February 18, 2020

Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers in Vietnam

Sheraton Saigon is a 5-star accommodation in Saigon, located in Dong Khoi Street which is accessible to corporate offices, entertainment districts, top restaurants, and popular tourist attractions. You can visit Reunification Palace, Opera House, War Remnants Museum, Opera House and the famous Notre Dame Cathedral.

Read: Glimpse of Ho Chi Minh Vietnam 

When my husband first visited Saigon, he stayed at Le Meridien Hotel. But last December, he stayed at Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers for three days and two nights. Sheraton Saigon offers 484 rooms which have a Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon River view.

Read: Le Meridien Hotel Review 

He booked the cheapest room but was upgraded to Deluxe Room. The room is located in the Main Tower where you can have the city view but don’t worry because you have a soundproof window so you won’t hear any traffic noise. The room space starts with 37 sqm so it is spacious for one person.

I like the modern design of the room, it offers a King-sized bed, sofa by the window, office table, coffee maker and tea service and mini-refrigerator. The marble bathroom has a separate bathtub and shower area.

Breakfast Buffet at Saigon Cafe 

The room package includes Breakfast Buffet at Saigon Cafe, this all-day dining restaurant offers a buffet or ala carte meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They serve international and local cuisines like crab sticks, fish cake or noodles.

Breakfast Buffet breakfast, fee from 560000.00 VND
Continental breakfast, fee from 400000.00 VND
Full American breakfast, fee from 530000.00 VND

Breakfast: Monday through Sunday, 6 to 10am
Lunch: Monday through Saturday, Noon to 2:30pm
Sunday Brunch: 11:30am to 3pm
Dinner: Monday through Sunday, 6 to 10pm

Sheraton Saigon has a world-class dining destination, 24-hour gym, outdoor pool, and luxury spa. The Aqua Day Spa is the first luxury hotel destination spa in Saigon. During his stay, he was surprised when he saw a sticky note on his mirror, he has 20% off discount at Aqua Day Spa.

Sheraton is known for good service but there is one instance where my husband was a little bit disappointed. As I mentioned before, my husband only stayed for two nights. He requested to extend his stay for one more night but he was advised that there is no more room available but they will inform him just in case there is a cancellation.

After breakfast, my husband did not check-out yet because he was waiting for the advice of the hotel if he can extend his stay or not. Past 12 noon, he received a call from Sheraton that he needs to check out already. My husband has late check-out benefits so he can check-out at 2PM but he immediately finished his lunch and went back to the hotel, only to find out that his luggage was no longer inside his room. His luggage was already in the concierge room and there was a new guest in his room. For a loyal guest of Sheraton, this is not something that he would expect. Anyway, after check-out, he immediately booked a room at Le Meridien Hotel for one night stay.

Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers 
88 Dong Khoi, District 1,
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

February 11, 2020

Breakfast Buffet at Restaurant Verbena

We believe that calories don’t count on holidays and vacations so we literally don’t mind our diet last December. We don’t have travel trips so food trip na lang kami and napahinga pa ko sa pagluluto. Hehehe! So far, I already shared our food trips at Romantic Baboy, Zubuchon, and Balay Dako.

Read: Lunch at Romantic Baboy 
Lunch at Zubuchon 
Breakfast Buffet at Balay Dako 

Now, let me share with you our Breakfast Buffet at Restaurant Verbena. It’s pretty obvious here in my blog that if we like the restaurant, we keep on coming back. One of our favorite restaurants in Tagaytay is Restaurant Verbena because we love the food, service, and ambiance. This was already our third-time visit so it means 3 out of 6 Christmas breakfasts since we started our Christmas traditions in Tagaytay.

As usual, we attended church service and then we went straight to Discovery Country Suites. The traffic was so bad, imagine 8AM pa lang yun at sobra na ang traffic. It took us more than an hour to reach the restaurant and gutom na gutom na talaga kami. Feeling ko nga baka hindi na namin maabutan yung breakfast sa sobrang traffic.

We arrived quarter past 9AM so occupied na yung malapit sa window. For the past two visits, ala carte yung breakfast nila so we were surprised that last Christmas it was a breakfast buffet. Napalaban na naman ang tiyan ko. The rate is more or less PHP655 for adult and PHP315 for kid. I’m so happy na pasok pa sa kid’s rate anak ko since sa age sila nagbase. Yey!

Read: Christmas Breakfast at Restaurant Verbena 2016 
Christmas breakfast at RestaurantVerbena 2017 

The buffet spread is limited which is understandable since konti lang din naman ang guests. They have bread, cereals, fruits, waffle, bulalo soup, cheese fondue, hash brown grilled tomato, and main course. For the main course, they served scrambled eggs, fried chicken, beef stroganoff, daing na bangus, ham, and longganisa.

