October 30, 2019

Glimpse of PAGSS Airport Lounge at NAIA 1

Hubby went to Hanoi, Vietnam via Philippine Airlines last week and he was surprised when he learned that he needs to go to NAIA Terminal 1. He has Mabuhay membership so he can stay at Mabuhay Lounge but this lounge is only available at NAIA Terminal 2. We already canceled our credit card with FREE AIRPORT LOUNGE since there is already a limit of 2 lounge access per year.

Fast forward to his trip, he was happy that he still has airport lounge access. As I’ve said before, there is no Mabuhay Lounge but he was able to stay at PAGSS Airport Lounge. I’m not sure if this is a new airport lounge but for our past experiences, we were able to try MIASCOR and Club Manila at NAIA Terminal 1.

PAGSS Lounge accepts passengers from Kuwait Airways, Air China, China Airlines, China Southern, China Eastern, Eva Air, Xiamen Air, and Philippine Airlines. AUB credit card holders can stay in the lounge too. For economy passengers who do not have airport lounge access, PAGSS Lounge accepts walk-in, just pay $25 per person.

Important Information 
Children under 5 years old are admitted free with an adult.
Separate smoking room available.

When it comes to size, the PAGSS lounge is similar to Mabuhay Lounge but since this is a shared lounge of 8 airlines and 1 credit card company, the lounge tends to be crowded. But at least you can eat and drink for free, you have wifi access, and a comfortable environment compared to the boarding gate.

Who Has Access to Airport Lounge?

You may stay in Aiport Lounges if you are Mabuhay Miles Elite, Premier Elite, and Million Miler member. If you are not a member but you have a Business Class ticket you can access the lounge for FREE. Check the list below of different lounges.

Domestic Lounges
International Lounges 

Read: 5 Ways to Get Into Airport Lounge 

October 29, 2019

Ayala Malls Manila Bay; The Largest Ayala Mall in the Philippines

We went to World Travel Expo at SMX Convention last weekend and on our way home, my husband suggested that we drop by at Ayala Malls. I said no at first kasi kagagaling nga lang namin ng MOA, tapos mall na naman. But then I changed my mind, kasi bihira naman kami makaluwas. So off we went to Ayala Malls Manila Bay. 

Ayala Malls Manila Bay opened to the public last September 26, 2019 so one-month pa lang siya nung bumisita kami. This is the largest Ayala Mall in the country and each floor has its own mini village or town like Filipino village, Korea Town, China Town, and Japan Town. Signs are also written in different languages so it is good news to some foreigner visitors.

This reminds me of our visit to Terminal 21 in Bangkok, Thailand, though hindi pa siya tapos and marami pa under construction and kung may asthma ka, baka hikain ka pa kasi maalikabok pa yung ibang part. As of this writing, FREE PARKING pa siya.

Crazy Crepes 

We explored the mall and we saw Crazy Crepes, it reminded of our trip in Boracay. I’m not sure kung kakaopen pa lang nila kasi may promo sila na “Buy any 2 selected crepes at PHP50 off”. You can choose from the following flavors; Raspberry Choco, Banana Foster, Banana Choco, Nutty Choco, Tuna Mayo, and Almond Nutella. We bought Banana Choco and Almond Nutella for PHP150. 

We bought two crepes pero halos anak ko nakaubos so tumikim lang kami. Lol. Mas mura din price nila kaysa sa Boracay. My husband said, bumili na lang ulit pero tinamad na ko pumila and kakain na rin naman kami ng dinner.


Then I saw Mumuso, they have a branch in Southwoords Mall but I still checked their store. While checking, the staff told me na nakasale daw sila, 15% off discount sa lahat ng items and if maka PHP1000 ako, may FREE Facial Coupon daw ako. And because of that, pinilit ko na makaPHP1k purchase talaga ko. I bought tissue, wipes, cotton pads, cotton buds, deep cleansing brush, moisture absorber and cellphone holder (car) for my husband. Sayang discount and I need these stuff din naman, bawas na bibilhin ko sa grocery. 

Japan Fudo Street 

When we reach the Japan Town, we saw this Japan Fudo Street. We thought that it is a Japanese food court where you order in different stalls but we were wrong. Upon seated, the staff gave us the menu, ilang pages din yung menu nila so it took us a few minutes bago mag-order.

We ordered Gyu Saikoro Steak PHP430, Rame Gyoza Set PHP380 and Tonkatsu Bento Box Set PHP295. I love steak so I ordered Gyu Saikoro Steak, I was expecting that it will be sizzling hot pero room temperature na siya nung sinerve. Malayo siya sa picture na nakita ko sa Menu. I’m glad that the beef is tender but I don’t think I will order this again. For PHP430, I think I will just eat steak in other restaurants like Pepper Lunch.

