Sinigang na Hipon, Grilled Liempo and Rice. I forgot the exact price pero alam ko may sukli pa sa P900 budget for dinner.

Amboy Hometel is just a few minutes walk from Bernardo’s Hotel so hindi na kami sinundo ng driver at tour guide namin. Amboy Hometel is a popular accommodation in Batanes too, if you watched Biyahe ni Drew show, dito sila nagstay. Our reservation is 5:30PM and on-time sila ha, hindi kami naghitay ng matagal. They already served our food.

The food is good for three persons and sobrang nabusog na kami. We are satisfied with our food, bet ko grilled liempo because it is tender, juicy and flavorful. Service is good too and they always refill our drinks.

Day 3

Bernardo’s Hotel Breakfast

Our South Batan Tour is 8:30AM so we ate our breakfast around 7:30AM. We ordered tocino, longanisa and one-day-old fish. They served sliced apples for dessert, I was expecting for lychee jelly pa naman kasi naging favorite ko na siya. Hehehe!

Nanay Ching Restaurant 

Our lunch is always a surprise because we don’t choose the restaurant and food. It is a different feeling when we are looking forward to our meals. Every lunch time, mapaptanong ako "Ano naman kaya ang kakainin namin?"

As usual, we have a feast again at Nanay Ching Restaurant. It is an alfresco restaurant and they served nilagang pork, chicken afritada, pork adobo, chopsuey, rice and camote salad for dessert. The serving was really huge, pangmalakasan lang. So we took our time eating our meal kasi sayang kung din naman maubos, except for the rice. Hindi talaga namin kayang ubusin. Food is good too.

Hudzan’s Cafe & Catering 

Our driver and tour guide fetched us and we had dinner at Hudzan’s Cafe & Catering. Ang dami food choices but unfortunately, not all are available. Because of the holiday season, hindi pa daw nadedeliver yung supply nila. So we ordered Buttered Garlic Shrimp P350, Burger Steak P150, Crispy Beef Ribs P200, Rice P100 and Softdrinks in Can P40.

The presentation of the food is simple but it is good. We liked the crispy beef ribs and their version of buttered garlic shrimp. Akala ko nga matigas yung beef pero hindi, it was tender and juicy. Service is good too, lagi nakasmile yung staff nila when taking and serving our order. My son left his jacket at the restaurant and buti na lang hindi pa nakakalayo yung van namin. Naihabol nung staff, that is the only time that we realized na hindi nakajacket anak ko. Buti na lang honest ang mga tao sa Batanes.

Day 4 

Bernardo’s Hotel Breakfast

Fourth day in Batanes and our last day too. For our last breakfast in Bernardo’s Hotel, we ordered tocino, one-day-old fish and longganisa. My son likes their longganisa so I bought one pack of it, buti na lang nagbebenta sila. I want to buy the one-day old fish but it is not for sale.

It was funny because I was worried that I will get hungry in Batanes but I ended up gaining a lot of pounds. And writing this post is torture because I really miss our food trip. Oh how I wish, plane ticket is cheap so it is easy to go back to Batanes. Hindi pa ko nakakain sa Cafe Du Tukon.

January 23, 2019

Where to Stay in Batanes: Bernardo’s Hotel

Our Batanes trip was a last-minute decision so we have no time to search for affordable accommodation in Batanes. My husband and I searched for Batanes accommodation and we found Bernardo’s Hotel. We read some reviews and after several minutes my husband already called the hotel to check if there is still an available room and he reserved a room for our 3 nights stay.

We are a family of three, two adults + 1 kid so I thought I’m going to pay for 2 adults only and my son is free but I was wrong. They charged us P4200 because my son is already considered an adult rate. Waah! Unlike other hotels, 12 years old below is still free if they will share a bed with their parents. I guess I have to get used to this because my son is already tweenager.

I’m not sure if this is the standard policy in Batanes because I did not check with other hotel or resort. I remember when we went to Japan, I paid an extra person for my son because 6 yrs old is considered an adult na. We proceeded with our booking because like I said, we have no time to search. We paid 50% downpayment and sent a copy of deposit slip in their email address. We received our confirmation voucher two days after we sent the deposit slip.

Tourism Fee 

Fast forward to our trip, our driver was already waiting for us at the arrival area. He welcomed us and advised us to wait outside because he will just get the van. Then we went to the office where we could pay the Eco Tourism Fee and Protected Area Entrance Fee (per person). We just waited at the van and I just let my husband pay for the fee. Don’t forget to bring the Eco Tourism Flyer and Receipt because they will check that in some tourist spots.