Even the buffet spread is limited, we have no regrets because kahit konti yung food, masarap naman. The service is good and the most important thing is konti lang kasi tao so peaceful ang ambiance.

Restaurant Verbena Buffet Breakfast Rate

Adult  P533.39 + VAT, Service Charge and Local Tax (P655)
Kid P255.80 + VAT, Service Charge and Local Tax (P315)

Read: Holiday 2019 
Food Trip in Tagaytay 
Christmas Breakfast at Cafe Voi La  

Watch the Video

February 10, 2020

Filipino Voter’s Registration, Transfer and Reactivation

As a Filipino citizen, we have the right to vote unless you are disqualified by the law. Growing up, I had no idea that I can exercise this right as early as 15 years old where I can join Sangguniang Kabataan Elections. I was a fresh college graduate when I decided to register, my aunt just informed me about the voter’s registration schedule.

I can never forget my first voter’s registration experience. I was falling in line as early as 2AM and was able to submit my form around lunchtime. Imagine the long wait just to submit the application form. Hindi pa siya naprocess agad, I was advised to go back at 7PM and wait for my number to be called. I finished my registration past 10PM.

I was really tired and I almost gave up waiting for my turn. That was my unforgettable experience in Valenzuela so when I moved to Malabon, Laguna and now Cavite, I never dare to fall in line again to transfer my precinct because I’m afraid that I will undergo the same process again.

Voter’s Registration 

If you are planning to register, check the following process.

Qualifications to Register 

Any Filipino citizen who is not yet a registered voter may apply for registration, provided he/she possesses the following qualifications:

* At least fifteen (15) but not more than thirty (30) years of age and residing in the barangay for at least six (6) months on or before Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
* At least eighteen (18) years of age on or before Barangay, Local and National elections;
* A resident of the Philippines for at least one (1) year and in the place wherein he/ she proposes to vote, for at least six (6) months before Elections;
* Not otherwise disqualified by law.

Voter’s Registration Requirement 

Valid ID Employee's identification card (ID) (with the signature of the employer or authorized representative)
Postal ID
Student's ID or library card, signed by the school authority
Senior Citizen's ID
Driver's license
NBI clearance
Integrated Bar of the Philippine (IBP) ID
License issued by the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC)
Certificate of Confirmation issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in case of members of ICCs or IPs

If I remember it right, I also brought my Birth Certificate to prove my age and I am qualified to register.

Voter’s Registration Procedures 

1. Go to local COMELEC office. Click here to check the list of COMELEC office.
2. Bring your valid ID to verify your identity and residence.
3.Fill-out the Voter’s Registration Application Form. To save time, you can download and print the form here.
4. Biometrics
5. You will receive an Acknowledgement Receipt and the staff will ask you to sign on their logbook.

Voter’s Change of Name and Transfer of Precinct 

I got married and I no longer live in Valenzuela but because of my voter’s registration experience, I don’t want to go to COMELEC again. So every election, I go to Valenzuela and my husband travels to Pangasinan just to vote. That was our scenario every election, nakakapagod din and magastos so when I found out that there is a special registration in our subdivision for 2 days (9-4PM) hindi na naming pinalagpas.

We were there before 9AM, I just gave my valid ID and precinct name. In my case, change of status and transfer of precinct, the staff gave me

Voter’s Registration Application Form
Application Form for Change of Name
Application Form for Transfer due to Change of Residence.

I think, I also brought my marriage certificate just in case they ask for it. I was really happy because we finished everything in 1 hour. A far cry from my first voter’s registration experience.

Voter’s Reactivation of Registration Record 

My husband and I transferred precinct 8 years ago; my husband received his new voter’s ID card in year 2013 but I haven’t received mine. I don’t understand nga kung bakit wala ako, sabay naman kami nagpachange ng precicnt. So from the time na nagparegister and transferred ako, never ako nabigyan ng Voter’s ID card.

Since 2013, I always dropped by at the COMELEC office after paying our Real Property tax. Pero every year naman akong sawi not available lagi. My husband told me na hindi na ko mabibigyan ng voter’s ID kasi nga may proposal na magkaroon ng National ID system so last year hindi na ko dumaan ng COMELEC.

Then few weeks ago, my friend informed me na dumaan siya COMELEC and natanung niya yung Voter’s ID ko and sabi daw, deactivated na daw ako. Waah! I was surprised because as far as I know, last May 2019 election lang naman ako hindi nakaboto. Deactivated na agad? I’m thankful that my friend asked for my Voter’s ID availability kung hindi wala ko idea na hindi na pala ko registered voter. Magugulat na lang pala ko sa next election na wala na ko sa listahan.