Gyu Saikoro Steak - 100g beef tenderloin cut into cubes with yakinuku sauce and stir-fry beans sprout.

My husband ordered Half Ramen with 3 pcs Gyoza. I like the idea of half-ramen kasi sa totoo lang hindi ko kaya ubusin ang isang bowl of ramen. I tried my husband’s ramen and it is good. But again, it is not hot. I like hot ramen not warm or room temperature. Gyoza is also good.

My son ordered Tonkatsu Bento Set, the meal includes coleslaw, house salad, soft tofu, rice, and miso soup. The serving is big for my son so he was not able to finish it, he ate tonkatsu, rice, and miso soup. My husband ate the leftover and according to him, the pork is dry, overcook and hard. Iba pa rin daw ang katsu ng Yabu.

So overall, our food trip is just okay, may masarap and meron hindi. When it comes to service, for me it is okay lang, may okay na staff and meron din lutang, they need to improve on that. In addition, Japan Fudo Street has a mini store too where you can buy Japanese beverages, snacks, and even condiments so if you like Japanese products you can check their store.

October 28, 2019

4th World Travel Expo Experience

I’m itching to travel again so when I learned that we have two weeks semestral break, I immediately look for a place where we could spend our sembreak. Unfortunately, I was having a hard time kasi lagi na lang may problem, like hindi okay ang weather, mahal ang airfare or wala na ko makitang available resort or hotel na pasok sa budget. I don’t want to spend P10K/per night sa room because hindi naman kami magstaycation.

I want to travel but of course, I don’t want to hurt our savings so as much as possible I have to stick with our budget. Nainis din ko ng slight kasi sa school calendar namin, one-week lang semestral break so wala ko balak umalis. Then a week before sembreak, may nasagap ko na tsismis na two weeks daw ang sembreak namin dahil nasa South Korea mga school personnels. Pero last day of class na nag-inform si teacher and confirmed TWO WEEKS ANG SEMBREAK. Waah!

This is the reason, bakit Friday lang ang blog post ko last week because I was busy searching and planning for our trip. I stopped searching na lang kasi napagod na talaga ko kakahanap. I felt that I wasted my one week because wala din akong naplano and nastress lang ako. After few days, I checked kung may Travel Expo and voila, meron World Travel Expo at SMX Convention Center so napaluwas kami bigla. And the search is not yet over.

What: World Travel Expo 2019
Where: Function room 3, 4, and 5, SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay City
When:  October 25, 26, 27, 2019, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Admission Fee: Php 80 - Adult and P50 for students, senior citizens, and PWD.

I checked the list of exhibitors and ang konti lang, wala nga ko nakita na airlines. Nagpunta pa rin kami and totoo nga ang konti lang talaga ng nagjoin. Mas marami pa yung nag-aalok ng credit card at nagpapafill-out ng kunyari raffle ticket na may kasamang salary and position sa sasagutan kaysa sa mga nagbibigay ng flyers. Wala rin gaano mga freebies. Malayo siya sa naexperience na namin sa ibang travel expo like PTAA Travel Tour Expo and Philippine Travel Mart. Anyway, this is the 4th World Travel Expo so mag-improve din sila in the future.

Kahit konti lang ang nagjoin, hindi naman nasayang ang punta namin. We availed the PHP600 (from PHP1200) Japan Visa Processing, malay mo makabalik kami ng Japan. hehehe! I have 3 months to use the voucher and submit our requirements. I also bought 2 Stanley Food Jar at PHP1589 each less 25% off. Lastly, we booked 2 Palmera Suites at The Farm at San Benito (PHP8000 nett/per room). We checked other resorts and hotels pero dahil ang laki ng discount sa The Farm at San Benito kaya dito kami nagbooked. Matatanggal na rin siya sa bucket list ko. :)

October 25, 2019

Birthday Staycation at Sheraton Manila

Today is the last day of my son’s periodical exam so I have time to blog again. Hello, sembreak! Last week, I shared about Sheraton Bandung Hotel & Towers in Indonesia and this reminded me that I haven’t blogged about my Birthday Staycation at Sheraton Manila last August. We splurged on our food trip at Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant in Diamond Hotel but we saved a lot on my birthday staycation.

