November 23, 2019

Do I Need a Polio Vaccine if I’m Traveling to Indonesia?

Just last month, Filipinos are advised to have a polio vaccine before flying to Indonesia. This news surprised business travelers or tourists especially those who already have a flight to Indonesia. There were a lot of questions like do I really need a Polio Vaccine or do I need to get an International Certificate of Vaccination? The answer is YES and NO.

No - You Don’t Need a Vaccine 

If you are traveling and staying in Indonesia for less than a month.

Yes - You Need a Vaccine 

If you are traveling and staying in Indonesia for four weeks or more.

You need to present an ICV or International Certificate of Vaccination, medical certificate or any official documents that will prove that you have Polio Vaccine. You can read more information on CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site, click here and here

Hubby just came from Jakarta, Indonesia few days ago and he did not bring any Polio Vaccination documents. He was in Indonesia for 4 days only.

November 22, 2019

JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta Indonesia

A few weeks ago, I’ve blogged about JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi and today let me share with you another JW Marriott hotel. Hubby was back from Jakarta, Indonesia and he usually stays at The Westin Jakarta but the hotel was fully booked so he had no choice but to look for another hotel. He remembered JW Marriott Hotel because they had an event here on his last visit to Jakarta.

Read: Where to Stay in Jakarta Indonesia

JW Marriott Hotel is 30 km away from the airport and it is located in Central Business District in Mega Kuningan, South Jakarta. It is near the business offices, embassies, and even shopping centers. The hotel was opened in 2001 so the look is a little bit old already and you will notice that when you see the room photos.

When my husband booked at this hotel, medyo paranoid ako because this hotel has been bombed twice by terrorist in the year 2003 and 2009. And because of that, the hotel has now five layers of blast walls and the security is very tight. If you have small scissors or any tools, you need to surrender it at the concierge.

Governor Suite Room 

My husband usually stays at Deluxe room but it is no longer available so he has no choice but to book the cheapest available room during his trip which is Governor Suite. The room is about 84 sqm, you have a separate bedroom, living room, workstation, walk-in closet, and 2 comfort rooms. There are coffee and tea area, minibar, fridge, two television, three phones, and wired and wireless internet. This hotel room is spacious for one person and it is bigger than our tiny house. Hehehe!

What special about this room is you have Executive Lounge Access, it is open from Sunday to Saturday, 6AM to 12AM. You have a private access floor, complimentary food and drinks, and other complimentary business services.

* Complimentary food
* Complimentary cocktails
* Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages
* Complimentary 2 pieces pressing per day (non-accumulative)
* Complimentary wifi in the lounge and meeting room
* Complimentary use of meeting room for 2 hours per day (subject to availability)
* Complimentary business services like fax, printing, scanning (free 20 pages per day)
* Free local call excluding mobile phone call.
* Drop off shuttle in Mega Kuningan area from 6AM until 11PM.
* Complimentary culinary offering all day with evening cocktails.
* Personalized check-in and check-out
* Evening Service Bar

Executive Lounge at 29th Floor

Breakfast 6AM - 10:30AM (Weekday) | 6AM - 11AM (Weekend and Public Holidays)
High Tea 2:30PM to 4:30PM
Hors d’oeuvres 05:30PM - 9:30PM
Evening Cocktails 5:30 - 9:30Pm (Wine, Spirit, Beer & Cocktails)
Cheese & Dessert 05:30 - 11PM

 Aside from the executive lounge access, my husband got two vouchers; one voucher worth IDR 150,000 at Alameda Spa & Health Club and one voucher worth IDR100,000 at Sailendra Restaurant. He can also choose one gift from JW Marriott, he can choose from the following.

* Asuka Maki Sushi Roll at Asuka Japanese Dining
* A bowl of Indonesian Soup (Sop Buntut, Bakso or Iga) at Sailendra Restaurant
* A choice of appetizer at Pearl Chinese Restaurant
* A choice of dessert at Pearl Chinese Restaurant
* A glass of house beer at Blu Martini
* A glass of house red or white wine at Blu Martini
* Avail IDR50,000 off your in room dining orders.

Sa dami ng free foods and drinks, parang gusto mo na lang magstay ng hotel at magfood trip. Before his business trip, alam ko diet siya pero ewan ko na lang kung ano nangyari sa diet niya during his trip. hehehe!