 Anyway, I searched on how to reactivate my voter’s registration and according to COMELEC site “During the next scheduled registration record, a voter with a deactivated registration record may file for the reactivation of his (or her) registration record with the local COMELEC office of the city/municipality where he (or she) is registered.” So I checked the registration schedule

January 20, 2020 to September 30, 2021 
Monday to Saturday including holidays except April 9 & 10, 2020 (Maundy Thursday and Good Friday); December 25, 2020, Friday (Christmas Day); April 1 and 2, 2021 Maundy Thursday and Good Friday)
8AM to 5PM

Just this morning, I went to the COMELEC office and I asked them about my concern. The staff informed me na 2 elections ang namissed ko, may Barangay Election pa. “Failed to vote in two (2) successive preceding regular elections”

To reactivate my voter’s registration, they asked for a valid ID + photocopy of the valid ID and they asked me to fill out the 3 pages of Voter’s Registration form + Supplementary form since I have PWD ID. No more biometrics, nag thumb mark lang ko sa form. The staff gave my acknowledgement receipt and write some details on his logbook.

Read: How to Apply for PWD ID

That's it! Wala rin pila so saglit lang ang process. Pwede na ulit ako makaboto.

February 07, 2020

Breakfast Buffet at Balay Dako

We always go to Tagaytay for a food trip but until now I still have a long list of restaurants that I want to try. I feel happy whenever I ticked something off on my list and finally last December, we were able to visit Balay Dako. I wanted to try this restaurant but the problem is they only offer buffet breakfast every weekend and holidays so we grabbed the opportunity when I saw that they are open few days before Christmas.

Read: Food Trip in Tagaytay

Balay Dako does not accept reservations, it is a first-come-first-serve so we left the house as early as 5AM because we will fetch my grandmother-in-law in Laguna. We arrived in Tagaytay past 6:30AM. From the parking lot you can already see the wooden house, it lives up to its name because Balay Dako is a Negrense word which means “big house”.

My husband registered and the staff gave us a number, pang #18 na kami. They started calling the number at 7AM and the staff ushered us to our table. We have a breathtaking view of Taal Lake and who ever think na after few weeks, magkaka-ashfall.

It’s funny because I don’t like to visit during weekends and holidays kasi for sure marami tao. Pero marami pa rin pala tao kahit weekday and hindi pa holiday so I guess lagi sila puno kahit mahal ang rate. According to their site “Antonio’s is much more than a restaurant. It is an experience”, so charge it to experience na lang kahit lugi ko sa 11-years old son ko na mahina kumain. Hindi ko pa rin maaccept na adult rate na siya. Hehehe!

Balay Dako Buffet Breakfast Rate

P700 - adults
P450 - children below 4 feet
FREE - toddlers and below

Prices are subject to 10% service charge.

Antonios’ Group of Restaurant has 5 restaurants in Tagaytay, the first restaurant that we have tried is Breakfast at Antonio’s and this time buffet breakfast at Balay Dako. This restaurant serves Filipino cuisine so if you love Filipino food or if you have balikbayan, this is a good choice. PHP700 + service charge is not cheap but if you check the buffet spread mukhang sulit naman sa dami.

Read: Christmas at Breakfast at Antonio’s 

They offer mixed green salad with 4 types of dressing, fresh fruits, bread, assorted jams and spread, hot and cold drinks, dessert, cereals, granola, soup, and main course. For main course, they have assorted tuyo, homemade longganisa, bacon, daing na bangus, ginisang gulay, chicken and pork adobo, tapa, corned beef, atchara and ensaladang mangga.

They have a station where you can create your own omelet and fried rice. Just choose from the available ingredients and the chef will cook it for you. They also have balut, penoy and taho. Of course, I was not able to try everything but my favorite foods are puto bumbong, taho, champorado, ginataang halo-halo, ensaymada, daing na bangus and since Christmas season may Ham.

Watch the video here

Balay Dako Opening Hours 
Saturday, Sunday and on selected holidays

Balay Dako
Tagaytay - Nasugbu Hwy,
Tagaytay, 4120 Cavite

February 06, 2020

Lunch at Zubuchon

Zubuchon is famous because Anthony Bourdain said it is “the best pig ever” so whenever my husband goes to Cebu, he always buys lechon for pasalubong. Good thing that Zubuchon has a store at Cebu International Airport so buying lechon is not a problem. It was year 2013 when I first tried Zubuchon and now I’m glad that we don’t need to go to Cebu anymore if we are craving for Cebu’s Lechon because there is Zubuchon at SM Southmall.

Read: Zubuchon 
Cebu’s Lechon 
Where to Eat in Cebu
Pasalubong from Cebu  

Actually huli na pala ko sa balita kasi ang dami na pala Zubuchon branches sa Metro Manila but it was only last December when we saw Zubuchon restaurant at SM Southmall. I was hesitant to eat here because of my braces, baka hindi ko maenjoy ang crispy skin but good thing that Zubuchon restaurant is more than just lechon. I was really surprised when I saw their menu, ang dami choices, nahirapan tuloy ako mamili. #morethanjustlechon

They have appetizers, soups, meat, seafood, vegetables, rice, noodles, fast meals, desserts, and drinks. I think yung fast meals ang inoorder ni hubby sa Cebu airport, the meal includes monggo, lechon, rice and achara for P290. We ordered Zubuchon Medium Platter P650 (good for 4 people), Ginataang Langka P200, Plain Rice P40 per cup, Halo Halo P170 and Leche Flan P70.