Read: Sheraton Bandung Hotel & Towers in Indonesia 
Birthday Staycation at Sheraton Manila Club

Would you believe that we only spent less than PHP800 for my birthday staycation at Sheraton Manila? As of this writing, this is the cheapest birthday staycation we ever had. I’m so happy that we had a weekend getaway without breaking the bank. And for the record, this is not a travel-sponsored post.

Free room
Free buffet breakfast
Free cake
Free birthday card
Free late check-out at 2PM

Travel Tip: If you love staycation or you want to get discounts for your hotel booking, do not forget to sign up for a hotel membership. The majority of the membership is free but there are times that you need to pay for your annual membership or you need to stay at their hotel before they can invite you to become a member.

Birthday Staycation at Sheraton Manila 

My husband and I have hotel memberships so we get discounts or earn points for business or family trips. And because of that, we earned enough points to get a FREE ROOM STAY. My husband decided to use his points for my birthday celebration. We can stay for 2 nights but I told my husband to save the other night for my son’s birthday.

Fast forward to my celebration, we had lunch first at Dayrit’s Burger and Roast Beef House at Paseo de Magallanes. I even bought some bread and snacks so we have something to eat at the hotel. After lunch, we went straight to the Sheraton Hotel.

Check-in time is 3PM and we arrived before 1PM but they allowed us to check in already. There is a deposit fee of PHP5000 (if I remember it right). On our way to our room, my husband informed me that we have FREE BUFFET BREAKFAST too. Yey! When my husband booked a room at Sheraton, we were aware that we only have a free room and buffet breakfast is not included in the package. So we were really happy when the hotel staff offered us a complimentary breakfast at S Kitchen. I like Sheraton because they know how to value and spoil their loyal guests.

Sheraton Manila is just across NAIA Terminal 3 so if you are looking for a place to stay before your departure or after your arrival, I can recommend this hotel. They offer FREE AIRPORT SHUTTLE SERVICE to NAIA Terminal 1, 2, and 3. The bus leaves every 30, 40, or 50 minutes, depending on the airport terminal.

It reminded me of our stay in Radisson Blu Trondheim and Radisson Blu Oslo because we have an airport view from the hotel. Unfortunately, our room does not have an airport view but this is our view while waiting for the elevator.

Sheraton Manila Deluxe Room 

We stayed at the Queen Deluxe Guest Room. The room is spacious about 44sqm, it has two queen beds, a working desk, a lounge chair, flat-screen TV, mini bar, safe, and refrigerator. As expected, we enjoyed the Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience, we love the bed, duvet, and pillows. My husband also requested feather pillows.

The bathroom has no bathtub but plus points because they have a bidet. They have the usual toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap, lotion, toothpaste and toothbrush, and more. One thing I dislike is the sliding door in the bathroom, it is hard to open sa loob so kelangan pa namin ipabukas sa labas.

After several minutes, I was surprised when the hotel staff delivered my FREE BIRTHDAY CAKE, BIRTHDAY CARD, and Handwritten notecard from the Director of Operations. The notecard is for my husband, Sheraton hotels always give a welcome card to all their loyal guests. The cake is not just a slice but a whole cake and we love the chocolate cake. Napatimpla agad ng coffee si hubby, just in time for our merienda.

Around 3PM, we went to the heated saltwater swimming pool. The pool is big but it is crowded too so my two boys did not stay long, wala pa yata 1 hour umayaw na.

They have Kid’s Club where you can bring your kids but my son did not go there, feeling binata na. For adults, they have a spa and fitness center.

If you are feeling hungry, they have S Kitchen, Lounge, 24 hours Dining Service and soon Oori. We’re too lazy to go out so for our dinner we availed the room service. We ordered Four Cheese Pizza PHP640 and Chicken Nuggets for PPHP360 (less PWD discount).

The food doesn’t look presentable or appetizing but we loved the pizza. Usually, hindi namin type yung Four-Cheese pizza but this time, we love the combination of mozzarella, brie, parmesan, and kesong puti. Sarap na sarap kami sa pizza. They have Kids Menu so I ordered Chicken Nuggets with tomato relish, mayonnaise, and french fries. I was surprised kasi kakaiba yung nuggets nila parang homemade. My son prefers the taste of the fastfood nuggets so si hubby ang umubos ng food niya.

Buffet Breakfast at S Kitchen 

We had a buffet breakfast at S Kitchen, it is an all-day dining restaurant so you can eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It offers international cuisines like Japanese, American, and Chinese but most of the foods are Filipino which is an advantage if you like Filipino foods like me. They have a bread station, salad station, egg station, fruit and drink station, and many more.