Sailendra Buffet Breakfast 

For breakfast, he has two choices; he can eat at the lounge or at the Sailendra restaurant. He tried both. Sailedra Buffet Breakfast offers international dishes like American, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Chinese and of course Indonesian dishes. The advantage of the Executive Lounge is they serve pork dishes daw.

You can also eat and drink at Asuka Japanese restaurant, Pearl Chinese restaurant, Blu Martini Bar & Lounge, and Sailendra Restaurant. If you want to save money, you can eat the nearest shopping mall. My husband just walked from JW Marriott hotel up to the shopping mall.

JW Marriott Hotel is a 5-star hotel that offers a fitness center, spa, swimming pool, meeting room, and event venue. The room, food, and service is good. Just like the Hanoi branch, they give complimentary chocolates every turndown service.

This hotel reminds me of our stay in Sofitel Club Millesime Manila because of the executive lounge and Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok sa dami ng freebies. You can check other Marriott hotels that I have reviewed in the past.

Read: JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi in Vietnam
Marriott Renaissance Shanghai Yangtze Hotel 
Courtyard Fort Worth University Drive by Marriott in Dallas Texas
Chengdu Marriott Hotel Financial Centre in China 
Marriott Residence Inn Austin Lake 
Cebu City Marriott Hotel 

JW Marriott Hotel Jakarta 
Jalan DR Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung Kav E.1.2 No 1&2, 
Kawasan Mega Kuningan, Jakarta  12950 Indonesia

November 18, 2019

Sweet Escape at The Farm at San Benito

The Farm at San Benito is not just an ordinary resort because it is a Health and Wellness resort. It is an award-winning eco-luxury haven not just in the country but across the globe. This 5-star Holistic Sanctuary is situated in Lipa, Batangas and it is one of the popular holistic medical wellness destinations among local celebrities and A-listers.

And because of that, expect that their rates are not cheap so it is on my bucket list for a very long time. Actually, I’ve been seeing their promo at Deal Grocer for the past few years but I was hesitant to reserve a room because the promo is valid only from Sunday to Thursday so my son needs to be absent and my husband needs to file a Vacation Leave. One more thing, I’m a meat lover so I’m scared that I won’t enjoy my stay if I am hungry or should I say h-angry.

A few weeks ago, we went to Word Travel Expo, because we were looking for a semestral break getaway. My son had a two weeks sembreak, first-time yan since nung nagstart siya mag-aral so I took advantage of it. At that moment, we were planning for our trip but the problem is, mahirap pala magplan nang mabilisan. To make the long story short, among the 3 choices na pinagpilian namin we ended up at The Farm at San Benito.

Why? No need for a plane ticket, malapit lang ang Batangas and lastly, ang mura ng promo nila. We booked Palmera Suites, we can stay for 3 days and 2 nights but we decided to book two rooms for 2 days and 1-night para maisama namin biyenan ko. Good thing that my husband called the resort, kasi akala talaga nila 3 days and 2 nights kami, hindi siguro na-note na pinabago namin sa Expo mismo. The Palmera Suite is PHP20,740 per night but we got it for PHP8000 nett for two persons with free breakfast. My son is still free of charge but we need to pay for his breakfast meal.

The Farm at San Benito 

Fast forward to our trip, our family had a sweet escape at The Farm at San Benito. It is not our usual staycation but we had a wonderful time at the Health and Wellness Resort. Sa dami ng nangyari sa amin this past few months, we deserve to have a short break. Our mind and body are longing for a stress-free environment and we’re happy that The Farm at San Benito did not disappoint us.

Upon arrival, they immediately served cold towels and welcome drinks. Since we are first-timers, the staff gave us a map and informed us about the different facilities and amenities, rules and guidelines, and the security deposit of PHP10,000. We arrived before 11AM so as expected the room is not ready yet so we had a walking tour to kill our time.

The resort is about 50 hectares but only 10 hectares were developed pero nakakapagod din mag-ikot. We checked the Ampitheater, Orchidarium, Big Lagoon, and Mango Lounge. There is a 100+-year-old mango tree and according to our guide, it absorbs negative energy daw.

The Restaurant at The Farm at San Benito 

I was worried at first na baka magfasting ako sa resort but I was so thankful because they already opened a Meditteranean and Pescetarian restaurant so at least may seafood na for a meat lover like me. We had lunch and dinner at PESCE and breakfast at ALIVE! You can read my post here.