Eco Tourism Fee (P350) 

P100 - Basco
P50 - Mahatao
P200 - Sabtang

Protected Area Entrance Fee 

P50 Adult
P20 Kid

Bernardo’s Hotel Review

Bernardo’s Hotel is about 3-4 kilometers away from the Basco Airport so travel time is not that long so after a few minutes we arrived at the hotel. Bernardo’s Hotel is a newly-opened hotel (3 years ago?) in Basco that offers 8 air-conditioned rooms but after we left, I think nag-open na rin yung second building nila.

Upon arrival, the staff just asked for our reservation and akala nga niya nung una Deal Grocer coupon binigay ko. We paid the remaining 50% balance for our reservation para wala na kami hawak na cash. Always remember, hindi uso credit card sa Batanes so make sure you have enough cash.

It was only quarter to 9AM, and check-in time is 10AM but they allow us to check in early and advised us that we can eat our breakfast at the restaurant.

Watch the video here

Room Tour

This is our room, we have two double bed, satellite TV, personal refrigerator, cabinet, and private toilet and bath. Good thing that they have satellite TV or else mabobored anak ko after the tour. Beds, pillows, and duvet are comfortable and air-conditioning is working properly.

For the bathroom, it has a hot and cold shower, bidet, hairdryer, tissues, towels, and toiletries. For toiletries, it is better to bring your own because they only provide soap and shampoo. They don’t refill the toiletries too so kung ano yung nadatnan namin, kahit nagpamake-over kami ng room, wala dinagdag.

The room and bathroom still look new and clean. They don’t clean the room unless you request for it. We stayed in room #5 and we have a balcony.

They provide 3 bottles of complimentary water on our first day but for the following day, we can just refill from their water dispenser. It is their way to reduce plastic waste which is not a problem.


Our room package includes 4 breakfasts, I was really surprised when I read that because normally, the following day na yung start ng free breakfast but here in Bernardo’s Hotel, they provide breakfast upon arrival of the guests. So for our first meal, they served plated meatloaf, scrambled egg, rice and lychee for dessert. Coffee or chocolate for drinks.

I thought, we can’t choose our breakfast pero sa first-day lang pala yun, for the next three days, they already asked for our breakfast choice and what time are we going to eat. They adjust their schedule too, because for our Day 2, we ate our breakfast as early as 5:30AM, so kahit puyat pa sila sa New Year’s Eve, nagserve sila sa amin ng breakfast.

Breakfast Choices 

One Day Old Fish
Local Longganisa
Chicken Longganisa
Local Tocino
Corned Beed
Beef Tapa
Egg (Sunny side-up/scrambled)

Casa Napoli

Bernardo’s Hotel has a restaurant too which is very famous because it is the best pizza in Basco. So if you are going to Batanes, don’t forget to include Casa Napoli in your itinerary. The pizza restaurant is just small so it is best to make a reservation. We had our early New Year’s Eve dinner at Casa Napoli and we enjoyed our pizza, chicken, and mojos.

Read: Where to Eat in Batanes

Bernardo’s hotel is near the Chanarian Beach so if you have nothing to do, you can go to the beach. You can watch the sunset, mountains, or oceans on the hotel rooftop. It is also near Amboy’s Hometel and Villa Hontomin.

We enjoyed our 4 days stay at Bernardo’s hotel, it is really a home away from home. For the first two days nga, kami lang ang guests so solo namin ang hotel. Booking is easy, we reserved everything via SMS and email. Service is good and the staffs are very approachable and accommodating. The only downside here is, mobile and data signal is weak. We need to go to the rooftop or outside if we want to be connected. Well, when in Batanes, be ready for a digital detox.

Check-out time is 8AM but they allow us to stay until 9AM since our flight is still 11:30AM. We gave our room key and off we went to the airport.

Bernardo’s Hotel Room Rates

Solo Occupancy P2800
Double Occupancy P3400
Triple Occupancy P4200
Quadruple Occupancy 5200

Rates are inclusive of applicable Government Tax
Free breakfast, round trip airport transfer, use of the bicycle (maximum of 2 hours per day)
Children 7 years old or younger, sharing a room and bed with parents are free of charge.
Check-in time is 10AM and Check-out time is 8AM
Late check-out is subject to availability with extra room charges.
Credit cards are not applicable
Rates are subject to change without prior notice.