For lechon, you can order whole lechon or platter. For platter, they offer small, medium or large and you can choose Classic Zubuchon or Boneless Zubuchon. Cebu's lechon is famous kasi kahit walang lechon sauce, masarap na but if want some dipping sauce, they have Zubu vinegar dip. They even have instructions on how to make Zubu “sawsawan” or you can personalize your own dipping sauce.

I ordered Ginataang Langka because I don’t cook this at home, hindi man lang ako nakapagpaturo sa lola ko kung paano magluto. I like this dish so if ever I’ll go back I will order this again.

The Halo-Halo serving is good for sharing but my husband can finish this serving but I can’t so share na lang kami. Hehehe! As expected, my son finished his leche flan in less than 60 seconds. Nagutom ako bigla while writing this blog, parang gusto ko magZubuchon ulit.

Overall, we enjoyed our food trip at Zubuchon and the service is really good. The waitstaffs serve with smile and you don’t need to call their attention, nirerefill agad ang water namin. You can feel that they love their job.

February 05, 2020

Lunch at Romantic Baboy: Unlimited Korean Grill at Southwoods Mall

When it comes to Korean BBQ, I always see Romantic Baboy and ito na yata ang pinakamaming branches na nakita ko. It was only last year when I saw Romantic Baboy branches that is near to our place. We have Romantic Baboy in Binan, Laguna, Southwoods Mall, and Festival Mall.

Last August, when we ate at TGI Friday’s. I saw the Romantic Baboy restaurant. It wasn’t open yet so we are waiting for the September opening but it did not happen, na-late sila ng bukas. I think December na sila nag-open so after my son’s Christmas Party we went to Southwoods Mall to eat at Romantic Baboy.

It was lunchtime so madami na rin tao but good thing there were still available tables. The staff pointed out the table where we are going to sit. May appetizers na agad sa table and I don’t know kung gaano na katagal yung appetizers doon.

We were there for several minutes pero wala na nag-assist pag kaupo namin. We asked for the menu and when we order na, the staff told us na hindi pala available lahat sa menu. I was a little bit disappointed kasi hindi man lang kami ininform ng staff bago kami pumasok. Of course, first time namin so siyempre mas okay sana complete yung menu so we can try each meat.

Anyway, since nakaupo na kami, nag-order na rin kami and we were advised na 2 types of meat lang daw ang pag-order. When they served the meats, hindi pala complete ang utensils. It was funny because may appetizers agad pero kulang-kulang sa utensils so we have to ask for spoon, fork, plates, and tongs. Binigay naman pero basa lahat, bagong hugas so kami pa magpunas? lol

Romantic Baboy Rate is P499, I’m not sure about the kid’s rate because we paid P499 for my 11-years old son. The rate includes unlimited pork and beef, unlimited rice and vegetables, 6 kinds of side dishes, and Gochujang jjigae. But they did not serve the gochujang jjigae or any soup. There are 8 different types of meat that you can choose from, you can order

Herb Samgyupsal - herb-flavored belly
Woo Samgyup - thinly sliced of beef brisket
Moksal - seasoned pork neck
Daepae Samgyupsal - thinly sliced of pork belly
Yangyum Galbi - marinated pork ribs
Romantic Bulgogi - sweet marinated Korean style beef
Spicy Beef - thinly sliced beef dip in spicy sauce
Curry Beef - thinly sliced beef dip in curry sauce

We were not able to try all the meat since it is not available. The grilling pan has space for an egg, cheese, and kimchi. We have to ask for the egg since they did not serve it yet. They also have noodles, rice meals, stew, and drinks which you can order for an additional fees.

What I don’t like is maliit ang space, as in magkakatabi lang yung table so kahit hindi mo gusto makinig, rinig na rinig ko ang usapan sa katabing table. Tapos ang ingay pa ng music so siyempre nilalaksan naman ng katabi ko boses niya. Napabilib tuloy ko sa appetite ng highschool students, ang dami kasi ng order nila. Sulit sa kanila. Hehehe!

We did not stay that long, we’re done after one hour and natagalan lang kami sa billing. The staff even gave us a single rose. So kaya ba Romantic Baboy dahil may rose after kumain? For payment, they only accept cash payment, parang wala pa yata ko nakainan na Korean BBQ restaurant na pwede credit card payment.

Read: List of Buffet Restaurant in the Philippines 

Watch the video here