Read: What to Eat at the Farm at San Benito

Palmera Suites 

Check-in time is at 2PM but our room was ready at 1PM so early check-in kami. The Farm at San Benito offers 9 different types of suites and villas and we stayed at Palmera Suites. The room is not that big and it is good for 2 adults and 1 child only. It has a semi-private garden, lanais, and open-air showers. The room offers a minibar, complimentary water, and herbal teas.

The bathroom design looks old, it has a safety deposit box, hairdryer, bathrobes, complimentary use of slippers, and toiletries. For a 5-star resort, sila lang yung walang complimentary toothpaste and toothbrush na napuntahan ko. Well, it is not a problem because we always bring our own.

I love their handmade soap, shampoo, conditioner, oil, and body polish. Okay lang kahit amoy coconut ako. Hehehe! What I don’t like is the open-air showers, hindi ko feel na bukas ang shower room. Feeling ko may mga mata na nakapaligid. #paranoid Peacock is everywhere, favorite nila tambayan yung Suite namin.

The Farm at San Benito Activities 

Our room package includes different activities that we can join like yoga, meditation, power walks, mandala flower arranging, and many more. Don’t forget to check the schedule at reception. We did not join the adult activities but we joined the kid’s activities and at that time, kami lang nagjoin. I’m not sure kung hindi sila interested or hindi nila alam na may mga activities.

Anyway, my son joined Fishing, Vegetable Harvesting, Nature Walk, and Mandala Flower Arrangement. He caught the biggest fish again.

Pools at The Farm at San Benito 

There are three swimming pools that you can use, you can go to South Pool, Waterfall Pool and Infinity Pool. There are villas too that have their own pools so bihira rin kami may makasabay na guests. Buti na lang kasi ang hirap mag take ng photos pag may ibang guests, part of their guidelines is “As a courtesy, please avoid taking photos that include other guests without their permission.”

Overall, we had a great time at The Farm at San Benito, we love the place, food, and service. It is no longer surprising that even though the rate is steep, this is a go-to place for celebrities and A-listers. Indeed, you can have your privacy and you can really relax here. I’m glad that we got a good deal and we were able to visit this eco-luxury resort. And because of this, parang mahihirapan na naman kami maghanap ng magandang resort na mapupuntahan.

If you want to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city, then go to The Farm at San Benito, it offers a peaceful environment that nourishes your senses with inner peace and positive energy.

The Farm at San Benito 
119 Barangay Tipakan 4217
Lipa City, Batangas Philippines

November 14, 2019

Official Top 5 Review - How to Find The Best Digital Picture Frames

There's not a single person in the world that doesn't like to take pictures. One way or the other, you will have numerous pictures throughout your life. If you don't want to take photographs personally, then your parents will surely take them from you. This is a great thing. The only way to remember a moment forever is by taking pictures. Our brains don't have the capacity to remember everything. Once we get older, some of the most important memories can start to disappear. If you don't want that to happen, then you should take as many pictures as you can.

Most people prefer to keep their photos on their phones. Others get them developed and put in a frame. But there is an even more practical solution nowadays. Ever since the creation of the digital picture frame, people have gone crazy about it. Click on the link for more

You don't have to waste paper or ink to print out your photos. You don't have to run back and forth to the store to get them developed. You can put the digital frame anywhere you want, and it would still look cool. Here are some things that you might have not known about these products:

They display high-quality photos 

There's nothing worse than owning a picture that has terrible quality. It might ruin the whole point of framing one for your house. No one wants to look at a picture where you can't see everything clearly. This is where the digital frame comes in handy. These types of products display crystal clear images that will simply awe you. It would be the same as taking them on your mobile phone. They look even better than the printed ones you get at a photo shop.

Therefore, if you want to give the product a shot, you won't regret it. On the plus side, you don't have to choose only one photo. The display system can show several images, like on a slideshow. Everyone that comes to your home will be amazed at how each picture looks clear and bright. With a simple connection to your Wi-Fi at home, you can import several images at once. How cool is that? Say goodbye to the old-fashioned frames and admire your photos one by one on the digital picture frame.

They have a large capacity 

You won't ever have to stare at one picture for the rest of your life. Each device has a capacity that will display over 20,000 pictures. You can scroll through them or let the device show them with a slideshow. Either way, each time you take a beautiful picture, you won't have to waste time thinking where to put it or how to frame it. Just connect the device to the Wi-Fi and store the picture on it. The digital frame will do the rest. Check out the top 5 list of digital picture frames for more info.