Saving Tips

Read: How to Save Money for Your Batanes Trip

January 22, 2019

Glimpse of Acienda Designer Outlet in Silang Cavite

Filipinos love sale, discounts, and promos so we love going to the outlet store. Here in the Philippines, there are only small outlet stores so most of the time we feel so excited if we will travel overseas or if we knew someone who will go to the outlet store.

According to my research, an outlet store started when factories offer excess goods or damaged goods to their employees at a low price and of course, they extend it to non-employees. Nowadays, you can see different brands selling their products in an outlet store. So if you are eyeing for a luxury brand and you don’t have the budget to buy at a retail store, then visit an outlet store so you can buy it at a fractional cost.

But keep in mind that products from the retail store and outlet store are different. Sad to say, but brands are manufacturing products for outlet store only and for retail only. Don’t expect that you are always buying excess goods, out of season products or damaged goods. I learned this from this video, you can watch the Outlet Store vs Retail Store video here by CBC News.

Are Outlet Stores Worth Visiting? 

If you will ask me if is it worth visiting an outlet store knowing that there is a bit difference in their products. My answer is yes, I will still buy products at an Outlet Store because it is better than buying a replica or fake products. I don’t mind if it comes from an outlet store or retail store as long as I can use it for a few years and I’m satisfied with the price and products.

Acienda Designer Outlet Store 

Anyway, if you are looking for an outlet store, don’t worry because you don’t need to go out of the country because we have Acienda Designer Outlet Store in Silang, Cavite. Yey, we now have an international outlet. It opened last October 26, 2018 and it was only last week that I finally able to visit it. If you remember, last Christmas, we went here but the outlet store was not yet open and I don’t want to wait for the opening hours so we just went home.

Acienda Designer Outlet is now a must visit place if you are going to Tagaytay. As I’ve said, outlet store offer products at a discounted price all year round so no need to wait for sale or promos. You can find deals up to 70% off.

We were in Tagaytay last week so before we went home, we dropped by at Acienda Designer Outlet. It was weekday so parking is not difficult, they have huge parking but I’m not sure kung pag weekend nagkakaubusan.

Upon entering, I was surprised because ang daming pang IG worthy spot so if you love taking selfies, you will love this place. Sakto pa nga, konti tao nung pagpunta namin so I was able to take some pictures na walang gaanong photobomber. My husband even said “Mas maganda daw ito kaysa sa Outlet Store na napuntahana niya sa Texas, USA”. You can the famous London telephone booth, Eiffel Tower, Windmill, Leaning Tower of Pisa and Lombard Street.

Watch the video here.

Unfortunately, not all stores are already open. Konti pa lang ang bukas and I checked some stores and I find P995 Levis Pants, buy one take one sa toys, branded frames for P450 and more. I did not check all the stores since I have no budget for shopping. I just want to have a glimpse of the Acienda so if ever may pang shopping na ko, babalik ako.

Lunch at Ibarra’s Bistro 

It was time for lunch so we look for a restaurant. Unfortunately, konti pa lang din ang choices but there are kiosks where you can buy pizza, ice cream, fries, and etc. We had our lunch at Ibarra’s Bistro. It offers express meals, pasta, noodles, sandwiches, desserts and drinks. We ordered Pork BBQ on Stick with Kare Kare Rice P195 and Mixed Seafood Salpicao P220.

I tried the Pork BBQ and Kare-Kare rice and the taste is okay, hindi gaano lasa yung kare-kare sa rice. For my Mixed Seafood Salpicao, it is a mixed of mussels, squid, shrimp and salmon belly in garlic, olive oil, bell peppers, and spices. I have no idea na spicy pala ito. I know there is bell pepper pero when they served it, may siling pangsigang din. We’re satisfied with our order and the price is not that expensive. They only accept cash, mahina daw signal kaya mahirap pag credit card.

And because, naanghangan ko sa kinain ko, I went to Cold Stone Creamery and ordered a Ferrero Rocher ice cream. It was my first time kasi namamahalan ko sa ice cream na ito. Which is true, mas mahal pa itong dessert ko kaysa sa kinain namin na rice meal sa Ibarra’s Bistro. But in fairness, masarap naman yung ice cream. The staff even gave us a free taste, we tried Ferrero, Manhattan Cheesecake and I forgot the other flavor but I chose Ferrero.

Operating Hours: 11AM to 9PM; Monday to Sunday

Acienda Designer Outlet 
KM48 Aguinaldo Highway Lalaan 1,
Silang Cavite