Upon arrival, the staff ushered us to our table and she left without asking for our drinks. Nasanay ko sa ibang hotel sa Pinas na automatic itatanong kung coffee or tea, I’m not sure kung self-service since they have a coffee machine. Anyway, kami na lang kumuha ng coffee and choco.

My favorite buffet station is the Paluto, imagine you can have grilled food for your breakfast. Among the choices are grilled tilapia fillet, bangus fillet, Vigan Longganisa, and Lucban Longganisa. Natuwa din ako kasi may taho at fresh buko juice din. Sad lang, naubusan ako ng champorado and ang tagal ng refill. hehehe!

Lastly, aside from early check-in, we were advised that we can check out at 2PM without additional charge. So to save money, brunch na yung kinain namin sa S Kitchen para sa labas na kami kakain ulit. Hehehe!

Overall, I enjoyed my PHP800 birthday celebration at Sheraton Manila. Sheraton's service is always very satisfactory. We're supposed to go back for my son's 11th birthday but my son doesn't like to have a staycation. Maybe next year, we will try Sheraton Manila Bay or Sheraton Mactan.

This was our first time in Sheraton Manila and you can check other branches that we have tried.

Read: Sheraton Towers Singapore 
Sheraton Manila Bay

Watch the video

October 18, 2019

Sheraton Bandung Hotel & Towers in Indonesia

Hubby was back from Bandung, the fourth populous city in Indonesia. He’s been to Bandung several times already but this was the first time that he did not travel by land. He used to fly to Jakarta and then travel to Bandung for 3-5 hours depending on the traffic. But during his last visit, he took the plane because he has an unused Manila-Singapore-Manila round trip ticket. If you've read my post, he canceled his Singapore trip last July when my sister-in-law was confined in the hospital.

Manila to Singapore via Philippine Airlines 
Singapore to Bandung, Indonesia via Silkair 

The only downside of his trip was the long layover in Changi Airport. Good thing that Singapore Airport has one of the best airports in the world so he has something to do while waiting. I will share on a separate post, the Things that You Can Do During a Layover at Changi Airport.

Travel time from Singapore to Bandung is less than two hours so matagal din. My husband prefers flying to Jakarta and land traveling to Bandung. He recently discovered that there is a train from Jakarta to Bandung and vice versa; the travel time is 3 hours.

Read: How to Get to Jakarta to Bandung via Train

Sheraton Bandung Hotel & Towers 

My husband stayed at Mercure before but this time he stayed at Sheraton Bandung Hotel & Towers. It is a five-star hotel that is perfect for a family staycation, retreat, and even business traveler. It is thirty minutes away from Husein Sastranegara Airport and a few minutes away from the business district, shopping center and some tourist spots.

When my husband told me that he will stay at Sheraton, I immediately checked his hotel and I noticed some similarity to Saujana Hotel and Resort in Malaysia. Guests will love the scenery and the kids will enjoy feeding the rabbit and horseback riding activities. Aside from that, Bandung has cooler temperature throughout the year so parang Baguio lang na malamig pa rin kahit summer.

This is the Deluxe room, as expected the room is spacious, clean and pretty just like other Sheraton Hotels. This is the seventh Sheraton Hotels that my husband tried and this reminds me that I haven’t blogged about our Sheraton Manila Staycation.

Read: Sheraton Greensboro at Four Seasons 
Sheraton Hanoi Hotel
Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Hotel 
Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel 
Sheraton Towers Singapore 
Sheraton Manila
Sheraton Manila Bay

Sheraton knows how to spoil their loyal guests, when my husband entered the room, there are a notecard and welcome snacks waiting for him.

What I like in Sheraton Hotel is the feather bed and comfortable pillows and duvet na parang lagi mo gustong matulog. What I don’t like is, not all hotel rooms have a bathtub. Sheraton Bandung offers fitness center, outdoor pool, spa, restaurant, and lounge.

The room package includes buffet breakfast for two at Feast. According to my husband, the buffet spread is good and madami choices, you can eat local and international cuisine.

Overall, my husband had a good stay at Sheraton Bandung, you can always expect the usual Sheraton hospitality.

Read: Where to Stay in Jakarta Indonesia
Garuda Indonesia Executive Lounge
Premier Lounge in Jakarta International Airport 

Update March 2020

Last year, I mentioned that you can go to Bandung, Indonesia via car, plane, and train but just this month, my husband traveled to Bandung via train. He was back in Sheraton Bandung Hotel & Towers and this time, he was upgraded to a room with a pool view. They gave a complimentary dessert and a personal notecard.

Sheraton Bandung Hotel & Towers 
Jalan Ir. H. Juanda No. 390,
Bandung 40135 Indonesia