This is probably the coolest thing that has ever been invented. People love using it, and it's for a reason. If you want to experience the same thing, then nothing is stopping you from buying a device like that. You can even purchase several at once. All the photos you plan on storing will automatically resize to fit the resolution and aspect ratio. But don't worry because this won't damage the quality of the photos. Just make sure to browse online through different types of the product and pick one that will serve you the best. Sometimes making these decisions can be challenging, which brings us to the next point.

They have different designs and specs 

Not every digital picture frame is the same. Every single one of them has their own set of specifications. However, this doesn't mean that they do different things. Basically, all of them display your photos. Some of them are remote-controlled. Others have different capacities for storing images.

All of them have different sizes and are made from different brands. Some have even clocks and calendars as additional features. The future lies in technology. And when something great like this gets invented, it would be a shame not to have it in the house. Luckily, you can check online and browse through the different models to find which one will look best in one of your rooms.

With their motion sensors and high-resolution, your family and friends will be pleased to look through them. Every single important memory you want to keep forever can be stored in the digital frames. Whichever type of product you choose is entirely up to you and your preference. If you can't seem to decide, you can ask the seller to recommend a model. It is always a good idea to ask for more details and recommendations from experienced individuals to make your choice better and faster.

They are powered in a different way 

Basically, there are only two options to power your digital picture frame. One is through buying batteries and placing them inside the device. The other one is through a power cord. Batteries are useful in a way that you can set the frame anywhere you want. You don't need a power outlet close by.

On the other hand, those that require a power cord need to be near an outlet. This is the only way to charge them. But on the plus side, you won’t have to waste money on batteries constantly.

They are affordable 

Don’t worry because you won’t have to spend a lot of money. It’s not like buying a car or a house. They can cost somewhere between 100 and 150 dollars. If you think that this is something you can’t afford right now, then don’t buy the frame.

But if you want to experience high resolution, quality images, and have the money for it, then go ahead and buy one. You won't regret it. Just make sure to browse through the models to see which one will do the job best for you and your family.

November 12, 2019

What to Eat at The Farm at San Benito

The Farm at San Benito was on my bucket list for the longest time but I was hesitant to reserve a room because I’m a meat lover so vegan cuisine is not in my vocabulary. No Meat, No Eggs, and No Dairy do not appeal to me. Since this is a Health and Wellness Resort, bringing of foods and drinks are not allowed. You have to leave JUNK foods at the gate.

Read: Sweet Escape at The Farm at San Benito

Food is life so I was really worried that I might go hungry if I will stay here. So if you are a meat lover like me, don’t worry because "NO FASTING" at The Farm at San Benito. I was thankful that The Farm at San Benito opened PESCE restaurant a few months ago so it was really good news for us who are not a fan of a plant-based diet.

PESCE is a Pescetarian and Mediterranean restaurant that focuses on health and longevity of life. Pesce is an Italian word for fish so expect that there is seafood on their menu. The restaurant also offers fruits, vegetables and whole-grains to serve a balanced meal.

Lunch at PESCE Restaurant 

Since we arrived before eleven in the morning, we ate lunch at PESCE. They are open every day from 11:30AM to 10:00PM. Prior to our visit, I already saw their menu so I am no longer surprised with the price. The Farm at San Benito is a luxury resort so just like other 5-star hotels or resorts, the price is expensive. For Lunch Menu, the price ranges from PHP400 to P620.

We ordered Seafood Pinakbet PHP580, Calamari ad Fries PHP620, Aglio Olio Ala Chef PHP400 and Extra Rice PHP100. We also ordered Fish and Chips PHP620 but it was not available. While waiting they served complimentary bread and it is fresh from the oven.

Aglio Olio Ala Chef - Sauteed garlic, mushroom, fern salad, and chili deglazed with wine and tossed in olive oil and topped with grated pili nuts and walnuts.

Calamari and Fries - Crispy squid with traditional farm fries served with tartar sauce and lemon.

Seafood Pinakbet - Traditional Filipino stir-fried organic vegetables with bitter gourd, pumpkin, ladyfinger, and string beans in prawn paste served with jasmine rice.

We all loved the Seafood Pinakbet, how I wish 2 order na lang ng pinakbet ginawa namin kasi masarap talaga. If this menu is available during dinner, we will order Calamari and Fries and Seafood Pinakbet again. The Aglio Olio Ala Chef is just okay for us.

Update: December 2021

We went back to The Farm at San Benito but unfortunately, the lunch menu is no longer available. They only have one menu for both lunch and dinner so ito na yung mga mahal na options. 

Dinner at PESCE Restaurant 

For dinner, we are contemplating if we will eat at ALIVE or PESCE but when I checked the ALIVE menu, wala ko type so we went back to PESCE restaurant for our dinner. The only thing na ayaw namin sa PESCE is, nakakabutas ng bulsa ang presyo ng dinner nila. They have a separate menu for lunch and dinner. To give you an idea, here are the price ranges.

Appetizers - PHP725 to PHP5200
Salad - PHP725 to PHP1500
Soups - PHP450 to PHP1400
Main - PHP1000 to PHP2300
Chili Crabs - Minimum of PHP1600 for 300g, PHP500/100g
Wood Fire Oven Baked Lobster - Minimum PHP3000 for 300g, PHP900/100g
Pizza and Pasta - PHP700 to PHP1500
Dessert - PHP600

We ordered Wood Fire Baked Oven Seafood Pizza PHP1200, Spaghetti Gambereti PHP1200, and Eggplant Melanzane PHP1000. They served fresh complimentary bread while waiting. I’m thankful for the complimentary bread, kasi busog na anak ko dito. Hindi masyadong bet ng anak ko ang pescetarian and vegan diet but he tried some of the meals.

Wood Fire Baked Oven Seafood Pizza - Buckwheat dough pizza which prawn, scallops, crab meat, broccoli, and bell pepper.

Spaghetti Gamberetti - Pan-served prawns in garlic-deglazed white wine, added with cream, diced tomatoes tossed in spaghetti, and garnished parsley.

Eggplant Melanzane - Baked eggplant filled with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce served with crispy potato chips and filled with braised sprouted chile beans.

For our dinner, we liked the Spaghetti Gamberetti, the pizza toppings are good, hindi lang namin type ang buckwheat dough pizza. The eggplant melanzane is okay lang din, I thought it was similar to Eggplant Moussaka of Mano’s Greek Taverna pero hindi pala.

Breakfast at Alive Restaurant 

Our room package includes breakfast for two at Alive Restaurant. It is one of Asia’s first and finest vegan restaurants. The Alive restaurant is an award-winning restaurant; they already received 9 international awards recognizing their unique food preparations, culinary creations, and delicious vegan dishes. They serve home-grown produce, so the foods are from the farm to your table.

For breakfast, you will eat 3-courses. Since there were only two options, we ordered them all so we could try each meal.

Breakfast Menu 

Tropical Fruit Salad with Homemade Yoghurt 135Kcal
Organic Mixed Salad with Citrus Fruits and Nuts 122Kcal 

Healthy Cereals with Granola 165kcal (per person)

Open-Faced Tofu Sandwich with Potato Wedges 126Kcal
Banana Pancake 142 Kcal

For drinks, you have herbal tea, coffee, ginger lime tea, coconut milk, and almond milk.

We are happy and satisfied with our breakfast at Alive, sobrang nakakabusog yung 3-course meal. We liked the healthy cereals with granola, hindi ko nga lang naubos kasi masakit sa braces yung nuts but my husband finished my granola. And because he loves the cereals, we bought Rude Health Granola Honey and Nuts PHP375 at Landmark. I will check Healthy Options kung meron din sila. The only meal na hindi namin type sa breakfast is the Open-Faced Tofu Sandwich.

For kids, they have a Kid’s Menu. My son ordered Chocolate Banana Pancake PHP385 (183.7) calories. My son likes his order, ang bilis nga niya naubos yung pancake.

Alive Room Dining Service 

If you don’t want to leave your room, you can take advantage of the room service. They offer all-day breakfast in a jar, salads, soups, sandwiches and pasta, raw mains, cooked mains, side dishes, desserts, and drinks. Price ranges from PHP150 to PHP815.

In short, you will never go hungry at The Farm at San Benito because you have two options, you can choose PESCE or ALIVE! The only thing that you need to worry about is your budget. Hehehe! 

Book a Day Pass at The Farm at San Benito